So, I’ve been checking in on this post for discussion, but I haven’t really seen any. I went to the Discord tho and did find some more discussion on the topic. I found that some of the devs had commented on this topic, so I figured I’d bring those comments here and try to continue discussion rather than getting lost in Discord.
I think this is coming from a good place, but I wanted to add in my opinion to this as well. There’s a lot here, so I’ll spoiler it to keep things tidy.
[details=Opinions]On the point of “it feels shallow compared to an actual black character”: this was said as if you can only have one or the other (in the Reinhart comment). Let’s look at Skullgirls again, for example: Filia, Valentine, and Parasoul had dark skin palettes in the base game, in addition to default Cerebella and Ms. Fortune being non-white, and none of that prevented Eliza or Big Band from being added later. Essentially, a product is going to have only as many default black characters as it’s going to have, the alternate palettes shouldn’t be coming into the I guess black quota.
Of course, this might change a bit if the base product has no naturally black characters. From what I can tell from the wiki page on the characters in the Fantasy Strike/Yomi IP, there seem to be no black characters coming up. They could always surprise everyone with someone unexpected after Panda and Fish man, but looking at the current roster doesn’t give much hope that darker characters are on the priority list.
As far as it being offensive, I’m just left a bit confused. I’ve never heard that kind of comment before, every fighting game player I’ve talked to about dark-skin palettes (the topic of palettes is actually a thing I talk about a lot) has said nothing but positive things about them. I do think this concept of being offended at a palette swap brings up some interesting talking points, though.
Firstly, what would you prefer: a game with no dark skin characters, or a game with no naturally dark skin characters but a few great dark skin palette swaps per character? That’s essentially the situation Fantasy Strike is currently in. Holding off dark-skin palettes for dark-skin characters doesn’t make much sense to me personally, but it seems especially odd when there are no dark-skin characters on the horizon anyway.
Secondly: do you consider these characters to be a 1:1 for our races irl? In these games, especially fantasy based games, the world they live in has no concept of our racial context (no Africa, no Britain, no Asia, no slavery, etc.). When I see dark-skin Satsuki I don’t think of her as black, because she doesn’t live in a world where that applies, she’s not intended to share my racial heritage at all. So for me, I don’t get the part of it where irl races should come into play.
I guess the last thing I’ll say is: the appeal for me being able to pick characters that are closer to my skin tone is that I can feel more comfortable with that character and the game in general, because I’ll more often see more diversity in-game (which feels natural). The characters aren’t real races, so forcing them to be white/black all the time doesn’t seem necessary. I can’t fault a dev for trying not to be offensive, but I really wish I could feel more comfortable with this game’s existing cast.[/details]