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Darth InSidious

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Everything posted by Darth InSidious

  1. I'm easily irritated when it comes to writing, so you may wish to skip this post if you don't like rather aggressive critiques. To be blunt, I'm not sure what's worse: the description, or what it tells us about the book itself. My advice would have to be to stop reading airport novels.
  2. Presumably, you live an obscenely luxurious life on the interest? Oh, and wallpaper your home with cash.
  3. The novella "The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia" was written by Dr. Samuel Johnson in a week in January 1759, in order to support his seriously-ill mother. The money was instead used to pay for her funeral - she had died while he was writing.
  4. I think what many story-tellers of contemporary mediums, and game designers/writers in particular lack these days is some decent life experience that goes beyond your typical living room activities. You can't expect something refreshingly good if the only thing people are drawing inspiration from are other popular games and techniques used from the Hollywood kitchen. Designing games is a learning process, learning means experiencing and experimanting through hard work. That means both learning skills with the technology and available toolset, but it also means important soft skills like knowledge in story telling, drawing story boards and having a vast background of different areas, most importantly basic knowledge of history and politics for starters, and more importantly how you can derive information and process it in a creative way so that it enriches your product. This. Why do you think there are so many RPGs that have the same tired dialogue, plot, fedex-quests, etc.? Because the authors have nothing else to draw upon. And if you think the Hollywood-esque mangling is bad for classical and norse mythology, you haven't seen what they do to Egyptian theology. The mistakes usually begin with 'X was the god of Y'...
  5. I've done a bit of toying around with the toolset as well, although I don't much like it, personally. I have started scribbling a few notes on a non-FR-themed, RP-heavy and combat-lite (or more likely, lite-to-non-existent) module, though. It revolves heavily around your relations with two (or possibly four) characters/puppets (not exactly CNPCs since they won't fight with you). I'll see what happens, though. Dislike of the toolset is a bit of a setback regardless, and I have quite a few other non-NWN2 projects further up the pipeline...
  6. Personally, I always preferred the description of the Prioress in the prologue:
  7. As I understand it, most of the mod teams aren't so much waiting to work on as waiting to release.
  8. Beware, the world is in fact ruled by four evil potato-heads, animated by the evil wizard Mong The Imperishable. You see, if you add up all the letter 'a's in the KJV version of the Book of Revelation, and divide by the number of mentions of John in the Gospel of John, and multiply by the Egyptian Sacred Super-cubit* (~900 ft), then multiply again by the number of feet between the Great Pyramid and Tipperary, divide by the square root of the size of Phidias' Zeus and then add the number of people who can fit into the House of Representatives of the United States if they all stood on one leg... *May be subject to complete invention by author
  9. Coming from a classical perspective, I see the optative voice as a Greek construct rather than English. Greek and Latin rely more heavily on grammar than English, which relies more on word placement rather than grammar per se. However, the optative in Greek certainly has the power to make a more nuanced statement. Latin doesn't really have an optative, and English use of the optative is really very limited. In Greek, the optative might be the only way to convey an idea in a sentence, but sometimes the writer has the choice of using the subjunctive. Well, the ut + subjunctive can be viewed as a form of optative, and it does exist in other languages - such as Middle Egyptian (the iry=f form) - as well as Greek. It's hardly exclusive. You shouldn't take style rulings for academic work as equating to the rules of formal grammar in English; one shouldn't use the first person in a paper (for the record, to those just discovering the joys of papers and essays, please, for the love of Osiris, don't write the 'I shall take you on a mystical journey' claptrap. You will annoy the marker...), either. To remove the first person from normal English would be a nonsense, however. The rules for formal academic writing are somewhat more restrictive than otherwise. Regardless; the grammarians say it isn't a rule, and they're the ones who have the say on this. Actually, that's not a rule, either. It's an invention that, as I mentioned, Winston Churchill came up against once; as far as I know, however, this rule has never been in common usage, nor should it. In your sentence, "the boy threw up", there's nowhere else to put the word and retain the sense (you could have "up threw the boy", but there you're missing an object...). The vast majority of grammarians seem to agree it's perfectly acceptable to end a sentence in such a way. Unless it's entirely extraneous (example: "that's where it's at"). Heh. I gave up on formal grammar once I dropped Latin. Aside from Romance languages, I have managed to survive quite happily while never being entirely sure what a gerundive is. And Classical Greek is a horrible, horrible language. It doesn't help that half the textbooks when I learnt it were last published c. 1950... And the practice sentences tended to be such wonderful exclamations as 'Loose not the general, O vagabonds!', etc.
  10. That's not entirely true. The split infinitive is found in use as far back as the Canterbury Tales, in Shakespeare. The controversy is the result of 19th Century pedants, but has little foundation in fact, it seems. Fowler, now widely considered the work on English (or at least, on English English), declares the prohibition against the split infinitive 'superstition'. He also thinks the question garners far too much attention, and in this is probably correct; by the early 20th Century there had arisen a mania against the split infinitive, it seems. At worst the form is disputed, and in some circumstances ought not to be used. The demise of "whom", "whither", "whence", "hence", etc., however, should gain, perhaps, further attention. The death of the optative, by contrast, ought to both be hastened and encouraged, horrid construction that it is.
