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Game News Pathfinder: Kingmaker Kickstarter Update #12: Chris Avellone's Narrative Design Goals

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by Infinitron, Jun 21, 2017.

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    RPG Wokedex 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
    Tags: Chris Avellone; Owlcat Games; Pathfinder: Kingmaker

    After taking a rare day off, today Owlcat Games deliver the long-awaited Chris Avellone Kickstarter update for Pathfinder: Kingmaker. It's a succinct description of Chris' design goals for adapting the Kingmaker module in a way that'll make it fresh even for people who have already played the pen-and-paper version.

    I’ve wanted to do a Pathfinder RPG for quite some time. When the opportunity came up, Owlcat explained they wanted to do something surprising – take one of Pathfinder’s existing Adventure Paths (an interconnected series of six modules that act as long story) and turn it into a computer RPG.

    So my first thought is - what the hell do you need me for?

    …but the next thought was – I wonder how you could take a module and make it a compelling experience, especially if players may have already read it/played it. This wasn’t anything new to me – it happened all the time in my early gamemastering days. Any time a new published module came out, every gamer would buy it, tear off the shrink wrap, then scour every page so they’d know how to find every secret and magic item.

    Then innocently, they might prompt their idiot gamemaster to run the adventure. I know because I was one of those GMs. (And um, one of those players.)

    But back to the question. So how do you implement a story that others may have already experienced?

    There were a few simple answers – one is, what really makes the adventure? The players around the table. In the computer game, those players are you – and your companions. And all of you can bring stories of your own which can be interwoven into the plot and depending on who you travel with, suddenly the adventure has not one story but several, depending on your choices and which allies you've selected.

    Second, when implementing a story many hold dear, be respectful to the franchise and the original content. One of the challenges is that the Kingmaker story is one a lot of Pathfinder fans have experienced and loved, so we want to be respectful of that – there are certain touchstone moments that are key to the experience and we want to preserve the moments that are heart and feel of the original story.

    Third, expand the story in new ways. With Pathfinder, this is easy to do because the modules themselves are structured with an open-world feel, so the ability to add events, dungeons, and encounters is easy – the Kingmaker plot wasn’t gated in the first place, so the adventure already has room for all these elements.

    This is especially true of the characters in the Adventure Path. There are some in the Adventure Path that are described only as an event… and the GM is allowed to integrate them into the game as they see fit. And so have we. Veterans of the pen-and-paper adventure will find existing characters and NPCs in new areas, new ways, and sometimes, even with a new arc.

    This also gives us room to introduce new allies, new foes, and a variety of side quests – some of which may grow naturally from the module’s original content, and veterans may appreciate it even more because they’ll understand the reason for these new elements perhaps quicker than most.

    One example is the gnome explorer Jubilost, who players can encounter trying to ford a river early on in the Adventure Path… but in the computer version, you don’t just encounter him, he has the potential to become a companion in your party.

    Part of the reason for this addition is because Jubilost… despite his sharp tongue… is a great walking encyclopedia for any party, and a great way to introduce both the player and their character to the Stolen Lands, so having him as a companion in that role makes sense, and across the entire game as well.

    But the evolution of Jubilost’s role is just one example – we’ve taken many of the characters and expanded their roles and woven them into the plot and events in ways that Adventure Path veterans will understand – and some that will be a surprise. Expect a lot more content both from the Adventure Path itself and off the beaten path as well.​

    That sounds good, but I have to say that it's strange that we still don't know who this game's other writers are going to be. We know from the recent AMA that Chris doesn't have time to do it all himself.
     
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  2. Excidium II Self-Ejected

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    Maybe it's all written by MCA but he's afraid of pressure due to impossible standards set by his masterpiece.
     
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  3. TheSentinel Arcane

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    This game's gonna be shite mates, just like every game Avellone's been involved with ever since he left Obsidian.

    Abandon all hope.
     
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  4. Oasis Novice

    Oasis
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    Psha. The more I think about this game the more I like it. Particularly these bits "400+ feats and class abilities… 300 various kingdom events… Kingdom has it’s own flow of unfolding events (and there are tons of them) and it is different in every playthrough." For me the replayability in BG-likes is driven by party composition and combat. I don’t often try different ways to complete quests, I just tend to murder everything. I’m not complaining by any means, but this game seems like it’s gonna have an added layer of replayability baked-in with it’s random events and possibly through different ways you can build your kingdom?? For me it almost seems too good to be true, but I have faith in them. Mishulin (while difficult to understand) seems far too calm to be bullshiting anyone, they’re running a good Kickstarter, and it’s obviously impossible to not like crazy-shirt guy. It's gonna be fine.
     
