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Eric Fenstermaker Narrative Interview at RPG Codex


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#21
Ink Blot

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Some people are old, and so they wanna play as many different games as possible. Good for them. The gaming market shouldn't have to change entirely just because someone got old.

 

I think you're reading far more into his statement here than he meant. Granted, I'm interpreting as much as you are, but to me he's not saying a 60+ hour game automatically means a lot of time wasting content. Or that the industry should change. I think he's observing that many games with a lot of 'content' are actually just mediocre time wasters. And he'd rather put out and play something short of high quality than something long and mediocre.



#22
Zenbane

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"to me he's not saying a 60+ hour game automatically means a lot of time wasting content"

"he's observing that many games with a lot of 'content' are actually just mediocre time wasters"

 

Those 2 statements seem in direct contradiction. All you did was replaced "60+ hour game" with "a lot of content"

 

We could easily flip those to read:

"to me he's not saying a lot of content means a lot of time wasting content"

"he's observing that many 60+ hour games are actually just mediocre time wasters"

 

Oh and you also switch out "saying" with "observing" - which I find interesting since everything is coming from a single article.

 

The most common way to achieve longer gameplay hours is to... add a lot of content

 

:geek:


Edited by Zenbane, 06 March 2016 - 08:22 PM.


#23
Ink Blot

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"to me he's not saying a 60+ hour game automatically means a lot of time wasting content"

"he's observing that many games with a lot of 'content' are actually just mediocre time wasters"

 

Those 2 statements seem in direct contradiction. All you did was replaced "60+ hour game" with "a lot of content"

 

We could easily flip those to read:

"to me he's not saying a lot of content means a lot of time wasting content"

"he's observing that many 60+ hour games are actually just mediocre time wasters"

 

Oh and you also switch out "saying" with "observing" - which I find interesting since everything is coming from a single article.

 

The most common way to achieve longer gameplay hours is to... add a lot of content

 

:geek:

Seems we're running in circles here for whatever reason. So I'll bow out.

 

*edit*

 

Actually, I'll make one more attempt. You're cherry picking what you take out of my statement. I said "to me he's not saying a 60+ hour game automatically means a lot of time wasting content". Note the bolded part. The emphasis here means I'm not contradicting this: "he's observing that many games with a lot of 'content' are actually just mediocre time wasters". Again note the bolded part. The single quotes I put there were to indicate content that is less than quality.

 

What I think he's saying is a game can be long, yes. And it can be a game with quality content. But many long games tend to end up with 'filler', 'time wasters', 'low quality content'... choose your descriptor. This is what I feel he's pointing out.

 

If you want to nitpick my use of the word 'observe' as opposed to reiterating 'saying' and attach some kind of significance to that, then I don't think we can further the discussion.


Edited by Ink Blot, 06 March 2016 - 08:44 PM.

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#24
tdphys

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I think that they should release games in Episodic content similar in length but a bit more polish,  to the white marshes (I and II together )  for 20-30 bucks.    If you can chain your protagonist through 3 or 4 of these episodes, you'd get the longscale epic length, but perhaps avoid some of the push for crappy filler stuff.  


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#25
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after game release, most questions directed at josh has been mechanical, but he has also answered more than a few o' the broad stroke narrative queries. 

 

Josh has remarked on broad strokes setting-related queries (not the same thing as "narrative"). I've read all of his Something Awful posts and he's had little to remark on the game's story, despite the story being heavily discussed there. It's very noticeable how he only chimes up when mechanics or setting stuff comes up.

 

And no, it's not just about pointing fingers about Chris Avellone. Keep your assumptions about the Codex in check, please.


Edited by Infinitron, 07 March 2016 - 01:06 AM.


#26
Gromnir

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after game release, most questions directed at josh has been mechanical, but he has also answered more than a few o' the broad stroke narrative queries. 

 

Josh has remarked on broad strokes setting-related queries (not the same thing as "narrative"). I've read all of his Something Awful posts and he's had little to remark on the game's story, despite the story being heavily discussed there. It's very noticeable how he only chimes up when mechanics or setting stuff comes up.

 

And no, it's not just about pointing fingers about Chris Avellone. Keep your assumptions about the Codex in check, please.

 

we mentioned the failure o' the interviewer on multiple fronts.  we did not attribute such failures to a website-- that would be ridiculous.  lord knows we do not look at every failed vol or luckman post as a critique 'pon the obsidian message boards. 

 

oh, and attempting to divorce setting from narrative is idiotic.  the setting is integral to the poe narrative. duh.

 

keep your assumptions in check.

 

HA! Good Fun!


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#27
Infinitron

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we mentioned the failure o' the interviewer on multiple fronts.  we did not attribute such failures to a website-- that would be ridiculous.  lord knows we do not look at every failed vol or luckman post as a critique 'pon the obsidian message boards.


Haha, see, this is why I can't take you all that seriously. You're against the Codex for being a den of "racist *ssholes" when your entire schtick is based around being kind of an *sshole here. You just like hanging around in a place where you can dish it out but don't have to take it. Lazy.
 

oh, and attempting to divorce setting from narrative is idiotic.  the setting is integral to the poe narrative. duh.

