Obsidians - the outer world

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Re: Obsidians - the outer world

Post by Highwayman667 » March 7th, 2019, 8:55 am

Gizmo wrote:
March 6th, 2019, 12:40 am
Yes it is.
Nah, it isn't.

I will grant you though, that perhaps some RPG's should offer the option to nullify voiced dialogue entirely (from the player character at least). I am all for choice and this seems like a sensible thing to do if that's what people really want from their RPG's. We shouldn't however, completely put aside a very appealing option, specially when other succesful games have done it perfectly.
Gizmo wrote:
March 6th, 2019, 12:40 am
Best kind. I prefer a game like Baldur's Gate (or even Curse of the Azure Bonds), because the character graphics are an abstraction that imparts the game's reaction to my choices...without nailing it down too precise. I can imagine the critical hit as far more impressive than something out of Skyrim or DNF.
Not for me, and it is a problem because I would've rather have a voiced protagonist in Outer Worlds, and now it seems like I won't get that. It's fine if you like Baldur's Gate or other Infinity Engine games, I love them as well... but it seems unfair to impose that standard on RPG's.

It's amazing I'm making this argument, considering my favorite game is Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura.
Gizmo wrote:
March 6th, 2019, 12:40 am
These impart the the exact same event, but the latter sets a higher bar to live up to; where the first one cannot break immersion with dumb physics glitches, or animations that don't line up; or that clip.
Of course it doesn't, because it already has broken immersion with outdated graphics. You could never possibly believe you are fighting a dragon because you can count the pixels you're fighting against. And that's not to say the game is bad, it probably was flawless at the time it was made but... things are different now, in a VERY good way.
Gizmo wrote:
March 6th, 2019, 12:40 am
Also, I never once fell through the map playing Curse or BG 1&2, as I have done in ALL of the Bethesda games I have played.
I never fell through the map in the Mass Effect series, Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire, The Witcher Trilogy, The Dragon Age series or Kingdoms of Amalur. Those games are experiences that decidedly separate themselves from the Infinity Engine era games.

Also, touché about the cast of Fallout, but my point was that the industry is now large enough to try bolder and better things when it comes to the medium. That's not to say every studio can create good products with just better technology, but we have a better chance of having that awesomely immersive dragon fight if we take risks with the technology we have now.

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Re: Obsidians - the outer world

Post by Highwayman667 » March 7th, 2019, 9:01 am

Jozape wrote:
March 6th, 2019, 9:44 am
I think they had good voice acting (IMO writing was inconsistent for Shep, better for Geralt) but those are the only voices you get. And if the dialog wheel and paraphrasing are removed, every voiced line feels redundant because I've already voiced it in my head. It can still be okay like that (original Deus Ex was okay) but I prefer the flexibility and brevity of a voiceless protagonist. But now that I think of it the line could be voiced and executed before it is actually selected. Somebody should do that.
The goal we should strive for is the middle point between the line being read and the line spoken by the character so there are no misunderstandings in the middle of gameplay. OR we could do like Inquisition and just straight up present a summary of how your dialogue will affect the actions of the story.

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Re: Obsidians - the outer world

Post by Gizmo » March 7th, 2019, 3:53 pm

Highwayman667 wrote:
March 7th, 2019, 8:55 am
Gizmo wrote:
March 6th, 2019, 12:40 am
Yes it is.
Nah, it isn't.
https://youtu.be/ohDB5gbtaEQ?t=37
I will grant you though, that perhaps some RPG's should offer the option to nullify voiced dialogue entirely (from the player character at least). I am all for choice and this seems like a sensible thing to do if that's what people really want from their RPG's. We shouldn't however, completely put aside a very appealing option, specially when other succesful games have done it perfectly.
No this defeats the points listed. If it is merely the option to hear the voiced dialog or not, then regardless, the studio is still painted into a corner with the recorded lines of the protagonist. They cannot improve or adjust them during development without rescheduling the voice talent, and modders cannot ever schedule the voice talent; and since the billing is by the hour, that means shorter, simpler scripts with less dialog options.

*Can you imagine the recording of the dialog for Planescape:Torment with a fully voiced cast?
Of course it doesn't, because it already has broken immersion with outdated graphics. You could never possibly believe you are fighting a dragon because you can count the pixels you're fighting against.
Why would I ever do that? It's an RPG, I am not fighting a dragon, and that's part of the problem with the latter two Witcher games—Geralt has become a puppet, and I am expected to decide for him how best to fight; but Geralt is the professional monster hunter. This is a case of the player impeding the character; why would I want to roleplay myself in Geralt's place? :? :? :?
(Is that not like standing in for Bruce Lee in a street fight?)

But In answer: Yes the graphics are fine because they do their job... they indicate what event has occurred, the relative positions of those involved, and which direction they are facing. Those two images impart the same thing, but... the second one is more taxing to process (both mentally, and for the computer hardware. I would BY FAR prefer a game to spend its effort on improved AI and, and have its storage footprint dedicated to the campaign, that the material textures. Which would you prefer: 40 GB of light-show, or 40GB of reactive depth?
Also, touché about the cast of Fallout, but my point was that the industry is now large enough to try bolder and better things when it comes to the medium.
Image

Progress is usually nice to have, but progress for progress sake is often an attempt to fix something that isn't broken. Bolder & Better —isn't— if they lose (or discard) the core premise for something new and decidedly different (or in worst case unrelated!); merit doesn't make up for this. Ie. like new and improved light bulbs that are cheaper, brighter, more reliable—and un-color-corrected. Try painting something under a light like that... you will quickly want the old one back.

