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

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

  1. hiver Guest

    hiver
    Of course. And they are designed with people eventual emotions about every aspect of them being part of it.
    Its not a primary concern in the technical part of design, thats all.

    My emotional depth is quite irrelevant, as nobody's talking about designing a game for me specifically and basing it on a biography of my life so far. When it comes to whacking a few million people with the "emotional sledgehammer", the holy trinity is sad, happy, angry, which is all that games these days attempt to offer up.
    [/QUOTE]
    Your emotional depth is relevant since youre making these assumptions based on it.
    True about what AAA mass market games offer and strive for. Of course. They are designed for masses of morons after all.
    But that doesnt mean that finer games do not stroke the strings of other, more refined, deeper and "smarter", more demanding "emotions".

    Exactly.
    By that you mean they dont need to pander to shallow most obviouss emotions in shallow stupid ways.

    Also true.

    Is that a game?


    Pointless to this discussion.


    [/QUOTE] hah... does this make you feel more manly?
    :)
     
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  2. Brother None inXile Entertainment Developer

    Brother None
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    They revealed the Kickstarter tiers: http://wasteland.inxile-entertainment.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=114

    As I hinted here and there, the $50 box is cool, the $100 CE very cool, especially with the novellas.

    $15 is a very low entry level. Wish they'd have made the $30 more attractive. Digital copy being Steam-only is different from the proposal I saw. A little disappointing.
     
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  3. St. Toxic Arcane

    St. Toxic
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    I can remember getting lost and confused in various older FPS titles, but that problem had more to do with repetitive texture-schemes and intersecting corridor map design than any inherent difficulty in navigating from a first person perspective (after all, I've been doing it all my life). In an open-world game, no matter the viewpoint, getting lost is quite impossible because wherever you go, well, there you are. Characters are still piss-easy to find; yes, you have more of an overview top down, but you can't see as far as you might in an fps, so that balances out. Actually, I don't see how first person or 3rd person can be more difficult to navigate -- if anything your brain needs to do less abstract thinking to make the jump.


    It wasn't just that it was big, it had all this side-quest stuff you could do, meaning you had to go out of your way to talk to many of the inhabitants. Just being big is not really a problem in itself, if it's devoid of content. Still, the street and address system worked fine, in my opinion; most of us who haven't suffered brain damage have, at one point or other, been forced to navigate going by arbitrary designations. And those of us who haven't might find it useful to practice in a virtual environment.

    I'm pretty sure when an engine is made nobody thinks about how I might feel about it, but y'know, once it's made I do feel about it one way or the other. How about this: if we're feeling emotional about things right now, does that mean the universe was designed based on our eventual emotions about it?

    :?


    How about an example.

    No, I literally mean that you don't need to take emotions into consideration. When I tell someone to go suck a cock, I do this without any consideration for their potential feelings about it. However, it doesn't prevent the person from having any feelings. If the person then goes and cries or actually goes and sucks a cock or, I don't know, attacks me, that's a response that has nothing to do with my initial intent. I don't need to manipulate people in order to get a response, the response is likely to come no matter what.

    Then what's your problem?

    You're saying it isn't?

    Sure, but this discussion is pointless. I think you're just having trouble understanding what's being said here.

    I don't feel manly. I rationally deduce that I am. :M
     
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  4. darkpatriot Arcane

    darkpatriot
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    Cool. When did I say games were about emotions?

    Engagement and attachment have clear meanings. There really isn't any ambiguity about it when you actually understand what the words mean. I can't think of any examples where replacing engagement with attachment(or vice versa) would not change the idea being expressed. Emotional engagement does not mean that you are attached to something emotionally. Emotional engagement =/= emotional attachment. I would be interested in knowing what your definitive definition of an RPG is BTW. It would be nice if we could all finally end that particular debate.

    I suppose I'm going to have to define emotional engagement in another way so you can understand what people mean when they say it.

    Emotional engagement is when something invokes an emotional response.

    That is it. Nothing to do with cutscenes, gay elf sex, or any melodrama of any sort. The emotion doesn't have to be at the extreme end of the emotional spectrum it can be a pretty subdued. That is also a very general definition and you could do a more game specific definition such as.

    Emotional engagement in games is when a game invokes an emotional response.

    Really it's that simple. And as you can see when games can do that it's generally a good thing. Or I suppose it's more accurate to say that when a game can't do that it's generally a bad thing.


