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Update #62: Production 01 - State of the Project

Project Eternity Production 01 Brandon Adler State of the Project 10k backer Josh Sawyer Game Design

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#261
Hiro Protagonist II

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It didn't have to have them,

 

Thank you. :)



#262
Osvir

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Did I ever state anything on this matter previously?

 

 

 

It comes down to the heart of the matter and my original post on this. Do you like the overuse of asterisks? I don't.

 

Here's part of my original quote.

 

 

One thing I really dislike and I'm seeing a lot of in my play through of IWD II is the over use of the asterix.

 

And then we have three pages of people disagreeing with me and yourself chiming in after I posted a screen shot to highlight my point. And yet there are posters who are still disagreeing with me. I would have used a better screen shot to show how bad the conversations can get with astericks everywhere but I was at work when I posted the one I did. There is a definite overuse of the astericks in IWD 2.

It never bothered me, to be honest. I don't mind if Obsidian would write the story however they wish and use whatever tools to, quote dukeofwhales, "convey additional information about how the lines are spoken".

BoldUnderlineItalic, *Asterisk*, Strike Through, CAPITAL ONLY LETTERS, or whatever really.

Size 8
Size 10
Size 12
Size 14
Size 18
Size 24
Size 36
Size 48

Several different fonts, colors, wherever and IF Obsidian feels it is applicable to a given in-game situation/environment/character. It all depends on how Obsidian wants to write for PE.



#263
Lephys

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BoldUnderlineItalic, *Asterisk*, Strike Through, CAPITAL ONLY LETTERS, or whatever really.

Size 8
Size 10
Size 12
Size 14
Size 18
Size 24
Size 36
Size 48

Several different fonts, colors, wherever and IF Obsidian feels it is applicable to a given in-game situation/environment/character. It all depends on how Obsidian wants to write for PE.


Agreed. Although, to be fair, sizes above 24-or-so might start causing problems with screen real estate, between dialogue boxes filling the entire screen and/or the player being inable to read more than about a short sentence at any given time without having to scroll. :)

Who knows, though... Maybe there's some far-reaching voice that comes from inside the heads of those hearing it, for miles and miles, and to convey the sheer magnitude of its source, Obsidian uses Size 48 font for a brief moment, as it beckons thousands of people at once to succumb to some command or something. *shrug* :)

Like you said... if they find a valid use for it, I say go for it.

#264
Hiro Protagonist II

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It never bothered me, to be honest.

 

So it doesn't bother you that the overuse of astericks could be taken out of the game? Okay. Why not just say that? It's like some big thing that people don't want to admit that it was unecessary, as per the screen shot I posted.

 

Oh no, we can't agree with Hiro even though the screen shot would be just as good without the astericks around the words. It's better to disagree with Hiro. Seriously.



#265
Osvir

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BoldUnderlineItalic, *Asterisk*, Strike Through, CAPITAL ONLY LETTERS, or whatever really.

Size 8
Size 10
Size 12
Size 14
Size 18
Size 24
Size 36
Size 48

Several different fonts, colors, wherever and IF Obsidian feels it is applicable to a given in-game situation/environment/character. It all depends on how Obsidian wants to write for PE.


Agreed. Although, to be fair, sizes above 24-or-so might start causing problems with screen real estate, between dialogue boxes filling the entire screen and/or the player being inable to read more than about a short sentence at any given time without having to scroll. :)

Who knows, though... Maybe there's some far-reaching voice that comes from inside the heads of those hearing it, for miles and miles, and to convey the sheer magnitude of its source, Obsidian uses Size 48 font for a brief moment, as it beckons thousands of people at once to succumb to some command or something. *shrug* :)

Like you said... if they find a valid use for it, I say go for it.

 

True. But who is to say that Obsidian can't *gasp* animate some of the text size for a brief moment? (I know that some jRPG's do this fairly well where the text can get bigger than the screen box a la "SAY WHAAAT!?" and then shrink back to normal size for emphasis of, in this case, the excessively surprised emotion)

And there is also the example which you bring up Lephys. I get an image of some "Leader" or some "Tyrant" on top of a stage and he looks down on his underlings and uses some sort of Magical "Command Word" and just roars:

"OBEY!"

And everyone around just falls to their knees, succumbing to the sheer amount of raw power the words hold.


