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Larian General Discussion Thread

Animal

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Hey dude we are in the process of hyping here, get your complaints somewhere else

I thought we wanted to point out the flaws, so they'd be corrected and the next product could be improved.

Bah, I'll leave you to it then.
 

GarfunkeL

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Insert clever insult here
Another thing that hinders my enjoyment of games is the heavy accented voiceovers. I'm not a native speaker, so hearing NPCs speaking in some (to me) obscure british accent, where they omit syllables and consonants, is a bit of a chore.

D:OS seems to suffer heavily from this.
Turn subtitles on. Hearing more accents is fantastic.
 

CryptRat

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Before deciding that these people are shit and getting new ones, they should probably tell their current writers to write about something else than lighthearted fantasy
Please no, go back playing KOTOR2 and The Game of Thrones RPG and leave my few light fantasy RPGs alone.
 

undecaf

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Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2
Please no, go back playing KOTOR2 and The Game of Thrones RPG and leave my few light fantasy RPGs alone.

Huh? I just said that before sacking their writers for incompetence, they should task them on something decidedly more challenging and narratively demanding.
And on the point... There is an in-between (lots of it) between stonefaced and humorless grimdark serious business and cutesy, cartoony and giggly lightheartedness. I think Divinity should remain on the course it has taken, that its schtick, but I'd rather Larian's next game wasn't a Divinity title.
 

CryptRat

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OK. I think the lighthearted tone of Divinity would perfectly fit for a space opera RPG like Buck Rogers where you fight T-Rexs in space, and you're right that it doesn't mandatorily need to be giggly and/or cartoony (I like the cartoony style, though).

merida-gif-1.gif
(I can't wait)
 

pippin

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I want to know why some of you insist on playing Larian games for their writing. It's a Codex thing I guess.
 

Siveon

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Shadorwun: Hong Kong
I've only played Divine Divinity from them, but I thought the writing was pretty witty at times. Like near the beginning:

 

Tigranes

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DD and DD2 had some nice moments of campy wit and awkward charm. They tried to be too over the top and too serious, all at once, in their current generation: Dragon Commander is basically "let's satirise stuck up elf stereotype... by having our stuck up elf go on and on and on for 8 paragraphs in badly written seriousness".

They certainly know how to cobble together a fun game, though. I hope their new project is encouraged by DOS' success and goes for more wacky gameplay / environment interaction stuff.
 

kazgar

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Hooray, they're finally gonna announce Divinity: Original Sin: Enhanced Edition: Director's Cut: Game of the Year Edition!

With FMV sequences!
 

Aenra

Guest
i for one enjoyed the writing;

it is hard to go for 'serious' and succeed when your audience is past their thirties, or near enough anyway. All too easy to come out as forced, fake, pseudo-philosophical, hipsterish and so on (i could start naming examples, but the die-hard closet dwellers would get an apoplexy). I have come to appreciate more and more those that strive to simply be ..simple.. fun, and engaging. Did they overdo it? Sure at some points. But such is the context of 'light mood'. It allows you to overlook such errors.
in D:OS, it also served the gameplay well. All that interactivity? Some of the possibilities available to me, i'd never have even attempted if the overall tone was different. That goofy, joyous/ludicrous undertone allowed me to approach things and solutions in a similar manner. Plenty of lolz moments, precisely because 'serious mode' was /off, and the game was literally built around my exploring them :)

and lastly..story is better when you get to make it yourself (interactions, open world, systems, reactions, interaction levels, triggers, et al). Ideally anyway. Some of you must by now have realised that the tighter, more solid, more good the story is, the tighter, the more controlled must the game be. Many type of 'corridors', many types of 'linearity'. Have had enough of people that, partly due to dev time constraints, partly due to the times being what they are, have had ZERO a theoretical education and almost ZERO a time to read read read, and yet still cling to the fallacy of thinking themselves capable of presenting one. Such is an exception, not the rule.

now of course some of you probably found the W3 to have a deep and engaging story...
 

Animal

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i for one enjoyed the writing;

it is hard to go for 'serious' and succeed when your audience is past their thirties, or near enough anyway. All too easy to come out as forced, fake, pseudo-philosophical, hipsterish and so on (i could start naming examples, but the die-hard closet dwellers would get an apoplexy). I have come to appreciate more and more those that strive to simply be ..simple.. fun, and engaging. Did they overdo it? Sure at some points. But such is the context of 'light mood'. It allows you to overlook such errors.
in D:OS, it also served the gameplay well. All that interactivity? Some of the possibilities available to me, i'd never have even attempted if the overall tone was different. That goofy, joyous/ludicrous undertone allowed me to approach things and solutions in a similar manner. Plenty of lolz moments, precisely because 'serious mode' was /off, and the game was literally built around my exploring them :)

and lastly..story is better when you get to make it yourself (interactions, open world, systems, reactions, interaction levels, triggers, et al). Ideally anyway. Some of you must by now have realised that the tighter, more solid, more good the story is, the tighter, the more controlled must the game be. Many type of 'corridors', many types of 'linearity'. Have had enough of people that, partly due to dev time constraints, partly due to the times being what they are, have had ZERO a theoretical education and almost ZERO a time to read read read, and yet still cling to the fallacy of thinking themselves capable of presenting one. Such is an exception, not the rule.

now of course some of you probably found the W3 to have a deep and engaging story...

Ok, I'll install the game again. Geez...
 

Tigranes

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Aenra there's nothing wrong with being silly, unserious, simple. The problem is when the writing is bad, whether simple or complex. You also seem to be railing at people who like grimdark rather than actually addressing D:OS itself.

