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Codex Interview Wasteland 2 RPG Codex Interview - Part 2: Michael A. Stackpole

Discussion in 'RPG Codex News & Content Comments' started by Crooked Bee, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. Shannow Waster of Time

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    Only the reason PST was emotionally engaging (and that only for fucking story faggots. Is Wasteland a fucking story faggot game?) was because it had a good story with good characters. And the reason it had a good story was not because its devs put emphasis on emotioneering in pre-production.

    Stackpole, a fucking author, shows that he has no confidence in writing and would rather dump huge amounts of money on VO instead of actually important features. Devs are worried not to "frustrate" their players and are considering quest-markers...
    The whole interview mentions exactly one promising feature, the many variables that are supposed to influence dialogues/story. The rest are buzzwords and features that set my spider sense atingle.
    Should Wasteland 2 be a carbon copy of the original? Of course not, nobody is asking for that. There are features like UI, graphics, inventory, character sheets, maps, mechanics, etc that should be updated, improved and/or refined to at least a 2003 level (especially UI, inventory and camera have taken huge nose-dives in recent years).
    Sure, quest markers can be done more sensibly, emotional engagement can be done without INTENSE CINEMATIC EMOTIONEERING GAY ELF BUTTFUCK ROMANTIC SPACESHIP EXPLOSION and well done sporadic VOs can be used to improve the atmosphere.
    But why should W2 be the game to prove that those features don't neccessarily have to suck if they weren't problems or even features of the original? That'd be money and time spent on superfluous stuff with a chance of back-firing. Let Bethsidianware fix their shit themselves.
     
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  2. likaq Arcane

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    This.

    :bro:
     
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  3. Baron Arcane

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    I'M VERY ANGRY ABOUT THE DIRECTION THIS GAME (ANNOUNCEMENT) IS GOING.

    :avatard:
     
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  4. darkpatriot Arcane

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    So they should not attempt to have good stories with good characters for Wasteland 2? I suppose you assume his use of the phrase 'engaging the player on an emotional level' to mean some sort of deliberate, manipulative attempt to tug at the heartstrings as opposed to telling good stories. I didn't get that impression at all.

    It seems like you are reading a bit to much into what was said. Every indication is that what you want them to do is exactly what their plan is. Especially since it has already been semi-clarified on this thread that VO will be decided by how much funding they get. Still no guarantee that what they wind up making won't suck but what their goal is doesn't really seem as far from what you want them to make as you think it is.

    Do you really think it is necessary to ignore story, audio, and game accessibility in order to make a true RPG?
     
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  5. Infinitron I post news Patron

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    Grab the Codex by the pussy 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
    The funny thing is that none of this CODEX RAEG would have occurred if Mac Walters hadn't used the phrase 'emotionally engaging' in that one interview.
     
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  6. shihonage You see: shelter. Patron

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    I agree. I don't think the problem with Bioware games is their constant talk of emotional engagement. The problem is their complete fucking lack of any emotional engagement despite all the talking about it.

    Emotional engagement comes from a believable world designed in a neutral way that is unintrusive and doesn't force any emotion down the player's throat. Any emotions that are displayed should be those of NPCs. Everything that is fed directly to the player should have no "mark of the narrator". Then, and only then, there's a CHANCE of player generating and experiencing some kind of emotion or attachment, because it is completely of their own making.

    Bioware and Bethesda games have this amateur narrator garbage poisoning every step of the game, including the interface itself, creating too much noise between player and gameworld to feel anything genuine.
     
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  7. Grim Monk Arcane

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  8. Average Manatee Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Yes, the true damage they do isn't by making shitty games. It's by making shitty games but talking their audience (through a mishmash of good but false talk and true but bad talk) into thinking that they are the best games that have ever been made. 1984-esque doublethink in action. DA3 will certainly be doubleplusgood, Bioware makes it.
     
