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I'm sorry I just naturally assumed the game was for children with the childlike avatars and simplified dialogue, no insult intended. However i'd still say that the text description is far richer and more descriptive than a grimacing expression, which really adds nothing whatsoever. If Spirit Engine 2 can have text like I describe, then it would be far more text heavy and once again not need the two or three expressions particularly.


I'd rather have a fine portrait or some such, than a few pointless expressions.

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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Spirit Egine 2 did something of the sort, quite successfuly I thought.




Kaltos, 6:10 to 6:35 to 6:50 to name a few. You could just jump straight to those marks to see the 3 different expressions instead of watching it though, that should suffice as a good example for the conceptual idea.

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I see some people saying text can work wonders at being expressive. I counter with: This isn't a novel, it is a video game and the only reason text was relied on so heavily in the past was because graphical fidelity was not good enough to actually show emotion on a character.

You're saying video game animations are good enough now? Maybe if they were made by Pixar, but regardless, PE won't have that kind of funding (and even if it did, it would probably be better spent elsewhere). To dismiss writing strength in a video game isn't really different from dismissing what good animations/acting could bring to the table; the difference is the 'good writing' part can be achieved, while the animation part can be... *insert perverted Shepard picture*
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VO is expensive, right? Does portraits cost more? (Replacing VO expression with portrait expression = costs less? If so, would a portrait representation be more desirable than VO?).


When it comes to decision-making in ANY business, it's not mere "cost." It's "return on investment."


Then what does emotive portraiture (painted, not anime/cartoony) actually add to the game experience? In the example clip, it looks like merely a matter of matching the portrait to the text; in well-written text, you should infer the underlying emotions near instantly, quite easily, or simply be told narratively. Then anyone with a working imagination can go with that. "She pursed her lips" or "he slouched dejectedly into the table"--you can see it, along with the body language. Multiple portraits become redundant. Even without PS:T's style of descriptive narration, the dialogic writing style carries significant undertones as well.


And then how many portraits would we need for "nuance"? The video clip above doesn't seem to be from an actual role-playing game; there are no dialogue choices, just a couple buttons that seem to work like a passive webcomic in which you have no control over multiple branching choices. So that seems ridiculously simple--both that game itself and the concept of matching maybe five portraits to some basic dialogues.


If you were going to the trouble of creating different and NUANCED portraits for dialogue choices of the level we might expect in PS:T, something like this can't work:




Let's not forget that we already know the initial lines for NPC dialogues will be voiced. That's all the emotive/mood/attitudinal punch we need right there since that sets the tone for the entire conversation already. If there were no voices at all, you might have a better argument for this kind of inclusion. But in a game without "good" or "evil," which we're expecting to have dialogic and narrative content between BG and PS:T, having only a handful of emotive portraits would not do the true story content, the text, justice. Trying to match up for conversations like the above and beyond--it would become an impediment instead of an enhancement, IMO.

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I'd be good with any kind of expression they can show.


Showing expressions and things helps sell the story and feeling behind the words/text and voices. It all adds up to me, and the more the merrier I say.


Good voicework that can take emphasis/words and put them together to emit emotion is a step up, then visually seeing such emotion on the characters faces is the next step up.


For anyone that remembers their teachers reading them books in school, there were those teachers that'd just "read" it like it was a newspaper and half of the class wouldn't pay attention/would fall asleep, then you'd have that one really good teacher who put emphasis on words (and might have even used different voices) and made that story "come to life" in your imagination because of that extra thing they did, it really helped imo.

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  • 8 months later...

I really like this idea too.  :yes:

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ I ' M ★  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ B L A C K S T A R   ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

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I kind of like the idea, maybe. If it's well done and looks good.

It's a narrow path of doing enough to convey the feeling while not doing too much and making everything silly and stupid.


Not a must or something I'd be too happy to sacrifice something else over.

But if Obsidian would decide this is worth pursuing, I definitely wouldn't complain.

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For me, the problem is this, if you read:


  "The Cipher slumps to the ground, his body wracked by spasms of pain, his hands shaking as they rise to clasp his temples. For a brief moment of eternity he struggles, silent and senseless, wrapped in his own world of agony. Finally his blood red eyes rise from the floor to lock upon yours with the force of a hammer blow. "Get out," he groans." (Thanks, Nonek)


and then you see a simple grimace facial expression, the image has FAR less "information" than the text, making it redundant. (or even disrupting your immersion when there are little differences, which is a common problem that reusing the same images can do)


Otherwise you have to make a very good and detailed animation to convey what those 3 simple lines of text do. That is lots of work, that most times wont be reusable only to be "on par" with text writing. Being better than text would involve a good actor + body recording or  a squad of top notch animators, things that only on films are made.

Edited by Naurgalen
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  • 11 months later...

Now that we actually got the Beta on our hands, I thought it interesting to re-visit an old topic.

This is 1 test portrait I made, to try and test how well the 3D model face would fit in the UI in-game. I think it fits pretty well and has this sort of old-school tone to it (this also gave me an idea on some sort of Portrait Builder. You could use the 3D model as a photo-model, create different expressions, angry, sad, etc. etc. and when taking a Screenshot/Camera Shot it could define the size of the image automatically).

I also tried making a 2nd character by the same concept to see what it would look with more characters (Conclusion: If I spent more time with it it'd look really cool I think). There's also a sense of "height" of the character in the portraits, albeit the Elf looks extremely tiny xD

Basically, I got inspired to make this Aumaua portrait by seeing a Codex post with all zoomed in characters, then when I had done it I realized "Oh wait, this really old idea I had. This is it!"~ hence the necro.

It's the Doom guy concept (the lower the health, the different the expression). 3D models are easier and faster to work with? (For portraits)

I absolutely love the 2D Portraits as art pieces, but many do not represent the characters I want to create and neither do they provide the same speed/effictivity/content for a developer/designer/content creator~ these are brainstormed ideas, I do not suggest that Obsidian ditch 2D portraits, this is more personal a la: "Finally I can explain my point!" xD Edited by Osvir
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