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Arcanum OpenArcanum

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Maxli, Feb 20, 2018.

  1. Maxli Novice

    Maxli
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    Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura is a 2001 role-playing video game developed by Troika Games and published by Sierra Entertainment. It was released in North America and Europe in August 2001 for Microsoft Windows. Debuting at fourth position on NPD Intelect's best-seller list, it was Troika's first game and also their best-selling title with over 234,000 copies sold and with revenues of US$8.8 million."​

    What is the OpenArcanum project? Imagine, that you have a favorite computer game that is ages old and you would like to play it again, but you have troubles running the game on newer computers.

    And even if you manage to run the game, there is nothing new to the game. Now, what if you want to add something new to the game? Like new quests, weapons or spells? You must use outdated and incomplete tools that are hard to use and does not offer you a creation of the things you want. Also, what if you want to play the game in coop-mode or even as multiplayer, but the game does not offer you the options to play it over the internet.

    So what are your options? If you're nerd enough, you would write your own game engine that would replace the old one.

    And that's exactly what OpenArcanum is - A game engine reimplementation for game Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arcanum:_Of_Steam...

    Yes, that forgotten RPG game from creators of Fallout 2.

    [​IMG]


    This new engine would not simply replace the old engine, it would enhance the game with new features and options for its players.

    -Multiplatform - Not only, that the new engine would allow us to run the game on new operating systems without problems, but you would be able to run it on other platforms too, such as Linux, Mac and mobile platforms as well.

    -New and enhanced visual effects - dynamic lighting, shadows, weather effects etc.

    -Physics - bouncing bullets and new physics-based quests.

    -A new and better battle system - the original engine was quite buggy.

    -Coop and multiplayer modes - The engine is build on client-server architecture.

    -Heavily modding-friendly. You could literally edit anything by hand, no need for fancy and hard-to-use tools. Add your own UI widgets, edit scripts and game logic whenever you want.

    -A new in-game map and object editor - No more WorldEd.

    And much more...


    Now, the whole game engine was rewritten to JavaScript to speed up the development progress, all the game assets were converted to modder and web friendly formats. And now it's time to finish the game.

    With your support, I would be able to finish the missing features and release first version of the new engine within a few months, i.e. before Q3 2018. Then we can all happily play Arcanum again and add new quests, maps and anything we wish.

    Please, if you want to support the development of the OpenArcanum, consider becoming a patron of this project or making a small donation to the project. (You will get something in reward afterall :)


    More information can be found on project website: http://arcanum.game-alive.com/

    Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/libor_max
     
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  2. 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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  3. ilitarist Learned Illiterate Village Idiot

    ilitarist
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    Don't know what is more sad: someone spent 9 years on recreating an engine that was obsolete even back on release; someone had decided to spend his energy and skills on remaking another instead of doing something new; the fact that someone remakes perfectly playable game; the fact that someone asks for donations for that.

    I don't understand OpenMW project too but at least they want to add multiplayer, I think. Can't find any reason to remake Arcanum.

    Now modding an engine - that I understand. Drog Black Tooth's High Resolution Patch is the good stuff. Heroes 3 HD mod is even greater. Those are tweaks and fixes. Those are things that work and make everything better.
     
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  4. Maxli Novice

    Maxli
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    Hello there,

    there are plenty of game engine recreation projects: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_game_engine_recreations

    And Arcanum is a game that really needs a new and better engine. Yes, the game is playable. But as you already said, the engine is outdated. As I already mentioned, this new engine will introduce many new features to the game, including an ability to run the game on OS Linux and other platforms .

    Have a nice day,
    Max
     
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  5. Jazz_ Cipher

    Jazz_
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    Can you also make the combat less shitty?
     
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  6. Maxli Novice

    Maxli
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    There will a brend new AI system, based on Utility AI system. I'm actually working on it right now. Soon, I'll post an update that shows this feature :)
     
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  7. Lilura RPG Codex Dragon Lady

    Lilura
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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. ilitarist Learned Illiterate Village Idiot

    ilitarist
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    Arcanum is not a systemic game. It doesn't have balanced interesting combat. People play it because of the atmosphere, the music, the story. There's little point in adding better AI or updating graphics or adding moddability beyond adapting the game for modern screens and OS. What makes you think people would make mods for unofficial remake of Arcanum if they didn't make mods for official game back when it came out?
     
