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About Squidget

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    (7) Enchanter

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    Shooting Down Hopes and Dreams with Cold Logic, Gardening.
  1. So the judge gets a choice between five sweaty gamer guys? Those are the people who win FPS tournaments. In other news "Ha ha."
  2. Along with those already mentioned, HK-47 was pretty cool.
  3. There probably are, but this kind of immersion tends to come at a cost of developer options in gameplay. Once you set the rules for what choices the player can make you've limited yourself. System Shock 2 probably did this 'best', in the sense that there are never really any moments of broken immersion because you can't shoot some NPC. The price this came at was never actually seeing any NPCs face-to-face (or at least, never seeing any that weren't about to die anyway.) You only saw monsters and ghosts and voices, but never anything you weren't 'supposed' to kill that you could shoot at anyway. Was System Shock 2 an immersive game? Sure - but at the same time, one can't really say it had any kind of player choices, and not being able to actually meet directly with NPCs was probably a part of that.
  4. So what are you asking for here, really? Was KOTOR's system really that different to RP in than NWNs (the story differences aside?) In KOTOR you couldn't attack someone unless the plot demanded it, while in NWN you could attack anyone but the plot-specific characters were invulnerable. Either way you're getting a clear OOC message that the NPC can't be attacked (a message which has no equivilant IC), so why is one really more immersion breaking? Would D: X really have been a better game if you lowered your gun a bit when facing key NPCs and couldn't actually shoot them, like in Half Life 2? In both scenarios the game is essentially saying "You cannot make this choice, k thx", so is the question here really just method of delivery?
  5. A lot of the problems with this sort of approach are actually 'mechanical', in the sense that RPGs are inherently limited by their interface. Taking the NWN example - say you figured out that Desther was an evil spy and not the good helmite he was attempting to be (though it should be noted that you couldn't do this without metagaming, as the game only gave evidence that Desther was an incompetent arse.) Even if that were the case, does it make sense that you'd just walk into his room and attack him? If you did, would you really expect the town not to go hostile, unless you'd brought them proof that he was a spy? Since there wasn't any proof it seems like this option doesn't really lead anywhere. I guess getting killed by the city guard might be more 'immersive' than hitting an invulnerable NPC, but probably not worth designer time. Sure, you could add dialog options to talk to Aribeth about your suspicions, but once you start adding dialog options you inevitably spoil the plot for people who didn't figure it out in advance. KOTOR's plot twist would have been completely ruined had there been a "Hey, maybe I'm really R-person!" dialog option pre-revelation, because players would have seen the dialog option even if they hadn't figured out the plot twist in advance. So in all seriousness, how would you suggest that a game handle the player figuring out stuff like this, without demonstarting future plot twists to a player who hasn't figured it out? Further, how do you derive motivation from action - how does the game KNOW whether the player is attacking Desther because he actually thinks Desther is a spy, and not just because he's RPing a psycho? You can add different dialog options to determine these things, but trying to add a dialog option for every concieveable player motivation is doomed to failure.
  6. So what was your favorite boss battle? The two JAPANESE ZOMBIES in business suits? Multi-stage action where you must shoot one's tie so the other moves to adjust it, then shoot the brain of the adjusting zombie as it comes into view! The CRAZY GUY WITH A FLYING AFRO where the boss and his hair are two seperate stages? Or perhaps just fighting the POWER RANGERS? And I don't know what anyone is talking about with 'weird game.' It all made perfect sense to me.
  7. To Herve: And that's all there is to say about that.
  8. http://money.cnn.com/2005/09/08/commentary...oney_commentary
  9. Huh? NWN is entirely about playing PnP style, PWs aside. And you yourself have played many a game on Neverwinter Connections, if memory serves. Their site is down at the moment or I'd bring up your profile there.
  10. Very true - but this won't change until there is a reason for it to change. Console developers could build hard drives and online support into their core systems right now. There just is no particular reason for them to do so. Online gaming is a nice increase to sales, but is only really utilized by a relatively small percentage of the market, and most of that percentage is willing to pay the extra. A lot of gamers are perfectly content with non-online systems, so it is only offered as an optional feature. If Costykian's ideas were implemented and gained support of major developers, you bet you'd see online support integrated into core console systems in record time - because it would be a means for gamers to access more good mainstream games, and the publishers (along with the respective companies behind the next-gen consoles) would reap the benefits. Undoubtedly a Steam-like system of Digital Distribution would start out as a platform for primarily PC games, but if they're mainstream PC games it won't be long before the consoles want to play them too. Imagine PC/console titles like KOTOR and Half Life 2 being released through digital distribution only, and available on X-box Live instead of being a port you can buy in a store. Naturally the sales of X-Box Live would shoot through the roof, because gamers would want to play those games, even if it meant being online to do it. The problem, of course, is that this calls for developers to collectively put their own necks on the line and deliberately open their blockbuster games to a smaller audience at first. No one wants to do that, and if the games don't catch on and those developers go under the game industry will be down some very innovative people. It would be a risk, but ultimately I think it would pay off. Someone simply has to make the first move.
  11. Just been playing it tonight and I'm really impressed. The missions within Sorrow's Furnace are above and beyond anything seen anywhere else in the game, both in variety and enjoyment. Any other spoiler-free thoughts? Good update? Worth the wait?
  12. Anyone here play Shadowhearts? The first climax of the game as the mastermind behind it all escapes, your character stands on the top of the tower and screams to the world "Baconnnnnnnnnnn!" If you don't laugh, you cry.
  13. Agreed heartily. The alien bits were incredibly irritating. That's not even full VO though, that's just soundclips. The repetitive alien clips would have been solved if Bioware had implemented 'true' full VO rather than just throwing in a couple irritating bits of gibberish.
  14. My point is, you're not going to see an RPG with the text of Torment or BG in today's market for a lot of reasons, not including VO. Blaming VO for the shortening of games in the industry is barking up the wrong tree. Games are shorter and have less depth because of the rising costs of graphical and game development, primarily. Likewise, the market has shifted such that the majority of gamers want a more streamlined game. Love it or hate it, this is the case, and it really doesn't have anything at all to do with VO - it has far more to do with graphics and technology improvements in general. Less dialog allows for VO, but if game development still allowed PS: T-style dialog then full VO would probably be less of a requirement. As it is, if you removed VO from a game like KOTOR I doubt you'd see better dialog at all. As Gaider said, they were allowed to write that dialog irrespective of VO limitations after the first disasterous try, which means that if you don't like the writing then the blame should fall squarely on the heads of the writers. I do agree with you that GOOD VO is important and the repetitive alien voices in KOTOR annoyed me too, but that's a problem with the implementation rather than the concept. You can implement any feature poorly enough to detract from the game, but it doesn't logically follow that implementing that feature well will detract from the game. Again, I'd strongly suggest playing Eternal Darkness if you have access to a Gamecube. It's not an RPG, but it's an excellent demonstration of good voice acting and how it can add to a game (aside from being really awesomely fun for those who enjoyed the works of H. P. Lovecraft.)
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