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NWN2 Interview


Xard

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Oh. My. God.

 

That was like, well, one of the best interviews ever. How many times we see Dev(s) criticizing their own product? And answering honestly without PR bullsh*t? (Volo, quiet there :aiee: )

 

Oh why oh why couldn't Sawyer be lead designer for this game from the very beginning...

 

Only things I disagree with his judging is camera (it's fine with me )

 

4. How would you evaluate the finished product? Any lessons learned there? What worked well, what worked ... uh, not so well? What was the game's biggest strength/weakness?

 

I think the game as released is a high 7, low 8 title. To be honest, the major issues are due to a lack of polish. There's certainly a lot of stuff in the game, but none of it really looks or feels great. At best, the controls and features feel good, at worst they feel terrible.

 

For example, the camera. Programming got the camera in and fixed a number of its glaring problems, but for all the various camera modes you could run in, it was hard to find one that felt good. The toolset is also an appropriate example: highly functional, very powerful, not enjoyable or fast to use for many tasks.

 

The biggest problems during development were an unrealistic scope and a lack of focus on quality/fun from the beginning. It's arguable that the former resulted in the latter. With D&D games, it's easy to become consumed by the idea of adding every feat, class, and race you can find in various books.

Edited by Xard

How can it be a no ob build. It has PROVEN effective. I dare you to show your builds and I will tear you apart in an arugment about how these builds will won them.

- OverPowered Godzilla (OPG)

 

 

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" How many times we see Dev(s) criticizing their own product? And answering honestly without PR bullsh*t?"

 

More often than you think.

 

Still, a good intevriew. And, i tend to agree with him on both the positives and negatives. Coolio beanio.

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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Well, it is something that you won't find Bethesda or Bioware do.

Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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Exactly. I've never heard BIO criticizing themselves like this.

 

With Bethesda it's impossibility

How can it be a no ob build. It has PROVEN effective. I dare you to show your builds and I will tear you apart in an arugment about how these builds will won them.

- OverPowered Godzilla (OPG)

 

 

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Only things I disagree with his judging is camera (it's fine with me )
Disagree here. He is right on with the assessment of the camera. Really hurts the immersion, if you continually have to mess with the camera to get the angle you want, this really hurts the appeal of the original game as well.
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"I've never heard BIO criticizing themselves like this."

 

Then you haven't paid attention then. *shrug*

 

P.S. There is also a huge difference between a company criticizing themsleves and an individual working for a company in a non professional interview months after said game was released.

 

 

R00fles!

Edited by Volourn

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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Proof once in a while would be nice

 

Basically only way I've seen them criticizing themselves are "In bioware we're trying to make every game better than previous one, so all teh flaws in previous game will be gone in this new

How can it be a no ob build. It has PROVEN effective. I dare you to show your builds and I will tear you apart in an arugment about how these builds will won them.

- OverPowered Godzilla (OPG)

 

 

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P.S. There is also a huge difference between a company criticizing themsleves and an individual working for a company in a non professional interview months after said game was released.

J.E Sawyer works for Obsidian Entertainment and he is talking about game designed by Obsidian Entertainment. And I certainly doubt Obsidian employee could do this kind of interview without acceptance of Feargus. It directly deals with them, non professional or not.

How can it be a no ob build. It has PROVEN effective. I dare you to show your builds and I will tear you apart in an arugment about how these builds will won them.

- OverPowered Godzilla (OPG)

 

 

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"I've never heard BIO criticizing themselves like this."

 

Then you haven't paid attention then. *shrug*

 

P.S. There is also a huge difference between a company criticizing themsleves and an individual working for a company in a non professional interview months after said game was released.

 

 

R00fles!

 

LINK PLEASE!

Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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It's refreshing to read an honest review.

 

I agree with Josh about the camera. The default mode is the only one I care for, but I find myself trying to see around obstacles all the time. I really miss Ultima IX's movement and camera system; I feel it is much better for an RPG than NWN2's system.

 

I always 'fix' the soldiers in the siege and squad combat scenerios by using the console to buff them somewhat. Without doing that, they fall as easily as a level 1 character, sort of like hirelings in pre-expansion Diablo 2. I might as well fight the seige alone for all the good they do.

 

Hopefully Josh has a sizeable influence over development of NWN2's expansion. It might end up being what the OC should have been (in my view).

