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Okay, so not so much an open letter as a forum post directed primarily at the developers, but bear with me.

 

I fell in love with Obsidian the moment I played Knights of the Old Republic 2, basically from the moment I met Kreia. I realised that here is a developer who knows how to make a character feel real, feel alive and above all, important to you. I loved Black Isle and, to my knowledge, I own every game ever released by them. Similarly, I'm proud to say that I own every game ever released by Obsidian and although I have been a little disappointed by certain aspects of Alpha Protocol and Dungeon Siege III, there isn't a game released by Obsidian which I haven't fallen in love with.

 

You have some of the most brilliant writers, programmers and artists working for you and I see you as visionaries teeming with ambition and creativity.

 

Dungeon Siege III is yet another Obsidian game that I was unable to put down until I'd finished it. I played it in co-op with my other half and we fell in love with it. It was a rough start--the co-op camera that forces both characters to be on the same screen drove us mad with irritation and frustration but we loved it. We played as Anjali and Reinhart and we were drawn in by both characters. I feel that Reinhart had a rather unfortunate last-minute voice-actor but you can't always have everything.

 

There is one thing I can say about every Obsidian game I've ever played and that is that your games always feel as though a lot of passion went into them: sometimes chaotic but always masterful.

 

While playing Alpha Protocol and, especially after playing Dungeon Siege III I find myself wondering if the old adage of "You can please some people some of the time but you can't please everyone all of the time" isn't relevant. I say this because it feels as though you are spreading yourselves too thin, trying to please too many markets simultaneously only to result in upsetting them all to one extent or another. I wish that you would first try to please yourselves, make a game that YOU want to make, that YOU want to play and let the gamers flock to you.

 

You are by far the most creative and ambitious and passionate developer out there.

 

I keep wanting to relate you to Troika, a developer that lives on in my game collection and in my heart and will always be remembered by me as being too great for its time. However, I feel that in just making that comparison I'd be jinxing you. Regardless, Troika made games that they loved (at least that is what I believe), they had their hurdles and their issues but they made games that were unlike any other, that had characters you would never forget, worlds you'd always wish would come back. Even their "worst" game, Temple of Elemental Evil, found its fame and its own cult-following who love it.

 

I am a disillusioned gamer, tired of unimaginative worlds, simplified gameplay, lifeless characters and bland, simple worlds. Tired of so-called "RPGs" without tangible choices and consequences that hope the player buys into the illusion of their "choices" having any real impact.

 

To be honest, I'm not sure what I'm trying to say to you... I just want you to be the developer you want to be, to be true to yourselves because I don't believe that you are being who you want to be, making the games you want to make.

 

I want to see you develop the next Dungeon Siege game, I want to see you develop the next Fallout game. I want to see whatever other games you've imagined take life and knock the socks off the naysayers. But I don't believe you'll ever do that unless you first make the games you want to make. Until then, I worry that you'll live in the shadows of other developers.

 

Long ago, my other half and I promised ourselves that we will always support your games from the start, that we will always pre-order them and that they will always be day-one purchases.

 

Maybe I'm crazy (and I've been called worse) but I know that you can do better and be better.

 

I suppose what I've been trying to say is... Never lose faith in yourselves and remember that your fans will always stand by you. So reach for the bloody skies so that regardless of the future, you will be immortalised by your legacy.

 

Thank you for all the games you've made, I look forward to seeing what you guys have in store for the future :ermm:

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Temple of Elemental Evil is one of my favorite games...man...they just don't make them like they used to :ermm:

 

More and more games these days are getting what is commonly referred to as "consolized". Linear design, less complex game systems, more action focused...and all in the name of making them more cinematic and story based. I don't mind story and dialog, but when the game cuts all the meat off the bone just to tell a story well that sucks in my book. The vast majority of C&C in games is an illusion of depth anyways...you got the good, the bad, and the snarky answer and that's about it. Either way the results from any given decision amounts to very little and only effects small pieces of the game. The ones that do effect a larger part of the game world really never materialize...rather they are just reflected in some end of game slide show.

 

Sigh...what I wouldn't give for a deep and tactical game like Temple of Elemental Evil brought to the modern age. The only games recently like it is Eschalon Book II and Avadon Black Fortress. Already played Eschalon and probably will pick up Avadon soon. Even though they are fun games, I still really wish a big time developer (with real resources) would take a chance and make a game like ToEE. I think I'll be waiting a long time though lol...so it's off to the corridors and corny dialog cutscenes for me!

