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Vargr Raekr

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About Vargr Raekr

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  1. Thanks for asking nicely. I'll comply. There will be no more pics. To be fair, I've tried to do exactly that in every post I've made. As I have pointed out to a mod already, the "resize" feature of this board does not work. As they did not stretch the screen beyond its normal format (which is the usual etiquette cutoff for such things), I left things lie. Especially since no one said anything about the equally large paladin pics, the Odin pics, etc. etc. Not that it will matter. After today I will not be coming back. I don't think any of this - my own contributions included - is worthwhile.
  2. I briefly wanted to as well but there's some lines I won't cross. Bronies have many powers that the Codex considers ... unnatural. I don't expect everyone to have respect for my other hobbies. That's cool, and I've got a thick skin to it, as I remember a time when being a gamer was even worse for one's social standing than cartoon horses will ever be. But if the folks from the Prestigious Gaming Magazine can almost respect me, then I must have one HELL of a good point. These are guys who wouldn't listen to a Brony warn them that their fingernails were on fire.
  3. I ... I don't get it. I thought I did. I did get it with the Avatar: The Last Airbender fanbase. The series creators, once they established an interesting story and intricate setting, then proceeded to deliberately use romance as a subplot. But they only began developing these romances during the last minute of screentime for the entire series, opting instead to leave them at the "tee hee hee" phase for years of airtime. The fanbase, having been lead to expect romance subplots to accent the main story arc, became understandably frustrated with this snail's pace development and create a mountain of fanfiction, fan art, online discussions, etc not seen in any post Star Wars, pre-Pony fandom (well, there's Naruto, but I refuse to acknowledge the existence of an Orange Jumpsuit Ninja.) I didn't participate or agree, but I got it. But having "romance threads" on a forum for a game like Project: Eternity, and maxing them out every day - that I don't understand. What is it about this project that entices most of its (vocal) backers to discuss romance in lieu of anything else? Project: Eternity is a Role Playing game of the sort that can trace its direct lineage back to at least Ultima, and is the sort of game that has not seen a major studio release since 2003, based on games that for the most part had no or incidental romance content, and is being made by a development team that have gone on record as saying that they don't like writing game romances. So why is this happening, and why is it happening here rather than on, say, with the Double Fine Adventure, or Broken Sword 5, or Wasteland 2? Now that I've left myself open for nothing but flames and censure, I may as well make a few of the strawman arguments myself, just so we can save time and cut to the real issue, whatever it might be. Romances are a beautiful part of life, and you are a heartless dead hunk of flint for not appreciating warmth and tenderness. Yes, I'm heartless and hate love and friendship. That sure explains why I'm the biggest Brony on these boards. That's not it. I love stories about the human condition that I can emotionally identify with. Two points there: 1. Not all need romance. 2. Games so rarely get these sorts of stories right that I'm far more interested in letting Obsidian try that than divert effort into something they don't want to do. You have a developmental disablity. Rude to assert, trying to change the discourse, and even if I did it doesn't invalidate my question. You are stuck on nostalgia, and want P: E to make all the exact same design decisions as the games you already know. This one is my favorite. When Baldur's Gate was released, I had already been a gamer for a very long time. These are the sorts of games I nostalgia for: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/lootdrop/an-old-school-rpg-by-brenda-brathwaite-and-tom-hal. As you can see by the sad state of that project, there aren't very many active gamers left from that era. I first heard of Fallout because of the hype surrounding Fallout 3. I have played ARPGs with action elements like Gothic, Vampire: Bloodlines, Drakensang, and Divinity 2 and enjoyed them as well. (from allies) The romancers are people who were only introduced to CRPGs by the Trifecata of Suck that is Mass Effect 3, Dragon Age 2, and TOR. If you are new to the hobby, then welcome. If those games were your entry into gaming, then you are in for some pleasant surprises: the gameplay that was done tolerably-to-poorly in those titles has been done so much better elsewhere, for you to discover and enjoy. But it only takes a few minutes of research to look at the sort of games this one will be based upon, see the quotes from the developers about how they don't like writing romances, and understand that romances would not save a game that did not already have well done gameplay, setting, and plot elements to begin with. I have more faith in people than that; liking one sort of game doesn't make you intellectually incapable of understanding how other sorts of games work, the way I understand the Avatar fans even though I don't share their gusto for shipping (awesome show, though.) None of those are the answers, so what is going on, and why is it going on here? If the developers are going to have their hands forced into adding a half hearted romance into a game I invested in, I'd at least like to know why.