 

Great, but but that doesn't really change my point, does it? Josh talks about one kind of narrative but not the kind I wanted to know more about, so I interviewed Eric. I fail to see the problem here.


Edited by Infinitron, 07 March 2016 - 02:00 AM.

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#28
Ineth

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"to me he's not saying a 60+ hour game automatically means a lot of time wasting content"

"he's observing that many games with a lot of 'content' are actually just mediocre time wasters"

 

Those 2 statements seem in direct contradiction.

 

1. "automatically" (a.k.a. always)

2. "many"


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#29
RingMachine

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am glad eric is more patient than Gromnir.  typical questions from the interview is loaded or skewed or misleading, and how many questions ask eric to comment on josh, adam or chrisA comments?  after the third such question, we would sent the list o' interrogatories back to the "interviewer."

 

Did you expect a gaming magazine-level civilized interview here? This is the Codex, and therefore the interview was designed to attempt to answer the most common questions on that forum without appearing biased. And believe me when I say that the interviewer (Infinitron) is one of the most outspoken Obsidian supporters over there.



#30
archangel979

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am glad eric is more patient than Gromnir.  typical questions from the interview is loaded or skewed or misleading, and how many questions ask eric to comment on josh, adam or chrisA comments?  after the third such question, we would sent the list o' interrogatories back to the "interviewer."

 
Did you expect a gaming magazine-level civilized interview here? This is the Codex, and therefore the interview was designed to attempt to answer the most common questions on that forum without appearing biased. And believe me when I say that the interviewer (Infinitron) is one of the most outspoken Obsidian supporters over there.

Gaming magazine interviews are all boring lifeless crap. Nobody really wants answers to questions that were asked by 10 other magazines/news people.

Edited by archangel979, 07 March 2016 - 09:48 AM.


#31
Gromnir

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we mentioned the failure o' the interviewer on multiple fronts.  we did not attribute such failures to a website-- that would be ridiculous.  lord knows we do not look at every failed vol or luckman post as a critique 'pon the obsidian message boards.


Haha, see, this is why I can't take you all that seriously. You're against the Codex for being a den of "racist *ssholes" when your entire schtick is based around being kind of an *sshole here. You just like hanging around in a place where you can dish it out but don't have to take it. Lazy.
 

oh, and attempting to divorce setting from narrative is idiotic.  the setting is integral to the poe narrative. duh.

 

Great, but but that doesn't really change my point, does it? Josh talks about one kind of narrative but not the kind I wanted to know more about, so I interviewed Eric. I fail to see the problem here.

 

your persecution complex is getting the better o' you.  there were nothing in our comments that suggested a slight towards codex.  you wanna discuss codexian failings too?  fine.  all you need do is indulge in those things you Claim we has been offended 'bout. and is that a Gromnir ' quote?  link please.  put stuff in quotes if we didn't say it? more bad form... though am not the least surprised at this point.

 

and yeah, josh has spoken 'bout narrative, on multiple occasions.  you not understand what is narrative?  you have different specific narrative questions 'bout narrative?  eric were also hesitant to answer your questions:

 

"I hesitate to talk a whole lot in very specific terms about themes and deeper meaning because people will start to use it as definitive evidence of this or that, and it deadens discussion."

 

perhaps josh were taciturn for same or complete different reasons?  dunno. if you want josh to specific answer such questions, ask josh.  as noted already, josh has shown willingness to answer narrative questions in the past. 

 

 

 

am glad eric is more patient than Gromnir.  typical questions from the interview is loaded or skewed or misleading, and how many questions ask eric to comment on josh, adam or chrisA comments?  after the third such question, we would sent the list o' interrogatories back to the "interviewer."

 

Did you expect a gaming magazine-level civilized interview here? This is the Codex, and therefore the interview was designed to attempt to answer the most common questions on that forum without appearing biased. And believe me when I say that the interviewer (Infinitron) is one of the most outspoken Obsidian supporters over there.

 

is not 'bout "civilized."  is 'bout stoopid.  the goal is to get eric to provide more insights, not less, yes?  

 

"I'm not sure what the question is referring to regarding Adam and Josh."

 

"I don't know about "my side of the story." "

 

etc.

 

if the goal is to be different than providing more or new, then congrats.  we assumed the interview were aimed at getting eric to share more info rather than to offer interrogatories 'bout co-worker and former co-worker contributions.  jesus, you can get the information the interviewer were aiming at w/o resorting to rusty chainsaw levels o' subtlety.  am moderate surprised that the interviewer didn't specific ask eric to throw adam josh and chris under the bus.  oh, wait, he kinda did.

 

stoopid.

 

HA! Good Fun!


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#32
Zenbane

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Josh is usually pretty open about his thoughts on the Something Awful forums. Go read that thread if you want specifics. Anything beyond that is just media friendly material.

