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Interview Matt Chat 435: George Ziets on Torment: Tides of Numenera and the Future of Digimancy

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by Infinitron, Dec 9, 2019.

  1. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    Yes. It is possible to come up with either (1) alternative gameplay or (2) ersatz combat / gear (DE for sure has you equip gear, so I'm not sure what you mean on this score) / gold to replicate cRPG gameplay. Once you settle on what that gameplay is, it dictates what kind of setting would work to transform mechanics into atmosphere and narrative. For instance, it's pretty clear to me that Revachol -- with its densely packed factions, lack of central authority, smashed-open layers of history, horror aspects was constructed to wrap around a detective RPG focused on a fractured mind talking to itself. DE's gameplay in the Forgotten Realms would be worse than in Revachol, just as normal RPG gameplay would be worse in Revachol than in FR.

    I think an Earthsea nu-adventure game centered around dialogues and minimal puzzle solving would work fine with the setting, though nu-adventures can be dropped into almost any setting, as Telltale Games proved. Probably you could also do a Choice of Games style Earthsea game. But I don't see what about the Earthsea setting would work well with RPG gameplay, no matter how much fake meat you use to replace the RPG beef.

    By the way, I think the KOTOR games are good examples here. I really like them a lot, and they had the advantage of an adolescent zoo/theme-park setting centered around WARS and exploration and toys -- exactly what ought to translate well into a cRPG. Yet still neither game feels particularly like a Star Wars story. Star Wars (TFA notwithstanding) isn't really about dungeon diving to get map pieces or minmaxing gear or leveling up. Pushing Star Wars into a Bioware RPG mold distorted the setting in significant ways. Earthsea is much farther from that; translating it to a traditional RPG would break it.
     
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  2. Shadenuat Arcane

    Shadenuat
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    KOTOR2 didn't do too bad. It had some uncomfortable consequences for following Dark Side.
     
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  3. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

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    I'll add that while I am sure some kind of fun game could be set in the Earthsea setting, the setting is also totally unmemorable to me (despite, as I said, loving A Wizard of Earthsea and reading it several times, and reading all the other books, and short stories, at least twice, except for Tehanu). It's like a bunch of islands and there are dragons and wizards and a school for wizards and a land of the dead. Some neat names for locations. It's quite "thin," too -- not like, say, Glorantha, where you have some giant stock of existing lore to draw upon. Whatever game you'd want to make in Wizard of Earthsea could be made just as easily in a Ziets homebrew setting, and would then not be saddled with the baggage of a licensed IP. The only upside to licensing the IP is name recognition, but I'm not sure that helps.
     
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  4. Shadenuat Arcane

    Shadenuat
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    Well that might be for the best. Because if people would find out most people there are bronze skinned and there are white maneating barbarians it would just all go to shit quickly.

    Also Goro did terrible job (because Le Guin hesitated to give rights to his father during his prime which was a terrible loss to fantasy and animation which now cannot be fixed) so whoever owns this probably wouldn't be happy to give rights to some dum computar game.
     
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  5. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy 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: Kingmaker
    What year was this? Maybe it happened before they realized the game was overscoped.
     
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  6. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    February 2016, so a year from launch. The major rescoping and change from Kevin to Chris was all in Oct/Nov 2015.

    It really is possible that all my damn whining and bickering is what killed this project. 23-email-long chain fighting with Adam Heine over the size of marteling whales. I'm positive it's a typo in the rule book. What a stroll through memory lane.

    Show Spoiler
    A taste:
    After being told I couldn't vary from 300 feet, I continue:
    It's like a scope problem within a scope problem...
     
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  7. Shadenuat Arcane

    Shadenuat
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    this is why modders often succeed where developers fail. they don't ask about the size of the whale, they just go in editor and try and make a city on top of a whale.

    and yes it reads like total autism; Sawyer would really like this probably. you should be friends.

    also maybe there are more than 1 whale so like in waterworld cities are built on top of herd of them
     
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  8. Cross Prophet

    Cross
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    All the Telltale games are terrible adaptations of their source material though. I thought you were objecting to the idea of an Earthea RPG because you believe the setting doesn't lend itself to RPG-style gameplay. I hardly see how Telltale's formula of quick-time events and meaningless dialogue choices is an improvement. At least certain aspects of Earthsea, like the magic system, have some commonality with RPGs.
     
