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Editting Thread 2 - Proof-reading

Discussion in 'The cRPG Player's Handbook' started by felipepepe, May 22, 2014.

  1. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    The reviews are starting to our in slowly, so I think it's a good time to open this thread. Here I'll post the reviews and have our kind volunteers proofread it. :)

    The first batch has 3 reviews, all from a bro from the Watch:

    Show Spoiler
    FIRST BATCH:
    Of Orcs and Men DONE!
    Show Spoiler

    Purely from a writing standpoint, this is one of the most overlooked gems of the RPG genre. If you love story driven RPGs, I highly suggest considering this game. Tons of games talk about “Mature Themes," but this one really hits the nail on the head--not just with the adult language (which there’s a lot of, but it fits the game’s themes well). The story covers racism, slavery, political ambition, violence, and betrayal. This is not the clichéd story of a hero setting out to stop a great evil that threatens the world. The war between orcs and Humans has been decidedly one-sided and, in a desperate bid to prevent the enslavement of all orcs, an elite orc military unit receives orders for a suicide mission: kill the Human emperor.

    The plot also contains a few unexpected and well developed twists, which turns the original plan into something much greater. I feel that both of the main characters are well-written and that it is interesting to see how their interactions with each other change as the story progresses. A berserking orc and a stealthy, smartass rogue make for a very intersting duo.

    The developers have also done a good job connecting the characters' personalities to their fighting styles. In combat you can switch back and forth between characters at-will, but before it begins you have the opportunity to go into stealth with Styx, the goblin, and attempt to sneak up behind an enemy for an assassination. The orc, Arkail, is a great embodiment of the berserker type warrior, and not just in the writing. The combat system actually contains a rage meter that fills when he takes damage. Once full, he literally goes into an uncontrollable rage. It can turn the tide of a battle in your favor due to the damage boost, but can also cost you a battle thanks to the lack of defense and potential to KO the goblin, making this unique mechanic both interesting and potentially frustrating. On the other hand, it fits the character profile perfectly.

    Sadly, the game is really linear and there is almost no exploration. The maps are very railroaded with minimal detours to occasionally find some loot. There are a handful of side quests, but they need to be done right then and there. And there’s pretty much no choice & consequence--the game is going to play out a certain way no matter what option you pick.

    Of Orcs and Men is definitely not for everyone, but if you enjoy story-driven RPGs there’s a very good chance you’ll find yourself sucked in wanting more of the amazing characters and world.
    n RPGs, there’s a very good chance you’ll find yourself sucked in, wanting more of the amazing characters and world.


    Defender's Quest DONE
    Show Spoiler

    Defender's Quest is simply a great game. This is definitely not the type of game I would normally play. In fact, I had never played a tower defense game before or since. What really appealed to me about the game were the RPG elements, and it didn't fail to deliver. The story combines with the combat and character development to make a surprisingly inspired game.

    There is an actual story to this game that drives everything forward. The main character, Azra, is infected by a plague and thrown into a pit from where she must escape. As the story unfolds you'll discover the driving force behind the plague and seek to put an end to it. I really enjoyed the writing, and, while the humor was a bit offbeat, there were several occasions where I literally laughed out loud. There's the clichéd, somewhat dumb warrior (who has some priceless lines), a sarcastic archer, a noble knight, and a greedy egotistical dragon. It's a great mixture that allows for all kinds of comedic interactions.

    The game is fairly straightforward: you have to protect your main character and defeat all the waves of attacking enemy forces. This is achieved through carefully positioning your characters at choke points on the map. Adding some tactical depth to the gameplay are the class system and magic spells. There are six different classes, which all have unique skills with varying areas of effect, so careful positioning is the key to victory. As characters level up, you spend points in their skill trees to unlock new abilities or improve existing ones. Azra is immobile during battles, but can spend mana to summon allies or on various spells to assist in eliminating the hostile hordes. Coming up with strategies to leverage your army's abilities towards victories, preferably flawless ones, is the real beauty of the combat system.