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  9. Arikel Novice

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    I find it odd that you say these games didn't make you feel anything, as all entertainment attempts to engage the viewer emotionally. Joy in victory, bitterness in defeat at the very least for strategy games, with an expanding array of available emotions as computer ai's and diplomacy options were developed. In addition, doom, and blood work like horror movies, raising heartbeats and giving a kind of visceral excitement you can get from a good unexpected shock. Of course on repeated playthrough's they would lose some of this but there's no denying that they did try to put you into a fight or flight state while playing. All of these are attempts to engage the player on emotional level. I don't find it surprising that the game designer who is most known for his writing would talk about trying to engage people's emotions.

    I myself am looking forward to this game, i have been waiting for wasteland 2 for many many years. Not saying the designer's are above reproach, but I'll give em the benefit of the doubt, and probably my wallet
     
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  10. 4too Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Trapped In A C And C Cul de Sac ?



    {rage rave: off}

    If the quest was to rescue Jackie, you did not have to kill the dog ...

    … just survive climbing out of the cave …



    I will repeat that for those on drugs … You Don't Have To Kill The Dog!

    … and High-pool lives happily ever after. :D


    {rage rave: on}


    4too
     
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  11. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

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    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    I guess we should see what kind of features are being asked for on the official Wasteland 2 forum, since that's where Fargo & Co are going to get an idea of "what the fans want". Truth be told, I don't like the idea of designing the game based on fan forum feedback in the least -- it seems to always be the first step towards dumbing the game down -- but what can you do. Will check it out a bit later today.
     
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  12. Mrowak Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Oh Jesus, no... That's really bad news. From Bioware a Twitcher forum experience I know that for every legitimate, interesting proposal there will be like 30 people clamouring "No, no, no! That's too confusing! Give us hawt mutant ghay sekz intead!". You'd think that the core fanbase of such titles should be above such things, considering that Wasteland is pretty obscure game by now.But knowing the interwebz, somehow I doubt that.

    I hope those Brian & Co have strong vision of what they want to accomplish and they will use player feedback to add harmless, complementary features.
     
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  13. Awor Szurkrarz Arcane In My Safe Space

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    Yeah, but here we aren't talking about primitive instinctive reactions, but about some people feeling heartbroken because of having to kill a rapid dog that is attacking them in game. What the hell?
     
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  14. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

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    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    True. That's my main concern as well, and the reason why I described the CRPGAddict type of demographics earlier.

    Shannow asks, "why should W2 be the game to prove that those features don't neccessarily have to suck if they weren't problems or even features of the original?" Consider this: from Michael Stackpole's interview, it is quite clear they ARE already inclined to include a GPS compass/quest markers into the game. "But why? It wasn't there in the original Wasteland! Why would they do that?," you'd ask. The problem is -- I do not argue this is 100% true, but this is definitely a strong possibility in my view -- that the vast majority of those who love, or at least are nostalgic for, old crpgs WOULDN'T object to that particular features being implemented into the core game; on the contrary, they would WELCOME it. Why? Because they consider it a self-evident modern convenience. "The old games didn't have quest markers, true," they would say, "but there's no reason an 'updated' sequel shouldn't have them." They're willing to satisfy their nostalgia, but in a more convenient, up-to-date package -- like any other average fan-turned-consumer would. They would accept the game being turn-based and even top-down. The absence of quest markers, however, would be regarded by them as an unnecessary throwback to the old days. And judging by the more popular forums and blogs that I sometimes read (CRPGAddict's blog, SomethingAwful, etc.; heck, even RPGWatch to some extent), this kind of audience is much larger than the Codex -- and there's a possibility it's going to dominate the official forums.

    And that's why Brian Fargo must be facing a very hard choice: who to target? Them or us? Personally, I hope it's going to be us, and that we're numerous enough to fund the kind of game we want and to make our voice heard on the internet, including the official W2 boards. But only time will tell.
     
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  15. thesisko Emissary

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    Why doesn't Divinity 2, Risen, Risen 2, Demon's/Dark Souls have quest compasses then? Doesn't it make more sense to target fans of recent so-called "hardcore" RPGs than old Wasteland players who love the quest compass? There must be millions of the former and hardly any of the latter. Even if every single active gamer who's played Wasteland donated I doubt it would be enough to reach his target. He needs to target a bigger niche than that.

