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Worth pointing out: Josh Sawyer is not PoE2's Lead Designer


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Pillar of Eternity:

 

- too verbose

 

I cannot even concieve of how an RPG like PoE (or Torment or BG2) could be "too verbose."

 

 

I wonderingly pondered the prodigious length of paradigmatic RPG classics like PoE, Torment, and BG2, but within this honored scope found nary a jot, word, or phrase the paring of which could yield (however faintly!) an overall improvement -- and it is truly beyond my ken to imagine such a thing.

 

The problem with verbose writing isn't necessarily length as such, but a lack of economy.  I'm not mocking you, because even though I disagree with your statement you expressed it concisely and sufficiently.  The travesty I wrote, on the other hand, desperately needs an editor.  Pillars wasn't nearly as bad as that, but in my opinion an editing pass with an eye for unnecessary things would have definitely improved it.

 

 

I take your point, good sir/madam/small furry creature from Alpha Centauri. I was not thinking of it in that regard (I am not, at the moment, running at 100% mental capacity, I am afraid); the brevity of the post I quoted made me think it was more a complaint about "too much readin'" - a complaint I have seen levelled at this sort of game before -  (and if it was indeed not, I also apologise for misreading the other lady/gentleman/small furry creature from Alpha Centauri).

 

Yes, certainly editing to make sure that the presented text is not unnecessarily long is certainly important (though at the same time, one feels there is a place for instances of a certain level of rambling verbage...!)

 

(I do tend to ramble a bit myself often, in long drawn-out sentences that go on forever and ever and ever - like this one - so I am well aware of the occasional need for a suitable editor...!)

Edited by Aotrs Commander
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"That role now belongs to Bobby Null, who is often described as Obsidian's biggest grognard.

 

So all you folks who want instant death spells, hard counters, mage duels and IMBALANCE - maybe it's worth asking again!

 

(Of course, Josh is still the project director and has final say on everything.)"

 

So.. you made this thread to tell us he's not the boss... and in the very same posts tell us he's still the boss.... okay.,..

DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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"That role now belongs to Bobby Null, who is often described as Obsidian's biggest grognard.

 

So all you folks who want instant death spells, hard counters, mage duels and IMBALANCE - maybe it's worth asking again!

 

(Of course, Josh is still the project director and has final say on everything.)"

 

So.. you made this thread to tell us he's not the boss... and in the very same posts tell us he's still the boss.... okay.,..

 

Infinitron is just trying to stir up some controversy like usual.  :p

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Pillar of Eternity:

 

- too verbose

 

I cannot even concieve of how an RPG like PoE (or Torment or BG2) could be "too verbose."

 

 

http://www.rpgcodex.net/content.php?id=10511

 

In this article, I will try to analyse the ways RPGs old and new implement their stories and writing, largely in reference to how they actually function in this particular medium; how the approaches compare to other forms of entertainment; and what are, in my view, the most important elements that contribute to the near-universally low quality of writing.

But before we begin, I feel it’s important to drop a few disclaimers here to explain my agenda and pre-emptively torpedo at least a few of the dumb comments, whose appearance I can already predict at this very stage.

 

1. Many of the negative examples I quote here come from recent games that are still fresh in my mind, and which happen to be exemplars of the various problems I’ve identified. This article is not yet another attempt to take a few kicks at Pillars of Eternity. In fact, the statements written here are very likely to be true for most of your favourite games.

2. I will give many examples to base my claims upon, and many of these will not be related to games. Some of them may even appear downright arbitrary, but I assure you that they have a purpose to serve.

3. Reading, by itself, is not “teh hard”. Reading bad writing in large quantities, however, most certainly is.

4. I reserve full right to be pretentious and make sweeping statements disguised as facts.

5. Spoilers abound, and not just for games.

Proceed at your own risk!

 

 

EDIT: "Now to proceed to the second point outlined earlier – the lack of linguistic mastery. Trying to write “elaborate” prose, and most “big” RPGs today certainly do that, has one very important condition – it’s a good idea not to fall into purple prose (although I much prefer the Polish equivalent expression, which roughly translates to “graphomania”). Using fancy constructions and vocabulary is perfectly fine, as long as you know how to use them. Adverbing adverbingly and putting three adjectives before every noun, on the other hand, is pretty bad. This is why I stressed the importance of knowing what words mean so much before. When you are familiar with collocations, grammar, etymologies, registers and meanings, the number of words necessary to convey a message drop significantly. But if you are not familiar with all this, your writing is going to be a mess of overwrought, nonsensical expressions."

Edited by Grotesque

  After my realization that White March has the same XP reward problem, I don't even have the drive to launch game anymore because I hated so much reaching Twin Elms with a level cap in vanilla PoE that I don't wish to relive that experience.

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I don't think PoE writing (as in the composition of words in text segments, not the stories themselves) was that bad at all.

 

The difference only becomes clear when you play Torment: TToN. That game definitely has better writing than PoE. It would be unfair to compare PoE with games like the old Torment, since the issue with rose-tinted glasses always exists. But PoE was definitely held back by having writers trying to punch above their weight, so to speak.

 

Writing in PoE was still better than in just any computer game of course, but it wasn't as good as in some of the old legendary games. It's of course unreasonable to expect PoE would be the best in every aspect, but this shows that improvement is possible.

 

Also, interaction with the new weather system would be neat.  "Let's wait until this rain stops before we assualt the outdoor fireworks festival!"

 

Very interesting, but could become a rest spam abuse thing if you play as a water wizard who only ever fights in the rain, for example.

"Well, overkill is my middle name. And my last name. And all of my other names as well!"

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Josh's title is "Game Director", Bobby Null's is "Lead Designer".

So... who's responsible for game mechanics, attributes tuning plus class and encounter balance?
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Pillar of Eternity:

 

- too verbose

 

I cannot even concieve of how an RPG like PoE (or Torment or BG2) could be "too verbose."

 

 

Codex nonsense.

 

Roxor made a great argument for the codex, not for everywhere.  It's a pretty crap article.  Spends way too long on ad-hominems, and neither Fallout 2 (off-topic conversations frequently, certainly not like Betrayal at Krondor) nor Baldur's Gate would fit under his idea of great RPG writing (lore dumps, especially in books).

 

Also there's this:

"The same can be said about all the NPCs who keep telling you that they come from whatever place with whatever weird environments. Lake of drowned tombs! Volcanic archipelago! Tundra! Wow, that’s nice! What a shame that I’m stuck going through generic fantasyland and will never get to visit all the things you are talking about, and not even a single piece of information included in your lore dumps is ever going to be put into practice again in the whole game."

 

 It's like yapping at BG1 because it contains references to Amn.  The article hides a few bits of valid criticism beneath masses of codexian pointless hate that will be focused at a new target in five years.

Edited by anameforobsidian
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Roxor made a great argument for the codex, not for everywhere.  It's a pretty crap article.  ....

 

 

 There is plenty to argue about/disagree with in that article, but the point about having a good editor is a solid one. This is especially true when you have large writing teams on a game and different writing teams for different games in a franchise.

 

 Games are always on tight schedules and sometimes you get a writer's rough draft vomited into a game, like ME2, for example. What a nonsensical steaming turd of a story for what could have been a good franchise. I liked the ME2 cover/shooter gameplay, but there is only so much stupidity that can be digested at once. I imagine that the writers were probably talented people who had about 1/5 of the time that they needed to do a good job. Ideally the editor will have the power to block a launch until writing problems have been fixed. 

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