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Tigranes last won the day on July 19 2017

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About Tigranes

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  1. ""Forced" is the new black. It gets trotted out as an excuse for whatever a particular poster doesn't like" Well, I'm not hearing any arguments against sensibly and consistently designed gameworlds, just a lot of rhetoric about how you are either with quest compasses or against them. Not everything is a battle to the death, you know. As far as I can tell, I'm not even against anybody's viewpoint in this thread, because my suggestions don't really involve screwing with the compass. Zelda BOTW isn't exactly a paradigm of "we hate convenience, you must descend all the dungeon floors again every time you die". It's a pretty modernised console game with plenty of handholding. And that's OK. The fact that that's cited as a good example should show folks that this isn't about black or white. It's sad that we can't just have a discussion about things anymore on this forum, and great effort goes into turning everything into 'pick a side'.
  2. The main difference between emergent gameplay and writing which doesn't facilitate play without quest markers is the parts of development process which need to be coordinated well. If you're building a systems-driven game, glaring bugs will become obvious fairly quickly and development of mechanics tends to be interconnected enough to make that possible (albeit still damned difficult) However, to make NPCs describe quests properly for player to be able to navigate by their descriptions means coordinating: - Level designers - Quest designers - Writers and, in case of last minute changes, you can add voice actors to the list. And, sadly, writing and level design aren't married in the same way as mechanics are, so if writer writes a thing and level designer then changes everything around and forgets to inform the writers / writers don't care anymore, you'll be informing player of things that are no longer true. God forbid that dialogue is already voiced. Now, I still think that when you do something, you should do it properly and all the reasoning I gave isn't much more than excuses from proper planning and work ethic. Sadly, we do live in the real world, and software development projects with insane milestones are especially prone to failures in the whole 'planning' bit. In other words, I want to play another game like Morrowind where navigation was a big part of the appeal, but I can definitely see why would development companies want to avoid this. Edit: Just to re-iterate, I also think that the lazy clutch of quest markers needs to be obliterated, sooner than later. Nintendo has realized this with their Zelda and designed it without a need for quest markers (they can be turned off and the game comfortably played without them). Assassin's Creed Oddyssey apparently allows to play with only having vague directions as opposed to knowing precisely where an objective is. Red Dead Redemption 2 is supposed to compensate for disabled minimap by more detailed descriptions etc. Prey's entirely designed to be playable without quest markers - and then makes disabling them cumbersome, but ... Eh. It seems that developers are slowly realizing how intrinsically detrimental compasses / minimaps are to gameplay. It seems designers are sick of creating these vast, detailed open worlds which will then be reduced to mere tunnels by slapping a direction arrow in. Let's hope development continues in this direction and Obsidian surprises us with their own, clever and novel, solution. I'm playing Zelda BOTW right now, and it's a delight. You can often look at a map and intuit where things are going to be (e.g. a clearing where the big miniboss lugs tend to sleep), or just look around and use your eyes and the scenery will make sense. When I use quest compass, I find myself not really taking in the scenery around me, because I'm just beelining for the next shiny objective, trying to just walk through lakes and jump over fences and mountains. (Indeed, the same thing happens with Google Maps & such; people change the way they explore the city.) It's lovely to have the option to be able to take in the sights differently if you so desire. Of course, you're right - and it's not easy to have all that coordination. But plenty of games have done it, older games, newer games, and it would be a pity if pursuing player convenience had the side effect of sidelining what should be a pretty basic goal to everyone's benefit: a world designed to make sense, quest compass or no quest compass.
  3. Looks like agris has made the points well enough. It should be very clear why it benefits a game to have dialogues and quests and levels designed in a way that things make sense, regardless of whether you hate quest compasses or love them. Consider: World A: You hear the goblins are attacking from the mountain to the north. You know what goblin camps look like because the game is consistent in how they look and what kind of places they tend to be placed in. So using common sense, you are able to take a walk to the big mountain you see, find some trails, and discover the goblin attacks. If you want, you could use the quest marker as well. World B: You are told the goblins are attacking. But nobody told you exactly where it's coming from, and the game was designed in a way that goblins don't exactly have a known habitat, they're just sort of here and there. Without the compass, you'd have to aimlessly wander around, so really, the only choice is to turn it on and just walk where it tells you to walk. You would think that going for World A is common sense, but look at the history of RPGs and that's not necessarily the case. World A does take more effort. But I would say, again, whether you use the compass or not, there's a joy in discovering a gameworld where you realise goblins tend to hide out in shady crannies of mountains, instead of a game experience where I just say "mountain, river, whatever, none of it matters, game tells me to go somewhere kill stuff i go and kill." It's exactly the same as emergent gameplay over scripted events. We all know the joy: having observed that goblins are curious and will check out a moving object, you decide to throw a barrel their way, then bomb them all when they are clustered. It's not half as fun if, instead, there is no such consistency, and instead you get a scripted game where a giant pop up tells you "QUEST UPDATE: THROW A DISTRACTION AT X SPOT", and then "QUEST UPDATE: THROW THE BOMB USING THE A BUTTON."
  4. Any concept that is (1) applied consistently and (2) makes a meaningful difference in gameplay. No point having a lava planet if you never fall into the lava and you don't need heat resistant gear and you can't throw your enemies into it and watch the rest scatter.
  5. The OP didn't say ban the compass, the OP said please design the game in a way that you can play without the compass if you wish. Most replies don't seem to address that at all. Designing the game so that you can choose to use or not use the compass improves the game for everyone. It means that the overworld is more coherent and sensible, and players who use the compass can still enjoy seeing how the levels work in a cohesive way, how the dialogues are written thoughtfully to describe where you're actually going, and so on. It's good for allowing different playstyles, and it's good for so-called 'immersion'. The only downside is that, well, you have to think a bit more as you make the game.