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Re: Obsidians - the outer world

Post by Highwayman667 » March 8th, 2019, 4:54 pm

Gizmo wrote:
March 7th, 2019, 3:53 pm
https://youtu.be/ohDB5gbtaEQ?t=37
Bravo sir :lol:
Gizmo wrote:
March 7th, 2019, 3:53 pm
No this defeats the points listed. If it is merely the option to hear the voiced dialog or not, then regardless, the studio is still painted into a corner with the recorded lines of the protagonist. They cannot improve or adjust them during development without rescheduling the voice talent, and modders cannot ever schedule the voice talent; and since the billing is by the hour, that means shorter, simpler scripts with less dialog options.
I think it's a very different discussion wether mod support should be considered in the developing process of a game. I mean, if the modding community has space and material to work with, but if it doesn't, is that responsibility of the developers ?
Gizmo wrote:
March 7th, 2019, 3:53 pm
*Can you imagine the recording of the dialog for Planescape:Torment with a fully voiced cast?
Unless I'm missing something (and I most likely am), that would've been rather wonderful thing to have.
Gizmo wrote:
March 7th, 2019, 3:53 pm
Why would I ever do that? It's an RPG, I am not fighting a dragon, and that's part of the problem with the latter two Witcher games—Geralt has become a puppet, and I am expected to decide for him how best to fight; but Geralt is the professional monster hunter. This is a case of the player impeding the character; why would I want to roleplay myself in Geralt's place? :? :? :?
(Is that not like standing in for Bruce Lee in a street fight?)
That's a rather demanding argument of the developers. I mean, if I make a master thief in Arcanum and then it turns out that I fail a pickpocket check, then the game fails me for not offering me what I envisioned in my head ?

I mean, the fact that Geralt is a professional monster hunter doesn't mean he doesn't ever fuck up. Also, the reason why you might want to play as him is because his story is stupidly amazing, and it's part of what might probably be one of the best videogames of all time.
Gizmo wrote:
March 7th, 2019, 3:53 pm
Which would you prefer: 40 GB of light-show, or 40GB of reactive depth?
Both. Why do I have to lose the ability for my character to speak well-written dialogue ? Why should he or she be condemned to be a doll that says nothing, that reacts like a mute to anything the other characters say ? Why is it seemingly so difficult to have spoken dialogue and great writing ?
Gizmo wrote:
March 7th, 2019, 3:53 pm
Progress is usually nice to have, but progress for progress sake is often an attempt to fix something that isn't broken. Bolder & Better —isn't— if they lose (or discard) the core premise for something new and decidedly different (or in worst case unrelated!); merit doesn't make up for this. Ie. like new and improved light bulbs that are cheaper, brighter, more reliable—and un-color-corrected. Try painting something under a light like that... you will quickly want the old one back.
I am going to take a guess and assume this is similar to the "Skyrim isn't an RPG" argument that I've heard before, which honestly I think it's understandable because as RPG's become more mainstream they do lose a lot of what used to make them great. We are after all in a forum that celebrates games that are trying to recover some of the gameplay that was lost in recent years.

But... Arcanum will never be as beautiful as Skyrim, even though the former is my favorite game. Neverwinter Nights will never have combat as great as Dragon Age: Inquisition, because the technology was limited for the former. My finest Nameless will never be as funny as Witty Hawke because jokes aren't just read... they are listened to as well.

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Re: Obsidians - the outer world

Post by Gizmo » March 8th, 2019, 9:22 pm

Highwayman667 wrote:
March 8th, 2019, 4:54 pm
Gizmo wrote:
March 7th, 2019, 3:53 pm
*Can you imagine the recording of the dialog for Planescape:Torment with a fully voiced cast?
Unless I'm missing something (and I most likely am), that would've been rather wonderful thing to have.
...
Gizmo wrote:
March 7th, 2019, 3:53 pm
Which would you prefer: 40 GB of light-show, or 40GB of reactive depth?
Both. Why do I have to lose the ability for my character to speak well-written dialogue ? Why should he or she be condemned to be a doll that says nothing, that reacts like a mute to anything the other characters say ? Why is it seemingly so difficult to have spoken dialogue and great writing ?
Planescape has about 800,000 words of character dialog; Baldur's Gate 2 is said to have about a million words... but Planescape has about 18,000 more dialog lines than BG2 [75,000/57,000 respectively]. FO3 had about 25,000.

Part of the answer is the cost to produce the games. They could make twice, or triple the game script, but they couldn't charge that for it.
Games sell for the same price—it's what people will pay for them. Baldur's Gate and Planescape had the great writing, and they had limited voiced lines, but it would have been a shocking extravagance for each to have recorded their whole scripts.

