Busted: GhostControl Inc Scares Up Funding

By Adam Smith on June 10th, 2013 at 3:00 pm.

I didn’t realise how much I wanted a mash-up of X-COM and Ghostbusters until I saw the Kickstarter page for GhostControl Inc. As soon as I had realised how much I wanted the game, I swiftly came to appreciate the nineties-styled Theme Residence design, particularly as it should make great variety possible. Buildings stitched together from various components, so the game is about exploring the layouts of a fictional London’s buildings as much as catching ghosts. Well, maybe the ghosts will take precedence but I do want to spend some time just poking around in those wee houses. The target is a modest £7,500, the pitch video is as daft as a dog on a unicycle and if all goes well it’ll be out by September.

I’m not sure whether the greater challenge will be from the spooks or rival ghost hunters, and I’m not opposed to the comedic tone, but I do hope the threat from the enemies is tangible, even if they’re not. I want at least one of my crew to have his face melted off by a frightening apparition every now and then. Whatever the case – and hopefully more will be revealed as the campaign continues – this one makes me feel good.

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76 Comments »

  1. RedViv says:

    The boob&butt pose! IT HURTS! Please, developers: Be better than that. Make it go away!

    • Snids says:

      Stop oppressing my right to objectify women. You are literally worse than Hitler etc etc.

      • Fred S. says:

        There’s a woman there? All I see is a cartoon.

        • Snids says:

          I believe it is a cartoon depiction of a women.
          A cartoon being a term for a form of two-dimensional illustrated visual art.

          • Fred S. says:

            How would any object on a computer screen be any less objectified if it was drawn differently?

          • RedViv says:

            Snids, I think we magnificent shapeshifting light beings should stop arguing on a higher level with these meat/chemical/electricity robots, because clearly they only want to see the most basic thing without pondering how the parts add up to more.

          • Fred S. says:

            While you ponder about how things add up, you might also want to ponder what you’re adding to the thing yourself.

          • bella404 says:

            If you think Pamela`s story is amazing…, last pay cheque my sister in-law basically also got a cheque for $9740 grafting a 20 hour week in their apartment and the’re friend’s ex-wife`s neighbour has been doing this for 9-months and recieved a check for over $9740 parttime from a computer. use the steps at this address, kep2.com

    • Brun says:

      Eh, they could be doing worse. The woman is wearing the exact same outfit as the men (same level of bagginess and all), which is more than many games can say.

      • RedViv says:

        That point is immediately invalidated by how close it clings to her body, proudly shaping an unrestrained boob to look at. Then again, that might be why she is staring at the camera in such surprise. “Oops, caught me, not wearing a bra for my high-movement activity!”

        • DrScuttles says:

          If it’s any consolation, the Ghostbuster fellow on the right does appear to have moved his gun out of the way of his crotch so he can thrust it into that poor ghosts shoulder without consent.

        • Brun says:

          My point was that it wasn’t “painted-on” as in some other games, clearly indicated by the wrinkles on the sleeve and back. And yes, women and men have different proportions. That’s just biology (anatomy?). The same outfit will fit and look differently on women than it will on men.

          I don’t get the outrage really. As I said, this is incredibly tame compared to a plethora of other titles.

          • RedViv says:

            Oh, obviously it will look different. Just not like that. It’s not even an outrage, just a reminder to not put female characters into a physically painful pose purely to portray their possession of secondary female sexual characteristics.
            Because apparently people still need to be reminded, despite the occasional voice on the interwebs yelling “We get it! Now stop talking about it!”.

          • Arkh says:

            Stand up. Face north. Now turn your torso until your nipple is pointing either to west or east. You will see it’s possible to stand in that position, with your male nipple the same way that woman breast is, without feeling pain.
            Here, it’s shown in this image. Position 10. It’s used as a stretch exercise.
            BEWARE: THERE ARE DEPICTIONS OF WOMEN BELOW. IF YOU GET OFFENDED BY DEPICTIONS OF WOMEN, DON’T OPEN THE LINK.
            http://draggarwal.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/office-stretches.jpg

          • 1Life0Continues says:

            My only question is why does it have to be the woman that is posed that way? Couldn’t she be facing forward in a less demonstrably sexy way like her male companions? Does she *HAVE* to be standing like that? Shouldn’t she be facing the ghost too?

            There’s more to it than just the clothes. That’s a classic pose used to “enhance” women that is rarely, if ever, used on men. I think that’s why it was pointed out. And rightfully so.

          • Arkh says:

            My only question is why does it have to be the woman that is posed that way? Couldn’t she be facing forward in a less demonstrably sexy way like her male companions?

