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About Channing

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    Action Newbie


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    Wisconsin, USA
  • Biography
    Old-timey "Psychonauts" fan who's fallen away from gaming, but who is now finding himself being dragged inexorably back in...
  1. Per the countdown timer on this page here there's still three weeks before the Bundle closes.
  2. Well, it's as it was said near the beginning; given the timeframe and this idea, you could choose to make an aesthetically-pleasing game or a mechanically-innovative one. The prototype clearly showcases the former. By "aesthetically-pleasing" I don't just mean "looks good," either (although there's certainly no shortage of that); more, I mean all the small subtleties involved with putting your player's identity in the horse character rather than the hero atop her, explicitly one of the team's intentions since day one. All admiration of the polish aside, the part that actually sparked my (jaded?) sensibilities was the half-second after dropping Twig off at the library. Just for a moment, there was this beautiful sense of "Now the game begins, ha-ha!" and in the full game this would translate to me immediately running off and taking another job. Which, of course, did not exist in the prototype. Too bad, so sad, it's a two-week thing, but I guess I'm just trying to say that, had this been a full-treatment game, I would have been very jazzed. I know absolutely everyone says this about their individual favorite projects, but here's hoping we get to see a completed version of this so it can more closely emulate its original intent in the mechanical sense. Even after two weeks, you're already darn close to the aesthetic intent. Kudos to all of you for some fine work. (And I just realized the significance of the checkered saddle-blanket. Doh.)
  3. Steed, if they used the full game experience to focus their fullgame on some of the more unique gameplay elements of the pitch rather than going the traditional straight brawler route. The prototype could grow in either direction, and if it's just a horse going on narrative quests with the rider as an gimmick for a power up item (the analogue of picking up a pipe from the asphalt), I'm a bit less interested. EDIT: The above notwithstanding, I really like Twoflower's idea about a mobile version of Dear Leader. It's the kind of game I would never buy for my sit-down laptop, but when I think of an on-the-go version for my tablet, the whole thing starts coming together more. (facetious mode on) But what would we use for in-app purchases? (facetious mode off)
  4. Difficult questions like these are why they pay you the big bucks. I will say that in fantasy as a whole, you don't see very many "dungeons" built to accommodate a full-size adult horse, so there's a certain genre dissonance with that; also, while dungeons contain Bad Guys To Kill (something that Belle succeeds at as well as the average adventurer) it also contains Buttons to Push, Objects to Manipulate, Traps to Disable and other hands-heavy actions, at which point Belle either struggles (unsatisfying) or succeeds at an eyebrow-raisingly high level (a bit ridiculous). So, right. Scope. Yes, while everyone would drool over a huge "Elder Scrolls"-y world, there are practical and financial challenges there. My first gut instinct would be to approach the concept of "scope" by way of "density." One of the things that impressed me about the original Crazy Taxi when it first came out eight and a half million nerd years ago was the joy of pathfinding when delivering your fare. Yes, you could succeed while taking entirely conventional routes, but your level of success was much greater when you started thinking outside the box (what if I jumped off the top of this parking structure instead?) A possible approach would be to have a number of comparatively dense "employment zones" that were each individually full of lots of (random?) characters that need transporting to (random?) locations in the zone, with each zone individually full of routes and exploration opportunities as you figure out the best way to get your charges safely to their goals. By varying the zones themselves in terms of art and music and feel, I think you would begin to convey the size and scope of the world without actually, you know, building the whole thing. For instance, one zone could be a section of high open plains as we see in the demo; another, a crowded county fairgrounds; another, the streets of a bustling medieval metropolis; another, an eerie enchanted forest, home of a slowly-vanishing faerie civilization; another, the manicured lawns and pathways of an ivy-walled Wizard's College / Wizard's Collective institution with lots of crazy teleportation / glimpses through portals into alternate universes stuff going on. Each "day" you select where you're going to try and go to work. I would like to see these zones be repeatable to give the player the sense that, first and foremost, Belle is a career mare, out to earn a gold piece, and we are seeing her at work in the places where she knows that opportunities are good (these repeating zones could also change over time in response to events in your larger narrative). Twig serves as the gateway between these zones, as he's there to give you your cooldown walk after each hectic day. Here the overplot (and your relationship with Twig) can develop; while out cooling you down, you and Twig may happen across secrets and Things You Were Not Meant To See relating to the grim specter of war or a high-fantasy Shadow is Rising scenario, or both. Eventually this unlocks more mission zones in further-distant lands as Twig (apparently a nascent scholar or wizard in his own right?) tries to research the evil that is rising in exotic Alexandria-like libraries (and leaving you a chance to earn some money on foreign soil while he does so). Non-repeatable zones could include experiencing individual battles of a war that engulfs the land in a "War Horse"-ish fashion, that sort of thing. Anyway, I'm no game theorist, but it might be a possible approach.
  5. Question for John, if he's still reading: In the wrap-up of the Double Fine playthrough you offhandedly mentioned introducing sandbox elements for a hypothetical full game. Was this just referencing the "open world" model, or are you kicking around the idea of introducing player tools and world customization elements? I'm deathly curious as to how this would be philosophically integrated into the gaming experience we got a taste of by watching (and soon playing) the prototypes.
  6. I think it's pretty darn great that people are so into this thing that it's already producing fanfic. Again, looking ahead to the possibility of a full product, I really like the idea you put forth here of the incompetent heroes urging you to do obviously stupid things (which you must patiently avoid doing, because Humans Are Stupid And Horses Know Better); but I also like the idea that poor Twig isn't the only guy out there with half a brain, and that you might also end up helping out the occasional perfectly cool and knowledgeable scholar or naturalist or scientist out on a fact-finding or leaf-collecting mission.
  7. Congrats on the finished product! Can't wait to sic my controller on it.
  8. +1 on DLC / customizable tack and barding. What's a game protagonist who cannot be decorated, I ask you?
  9. Channing

    Day 8

    Just beautiful!
  10. Channing

    Bug shots!

    That should totally be a combat maneuver despite the fact that it's tactically problematic and biologically impossible.
  11. Channing

    Bug shots!

    That should totally be a combat maneuver despite the fact that it's tactically problematic and biologically impossible.
  12. As a nod to Black Beauty, which could indeed be an excellent flavor book to inspire the game, you could have the horse refusing to cross an unsafe bridge (with a more grim outcome than in the original book when the hero tries to prove the horse wrong.) Here's the relevant passage.
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