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Feargus Urquhart Gamebanshee interview

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I found it amusing that he's blaming AP's bad reviews on the reviewers.


To be honest, in a sense he's right.

A lot of reviewer just went 'this sucks, lulz, endquote' without context and without explaining the various RPG systems and the branching narrative.

Granted, there are a lot of flaws in the game and I don't think reviews are unjustified, but he has a (sort of a ) point.

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He makes an interesting point about it, though, one for which the reviewers are to blame.


For example, some reviewers dismissed minigames as terrible, without even trying the in-game methods - which were explained in the graybox tutorial - of bypassing them. So instead of saying, "yeah the minigame is a pain in the ass, but you can get around it by using an EMP," the reviewer leaves it at, "yeah the minigames are a pain in the ass," and that's all people will read.


EDIT: Tped this in reply to Wrath of Dagon. Watching the Jays/Yanks game at the same time.

Edited by mr insomniac

I took this job because I thought you were just a legend. Just a story. A story to scare little kids. But you're the real deal. The demon who dares to challenge God.

So what the hell do you want? Don't seem to me like you're out to make this stinkin' world a better place. Why you gotta kill all my men? Why you gotta kill me?

Nothing personal. It's just revenge.

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If minigames were meant to be bypassed, why have them in the first place? Reviewers evaluate the entire game, not just the required parts. The tutorial showed you throwing an EMP at a lock, it didn't mention anything about disabling any minigame with EMP if you have one point in sabotage. Besides, just using EMP's you miss a hell of a lot of loot, and have to fill almost all the inventory slots with EMP's, of course the minigames are a huge pain.


As far as pointing out all the cool RPG stuff, a lot of reviewers mentioned that the bad gameplay ruined the rest of the game for them, even if it had some merit. I personally don't agree the gameplay is bad, but there's no accounting for taste. Even Gamebanshee's own review was quite harsh on the gameplay.


Edit: His justification for having mini-games is really funny too, "all modern games have them". It doesn't matter almost everyone hates them.

Edited by Wrath of Dagon

"Moral indignation is a standard strategy for endowing the idiot with dignity." Marshall McLuhan

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I like how he talks about the Infinity Engine games. Thanks to us modders its still alive and well. Too bad the D&D license is in dispute, it would be great if they did another IE game or even a BG3 or IWD3 using current technology.

War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength

Baldur's Gate modding
Baldur's Gate modder/community leader
Baldur's Gate - Enhanced Edition beta tester
Baldur's Gate 2 - Enhanced Edition beta tester

Icewind Dale - Enhanced Edition beta tester

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Simply put, probably, Obsidian don't seem to have enough experience and resources to make an action RPG hybrid game. Also, there seems to be a huge gap between what potential players expected and the design philosophy of Obsidian earned in 90's CRPG development and they couldn't fill the gap either making it action gamer friendly and/or building a learning curve for non-RPGamers*.


Disagreeing of what Chris Avellone said in his interview, I don't think Obsidian need to compete with well-known action gamer format. It's definitely suicidal for Obsidian. Rather, I agree with Feargus and J.E. Sawyer here: They have to study action games to find out which factors can be done with their resources. The resulted game may end up without some beefs such as cover system or special arrows but the game-play should feel complete in its own format. Analyzing/studying the key factors of modern games would be a good start point for thinking of what they can add these factors with their original content and game-play advancement system. This will prevent their games from ending up with a chimera which confuses the players and help to make a hybrid game with much clearer vision.


Now I, maybe, began to understand why Feargus meant by the combination of Chris Avellone and J.E. Sawyer is good. J.E. Sawyer is not only capable of making underlying systems such as reputation system but also of checking Avellone's back, too. Just different types of creativity complement each other. In the same context, the combination of Chapman and Zeits is also interesting.


That said, with or without flash, if Obsidian find a hope in penetrating into portable/multi-platform market, then, they don't need to care about modern console market, though. Either way, I will be interested in their works as long as they stick to character/story development...hopefully with coherent game-play experience.


* cf the Irrational Interview@34:50 Also, continue to listen to the end to ask yourself what's the significant differences between them and Obsidian designers.

Personally, I don't see any fundamental difference. They even admit their arrogance but they are cunning enough to lure/train the players to their games.


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I found it amusing that he's blaming AP's bad reviews on the reviewers.


I thought he blamed those 2/10 kind of reviews, but if he blamed every low score review then it would be amusing in kinda sad way.

This post is not to be enjoyed, discussed, or referenced on company time.

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Question : when he talks about a private, internal product, does he mean another project made completely by Obsidian with no publisher, or is he talking about a tool that's specifically made for the people at Obsidian? I think I misunderstood this one...

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When Obsidian's core technology group was developing Onyx engine, they didn't think of CTG as a separate project team.




I'm sure he does it on purpose to mess with our heads :lol: I believe "CTG" means "Core Technology Group", so for funcroc, it is not an internate tool because Onyx was never considered as a separate project with a team devoted to it, like Feargus does in this case :)

Edited by Sannom
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So many good ideas there... that I'd be all over day 1. Sigh.
Even for relatively small projects for portable devices? Obsidian may put more original and experimental ideas into the less risky projects. If the ideas turn out to be successful, then, they may put them to "bigger" projects. For diversification, too, it doesn't sound to be a bad idea since it's still risky for them to single-mindedly concentrate on either market.
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