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Editorial RPG Codex Report: Gamescom 2015 - Expeditions: Viking

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Crooked Bee, Oct 1, 2015.

  1. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
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    Tags: Expeditions: Viking; Gamescom 2015; Logic Artists

    Bubbles' final appointment of this year's Gamescom also makes for the final part of his report series, focusing on Logic Artists' second Expeditions game, Expeditions: Viking. (In case you missed it, we're also hosting the game's forum on the Codex). From the sound of it, Logic Artists want to get across the message that they recognize the first game's faults and are trying to set things right while also not straying too far from the original formula:

    Some of the elements of Conquistador did get a bit tedious – like the camping system, at a certain point. We got a lot of player feedback, from the Codex, from Steam, from other forums, and a lot of people wanted to see something a little more interesting and engaging. So we put a lot of thought into how we can make that different, but not too different, because we want to maintain the theme of the Expeditions franchise. We don't want to go too “dynamic”... it's not a touchscreen minigame, right?​

    Both Bubbles and the interviewee, Logic Artists' Alex Mintsioulis, were already exhausted after several days of that most terrible thing in the world, a gaming convention. And yet despite that, the interview turned out to be fairly lengthy, covering topics ranging from the game's premise and campaign structure to camping mechanics, character design, and C&C, to the Codex itself (a dose of ego stroking included):

    AM: That's one of the things I love about the Codex. People are brutally, brutally honest with each other: “Yes, what you're saying is crap!” I read an interview with Chris Avellone, I think it was at PAX… It was a whole group of developers sitting together, and they were all kind of like “oh, oh, the Codex strikes fear in the hearts of developers.” And I read that and I thought: “That's not the way that I perceive the Codex.” I'm sometimes a very blunt person. I'm very straightforward, and I'll swear, but that doesn't mean that I want to hurt people's feelings – I just want to get my point across. So when I read something with a whole bunch of expletives and there's also a point in there, then I just read the point. Everything else is irrelevant. It doesn't really matter how people are communicating, it's what they're communicating. The whole point of the Codex is that it's a place where people can be themselves, and if they wanna be rude, they're gonna be rude. It's a sort of take-it-or-leave-it environment, and there's no reason to be afraid of that. You know, as game developers, we're a bunch of socially awkward people. And when you live and work amongst a bunch of socially awkward people, then talking to other socially awkward people should be fairly easy for you. And you should be a little bit empathetic and understand where they're coming from. I'm not always the most polite person myself, and that's something that I think should be easily accepted [by devs who read the Codex]. But it's important that everybody should have the same level of appreciation. You shouldn't get dragged into an argument, because that's not the point. It's about bringing up the things that you like and dislike about the game, and then be challenged on them. If you go back and forth based on that, then that's exactly the kind of feedback that game developers should wanna have. If you develop a culture of communication with your players where you only listen to the polite people, then you're not gonna get to the root of any of your problems. I mean, people are rude, but that doesn't mean they're wrong.​

    At the end, Bubbles also gives his own thoughts on the game:

    To be honest, I've never held a strong opinion on Expeditions: Conquistador either way. The game offered a respectable amount of C&C, but its travel and combat mechanics eventually became too repetitive for my taste; if it hadn't been for its novel and interesting setting, I'd have abandoned the game a lot sooner than I did. By contrast, the setting of Viking seems to be more familiar and predictable; at least for me, it doesn't hold quite as much appeal anymore. Thankfully, Viking's changes to the equipment system and the character development mechanics could potentially make the gameplay more dynamic and interesting than it was in the first game; and if the gameplay is good, what else matters? On the other hand, the super gory kill cams and the animated 3D camp screens are big warning signs for me; all the talk about achieving immersion by means of extreme violence and "showing the world from another perspective" sounds suspiciously like mainstream pandering to me. And then there's the concept of roaming large regions for hours on end without ever camping or advancing the day/night timer, which I really find enormously strange. Let's hope that the Codex gets lots of beta keys, so that we may help Logic Artists to stay on the path of righteousness.​

    Finally, regarding what Bubbles may be up to next...

    Next up: Nothing, I'm done.​

    We should probably give the man a break. This series has been a long, and good, one.

    Read the full article: RPG Codex Report: Gamescom 2015 - Expeditions: Viking
     
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  2. Jonas Logic Artists Developer

    Jonas
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    We are not abolishing turn-based map travel - time will still pass when you travel overland. It's just that we're shifting a lot of the exploration gameplay from the world map into a more traditional RPG-style layer where you can walk around in a town and its outskirts with your party and talk to the people there and delve into the politics and conflicts of that particular area. Think of it as adding a bit more Baldur's Gate into our previously largely HoMM-ish formula.

    As for the kill-cams... the screenshots of those eviscerations are going to look so great on the Steam store page! ;D
     
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  3. Jaedar Arcane Patron

    Jaedar
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    Viking seems cool. I'm still a bit wary regarding the game length, the content was spread really thinly in the first one in terms of encounter design and such. The promised mechanical changes seem like they might make up for a bit, but even so.

    And yeah I saw a video of LA presenting (twitch maybe?) and the kill cams seemed like pandering and pretty bad.

    I have hope.
     
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  4. Bubbles I'm forever blowing

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    But isn't that time based gameplay, measured in days? That's how I took Alex's reply:

     
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  5. Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis

    Darth Roxor
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  6. Bubbles I'm forever blowing

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    We do have a Prelude to Darkness review ready to go.
     
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  7. Jaedar Arcane Patron

    Jaedar
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    We can finally resume weekly PoE reviews!

    The codex doesn't even have an official opinion of the first DLC yet? Do you realize how scandalous this is?
     
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  8. Bubbles I'm forever blowing

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    I think the reviews for SitS, S:HK, Icy and IWD2 should get priority now.
     
