I thought I was going to do the dress thing here, but that would make this really long, and this was ready to go first so ... eventually, dresses.
And no, not the usual ethnic stuff.
So ... here's the thing.
There's this person who went on a long, long ... long tear in the forum. And people kept telling him the business reasons why things weren't the way that he wanted, and he just didn't want to hear it. (I assume it's a "he". Certainly bull-headed enough.)
And at a certain point, I was watching this unfold and thinking, "... wow. I hope I'm not that bad."
He was arguing that things should be the way he wanted because he wanted them that way. And I was thinking, uncomfortably, that I can get a bit ... like that. Mind, I like to delude myself ... er, I mean, I like to think that I get that way because the stuff I want because I want it is because it will make for better and more accurate products. (Like hands that look like hands an actual person would have, for example.) That said, it's also true that I'm pretty much the only person who cares enough about that stuff to rant about it, so.
This, of course, does not mean that I will stop ranting about things when they get right up me nose. Au contraire! Ranting pointlessly is good for the spleen, and the venting thereof, as long as you don't carry it to extremes or engage in direct personal character assassination. (Criticism and critique are not ranting. You'll know it when you see it.)
The weirdly fascinating thing was that he drifted somewhere in the vague vicinity of a couple actual points during this tear. Only ... they weren't the points he was trying to make, exactly, so he drifted right on past. Pity; he might have gotten some traction if he'd explicitly gone in those directions. (Well ... "traction" in the sense that people who had no ability to do anything about any of the issues might have said that he had a point.)
The two points (yes, there were two) that he drifted past during his rant were that:
1) Even in this day of PAs making whatever kinds of human characters float their boats that they think will sell, it actually matters that Daz makes main character launches of various minority characters. This is because Daz is kind of ... relentlessly mercantile these days. (Well, they're a business. Comes with the territory.) So if they're willing to put a push behind some sort of ethnic character, this means that they're saying either that they think it will at least make its investment in time and work and materials back, or that it's worth doing even if it doesn't make back its money.
That said, I would be somewhat surprised to discover that any Darius or any Monique bundles didn't at least make their time/work/materials cost back. (There has to be some business reason that they thought it was worth it to bring the 8 versions out less than a year after the 7 versions.) Ditto for Mei Lin and Lee -- though less so about one of them, as will be clear shortly. I'm ... not sure about Kimo and Kalea, since all I've got is the echo chamber of the forum to judge by. Both of them were wildly popular there, but that doesn't mean that they were wildly popular with the entirety of the Daz user base. (I would also be moderately surprised if Kalea reappeared this generation, and astonished if Kimo did.)
2) The other point he drifted past without stating explicitly was kind of fascinating, in a weird way. I think I can probably best describe this with -- admittedly slightly theoretical but only slightly -- imaginary numbers.
Genesis 8 Female characters ethnicity after a year:
- Variously Caucasian: so many. SO MANY.
- African/African-American: at least 20, at a guess (counting Monique 8 and friends, and spread across the Daz, Renderosity, and CGBytes storefronts ... although not many at that last one)
- Hispanic: ... a few. Not a lot. But a few. Less than 10, certainly.
- Asian (not necessarily counting Aiko and friends): at least 30, at a guess, spread across the three storefronts, with a notable concentration at CGBytes (mostly by DaYin) as well as at Daz and Renderosity
Genesis 8 Male characters ethnicity after a year:
- Variously Caucasian: again, lots. Comparatively speaking. Compared to the rest of the guys, not the gals.
- African/African-American: about 10-15 (counting Darius 8 and friends -- basically all at Daz, I think)
- Hispanic: Again, a few. (Three for certain -- Oscar, Vini, Rodrigo -- and I think a couple others.) Again, less than 10.
- Asian: zip. zero. nada. niente. zilch.
Note that we're counting only full characters -- morph and textures combined -- and not morph-only sets.
I would be thrilled and delighted to be wrong about the numbers above (if nothing else, it would mean that I missed at least one character) ... but I don't think I am. Asian male full character sets simply do not appear until Lee does. And that's decidedly odd.
Thing is, that's not unique to this generation. It also happened with Genesis 3. To the best of my knowledge, the only Asian male produced before Lee 7 was Hongo G3M, by fly028 ... and he was at Renderosity, not Daz. But again, he was it. Again, happy to be proved wrong if someone can point me to them.
I thought things might get a touch better if the very very very very few South Asian male characters produced for Genesis 3 were included ... but no. Raj, by RedzStudio (again at Renderosity) came out in March 2017, and Lee 7 appeared in April 2016, according to his readme. Dhanesh by DTG also appeared in 2017, also at Renderosity. (Well, I did say there were very few.)
I get that Asian males have somehow become the unwanted stepchild in this market ... although I don't remotely understand why. Which is to say: I understand that customers don't want them -- until Lee comes out -- but I don't understand why they don't want them. Or why that changes, however much it changes, when Lee does come out.
It wasn't quite this bad in Genesis 2, I don't think. There were at least a couple scattered Asian males before Lee 6 came out (Koichi was something like a year before Lee 6), but then, customers didn't know beforehand that Lee 6 was coming out, and I don't know how many PAs did. They couldn't peg production to Lee before he was known to be coming.
It's just ... odd.
Next up: Dresses! should I still remember what it was all about later on! (Short short rantlette: RIGGING! WHY THEY GOTTA DO DRESSES LIKE THAT NOWADAYS?)