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C&VG: Sega rules out Alpha Protocol sequel


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True, but at least on that original release date it didn't have the stamp "twice delayed" and if you are going to postpone the game don't put it against even more titles. There were some months (yes after ME2) when there weren't as much competition being released.

 

Is "more games" really relevant to the giant bombshell that was Modern Warfare 2 (4.7 million units on release day)? To the bulk of the people getting the game, I doubt they even realized this. It's not like Dragon Age (a significantly more delayed game) had any issues.

 

Reviews would have compared it to ME1 and not ME2. At least in my opinion ME2 was more of a main stream game (with limited character building, "better" gameplay as in, rpg mechanics didn't effect shooting as much as in ME1, which was one of the things AP got **** in reviews) than ME1 which had more RPG mechanics in it.

 

This is possible for sure. But I still think it would have had comparisons to games like Gears of War and other third person shooters. The complaint wasn't necsessarily "OMG this isn't as good as ME2" (though some did say that), it by all accounts was also NOT a simple pick up and shoot type game. Even though it looks like it. I still feel the reviews would have been harsh.

 

Would either one of these been drastic enough for us to get a sequel? Who knows, but better release date and/or being released before ME2 would have helped a bit.

 

I think the results would have been insignificant.

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Well I'm very disappointed. Everything about AP is too interesting to let it go as a one-off. I want more, dammit.

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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Hopefully sega will change their minds about it. Give me blind optimism at least.

 

If Obsidian still owns the IP, then this really ain't an issue...

Obsidian would just need a new publisher...

*shrug*

 

If Sega owns the IP, well....then either Sega contract somebody to make a sequel (if they did, it'd be WAY later down the line) or Obsidian and/or their new publisher would probably have to buy the IP flat-out from Sega.

Edited by MysterD
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It was smart choice for Sega to pull out of any future Alpha Protocol projects. Obsidian and Black Isle before that just don't have the talent to design good combat mechanics. They can write good storylines, create interesting characters, make interesting choices for the player but that ain't enough nowadays. And certainly not enough in first person game.

 

Whatever Obsidian do next, they just need to rip off Spinter Cell / RDR / Modern Warfare / Diablo / WoW / whatever combat mechanics and focus their talent to what they do best.

 

You give Sega too much credit. They're not smart. That's why their company has been in a decline. They continue to milk Sonic like a filthy whore. They publish shovelware like Tournament of Legends. They heavily invested in hardcore Wii development. And even though The Conduit was an utter failure at retail, they've gone ahead with a sequel.

 

Sega is a goddamn mess and shouldn't get any credit for the way they handle their awful business.

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It was smart choice for Sega to pull out of any future Alpha Protocol projects. Obsidian and Black Isle before that just don't have the talent to design good combat mechanics. They can write good storylines, create interesting characters, make interesting choices for the player but that ain't enough nowadays. And certainly not enough in first person game.

 

Whatever Obsidian do next, they just need to rip off Spinter Cell / RDR / Modern Warfare / Diablo / WoW / whatever combat mechanics and focus their talent to what they do best.

 

Obsidian's combat would've been much better if they fixed the jittery camera issues; had a key that would instantly reposition the cam behind Mike; AND if they actually balanced the weapons and skills a little bit better...

Edited by MysterD
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It was smart choice for Sega to pull out of any future Alpha Protocol projects. Obsidian and Black Isle before that just don't have the talent to design good combat mechanics. They can write good storylines, create interesting characters, make interesting choices for the player but that ain't enough nowadays. And certainly not enough in first person game.

 

Whatever Obsidian do next, they just need to rip off Spinter Cell / RDR / Modern Warfare / Diablo / WoW / whatever combat mechanics and focus their talent to what they do best.

You can't just "rip-off" combat systems 1 for 1, if you don't have the talent you'll get an inferior rip-off. A better idea would be to not do real time combat if you're obviously not up for it. The simplest rule of all is to stick with what you're good at.

 

What is it with everyone wanting sequels nowadays.

I concur.

 

 

Plus, a spy parody/deconstruction a la NOLF would have been much better received, more fun to write and had more leeway with wonky combat mechanics. Missed opportunity, Obsidian.

 

Edited by Purkake
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It was smart choice for Sega to pull out of any future Alpha Protocol projects. Obsidian and Black Isle before that just don't have the talent to design good combat mechanics. They can write good storylines, create interesting characters, make interesting choices for the player but that ain't enough nowadays. And certainly not enough in first person game.

