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Everything posted by Ristora

  1. All good considerations lephys, and I like the idea of incorporating moods. I would still feel there is much to be desired if the majority of dialogue results in catch all responses whether with a different inflection or not, which you noted.
  2. This is a good way to make sure the story doesn't 'suck', but I'm talking about the mechanics related to dialogue. The previous works of these two are testaments to the writing abilities of these two, but the dialogue in the games, namely, how dialogue affects the game, leaves much to be desired in my opinion. Is no one else worried about this? Haha
  3. Hi all, I'll start by saying firstly that my two favorite CRPGs, Baldur's Gate II and Fallout II had great dialogue. Secondly, if the dialogue in PE is not greatly improved upon from these two games, I will be sorely upset. I mentioned in my last post "My hope for Project Eternity" that one thing I'm hoping to find in the game is course-of-the-game affecting dialogue. I have a few ideas as to how this might be implemented. I won't comment on things that BG II and FO II did correctly, because I'm sure the devs already have that aspect of dialogue planned for PE. First, there should be very, very, little--if any at all--dialogue options that elicit an identical response from NPCs. Afterall, what's the point of being saucy or sarcastic in a response if being sincere or empathetic elicits the same catch-all response? Generic responses make it impossible to role play in an RPG, leaving the game classified as an RPG simply on the basis that it is different from Action, Adventure, Sports games, etc. I hope that last bit makes sense. In any case, I'm hoping generic NPC responses are not part of PE. Second, consequences. For the glory of Amn, there must be consequences to dialogue! I don't simply refer here to "dialogue option x elicits response y from NPC z thereby giving the PC a new quest" etc.. I mean there should be genuine 'course-of-the-game affecting' consequences to dialogue options. If you play PE as a real arsehole, choosing threatening dialogue options, being sarcastic, displaying a lack of empathy for those in need within the game world, then your playthrough should reflect that not simply in the fact that you chose a dialogue option, but in the consequences of the dialogue options you choose. A way of implementing this, and I've seen hints of it in some CRPGs, is a robust reputation/alignment system, but with an addition. Where alignment is affected *primarily* by deeds, reputation could be affected primarily through how the PC deals with NPCs in dialogue. The addition is this: in addition to a reputation and alignment system, there could also be a 'renown system' that determines whether your PCs reputation precedes you, so to speak. Your renown (a scale from nobody to well known) could be tied to an area and determined by how many NPCs you have interacted with in that area, or dialogue you have had with certain prominent figures could have a greater affect on your renown. There could be a Global Renown rating (whether viewable by the player or not) that is weighted by the renown of the PC in smaller areas. Reputation (a scale from mysterious- famous/infamous) could be tied to how liberal the player is in disclosing information about her and her party in dialogue. And of course alignment (a scale from evil to good) is tied to deeds--choices made by the player in dealing with situations. It's not very difficult to imagine the interplay between these three systems, and the results, I think, are extremely positive and would enhance gameplay. Begin sarcastic when speaking with the leader of a faction could have more serious repercussions than being sarcastic with a commoner. Better yet, the affect of sarcasm could be weighted differently depending on the group affected. The most important point is that your dialogue options with one NPC affect the dialogue options available to you with other NPCs. I think this triad of PC traits, Alignment, Reputation, and Renown, as I intend them, would provide a framework for meaningful, course-of-the-game affecting dialogue. It allows there to be genuine consequences to dialogue, I think. Maybe someone here knows of a game that has done something similar?
  4. I have a friend who sees only in gray-scale. I know she would appreciate the option of selecting different shapes, as was mentioned, hexagons for example, in addition to circles. This is certainly not a moot topic.
  5. I think this is a brilliant idea Cryticus. My view: As far as the look and feel of lore, I really liked the way it was handled in TES: Oblivion. Despite aforementioned problems in readability and accessibility, the delivery system for lore (books, that is) in oblivion had perceived value, at least to me. Maybe because they were worth in-game currency, maybe because they could be the possessions of NPCs (stealable), maybe because the stories were actually not half bad, I found myself collecting the books even though I was sure they did very little as far as gameplay was concerned because I had high hopes that they were in fact going to be useful. In case the books were actually useful and you are like "what the hell is this guy talking about", my 87 hour oblivion game got overwritten by my friend who started a new game on my computer while I was in the shower. The perils of using autosave as your main. I was never able to get back into the game. As far as what I would like to see in PE, its an amalgam of what has already been stated in this thread and my personal preferences. In my opinion... Lore should not be: ...shoved down your throat (via NPC babble and unavoidable dialogue options). ...compilable into a full novel length-history of the land. (It's a computer game, not an ebook with combat) ...require the player to read exorbitant amounts of text. (Some people, like myself, enjoy reading very much, but are very slow readers and find it straining. Others are dyslexic and put enough energy into reading dialogue options that are not voice-acted let alone pages and pages and pages of text) Lore should be: ...interesting (one poster mentioned lore that describes the position of the sun in an account--this is ridiculous, unless of course the position of the sun is relevant to something the PC may do) ...pertinent to the game world and the player's role in it (if I put in the effort to read lore [and please know that I'm not talking about 'just not being lazy'] I want my PC and or her companions to be able to act on that information, whether it be though dialogue options, hidden quests, and the like, at least most of the time) ...talented-ly voice acted! (I suppose I'll probably get flak for this whether because of the production cost or some sort of immersion-breaking aspect to voice acted lore. In anticipation of this, my response is that PE raised a hell of a lot more money than that said they required for the game, but I guess thats an empirical matter. With respect to immersion-breaking, voiced lore could simply be turned off.) I would be beyond thrilled...I would be ecstatic if PE communicated lore this way. An how great would it be if you could choose between a Patrick Stewart lore narrator and an Edward James Almos lore narrator. hahahah I know, that will never happen. And with Cryticus' idea of a codex or journal that is updated as a paraphrase of 'read' lore, the voice acting wouldn't be shoved down anyone's throat who doesn't want to listen to it. That's my 2 cents.
