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Ah, Arcanum - that takes me back. During its making they had a "Wordsmiths wanted" story competition running where you could write an in-universe short composition/story and win a chance for it to be in one of the books in-game (along with a free copy of the game itself). I found out about it the night before I was to go overseas for a few weeks, so I quickly trotted off something that admittedly wasn't the best thing I'd ever written (The Journal of Henry Dovern), submitted it, and promptly forgot about it until I received an email saying I was one of the ones who was selected. Good times.

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A few quick tips for Chris if he reads this:

 

1) You will need to use the "fast travel" system (though it's more like the system of the old Fallouts), you won't be able to manually walk between locations. The map is important in this game. The local map also allows you to set waypoints which your character will run through (useful when you're backtracking or going through the bigger areas)

When your map icon becomes the Blue globe icon, it means that you have ventured outside a "local map", and generally (there are some exceptions) it means that there is nothing much of interest and that it is time to use the "fast travel".

2) When the icons in the upper left field are red, it means something "new" has happened in them. For example, if your character sheet button is red (it is for you now), it means you have skill points to use.

3) The sound and blue flash is Virgil healing you with his healing magic.

4) There is a small cave you missed in the blimp area that has some interesting stuff in it.


Listen to my home-made recordings (some original songs, some not): http://www.youtube.c...low=grid&view=0

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PLEASE fix the video image quality.

I don't know if that just because of the 360p resolution or if there was some problem with the recording... but it really diminishes the enjoyment of watching it :(

Even to 480p the difference is abysmal.

Please do consider 720p, and split the video in 30m chunks.

 

Also, you should have gone with the fan patches which fix lots of bugs.

Well... I guess we'll just have to enjoy you regretting it then :)

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Difficulty expressing the joy created by witnessing Chris Avellone play a high-level RPG with a running stream of consciousness...

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Please improve the video quality. I've been doing Let's Plays of Infinity Engine games for a long time and my videos have the best quality on Youtube. It's not complicated and doesn't require much time. Here is how I do it:

 

 - In Fraps, check the "Force Lossless RGB" box - this helps with red text on dark background

 - Download and install the following tools, in that order:

   1. Virtual Dub http://virtualdub.sourceforge.net/

   2. x264vfw http://sourceforge.net/projects/x264vfw/

   3. Lame ACM MP3 codec http://www.videohelp.com/tools/Lame-MP3

 - Open your raw Fraps file in Virtual Dub. If it's in separate segments, append them one after the other (File -> Append).

 - Under Video, set to "Full recompress", same thing under Audio

 - Under Video, select Filters, select Add, select the Resize filter, configure it for at least 200% upscaling and select either Precise Bicubic or Lanczos.

 - Under Video, select Compression... -> x264vfw, and configure it for CRF with a factor of ~22 (the smaller the better, but filesize will grow as well).

 - Under Audio, select Compression... -> Lame MP3, and configure it for the highest bitrate. It'll be rather insignificant anyway compared to the video data, so might as well keep the audio as lossless as possible.

 - Hit Shift+F7, give the video a name. Hit F4 and you'll see the rendering job added to the list. Click Start (or Run I'm not sure) and the video will render.

 - Upload to Youtube.

 

Result:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHF6g6vZso0

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Oh, Chris,  you've just missed one side quest...

And one suggestion is : TRY NOT CHALLENGE THOSE WOLVES ON THE WAY OUT OF THE CRASH PLACE AT THE EARLY TIME!!! (Actually, I killed all of them after I got full fellows, and at a really high level, yeah, just for vengeance - I'll be BACK!!! :devil: )


I have struggle to understand a Universe that allows the destruction of an entire planet. Which will win this endless conflict - destruction or creation? The only thing I know for certain is never to place your faith entirely on one side. Play the middle if you want to survive.

 

Everyone else is a fanatic. I am Gauldoth Half-Dead. Your savior.

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Hit F7 for quick save, F8 quick load, F2 to order companion(s) attack the chosen enemy or any object (like locked door).

 

I understand keyboard is a dark forest in a time of hitting A for Awesome, but trying all the buttons before smacking first seen enemy can really help when you play games you're not familiar with.

 

P.S. Don't give Chris any spoilers on what he missed or about anything dangerous ahead. That would just ruin all the fun.

Edited by Shadenuat

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Avellone needs to read the manual.