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  10. Maxli Novice

    Maxli
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    Actually, there are plenty of modules and mods for Arcanum and most of them will be compatible with OpenArcanum. The reason, why there are no more mods for Arcanum is that it was hard to make any mods. That's what discouraged most of the people who wanted to make mods for Arcanum.

    With OpenArcanum, everything will be easy to create and edit. Also, in Arcanum, there is multiplayer mode that was very buggy and is broken since the Sierra shut down its servers. My other Arcanum-related project, the MatchMaker, fixes this problem, but still, there is no option for coop.

    And yes, there are people that wants play Arcanum with friends and other people:

    [​IMG]


    Anyways, thanks for the support! :)
     
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  11. Fowyr Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Fowyr
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    Oh dear, really? I never heard about it.

    Use old computer, duh.

    Co-op sheep shagging, here I come!

    Sorry, I would better find patch or two.

    Oh noes, truly forgotten game.

    :what:

    Lol, original combat was unbalanced, not buggy.

    :lol:

    And now you are shitting me. :M

    Show Spoiler
    Sup, Drog!
     
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  12. Maxli Novice

    Maxli
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    Are you seriously saying that there are no bugs in the combat system? Have you ever played the game? Or read a readme of all those fan-made game patches? :D LOL.
     
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  13. Fowyr Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Fowyr
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    I finished Arcanum several times. You do not understand where you are. HEY, GUYS, DO YOU KNOW WHAT IS ARCANUM? IT'S A GAME! I RE-WROTE IT IN JAVA-SCRIPT! Herp-derp.
    Everyone here, myself included, spent a lot of time discussing it to death.

    Describe how your combat system is better than original. Or give a link or two.
     
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  14. Kz3r0 Arcane

    Kz3r0
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    :ziets:
    :ziets:
    :ziets:
     
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  15. ESh Arcane

    ESh
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    I really don't want a project of this importance to be built on such a shitty foundation as JavaScript. You guys think Activision would shut this down if we tell them about it?
     
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  16. Kz3r0 Arcane

    Kz3r0
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    rpgdude19 tell us how is working on the team for this project.
     
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  17. Nael Arcane

    Nael
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    Shut up commie. Take the neg like a man.
     
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  18. IHaveHugeNick Arcane

    IHaveHugeNick
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    This is quite possibly the most pointless fan project I have ever seen in my entire life.
     
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  19. ESh Arcane

    ESh
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    lol get real

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. Jazz_ Cipher

    Jazz_
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    JavArcanum will finally bring teh incline.
     
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  21. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    It is kinda weird to see someone appear on the #1 Tim Cain & Troika fan-site in the world to post a short (and quite inaccurate) intro to Arcanum...
     
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  22. Maxli Novice

    Maxli
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    Not everyone here has player Arcanum. Some people don't even know about this game. That's why I put this description from wikipedia into the intro of my post:

    "Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura is a 2001 role-playing video game developed by Troika Games and published by Sierra Entertainment. It was released in North America and Europe in August 2001 for Microsoft Windows. Debuting at fourth position on NPD Intelect's best-seller list, it was Troika's first game and also their best-selling title with over 234,000 copies sold and with revenues of US$8.8 million."

    Nothing weird about it. Because you know something, does not mean that everyone else is stupid.
     
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  23. Lilura RPG Codex Dragon Lady

    Lilura
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    You said "from the creators of Fallout 2."
     
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  24. Bester Arcane Patron Vatnik

    Bester
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    Did you guys know that Arcanum was made by Troika the same guys that made games in Bioware???? And later Bethesda???


    Edit: here's some more info on the game itself, I hear it's a good one:

    Show Spoiler

    Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura is a 2001 role-playing video game developed by Troika Games and published by Sierra Entertainment. It was released in North America and Europe in August 2001 for Microsoft Windows. Debuting at fourth position on NPD Intelect's best-seller list,[2] it was Troika's first game and also their best-selling title with over 234,000 copies sold and with revenues of US$8.8 million.[3]

    The story takes place on the continent of Arcanum, which is a fantasy setting that is in the process of an industrial revolution.[4] The story begins with the crash of the zeppelin IFS Zephyr, of which the protagonist is the only survivor, which leads them throughout the land in search of answers. The game employs an isometric perspective and features an open game world where the protagonist can travel unhindered.

