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In the midst of my life

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About In the midst of my life

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    Alorael
  • Birthday 06/20/1949

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    Male
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    Elsewhere
  • Interests
    Skribbane and sniping pedestrians.

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  1. In the midst of my life

    Queen's Wish - Romance

    Hi, MagmaDragoon! It's been a long time. Over a decade! Romance in video games was interesting when they first appeared because they were something new to games. Then they became an expected Bioware game element, just another design box to tick off. I would rather not have perfunctory romance put into a game unless it serves a storytelling purpose. A well-told romance can be its own purposes, to be sure, but I don't think that's where Jeff Vogel's inclinations or writing talents lie. —Alorael, who also thinks doing this well requires a lot of words and a lot of contextual changes. That's the kind of thing that's much easier to pull off when you have a stable of full-time writers for your game rather than a one or two person operation putting everything together. Just like Spiderweb can't compete in the pretty graphics space, it probably for surprisingly similar reasons can't compete in the romance space without substantially giving up on the parts of the games that have been the main draw to its games for twice as long as MagmaDragoon has been gone.
  2. Guess who finished his homework! Just kidding. Glad to see you and Aran still here! Kudos from Italy mate.

  3. In the midst of my life

    What Exile/Avernum you begin with ?

    When I first tried to register the check was returned. I spent years thinking Jeff must have moved or changed P.O. boxes early on, but actually, on reflection, I probably just addressed the envelope wrong. —Alorael, who could go back to a copy of original E1 to find out. He kind of likes keeping the mystery around. It’s ego-sparing.
  4. In the midst of my life

    RPGs - Best World Tech?

    I'm agnostic about technology level. I think it's quite possible to make a ridiculous setting that doesn't justify guns and swords in the same combat, but that's not necessary. Mass Effect is a perfectly good gun RPG with some sword-like melee weapons. Want to classify it as a shooter with RPG elements? The Shadowrun games, then, which have near-future technology (plus magic), so there are some nuts who use implanted blades or swords but they risk getting mowed down by automatic fire. Or Pillars of Eternity, which has something like an early Renaissance level of technology, complete with the presence of slow-loading firearms that are useful but definitely not (yet) the only weapons worth using. —Alorael, who puts balance considerations and verisimilitude/plot considerations in separate bins. You can have a very consistent world with stupid combat. You can have an engaging and fun game with awful, nonsensical worldbuilding. You can have both very easily. And with good design you have games with neither.
  5. In the midst of my life

    Kickstarter For Our New Game/Series - Queen's Wish: The Conqueror

    Kickstarters often have a burst at the end, so it’s not impossible. —Alorael, who wants to know what happens if there final tally is a couple hundred dollars short. A spiteful array of especially terrible sounds? A return of E1’s original “urk” “eek” perhaps?
  6. In the midst of my life

    Kickstarter For Our New Game/Series - Queen's Wish: The Conqueror

    The number of piano tuners in Chicago is a classic Fermi estimation problem. —Alorael, who just may create a new demographic poll. He has some burning questions.
  7. In the midst of my life

    Kickstarter For Our New Game/Series - Queen's Wish: The Conqueror

    I would guess that Spiderweb has a solid core of fans that keep buying the games and getting older year by year. Yes, some stop playing, and some new players pick up the games, but I think there's a huge overlap and the average player age accordingly increases by perhaps half a year per calendar year. —Alorael, who made up that number. It'll work as a Fermi estimate.
  8. In the midst of my life

    Kickstarter For Our New Game/Series - Queen's Wish: The Conqueror

    This is a better illustration of the idea of one thousand true fans. It's about 1500, actually, but it still holds. A thousand fans, or so, can make you a living. —Alorael, who supposes it varies with depth of pocket. Get enough who can and will splurge on those quests and your numbers go down. But it's the long tail who just want the game that are keeping this Kickstarter afloat.
  9. In the midst of my life

    What Exile/Avernum you begin with ?

    Exile 1, but the first game I registered and finished was Exile III. —Alorael, who still remembers the excitement over the first time he saw character sprites that could face in two different directions. And his pride in anticipating that Exile III would include some kind of weapon-swing animation.
  10. In the midst of my life

    Kickstarter For Our New Game/Series - Queen's Wish: The Conqueror

    Since the Kickstarter is, in part, supposed to pay for art and assets, I suspect that there are a lot of placeholders here. It does look like an interesting view: it's not isometric, but it's not top-down either. The perspective is something like head-on but slightly above. It's hard to get a real sense with preliminary graphics. —Alorael, who agrees this is not the most prepossessing Kickstarter. But he's fine with that. Rather than promising the stars, Jeff Vogel promises a game in broad outlines (and fort customization). That's achievable! He's been achieving that for years! Rather than lock in details, this works. It probably loses some backers, but that's also probably okay.
  11. In the midst of my life

    How do people feel about Jeff using Icons in his RPGs?

    Almost three months later and I'm still curious. —Alorael, who can confidently inform you that there has been no major policy shift. Also if you read Jeff Vogel's blog he praises (and criticizes) other games regularly, which isn't quite the same as the forums but does show that he's not trying to pretend there aren't other good games out there.
  12. In the midst of my life

    What have you been eating recently?

    The millennial meme put me on a belated avocado toast bender. You know what? Avocados are pretty cheap, bread is pretty cheap, and the results are delicious. —Alorael, who started out doing fancy things like rubbing garlic on the toasted bread and garnishing with various spices. Now it's avocado mashed with a fork, bread turned crunchy in an oven, and chow time.
  13. In the midst of my life

    Jeff's GDC talk - "Failing to Fail: The Spiderweb Software Way"

    As someone related to Vogels who pronounce their name in a way that looks phonetic to Americans and that Germans might spell Wogel, I support this message. —Alorael, who has settled the /'a-vər-nəm/ or /ə-ˈvər-nəm/ by renaming the lake to have the first syllable stressed.
  14. In the midst of my life

    Slarty Ranks Everything

    While this isn't usually how novels are paid for, pay by the word remains standard for short stories to today. The counterbalance is that if your use of words isn't actually good you don't sell your story at all, and the pay per word is low enough that rather than finding places to sneak in more adjectives you're much better off finishing the story and writing another one. —Alorael, who tried to get paid by the word he didn't submit. His literary protection racket received a cease and desist letter, which ironically probably cost a lot more per word.
  15. In the midst of my life

    Slarty Ranks Everything

    Pyramids (with eyes on) Pyramids (Discworld novel) Pyramids (medullary) —Alorael, who describes himself as [redacted], pro, and extra on the subjects, respectively.
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