    So your example does show emotional engagement on your part and you are responding to a position that I have never had. I never said that emotions are part of games and that all games are played to emotionally engage you. If you would actually read back a few of my posts you would see I stated that emotional engagement(specifically the kind that relies on narrative) is not necessary for games.

    While emotional engagement can be used as a buzzword it has a clear meaning which people will usually understand without to much explaining. It wasn't until it started getting used as a buzzword that people such as yourself began thinking it meant something else. Despite the fact that Bioware uses it as a buzzword they still use the correct definition of it btw. You have just equated the techniques that they use to try and create greater emotional engagement with emotional engagement itself.


    How did you get that Michael Stackpole wants a story driven cinematic experience? When did he say anything remotely similar to that? Oh I forgot, he said 'engaging the emotions' so that means he wants cinematic style cutscenes (that's what emotional engagement means donchyaknow). Let's look at a quote of his from the interview.

    Sounds like he wants to put emphasis on reactivity to the player. That's sort of opposed to the trend of linear narrative and big hollywood cinematic style. Really the problem with the cinematic style linear narratives found in most games is how they don't really take advantage of player agency, the thing that really sets video games apart from all other mediums.. They keep the narrative compartmentalized and separate from the gameplay. RPGs are one of the genres that really have the potential to further merge gameplay and narrative through increased reactivity to the player.

    Good RPGs require good narrative. Not linear narrative or even braching narrative but narrative that incorporates player agency and gameplay. Narrative that includes the fight that you were barely able to beat because of clever use of some consumables you had forgotten about, the problem that you solved in a clever way that the designers had never considered, the people that you interact with reacting to what you have done in the gameplay.

    Not really. The fact is there aren't enough interested fans of the original wastland around to kickstart it. The majority of the contributors will be people that have never played wasteland. I'm not even the first person to say this in the thread.



    You might want to calm down a bit and take a break from the forums if it is getting you to the point where you are threatening ignores. You might even say you got to emotionally engaged by the forums.
     
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  5. likaq Arcane

    likaq
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    Brother None, i have a question for you: W2 will be 2d or 3d? Do you have any information about this?
     
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  6. Johannes Arcane

    Johannes
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    Nah, top down is definitely easier to navigate. Just think of oldschool FP dungeon crawlers vs topdown dungeon crawlers. Mostly with FP camera you need to keep track of your orientation, while topdown it's automatic. And unless the map turns completely black in areas out of your LOS, it's much simpler to backtrack anywhere in topdown. Those intersecting corridors won't confuse you when you constantly see where they go.
    With FP (both game or real life actually) you've got to consult a map occasionally to find your way, and then you have to translate that map into how to work your way FP. With topdown looking at a map is basically just zooming out, without having a different mode for travelling.

    So in that light, I don't think quest compass is really needed in a topdown game, even by the people who swear by it in an FPS.
     
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  7. hiver Guest

    hiver
    Do you mean a car engine or a game engine? Anyway, same answer.
    You say yourself that you will "feel" about it. In terms of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with its performance, for example i believe?

    - We dont know enough about universe or its creation to construct any kind of meaningful answer, at this point. So its an invalid example.



    But of course. Not to say its the only thing, but it comes into equation.
    Unless youre a terminator.


    Please... you gave examples yourself, although not directly from some games when you said:
    "The games that don't try to emotionally engage their players, but rather construct interesting, open-ended scenarios and make people think about them as part of the interaction, are quite capable of awakening deeper, though more varied, emotions in the people that play them."

    Lets say you make a game like that.
    Isnt it true that you would be a game designed to engage players emotions? Or, according to your starting position, designed to avoid engaging emotions at all?
    (of course it wouldnt be bloody designed only to do that but thats not the issue here so stick to the point dammit!)


    Lets talk Fallout, 1 and 2.
    Ive never felt so much pleasure and momentary and general long lasting satisfaction in playing a game again.
    Sure, some came close but none of them did all those things so thoroughly and at once like Fallout did.

    I enjoyed everything about it. From dialogues and story to how quests were set up to how i would eventually solve them to combat to visuals.
    I shouted "nooooooo!" when Sulik moved right behind me or other ally with an smg. I shouted "Yess! Yes, baby!" when Myron would score a crit.
    I felt satisfied and smug when i would execute an attack appropriately.
    I cursed heavens when i realized i didnt save for a long long time and i would get afraid when i would then run into a powerful gang.
    Or thank heavens if it turned out they were fighting another gang.
    I cursed heavens multiple times in Glow, naturally, but ended feeling very satisfied with the whole experience and feeling very smug about it.
    I felt sadness and pity for the the Master.
    I enjoyed discovering locations and unearthing secrets in them. Enjoyed the stories or plots they presented, not just as progressions through something but enjoyed their themes and what they taught me in the end.
    Enjoyed playing against factions or for them.
    And so on, and so on...

