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Found 11 results

  1. 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.
  2. And I think the Magic Missile spell is a good example of what I don't like about magic in Eternity. (For those who don't know, Magic Missile is a D&D level 1 spell that most wizards or sorcerers start out with). The Magic Missile spell was awesome in the old IE games because it scaled with your level--the higher your level, the more missiles you could shoot, the more missiles you could shoot the more damage you could do. It was great. That made the Magic Missile spell useful even at high-levels. It was also a great visual indicator of character growth. When I hit level 2 in Baldur's Gate, for example, I don't feel like I'm getting stronger because I can do slightly more damage and have slightly better stats--I feel stronger because instead of shooting out one dinky missile, I shoot two. And then hours later when my wizard is blasting 10 missiles from each fingertip--that feels truly badass. Which brings me to Pillars of Eternity. None of the magic (that I've seen so far) scales with the player, so low-level spells very quickly lose relevance. There are also no visual or mechanical changes to the spells... and that's really disappointing to me. I love Pillars of Eternity, don't get me wrong: it's almost everything I'd hoped it would be. But I always play a wizard/sorcerer character in games like this, so it's disappointing to see that Pillars of Eternity is yet another in a long list of CRPGs that simply fails to (even try to) reach the same level as the old IE games.
  3. Hey y'all! My podcast, BrownCoats,BlackMagic is dedicated, this week, to Pillars of Eternity. Both your hosts are backers and long time, hardcore role-playing game geeks. (We're talking SSI Gold Box level, here! ) We review PoE in depth, and give our impressions in comparison to Baldur's Gate and other classic Infinity Engine games. Tolkien, The Elder Scrolls, Final Fantasy XIII, and PlaneScape Torment are all namechecked. We basically gush about the game, but do voice our gripes with the lore execution and character development/interaction. Check it out on iTunes! on Soundcloud and Stitcher! Also, our other episodes cover Pop Culture and Geeky Stuff like other Video Games, Books, Films and TV shows. If you dig it, disagree or have questions we'd love to hear from you! Reach out to us on our Facebook page. www.facebook.com/browncoatsblackmagic and on Twitter @bcbmshow. Thanks you guys!
  4. First of all, Obsidian, thanks for everything you have done to the RPG world. I am 29 now and a lifetime fan of your works (back and then). Project Eternity is a dream for me, still i can't believe it's happening. We have waited for so long.Well, i'm very excited. Can't wait to play. This post may be unnecessary or useless, i don't know, i just wanted to write to you, so pardon me. Oh, and excuse me for my lacking english. Here we go. You will read a lot of "in Baldur's Gate this was bla bla bla". Don't get mad. Sorry for this but that game is my gold standard. (whole saga) I am a big fan of D&D and it's character kits/alignement system. I hope PE will have a similar system. Barbarians, fighters, humans, wizards, sorcerers, thiefs, dwarfs, orcs, elfs and sub-classes... It's a nice long list to read:) My biggest concern is the difficulty level. You know, in these days, games are easier to play, dumbed down for childrens; no dialogues, no choices, no stories to listen. Easy quests, lineer story-line etc. I hope there will be a lot of challenging battles, mind blowing puzzles, hard-to-see clues, a lot of stuff to dig in. If a gamer can solve the puzzle in 10 minutes it won't be an epic moment to remember. We wanna argue about it in forums, try theories:) And anyone remembering Kangaxx? Demilich with a creepy mausoleum? I remember, i tried a month just to find a way to awaken him an failed. An enemy (and a puzzle) like him will be epic too. Just a reminder; Baldur's Gate 2 had over 290 quests and we expect more:) This is a very important element. Replayability. Lots of quests, lots of sub-quests, tons of thing to do and freedom in accomplishing things. But not only quantity of course. In BG quests was interesting, some of them were mystical in some ways and connected. Fulfilling rewards are one thing but ancient myths, cults, hidden cities underground, secret passages, georgeous stage designings... Those are just a few of the things made quests replayable. Remarkable, colourful, one-of-a kind characters (NPCs). I missed them. It has been decades, we haven't seen any guy like Minsc or Edwin or Korgan. They had a unique biography, a history. I think i don't have to explain myself longer. This is crucial. Crucial in anyways. We need a lot of unique (NPCs). Not 6 or 7 of them but "lots" of them. I don't know about you guys but i still remember the stories behind the items in BG. For example; Moonblade, Lilarcor... And the artworks they had? I think that's a very important element too. When you put a story, a history behind a sword, when you give it a unique design and artwork, it becomes unforgettable. No matter it's useless or what, it becomes a part of the game that makes you satisfied. This is something i could never found from other RPGs. I think it's enough verbosity:) Only a few things left to say. Graphics are important but not that much. Replayability and unique characters are the keys to win the heart of an RPG fan. I am not expecting a high-end graphics engine, not expecting unbelievable effects. I will be satisfied if it works steady. Ok. Thanks for everything again. Hope you read this.