It seriously helps when it comes to playing Arcanum.

Also I was hoping he'd play a half-ogre.

It doesn't matter if he played a dumb one or not, in fact playing as an intelligent one is twice as fun because of everyone assuming you're stupid only to get told where they can shove it.

 

Also, when are we going to get an update from Mr Cain? We saw him briefly a few times at the start of the KS campaign, but he's been relatively silent since then.


When in doubt, blame the elves.

 

I have always hated the word "censorship", I prefer seeing it as just removing content that isn't suitable or is considered offensive

 

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Mmm, I watched a few minutes then lost interest. Vicarious gaming just isn't my thing.

 

I do have to say that Chris' voice isn't anything like as bad as he claims. But opinions vary. 8)


"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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This isn't an update. I feel cheated and violated.

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sonsofgygax.JPG

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This isn't an update. I feel cheated and violated.

Violated? 

 

You don't know what violated is until you've spent a night with Flashheart!

 

WOOF!

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Elf-hater detected!

Seriously, my suggestion is to use native game resolution of 800x600 (instead of current 400x300) and to code directly to VP8 and Vorbis to avoid transcoding losses in time and quality. There is no good in 720p though - stretching of lesser original video will beef up volume and add blur to image.


Good job so far!

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i totally agree about elves being written in every rpg as an elite race.  i'm a bit sick of it, and no the 'but they're fragile' argument never holds up because they always have such exceptional agility as to be able to avoid damage altogether.  logically they have no reason as to why they wouldn't be such a dominant super power as to be able to 'america' their ideals on all the other races, making any sort of 'evil' able to challenge the elves a major world war, in which there is no real chance a small group would be able to take it on all by themselves.  especially since the group starts a few weeks prior to the showdown killing rats for a challenge.

 

man i could go on and on as to why elves in a typical rpg totally ruins the balance of the world's structure and lore, but this isn't the place for it.

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Regarding the video, I am some what surprised that Chris Avellone didn't really seem to pick up on some rather clear things such as how you can't lower your stats below default figures, whilst in the video he's clicking various stats talking about lowering them to be able to improve things to get the character more toward his desired focus, yet he's changing nothing what so ever.

 

Don't take this the wrong way, but for the love of bob the mighty deity of the internet, don't let that chap give feedback on first impressions for new players in Project Eternity!!!

 

 

Of course, if the lack of care and ability to notice when something is actually doing nothing at all, yet repeatedly doing it successively and convinced something is happening and actually claiming to like the end result of nothing changing over the original state before nothing changed is all part of some elaborate message to show he really doesn't want to be playing Arcanum in the first place.... never mind.  :w00t:  

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Elves are awesome in Arcanum. Arcanum is probably one of the few, maybe the only, game where elves are actually pretty damn cleverly done and play a major role in the plot.

Generally, all races are. In Arcanum, races just have their *place*. Everyone *belongs* where he is. It is hard to explain and something which needs to be experienced. Half-elven gamblers in fancy suits, dwarven engineers, half-ogrish body-guards for weak (but rich) gnomes, orcish cheap labor in the factories... just to name a few examples.

 

As for MCA clicking things, maybe he's just a bit nervous as LP's in new to him (is it?). I also noticed he constantly moves the cursor when reading dialogue (I usually just leisurely relax in my chair drinking tea and do not touch mouse at all when reading dialogue, for example).

Edited by Shadenuat
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I remember playing this game a long time ago. And I must say: it is completly unbalanced.

I myself and two my friends chose different ways: I was playing tecno/magic neutral (and thus melee) human character, one of my friends created gun-wielding dwarf and the other preferred elf (of half-elf, I don't remember) mage. In the end I got to level 50 (maximum) and was unable to do real damage because there is no (apparently) good melee weapon (wind-sword is sold in the second city and it was the best I saw), dwarf ended up scavenging for bullets and permanently low on cash and elf was completely disintegrating ALL enemies in one strike without any resistance at all (the game says disintegration can be avoided but we hadn't found such creatures).

So the path to the future is open, but be prepared you who deny the Eternal Glory of Elf-Mages! Your path will not be kind to you.

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Elves are awesome in Arcanum. Arcanum is probably one of the few, maybe the only, game where elves are actually pretty damn cleverly done and play a major role in the plot.

