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TheDogProfessor

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Posts posted by TheDogProfessor

  1. I have recently acquired the Traveller (Mongoose edition) rulebook and, as I found the stock campaign universe underwhelming, am currently in the process of writing my own campaign setting. It's going to be really detailed and may take be months upon months, especially since my studies are quite demanding.

  2. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, I thought it was arranged that Russian and Polish translations are going to be completed by the some 3rd party distributor/localisation.

     

    Venom and Veeno, you both make good points. From other posts that I've read, it would be ridiculously frustrating for the Italian audience not to have a translation as it would be ignoring the Multi5 convention. Also, a quarter of all votes on this poll are for Italian. Given that Russian and Polish are already being provided, it would make sense to provide a Chinese translation.

     

    In terms of profit, and utilitarian ethics, Chinese, Japanese and Korean translations are an obvious choice.

     

    I believe that the Asian languages deserve translations, but that Italian should definitely be included.

     

    In terms of your point about the pollers being selfish, isn't that the point of the kickstarter? The fan-base directs some of the process? If many of the backers are Italian or speak Italian as a first language, would it not make sense and be in accordance to their current business model to provide an Italian translation?

    • Like 1
  3. I've always found it funny in RPGs how any plate armour will have molded breasts and slim waist only if equipped on a female PC. I don't know if armour was ever traditionally designed differently for male and female body shapes but it could be interesting to have armour for both gender types in the game. Nothing would prevent a PC from wearing either type but it could result in negative modifiers if wearing armour designed for the opposite gender.
    Historically, plate-mail had several layers: a hell of padding, chain and then the plate on the exterior. After the padding, potentially, leather and chain, there would be absolutely no reason why the plate would need to fit breasts as they -- for the overwhelmingly vast majority of instances -- wouldn't make a difference.
    I think the bigger question is, had anyone EVER though of the problem of breast size inside full plate armor? I mean, has a woman ever worn a plate mail in the middle ages? I dont think armor smiths really considered that, so I dont think they made plate mail that was comfortable to wear for females. And of course you are right, you had several layers of clothing under the plate, so most likely your breasts were already "pressed flat" - which I think would be quite uncomfortable in general, nevermind the plate
    The most breasts are not large enough for this to be a problem. Even so, the plate wouldn't add extra pressure as it's the outermost layer.

     

    Something like this could be appropriate:

    <img src="http://www.swordmaiden.net/home/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Lady-Eichling-217x300.jpg" /><br />

     

    But even then, this(^) armour is more akin to breast-plate (forgive the unintended pun) than to plate mail. I maintain that, for the vast majority of cases, that plate mail designed for a female would be as flat as if it were designed for a male.

     

    Here is a good blog on the topic: http://madartlab.com/2011/12/14/fantasy-armor-and-lady-bits/

    The historical examples from this webpage show no, or very little, extra room for breasts.

     

    As Monte Carlo put it, the discussion of boob plate is flogging a dead horse: boob plate didn't exist; it's mostly fan service.

    • Like 2
  4. I find that the plethora of spells in D&D based cRPGs really adds to the complexity of the combat. For example, the tech/bionic powers in ME were really streamlined and led to a really formulaic style of play. Whereas in Baldur's Gate, one's spell selection could mean the difference between a fight being ridiculously difficult or merely challenging, or perhaps even easy. I voted spells as items to maintain that plethora.

     

    However, it would be awesome to see a variety of spell-based classes that use magic differently. Eg: A scholarary wizard that uses the D&D spell system and an intuitive sorcerer who casts spells like abilities, more similar to the Arcanum or Dragon Age system where more powerful magic is an extension of already known skills rather than learning discrete spells from scrolls.

  5. I've always found it funny in RPGs how any plate armour will have molded breasts and slim waist only if equipped on a female PC. I don't know if armour was ever traditionally designed differently for male and female body shapes but it could be interesting to have armour for both gender types in the game. Nothing would prevent a PC from wearing either type but it could result in negative modifiers if wearing armour designed for the opposite gender.

     

    Historically, plate-mail had several layers: a hell of padding, chain and then the plate on the exterior. After the padding, potentially, leather and chain, there would be absolutely no reason why the plate would need to fit breasts as they -- for the overwhelmingly vast majority of instances -- wouldn't make a difference.

    Here's a realistic example which is chainmail (layers: padding and chain), not plate in which the breasts would be even less pronounced in:

    041_eowyn.jpg

    • Like 6
  6. There was a thread a while back on which Justin Bell described his view on computer game scores here are some quotes:

     

    [...] Arcanum direction for a few tracks at least - I really like the music from NWN2 posted above, but things like

     

    String quartet is amazing, and it's not something a lot of composers are asked to do nowadays. But yeah, I'm a huge fan of that intimate chamber music sound. You know, anything is really possible as long as:

     

    a. It fits the over all musical style of the game

    b. It suites the specific narrative moment of the game

    c. Doesn't sound jarringly out of place.

     

    I think for the right moment in the game, it can work great. Above all, the narrative drive's the music first and foremost. As long as music obey's the narrative, you can use pretty much any musical style. The trick is to keep things interesting, and this is one of those things that could shake things up a bit in a good way at the right moment.

     

    They went all for the epic, grandiose fantasy stuff in BG2 and forgot all about the atmospheric music... though that might be because there wasn't much wilderness in the game anyways (or tiny/peasant towns anyways), everything had to be big.

     

    Good observation here! I'm a big believer of having music ebb and flow, and more importantly, that it be interesting and emotionally engaging to listen to.