  5. I've gone on something of a slow-motion IE game binge lately. I really only got on the D&D cRPG train with Neverwinter Nights, and had only played Baldur's Gate 2 and Planescape: Torment. Now I've re-played PS:T and finally gotten around to the original Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale. Only starting with the latter at this point, but still. Impressions. Not including digressions on AD&D and its viability as a game system here; that would be another topic. Baldur's Gate is the biggest disappointment since The Phantom Menace. There's literally nothing I like about it. The combat is a repetitive, slogging chore, the dialog with its godawful pseudo-medievalese feels like it was written by a somewhat dim 14-year-old, the humor would only be funny if you were that 14-year-old's stoner friend, the characters are irritating and dopey, the voice acting is uninspired, the music irritating and forgettable, the scenery is repetitive, generic, and unimaginative, and the quests are generic. The gameplay overall feels like neverending busywork, do-this, do-that, but mostly just trek around and save and load a lot. Yech. Awful. I hope P:E takes nothing at all from that turd. I mean seriously people, this, a classic FFS? And yeah, I do remember Baldur's Gate 2 being much, much better. Perhaps I'll return to it eventually. Planescape: Torment on the other hand is even better than I remembered it. Perhaps because this time I remembered enough to be able to roll up a character set up to make the most of it, and then could just let go and enjoy the ride. It's constantly surprising, delighting, and amazing me. It does the exact opposite of what you'd expect, all the time. Every item, character, and location feels hand-crafted with attention and love. Music that's haunting, atmospheric, And the story! Gods below, the story! Walls of text, yes, and perhaps there are better ways of telling that story in a visual medium than just making you read a lot, but wow. And the combat wasn't nearly as bad as I remembered, either, although definitely not a high point of the game either. (Un)balance issues aside, its greatest failing is the lead-up to the endgame -- Sigil is truly inspired from start to finish, but from Curst onward it starts to fall flat. The final scenes int the game are a wonderful finale, but getting there becomes a slog again. What would I have P:E take home from PS:T? That inspired feel. I don't know if that's even possible, but that. The feeling that the people who made it are constantly bursting with new cool things to do to, and with, the player. Icewind Dale: Now this is a surprise. I had heard it described as one big extended D&D dungeon crawl, which sounded like it didn't really appeal to my tastes, but hey, I'm really liking it. It is one big extended dungeon crawl, so far at least, but it's one hell of a fun one. And it's a really beautiful game. Even at low levels -- where I am now -- the combat has a degree of variety, things have been tweaked so that it is actually possible to play tactically, even if the tactics are fairly rudimentary like setting up a simple ambush and luring the beasties into it, and... yeah, that feeling of inspiration that's so sorely lacking in BG but is present in PS:T is back. I did not really expect to like this much, but it's actually really good. Once I finish this, perhaps I'll try ToEE -- that's another one I haven't played because it's "just a dungeon crawl" but if IWD is this much fun, that ought to be too. What should P:E take from IWD? A great deal. The consistent, hand-made, sufficiently original, and beautiful visuals. The tactically interesting combat that isn't a chore. Basically take a modernized version of IWD, add a plot hook that's a little bit deeper than "you're sitting around in a bar dreaming of the future when the mayor offers you a job," and make it a leetle less of a corridor, with some hub-and-spoke areas rather than a straight sequence (it is a straight sequence, right? or does it open up later?), and we're good. Summary? It's striking how different these games are, even though they're all in the same engine and all use the same basic ruleset and the basic system is so similar between them that you can easily jump from one to another. That, I think, is the real strength of the Infinity Engine -- it's a platform that just takes care of a lot of the boring computer stuff and lets the gamemakers focus on snagging the player's imagination instead, in whatever way you see fit. If the gamemakers have the skills, talent, vision, and passion for that, marvelous things emerge; if not, there will be boredom. The most promising thing about P:E is that Obsidian wants to make it. That bodes well.
  6. Can I get some support here? How many of y'all spent countless hours on Dark Alliance and its' sequel, unlocking Drizzt and Artemis Entreri? We need a new bad @$$ Dark alliance game for 360 and PS3. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE help me get this going!
