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Viktor Andersson

The Inheritage of Visuals and Possible Mutations

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So, in this thread i want to talk about and suggest the genetics behind the visual parts of our heroes.

Should the genetics offer loads of variety? (i'd love it if it did) Or should it be more streamlined?

I for one love genetics, and especially the visual aspects of them, for instance; red hair. A recessive mutation in humans today.

Will Massive Chalice's genetics be like the real world equivalent in the manner that some hair colours are rarer than others?

Or will it be like a Game of Thrones, where your hair colour is almost permanently linked to your dynasty?

My suggestion for this is to take somewhat of a middle ground, with "normal" hair colours being common, but fantasy-ish hair colours like, say, BLUE being an extremely rare mutation that has a chance of sticking with the dynasty, like a dominant gene! The same goes for skin colours! And also, i would like to point out something about facial features:

IF DF chooses not to streamline it, i would be utmost grateful! *WINK WINK* I feel like with character looks DF REALLY should take more of a Sims approach, with "sliders" and such, to the facial area than a Crusader Kings approach, where there are static presets of all the facial features!

And as for body builds, i'd like to see MORE INTERMEDIATES between the different ones we've been shown, and for them to be linked genetically, meaning a short hero and a wide hero having a baby results in a somewhat short, kinda-wide hero! Just think of the possibilities!

Thank you all so much for reading these feeble words, and i will be looking forward to hearing what you've got to say about them!

Oh, and feel free to answer the poll.

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Body type and size I think are going to be pretty static due to the modeling budget. But heroes may still have 'physical'-like traits -- since Brad and John have mentioned that the bang for buck when it comes to having interesting and perhaps a multitude of traits is pretty high.

The types of characterization that they have already mentioned leaning towards revolve around hair and facial hair styles. A few team streams back, they talk about how there may be 2 or 3 or 4 'parts' that make up a character's at least facial appearance. This might have been one of the team streams in August.

And I think there is some characterization and differentiation in terms of house sigil, etc.

Smiles

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I love the hair idea. I think male pattern baldness is going be in there (maybe even female baldness), maybe they'll base that off genetics. I think they said they're sticking to one base model and differentiating body size with class based armor.

Hair is the way to go! That fantasy hair color idea you put down is really cool. Rare beard and hair styles would be a cool added touch. Maybe they can add in an afro or curly hair mutation.

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1. They've already said they're going to have the obvious things in there like palette selection for hair and skin. Anime-hair characters aren't my thing but y'all have fun.

2. You don't care as much about faces as you think you do. When you're looking top-down, never seeing the character's face, you're not going to care if his ears are tapered or stick out.

3. I really don't value nibbly aesthetics which don't affect combat mechanics. For every additional face ah wonder how much further we'd be to another ability.

4. How much would having two models which're morphed between with a slider bar as in TES and other RPGs cost? Ah don't know. The concern may be tearing and clipping. The more one set of content is fixed the more other sets of content dependent upon it can be varied (model bodies relation to equipment for example).

Overall ah really don't want the MC team to fall into the bog Brink did, which they can afford far less. Brink wanted to be TF2 out-of-the-box and so invested in a ton of aesthetic options. The problem is their classes weren't nearly as well balanced or implemented. They should've focused on making the core gameplay (combat) solid and adding additional hats in DLC but they tried to do it all from launch and the game suffered for it.

I think male pattern baldness is going be in there

That'd be fun.

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You don't care as much about faces as you think you do. When you're looking top-down, never seeing the character's face, you're not going to care if his ears are tapered or stick out.

eDYkDmu.gif

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In a perfect world, I would love to be able to see everyone's snazzy mustache and how different that is from everybody else's snazzy moustache.

Would I trade that feature for the alternative of having deep, fleshed out hybrid skill trees? No.

If something has to give, cosmetics are lower down on the list of nice-to-haves above core gameplay. That said, I hope we get plenty of hair/skin tone/ tabbard and maybe some face swaps. Fire emblem used the same bodies for everybody and the character of each of those units came through easily just with color and a special face.

