darkwolf

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About darkwolf

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    Dr. Action Poster, Esq.
  1. Why no big announcement yet?

    I had no idea this game was released. I almost didn't even notice it at all. I watched the amnesia fortnight 2012 videos and played the demo through the humble bundle. I was a fan of the idea of the game. Can kind of remember when they made a site and first announced it was in development as a full game. But then I feel like I didn't hear anything about it. I vaguely remember seeing it on a steam page for what i thought was the early access or beta program. But I didn't want to play through a beta and then have to play again to see the full content once it was released. Then I set it aside in my mind and didn't hear or see anything about the game since. It was only a fluke that I noticed the Steam store no longer had the early access stamp on the game's banner anymore. Apparently it was released over a week ago now. Never having heard anything about an announced release date or the fact that it was released. Even when I come around to follow the backer forums for DFA and kickstarter updates for Massive Chalice. It's hard to say as a single data point, and anecdotal story, how that fits in line with everything else. But from my point of view it's a problem that the game went so easily unnoticed for me. And an interesting problem from a design, behavioral, and marketing perspective.
  2. Thats it?

    Let me check my Games Library, for other adventure games I have played to completion, first time through, single play through. Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons: 3 hours played To the Moon: 4 hours played Botanicula: 3 hours played Deponia: 5 hours played Machinarium: 2 hours played Monkey Island 2: Special edition: 6 hours played (Most of it switching between classic and new graphics, or pixel hunting) The SEcret of Monkey Island: Special edition: 5 hours (same) Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP: 4 hours (some Achievement hunting in there) Seems to be in good company here. Haven't gotten too far into Broken Age yet, though the puzzles really are kind of easy, in that there is usually only one thing or combination to apply to the problem and its often, figuring out what you are searching for before even being prompt, and more of just exploring places in the right order rather then applying problem solving skills.
  3. I have it on good authority that the 50$ you donated to Massive Chalice is going towards a solid gold tooth for Brad's Dental Operation. And by good authority, I mean that it is much more likely then the current speculation. :D!
  4. Procedural/Randomly Generated Vs Static/Linear

    One particularly interesting case study that I don't think gets a lot of attention is Valkyria Chronicles II Unlike its predecessor, Valkyria Chronicles II was released on the PSP. Because of this it had some technical limitations compared to the first in how it could be implemented. In order to deal with this, they came up with some interesting ideas. * Each "Chapter" of Valkyria Chronicles II takes place primarily around a specific location. Think of it as a tile set like Forest, Desert, Ravine, ect. * Each of these Tile sets Came with 5-8 small pre made maps. Usually defined with a letter (A,B,C,D,ect...) * Each of these pre made maps had certain optional/binary features. - Is the draw bridge connecting this area raised or lowered? - Is there a boulder/Rock slide blocking this area? - Is there a Ladder giving access/shortcut to the high terrain? * Each Pre made map could connect to the others through certain way points or Camps. You had to have captured that camp to move between other areas. - Level 1. Map A and D. Connected to each other - Level 1. C,B,D. B connects to C. C connects to B and D. D connects to C. - Level 3. ABCD. A could connect to B and D. B could connect to A. C could connect to D. D connect to A and C. Note: It was also possible to outfit a combat vehicle with a way to bypass certain barricades by dropping a ladder, bulldozing a road block, ect. At the cost of the unit space and other equipment slot. These short cuts / bypass were not always available/passable. You would then fight 5-10 different missions using combinations of these pre made maps. While you would see the same terrain or small pre made maps over and over, the tactical implications of these maps would be changed. Either through the optional natural barriers on the map, or the combination of connection points between different pre made maps. You would see the same main building, terrain features; but have to play through them differently depending on what routes were accessible to you. The result is that 1) They got to reuse a lot of the assets. 2) Having combination of smaller maps and less unit on each map, means performance savings by needing to render less at any given time 3) Potentially big changes to tactical/play styles with minor tweaks to existing assets Narratively, it played out as you were constantly fighting skirmishes over key strong holds or choke points. Being a PC game, Massive chalice doesn't have the same performance concerns that a hand held game might. But still, there are always creative solutions to get more out of a finite set of assets/design time.
  5. Final Fantasy 6 Reversing the Design

    To be fair, you have to play through an aful lot of game, and do a lot of prep before you are in a position to spam Kinght of the Roung / Ultima + gem box / limit break spam ect... (ok, im not sure about 8. but it makes for better rhetoric) Putting enough time in the game to grind/power level/get the best gear will eventually trivialize a majority of the weaker content. You could also turn around and point towards FF 13 which did craft battles with specific enemy make up, class limitations, battle strategy in mind for the majority of the game. Except that game received relatively poor reception from fans. (Although from a design perspective it is still an interesting game to analyze and deconstruct).
  6. A "good" death

