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Editorial RPG Codex Report: A Codexian Visit to inXile Entertainment

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by Infinitron, Apr 13, 2017.

  1. IHaveHugeNick Arcane

    IHaveHugeNick
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    Anyhow, in all this negativity and pointing of the fingers, could we please not lose sight of the fact that at least Ziets ended up with a promotion?

    I for one welcome our new :ziets: overlord.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2017
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  2. Rean Instructor Patron Sad Loser

    Rean
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    I'm Ridin' with Biden I'm Ridin' with Biden
    George Ziets being creative lead on a game can only be a good thing.
     
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  3. DosBuster Arcane Patron The Real Fanboy

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    He's not an employee of inXile, just a contractor.
     
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  4. DosBuster Arcane Patron The Real Fanboy

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    You guys are making a whole lot of assumptions about a process most people here know nothing about.
     
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  5. Zorba the Hutt Arcane Weasel

    Zorba the Hutt
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    Tough to compare to a sequel built on existing foundations, but I'm not disagreeing that Saunders could have done a better job. We're obviously all speculating based on limited information, but I just find the scapegoating of Saunders to be rather convenient, and rather forgiving of senior management who have their own level of accountability. And the '2 year in production' statement by Fargo has been contradicted by their own updates and posts. Ultimately, as discussed earlier in the thread, the games were probably kickstarted too close together, striking while the crowdfunding anvil was hot, rather than when they had a reasonable idea of how WL2 production was panning out and when they could feasibly deliver Torment.

    And as you say, at least Ziets seems to be recognised as the rising star now, and McComb... well, guess we'll see what he does next. I hear DoubleBear is hiring. And maybe Kevin will give his side of the story one day.
     
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  6. a bear named spigot Arcane

    a bear named spigot
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    you're right, this is so unlike the dex and also the internet in general
     
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  7. tuluse Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    tuluse
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    Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Shadorwun: Hong Kong
    I would have liked to see a follow up/push back to this answer. This reads like something Bioware could easily have said and not even dishonestly say right before DAO was released.
     
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  8. Roguey Codex Staff Sawyerite

    Roguey
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    He's the lead designer, not the creative lead. That would be Gavin whateverhishyphenatedlastnameis.

    This works out fine since George said he doesn't like writing dialogue.
     
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  9. Telengard Arcane

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    The Codex isn't large enough or influential enough to affect a multi-million dollar game's success, one way or the other. Otherwise, the sheer hatred of Codex for Pillars of Eternity would have been as a vortex sucking the joy that anyone might have found in that game as well as in every other game ever, so great was that hatred. The Codex can consider itself responsible for - very roughly - ten thousand copies or so. Which is something, but nowhere near the whole of the thing. Yet even if Codex were more than the prestigious propaganda rag that it is, and it was actually also influential, the opinion of one influential rag does not make or break a game's success.

    On the other hand, the Codex does have enough influence to aid in the making or breaking of a future Kickstarter project. Can't leave negative press and a dud lying around unattended. That would be as a Sword of Damocles just hovering there overhead, ready to cut your pledges asunder. So, gotta clean up the mess.
     
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  10. Telengard Arcane

    Telengard
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    One of the things that people in general tend to dance around when discussing something like Planescape: Torment is the difference between storytelling and writing. While the writing in Torment from one minute to the next might not always be that great (particularly the ending), the storytelling is great. Torment is a singular, unifying vision of an alternate reality, as told through its characters. The way the characters are baked into the setting, the way the various conflicts arise out of character and personality and setting, the way you - the viewer - come to understand the vision of this alternate reality through the emotions of the characters - those are the things the make Torment a cult classic. The dialogue and descriptions may not always be great, and the resolutions may not always properly build on the nature of the proposed conflicts, but the character passions that go into the creation of those conflicts are interesting and powerful.

    To take but one modern example in order to illustrate, Arkham Knight. The writing in the game from moment to moment is often downright bad (and the combat is absolutely atrocious, I know you won't agree), but the idea of having the Joker as the representative of Batman's fear just show up onscreen from time to time in order to say something crazy - that is great thematic storytelling. And that is the kind of thing that Torment's story is built upon throughout.

    Unfortunately, that kind of setup is not the type pf thing that just any old team can be slapped together to recreate. Lots of people could re-envisage a Bard's Tale sequel, since that is neither a complex tale nor a complex design. A good number of people could re-envisage a Baldur's Gate sequel, since it merely requires having the writer binge watch the PBS Monomyth series and then having them bastardize their talent to write for a teen soap (and then playtesting the combat to death, so that it looks dangerous but just about anyone can succeed at it). In contrast, putting together another "Torment" team that could succeed at telling a Torment-like tale that could successfully give fans that same old feeling - that would be a serious pain in the butt. You can ape what made Torment great by doing all the surface things that Torment did (and that fans will demand), but without that core unified vision of a conflict built upon its characters and their passions (instead of having the character simply react to an outside conflict), it can only ever succeed at being a misshapen copy.
     
