Official Codex Discord Server

  1. Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.
    Dismiss Notice

KickStarter BEAUTIFUL DESOLATION - isometric post-apocalyptic adventure from STASIS developer

Discussion in 'Adventure Gaming' started by Pyke, Sep 2, 2016.

  1. IHaveHugeNick Arcane

    IHaveHugeNick
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2015
    Messages:
    1,869,115
    Location:
    edge of a melon
    So this shit any good? Stasis was decent.
     
    • Yes Yes x 9
    ^ Top  
  2. Pyke The Brotherhood Developer

    Pyke
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Messages:
    960
    Location:
    South Africa
    Yeah.
     
    • Funny x 10
    • Acknowledge this user's Agenda x 4
    • Agree x 2
    • Slam dunk! x 2
    • gimme dem dolla bills x 1
    • nice x 1
    • incline x 1
    • Balanced x 1
    ^ Top  
  3. ScrotumBroth Disco balls Patron

    ScrotumBroth
    Joined:
    May 13, 2018
    Messages:
    1,010
    Grab the Codex by the pussy
    Bro.... This is so good.
     
    ^ Top  
  4. lightbane Arcane

    lightbane
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,842
    Location:
    Neverwhere
    Dead Space isometric shooter >>> Mass Erect one.
    To be fair though, I'm sure you wouldn't do worse than any of the last entries of either game, it's physically impossible to do more harm to either dead franchise unless it's on purpose.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    ^ Top  
  5. Abu Antar Tweet, tweet Patron

    Abu Antar
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2014
    Messages:
    7,552
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    I got a GOG discount code I was asked not to share. I'm mulling over a purchase, but the 363 games in my backlog beg to differ.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    ^ Top  
  6. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2018
    Messages:
    14,373
    :what:
    when is this due
     
    • it is a mystery it is a mystery x 2
    ^ Top  
  7. StaticSpine Arcane Patron

    StaticSpine
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,026
    Location:
    Moscow
    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    I just finished the game. Loved it.

    Pyke
    Thank you (The Bros) for this game! I have some feedback:
    • Some form of journal with quests would be great. I played the game for several weeks with intervals, and sometimes it was p. hard to remember what was going on.
    • A lot of object description texts on locations do not add any value to the worldbuilding/factions/setting (like, you see a stone and read a description that this is a stone), I guess you just wanted to make more objects you can somehow interact with, but these texts are meaningless and you had to write them, translate them, implement them, etc, doesn't look effective (sorry for nitpicking, tho).
    But overall, the game is amazing!
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    ^ Top  
  8. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2018
    Messages:
    14,373
    how many copies of this game do I need to buy to speed up development of your scifi RPG?
     
    • gimme dem dolla bills gimme dem dolla bills x 3
    • Yes Yes x 1
    • Makes you think... Makes you think... x 1
    ^ Top  
  9. Pyke The Brotherhood Developer

    Pyke
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Messages:
    960
    Location:
    South Africa
    ....more.... :D
     
    • gimme dem dolla bills gimme dem dolla bills x 3
    • Acknowledge this user's Agenda Acknowledge this user's Agenda x 1
    • Excited! Excited! x 1
    ^ Top  
  10. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Messages:
    16,615
    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    All of them.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Yes Yes x 1
    ^ Top  
  11. DeepOcean Arcane

    DeepOcean
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2012
    Messages:
    5,805
    The only answer is yes.
     
    • Yes Yes x 2
    ^ Top  
  12. Kaivokz Arcane

    Kaivokz
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2015
    Messages:
    704
    Finished today.

    ++Game is designed to be beaten without quest log or quest markers. That means dialogue is meaningful and can guide you through the whole game. I don't think I got stuck at all, though for awhile at the end I didn't see the giant glowing button on the side of the screen that I was supposed to push. :lol:
    ++No win-win situations, you have to "take sides" to accomplish your goal. A pet peeve of mine in modern video games is the tendency to have a neutral path where everyone gets along. Negotiating peace or some compromise is fine, but being able to negotiate the entire world into peace is silly.
    ++Great and evocative scifi factions (the Priests, the Nest, the Fley, etc). Mysterious, but enough information is given to make sense of who they are and what they are after.
    +Story was good, but I am a fan of "show don't tell" exposition. Lots of good history to be gleaned from the environment and offhand remarks from various NPCs.
    +Art and music were beautiful, both technically and in their vision.

    -Not a fan of mousing over the environment to see a description of what you're looking at. Usually just cluttered up the map instead of letting the user's gaze flow naturally over the terrain.
    -The arena abilities are unclear and unbalanced, but it's not that big of a deal since the arena is optional. I ended up using two tanks (can go up to 25 armor) and a fley gunner spamming 1AP abilities and mowed over everything with 0 strategy (partly because making a strategy without knowing what the abilities do requires trial and error, which required more investment than I wanted for a little minigame).

    Overall: Recommend if you want an adventure game with a good atmospheres that doesn't hold your hand.