 

Whatever Obsidian do next, they just need to rip off Spinter Cell / RDR / Modern Warfare / Diablo / WoW / whatever combat mechanics and focus their talent to what they do best.

You can't just "rip-off" combat systems 1 for 1, if you don't have the talent you'll get an inferior rip-off. A better idea would be to not do real time combat if you're obviously not up for it. The simplest rule of all is to stick with what you're good at.

There's nothing wrong w/ the combat itself in AP, as it does feel fine.

 

The problem is that dice-rolls too often handle the "hit" and "miss" factor, when you're aiming completely over somebody and shooting them in a specific location - especially on the Pistols.

 

Once aiming comes into play and you're on-target w/ your aiming, dice-rolls deciding if you actually "hit" and "miss" should be thrown out the window, pretty much.

Edited by MysterD
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Enough with the finger-pointing. The failure of AP was everyone's. Sega for being a lame publisher. Obsidian for being a developer with notoriously overambitious and buggy games. The modern-day audience for being dumbed down, partly by console-gaming. Bioware for being the EA of western RPGs. Ion Storm for making Invisible War. Enough with the blame game. None of it will get us an Alpha Protocol 2 (or 3).

Edited by Conrad Gray
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You give Sega too much credit. They're not smart. That's why their company has been in a decline. They continue to milk Sonic like a filthy whore. They publish shovelware like Tournament of Legends. They heavily invested in hardcore Wii development. And even though The Conduit was an utter failure at retail, they've gone ahead with a sequel.

 

Sega is a goddamn mess and shouldn't get any credit for the way they handle their awful business.

=> THIS

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Hmm I can't say I'm really sad about it. Always thought AP was an in itself quite concluded storyline and game.

I hope SEGA decision doesn't influence either the view about modern settings and especially the way the conversation system worked, so we don't get stuck on either fantasy forever or like Bioware does so well, well written storylines without any real consequences in the ingame world.

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Hmm I can't say I'm really sad about it. Always thought AP was an in itself quite concluded storyline and game.

I hope SEGA decision doesn't influence either the view about modern settings and especially the way the conversation system worked, so we don't get stuck on either fantasy forever or like Bioware does so well, well written storylines without any real consequences in the ingame world.

What I fear is that it will influence the overall view about Obsidian

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Honestly, this isn't entirely Sega's fault, the dev team basically came out and admitted that AP had a rocky development. This was not a game destined to perform well. Not to mention it really isn't all that great. There's plenty of bugs, it looks dated and pretty much everything but the dialogue system (including the story, IMO) was either bad or just plain unremarkable. It barely got any press, had insane delays and probably went through 3 or 4 different versions of the story or levels. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the game, but it was no masterpiece.

 

I do hate the fact they focus so much on review scores, which is always ridiculous. Weak sales justify not making a sequel, not a handful of opinions.

 

PS: Sega is awful. They are doomed. Making another game with them is asking to sink with the ship.

 

PPS: Why do we even need a sequel again? Sequels are way too common in the industry these days.

Edited by WILL THE ALMIGHTY

"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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The nice thing about sequels is that, optimally, they allow refinement of concepts and execution in ways you see in no other media, with the very occasional exception of film. See the extensive retooling of design from ME1 to ME2, for example, which was met with a lot of praise (perhaps not from this corner of the net, but still). There are always things you can do better. I don't have ADD. If you can do something again but make it better, I won't get bored with it. An AP2 could have mastered many of AP's flaws and delivered a better experience, with an increased depth given the absence of "getting to know you" bloat from the first iteration. The plot hook is basically built into the ending of AP.

 

As for the snuffing of the series, it was more or less inevitable from the time the reviews first started coming in. I would have liked to have seen a sequel, but it looks like Obsidz's run with Sega is clearly over, and they can't justify bringing a sequel to another developer.

 

To be honest I think this is something we all kind of expected would happen. The combat really is rather clunky (aside from the martial arts, which I think are the most satisfying means of fighting in the game) and that more or less doomed the game. Looking back on it MCA told me at PAX what he's said after release, which is that they didn't make the game they wanted to make, and they did what they could with what circumstances gave them. I'm not even sure their original ideas ("honeycomb" instead of linear plot structure, more freedom, lighter tone) would have made it a bigger hit.