     

    When music is all big all the time, you tend to get tired of listening to it after extended periods. That's what we in audio call "listener fatigue", and I'm pretty sensitive to that. The problem with listener fatigue is that when you reach the climax of musical intensity and you keep it there for stustained periods of time, where can you go next if the narrative calls for things to get kicked up another notch?

     

    You have to leave yourself a "vertical buffer" to ensure those moments have meaning and impact. So, to answer your question, there should definitely be moments of moody ambience when its appropriate, just as there should be big grandoise moments when it's called for. But ultimately, everything depends on the narrative...

     

    and

     

    Justin, I like to read this and I would like to know how much you apply this to battle music. Because in 99% of the games, it's this dissonant, screaming, ear tearing pile of bombastic crashy sound, I can't stand that for more than 30s and I often have to turn off the sound or simply delete the battle tracks if I'm able to.

     

    Surely battle music doesn't have to be that way, no? It's probably important to have more rhythm than in the rest of the soundtrack and certainly to be in a minor scale to have the feeling of tension, but a screaming mess of sound on and on?

     

    Good question. The best analogy I can think of would be to liken music to painting. Painters use colors (or lack of color) to evoke specific feelings or emotions. To give a very basic example, red might be an intense sort of emotion, whereas blue might be a deeper, more introverted one. Each of these colors is part of the painter's expressive toolset. Now lets say, for example, that you go to an art gallery showing where all the paintings are red. After a while it might be difficult to tell one painting apart from another. The risk is that the viewer might become disinterested. Whereas if a painter contrasts two or more colors in the same gallery or painting, the viewer will more likely be engaged by what they are seeing because there's more to think about. The same concepts apply to music. CRPGS tend to be long, and as with any longform of art, variety and contrast are essential to hold the gamer's interest and keep them engaged.

     

    Here's another analogy, one from a slightly different angle. Tom Waits gave an interview on NPR a few years back where he talked about his film scoring career. The interviewer asked about how he approaches choosing the right music for any given scene. His response was pretty interesting, and has been pretty influential to my creative process. He gave the example of a scene where children are playing happily in a playground. So, the obvious choice would be to choose music that is happy and child-like, right? Well, instead of going the obvious route, he chose to score the scene with music that was melancholy and nostalgic. When asked why, Tom Waits likened a scene and its music to a conversation between two people. When two people are in complete agreement during a conversation, its almost as if one of them isn't necessary. But when there are two perspectives that differ in some significant way, then you have something interesting and engaging. So by introducing music into the scene that's as seemingly unexpected as sad music over children happily playing, you inject a bit of thought provoking emotional complexity that compels the viewer to be intellectually engaged with what they are witnessing.

     

    Here is a great example of this. Remember that first Dead Island trailer that came out a while back that everyone was talking about? Just to recap, the teaser showed a family (mom, dad, and young daughter) struggling against a horde of vicious zombies. The teaser ends in tragedy with the daughter becoming infected and ultimately dying at her fathers hands. The visuals present the viewer with two distinct stories: a predominant one that is action packed, horrifying, and intense, and one that is of tragedy, loss, and is more of a subtext. The the most obvious choice for music would be to compliment the action packed visuals and score it with driving and bombastic action music heard in just about every AAA game an blockbuster summer movie.

     

    The Dead Island team did something rather brilliant instead. They deliberately chose music that supports the less dominant narrative thread of tragedy and loss, making what would normally seem frightening into something that was deeply poignant. It was a risky move by more commercial standards, but was responded to by nearly universal acclaim. Like the trailer or not, it resonated with people, got them talking and kept them engaged. That same technique of supporting the less obvious narrative subtext with complimetnary music is how you get around using bombastic music for every scene in a game.

     

    For reference here is that video:

     

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZqrG1bdGtg

     

    Imagine how generic and bland that trailer would be with your typical action packed horror score? But don't just take my word for it, go ahead and see for yourself! Find any driving action score, mute the sound on the Dead Island trailer, and see how it feels to you. My bet is that it won't be as good. So, to sum up, the reason why it isn't generic and bland is because the visuals and the music tell two sides of the same story. A cognitive dissonance occurs there, and it forces the viewer to think more deeply and actively to decode the emotional messages they are receiving. That's how you engage an audience...

     

    Here is the URL to the thread: http://forums.obsidi...se-or-external/

  7. I voted no because I don't believe that any encounter should ever be strictly "unwinnable". I'm a strong supporter of having encounters that do not scales and so will be impossible at a low-enough level. I'm also a strong supporter of ridiculously difficult encounters that need to be tackled in specific ways. Also, I think that there should be ridiculously difficult, but avoidable, encounters such as the aforementioned battle with Drizzit.

     

    Examples:

    • In BG: The Original Saga, there are many areas that have creatures that are too strong to be defeated by a low-level party. The example I can think of from the top of is the Ogre Mage in the exterior Firewine Bridge area that is held in a jar or something and is only released if you try to help the NPC with it.
       
    • In BG: ToSC there are two fights in Durlag's Tower which I would place in the very difficult category. These are the fight with the Succubus on one of the upper levels and the end fight with the Death/Demon Knight with the mirror.
       

    • Like 1
  8. I agree; I found Skyrim quite annoying for that reason. All of the quest markers meant that it all of the "find x" quests were pointless and the lack of a detailed journal really bugged me. I would love to see a really detailed journal, or possibly, even a journal that you're meant to update yourself so long as that was made explicit from the start. For example: some NPC wants you to find their missing child who got lost on the way to grandma's house in the southern woodland area. Your journal wouldn't update itself, it would be up to you to enter in all the appropriate information. It could work.

    • Like 1
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