*Fun fact: I bought my first hard drive to be able to install Baldur's Gate...it cost $280, and the game barely left room for anything else. :lol:

Here is the oft-overlooked thing of it. Text has a major advantage over recorded voice in a software product. With text, a developer can parse the lines, and modify them on the fly (while the game is running); it can reflect emergent events. They could even have chat-bot AI for the non-principle characters, and parts of the main NPC dialog. Using text means that NPCs could (and often did) call the player character by their name, and proper pronouns. It means that the player could in some games, ask their own questions—You can do this in Fallout for instance. In fact, you can get answers from NPCs that you will never find any other way in the game.

Years ago Tom Baker [Dr. Who] and British Telecom made a first step towards the eventual future [of generated character voices], when he worked for them as part of a software project for reading SMS texts sent to land lines —read in his own voice. He recorded 11,593 phrases covering every single sound in the English language. It worked well, but it gave a flat reading.

Somebody used it to re-record "Video Killed The Radio Star", by the Buggles: https://youtu.be/23gGpGTPqyY?t=238

We do not have truly convincing speech synthesis of the caliber required to replace skilled voice artists. Once we do, this problem is solved. Once the software can read the game's script using a voice profile (one of dozens or more), and when it can sound like Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, and Frank Welker all at the same time, then text loses its main advantage; because then you can parse spoken dialog in the same way as text. At that point it becomes a user preference without cost; but right now it has a cost, and that is limited static scripts using prerecorded lines, and the hassles [and budgetary concerns] that come with it.
Gizmo wrote:
March 7th, 2019, 3:53 pm
Why would I ever do that? It's an RPG, I am not fighting a dragon, and that's part of the problem with the latter two Witcher games—Geralt has become a puppet, and I am expected to decide for him how best to fight; but Geralt is the professional monster hunter. This is a case of the player impeding the character; why would I want to roleplay myself in Geralt's place? :? :? :?
(Is that not like standing in for Bruce Lee in a street fight?)
That's a rather demanding argument of the developers.
Not that demanding, because Witcher 1, and the Gothic series didn't have that problem; nor BG 1&2, nor Fallout 1 & 2—to name a few.
I mean, if I make a master thief in Arcanum and then it turns out that I fail a pickpocket check, then the game fails me for not offering me what I envisioned in my head ? I mean, the fact that Geralt is a professional monster hunter doesn't mean he doesn't ever fuck up. Also, the reason why you might want to play as him is because his story is stupidly amazing, and it's part of what might probably be one of the best videogames of all time.
Rather it evaluates the PC, and determines that they either succeed, or do not; in some cases cannot—and this is as it should be in any and every RPG; because games that don't, are not RPGs—games like Skyrim, are digital costume simulations. They are fine—they let you dress up as a wizard, and immolate everything in sight, but such games are about empowerment fantasy, and character substitution—not about roleplaying. They are not evaluating a character, they are reacting to the player pretending to be a wizard. RPGs [essentially] are systems that evaluate when to say 'No', based on the statistics of the PC, the NPCs, the place, and circumstance of the attempted action. So yeah, the PC can fail, Geralt can fail—but it's Geralt failing. In a game where the player controls his sword for him, it is the player failing, and it's Geralt who is taking the consequences—and that's out of character. Imagine the show Quantum Leap, where if Sam were to 'possess' George Foreman or Ali in their famous fight... that's what you have in Witcher 2; it wouldn't be both of them in the ring—one of them would be Sam.
But... Arcanum will never be as beautiful as Skyrim, even though the former is my favorite game.
It depends on what one appreciates as beautiful, no? I would bet that between transcripted Let's Plays of Skyrim, and Arcanum, that Arcanum would be the most beautiful. ;)
Neverwinter Nights will never have combat as great as Dragon Age: Inquisition, because the technology was limited for the former.
I have played them both; liked them both, but I don't know what you mean technology limit. What mechanics did DA have that NWN could not?

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Re: Obsidians - the outer world

Post by Highwayman667 » March 9th, 2019, 11:43 am

Gizmo wrote:
March 8th, 2019, 9:22 pm
Planescape has about 800,000 words of character dialog; Baldur's Gate 2 is said to have about a million words... but Planescape has about 18,000 more dialog lines than BG2 [75,000/57,000 respectively]. FO3 had about 25,000.
Baldur's Gate 2 has more words than Planescape: Torment ? Holy...

Anyways, my opinion in this specific regard (to which we may settle in disagreement) is that quality outdoes quantity every time for me in RPG's. I mentioned this example before: No matter what amazing background and story you may concoct for your Grey Warden in Dragon Age: Origins, he or she will never have more of a personality than Witty Hawke. Why ? Because the latter feels, hears and acts like a person, whereas the former is a doll, a fun doll... but a doll, and no amount of lines will make up for that; as far as it concerns me at least.
Gizmo wrote:
March 8th, 2019, 9:22 pm
Part of the answer is the cost to produce the games. They could make twice, or triple the game script, but they couldn't charge that for it. Games sell for the same price—it's what people will pay for them. Baldur's Gate and Planescape had the great writing, and they had limited voiced lines, but it would have been a shocking extravagance for each to have recorded their whole scripts.

