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Project Direction and Writing in RPGs - Do RPGs actually benefit from having more than one writer?

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Roguey, Apr 20, 2019.

  1. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

    Roguey
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    It demonstrates that Boyarsky isn't phoning in his direction of the writing, unlike phone-it-in Josh.
     
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  2. Quillon Cipher

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    Wasn't he a control freak, defining everything he can then spending certain amount of his time asking the team what they are doing by their office doors? :P
     
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  3. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

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    Not at all. He became such an unreachable wraith that Patel ended up becoming the de facto writing lead since everyone started coming to her for direction.
     
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  4. Ismaul Arcane Patron

    Ismaul
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    Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech A Beautifully Desolate Campaign
    Wasn't Josh not the narrative lead on PoE? He clearly wasn't the lead on the first game, that was Eric. You mean Deadfire? Why would his role change for the second? If he had narrative oversight he most likely focussed on big picture stuff, on the plot and setting, like on the first, not on writing styles and micromanaging writers.
     
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  5. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

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    Regardless of who's narrative lead, the project director gets final say. Fenstermaker left Deadfire after setting up the plot, and Josh took it upon himself to become narrative lead against the recommendation of Avellone and Adler.
     
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  6. Ismaul Arcane Patron

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    Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech A Beautifully Desolate Campaign
    Sure but a project director shouldn't also just micromanage everything, he should delegate and trust his leads.


    Got a quote on that? Maybe he wanted to retain creative control on his baby but didn't trust anyone with the job, so he led at first but then saw Patel doing an ok job of it so let her do the grunt work? She's listed as co-lead, after all.

    Admittedly I'm not you with that large updated .txt, but you've been very butthurt about Josh since you ended your soul-bond with him.
     
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  7. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

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    First the "Josh shouldn't write" post https://rpgcodex.net/forums/index.php?threads/josh-sawyer-q-a-thread.112946/page-30#post-5797978

    The rest is from Beneath a Starless Sky, the big Obsidian/Infinity Engine book.

     
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  8. Ismaul Arcane Patron

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    Roguey, that's all good and well, but I don't see how that means "Josh phoned it in" like you pretend.

    In the quotes you've given, it is specifically said that when Fenstermaker left he "handed off his duties to Josh" because of his role as project director. Josh wasn't supposed to be narrative lead, but he "needed to fill the void left by Fenstermaker". And then what did Josh do? He delegated "the heaviest loads" to the person who had the most experience with the work, Patel, and "formally recognized her as co-lead narrative designer".

    Plus, the Brandon Adler feedback you refer to just says that being project director is already an demanding enough job so Josh shouldn't also be narrative lead. Josh delegating to Patel therefore seems precisely to take that feedback into account, and is a pretty rational and responsible decision.

     
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  9. Politician Lurker King

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    It demonstrates that he is another pretentious idiot in the gaming industry who thinks that good writing in cRPGs results from emulating other mediums. Should have told those writers to play some fucking classic cRPG.

    Patel the writing lead

    Patel

    Patel

    :negative:
     
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  10. Sailor Woedica Scholar The Real Fangirl

    Sailor Woedica
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    I'm sure most of them have played New Vegas ❤️
     
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  11. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

    Roguey
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    Odd then that she wasn't officially given the title until months away from release.

    Regardless, as Avellone put it,
    which is a phone-it-in move for an alleged successor to Bioware games.

    Summa is higher.

    There wouldn't be any narratives in games if no one took inspiration from sources other than games.
     
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  12. Politician Lurker King

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    If that were true, cRPG developers wouldn’t be able to draw inspiration from the world around them. But they can, so it’s false.

    Cineasts know that they can’t tell a story like a novelist. In other to know to improve their craft, they immerse themselves in their own medium.

    Novelists are aware they can’t tell a story like a cineast. In other to excel in their craft they learn everything they can from their own medium.

    Narrative designers are unique in their belief that they can make compelling fictional worlds without knowing the basics of their own medium, which suggests an arrogant dismissive attitude towards their own medium.
     
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  13. Strange Fellow Magister Patron

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    You just love to take Codex maxims like "writers should know their medium" and wrangle them into the mud, don't you? Game writers only taking inspiration from other games is an excellent way to make sure the genre becomes increasingly insular and watered down until there's nothing left but pallid retreads. The notion that artists aren't inspired by other media is laughably reductionist, not to mention wrong.
     
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  14. Ismaul Arcane Patron

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    Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech A Beautifully Desolate Campaign
    Would you give a promotion to someone you weren't sure could do the job, just because there's suddenly a spot to fill? She proved herself in time and then got the promotion, organically. Plus, maybe Josh wasn't the guy directly calling the promotions, y'know, and had to say justify it to HR / the owners.


    Alleged successor to Bioware games? You and MCA forgot other IE games were listed in the Kickstarter, Black Isle games, including his own fucking PST. It was never going to be a 1:1 copy of BG. I wouldn't have backed it if it was.

