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Blog Comments posted by Chairchucker

  1. Is there a statute of limitation for how long a video game can be out before you're not allowed to claim people only still like it because they're young and don't know any better? Because if there isn't I think we should maybe declare a decade to be long enough.


    Also maybe there should be a statute of limitations on how pretentious one can be and still call other people hipsters.


    So I don't come across as passive aggressive I'll instead be... what, assertive aggressive? A jerk? Let's go with that one... and say that you, Wulf, speak a whole lot of complete rubbish and try to mask it with bluster and confidence.

  2. This was all said by 'Wulf' (the stuff that I'm replying to) but the quotes stuffed up and this is me trying to fix them.

    Nope didn't work, guess it hates me messing around with the quotes.


    Obsidian could do something really interesting and all you can think of is either a sequel to an ancient game that wasn't actually all that great anyway, or an isometric RPG with such obfuscated mechanics that no one would be able to or want to play it



    Hmmm well I guess we all have different opinions on what games were really that great anyway, so actually people are asking for sequels to games that (in their head) were really that great? Not sure how constructive that bit is but whatever. And asking for a sequel to a game, while unimaginative, is also pretty convenient shorthand for "The kind of work you did here? This was good. I would like to play another thing that has similar experiences." For example, Planescape Torment is wordy as all heck and has weird people or whatever, people want to see that, I dunno.


    This next bit confuses me. I don't think anyone was advocating a difficult UI. Most isometric games I've played have been relatively easy to control.


    This has honestly gotten to the point where I can't tell if many people are being serious or just being hipsters. If we gave them the creative freedom, they could do something really amazing. I want to see them change the game, I want a paradigm shift that will help alter how people look at RPGs in general, and what I do not want is Ancient Game That Belongs in the Past VI.I think that they should look at how differently you could make an RPG, too. Shy away from mechanics both ancient and modern, and try to do something new.


    Well these are good ideals I guess but 'do something new' is fairly nebulous. Some systems work pretty well, and having had them once, people are often gonna want them again rather than some nebulous "New revolutionary thing that is totally gonna blow your mind I promise you, or my name's not Peter Molyneux!" (OK perhaps a little cynical, but I am often fairly skeptical of alleged 'paradigm shifts'.)


    Do you think that Vampire - The Masquerade: Bloodlines would have been as touted if it were isometric? Its predecessor, Redemption, is almost unbeknownst to PC gamers because it's isometric and obfuscated.


    Then again, games like Baldurs Gate and Planescape: Torment are even more beloved than Bloodlines, so perhaps the isometry (Is that a word? Probably not, I've decided to use it anyway) is not the reason for Redemption's relative obscurity as you seem to think.


    If you obfuscate things, then it's hard to get at the story beyond the ridiculous amounts of number fetishism. Even The Witcher (and II) had this problem, it was almost an impenetrable bog of numbers. But that's not Obsidian, why are we forcing this on them? Obsidian has never been an 'impenetrable bog of numbers' developer.


    I don't really know what you're talking about here. Is this about how a lot of the mechanics in RPGs are based on stat numbers? Like, percentage change to do x amount of damage, that kind of stuff? If so that kind of stuff's actually pretty important in an RPG. Being able to reduce the value of items and stats to a numerical figure is easier than a bunch of nebulous 'excellent/good/bad' or whatever values.


    I mean you probably meant something else entirely but to be honest I'm not certain.


    What Obsidian does well is storytelling and world building! They give us plots which make us think and feel, they give us choices which challenge us emotionally and intellectually, they create games which linger in our memories because they were so unusual, and not because they're just a repeat of some old, overly touted game that we shouldn't really care about any more (again, I can't tell if people are just being hipsters).


    It gets a bit weird from here on because you do all this ridiculous gushing and talking about paradigm shifts and how they're not hard... but you're also still calling other people hipsters? Odd, but OK...


    OK so I snipped a bunch of what you wrote here because my post is probably already pretty long but basically it was a thesis about the Fallout world, and about how you totally GET the Fallout world, and some people get it, Bethesda don't though, because you know what GETTING it is all about...


    I guess my response to this bit is in my rewrite of your bit.


    (snipped some bit about how apparently you never learned the world in some games by interaction with world, I dunno.) In fact, I'd love to see them go all the way out there and not include a single human, to do a truly alien world where the order of the day is discovery. I'd like them to try to tackle things like "What if a character was empathic and could feel emotions, how would that affect dialogue?"


    Telepathy, gotcha. Been done. Worked OK I guess, by which I mean it was exactly like normal speech except they'd punctuate it with asterisks or something and mess with the syntax.


    Or "What if a character was bound with a parasite and had to deal with things that the parasite slipped in through them in conversation and/or action?"


    I'd like to see them tackle concepts which are really off the beaten track, and to do something that a publisher truly wouldn't buy. Of course, any publisher would go for Planescape: Torment 2, and we all know that they'd be idiots not to. That would be something that any publisher would buy. But that's not the point of this, is it?


    Actually I'm not sure most publishers would be all that keen on PS:T, it was a 'cult classic' rather than a 'box office smash', and those are not exactly what every publisher dreams of.


