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Interview Leonard Boyarsky Mega-Interview at PCGamesN

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Infinitron, Dec 15, 2017.

  1. Zakhad Savant

    Zakhad
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    It's not a plus if it costs development time that could have been used better elsewhere. Making games for the one percent who want to RP crippled Dwarf Wizards is great in an ideal world, but in reality, if you want to keep making games and not fold (as they did) you have to prioritise--at least aim for features for the 5% and not the 1%. And you might say "it's just an option, it takes less time to allow it than to code it out" but the more options you have the more time you need to spend in QA etc., or else ship with piles of bugs.

    It's not an accident that the studios who do this kind of stuff either go under, or else learn to stop doing it. Those are the choices. I loved KotOR2 way more than I liked PoE, for example, but if the choice is nu-Obsidian or nothing, I prefer nu-Obsidian. Something OK, but not great, is better than nothing at all, especially since at least there's still potential there to do something good in future. I love games by MCA, but if I were running a game company and it was my own money and my own economic future at stake, and the choice was hiring either MCA or Sawyer, I'd choose Sawyer every time. (At least until MCA shows he can take charge of a project and ship it successfully, in reasonable time and in good condition, something he's never done and is now avoiding having to do).
     
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  2. Kyl Von Kull Arcane

    Kyl Von Kull
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    What he said.
     
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  3. Trashos Magister

    Trashos
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    What? The parallel universes of Obsidian and Iron Towers will once again move towards the same direction?

    Anyway, I guess you may be trolling, but this is the first rumor for the game that I come across, so it made me happy.
     
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  4. Goral Arcane Patron The Real Fanboy

    Goral
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    In the case of non-viable builds it didn't cost them that much time, not enough to spend it elsewhere anyway. And with games as ambitious and large as Arcanum there would always be things to fix/improve no matter how much time you would spend on it. As usual PR matters more than good QA, just look at buggy Bethesda games. They release an intermediate product and retards gobble it up and praise the base game omitting all the bugs and rushed content because it has dragons and it's super easy and let's you play a demi-god (plus modders fix what they can). The way I see it they're saying things like this now to soften the blow and to make us acknowledge that their next game will be aimed at casuals. They don't have as much freedom as they used to so they will have to play by the Obsidian + Take-Two rules.

    This 1% was taken out of a hat, it's as arbitrary number as 5%. I'm pretty sure that 5% would still be way too small number for any publisher anyway and anything below 30% would be a no-no. My point is - I don't care about publisher's/developer's POV, the only thing I care about is a game I would like to play :]. I would love for Obisidian to crash and burn if only they would produce something as good as Fallout or Arcanum (and for developers it wouldn't be much of a loss anyway, they would find a job no problem, especially programmers).

    OK yes but mediocre or worse no. And in the case of Obsidian it's been worse than mediocre for years now, inXile makes more interesting games than this overrated studio.
     
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  5. FeelTheRads Arcane Patron

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    Yeah, cool. Except we're players, not running companies, so I'll always take a Troika game over some soulless Sawyeristic piece of shit but ON TIME game.

    What good would it have done me if Troika survived but produced PoEs for all eternity?

    Most games we get today are Sawyeristic games, even if he had nothing to do with them.
     
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  6. Zakhad Savant

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    Most of the Codex gobbled up Skyrim and even Fallout 4, while shitting on them both in their comments. So those games are clearly not as unappealing as we pretend. They're shit, no doubt. But they're shit we can't get enough of. The reason the Troika dudes don't have the same freedom is that only we would buy Arcanum 2, but Arcanum 2: Bethesda style would get an audience from the mainstream and we'd all still buy it even if it had base-building, level-scaling, and was basically an FPS, as long as it repeated the right open-world stuff from Bethesda. So yes, the game will certainly be for casuals, even if it also tries to give a bit more than your standard casual game... it'll be more like New Vegas than Fallout 3, in other words. And I enjoyed NV a lot so I guess I'll be happy.

    This hits on the root of the problem, that the incentives for game companies (profit, survival) do not coincide with any of us getting what we really want. We just care about getting good games, not how much profit the companies make. If the incentives for companies were even SLIGHTLY coordinated with the desires of the average gamer, loot boxes wouldn't exist. But they do, for the same reason the American health system costs more per capita than any other country but produces worse results, despite nobody actually wanting those things to happen. Most incentives are perverse, game design is just one more example of that. We all want the company that makes a billion Arcanums and is also incredibly profitable, but that company will never exist even though I'd guess a surprisingly large number of gamers want it. Even look at PoE: the incentive for an individual backer to create a character in the game was high; the incentive for the company to do that was also high (MORE DOLLAH); but I think every sane person, including the designers and the backers who contributed them, would agree that the backer characters made the game more shit.

    On that we will have to disagree. Inxile has done nothing but disappoint me. PoE gave me some tens of hours of fun, even if it also disappointed me in various ways. FNV was great despite all the Bethesda.
     
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  7. Kyl Von Kull Arcane

    Kyl Von Kull
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    The problem is that if studios like Obsidian go belly up, who the fuck is left? Large independent developers are disappearing. Decent sized independent RPG developers you can count on one hand: Obsidian, InXile, Larian, CD Projekt Red, Piranha Bytes (ok, six fingers if you want to count HBS but they’re all Battletech now). And if any of them flame out making a phenomenal game, it’s going to discourage the rest of the industry from making hardcore RPGs (which was one reason why the RPG renaissance ended 13 odd years ago).