    Story speculation (HoboForEternity, Pyke):
    Show Spoiler
    Inja means dog, I don't know what Varriyar means, and Dulahan traditionally refers to a headless rider. They were all three born in the womb of Daris. At the end, Daris says something like... all three of the simulacra were created from Mark's mind. So the Dulahan is the central figure from which Inja and Vaariyar are built, and if his name is symbolic, then he is headless. I suppose it could mean a couple of things: (1) the simulacra of Mark doesn't realize he is in a looped simulation so he is akin to a body wandering headless, (2) whoever the Dulahan is, he is the missing part of Daris—Daris is the head, Dulahan is the body, or maybe (3) Dulahan, being the primary (?) artificial construct inside of Daris, is actually a stand-in for Daris himself (or Daris' primary function/purpose) and Daris is the one who is headless. Perhaps Daris is the body and Drome is the head. If Drome and Daris are two parts of a whole (Dromedaris), it stands to reason that they rely on each other in some capacity to fulfill their function—maybe like brothers.

    I do not think enough was revealed for us to know if Dromedaris was separated or if they are still working together. If they were separated, Daris could be equivalent to the nanites at Nest Alpha (I think, the northern nest) continuing its function with single-minded attention and no larger purpose. Daris seems to enjoy running the simulation in the same way the Nest enjoyed accumulating information. Daris seems to be the center of the Penrose, but if indeed Daris is simply part of a whole (Dromedaris), what is happening with the Penrose and the simulation cannot be the entire purpose of the whole.

    I don't think I quite understand the Priests, Babel, and Dromedaris enough to speculate any further about who would want to sabotage such a project or their motive (their means: maybe some sort of sabotage on the Alexis space station). I ended up befriending Pooch and Don with the generosity ending. Other endings probably have more info, but I think my thirst has been sated for now.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 6
    • Salute Salute x 1
    ^ Top  
  13. Pyke The Brotherhood Developer

    Pyke
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Messages:
    960
    Location:
    South Africa
    Thanks man! So glad you enjoyed it!
    We did design the game to be beaten without the quest markers. The core of the game was built around that feeling we had in Star Control 2 of a vast universe, with you being a small part of it. We wanted to give the feeling of being lost in a new world... although perhaps we leaned a little too far into that. :D
    In retrospect we probably should have had like a 'story' mode with the quest marker system built in. Personally I don't like clues in games. I just think how much of my experience in Fallout was trying to figure out what to do next. But I think that games like that have more to do in their loop (Star Control had combat and a resource loop, same with Fallout), so that sort of thing doesn't really transfer to an Adventure Game. Perhaps if we had filled the world with minigames it would have felt 'fuller'?
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 3
    ^ Top  
  14. DeepOcean Arcane

    DeepOcean
    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2012
    Messages:
    5,805
    I finished the game today, I have to say that overall I enjoyed it. It is a really well polished game, Pike and his brother punched over their weight here and this doesnt look like a typical indie game.

    Exploration:

    Pros:
    + Really liked the world, exploring the world is the main reason to play the game. The factions are creative and dont follow post apocalyptic cliches that much, you have self aware robots, african tribesmen, self replicating nanites and all of that. It is a mixture of african primitivism and high tech that creates an unique identity and no, it isnt yet another copy of Mad Max and is more like a south african Numenera setting.
    + This unique identity is the main reason why people should play this game. Stasis was a nice game but creatively, this is a much better game,

    Cons:

    -Each location doesnt have much to do in it, the game is quite economical with interaction, it is common to get to large areas that only have one NPC to talk to.
    - Because of the lack in content, the game moves fast and while the faction concepts are great and some characters are really interesting, you get so little of it for each faction that you truly dont get to know each faction much.

    Choice and consequence:

    Pros:
    + It isnt usual for an adventure game to have those and those choices turn the factions on something more than background noise (because of the lack in NPC interactions). Without those choices, the quality of the game would greatly suffer.

    Cons:

    - This isnt Fallout with its extensive ending slides about what happened afterwards with each faction. No proper ending slides here for the factions because of story reasons.
    - The consequences in game arent that great either, yes, you can destroy or not some factions but that doesnt seem to have a bigger impact on the world.
    - Outside some factions choices, the game is quite static, wont complaint much because this isnt a RPG but it is a pity because I totally would love to do tons of quests on this setting.

    Writing:
    Pros:

    +The writing is competent and because the game is economic with interaction, each faction must show identity with its respective NPCs quick, so the NPCs talk and behave on ways appropriated for their faction. Because of this design choice, you wont see all characters from different professions and cultures and even from alien races talking and behaving like quirky 20 something californian millenials like it is the norm on most RPGs.
    + This aspect made me remember of Torment on a good way.
    + There are no lore dumpster NPCs, thank God, most dialog is to the point with no bullshit.