    Contents
    Gameplay
    Gameplay in Arcanum consists of traveling through the game world, visiting locations and interacting with the local inhabitants, typically in real-time. Occasionally, inhabitants will require the player's assistance in various tasks, which the player may choose to solve in order to acquire special items, experience points, or new followers. Many quests offer multiple solutions for the player, depending on their playing style, which may consist of combat, persuasion, thievery, or bribery. Ultimately, players will encounter hostile opponents (if such encounters are not avoided using stealth or diplomacy), in which case they and the player will engage in combat, which can be real-time or turn-based.

    Combat
    [​IMG]

    The player (dwarf, center) in combat with the character Virgil against an Ailing Wolf.
    Three combat modes were included in the final release of the game: real-time, turn-based, and a faster version of turn-based. Arcanum's combat design has received some levels of criticism, with reviews usually stating that it is poorly balanced and frantic.[5] The player's combat capabilities are in large part governed by the character's combat skills and weapons. Attacking is performed automatically by clicking on a hostile NPC provided that they are in range of the attack.

    Combat skills that the player character can choose from include melee weapons (with an optional back stabbing skill for stealth-oriented players), thrown weapons, archery, firearms, and a large variety of certain damage-inflicting spells from some schools of magic. Deciding whether or not to use violence in some parts of the game sometimes carries consequences for the player's party and its followers. Some AI-controlled followers the player has in the party will find their character's conduct morally objectionable, causing the player to lose reputation with some of the followers who may leave or even attack the player.[6]

    Character creation
    Arcanum begins with the player creating their character, choosing from a large and unique variety of races, attributes, technological skills, magical aptitudes, and background traits, or the player may choose a predefined character. Over the course of the game, the character may improve their skills by gaining experience through completing quests or defeating opponents in combat.[7] Every time the player gains a level, they can spend one character point to improve any attribute, weapon skill, technological discipline, school of magic, thievery skill, or social skill. Every fifth level, one additional character point is awarded for a total of 64 character points.[8] The player can only control one character directly but may recruit additional followers during the game depending on their aptitudes and alignment.

    Player characters have the choice of specializing in a technological path which emphasizes constructing weapons, ammunition, and items from various components; a magical path which emphasizes spellcasting; or a neutral path, learning both magic and technology skills, which allows the most flexibility. The game uses a meter to show how biased towards magic or technology the player is; any character points spent on a technological discipline or skill move the aptitude meter towards the technology side and any points spent on spells move it towards the magical side. Character points spent on attributes or any other skills do not alter the aptitude meter.[9][10] A high aptitude toward technology renders the character resistant or immune to magic (both harmful and beneficial) and also greatly decreases the character's ability to use magic effectively and limits the effectiveness of magical items. A high magical aptitude increases the effects of the character's magic and the power of magical items they equip, but technological items they equip will be subject to malfunctions, reflected in an increasingly higher chance of the character critically failing in combat, which can have devastating effects.

    Modules
    The game, like its successors in the Neverwinter Nights series, features "modules"; the ability to create custom maps and missions using an editor included with the game. Already included with the game is Vormantown,[11] and a number of official modules are also available.

    Synopsis
    Setting
    [​IMG]

    A screenshot from the game illustrating Arcanum's game world.
    Arcanum is the name of the fantasy world in which the game unfolds. It consists of a continental mainland and three islands.[12] The world is inhabited by various races resembling those from the works of Tolkien, including humans, elves and half-elves, dwarves, gnomes, halflings, orcs, ogres, and various wildlife. Players can choose from humans, elves, dwarves, gnomes, halflings, and human hybrid races, including half-elves, half-orcs and half-ogres as playable races.[13] The continent is divided between several different political entities. The Unified Kingdom is rapidly industrializing. Its two largest cities are Tarant and Ashbury, and it is the most technologically advanced kingdom. The Kingdom of Cumbria is a deteriorated kingdom, consisting of Dernholm and Black Root, and ruled by an old conservative king. The Kingdom of Arland, extending from Caladon to Roseborough, is a small but thriving monarchy west of the Stonewall range. The Glimmering Forest, the largest in Arcanum, is home to the elven city of Qintarra and the dark elven city of T'sen-Ang, and has been untouched by the technological advancements of the time. The Stonewall and Grey Mountain Ranges are home to the remaining dwarven clans: the Black Mountain Clan, the Stonecutter Clan, the Wheel Clan, and the Iron Clan. Many other minor settlements also exist, as well as containing ruins of past civilizations. The biggest of these is the ruins of Vendigroth, the most advanced city on Arcanum, which met a sudden and mysterious end.[12][14]