  4. All of them. I can't see there being a single list of narrative decisions that you can make in order to get great results every time; the art of storytelling does not lend itself to soulless concepts like "best practices." When I first heard of Disney's Gargoyles TV series back in 1994, I was sure I wouldn't like it: a serious show from a studio whose best output for years had been comic? What a terrible combination of elements! But when what I got was this: http://youtu.be/XfF6ktzfPC4 I changed my mind quick. There really isn't any swearing blood, or killing after the second episode ( there is until then!) but the show was light years ahead of anything I had seen from Disney story-wise since Walt himself was running things. Also remember that the same idea can lead to a great story: Or, well: But you can't create a good idea (or fix a bad idea) by following a formula. All of it, all of it, all of it, and ... all of it. Probably the biggest issue to date is that, because games are usually made or broken on gameplay (or huge advertising budgets... ) that story can and often therefore does take a back seat entirely. We are talking about an industry where this take made it into the final product of a major release: http://youtu.be/dRjK_jKNVVQ What gaming stories need to stop doing, is that. There can be higher standards in game storytelling (and Obsidian embarrasses everyone else in this regard), and developers (or more likely, publishers) need to stop falling into the trap of believing that gaming audiences won't demand a well done narrative and therefore it is okay to skimp on storytelling effort. Yes. The short answer is that games have gameplay, and are thus more (overtly) collaborative in terms of crating a narrative. The long answer, is that I don't know how.
  5. To be honest, when I first saw the title of this thread, I thought of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-Tcl6qvfy4 I suppose the way the title is worded just made it sound like we were talking about a game that had already been released, and so I thought PE rather than P: E. I know that one issue in games - especially games where there is supposed to be more than one body type model (for non-humans in fantasy and sci fi games, for instance), is that it can be very tempting to cut corners by creating as few body/character models as they can get away with. That's why Wynne in Dragon Age: Origins looks just like Morrigan from the neck down (if you change their default clothing to a different mage robe.) But if we are going to get a game that has this sort of a perspective: The only female we can really make out in detail is ... well ... the dragon, and I don't think her design was chosen for the hawtness factor. We might not notice much beyond the obvious differences of gender/race/equipment. The Infinity Engine games did have a noticeable issue with boob plate / revealing robes for female humans especially, but this should be easy enough to avoid. Joinable companions of the same gender/race might not vary hugely due to the limits of creating models that will have all the necessary animations, but based on the concept art we probably won't be getting characters as fan-servicey as even Annah of the Shadows.
  6. The Pro - Romance Camp (Complete with MCA style twist(ed) ending): The Anti - Romance / Hater Camp (me included ): Maybe we should just spend the next two years just having romances and meaningful relationships in our lives instead.
  7. I just want to make a few general points. Re: all fantasy games until now were set in the Dark Ages: I wish. The only games I know of that have taken inspiration from the post Roman Age of Migration, or the later Viking Age is the Japanese Valkyrie Profile series. Most fantasy seems to be more or less analogous to Norman era England, (or, well, Norman - era Normandy). You'll typically see kings of large kingdoms in stone castles, with knights and a landed aristocracy, rather than the wooden mead halls and tribal chieftains of 6th century Denmark. In fact, given the enduring popularity of the Robin Hood stories and ballads, Norman - era England and France is likely exactly what "fantasy kingdoms" are based upon. Re: Guns and "fantasy": As far as I know, gunpowder driven weapons have been used in China since the late 10th century. Also as far as I know, they are not popular in Chinese historical drama or historical fantasy films (or TV series.) Then there are examples of games like Jade Empire, where the one firearm in all of (ersatz) China is provided by an Englishman. I think the objection might come in the change to "warrior culture" might necessitate. Consider the old phrase "God created man, and Sam Colt made them equal," referring to this weapon: You are not going to have a culture of lifelong warriors like Knights or Samurai as long as anyone with average visual acuity and motor control can learn to use one of these in a few weeks. The lack of a warrior mystique (or the obvious fact that such a mystique is going to be completely incongruous with the rest of your setting) is going to be taken as a negative by some. I believe that there is more to be gained rather than lost, so long as this is done well. Re: Fanboy hysteria: Some of this may just be irrational hatred or fear of the new over the comfortable, but I hardly subscribe to a magic collective hive mind somehow started by Tolkien (in spite of him only being part of a literary tradition that predates the publishing of his work by 60 years). Some of it might just be the fear of having changes made for the sake of being different, rather than because of some overall narrative plan. That may seem irrational as well, and it certainly can be, but consider this: wizards are described as wearing armour in this setting in order to stop bullets. Even the most robust medieval armour would not be ideal, to say the least, against firearms. Do you want to subvert the wizards-don't-wear-armour trope in this