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Author Topic: "Realism" question involving Women and Pregnancy (Game Design)  (Read 1146 times)

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Offline DallasTopic starter

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"Realism" question involving Women and Pregnancy (Game Design)
« on: September 09, 2019, 09:35:04 AM »
So, I have a game idea that involves a player able to create a character, adventure, grow old and die. They can continue their adventures through any offspring they have. In theory, a male character can take a female spouse. The spouse can have children that would later be the player's continuing "lives". Here's one of the problems I'm running into:

What if the player sticks to a female character to start? Through the off-screen "miracle of love" thing that designers do to gloss over the birds and bees, I am wondering how realistic it is to have women running around doing awesome RPG adventure shit in the middle of their pregnancy. Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIII is kind of funny about this, where you can have a female general marching with troops in the middle of her pregnancy and give birth while on the march. An idea I had was to change things up a bit for women in a simple Sid Meier's fashion (like Pirates!): Just have time pass until the child is born. The question is, how much do I skip around? How far does pregnancy have to go before women "can't/shouldn't do certain things."

I am not aiming for hardcore realism, but a certain realm of believability. An easy solution would be to just put the female player character on bedrest and just let nine months pass, but...

Offline Avis habilis

Re: "Realism" question involving Women and Pregnancy (Game Design)
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2019, 09:58:40 AM »
I think you're gravely overestimating how debilitating pregnancy is, unless there are complications. Serena Williams won the Australian Grand Slam while pregnant. This whole nine-month "confinement" business is a Victorian invention. Obviously when you're eight & a half months along & leaning backward at a twenty degree angle just to keep from toppling over you're probably not going to take a very active hand in melee, but that's a far cry from hunkering down at home as soon as you miss a period.

There was a fairly well known fantasy novel about a heavily pregnant woman setting out on a quest to find her kidnapped husband, but of course now I'm blanking on the name.

Offline The Dark Raven

Re: "Realism" question involving Women and Pregnancy (Game Design)
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2019, 10:04:14 AM »
Really depends on how fit the woman is during her pregnancy.  I worked 10 hour days carrying twins (in the summer) during my pregnancy.  I was on my feet constantly until my OB told me I had to get off them halfway through (basically when I measured 40 weeks).  At that point I went to work every day and just sat in a chair while I did the majority of my work.

Since then, it's been variably okay, but have had pain in my back at the end of the day, but I am on my feet 10 h+ a day again with full time work and twin toddlers.

Offline DallasTopic starter

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Re: "Realism" question involving Women and Pregnancy (Game Design)
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2019, 10:24:43 AM »
Considering that I probably won't ever get pregnant... this is kinda why I am asking.  ^-^

What about your average woman that isn't a super athlete? Not everyone picks the Fighter class in fantasy verses. I've seen women in early stages get around fine without any serious changes to their normal functions. Why I am asking is... when about does this change? (Dark Raven cleared this up a bit, actually)

The other reason I ask is for the baby's sake. I mean, the middle of a dungeon doesn't sound like the most ideal place to birth a child. Ideally, it'd probably be safer to do so where there aren't monsters and things. That's part of another reason that I'm more inclined to have a pre-determined 'Time Skip' point to just skim past those details. If I have a world where it could takes weeks or months (in game time) to get from "location A" to "location B"... do I just let them have a child in "The Desert Where Everything Dies" or some such place? It doesn't help that I have a limited understanding of this area with women, either.  ::)

Offline Avis habilis

Re: "Realism" question involving Women and Pregnancy (Game Design)
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2019, 10:29:54 AM »
Man, being born on level six of The Dungeon Where Everything Dies sounds like an epic back story for the next generation's hero.

Offline The Dark Raven

Re: "Realism" question involving Women and Pregnancy (Game Design)
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2019, 10:37:39 AM »
Considering that I probably won't ever get pregnant... this is kinda why I am asking.  ^-^

What about your average woman that isn't a super athlete? Not everyone picks the Fighter class in fantasy verses. I've seen women in early stages get around fine without any serious changes to their normal functions. Why I am asking is... when about does this change? (Dark Raven cleared this up a bit, actually)

The other reason I ask is for the baby's sake. I mean, the middle of a dungeon doesn't sound like the most ideal place to birth a child. Ideally, it'd probably be safer to do so where there aren't monsters and things. That's part of another reason that I'm more inclined to have a pre-determined 'Time Skip' point to just skim past those details. If I have a world where it could takes weeks or months (in game time) to get from "location A" to "location B"... do I just let them have a child in "The Desert Where Everything Dies" or some such place? It doesn't help that I have a limited understanding of this area with women, either.  ::)

Noting, I was also 35-36 carrying twins in general fitness (and I still don't work out, really).  AMA (advanced maternal age) does take a toll, but I regularly walk 5 miles a day or more, just in general job duties.

Offline DallasTopic starter

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Re: "Realism" question involving Women and Pregnancy (Game Design)
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2019, 10:44:27 AM »
Noting, I was also 35-36 carrying twins in general fitness (and I still don't work out, really).  AMA (advanced maternal age) does take a toll, but I regularly walk 5 miles a day or more, just in general job duties.

Ah, I see.

Man, being born on level six of The Dungeon Where Everything Dies sounds like an epic back story for the next generation's hero.

