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Child of Flame

I must be in Bizarro World...

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[quote name='The AIM Game' date=' CGW February']CGW: Well, that was great. Chris Taylor, Creative Director of Gas Powered Games and the guy behind Dungeon Siege II just crashed my computer.

GasPoweredChris has entered the room

CGW: Hey, thanks for screwing up my computer, buddy.

GasPoweredChris: Sorry. I guess your machine couldn't handle my video stream. Hardly anyone can.

CGW: Maybe it was just a sign from god: "no pantsless video chats"

GasPoweredChris: God loves this stuff.

CGW: otherwise he never would've invented Internet porn.

GasPoweredChris: HA!!! Hey, promise me you'll take it easy. I'm an AIM virgin

CGW: Oh, please. Like I can do anything to offend you.

GasPoweredChris: I don't wanna say anything that will get me in trouble. The weird (if not ironic) thing is that I'll have to fire myself.

CGW: ah, you've had it coming for a while.

GasPoweredChris: true

GasPoweredChris: alright, so, did everything clear up okay?

CGW: you mean the rash? Oh, everything's fine

GasPoweredChris: man we're immature. (I meant your computer after the crash.)

CGW: isn't that kinda like a prerequisite for our jobs, though? (and yes, my PC feels much better.)

GasPoweredChris: it kind of is, but this business is starting to get serious now, and it's pulling me along with it.

CGW: I've been thinking that too lately. Do you think that it's getting too serious for its own good?

GasPoweredChris: i gave away my remote control helicopter

CGW: man! you shoulda called me before you gave away the copter!

GasPoweredChris: Well, that's a really tough one. some parts of it maybe, but on an organizational level, we need it

CGW: yeah, I suppose it was one big party for waaay too long. Now the "adults" are coming in and cleaning up the mess.

GasPoweredChris: yep

GasPoweredChris: (sorry, just couldn't come back with anything on that one)

CGW: hey, don't worry about keeping it G-rated. Do what you gotta do

GasPoweredChris: that crazy AIM icon of yours is distracting me. That tongue just keeps wagging and wagging

CGW: stop looking at the hypnotic tongue

GasPoweredChris: reminds me of a friend of mine

CGW: I don't want to know....unless she's single

GasPoweredChris: He's single

CGW: pass

GasPoweredChris: he's a friend, not a lover, heh heh. And you know me, I have lovers everywhere... you can't swing a dead cat. I hit one in my truck the other day, but it ran off the road... seemed to be fine. A cat, not a lover!

CGW: ha ha ha!

GasPoweredChris: my handle sucks doesn't it? You can tell me.

CGW: Yes. It does suck something fierce. But I always change the AIM names for the sake of the story

GasPoweredChris: Thanks can you change it to, "dump a load"?

CGW: Let me think about that one

CGW: hey, I always wondered why you didn't try to channel more of that twisted personality of yours into your games. It would either be the most deviant game on the planet or the best -- or both

GasPoweredChris: First, thanks, I appreciate that. And, well, good question. And maybe one day I will. The problem is that it'd only sell like one copy.

CGW: Even your mom wouldn't buy it?

GasPoweredChris: Well, two copies, sorry. My mom loves my twisted sense of humor

GasPoweredChris: she actually told me one of the sickest jokes I know. It's just not PC enough for this conversation. Ask me next time you see me.

CGW: ANYhow...let's talk all things Dungeons.

GasPoweredChris: Sure, lets. Minus the S&M connotations, that is

GasPoweredChris: Dungeons... hit me!

CGW: K, so first, let me ask what you guys have been thinking since the original DS. What did you like about it? What didn't you dig?

GasPoweredChris: we focused really heavily on creating the best tools and technology for an RPG, in hindsight, we went a little overboard.

CGW: Well, you're not hearing me complain. We still use DS as a benchmark for testing PCs here at CGW.

GasPoweredChris: Lots of stuff in DS1 worked. The areas we fell short were in the story telling department. And from every indication, the combat was too automated. I brought a lot of RTS "spin" to the genre, and we found that players really like a lot more complexity and interaction in the combat.

CGW: And you guys have said as much in demos of DS2. Let's talk about the story part first.

