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Fallen Idyll

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Everything posted by Fallen Idyll

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Fallen Idyll

    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.
  5. 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.
  6. Fallen Idyll

    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.
  7. Fallen Idyll

    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.
  8. Fallen Idyll

    What have you been reading recently?

    The topic is dead! Long live the topic! —Alorael, who will throw in The Ringmaster's Daughter, a relatively normal and therefore still quite unusual novel by Jostein Gaarder. Unlike Sophie's World and therefore like his other books, it's definitely a novel and not a textbook. Like much of what he's written, it's very much concerned with the fiction.
  9. 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.
  10. Fallen Idyll

    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.
  11. Fallen Idyll

    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.
  12. Fallen Idyll

    Slarty Ranks Everything

    Deontology Consequentialism Virtue Ethics Ethical Intuitionism Deconstructivism Ennui —Alorael, who supposes this entire thread is something of an exercise in utilitarianism.
  13. Fallen Idyll

    Slarty Ranks Everything

    Posting games Metahumor —Alorael, who implores you to rank this very signature as well.
  14. Fallen Idyll

    BoE or BoA scenario: vahnatai lands

    A reference to Most Writers Are Human, I assume. —Alorael, who doubts all extant BoE scenarios are provably not created by neural networks. There are some especially interesting efforts out there.
  15. Fallen Idyll

    The Predator in Avernum?!

    You won't find any more in Avernum 1, but Avernum 2 is significantly about them and from then on they're series regulars. —Alorael, who is almost certain that the reference there didn't exist way back in Exile 1, as the idea of the vahnatai and sequels wasn't there yet.
  16. Fallen Idyll

    A3: Do non-humans suck in this?

    Unless there has been a significant change from A2, and I haven't paid much attention, you're right. Humans advance much better than non-humans. —Alorael, who considers this only fair after the all-nephil parties of previous (but higher-numbered) Avernums.
  17. You won't miss out on much. —Alorael, who is sure there's a way to cheat your way to evidence. He just has no idea what that way is.
  18. Fallen Idyll

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

    2D, yes, but those are side scrollers. There are actually a fair number of modern, pretty side-scrolling games, but I can't think of any top-down examples. —Alorael, who wouldn't be surprised if there were good strategy examples of top-down. But that's a very different genre and probably more tolerant of graphics that are iconic rather than representational.
  19. Fallen Idyll

    What will happen after Avernum 3 Ruined World?

    I appreciate that Jeff can see the problem in shaping incentivizing rushing to the end-game creation types as fast as possible and then leveling them up. The easy solution is to just not have creations gain experience and have their stats solely depend on the shaper's stats, but we will eventually see! —Alorael, who thinks Jeff couldn't have been any clearer about not doing any more Blades work, ever, at all. Which doesn't mean he won't ever; he said the same about Avernum 4 once upon a time. But it's not anywhere on the radar now even with the other classic Avernums updated.
  20. Fallen Idyll

    Difference Between Avenum, Avadon, and Geneforge

    The game mechanics are recognizably from the mind of the same designer, who has certain formulas he overall likes and styles of abilities. Even particular stats often recur, though with some variation in what, exactly, they do mechanically. The games themselves play somewhat differently because of the central differences in what your party is (several classless PCs, one PC with entourage, or several classed PCs). —Alorael, who still says overall, holistically, the games are more similar than they are different. By memory, picking up Geneforge after having played Avernum 1-3, or Avadon after having played Avernum and Geneforge, seemed much easier than picking up an entirely new game with unfamiliar style.
  21. Fallen Idyll

    What have you been eating recently?

    Poached pears. Surprisingly easy, surprisingly delicious. —Alorael, who has to admit it's not a big enough improvement over ripe pears that he'd particularly do it for himself. But as a dessert to serve company or bring somewhere, it's a nice option.
  22. Fallen Idyll

    Size of Exile

    The measurement I'm most skeptical of using is time, particularly in E3/A3. You can cross a continent in a day or two on foot. If Valorim is the size of a continent as we use the term, that's simply not possible. —Alorael, who notices that by the size of rivers, which are generally a few tiles wide, it's hard to reconcile any reasonable distance. Most rivers are quite narrow; a mile or more is huge. That suggests tiles that are less than a mile across, but then also a continent that is tiny.
  23. Fallen Idyll

    What have you been reading recently?

    No One Cares About Crazy People by Ron Powers. It's of professional interest. It's sad and moving and actually quite good at walking the fine line of what we know (little), what we don't know (quite a lot), and what we don't know for certain but have compelling hypotheses about (substantial). —Alorael, who has When Breath Becomes Air sitting on his nightstand and taunting him. It's been there for almost a year. He's not sure 2018 is looking too good for it either.
  24. Fallen Idyll

    Huzzah! I'm NOW Dr. Triumph! - edited

    Before assuming that, I'll ask the fraught question: do you have a next step? A job lined up, either in or out of academia, or a career in mind? —Alorael, who offers a virtual firm handshake and hearty greeting of "Doctor!"
  25. Fallen Idyll

    Avernum/Exile Fan Art - Alien Blade Redux

    I was also with Edgwyn, but then on closer inspection I found the first one looking like a short wavy blade in front and a longer one behind, perfectly aligned with the view perspective so at a glance it looks like a single blade. Now I can't unsee it as a weird double sword and prefer the second one. —Alorael, who actually thinks he likes the wavy blade more then the spiraling one. But only one wave or his brain hurts.