setting? How about this: wizards wear armour in spite of how useless it is on modern battlefields because they are a bunch of stogy traditionalists. They, along with classes like the paladins, are the only ones who start off with heavy armour proficiencies because they cling to their tradition. Sure it makes them safer than average in back alley muggings or tavern brawls, but at the expense of looking like a bunch of ren-fair cosplayers to the rest of society (see how Don Quixote stood out.) It's going to hurt my head if my wizard can put on a chain hauberk and stop a point blank arquebus blast that hits (if his magic is involved in protection, then why can it do most of the job, but not that last tiny fraction that the chain hauberk would provide?) It's going to hurt my head, but that's what I saw written in an update and I'm uneasy of this particular use of firearms making it into the final game. That doesn't mean that the concept won't work, and I'm sure that a playtest or two of cannon balls bouncing back before bucklers will mean that damage and protection mechanics - along with the setting - will be evened out. In short: I think people see the guns element for the first time, and worry that it will be handled poorly. It might not be fair to Obsidain, but in the context of how adding gun elements or deliberate contrarian setting details to RPGs have meant the slow death of more traditional game design styles, perhaps it is more understandable.
  8. There is wisdom in your words, Miyagi-sensei. It's just that I recall at least four of these sorts of threads, and if the developers listen to them (as they have listened to other postings so far), I fear it will affect the end product for the worse; and we only have a few days left to make up our minds about the project. A. You're right. Nothing I wrote fits in this thread. The key, I suppose, is that I defined "historical elements" as cool, real life features of past civilizations that could be used and adapted to make the game world richer, while other posters seemed focused only on including the grittier aspects of history (perhaps they weren't, indeed I suspect they weren't, but that's where the discourse was focused). There's no poll option for "scholarly language" or "unsafe sea travel" or "multiple currencies," for example, but there is a fair litany of humanity's darker aspects. Basically this: "historical elements" should include realities good and bad; and this thread hasn't really done that. B. Arcanum did not simply try to lump in all of the more striking and disturbing elements of Alan Moore's Watchmen because the developers mistook those elements are the basis of Watchmen's success instead of the quality of the artwork, characterization, storytelling, etc. - so no, I don't. That previous sentence is also my working definition of Grimdarktm. I waited a day to cool off before posting again because I don't want to start an online slugging match; so if you are still unsatisfied with my point, then I'd rather just leave it lie. The developers can read it and decide if I am full of turkey stuffing or not.
  9. I would be interested to see various sorts of currency in circulation (sometimes multiple currencies in a single area), sea travel that is unpredictable (perhaps not an instakill, but you might not end up where you had intended, in fact certain side quests could be started this way), a scholarship language like Greek, Latin, Arabic, or Sanskrit used by the educated classes, the ability to attend important political events like the Icelandig Althing and ... *Reads thread.* http://youtu.be/9zSHz7Thvbc I've been playful up until now, but I feel I need to be, if not rude, then a bit sharp. You know, loading the game chock full of Alan Moore-on-a-bad-day Grimdarktm is not all that historically accurate. Life expectancy was less, death was more common, violence was a way of life, and one nice thing about churches is that you probably wouldn't be killed by bandits if you traveled to one. Unless the bandits were Vikings. Then you would be extra killed. But if your read through things like Skaldic Poetry, the Anglo - Saxon chronicle, the Icelandic family Sagas, and the Gesta Danorum; you'll find societies full of life and vitality, with a keen ear for a good yarn and an eagerness to experience life to the fullest (and with nowhere near the vitriol that has been on these fora for the past month.) And that was the bad part of town, as far as the medieval world went. Byzantium, Keevan Rus, Arabia, and of course China had it even better. The Outlaws of the Marsh, for example, is a high spirited story about a small rebellion (108 active fighters) against what at the time was probably the biggest empire on the planet (China.) The last thing Project: Eternity needs is for its fanbase to create innumerable threads begging the developers - who made Knights of the Old Republic II and Planescape: Torment with all of the accompanying mature themes therein - to add so much Alan Moore-on-a-bad-day Grimdarktm to the game that it is no longer recognizable as a human story. Their reality (and our reality) had all the bad things on this poll, and the other polls, and the other threads, and the flame wars, and everywhere. But to glob it all into a single narrative is a guarantee for piss poor storytelling. Think of the human spirit found, for example, carved on a late classical Germanic sword: "Ulphr, of no small fame." That's all we know about Ulphr, that he owned a sword 1700 years ago, and that he had so much swag that he just knew he'd be renowned after his death. That makes a much better story focus than his sister marrying an abusive man, or his lord taxing him unfairly, or amazon delivering his pre-order three days late, or whatever else is on this list. Start with a story, and tell that story honestly; and the "mature elements" will fall into place without the need of a checklist. I'm beginning to wonder if I should back this project.