    An important in-game dynamic is the dichotomy of magic and technology in the world. Technology is explained to function by using physical law to produce a desired result, e.g., a bolt of electricity from a Tesla Gun would arc through the most conductive path to its target, with some plated armors being more prone to electrical damage than others. Magic, on the other hand, is explained to manipulate physical law to make a lightning spell follow the shortest path to the target, instead of the natural path. The two are incompatible to the point that they overwhelm each other. Technological devices will become ineffective or even permanently inoperative in the presence of powerful magic and vice versa. Much of the population has chosen to embrace technology for its efficiency, accessibility, and permanent results, while the majority of elves, dark elves, and some humans half-elves continue to practice magic exclusively. This also affects interactions between different characters, as spells cast on technologists or firearms used against mages have a failure rate.[15]

    Orcs and ogres are looked down upon as savage, feral peoples by Arcanum's civilized folk, who own virtually all the industry of the major population centers. There is a great enmity between elves and dwarfs, the former being naturally inclined towards magically-defined society, the latter being forerunners of the technology race—and many elves blame the dwarfs for the rise of human technology and concomitant waning of elfish political power. Scientists are unwelcome in magical societies like Qintarra or Tulla but will be respected if they are righteous and good folk. Conversely, a mage would be admitted onto a steam train only on the provision that he take a third-class seat on the last caboose, so as not to cause interference with the engine (despite there being no in-game mechanic by which even the powerful mages can affect it). Powerful mages may be denied transport altogether.[16][17]

    Plot
    Arcanum begins with a cut scene of the IFS Zephyr, a luxury zeppelin, on her maiden voyage from Caladon to Tarant. Two monoplanes, piloted by Half-Ogre bandits, close in on the craft and commence attack runs, succeeding in shooting it down. An old gnome who is a passenger aboard the Zephyr is now in his death throes under charred debris and tells the player to bring a silver ring to "the boy," and promptly dies. Being the only survivor of the crash, the main character is proclaimed as "The Living One," a holy reincarnate, by the only witness to the crash, Virgil. The story follows the player's path as he searches for the origin of the ring. Over the course of the game, the player uncovers more about the history of the continent, the motivation of the assassins who are trying to kill him, and the identity of the one threatening to end all life in the land.[18]

    Arcanum is an example of a non-linear role-playing game. At various points throughout the game, players may take the story in different directions, sometimes permanently removing different paths of action. The game's central quest ultimately develops according to how players navigate its dichotomies, the most apparent being that of magic and technology. Many of the game's side quests allow for more than one solution depending on the player character's specializations and certain portions of the main quest can be solved more easily through dialogue than through combat. The game's magic/technology and good/evil alignments also influence what followers a character can attract throughout the game or how other NPCs will react to the player.[19]

    Development
    Arcanum's public beta testing commenced in September 2000.[20] It is the debut title of now-defunct development house Troika Games, which consisted of former Interplay Entertainment staff—most notably Tim Cain—responsible for 1997's critically acclaimed Fallout. On release, the game was found to be incompatible with some video cards, such as Voodoo2, and drivers such as nVidia's Detonator3. Furthermore, the game's copy protection software, SecuROM, caused system-component conflicts with particular brands of sound cards and CD-ROM drives.[21] Such bugs, as well as some gameplay bugs, were one of the game's biggest criticisms.[13][22]

    The latest official patch, 1.0.7.4 was released in October 2001.[23] With the end of the official support several unofficial patches were produced by the game community to fix the many remaining problems and bugs.[24][25][26]

    Design
    Arcanum's large, free-form world bears many similarities to Fallout with regards to the scarcity of towns, cities, or other locations of interest; however Arcanum's map is much larger and more diverse than Fallout's. The travel system has some similarities with The Elder Scrolls in that the world can be traveled across in-game (where occasionally the player runs into enemy groups), without the use of the world map, and that the game doesn't rush the player into pursuing the main quest.[27]

    The game comes packaged with an editor, called WorldEdit, that allows players to create their own maps, campaigns, and NPCs. The program allows any game-world object to be input into existing and newly created environments via GUI menus. Editing can be done in either isometric or top-down views. Players have charge over the game's variables, such as the skill level required to pick a certain lock or the precise time that an electric light will turn on. Players are also able to create brand new objects via the scenery creator.[28]

    Sequel
    In a 2000 interview with Nextgame.it, Tim Cain announced plans for an Arcanum sequel,[29] but these plans would not come to pass—Troika Games filed for dissolution on September 30, 2005.