    Cons:

    - The economy in content really hurt the NPCs, it isnt that there arent interesting NPCs, there are alot of them but they have so little show time that you end up having no memorable interaction with them.
    - Don, Mark and Pooch are kinda run of the mill normie characters that end up being terribly uninteresting on a place with talking moss and conscious robots, to make matters worse, they talk mostly of their background story that isnt that important on the context of the game as you dont play that. I didnt get super interested on Don's history of PTSD after visiting an ancient destroyed city and talked with self-aware nanites.
    - The story is quite open ended with an open ended ending and is comprised mostly of alot of fetch quests. You do a series of fetch quests then the game ends without much happening between the begining and end.

    Gameplay:

    Pros:

    + It is somewhat non linear with different choices to make on 5 different hubs with alot of different locations while you do the main quest fetch quests.

    Cons:
    - This is a run of the mill modern adventure game, so it is an easy game, most puzzles are inventory puzzles that are quite obvious for people that pay some attention to what is going on. If you dont have dementia or ADHD, you probably wont be stuck on this game.
    - It doesnt ramp up the difficulty and complexity of the puzzles until the later zones.
    - Because the more complex and difficult puzzles only start showing up by the second half of the game, the begining is a series of ultra easy fetch quests that gets boring, I have to say that by the time I left Vesta and started exploring the other areas, the gameplay was barely there.
    - There is a lull right after you get the Buffalo, on Vesta until you get more advanced on the Hanasi/Cheziyama situation where I felt really unenthusiastic to play the game, you have a very interesting beginning with the Penrose stuff that reminded me alot of District 9 then the game decides to stop hard, throw a series of fetch quests at you with barely any context for what is happening.
    - You go around and around without much of an incentive to keep going doing fetch quests where you are not sure of how those fetch quests would advance the main fetch quests. Fortunately, things improve alot after the first faction decision.

    Overall, despite the negatives, I enjoyed the game alot and would easily keep playing for more 6 zones if the game had them. Just expect a polished, well made modern adventure game with some light choice and consequence and light on the difficulty and gameplay. If exploring post apocaliptic primitive/high tech South Africa that seems like a really well made adventure on a Numenera/District 9 like setting is enough to compensate the gameplay issues for you, this is a nice game.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020
    • Brofist Brofist x 9
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
    ^ Top  
  15. Pyke The Brotherhood Developer

    Pyke
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Messages:
    960
    Location:
    South Africa
    Thanks for that review mate! Glad you enjoyed it.

    We learned a lot from Beautiful Desolation and will be taking it through to our next project! These sorts of reviews help us in know what we did right, and more importantly, what we did wrong!
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  16. Cyberarmy Love fool Patron

    Cyberarmy
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    Messages:
    5,620
    Location:
    Smyrna - Scalanouva
    Divinity: Original Sin 2
    This game is more Numenera then Numanuma
     
    • Agree Agree x 5
    ^ Top  
  17. Grotesque ±¼ ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Patron

    Grotesque
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2012
    Messages:
    4,259
    Divinity: Original Sin Divinity: Original Sin 2
    I finished the game (liked it) but didn't understood much of what the heck is really going on with the story.
    Too much form without proper background setting.

    the ingame CODEX should not have been just a collection of concept art, but much more.
    Example:
    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]


    I should've played the game with a notebook by my side to write down jargon, factions, concepts, make diagrams etc.
    Last adventure I've played (besides STASIS) was The Longest Journey and as complex that world is, I didn't feel that I'd need a notebook by my side.


    PS: and the combat was cool looking and has flair but in the end really bad. There is almost no distinction between forms of attacks and almost brainless. You can just spam one attack that has the best ratio between damage and hit chance probability and get it over with. All you really need is a big HP pool to prolong the fight as needed.

    The feeling that the game conveys is of something truly alien and weird and that's a good thing but it lacks in other departments
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2020 at 8:25 PM
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
    ^ Top  
  18. Ivan Arcane

    Ivan
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2013
    Messages:
    5,164
    Pretty much what DeepOcean and Grotesque said: would have been cool for Mark to, ahem, update a journal as he journeyed the world

    I appreciate it's handcrafted nature, witnessing the new areas was always a delight. This extends to the character art and the voice acting. As others have said, it was the interactivity that was really lacking and ended up dulling the experience for me. I was usually pretty bored moving around the mostly empty maps. And by empty, I mean in terms of engaging with the environment. I think it would have added a lot more to the game if there were lines that reacted to the players trying to use X on the environment. That said, I appreciate the game presenting the player with multiple factions, ideologies, and an open hub. I think they did nail the feeling of exploring a wildly strange/futurist world. I think I will remember Beautiful Desolation as an adventure tile that was strong in presentation and world set-up, but lacking in substance/gameplay expression. That said, I'm glad to have supported the team with their vision and look forward to their next endeavor. All the best.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2020 at 6:58 PM
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
    • Salute Salute x 1
    ^ Top  
  19. Surf Solar cannot into womynz

    Surf Solar
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Messages:
    8,626
    First thing I get when my new paycheck and computer arrives is this game. Truly pumped by it and I want to support devs using prerendered 2d maps as much as I can.

    Grats Pyke on the release!
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    • Salute Salute x 1
    ^ Top  

(buying stuff via the above buttons helps us pay the hosting bills, thanks!)