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Taipei, Taiwan


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I'm really looking forward for this game. I have read in magazines that in Alpha Protocol the player will traverse through cities like Moscow and Taipei. I grew up in Taipei, which means that I know the city like the back of my hand. I really hope Obsidian won't just make it into another stereotypical Asian city, because Taipei is NOTHING like that. I've seen some footage where they show gameplay sequence in Taipei and I tell you, it looks nothing like it. Taipei is a really modern city a lot like Tokyo. Maybe other sections of the game would show it. I sincerely hope that there's more than just that Asian garden that's been showed to the public. Obsidian better did their research, if they get this right, Alpha Protocol would be the first western made game to get an Asian locale right. I think that would be a HUGE plus to the game.

 

Here's some pictures of what Taipei is Actually like.

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Yeah...it would suck if they showed Tapei as being technologically backwards when it has skyscrapers and everything. I see your point. You got my support dude. Here's hoping they show the city properly.

Edited by Revolverhawk
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Given the limitations of their engine it seems as though they won't be showing Taipei as busy as it is.
Well, they were able to make a very busy Mardi Gras parade for Blood Money, so... why not?

- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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I really hope Obsidian won't just make it into another stereotypical Asian city, because Taipei is NOTHING like that.

Agreed. I lived in Taipei for a few years and I must say it looks nothing like what I saw in the developer diary. That was just generic Asian city. It's not important that they model real world locations in Taipei, but the area must at least feel like Taipei. This doesn't bode well for the other locations in the game. They should really study what Rockstar has done with the GTA series. The days of just making a city with pagodas and calling it Tokyo, Shanghai, Taipei etc are over. I hope Obsidian understands that.

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Well I know "hordes" were something they only just implemented in UE3 for Gears of War 2. Obsidz could probably work up something similar but it seems like a lot of trouble to go through.

 

From MCA's presentation it's apparent that some sort of crowd system will be implemented (Thorton has to prevent an assassination during a political rally or somesuch) whether that involves Mike in the middle of a huge crowd (harder to program) or observing from a distance (easier) I don't know.

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Great pictures, RevolverXT!

...was thinking the same thing :)

“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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/lurking

 

I third the compliment on pictures. Did you take them yourself.

 

I'd also point out that getting even US cities or European cities right is a deficiency in many games. I'm sure the transgression is worse for Asian cities, but they're not singled out on purpose. I lived in South Korea for about a year and a half, and the differences between even South Korea and Japan are striking. Not all Asian cities look the same and even different cities within the same country often have a distinctive feel to them. That's not just true in Asia. It's also true in the United States.

 

The reason I've gone on a bit is that I've been more active in the Fallout: New Vegas threads and I'm worried about the same thing with Las Vegas and the larger Vegas area. I was born and raised in Las Vegas, and I hope they don't just have a generic city-scape with empty desert surrounding it.

 

I have hope since Bethesda did manage to get in a variety of locations in DC and I think Obsidian has the talent to surpass Bethsoft. Still, I understand exactly how you feel. I'm right there hoping they get it right. I plan on buying the game, so I'll get to see if the landscape matches any of the wonderful pictures you posted. However, if Pop is right about the exact locations in the city, then it seems like there won't be much chance to get the 'Taipei flavor.' :)

 

BTW: My wife lived on Taiwan as a child from '66-68. She still has fond memories of her nanny.

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Unfortunatly I think it might be impossible for them to model a city totally on with the look and feel of the cities. My guess is that instead they're just aiming for each city to feel distinct from one another and kinda pulled a city name out of a hat on each continent. But it'd probably be pretty hard to make an eastern european slum, an american slum, and each of the 15 types of asian slums feel different from one another in any way possible.

 

While I'd totally agree with you that they should be more faithful in a SANDBOX game, from what I've heard this is going to be more "a tiny slice" of each city. And it'd be really hard to give the full effect/feel of a city in a few blocks worth of city. Do cities feel differently? yes, New York feels differently than LA because NY is mostly known for it's towering skyscrapers and grid system, while LA has a few tall buildings but feels more made up of lower areas because it could sprawl out instead of build up.

 

However, I think if you took tokyo and NYC and switched their signs you'd find they feel very similar due to their structure. People add difference but for me, the feel of each city I've been in is defined by how it's built, rather than anything really within.

