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[GF1-M]: The non-spoiler thread about Geneforge Mutagen


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Dear all, I realized that obviously the vast majority that have been visiting these forums have played the old Geneforge 1. I am probably the only one that has not played geneforge 1 and is, by decision, blissfully unaware of what happens there.
However, I would like to talk about the upcoming game without spoilers plus I expect newcomers will eventually find their way in this forum as we get closer to release. 

 

So... I believe we need a non-spoiler thread, which means no spoilers from the whole saga, for the newcomers. I took the liberty to make such a thread.

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The butler did it.

 

Oh crap, sorry.  I didn't read the title first .... huh ... ? .... I've been locked out of the edit feature .... aaaauuuughhh....

 

{runs from the room (after gathering one last whiff of that new paint smell...) screaming & hiding face in shame....}

 

/good idea btw

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I'm so excited for this game. My biggest hope for it is that Jeff doesn't go too overboard on the changes because for me the nostalgia is what I'm most looking forwards too but I doubt he'll change too much. What else would be awesome is establishing a more concurrent lore. I know it's messy with multiple endings and all but as an example

kryyk being alive in GF4 was strange when the ashen isles are a rebel stronghold in that game and the only way to get a rebel victory in GF3 is too kill him on Gull Island.

What do you guys think? Should Jeff pick a victory from each previous game and run with it on the next one of should he continue mixing whats "canon" up? 

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I think, from what I read, that Jeff is not going to remove anything, but will simply add things. Some of the "changes", like how the creations may look in the artwork compared to what we had in mind, are not really changes.  For example, the Thahd looks more feline than I thought, but that's how it was in my head, not a change. 

Changing the mechanics though... that's the reason I waited to go into GF1 in the first place! 🙂 
But I don't think GF1-M will remove anything story-wise. 

 

As for picking a victory from each previous game, I am not sure he will go with that. There are too many possible endings for him to simply stay faithful to one in my opinion. But we will see in the future. 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

alhoon, 
I am so excited about the updated game mechanics of the remastered Geneforge 1. I can’t wait to tweak them around and apply the skill tree system with my main character and creations. You’re definitely correct about the art not being set in stone. I’ve always thought of thahds looking more like humans than felines. Thanks for your honest and different perspective. My favorite creation conceptual art is the clawbug...it looks so descriptive and real! Keeping my fingers crossed that this game will be a success, if not better than the original. 

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Snape, after using the Geneforge, kills Dumbledore with his cryora because Draco Malfoy runs out of essence to cast the kill spell.

 

Oh whoops, sorry. Spoiler.

 

Something to talk about that's generally not very spoilery is that the actual 'factions', as they are, are three brands of serviles (which you see fairly represented in GF2). A big question is what the new faction would be about. Since Jeff is adding a whole new mini storyline to the game, it may involve people who did not previously exist in GF1.

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As I said in the other thread, the G1 factions mostly differ in their position on liberation for creations, and how that liberation should be protected. Later games introduce factions that are anti-Shaping, so something like that could be an option. A foreign faction outside of the Shaper Empire is another possibility.

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Maybe Jeff finally is recognizing the Me First faction where the player character is out to amass the most power at the expense of everyone else. One goal is to kill off everyone else.

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4 hours ago, Randomizer said:

Maybe Jeff finally is recognizing the Me First faction where the player character is out to amass the most power at the expense of everyone else. One goal is to kill off everyone else.

Emm... isn't that possible in all the Geneforge games?
And isn't a certain villain in GF4 being exactly that, uniting Rebels and Shapers against him? 

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On 6/24/2020 at 4:07 AM, Aleister said:

Should Jeff pick a victory from each previous game and run with it on the next one of should he continue mixing whats "canon" up? 

I like the idea that players make many decisions, great and small, but the precisely "true" story remains elusive - as though what we're experiencing is a (very detailed but imperfect) recreation or reimagining of historical events. It gives the story a bit of a mythic quality.

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Well, as far as I recall, Jeff said he will go with a more concrete story progression this time around. I think back when he was making the games he didn't have a solid plan from GF1 all the way to GF5. He didn't know he would return to that saga for 5 games. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I got an email about the July update! 