*Fun fact: I bought my first hard drive to be able to install Baldur's Gate...it cost $280, and the game barely left room for anything else. :lol:

Here is the oft-overlooked thing of it. Text has a major advantage over recorded voice in a software product. With text, a developer can parse the lines, and modify them on the fly (while the game is running); it can reflect emergent events. They could even have chat-bot AI for the non-principle characters, and parts of the main NPC dialog. Using text means that NPCs could (and often did) call the player character by their name, and proper pronouns. It means that the player could in some games, ask their own questions—You can do this in Fallout for instance. In fact, you can get answers from NPCs that you will never find any other way in the game.

We do not have truly convincing speech synthesis of the caliber required to replace skilled voice artists. Once we do, this problem is solved. Once the software can read the game's script using a voice profile (one of dozens or more), and when it can sound like Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, and Frank Welker all at the same time, then text loses its main advantage; because then you can parse spoken dialog in the same way as text. At that point it becomes a user preference without cost; but right now it has a cost, and that is limited static scripts using prerecorded lines, and the hassles [and budgetary concerns] that come with it.
I see what you mean here, from a developer's standpoint it does affect the process of creating an experience where dialogue has a deep impact on your choices. I won't certainly hold back on praise for Fallout as well, it's an astonishing game, no doubt. And I guess I'd deffinitely agree to the idea that speech synthesis could eventually make up for the cost and difficulty of recording live actors; I don't have any substantial opposition to the idea that players have as many text choices as they like.

My issue, in reality, is that I don't think it's as effective nor as engaging as people think it is. We know most dialogue choices follow predetermined paths that developers already planned out, so for the moment I'd rather my characters behaved as close as they can to actual people.

Amazing fun fact by the way :lol:
Gizmo wrote:
March 7th, 2019, 3:53 pm
Not that demanding, because Witcher 1, and the Gothic series didn't have that problem; nor BG 1&2, nor Fallout 1 & 2—to name a few.
You'll have to elaborate further here, I believe I don't understand your point.
Gizmo wrote:
March 7th, 2019, 3:53 pm
Rather it evaluates the PC, and determines that they either succeed, or do not; in some cases cannot—and this is as it should be in any and every RPG; because games that don't, are not RPGs—games like Skyrim, are digital costume simulations. They are fine—they let you dress up as a wizard, and immolate everything in sight, but such games are about empowerment fantasy, and character substitution—not about roleplaying. They are not evaluating a character, they are reacting to the player pretending to be a wizard. RPGs [essentially] are systems that evaluate when to say 'No', based on the statistics of the PC, the NPCs, the place, and circumstance of the attempted action. So yeah, the PC can fail, Geralt can fail—but it's Geralt failing. In a game where the player controls his sword for him, it is the player failing, and it's Geralt who is taking the consequences—and that's out of character. Imagine the show Quantum Leap, where if Sam were to 'possess' George Foreman or Ali in their famous fight... that's what you have in Witcher 2; it wouldn't be both of them in the ring—one of them would be Sam.
My main character in Skyrim is a nord thief called Johann, who swore a vow to never return to the homeland he always hated. He discovers he has the voice, and decides to heed Parthurnax and the Greybeards' call to stop Alduin. He slays the dragon and brings about a new age for Skyrim, in the meantime becoming a member of both The Companions and the College of Winterhold, while secretly running his own crime ring as Guild Master of the Thieves Guild. He even serves on the Dawnguard, travels to Solstheim and... begrudgingly... joins the Imperial Legion in a bid to end the Civil War.

How exactly am I not roleplaying there ?

I can understand the argument that Skyrim might be a shallow RPG, I agree, but IT IS an RPG. The mechanics and systems it uses may be a bit loose and arbitrary. But may I remind you that you can create a warrior/mage/thief in BG, which is not exactly a restricting thing in some people's minds, and a criticism that is often launched at Skyrim.

As for what you mean with evaluation, it might be a longer discussion but games constantly do so; if they weren't then we wouldn't have states of failure like death or injury. Wether you're making a good monster hunter in the Witcher is entirely dependent on several systems that the game uses to judge your skill in creating the Geralt you like.

Also, I haven't yet seen Quantum Leap.
Gizmo wrote:
March 7th, 2019, 3:53 pm
It depends on what one appreciates as beautiful, no? I would bet that between transcripted Let's Plays of Skyrim, and Arcanum, that Arcanum would be the most beautiful ;)
Graphics mister, we're talking about graphics here :lol:
Gizmo wrote:
March 8th, 2019, 9:22 pm
I have played them both; liked them both, but I don't know what you mean technology limit. What mechanics did DA have that NWN could not?
Yes, graphics as well :D

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Re: Obsidians - the outer world

Post by Drool » March 9th, 2019, 2:51 pm

Gizmo wrote:
March 7th, 2019, 3:53 pm
Why would I ever do that? It's an RPG, I am not fighting a dragon, and that's part of the problem with the latter two Witcher games—Geralt has become a puppet, and I am expected to decide for him how best to fight; but Geralt is the professional monster hunter. This is a case of the player impeding the character; why would I want to roleplay myself in Geralt's place? :? :? :?
(Is that not like standing in for Bruce Lee in a street fight?)
Wut?

