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"Single-player gaming is our focus."

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NWN2:SoZ was an excellent example of multiplayer for this type of game. Admittedly not having the actual responses voiced would take away from the experience from a single player stand point but to me it felt more like an actual pen and paper game. My friends and I played 3.5 for years before college/lives got in the way and having that to fall back on helped us feel like it we were all playing together again. Just looking at what Obsidian has already done reassures me that they can implement multiplayer into the game and still have an amazing story for the main campaign.

Edited by Kibosh
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IWD, BG and Arcanum had multiplayer, and I don't ever remember it ever being popular even back "in the day", though then again we all had 56k modems and my internet was so bad I couldn't have played properly anyway

 

Different audience, seriously there's a million MMO's out there for that crowd, focus on a good offline single-playing storytelling experience.

 

Arcanum had multiplayer? Wow, I must have totally ignored that when I played it years ago. I didn't even touch multiplayer.

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I'd really like to see Project Eternity as a straight-out single-player game. When it comes to storytelling and relationships with companions, multiplayer is rarely able to provide the depth

that a singleplayer game is.

That being said, I have recently had great fun playing through BG1 & 2 and NWN1 & 2 with a friend using LAN/hamachi. I'd like to be able to continue this joint RPG adventure, so i'd love to have the opportunity to play over LAN with a friend in style with these games - where the second player is basicly creating a 'dummy-character' that has no influence on how the story plays out, but can be there to share the experiences with the main player

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"Phew...so no mp/coop for PE ? That's a real relief. I was worried when I read the "SP is our focus" quote. Bioware said similar things with ME3.

 

Bioware is now EA's battered stepchild. Too bad we can't report them to the police!"

 

BIO's been doing MP since well before EA came on the picture. It started with BG.

 

EA is not battering them. The BIo owners sold BIo to EA cause they wnated money and likely wanted out of the gaming bizness. No abuse.

 

 

Anyways, MP isn't needed for every game. Obsidian will add it or not add it if they so choose. *shrug*


DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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BIO's been doing MP since well before EA came on the picture. It started with BG.

 

EA is not battering them. The BIo owners sold BIo to EA cause they wnated money and likely wanted out of the gaming bizness. No abuse.

 

 

Anyways, MP isn't needed for every game. Obsidian will add it or not add it if they so choose. *shrug*

 

Except that EA is not making good use of the company. They are even worse now under EA.

 

Look at Command and Conquer. EA bought the original company, screw them over, and now Command and Conquer is becoming a F2P online game. This is a decision that EA made, so they are responsible for ruining the franchise.

 

What matters is what's happening now, and EA is responsible for the games they are putting out in present day.

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I would like to see a toolset / co-op. Am i going to cry if they dont make co-op? No (ok maybe if there is no toolset :() But maybe i was one of the few people that did enjoy the multiplayer part of BG etc etc?

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When it comes to storytelling and relationships with companions, multiplayer is rarely able to provide the depth

that a singleplayer game is.

 

While that's true, I don't think it's because it can't be done, only because it hasn't been done. Part of that, I think, is that it's simply too easy to fall into conventional molds, and the genre of video game RPGs fully matured before widespread internet access was the norm. Newer titles are inspired by what have gone before, and few even attempt to try the road less traveled. Those that do often tack multiplayer on as an afterthought to a game that was not really designed for it, and thus do it poorly.

 

It's a pity, because the original genre that inspired video game RPGs, tabletop RPGs, derives so much of its enjoyment (and, to be fair, drama) from the interaction of the gamers in the party. And unfortunately, we're not going to see a golden age of multiplayer RPGs until someone blazes a trail and proves excellence is possible. Right now, designers are mainly staying at the edges of the spectrum - either single-player or massively-multiplayer - and ignore the middle ground where tabletop gaming has thrived for so many years, the small group.