Ironically, the worst thing about D:OS writing relative to earlier titles was how serious it was. It wasn't outright wacky like Div2, but it also wasn't "takes itself so seriously it is hilarious", and it wasn't even "so bad/campy that it is hilarious", at least not usually. Apart from a few nice silly moments, the writing was nearly always generic blah blah blah devoid of any effective mood, light or dark.

Similarly, Dragon Commander should have just been written entirely as a compendium of genre in-jokes, or a straight-up comedy, or something. Instead you have a totally serious Gandalf knockoff going on and on and on about some insufferably generic SERIOUS FANTASY MATTERS, and then you run into the big-breasted elven maiden who at least parodies the stereotype, but the lines she actually says are completely boring.

Larian doesn't need to be more serious or dark. They just need to actually do the lighthearted stuff well. Actually, they don't even need to do that. As I said earlier, they just need to keep their writing out of the player's way, and focus on the world reactivity.
 

prodigydancer

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Larian doesn't need to be more serious or dark. They just need to actually do the lighthearted stuff well.
Yeah. Anyone who defends Larian writing on the basis of "it has jokes" should play PS:T, Grim Fandango or Deus Ex. It's absolutely possible to combine serious with humorous in the same game and make both parts shine.

It's not just Larian though. I usually refrain from making statements like "modern games suck" but it's pointless to deny that the average quality of writing isn't what it was 15-20 years ago. Not even close. And movie industry is in no better shape: terrible plots, predictable twists, dull characters, pointless dialogues, boring jokes. So I guess it's a sign of the times.
 

JamesDixon

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Yeah. Anyone who defends Larian writing on the basis of "it has jokes" should play PS:T, Grim Fandango or Deus Ex. It's absolutely possible to combine serious with humorous in the same game and make both parts shine.

It's not just Larian though. I usually refrain from making statements like "modern games suck" but it's pointless to deny that the average quality of writing isn't what it was 15-20 years ago. Not even close. And movie industry is in no better shape: terrible plots, predictable twists, dull characters, pointless dialogues, boring jokes. So I guess it's a sign of the times.

It only seems to have gotten worse. The games 15-20 years ago had massive ram limitations so the stories were very compressed in comparison to today's games. Back then they didn't have the option of having plot holes etc... like they do now since the average game back then had between 200-1000 lines of dialogue total.
 

Infinitron

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Codex Year of the Donut 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 Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
it's pointless to deny that the average quality of writing isn't what it was 15-20 years ago. Not even close.

I'm not sure you're using the accepted definition of "average".

Games writing as a whole is far in advance of what it was in the 90s.

The games 15-20 years ago had massive ram limitations so the stories were very compressed in comparison to today's games.

:hmmm:
 

JamesDixon

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I'm not sure you're using the accepted definition of "average".

Games writing as a whole is far in advance of what it was in the 90s.



:hmmm:

In the late 80s to early 90s, RAM was limited to roughly 640k to 1 gig and hard drives were very expensive. Everything was pretty much floppy based which limited the amount of dialogue that could be in any given game. Five years later, RAM went up to roughly 2 gigs and hard drives became more common as well as CD Roms. Floppies declined in the mid 90s as everything was based on CDs and could be referenced easier than floppies. It also had greater storage capacity that enabled for more dialogue and longer stories.
 

Infinitron

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Codex Year of the Donut 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 Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
OK, but what does that have to do with "15-20 years ago"? Let me remind you that we are in 2015
 

JamesDixon

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OK, but what does that have to do with "15-20 years ago"?

20 years ago would have been 1995 and 15 was 2000. I went back to 25 years ago for the sake of completeness. The more tech advanced the more dialogue and the longer and complex the stories got. Thus the average quality of games today, storywise, is about on par with what it was back then when you account for the amount of space that the older developers had to work with. I was merely agreeing with you about the quality, especially when it comes to length and complexity of the story.
 

Animal

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it's pointless to deny that the average quality of writing isn't what it was 15-20 years ago. Not even close. And movie industry is in no better shape: terrible plots, predictable twists, dull characters, pointless dialogues, boring jokes. So I guess it's a sign of the times.

It's mostly a sign of growing older and having seen and experienced a ton of stuff. If you boot up some old games/movies, apart from a few gems, you will see that they too have serious cheesy lines and plots.
 

prodigydancer

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Games writing as a whole is far in advance of what it was in the 90s.
*not-sure-if-serious.jpg*

Game writing today is shit and there are three main reasons why it's so:
1) Writers don't even try. They just rehash someone else's ideas (or use stock situations and stock sentences). Even though effort isn't a substitute for talent, whenever exert yourself hard enough, a part of your soul is transferred to your work, so to speak. And that's what I don't see anymore.
2) Writers don't have anything to say to us. Most of them are college grads with no life experience or interesting ideas to share. When they realize they don't have anything to say, they give up -> see 1).
3) Writers don't have the courage to be themselves. SJW is a relatively new term but people who would like to force you to self-censor your work aren't anything new. They existed in all times. And as soon as you give in - welcome to Dullville. Because a part of being an artist or a writer is being bold enough to say "fuck you" to such people, do what you were going to do and face the consequences.
 

Infinitron

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Codex Year of the Donut 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 Pathfinder: Wrath I'm very into cock and ball torture I helped put crap in Monomyth
I'm totally serious. The average gamer in the 90s played games with B-movie excuse plots that he usually didn't pay any attention to.

The average AAA gamer today gets exposed to writing that spans the range from Michael Bay to Christopher Nolan-tier. This is an improvement.

Don't cherry-pick the best of an era and call it "average".
 

Zed

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that's cool writing
 

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