    And how does any of that pertain to your claim that Josh phoned in his direction of the writing? Stop moving the goalpost.
     
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  15. Politician Lurker King

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    First, you assume that cRPG writing is the dialogue/story part. This is false. cRPG writing involves a nuanced understanding of how to implement quests, reactivity, game world, exploration, itemization, etc., compelling. The cRPG writer as a profession is a idiotic thing. A good cRPG writer is a good developer who knows his craft.

    Second, your assumption that by knowing other cRPGs the writing will become worse shows that you also have a disdain for your own medium. Any cRPG developer worth of his salt should play and replay, for example, the likes of Darklands to have a proper understanding of world building. If you don’t see how this is important is because you are comparing cRPGs with novels and assuming that cRPG writing is the dialogue/story part.

    One of the main reasons why the cRPG industry is in decline is because the medium is filled with pretentious retards like you, who want to discuss minutiae of dialogues and lore. cRPGs don’t need to become art because they already are. By trying to emulate novels and films developers will only achieve a confused mismatch of elements. Nothing good can come out of this.
     
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  16. Strange Fellow Magister Patron

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    I never said this. Let me try to be painfully clear. You're saying that CRPG writers being inspired by books and movies is not only of no benefit, but actually a bad thing. That is complete bollocks. For fuck's sake, where do you think D&D came from, if not Tolkien? What would Fallout have been without Mad Max? Magic systems without Jack Vance? There are countless examples. Please don't misconstrue my arguments again.
    Another point:
    Is it, though? Apart from Obsidian's post-Pillars efforts and Tides of Numenera, what other CRPGs have suffered from this? That's a grand total of four games. I am not impressed by your generalisations.
     
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  17. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

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    Sure, that's true. :M

    Avellone claims there's nothing of Torment in the final product, which seems to make him irate. Additionally, Patel only ever bothered to play Torment (and didn't like it; when asked about her favorite Infinity Engine game, she chose to interpret that more broadly and said Shadowrun Hong Kong).

    https://jesawyer.tumblr.com/post/173771124776/before-deadfires-release-you-said-that-every
    A stronger director would ask the question "Is this appropriate for the setting?" Additionally, a stronger director would insist on having all designers play and analyze the Infinity Engine games. Josh did not.

    I didn't, but I suppose being touched in the head was already baked in.
     
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  18. Politician Lurker King

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    That’s a caricature of what I said. Let me be more clear. It’s one thing to be a well read developer. It’s another to force narrative designers to watch a movie in order to be inspired in their next work. Big difference. If developers are talking about the narrative of a cRPG as a priority they are phonies. It’s simply as that. Narrative designer as a profession is a misguided notion, as it is the perception that cRPG developers can be competent when they don’t understand combat systems, level design or character creation. This absurd compartmentalisation of game design needs to end. You can’t have a decent cRPG when you are paying a team of teenagers who never played a engrossing cRPG in their lives to flesh out the ‘writing part’. This is a ludicrous idea.

    It’s the other way around. Which cRPG studio doesn’t acknowledge cRPG writer as a profession? I’m all ears.
     
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  19. rusty_shackleford Arcane

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    Storyfags are the worst.
     
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  20. Politician Lurker King

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    See? That’s the type of misconception I’m talking about. "She made up for it with more writing stuff", as if were just a matter of putting words in it and telling a story. She doesn’t have a clue what makes a cRPG tick.
     
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  21. Politician Lurker King

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    I may be wrong, but the vibe I got from these feminazo dikes hired by Obsidian is that they think they have no limits. They are the classic “teenagers who know it all” types. I don’t think they have any resemblance of respect or admiration for Avellone, Tim Cain or Josh. How could they? They never played cRPGs in their lives. I remember Patel making jokes about Obsidian developers with pictures. She called Avellone a cry baby. I also suspect that she wanted to make a splash and show to these outdated white males how to make a compelling cRPG with her ‘talent’. You know, the typical arrogance of the youth accompanied by some alpha female complex mumbo jambo. In her head she is the new generation of cRPG developers who will improve the genre. Wouldn’t be surprised if the joke against Avellone on twitter (‘Let the force be with you’ with a red nose) was her doing. In short: she has her head filled with derivative nonsense, has 99% hubris and 1% talent.
     
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  22. Prime Junta Arcane

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    I always get the feeling with Josh that he’s better suited to designer and producer roles than director. FONV worked out so great because the creative team already knew what the franchise, setting, and game was all about. If they don’t it seems to me that Josh isn’t really able to tell them.

    A great director is something of a visionary. As much as I like him, Josh doesn’t strike me as one.
     
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  23. Politician Lurker King

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    Pretentious nonsense!
     
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  24. FeelTheRads Arcane Patron

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    And it was like neither of them.

    :prosper:

    Obsidian being Obsidian... that's all there is to say here.
     
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  25. Fairfax Arcane

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    Tolkien wasn't one of the main influences:
     
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