Edited by Wistrik
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"J.E Sawyer works for Obsidian Entertainment and he is talking about game designed by Obsidian Entertainment. And I certainly doubt Obsidian employee could do this kind of interview without acceptance of Feargus. It directly deals with them, non professional or not."

 

Not one thing here refutes what you quoted.

 

As for links guys, come on. Do soem search. There have been mutliple occasions where BIO - or more specifically - a BIO employee has criticized a BIO game.

 

Ellester's example of Mr. Gaider is the best example since he's the one who posts the posts.

 

Another example is BIo's article of 'looking back at NWN1' that they made after NWN was released. In it was a number of things they felt could have been better.

 

Geez... people. Take the blinders off and just stop reading only things that prove what you already think you know to be truth.

 

It's one thing to have an already made hypothesis; but don't be ahsmed to actually research and prove yourself wrong for a change.

 

 

P.S. It is sad that the OP had ato make a solid interview by Mr. Sawyer with the Cool Dude Codex into a non subtle attack on both BIO and Obsidian who had nothing to do with it with some helpfulness from Sand, and co.

 

*shrug*

 

Go figure.

 

 

 

P.S.S. The interview itself was right on, though. Good stuff by Mr. S.

Edited by Volourn

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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I have never came across any comment on the Bioware forums from any Biowarian who gave their own work in any level of criticism.

Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

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I would have liked more of the positive aspects (because there are many) to be mentioned in this interview, although it's good to see that a Dev sees the truth behind all rants. Well, with new elven heads and the height/girth sliders one more point of critique (that Mr Sawyer didn't mention) is gone and a replay of the campaign is getting near :unsure:

Edited by samm

Citizen of a country with a racist, hypocritical majority

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"I have never came across any comment on the Bioware forums from any Biowarian who gave their own work in any level of criticism."

 

Likely due to you spending too much time ranting, bashing, being banned and not actually reading what others' post. BIO, specifixally Mr. Gaider, have criticized BIO games. They just don't do it as vehemtnly as you do so you pretend they don't.

 

 

On topic...

 

 

"I would have liked more of the positive aspects"

 

It's the Codex. Only negativity is allowed unless it's about Indy games or Troika. R00fles! Anyways, I found he hit most of the pertinent positives and negatives of the game.

Edited by Volourn

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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I like Josh, he tends to think the stuff he works on is far worse than most of the people who bought it does. Which just pushes him to do better next time.

 

And if you think its rare for a dev to criticize his games, you obviously haven't seen JE post very often. I don't think I've ever seen him post anything positive about any game he's worked on.

The area between the balls and the butt is a hotbed of terrorist activity.

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From the interview...

 

The biggest problems during development were an unrealistic scope and a lack of focus on quality/fun from the beginning. It's arguable that the former resulted in the latter. With D&D games, it's easy to become consumed by the idea of adding every feat, class, and race you can find in various books.

Just wanted to express my agreement with this quote. Well, perhaps not the "lack of focus on quality/fun" (that's for the devs to judge), but the general idea that these games are simply trying to do too damn much. I really think that, in terms of sheer number of classes, character abilities, character customization options, both NWN games aspire to MMO levels of scope, but just don't have the budget or development cycle to bring that vision to fruition. Moreover, NWN has to provide things that MMOs never have to worry about: a satisfying single player experience and the toolset, to name a couple. It's almost a hopeless battle from the get-go.

 

Also, this may not be entirely comparable, but I recall shortly after Oblivion's release, an ex-Bethesda writer/designer (was around for Morrowind and Tribunal) was quite openly critical of the game. I think lots of development studios have these sort of things going on, but you have to be a savvy fanboy to ever hear about it. I recall also a couple instances of Todd Howard (head Bethesda guy, I believe) acknowledging faults in Oblivion. Not exactly Josh's Straight-Talk Express style, but it was also not pure PR.

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I like Josh, he tends to think the stuff he works on is far worse than most of the people who bought it does. Which just pushes him to do better next time.

 

And if you think its rare for a dev to criticize his games, you obviously haven't seen JE post very often. I don't think I've ever seen him post anything positive about any game he's worked on.

Once, he said that IWD2's 3rd edition engine was well-constructed.

 

I've never seen him hump any of his games, and there was a time or two when I thought he really, like really, did not like NWN2, but on the other hand I don't think it's harsh to say that Josh hasn't yet made a game that's been all roses and worthy of nothing but high praise. I like NWN2 a lot, but I'm not going to say it couldn't have been better in a number of ways.

