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molarBear

A text heavy game

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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.

yeah sure but i gave that example to have an idea about the humongous text size of 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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PS:T had enough text to fill 9 or 10 novels. And it was awesome! I'd love to have that much text here, but as always, quality trumps quantity.

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im just glad they are not going to make the game fully voiced. i really really hate that most games nowadays have full voice acting. it ruins my "immersion".

 

rpg's used to be like interactive novels, then they devolved into interactive action movies.


The Internet: A place where everything is literally binary and the only shade of grey is the one seen by angry nerds when imagining what their ideal Diablo screen-shots look like.

Killing is kind of like playin' a basketball game. I am there. and the other player is there. and it's just the two of us. and I put the other player's body in my van. and I am the winner. - Nice Pete.

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im just glad they are not going to make the game fully voiced. i really really hate that most games nowadays have full voice acting. it ruins my "immersion".

 

rpg's used to be like interactive novels, then they devolved into interactive action movies.

 

Yes, very much so. I don't find anything particularly enjoyable about Diablo 3. Skyrim wasn't that great either but it was definitely the better of the two in a battle of the "I can't explain the popularity of this aside from marketing" titles. Seriously, New Vegas and the Mass Effects are the only games I played that had good and interesting storylines within the last 8 years or so. Dragon Age Origins had a fairly extensive amount of text etc but not a lot of that was very interesting aside from the characters of Morrigan, Shale and a few different scenarios.

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Let's put my opinion on such things this way, if Obsidian released a text only RPG, and it was good enough, I'd still buy it. The quality of what's there is what matters to me, not the particular presentation as long as that presentation is quality. Quality writing is a form of presentation I can accept. I'm looking for the quality they're bringing to the table first and foremost.


"Step away! She has brought truth and you condemn it? The arrogance!

You will not harm her, you will not harm her ever again!"

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i only like voice acting for PC taunts and at the main points of a story and that's about it (like in ps:t. ah my deionarra! my love!)

another problem with voice acting is that:

-we can read faster

-it needs serious $$$

 

i'm perfectly okay if there is no voice acting at all (but all PC taunts must be voiced by chris avellone :) )

Edited by molarBear

"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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Op is right. You should always be wary of a game that promises the best of both worlds. Because it can never happen. Planescape torment delivered the thematic depth and the type of text-based storyline that comes around once every 10 generations. But the tradeoff was that its combat was crap. Icewind dale was the opposite, it gave us the quintessential dungeon crawl experience and fantastic tactical combat, but at the cost of narrative, story depth and exploration freedom. The BG series gave us rich companions, and decent free roam, but it lacked Planescape's deep morality-based roleplay.

 

And all of those games had bigger budgets to work with. It's wishful thinking that PE will be Torment +IWD +BG combined.

Edited by Stun

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If this game really is BG2 meets PS:T it could be a truly amazing work of art. I actually don't know which is more important to me the superb, tactical combat of BG2 with Demi-Liches, Dragons, Giants, and amazing encounter design all round or a story that is as engrossing and suspenseful as PS:T. Of course I'd love to see both. I was actually one of those rare people who quite liked the combat in PS:T. Not nearly as good as BG2 or ToEE but still enjoyable. BG2 had better combat but it was mostly about combat. The BG2 story was juvenile and poorly written. I guess if I had to choose I'd go for a suspenseful, well written story and a mediocre combat system over the opposite. The only problem with a really good story in a game is that replayability tends to be inversely proportional. I've probably replayed PS:T less than 10 times. BG2 I've replayed probably something like 50-100 times including TOB and SCS.


JoshSawyer: Listening to feedback from the fans has helped us realize that people can be pretty polarized on what they want, even among a group of people ostensibly united by a love of the same games. For us, that means prioritizing options is important. If people don’t like a certain aspect of how skill checks are presented or how combat works, we should give them the ability to turn that off, resources permitting.

.
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Op is right. You should always be wary of a game that promises the best of both worlds. Because it can never happen. Planescape torment delivered the thematic depth and the type of text-based storyline that comes around once every 10 generations. But the tradeoff was that its combat was crap. Icewind dale was the opposite, it gave us the quintessential dungeon crawl experience and fantastic tactical combat, but at the cost of narrative, story depth and exploration freedom. The BG series gave us rich companions, and decent free roam, but it lacked Planescape's deep morality-based roleplay.

