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ClutchR5

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Posts posted by ClutchR5

  1. If I were to try to explain the genre to someone who doesn't play games, I'd say it's somewhat like cowboys and indians or cops and robbers, taking on a role and pretending you're something else. I myself play roleplaying games because I find gameplay aspects such as freedom and control, etc. in video games compelling. Consequences have a follow-up role -- they're not so essential that they have to be the main focus, but they should emerge 'naturally' from the situations that befall your character. I could say that I like roleplaying games because they have something above 'gameplay' or all the mechanical aspects that make them compelling, not that I don't enjoy building my character.

  2. I just hope that you aren't forced to be the good guy, or a good guy who happens to do a lot of bad things but ultimately saves everyone.

     

    What if I want to take over the world with forbidden magic? An evil ending lets you take the plot in different and interesting directions, allowing the exploration of more sophisticated literary themes and potentially doubling the replayability.

     

    I feel like it can actually get more complicated than that. It's not just "Are you good or evil?" It can range:

    • Who knows you in the town that you start in?
    • What have you been doing before starting your adventure? Does that give you any advantages?
    • How much of the game world should you really know (Arcanum failed here...) about?
    • What have you been doing with your life until now?
    • Do you have a family? Wife? Children? Parents?
    • Where does your character start? Why was he/she there?
    • and so on and so on.....

    From what I understood from the update, it seems like OEI wants us to be able to play as many different characters as possible from the beginning of the adventure and for us to fill in as much background story as we want to. Therefore, they can't "railroad" out characters too much by giving them too much background.

     

    http://penny-arcade....ode/bad-writing

    http://penny-arcade....story-structure

     

     

    Wow, the video on the second link is pure troll. :banghead: At no point was it ever stated that the Courier had amnesia. The lack of a background was merely there to provide a blank slate for the player's avatar... it's a no less valid approach compared to giving the player character a background and letting him start from there. Oh , Bioshock just got mentioned. Closing. I suppose being a courier is enough personal background that you may as well throw personal characterization out the door and start the game in raider armor, according to them :yes::no:

  3. I see some people saying text can work wonders at being expressive. I counter with: This isn't a novel, it is a video game and the only reason text was relied on so heavily in the past was because graphical fidelity was not good enough to actually show emotion on a character.

    You're saying video game animations are good enough now? Maybe if they were made by Pixar, but regardless, PE won't have that kind of funding (and even if it did, it would probably be better spent elsewhere). To dismiss writing strength in a video game isn't really different from dismissing what good animations/acting could bring to the table; the difference is the 'good writing' part can be achieved, while the animation part can be... *insert perverted Shepard picture*
  4. The only way to really make an informed choice is by being familiar with the game imo. It's not like a game tells me from the start (usually) which skills check most often out of combat, or when. I had no idea there were scorpions/traps in the temple the first time I played Fallout 2. My character would underperform. Plus it's entirely possible for uninformed decision-making to appear while playing, with no clear indicator as to where the consequences would lead you to.

  5. Complicated questions you've given me here, guys. I'll try to address them as best as I can. This is going to be long, so I'll cover my answers in spoiler tags to not clutter this thread.

     

     

    Regarding the probability of romances being included in PE.

     

    It's true that George Ziets will be involved in PE. He's been brought because of fan request, so we can expect that his style will be present in PE's writing. However, do we know just how involved he's going to be? Or what he'll do?

     

    Well, we don't know for sure, because that's for Obsidian to handle, and there's overlap between certain areas of design anyway. Fortunately for you, I've been reading several discussions about PE here and in other places for some time, and some people have already done the stalking for me, to find information that could shed some light on what areas everyone will work on. Let's look at it ;)

     

    The general ideas about PE were decided before Ziets was on board (he didn't even know what this project was going to be about before it was revealed), and he mentioned that he'll likely do dialogue writing and story, lore develoment and wants to do area design. What I get from this is that character design won't be his main area. He'll help out, there's lots of helping around in team projects, and character writing is something he's good at, but since he came when the project was already started, he probably won't participate much in character design because he's not a lead (and a part of it was already done when he came on board anyway). He'll leave his mark in the end result (which is important because it's what we actually see) and he'll help out with ideas, but he's not really calling the shots.

     

    Who's going to do character design, then (since romanceability is a high-level decision)? Avellone said here a while ago how the process usually works: it's usually the Creative Lead the one who decides the high-level stuff and hands it to the writer to flesh it out, or delegates it to other designers. In F:NV, Sawyer was the project director, and he was the one who had that responsibility. In PE, Sawyer is the project director too, so he'll probably have a hand on it here too. Then again, he seems to have his hands full with brand new lore development and new game systems design and story design and all his other duties, so maybe he'll delegate. If you remember the Kickstarter pitch video, when they show the leads of the project, Avellone raves about dialogue writing and characterization and how much he enjoys writing reactive characters and stuff, and he has a blog entry dedicated to characterization tips and tricks he's going to use in PE. With so much focus on characterization in his updates, this makes me think that he's going to have a lot of say in character design: either he's going to co-design characters with Sawyer, or he'll be delegated that part of the job.