  10. I am currently in a replay of Icewind Dale, and the amount of voice acting in that game is just right. The characters you play as are not voiced beyond their selection/action sounds, bu those are well done. Dialogue is memorable because characters respond to whether you are a dwarf, bard, elf, gnome, or whatever. You get different dialogue options based on your stats, race, class, gender, and who in the world you have already talked to and what you know. None of that was voiced. That said, Icewind Dale has some of the best villains I have ever heard. It really is a shame that they are not as well known as David Warner's Irenicus. Finally encountering the spirit of The Black Wolf Kresselack was one thing, but having him voiced by the late Tony Jay was something else entirely: http://youtu.be/-a5CwKKtuBc The next voiced charater you encounter in the game is Yxunomei the Tanari general. Being confronted with a little girl that turns into a six armed, snake bodied, topless true Tanari was a great villain reveal, but it was made all the greater by the fact that the "little girl" was voiced by the not-yet-famous Tara Strong: http://youtu.be/ZplEwrQLN1s Interestingly enough, I think the much shorter Heart of Winter expansion has nearly as much voice acting as the main game, despite being much shorter and probably having a smaller budget for production. One of those voices was Ron "war never changes" Pearlman as the tribal leader Wylfdene. But I can't find a good example of his voice acting on Youtube. I once took a peek at the sound files using Near Infinity; each character only has about a couple of dozen lines. That probably was done in one or two recording sessions (was it? the people monitoring this forum made Icewind Dale.) The way pricing for voice actors works, it's typically per session (four hours max). You pay them the same whether it's just a couple of lines for an incidental character in a few minutes, or a character like Kresselack. According to Rob "the voice of Morte" Paulsen, if they hire a voice actor, they can have him or her do up to three voices without needing to pay him/her more. So if we go in for a penny with voice acting (occasional character selection sounds), then they may as well go in for a pound, and voice important characters (as it would not actually cost that much more, as far as I can tell.) They could save more money by doing the voicing in Canada (which is what Friendship is Magic does) rather than LA, as well. I agree though, trying to fully voice the game would be too much of a cramp in their style, in terms of cost and story inflexibility (would you pay to produce a completely optional series of side quests, with full voicing, for content your players might not ever see?)
  11. Oh, Castle, my love. Thy spires stretch to heaven like marvels of beauty not of this earth. Thy moat graces thy walls like the train of the most elegant of gowns. The catapults that line thy battlements stare out to the horizon with a gaze that pierces stone and soul. Come then, lower thy drawbridge and raise thy portcullis, so that I may besiege thee Not with force of arms, but with the unyielding might of my adoration for thee. Edit: I'm not certain what they could say to make me pledge more. I know I'd pony up for a soundtrack if I knew the game would have live music for its soundtrack. Knowing for certain whether or not the boxed version of the game requires a third party client to run might make me reconsider, as the possibility that this is the case (as it was with Fallout: New Vegas) means that I'll do the sensible thing and not pay more for what would amount to a crushing disappointment. Access to eventual DLCs or expansions- old school DLCs like like Trials of the Luremaster for Icewind Dale or expansions like Heart of Winter - might be worth more, but I know how much more time effort and expense that something like that would be, so I don't expect that.
  12. You mean ... orchestration wasn't a core goal to begin with? Arcanum just would not have been Aracnum without its string quartet. To be certain, some excellent work can be done with modern tools and a gifted composer, as the first two Fallout sountracks attest. But just try imagining the Star Wars opening crawl with a competent-but-obvious synthetic track rather than the London Symphony Orchestra. It just is not the same. That movie (A New Hope at least) was made on a shoestring budget, so I had always thought that hiring a few good, non-famous musicians - or even an orchestra - would not break the bank. Even if they don't go with a full orchestra, live musicians seemed such an obvious route to take that I had just assumed that was what they had intended to do in the first place.
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