    It was all very satisfying.

    Planescape Torment.
    Didnt we all enjoy the Nameless One story? His journey to it, through it, the knowledge we gained?
    Characters dialogues, allies and their stories, their secrets? Did we not laugh and even cry? Felt sadness, pity, excitement of adventure and old secrets of lifetimes upon lifetimes unfolding until our eyes grew big in wonder of it all?
    Didnt we enjoy the pure power? Didnt we revel in it as most powerful of magics became ours to wield or a physical proves of a smaller god came back cursing through old blackened veins?

    etc. etc.


    Mostly that you mistake some extreme basic emotions for all emotions and assumption that i defend what the guy in interview said and what it implies or modern mass market games take on emotional engagement.

    :hmmm:


    No, but you are having trouble understanding what exactly "emotions" encapsulate in their entirety, or what they are, thinking they are "feelings" then reducing it to just the most extreme and obvious ones, which you deem fit only for females, which makes you feel superior etc. etc.


    [/QUOTE]
    I asked does making such statements make you feel manly. Not how you feel or think about it otherwise.
    ;)
     
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  8. Shannow Waster of Time

    Shannow
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    Dosn't say if the boxed edition requires Steam...:(

    While I haven't bothered reading the last few discussion pieces on "emotional engagement", up to where I have read, most people didn't understand the issue:
    Name a single game that was marketed with the the buzzwords "emotionally engaging", that
    a) was good as a game.
    b) had a good story.
    c) didn't come along with ridiculously hamfisted attempts at emotioneeringl (My daddy leaves me! Whaaaahaaaa! Have you seen my father? Middle aged man?/ They killed my mommy, but before she died, she told me that she was very proud of me. I hope he ghost smiles down on me while I let Zevran sodomize my ass. *insert comment on DA2's shitty family subplots that were so boring that I can't even remember them* I hope their ghosts smile down on me while I let Fenris sodomize my ass./ So my foster father had a strained relationship to me because I had a sword up my ass and that prevented him from putting his dick there. Now my mother's ghost can't smile down on me while he sodomizes my ass :( / *insert MEh's emotioneering that was also so boring that I don't remember any*)
     
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  9. hiver Guest

    hiver
    HAHAHAHAHAH!

    AAAaaaaaaaa hahaha.... whoooeee.

    -edit-
    well ok, its obvious you really, really dont understand what emotion is at all. Toxic does to some extent but youre just completely clueless.
    ill just leave that as it may be. either you will learn one day by yourself, or you wont.

    i wasnt talking just about endgame there, dont separate my sentences like that.
    carry on.
     
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  10. commie The Last Marxist Patron

    commie
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    Seems that Knotalt has a different definition of what 'emotionally engaging' means. For him it's an extremely specific thing that Bioware tries to do. That is a part of it of course, but there's so much more to it. I was 'emotionally engaged' in Outcast for example, leaving the world with a real pang of sadness and regret and yet there wasn't a dialogue wheel or gay romance in sight.
     
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  11. DwarvenFood Arcane Patron

    DwarvenFood
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    I'm trying not to get emotionally engaged by this thread but the rage is creeping up on me. Since when is it a bad thing if games provoke/extract emotions ? Never mind how something is marketed, what impact does that have, apart from a impact on sub forum rules and names ?

    Do you want Wasteland 2 to be a banal shit boring experience ? Wasteland 1 was never a Mondblutian (one might say, emotionless combat) game, like say KotC. It had humour and interesting quests, some memorable characters. If that can be reproduced, then great. If they market it as a modern cRPG with emotional engagement, then good for them, why would that prevent a good game being made ? (I'm not saying it is good already, time will tell)

    What is this about "right" choices and this or that ending ? IF you want to play that way then great, if you want to play in-character then great, different styles for different people. If the game provides you with enough choices to actually matter what you do.
     
