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About Ashmole

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  1. Ashmole

    Similar Games

    It's obviously a very different kind of game in terms of game play but what did people like or dislike about Tropico? I think it's probably useful as a checklist for tropes and character types and the way that it thinly reskins the real world if nothing else.
  2. I liked Shay a lot more than I expected and I liked Vella less than I expected although I did still like her. Going in I was set to be much more engaged with her because I liked her character design and she sounded much more active and likely to have more verve. In the end I found her fairly flat although I preferred her world and characters far more. I wanted her to be more aware about herself and more endearing and to have a more active sense of humor. I don't know, more Robin Hood lik? Fun, and smiles, and wit and dashing swashbuckling. I would have also liked her with some more flaws which was a thing I liked about Shay. If she had been bullheaded, bold or daredevil-like to the point of it being a bit TOO much then maybe the dynamics of her personality would have felt more complex. There were certainly hints of doubt or worry about whether she might have caused the destruction or death of her family but not much of an ongoing theme that her force and adventurousness was balanced against a legitimate alternate point of view. None of the people in favour of feeding girls to monsters seemed to have a legitimate position in the way that Shay's mother might have had one to me. Also there didn't seem to be a possibility/ambiguity of Vella being really wrong. I assumed that I would identify with her more but that didn't manifest. I was expecting to maybe find Shay whiny or unlikeable but in the end, under the surface, I found him much more nuanced and nice to hang around with. My favourite adventure game protagonists - Guybrush and Simon the Sorceror - have a nice mix of haplessness and incompetence along with a snarky edge and a genuine sense of humor. I didn't enjoy Shay quite at the level of either of those two but he was closer to them. I liked that under his jaded 'I'm a grown up!' surface and sarcastic comments he was obviously sweet, wide-eyed and naive and even affectionate and loving while still frustrated towards the yarn buddies at times. I also believed in his jokes more and they felt more natural when delivered by him. I wish that there was more ambiguity and love in his relationship with his parents but I also think that will likely come in part 2. He felt more genuine and authentically his age with all of the attendant contradictions. I preferred his voice acting by a lot.
  3. Something missing for me. I loved the setting, art, music and characters. The puzzles were incredibly simple to the point of being boring/non-existent and I say that as someone that is generally terrible at adventure games and frequently gets stuck. It wasn't just that though - things just seemed very 'on the nose' with very few options to interact with and explore the world of the game in anything apart from one set way that advanced progress. Conversations with characters were charming but seemed narrowly directed towards solutions that were already very obvious. I don't know if that was caused by having voice work but it would have been nice to talk more to characters and have digressive conversations without having a direct purpose and to hear more jokes. As a rule I had so few items on hand and so few things to interact with and the puzzles were easy enough that it was simple to just brute force puzzles even if I wasn't trying to or didn't want to. At times I felt like I should deliberately hold off from doing something that I knew would provide a solution because I hadn't even heard what I was supposed to be doing yet or why. I've had more tension in puzzles from locked in a room flash games on the internet, Usbourne children's puzzle adventure books like Puzzle Farm, Puzzle Planet etc, or from hidden object games and that's kind of disappointing.
  4. I think it was mentioned in Teamstream 9 that the team wanted some feedback on what people liked or didn't like about random events systems or what could make for a cool random events system. I'm a huge fan of those kind of games and have my own ideas but because I'm a huge fan I'm also interested to hear what other people think. My thoughts: 1. In order to be able to make meaningful judgements on an event you need to have some idea not just of your percent chance of success and failure but also what the consequences of success and failure are for a choice. As presented you have no idea what will happen based on what you choose and so it isn't a meaningful choice. King of Dragon pass deals with this issue by letting your clan leaders offer advice to you and impart extra contextual information based on their stats. So if you have someone with a high stat in Religion they can tell you that they once learned blue bunnies are benevolent or demonic. Or someone with a high score in combat can tell you that blue bunnies are like the rabbit from Monty Python's Holy Grail and will tear apart the mightiest hero. etc. etc. The nice thing about that system is that it gives a sliding scale of quality of advice. If you have a set of dummies that don't know anything they'll just say "Pet the cute fluffy!" or "Kill it!" based on no info while if you have skilled individuals they can offer better advice. a very cool wrinkle that King of Dragon Pass adds is a quirk system where independent of their skill level the advisers have quirks and might really strongly hate undead, always favor peaceful solutions, be scared of blue rabbits etc. 2. I like event chains in addition to purely random selection. If one household gets an event that says 'your heir is unruly what do you do?' then it's interesting but doesn't really tell a story. If they get various events over an eighteen year period about an unruly heir that is directly tied to a particular character in your pool then suddenly you have a narrative instead. I think Crusader Kings uses their 'quirks' or traits system to determine that somewhat. If you have a cruel character then you won't get random results from the 'kindness' chains. Maybe certain characters can acquire random flags either by actions or birth that then generates a chain or pool of appropriate events. 