GasPoweredChris: I have not traditionally paid a lot of attention to this area, but I've done a complete 180. We've talked to players and they want a great story, that's what I'm hoping we can give 'em.

GasPoweredChris: We've had a lot of pros working on the script, and it's gone through about four major passes and rewrites. We have taken a lot more time with each NPC and have made the whole experience deeper. It's the best motivator for people to keep playing RPGs. Well, that, and all the cool loot.

CGW: Loot? Aren't you worried that these games can devolve into looting missions to look for more powerful gear?

GasPoweredChris: Yep! That's why we've completely replaced is the way we handle loot. That system is redesigned and engineered to scale across different sized parties and parties of varying composition. This will dramatically improve the likelihood of getting a more appropriate item.

CGW: So the contents of a small department store won't be in the belly of a Dire Wolf?

GasPoweredChris: Nope.

CGW: Got it. But you're refining combat? How is it different?

GasPoweredChris: Combat is much more involved, with more choices. But we also don't want to alienate the players who liked the way it worked in the first game. We've rebuilt the combat and AI system and have also replaced the scripting system entirely. We created a new system for managing the way monsters engage the player too, we call this the coach AI system

CGW: Is that how combat going to feel less "automated" than DS1?

GasPoweredChris: we have pushed more control back to the player and as a result is much more engaging and interactive. We have learned a lot this last 3 years about where to strike the balance in a good combat system. Basically, we don't want the player to wear their mouse buttons out, but we also don't want them sitting back feeling like they aren't engaged, so it's a fine line between these two extremes, and we feel we are much closer to that fine line now. The other challenge is to make the experience scale depending on how many characters the player has in the party, its a design challenge, to be sure!

CGW: How else are you tweaking the experience for people that didn't totally dig it the first time around?

GasPoweredChris: Well, we added a skill tree to each class, and then on top of that, we have added powers that unlock as the player develops each skill. So, when the player is engaged in combat, they not only make the moment to moment choices about who to fight next, they decide when to unload a huge power. (These powers may recharge over time or be experience-based: We're still experimenting with the best way to implement them).

CGW: You know, I got to give you credit. I really liked how you didn't lock people into choosing a character class in the original game. But you're adding a skill tree now. How does that factor in?

GasPoweredChris: Ok, here we go...

GasPoweredChris: Start using a melee weapon. It generates experience that is applied to that class. Meanwhile, you earn a skill point. Check out the skill tree and the first skill might require a certain amount of experience in melee before you can apply the point.

This means that you could earn skill points in one class and apply them to another, it give the player flexibility to explore lots of variations.

GasPoweredChris: Our designs revolve around giving players a lot of choices...and between the four class breakdowns I think that there are close to 80 skills (including the special powers).

CGW: How about your favorite skill, though?

GasPoweredChris: You know me, I like explosions, and we have a good example of a couple on our website (www.dungeonseige.com).

GasPoweredChris: I have yet to play through the whole game and really see which one plays the best. at this stage of development we are just getting the last few implemented into the game. Oh, and we're also reducing the max size of the party from eight to six. This really focuses the combat on fewer characters, and it makes the decisions more important.

CGW: ok, so you're trimming down on the number of members in your party and focusing a whole lot more on the NPC interactions. How will this all tie together? Will they shout at you in battle? Will they share snide comments throughout the game? Are there wrong conversation choices that'll impact your crew and how they react to you?

GasPoweredChris: We did have party characters saying things during combat, but we found that players were distracted (and sometimes annoyed) by this, so now we limit this type of stuff to the time between combat. We don't have these choices affect moral or anything like that.

CGW: Nothing wrong with cutting to the chase and dicing up the bad guys, I guess. Say, how many different NPCs are there out there to join you?

GasPoweredChris: There's a bunch of characters in the story, but between pets and random mercenaries it's hard to give a number.

CGW: Pets? Oh, right, beyond the pack mule from the original. I remember seeing those at E3 and thinking they were pretty cool.

GasPoweredChris: Yeah, Pets are one of my favorite brand new additions. It was something that really surprised me, because at first, it just seems like a cute idea, but it's much more.

CGW: How do they work?