    I think you guys will be pleasantly surprised by Take-Two’s hands off attitude here. Apparently, this initiative has been going on quietly for a while:

    “Interestingly, Zelnick had first talked about this “indie program” within Take-Two in July 2016 with GamesIndustry. At that time, he mentioned that the program had been running for about a year.” From a piece over the summer that was presumably about this new label: https://wccftech.com/take-two-working-indie-several-aaa-games/

    So maybe it’s closer to completion than we think, although Leonard only came over last year, right? So maybe not.
     
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  8. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
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  9. Fairfax Arcane

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    How was PS:T not shipped in reasonable time and good condition? And KOTOR2 was going to be a mess regardless of who was in charge after the verbal agreement fiasco.
     
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  10. FeelTheRads Arcane Patron

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    You know what's better, though? Something great. So fuck mediocrity.

    In fact, the way he's saying it, it sounds like it would have taken them more time to "fix" that. They essentially left the character development open for you to do as you wish which was one of the best things about Arcanum and, of course, Fallout. Without that they wouldn't have been played or talked about nearly as much.

    Any "headaches" they might have had sound to be more in hindsight than anything else.
     
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  11. Zakhad Savant

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    Well, OK. But the world you're envisaging is one where all the good companies die and we get nothing but Overwatch and Fallout 4, forever.

    Whatever good is left, that happens because of compromise. Sawyerism, in one form or another, to one extent or another, is the only thing keeping any vaguely interesting companies going. Sawyerism just means "realism". We aren't getting Troika games any more because Troika folded. That doesn't just mean that company folded, it means every other company who might have made Troika-style games got the message not to do so. Every time an over-ambitious RPG kills a company, every other company wants less to do with RPGs and less to do with over-ambition. The success of PoE (and Larian) probably did more for RPGs overall since it told people that some kinds were still profitable at a non-indie but also non-Skyrim level.

    Purists seem to prefer no RPGs at all to compromised ones. Which sounds to me more like a kind of virtue signalling than anything else. Since we can't have another Arcanum, do you really prefer nothing? Without Obsidian, Boyarsky would still be at Blizzard. Them's the options.
     
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  12. Zakhad Savant

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    Curst is not my definition of good condition. Agree it's the closest he's come, but he hasn't done it since.
     
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  13. FeelTheRads Arcane Patron

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    If they produce something good before they die, does it matter? Most developers don't have more than 1 good game in them anyway.

    And they don't have to die. But they'd probably need to be even more "garage" than Troika was to survive. Which yeah, it's tough.

    Well... games are not food, don't need them to stay alive.
    As such, I don't need PoE.
     
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  14. Fairfax Arcane

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    What's your definition of good condition? PoE? FNV? :lol:
     
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  15. Zakhad Savant

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    They made a profit.
     
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  16. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

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    Did you have actually have fun playing a magic-using dwarf in Arcanum?
     
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  17. Zakhad Savant

    Zakhad
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    Makes sense, I guess. I still think that eventually the one hit wonders would stop, since too many failures would put off people from even trying... plus the kids who might have been great RPG designers would grow up playing Overwatch, on balance of probability, so that's what they'd design. I feel that having some mediocre RPGs out there helps to keep the idea alive, but I guess you could say Skyrim/Witcher does that, and they aren't in any danger yet. So sure, as you say, RPGs aren't food.
     
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  18. Iskramor Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck

    Iskramor
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    Masochism a hellava drug
     
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  19. Rinslin Merwind Learned

    Rinslin Merwind
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    Oh, common, it was not so really hard. Maybe annoying sometimes, but not really hard at all.
     
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  20. Fairfax Arcane

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    So did PS:T and KOTOR2. And what does that have to do with shipping a game in good condition? FNV was the very opposite.
     
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  21. Black Angel Cipher

    Black Angel
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    While Goral's post was more about non-viable build, another thing we need to think about regarding Leonard's answer about magic-using dwarf is that in Arcanum there's a magic-using dwarf companion who even have a quest related to him. This might just be one example, but what would be affected in other parts of the game if Leonard apply his new mindset to the rest of it? What opportunity they might miss by outright restricting a character from accessing some gameplay features?

    As a companion, the magic dwarf sucks, but I think his presence doesn't detracts anything from the game, and adds to it with an interesting content.
     
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  22. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

    Roguey
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    :hmmm:

    Why not just make the dwarf character a different race then? It's not like there was some deep story attached to how he's a dwarf who uses magic.
     
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  23. Maxie Magister

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    Boyarski is always a good read but listening to him speaking in public is fucking strenuous
    Now that's a proper autistic nerd unlike them newbie devs with their glib talk and fancy rhetorics
     
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  24. FeelTheRads Arcane Patron

    FeelTheRads
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    Did you have fun playing PoE? :fuuyeah:

    But, as usual, Sawyerists can't comprehend the actual issue: it's the character development system as a whole, about experimenting with it, seeing where you can take it, trying to make a more exotic build work and, yes, even possibly failing. It's not about studying every build and deciding if it's fun or not. Not that Sawyerists can actually understand fun.
    If you find a build not fun to play, then you switch. Simple. I don't give a fuck if someone is crying that their knife can't cut through 2 bosses in a swing and Sawyer's "solution" of putting knives on the same levels as miniguns is the worst thing that could be done.

    Why have anything suboptimal at all! Why not have everything follow a perfectly linear progression! Oh wait, that's actually what you want. That's "fun" for you. I'm sorry.
     
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  25. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

    Roguey
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    Yes.

    Dragon Age: Origins did what Boyarsky would have liked to have done with Arcanum when it comes to dwarves and magic. Still a lot of ways one can build/mess up a character.

    It's part of Chris Avellone's design philosophy that all companions should be good at combat. He learned a valuable lesson with Myron and how no one wanted to use him. :cool:
     
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