  6. Haha, sorry about that. I got caught up in Lephys' post and added to it rather than yours because I don't see them as mutually exclusive. It just depends on where this 'council decision' is in the storyline. I think that when quests MUST be finished, like you pointed out (I think) then there should be genuine options with lasting repercussions. The idea of fleshed out factions is a fantastic idea. But in the case where the council decision could be bypassed, well, see above. Does that make it seem a little less like your idea was hijacked and adulterated? That was not my intention. PS JFSOCC: I'm interested in your factions thread. Is there some recommended reading about what has already been determined for PE before contributing a faction idea?
  7. Agreed. And the repercussions of choosing to do a jail break should be felt by the player and evoke possibly either a sense of accomplishment in making the alternative decision and/or a sense of regret. For example, performing the jailbreak could reduce the efficacy the player character has in influencing council decisions and/or result in a fugitive status.
  8. This would be tragic, I agree with you. But I think if implemented properly this would not be the experience of most players. Imagine that there are 4 broad possible endings to the game and 8 broad storyline pathways that lead to the 4 possible endings. As well, suppose there are multiple side quests and areas that only become available for certain characters (perhaps because of their faction affiliations as proposed by JFSOCC). Essentially, imagine that the game was an intricate computerized choose-your-own-adventure with dialogue and affiliation choices driving you through the story. The whole idea behind my 60-75% of the game feeling like a full gaming experience is meant to curb the feeling that one has been cheated out of experiencing some facet of the game during a play through. It would essentially be like a game with expansions built in to it. To be clear, if implemented properly, there would be no feeling of any content as having been missed! That would be the magic of it. You would have a robust game playing experience no matter what you decide at certain key junctures. It would not simply be "oh, I'm an NPC and you pissed me off, so now you don't get my treasure map". Instead it would be something like "I hear you pissed off such and such NPC. That makes us friendly and I have a job for you". I'm being very vague on purpose because the way that this kind of thing could be implemented varied.
  9. Amberion: I agree completely. I'm hoping that the developers' enthusiasm for their production independence leads them do make a game with some much content in such a rich world that having, as your example 10, sub branches would not detract from the game but instead enhance it. I might be mis reading what you've said, but do note that I don't think Fallout 2 nor Baldur's Gate 2 had the kind of replayability that I'm hoping for from project eternity.
  10. Hi all, My friend told me about Project Eternity because he thought I would be ecstatic to hear 'Black Isle Studios' 'Fallout' and 'Isometric' were facets of a new game. He was right. I'm a little wary of getting my hopes up, however. There is one thing that I think even my most favorite games, Baldur's Gate II and Fallout II, were missing. I'm not sure what it's called in the game design community, or if it's something that can be developed in a computer game period, but it is something that I can see as being an intuitively poor idea from the design standpoint as 'wasteful' or too time-consuming. The idea is this: robust replayability. By robust I have something very specific in mind: a large amount of game content and entire sub-storylines that are mutually exclusive. After having played through a game, it would be thrilling to know that if I picked a different character class or responded differently in a dialogue tree that my game experience would be drastically different. I don't think it should be possible to experience the entire game in one playthrough. Sure, there are elements of this is most rpgs, but not in the robust sense that I'm intending. One weak sense of this replayability which I do not intend here is the example of multiple options in a dialogue tree which lead to the same response from an NPC. I used to save my games before engaging in select conversations just to test our the repercussions of dialogue and often found that there were none whatsoever! This is extremely frustrating. A less weak example of this kind of variation is when responding certain ways in dialogue leads to certain encounters or lack thereof. This is standard in rpgs but it leaves the player with two paths: aggression or pacifism, and my idea of replayability does not include "oh wow, this time I get to fight such and such rather than avoid fighting such and such" Horray! So in closing, I hope Project Eternity will have robust replayability which includes: Genuine (course-of-the-game-affecting) dialogue repercussions Mutually exclusive facets of the game such that one play through by the most thorough of players yields an experience of maybe 60-75% of the entire game content (60-75% of course feeling like a well rounded game) I am not a game developer and have no experience in the area, so I'm not sure if my idea of 'robust replayability' is feasible. I'd love to hear from someone on Project Eternity on this point.
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