 

First thing I noticed, about Glaahks: 

"Glaahks are terrifying magical creations. From a distance, they support their allies with magical fields that bless and curse. Up close, they paralyze their foes, leaving them helpless. Beware." 

😕

Wait, what? Since  when could  they do that? That's Vlish territory. 

 

Also, do ALL magic creations start from the Artila and go from there? It seems so. 

 

Now, of Jeff talking about GF1: 

"Original Geneforge had very few terrain types and we weren’t used to creating huge quest lines and complicated game environments. A lot of the sections were really plain, and a lot of storylines were patchy and incomplete. "  
That's true and one of the reasons I stayed out of GF1. 
While GF2 was interesting and had nice things, I started the games in GF4, then went to GF5, then to GF3 and finally to GF2. 
While I liked GF2, it was indeed "simpler" than GF4-5. I am glad that Jeff feels comfortable to increase the complexity. 

 

And the not-so-good news: 

"We are going through every location, every item, and every bit of dialogue. Editing. Rebalancing. We are reworking the text to make it read better (which mainly involves removing a lot of unnecessary words). All quest and faction dialogue has been expanded, adding more lore and useful information. "

yeah, I am conflicted about that. While Jeff says they're adding more lore and "useful" information, I am not sure that both I and the developer see eye to eye on what "useful" information is. For me, a lot of things are useful and interesting information. 
After all, I come from the Wheel of Time series, where there would be half a page to describe a dress or a fireplace or a ceramic figurine etc. That certainly doesn't seem to be Jeff's style. So, words like "Servile_13 smells like a wet dog, showing his fellows don't take good care of him" is not unnecessary words for me. It is better (albeit longer than) "Servile_13 smells bad". 

 

"We are still hoping for Geneforge to be ready by the end of January, 2021."

Good. But that seems to be slowly etching further into "wishful thinking" territory. 

 

And the best news: 

"the angry, rebellious Taker faction from the original game has had its dialogue doubled.  "

Viva La Revolution - (Unedited) Chapter 4: Red, the Blood of Angry ...

 

 

Yeaaaaaaaazzz!!!!

(PS, my avatar is the Taker flag from GF2)

 

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Jeff takes about 5 months to do beta testing of a game, so that would mean starting in early September. He usually has part of the game that he is still filling in items at this point so he seems to be on track for a release at the end of January 2021. He's already done the dialogue heavy zones except probably the Geneforge and a few other zones so it should take less time for the next 30 ones that are mostly combat.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Randomizer said:

Jeff takes about 5 months to do beta testing of a game, so that would mean starting in early September. He usually has part of the game that he is still filling in items at this point so he seems to be on track for a release at the end of January 2021. He's already done the dialogue heavy zones except probably the Geneforge and a few other zones so it should take less time for the next 30 ones that are mostly combat.

 

And here I was thinking the "mostly combat, empty zones" are a thing of the past and that every zone will have a mini-story or something, instead of being a filler "you go from A to B, but here's a trainer and a canister"... 

Edited by alhoon
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Looking back at the original game, the northern area like the mines don't have 10 or more NPCs that all need dialogue, so those are more go in, kill stuff, loot, and maybe do a quest there like find an object or kill a monster. They are faster to make than a town with lots of NPCs that all have some dialogue even if they don't have quests to do or lots of lore to explain.

 

Now the new zones that are probably north of the old game area will be intensive since there is no map or dialogue scripts already available as a starting point.

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None of the zones are really 'empty' as it were.  Even if it's mostly a combat heavy area, most all have 'something' there that adds to/moves the story forward.  That said, it's probably much faster to finish up an area where the 'story' part is finding a body with some unique equipment/letter to 'x'/etc than it is to have a servile running a shop out in the middle of nowhere where you have to program conversation options & fill the shop with equipment/goodies/trash. 

 

Not really a spoiler but a comment on game mechanics/a certain way Jeff designed the original game that is slightly spoilerish (iirc it was commented upon in the tutorial but it's been a loooong time since I played GF1 so...) so up to you if you want to look

 

Spoiler

Then too Jeff seemed to always have two different ways to get to 'x', a combat heavy way & a more mechanical/leadership heavy way.  Setting up an area filled with traps/puzzles is probably quicker to program than the others.  Those pathways are probably somewhere between 1/6th-1/5th of the areas (x2 for both paths) so getting them knocked out should be relatively easy.

