Jump to content
Spidweb

Avadon Developer Diary #1

Recommended Posts

Originally Posted By: Seven Days and Activity
I've never really understood why dual wielding is considered such an important feature. It's not the most realistic feature, and yet it's become not only a staple but nearly a requirement for games.
It's there simply as another play option. Just as some people like their hand-to-hand characters to be tanks, others prefer them to be buzzsaws.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Spidweb
So I'm sitting there watching this, and what I'm thinking is this: Who is this Bluebeard guy? He's very powerful. Very rich. Has a castle full of magic doors. He mentions how he has great influence with the court. What's his deal? Where did all that wealth come from? What does he use those portals for? What is his day job?

And here was my idea. He's a warrior. Or an assassin. Or a spy.

That sounds rather dull, to be perfectly honest. The Bluebeard concept is fascinating and you ask some excellent questions, but why on Earth would you make such a mysterious character into a warrior / assassin? Surely there are more interesting things you could do with the character than having him be some kind of questgiver spymaster?

Anyway, I will await the game with great anticipation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you read the descriptions of most games, they sound cliched and/or dull. It depends on the execution.

 

My primary concern is whether the game will be enjoyable for people who suck at games. I suck at games. I love Avernums 4-6 because, among other reasons, I can create whatever characters I want, ignore min-maxing techniques, and still have fun and complete the game. It's hard to create a completely useless party in those games. I find Geneforges 4-5 much more difficult, and they seem to require stricter adherence to particular point and item allocations.

 

Jeff wrote on his blog recently about making games easier. I hope he succeeds in this regard when he is working on Avadon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Mod.
Agreed, zones = easier travel.


I still miss the old Avernum-style movement with towns and outdoors being distinct areas. Created a much better sense of scope.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Ephesos
I still miss the old Avernum-style movement with towns and outdoors being distinct areas. Created a much better sense of scope.


This. AMEN!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't like the indoors/outdoors shift and I don't like zones. In A3 your characters approach what is supposed to be a huge city and it looks like a little postage stamp on the screen. Then you have to wait for the city to load. I like having to actually pass through the city gates as if I was passing through the city gates.

 

I also like having to actually transit, whether on foot or magically, between parts of the map. It makes the game world seem more real. Having to go from pylon to portal to pylon, for example, enforces the idea that actual distance exists. The zones make it feel like the areas are all disconnected from each other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Ephesos
Originally Posted By: Mod.
Agreed, zones = easier travel.


I still miss the old Avernum-style movement with towns and outdoors being distinct areas. Created a much better sense of scope.


Actually, I would say the Geneforge-style movement gives you a pretty good sense of scope. Much better than in A4-A6 at least.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: madrigan
I don't like the indoors/outdoors shift and I don't like zones. In A3 your characters approach what is supposed to be a huge city and it looks like a little postage stamp on the screen. Then you have to wait for the city to load. I like having to actually pass through the city gates as if I was passing through the city gates.


See, I always saw this as just zooming in on the town. And normally you do get to enter in through the gates, it's just in that zoomed-in town.

And that huge city may look like a little postage stamp, but your party looks like four gnats. tongue

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: madrigan
Jeff wrote on his blog recently about making games easier. I hope he succeeds in this regard when he is working on Avadon.


Jeff mentioned during beta testing of Avernum 6 that he had a new way of adjusting difficulty levels that will be more fun for players than just multiplying monster health and damage. If it works than there will be a real difference between normal and torment than the boredom of waiting for the monster to drop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Triumph
Originally Posted By: Ephesos
I still miss the old Avernum-style movement with towns and outdoors being distinct areas. Created a much better sense of scope.


This. AMEN!


The old way had its flaws, but it did give you a sense of the scale of things. In A6, even though there was an incredible amount to do, everything seemed like it was five feet apart. Yes, in A6 it would be a hike from Formello to Fort Remote without the pylons, but you walk out the gates of Dharmon and you're practically in Blosk, Gnass in a few steps east, Fort Saffron a few steps west, etc. It just seemed crowded. I missed the wide open spaces and sense of discovery of the earlier games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

amen, amen, amen, amen, amen.

 

Sometimes it's the little details that make everything. You know what I REALLY miss? That sort of synthesized harp strum that would play, in most of the Exile series, when you entered a town.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, outdoors were nice. On the other hand, I can see the later seemless world style working if teleportation is a major part of the game. If you really are wandering in small, disconnected areas, it's okay for the areas to seem small.