 

With that said, I never read anything from the Codex because I find it to be just as biased as the very biased media they claim to be against. Members of the Codex try too hard to be outspoken that they purposely choose outspokenness over everything else, which creates a bias in itself. lol

 

Infinitron is fairly entertaining; and likely too good to be wasting time and talent at the Codex.


Edited by Zenbane, 07 March 2016 - 11:04 AM.

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#33
Koth

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Slight derail: Oh Gromnir, is there any chance there's a translator online somewhere for your posts. I like you dude, I find your posts on topic and to the point and I love reading some of your insights into the gaming industry. But good lord, my eye's need a holiday after trying to decypher your accent / mannerisms / character speech... that is all... sorry, I had to vent. 

 

P.S. Please disregard this post, keep it up grom ;)


Edited by Koth, 07 March 2016 - 06:55 PM.

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#34
falchen

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I'm fine with shorter games as long as the price reflects it, if someone makes a great 10 hour game, great! Just don't ask 60$ for it.



#35
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Generally speaking, I tend to lean more towards shorter RPGs nowadays. I like it more when all the effort is put in short, but highly reactive, games so to speak with little to no filler content.

 

However, I do hope that Pillars as a series continues to give us the really big experience. I just finished my playthrough of PoE plus the two expansions and overall I think it was a great experience that felt like a true journey, despite there being some ups and downs. If there are spin-offs and such, then I would certainly welcome shorter games but for any full-on sequels, I hope they'll continue with the huge scope.


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#36
Merany

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I too also think it's too bad the interviewer sometimes loses focus and try to dive too deep in "drama" questions because otherwise, he's doing a pretty good job.

And Eric's answers are fantastic, it's rare to see someone talk at length like that about his job.


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#37
Ineth

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But the drama questions make it fun!

 

If I wanted to read a "professional" interview where the interviewer plays it safe and the answers are all marketing speak, I'd read an IGN or Kotaku interview, not an RPG Codex one... :)


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#38
Merany

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There's a middle ground between drama et PR bull****.
You can ask interesting, in depth questions (which, again, most of the time, the interviewer managed to do, kudos to him for that) without the "drama"...


#39
gkathellar

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As nice as these "quality vs. quantity" arguments are with regards to game length, I honestly feel like the age thing is pretty important to. Speaking as someone who's only in his mid-20s, I only have so many hours in the day - and between working and trying to sleep occasionally, I clock maybe 6-8 hours of leisure time tops. I'm going to spend some of that time with friends and family, some of it exercising, and so on. I can spend a while playing a game for a handheld where I can do it while I travel, but when it comes to computer games that require me to sit down and devote my time exclusively? I can't do it anymore.

 

Given all that, a 12-20 hour game that's really entertaining and clever all the way through, like Stick of Truth? That holds a lot of appeal to me. On the other hand, even if I didn't think Skyrim was homogeneous and bland, I still couldn't really play it on account of how many months of my life I'd have to pour into it.

 

I've spent a lot of time playing video games - more time, frankly, than I'm happy with - and it's simply not a sustainable way for me to conduct myself. If developers want to give me games with less content that I get more out of, those are the developers who are going to get my money.


Edited by gkathellar, 08 March 2016 - 07:15 AM.

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#40
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Personally, I would like to see us make shorter games (e.g. 30-40 hours instead of 60-80) where we cut the worst of our content and spend time iterating on the best. But there is pressure from the market itself (or at least perceived pressure) to make longer games so as to justify the game's sticker price with its "value" as measured in dollars spent per hour of gameplay. And I'm not sure if people understand that when you're on a budget, there's a zero-sum tradeoff between gameplay length and gameplay polish. There was some backlash for Stick of Truth, for example, for being "too short" at 12-20 hours. But that was a game where we cut the bad stuff and spent extra time on the good stuff, and I prefer that model. As a gamer, I'm getting old. I'm short on time. I'd rather spend $60 on a 12-hour experience that makes me laugh my ass off than on a 100-hour experience that routinely wastes my time. If any of you are in agreement, be vocal about it, because I think the dollars/hour guys are usually louder. Come to our forums and ask for a shorter, more polished game.

 

I'm gonna do my patriotic duty and chime in, then.

 

Pillars of Eternity is a wonderful game, but overall, I enjoyed Dragonfall more. It was just more polished, sleeker, far better-paced, with no tedious filler combat. I'd much rather play a 20 hour game with tons of reactivity and an extremely well-presented story than an 80 hour juggernaut like Icewind Dale 2. Of course, I recognize that the IE legacy looms over the Pillars franchise, and this sets certain expectations regarding exploration and sandbox elements, but I think 30-40 hours would be a decent compromise (Mass Effect 1 couldn't have been much longer than that, yet it still felt like journeying in a massive, sprawling galaxy full of interesting stuff to discover, after all).

 

If you do reactivity right, if you make me care about discovering what changes with my decisions, and offer gameplay polished enough for me to actively want to replay the game, I'll easily get 60-80 hours' worth of entertainment out of it anyway. I played through Alpha Protocol at least four times as well.


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