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Alpha Protocol on GTTV next Friday


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One thing that always makes me wonder is the resistance to go outside of the Unreal technology and look at the alternatives. I realize that the Unreal technology is amazing and has a great pipeline for everything from artwork to animations to game engine modifications. But despite a LOT of games using the technology, I can't think of one truly amazing game using Unreal Engine 3. At least not amazing on a technical level.

 

A lot of people think Bioshock (for example) is amazing, but when you think about the technical bits, it's not such a stand-out. Small levels, non-destructible environments, very little player-environment interaction. It's a pretty standard shooter with excellent art design.

 

Same with Gears of War/Gears of War 2: fantastic graphical effects, great artwork, great action.. but again small set-pieces of levels, very restricted destructible environments (mostly caused by scripts and not direct player interaction) etc. Great games but not ground breaking.

 

Technology that amazes me is of the Cry Engine 2 or DUNIA Engine sort. Cry Engine 2 is of course extremely demanding on your hardware and I have no idea how modifiable the game engine is. Would it be possible to use it in anything but a shooter within a reasonable amount of time/funds? It's also hampered by not being console compatible.

 

DUNIA Engine (used in Far Cry 2) is incredibly slick, works on both Xbox 360 and PS3, but I don't know if it's available for sale at all. But both Cry Engine 2 and DUNIA Engine support seamless streaming maps (huuuge maps), very realistic physics, destructible environments, day-and-night cycles and vehicles among other things. It just seems like both engines would be great alternatives to look at when shopping for a third party game engine.

 

Anyhow, it would be nice to hear from a developer some of the reasoning behind the decision to go with Unreal Engine 3. What factored into the decision? Is it because it's basically an industry standard by now, making it the safe choice? Is it really so much better than the competition? Is it cheaper? Does it have better support (the Too Human crew seems to disagree..)? Is Cry Engine 2 entirely written in German with little swastikas hidden everywhere in the code..? Feel free to chime in.

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The Assassin's Creed engine is gorgeous.

"Alright, I've been thinking. When life gives you lemons, don't make lemonade - make life take the lemons back! Get mad! I don't want your damn lemons, what am I supposed to do with these? Demand to see life's manager. Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons. Do you know who I am? I'm the man who's gonna burn your house down! With the lemons. I'm going to to get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that burns your house down!"

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Just saw the special footage of AP on GTTV. I gotta say AP looks pretty good. However, I did seem to notice one little issue that has the potential to be a deal breaker for me. Around 6:49-6:52 I noticed that while our hero was using CQC on a bad guy, the bad guy was still firing his gun. Anyone else see the potential for issues with this? Even if the motion capture studio is closed and they don't want to shell out the cash for that little extra feature that really gives players that spy action feeling (Bower, Bourne, and Bond have all used disarms BTW) can't they at least make it so that the bad guys don't fire their guns while you punch em? It is bad enough that CQC will be all but useless when encountering multiple enemies (as far as I have seen) but at the very least make it so that the guy you are beating on can't fire his freakin gun! FYI I am a huge proponent of giving players a disarm ability/feature in any action game involving CQC. I mean its only an extra 10 or so motion capture animations (depending on how you want to do it). All you have to do is make your takedown button or the held "attack" button default to a disarm if you do it on an armed enemy. Anyway, thats just my two cents.

 

Yeah, the point is approaching dead horse status on these forums. My guess is that Obs' mind is made up already, but it doesn't hurt to keep mentioning it.

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@mkreku

I'm not arguing against looking at other engines, but how would streaming huge maps help Alpha Protocol? It doesn't seem like that kind of game, or like it ever could have been.

 

Or were those examples just there to try and get the devs talking?

 

@topic

I really liked what I saw and if the gameplay is like they describe it then I think I'm going to "buy it day one".

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Yeah, the point is approaching dead horse status on these forums. My guess is that Obs' mind is made up already, but it doesn't hurt to keep mentioning it.

 

Yes, much of that horse was personally bludgeoned by myself. What can I say? Its one of those little features that really give me that kick ass super agent feeling. Ever since the first Dead to Rights came out I've been pretty picky about the modern day 3rd person action games I buy. Anyway, my hope is that a dev might pitch the idea at a design meeting or something. As you said, it doesn't hurt to keep mentioning it. You never know.

Edited by Fearless_Jedi

"Some people are always trying to iceskate uphill."

Blade(Wesley Snipes) from the movie Blade.

Edited for content

 

"The first human who hurled an insult instead of a stone was the founder of civilization." - Sigmund Freud

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Sorry for essentially repeating my post, but I felt this issue is of great concern. I noticed that all the assault rifles in the game were missing their magazines. Is this only a temporary thing or will everyone in the game be firing omni-chambered magical bullets? And also the hand-to-hand combat looks extremely repetitive... I saw the same attack used multiple times on the same guy (but I guess that's understandable), but there was only 1 takedown animation that was used at least 4 times throughout the video. Are there more takedowns or is it just the one that we saw?