    All the maps have four levels of difficulty to choose from (with the harder tiers obviously netting better rewards), and there's a NG+ mode that adds a new type of currency for the best items. The game is also surprisingly long, clocking around 20 hours.

    Believe me, even if this isn't something you'd normally play, it is very capable of engulfing you with its charm. I loved it so much I didn't even hesitate to pre-order Defender's Quest II.


    The Banner Saga DONE
    Show Spoiler

    The Banner Saga is a planned episodic game with beautiful hand-drawn artwork. The game is heavily story-driven with a nice smattering of choice & consequence and turn based combat.

    Although the story is fairly linear, which characters remain alive at the game’s conclusion depends greatly on player choices throughout. The Banner Saga is built on the concept of an apocalypse, and the developers had no problems presenting the harsh choices that such an event would entail. The game gives a good framework of events and then allows the player to tailor how their individual journey plays out. Major plot points will be the same, but the pieces that will fill in the blanks will be customized and often memorable. The map is also crammed full of lore information for people who really want to dig into the world, but it’s not imposed on players who don’t.

    The story is told from the perspective of two different groups who start at opposite ends of the country, and the point of view jumps between these two groups. Some people complain that this makes the plot hard to follow, but if you can follow Game of Thrones this shouldn’t be an issue for you. Because the world is ending supplies are limited and required to prevent your caravan from starving, NPCs from leaving, morale plummeting, and battles becoming more difficult as a result. You can buy supplies with renown, gained from battles, but it is also needed to upgrade troops or buy items. You will not be swimming in renown, or supplies, so careful management of resources can make a big difference.

    The combat is turn-based, and there’s a variety of classes with specialized skills creating opportunities for a variety of tactics. You can also move your characters’ stat points around between 6 different attributes allowing for true customization of roles and play-style. For example, you can spend points making a unit into a specialized armor breaker or boost the number of times they can perform a special ability. One of the attributes units have is called Will Power which dictates a unit’s ability to go above and beyond their typical limits. These points can be spent on moving further than normal, or to boost an attack, and do not naturally refill. As you kill units, you begin to fill up your war horn. These charges can be expended to refill a unit’s Will Power and can provide the boost needed to push through a tough encounter. Exertion determines how much Will Power a unit can use in one turn preventing a large one time boost unless a unit is specifically built to fufill that role.

    The unique mechanic that separates The Banner Saga’s combat from other games is the shared health/strength pool on units. Damaging an enemy reduces the damage they can do to you. However, outright killing a unit might not be in your best interest because the game uses an “I go, you go system” allowing for full strength units to act more quickly. Therefore, it can be valuable to leave heavily damaged units, who do little damage, alive to prevent full strength units from getting more turns and quickly turning the tables against your army. All units also have an armor value which reduces incoming damage, as well as chance to be hit, so sometimes it’s better to knock this down before attempting to damage a unit.

    Each member of your party can equip an item that will also influence how you approach battle. The size difference between the jarls and humans is also clearly evident in combat with the giants taking up sections of 2x2, making them useful for blocking approaches for enemies, especially larger ones. The only drawback of the combat system is the limited number of enemy types, many of which lack special abilities, which does erode the tactical depth of the AI a bit.

    Despite some minor complaints about the linear nature of the main story and missed opportunities with the AI's combat options, I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the mechanics. If the remaining episodes continue the dark, but engrossing, story and Stoic builds on the foundations of the combat system, then this series could easily turn into an epic masterpiece fans of story driven games won’t want to miss.

     
    Last edited: May 28, 2014
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  2. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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  3. Grunker RPG Codex Ghost Patron

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    Exams right now, but I'll be around during the summer and start proof-reading some stuff if none of my betters do. You want instructions on what to edit or you want us to repost text blocks in our own posts (the latter is probably easier)?
     
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  4. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
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    Codex 2014 Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy
    One thing I noticed after submitting my first review is that stuff like italics and bold letters don't seem to carry over, so either felipepepe will have to add support for that or writers will have to write around it.
     