    Not only that, but they're working on a limited budget, and I'd rather see them do something unusual than blow all of their money on licensing a setting and/or combat system.


    Agreed on the licensing thing, although I'm not sure why option 'b' has to be 'something unusual'. I've played 'something unusual' a number of times, it rarely ends well.


    I really wish we could sit here and brainstorm something incredible rather than just getting another post where someone sits up and yells "Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! I know! I know! I'd totally fund if their game was Planescape: Torment 2, or Arcanum 2, or Neverwinter Nights 3, or Some Other Old Game VI!! Totally would! LICENSE THEM ALL!", because actually moving away from that and trying to embrace the idea of something really new would make me happy.


    My impression of the original suggestion was that we, the potential backers, would be giving them an idea of things we like, not trying to design their game for them.


    I suppose for the youngsters, who've not played years of RPGs, the idea of a Planescape: Torment 2 may seem appealing. But for the old farts like me who've been playing RPGs for over thirty years in one form or another (pen & paper, tabletop, computer, or what have you), I think that a lot of us older gamers just want to see something new.


    Smooth. Play the 'get some time up' card. Also, mildly amused at the "Not played years of RPGs" and then referencing a game that came out over a decade ago.


    Paradigm shifts aren't hard.


    You just move away from what the mainstream wants and stop appealing to hte lowest common denominator. And isn't that precisely what this is about? I'm sorry, but the lowest common denominator in this case amounts to number fetishists, and people screaming for Ancient Game VI. We need to move beyond that. We really do.



    If paradigm shifts were 'not hard' they'd probably occur a little more frequently and a little more successfully. And reading Avellone's original post, it actually seems like number crunching, sequels and 'ancient game', as you so dismissively put it, are exactly what this is 'all about'.


    Give your imaginations a workout. Go beyond sequels. Forget IPs. What do you truly want to see?---


    And if we really must have humans in the game, why don't we make them Interdimensional Explorers and land them in a world where all sorts of crazy **** could happen to them?


    "Well, one of our number became a werewolf-like thing and he wants to stay with his hippie werewolf monks. One of them was absorbed into this fleshy mass of an overmind and claims to now know everything. One of us has become a pure energy being that can possess other people. One of us now has a parasite attached to his head that allows her to see beyond the reality that we see. And that just leaves two of us who're still actually kind of human... so let's be xenophobic and get the **** out of here before something happens to us, too!"


    Where did the wonder for exploration go? That's what I want. I want a bat****, crazy world where all manner of bizarre things can and will happen. I want a world where you never know what sort of crazy experience might lay around the next corner. I want to see the brightest and darkest corners of the imaginations of the people at Obsidian printed into the very fabric of this game.


    The Universe is an incredible place and all we can think about is pissing about and languishing in stuff we're already familiar with? I hope that this project won't be about that, but about just imagination for the sake of imagination. I want to see what they can do when their creative leashes are removed, when their restrictive harnesses are unbound, and they can do whatever the heck they want.




    Essentially, I want an unfamiliar "What the eff is wrong with this world?!" game. We spend so much time in humancentric settings, doing humancentric things, that people are never really taken out of their comfort zones. This is a chance for Obsidian to write stories which really screw with the minds of the people playing.


    Why would we not want that?


    The problem with your above ideas (apart from being a pretentious load of tripe) is that in general, we play characters for whom a world will NOT be alien. Trying to play a game in a world where everything should be totally normal to your character, when actually everything is completely bizarre to the player, is an artificial barrier to roleplaying that runs counter to its ideals. Familiarish settings are good because they help facilitate roleplaying.


    EDIT: Well this quote thing is now my archnemesis.

    • Like 1
  3. I would even dare you to go so far as to make, say, a Muslim protagonist. How many can you name off on your hand right now? Didn't think so.


    Difficult to tell people in a Western roleplaying game the way their character must believe; makes more sense for a genre that doesn't make such a big deal about players having 'choices' about how their character acts as RPGs do. (Even if choices do tend to take the form of kick puppy or save orphanage.) Would work for an adventure game perhaps.


    Same with the gay protagonist really. Wouldn't be a big deal if just the only available romance options happened to be homosexual because the NPCs that happen to be keen on you are only the homosexual ones, but if you go from that to "By the way, your character is definitely attracted to these characters" you'll have responses along the lines of "Um excuse me I think you'll find I'm roleplaying this character, and the way I roleplay she's definitely a heterosexual girl who just doesn't have time for a relationship, OMG stop taking away my choices. MY CHOICES!"


    Oh and also the Muslim protagonist would probably limit the setting somewhat.

    • Like 3
  4. Things I would prefer:


    Real time with pause or turn based combat.

    Joinable party members.

    A colour palette with more than shades of grey; I enjoyed FO3 but got bored of looking at wasteland.

    Am also a little burned out on evil empires against which I have to rage. Please do something else.

    Several choices of different types of protagonist. (Gender and different kinds of races or whatever.)

    Happy with almost any setting but my preference is for NOT High Fantasy and NOT Grimdark anything.

    • Like 1
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