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Open Call for Reviews

Discussion in 'The cRPG Player's Handbook' started by felipepepe, May 15, 2014.

  1. Zed Duke of Banville Zo Kath Ra Patron

    Zed Duke of Banville
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    The email, for whatever reason, keeps getting rejected, so I sent you everything via conversation (which I assume is what passes for a PM at the Codex or else I'm hopelessly confused).
     
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  2. 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
     
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  3. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

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  4. Jedi Master Radek Arcane

    Jedi Master Radek
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    Awesome review! First 7 paragraphs really manage to give that PS:T experience
     
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  5. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

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  6. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    I KNEW I read those phrases somewhere before.
     
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  7. Jedi Master Radek Arcane

    Jedi Master Radek
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    Well, mortuary and then burning man is a correct way to go if you want to capture the game essence. Obligatory eyes in the jar, included:) So I rather had a feeling of reading the popular way of portraying the game than reading the exact text
     
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  8. Zed Duke of Banville Zo Kath Ra Patron

    Zed Duke of Banville
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    :? I don't recall the Planescape setting being all that obscure a mere five years after its release, certainly not among the type of people would be playing Planescape: Torment. And the roots of Planescape go back to Jeff Grubb's AD&D 1st edition Manual of the Planes and even older material. Granted, most of Torment takes place in Sigil, but full credit for Sigil (and Planescape's unique, enthralling atmosphere) goes to David "Zeb" Cook and artist Tony DiTerlizzi, as both the city and the factions are described in some detail in the Planescape boxed set.
     
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  9. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    Well, there's a limit in how much you want to be specific for a brief side note. Planescape was written by Zeb Cook, that's a fact and ties with how Zeb also worked on another cancelled Planescape game at Interplay... more than that seems overkill. Tony DiTerlizzi was the interior artist, but Dana Knutson was the conceptual artists... should I mention her too? The guys who did the graphic design? In mentioning the Manual of Planes, should I credit Jeff Grubb? His artists? Gygax? Mention that they re-released it for D&D 3rd & 4th edition, while Planescape remains dead since Faction War in 1998?

    You can't have everything, and the side note is pretty lengthy already.

    And Torment was never really mainstream, just critically acclaimed. By the time Torment came out, the setting was dead already, TSR had stopped making them and I doubt they would have done so with a popular best-seller.
     
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  10. Zed Duke of Banville Zo Kath Ra Patron

    Zed Duke of Banville
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    To be very clear, I wasn't criticizing the sidenote; I was pointing out an inconsistency between the sidenote and the main body of the text, which I think is a factual error in the main body. The sidenote in itself is fine.

    TSR went bankrupt in 1997, and it's output in general was drastically curtailed at the time Torment was released. However, I've just looked over the dates on Planescape products, and it turns out three of them (A Guide to the Ethereal Plane, The Inner Planes, and an adventure called Faction War) were published in 1998, by which time TSR had become a subsidiary of Wizards of the Coast. In total, about two dozen Planescape products were published from 1994-1998. The writers at Black Isle deserve full credit for creating the plot of Torment as well as new characters and a few specific places within Sigil, but Planescape was not an "obscure, dusty IP" that required "considerable skills and talent to turn" "into a one-of-the-kind world ready to be explored". To quote from the original boxed set:
     
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  11. Vault Dweller Commissar, Red Star Studio Developer

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    1) You're confusing games with other media. I'd be very surprised if most players who bought PST have heard about that setting before or bought the aforementioned products. While there were tons of all kinds of DnD games, PST was the only Planescape game. Why? Because the IP was obscure and practically dead, especially when it comes to the video games market.

    2) Turning a setting into an interesting gameworld isn't an easy task, even if you have "helpful" descriptions like the one you quoted because half of it doesn't work in an isometric game and the other half doesn't work in any game period.
     
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  12. Neanderthal Arcane

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    Aye gotta agree its rare that you'll see a book, movie or game adapted to a video game well. Devs just havin some fucking respect for original thing an its fans is rare enough, when a dev adds to it to point where original game recognises what they've done (as attested to by Dragon magazine artcile about character o Torment an how to work em into your Planescape campaign,) well thats as rare as rockin horse shit.
     
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  13. DavidBVal 4 Dimension Games Patron Developer

    DavidBVal
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    PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Very true words. And Planescape in particular had a lot of dangers to it, it could certainly have been a horrible project in the hands of the wrong people.
     
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  14. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    Vide Forgotten Realms. Almost every D&D game uses that setting, but most of them go for the lowest hanging fruit and deliver the most generic adventure possible. Few try something different, like Pools of Darkness or Mask of the Betrayer.
     
