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Everything posted by Emeraude

  1. Well, for the record, in spite of my general distate for orchestral music, I quite enjoyed the trailer music for what it was. The opening chorus really have that western european feel to my ears. Personally love the use of sound more than the music itself - again the bells and wind at the end - can't wait to ear more, especially in situ.
  2. The poll offers a pretty narrow and limited overview as it is stated, sadly. I'm willing to bet Baldur's Gate is first right now because it offers the most complete package, though each and every elements that compose it, taken on their own, would probably be deemed inferior by many - if not most - when compared with other games from the list. It doesn't have the best combat, user interface, dungeons, gaming implementations of narrative elements, script, or writing, but it does everything well enough and it does *all of it* well enough. My personal favorite dream version of P:E would probably be at the intersection of ToEE, P:T and IWD2 more than Baldur's Gate 2 taken on its own. But s a finished product, Baldur's Gate is probably the closest to what I hope P:E will be. If I make sense.
  3. PS: the use of perks and Achievements in this game was all sort of brilliant by the way. And that's coming from someone with a high distaste of Achievements.
  4. I find the game suffers from a design standpoint of its merging action/twitch-reflex-centered and RPG/stats-management gameplay. The first problem created by this is the difficulty curve: it only goes down (which kind of makes sense contextually if you're doing a rookie run, or had Obsidian been able to keep their original storyline - Mr Thornton 's getting better at the spy thing). The more you play, the less challenging the game will be. In a "pure" RPG, the growth in skills - stats and verbs - from the main character(s) can be matched by the opposition to create more interesting challenges. Not so much here, the action gameplay doesn't lend itself well to that (its demands and implications are different, which I'd boil down mostly to better AI and more challenging level design i.e not addition of elements, but more creative use of those already established), especially given the context of the story it tries to convey. If anything, the skill system had the reverse effect: it kept the challenges down. To the point that, say, if you liked one of the mini-games and wished to keep it interesting/challenging - relevant in itself from a gameplay standpoint, the only somewhat counter-intuitive solution was to *not* invest skill points in its related field. I guess this was all meant, design-wise, to go with the "there are no bad choice" stand of the game - which is a good position to design from if not taken too literally. But all of this is just overkill, especially when you add that the game was designed from the get go to allow players who don't like certain elements to simply bypass them (don't want to play those hacking mini-games ? Invest in grenades). The game clearly had balancing issues between the different skill-sets presented too, which didn't help. There were some "bad" choices. At least some less rewarding ones. It's the only game I know thus far that has justified the use of the dreaded "Wheel-of-choice" from a design standpoint. And made it work somewhat decently too, despite some problems. The time limit - though I'm no fan of it - generates tension and contributes in giving conversation the feel of reactive battles of wits (as opposed to, say, a game like Torment, where choices feel more like properly contextualizing your character). Talking of choices, the game's reactivity to those - its main selling point - is jaw-dropping. I'm at my tenth play-through, and am *still* finding new elements that changes from little details (and the attention to details and getting them right is refreshing if anything) along the storyline to complete ways to resolve plot lines. The amount of work that must have gone into this is staggering. The writing is good - at its worse competent with some moments of brilliance. Obsidian once again proves they're probably the only developer in the industry right now who knows how to write psychopaths, as opposed to villains. Last point, I kept earring about how the game was buggy on release, and the volume of complaints itself is enough to convince me there's some validity to it. But out of the dozens of people I personally know who've played the game, none meet any real problem past that sad embassy killing bug. I any way, I can't seem to understand how Gamebryo games can get a free pass from the gaming press while a game like AP couldn't - all being rather ambitious in scope, though not in the same perspective, should get the same leeway. All in all, good game, with enlightening failings. Well worth playing if you are into RPGs.
  5. Thanks a lot for those. Fo some reason, could never get the streams to start at the time.
  6. Again, I resent the idea that not wanting live instrumentation equates not caring about music (which was coded in the very questions of the poll, no "No, it will detract from the overall quality of the music of the game" option there).And again, glad for you all who are getting what you wanted. Hopefully we all end up satisfied by the end product.
  7. Pledge retracted ! Oh, who am I kidding ? Happy for you all. Still spamming friends about the project. Mad I can't seem to watch those streams though.
