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Wadjet Eye Unavowed - Dave Gilbert's RPG-inspired urban fantasy game

Wirdschowerdn

Ph.D. in World Saving
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Clogging the Multiverse with a Crowbar


thinking.png
 

HoboForEternity

sunset tequila
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Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
Why is mr. Avellone's build is so inconsistent? I think in the last fairfax interview he looks skimmy several years ago.

I remember him hitting the gym and get buff. Now he is looking thicc again. Has his lifestyle really changed dramatically the past 5 years or somethin?
 

taxalot

I'm a spicy fellow.
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Codex 2013 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015
Holy shit that interview is damaging.

I played Unavowed and while I certainly appreciated what it tried to do, I felt it had some major shortcomings in both the storywriting and gameplay departments. I was wondering if this was accidental and those were hurdles he didn't manage to overcome because of the change of gameplay he tried to go for.

Well, no. He has fully embraced the decline. He's trying to get into his game the absolute worse of AAA gaming with the production values of indie games.

This is a terrible idea.
 

Boleskine

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Joined
Sep 12, 2013
Messages
4,045
Hasn't Dave been saying for a few years now that he enjoys the narrative part of making games more than the puzzle-designing part?

Unavowed was a relatively big hit for Wadjet Eye so I can't imagine that Dave has many reasons to change his mind about this. He can reach bigger audiences, make more money, and enjoy himself more instead of toiling away at designing puzzles and figuring out how to incorporate them into the story.

It may be disappointing he's going to continue pulling the "Bioware storytelling in an indie package" thread at the expense of more traditional point-and-click puzzle adventures but it's not surprising.

"I also designed it for streaming, and I think that helped. Often when you watch a stream of a narrative game, you've gotten the experience, and that's it! But with the branching and choosing different party combinations, if you're watching the stream of it you haven't gotten the experience and there's a good chance you might want to go and buy it later."

Okay, yes that's decline material but I'll give credit to Dave for reading the market and understanding modern audiences. He found a lucrative compromise while carving out a bigger niche for himself.
 
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fantadomat

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Hasn't Dave been saying for a few years now that he enjoys the narrative part of making games more than the puzzle-designing part?

Unavowed was a relatively big hit for Wadjet Eye so I can't imagine that Dave has many reasons to change his mind about this. He can reach bigger audiences, make more money, and enjoy himself more instead of toiling away at designing puzzles and figuring out how to incorporate them into the story.

It may be disappointing he's going to continue pulling the "Bioware storytelling in an indie package" thread at the expense of more traditional point-and-click puzzle adventures but it's not surprising.

"I also designed it for streaming, and I think that helped. Often when you watch a stream of a narrative game, you've gotten the experience, and that's it! But with the branching and choosing different party combinations, if you're watching the stream of it you haven't gotten the experience and there's a good chance you might want to go and buy it later."

Okay, yes that's decline material but I'll give credit to Dave for reading the market and understanding modern audiences. He found a lucrative compromise while carving out a bigger niche for himself.
Ahhh that is not entirely true,the game's success was mainly because of the good will accumulated trough the years. The "success" of this game will be seen in the sales of the next one. Some people will be turned off because of the dumbing down.
 

MRY

Wormwood Studios
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I don’t think that’s true. After Primordia, WEG sales began to drop by quite a bit. They could be juiced by putting games in the Humble Bundle but the launches were softer. And Epiphany sold very few copies at launch. I sort of recall that in the days Steamspy still worked, it hovered around 12k until it was given out in bundles.

If accumulated goodwill was causing sales to rise, you would expect Technobablyon, Shardlight, and Epiphany—beautiful, well made games—to have shown increasing, not decreasing, sales.

If Dave is right about Unavowed outselling other titles (I’m not sure if he means in-house or includes third-party games like Gemini Rue and Primordia), then goodwill can’t explain it because he’s bringing in new customers. If these are old customers who dislike the change, why is it rated 96%? So, all said, I trust Dave to know his business. If he says 3D narrative adventures in the Telltale vein are where the market is, he’s almost certainly right.
 

MRY

Wormwood Studios
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Ha! I guess I'm wrong then.

(Actually, I think Dave just has an endearing modesty. One doesn't make sell millions worth of retro adventure games by accident.)
 

Dualnames

Wormwood Studios
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I have started playing Unavowed, it's an important timeline in the adventure game industry, the videogame industry, and life as we know it. I will gladly share my thoughts once I'm done.
 

Dualnames

Wormwood Studios
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Alright, so I've finished Unavowed, took me about 3-4 hours, not that much, so, here's a spoiler free thoughts post.


There are some parts that Unavowed does right and some that it does wrong, puzzles are not it.


The puzzles are either too easy or too obvious that they are puzzles, and they kind of break immersion, honestly a lot of people say that this is a dialogue choice based game, and I don't mind those, for example VALHALLA is a great cyberpunk visual nover imho and it has absolutely no puzzles. I think puzzles here kind of ruin the pace of Unavowed, given that they are relatively pointless and barely count as puzzles to be honest, they feel like a hurdle instead of a flow. Leading with that, the game has 3 distinctive types of identity, I feel. One is the investigative part, which it doesn't cash in that much. Secondly, there's the dialog choices matter which it seems to be doing fairly better than most games that feature this. Lastly, there's the adventure game identity, which I feel should have never been there in the first place, I think it would have made a better game if a different mechanic/idenity was introduced rather than puzzles, for instance, again in Valhalla, they introduce the bartending mechanic, be it silly and pointless, it does give that game a lot of soul and character and works both gameplay-wise and provides a decent immersion value.

