The Official Bulletstorm Breast Size Debate

The main female character in macho first-person shooter Bulletstorm will have somewhat realistic proportions, thanks to the game's producer.

Techland's Evan Narcisse got to the topic of debate during a recent interview with Tanya Jessup, the Epic Games producer for next year's Bulletstorm. She describes a conversation she had with the game's creative director, Adrian Chmielarz of Epic-owned People Can Fly studios.

Tanya Jessup, Epic Games: Trischka's character is very much a product of me because I wanted a strong female character that wasn't stereotypically hot. But still, obviously had a way about her that implied sexiness. You know, [sarcastically]the fight for boob size was an awesome one. It was probably a week of back and forth, like…

Techland: From B to D cup?

Jessup: It was everything imaginable. It was width. It was the cleavage showing. It was height, from top to bottom. It was the level of bounciness. It was all of that. I'm in Adrian's office, like, "Adrian, come on. No! Are you crazy? Trishka, she's our badass. She's going kick your arse and take no prisoners! She's sexy because she has the confidence. She doesn't need to have giant breasts!" Adrian is like, "She's so hot, she needs to have a giant rack. I love chicks in video games that have giant boobs." I could see his face was kind of sad. I think we came to a good middle ground. He genuinely wanted what he considers the most beautiful looking woman in the game. What I wanted is a believable, strong, not-stereotypical fighter chick.

This is a debate for less fantastic and more sensible female body types in video games that we've heard before. Mirror's Edge, anyone? It's also the first instance I'm aware of of anyone on the Bulletstorm team arguing successfully for the subtler approach. This is the game about getting points for impaling bad guys on cacti, remember?

The rest of the interview focuses on Jessup's hard working in the games industry that earned her the Bulletstorm gig, from game testing to producing a marquee game.

Origins: Tanya Jessen, Lead Producer on Bulletstorm [Techland via Adrian Chmielarz's Twitter]


Comments

    I miss giant boobies :(

    I think the character is still damn sexy - even if they knock her down an extra cup.

    Plus she does look natural. I like it when a video game girl looks like you could run into someone that looks just like her in the street (Alyx Vance, anyone?)

    Out of proportion chars can only ever be eye candy - they will never have the depth or apeal of other characters.

    Case and point that Alyx Vance has been remembered long after Rayne (from bloodrayne duh) was forgotten.

    Yes, yes, yes.

    Please for the love of god give us realistically proportioned protagonists.

    That gamers bemoan the refusal of the public to treat video games as an adult medium in the same breath while they fail to so much as raise an eyebrow at a depiction of the female form that no other medium would get away with confuses the daylights out of me.

      Agreed, but it isn't limited to the female form, their depiction of males is equally as skewed.

        Yeah, but men tend not to give a toss about it, which would be the main difference.

        It's all well and good to have almost every male protagonist to be overly buff or perfectly athletic, but as soon as a boob goes one cup too big it's all out war. lol

        That being said there have been a lot more imperfect men in games than women

      I agree with you entirely, KingTrash.

      I'm glad they've decided on less ridiculous bewbs, but this line from the article (apparently not ironic) is weird:

      "Adrian is like, “She’s so hot, she needs to have a giant rack. I love chicks in video games that have giant boobs.”"

      That's the game's Creative Director. I understand that the game's target market would be all over a protagonist with "a giant rack" - not my thing at all, but I get that.

      What is more surprising is that developers (and presumably players) apparently consider this vital.

      As for males being stereotyped in the same way, there's a very clear difference. Hypermasculine, buffed, buzz-cut soldiers (a la Gears) aren't sexual symbols - they're a garish military fantasy in the same way as hyper-feminine characters are a sexual one.

        "As for males being stereotyped in the same way, there’s a very clear difference. Hypermasculine, buffed, buzz-cut soldiers (a la Gears) aren’t sexual symbols.."

        Really?

        Even if we discount the possibility of androphiliac people (i.e. attracted to men (i.e. gay/bi men and straight/bi women)) playing the game, there is a sexual symbolism in hypermasculinity (specifically, virility or sexual prowess).

        Thus, whilst the fantasy is not "having sex with the Gears" (for non-androphiliac members of the audience), there is a sexual fantasy involved of being as sexually potent as that appearance (allegedly) implies.

        So yes, hyper-gendered appearances of either male or female varieties are indeed sexual symbols.

        As for my own opinion, I think it depends on what the game is going for. If it wants realism, then sure, realistic females make sense (as do realistic males, i.e. figures besides insanely steroidally buff). If the game is not meant to be realistic, by all means, mainline the 'roids and bring on the silicone.

          I should've clarified my earlier post - I did mean that the Gears were sexually unattractive to the apparent target audience for gigantic boobs (heterosexual males, presumably). I agree that virile, overmuscly men are as much as symbol of sexual 'power' (with huge guns) as military fantasy to this audience.

          The point I found interesting was that representations of hypermasculinity are often related to power and virility, whereas hyperfeminine, exaggerated characters are a potent symbol of attraction (as well as power, to a certain extent) to a heterosexual male audience. I can't generalise, but hypermasculine characters are (to me) anything but attractive.

          I agree that the type of game can determine how realistic the characters are - but it's rare that we see the opposite (androphilic) approach to design.

