Diversity in Evolve


#1

Hey guys. I’ve been lurking these forums ever since I first became interested in Evolve so Hi.

Anyway I was watching one of Gamespot’s new videos and it had a bit of dialogue between Maggie and Bucket. I don’t remember the whole exchange but the part that absolutely thrilled me was when they began to discuss Bantu culture and thte PanAfrican Union. As the son of West African immigrants I couldn’t help but grin from ear to ear so thanks developers!

My question for this topic is what else can we expect in terms of diversity for the hunters? I know we already have two females playable(one of which is black which i even rarer) but can we look forward to anything else?


Hunter's ethnic Background: TRS can into diversity?
#2

Correct me if I’m wrong: Markov is Russian. Val is Polish. Griffin might be British or originate from a British colony, like Australia. Lazarus might be Yugoslavian or originate from one of it’s now segregated states, like Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Obviously the Goliath and the Kraken are two very different creatures.


Hunter's ethnic Background: TRS can into diversity?
#3

Awesome! Glad you noticed and appreciated the details. :smile:

It’s funny, we never enter into the character design process thinking and planning for diversity, we just let it happen naturally. One could say that, from a visual/personality perspective, our characters are born instead of designed. Which sounds really artsy fartsy, but there really isn’t any way else to describe it. I used the same method when I did the original concepts for the L4D survivors and that worked out pretty well, so we brought that process into Evolve.

We take a gameplay design from @MacMan and start trying to figure out who these people are…and at some point we find a look and a theme that just feels right. @Matthew starts looking at the visuals as we go and thinking about the way they would talk and what their history might be, which feeds inspiration back to the art team. It’s a really collaborative process and probably my favorite aspect of development.


Hunter's ethnic Background: TRS can into diversity?
#4

Serbian. :slight_smile:


The Ethnicity of Lazarus, Ðorde Živkovic Revealed (Not German)
Hunter's ethnic Background: TRS can into diversity?
The Ethnicity of Lazarus, Ðorde Živkovic Revealed (Not German)
#5

Absolutely. But sorry no spoilers. Speculate away!


#6

I’m still hoping for an alien character.

And also some kind of genetically engineered clone.

And maybe some kind of space Frankenstien, brought back to life using the miracles of future-space science, but with a few noticeable features because of the resurrection.

Ooooh, and really old man, like a 70-90 year old.


#7

It’s funny that @SlabOMeat has this natural aversion to seeming artistic, the flowery naval-gazing language that people use when talking about Art. He hates that stuff, thinks it’s pretentious. The atmosphere here is very working-class, pragmatic approach to everything.

But this is THE most artistic project I’ve ever been on, and it’s mostly because of him! :smiley: Because of his ability to explore ideas, follow whatever is inspiring. We like strong archetypes, but we like seeing things we’ve never seen before. So we often start with these strong, identifiable visuals, and then start working on “how can we make this person different from everyone we’ve seen in SF before?”

It’s PURELY artistic. As a writer, it’s an incredibly fertile and rewarding environment and I think the results are starting to speak for themselves.


#8

If we get a character like that it’d be cool if he had mechanical augmentations. :smile:


#9

We sometimes course-correct when we step back and realize “Hey we only have two female characters on the team!” We didn’t design the team to be male, it was just the result of the artistic process. Realizing we had a surfeit of masculinity, we ditched the medic we hadn’t yet begun modeling and replaced him with a new combat medic, Val!

Compared to Bucket and Lazarus, people on the team thought Val was boring. Sure. She’s by no means a flamboyant personality. Then I wrote The Val Story and suddenly people on the team are coming up to me (this literally happened) saying “Dude Val is my favorite character now!”

Something I’ve tried to do in the fiction is show the frontier as the result of many waves of settlement. Only one hero is literally from Earth. So while Lazarus is of Serbian descent, he’s never been to Serbia. I want to cram as many cultures as possible in here, we have Korean NPCs, Indian NPCs. The future should belong to everybody.

The implication being; there are Serbian colonies. There are Australian colonies. There are African colonies. That way we get to keep the distinctive accents we all recognize

But we also like that American Melting pot idea. Maggie is descended from African colonists, but doesn’t speak with an accent. That stuff was hundreds of years ago, from her point of view. Markov and Lazarus speak English. It’s not about being African or Serbian, its about being a Colonist. A citizen of the Far Arm. Or are you from Hub? Civilization? Those are the cultural differences our heroes pay attention to.