3. You get more replay value out of a random events system the more that even the 'same' event has a different correct answer for different heroes or contexts. So that doesn't just a situation that asks 'There are demons on the in the dungeon do you risk it?' (Or spiders on a planet) and then has the option to forgo the risk or to take the skill test: In that context you are only ever answering one or two questions - is my stat high enough to pass? are my resources too low to risk it? Those questions will always be the one you ask when the event comes up regardless of what your team is or other tracked data points in the game. In contrast you could have an event that says something like in that situation you create more interplay and complication about what the 'right' answer is. Even if you think the reward/outcome of 'teach her how to apply her kindness' is best for you and you have good enough stats to pass the test it would not always be the correct answer - If the parent had the 'cruel' quirk then the encouraged personality difference between parents and child could spawn further events. If you choose to brag and the daughter has the proud trait then it might be the right answer but if she is humble it might not be, high enough charisma stats may or may not ameliorate that binary etc. In that situation even on a second or later replay you have enough moving parts (that are already values tracked by the game and so not too expensive) that you can't sleepwalk through the events or min-max them. You want to encourage people to treat the characters as actual personalities where the right and wrong answers change based on context even in ways that aren't just to do with their stats being high enough. I think across the board the big aim is to make the 'same' event when encountered more than once be as experientially different for the player as possible. So even though it is just text ending in a question with four possible answers you cannot learn the correct answer from the last time you did the event - it is actually posing you a different problem each time based on changed context. I think tracking more than just chance to pass and chance to fail is important in relation to that. What have other people liked or not liked to see in Events based systems in games? I was thinking that this thread isn't really for specific ideas but more what makes for a well functioning event system in general?
  5. I would like a demon that eats your character's name.
  6. Potentially incredibly cool but it's an interesting one. Typically it's very, very rare to see fighting against Time as a heroic act. In literature it's almost always an impossible task - either a tragic act or an act of hubris or both - could there be some sense of that. I hope that we end up with something a bit cool and ambiguous with the concept of the demons as the ravages of time. I'm assuming it's possible in this game for the Immortal Ruler to be victorious but I don't know exactly what that means to be victorious over Time? What kind of world is being fought for? In terms of influences the one that jumps out straight away for me is the Anglo Saxons. A use for writing so many essays on Old English! One of the defining traits that academics identify throughout their literature is that they have an elegiac/mournful tone directed at the world and how swiftly things pass away, decay and disappear. The tag that people tend to use to describe the attitude is as elegiac or (in lit crit) as the 'Ubi sunt' tradition of asking in a plaintive way about the passing away of what has come before and whether things as they are now will pass away also. The emphasis is almost always on the inevitability of time and the impermanence of the world. The great ruins of the past (e.g. The Roman ruins of Britain) fall into disuse. Weapons rust. People Die. Life is like a hawk in flight through the mead hall fierce and brave before disappearing into the dark. It's sort of relevant to this game and to fantasy lit more generally because that literature and its tone and attitude towards the world were one of the most important influences on Tolkien in formulating Middle Earth. He was a professor of Old English and Middle English and his vision is one of long history and the sense of a world in decline. The great works of old weaken and the elves cross over the ocean etc. LotR actually directly references an Anglo Saxon example. The 'Lament for the Rohirrim' that starts 'Where is the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?' is derived from the text of the real Anglo-Saxon poem 'The Wanderer' which has the passage 'Hwær cwom mearg? Hwær cwom mago?' : Where is the horse? Where is the rider? In the poem it's rhetorical - the answer is that those things that once were heroic: the swords, the armor, the musical instruments, the steed, will all pass. Some of the main poems to look at would be: The Ruin: One translation here: http://faculty.arts.ubc.ca/sechard/oeruin.htm The Seafarer: Translation: http://faculty.arts.ubc.ca/sechard/oeseaf.htm The other main poems about time and the passing away of the world are probably Beowulf and The Wanderer. There are also versions in modern English online. It might really be a strong source of inspiration. The other poem that sprang to mind from an entirely different period is Shelley's Ozymandias:
  7. re: disappointments. To be honest rather than shipping them off I'm more attracted to the game in some way making you use the tools that you have rather than just the ideal paragon warriors that you produce. One of the nice aspects of genetic inheritance in these sort of games if that you CANNOT be sure that children will combine the best aspects of their parents but you still have to work with it. In Crusader Kings the person set to inherit the throne, just as in actual history or in Game of Thrones, might not be the person best suited to the role. A lot of the narrative dynamics arise from the fact that even if you can send some people to take the Black or become a priest that person isn't Joffrey. You're stuck with Joffrey.
  8. President Obama is backing Broken Age and its delay makes him have a really crappy day leading to him insulting a foreign dignitary. One thing leads to another and Tim Schafer causes World War III.
  9. I think at this time one of the things I want most is that characters actually look like individuals all within a family but and not just palette swaps of one another. I find it really difficult to care about them as individuals if all my archers look pretty much the same as one another particularly if 'archer is not just a class but also a family. A family portrait, along with some kind of character portraits in general, would be really high on my wishlist but I can't think of how it could be done without being massively demanding on the art team. Thinking of how other games do it: Crusader Kings I - Just has a flat painted face that the hair, beard, crown etc. can be changed like you would with paper dolls. Everyone looks pretty similar. Characters never have to be rendered in game as sprites ever. Crusader Kings II - Randomised 3-D portrait with exchangeable parts - choose from 8 chins, 3 necks, 10 hairstyles etc. Looks pretty soulless and hard to find loveable and make a connection with. Again no need to ever have sprites. King of Dragon Pass - Has a selection of maybe 40ish characters. Each individual has maybe 4-5 characterful, painted but fairly sketchy rather than highly detailed, portraits of different ages. So, one young, one prime of life, one middle aged, one old. On character creation each character is assigned randomly assigned their stats and also randomly given a face from the pool of 40 of the appropriate age. No sprites ever needed. Lots of personality in the portraits although impact lessens on replay. JTRPG: Every character named and given a portrait as part of the story script. The fact that Massive Chalice is going to require every character to have a sprite is going to be a challenge because it would be super awesome if they didn't just look like palette swaps but it seems difficult to do otherwise. My personal preference would be for something like King of dragon's Pass where you can have the really personality filled individual pool of hand-drawn portraits randomly assigned with some simple programming to make sure that hair colour and skin colour remained consistent for children. It might be too heavy a demand, though.
  10. Ashmole