 

—Alorael, who will, on the other hand, acknowledge that A5 felt much less artificially shrunken than A4, and A6 feels cramped quite possibly because it has to reflect the cramped map of A4. Jeff can probably do better spacing when designing the geography for that style of map.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeff starts with a big advantage since we don't have any idea how big the world really is this time. Still I hated walking a few squares over to the next town in a seamless world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree the old towns would be nice, especially with fewer rats... but decisions like that one have probably been committed to already.

 

A nice effect would be to zoom the camera out smoothly as the party leaves town until they dwindle to tiny figures. Entering a battle or town would make the camera drop again. That would require a mixing of two tile sets, but it can be done by making the big tiles correspond to collections of little ones in every case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: blackwight
A nice effect would be to zoom the camera out smoothly as the party leaves town until they dwindle to tiny figures. Entering a battle or town would make the camera drop again. That would require a mixing of two tile sets, but it can be done by making the big tiles correspond to collections of little ones in every case.


See, this is exactly what happened with the old indoors/outdoors style that Jeff used in his earlier games (Exile, Nethergate, Avernum 1-3), except that the camera didn't zoom smoothly, it just jumped.

I prefer the old system over the GF zones, and I prefer them both to the A4-6 style, though that could just be because the scaling, as has been said, sucked. I mean so did the games, but whatever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the seamless A4-A6 world COULD work just fine...if the world were built for it. The biggest problem with it was that it felt funny trying to squeeze the game world (Avernum) designed for the old system into the new system; this led to both the squished feel (because Jeff had to squeeze all the major cities of Avernum into a smaller space and had to leave out a variety of smaller landmarks) AND because you had lots of the fans of the series who had a developed a sense of the grand scale of the caves that was now missing. In the new Avadon, Jeff can make a new world where everything fits and where players have no prior sense of scale to be disrupted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Originally Posted By: blackwight

A nice effect would be to zoom the camera out smoothly as the party leaves town until they dwindle to tiny figures. Entering a battle or town would make the camera drop again. That would require a mixing of two tile sets, but it can be done by making the big tiles correspond to collections of little ones in every case.

The thing is, to do it smoothly, this would take a few seconds. A because of that, it would definitely annoy lots of people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Chocolate Tofu Squid
Jeff can probably do better spacing when designing the geography for that style of map.

This. The seamless world is a thousand times better than than the one with outdoors. Outdoors sucked. You had to worry about random encounters, which I am so glad are gone. And in the seamless world, you can check every little corner for loot or hidden enemies, unlike the outdoors, where you'd be lucky if you got a text encounter with an explanation of what was there. Sure, seamless was initially awkward what with certain cities being right next to each other (not that this bothered me, but it did throw off some people) but with a new game, where canon geography is not an issue, this should no longer be a problem. Seamless is the future.

And, uh, I'd like to take the chance to mention something here that has been mentioned before, in the chance that Jeff himself might notice it here. The minimap. It would be awesome if it had a different color for land that has been explored. It would make it easier to read and thus a more useful part of the game, not to mention prettier. smile

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right there with you, Monroe.

 

Roll me in lizard dung and call me 'Nu-Skool' but the outdoor/indoor part of A1-3 really put me off. It may have given a more spacious 'feel' but this was illusion. The areas around cities become gameplay sectors in their own right rather than just space to pass through with random encounters.

 

I vote 'Seamless'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the other hand, you could hide a lot of important areas in the separate outdoors. When all maps correspond one to one, including the "upstairs" and "downstairs" regions, you really can only wedge one good area in per map section, and its existence won't surprise anyone.

 

—Alorael, who is okay with seamless. Or outdoors. Or zones, really. It's not as though the zone system ruined Geneforge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really hate the so-called seamless world design. Things are either so far away it's not even worth it or so close that it doesn't make any sense. This is the main reason why I didn't finish A5 or buy A6. It just got so dull watching that four-man procession trudging through gray square after gray square.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
The thing is, to do it smoothly, this would take a few seconds. A because of that, it would definitely annoy lots of people.


Not with a delay. As you leave town, every square you move would budge the camera up a bit. It could be smoothed, but no delay.

I don't mind the random encounters so much, as long as they stop chasing you when the party reaches a certain point of competence. Random encounters provide a means of gaining experience when you're lagging, and that's a better punishment for making a few bad decisions than starting over. I would like to see random encounters that never run out in every zone, so that lagging players can catch up. Imho, it might also break up the culture of perfectionism I see here, since you could keep fighting them until you reach a ludicrous level if you want to spend years doing it.