            Why couldn’t she stand like that? The first time I saw the image, I thought she was caught off guard by the ghost and is turning around in surprise.
            And that image is everything but sexy. Her pose isn’t sexy and she isn’t drawn to be sexy. Not to mention the center of the attention in the image is on the ghost, not her.

            Does she *HAVE* to be standing like that? Shouldn’t she be facing the ghost too?

            Caught by surprise. If it was a man, would you think it’s a homosexual in a sexy pose?

            There’s more to it than just the clothes. That’s a classic pose used to “enhance” women that is rarely, if ever, used on men. I think that’s why it was pointed out. And rightfully so.

            That’s just like saying rockets are designed to resemble penis to keep women down. It’s just an image, people are just seeing what they want to see in an image to keep their ongoing social justice jihad so it doesn’t die.

            All I see is one guy ready to fire in a ghost, the other one getting ready and a surprised woman. Maybe the ghost was facing her then it blinked and appeared behind her, only to be surprise by the other guys. Maybe they were chasing the ghosts and passed running straight through her and she is looking behind to see the action.

            But no, it clearly can only be that the developers want to suck your money by showing that oh so sexy drawing of a woman with a surprised look in a green jumpsuit.

          • Machinations says:

            There is a parable, I believe, about those who go looking for something. They see it everywhere, to the point more balanced, less obsessed folk begin to tune them out.

          • Canisa says:

            @Arkh Even assuming that it’s pure coincidence that the woman is in the same pose as oh-so-many-other women purely by coincidence and it genuinely has nothing to do with that greater context, the question then becomes “Why is the woman the one who’s been caught unaware while the men are competent and on top of the situation?” Although this example doesn’t bother me as much as some others – if I’m honest I will probably forget about it entirely the moment I press ‘opinion, away!’ – it still bothers me a little.

          • Arkh says:

            Even assuming that it’s pure coincidence that the woman is in the same pose as oh-so-many-other women purely by coincidence and it genuinely has nothing to do with that greater context, the question then becomes “Why is the woman the one who’s been caught unaware while the men are competent and on top of the situation?”

            Why couldn’t she be the one surprised? I see nothing wrong with it. Does a woman being surprised necessarly mean she is weak? No, you are the one implying it. The whole
            Why is the woman the one who’s been caught unaware while the men are competent and on top of the situation?
            Is just like, your opinion, man. For me, she was facing the ghost, as the weapon in her hand shows, and it passed through her.

            Although this example doesn’t bother me as much as some others – if I’m honest I will probably forget about it entirely the moment I press ‘opinion, away!’ – it still bothers me a little.

            Because you too is chasing ghosts.

            Even assuming that it’s pure coincidence that the woman is in the same pose as oh-so-many-other women

            BEHOLD, MEN LOOKING OVER THEIR SHOULDERS. SHOCKING SEXUALIZATION, YOU CAN SEE THEIR BUTTS AND BREASTS IN SOME PICS!
            http://www.google.com/search?q=man+looking+back+over+shoulder&um=1&safe=off&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&hl=en&tbm=isch&ei=ZRK2Ud–EejV0QGDtIDACA&start=20&sa=N

          • aldo_14 says:

            Caught by surprise. If it was a man, would you think it’s a homosexual in a sexy pose?

            To my knowledge, neither breast nor nipples are not considered one of the primary sexually attractive parts of the male body.

            I guess, roughly, the equivalent you’re actually looking for is if the artist somehow managed to draw such that you could see both the gentlemens bottom and the outline of his crotch.

            That given, it’s rather odd to assume a man drawn in a sexy pose, so to speak, would be aimed at catching the attention of gay men. Demographics would suggest you’d really be aiming such a pose at heterosexual females (as I understand it, women judge sexual attractiveness in a less visual way than men, so it wouldn’t be as effective a tactic, though…).

            If you were targeting the gay male gamer demographic, then perhaps you might indeed draw a sexy man. But the sexy man would have a different pose even with the same intent.

    • lowprices says:

      It turns out Ghost Control is the harrowing tale of a woman born without a spinal column.

      Either that or one of the stretch goals will be to hire an artist who understands how spines work.

    • Arkh says:

      NO! THE HORROR! This woman should wear a burka so any woman shape or trace is buried in it. Allah is displeased with all this show of woman traces! Look, we can even see her hair!

      • Turkey says:

        I don’t think he was complaining about the outfit.

        • Arkh says:

          No, the problem with the outfit is you clearly see a woman shape. That is a preposterous objectification of women across the globe! You can even see her clearly sexy butt in that sexy outfit!

          Woman wearing burkas should be the standard in all games, so all the vile men out there would stop objectifying women.