 

I also strongly disagree about reading not being a team sport - it's just another form of storytelling, which is possibly the oldest form of social recreation. I've had many, many great hours of playing solo RPGs 'co-op' with my brothers when we were growing up - passing the controller back and forth while we were all engrossed in the story being told.

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ugh, I hate multiplayer only videogames... alot.

 

I'd like to share the experience with other people here - just like I play D&D with pals I'd love to play PE with them, ya know? If baldur's gate could do it, PE should be able to as well.

 

I can't imagine the multiplayer for this kind of game is very complicated either (compared to the multiplayer for bioshock 2 which would be horrific to program for by comparison) since all you do is have the computers share who set what as their destination and have the other one draw that and similar simple checks - essentially the other player is just an NPC that does what your buddy on the other end commands instead of following a script, right? There's no hit detection, no moving boxes, just NPC "j" sets his destination coordinate as X=87 and Y=22. It's not like we have to worry about exploits either since this isn't competitive either.

Edited by Hypevosa
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So besides Bobby Null's post in this thread about the content limitations, there's also this RPGamer interview with Tim Cain, this week (I think it's supposed to be dated 26SEP2012, but there's no actual date on the article itself, which is lame):

 

MAC: Obsidian has been hit hard in the past by having games released before they seemed as polished as they needed to be technically. How does having crowd-funding over publisher-funding change the way you'll plan to tackle QA down the line?

 

TC: The biggest change is that we will decide on each and every feature in the game, and we can avoid the ones that add little to the game's content but a lot to its complexity. For example, we are not supporting consoles or multiplayer, both of which make the game far more complex and hard to debug. Instead, we are focusing on making the best single-player PC RPG we can make, and that focus is simplifying a lot of our choices.

 

/thread

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The KS Collector's Edition does not include the Collector's Book.

Which game hook brought you to Project Eternity and interests you the most?

PE will not have co-op/multiplayer, console, or tablet support (sources): [0] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Write your own romance mods because there won't be any in PE.

"But what is an evil? Is it like water or like a hedgehog or night or lumpy?" -(Digger)

"Most o' you wanderers are but a quarter moon away from lunacy at the best o' times." -Alvanhendar (Baldur's Gate 1)

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So besides Bobby Null's post in this thread about the content limitations, there's also this RPGamer interview with Tim Cain, this week (I think it's supposed to be dated 26SEP2012, but there's no actual date on the article itself, which is lame):

 

MAC: Obsidian has been hit hard in the past by having games released before they seemed as polished as they needed to be technically. How does having crowd-funding over publisher-funding change the way you'll plan to tackle QA down the line?

 

TC: The biggest change is that we will decide on each and every feature in the game, and we can avoid the ones that add little to the game's content but a lot to its complexity. For example, we are not supporting consoles or multiplayer, both of which make the game far more complex and hard to debug. Instead, we are focusing on making the best single-player PC RPG we can make, and that focus is simplifying a lot of our choices.

 

/thread

 

Yeah, I know it won't happen. Really, it comes down to the devs' vision, not anything else - I do like that they have a clear focus and a clear vision and won't sway from that, because projects without that level of vision are simply doomed.

 

I just find it disappointing, because I think this group has the talent to make a great multiplayer RPG if that was their goal. There are just so many great single-player RPGs and so few (if any) great multi-player RPGs that it's a bit disappointing when time after time the great teams of the industry won't take the road less traveled.

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So besides Bobby Null's post in this thread about the content limitations, there's also this RPGamer interview with Tim Cain, this week (I think it's supposed to be dated 26SEP2012, but there's no actual date on the article itself, which is lame):

 

MAC: Obsidian has been hit hard in the past by having games released before they seemed as polished as they needed to be technically. How does having crowd-funding over publisher-funding change the way you'll plan to tackle QA down the line?

 

TC: The biggest change is that we will decide on each and every feature in the game, and we can avoid the ones that add little to the game's content but a lot to its complexity. For example, we are not supporting consoles or multiplayer, both of which make the game far more complex and hard to debug. Instead, we are focusing on making the best single-player PC RPG we can make, and that focus is simplifying a lot of our choices.