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#266
Osvir

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It never bothered me, to be honest.

 

So it doesn't bother you that the overuse of astericks could be taken out of the game? Okay. Why not just say that? It's like some big thing that people don't want to admit that it was unecessary, as per the screen shot I posted.

 

Oh no, we can't agree with Hiro even though the screen shot would be just as good without the astericks around the words. It's better to disagree with Hiro. Seriously.

The asterisks didn't bother me was what I was saying.

I also don't think it is, was or even would be unnecessary. This is my opinion, your opinion is further down in this post. I think the general dialogue doesn't feel the same in the examples where you've removed the asterisks around the words, Oswald doesn't convey the spoken lines in the same way when they are there. However, that doesn't mean that asterisks is the only method to convey spoken lines.

Italics does the same trick.
 

One thing *I* really dislike and *I* am seeing a lot of in *my* play through of IWD II is the over use of the asterix.

 

^I put some emphasis on some words I thought were important. Btw, ^your opinion.



#267
Hiro Protagonist II

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I also don't think it is, was or even would be unnecessary. This is my opinion, your opinion is further down in this post. I think the general dialogue doesn't feel the same in the examples where you've removed the asterisks around the words, Oswald doesn't convey the spoken lines in the same way when they are there. However, that doesn't mean that asterisks is the only method to convey spoken lines.

 

So for you the astericks have to be there in the screenshot I posted. That's what you're saying. While others like myself can still read the words without the astericks and still get the same meaning.

 

 

 

 

One thing *I* really dislike and *I* am seeing a lot of in *my* play through of IWD II is the over use of the asterix.

 

^I put some emphasis on some words I thought were important. Btw, ^your opinion.

 

 

Yep, redundant. Which is why I don't use them and didn't in my original post.


Edited by Hiro Protagonist II, 27 August 2013 - 10:26 PM.


#268
LadyCrimson

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Hiro, it doesn't matter if they *have* to be there or not. What matters is the fact that their mere presence seems to bother you (which is fine). Many people, I think, just really don't care if words or phrases are asterisked, italicized, bolded, etc now and then ... some people may actually find them additive if used judiciously and only find them annoying if used every other word. Other people may find any use of bold, or (parathesis) or colored text as irritating and unneeded as you find asterisks.

You seem to keep harping on the whether not they're needed at all, period, simply because you want them gone. To you they're not needed, because you don't like them/they do nothing and add nothing for you. That may not be true for everyone on the planet, however. It is not a logical thing and trying to reduce it to such seems kind of pointless. So let's just say you have your preferences on what you think is "needed" and annoying ... can we drop this sub-topic now/move on?


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#269
Hiro Protagonist II

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Hiro, it doesn't matter if they *have* to be there or not. What matters is the fact that their mere presence seems to bother you (which is fine). Many people, I think, just really don't care if words or phrases are asterisked, italicized, bolded, etc now and then ... some people may actually find them additive if used judiciously and only find them annoying if used every other word. Other people may find any use of bold, or (parathesis) or colored text as irritating and unneeded as you find asterisks.

You seem to keep harping on the whether not they're needed at all, period, simply because you want them gone. To you they're not needed, because you don't like them/they do nothing and add nothing for you. That may not be true for everyone on the planet, however. It is not a logical thing and trying to reduce it to such seems kind of pointless. So let's just say you have your preferences on what you think is "needed" and annoying ... can we drop this sub-topic now/move on?

 

Okay. I'll *move* on, *because* writing like *this* with *astericks* and *italics* obviously *doesn't* bother *anyone* here and *they* like this *type* of *format* in *their* games.. :)


Edited by Hiro Protagonist II, 27 August 2013 - 11:36 PM.


#270
Xienzi

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Hiro, it doesn't matter if they *have* to be there or not. What matters is the fact that their mere presence seems to bother you (which is fine). Many people, I think, just really don't care if words or phrases are asterisked, italicized, bolded, etc now and then ... some people may actually find them additive if used judiciously and only find them annoying if used every other word. Other people may find any use of bold, or (parathesis) or colored text as irritating and unneeded as you find asterisks.