    On Music

    I'd like to throw in a mention for something like Bellowhead. They do English Folk but at a high tempo influenced by various world music artists including Balkan. Here's an instrumental piece called Dragon's Teeth.: It's at 2:45 here, there's another song they perform first that probably isn't as in tone for Massive Chalice.
  11. Ashmole

    On Music

    This is incredibly awesome. I loved the drums and I loved the 'demonic' side - pretty much perfect. The instrumental growl as you entered the demon half was spectacular. I thought the heroic side was really fantastic too but perhaps a little bit generic, either some more esoteric or exotic influence or some aspect that is more melancholic or elegiac to be close to my ideal but still amazing that you could produce something like that yourself.
  12. I'd like to see a take on staves as a unique fighter skill set rather than just being what gets passed on to the clerics and mages since I think this might not be a high magic setting.
  13. Isn't Massive Chalice as described even at the most humble end going to require at least as much resources as DFA? Adventure games are believable as an achievable kickstarter because the biggest aspects that determine their success are writing and art both of which you would think are possible to do with a reasonably modest budget. Massive Chalice was pitched at a level of much lower funding but is way more ambitious. It hardly bodes well. edit: it seems a bit dodgy to me to pitch another kickstarter game of seemingly greater scope for one third of the budget if Doublefine already knew that the first game with the larger budget wasn't logistically viable.
  14. I'm hoping that the demons aren't too purely alien (a self contained conceptual race) and still have an aspect of myth to them (feeling organic and resonant with real world folk constructions of demons). I found these which I think are awesome. I really like the idea that maybe this kind of thing might be the folk history representation of demons in human culture and then the demons themselves are those same forms rendered in a horrible visceral reality. Artist's website: http://www.charlesfreger.com/
  15. Aw I was kind of hoping for non-American accents (lovely though they are!) on the voice acting because it inexplicably throws me out of immersion in fantasy games for no good reason. There's no real sense to me feeling like that so I won't argue that it's justified at all but for some reason when I play a fantasy game with British accents it just makes me go 'aw, yeah.'
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