Heh. An idea I had was to either:

A) Let it be and cut her off at "adventuring" for a while after the first trimester. I don't think I feel like making a complex system around pregnancy and "how fit the mother is", to be honest.

B) Just apply the x months rule equally to fathers and just let time pass until birth happens. This sort of makes more sense to do, anyway. And can sort of be justified. If the mother/father player wants to just abandon the kid and spouse after that and never come back... or be a good parent and visit regularly, that'd all be on the player...

...Which in turn could create various interesting quirks for the next generation.

Agarest: Generation of War sort of gave me this idea. But that game is agonizing to play in many ways. I figure I'd try something that borrows a few raw ideas from it. ^-^

Offline DallasTopic starter

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Re: "Realism" question involving Women and Pregnancy (Game Design)
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2019, 10:56:34 AM »
It also doesn't help that I find information like this, below. Making me wonder just how deep I want to take this idea in general.  ::)

https://www.ncl.ac.uk/press/articles/archive/2015/08/boyorgirlitsinthefathersgenes.html

Offline Oniya

Re: "Realism" question involving Women and Pregnancy (Game Design)
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2019, 12:33:33 PM »
There's this book - I'm not sure if it's the one Avis was talking about, but it does make reference to 'a short-sighted, pregnant scholar worrying about how to keep her child alive … especially when he chooses a really inconvenient time to be born.'

Also, Leia's pregnancy is a Big Deal in Timothy Zahn’s Star Wars: Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command.  (Spoiler - Leia does not sit quietly at home.)

Offline Tolvo

Re: "Realism" question involving Women and Pregnancy (Game Design)
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2019, 01:11:19 PM »
There's this book - I'm not sure if it's the one Avis was talking about, but it does make reference to 'a short-sighted, pregnant scholar worrying about how to keep her child alive … especially when he chooses a really inconvenient time to be born.'

Also, Leia's pregnancy is a Big Deal in Timothy Zahn’s Star Wars: Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, and The Last Command.  (Spoiler - Leia does not sit quietly at home.)

Can confirm regarding Leia. You also have The Boss from Metal Gear who gave birth on the beaches of Normandy to Ocelot and had to have a "Snake Section"(Probably that field medic and the Russian Shaman didn't know you don't cut open the entire torso to the throat to get a baby out I'm guessing).

Pregnant women also have fought in battle when necessary. It's more of a nobility thing historically to be that protective of pregnant women. Otherwise maternity leave wasn't too common a concept. And many pregnant noblewomen were still expected to do some shit like ride horses up to a point and attend court or dance.

Offline Amaris

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Re: "Realism" question involving Women and Pregnancy (Game Design)
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2019, 07:44:35 AM »
I would say if they play a woman, give her a reason to be adventuring while pregnant. Is there money involved? Is she on the run and no one would expect her to be off on some adventure? Let your players choose their backstory as to if they play a female character, why would they be adventuring while pregnant.

Although, if you have already decided to do kind of a time passage instead then this point it kinda moot lol

Offline Inkidu

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Re: "Realism" question involving Women and Pregnancy (Game Design)
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2019, 09:20:52 AM »
Keep in mind that humans evolved to be migratory opportunistic omnivores. I don't have time to go into depth about this and I am a guy so any ladies can feel free to twist my ear if I'm wrong, but the short of it is:

Unless the are complications women can pretty much keep moving up until the time of labor. They're supposed to keep moving. The whole group of humans can't stop moving for months just so the women can give birth. That's a luxury usually for humans in climates with severe winters.

Now counter to that, as the baby gets bigger you generally want to minimize exposure to things that can harm it. As even minor things like falls can cause serious issues, it is not advisable for a woman to go decide to slay yon dragon in her third trimester.

Online Avernale

Re: "Realism" question involving Women and Pregnancy (Game Design)
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2019, 07:36:01 PM »
For what its worth, if non-humans are available as player-characters, you might want to consider that they may experience pregnancy differently from humans.  For instance, a human fetus is a lot more parasitic than most animals and demands a lot more resources from the mother.

Offline RedRose

Re: "Realism" question involving Women and Pregnancy (Game Design)
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2019, 08:11:28 AM »
SO cultural. There are women who keep doing sport, as long as it doesn't involve blows and falls.
There are women who are tired and stay home.
There are doctors who suggest you stop working (I'm not expert there - but it's legal if they give you notes and you can't be fired) at the first appointment.
There are women who work until a few weeks before Birth.

This is just from my entourage.

Offline Vandren

Re: "Realism" question involving Women and Pregnancy (Game Design)
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2019, 08:50:12 AM »
As noted, it depends heavily on the individual woman.

For the second trimester, my wife wasn't moving around much, if she could help it.

However, she's in fitness classes with a woman who's 8 months along, barely showing, and does 5 fitness classes (yoga, piyo, etc.) a week.

Their fitness instructor taught classes up until a week before her due date (she modified some things in the third trimester, but she still taught classes).

Offline Senti

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Re: "Realism" question involving Women and Pregnancy (Game Design)
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2019, 06:37:43 AM »
Just as a thought I was 30 with my first and had no idea I was pregnant for the first 5 months so was continuing with life as usual.  Actually I was mostly doing everything I did when not pregnant u until the end. M<y second as I knew earlier I was a little more careful (No drinking  smoking etc)

So really as far as I can see there is no hard and fast rule.