  6. Eh, it looks fine I guess. Open world first person shooter may not be my favourite but that's OK. Gameplay wise it seems to be utterly ordinary for the subgenre, not much mechanical innovation going on. The aesthetic turns out to be a lot less Gilded Age and a lot more typical hodge-podge scifi with gigantic pauldrons and whatnot. I'm happy the outer planets at least include lush places and not brown-and-grey, but with Boyarski in charge it's surprising that the art direction is all over the place. Given that the gameplay will probably be good but nothing earthshaking, the question is setting and writing. Here's hoping they can get back to FNV form there.
  7. I think you're infected with an extreme case of overanalysitis, and the only cure is to plunge in and out of an ice cold bath while singing Elvis Presley for several hours.
  8. It has a strong American vibe to it, and most likely points to Gilded Age American retro in space, rather than a straight up continental belle epoque. Which is a very Fallouty move: take America's imagination of the future from a particular point in the past, and then pull that forward into a fictional setting.
  9. I would absolutely love a space RPG with a belle epoque aesthetic, but this seems a lot more Americanised. Well, we'll finally get some details!
  10. People have different opinions. As I get older, I learn that it makes me healthier to try and understand where they're coming from, even if I ultimately conclude that their opinions are bad ones. I used to get a kick out of talking about how ignorant or biased those other people are (and still succumb to it sometimes), but eventually I realised that when you do it, the silent majority isn't applauding with you - they're usually looking at you in pity. Many acquisitions of this kind in the industry have ended badly for gamers who wanted more good games, so I can certainly understand that fear. I think it's realistic to worry that Obsidian's future games might not be the kind of RPGs its longtime fans have enjoyed. We won't know for sure for a few years. At the same time, the realities are clear and I'm honestly surprised Obsidian hasn't gone bankrupt yet, so I'm not exactly keen on screaming that they're soulless sellouts. In the short term at least, it's a great opportunity for the developers working there right now. Which means it's hard for me to say this is going to be awesome or terrible without a doubt. But that's OK. Things in life usually aren't that clear cut - it's just that we're always tempted to declare it so, because it makes things so much easier for us. Hopefully it does end up unmistakeably awesome, by which I mean ALPHA PROTOCOL 2 PLEASE OH GOD* *will never happen.
  11. No thanks. Obsidian have proven time and again that they struggle with making good action RPG gameplay. Even when I liked their attempt at it (Alpha Protocol), this led to a devastating commercial failure and hard times for the company. That said, this really might be what Outer Worlds offers, since over-the-shoulder / first-person, open-world-ish big market RPG has always been in Obsidian's / Feargus's ambitions from Day 1.
  12. The KS for POE, successful as it was, was never ever going to give them a basis to sustainably make games for perpetuity. For that, Obsidian needed to fire 80% of its workforce, trim down to ~10 people (which was the core POE team, by the way), cut the budget for POE1 & 2 by a huge amount (since they went over KS budgets), and in turn significantly reduce the scope and visual appeal of the games - and then still hope on tenterhooks they sell enough to fund their next game. The alternative is that you KS every single game. Not exactly viable, and I'm not sure that's such a utopian outcome. I knew what I wanted from the POE KS: give Obsidian a shot at an old school CRPG inspired by the IE games. I got that.
  13. Im obv speculating, but my gut tells me it could be something as simple as: owners arent getting any younger. they want to cash out and spend their 50s in a lower gear watching their kids grow up - furnished with a big lump sum of money that will see them nicely through to retirement in 10 yrs time. i work at a big firm thats done its fair share of acquisitions. one of the former owners of a company they bought is living the life o'reilly. hes chilling out in a cushy role that he negotiated as part of his terms for selling. i dont know how happy he was prior to selling his firm, but hes deffo happy now. It's not really that Obsidian couldn't 'hold on any longer' - at least some of the founders had a buyout as an exit strategy for a long, long time, if not quite from Day 1. And from a business sense, it would be insane to not think that way. Independent mid-sized games developers are simply not sustainable in this industry, and hasn't been for a long time. No time for me to hash out the details, but how many companies do you see making their own original games and remaining at a medium size, staying independent, making their signature style games, after a decade or so? Obsidian had an improbably good run given all the missteps, self-inflicted and otherwise, they've had along the way.
  14. Tyranny has a promising start and a potentially great story/setting. They put all that promise into a giant bucket of pig swill and throw it downriver halfway through. After a while you're not really an evil overlord's special investigator, you're not a budding political novus homo trying to carve out your own territory, and nothing that happens in the story actually requires the conceit of an evil overlord or political intrigue. You just talk to Mr Mysterious Questgiver Evil Mary Sue (who is called, what the hell, Bleden Mark, what's next, a barista called Stah B. Uchs?) and then go kill everybody until you side with the remaining one (or just kill everyone). And then boom, a giant deus ex machina at the end that bulldozes it all. Meanwhile, the gameplay is a watered-down POE with none of the tactical complexity, made so easy that on Hard I could sit there reading a book and occasionally mash the skill hotkeys and win. (Yes, I did exactly this, not even a figure of speecH) I like Deadfire for all its faults, and I'm generally fondly disposed to flawed RPGs that try new things, but Tyranny was a big downer for me.
  15. Uh, the stretch goal is Battle Brothers / Overhype Studios folks. Not related to Age of Decadence / Iron Tower Studios. Or do you mean something else? I'll be happy if they can get to Kai Rosenkrantz.
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