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molarBear

A text heavy game

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this quote from the KS page got me a bit worried:

 

Project Eternity will take the central hero, memorable companions and the epic exploration of Baldur’s Gate, add in the fun, intense combat and dungeon diving of Icewind Dale, and tie it all together with the emotional writing and mature thematic exploration of Planescape: Torment.

 

ok, i understand that it's a nice sales pitch but you can't win 'em all with limited budget and time. wouldn't we rather have epic writing and compromising on combat, graphics and many levels? and by epic writing i mean...remember the sensory stones and raven dialogues from ps:t? that's what i mean :)


"if everyone is dead then why don't i remember dying?"

—a clueless sod to a dustman

 

"if we're all alive then why don't i remember being born?"

—the dustman's response

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Surely once the characters are already designed and implemented writing more dialogue is one of the cheapest forms of content to add?

 

i disagree. may be cheap in terms of $ but definitely not cheap in terms of time and creativity (brainpower)


"if everyone is dead then why don't i remember dying?"

—a clueless sod to a dustman

 

"if we're all alive then why don't i remember being born?"

—the dustman's response

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I'm pretty sure money is more likely to be the limiting reagent in this game than creativity or brainpower. We are talking about Obsidian. None of their writers are exactly short on that.

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Actually, dialog is likely one of the most expensive things to add -- at least, in comparison to say, a new combat encounters, extra classes, more monsters, and the like.

 

Writing dialog requires that it be written (ask any book author how easy that is -- and a game on the scale of PS:T contains just as much text as a mainstream novel) and then it has to be edited (for spelling, grammar, etc.) and tested extensively. By comparison, adding a new area is a piece of cake.

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Actually, dialog is likely one of the most expensive things to add -- at least, in comparison to say, a new combat encounters, extra classes, more monsters, and the like.

 

Writing dialog requires that it be written (ask any book author how easy that is -- and a game on the scale of PS:T contains just as much text as a mainstream novel) and then it has to be edited (for spelling, grammar, etc.) and tested extensively. By comparison, adding a new area is a piece of cake.

 

yes. it is as hard as writing a novel and that was the case in ps:t. forget about editing of the text for now, just writing a coherent piece is very hard. sure one can put a price on it in terms of man hours but it takes passion, dedication and authorship skills. relentless text made ps:T so special and still is to this day.


"if everyone is dead then why don't i remember dying?"

—a clueless sod to a dustman

 

"if we're all alive then why don't i remember being born?"

—the dustman's response

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I don't have any personal experience, but... Yes, that's certainly the impression that I've gotten from reading developer posts (both professional and amateur) and playing around with NWN1 and 2

 

The difference is in integration testing (when everything comes together as a finished whole) -- classes, monsters, encounters, and areas don't require much in the way of integration testing, but dialog requires lots of integration testing.

 

A new class, for example, is fairly easy to test: You have a well defined list of abilities that the player might choose, and while the specific combination of abilities that any end-game PC might end up with may vary, each ability is used independently of the rest, so you can test them individually.

 

Dialog, on the other hand, is much harder -- if a flag gets set incorrectly in dialog X then it may not have any sort of gameplay effect unless three other flags are also set and even then, not until the last 10 minutes of the game. That's much more difficult to detect than "Ability X says it should do 3d6 damage, but actually does 2d6+3 damage", for example.

 

The same applies for areas, encounters, or monsters -- all you need to do is test one instance, in isolation, and you can have a large degree of confidence that the asset will work when combined with the game.

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Sorry, but this product is supposed to be adressed towards old geezers who loved games like Planescape: Torment, in fact, it seems to be a spiritual successor of the aforementioned.

 

I love games which are books, novels given shape, colour, sound and motion. And this is exactly what I want Project: Eternity to be.

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The volume of the writing is less important to me than the actual quality and depth of the prose. So "epic" doesn't mean it needs to be War and Peace. Since we know some of the main developers and we know they do great work, I think it's somewhat of a false choice to assume that you have to pick between memorable battles and a deep combat system and deep, affective writing.

Edited by nikolokolus
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ok, i understand that it's a nice sales pitch but you can't win 'em all with limited budget and time. wouldn't we rather have epic writing and compromising on combat, graphics and many levels?

Yes please. Would be better to have both, but if I have to chose, I chose writing.

Edited by qloher

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Just to be clear, I'm not arguing against a text-heavy game -- in fact, however far they end up going in this direction is probably not going to as far as I'd prefer. :) However, it is true that more dialog (especially dialog that has consequences elsewhere) is very, very expensive relative to just about any other element that you might care to name.

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Sorry, but this product is supposed to be adressed towards old geezers who loved games like Planescape: Torment, in fact, it seems to be a spiritual successor of the aforementioned.

 

I love games which are books, novels given shape, colour, sound and motion. And this is exactly what I want Project: Eternity to be.

 

c'mon man we are not that old of geezers. are we? come to think of it, i think we are ;( i'm 27, not that young


"if everyone is dead then why don't i remember dying?"

—a clueless sod to a dustman

 

"if we're all alive then why don't i remember being born?"

—the dustman's response

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If my eyes aren't bleeding by the end of PE, I'll be disappointed. However, if I fall asleep during combat, I'll be pissed.

 

It's up to the devs to play juggle the design aspects and get it right.

Edited by Bos_hybrid

cylon_basestar_eye.gif

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I really have had enough of the modern RPG's where every diaogue is a throw-around of one, two-liners. No true information is given during said dialogues, with all the crucial details then magically appearing within the journal. Not to mention how harder this makes drawing a mental image of such a personality.

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I'm hoping for heavy and intense dialogue. If this is a mature game with a heavy emphasis on the "soul" then I would like to see them explore the metaphysical aspects of the game as well. There should be a good balance between combat and narrative though, this is not a visual novel.

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Volume at the expense of good writing that pull you in is not getting my money's worth. And it is important to remember lengthy essays will turn people away. I played Dragon Age, where they had lots of details and background information. In the beginning I loved that, I would spend time reading through, getting into the World. As the game went on, as I got more excited about playing, I found myself wanting to play and not read so much.

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Generally what you will find is that a game with very rich lore, detailed, complex characters, & setting will have more opportunities and occurrences of great relevant and interesting dialogue to go with it.

 

However that being said I loved a lot of the philosophical undertones and conversations which took place in PST and to a lesser extent BG2, and with the concept of magic being tied to your soul, my intuition tells me, we will be seeing more of that.

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the CEO of obisdian said something about 400K words for project eternity when talking about a translation

i guess expecting something along that line isn't too far off the truth

Edited by lolaldanee

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the CEO of obisdian said something about 400K words for project eternity when talking about a translation

i guess expecting something along that line isn't too far off the truth

 

afaik the translation of PS:T to italian took 15 months to do, during that time they translated 68510 dialogues and a total of 1,4 million words! i am not saying quantity is equal to quality but that was clearly the case for PS:T :)


"if everyone is dead then why don't i remember dying?"

—a clueless sod to a dustman

 

"if we're all alive then why don't i remember being born?"

—the dustman's response

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the CEO of obisdian said something about 400K words for project eternity when talking about a translation

i guess expecting something along that line isn't too far off the truth

 

afaik the translation of PS:T to italian took 15 months to do, during that time they translated 68510 dialogues and a total of 1,4 million words! i am not saying quantity is equal to quality but that was clearly the case for PS:T :)

 

I think translation is always harder than the actual writing because if you want to do a good job you have to translate it in a certain way and style. If you write it you have often this flow mechanism when you can write a ton of stuff in a very short period of time.

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