GasPoweredChris: Well, the idea is that you buy a pet and then they join your party (and take up a regular slot like a normal party member). You feed them to make them grow bigger and more powerful but the kicker is, and this I think is the best part, is that you feed them all the loot that you don't want. Sometimes you feed them really cool loot, because that makes them grow the most

CGW: So, it's like a packmule melded with a Hungry, Hungry Hippo?

GasPoweredChris: Ha! Not quite. But it's definitely taken to the next level, and they are way cooler in almost every way. They can carry stuff, fight, and eat all the junk!

CGW: How many different pet "types" are there? And how varied can they grow?

GasPoweredChris: I believe we are at 8 but I think we expanded that to 10. When they grow, they grow larger in size, but they also take on the attributes of the stuff you feed them, or the best that we can approximate

GasPoweredChris: Each pet also develops special powers as well

GasPoweredChris: pets should be a lot of fun to explore

GasPoweredChris: Darren, bit of a challenge here, my two yr. old just jumped on my lap and my wife left...

CGW: have him answer some of the questions then

GasPoweredChris: oh sure!

CGW: and I promise, no porn links while he's in the room

GasPoweredChris: much appreciated

CGW: hey can you go into any detail describing the types of pets? Will they be dragons? trolls? what exactly will these critters be?

GasPoweredChris: Sure, you may remember the Fire Elemental from E3, he's (I assume it's a he) very different than what someone would expect for a traditional pet. There's the Dire Wolf, the original Pack Mule...I don't think I can talk about the others yet.

CGW: Hang tight Chris, clumsy segue coming 'atcha...I'd been meaning to ask: a big deal about the first game, on the tech front, what that you had this huge world with little/no load time. Is the new game that much bigger?

GasPoweredChris: (Whoa! That was clumsy ;-)) Oh, yeah. DS2 is much bigger. We don't know if we're on 3 or 4 CD's at this point, but the decision to ship on a DVD is the publishers, but it's very likely that it could

GasPoweredChris: The first game, as you said earlier, was a big focus on the technology. What's happening with the engine for the sequel? Is that getting a major overhaul as well at this point? We have made a huge number of changes to the engine. As much as people think we are using the same engine as DS1, that's not entirely accurate. We have completely replaced the special effects system, and as part of that, now fully support 2.0 shaders.

And then of course there is the look of the world, which has been taken to the next level, with higher resolution textures, models, animations, and overall world detail. It's crazy how far we are pushing this part of the game.

CGW: When is the game looking to ship at this rate, anyhow?

GasPoweredChris: we are very seriously targeting spring of '05. it really does look good for that target right now. naturally we don't want to stand too hard on exact dates, as this is a tricky thing to predict.

CGW: Gotcha. Hey, getting a little off-topic for a second, But I know that you must be missing your RTS roots since Total Annihilation...

GasPoweredChris: Well, earlier this year there was an announcement that we started working with EA on a new RTS game.

CGW: yeah, that is a long ways off, though, right?

GasPoweredChris: we haven't talked about it much beyond the fact that it's an RTS game, but you can probably guess which direction we are going to go in. Time flies, and though these games do take several years to make, we are almost a year into development.

CGW: I know that you're a huge World War II buff, that mean the inevitable revisiting of famous battles is coming next?

GasPoweredChris: You are right to guess that, and one day, I would like to do a WWII RTS, but with the huge gamut of WWII games hitting the market, it would just be weird to jump into that fray.

CGW: Yep. Makes total sense. Cough! Cough! Total Annihilation 2! Cough! Cough!

GasPoweredChris: No comment

CGW: C'mon. You can tell me...

GasPoweredChris: Not according to EA's legal department...

CGW: Fair enough. actually, you know what, I feel bad that I'm holdin you up -- knowing that you're literally juggling work and your kid.

GasPoweredChris: Hey, thanks again. This was fun. So, umm, I just hang this thing up now, eh? Seems rude. I'm a face to face kind of guy. I like to end with a handshake, a hug, a kiss, a little pillow talk, maybe?

CGW: Umm, maybe some other time, Chris. [awkward silence].

GasPoweredChris signed off at 11:53:19 AM.