Kind of depressing to see this element of the sausage making up close and out in the open, but it was always there. Just farther from view in projects which are not crowdfunded.

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Would I trade that feature for the alternative of having deep, fleshed out hybrid skill trees? No.

Okay, so you, among others, seem to think there has to be a "trade" of some sort. It does NOT. If DF wants to, they can make both the gameplay in general AND the variety in looks pretty damn epic, in my opinion. It's just gonna take a LIIITTLE bit more effort than if they simplify looks, and I personally want this game to be the best game possible. I SERIOUSLY DO NOT MIND if this project takes a couple of days/weeks/months more than planned if it means it becomes more awesome in the end!

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I totally agree. Even if I'm in for a hundred bucks on the kickstarter, I'd chip a few more coins into the tip jar for character customization if they floated it as an add-on for X amount of dollars.

$1m sounds like a lot to make a game, but it's really not. I'm already astounded by what they've done with the resources they have.

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I totally agree. Even if I'm in for a hundred bucks on the kickstarter, I'd chip a few more coins into the tip jar for character customization if they floated it as an add-on for X amount of dollars.

$1m sounds like a lot to make a game, but it's really not. I'm already astounded by what they've done with the resources they have.

What they COULD do otherwise is just to include as much customization as possible without it impacting other aspects of the game negatively, release the game, and include a lot more customization in a DLC released a few months after. OR they could do a fully-fledged expansion, Firaxis-style, about a year after release, and include more customization among other things!

And about the $1m, they DID ask for a lot less than they got, so i'd be kind of sad if they didn't take the game EVEN FURTHER than originally intended. Customization-wise or otherwise.

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I SERIOUSLY DO NOT MIND if this project takes a couple of days/weeks/months more than planned if it means it becomes more awesome in the end!

Will you pay the team members who continue production for this extended period?

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Will you pay the team members who continue production for this extended period?

Hopefully they'll realize that if more effort is put into the game, the people at the top of the "food chain" can earn a substantially higher amount of money AFTER the game's completion as well, making the process of investing in the game worthwhile. An example of this can be the fact that i personally will recommend each and everyone of my friends to buy the game after launch if it turns out to be the masterpiece it could be. I can't say i'll do that if i find the game lacks the qualities i desire the most. One of those qualities is DETAILS EVERYWHERE! Along with COMPLEXITY! And GENETICS!

What i'm trying to say is that, in the end, the more work they put into this game, the more money it will generate once on the market. Because it IS going to generate more money than it has already done, the question is, how much more?

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$1 more.

In all seriousness, with what they have scoped out right now, I think they've nailed down customization and differentiation in satisfactory way. Multiple hair styles, with various components (front, back, top, etc), plus various facial hair styles, plus house sigils, etc. I'm always a fan of more customization when possible, so we'll see how things shape as they continue through pre-production and through the next live streams. Maybe you should bring up such customization questions, Viktor, during the next livestream!

Smiles

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Maybe you should bring up such customization questions, Viktor, during the next livestream!

Yeah, i think i'll do just that.

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Starting capital is needed to fund a project regardless of the potential profits were it finished.

Double Fine's employees may want to labor on a game for love of the art but in the meantime they need to find work which feeds their wives and children.

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...but in the meantime they need to find work which feeds their wives and children.

You mean...

They have to do what everyone else does? OH NO, HOW UTTERLY DREADFUL!

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I think the main idea is that Double Fine, since they're running multiple projects at a time, only has a certain amount of money per project. For Massive Chalice, that's the money that we provided through Kickstarter, which doesn't amount to much. While yes, they could pump more money into the game, I think it would be unlikely, and not the best financial management.

As it stands, the customisation system is looking to have:

- Many different hairstyles, including multiple parts that interact to give even more variations

- Hair colours, which should be super easy to put in, but hopefully they'll also code them to be inheritable

- Facial hair

- House sigils, although the exact details of these is unknown at the moment, I'm assuming they'll be detailed drawings plastered on shields, armour, etc.