  11. Unfortunately, while positive, that position can be hard to justify when the original can't really be improved upon. As with, say, the original of The Ladykillers. And if you know you can't improve the story with your retelling, frankly, why do it? Interesting. I didn't know there were that many ways to pronounce the word. It's nice to know that developer's do notice, pick up on and care these things. It's nitpicky and probably largely unimportant, but it can really alter the mood, I think. Again, an interesting local dialectal difference. Similarly, in odd corners over here, you find either unusual older forms (such as using 'sit down' as a reflexive verb), or local syntactical quirks (in the North, particularly - such as the Birmingham habit of using the verb 'hark' derisively - 'ooh, hark at him!', etc. Of course, these things are becoming more homogenised, but they still linger...) It reminds me of a story concerning Winston Churchill. Supposedly he was once criticised for ending sentences with prepositions, and replied with a letter in the papers the next day, complaining that this was an insult 'up with which I shall not put.'
  12. Thrusting my oar where it's not wanted, being British, there is no sound so horrible as an American straining to sound English. Except possibly the sound of cats being drawn and quartered. **** van Dyke ought to be picked up for crimes against humanity for his attempts to perform this feat in certain childrens' films... Does it make a difference to the game experience to have some jarringly bad accent foisted upon me? Hell yes. Just as a bad voice-actor can ruin immersiveness, a bad accent can do the same, for similar reasons. Frankly, someone pretending to be English can't do a very good job of voice-acting at the same time, IMO - they're rather busy not slipping into their actual accent. Was it worth hiring Sara Kestelman to voice Kreia in KotOR II? Hell yes. For starters, she's bloody brilliant, but also, had it been someone pretending to be English, I don't think the character would have succeeded. It would have jarred too much. (There are one or two areas where the choice of construction even jars a little, because it's American enough to put the feel a little off-kilter. But they're few and far between enough that this isn't really a significant problem.) By contrast, was it worth not getting someone with a genuine Scots, Irish or Welsh accent (not sure what was being gone for there) to play Khelgar? What comes off is Van Dyke Syndrome again. You may not hear it, but you can be sure that it's obvious to a UK citizen. Basically, it's about attention to detail. The little things really do make all the difference. It's no good writing reams of dialogue highlighting that the setting is Oxford in 1771 if Lord Wimplesby is wearing a digital wristwatch. Would Bioshock have suffered unduly if the voice actors had been less well-chosen in terms of the periodicity? Probably not, but something would have been off, and it's a nice touch, for example, that Ryan sounds like he belongs in the period, as much as he looks or acts the part. Or maybe I pay way too much attention to voice-overs.
  13. Grigorio Allegri, Miserere. A Sei Voci, dir. Bernard Fabre Garrus.
  14. Gaaaaaah. I can't stand "rediculous". Awful, awful, abominable misspelling. It implies horrible things about the person's pronunciation. Horrible things! "Click"/"Clik" are pretty bad, too - and, 'though less confusing, more annoying, I find, in spoken use. To say nothing of "assimulate" for 'assimilate', or the swapping around of 'affect' and 'effect'.
  15. Personally, I use 'programme' in place of 'program' throughout. No idea as to whether that's correct, however. I also talk about 'lightsabres', so I may not be entirely reliable... >.> And yes, misuse 'rouge' is annoying; I'm always amused, though, by the innumerable members of Star Wars-related forums who talk about 'rouge Jedi'; the image of Obi-Wan made-up like a cheap Parisian prostitute always brings a smile to my face. And actually, the degeneration of a language is not of necessity a natural thing to be allowed unimpeded; the Egyptians kept a conservative written style that, barring a few anachronisms, remained largely unchanged for over a thousand years; medieval Latin is still in use today by the Catholic Church and in other official documentation in odd corners of the world. (Before anyone brings it up, Fowler seems undecided on starting a sentence with 'and'; it can be traced at least as far back as the works of Shakespeare.) But yes, dialogue. Also connexion, reflexion, inflexion, deflexion, genuflexion if using English English, as well as gaol, artefact and further.
  16. Oh, please. The Westminster system isn't democratic. That's one of its few redeeming features. I'd like to remind readers that it was the unelected House of Lords who defended our right to avoid imprisonment without trial when the elected assembly did not. Go, go, those crazy old buffers! Precisely! Now if only we could get rid of the damned Parliament Act, we could kill off democracy in this country once and for all!
  17. Oh, please. The Westminster system isn't democratic. That's one of its few redeeming features.
  18. I believe the correct pronoun at present would be her, n'est pas?
  19. Foamhead: Do it. But if you really want to show how amazingly crap TG is, you'll do it without using their work. If they suck so much, why do you need their slog? It's actually not in our hands - the closed betas don't get a say. It's up to the team themselves, and if and when they feel the need to find a new buildmaster, I'm sure they will. As to finding one, I can probably say without fear of contradiction that no currently active KotOR modder is up to the task. Likewise with bugfixers. It's unfortunate, but there you go. Yes. It can be quite difficult to separate out the two, to be honest. That's a grey area; it's never been tested in a court so there's no way to really answer definitively on this subject. At least in western legal systems. Different people answer this one in different ways... *shrug*. I'd lay off making any definitive comments on the legality, unless someone with relevant credentials would like to weigh in... ?
  20. i see... I recommend keeping your options open for new buildmaster. *Shrug*. We're just peons; if the team want a new buildmaster that's really an internal affair for them. I don't think the betas get a say, really. Or if we do, it doesn't count. In any case, I'm afraid there just isn't anyone able and willing to do it in the KotOR modding community... and getting someone in would, obviously, cause ructions and delays, etc... by the time they were settled in, Dash's RL issues could well be over. Or they could not. But either way it doesn't seem likely to cause that huge a difference in terms of time.
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