          • Cryptoshrimp says:

            Oh go soak your head.

          • Arkh says:

            Away with you, defender of this outrage. May Allah wrath descend upon you! May your daughters wear such objectifying clothes as these and look behind for a moment, bringing shame on your family by showing their woman shape!

          • JFS says:

            I found it funny.

          • The Infamous Woodchuck says:

            You do realize muslims also read this site dont you? insulting a group of people while trying to give them a point wont get you anywhere..

          • The Random One says:

            man, who’d think that a person defending sexist attitudes would also act insensitively towards an entire religion. what are the odds man

    • jimbobjunior says:

      To those who can’t see the issue. Look how out of place does this look when reversed http://i.huffpost.com/gen/601922/thumbs/o-SEXIST-AVENGERS-POSTER-KEVIN-BOLK-570.jpg

    • wodin says:

      Please behave…jumping on a moralistic bandwagon so bad you actually think that cartoon drawing above is somehow sexist..get over it..jesus Mary Whitehouse would have loved it here with you lot.

      • aldo_14 says:

        I believe the reason it is considered sexist is because it is a pose which is – at best – unnatural, painful and uncomfortable and which is typically (and frequently) employed for the sole purpose of showing off both tits and ass.

        That said, I’m not sure if it’s used here because the artists really felt the need to cram in some breasts, or simply because they forgot how to draw a normal looking human pose. Quite why she has to be looking in the entire opposite way to anything interesting happening is unclear, except perhaps for the fact that showing both cleavage and cameltoe might be considered a bit gratuitious, so they decided to play it safe.

      • Machinations says:

        Haven’t you heard? RPS is giving away an award for most batshi-crazy outlandish feigned outrage over cartoon depiction of women in gaming. Or, so I have been lead to believe by the increasingly inane, hand-wringing commentary.

        What happened to pun threads and insightful comments?

        • ohtorialumna says:

          I think the lack of pun threads and “insightful comments” has a lot to do with the fact that people like you insist on forcing people to explain the most painfully obvious aspects of ingrained sexism in our society and justify their speaking out against it, rather than getting on with the business we’d all rather be doing, which is making pun threads and actual commentary on the game itself.

          • Machinations says:

            People like me? I’m not the one injecting my moral outrage into every perceived faux-controversy I can imagine.

            I would suggest its these kinds of inane ridiculous discussions that are causing those who comment on, you know, video games, to ignore threads where someone is hysterically making hay over the possibly least sexy commercialized cartoon image of a woman I’ve ever seen,

            Shouldn’t you guys be getting outraged at kids cartoons?

          • The Random One says:

            “People like me? I’m not the one injecting my moral outrage into every perceived faux-controversy I can imagine.”

            said the person being totally angry that other people are maybe not cool with the fact that sexist things exist

        • Grover says:

          Cartoon women in Western media are doing more to oppress real women than burkas-bound cultural mores ever have you misogynist monster.

    • cptgone says:

      i find your moralism depressing. why don’t you go burn some books instead?
      if i were a game dev, i wouldn’t dare depict women anymore.

      • Machinations says:

        Book burners, culture police, ultimately intolerable censors and bigots. I know, I know, only YOUR opinion matters and only YOU have views, and they are all correct. Save me the sanctimonious drivel.

    • Banana_Republic says:

      Yeah! Women should have neither boobs nor butts, let alone ever be depicted with them. Obviously mother nature is just a tool of the patriarchy to have designed women with these perverse symbols of female subjugation.

      You agony merchants are laughable.

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      Yeah, well, the wonderful female body has always fascinated artists, and they’ve found various ways to stylise its representation to emphasize its shapes. Many of those are not realistic nor a guide in ergonomic poses or an attempt at accurate clothing depiction.

      A good example is the African depiction of women with super-emphasized breasts that are basically huge spikes. Are you gonna scream “sexism” at those too? Cause that would be obtuse.

      I suspect you’re new to this feminism thing and just picked up a random trope from a feminism wiki to be outraged about though… misguided people like you make those who actually seek to improve the female condition look like idiots. Just stop.

    • Jakkar says:

      No, Viv. That really is just a character turning around. You’re trying too hard, this time. It isn’t sexualised, it’s someone turning around in surprise in a comic combat tableau.

    • El_Emmental says:

      To me, that drawing looks more like a beginner’s attempt at drawing a bunch of human characters, one being a female human.

      Just look at the fingers (hardest part of a human, after the eyes) of all three humans, especially the one on the right side: they’re not really “good”, and definitely not top-notch professional level of quality.

      And that’s not just the “technical” drawing, look at the female human, and the male human at the center: they’re both in movement (the lady’s left foot is off the ground), to give the picture some kind of “action” feeling.