 

/thread

 

Yeah, I know it won't happen. Really, it comes down to the devs' vision, not anything else - I do like that they have a clear focus and a clear vision and won't sway from that, because projects without that level of vision are simply doomed.

 

I just find it disappointing, because I think this group has the talent to make a great multiplayer RPG if that was their goal. There are just so many great single-player RPGs and so few (if any) great multi-player RPGs that it's a bit disappointing when time after time the great teams of the industry won't take the road less traveled.

 

Talent is only a fraction of what makes a marketable game, as it were. If the release date was, say, 2016 with target funding of over $10m, maybe? Only the devs could have any ballpark idea about that. But it's far, far more practical to design to current and expected funding based on the initial targets (at $1.1m and intended content). That "awesome MP" is the road less (or not) traveled has to do with a lot of factors, not just talent: market research, ROI, time to develop, number of dev teams to employ, and of course funding. All those things really have to come together well for that to happen, and maybe that will be some other Kickstarter venture down the road by some other talent.

 

Per your comment about reading not being a team sport... Honestly, I think your experience is special and not indicative of more common MP play experience. That seems more akin to reading a story book between parent and child. Getting five other adults together in a MP party across a network with a text-heavy game, though? Everyone reads at different rates. Then in traditional group live storytelling, it's done orally--oral and reading are vastly different in social interaction. Narrative/dialogue sharing among a game group would thus make more sense if all the content was voiced, forcing parallel intake. That of course will never happen in PE either, and by virtue of having VA, the price shoots up and narrative/interactive content plummets. Seems kind of like a Catch 22 to me.

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The KS Collector's Edition does not include the Collector's Book.

Which game hook brought you to Project Eternity and interests you the most?

PE will not have co-op/multiplayer, console, or tablet support (sources): [0] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Write your own romance mods because there won't be any in PE.

"But what is an evil? Is it like water or like a hedgehog or night or lumpy?" -(Digger)

"Most o' you wanderers are but a quarter moon away from lunacy at the best o' times." -Alvanhendar (Baldur's Gate 1)

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IWD, BG and Arcanum had multiplayer, and I don't ever remember it ever being popular even back "in the day", though then again we all had 56k modems and my internet was so bad I couldn't have played properly anyway

 

Only correction I'd make here is that a good portion of the "multi-player" that happened in the 90's into the early 00's was done by LAN. People had LAN parties. Internet speed wasn't an issue.

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Talent is only a fraction of what makes a marketable game, as it were. If the release date was, say, 2016 with target funding of over $10m, maybe? Only the devs could have any ballpark idea about that. But it's far, far more practical to design to current and expected funding based on the initial targets (at $1.1m and intended content). That "awesome MP" is the road less (or not) traveled has to do with a lot of factors, not just talent: market research, ROI, time to develop, number of dev teams to employ, and of course funding.

 

I am not sure if it really is that much different in terms of effort - if the game was designed around the idea of multiplayer from the get-go. Too many games build a solid single-player game and then tack on some awkward multiplayer afterwards (e.g. Mass Effect 3). In these cases, sure, it adds time because it's something else appended on to an already complete game. A true cooperative campaign, though, designed from the ground up, probably doesn't add that much, assuming the engine already has multiplayer support and can take care of the networking/syching aspects for you.

 

And while there is certainly risk, I think there's also a reward as well, at least depending on what kind of reward one looks for. For a purely ROI point of view of most companies, it's probably not worth it. Most of the people who would want a great multi-player game would also buy a great single-player game, so from a financial point of view, it's not really necessary because you don't really attract more customers.

