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Editting Thread 2 - Proof-reading

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

  1. Servo Arcane

    Servo
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    Then we better take Oblivion and F3 out of the book completely, because it would not be fair to say anything good about them. :troll:
     
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  2. muds_animal_friend Arcane Patron

    muds_animal_friend
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    I've incorporated some minor, mostly punctuation related, corrections from my own proof-read and lower-cased "orcs", "humans" and "goblin" because they're not proper nouns. Seriously guyz -- they're not proper nouns.

    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, then I highly suggest considering this game. Tons of games talk about "mature themes", but this one really hits the nail on the head -- and 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 turn 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 interesting 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 it 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 & consequences -- 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.


    Defender's Quest. Some very minor punctuation related changes incorporated into the edits already on this thread.
    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.


    Grammar is a cruel bitch mistress that leads you on with the possibilities but ultimately friendzones when it comes to conjugating a sentence. We're both wrong really.

    "Although" (or "while") is a conjunction joining the two independent clauses expressing the concepts "the story is linear" and "which characters are alive at the end of the story may vary". The meaning of the sentence should remain intact with the omission of the redundant (it's implied in "linear") "and you will end up in the same place no matter what" independent clause. However, "at that point" in the final clause is a reference to the phrase "the end of the story" so ... fuuuuuuu. Wait! We can just throw in an em dash and pretend everything is fine: "Although the story is fairly linear -- you will end up in the same place no matter what, which characters are still alive at that point will vary wildly from player to player."

    Although I believe the concepts being expressed are: "While the story is fairly linear, which characters remain alive at its conclusion depends greatly on player choices throughout."
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2014
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  3. Servo Arcane

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    Right, I figured maybe there was some reason... capitalized in the game text perhaps? Not likely however. You did miss a "Human" at the end of the first paragraph.

    "The orc, Arkail, is a great embodiment of the berserker type warrior and not just in the writing." I wonder if this should be "The orc, Arkail, is a great embodiment of the berserker type warrior and not just in the way his character is written."

    Regarding Defender's Quest, I insist that "before or since." s/b "before and haven't since." in the first paragraph.

    I like it. Do please post a version with the edits in so we can iterate on it.

    On second thought, maybe we should let you write all the reviews. Good stuff.
     
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  4. muds_animal_friend Arcane Patron

    muds_animal_friend
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    Good catch. I've corrected it in the relevant post.

    The Banner Saga review with additional edits incorporated:
    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 are often memorable. The map is also crammed full of lore information for people who really want to dig into the world without it being 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. The point of view jumps between these two groups, and some people complain about issues following the plot, but if you can follow Game of Thrones this shouldn't be an issue. 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 character's stat points around between 6 different attributes allowing for true customization of roles and play-style. For example, you can move points into a unit to make them a specialized armor breaker or boost the number of times they can sprint/use their 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. 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 from the AI a bit. Each member of your party can equip an item that will also influence approaches to 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.

    Despite these minor complaints, I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the base mechanics are in place and work fine. 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.
     
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  5. drae Learned

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    A comma would be fine - "Although the story is fairly linear, you will end up in the same place no matter what, which characters are still alive etc etc"

    But grammar should be the last thing on people's mind. There's much bigger problems than that in the review.
     
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  6. muds_animal_friend Arcane Patron

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    I thought the review did a fair job. The Banner Saga isn't an easy game to describe without getting bogged down in details. However, I think there should be one thread for copy-editing, which is concerned with the clarity of the text, and a completely separate thread for general editing where issues concerning a review's content can be raised.


    Singular/Plural disagreement: people's minds.
     
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  7. Ninjerk Arcane

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    That's likely to be a common issue drae even if we ignore mistakes made by non-native English speakers.

    I strongly recommend that this isn't done as a matter of policy. How many RPGs are being reviewed again? 250+?
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2014
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  8. Servo Arcane

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    peoples' minds?
     
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  9. HiddenX The Elder Spy Patron

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    Only when something is clearly missing or wrong - felipepepe wants personal opinions - we have to respect this and try to avoid going into deep discussions.

    If we do the content critique first and sent it back to the author, then we could avoid double proof-reading.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2014
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  10. drae Learned

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    Agree with HiddenX. I'd really recommend getting this into some kind of order. Content - edit - proofing, doing it any other way would be inefficient. All you have at the moment is people leaping into the thread scrubbing out some commas, redundancies and correcting grammar. That's the last thing people should be doing. Take, for example, the above sentence that was just hammered out by servo and his muddy friend. What would happen if somebody wanted to expand on the concept of player choices in the review? Or even modify the structure? It IS half a single sentence talking about reactivity in a paragraph focusing on the plot after all. How many minutes/hours down the drain is that? Then multiply that by how many times it will happen, because if you get competent responses this will be happening many, MANY times.
     