Then why play any game? I'm not a tomb raider, Lara is. I'm not post-apocalyptic explorer, the Vault Dweller is. I don't eat ghosts, PacMan does.
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Re: Obsidians - the outer world

Post by Woolfe » March 9th, 2019, 8:48 pm

Different play types. Both are perfectly valid. And both should be represented out there. One is considered more accessible. Both can be fantastic games.

One is limiting your natural ability at things to ensure that it is the "character" that affects the gameplay as much as you. As in you naturally may not be very good at climbing, but you have a character that is, you can't replicate that activity so your character's stats determine it.

Versus a game where you become the character. That character may be good at shooting a bow, but your skill with the mouse or controller also play a part. If you can't point your bow at the correct point, then no matter your character's skill at a bow, you will miss. And the reverse is true as well to a degree.
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Re: Obsidians - the outer world

Post by Gizmo » March 9th, 2019, 11:17 pm

Drool wrote:
March 9th, 2019, 2:51 pm
Gizmo wrote:
March 7th, 2019, 3:53 pm
Why would I ever do that? It's an RPG, I am not fighting a dragon, and that's part of the problem with the latter two Witcher games—Geralt has become a puppet, and I am expected to decide for him how best to fight; but Geralt is the professional monster hunter. This is a case of the player impeding the character; why would I want to roleplay myself in Geralt's place? :? :? :?
(Is that not like standing in for Bruce Lee in a street fight?)
Wut?

Then why play any game? I'm not a tomb raider, Lara is. I'm not post-apocalyptic explorer, the Vault Dweller is. I don't eat ghosts, PacMan does.
Tomb raider is not an RPG. It's basically an evolved arcade game. There are Indiana Jones games a plenty, but none are RPGs AFAIK, and they play like post-millennial Pitfall, or they use Scumm gameplay. But if you make a "Raiders of the Lost Ark" RPG, then the character's psyche should come into play, and be accounted for in the narrative choices you have in the new scenarios. A chance for Indy to show his quality... or whomever other PC the player makes, if it is not Indiana himself; the game could use Indiana as a quest giver, using colleague and promising students for —"go to the Temple of such-n-such, and find the idol for me", type quests; though probably it would start out more mundanely..."Go to the library and look up the Temple of Such-n-Such, and find details on the Idol for me".

When I play the Witcher, I certainly don't put myself in Geralt's shoes, I extrapolate how a Geralt might react in a situation, given what I know of him (and shown in the game; his ethics, temperament, and past training, and experience). I do that with any RPG, which is why I have zero qualms with an assigned PC—so long as they are well described. In games where I can make my own PC, I do, and I am equally fine with them... though RPGs I have played that allow totally arbitrary PC generation, tend to only manage generic reactions to them, because they can't really know what applies to an unknown PC.
Highwayman667 wrote:
March 9th, 2019, 11:43 am
No matter what amazing background and story you may concoct for your Grey Warden in Dragon Age: Origins, he or she will never have more of a personality than Witty Hawke. Why ? Because the latter feels, hears and acts like a person, whereas the former is a doll, a fun doll... but a doll, and no amount of lines will make up for that; as far as it concerns me at least.
I understand your meaning. In my case (and in some other's too, I think) The paper-doll is selectively not seen. By remaining silent, the PC is out of the player's way in times of information exchange. When I play Dragon Age, and my character stands there bobbing his head, I am not even looking at him; I am processing the dialog choices for PC appropriate reactions. It's not cinematic—but it offers something you can't get from the cinema.

____
One time I recognized a fellow (on the bus) that I had gone to school with, and I hadn't seen in the years since. While we talked, I mentioned having seen a [recent block buster] movie. He had not seen it, and asked about it. I said that it was spectacular, but that it was not as good as the book. He didn't seem to understand. I came to realize that he didn't understand how such an incredulous thing was even possible. :shock:

He said, "How!?", "Movies have action, sound; and they move! Books just sit there, words on paper. Image".

As many know, it is possible to read a novel like you'd read a soup can, but that's not the best way to do it. In his case what he got out of books (it seemed) was the mechanical act of reading, and remembering a bit of what he read. If he didn't see it, and hear it, then for him it didn't happen.

I have seen posts by players that seem to share this view with respect to games; even say things like "If I wanted to read a book, I would have, and not played a game instead". They play a game like Fallout, and for them it is utterly the sum of its parts. They get nothing out of it that wasn't put into it. :cry: ...And they are adversely affected by anything seen as —gamey or abstract (which includes some graphic art styles); some of them even to the point hiding the GUI because it wouldn't be there in real life. :?

In the extreme cases they will actually deride the aspects of the game that they deem pathetic. Turn based game mechanics (for instance) —some really, actually, truly, perceive it as if :shock: —their PC just stands there and taking hits from everyone without even so much as trying to dodge or defend themselves, and they think this is worthy of ridicule.

Like this fellow who I used to see post on the Bethsoft forums: (he made this himself) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rmm3kEVDR_M

You try explaining it to them, and it's as though you were trying to convince them of pixies and Smurfs on the Moon—they just don't get abstraction or accept it as valid; it contradicts their perception of fun, and has to be bogus. It's like trying to tell kids that Brussels Sprouts taste good; they laugh at you inside.
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Honest question though: In games like the Witcher series, do you perceive it as (even slightly) detrimental if Geralt makes an awkwardly long pause in the conversation? Meaning that you did not choose your response fast enough... and he just stands there wobbling his head; indistinguishable from Dragon Age. Because I do not.