Edited by Renevent
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One thing I'm really fascinated about with Obsidian is that they've made a game in virtually every sub-genre of RPG. KOTOR 2, fairly console party based RPG. Neverwinter Nights 2, PC party based RPG. Alpha Protocol, cinematic RPG in the vein of Mass Effect. New Vegas, open world. Dungeon Siege 3, hack and slash. You've even got fantasy, modern, post-apoc.

 

I don't know if this was ever their objective, to try out different things and explore around the genre. But I do know that it's been quite a variety of experiences following their games.

"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."
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I never tried ToEE since it got kinda lackluster reviews. Maybe I should get it someday...

 

It was released pretty damn buggy...but with the latest patches and with an unofficial patch by Circle of Eight community group it works pretty much perfect. If you ever enjoyed turn based D&D games you owe it to yourself to pick it up.

 

GOG.com has it I think for $9.99 :ermm:

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One thing I'm really fascinated about with Obsidian is that they've made a game in virtually every sub-genre of RPG. KOTOR 2, fairly console party based RPG. Neverwinter Nights 2, PC party based RPG. Alpha Protocol, cinematic RPG in the vein of Mass Effect. New Vegas, open world. Dungeon Siege 3, hack and slash. You've even got fantasy, modern, post-apoc.

 

I don't know if this was ever their objective, to try out different things and explore around the genre. But I do know that it's been quite a variety of experiences following their games.

I'd love it if they did a pure sci-fi RPG. I would have preferred this latest game to be Space Siege 2 instead of Dungeon Siege 3, but I can see why the went with the latter as the formula was wearing thin and the game got lackluster reviews... for identical gameplay mechanics the DS series used. :ermm:

Edited by GreasyDogMeat
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Temple of Elemental Evil is one of my favorite games...man...they just don't make them like they used to :ermm:

 

More and more games these days are getting what is commonly referred to as "consolized". Linear design, less complex game systems, more action focused...and in the name of making them more cinematic and story based. I don't mind story and dialog, but when the game cuts all the meat off just to tell a story well that sucks in my book.

 

Sigh...what I wouldn't give for a deep and tactical game like Temple of Elemental Evil brought to the modern age.

 

 

Totally agreed. I still remember the er... flamboyant pirate in Temple of Elemental Evil. Awesome character :3

 

I have no problem with multi-platform games, quite the opposite in fact. I believe that the more people a game (especially a good one) can reach the better. My problem is when games are simplified to the point where it's a hair's breadth from automating everything for you; or when developers use underhanded tactics to give the illusion of choice when there really isn't. Or ambiguous three-word dialogue options that don't really give clear indication of what your character will say.

 

But this thread wasn't really about that. More that I see Obsidian, a fantastic developer, trying to emulate those tactics to appeal to a bigger market.

 

It's like asking Picasso to draw a stick-figure or Beethoven to whistle: brilliance cannot be simplified without offending the brilliant and the simple (there is no middle-ground).

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One thing I'm really fascinated about with Obsidian is that they've made a game in virtually every sub-genre of RPG. KOTOR 2, fairly console party based RPG. Neverwinter Nights 2, PC party based RPG. Alpha Protocol, cinematic RPG in the vein of Mass Effect. New Vegas, open world. Dungeon Siege 3, hack and slash. You've even got fantasy, modern, post-apoc.

 

I don't know if this was ever their objective, to try out different things and explore around the genre. But I do know that it's been quite a variety of experiences following their games.

 

Funny that you mention that and that's actually a really good point.

 

The one sub-genre of RPG I've never been able to stand (hack-and-slash) they've managed to wow me with (Dungeon Siege III).

 

They're an insanely gifted developer. However, while I enjoyed all of those games, some of them felt sot of... half-baked. As though they wanted to do more but settled for "okay."

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One thing I'm really fascinated about with Obsidian is that they've made a game in virtually every sub-genre of RPG. KOTOR 2, fairly console party based RPG. Neverwinter Nights 2, PC party based RPG. Alpha Protocol, cinematic RPG in the vein of Mass Effect. New Vegas, open world. Dungeon Siege 3, hack and slash. You've even got fantasy, modern, post-apoc.

 

I don't know if this was ever their objective, to try out different things and explore around the genre. But I do know that it's been quite a variety of experiences following their games.

 

Funny that you mention that and that's actually a really good point.