When you fight a looney wizard, your thinking should be: 'What do I know about this looney wizard?'; not 'What do I know about the game engine.'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Randomizer
Still I hated walking a few squares over to the next town in a seamless world.
It's not so bad once you get used to it, though I find it's much easier to get used to when you can go from town to town just as easily in real life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: The Mystic
Originally Posted By: Randomizer
Still I hated walking a few squares over to the next town in a seamless world.
It's not so bad once you get used to it, though I find it's much easier to get used to when you can go from town to town just as easily in real life.


I despised the Avernum games because of the open world, world map seamless whatever you want to call it. It just felt insular and closed off...I don't know how to describe it, just not that fun. I've had plenty of time to get used to it but never have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm with Aaron. No offense(at least not much) to all you Avernum lovers but the Avernum series almost made me think that Jeff had lost his mind which i don't really doubt the possibility of now that I have read all this stuff about Avadon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you're aware that the avernum series existed years before the geneforge series did right

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i mean unless you're saying that seeing the avernum series after the exile series made you think he'd gone loopy in the old brain meats

 

which i'm totally down with

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wasn't a fan of outdoors mainly because that meant there was an entire interface where I had limited exploration options. I couldn't talk to anyone, I couldn't look for loot on the ground or in containers, and I had to worry about time consuming random wandering monsters that were guaranteed to be nonessential to the game. Seamless was way better. Geneforge's system is fine, too, as it keeps the sense of scope without actually needing to travel across miles of open land.

 

As for keeping it in the remake of Avernum 1-3, eh, you do what you gotta do. I'm looking forward to Avadon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: waterplant
... It may have given a more spacious 'feel' but this was illusion...


Wut? A computer game? Illusion? You mean there are no wee people in my machine? No way, man...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Avadon looks fun, i hope that Jeff takes this opportunity to step away from his past games in gameplay as well as in story. I think it'd be fun seeing something new. On an unrelated note: i've been playing Spiderweb games since Exile 3 and my personal favorite of Jeff's games is Avernum 3. The scope, story, and gameplay just left me breathless and i played it over and over again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Avernum 3 has an awesome and huge demo. I will probably buy the remake.

 

Anyway, looking forward to the geneforge feel, with newer graphics and HUD.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Locmaar
Originally Posted By: waterplant
... It may have given a more spacious 'feel' but this was illusion...


Wut? A computer game? Illusion? You mean there are no wee people in my machine? No way, man...




I'm not crying there's just something in my eye...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eh, it's about all the same to me. Avernum Originals engine was fine, if a little annoying to travel through. A4-6s' engine was perfectly acceptable as well, even if the world did feel a little squished.

 

I would say the Geneforge zone had the best mix, but there seems to be enough nostalgia stroking going on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I share the common concern that the reason for involving the hero into the plot of the story at the start of the game is a bit disappointing. Otherwise I'm looking forward to finding out how Jeff's gonna give the psychosexual twist to Avadon. wink

I'm also curious to find out, if/how Jeff is going to build the psychological aspects of Bluebeard into the game. I'd wish some of it echoed in Avadon. I'd also expect the abduction-theme to be considered as a strong plot of the story. In my phantasies it really seems to have a high potential to give the story a dark and magical twist. Mind you, I'd never expect a 1:1-translation. But imagine all the strange Dungeons you could explore after being abducted yourself or following the kidnappee into the dark realms of the SEVENTH DOOR! And then the twisted vengeful reasons for which you where kidnapped for in the first place!

Originally Posted By: AaronC
I despised the Avernum games because of the open world, world map seamless whatever you want to call it. It just felt insular and closed off...
That's what made me feel that the game had a really good design. Especially A4. You always had this uneasy Avernum-feeling while playing – corresponding to the story that you really hadn't planned to be in Avernum in the first place, if I recall correctly.

Another way to start the storyline of a rpg, by the way…

 

P.S.: This is totally off-topic, but something I've always wanted to ask: What's a Facepalming Hecatombchire?

Whacking the Wizards of the Coast?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: The Ratt
Originally Posted By: Tcheedchee
Hamsubstantiate Self!

MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!


FYT

What does FYT mean? Did I offend anyone?
Didn't mean to…

I was just imagining how the nineheaded cosmic calf facepalmed the world into oblivion ninetyfold…

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally Posted By: Tcheedchee
What does FYT mean? Did I offend anyone?
Didn't mean to…

Fixed Your Typo. Used for humorous corrections, not serious ones.

Dikiyoba.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh it's not that bad, look how long the credits are already. He could even just say "thanks to all the people who put something in the drop box." I really think the ideas would be worth it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...