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  12. RK47 collides like two planets pulled by gravity Patron

    RK47
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    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin
    :lol:
     
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  13. darkpatriot Arcane

    darkpatriot
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    People understand that just fine. But Wasteland 2 isn't being marketed as emotionally engaging. It wasn't even used as a buzzword in the interview. So thinking that Wasteland 2 will now be bad as a game and include all that because one person involved with the project used the term 'engaging the emotions' to answer one question in an interview is a bit extreme. There isn't anything that has been said so far that indicates that Wasteland 2 is going to go the route of Bioware melodrama.

    Complaints about a quest compass or VO have much sturdier legs to stand on than the fact that emotional engagement was mentioned in an interview.
     
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  14. darkpatriot Arcane

    darkpatriot
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    Denial isn't just a river in Africa anymore folks. Trust me it isn't a language issue, other than you using an improper definition for emotional engagement. But no, if you have stated your case and a bunch of people are saying you are still wrong it's because they don't understand you very well, not because you are wrong or anything.

    I am a native english speaker BTW.

    Oh wait I forgot you ignored me and will never see this... oh well.

    Edit: But assuming they aren't understanding you well one way you could clear that up is by posting a clear simple definition of what emotional engagement is. That way they don't have to infer from context what it means but can turn to your handy little definition.
     
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  15. hiver Guest

    hiver
    yu so smart! me no talkie talkie englesh... big sorry. i only know say go suckie suckie goat dicky stupid. great fortune yes? make many happy.
     
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  16. Shannow Waster of Time

    Shannow
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    :hmmm:

    That fails on two points:
    1. What am I supposed to base my expectations on if not on what the devs say? I'm not like you that I can simply ignore bad sounding stuff and pretend it's not important/ wasn't meant the way it was said and cherry pick the good stuff. You don't run around saying, "Well, Fargo's just one of the guys involved. He may have mentioned that W2 was supposed to be TB, but that was just in reply to some inconsequential question. It's going to be a real time FPS, promise."
    2. Where have I stated that W2 "will! now! be! bad!"? All I've commented on was that I don't like the way their marketing/priorities seem to go and that thus my interest has flagged, and that they should focus on improving W1's core-features instead of throwing Bioware-buzzwords around and adopting bad modern features.

    And I'm still waiting on that list of good games that were marketed as "emotionally engaging". :M
     
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  17. darkpatriot Arcane

    darkpatriot
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    No my argument is that is has a very clear specific meaning and that you seem to be confused because you are using another meaning for it.
     
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  18. hiver Guest

    hiver
    Goat dickie. sucky sucky.
     
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  19. darkpatriot Arcane

    darkpatriot
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    He isn't using emotional and engage here as empty buzzwords. The words he is using here have specific meanings and they express his ideas. And saying them in one answer in one interview would hardly qualify as marketing the game as emotionally engaging. After they have used the phrase repeatedly over time you can say they are marketing it that way. The way I understand him he is saying he is more concerned with good and memorable writing than puzzles. Bummer if you like puzzles in the game I guess but not much of an indication that he wants to go the route of emotioneering as you call it.

    I do disagree with him that other designers haven't been able to engage the players emotionally though. Plenty have.

    as for point 1, I would say you are reading to much into what he said just because the words 'emotion' and 'engage' popped up and those words used in conjuction make you unhappy.

    fair enough on point 2. You're right that you haven't been saying that Wasteland 2 will be a bad game.
     
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  20. darkpatriot Arcane

    darkpatriot
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    I provided a definition for emotional engagement. I even put it in italics and shit. You might need to work on your reading comprehension.
     
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  21. nihil Augur

    nihil
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    If done right, killing those orcs and finding that scroll will engage players on an emotional level.

    And yeah, it definitely sounds like he doesn't want puzzles in the game.
     
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  22. Awor Szurkrarz Arcane In My Safe Space

    Awor Szurkrarz
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    Why are you, guys still arguing about it? Was any of you heartbroken when killing the dog?
     
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  23. Gregz Arcane

    Gregz
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    Google has made puzzles obsolete; sad but true. Unless you involve the RNG somehow so everyone gets a unique puzzle.
     
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  24. thesisko Emissary

    thesisko
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    Project: Eternity Wasteland 2
    Your statement only makes sense if "puzzles" referred to something put in the game just to annoy or bore the player. Following that line of logic, I guess YouTube has made gameplay obsolete since you can just watch the cutscenes.
     
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  25. Crooked Bee wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
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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
    You repeat this bullshit for the second time already, but I've yet to see you substantiate it in any way. People also refer to google for walkthroughs and FAQs; does that mean google has made all but reflex-based and roguelike games obsolete??
     
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