For me, when the PC pauses in silence during a conversation—where the player is expected to decide a response, I don't even notice them at the time—for me it's a timeless state, detached from the situation. It's a pause while the player makes a decision about how this character would respond in the present context; a pause with a reply that I don't need to hear parroted back at me in the PC's voice. I decided it already... for me it has already been said, and I just want the response.

It is noteworthy that Bioware did fully voice the Dragon Age NPCs, and did engineer it so that the various other party members would often contribute, or comment during a conversation, so I don't think that it was a cost saving measure to not voice the PC. They did that for some other reason, and I think it more than likely to have been because this allows the player to imagine their a voice for their own character—rather than be penned into using the two (or three?) Bioware could have provided.

I am fine without a voiced PC, because it is not without a voice; it's whatever voice I choose. Does any one here NOT read Schwarzenegger quotes in a parody of his own voice?

The lack of technical restriction from a voiced PC means that the developers have more narrative freedom—at least in theory... not if they choose the easier/mediocre/ less branching path.



My issue, in reality, is that I don't think it's as effective nor as engaging as people think it is. We know most dialogue choices follow predetermined paths that developers already planned out, so for the moment I'd rather my characters behaved as close as they can to actual people.
It's certainly a matter of personal preference. ;) My preference does not extend to a 1:1 play-by-play of their actions, because I am comfortable assuming all but the most plot-crucial ones.

Mentioning PC bathroom breaks is a low hanging fruit—so no need for that. :mrgreen: I am sure that none of us wants, or needs to see that in order to assume that it occurred (somewhere along the way).
Gizmo wrote:
March 7th, 2019, 3:53 pm
Not that demanding, because Witcher 1, and the Gothic series didn't have that problem; nor BG 1&2, nor Fallout 1 & 2—to name a few.
You'll have to elaborate further here, I believe I don't understand your point.
I only meant that in those games—unlike their later sequels, the PC could handle themselves in a fight. In Witcher (and Fallout 1 & 2), you merely indicate whom to attack, and he automatically does his absolute best attempt; not so in W2&3, and FO3&4.
My main character in Skyrim is a nord thief called Johann, who swore a vow to never return to the homeland he always hated. He discovers he has the voice, and decides to heed Parthurnax and the Greybeards' call to stop Alduin. He slays the dragon and brings about a new age for Skyrim, in the meantime becoming a member of both The Companions and the College of Winterhold, while secretly running his own crime ring as Guild Master of the Thieves Guild. He even serves on the Dawnguard, travels to Solstheim and... begrudgingly... joins the Imperial Legion in a bid to end the Civil War.

How exactly am I not roleplaying there ?
You... are, but how does the game know any of that? I remember reading about Oblivion players who would man a shift at guards post in the city, because that's what guards would do—and they wanted to play guards by standing around for an hour; but the game is blind to it. The only thing a game can know is what's in the character sheet——and we don't have [any?] games that parse user created biographies, and reflect them in the narrative, but if we did, I bet they would only tackle it with text dialog. :twisted:
I can understand the argument that Skyrim might be a shallow RPG, I agree, but IT IS an RPG. The mechanics and systems it uses may be a bit loose and arbitrary. But may I remind you that you can create a warrior/mage/thief in BG, which is not exactly a restricting thing in some people's minds, and a criticism that is often launched at Skyrim.
That's not the criticism I have seen. Skyrim is known as an inch deep Ocean; (because it is only concerned with the veneer of its world simulation). If you make a mage/fighter/thief in BG, first off the PC is not human, second off, the PC will develop sloooow as molases, because their character level is divided among their classes. In In TES (IIRC) these are just bolt-on abilities. In TES a fighter PC can become the grand high leader of the Mage guild—and vice versa. The game is a costumed ego simulator, concerned with the appearance of being whatever the player wants... with no consequences, and no [affecting] commitments.
Also, I haven't yet seen Quantum Leap.
A gem in the rough; one of Scott Bakula's early shows. He played a scientist stuck in time, who in each episode woke up in someone else's body—and for the duration of the episode he decided their actions. Premise being that something was wrong with time (or in general), and he needed to fix the situation. It was a lighthearted show, but in essence it benignly depicted demonic possession/exorcist style. :lol:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjK9GJMBpt0
Graphics mister, we're talking about graphics here :lol:
I am a commercial artist. I appreciate fantastic visuals; the more the better IMO. Great visuals can come in myriad styles. Good graphics by themselves will not redeem a poorly designed (or just boring) game. Good graphics would be described by some, as subjective. I would certainly list Disciples series as having good graphics, but most of those are 2D isometric, and of the 3D sequels, I mostly mean of their user interface; though the character models are good too.

*Funny, but it is not this way with comic books; where fantastic visuals will excuse a poor script, and that unappealing art can ruin the even best of scripts. :?
Yes, graphics as well :D
Again, I am not sure what you mean— or even which game you mean... because there are TWO retail Neverwinter Nights video games; and I don't mean Neverwinter Nights 2, by Obsidian, and I don't mean NWN:Online... that would make four NWN games.