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  5. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    Yeah, unless is a very small fix, like "its" -> "it's" , posting the text block is better.

    Actually, I only notices you had some stuff in italic now. I can manually add it to the layout, no problem. Point is, should all game names be in italic or bold?
     
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  6. Grunker RPG Codex Ghost Patron

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    Both work. My vote's on bold.
     
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  7. Unkillable Cat Prestigious Gentleman LEST WE FORGET Patron

    Unkillable Cat
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    Codex 2014 Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy
    Did a quick glance of the above reviews. No problems spotted in the first two, however:

    The Banner Saga:

    # "which can result in NPCs leaving and plummeting moral" - I'm almost certain that the word is written "morale" and I think the sentence looks better if's restructured to look "which can result in NPCs leaving and morale plummeting".

    # "All units also have an armor value which reduces incoming damage, as well as chance to be hit, so sometimes it's better to knock this down before attempting to damage a unit." - The bolded word is missing from the text, but is needed.

    Other issues would involve sentence structure and usage of commas, but that's for another time. These were the big issues I noticed.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2014
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  8. HiddenX The Elder Spy Patron

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    Banner Saga
    four minor complaints:

    it should be said that
    • the game is very short
    • combat is chess like and becomes repetive, because there are not so many different combat options
    • the combat description is too long and more complicated than the combat really is :)
    • the game features many memorable characters
     
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  9. Servo Arcane

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    I suggest we collaborate on Google Docs or something, as opposed to posting a bunch of disparate corrections across this thread that you then have to manage and somehow reconcile.
     
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  10. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    Ah.... that's a good idea. Everything gets better WITH THE POWER OF THE CLOUD!

    I'll set it up. Then again, it will be hard to debate like we can here, limit the edit access and debate images and such... no?
     
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  11. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    The Game is Of Orcs and Men, though, right?
     
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  12. Ninjerk Arcane

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    I believe the accepted standard for the titles of literature is to underline or italicize. Didn't DalekFlay say he's an English teacher?
     
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  13. DalekFlay Arcane Patron

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    Italicize is the new hotness, last I checked. Underline is more from typewriter days.
     
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  14. Ninjerk Arcane

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    Also, felipepepe, did you put any restrictions on how the games were to be reviewed? As I'm reading this I'm thinking to myself, "Should this be written in the first-person as in the first review? Should the second-person be addressed as in the second review?" To what extent can the reviews be rewritten stylistically?
     
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  15. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

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    The book will be of fans talking about games, so I think any format is cool. We'll have probably more than 80 reviewers, including developers, so I think different styles are inevitable and even good. Sawyer's last Darklands review was gonzo as fuck, but I like it and think it would fit well the book.

    My only restrictions were that they should explain the game itself and tell clearly why it is a good game.
     
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  16. HiddenX The Elder Spy Patron

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    Should we only review the text / grammar,
    or take a note if we think something is missing or wrong in the content?
     
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  17. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    Everything. Grammar, content, suggestion of stuff we could add to the review, screenshots...
     
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  18. Servo Arcane

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    In that case maybe it would be best to assign articles to editors, just so it doesn't become a giant cluster.

    I find it kind of jarring in the first review that it switches from present to past tense, and from stating things about the game to how the author felt about the game. I'm not sure what the right way to address it is though, and another editor might feel differently.
     
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  19. Ninjerk Arcane

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    I have a grammar corrected version of the first review sitting open in WordPad. I'm just not sure how much to blast it with style changes. It reads like what it is: a forum comment recommending a game. I think it uses the word interesting as a descriptor twice in one paragraph. My high school English teachers would have a heart attack.
     
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  20. Servo Arcane

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    That's basically what I was wondering. So we should stick to just fixing grammar?
     