    This comes down to a cultural thing. In that sense it applies to the type of world / nation in which this takes place. But what may be further interesting is it could differ between the different houses... Maybe a fighter house values the death in battle, while a sages house values retirement more? Maybe one of the traits a house could inherit and pass down is its own personal philosophies and temperament. As to the cultural divide... There is certainly influences from eastern culture where dieing for honor, or community and family comes before the individual is a huge influence. It results in ritual seppuku, kamikaze warriors, and such which relied on a very specific philosophy. Slightly similar but philosophically different is the Warriors death. The Vallhalla / Klingon, blaze of glory. Where dieing in your bed is a dishonor. It comes from a strong sense of warrior class and pride. But is distinct from the above. In yet another outlook, one may consider it noble to sacrifice oneself for their family yet it is not considered to be mandatory for honor. Life is still the preferred outcome, and living to an old age is not considered dishonorable. Dieing in battle or for ones community is considered duty in the above, but dieing for the same under this outlook is considered sacrifice. There are also a number of stories, in which the prodigious warrior must master one final lesson. While being fearless in the face of death makes one a good warrior, fearing death or a greater desire to hold on to ones life is needed to master it. There are lots of stories, even coming from eastern inspired stories, but most recently portrayed in "The Dark Knight Rises". That the urge to cling to life pushes limits more powerfully then the willingness to ignore the threat of death. There are also thoughts of 'a good death' that have more to do with experience or age perspective then colored by a culture as a whole. "The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of a mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one." Probably more examples. Again, it will depend a lot on the story... the philosophical basis of this 'feudal' kingdom... and the frame of mind of the people confronted with a otherworldly threat. I think the most interesting may be a system that allows for different houses to pass down their own beliefs and traditions however. Maybe the player can try to alter this slightly through edict or through marriage, but only in a way that slightly diverts the course rather then changes it completely.
  7. Jake Solomon mentioned this exact same idea on the kick starter update feature! !
  8. I asked for something similar here: http://www.doublefine.com/forums/viewthread/9443/ re: Not having the house pigeon hole all of the descendents into a single class Can you elaborate on that/those description/descriptions for me? Different methods of classes 1. Hard System: You are born as a Warrior, you stay as a warrior. Maybe there is a promotion or specialization system that makes you some alternative version of a warrior with a shiny hat. There may also be very specific hybrid classes such as paladin, spell sword, red mage, ect... But these are hard classes in and of themselves. See Valkyria Chronicles, X-Com classes after first promotion, Shining Forces, Fire Emblem 2. Soft Classes: You start off as a generic class. As you develop stats/actions through combat you eventually get the option of changing to other classes whose requirements you meat. See Tactics Ogre, Final Fantasy Tactics 3. Dual Job system (hard or soft): You get to pick both a primary and secondary class at the start, or choose at least two classes from the ones that are available to you. So you can Have both Knight and Mage skills ect. See Final Fantasy MMO, Final Fantasy Tactics, Disgaea... sortof?* *Disgaea has class perks, and weapon skills. There are many classes who can equip weapons such as sword, axe, spear; and they all get access to the same sword, axe, spear skills regardless of their class. But then they also have individual passives or additional skills, as well as different base stats depending on their base class. 4. Classless You level up stats, skills, fighting styles independently. Your effectiveness in those skills depends on how much you use them, but class is largely a convention of playstyle rather then a forced constraint. See Elder Scrolls. I feel like there is probably some naming convention that would be more common or better suited to those descriptions... I just made those up... But yeah, they have brought up concerns in that once you have the base Houses, and training guilds, how do you bring in new houses or new hero types into the game... I would like to see certain sons or daughters branching off from houses and making more specific or more diverse schools of class as the game goes on. And also any excuse to make the bard liberal arts major joke again...
  9. When thinking about this, I couldn't help thinking of the movie Mulan, and how the shrine dedicated to her ancestors actually had the spirits of her ancestors conferencing and discussing how to support the living members. Or any story where the spirit of the mentor figure or previously slain family comes back for one last effort/contribution to help the protagonist. (Unfortunately the only example I can think of right now is the last book of hairy potter, where the spirits of his parents and those who died give him courage before his confrontation in the forest...). Its not suppose to be a main focused mechanic, but like the 'destroy all enemies on screen' power up in bullet hells, a limited use prevent me from being overwhelmed. When your new characters are level 20, your few experienced characters are level 30 but are old so have a 25% penalty to stats. And your suddenly facing a large number of level 28-32 demons... Consume/Deplete a Relic to summon 1-3 of that artifacts ancestors, a bunch of level 35's from the prime of their fighting days. (Or have them possess the wearer of that artifact, giving them with a boost for that fight) We've talked about how aging heros can still contribute to the kingdom strategy layer before their death. This mechanic would give those heroes one last encore performance after their death. It allows for a potentially cool moment of, an entire blood line, across generations, fighting side by side one last time in the face of overwhelming odds.