 

On the other hand, starting from the goal of creating a revolutionary or memorable game, it's more attractive to focus on the underserved niche; your game can shine all the brighter if it shines alone, and being a trailblazer makes one more memorable than the games that follow. That's one of the reasons I would hope Kickstarter could do something like this - there's more freedom for originality and trailblazing when you don't need to answer to corporate bean-counters who probably don't even like video games.

 

All those things really have to come together well for that to happen, and maybe that will be some other Kickstarter venture down the road by some other talent.

 

I hope so; I think crowdsourced funding is one of the only hopes for that style of game. Much of the reason I don't play many RPG video games anymore is the lack of co-op.

 

Per your comment about reading not being a team sport... Honestly, I think your experience is special and not indicative of more common MP play experience. That seems more akin to reading a story book between parent and child. Getting five other adults together in a MP party across a network with a text-heavy game, though? Everyone reads at different rates. Then in traditional group live storytelling, it's done orally--oral and reading are vastly different in social interaction. Narrative/dialogue sharing among a game group would thus make more sense if all the content was voiced, forcing parallel intake. That of course will never happen in PE either, and by virtue of having VA, the price shoots up and narrative/interactive content plummets. Seems kind of like a Catch 22 to me.

 

I think while certain aspects, like dialog, might suffer a bit from reading speed issues, having a group of real people presents new opportunities as well as new challenges. There are entire dimensions to gameplay that would be possible that just can't exist with scripted AI companions.

 

I am also a very fast reader and played what few multiplayer RPGs there are with a friend who is a slow reader. That does slow how fast I would go through dialogs, but it's never been a real problem; if anything the main problem the games we've tried suffer from is trying to shoehorn co-op into a game that was designed to be single-player.

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I am not sure if it really is that much different in terms of effort - if the game was designed around the idea of multiplayer from the get-go. Too many games build a solid single-player game and then tack on some awkward multiplayer afterwards (e.g. Mass Effect 3). In these cases, sure, it adds time because it's something else appended on to an already complete game. A true cooperative campaign, though, designed from the ground up, probably doesn't add that much, assuming the engine already has multiplayer support and can take care of the networking/syching aspects for you.

 

And this is precisely what Bobby Null addressed in his post...

 

I think while certain aspects, like dialog, might suffer a bit from reading speed issues, having a group of real people presents new opportunities as well as new challenges. There are entire dimensions to gameplay that would be possible that just can't exist with scripted AI companions.

 

I am also a very fast reader and played what few multiplayer RPGs there are with a friend who is a slow reader. That does slow how fast I would go through dialogs, but it's never been a real problem; if anything the main problem the games we've tried suffer from is trying to shoehorn co-op into a game that was designed to be single-player.

 

I do agree that there's another underserved niche, but that niche ('awesome MP with substantial content') isn't one that can overlap with 'awesome SP', to which you agree in your last paragraph: Given Null's post and the admission that tacked-on is a bad MP experience, then the choices are--

 

(1) Great MP built from the ground up with required lossy SP

(2) Bad MP built on top of great SP

(3) Great SP with no MP

 

#3 lacks the extra debugging/etc. complication Tim Cain talks about. The caveat is Null's implication that great MP+SP is possible only at a very high cost, something I'm not convinced KS can provide--but the entire point is rather moot in the case of PE: From the very beginning, Obsidian has reiterated that PE intends to be a great SP experience. Since PE is designed to be solidly single-player, there is no good ROI argument to try to build MP alongside it.

 

So in practical terms, one's best bet in finding a good co-op game is to aim for games not designed to be single-player.


The KS Collector's Edition does not include the Collector's Book.

Which game hook brought you to Project Eternity and interests you the most?

PE will not have co-op/multiplayer, console, or tablet support (sources): [0] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Write your own romance mods because there won't be any in PE.

"But what is an evil? Is it like water or like a hedgehog or night or lumpy?" -(Digger)

"Most o' you wanderers are but a quarter moon away from lunacy at the best o' times." -Alvanhendar (Baldur's Gate 1)

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If I wanted to play with other people, I'd play tabletop games.

