Double Fine’s Massive Chalice Almost Didn’t Have Same-Sex Marriage

Following suggestions from fans and Kickstarter backers, Double Fine intends to implement same-sex marriage into its upcoming turn-based strategy game, Massive Chalice.

Same-sex relationships were not a part of the game’s original design, and their omission wasn’t due to any maliciousness on part of the developers—but due to an oversight by the developers. As the game takes place over a span of thousands of years, players are able to bestow attributes of their characters upon their characters’ offspring. The game’s project lead Brad Muir said implementing same-sex relationships is not something they really taught about and that he feels awful about, in retrospect.

“We did not talk about [the possibility of same-sex marriage] until we launched the Kickstarter,” said Muir 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 shitty that it’s not something I’d thought of. I think it’s sort of hetero-privilege that I didn’t see it coming.”

Fortunately, Massive Chalice’s fledgling community was able to bring the issue to the attention of Muir and the development team early in the game’s development.

Muir said that had the game been funded by a publisher, such suggestions would’ve never been adopted by the studio, and that the glaring omission of same-sex marriage would have been something he’d have been haunted by for the rest of his career in game development.

“If we had gone with a publisher on this, I really think [it wouldn't have ended well],” he said. “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. Just making it work–and all the tactical combat and mechanical things. 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, ‘Fuck,’ because we’ve already worked on it for more than a year.”

Muir added that had one of the developers thought about implementing same-sex relationships into the game, the publisher would have undoubtedly killed it because it was such a controversial issue. He believes that the publisher would not have wanted the issue to be 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 shitty. And then any gay gamers who are coming to the game and playing it and wanting to see themselves represented would just be really disappointed.”

Fortunately for Double Fine, they are able to make the game on their own terms with the creative freedom offered to them by funding the project through Kickstarter.

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10 Comments on Double Fine’s Massive Chalice Almost Didn’t Have Same-Sex Marriage


On June 8, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Who cares?


On June 8, 2013 at 9:03 pm

I don’t see why it had to be added.

From what I can tell so far, the game is meant to take place over generations, and part of the game is passing on traits to later generations from your current warriors, through what are essentially political marriages.

So where the heck does same sex relationships come into this? I really don’t care what your politics are on it, at the end of the day, biology 101 says that the only way you’re getting a kid is through a guy and a girl. And this looks like it’s supposed to be during a medival setting, so it’s not like we got sperm banks floating around or whatever.

Kinda why for example fire emblem awakening doesn’t have it. You can try to pair up a male avatar character and chrom as much as you want, but chrom’s kid ain’t going to happen from it.


On June 8, 2013 at 9:13 pm

(apologies if my comment goes through twice. Think my browser is being weird.)

I’m not sure why it was put in.

From what I can tell, a good part of the game is the fact that it takes place over several generations, and part of the game is passing on traits from some of your units to the next generation through what are essentially political marriages. Now, I don’t really care what your politics are, biology 101 is that you ain’t getting a kid from 2 guys or 2 girls. And this looks to be a medival setting, so it’s not like you’re going to have “Ye Ole Sperme Banke” or something.

It’s kinda like why they don’t bother with the recent fire emblem game. You can pair up Chrom and your Male Avatar character as much as you want, but all the slash fanfiction in the world isn’t going to allow for chrom’s kid to come about. So what’s the point of including it for this game?


On June 8, 2013 at 10:04 pm

I gotta disagree with him on the whole “publishers would’ve killed this” thing…

I mean, at least from where I’m sitting, publishers have been fairly gung-ho about including same-sex relationships when applicable. Fable, Mass Effect, Skyrim, Fallout.

You can say a lot of things about publishers, and the video-game industry in-general…but I’m not sure that refusal to accept -marriage is one of those things.


On June 9, 2013 at 6:10 pm

They’re using the publishers comment as a shield because they were never going to add same-sex relationships in the game in the first place until they got caught. Like David said, it would make no sense to include same-sex relationships in game whose premise is the passing on of traits to your OFFSPRING. I mean…unless you want it to be your suicide option I guess, as you purposefully watch your characters family lines die out. I guess that could be fun for some people? Maybe?


On June 9, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Getting realllly tired of the mafia’s insistence on shoving their agenda in everyone’s face – and I’m talking to you too, Gamefront. This isn’t The Sims for Christ’s sake – its a TURN BASED STRATEGY GAME. And a medieval fantasy one at that. If they really wanted same-sex relationships properly represented in that setting then there should be an inquisition throwing s in a dungeon. Game designers are always talking about their “vision” and how these games are actually art. Since when does art have to represent every sub-segment of the population? All of the phony indignation for the sake of looking “tolerant” pisses me off – 99% of us don’t give a damn if there are same-sex relationships in our games or not, and that includes every homosexual I’ve ever known (all of whom, oddly enough, were fairly serious gamers). Is this REALLY what we’re going to fret about?? I’d don’t think I’d care it there weren’t even human beings in a game if I knew it was going to be really well designed and a lot of fun.


On June 9, 2013 at 6:31 pm

LOL! And the best part is how Gamefront filters out the word “g_a_y”. Obviously they must be closet homophobes.


On June 9, 2013 at 7:16 pm

“Hetero-privilege”. There’s a phrase that lets you know we’re nearing the end of our civilization.

Red Menace

On June 9, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Oh no! To the ramparts!


On June 10, 2013 at 3:25 am

Agree completely with psycros. This obsession Gamefront has with progressive issues is almost giving Cracked a run for its money. I come here to read about games, not to see neo-liberal pandering from middle class pseudo-feministas suffering a self-loathing complex they have to take out on others. And they don’t even practice what they preach, for there is not a single female member of staff and I assume – perhaps wrongly, in which case I apologise – that there are no homosexual or lesbian writers either. Why do they therefore think it’s appropriate to infer prejudice on others when the claims are at best tenuous and at worst libelous?

Enough of this white/male guilt rubbish. Stick to talking about games and leave the social commentary to people who have even the slightest experience in what they’re discussing.