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  11. Servo Arcane

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    Banner Saga:

    "will be customized and are often memorable." s/b "will be customized and are often memorable."

    "for people who really want to dig into the world without it being imposed on players who don’t." s/b "for people who really want to dig into the world, but it's not imposed on players who don’t."

    Instead of: "The story is told from the perspective of two different groups who start at opposite ends of the country. The point of view jumps between these two groups, and some people complain about issues following the plot, but if you can follow Game of Thrones this shouldn't be an issue."

    How about: "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."

    4th paragraph: "You can also move character's stat points around" s/b "You can also move characters' stat points around" or "You can also move your character's stat points around."

    "For example, you can move points into a unit to make them a specialized armor breaker or boost the number of times they can sprint/use their special ability." Blargh. Try this: "For example, you can spend points making a unit into a specialized armor breaker or boost the number of times they can sprint/use their perform a special ability."

    "which does erode the tactical depth from the AI a bit." s/b "which does erode the tactical depth of the AI a bit."

    "Each member of your party can equip an item that will also influence approaches to battle." s/b "Each member of your party can equip an item that will also influence how you approach battle."

    "Despite these minor complaints" What minor complaints??? The AI thing?

    "I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the base mechanics are in place and work fine." I was enjoying the review up to this point. I say nix this sentence but that's kinda harsh, so how about "I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the base mechanics are in place and work fine." Although I'm not sure what "base mechanics" means. I don't think he's referring to base management ala X-Com or something. Maybe just "mechanics?" I don't want to distort his meaning too badly but saying the mechanics were fine is a piss poor way to end a glowing review.

    Game sounds awesome btw. I totally want to play it.
     
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  12. Servo Arcane

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    I agree, but I'm not deleting the post I just wrote :rpgcodex:
     
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  13. drae Learned

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    Combat gets repetitive quickly. It's not touched upon in this review, but it's something you should be aware of.
     
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  14. HiddenX The Elder Spy Patron

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    Here are some more short reviews/impressions about Banner Saga, for proofreaders who haven't played the game yet.

    Repetitive combat, linear game/exploration, too short, feeding the trek and buying items with the same kind of resources were the major complaints back then.

    On the plus side:
    Unique new game concept, memorable characters and story, new setting, choices with consequences along the way.
     
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  15. Ninjerk Arcane

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    The multiplayer mod they provided before the game shipped was fun but stressful.
     
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  16. HiddenX The Elder Spy Patron

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    If we make 1 subthread per game review and 4 main-threads

    1_New_reviews
    2_Editing_reviews
    3_Proofreading_reviews
    4_Finished_reviews

    then we can establish a workflow, all reviews are going with their subthread through the main threads 1... 4.
    felipepepe has to be the one who decides when one review subthread is ready for going to the next phase and moves the subthread.
    The only thread that is full in the end is: 4_Finished_reviews. No chaos.

    Loops are possible (Going back from 3 to 2).
    Good overview over the current state of the project.
    Less double-work.
     
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  17. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    :hmmm:
     
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  18. HiddenX The Elder Spy Patron

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    Some people can work like this:

    [​IMG]

    I prefer a clean desk :)
     
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  19. muds_animal_friend Arcane Patron

    muds_animal_friend
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    Nah. It's "people's", although it's a strange case of a plural noun (for person) that has its own plural form: peoples. "Peoples" would take a apostrophe after the "s", e.g. "The indigenous peoples' rights".
     
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  20. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

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    I think we can reduce that to:

    A New Reviews thread, where we'll debate it for 2 or 3 days and contact the author if there's any issue;
    A Proof-Read thread, for the grammar nazis to engage in fierce battle.
    A "Done" Thread.

    No need for individual threads, I'll post them in short batches, to be easier for people to debate & proof-read, without overwhelming them. What you guys think?
     
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  21. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    That could work, yeah. HiddenX's suggestion is still :hmmm: though.
     
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  22. Ninjerk Arcane

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    Sounds good. Huehues are more efficient than Germans now :negative:
     
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  23. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    It's born out of my laziness in opening 300 threads.
     
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  24. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Laziness is the father of invention after all.
     
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  25. HiddenX The Elder Spy Patron

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    Only drawback if you don't make one thread per game: All major threads will fill up with useless posts over time with each game-review that is finished.
    At the middle of the book project you all will remember my words :)
    I'm not doing something like this for the first time.
     
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