 

Every day, I don't do that. That suggests to me that I have no interest in multiplayer.


God used to be my co-pilot, but then we crashed in the Andes and I had to eat him.

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If I wanted to play with other people, I'd play tabletop games.

 

Every day, I don't do that. That suggests to me that I have no interest in multiplayer.

 

I don't fault others for having interest in MP on its face at all; I think it'd be fun too (but I already play with friends on an MMO, so it's moot for me). I only fault others for pushing MP at the known expense of intended SP given the dev feedback we've already gotten.

 

The same goes for pushing for console or Android/iOS support at the expense of complex PC implementation--there are absolutely requests that cannot be given full and equal treatment for technical reasons. MP/SP is one of those.

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The KS Collector's Edition does not include the Collector's Book.

Which game hook brought you to Project Eternity and interests you the most?

PE will not have co-op/multiplayer, console, or tablet support (sources): [0] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Write your own romance mods because there won't be any in PE.

"But what is an evil? Is it like water or like a hedgehog or night or lumpy?" -(Digger)

"Most o' you wanderers are but a quarter moon away from lunacy at the best o' times." -Alvanhendar (Baldur's Gate 1)

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"he end of the new interview with Tim Cain put a smile on my face. After reading about so many game companies not even considering single-player focus in games anymore, I've been worried about what that might mean for those of us who love those types of games. I am very happy to see that there are publishers out there who understand and respond to the need to keep such games alive. "

 

Huh? Many games made recently are single player focused. Skyrim (which I hate), Twitcher 2, ME3, DA2, DD, and a host of others are all single player focused. This isn't anything new or original or odd.

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DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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To make a good multi-player RPG, design concessions must be made on the single player side of the game. This is especially true for titles with a lot of interactive dialogue and/or narrative delivered via text. George Ziets and I have had this conversation many times over the last few years, and it always boils down to one simple truth. Reading is not a team sport.

 

If you don't make those concessions, you end up with sub-par multiplayer. As much as I love the Baldur's Gate series, the multi-player aspect took a lot of patience (putting it mildly), as the design focus of those titles was the single player experience.

 

I do believe you can create an awesome multi-player experience with dialogue and choice and consequence, in my mind it would require a very large budget. I'll let you guys decide what that may or may not mean.

That... unless someone doubles the final total specifically to have you design the game for good multiplayer it ain't happening?

"You know, there's more to being an evil despot than getting cake whenever you want it"

 

"If that's what you think, you're DOING IT WRONG."

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To make a good multi-player RPG, design concessions must be made on the single player side of the game. This is especially true for titles with a lot of interactive dialogue and/or narrative delivered via text. George Ziets and I have had this conversation many times over the last few years, and it always boils down to one simple truth. Reading is not a team sport.

 

If you don't make those concessions, you end up with sub-par multiplayer. As much as I love the Baldur's Gate series, the multi-player aspect took a lot of patience (putting it mildly), as the design focus of those titles was the single player experience.

 

I do believe you can create an awesome multi-player experience with dialogue and choice and consequence, in my mind it would require a very large budget. I'll let you guys decide what that may or may not mean.

 

If that is the case, at least give us the opportunity to create more than one party member ala Icewind Dale. Personally I would rather there be a Co-Op element.

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To make a good multi-player RPG, design concessions must be made on the single player side of the game. This is especially true for titles with a lot of interactive dialogue and/or narrative delivered via text. George Ziets and I have had this conversation many times over the last few years, and it always boils down to one simple truth. Reading is not a team sport.

 

I would just like to point out that real-time tactical combat is a team sport.

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I would just like to point out that real-time tactical combat is a team sport.

No it isn't.

 

You are playing the game by yourself, one conscious being interacting with the artificial environment. That's not sport, and neither is it team work.

 

Each of the characters you control are just scripted AI that still requires your participation. And there's only one person actively participating. There's nothing team nor sport about that.

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