  7. I am currently working my way through Icewind Dale, and after a bit of a bad start(I didn't care for the first two dungeons at all, and combat felt tedious), I am starting to like the game, and understand why it was hailed as such a great game. My question is what would be a logical next step after I finish IWD? I am currently torn between Icewind Dale 2, ToEE or Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer. I'm not sure if I can handle such an action oriented game after I finish the first Icewind Dale, so I might consider playing NWN2:MoB, or properly playing PS:T, as I haven't finished that one yet. Your input would be greatly appreciated.
  8. The only game that I've had experience with crafting is Arcanum. I haven't played many of the new RPGs (lack of money, and honestly, these forums don't really have glowing reviews about them in any case) and so I'm not really sure how crafting has been implemented in newer games. I guess FO:NV is the only game that I wish to play and that crafting is involved in it. I haven't really read much from the devs about crafting and enchantment. Are there any mechanics specifics that someone out there can provide? I also am interested in opening up the discussion towards crafting mechanics that you guys have enjoyed in the past and that you'd like to see implemented in this game. What are some crafting elements that you've enjoyed and some that you don't think should make it into the game. From what I understand with Fallout:NV, it seems a lot of the crafting is directed at ammo creation and a few weapons, "potions". One of the crafting mechanics that I really enjoyed was Arcanum's crafting mechanic of both having to upgrade your technical skill in a field and also having to find schematics to help create new items. The fact that there were 8 fields of study made it impossible to become an expert in all the fields, and would only come in multiple replays of the game. I would like that to be done in PE as well. From what I understand with Fallout:NV you only have survival skills, explosive skills, and science skills that much matter. I'd like it to be a little more involved than that. Baldur's Gate 2 also had a nice "Cromwell's smithy" mechanic where if you found certain otherwise useless items, cromwell the blacksmith could make some legendary items for you. I never really used any of them (most of the epic items you had to kill bosses for: e.g. Holy Avenger), but that was a good mechanic too, although very much less involved. I'm not even sure you could call it crafting. Anyway, what things have you guys enjoyed in previous crafting mechanics? What would you like changed? Any interesting ideas that you think the PE team might want to explore?
  9. Dear Baldur's Gate games fans! Maybe I'm mistaken - but I witnessed some kind of bad attitude here, on Obsidian forums, to people that like old Bioware games. We are being called 'biodrones', BG series as 'badly written' and some people express opinion that we are not welcomed here. I want to make it clear - I don't want to start BG vs PST flamewar. I regard both games as great, but different. But I think that some fans of Obsidian regard BG as inferior IE game, cause it wasn't created by Obisidian developers. And I think that we should try to make sure, that the voice of gamers that like BG series is heard. I just... Don't know what to say further, as you know, I'm just a hamster. Discuss. P.S. Again - the purpose of this post is not to force you choose your favorite game or some kind of similar flame-war stuff.
  10. My brother and I have both played through Baldur's Gate 1 & 2 countless times since we were teenagers, and we were debating the other day about which we prefer. We both more or less agreed that BG2 was an improvement on BG1 in pretty much every area: storytelling, combat, NPCs, classes and character specialisation etc etc. But despite all of that, in a way I still prefer BG1 for one reason: the immersiveness of the world, due to the inclusion of 'unimportant' zones across the world map. In case you haven't played either game, compare these two maps: In BG2, if you want to get to the Umar Hills, it's a single click from the Athkatla City Gates, and you're suddenly on the other side of the map. In BG1, after you leave Candlekeep you have to traverse two entire zones to get to the Friendly Arm Inn. Then you go South to Nashkel, which takes you across 4 zones. If you decide to do the Gnoll Stronghold side quest, you have to go across about 3 or 4 zones. All of which are 'insignificant' not only to the main storyline, but also to the large side-quests. Yet these unimportant in-between zones add so much to the immersion of the game. In that way, it's very similar to games like Fallout 3 or Skyrim. You can spend endless hours exploring the scenery and having random encounters, without ever progressing through the main story. And that, to me, is what makes a great, immersive RPG world. What do you guys think? Obviously every bit of content that goes into the game takes time (and money) to build, so there has to be a bit of a tradeoff. Would you rather see a fully populated world, with lots of inconsequential zones between the quests? Or would you rather that more time and effort went into major areas where the quests are actually carried out? And in case anyone from Obsidian is reading: what is your opinion on this? Do you guys have plans to create lots of in-between areas?
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