I am going to guess that you mean Bioware's game, but then I don't see what you mean graphics-wise; unless you just mean relative model complexity.

**Another fun fact (that I would love to learn the real answer to it):
It would appear that the 3D supermutant and ghoul models used in FO3 (and NV) are less detailed (and certainly of less character) than the one used in Fallout 1&2. Image

Image

Image

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Re: Obsidians - the outer world

Post by Highwayman667 » March 10th, 2019, 11:58 am

Gizmo wrote:
March 9th, 2019, 11:17 pm
When I play the Witcher, I certainly don't put myself in Geralt's shoes, I extrapolate how a Geralt might react in a situation, given what I know of him (and shown in the game; his ethics, temperament, and past training, and experience). I do that with any RPG, which is why I have zero qualms with an assigned PC—so long as they are well described. In games where I can make my own PC, I do, and I am equally fine with them... though RPGs I have played that allow totally arbitrary PC generation, tend to only manage generic reactions to them, because they can't really know what applies to an unknown PC.
I think this is a perfectly reasonable summary of a playstyle we can perfectly choose. I do place "myself" in Geralt's position and choose as consistently as I possibly can, considering all knowledge that I have of the character but still deciding for "myself" what is the best course of action in each situation the game presents to Geralt.

If there's any issue that might arise, is how we allocate resources to favor one playstyle over the other, and even if we should. I know I'll probably love Obsidian's new game, but I probably would've loved it more had it been voiced; no matter how much crap they give Fallout 4, it will always have a better main PC... because he/she has a voice.
Gizmo wrote:
March 9th, 2019, 11:17 pm
I understand your meaning. In my case (and in some other's too, I think) The paper-doll is selectively not seen. By remaining silent, the PC is out of the player's way in times of information exchange. When I play Dragon Age, and my character stands there bobbing his head, I am not even looking at him; I am processing the dialog choices for PC appropriate reactions. It's not cinematic—but it offers something you can't get from the cinema.
I actually do the same exact thing, to be clear; I do enjoy games with mute PCs because they do allow an incredible amount of flexibility. I could dissagree about how the cinematic part takes away from the roleplaying aspect but it might be a bit too subjective for this conversation.
Gizmo wrote:
March 9th, 2019, 11:17 pm
You try explaining it to them, and it's as though you were trying to convince them of pixies and Smurfs on the Moon—they just don't get abstraction or accept it as valid; it contradicts their perception of fun, and has to be bogus. It's like trying to tell kids that Brussels Sprouts taste good; they laugh at you inside.
You should probably read "The Bourne Identity" and compare it with the movie then :lol:

I understand your point. A few months ago I was reading H.G. Wells "War of the Worlds" and I don't believe I've ever experienced a better description of an alien invasion in my life. I don't believe ANY movie, series or videogame has even come close; the sheer descriptions offered, both terrifying and exciting at the same time, are probably something only a legend of a writer could actually achieve. I do agree with this point and I do believe that some types of mediums, with different methods of expression, are more effective and functional to specific stories; this is the reason why we have written text in videogames, because language has transformative and influential power.

Nevertheless, I don't believe it always works, and I believe people weren't always wrong when they criticized Planescape: Torment, because "If I wanted to read a book, I would have, and not played a game instead" is almost certainly directed at that one :lol:

Not to create a new discussion out of this but sometimes games, a few like PS:T, can get out of hand with their scripts. I don't find this issue to be as prevalent in Arcanum or Bloodlines because both games are extremely effective at presenting dialogue that doesn't slow down the pace of the game.
Gizmo wrote:
March 9th, 2019, 11:17 pm
I am fine without a voiced PC, because it is not without a voice; it's whatever voice I choose. Does any one here NOT read Schwarzenegger quotes in a parody of his own voice?

The lack of technical restriction from a voiced PC means that the developers have more narrative freedom—at least in theory... not if they choose the easier/mediocre/ less branching path.
It's quite the different thing to play a fifty hour game and to parody an actor's lines :lol:
Gizmo wrote:
March 9th, 2019, 11:17 pm
I only meant that in those games—unlike their later sequels, the PC could handle themselves in a fight. In Witcher (and Fallout 1 & 2), you merely indicate whom to attack, and he automatically does his absolute best attempt; not so in W2&3, and FO3&4.
You must be the first person ever to praise Witcher 1's "rythm sword-fighting" :lol:
Gizmo wrote:
March 9th, 2019, 11:17 pm
You... are, but how does the game know any of that? I remember reading about Oblivion players who would man a shift at guards post in the city, because that's what guards would do—and they wanted to play guards by standing around for an hour; but the game is blind to it. The only thing a game can know is what's in the character sheet——and we don't have [any?] games that parse user created biographies, and reflect them in the narrative, but if we did, I bet they would only tackle it with text dialog.
Well, Brynjolf can comment on how I suck as a thief if I don't plant Madesi's silver ring in Brand-Shei's box. I can only get some special items from the Thieves Guild questline if I sneak through and don't kill anyone. I can only save Paarthurnax if I cut ties with The Blades. I can only save the redguard fugitive in Whiterun if I kill the man who is pursuing her. I can only get Azura's star if I willingly decide to help Azura. All of those choices are acknowledged by the game.