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  21. Ninjerk Arcane

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    I could clean up the writing quite a bit, but I've never played the game so if I change things too extensively it's kind of like signal loss or a translator accidentally changing the meaning of what's being communicated. That said, even after grammar changes I really dislike the review. I won't say more than that given that the writers of the review could pop over here, and, as much as I enjoy butthurt, I really don't want to take stabs at someone's level of education (esp. since I don't know them).
     
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  22. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

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    Good idea, people should post "I've taken review X" when starting to check it.

    I agree that changing tense during the review is annoying, and that "interesting" two time in a paragraph sounds lazy, so feel free to change that. I trust you guys, so do what you think is better for the book. It doesn't have to be perfect, but if is something that annoys/jumps out to you or a grammar nazi, it should be fixed.
     
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  23. Ninjerk Arcane

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    Here's a first pass on Of Orcs and Men:
    Show Spoiler

    Purely from a writing standpoint, this is one of the most overlooked gems in the RPG genre. If you love story driven RPGs, I highly suggest considering this game. Tons of games talk about “Mature Themes," but this one really hits the nail on the head--not just from the adult language (which there’s a lot of, but it fits the game’s themes well). The story covers racism, slavery, political ambition, violence, and betrayal. This is not the clichéd story of a hero setting out to stop a great evil that threatens the world. The war between Orcs and Humans has been decidedly one-sided and, in a desperate bid to prevent the enslavement of all Orcs, an elite Orc military unit receives orders for a suicide mission: kill the human emperor.

    The plot also contains a few unexpected and well developed twists, which turns the original plan into something much greater. I feel that both of the main characters are well-written and that it iss interesting to see how their interactions with each other changed as the story progresses. They are a very interesting matchup, the berserking Orc and a stealthy/smartass rogue.

    The developers also have done a good job connecting the character’s personality to their fighting style. In combat you can switch back and forth between characters at-will, but before it begins you have the opportunity to go into stealth with Styx, the goblin, and attempt to sneak up behind an enemy for an assassination. The Orc, Arkail, is a great embodiment of the berserker type warrior, and not just in the writing. The combat system actually contains a rage meter, that fills when he takes damage. Once full, he literally goes into an uncontrollable rage. It can turn the tide of a battle in your favor due to the damage boost, but can also cost you a battle thanks to the lack of defense and potential to KO the goblin, making this unique mechanic both interesting and potentially frustrating. On the other hand, it fits the character profile perfectly.

    Sadly, the game is really linear and there is almost no exploration. The maps are very railroaded with minimal detours to find an occasional loot. There are a handful of side quests, but they need to be done right then and there. And there’s pretty much no choice & consequence--the game is going to play out a certain way no matter what option you pick.

    Of Orcs and Men is definitely not for everyone, but if you enjoy story-driven RPGs there’s a very good chance you’ll find yourself sucked in wanting more of the amazing characters and world.


    It'd be great to have a second set of eyes look over this.
     
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  24. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    "Not just with the adult language (profane language?)"
    The plot also contains a few unexpected and well developed twists, which turn the original- I feel that the main characters are well-written and it IS interesting..

    I'll check the rest once I get to my computer, the mobile sucks for this kind of gig.
     
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  25. Servo Arcane

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    Adult/profane language I don't think matters.

    Why is Orc always capitalized, Human is sometimes but not goblin?

    Also you've got an "iss" in there.

    "They are a very interesting matchup, the berserking Orc and a stealthy/smartass rogue." should probably be "A berserking orc and a stealthy, smartass rogue make a very interesting duo." or similar.

    "their interactions with each other changed as the story progresses." Should be "change" to match tense.

    "The developers also have done a good job connecting the character’s personality to their fighting style." Which character? He goes on to talk about switching between the two, so if he means both it should be "The developers also have done a good job connecting the characters' personalities to their fighting styles." If he means the primary character it should be "The developers also have done a good job connecting the player character’s personality and fighting style."

    "The combat system actually contains a rage meter, that fills when he takes damage." Get rid of that comma.

    Told you I can be picky :) You caught most of the stuff I was going to correct though.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2014
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