 

It's rough, certainly. Playing through it, AP felt a lot like Bloodlines, in that there was a certain roughness to the systems and the visual aspects of the game, but also a depth of polish and functionality with regards to more esoteric aspects of the game, particularly pertaining to choice and consequence, that is really unparalleled in Western gaming. I, as well as a lot of people, found those esoteric strengths to be more than enough to recommend the game, but the fact of the matter is that most people really don't care, and as MCA says himself, it's the base-level gameplay that appeals to people, and the base-level gameplay, while not as atrocious as that in Bloodlines, was not up to snuff of the games that AP tried to emulate. It's a really good first draft for a studio that's never done this sort of thing before, but it's not really good enough to carry it. Over time I think that AP's reputation will be rehabilitated in the same way that Bloodlines was (perhaps to a greater extent) but that always comes with the sort of cult that RPGs like this foster. But we're living in the age of $30 million averages in game budgets, and Obsidz's cult acclaim does it about as much good from a practical standpoint as, say, Kurosawa's did back in the day (for non-film buffs, Kurosawa made great films that Japanese viewers mostly ignored, but he was greatly loved by foreign filmmakers, and they basically kept him afloat through most of his life, though he never got over his lack of respect).

 

I just hope that Obsidz can capitalize on this failure gracefully. Dungeon Siege 3 is going to be their second Action RPG and it's apparently looking pretty great already, though they're de-emphasizing the usual Obsidz strengths of writing and characterization and the like. And of course I'll be really surprised if New Vegas doesn't do fantastically. The trouble is that it's looking like Obsidz can't really fulfill its potential - the ignorant gaming masses tend to characterize them as riders of Bioware's coattails. Not just in the sense of picking up sequels but in emulating design and the like. In actuality Obsidian has a much greater focus on more complex and involved RPG system mechanics as a means to engaging players over the big feelings and epic narrative sweep that Bioware has used so effectively. You can think of Bioware as a Spielberg to Obsidz' Kubrick (you could also be less flattering and paint them as a Zemeckis) I don't feel like the sort of reactivity in Alpha Protocol is something that we'll be seeing more of, and I think that's a shame. It's too risky, and I imagine game development is zero-sum - the less time you spend on stuff people don't care about, like C&C, the more you can spend on things people do, like breast physics and reload animations. Obsidz gets knocked for being too much like Bioware but in this case I think they got knocked for not being enough like Bioware. Oh well.

Edited by Pop
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You can't just "rip-off" combat systems 1 for 1, if you don't have the talent you'll get an inferior rip-off. A better idea would be to not do real time combat if you're obviously not up for it. The simplest rule of all is to stick with what you're good at.

 

Obviously 1 to 1 rip-offs don't work but what can be rip-offed is the set of features that gamers in general consider a standard. And easiest way to find 'em is to look how popular games in recent years do 'em. Sometimes features evolve and sometimes even de-evolve.

 

Note - You can be a trend setter if you truely belive in your version of the some game mechanic but then you take a huge risk and gamers in general might not like it. Personally I didn't think Bioware's way of removing jump would work but based on sales data it wasn't a game breaker. They de-evolved the genre but at the same time managed to do just fine in sales. Obsidian followed the Bioware's route and people noticed how different it feels from the agile Sam Fisher from Splinter Cell or Garret from the Thief. Suddenly closed spaces and Mike's ability to only jump in very few locations became an issue. Maybe not a game breaker, but one of those issues that lead low review scores, bad sales and in the end, option not to develop a sequel.

Let's play Alpha Protocol

My misadventures on youtube.

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PPS: Why do we even need a sequel again? Sequels are way too common in the industry these days.

 

a sequel would've meant a chance for obsidian to polish and refine the ideas in alpha protocol

maybe one day obsidian can team up with another publisher and release a spiritual successor called Beta Code or something

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I'm not really surprised Sega decided that way, but i still feel that they are missing an opportunity here.

 

Obsidian created something unique here and with all the experience and feedback i'm sure they'd know where to crank up the scores in APII.

 

But as long as Obsidian can continue to create new IP's or at least do the games they want to do, it's fine by me. I liked the spy-theme and the modern setting, so anything in that area would be most welcomed :ermm: But hey, i'm not picky. They just need to put in their sublime characters, dialogs and story all wrapped up in some grown up setting and i'm going to buy it!

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By the way reading comments like 'Obsidian sucks, this would have been great if Bioware did it' feels like I'm living in a bizzarro world.

Are we talking about the same Bioware who never tried anything risky in the first place and base all their design decisions on fan feedback?

 

I think they are wrong, but so are you. In fact, I'd go as far as call bs on your criticism.

 

IMHO Bio and Obsidian are the two best (W)RPG makers in the world. Trying to pit them against each other is asinine, there's plenty of cake to be shared between the two.*

 

Now if somebody wants to take a swipe at Bethesda, I'm all for it. :ermm:

 

*even if it's a lie.