Still, Skyrim can be described as a shallow RPG because MOST choices are not acknowledged in that manner, and I do believe that's a problem that might separate us more and more from the best RPG experiences. I wouldn't say that doesn't make Skyrim an RPG.

But indeed, a good game reacts to the things players choose to do.
Gizmo wrote:
March 9th, 2019, 11:17 pm
A gem in the rough; one of Scott Bakula's early shows. He played a scientist stuck in time, who in each episode woke up in someone else's body—and for the duration of the episode he decided their actions. Premise being that something was wrong with time (or in general), and he needed to fix the situation. It was a lighthearted show, but in essence it benignly depicted demonic possession/exorcist style. :lol: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjK9GJMBpt0
I'll make sure to see it, it does look fun :D !
Gizmo wrote:
March 9th, 2019, 11:17 pm
Good graphics by themselves will not redeem a poorly designed (or just boring) game.
Well, "poorly designed" or "boring" can mean a lot to many people. But hey, a few bugs in Skyrim didn't make my dragon fights any less fun, and they certainly looked better than most things out there. That does not take away our deserved right to denounce the amount of bugs that appear in Bethesda's games; no denying that there.
Gizmo wrote:
March 9th, 2019, 11:17 pm
Again, I am not sure what you mean— or even which game you mean... because there are TWO retail Neverwinter Nights video games; and I don't mean Neverwinter Nights 2, by Obsidian, and I don't mean NWN:Online... that would make four NWN games.
It's about the presentation of course, I speak of graphics but it goes back to what we were discussing before: the dragon fight from the 80's will never be as fun as the one from the 10's because the latter has graphical power, sound and animation to support it.

UNLESS OF COURSE... you found a way to make it just as fun through text, that would certainly be okay. If you can't though, then maybe one could give the standard path a chance.
Gizmo wrote:
March 9th, 2019, 11:17 pm
It would appear that the 3D supermutant and ghoul models used in FO3 (and NV) are less detailed (and certainly of less character) than the one used in Fallout 1&2.
Doesn't surprise me in the least, Fallout 1 & 2 are beautiful and amazing games, but they don't have the same amount of content as FO3 and NV.

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Re: Obsidians - the outer world

Post by Grohal » March 20th, 2019, 11:01 am

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Re: Obsidians - the outer world

Post by SagaDC » March 20th, 2019, 3:37 pm

Ugh. Well, I guess that's it then. Epic has convinced me to give them a chance.

I was going to skip Metro Exodus, then I was going to skip Phoenix Point, but I just cant bring myself to skip Outer Worlds too. :P

You win, Epic! Take my money!

... at least they seem to be getting better taste in games. :|

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Re: Obsidians - the outer world

Post by Drool » March 20th, 2019, 5:00 pm

...assuming they stop data mining you. And add things like Cloud Save.
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Re: Obsidians - the outer world

Post by Highwayman667 » March 20th, 2019, 7:14 pm

Drool wrote:
March 20th, 2019, 5:00 pm
...assuming they stop data mining you. And add things like Cloud Save.
Or even a goddamn wishlist.

Seriously, fuck that client. Why should we stand for this crap :x ?

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Re: Obsidians - the outer world

Post by SagaDC » March 20th, 2019, 11:19 pm

Eh, they're making a lot of promises about implementing more features over the next 6-12 months. Hard to say if they'll actually meet those target dates, but I guess I'm willing to give 'em a chance. Steam was new, once, and it took them years to get all those features in place. Even now, some of the features that Steam boasts in their arsenal are barely functional. Can't say I'll really miss 'em, especially if Epic can (eventually) implement something better.

I was definitely worried about the data-mining stuff, but I dunno... a lot of that seems overblown. I peeked at some of the reports people had compiled on Twitter and Reddit, and most of what I saw just seemed like fear-mongering and misinformation from people who just wanted something to justify their hate. :P

That's not to say that I'm really comfortable with the way Epic is doing things, but I don't want to just keep skipping all these games. Outer Worlds is, like, the fifth one they've snagged that I already had on my wish list. Borderlands 3 will be the sixth! :(

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Re: Obsidians - the outer world

Post by Woolfe » March 20th, 2019, 11:45 pm

Personally getting Subnautica for free had already set me on the Epic store... Plus I had Fortnite already to play with my son.

But yeah I am pissed about this exclusive shit.

I trust Steam way more than Epic.
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Re: Obsidians - the outer world

Post by Grohal » March 21st, 2019, 12:13 am

SagaDC wrote:
March 20th, 2019, 11:19 pm
...

That's not to say that I'm really comfortable with the way Epic is doing things, but I don't want to just keep skipping all these games. Outer Worlds is, like, the fifth one they've snagged that I already had on my wish list. Borderlands 3 will be the sixth! :(
Just wait a year longer, nearly all games are just one year exclusive. Plus in Obisidans case we get a patched and bugfree(er) version a year later - also The Outer Worlds will also be available in the Windows store... if somebody would have told me I even consider using the Windows store some time back I would have called him crazy.... but then the lesser of two evils...
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