  10. One version of demon lore in fantasy I've heard before is that demons can not be destroyed. If you kill them, that merely destroys their physical body while their essence goes back to where ever demons come from. Only to return again. So as the war drags on, the demons you destroy keep coming back and repopulating your ranks, while the human front lines constantly face entropy... As long as the rift or door that allowed the demons to invade in the first place exist, they will never stop. Thus the goal is to either close the gap or find some way that can kill demons for good. It also provides a division between the humans who relly on linage and descendents, while Demons merely relly on persistent and consuming each other to grow more powerful. It also also gives a way to have returning antagonist characters throughout the generations. It may be a little old hat as far as plot points go, but it seems like something that might synergies and fit into the time line concept of this game.
  11. A lot of talk has been thrown out that specific lineages and family lines will be tied to a Class. So for example the Skwisgaar family is an honorable line of swordsman, who's children and grandchildren are also swordsman. But what if some day, one of the sons of Skwisgaar decides he dosen't want to be a swordsman? What if one day the youngest son of a Skwisgaar shouts "I don't want your life!" and runs away from home. Young Rebel Skwis then proceeds to get a liberal arts degree at the city guild hall. Years latter a slightly older and experienced Rebel Skwis returns home as a bard. New Class unlocked! The concept here isn't unlocking classes, but having descendents of families sometimes show independent will/autonomy and pursuing their own fate . Or that family lineages don't always 100% produce the same classes time after time, and can eventually spawn variations or evolutions.
  12. I've been compulsed to do some rather silly things in TRPG's before, in the name of leveling up characters. Herding enemies like cats. Leaving them with 1-2hp so I can last hit them with a low level cleric just so he can finally get some exp. Delaying the end of a fight for 20+ turns so I can throw rocks at enemies back to skill up. And I can't say i've ever particularly enjoyed it. So what kind of alternatives are there? * Some games have allowed characters to share experience through proximity, combat assist, and such. * Some just give exp to everyone on the field (though this promotes deploying units you don't intend to use) * Other battles give you a pool of exp you can spend after battle to level classes/groups of characters at once. There are a lot of variations, but this is something I would very much like to be addressed. So what are other peoples experiences with meta gamey leveling tactics, and the ways other games have dealt with them?
  13. The epic time line, the constant influx of old blood and new blood into the game makes for some awkward growing pains. Suddenly your left with a bunch of wet eared rookies and grey haired hero's with arthritis. And then the proverbial crap hits the fan... demon sign the likes of which you've never seen! What do you do!1!? Leveling new characters from level 1 has always been a awkward prospect in TRPGs. I'm hoping that when you get to your 3rd or 4th generation, new characters are starting off at level 20 or so to begin with. But maybe you occasionally need some way to bridge the gap... So if the concept of relics is fighting along side your ancestors, what if you could literally fight along your ancestors? Give sufficiently powered relics a one time use, or extremely long cool down ability that allows you to deploy or posses your character with one (or several) of your descendent characters. For that battle you can have these strong legacy characters rally your troops and continue slaying demons, even though they have been long for this world. That banner you have with the ghost of the Archer, axemen, and swords man flowing behind the warrior? Put them on the field and have them wreak havoc on the demon horde! Of course this should probably be a last resort panic button type of situations, or used for only the most critical battles. Maybe it has some penalty like reducing the stats of that relic each time it is used, or have sufficient restriction on how often it can be enacted. Still, it would be an interesting bridge/gap mechanic that plays on the time lines aspect of the game to help even out balance issues in bringing up new generation of characters. Plus it just sounds freaking cool.
  14. Save Scum

    But then, would the ideal save scum state be that you allow all of your heros to make it to old age. That you still end up with a 0 casualties in war?
  15. Eventually, most every old hero starts to lose a step and must hang up their half plate mail (could never afford that other half). Sometimes a Ranger who is only two days away from retirement is still alive three days later. Do we shuffle them off to the retirement home to play bridge and make babies? Or can their age and experience prove useful beyond converting them into relics? Someone already offered a suggestion that retired wizards could be used to help lead research teams in their old age and provide new discoveries for the latter generations. Many people have brought up the non-combat role management in the kingdom strategy layer. My own suggestion is having old sword masters train the younger recruits, to boost them past the early initial levels, and providing stats/bonuses beyond just the stats passed down through relics or lineage. Maybe even mentoring and fighting along side their students during some epic battle. Or becoming generals and providing assistance to tactical deploying and managing the war front. What's more, why does this have to just start at retirement? Why can't heros take time off to go back and build a family, or offer some training before going back out in the field? Unnecessary scope creep and complications? Or interesting vector in the kingdom management layer?