Generally, all races are. In Arcanum, races just have their *place*. Everyone *belongs* where he is. It is hard to explain and something which needs to be experienced. Half-elven gamblers in fancy suits, dwarven engineers, half-orcish body-guards for weak reach gnomes, orcish cheap labor on factories... just to name a few examples.

 

As for MCA clicking things, maybe he's just a bit nervous as LP's in new to him (is it?). I also noticed he constantly moves the cursor when reading dialogue (I usually just leisurely relax in my chair drinking tea and do not touch mouse at all when reading dialogue, for example).

 

Agreed about the elves in Arcanum are portrayed.

 

In fact from a general design perspective the way all the races are portrayed in the game has always impressed me including the smaller level of details such as how when making a new character the background text and names are adjusted in some examples based on race/gender, and text is also adapted.

 

Given the nature of the game, starting and getting established playing as a elf certainly isn't 'powerful' as such unless you're hell bent on more aligning with magic in which case you may perhaps get a bit of a boost trying to get established early on in magical areas, but playing as a tech or neutral aligned elf is rather restricting.  ;)

 

But that's the entire design of the racial system in Arcanum IMO, there are races that are the counterpart to elves as well in the game so the pointy eared buggers certainly aren't given any special treatment in that regard. There is just a more 'focused' race for a whole range of things, whilst ensuring there is an actual focus compared to the empty shallow options in some other RPGs just really don't have any real implication and the options are purely cosmetic. (+1 dexterity, when you can then remove that point and put it into anything else, is the kind of shallow system I mean. Also just having dialogue sections change to go "Well <name>, I've always <liked/hated> you <race>", is bare bones and doesn't cut it!)

 

As for Chris, you could be right, though I did notice he also doesn't notice when he is and isn't in combat mode using turn based combat even though the action point aspect of the interface is rather prominent and central to your screen especially when playing the game entirely native without any higher resolution hacks, but that could also be due to nerves and feeling somewhat rushed to be active for the sake of people watching.... in which case, just relax, sit back and enjoy it Chris and don't feel you have to rush for the sake of people watching!

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It's always great and fun to watch a developer play a great game.

Thanks alot! But please make the quality better next time ;)

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Was interesting to say the least..  Funny to hear his unedited comments.. haha

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I'll have to watch this later, but thank you for using a format where that's possible. :)

 

I did skip to a few points to see about the quality complaints, and while I don't care about being able to read all the text myself, I think I'd still agree. I don't think "720" is needed (that doesn't always mean much on YouTube, outside of a number), but use less compression or something - if it's too compressed to begin with, YT's further processing makes it even worse...if file size is an issue, chop it up into 30-40 min segments instead.


“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

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Regarding some simple mistakes found in the video: it is clear that the interface is awful. It is encumbered with needless decorations yet lacks any tips and clues for newbies. That part where you can not lower stats beyond basic level isn't explained and (as someone can remember) it was not the case in Fallout 1 and 2 (in fact there it was quite needed for character creation). Yes Chris made a lot of mistakes. But I still remember myself! I was acting the same way. It was long time before I finally managed to get accustomed to the interface. And yes, I also was running in circles and wanted to pick up every piece of junk and slay every mob because I had no clue that it will be useless for me (while playing a mage or fifgter you can basically forget about herbs and pieces of machinery and you can easily get to the 50 level in second city by visiting local sewers).

Regarding combat: in Fallout combat automatically ends when there are no enemies around. That is not the case in this game. It seems Chris has no clue about stamina and how it works either. Too often he manages to faint in the middle of the fight. Anyone remembers where it was explained? In the manual, maybe? I don't see any clues in the game.

Regarding the map: I almost forgot how it looks like. It is really hard to use. And no you technically can get from one location to the other without using of the map. I tried once. I became bored... I gave up inly to find out that I managed to walk 5 or so millimeters on the global map.
And no, I'm against any fan-made patches. They will break all glory of this game. I personally want Chris to suffer^W enjoy original game.


Regarding coding: as i said earlier it is not wise to encode to mp3. Ever . YouTube uses VP8 for video and Vorbis for audio. There is also MPEG4 part 10 format with H.264 for video and AAC for audio, but that only for fallback to Flash Payer version and it will be created if needed automatically by the YouTube itself. Mp3 is a bad choise. And native 800x600 should be enough, no need for higher sizes.

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