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Pentiment - Josh Sawyer's non-combat historical murder mystery RPG set in 16th century Europe

Discussion in 'Obsidian Entertainment' started by Kem0sabe, Nov 4, 2021.

  1. Kem0sabe Arcane

    Kem0sabe
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    Not sure if this is old news, about Sawyers upcoming rpg:
    • Focusing on experimental mechanics and interactions.
    • It's still being developed by a small team.
    • 16th century Europe setting.
    • Still planned to have no combat.
    • Murder mystery RPG. You will be investigating a murder by talking to people and building a case. You can accuse people of murder. You will possibly continue to play even if you get it wrong and see the consequences.
    • Planned to be coming out in 2022.
     
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  2. Butter Arcane

    Butter
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    Sounds about right. We knew it was a small team and could reasonably deduce that it was historical. It's been in development long enough to suggest a 2022 release, and they probably want it out the door before TOW2 and Avowed.

    Hopefully it's not just a Name of the Rose knockoff, although that would still be interesting for the novelty.
     
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  3. Quillon Arcane

    Quillon
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    Sawya's Disco indeed then.

    Also sauce?
     
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  4. vortex Fabulous Optimist

    vortex
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    Any chance for this plan to evolve into one with combat?
     
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  5. Smerlus Educated

    Smerlus
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    I guess Jeff Grubb let some info leak on Obsidian's Disco Sawyerium. Nothing really explosive or anything.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/GamingLeak..._sawyer_obsidian_game_details_from_grubbsnax/

    Strange that is would have the same EXACT plot as DE.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 4, 2021
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  6. Kem0sabe Arcane

    Kem0sabe
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    Apparently Giant Bomb's GrubbSnax show.
     
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  7. Roguey Codex Staff Sawyerite

    Roguey
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    Autists have difficulty coming up with original ideas. We tend to take ideas we like and modify them to our tastes, hopefully by enough. I'd agree that "non-combat murder mystery but in a different setting" isn't exactly a huge modification. Transparent Disco Clone.
     
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  8. Latro Arcane

    Latro
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    It’s a fucking adventure game with dice rolls
     
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  9. 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
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2021
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  10. taomcio Educated Patron

    taomcio
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    Grab the Codex by the pussy
    But maybe in Holy Roman Empire would be better and more fitting for Sawyer

    Alright-Gentlemen-We-Need-A-New-Idea (1).jpg
     
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  11. Latro Arcane

    Latro
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    No, it’s more that nobody cares about an obsidian disco elysium
     
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  12. Tihskael Learned

    Tihskael
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    If I remember correctly, Josh only played a couple of hours of Elysium.
     
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  13. KVVRR Learned

    KVVRR
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    My only hope is that the murder mystery isn't as shit as Obsidian's previous attempt (outer worlds dlc). Knowing Sawyer we might even get some actual c&c with the murder plot as opposed to Disco where it's mostly the player who has to develop their idea about who done did it (until it's actually revealed in every single playthrough)

    It NEEDS good writing though. No combat to distract the player will make it has to carry the whole game.
     
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  14. copebot Learned

    copebot
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    Murder mysteries are a highly successful plot type in commercial fiction. Most games that have a mystery plot overlaid across the action succeed for reasons tangential to the plot structure. Look at Deus Ex 1 for example: while it's not a murder procedural, the mystery is an effective overlay which creates some context for the action along with motivation to explore the game world. The star of the show, however, is the gameplay and not the mystery itself.

    LA Noire by contrast fully embraces the mystery theme, even if it is not that great. Most of its vignettes are professionally written, mostly well-acted, and well-shot with the technology of the time. It's severely undercut by weak gameplay and a fundamentally frustrating dialogue system.

    Stories do not necessarily make for good games, and generally story tends to undermine rather than support otherwise good games. If the reasoning process starts with "how do we make this cool story structure into a good game," you're probably going to fail at making it a good game, because the best game ideas don't tend to start with stories but rather with arbitrarily challenging and exciting scenarios or competitions. Murder mysteries are among the most commercially reliable narratives, but there's just not that much in them that makes them fun as games, especially because most of them do not lend themselves to good procedural generation as it relates to creating a fun plot. The board game Clue is a good example of a procedurally generated game with a murder mystery theme. The fun in Clue is related more to the actual game and the tricky interaction between players (bluffing, asking questions, very fun for children), but no one would really say that the procedurally generated narrative makes for a great mystery story. The theme is effective at evoking an amusing parody, but no one is earnestly shocked when it turns out to be Colonel Mustard with the candelabra in the study. The 'emergent narrative' is just the goofy fluff to get the players involved: it's not the core of the experience.