 

The one sub-genre of RPG I've never been able to stand (hack-and-slash) they've managed to wow me with (Dungeon Siege III).

 

They're an insanely gifted developer. However, while I enjoyed all of those games, some of them felt sot of... half-baked. As though they wanted to do more but settled for "okay."

 

I feel the opposite...hack and slash is one of my favorite genre's and personally I don't think DS3 stacks up. Between the linear corridor level design, less open/deep character /skill customization, simple item system, and couch co-op multiplayer with no new game+ it's terribly disappointing. The action is good though, and it's still fun I guess, but DS3 to me represents the dumbing down of a genre that was already not the most complicated out there. I don't mind a higher focus on story but I think they "streamlined" far too much for this to be a great game for me.

 

Don't mind console/multiplatform games either, I own a 360 and play it often. Just I think the influence in gameplay has really taken away from more traditional games I have enjoyed in the past. I really don't blame it on the consoles per-say either...it's more of a game design that most big time publishers/developers have taken in order to appeal to more people who would not generally enjoy a RPG. Good for publishers, bad for dinosaurs like me.

Edited by Renevent
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I feel the opposite...hack and slash is one of my favorite genre's and personally I don't think DS3 stacks up. Between the linear corridor level design, less open/deep character /skill customization, simple item system, and couch co-op multiplayer with no new game+ it's terribly disappointing. The action is good though, and it's still fun I guess, but DS3 to me represents the dumbing down of a genre that was already not the most complicated out there. I don't mind a higher focus on story but I think they paired far too much for this to be a great game for me.

 

hehe... And this is where what I said in the opening post becomes relevant: you can please some people some of the time but you can't please everyone all of the time.

 

DS3 is definitely a hybrid between cRPG and hack-and-slash.

 

I actually don't know what I would've done differently... I suppose I would've preferred a full-blown cRPG with co-op or a fullblown hack-and-slash with story but yeah, the hybridisation is very bitter-sweet although, over-all, as someone who was never a big fan of hack-and-slash, I enjoyed it.

 

Don't mind console/multiplatform games either, I own a 360 and play it often. Just I think the influence in gameplay has really taken away from more traditional games I have enjoyed in the past. I really don't blame it on the consoles per-say either...it's more of a game design that most big time publishers/developers have taken in order to appeal to more people who would not generally enjoy a RPG. Good for publishers, bad for dinosaurs like me.

 

*nod* *nod* Feeling is mutual :ermm:

Edited by WulfenMortys
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I completely agree with OP, every game they made is a whole level above, like KOTOR 2 or Fallout: New Vegas, both are way better than originals in every way, Obsidian is very reliable that way.

 

And for almost a week there has been nothing on my schedule except Dungeon Siege 3, all other games on my hard drive forgotten.

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Okay, so not so much an open letter as a forum post directed primarily at the developers, but bear with me.

 

I fell in love with Obsidian the moment I played Knights of the Old Republic 2, basically from the moment I met Kreia. I realised that here is a developer who knows how to make a character feel real, feel alive and above all, important to you. I loved Black Isle and, to my knowledge, I own every game ever released by them. Similarly, I'm proud to say that I own every game ever released by Obsidian and although I have been a little disappointed by certain aspects of Alpha Protocol and Dungeon Siege III, there isn't a game released by Obsidian which I haven't fallen in love with.

 

You have some of the most brilliant writers, programmers and artists working for you and I see you as visionaries teeming with ambition and creativity.

 

Dungeon Siege III is yet another Obsidian game that I was unable to put down until I'd finished it. I played it in co-op with my other half and we fell in love with it. It was a rough start--the co-op camera that forces both characters to be on the same screen drove us mad with irritation and frustration but we loved it. We played as Anjali and Reinhart and we were drawn in by both characters. I feel that Reinhart had a rather unfortunate last-minute voice-actor but you can't always have everything.

 

There is one thing I can say about every Obsidian game I've ever played and that is that your games always feel as though a lot of passion went into them: sometimes chaotic but always masterful.

 

While playing Alpha Protocol and, especially after playing Dungeon Siege III I find myself wondering if the old adage of "You can please some people some of the time but you can't please everyone all of the time" isn't relevant. I say this because it feels as though you are spreading yourselves too thin, trying to please too many markets simultaneously only to result in upsetting them all to one extent or another. I wish that you would first try to please yourselves, make a game that YOU want to make, that YOU want to play and let the gamers flock to you.