 

And all of those games had bigger budgets to work with. It's wishful thinking that PE will be Torment +IWD +BG combined.

Honestly I don't disagree with your point but allow me to try arguing against it. Icewind Dale didn't have a story focus because Josh Sawyer only had a weekend to write it compared to the several weeks that games like Planescape Torment and Fallout had. In terms of Baldur's Gate I have yet to play a Bioware game that managed to have any deep theme or use morality outside black and white. For Planescape I haven't heard a single person defend the gameplay even from the people who made it. Avellone said the D&D rules basically got in the way of their dialog focused gameplay. I'm not saying you are wrong but I'm saying it may have a better chance than you think.

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I don't think there is some sort of law of physics that demands that a game cannot have good gameplay and good story and deep roleplay. Just because it hasn't happened before does not preclude it from ever happening.

 

Personally the amount of words doesn't matter as much as the reactivity and depth of the branching. Though there was something awesome about the paragraphs of text that Planescape would treat you to, I don't think they are a necessary component of having a story telling experience as deep as it was.

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A couple things here. First, We're not just talking about a game with a good story, good gameplay and deep role playing. Because plenty of games have all 3. No, We're talking about game with a story as good as PS:T's, gameplay as good as IWD's, and roleplaying as good as BG's. Huge difference.

 

Second, there IS a law of physics that prevents such a thing. It's called the space-time continuum. lol

Edited by Stun

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The only problem with a really good story in a game is that replayability tends to be inversely proportional. I've probably replayed PS:T less than 10 times. BG2 I've replayed probably something like 50-100 times including TOB and SCS.

 

sadly, that's why planescape: torment is one of a kind. i also thought from the previous posts of c. avellone that obsidian wanted to do a "planescape: torment spiritual successor" ('cos we fans were begging for it), not a BG or IWD follow up. ps:t is one of a kind for no publisher in their right mind would again invest money into a cRPG that has low replay value and insane "text" (story, dialogues, descriptions etc.) cost (a.k.a dedication, passion, creativity, detail, philosophy in immense depth).

i understand the sales pitch of obsidian in order reach out to more masses but just making a game like ps:t is a herculean task—let alone the other promises. i just hope that obsidian knows its limits (within a limited budget and time project). let's not try to fly high.

Edited by molarBear

"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 can't comment on older game systems, but in modern gaming systems, dialogue is a royal pain. You have to write the lines, lip-sync the characters, give them body animations to go with it, get it into a studio, and then record the voice actors. Well, you usually have an intern test it first because what sounds great on paper can sound awful when spoken, ask any English teacher.

 

The difficulty in dialogue vs. action is that a video game is quintessentially about game play. The medium is the message, as the saying goes. So a game that isn't fun isn't going to work no matter how great the writing is, conversely, there are game series which have utterly godawful dialogue that do very well. If you can combine both, you get a truly unique game. I think of the difference between Saints Row II and Saints Row III. Saints Row II had a really great story behind it and some touching scenes. Saints Row III goes to wacky-purple-****-town and never looks back, the story, scenes, and characters are entirely forgettable.

 

One glaring difference in approaching backstory is a compare-and-contrast between Fallout III (Bethesda) and Fallout: New Vegas (Obsidian). Fallout III has very little direct story. If you want to find out the World, you have to read holotapes and play them back and piece together the World bit by bit. You can run through the game and get almost no idea of what's going on other than a bomb went off, people need water, and Liam Neeson is your dad. In fact, if you chose not to explore anything, you can beat the game in a few hours or less.

 

Fallout: New Vegas is very direct about the story, you get told what's going on and you often have to make choices that affect the entire game World. You're forced to explore the World and interact with different factions, areas, and learn the backstory of your companions. The DLCs then add a new layer to the story of the Courier and other elements and characters in that World.

 

You can pick which one you like best. The traditional advice is to put all the story in out-of-the-way places and make it so that the players who want it can find it and the rest can find it if they feel like it.

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