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alhoon

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  1. "Firstly, I don’t think it’s fair to say that the current design of the Thahd discounts the importance of the balance between imagination and detail on Spiderweb’s part. It might do if it were a purely narrative point, but this is a more complex element – it’s essentially a graphics problem." And alhoon has never played GF1 so he doesn't know how Thahds were described. Ess-Echas, in my opinion and the opinion of a few of my friends that have tried the game, Spiderweb Games put the "describe - let imagination work" pendulum a bit too much into "let imagination work". But the reason I had this discussion (and these friends) is that we enjoy the same things. I.e. my "study group" is one of the most biased you can find, as we're not just talking about people I like to spend time with and have similar background, but people we have the same interests with in games else we would be discussing about their work problems and not "do you guys picked up somewhere how big is Terrestia?" I can assure you a lot of interesting discussions followed. This is perhaps another point that you have not mentioned inside the whole narrate-not-narrate thing: We wouldn't be talking about how populous Terrestia is if the opening text in say GF4 said "All of Terrestia's tens of millions people are in turmoil!". Regardless: I have heard people complaining about Robert Jordan's overly detailed work and heroes in The Wheel of Time, if you know of it. I am not one of those people. I have read somewhere in Jeff's blog that he believes less text is better and made fun of Pillar's of Eternity's text size and how games with 600K games are too wordy. Well, I play visual novels and read books... I have also read about developers (or even worked with one) that said "I don't want to give or think the numbers you ask. I believe the reader/player should make their own mind, their own head-canon." Another group of (Desktop) game developers I worked with in the past sent me back some work with "remove these parts, we don't want to be overly detailed." The "world size" (or better peninsula size I think) discussion happened with them too, back then in ... 1999 I think. And it happened again 6-7 years ago. The answer was "We prefer it to be "as large/populous as we needed. Let the people that will enjoy this product to make the decision. We want to give them the "feeling" they will put in the numbers in their imagination." It was something like "X state is big. X is small and densely populated". "How big? How dense." "As big as you want it to be. Whether it would be as big as India, or as Korea or a 10th of Italian Peninsula, is up to those that would use it. You won't be on all tables." "But even ballpark? Like 'it takes 5/20/100 days on horse to cross the big state from one corner to the other, while on the small-and-dense you can hit a city every few hours' or something" "No. Whether they want to imagine it as 5 days or 100 days and whether the cities are dense, we go for the feeling. The Big state should feel big and powerful. Extending far and wide, with open space mentioned in the descriptions and castles at the edge of one's vision etc etc. The Dense state should feel claustrophobic, with cities in close proximity with each other that you can cross from one feudal state to the other quickly and a large urban population supported by fishing, trade and magic because there's not enough farmland. Whether the dense state has 10 cities of 5-10K people or 200 cities of 25-100K people should be up to the imagination of the reader. The action will be focused on AAA city and the neighboring one, and will then move to a part of the big state, where things would be very different in theme and atmosphere." And it made sense. It is an approach. One that I don't prefer, but one I understand. It is similar (but not the same), I think, to the Chekov's gun in theatre. If you don't need it for the story don't put it there. The Skyrim comparisons: Do you guys know how big Skyrim is? Because I don't. I don't think the "game time" to travel from one point to the other is lore-representative, especially when in Elder Scrolls 2, they made a smaller state as big as England... and got backlash for it because it was too big and empty. Frankly, skyrim is more detail-light than GF series, I think, in game. Not when it comes to what people call "lore", like the gods, the cultures, the history of the places, but when it comes to the nitty-gritty stuff. There's no way that rural population would support so many large cities. Large as in "large". We don't know how large. About the Graphics: That's actually something that I understand but bothers me a bit. The graphics don't go along with the descriptions. We have read about Drayks being large. Well, in the game they show as big dogs, at most. We read about Fyora's being small. Well, they're as big as drayks. These limitations of the graphics engine bother me. And I was also "meh" when in the previews they showed the new fyora's being just a bit smaller than the character. And let's not pretend that the servile sprites look similar to the servile graphic images in the beginning and end of the game. And where did Drakon wings go in the GF5 game? You know, the ones that you see in all load screens? The obvious answer of course is: "That's fine alhoon, you can always cough up a few hundred thousand $$$ to get a good graphic engine and a few talented sprite-makers for Spiderweb games." About changing expectations: I am the guy that spends hours to port Battle Alpha GF4-5 graphics and Servile graphics to GF2-3. Why? Because in my head I have the Battle Alpha as I saw it in GF4 (the first time I played the games) and unlike Thands that didn't bother me a lot, or Drakons that I actually prefer without wings... I found myself putting in the hours to change the Alphas and the Serviles.