CGW: Ha ha ha![/quote]



You know, the only thing that made the original so unbearable was the lack of a story, and the automated combat. Some of you don't like mana systems, I have nothing against them. I loved the engine's tech in the first one. If they've focused on the story as much as Mr. Taylor's saying they did, could it actually be...good?

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not bloody likely.

DISCLAIMER: Do not take what I write seriously unless it is clearly and in no uncertain terms, declared by me to be meant in a serious and non-humoristic manner. If there is no clear indication, asume the post is written in jest. This notification is meant very seriously and its purpouse is to avoid misunderstandings and the consequences thereof. Furthermore; I can not be held accountable for anything I write on these forums since the idea of taking serious responsability for my unserious actions, is an oxymoron in itself.

 

Important: as the following sentence contains many naughty words I warn you not to read it under any circumstances; botty, knickers, wee, erogenous zone, psychiatrist, clitoris, stockings, bosom, poetry reading, dentist, fellatio and the department of agriculture.

 

"I suppose outright stupidity and complete lack of taste could also be considered points of view. "

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Well the first one did exactly what it set out to do which is pretty rare. Whether or not people liked that, not as important as if the second one manages the same feat.

The first DS was designed to be played by anyone. No previous experience required. Which was certainly true.


Have to wait and see whether or not this one meets it's goals.

I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.

478327[/snapback]

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I loved the technology of the first Dungeon Siege! I mean, no loading times and streaming maps could mean you've got a fantastic world to explore, limited only by the imagination of the designers and space on the DVD's. Unfortunately, they forgot to add a game to the impressive technology. When you can win all fights in the game by pressing four buttons (fight long distance, fight melee, drink health potions, drink mana potions) and the maps are shaped like one long corridor (except the swamp level), you know something is horribly wrong.

The graphics were good though.

Swedes, go to: Spel2, for the latest game reviews in swedish!

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"Well the first one did exactly what it set out to do which is pretty rare."

False. They promised a good RPG with a solid story and good combat. They didn't deliver.

Anyone who thinks that somehow DS2 is gonna be much better or different are foolin' themslves. DS made money (though unlike the MW and NWN expansions; its expansion bombed).

DS2 is gonna be crap. Not gonna touch it with a 200' pole except maybe when it becomes a $10 bargain bin piece of poo and even then..


"The graphics were good though."

Yes, this is true. :cool:

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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[quote name='Volourn' date='Jan 21 2005, 06:57 AM']False. They promised a good RPG with a solid story and good combat. They didn't deliver.

[right][post="256134"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post][/right][/quote]

That was never what was promised. DS set out with the goal of doing away with the stats and complication of RPGS and being something that anyone could play and understand. Which is succeeded at.

What people may have wanted it to be isnt relevent.

I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.

478327[/snapback]

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"That was never what was promised. DS set out with the goal of doing away with the stats and complication of RPGS and being something that anyone could play and understand. Which is succeeded at."

Wwrong. They promised that. Unless you are saying they promised poor combat and an awful story?

Sure, they did say they were gonna 'simplify' things; but they never said they were gonna make a crappy story or easy combat. Simple, and easy are two vastly different things.

R00fles!

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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[quote name='Volourn' date='Jan 21 2005, 07:07 AM']Wwrong. They promised that. Unless you are saying they promised poor combat and an awful story?

Sure, they did say they were gonna 'simplify' things; but they never said they were gonna make a crappy story or easy combat. Simple, and easy are two vastly different things.

R00fles!
[right][post="256140"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post][/right][/quote]


No they didnt. They didnt promise it or not promise it. The combat like they said is there for people who have never played an RPG before anyone can complete DS no RPG experience required. That dosnt make it crap that makes it successful at what it set out to do.

Anyone with a braincell would know that a game made for RPG newbies would be about as a deep as a puddle.
Perhaps thats why I enjoyed it It because I had no illusions beyond what they said the goals of the game where. Not having to do anything gave you more time to enjoy the views. :p

I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.

478327[/snapback]

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[quote name='Volourn' date='Jan 21 2005, 07:21 AM']"They didnt promise it or not promise it."

Yes, they did. I know, because people asked the Big Cahoona directly if the story would be good. He said yes. That, last I checked, could be considered a 'promise'.