You seem to keep harping on the whether not they're needed at all, period, simply because you want them gone. To you they're not needed, because you don't like them/they do nothing and add nothing for you. That may not be true for everyone on the planet, however. It is not a logical thing and trying to reduce it to such seems kind of pointless. So let's just say you have your preferences on what you think is "needed" and annoying ... can we drop this sub-topic now/move on?

 

Okay. I'll *move* on, *because* writing like *this* with *astericks* and *italics* obviously *doesn't* bother *anyone* here and *they* like this *type* of *format* in *their* games.. :)

 

 

It's like you're constantly changing voice pitches between library-quiet-floor level and Elvis concert level.



#271
TrashMan

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The decline of education in our schools is responsible for the awareness of the difference between claims of benefit and claims of necessity? That seems an odd truth...

Also, yes... italics is totally a new thing. It was invented by robot computers, and not by typesetters hundreds of years ago. You got me.

 

 

So when I pick up a book and can read it without the italics, the asterixs, the dashs and everything else to emphasize certain words, then clearly the author got it wrong. Lephys says so.

 

 

Italics and bold exist for a reaon. Putting emphasis on certain words exists for a reason.

The same sentance can have a different meaning and cast a completely different light on a character and his feeling/thoughts.

 

Lephyses example is good, so  let's use it:

 

"I didn't accuse her of anything!"

OR

 

"I didn't accuse her of anything!"

 

give a completely different impression of a character. Wetehr Joe feels indignant for being accused or we despises teh "her" in question, paints a compeltely ddifferent picture of Joe.

In a movie, the tone of voice and emphasis can be heard, but not in a book. Ergo, it is the the duty of a GOOD writer to make his characters thoughts and motivations clear.

 

Sure, you can replace it with far longer descriptions, like:

"I didnt' accuse her of anything!" - Joe raised his voice, puttign the emphasis on her.

 

But you're effectively doing he same thing, just with extra padding.

 

You might save that a less defined character is better one as it makes it easier for hte audience to proejct/interpret the meaning of his wods, but I say no.

 

in othr words, yes -  the author can get it wrong. Because lord knows there are some ****ty authors out there.



#272
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For what must be the third time already. Can you show screen shots of games where the emphasis of words with gimmicks like asterixs has added to the game and was necessary?

 

Also attacking me for being difficult and for the jollies is poor form. You've been consistantly avoiding the issue of where these gimmicks have been added to games and added context to what's been said in games. Who's being difficult? It's certainly not me when I've shown an example from IWD 2 where it's unnecessary.

 

 

What makes you think it was unnecessary?

 

It was necesary, as it conveys the exact way the line was spoken and which words were emphasized. If you read that sentance in your head in a gnomish voice, it wont' sounds the same with and without the asteriks (or italics, or bolds) in question.

 

Inflection IS important.

 

And what is even funnier is your (un)example of overuse. That IWD2 screenshot undermines your point, for the asterisk has been used TWICE in that entire covnersation and in palces where it makes sense.


Edited by TrashMan, 28 August 2013 - 12:26 AM.


#273
LadyCrimson

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Okay. I'll *move* on, *because* writing like *this* with *astericks* and *italics* obviously *doesn't* bother *anyone* here and *they* like this *type* of *format* in *their* games.. :)

:lol: ... yes, that amount of usage bothers me personally, like I already mentioned. Mostly (for me) because it creates a visual staccato interruption, akin to using extremely short sentences with periods too many times in a row, rather than as an affront to my intelligence. But asterisks used a couple times over the course of a paragraph or three...bothers me not a whit.

Anyway...always interesting the different things we all can have pet peeves with. :p Like too many smilies. :) I know some people can't stand that. :lol: And I sometimes use too many. :biggrin:


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#274
mstark

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@Hiro,

 

I haven't read your entire discussion word-by-word, but I think I get what it seems to be about. Your main argument seems to be that emphasis is an unnecessary gimmick in writing, and, frankly, it's not. It's a valuable tool at the disposal of any author/writer.

 

To begin with, the definition of the word emphasis (see #3). You may also want to read up on Rhetoric.

 

Basic rules for how to achieve it with typesetting.

 

That it's a gimmick is a personal opinion of yours, I would happily bet you that any writer would beg to disagree. In a form of communication that lacks expression, emphasis as the single form of inflection is invaluable.