  2. Wait there friends... There's a very specific thing that I said the developer probably doesn't care about: How much the Shaped plants alter the climate. I believe he goes with "it affects the climate to X degree" without going through a deep environmental analysis of the microclimate. So... could you please put down the pitchforks? I didn't say the developer doesn't care about the world. ______________________________________________________________________________ Monarch's robes example: To be perfectly honest, I am in the minority of people that would be interested to know more about his robes. Sure, not a book about it, but I found his description interesting (I vaguely remember there was description of his robes, as they were old - and the description had to hide the all-important baton in plain sight). I don't disagree that I am not your traditional player here, and I openly state that I enjoy the games. "you’d need to find someone in the Geneforge world who actually knows the answer." I completely agree. Perhaps it would not be accurate, but it would be ballpark. Say... a resident in Dilame, say a guard, mentioning how he wants to protect this city of 4000 people - or city of 12000 people - or city of 50000 people, would help. Or a book in GF3 mentioning that the Ashen Isles have "dozens of small towns" or "just a couple dozen villages". Or a discussion with the fishermen in Greenwood where they throw in that "The quarantine has put hundreds of us out of work!" etc. For the life of me, I can't tell whether Greenwood had 30 fishermen and just the settlements I saw on the map, or dozens of smaller ones that the game didn't visit. All I know is that it is: Small (what does that mean?) and backwards. I know it has an academy with a village outside, some mines and a fortified village. Whether 300 people or 5000 people live there, I have no idea. Whether it is 50 square miles or 1000 square miles, I have no idea. Or one of the opening texts, or a discussion with a Guardian telling you "From the 50 Shapers in the Storm Plains, 20 have died in the past 3 years!" ... along with another discussion earlier about how dense the population is. Saying that it is "too hard" for someone in the game world to give a ballpark figure of Shapers in X province + someone else give another ballpark figure of the size and population (mentioning "a few cities and a couple dozen towns" for example alludes to 200K - 500K people) There are ways to insert information in the games. And I hope the remastered Geneforge utilizes them. To say that we can't have a precise figure is very different from "We have no idea if Terrestia is as big as England or as big as Asia". In short: "1. Too much information breaks the flow of the narrative." Agreed, but it can be done with a line here and there. "2. Detailed information needs to come naturally from the writer’s world, else there’s a danger of breaking immersion. This restricts the information that can be described." Also agreed, but it can be in rough estimations of a merchant telling you "It used to take us XXX days/weeks to go from the gates in the Forsaken lands to Dilame when the road was safe, but the presence of the rebels changed all that!" or a text telling you "In Greenwood academy, you had 10/200 classmates, juniors and seniors". Aside from Greta, Alwan, that agent that helps you fight and the dead shaper student, we have no idea how many other novices were there. "3. Too much information interferes with the imaginative input of the reader." I understand that, but In my opinion and according to my tastes, we're far from the "too much information" and too close to the "too little information". We have discussions with NPCs through the series about how they carefully raise Batons, or with that mine-tending woman in GF5. Those nice, large and detailed pieces of information didn't limit anyone's imagination I think. Also, we just saw how Thahds look and they are very different than I had in mind. Do I feel limited? Nope. I am glad we now know how the developer sees them. I also think that the images of how Thahds, Drayks, Vlish etc look like, kinda alludes that #3 is not that much of a motivator for some of the information not there. And I hope the remastered Geneforge 1 will give me more info about the world. Don't get me wrong, all the above were examples. I was told at other times (as mentioned) that things like how a baton grows or how those vats work etc are MUCH more detailed in Geneforge 1. Obviously the three ideologies of the Servile sects will be detailed there as well! I hope all these will be expanded and more details will get in. What I am trying to say here is not that the games are bad. I am saying that I will welcome more information, which is sure to be since it's a whole game I haven't played and I hope that Jeff adds more info in there.
  3. See? That's interesting to me, and I would bet it would not be of interest to the developer of the games. 🙂
  4. Nope, I am not more interested in that. "It's maaagic" works for me (and it's not radiation, it's magic 🙂 ). What I am more interested in is: How many people are within Dilame's walls? What is the percentage of Serviles in the whole Shaper Empire? 2%? 10%? 30%? How many Shapers per ten thousand outsiders? How large is Terrestia? As big as England? As big as North America? As big as Asia? How are the seasons? Is the climate magical or natural? Is the world round or flat? Is there a moon? How is it called? And yes, how much food does a Battle Alpha needs compared to a human. That kind of things. 🙂 I don't have specific questions in mind (aside of population and size) but I am absolutely sure that I will find interesting pieces of lore in GF1 because all of you say that it is the most world-lore-heavy of the games.