You lose.
[right][post="256145"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post][/right][/quote]

Thats not a promise or a mission goal, thats just you twisting words.

that you have to "" the word promise is testament to that.

The only loser here is you.

I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.

478327[/snapback]

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[quote name='Volourn' date='Jan 21 2005, 03:21 PM']"They didnt promise it or not promise it."

Yes, they did. I know, because people asked the Big Cahoona directly if the story would be good. He said yes. That, last I checked, could be considered a 'promise'.

You lose.
[right][post="256145"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post][/right][/quote]

It would be pretty funny if a developer came out before releasing a title to say that some part of the game outright sucked. :D

"My hovercraft is full of eels!" - Hungarian tourist
I am Dan Quayle of the Romans.
I want to tattoo a map of the Netherlands on my nether lands.
Heja Sverige!!
Everyone should cuffawkle more.
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"It would be pretty funny if a developer came out before releasing a title to say that some part of the game outright sucked."

Yes, yes it would.

SP, he said the story would be good. It wans't. That sounds like a broken promise to me. You lose. Only one twisting words is you when you make up things about what DS' creators said it would or would not offer.

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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[quote name='Volourn' date='Jan 21 2005, 07:41 AM']SP, he said the story would be good. It wans't. That sounds like a broken promise to me. You lose. Only one twisting words is you when you make up things about what DS' creators said it would or would not offer.
[right][post="256154"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post][/right][/quote]

Maybe he thought it was good. Just because you dont happen to share that view dosnt make it wrong in this case. it's entirely subjective.

The important things are.

Was DS a game anyone could play - very much so.
Did it do away with the stats typical of RPGs - yes.

Therefore it met its mission goals. It was never a mission goal to write the best RPG story ever. Now if DS 2 meets it's mission goals well it may be something that more experienced RPG players will enjoy too.

I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.

478327[/snapback]

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[quote name='Volourn' date='Jan 21 2005, 06:57 AM']DS made money (though unlike the MW and NWN expansions; its expansion bombed).

[right][post="256134"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post][/right][/quote]
DS sold over a million copies. An amazing amount. But, the game did drop out of existence after only a few months.

About the expansion. I think that was a poor marketing decision (although I haven

Life is like a clam. Years of filtering crap then some bastard cracks you open and scrapes you into its damned mouth, end of story.

- Steven Erikson

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A million copies eh? That's rather unbelivable. Did MS offer some of their more useful software with the game to offset the "screen saverness"of the game, as Hades put it, ? >_<

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"Maybe he thought it was good. Just because you dont happen to share that view dosnt make it wrong in this case. it's entirely subjective."

Checkmate. I win. You lose. Game over.


"The expansion came out a year after it

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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[quote name='Percival' date='Jan 21 2005, 11:58 AM']A million copies eh? That's rather unbelivable. Did MS offer some of their more useful software with the game to offset the "screen saverness"of the game, as Hades put it, ?  >_<
[right][post="256232"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post][/right][/quote]
Honestly I think it was hype. The game was hyped up as much as NWN was. It was a highly anticipated title. PCGamer I'm pretty sure game the game a score of above 90%. The game sold on hype and graphics. And after the buzz wore off no one touched it again, but not before it made a crapload of cash.

Honestly I can

Life is like a clam. Years of filtering crap then some bastard cracks you open and scrapes you into its damned mouth, end of story.

- Steven Erikson

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Yup, i agree.

That's why NWN and even MW were able to push out successful expansions. Because, people (mostly) liked what they saw. The same can't be said for DS. And, I'll say that about MW even though I personally abhore it.

Maybe DS2 will be good; but I have my doubts. A sequel to a bad game is almsot destined to be one too.


"Just giving a possible reason, that

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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The only thing DS1 had going for it were the graphics, which is not saying much... But have you seen the graphics of DS2? They're terrible! This game has got nothing going for it! Unless they have a really super deep plot that's capable of captivating players till the end, which I highly doubt.

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The pets sound neat. I'll probably be getting a it...a couple weeks after it hits and I've heard some player feedback. I know Di~ said she's getting it, mayhaps I'll have to walk down the road and borrow her copy.

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