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  11. santino27 Arcane Patron

    santino27
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    I feel like they did follow up on it a little bit in the later Torment Q&A, when they talked about how tides had a lot of effects on things, but their messaging was so limited that the player would never know it. That's what I took the WL3 "more impactful and less subtle" comment to mean.
     
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  12. Lurker King Self-Ejected The Real Fanboy

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    One of the main reasons why the storytelling is so strong is because Avellone took the narrative premise from “Pages of Pain”, which was written by Troy Denning. Without that premise, the game wouldn’t be as much as memorable. At the very least they would need to commission another premise from Denning if they wanted to make the same impact, since the old one only works one time.
     
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  13. His response is pretty tame to me. He's saying they're not going to improve graphics at the cost of cutting choices and consequences. It also reads like the C&C they are doing, which Brian confirms is probably the deepest stuff in the industry, will be conveyed more to the player so they know it's actually there, and it will also likely have larger, more apparent consequences. Apparently Wasteland 2 and Torment have very deep C&C stuff in them but it's so subtle that either players don't think it's there or just missed it completely. Which, I actually think is really cool, but it will probably lead to more feedback for the player in future games as to what's actually changing with their choices.

    Personally, I'd say keep the small moment-to-moment C&C but give a toggle option for those who want to see exactly what's working behind the scenes. Like a "C&C Cheat Journal" option, or something. While I would not use it in a normal playthrough, it might be useful for someone who wants to see the more complex innerworkings of the systems that Inxile uses and what not.
     
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  14. valcik Arcane

    valcik
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    Not a single word about punishing Brother None for being dark harbinger of Gamescon related bad news, how come? BN rubbed his balls on these boards with great pleasure, mentioned how tier 1 sites got preferred instead of 'dex, so I was expecting to see pics with his arse spanked alright!

    :killit:
     
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  15. Terra Savant

    Terra
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    Nice interview, not something InXile really had to do so I appreciate the olive branch, lots of interesting points to mull over especially in light of InXile's upcoming BT & WL3 deliverables. Given how many of the CRPG dev old guard spurned the Codex as their games plunged gleefully into the dark ages I'm impressed that some are willing to make the effort to reconcile, that shouldn't be dismissed.
     
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  16. otsego Arbiter

    otsego
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    Great interview, thanks Codex and Mystery Man. I've always felt Inxile's apparent fallout and lack of communication with the community has been what made them stand out (in a negative way) from Obsidian and more notably, Larian. And I'm one of the guys here that liked WL2 a lot - TTON not so much.

    I mostly signed in to brofist and thank MRY. Thanks for your insights, and I'm sorry for your losses.
     
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  17. Prime Junta Self-Ejected Patron Vatnik

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  18. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    I couldn't remember your Twitter handle or I would've tagged you. :) (Also, thanks everyone for the kind words. I wasn't really soliciting sympathy, but I certainly will take it -- if only because I think kindness is more of a muscle to be exercised than a finite pool to be exhausted. Many most people are more deserving of sympathy than I am!)
     
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  19. Fairfax Arcane

    Fairfax
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    No, he didn't. He was already writing the story by the time PoP came out.
     
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  20. Prime Junta Self-Ejected Patron Vatnik

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    It's thebrikoleur. I used to use PrimeJunta but abandoned it a while back.
     
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  21. Lady_Retard █▓▒░ ░▒▓█ Patron

    Lady_Retard
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    I think this may be a major problem, both for Torment and BT4. There should be a balance between combat and non-combat interactions. Torment would have been probably more fun with additional combat encounters and areas (even if optional), while BT4 should not be just a grindfest.

    Also, how difficult can it be to fix the lack of announcement when a tide gives a new dialog option? Just put [Silver Tide] etc. in front of it.

    I still think that making the companions less otherworldy was one of the worst choices. FFS, interesting and unusual companions was one of the main strengths of PST. That none of them realized that is just [​IMG]

    Great interview, by the way.
     
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  22. StaticSpine Arcane Patron

    StaticSpine
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    It would be more fun with decent combat system :negative:
     
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  23. gaudaost Arcane

    gaudaost
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    A sure-fire way to fail to develop a product, or any software at all, is to never use it during production outside of testing.
     
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  24. Lurker King Self-Ejected The Real Fanboy

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    Yes, and you just took his word for it, even though the premise is exactly the same. Let's see, an amnesiac "zombie" traces the footsteps of his prior lives alongside a tiefling, and his memories are inscribed on his body, but they are sores, instead of tattoos. What are the odds that someone would come up with the exact idea about a novel involving a character of Planescape? Close to zero. How do you decide to interpret this? "Avellone said he didn't plagiarize the whole thing, so it must be true". That's fanboy logic. If I were Troy Denning, I would be furious that someone would be described as the best cRPG writer in the industry for making a game with my idea and never gave me any credit.
     
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  25. Yes.
     
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