            StudioDekadent's argument here seems like a bit of a long bow to draw for me - sure, we can analyse big tough guys and large machineguns as sexual iconography, but we can (with only a little more stretching) level the same accusations at Spyro the Dragon - the fire breath is a classic Freudian passion symbol and flying could represent a fear of commitment stereotypically associated with men, not to mention the 'Napoleon complex' that drives one small dragon to save the world singlehandedly. Or we could talk about the tendency for RPG wizards to clutch their 'staff of power'. But as Freud famously (and probably never really) said, "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar". As Aidan points out, if we conflate male militarism with male sexuality we might as well persue a Freudian reading of everything males have ever done ever.

            I'm all for discussing the sexual objectification of female avatars, as gamer demographics have changed this feels more and more out of touch with audience (and our society's) attitudes. Talking about the sexualisation of male characters seems to suck the oxygen from that far more important debate, in my opinion.

              My reading of the symbolism is anything but Freudian.

              The idea that male militarism and male "sexuality" may be connected is not a bizzare Freudian conjecture but rather pretty well-substantiated by history. Highly militaristic 'warrior cultures' often have immensely 'homoerotic' (if not 'erotic' in the blatantly sexual sense) undertones.

              Also, your statement that "conflating male militarism with male sexuality" would invite a Freudian reading of "everything males have ever done ever" seems to imply you think everything men do is divisible into sex and violence. For someone that claims to reject Freudianism, this is a very Freudian position to take, and it carries a few potentially offensive implications as to what you believe motivates men.

              Also, I fail to see how discussing sexual symbolism of male character designs "sucks the oxygen out" of sexualized female character designs. If one wants to play the "victimization" game, it is obvious that unrealistic representations of allegedly 'correct' body shapes are oppressive to both males and females alike. However, I was hoping to avoid descending into an abyss of victim-feminism (which, I would like to make clear, is not the only kind of feminism).

      Wonderfully put!

    her boobs are still pretty big, but she's hot, kinda reminds me of Jill Valentine, but that might be just the hair.

    I just played Enslaved.. the chick Trip is pretty hot, her boobs are a nice size, bit of cleavage showing... great ass ;) She can be kinda annoying tho..

    could be worse, could have gone the way of a D.O.A. Jigglefest!

    Heh maybe they should just equalize things and for every breast the size of someones head that is put in a game they have to include a massive sagging codpiece on a dude. With frequent close-ups.

      That has 'cult hit' written all over it. lol

      Why wouldn't we just make it Frank N Furter - the game

    Good job sounding like a pathetic manchild, Adrian.

    "He genuinely wanted what he considers the most beautiful looking woman in the game."

    derpa derpa gameplay herp.

    they should just use the old anime rule

    BOOBS OF STEEL - bigger the boobs the stronger the character

    Sigh. You don't need giant boobs to be sexy, I'm with Tanya on that debate. Frankly its getting a bit ridiculous with games today, when I'm actually considering NOT buying a game because the avatars are too soft-core porn for me not to feel like a misogynistic twat. I think developers are stepping over a line somewhere. People mock the fashion industry about their potrayal of women, someone should really be kicking some producer/developer butt over their design choices in most (not all) games today.

    Geez......... As if boob bludging in League of Legends' forums wasn't enough.... -_-

    Those tits are massive as they are though. Thin women like that lose a lot of weight from their breasts due to all the excercise. Seriously, those boobs are already too big. Thin women like that Have B or A cups. Besides, boobs arent all that good, what matters is ass/curves.

    Chicks need to understand, especially ones in a position of design, that the majority of gamers are men... and we like boobs. Its just the way it is. So big boobs for a sexy chick will SELL... sex sells, thats marketing 101 right there... she can still be a "strong character" and still have an awesome rack too, you dont have to compromise.

      "she can still be a “strong character” and still have an awesome rack too, you dont have to compromise."

      Hahahaha! That got me!

      Sigh.

    oh well, maybe it's something they can fix with DLC :-D

    Does anyone remember the bouncy boob on/off switch in the options in DOA 2, that was hilarious.

      Or you might say 'Double' DLC?

      (I'm so so sorry for that terrible pun...) :|

    While this is a worthy debate, if you are buying/not buying a game on account of the breast size contained therein, you are missing the point of games and no doubt have serious emotional problems

    I can imagine that seeing characters with smaller breasts than yours could be somewhat emasculating.

    From those pictures, her breasts don't strike me as particularly small (maybe for video games) and i would consider myself some what of a connoisseur.

    They should of just gave the chick large breast and the man a big cucumber bulge in the pants, everyone would of agreed.

    More than a handful is a waste ...

      Right... which in games makes sense, because the male protagonists generally have hands and arms of epic proportions.

      See... the universe make sense.

    "What I wanted is a believable, strong, not-stereotypical fighter chick."
    Trishka, a confidently sexy badass with no remorse, who rocks a singlet on the battlefield.

    We get a nice stereotype with large breasts and they get morality points for pushing gender equity. What a crock.

    Uhhh...what? She's still sterotypically hot though. -sigh- Baby steps, baby steps. Well, we've won a battle for subtler boobs. Thank you Tanya Jessup!

    Zoey from Left 4 Dead will still be my favourite though. Average size girl, bit on the skinny side, and pretty in her own way.

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