 

You are by far the most creative and ambitious and passionate developer out there.

 

I keep wanting to relate you to Troika, a developer that lives on in my game collection and in my heart and will always be remembered by me as being too great for its time. However, I feel that in just making that comparison I'd be jinxing you. Regardless, Troika made games that they loved (at least that is what I believe), they had their hurdles and their issues but they made games that were unlike any other, that had characters you would never forget, worlds you'd always wish would come back. Even their "worst" game, Temple of Elemental Evil, found its fame and its own cult-following who love it.

 

I am a disillusioned gamer, tired of unimaginative worlds, simplified gameplay, lifeless characters and bland, simple worlds. Tired of so-called "RPGs" without tangible choices and consequences that hope the player buys into the illusion of their "choices" having any real impact.

 

To be honest, I'm not sure what I'm trying to say to you... I just want you to be the developer you want to be, to be true to yourselves because I don't believe that you are being who you want to be, making the games you want to make.

 

I want to see you develop the next Dungeon Siege game, I want to see you develop the next Fallout game. I want to see whatever other games you've imagined take life and knock the socks off the naysayers. But I don't believe you'll ever do that unless you first make the games you want to make. Until then, I worry that you'll live in the shadows of other developers.

 

Long ago, my other half and I promised ourselves that we will always support your games from the start, that we will always pre-order them and that they will always be day-one purchases.

 

Maybe I'm crazy (and I've been called worse) but I know that you can do better and be better.

 

I suppose what I've been trying to say is... Never lose faith in yourselves and remember that your fans will always stand by you. So reach for the bloody skies so that regardless of the future, you will be immortalised by your legacy.

 

Thank you for all the games you've made, I look forward to seeing what you guys have in store for the future :thumbsup:

 

A very nice post. I may not be a huge fan of Obsidian games, but I can understand why someone would be for sure. =)

 

Speaking of Troika, am I the only one who would like to see a sequel/improved version of Arcanum? =O

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there isn't a game released by Obsidian which I haven't fallen in love with.

 

You have some of the most brilliant writers, programmers and artists working for you and I see you as visionaries teeming with ambition and creativity.

 

 

 

There is one thing I can say about every Obsidian game I've ever played and that is that your games always feel as though a lot of passion went into them: sometimes chaotic but always masterful.

 

 

You are by far the most creative and ambitious and passionate developer out there.

 

 

I want to see you develop the next Dungeon Siege game, I want to see you develop the next Fallout game.

QFT. Although i think this is relevant to all games made : "You can please some people some of the time but you can't please everyone all of the time"
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A very nice post. I may not be a huge fan of Obsidian games, but I can understand why someone would be for sure. =)

Thank you very much :)

 

Speaking of Troika, am I the only one who would like to see a sequel/improved version of Arcanum? =O

 

Not at all :3

 

Remakes of Planescape (Black Isle) and Arcanum are two games I would go utterly nuts for. Planescape's world and lore, especially, had so much potential for sequels, stories or new adventures based on it all. Planescape is my all-time favourite game and occasionally I still feel nostalgic and a little sad when I think of it and the Nameless Hero's story :thumbsup:

 

<--- certified goof

 

QFT. Although i think this is relevant to all games made : "You can please some people some of the time but you can't please everyone all of the time"

True, true. Which is exactly why I feel a developer should be true to themselves and their own vision; that they should first please themselves before trying to please others.

 

There are a multitude of examples of games gaining scores of fans by sticking to their guns (most recently, The Witcher 2); basically letting the market come to them, rather than trying to approach the market.

 

Imagine if some of the greatest authors (Pratchett, Gaiman, Rowling, Gibson, etc) tried to write what people wanted instead of what they envisioned. It would be a copy-paste smattering of monotony. It would be the equivalent of Mills & Boone--the same base story but just different characters. (I don't read Mills & Boon, just to clarify <.< I do, however, have a mom who's quite fond of them :p)

 

It's like I just want to tell Obsidian that the kids who were their fans back when they worked for other companies have grown up, we can finally support your games to the fullest so please, come back to us and show the new generation of gamers what made the 90's and early 00's so great :D

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There is always something in obsidian games that hooks me in and won't let go such as the survival horror opening and confrontation with Atris in kotor2, the cold and haunted Daeghun in nwn2 and the realisation of your accidental role in the entire conflict, going off radar for alan (raziel) parker during the training mission in alpha protocol and once i've weened myself off the witcher 2 this weekend i'll be tearing the cellophane off my copy of dungeon siege and giving it some large.