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  9. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

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    Telltale's formula is content agnostic. You can have QTEs where you fight zombies, solve mysteries, race cows, whatever. Any character verb can be conveyed by the system. And the formula is good for conveying dialogue and offering a certain sort of C&C. The problem with an Earthsea cRPG is that core cRPG systems would be actively hostile to the setting. So either you would need to drop those systems (and end up with a nu-adventure) or harm the setting. A Telltale Earthsea game would not require Ged to shoot fireballs and kill 1,000 xaurips in order to level up and learn True Name: Dragon. An Earthsea RPG would.
     
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  10. hexer Guest

    hexer
    It has been years since I played it but I remember KOTOR2 feeling like an experimental SW story.

    There's nothing wrong with being precise, I would be the first person to take the plunge into the details.
    But it's also important to realize before it's too late how some things require lots of sacrificed energy / time and give little back.

    I understand how you both acted profesionally but 23 emails-long exchange over such a detail is something I'd expect from Britannica employees :lol:
     
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  11. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

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    It was largely my stubbornness -- I felt like the lore was wrong and wanted it to be right for my Mere, and Adam was too nice to say "no matter how lame or obviously incorrect, the rulebook text controls no matter what." :)
     
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  12. hexer Guest

    hexer
    Hmmm.., wasn't Monte Cook an advisor for the game?
    I'd spam the crap out of him with all sort of questions if I was in your place heheheee
     
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  13. MicoSelva Prestigious Gentleman Don't call Abigail Patron

    MicoSelva
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    Codex 2012 Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Divinity: Original Sin 2 Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Colin McComb will be the next guest on Matt Chat, it seems. We will see which questions get asked and maybe answered.
     
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  14. Cross Prophet

    Cross
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    That's not even how learning magic works in a majority of RPGs, where spells are found/bought rather than learned from leveling up. There are even RPGs like Ultima Underworld and Arx Fatalis where, to use magic, you have to find the true name of things (represented as differently shaped runes) and combine them in a certain way to cast the spell with the desired effect.

    I don't consider glorified cutscenes to be a gameplay system.

    Nor do I consider a dialogue system with mostly cosmetic options and no stat/skill checks to offer anything of value.
     
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  15. vortex Fabulous Optimist

    vortex
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    TTON has become really tense subject these days.
     
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  16. Kyl Von Kull The Night Tripper Patron

    Kyl Von Kull
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    Eh, more CRPGs lock new abilities behind progression. You’re talking about non spontaneous arcane casters in D&D, but even they need to reach the appropriate level before they can actually cast the spells they’ve learned.
     
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  17. Shadenuat Arcane

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    world doesn't end with d&d.
     
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  18. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

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    Oof. Maybe Adam is missing whale debates after all:
    Show Spoiler
     
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  19. Bohrain Savant Patron

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    I'm not really sure what benefit would a licence like Earthsea bring to them. It's not a popular series in this day and age, there are obviously going to be licencing costs and who knows what kind of restrictions the IP holders might give. And it's not like Pathfinder where people essentially like the ruleset, but find the setting and the lore pretty banal. Fairly sure Ziets is recognizeable enough amongst the core audience of CRPG's to do just fine if he used his homebrew setting.
     
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  20. Darkforge Augur

    Darkforge
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    I don't think I can think of a WORSE setting other than Harry potter to set a Computer RPG in other than Earthsea .....
     
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  21. Bohrain Savant Patron

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    Witch Trainer was fine, though not an RPG.
     
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  22. Israfael Arcane

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    Invite Bester :lol:
     
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  23. almondblight Arcane

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    Those probably fit Earthsea better than most settings in literature. Magic is all over Earthsea, (even common amongst poor and illiterate village folk), there are mages that go island to island working magic, monsters and marauders to fight (Ged gets into a number of battles with these in the first book), and mage battles (the second Earthsea short story is about a mage battle).

    Though I agree, it would make more sense to make your own setting that just takes what it likes from the Earthsea setting (and others).
     
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