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Hi! I'm a massive fan of Black Isle / Troika / Obsidian as well as a student majoring in Computer Science, a game hobbyist and an amateur game developer. (Disclaimer) So, my question for today is a very profound one, and one that carries a lot of meaning to me, personally, and especially from a game developer studio perspective: What's wrong with Obsidian? Everything starts with Black Isle and Fallout, which (if you're aware of the story around the production) was a general huge mother****ing mess. After Black Isle was shot down, the general messiness seemed to follow with Troika games, who made a couple of brilliant yet very flawed games. After that, the legacy, thanks to a few key individuals and their ideals, was transferred into what is today Obsidian. Now, as a disclaimer, I have to say, I love everything created by these guys: Black Isle Studios, Troika and Obsidian. BI's slogan: "By gamers, for gamers" is still something I keep as an inspiration very close to my heart every single day (as an unknown amateur developer), and what they created is simply beautiful. However, everything created by this troupe and their derivatives has always been somehow fundamentally wrong: bugged as hell, imbalanced as foobar, illogical as hell. My question is: WTF is wrong with Obsidian? Why can't they make solid products? I know there's a lot of tension between publisher - developer relations, that's always a handful and something for an entirely different discussion, but my presumption here today is that: There is something wrong with the communication between the designers and the coders in Obsidian? Because at many times it seems I'm playing a game with a beautifully designed world with lots of content and shreds of the designers souls visibly poured into every single detail, yet at other times I'm stumbling upon the very simplistic, childish even, mistakes that could be repaired with some simple programming with a little bit of forethought. Are you guys talking? Is there something between, even though this time (PoE) you were independently funded, and no publisher has a **** to say about yoru game? What's the problem? Now, I'm not blaming anyone, I'm simply tryng to inquire some details about your methods into developing games, and whether there'd be something to improve. No doubt I'm going to get a generic response of "yes, we're constantly improving our methods and processes in all areas", but what I'm really interested in is the actual schizms between the programmers and the designers, since that's what I think is the main reason for this outcome. Anyway, while any perspectives are welcome, obviously I'd rather take on some pov's from the crew.
I bought this game last week for £4. I also bought Max Payne 3 - guess which one I've been playing non-stop? Alpha Protocol is an amazing game! I wanted to share a bit about my ending though because I couldn't help but feel it was a little cold. So obviously...SPOILER WARNING. First off, it was a ****ing desaster! I went in guns blazing with CIE as my contact, who I had almost no prior relationship with. I'd already lost Maddison, who I'd vowed to protect to Marburg, and now I was told Mina (who I had a relationship with) was captured. Next thing I know, she's been executed and her bloodied corpse is paraded infront of me on the TV! Then I find out that Scarlett (who I also had a relationship with...I know, I'm a bad man...) had betrayed me! It was all going pretty badly for Mr Torton. I stormed the place, put a bullit in Westrige's head and confronted Leland. Scarlett shot me, before grusomly murdering Leland, and vanishing from my life. Mike set off on his little boat, alone. One woman in his life was dead, the other a traitor. All the people from Halbech and Alpha Protocol are dead meaning it'll be difficult, if not impossible for Mike to expose the whole thing. And I presume the only logical next step for him is to either go into hiding with that crazy German woman or that **** Heck, neither of which are attractive prospects. Wow! What an ending. And yet...Why does it feel so cold? Mike doesn't seem too upset by the whole event, and in fact if anything he's quite upbeat. This game has been so cleaver in the way that people constantly reference past events and choises made, so I was a bit dissapointed that there was almost none of this at the very end. I got a very good, very downbeat ending. I just wish the game had awknoledged this. I would have liked to see Mike upset about the loss of Mina and angry about the betrayel of Scarlett. See him regret that everyone was dead and he'd severed all ties to the country he so loved. This ending, so dire as it was, could have been devistating. He'd done what he set out to, but for what? Mina was dead for Christ sake! And it was Mike's fault! The second woman to die because of him. He'd (I'd) trusted Scarlett completely and the bitch put a bullet through my back (which I also wasn't too phased by aparently)! I loved playing this game so much this week. I'll definatly play it through again with different outcomes, and I desperatly hope that one day SEGA will see sense and greenlight a sequal. But I can't help but feel slightly dissapointed with the emotionless end. What do you think?
Eurogamer has just published an article-style interview with Chris Avellone based on a Q&A with him they had at Rezzed. A few quotable snippets on Aliens: Crucible, given many here still mourn the project's cancellation: Also deals with Dwarves, Project North Carolina, the future of the company, publishers' interest in old-school RPGs and all the usual Avellonian stuff.