 

Jan 2021 might be a bit optimistic (or it may not be...shrug), but the first quarter of 2021 seems doable from watching his estimated vs actual release dates over the years.

 

/and seeing as how you brought up the Kickstarter email... that Battle Alpha shown has very little overlap of the Venn Diagram of what I pictured them as for all these years... where did all that hair come from?  I sort of pictured them as a taller & bald Conan...oiled chest & all...

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17 hours ago, TriRodent said:

where did all that hair come from?  I sort of pictured them as a taller & bald Conan...oiled chest & all...

 

??? 

They were always like that in the artwork I remember. They are like that in the artwork of GF4 and GF5. 

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The Battle Alpha more or less matches my imagination, big hair punchy ape type critter. (Incidentally, that was more or less my imagination for what a Thahd was, too, though not as big obviously). I was also thrown by the fact that Glaahks will now have some ranged magical attack. What's next, delicious Glaahks?

 

Jeff has been making games as Spidweb since I was born, I trust him to be able to give a solid estimate of when the game will be released. I'll be excited to play through Mutagen in the new year!

 

Combat-zones, IMO, are not empty. They just rely on a different form of storytelling, one more driven by the atmosphere and the setting than by dialogue. For example, in the original G1, I only played the demo, but the haunting emptiness of a lot of Sucia Island, and the feeling of exploring a post-apocalyptic society, was far more established by the "empty" zones than by the bustling towns.

 

Alhoon, my suspicion is that the "unnecessary words" that get cut aren't going to be the sort of "flavor text" that you cite as an example, but rather reducing repetitive text or rewriting sentences with messy grammar.

 

I'm a lot more excited to see the Takers get more airtime. I think that having the rest of the series written will give a lot more substance to their hatred of Shapers. The fact that Serviles are a magical slave race is obviously enough to justify violent resistance, but there is a lot more material available that we can see after having explored Shaper society and seeing instances of corruption, airs of superiority, wealthy Shaper warrens contrasted with poor villages, and abuse of creations.

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1 hour ago, alhoon said:

 

??? 

They were always like that in the artwork I remember. They are like that in the artwork of GF4 and GF5. 

 

After a quick trip to google, I was thinking of War Tralls (who are apparently hairy on their shoulders/back but not the chest)

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On 7/22/2020 at 10:15 PM, Goldengirl said:

Combat-zones, IMO, are not empty. They just rely on a different form of storytelling, one more driven by the atmosphere and the setting than by dialogue. For example, in the original G1, I only played the demo, but the haunting emptiness of a lot of Sucia Island, and the feeling of exploring a post-apocalyptic society, was far more established by the "empty" zones than by the bustling towns.

This is very much true i remember playing the game and feeling really lonely and lacking direction! It was rly like a good storytelling experience. We interacted most with artefacts and remains of a civilization than sentient beings which like i rly hope Jeff is able to replicate. But at the same time I hope the actual cities fell more like a safe space and refreshing rather than how they felt before which was like a "you can rest but best be on your way". I think the money restrictions were part of that too. It was very possible for a city to be exhausted in its usefulness and you having to move on for good unless its your specific faction. 

I think G2 and G5 did the best work with regard to cities G2 benefited from it all being in one map, and g5 benefited from faction being set in separate provinces and each area itself having a non faction related motive/quest/need to move forward.

I would be really interested in the expanded lore of the game. Like is there gonna be a new faction? and if so will it be a secret one difficult to reach and meet? Will it mostly be a dead zone. Because geneforge 1 had this thing (very light spoiler about general theme)

essentially it showcased shaper irresponsibility in that island by showing a lot of very carelessly left experiments and it damaged the environment leaving a lot of the area inhospitable and straight out dangerous. iirc that also played into the way the different factions evolved and reached certain conclusions

and as a result understanding that whole areas of it were out of reach of current civilization would be believable but up to what extent can that be done without it feeling stressful and at a level boring. Particularly in how like closer to end game our investment in it grows lower.

 

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