 

You are right, however, that using asterisks to achieve this emphasis is a gimmick. It's an artefact from "chat" language (and typesetting software), since there's commonly no way to bold/underline/italicize text in chat programs. In environs where advanced typesetting isn't readily available, the following can be used: *bold*, _underlined_, and /italic/. I am guessing the IWD team only had time to kern a single weight for the bitmap font they decided to use, and resorted to asterisks for emphasis rather than kern the entire bold version, too.

 

There's, of course, such a thing as too much. However, emphasis, by its very definition, isn't emphasis any more when used too much.

 

I'm not writing this as a personal opinion, merely presenting facts.


Edited by mstark, 28 August 2013 - 02:20 AM.

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#275
Stun

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Personally, I agree that such tools of emphasis are not needed (Although, a game that mixes voiced lines and unvoiced lines benefits greatly by using ALL CAPS to represent Yelling, and perhaps the occasional bold text to represent inflection within a sentence)

However, is this really an important issue? My stance is that I really don't care if a game has such things or if it doesn't, therefore, I won't waste my time, on a thread being watched by Busy devs, to specifically ask for their removal. Why? because it's not important to me. Planescape Torment wouldn't have been a better game without *astrisks*, would it?

Edited by Stun, 28 August 2013 - 03:02 AM.

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#276
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Hiro, your argument is all over the place. I can't even tell if you're against visualized emphasis in general, the use of asterisks in general or simply against this one specific example from IWD 2 where (I agree) the emphasis did not add anything to the sentence.

 

For what it's worth, I don't like asterisks either. And I don't like the overuse of emphasis if it doesn't add anything. I do think visualizing emphasis in some way (preferably by using italics) is very important, however.

 

In your IWD 2 example, it doesn't matter whether it's "Hey, *I* could stay here and *you*..." or "Hey, I could stay here and you...", the emphasis doesn't add anything. But like Lephys said, there are other examples where emphasis can be important - and I would hope that in such cases, it will be present in P:E and not dismissed completely just because we don't want to use a visualization that still stems from game resolutions that were too small to have italics or bold text.

 

Asterisks are outdated, italics and bold text is the way to go.



#277
Morgulon the Wise

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The odd emphasis on I and you in this particular screenshot example is part of Oswalds habits. He always speaks to the party as if they were deaf or not intelligent enough to understand him. Therefore the pronounciation.

 

You didn't like Oswald, Hiro, didn't you?


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#278
Ieo

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For the record, I once took a graduate-level applied linguistics course for kicks and wrote about typographical paralanguage in CMC text and its relation to passing the conversational "floor" among multiple speakers.

 

Hiro, you're wrong about the value of typographical paralanguage (use of emphatic formatting in this case). :) Well, it's just your personal preference, but prosody and kinesics are important for "listener" interpretation when the bulk of the text interaction is "voice" (dialogue), and there are only so many tools at our disposal within two-dimensional text. There's obviously a gradient as to what's acceptable versus overkill among different people, but that doesn't seem to be the gist of this little side discussion.

 

Specifically.... who said that the presentation of text in Project Eternity would be a novel? It's a role-playing game. The majority of text is dialogic in nature. These verbal units are chopped up throughout our fictional social interactions with NPCs in the game and certainly aren't presented anywhere near a linear novelization format.

 

When nuance in meaning is sought in dialogue form, the words and word order are certainly critical for proper interpretation, but when paralanguage isn't part of two-dimensional text, we naturally try to represent it to mimic that third dimension of "meaning." This is exactly why "sarcasm" and other jokey bits are so often misinterpreted online. 


Edited by Ieo, 28 August 2013 - 06:32 PM.

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#279
cdx

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Well, we have a whole week to wait for a new update, so... any chance we could get a little bit of each of the new gals and guys? :)

 

Like a couple of tiny art assets from April and Holly, an example loot bag from Matt, a two-line conversation from Ryan and three lines of code from Brian?

 

A big HI and Welcome to you five! (to everyone else in the team: do not worry, we still love you just as much ;))


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#280
Archmage Silver

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Since inXile is actually making the Wasteland 2 GUI customizable, maybe Obsidian should consider it too? Fonts, colors, and so on.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Project Eternity, Production 01, Brandon Adler, State of the Project, 10k backer, Josh Sawyer, Game Design

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