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  9. Shadenuat Arcane

    Shadenuat
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    Loved the King's Bounty-like overmap gameplay in the first one, nice combat even if became repetetive and easy after getting cannon, also enjoyed the writing - a bit of "in decorations of history" instead of true larp (like in Darklands with it's prayers and language skills and whatever) with crystal skull and amazon waifu, but still fairly novel for modern games, funny and with choices to make. Definitely getting this too.
    What next? Can I has same thing but with Byzantine Empire? Cause everyone loves teh Byzantine Emprah. Or maybe muslims? Oh oh, how about ancient east with jews and last of persian emprah? Just point at anything on Crusader Kings 2 map and make it wooo
    Teach me history gamedesigner-sempai
     
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  10. SausageInYourFace Arcane Patron

    SausageInYourFace
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    I am getting a good vibe from this report, they seem to improve just the right things, do away with stuff that bothered me and expand on the stuff that was already good. I find the historical approach really refreshing and interesting (the first Expeditions actually inspired me to buy a book - and probably several more - on the topic). It has so much potential (Expeditions: Crusades? Expeditions: Anabasis?) that I'd like to see many more games in the series.

    I found it cool you could hire different people with all sorts of personality types for your crew in E-C but there was definitely some room to improve on the group dynamics, the involvement and personality of these crew members. Its great they are improving on this but does it mean that we won't be able to make a choice anymore in the beginning whom we want to take on the Expedition?

    I feel ya, once had to transcribe (very, very accurately) a little video that was only a few minutes long and I just wanted to hang myself listening to it again and again and again and ...
     
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  11. Abu Antar Tweet, tweet Patron

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    I am happy to see more Expedition games in the work. It will be interesting to see how the changes will affect the game.
     
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  12. Jack Dandy Arcane

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    Excited for more focus on the different crew mates. The singular events in Conquistador left me thirsty for more.

    Special loot sounds like fun, and I like the "magic" explanation.

    PLEASE put in combat speed options, Logic Artists!


    Har!

    I liked the little encyclopedia that they had in the first ExConq, that filled up as you played the game. Hope they have a similar thing here. Edutainment!

    :salute::salute::salute:
    ExConq was one of the few RPGs that made me feel bad about being an asshole. I loved how the descriptions were brutal, but still "objective", if you could call it that. They never tried saying "You are a bad person for doing this and that".

    Woo :bounce::bounce:

    Anyway, great interview! Thanks for this, Bubbles!
    You should have asked him about the battle skills and enemy variety tho! There was a severe lack of these in the first game.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2015
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  13. Niektory one of some Patron

    Niektory
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    Nice work Bubbles. Your typing skill must have gained a level or two.

    This is something that we would like.
     
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  14. Avonaeon Logic Artists Developer

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    We had combat speed options in Conquistador, so we'll definitely have those in Viking as well, and likely an option to turn off killcams.

    We also hope to have the Codex, that explained the real-world events/places something was based off of, come back.
     
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  15. Bubbles I'm forever blowing

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    Oh, I know. But I edited out the bits where Alex said "We're going way over time!" and I kept saying "Okay, this is the final question..." :M

    As for in-combat abilities, we only talked about Parry and Double Feint. I wonder how many they'll be able to implement with the classless skill system, so it's definitely a good question; I see you already made a thread for it in the subforum.

    I see.
     
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  16. Sensuki Arcane Cuck

    Sensuki
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    I'm a bit apprehensive about some of the changes but I'm going to adopt a wait and see approach.

    I actually preferred the E:C style of companions because it was somewhat different ... shame that they're going the more standard modern NPC route with story NPCs and silent adventurer replacements.
     
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  17. Avonaeon Logic Artists Developer

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    Personally I think there's enough people that don't want killcams to warrant that option, so I'll amend that and say highly likely.
     
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  18. Sensuki Arcane Cuck

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    Add me to the list of people that don't want killcams ;)
     
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  19. V_K Arcane

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    Sooooo, does this mean that we'll finally get something similar to Darklands? Cautiously :bounce:
     
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  20. Executr Savant

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    Good job, Bubbles and JarlFrank. Was a pleasure reading the this year's Gamescom report.
    I'll keep an eye on Viking and Hard West
     
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  21. Irenaeus II Unwanted Dumbfuck Repressed Homosexual The Real Fanboy

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    I'd only need a killcam when showing the game to my millenial little brother in order to impress him and bragging it's better than Skyrim or Fallout 4. So, good move.

    :greatjob:
     
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  22. DaViLLaN Augur

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    A jolly good read chaps !
    I thoroughly enjoyed it.
     
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  23. Crescent Hawk Savant

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    I think you guys were on to something in Conquistador seriously, just improve the formula. Make the main character a member of the fighting group, more options to handle your mercenary company, keep the random events just make more, and make them more fit to that particular era or setting, like King of the Dragon Pass. More combat skills....



    Also Vikings is a really boring move after a refreshing Conquistador, age of discoveries setting.


    If it has to be historical, there are so many underused periods...

    Why not something like Expeditions: Hyborian Age? I am sick of generic high fantasy and want some sword and sorcery.
     
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  24. Cazzeris Formerly Andross

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    Amazing job, Bubbles :salute:
     
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  25. jagged-jimmy Prophet

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    Honestly, i enjoyed exploration/quests/C&C/combat a lot more than survival. So glad to see the changes. Camping will still affect exploration/gameplay heavily, but not interrupt it constantly anymore. Also real items and main character on battle field are natural improvements. Hopefully there will be nice character development possibilities.

    The formula with management/exploration and RPG properties is a strong one, so i would love to see more expeditions games. But yeah, there are more exciting themes than vikings... Also why not a futuristic expedition somewhere down th road?
     
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