They are not aware of nationality. Russia isn’t a country to Markov, it’s a culture, an ethnicity.


#10

That is just lovely. Really. I enjoy that.


#11

You should just keep talking to us forever. The stuff you post is really interesting since we don’t know a great deal about Evolve lore


#12

Incredibly happy someone caught the Pan-African Union reference. And the game isn’t even out yet!

Looking at Maggie’s visual, I didn’t get an African-American sense from that, it seemed Actually African. But I didn’t want a heavy African accent for a lot of reasons, many practical (there are not a whole lot of African actors in Los Angeles!)

If Maggie is descended from African colonists, why did she name her alien dog Daisy? Daisy was the cute name the artists used to describe her and there wasn’t the idea then that this was the REAL name, but I try wherever possible to keep the artist’s temp names, because that process of inspiration is very close to the real way we name things. Why not Daisy? Why overthink it? There’s a lot of pressure to overthink it, and I have to be the first defense against that.

I thought about my own pets. They get a LOT of nicknames! Why should Maggie act any different?

So I wondered “what would Daisy’s name be, in Maggie’s family’s language?” I do some research and pick a popular (but not too popular, that would be lazy) African language. Shona! A Bantu language spoken in Zimbabwe! Perfect!

I find an online dictionary and look up Daisy in Shona. No luck. The dictionaries I found weren’t incredibly helpful.

So I went to “flower.” Ruva! Great! So sometimes Maggie calls her Daisy, sometimes Ruva. Sounds like two different names to you and me, not to Maggie.

Sometimes she shouts “Ruva! Vhima!” Which is Shona for “Flower! Hunt!”

Then it was just a case of putting her and Bucket in the same room and letting them talk. :smiley:

Bucket Maggie you sometimes call Daisy ‘Ruva,’ which I assume is her name in your native language. But I do not recognize it.
Maggie It’s Shona. I figured you knew every language.
Bucket The trick is knowing which dictionaries to load. Ah! A bantu language!
Maggie I guess. I don’t speak it much. Mostly some words I picked up from my grandmother.
Your grandmother was decended from remarkable people. The pan-african union drove the third wave of settlement. If it wasn’t for them, we’d not have made it this far from Hub.
Maggie Huh.

See, to Maggie this stuff is all ancient history. Her grandmother is important to her, but not the PanAfrican Union. I might nerd out on history stuff, but Maggie is just a normal person. :smiley:


#13

Man that’s incredibly awesome! I had never even heard of that language myself.


#14

Every hunter should be a homogenous-semi-orange future-person with a language that sounds a lot like gleep-glorp-gobble-d-goop, or South Park lied to me.


#15

I actually argued that the one hero from Earth should look like a tall, bronzed, superhuman. For all the reasons South Park was making fun of. The idea that Earth has belonged to the ultra-wealthy for 150 years and this is the result.

Alas, we only have so many body-types and that is not one of them. :smiley:


#16

Well the good news is, this is like 1% of it. There are lots of questions we could answer, but it’s more fun to find out in-game!


#17

Earth belonging to the wealthy is a really freaking cool idea.

It’s always “Earth is fucked, let’s blow this shithole”.

Nice to see something different, if that is actually the case.

I love that idea for the Earth-man being a semi-perfect superhuman.

Like some of the people who stayed behind have rapidly evolved or self improved to the point of turning into an entirely new super-race. Leading to both sides (normal human and super human) being super-racist.

I almost want to start writing about something like that myself…


#18

You will learn a lot about Earth from the one actual Earthling and it is the home of the ultra-rich.


#19

You and your people need to stop coming up with creative and awesome lore and characters.

I can’t handle these ideas, they’re so great.

And not even just the rich? The ultra-rich?

There are so many thoughts of what that could possibly look like stirring around in my head right now.

This is one of the first games in a long time where I don’t actually know what to expect from the writers. It’s so inspiring. If this copywriting thing i’m trying for doesn’t check out, I definitely want to try writing for games and shows(which will probably be even harder).


#20

I’m sure it’s been clarified, at some point, but just to remove my burden of ignorance: where are Hank, Val, and Hyde from?