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Barothmuk

Fictional Languages & Alphabets

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One of my favourite thing about the works of Tolkien is the depth of lore that went into constructing his fictional languages. Sadly (for me) fictional languages (or at least reference to them) seem to be largely ignored in many of the modern RPGs of late.

 

Now I'm not necessarily advocating Obsidian construct an entirely new language/languages (I assume that's expensive), all I want is reference to other languages being part of the lore, occasionally being mentioned during the game and perhaps even being a part of gameplay.

 

E.g. A thing that bothered me about the Dragon Age games was that the languages of the other nation states was barely touched on. Yes, we had Qunari (that was good) and a few elven phrases here and there but the languages of the other countries was neither mentioned nor acknowledged.

 

Another thing often ignored of late is the use of language as a skill. Look back to Daggerfall where the player could learn orcish, nymph, elvish, giantish, harpy etc. Now in modern TES games the language gap isn't even mentioned.

 

Also aphabets. Alphabets are cool.

Edited by Barothmuk

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This is one of those ideas that is awesome but it is a demanding task. Start writing up/presenting some prototype language for inspiration/material.

 

I don't remember where but someone did make a post about it in a thread.... *4 minutes later*

 

Here (Racial Speech Skill) and this one (How are languages made?) and accents.

 

This post by PsychoBlonde:

I don't have a huge preference on how it is implemented mechanically (as long as it's done in an interesting way), but I do think having at least some language barriers in the game could add a lot. One potentially interesting mechanic might be to translate a certain number of words based on your character's Int or language skill, so then you, the player, get to try and figure out how to respond. So a low int character would get:

 

Fre selthenarl bi kath devre dragon mer elain!

 

whereas a high int character would get you:

 

You smell like kath devre dragon elain!

 

Whereas an actual member of the race/culture would get:

 

You smell like rancid dragon piss!

 

Edit: Although, it occurs to me that localizing this might be a nightmare.

 

EDIT: Underline for highlight (very important to know/think about!). Also want to refer to my post in "Dev Team Sharing the Process" how much are we sharing "the process" of our ideas? How much material do we put out versus how much material do we ask for?

 

A good thread to read over at the Wasteland 2 forums.

Edited by Osvir

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Those were very good links. Thanks.

 

What stood out was this:

 

JESawyer: I'm developing most of the language conventions. I start with a base language's grammar and vocabulary and tweak it, then (try) to keep records of those rules. Aedyran is English with a base of Old English. Vailian is based on Italian (except it's cased). Glanfathan is based on Irish but I've introduced different grammatical case rules. Generally, I try to avoid using real words directly, altering them slightly in the process of adapting them for the game. My goal is for the feeling to be present, but not the words directly.

 

I'm glad they at least have a base idea of the main cultures languages. I hate trying to find a lore appropriate name for my character only to find out that there's no logical namining consistency.

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