Towerfall: Ascension is getting an expansion (opens in new tab)! Forgive the sincerity of that last sentence's exclamation mark, but I'm looking forward to more of PC Gamer's Best Multiplayer (opens in new tab) game of last year.
The Towerfall team have revealed more details of the Dark World expansion. As well as new levels and arrow types, ten new characters will be added—some of which will be alternate versions of existing archers. Of them, followers of gaming critique might well recognise one in particular.
"If you keep up on gaming news she may seem familiar," writes the Towerfall dev blog (opens in new tab). "Her appearance is loosely based on feminist games critic Anita Sarkeesian. Anita’s work has been an inspiration to the TowerFall team. Her 'Tropes vs Women in Games' video series gave us a valuable new lens through which to assess our character designs. TowerFall is about bringing people together, so it’s vitally important that the cast of playable characters makes everyone feel invited to join in. Simply put, this wouldn't have occurred to me if not for Anita, and feedback from players has reinforced how important it really is."
Fair enough, really. Sarkeesian's series is great at highlighting prevailing trends in how games depict women. That the videos to-date have helped a developer to better achieve their desired audience and vision is pretty much the perfect outcome – nothing is lost, and everyone is happier for it.*
*I say everyone. No doubt some are on the verge of an apoplectic fit at the prospect of a developer taking design pointers based on Sarkeesian's videos. I wish I was jokingly exaggerating about that, but some people's reaction to a YouTuber releasing six videos about gaming has been... well, extreme (opens in new tab).