  5. Good analysis but... LotR is totally lore-light when it comes to magic. It's Lore-heavy as it describes the cultures, the language, the history etc. When it comes to magic, it is grossly under-explained. So, while I don't disagree with what you say, the "It is not lore-light, it doesn't deliver the lore you want" (I don't complete agree either though), I kinda find Tolkien's explanations about magic very light.
  6. Yeap, I am aware I miss much of it, and I am glad I waited for the story of GF1 to be told in a medium I could enjoy. GF2 was a bit of a chore, just because of the antiquated item system etc. Regardless, I was told several times that GF1 is the most lore-heavy, but I think the developer himself is fine with some things remaining "vague and mysterious". I can understand that for some of the things involved but for things like the size of the world, it is a bit strange IMO. I.e. it seems the developer goes a bit "you don't really need to know that to understand and enjoy the story, so I don't want to be tied down to details" approach. Which is fine and I enjoyed the games, but makes me wonder about some of the logistics involved, distances travelled etc.
  7. I agree. Even with the script and maps already made, even if they can just be regenerated from scratch and be there nicely made with new graphics, tweaking a zone is more work than one day. Much more. I don't think he will be able to keep the pace at 1 zone per day, especially when testing and recalibration are added in. And the new zone? Certainly will take more than one. As for the lore remark: Geneforge was always "lore-light" and "show-than-tell" kind of game. Take GF2 for example. We barely learn what Rotdhizons eat. Whether they are dying faster or slower from old age. Whether they can procreate between themselves or are sexless. That kind of thing. For GF4. We never learn if Kyshaak smell bad for example. How long it took for the Shapers from start-to-launch. And I said, we are never given in GF2-5 any notion of the actual size of the world except "big" or the number of Shapers except of "rare".
  8. The important part IMO is this: "We have spent a lot of time improving the original game text and then adding to it. We’re adding lore, quests, and bits of conversation that round out the story. " YES! Finally! More lore for the game! I am aware that since I haven't played the first game I am not sure how much lore is there, but from what I've gathered from the future games and discussions in here... not very much. For example, we know that the Shaper continent(s) is (are) "big" and that Shapers are "Rare". We don't know if "Big" means "as big as England" or "as big as Europe" and whether "rare" means "1/1000 people" or "1/50000" (as far as I know). We know for example that Kyshaaks are unsteady by GF4-5, and kinda rushed-out to meet demand for war creations more reliable than the Alphas, but we don't know how easy they are to go rogue compared to other creations, or whether they are herbivores, omnivores or carnivores. However, I don't know if you people knew that, but now we know that Thands are sexless. The email I got from KStarter shows a thahd (and a clawbug) and the thahd is clearly sexless. Man, they're different than what I thought they would look like. They are more like sexless Thundercats and less like primates.
  9. Never seen the titan, and actually never done those super-hard dungeons to be honest.
  10. I loved GF4, my favorite GF game from GF2-5. (I wait the remake for GF1). But I play these games for the story mostly, not the battles. The battles I see as piecemeal entertainment as I slowly grab the story. Thus, I don't see much value in playing in Torment (or optimizing). However, despite me liking GF4 more than GF5, I have played it just twice and that was years ago. As mentioned, what mainly entertains me is the story and "the new stuff". I hope these games get "updated" too, or have story content added.
  11. You may agree, disagree or even strongly disagree with Khyrik's view on shaping but I think everyone agrees on one thing: He wasn't a butthole.
  12. Well, if we go for major spoilers into Geneforge 5 Trakovites...
  13. I don't recall that. After all, Litalia is strictly anti-Trakovite in GF4 and gives you missions to go kill the trakovite Drayk that harms nobody. PS. I won't give major spoilers over GF5 in case someone that reads that hasn't played through GF4-5.
  14. To be fair, finding canisters abandoned in many zones simply feels wrong... they are too valuable to just be left in a random room or ruined building in the open. Once or twice, perhaps. Found locked and guarded after the Lifecrafter died/forced to flee, perhaps. But finding them by the dozen feels a bit too gamey.
  15. In that GF3 encounter, if memory serves, you break down the Artilla to essence, that I assume dissipates.
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