 

Besides, this is his job. He's not obligated to love it in any case.

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As always, a great interview from Josh.

 

Josh can be critical of his and the team's work, however, and as seen in the interview, he always offers positive constructive feedback with his criticisms. Being overly critical can be very counterproductive unless it's followed up with ideas of what went wrong and a plan of realistic ways of improving what's there.

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Anytime he criticizes a game, you just say "Let's see you make a better game, Josh." If he's anything like my immediate family, he'll shut right up. Then you can get on with your game of bookworm or whatever.

 

 

I <3 bookworm.

Edited by Pop
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I like Josh, he tends to think the stuff he works on is far worse than most of the people who bought it does. Which just pushes him to do better next time.

 

And if you think its rare for a dev to criticize his games, you obviously haven't seen JE post very often. I don't think I've ever seen him post anything positive about any game he's worked on.

 

Ah yes, I didn't think about his forum posts, only interviews ;)

 

"J.E Sawyer works for Obsidian Entertainment and he is talking about game designed by Obsidian Entertainment. And I certainly doubt Obsidian employee could do this kind of interview without acceptance of Feargus. It directly deals with them, non professional or not."

 

Not one thing here refutes what you quoted.

 

As for links guys, come on. Do soem search. There have been mutliple occasions where BIO - or more specifically - a BIO employee has criticized a BIO game.

 

Ellester's example of Mr. Gaider is the best example since he's the one who posts the posts.

 

Another example is BIo's article of 'looking back at NWN1' that they made after NWN was released. In it was a number of things they felt could have been better.

 

Geez... people. Take the blinders off and just stop reading only things that prove what you already think you know to be truth.

 

It's one thing to have an already made hypothesis; but don't be ahsmed to actually research and prove yourself wrong for a change.

 

 

P.S. It is sad that the OP had ato make a solid interview by Mr. Sawyer with the Cool Dude Codex into a non subtle attack on both BIO and Obsidian who had nothing to do with it with some helpfulness from Sand, and co.

 

*shrug*

 

Go figure.

 

 

 

P.S.S. The interview itself was right on, though. Good stuff by Mr. S.

 

"Not one thing here refutes what you quoted"

 

Eh? I believe that was non-professional interview, but doesn't change what I said. Besides, do you really think anyone would do this kind of interview immediately after game is published? That would be ridiculous. A: It could affect sales B: What's point talking about flaws not even nearly every consumer hadn't found out yet? After 6 months NWN2's clear faults are acknowledged better.

 

But it's still only 6 months after game was released. This is not post mortem where you can criticize your game very freely (hurts sales minimum by then) or some Warren Spector (all kudos for him, mind you). After all, Warren is criticizing games made by his previous, dead company. That doesn't compare. Same thing criticizing some BIS game.

 

Oh I can believe Bio has randomly criticized themselves in their forums since I'm not there that often, but I'm not counting forum posts. Heck, as Oerwinde said, JE has been critical to NWN2 many, many times in these boards.

 

I'm only counting interviews and such and I haven't encountered such from Bioware.

 

"P.S. It is sad that the OP had ato make a solid interview by Mr. Sawyer with the Cool Dude Codex into a non subtle attack on both BIO and Obsidian who had nothing to do with it with some helpfulness from Sand, and co."

 

What the hell are you talking about? I might've been little bit offensive with Bio, but subtle attack against Obsidian? :sorcerer:

Edited by Xard

How can it be a no ob build. It has PROVEN effective. I dare you to show your builds and I will tear you apart in an arugment about how these builds will won them.

- OverPowered Godzilla (OPG)

 

 

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'Of course, the framerate was also very low and that was a barrier to understanding other underlying problems (e.g. companion behavior). '

 

Probably my biggest problem with the game and I'm glad some of the devs actually realize this was an issue. I really hope they can upgrade the game's performance with more patches and/or expansion overhauls.

 

Even with all of the technical issues in NWN 2, I enjoyed the story and the characters. I do wish some of the characters were fleshed out a bit more and I'm hoping some of them will pop back up in the expansion.

 

I wasn't crazy about the original NWN 1, I didn't hate it either, but as the years went on and the patches/expansions/excellent user made mods came out I enjoyed the game more and more. I feel I'm going to have the same experience with NWN 2.

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