Double Fine has announced that it will add gay couplings to its upcoming turn-based tactics game Massive Chalice, following feedback from fans.
The original omission wasn't due to any sort of malicious intent, but rather project lead Brad Muir simply didn't think about it - something he feels "s***ty" about.
"We did not talk about [the possibility of gay marriage] until we launched the Kickstarter," he admitted in an interview with Rock, Paper, Shotgun. "We were so focused on pure pragmatic mechanics and how it would work and coupling and all these things that we hadn't [considered it]. That was something I got kinda blindsided by. That was really unfortunate. It kinda makes me feel s***ty that it's not something I'd thought of. I think it's sort of hetero privilege that I didn't see it coming."
Thankfully, Double Fine's legion of fans brought this to Muir and company's attention in the game's early stages, allowing the developer to tailor the experience before it was too late. Muir claimed that had Massive Chalice been funded by a publisher, this addition probably would never have seen the light of day - a black mark that would have ostensibly haunted him forever.
"If we had gone with a publisher on this, I really think [it wouldn't have ended well]," he explained. "Because you sign the deal, you go underground, you start working on the game, you don't talk to the community or anybody, and you get so focused on all these other aspects of the game... We might just overlook something like same-sex coupling all the way until we announce the game. And then people say, 'Hey, what about gay marriage?' And we're like, 'F***,' because we've already worked on it for more than a year."
"If somebody did think about it during that whole thing, they [publishers] would've probably just killed it because it is such a controversial issue. They'd probably not want to have it associated with the game at all. And then they'd give me a PR company line that I'd have to tell in every interview, and it'd be super, super s***ty."
Muir still isn't sure how he's going to handle same-sex partners, but he told Rock, Paper, Shotgun a few ideas he was tinkering with: Maybe they'll get different bonuses besides having children, maybe they'll be able to adopt, or maybe he'll make all romantic partnerships less explicit, so they'll just retire to a house together and the player needs to fill in the blanks.
Massive Chalice has shot past its $725K Kickstarter goal with $857,569. It has 20 days to go before the 27th June deadline.