  8. I can't find a source anymore, so maybe it's just me having imagined things, but I was sure I remembered someone from the team mentioning changeable portraits would be in.
  9. If it brings nothing to gameplay, and/or doesn't feed and inform the narrative, then I would be inclined to fill it in the cheap exoticism folder myself. To each his own I guess. Hmm if you say so. It builds the world. That adds a lot to gameplay in the sense of making it more believable and interesting. Yes, inventing a language is cheap exoticism. If they do not inform gameplay and narrative, or do not have the implications they raise explored, those languages are insignificant - What do they bring then but local color ? I understand how it can be aesthetically pleasing, the appearance of other languages, and the knowledge of the - proper - craft that went in them. I'm not indifferent to it. But as long as they are not designed to mean anything beside their very own existence, yes I do think it is cheap (or actually, expensive) exoticism.
  10. The screen is lovely, but what made it great was showing it to friends and see the smile on their faces. One sure thing, it sure brought them some backers. Deservedly so.
  11. I read that as "will the beta be DNA protected ?" for a second, and my mind went blank. Likely, but probably too early to tell, isn't it ?
  12. If it brings nothing to gameplay, and/or doesn't feed and inform the narrative, then I would be inclined to fill it in the cheap exoticism folder myself. To each his own I guess.
  13. I don't know, as a linguist myself, I tend to be ambivalent on the whole idea. While it can be incredibly fun as a side aspect (decoding that made up notation system in FFXII and seeing the message displayed by traps was smirk inducing), it also tends to be really shallow in how it ties to the game and choice mechanics - overall it makes for good easter eggs, but is rarely used in ways that provide actual depth. I find the current onomastic approach of the game map, where the etymological name of mostly each place is displayed in English to be blunt but satisfactory (if it is indeed the intent, I may have misunderstood). Not that I would mind to see explored, say, the civilizational impact of various politeness systems in transcultural negotiations: what happens when you confront a people whose whole social miens are grammatically coded and implied to one where it <i>needs</i> to be expressed, either lexically or by using a secondary coding (say, clothing colors) ? That is if (and it's a big if) you can do that without falling into the trappings of cheap exoticism.
  14. Thanks! I'm happy with it turned out too. Oh yeah, the sound work at the end was probably my favorite part of it. Great work on that.
  15. I'm such a sucker for old synths... On the Arcanum front: while I think the string quartet was a great idea, beautifully executed, which fit the game to a t, I did end up thinking its voluntary lack of breadth hurt it a bit in the end. Not to mention, it was probably too involved/involving for what it is supposed to be - I tend to find it works better on its own than as a part of the whole (one of my percussionist friends want to strangle "whoever thought it was a good idea" though... to each his own). As for that weird jRPG divide... Isn't great music great music, no matter ts origin ? Is Sakimoto's music diminished by your not liking FFXII (let's not talk about the compression) ? Count me in the camp of people that just cannot get the appeal the narrator/music of Bastion seem to have for some people... found it jarringly intrusive at best - and for no particular benefit. Oh, and if anything, all those Nier extracts comfort me in my opinion that the access to live instrumentation and better quality of sound actually hurt video game music in general (though it did wonders in some particular cases) - more isn't always better, and there was a sketchiness to older game music that matched the higher graphical abstraction of those, and I find was often more fitting.
  16. I love how, after much clamoring (14 pages and counting, was it ?) for Mr Zeits to be added to stretch goals, when it finally happens, peoples are being rubbed the wrong way. I wouldn't want to be doing a Kickstarter with that wide an audience, must be maddening. There's just no pleasing us.
  17. I must say I'd love 15th century women regalia to be used as inspiration, yes... Though I bet we're going to get a far wider historical scope for the inspiration - which is good, if only for variety.
  18. Second one is from Shinobu Tanno, first one looks like it could be from Maciej Kuciara.
  19. I've had a terrible, terrible idea. I'm an awful person. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Obsidian did say they were going to allow the use of custom portraits ? Time to make a Kickstarter to commission Justin Sweet around 44 (4 per classes) pieces of Art for personal use with the Adventurer's Hall.
  20. @hideo kuze The problem I have with that edit is you're presupposing visual identity of a game and the writing style have the same kind of impact on players, of which I am not convinced.
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