      But this is just wrong: the ghost is in very close range so by running around, the human in the center is throwing off his aim – it also doesn’t fit with the casual walking of the female human on the left (she should running if the center-guy is running like that).

      Also, just look at the female human buttocks (forget about the rest of the body and the environment): you have an extremely generic, almost front view of a pair of buttocks. Now look at her visible left breast: you have the easiest possible breast one could draw: at the perfect 90° perpendicular angle.

      The author of that picture doesn’t have the skill (or the time) and tried its best to not screw up the drawing, choosing the easiest path. It would be silly to jump the gun and think the artist is automatically sexist.

      Plenty of other stuff are “wrong” in this picture:

      The male human on the right seems to back off, but his face doesn’t express any kind of surprise, and he doesn’t seems to be holding his gun like a gun at all. Is he doing a guitar solo with it ?

      The female human:

      - a rotating motion to the back of the upper torso, doing that infamous position of ass+boobs, only found when stretching or turning around very rapidly (= very rarely happening, and especially not in normal “combat” formations, as they’re supposed to be depicted on comics covers), will bent the arm to greatly reduce the weight the shoulder (and the back muscles) will have to drag to turn around the torso. The elbow should clearly come first in the movement.

      An extended arm means having to drag a 50 cm long arm (‘heavier’ than a 25 cm long arm – see the spinning ice skater example), that can also potentially hit something not visible (or only on the border of the vision – only good for detecting movements with its higher amount of rod cells), potentially harming an innocent or the arm/hand itself.

      The only case where the arm would be fully extended like that, would the infamous “I turn around while walking, because a guy looked at me” cliché, which isn’t/shouldn’t be the case here – they’re hunting ghosts, not strutting on a californian beach in a low-budget sitcom/music video.

      - if the intended movement is “turning around rapidly, by surprise), then her left buttock should be higher than the right one -> her muscles on the side of her torso will pull on that axis (especially since her left foot is off the ground) to keep her balanced. If her muscles weren’t doing that (pulling the left leg up and slightly forward), turning around very rapidly would send her torso ahead and make her fall flat on her face.

      - if a human is surprised and open his/her mouth to express that feeling, the eyebrows should raise up and be bent into a curve (often generating a wrinkle on the forehead), while the eyelids should show ’round’ eyes. The picture just has the standard “idle” eyes, with the lips of an inflatable doll (I’m probably a little too harsh, but that’s kinda true): what kind of facial expression is that ?

      The artist drew that pose because of a lack of time/skills/experience (small startup companies often don’t have all the people they would need – they try their best), unlike all the artists working in the comics industry doing that on purpose (following orders or directly exploiting the commodification of sex – and fully aware of that).

      I don’t think we should judge that picture like we judge the comics printed by DC and the likes ; one is a sorry mistake made by an improvised marketing-assets artist, one is an insulting disrespect for the readers (and women in general) by several publishers.

  2. Keiggo says:

    Hooray! I’m now £5 poorer! Well done all involved.

  3. BurningPet says:

    Anyone else got the feeling its not real gameplay there but rather they animated the screens? i am probably wrong, but thats the feeling i get from it.

    • Iain_1986 says:

      Its the mouse movement that is inhumanly accurate and linear that makes me wonder too.

      • BurningPet says:

        Yeah, so i am not the only one. good.

        So, any reason they have this sentence: “The following gameplay footage is based on game’s current prototype and work in progress”?

        What prototype? its like an AAA company declares a trailer to be in-game footage while showing an externally pre rendered animation.

    • Turkey says:

      Probably just an animation, but they probably intend to use the art assets for the final game.

  4. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    We’re exterminators. Someone saw a cockroach up on twelve.

  5. xrabohrok says:

    In my ideal world, they would make GhostMaster 2.

    …I want a pet dragon, while I’m wishing for improbable things.

  6. lowprices says:

    I was tempted to fund this until I saw this line:

    “Use your team of five to entrap the molester.”

    Now I am not entirely sure what sort of game I would be funding.

  7. loquee says:

    The kids must cross their parents bedroom to go to the toilet? Creepy

  8. Hodge says:

    If they hit their target they should add a stretch goal to get Huey Lewis to do the music.

  9. Tatourmi says:

    Oh come on RPS! Nobody noticed? This doesn’t only look like X-com, this looks more specifically like X-com apocalypse! The weirdest one! The best one! God I love X-com Apocalypse. The way you ended up killing your own guy because you didn’t want to use “Real” weapons against the aliens in order not to piss off the corporations you were trying to save? That’s gotta be one of the best “designed moments” in videogame history.

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