You're a cheery wee bugger, Nep. Have I ever said that?

ahyes.gifReapercussionsahyes.gif

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By the way reading comments like 'Obsidian sucks, this would have been great if Bioware did it' feels like I'm living in a bizzarro world.

Are we talking about the same Bioware who never tried anything risky in the first place and base all their design decisions on fan feedback?

 

I think they are wrong, but so are you. In fact, I'd go as far as call bs on your criticism.

 

IMHO Bio and Obsidian are the two best (W)RPG makers in the world. Trying to pit them against each other is asinine, there's plenty of cake to be shared between the two.*

 

Now if somebody wants to take a swipe at Bethesda, I'm all for it. ;)

 

*even if it's a lie.

 

Bioware is very good at what it does, I never denied it.

But Alpha Protocol would be one of the thing Bioware would never do.

They're very formulaic when it comes to gameplay and usually concentrate to only one method of resolving conflict (hint : it begins with 'c' and continues with 'ombat').

Just look at Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2.

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The argument that they should make a sequel to refine the gameplay is stupid. Going by that logic every game should have as many sequels as possible and eventually reach perfection.

 

They can use what learned with AP and use it on another, hopefully more creative game, no reason it should be a new AP.

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Sequels can be nice because players can get emotionally linked to the characters in a game, and it's nice to have a story that shows what happens after... The mixture of story and character developing and adding more to the feeling that the "world" changed due to what you did in the first game.

 

While AP made a nice stand-alone storyline, and can be considered wrapped up.. There were plenty of areas that made you think "ooh, what will happen now...".

"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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It's too risky, and I imagine game development is zero-sum - the less time you spend on stuff people don't care about, like C&C, the more you can spend on things people do, like breast physics and reload animations. Obsidz gets knocked for being too much like Bioware but in this case I think they got knocked for not being enough like Bioware. Oh well.
From what I see, it doesn't need to end up with zero-sum with two extreme ends. Indeed, Obsidian shouldn't try to be as original as possible, as some of them did when they were making Planescape: Torment, for bigger projects targeted to larger segments than just old school RPGamers, who cannot cover all the cost. However, since the majority doesn't care about story, paradoxically, I think there are much more room for originality in terms of content if not the game-play. In fact, I don't think Bioware is successful because of their story-telling. They are more or less repeating the same old formula in this area while they are very good at adjusting their game-plays to the growing market. Even a new comer like CD Projekt Red seems to be studying hard in adapting to modern game-plays (Actually, CPR seems to be more conscious of what they should do to keep their business than Obsidians, seeing their business strategy such as flash multi-players and gog.com... ;)). These are like Apple cultivated their current share of portable device market by making the interface more intuitive and thus accessible.

 

So, IMO, as long as Obsidian can make the game-play experience more friendly for the majority, I think they can keep the content original, at least, to some extent. Like many people here, I think Obsidian should concentrate on what they have been developing for these whole years, means, story and character development. As long as they keep their works in fantasy and Sci-Fi area, I don't think they would feel too much restrictions (For my personal taste, I have to look for some other group who can prove that role-playing games can be separated from these settings, though).

 

That said, since Fallout: New Vegas and Dungeon Siege 3* seem to be promising, I don't think we need to be so pessimistic. However, when, next time, Obsidian are going for areas which they are unfamiliar with, they need to a lot of homework in analyzing what other companies have and what they have. For, if they cannot control themselves, they will gradually lose their control in competitive market. Indeed, they have their original "assets" accumulated by the years of experiences but they need to make many more people notice their value. Also, if Obsidian manage to penetrate into the growing portable market, hopefully, they would be able to make more original works while it would be reasonable for them to start with something they and most of their existing fans are familiar with. Probably, Obsidian need some one/people who is/are good at both objectively analyzing the markets they are aiming at and managing "logistic" area while having deep understanding of the works of Obsidian (They definitely don't need yet another marketing/management guy).

 

* Although Obsidian is going to reduce the amount of text, they seem to be planning something crazy such as story-development reflected by dialogue choices of multiple players. Good graphics and pleasant gameplay in one hand, and these original innovations in the other. So, they seem to be right on the track.

 

 

Just look at Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2.
It's since Baldur's Gate. They have never gone to the direction like Fallout. What bugs me is that, while they are keeping the same formula in the story area with, at most, two major story-paths and still considered to be one of the best-maker for story-focused RPGs. To my eyes, they are not much different from majore JRPG makers at least in this respect.
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