    In September 2006, one of Arcanum's lead programmers and co-founder of Troika, Leonard Boyarsky, divulged that the studio had originally commenced work on a sequel, going by the working title of Journey to the Centre of Arcanum, which would use Valve's Source Engine. Development was curtailed by disputes between Sierra and Valve, resulting ultimately in the project being shelved.[30]

    Soundtrack
    Composed by Ben Houge, Arcanum's soundtrack features an unusual instrumentation by avoiding the predominantly symphonic orchestration common to RPG soundtracks. Instead, it is scored almost entirely for string quartet. The songs follow the conventional RPG soundtrack format: short, impressionistic vignettes which are looped in-game, with each area using different tunes, and alternative songs for combat. The soundtrack was produced by Ben Houge and Jeff Pobst, with Leonid Keylin on first violin, Kathy Stern on second violin, Vincent Comer on viola, Susan Williams on cello, Evan Buehler on marimba, and Ben Houge on djembe, rainstick and synthesiser.[31] The game's soundtrack has been well received, and was listed amongst the 12 best video-game soundtracks of all time by Forbes in 2012.[32] The soundtrack was not commercially released but is available for free download.[33]

    Reception
    Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura Reviews
    Aggregate scores
    Aggregator
    Score
    GameRankings 79%[34]
    Metacritic 81/100[35]
    Review scores
    Publication
    Score
    Game Revolution B-[22]
    GameSpot 7.3 out of 10[13]
    GameSpy 89 out of 100[36]
    GameZone 90 out of 100[37]
    IGN 8.7 out of 10[38]
    PC Gamer (US) 90 out of 100[39]
    RPGFan 86 out of 100[40]
    Awards
    Publication
    Award
    IGN Editors' Choice
    GameZone Editors' Choice
    Upon release, Arcanum had mostly positive review scores, receiving two Editor's Choice Awards from IGN[38] and GameZone[37] with scores of 8.7 out of 10 and 90 out of 100, respectively. IGN stated that “the story is rich and complex,”[38] praising the character creation, open-ended game play, and size of the game world.[38] They also praised the game for its responsiveness to the player: “A well-adjusted Elf may get more information out of an aristocrat than a surly Half-Ogre, and the conversations you have will be completely different.”[38] IGN did, however, criticize its interface, calling it “[not] very intuitive, bordering on downright clunky”[38] and the in-game user interface “takes up over a third of the screen.”[38] Gamezone called it a RPG with “some extra bite,”[37] also praising the character creation and game play stating, “This one will be on your PC for months.”[37] Additionally, they praised the “incredible range of equipment that ranges from standard such as swords and armor to rags and coal and empty cans.”[37]

    I was pleasantly surprised that I could construct Molotov cocktail bombs from garbage. Insanely cool


    Gamezone review[37]
    The game also received praise from The Electric Playground, which awarded the game 9 out of 10 and calling it "the most diverse and open-ended RPG to date."[41] Game Revolution praised the game, particularly the character creation, stating, “Whomever you are, the world treats you accordingly.”[22] but also criticized the graphics.[22] Game Informer rated the game as 6.75 out of 10,[42] GamePro gave it 4 out of 5[34] and Mygamer awarded the game 8 out of 10.[43]

    GameSpot gave the game a rating of 7.3 out of 10, calling it a “captivating and immersive role-playing experience”[13] and praising the setting as a “great concept.”[13] Their review, however, was adverse on the claim of lackluster graphics, and unintuitive interface as the main criticisms: “There’s nothing flattering about the dated, washed-out, low-resolution graphics.”[13] The game currently holds an average review score of 79% based on 38 reviews on GameRankings[34] and 81% based on 24 reviews on Metacritic.[35]

    The editors of Computer Games Magazine named Arcanum the best role-playing game of 2001—tied with Wizardry 8—and presented it with their "Best Writing" award. They called Arcanum a "phenomenally well-written" title with an "incredibly creative" setting.[44]

     
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  25. Maxli Novice

    Maxli
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2018
    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Czech Republic
    And for the JavaScript trolls: Learn something about Typescript and ES2017. Or go and tell the npm.com's and Node.js' devs that they wasted their lives, because you think that JavaScript sucks and applications and games written in JS are completely wrong.

    Ever heard of HTML5? WebWorkers? WebGL? Go learn something.

    Have a nice day,
    Max
     
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