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  15. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    And since we are all here, VD just finished the Daggerfall review:

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. DavidBVal 4 Dimension Games Patron Developer

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    PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Pathfinder: Kingmaker
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  17. Jaesun Fabulous Moderator

    Jaesun
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    Torment: Tides of Numenera Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech
    I would have brofisted, but that was NOT the Roland Soundcanvas... :M

    Also, Fuck yes VD :salute:
     
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  18. Zed Duke of Banville Zo Kath Ra Patron

    Zed Duke of Banville
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    Looking at RPGs from 1997 onward, there have been 10 licensed for the Forgotten Realms setting and 4 for all other D&D settings combined. Generic medieval-ish fantasy settings such as the Forgotten Realms tend to be more commercially popular, as you well know, but this has no bearing on how well-known was the Planescape setting, the rights to which were eagerly acquired by Interplay shortly after acquiring the Forgotten Realms license. Planescape had about two dozen products published in the period 1994-1998, so even if it had died that occurred only during the development of Torment, not before. Moreover, I doubt the setting would have been considered obscure by Colin McComb, who wrote a few of TSR's Planescape products before becoming second designer (after Chris Avellone) on Torment. Or the various others at Black Isle who gushed over the setting in their online postings during development. Examining reviews of Torment, I see the Planescape setting described as "quirky" and "unique", but not "obscure" and certainly not "dusty", which would have been absurd to apply to a setting that came into existence just five years earlier and had multiple products published the previous year.

    Turning a setting into something in which players can actually play isn't an easy task, but it is accomplished by any dungeon master worth his salt, and made considerably easier when Black Isle had the participation of the setting's creator, David "Zeb" Cook, and at least one other writer for Planescape, Colin McComb. In fact, Interplay was so enthusiastic about the Planescape setting, they initially had three different Planescape games in production, though before long they shut down development of their Playstation game and then transformed one of the two PC games into a sequel to Stonekeep. The locations, factions, and even themes of Torment are drawn from the source material of the setting.
     
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  19. Lurker King Self-Ejected The Real Fanboy

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    :lol:

    The butthurt this review caused among Biotards was awesome!
     
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  20. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    it's way, WAY harder and rare than you're making it look.

    Take Midkemia. Neal Hallford took the setting (which he didn't like at first) and made motherfucking Betrayal at Krondor. Years later, Raymon Feist himself - creator of the setting - goes on and writes Return to Krondor - which is a cool game, but generic as hell. It could have used any setting, and even the main hero (which he wrote!) is extremely out of character, forced into being a superhero knight for the sake of RtK being an action-packed game. And we're talking about a setting with almost 30 novels on it, that had BaK paving the way, plus the cancelled sequel Thief of Dreams.
     
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  21. Zed Duke of Banville Zo Kath Ra Patron

    Zed Duke of Banville
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    Imagine if Interplay had never been interested in the Planescape setting, or had decided to ditch Planescape early in development on the grounds it might later be considered "obscure and dusty", and instead Black Isle had been directed to develop Daggerdale: Torment, complete with Elminster making an appearance. From the information I uncovered, it seems that Avellone already had the basis of his story in place before integrating it into the Planescape setting, so suppose Daggerdale: Torment had the same main character, same basic plot and backstory, same archetypes for the other party-members and a few important NPCs, similar quests, and the same excellent dialogue and descriptions. Nonetheless, the atmosphere of Daggerdale: Torment would have been completely different from the atmosphere of Planescape: Torment, and although perhaps it would have sold better it wouldn't have been remotely as good a game. I wasn't previously familiar with the development of Torment, but I did know from playing the game that it was permeated with the ideas and elements found in the tabletop Planescape setting. And thus wasn't terribly surprised to find that at least two TSR employees (including David Cook!) joined Interplay/Black Isle, and that Interplay and Black Isle were extremely enthusiastic about the Planescape setting.

    I wouldn't have posted a criticism over a mere difference of opinion; I consider this a crucial factual error as the Planescape setting was neither "obscure" nor "dusty" when development of the CRPG began, and Torment wouldn't be Torment without its setting.
     
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  22. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    That's exactly what we're saying. It takes "considerable talent" to make a game that takes full advantage of a setting - even Raymond Feist could only do a generic adventure that raped the lore & characters he created.

    The Black isle team is fucking brilliant because they managed to do it right. Yeah, the lore & setting was already there, but any lesser team would have made generic shit with a lazy paint job. You know that if BioWare did a Planescape game, it would be all about a nobody who gets take to Sigil, joins the Godsmen due to some prophecy, travel to 4 planes (fuck the rule-of-three) in any order to gather allies / McGuffins and then save the Lady of Pain from a raid of Tana'ri and Balors. Jade Empire / KOTOR across the planes.
     
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  23. Zed Duke of Banville Zo Kath Ra Patron

    Zed Duke of Banville
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    Certainly BioWare would have made a hash of the Planescape setting as with anything else they touch, but credit for Torment rests not only with the writing team of Black Isle but also with the original Planescape creators whose work provided the foundation without which Torment would have been known as having unusually good dialogue and themes for a Forgotten Realms game.

    Anyway, I've submitted for your consideration my review of Dragon's Dogma.
     
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  24. Lurker King Self-Ejected The Real Fanboy

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    Vault Dweller, you should make a top ten cRPGs list with reviews so that we can bitch and fight about your preferences.
     
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  25. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    So, in 3 months I'll be departing to glorious nihon-land... no way the 400-page preview will be done by then, so I'll probably release a 350-page version, just to keep things flowing and collect some feedback.

    I have no idea how things will work overseas - things might slow down at first, but since what really takes the most time is finding people to review games (or reviewing them myself), it all depends on how many of those I can queue before I leave...
     
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