 

So yeah I agree keep on buggering on obsidian with all your ambition and innovation, we love you but not in a creepy uncle kind of way.

Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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It's like I just want to tell Obsidian that the kids who were their fans back when they worked for other companies have grown up, we can finally support your games to the fullest so please, come back to us and show the new generation of gamers what made the 90's and early 00's so great :D

+ 1.

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I think it's more of a situation where your childhood hero has become an old bitter alcoholic and you keep hoping that they will eventually clean up their act, but it's just one disappointment after another.

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I've really liked some Obsidian games but to do such a shoddy port of a console game is pretty much inexcusable in my opinion. I've spent half the day just trying to play the damned thing on PC, finally giving up completely on the PC control system and having to use an emulator to get a gamepad to work and even then the camera system is utterly awful and the perspective is skewed.

 

I'm astonished anyone would applaud them for such abysmal work. 'Sold out' doesn't even begin to cover it.

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It's like I just want to tell Obsidian that the kids who were their fans back when they worked for other companies have grown up, we can finally support your games to the fullest so please, come back to us and show the new generation of gamers what made the 90's and early 00's so great :D

+ 1.

 

+ 1

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I'm astonished anyone would applaud them for such abysmal work. 'Sold out' doesn't even begin to cover it.

 

There is nothing wrong with PC controls, you must make yourself care to learn how to play a new game.

 

PC controls are superbly streamlined and efficient:

1.you use right click mouse for moving, you hold right click mouse for direction(especially for dodge direction)

2.you left click to attack

3.you use SPACE to dodge(while holding right click), block, select passive abilities

4.you use 1,2,3 to activate abilities

5.you press Q for stance change

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Even Feargus made it clear that the way forward is streamlining. It was stated in an interview recently that gamers nowadays wouldn't even make it past character creation in Icewind Dale because you had to roll 6 AD&D characters before you ever got to the game. People today that love streamlined games don't really like anything about he old games except the cool characters and the stories and the levelling up. All the in depth mechanics and reading and having the ruleset be such a part of the gameplay are just aspects not respected by NewFans.

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I never tried ToEE since it got kinda lackluster reviews. Maybe I should get it someday...

Best adaption of DnD ever, still pretty bad after 3214214 community patches.

'

TOEE was a good adoption, but feel KotC is even a better DnD adoption.

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Even Feargus made it clear that the way forward is streamlining. It was stated in an interview recently that gamers nowadays wouldn't even make it past character creation in Icewind Dale because you had to roll 6 AD&D characters before you ever got to the game. People today that love streamlined games don't really like anything about he old games except the cool characters and the stories and the levelling up. All the in depth mechanics and reading and having the ruleset be such a part of the gameplay are just aspects not respected by NewFans.

 

I doubt that, really.

When I played my first RPG back in the 90s - it was "Blade of Destiny", first of the ROA-trilogy - I wondered, when I finally can start to play, because the character creation of six party members took several HOURS. But as a result I identified myself with all six, from the beginning until the last act of part three (we could import the party into the sequels) many years later.

The same later with Wizardry VII (W7) and many other games of that time. IIRC "Pool of Radiance II" and ToEE were the last games, in which this was possible respectively necessary. For Wizardry VIII I even dug out my old 486, because I REALLY wanted to import my W7-party!

 

I agree, that today this kind of (lengthy) creation process could repel people who are new to the genre. Some might start to love it, others won't - for the latter there are always premade heroes.

 

If someone like the CEO of OBSIDIAN says things like that, I don't believe him to tell us his personal opinion.

IMO these people tend to express themselves like politicians:

They justify their current work with insinuations about what the player wants or not. The truth is - again IMO - that the development of complex RPGs with excessive character creations, large skill trees and a polished combat system is much more expensive than the "streamlined" console-counterpart, not to mention the fact that it would be - at least - hard for a console to handle the subsequent complexity.

 

I'd really like to see a remake of such an old school RPG with all it's features and additional "shortcuts" for the "casual player" (premade characters, auto level etc.).

After this I'd bet, that most of the gamers would have adopted the NON-streamlined features, once they played the game with "shortcuts" and then with all it's features - for more than 200 hours, of course :thumbsup:

Edited by AnjyBelle
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