Gameplay

Interface look. While I get the idea behind me not being able to look at things in an interactable sort of way, and instead I hover over and get their description. That works for a while in favor of the game, but quickly it turns all the rooms into "let's actually see what hotspots/interactive points matter" essentially breaking immersion as well, reminding me constantly this is a videogame. I feel if I could actually examine/interact with every object it would favor the great deal of areas there are in the game, and it would help the exploring part a whole lot, making each area more vivid. The double-click thing for exits is a nice thing, always appreciated to be honest. I liked it in WOAM, we also have it in Strangeland, it's a nice thing I feel, it makes the whole back n forth less annoying. I like that it differentiates the icons based on the interaction that's about to take place, that's a good solid move, the inventory is also very usable, overall kudos, nothing fancy, but very intuitive and fits the game.

Storytelling/Writing

The hipster artist/barrista angle. I don't know, there are parts of me that didn't like how certain stereotypes were portrayed in that angle, maybe it's personal projection, but I felt it was unneeded and rather unfunny and terribly inaccurate.
This could be personal so take it with a hint of salt. In general I am not a big paranormal guy, so I can't say the story grabbed me in any way, it was decent, didn't hate it, didn't like it that much either to be fully honest. Some of the writing is passable and personally I found it uninteresting, there are some good moments in it tho, the introduction of Kaykay's character specifically and every part about her, be it simple as a concept, works really well, I would have loved to have her have more 'screentime' and involvement in the story. I also liked Vicki Santina's character, that seemed to encompass her flaws and desires in a seemingly fluid way, that was honestly believable, even though the initial reaction I had to her over the top jersey accent was rather negative.

Sound

The voice acting is really well done, has some big big names in it, and the production values are top notch, even the most minor character sounds perfect and fitting. My favorite has to be KAYKAY's actress by far, I really liked listening to her lines, more about kaykay later on. Whilst the music could benefit from a tiny bit of variation like 5-6 more songs to be honest, was also really well done, and I really liked it. The tunes are catchy, even though they are backgroundish, and fit the scenes like a glove, enhancing the experience. About the sound effects, I can't say there's anything wrong or great with them, they don't stand out, they don't need to either.

OVERALL: Not my cup of tea, I'd be lying if I said it was. I think it's a very accessible game to those that like "dialogue choices matter" kind of games, but I was never a fan of those games, this is somewhere in the middle. But regardless there's a lot of effort from WEG for this and the production values are really high, that I feel is somewhat commendable.
 

alyvain

Learned
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376
the introduction of Kaykay's character specifically and every part about her, be it simple as a concept, works really well, I would have loved to have her have more 'screentime' and involvement in the story

I was a bit disappointed when we saw her as an actual companion in one of the bits. But I think you're right, in general she was the one interestingly implemented.
 

IHaveHugeNick

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Apr 5, 2015
Messages
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I've just finished Unavowed.

Great cast of characters and tightly paced story that hooks you quickly and doesn't let go until the very end. Puzzles are interesting enough without becoming obnoxious. Lovely atmosphere and cool paranomal setting. And on top of it all, best production values in a WE game. Art direction is simply brilliant, soundtrack is spot-on, voice actors did amazing job.

Dave's best work.

:5/5:
 

tenki

Literate
Joined
Jul 31, 2019
Messages
27
Reminiscent of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen?
Modern day secret misfit supernatural operatives, art style.
 

sqeecoo

Arcane
Joined
Dec 13, 2006
Messages
2,622
Thanks for bringing this to my attention guys. Not an amazing game, but scratched a retro itch I didn't even know I had. Any recommendations for something similar but better to play?
 

MRY

Wormwood Studios
Developer
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Messages
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It really depends what you like. Assuming the general category is low res, point-and-clicks, there’s the whole WEG catalog plus Kathy Rain, Whispers of a Machine, Dropsy, Milkmaid of the Milky Way, Sumatra, Lamplight City, and Guard Duty just off the top of my head.

Within WEG, everyone has different preferences. Leaving out my own Primordia, I’d say:

Resonance has the most elaborate and creative puzzles and a few interesting design innovations, though gameplay is a little clunky at times. Great sprites too.

The Shivah is my favorite of Dave’s works. By far the most interesting protagonist and, while I know Dave loves all his stories, The Shivah feels like one he wanted to tell for his own sake, while the others were based on expectations about what players would want.

Technobabylon is the longest by far and has more puzzles than Dave’s stuff, but less interesting puzzles than Resonance.

A Golden Wake has a very novel setting and premise, the most interesting of Francisco’s three (the other two being Shardlight and Lamplight City). It’s the most unpolished of the bunch though.

Gemini Rue is amazing if you want not just a retro game but one that is targeted at the dorky middle school version of you who drew ninjas in his composition books and had a Star Wars trapper keeper. Charmingly absurd and totally serious.

Aside from these more traditional ones, there are the three QFG-likes (Heroine’s Quest, Quest for Infamy, and Mage’s Initiation).

Happy to give more details as needed but a more unbiased source might be better!
 

Alpan

Arcane
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Grab the Codex by the pussy Pathfinder: Wrath
I would rate Technobabylon as the best WEG game and Primordia second.

Outside WEG, Thimbleweed Park is quite good, though the plot can get tiresome at times.
 

sqeecoo

Arcane
Joined
Dec 13, 2006
Messages
2,622
Thanks a bunch guys! I haven't played an adventure game in like a decade and am totally out of the loop. Unavowed was very enjoyable so I'm looking for more :)
 

IHaveHugeNick

Arcane
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Apr 5, 2015
Messages
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I would add Pillars of Earth out of the newer games. It's quite nice.
 

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