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Sorry for essentially repeating my post, but I felt this issue is of great concern. I noticed that all the assault rifles in the game were missing their magazines. Is this only a temporary thing or will everyone in the game be firing omni-chambered magical bullets? And also the hand-to-hand combat looks extremely repetitive... I saw the same attack used multiple times on the same guy (but I guess that's understandable), but there was only 1 takedown animation that was used at least 4 times throughout the video. Are there more takedowns or is it just the one that we saw?

 

Those were the same video clips reused.

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And take downs with that curvey knife.

 

But seriously, is there a need to use several take down kill animations? I believe a brief take down down animation like Splinter Cell works well enough in comparison to Tenchu's several take down animations based on directions.

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I can't remember which season it was... 5 or 6 I think, but I recall Jack Bauer hiding just below a patrolling terrorist outside of a warehouse where Jack trips the terrorist onto his back and snaps his neck. The whole thing took about 2 seconds from the tripping to the kill and was far too sudden for the terrorist to yell out. Would be great to see this in AP.

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Stiff lip-synching mouth movements must be corrected. The more times I watch AP episode of GTTV, the more I get to hate facial animations. They should be more natural and fluid.

Edited by funcroc
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Aghhh. After several failed downloads I only got the first 3 minutes 30 and it cut off a little into the gameplay trailer!!

 

It's really the first time seeing it in action and in motion, the game has a Thief 3 feel for me. Like, I dont' know the technical stuff, but I always liked how everything (the characters especially) had this weird 'leathery' look. Not the most realistic but I thought it was really appealing and I'm glad to see AP do it. The faces look pretty stiff in that "You are operating under AP" bit, but I like Thorton's voice as well. I also noticed the frame-drop in that conversation with the big TV screen.

 

Ok, let's see if it downloads thist ime.

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Well a day after the promo several threads about AP have popped up... seems around 2/3 of people dislike it because of graphics, or don't care because of gameplay. And a few 15 year old feel insulted by the 15 year old references that are constantly been thrown around by the likes of Chris and Parker.

 

Is it true that any publicity is good publicity? And will there be a follow up to sell the game?

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Well a day after the promo several threads about AP have popped up... seems around 2/3 of people dislike it because of graphics, or don't care because of gameplay. And a 15 year olds feel insulted by the 15 year old references that are constantly been thrown around by the likes of Chris and Parker.

 

Is it true that any publicity is good publicity? And will there be a follow up to sell the game?

 

Still waiting for confirmation from a dev or funcroc.

Edited by lollers
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Obsidian has massive task to reach Splinter Cell (especially first and third one) quality in combat. Splinter Cell used Unreal engines too but only Ubisoft Montreal managed to make most of it. Part two and four were made by different Ubisoft team and it showed in lack of quality right away.

 

I like the Mass Effect influences in skill selection and in dialogue options. Characters still need more non-verbal communication animations (Mass Effect was great in these and Fallout 3 was just about non-existant) and general polishing in animations. Actual graphics (in terms of polygon count, texture resolution or fancy shader effecst) havent mattered in long time and Alpha Protocal certainly look more then good enough. Animation and Art Direction are much more important.

 

Jacques Bauer type of morally ambiguous character will be a lot of fun to play :)

Let's play Alpha Protocol

My misadventures on youtube.

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Delayed to fall? I wouldn't mind personally, the more time Obsidian gets to polish their work, all the better for all.

 

Of course, this also means Obsidian should nudge Sega to step up on its marketing publicity for Alpha Protocol otherwise it'll be overlooked during Christmas.

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Well a day after the promo several threads about AP have popped up... seems around 2/3 of people dislike it because of graphics, or don't care because of gameplay. And a 15 year olds feel insulted by the 15 year old references that are constantly been thrown around by the likes of Chris and Parker.

 

Is it true that any publicity is good publicity? And will there be a follow up to sell the game?

 

Still waiting for confirmation from a dev or funcroc.

If the game is 'M' rated, it is not aimed at the 15 year olds anyway. I think they are aiming for a different group of people.

“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

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The graphics and animations need a good bit of polishing, but other than that it looks great, IMO. Though multiple takedowns would be nice.

"The universe is a yawning chasm, filled with emptiness and the puerile meanderings of sentience..." - Ulyaoth

 

"It is all that is left unsaid upon which tragedies are built." - Kreia

 

"I thought this forum was for Speculation & Discussion, not Speculation & Calling People Trolls." - lord of flies

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Its got great movement animations I thought. The fluidity in taking cover, switching weapon from left to right arm, the swat turn from cover to cover and the vaulting over walls all in one smooth motion. Heck, there's even climbing, dropping down from ladder and shift into a tumbling animation. The combat animation looks great as well.

 

The only problem with animations now are simply the dialogue presentation which comes across stiff looking and firing animations looking somewhat jittery. The physics of the enemy getting blown away by a shotgun is too extreme and rather by relying on ragdoll animation, if possible they ought to use Euphoria animation to blend in a death animation.

 

For the graphics department, J.E mentioned that it is the issue of being recorded with compressed video that turns out ugly, and even possibly a low frame rate problem(Need a dev for confirmation and explain for the latter's situation however). So for now its safe to presume that the graphics quality department would remain the same as 2008 E3's screenshots which is leagues far better looking than the video footage.

 

Flash back to one year before thread of first screenies: http://forums.obsidian.net/index.php?showtopic=50204

Edited by Zoma
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