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  5. TheSentinel Arcane

    TheSentinel
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    yeah man numbers are everything, the more the better!
    remember the 1,2 million words in TToN? Fucking amazing... loved that game. Definitely GOTY. Will be remembered for many years to come!
     
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  6. J_C One Bit Studio Patron Developer Sad Loser

    J_C
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    And the worst of all of them is Divinity: Original Sin 2.
     
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  7. PrettyDeadman Victim of C*dex *dministr*tion Patron

    PrettyDeadman
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    Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Pathfinder: Kingmaker will be the newest narrative masterpiece from creative writing maestro Chris Avellone.
     
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  8. ArchAngel Arcane Sad Loser

    ArchAngel
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    Fuck writing, I just want another fun game like BG1.
     
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  9. Azrael the cat Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Azrael the cat
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    It will be truly magnificent trolling if, when the game comes out, MCA's writing credits are: "Wrote the press releases and interview answers".
     
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  10. Grunker RPG Codex Ghost Patron

    Grunker
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    What worries me most about this game currently is what seems to be insane feature creep. I've been wrong about that worry before though, with Witcher 3
     
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  11. PrettyDeadman Victim of C*dex *dministr*tion Patron

    PrettyDeadman
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    Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    To get codexers attention. Rpgcodex is pretty much the only place the game is being discussed right now (outside of its kickstarter comment section), all thanks to Chris Avellone.
     
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  12. ArchAngel Arcane Sad Loser

    ArchAngel
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    That is all part of Kingmaker, it is not any kind of feature creep.
     
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  13. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    RPG Wokedex 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
    1) Kingmaker itself is a pretty ambitious design for a company's first RPG.

    2) Half of this update is about plans to expand beyond the original module.

    They're planning to release this game in 14 months. Something is probably going to give.
     
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  14. Grunker RPG Codex Ghost Patron

    Grunker
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    Erm, the fact that the source material has many features does not make many features less difficult to implement.

    Also, you evidently haven't played Kingmaker. It's very popular due to its scope, but both kingdom mechanics and story got a lot of flak for being individually underdesigned and superficial, and there's a pretty wide agreeance that it bit off more than it could chew.

    Now a full, 300-feat huge implementation of Pathfinder in an expansive video game with the kingdom management on top? That is very ambitious.
     
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  15. TheSentinel Arcane

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    yeah from what I played of the alpha it's not looking great.
     
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  16. Sitra Achara Arcane Patron

    Sitra Achara
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    Codex 2012 Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015
    Re.feats
    ToEE had about 600+, but that's including sub-feats like skill focus x, spell focus x, weapon focus x etc.
     
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  17. ArchAngel Arcane Sad Loser

    ArchAngel
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    Maybe but these are experienced devs backed by a big company. I believe!
     
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  18. laclongquan Arcane

    laclongquan
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    If that is the case it's pretty damn worrying. In this day and age, communication with potential customers is the key. They need a guy dedicated to raise awareness in major forums, and keep talking there to draw audience.

    Russian devs are not known for that.
     
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  19. PrettyDeadman Victim of C*dex *dministr*tion Patron

    PrettyDeadman
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    Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Well, they did get a nice arcticle on IGN (haven't read it but gameplay videos were nice), they have pretty good kickstarter updates (written by a non-native english speaker but still pretty informative and engaging) and they did an AMA on reddit shortly after they started kickstarter.
    Still, they don't get enough attention (in my opinion), but it probably have to do with something which is not shown for palyers eyes, not because of their public activity.

    Their presence in russian segment of the internet is pretty bad though. Kickstarter afaik didn't even had russian subtitles (not sure if it does now).
     
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  20. Delterius Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Delterius
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    This game is going to be the ELEX of fantasy adventure. Nothing before can even compare.
     
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  21. l3loodAngel Proud INTJ Patron Edgy

    l3loodAngel
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    People complain about writing and then go replay DOS, TES Skirym, AP and other classic titles. I am not even talking about those who play Bio games...
     
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