    I doubt the type of crowd you're describing is particularly large. I've never heard of anyone who wants an involved and complex game yet would complain about lack of quest markers. If they like quest markers then they're typically also satisfied with shallow gameplay. They would have no reason to donate to a niche RPG except for nostalgia as you said. Even if they are enough to fund the game it would be a rather pointless exercise in creating an indie version of a game that might as well have been funded by a publisher.

    However, I think there's a large crowd of apologists, gamers who don't really like the direction of "AAA" RPG's but see no alternatives. They say "we'll never get a game like X again so we might as well enjoy the modern stuff". I've seen this type of statement being made many times, on major gaming forums, even including BioWare Social. Well, here's their chance to make sure we get more games like X again. This is the crowd Fargo needs to target,.
     
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  16. Infinitron I post news Patron

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    Grab the Codex by the pussy 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
    Maybe it would help if we gave that crowd a label you would recognize. Storyfags. Yes, there are many "oldschool" players out there who played the old games mainly for the story, or the hint of a story. These are the people who aren't feeling so badly about modern trends in RPG development. For them, the important thing about a game is that it's not another Call of Duty clone and it's not trying to pander to the Call of Duty crowd. Gameplay, mechanics? Eh, not so important.
     
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  17. thesisko Emissary

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    Project: Eternity Wasteland 2
    I think these gamers are more than satisfied playing DA2, ME3, Witcher 2 etc. Why they hell would you need a Kickstarter project to fund a game for them?
     
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  18. Infinitron I post news Patron

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    I guess because even storyfags can feel nostalgia.
     
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  19. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

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    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    I dunno. I hope it does.

    What. I already gave you one example: CRPGAddict. I gave you another example: Ultima fans -- really numerous. Then there are many SomethingAwful posters who follow LPs of old crpgs and leave comments like: I used to have fun with this game back in the day, but man, if only it was as easy to play as contemporary games. Etc. Also, yeah, storyfags. Many would play Wasteland 2 for the setting alone, not the mechanics, and they are probably going to be vocally demanding the inclusion of quest markers.

    You're oversimplifying it. We're not talking 18 year olds here. We're talking those who grew up in the 80s/90s. They DO love old CRPGs, and they ARE willing to donate, except they want their game "modernized" -- and when it comes to money, that's the thing that matters most.
     
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  20. Shannow Waster of Time

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    The crowd W2 will attract:
    People who played W1, liked it and are nostalgic about it. - They require no emotioneering, aren't easily frustrated and require no VO.
    People who may not have played W1 but hunger for a (well done) TB RPG. - They require no emotioneering, aren't easily frustrated and require no VO.

    The crowd W2 has no better chance of attracting than any other game:
    People who liked PST's - and the two or three other games with non-shallow stories - stories. - Some of them might require emotioneering, are easily frustrated, require VOs and see TB as an obstacle instead of a good feature.
    (And seriously, storyfags should just read books...)

    Crooked Bee, if you were the dev, which crowd would you prioritize in your game design/PR?
     
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  21. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

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    So you didn't read a thing I wrote, huh.
     
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  22. Infinitron I post news Patron

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  23. thesisko Emissary

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    Project: Eternity Wasteland 2
    You're both describing a scenario where Kickstarter is used to fund a mainstream low-budget game targeted at mainstream gamers who feel nostalgia towards the project for one reason or another.
    Is it possible to do such a project? Sure...but it seems utterly pointless. I'd certainly never fund such a project. The draw of Kickstarter funding is targeting niches that are too small to be interesting to publishers, not to indulge people's nostalgia - the publishers already have that covered with their "re-imaginings".
     
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  24. Infinitron I post news Patron

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    Grab the Codex by the pussy 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
    I doubt W2 will be "mainstream" - just saying there might be good reason to have a few mainstream features added in.
     
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  25. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

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    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire MCA Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    It'd be different from most "re-imaginings" in that it'd be top-down and turn-based, though. Imagine Wasteland, except with a GPS device/quest compass. Would it be a typical "mainstream low-budget game"? No. Would it satisfy us (= the Codex)? No. Again, I think you're oversimplifying it.
     
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