    So, for example, a cool game idea might be one in which one player is the murderer who has a short period of time to commit a Hitman-style murder or other crime, which he does in the first round. The other players then have to reconstruct the crime and prove the case, which they do in the next round. I'm not sure if that's a good idea or a bad idea, but it's an example of a narrative-light take on the theme with is game first and theme a distant second. What this game is probably going to be, in contrast, is a dull as shit graphical novel which would be better off portrayed in a non-interactive medium.
     
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  15. Wunderbar Arcane

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    Finally, Lionheart sequel! Now we know why nuBIS released a patch for the original.
     
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  16. Harthwain Magister

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    I am going to keep my fingers crossed for the experimental mechanics and interactions, because in my opinion it's the only way for the current Obsidian to be able to pull this off (and is a step into something potentially more interesting than the usual fare we tend to get).

    I mean, Disco Elysium works thanks to two pillars:

    1) Its writting, similarly how West of Loathing rides on its absurd humour (and I don't recall Obisidan doing great in that department, unless they can somehow go back to their KotOR 2 form).

    2) How skills and rolls are tied to what your character can experience, which goes into a feedback loop of its writting.

    If you lack 1), then you have to REALLY top 2). Like, really, really, make sure the mechanical and interactional side of the game is top notch. But can they pull this off via the way of the hand-crafted narrative? I have my doubts, because of how naturally limiting this is and how it requires good writing style.

    I'd recommend instead making it so that the murderer and the method can change per playthrough and each time you have to do a proper investigation in order to find out who did the deed and why. But that's just me and I would be surprised if they go in such direction, because it is surely very unconventional and not in-line of how Obsidian did things for years, so them breaking out of that scheme is extremely unlikely (and probably risky).
     
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  17. KVVRR Learned

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    Nah, making it so the murderer is random will just make the writing duller since it's either procedually generated or the writers will have to work with several stories at once which will divide their focus a lot. The way to go imo would be to make it so discovering the clues is actually engaging and/or requires some thought from part of the player instead of what the studio usually does -- go to the marker/follow plot device, popup comes up saying that you found a clue and explaining what it means, now you go back to x npc and repeat the loop
    How to make it more engaging I have absolutely no clue though. Especially if it's an isometric RPG. Not a lot of wiggleroom for deep player interaction with the actual world there.
     
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  18. Ibn Sina Savant Patron

    Ibn Sina
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    Strap Yourselves In
    16th century European setting means 14th century bantu land setting in obsidian terminology.
     
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  19. Ninjerk Arcane

    Ninjerk
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    The player will end up being the murderer.
     
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  20. Butter Arcane

    Butter
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    Considering the player will be a black wombyn, that seems problematic.
     
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  21. Greek Anime God Learned

    Greek Anime God
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    Obsidian should just set the game in Africa and make it about those people of whom the men wear some blue hijab type of getups and the women are uncovered. When Andy Warhol ran out of ideas and asked someone what to paint they told him to paint what he loved so he painted money. If you would ask the Californians at Obsidian what they loved ye olde Europe would be last on their list. So why not just make that African game they would have a boner for? What's stopping them?
     
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  22. Ibn Sina Savant Patron

    Ibn Sina
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    Strap Yourselves In
    They cannot. Because they are fucking ignorant and illiterate. For all their faux intellectualism and pretending to be smart they have zero knowledge of anything outside their US and possible Eurocentric bubble.
     
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  23. Roguey Codex Staff Sawyerite

    Roguey
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    Yeah several years ago someone asked Sawyer why he just couldn't make an African RPG and he said it was because he knew nothing about it (and obviously doesn't care to) and that his expertise was in Europe (he majored in history with a focus on early-modern Europe).
     
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  24. Greek Anime God Learned

    Greek Anime God
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    Could you imagine what kind of cool games we would get if these progressives weren't posers? There is so much cool stuff in Islamic cultures alone that we just never see in games, but we also don't see Christian things either really. Most of the time it is a lossy jpg copy of Tolkien that has been shat up entirely by noise and artifacts so you can't even tell what it originally was. When it isn't then it's just your American west coast bugman bubble type of content. You could read the travelogue of a random historical muslim and come up with far better material.
    So Sawyer is just a racist then?
     
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  25. RepHope Learned

    RepHope
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    He’s a textbook virtue signaler. He wants kudos for having blacks in his games but he doesn’t give enough of a shit to actually put in the work to study real black cultures. So he just blackwashes Europe. Like all male feminists he’s probably a rapist so it’s only a matter of time until he gets MeToo’d and fucks off forever.
     
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