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The Game Manual

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For those of you who got Baldur's Gate II in the box, you will remember the game came packaged with a very thick manual, choked full of not only the typical installation instructions, it also had many pages of background information on locations, portions of the map, illustrations, NPCs, and other information all which served as a great overview to the world of Faerûn. Back then I never heard of a separate collector's book with all the art and background information of the game world. Back then the more expensive, well known games came with not only the physical disc, it came with a meaty manual and sometimes a cloth map. Art books were more of a item sold separately.

 

This time Obsidian is promising much of that as bonuses for backers of the higher tiers. I can appreciate that, and will support the higher tiers to get these collectibles. But it also made me think will all buyers of the game get just a barebones PDF manual like many games have nowadays or will everyone be able to enjoy a meaty book like we could back in the day?

 

Please give us at least a thick (at least black & white) manual for all the RPG fans to feast on. For those who paid more, they can get a full color printed manual. A well designed manual adds to the excitement of the Player to explore, to play and want more of the game.

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For all the love I personally have for the big, meaty Game Manuals let me say this:

Ideally a well designed game doesn't need a manual, let alone a 2 pound tome. A good game can be played right out of the box. The game rules are learned ingame, not before. In the olden days game size was such a limitation that putting descriptions of monsters in the handbook was the only way of having them at all. Now I want it in game - maybe a codex, perhaps linked to the knowledge skills. And accessible during loading screens, that would be nice.

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For all the love I personally have for the big, meaty Game Manuals let me say this:

Ideally a well designed game doesn't need a manual, let alone a 2 pound tome. A good game can be played right out of the box. The game rules are learned ingame, not before. In the olden days game size was such a limitation that putting descriptions of monsters in the handbook was the only way of having them at all. Now I want it in game - maybe a codex, perhaps linked to the knowledge skills. And accessible during loading screens, that would be nice.

 

If I don't have to delve my nose into at least eight oversized, dusty tomes in order to glean the most basic principals of an acceptable complex Role-Playing Game then I'm not having fun.

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"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 demand at least as big a manual as Falcon 4.0! Though perhaps with a 4-ring binder instead of a 3-ring one, because triple hole punches are bulky and expensive.

 

falcon4.jpg


L I E S T R O N G
L I V E W R O N G

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I agree with Zephyr Falcon, having all the details in the game will be great. I'd love to have details of the world unlock as I play, to allow me to read more or keep track of what I've already discovered. All the data an illustrations can appear in game, in a way which is more easily accessible.

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Bah. BG2's manual was nothing compared to the Arcanum manual.


"Well, overkill is my middle name. And my last name. And all of my other names as well!"

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Yes!

YES!

A delicious manual mmmmm.

 

With concept art and lore, and having the cover and pages befitting of the game setting.

 

I know Tim Cain loves these things so there is a very high chance we end up with a great manual.

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Yes I do not expect the manual to take over the in-game Encyclopedia. Having a book with a selection of the background stories, illustrations, etc. serves as an appetizer. You still got to play the game to get the actual experience, during which you will want to consult the in-game help to get specific context sensitive help. The manual and the in-game help should not cancel each other out. For me I like to read the manual before I play, to get that overview I mentioned earlier. By the time you actually start, you will have a sense of knowing where you are and a little foreshadow of why you are there.

 

And for those who get the Collector's Book they get even more to feast on.

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From the kickstarter page:

The boxed copy will include a DVD version of the game and a printed manual.

 

There is no reason to give printed manual with digital only copy.

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Bah. BG2's manual was nothing compared to the Arcanum manual.

Darklands manual ;)
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No manual is complete without tables.

 

I'm suspecting that the this will be included in the Collector's Book.


"Things are funny...are comedic, because they mix the real with the absurd." - Buzz Aldrin.

"P-O-T-A-T-O-E" - Dan Quayle

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I also want the tables. I spend much time going over Baldurs Gates manual, to optimize my characters.

 

Has there been any information on what the differences are between the digital almanac, the printed manual, the strategy guide and the collectors book?

 

I find it so confusing...

Edited by T'hain Esh Kelch

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Love giant manuals sadly noone makes them any more. The only company I can think of is Fraxis with the Civ series. They include an 100+ page spiral bound manual with basically the entire game encyclopedia in it.

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If it doesn't look like this I'm going to instruct my lawyers to write a very cross letter.

 

Devil_codex_Gigas.jpg


sonsofgygax.JPG

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My god if the book looked like that....... I would probably have to make a little sanctuary for it.


Obsidian ‏@Obsidian Current PayPal status: $140,000. 2,200 backers

 

"Hmm so last Paypal information was 140,000 putting us at 4,126,929. We did well over and beyond 4 million, and still have an old backer number from Paypal. 76,186 backers. It's very possible that we have over 75,000 backers if I had new Paypal information. Which means we may have 15 Mega dungeon levels, and we already are going to have an amazing game + cats (I swear I will go stir crazy if Adam doesn't own up to the cats thing :p)."

 

Switching to Paypal means that more of your money will go towards Project Eternity. (The more you know.)

Paypal charges .30 cents per transaction and 2.2% for anything over 100,000 per month for U.S currency. Other currency is different, ranging from anywhere between 2.2-4.9%.

Kick Starter is a fixed 5% charge at the end.

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If I remember right, my BG2 manual was a spiral bound book, with pages you can flip from page to page. Nowadays everything is shrunk and pdf'ed into a DVD case. I am hoping Obsidian will give us a real box for PE, not just a DVD case and call that a box. This is not just nostalgia on my part, though I admit it is a large part of it, By being to hold things in your hand, it is a physical feeling, I feel what my donations got, a piece of gaming history, a meaty and ultimately a satisfying look into the world of Project Eternity. Of course there are shipping and printing costs to consider, I am hoping Obsidian will provide this at the higher tiers which should provide enough of a budget to cover this. So far, I am looking forward to the Almanac, the manual, the novella (with audio), the collector's book with great anticipation. Taken together they will make a good manual. Taken separately I hope each is not too thin ... as many printed material is nowadays.

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My wishes

 

-Tim Cain recipes

 

Actually make that an entire thing by itself ;)

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I disagree with the design philosophy that games don't need manuals.

 

I prefer to have a great deal of preparation done before I even start the game.

 

I like having a party designed before I even start up the game. I like having levels planned out.

 

In-game tutorials should be optional. I dislike hand-holding NPCs, pop-ups and tool-tips.

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One of the things I loved about IE games was the detailed manuals and tables, I had to double my level when I heard the manual was at the $50 level

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One of the things I loved about IE games was the detailed manuals and tables, I had to double my level when I heard the manual was at the $50 level

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Arcanum-style manual would be amazing, maintaining the game's vibe and adding LOTS of curious lore, someone should build an altar for the guy who created the introduction and the race's descriptions!

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I have fond memories of spending lots of time with that Baldur's Gate 2 manual, studying up on new classes to try and such.

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I also want the tables. I spend much time going over Baldurs Gates manual, to optimize my characters.

 

Has there been any information on what the differences are between the digital almanac, the printed manual, the strategy guide and the collectors book?

 

I find it so confusing...

I would still like an answer to this. Preferably before the Kickstarter ends.

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