Victor of the 5 year fan fic competition!

 

Kevin Butler will awesome your face off.

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Given the limitations of their engine it seems as though they won't be showing Taipei as busy as it is.
Well, they were able to make a very busy Mardi Gras parade for Blood Money, so... why not?

 

 

That was deliciously well done. I like the corners that they cut to show it off, because they're pretty transparent when playing the game.

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Yeah, Korea...such a civilised place. In fact, North Korea threatens their southern borthers with a nuke strike on a daily basis. Must be a great place to live in!

But the southeners are busy beating outlandish gamers in just about everything that has multiplayer in it, so I think they don't care. Or were that the northeners?

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@'Calax

Impossible? Hardly. It's been done so well in games like Max Payne (New York), JSRF (Tokyo) and Half-Life 2 (old European towns). Getting the feel of a city right in a game has nothing to do with the style of the game and everything to do with the talent creating it. Having played Kotor 2 and seeing that Obsidian had difficulty capturing the feel of the Star Wars universe the way Bioware had, I wonder whether they are up to the task of capturing the real world in Alpha Protocol.

 

Also, there is a lot in common between New York and Tokyo but their layouts are quite different and they definitely do not feel the same.

Edited by Nigel
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@'Calax

Impossible? Hardly. It's been done so well in games like Max Payne (New York), JSRF (Tokyo) and Half-Life 2 (old European towns). Getting the feel of a city right in a game has nothing to do with the style of the game and everything to do with the talent creating it. Having played Kotor 2 and seeing that Obsidian had difficulty capturing the feel of the Star Wars universe the way Bioware had, I wonder whether they are up to the task of capturing the real world in Alpha Protocol.

 

Also, there is a lot in common between New York and Tokyo but their layouts are quite different and they definitely do not feel the same.

Please notice that the games you metioned all took place almost exclusively in the towns. They had a lot of time and space to develop each towns feel and build upon it, because the play would be scruitnizing it more. from what I understand about AP you'll be finding yourself in MANY cities. Each with a different feel, style, and personality. To fully convey each in any terms other than "generic asian/european/american east/american west" feels would probably cause the amount of time on production to rise quite significantly because of the extra research they have to put in to figure out each and every single city.

Victor of the 5 year fan fic competition!

 

Kevin Butler will awesome your face off.

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In that case, maybe a skyline skybox picture of Taipei would suffice? Like the New York skybox picture in the first level in Deus Ex!

Edited by mkreku

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I smell alts.

Notice how I can belittle your beliefs without calling you names. It's a useful skill to have particularly where you aren't allowed to call people names. It's a mistake to get too drawn in/worked up. I mean it's not life or death, it's just two guys posting their thoughts on a message board. If it were personal or face to face all the usual restraints would be in place, and we would never have reached this place in the first place. Try to remember that.
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I know this isn't a sandbox game. Even so, small alley ways in each city has a certain feel to them. What they need to do is pay attention to the little nuances. Things such as the blue fluorescent street lights, the water marks on the side of the building due to the acid rain in Taipei , street sign that are in proper mandarin, the song that are always played by the garbage truck when it comes to pick up trash ( IF obsidian put this specific detail in it they would nail 50%, those of you who have been to Taiwan would know exactly what I'm talking about.) Little things could really make a city feel right. I think the Mardi gras level in blood money is a great example, I think IO interactive does some of the best job in giving the level the right personality.

 

As far as the Asian mansion thing, yeah.............no one rich in Taiwan lives in an "Asian" Mansion. It is either a western style mansion, or a pent house in a high rise apartment.

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Having played Kotor 2 and seeing that Obsidian had difficulty capturing the feel of the Star Wars universe the way Bioware had, I wonder whether they are up to the task of capturing the real world in Alpha Protocol.

Uh... "capturing the feel" wasn't the point. The level design frequently reflects the themes of the game.

This particularly rapid, unintelligible patter isn't generally heard, and if it is, it doesn't matter.

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I personally thought that KotOR was a more finished product, but I prefered the atmosphere of KotOR 2. ...And the feel of a particular setting is not nearly as important as what the design team does with the story. Anyhow, terms like 'feel' and 'atmosphere' are nebulous at best.

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