Iron Tower Studio ForumsRPGRogue Moon StudiosScars of War (Moderator: Gareth)Weekly Update 12 - 14/04/2010
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Author Topic: Weekly Update 12 - 14/04/2010  (Read 10397 times)
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« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2010, 04:50:55 am »

No weekly update since May? Slacker!  Tongue
Well I know its world cup and all, just wanted to let you know I enjoy the updates, even if they are only about small stuff.

"Merely killing those being mean to me. It's not my fault it's everyone in the world of AoD". (Vahhabyte)
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« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2010, 05:03:15 am »

Heh, well, at first I used the fact that Brian was updating with new art as an opportunity to take a break. Sadly, he got to moving home and I got busy at the same time.

One of the things I envy of the AoD team, when one of them is busy another member can update, keeping up public interactions. When I have a busy period, SoW communication dries up...

Anyway, I'll post an update shortly. Sorry for the gap, glad you're enjoying them. Smile

“The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.” - George Bernard Shaw

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« Reply #17 on: March 25, 2019, 09:18:28 pm »

Darklands is less a game with an added text adventure mode as a text adventure with added game modes. Now, I’m not talking about going that far but think for a bit about some of those sequences. The bit with the party trying to talk their way into town and failing, then being spotted later by guards. It would require a lot of careful scripting and animation to make that work. Few if any modern RPGs actually have that much depth of choice, simply because of the cost of implementing all those options. By relying on text you may not have quite the “immersion” in terms of 3D visuals and environmental interaction, but you open the way to a different type of immersion, the imagination-powered type.
nd environmental interaction, but you open the way to a different type of immersion, the imagination-powered type.

I played Darklands like crazy and at the time, I was as fond of it as X-Com if not more. It hasn't dated quite as well for me though -- the real-time with pause combat was never something I enjoyed nearly as much as X-Com's turn-based one. To me though, Darklands is first and foremost a simulation/strategy/sandbox type of game like X-Com or perhaps even more, games like Mount and Blade and Sid Meier's Pirates! It is mostly devoid of particularly memorable NPCs and anything particularly unique -- lots of it feels "generated". You had named NPCs and towns and so forth but a lot of them behave identically or almost to each other. But in exchange a lot of things can happen which shape and impact the world, the economies of towns, things of this sort.

It's a kind of "whatever" game. Like, "Here's a world, the cities have economies, curfews at nights, guards patrol the streets, thieves look for victims, brigands attack on the road, pagan worshippers exist, monks and cathedrals exist along with saints, robber barons terrorize areas, dragons exist, etc. Do whatever you want with it. You can be sneaky, talk your way out of things, fight, climb, swim, trade, forage, whatever. We've done as much as possible to simulate this world -- now you figure out what you want to do with it." And instead of feeling like they designed a fixed narrative of any sort, they focused on making the sandbox as rich as possible with so many ways to go about doing things with your aim being whatever you decide to make it as a player.

It also implements some of your thoughts like the passage of time being important (it even ages your characters), noncombat skills feeling quite rewarding (ex: being a literary scholar was very interesting and useful in ways that arguably rivaled being a professional soldier and allowed you to gain favor with scholars and monks), etc.

From an economical perspective, that reduces not only on the graphical/artistic requirements but also perhaps some in everything else, since you have this world which is being simulated where all sorts of events can happen that didn't have to be perfectly anticipated by the designer in advance. A lot of it is also heavy on the procedural generation -- in that respect in has some elements in common with games like FTL:

However, Darklands was much heavier in terms of skill checks affecting the outcomes of your choices.

So it’s something I am thinking about, whether I can use 2D or text to help ease the art burden on myself in some ways, without fundamentally changing the game experience.

For me besides economy, Darklands streamlined a lot. I mean probably they chose in part to make it so you have the option to try climbing a tower as a means of getting inside without actually animating it and just describing it in text for economy reasons, but it does also arguably streamline a lot. Making it a dialogue option based on a skill check it means I'm not spending my time watching or even controlling characters climb things over and over. There are pros to it for me beyond artistic economy because Darklands streamlines that stuff out in favor of presenting you with one interesting decision after another at a very rapid pace. It's making tough decisions like these along with responding to their consequences that becomes the bulk of the gameplay:

And likewise I'm not spending any time watching my character walking from one shop to another in a town. It turns into a simple menu click to instantly teleport you to the desired store without having to wait 5 minutes for your character to walk there, only to find nothing of interest for sale. It's not necessarily an improvement in my mind to require the player to tediously walk from point A to B that way any more than a game is improved by having more lengthy load screens. Actually lengthy load screens are a bit less boring to me than time-consuming monotonous activities like walking for ages from point A to B, because the load screen has the advantage that I can go AFK and take a coffee break and keep myself amused until it finishes loading. With the former scenario, I have to actually sit there and hold keys down and control it while staring at my character walking.

It's like 10 minutes of Darklands can expose me to more extremely interesting situations than sometimes 3 hours of an AAA game with the most state-of-the-art graphics, and I don't even have a great imagination -- what's there in front of me is so interesting and delivered at such a rapid pace due to all the boring and monotonous stuff they omitted from consuming the player's time.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2019, 10:12:42 pm by old_school_gamer » Logged
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