- Coloured equipment for houses, meaning you'll be able to see on the battlefield exactly who is who

Although all of those should be pretty light on the budget side, I'm genuinely impressed with just how much different hairstyles change the look of each solider. Yes, it'd be cool if there were different models, but considering how miniscule the budget is, I think the team's come up with some pretty great ideas. Who knows, though? This discussion might come up with one of those awesome 'Low Cost-High Impact' ideas that Brad loves :)

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I think the main idea is that Double Fine, since they're running multiple projects at a time, only has a certain amount of money per project. For Massive Chalice, that's the money that we provided through Kickstarter, which doesn't amount to much. While yes, they could pump more money into the game, I think it would be unlikely, and not the best financial management.

As it stands, the customisation system is looking to have:

- Many different hairstyles, including multiple parts that interact to give even more variations

- Hair colours, which should be super easy to put in, but hopefully they'll also code them to be inheritable

- Facial hair

- House sigils, although the exact details of these is unknown at the moment, I'm assuming they'll be detailed drawings plastered on shields, armour, etc.

- Coloured equipment for houses, meaning you'll be able to see on the battlefield exactly who is who

Although all of those should be pretty light on the budget side, I'm genuinely impressed with just how much different hairstyles change the look of each solider. Yes, it'd be cool if there were different models, but considering how miniscule the budget is, I think the team's come up with some pretty great ideas. Who knows, though? This discussion might come up with one of those awesome 'Low Cost-High Impact' ideas that Brad loves :)

Definitely. And really, with the trait and gene system being decently sophisticated, and perhaps with lots of different characteristics that can be pulled out of the hat -- our imagination will help add to the customization and characterization aspect of our heroes. CK2 is a decent example. Their ruler portraits weren't terribly differentiated, and while that was a bummer, the small trait system that it had helped add character to the rulers in my mind.

From the sound of it, MC is going to have much more differentiation in terms of character portraits / models, plus more genes traits. So I think we'll hit decent balance of actually expressed characteristics (a la everything described in the quote), and those we imagine as well.

And as indicated by Leo, who knows, we might even get some more customization through another low cost-high impact idea down the road.

Smiles

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...but in the meantime they need to find work which feeds their wives and children.

You mean...

They have to do what everyone else does? OH NO, HOW UTTERLY DREADFUL!

yes the massive chalice team have to do what every one else does to support themselves. they need to work.

making games is their job, not a hobby.

after cutting your hand and getting some stitches if you ask a doctor to give you plastic sugary. the doctor would say ok.... pay me. and you would say what? "get a job doctor man, like everyone eles! but in the mean time do it for free" the doctor would say "i need to feed my children" and you would say what? "OH NO, HOW UTTERLY DREADFUL!"

An architect might love designing bridges, he might find it enjoyable and challenging and love connecting people separated by water but if no one pays the architect to build a bridge it doesn't get built.

a chef may be great at making the most delicious lobster, but if no one wants lobster and will only buy hamburgers. if eveyone has only paid him for hamburgers the chef doesn't sever the more expensive lobster he makes hamburgers.

i want customization just as much as anyone. but what ever we get (and we will get some) will be what the team thinks they can afford and what the backers have paid for... personally i think that the sigels/house crests/family names are better than any individual face or hair options. heroes die but family's are what last.

this inst like x com where you can keep a soldier alive for the whole game, you keep a family alive for the whole game. the family name, the family traits, the family genes, the family crest, the family colors, the family motto, the family's history, the family's keep. these are the kinds of customization i think will matter in massive chalice and they are confirmed as part of the core systems already.

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after cutting your hand and getting some stitches if you ask a doctor to give you plastic sugary. the doctor would say ok.... pay me. and you would say what? "get a job doctor man, like everyone eles! but in the mean time do it for free" the doctor would say "i need to feed my children" and you would say what? "OH NO, HOW UTTERLY DREADFUL!"