     

    So, from what I gathered, Avellone is going to play a part in character design, and probably a big part. He's going to be helped by the rest of the team, and there's probably going to be a lot of iterating and refining yet to do. Nothing is certain yet. But the general direction I'm seeing is... not very romance-friendly. Avellone is well known for disliking romances. Not only that, he said here that he wants to look into other kinds of relationships that are not romances. A later interview said (the one I linked earlier, here) that he would not implement romances, and that he'd explore love from a different angle. Combine this with the fact that Sawyer isn't that keen on romances either (F:NV was his project too, and it had no romances), and with the fact that Ziets won't have a lot of influence in character design (and he's more interested in fleshing out the world anyway). Putting all opinions and data together, the global picture I get is that the odds of player romances being included are slim to none, and the chances of happy, life-affirming romances being included (the most well liked) are even lower. You may see this differently, but I see too many signs aligned in the same direction to ignore.

     

    With such an uncertain picture for romances, one that is based on hopes and expectations rather than any solid evidence, I'd rather expect no romances and hope to be pleasantly surprised, than expecting romances and feeling disappointed if they end up not being in the game. It's better for the players, for the writers, and for everyone, to adjust your expectations to what you see, and while giving your opinions is important to make sure the devs don't miss anything, they're still the ones who make the decisions. If the final say is that romances are not in, there's not much we can do aside from adjusting our expectations and our emotional investment in the game. I'll do the same if romances do end up included in the final game, by the way.

     

    Maybe I should have explained all this before simply giving you that link to Avellone's interview. But as you can understand, it's much faster to provide a link where the creative director of Obsidian stated his intentions regarding romances than explaining my entire thought process, complete with sourced links to all my claims. Hopefully this will help you get across that thick wall of denial some of you have, or maybe we'll still disagree, but at least now I'll feel better knowing that I tried my best to get you to understand where my opinions come from. You know, in case you thought I was jumping to conclusions too early. I think my wall of text proves otherwise.

     

     

     

    Regarding design and implementation of romances in PE.

     

    I'm really interested in your arguments against the colored part of that and below: http://forums.obsidi...00#entry1275894

    The main problem I see with it is that it's just not possible to do well what you suggest unless the character has been designed in a certain way. If we assume that both routes feel equally natural and engaging and satisfying, well, there isn't a lot of characters and relationships that can pull it off properly. You'd have to do a lot of tweaking of the character just so that it can work, you have to focus a good chunk of the -general character content- to make both routes natural (instead of more neutral content that exists independently of you), and there's a lot of restrictions to it that you have to address in order to make everything smooth. Yes, the end result could be good for both sides, but trying to do pull it off is very limiting in the types of characters you can do.

     

    In the end, my priorities are like this:

    1) Above all, I want good characters. I want them to draw me in the game rather than push me out if they challenge my suspension of disbelief. I want them to add to the overall experience in the game, and to strengthen parts of the narrative (as well as benefit from the narrative themselves). I want each of them to be engaging, internally consistent, and to bring different things to the table, so that everyone has something that makes them memorable. I want them to make me think and reflect about the various parts of the game. Basically, I want them to pretty much fulfill Avellone's list of characterization guidelines, because I like what he said. As long as they fulfill a good amount of elements of this list, I'll be happy.

     

    2) I said that I think the bad of the romances outweighs the good, but this means that there is some good to be found in them (others don't think so, but I'm not one of them). If romances were to be included in PE, then I want them to be of the same quality as the rest of the game. I want them to be good. I want them to fulfill the same standards of quality as the rest of the companions, I want them to feel like romances (and not like friendships with a "darling" tacked on at the end, like some people have suggested in the past), and I want the character to mantain consistency all the way through (no do-gooder that falls in love with a sociopath, for example).

     

    The problem is, these standards add a lot of complexity and problems to the game. For example, if romances are a worthwhile contribution to the narrative, then I should not be locked out of them because of choices I made that I didn't know that would have this effect (such as "I made a female PC but the only companion in the game with a romance likes guys."). That's bad game design (and that's without entering the equality debate). But removing that restriction would lead to a character that is romanceable by everyone, with no preferences of their own, which removes a lot of flavor of the NPC and has a higher risk of character inconsistency (and unless you make mutability the defining trait of the NPC you're also going to harm the believability of the character, which is a grave sin in fiction). But if we make several romanceables to cover all player options we lose character diversity, because you have to make the characters in a certain way in order to have romance and non-romance routes that feel equal (as I said replying to the quote). And if you sacrifice the standards for romances that I said, then the romances cease to be a good contribution to the game, and nobody wants mediocre content unless you're desperate for it.

     

    There is simply no good solution that pleases everyone. Because of this, even though I acknowledge the worth romances can have, I'd prefer them to not be implemented in the game. There's too many problems involved with their inclusion, and I think designing the game without them will produce the most optimal results; not perfect, but the best possible (and as a last resort, a group effort to make good romance mods could produce good results). If the writers of Obsidian still want to try them out, despite everything, then at least I'll know that after all this debate they'll be aware of what they're getting themselves into. I'll still voice my opinions and expectations regarding this topic if they need them, though. That's a good reason to still hang around this thread.

     

    Why would locking characters out of content based on their builds be considered bad design? It's not like first-time players are going to be aware of 'optimal' character builds in the first place.

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