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This looks interesting!

This looks interesting!

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13 thoughts on “This looks interesting!”

  1. Yes, it does. At first glance, I was definitely giving it the sideeye. But I got further and looked at the authors and feel it’s not Anglicized. I’m not 100% certain it’s my cup of tea, but it looks intriguing.

  2. Same. I’m excited to see more Latinx designers and projects coming out! Cartel might not be my cuppa, but it’s a Latinx experience written by a Latinx designer.

  3. It looks so awful I can’t even bring myself to click on it!

    That is a rough first impression.

    (I will click through because I trust YOU, but jfc they’re not doing themselves any favors.)

  4. Okay this is just my impression from the cover art. The very, very shallowest first impression.

    What I see is conqueror and indigenous folks fighting side by side against a common fantasy enemy. That just sits so wrong with me. The fantasy, the adventurer party vibe, the whole thing.

    I’m loving that latinx are making things! But this image is not conveying to me any kind of grasp of the underlying subject matter other than as set dressing for an otherwise very traditional fantasy adventurer game (which carries with it way way lots of baggage).

    If you fundamentally disagree with my assertion that the traditional fantasy adventurer genre is mega problematic for colonialism reasons, well, that’s okay and I can bow out.

  5. UPFRONT: Technically, the art is superb. That artist is more skilled than I am at digital art.

    THAT SAID: I am uniquely poised to cringe a bit at the art’s subject matter as it depicts native women. I’ve studied Aztec, Mayan, and Toltec culture for a long while, spent a long time in Mexico, and am a collector of Mexican textile art, which is a narrative of its own mostly passed on from woman to woman. Maybe I’m not as uniquely poised to tell this game’s story as a Mexican man may be, but I would like to have seen women in better clothing than bikinis (with lots of underboob) and miniskirts, or generic Plains Indian buckskin fringe and warpaint. I know that not all the tribes in the Empire’s sway dressed in cloth garments, and that modesty varied from tribe to tribe, but it would be nice to see an Aztec woman wearing the pride of her mother and grandmothers: a full woven mantle and skirt.

  6. Okay, I’ve now read the whole thing.

    First off, I totally get that me whitesplaining my discomfort about this project is A Thing. I do. My feelings on the subject are complicated.

    Second, these folks definitely know what they’re doing, at the very least on the design side. They know their audience. They have a very clear vision of what they’re going after. It’s an impressive production.

    At this point I’m most curious as to what their goals are in setting the game in the 16th century. What are they hoping to achieve by allowing Spanish/European characters into the game and not just making the whole thing pre-Columbian?

    My gut tells me: art direction vibe, culture panic (i.e. letting folks off the hook for getting Mexica “right” by offering more familiar European fare), and maybe, possibly addressing colonialism in probably an oblique way via the tolerance/prejudice system.

    This is the place where I remember that literally any game, no matter how well-intentioned or woke, can and will be horrifically misused by someone somewhere. And what can you do but shrug?

    Still side-eyeing. Still wishing they’d had a different introductory image.

  7. I don’t have a strong opinion, honestly, I’m mostly asking because I’m /extreeeeeemly/ cautious about attempting to critique how someone who si part of a culture I am not chooses to represent that culture.

    Also, it feels weird to me to dismiss a feathered serpent as just a “traditional fantasy enemy”.

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