No, actually i live in Sweden, and we have free healthcare,

so i'd go: GOSH DARN IT, MY HAND HURTS

and he'd say: WELL, LET ME FIX THAT RIGHT UP, NO BILL NO NOTHING

also, if i really needed the healthcare i'd imagine he would stitch me up for free, you know, out of his compassion for others

and there we have the problem: Professional game developers can't make games for free. OR CAN THEY?

It wholly depends on if the developers could set financial gain aside for a moment and make the game out of the kindness in their hearts, whilst providing for their family otherwise with a part-time job or with money saved or with a loan OR by their spouse working.

Whatever. I just wanted my opinion to be noticed, because micro-customization and deeply detailed customization in general appeals to me GREATLY.

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There are game developers who earn their living by other means and design games as a hobby: indie developers. Their projects must be smaller and/or take longer to complete (subsequently having dated engines) because they don't have the free time (from need to work that other job) to devote to a hobby. They can't incentivise enough other indie designers to share their vision and pool together to make a AAA game. Everyone has ideas for a videogame. If you can't pay them, how will you convince 64 other people to commit their labor to manifesting your idea?

As to "free" healthcare, there's no such thing as "free". The costs of any action must be paid by someone/s and the state robbing people to subsidize a practice only redistributes wealth via a wealth-destroying process; it does not eliminate costs.

An individual doctor may be willing to use his skills in your service out of charity but what's wrong with you and what does it take to fix? How does he acquire the sterile space, medicine, machines, skilled laborers, and other necessities of his practice?

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There are game developers who earn their living by other means and design games as a hobby: indie developers. Their projects must be smaller and/or take longer to complete (subsequently having dated engines) because they don't have the free time (from need to work that other job) to devote to a hobby. They can't incentivise enough other indie designers to share their vision and pool together to make a AAA game. Everyone has ideas for a videogame. If you can't pay them, how will you convince 64 other people to commit their labor to manifesting your idea?

As to "free" healthcare, there's no such thing as "free". The costs of any action must be paid by someone/s and the state robbing people to subsidize a practice only redistributes wealth via a wealth-destroying process; it does not eliminate costs.

An individual doctor may be willing to use his skills in your service out of charity but what's wrong with you and what does it take to fix? How does he acquire the sterile space, medicine, machines, skilled laborers, and other necessities of his practice?

You're starting to annoy me.

Will you go away if i say you're right? I've realized i have strayed far from the original point i had: I LIKE CUSTOMIZATION, PERIOD

I'm gonna return to that subject by stating; I LIKE CUSTOMIZATION A LOT

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Well luckily there is a Team Stream on Friday! So we can pick their brains for more information.

Smiles

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Im going to disagree with the whole concept of customization, games are fun based on the mechanics the game is based on. Facial cutsomization, increased poly count ect. are all just flowery decorations. Those features wont improve the quality of the game but may improve the initial experience. You may certainly bring it up in the team stream, but I dont think its gonna fly. I think you missed out on the larger aspect that doublefine studios like any and all studios need investment to run. Extending the time it takes to "make the game better" may not be feasible. D

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Customisation is cool and all, but Blood Bridle is right. They need the money up front to keep paying their team. Traditionally funded games do this by investment. They just have backer money plus slacker backer money plus anything else they can rustle up between now and release.

And despite customisation being cool, I think they make some valid points the importance of faces, least in this sort of game, for most people. Even in games where I have a good view of faces, I often recall spending an hour making the perfect face and then hardly seeing it for the rest of the game. In this game, you're going to be pretty zoomed out for almost the whole time, so the return on an investment on making really cool facial variation and inheritance stuff IS limited as compared to stuff you'll be able to see all the time like your family crest, and other more obvious differentiators like skintone, names and custom weapons. It's a trade off, but this is a good thing - I'd be worried if at this point they were making promises where it didn't seem likely they could keep them all.

Not saying there shouldn't be customisation - just that with the resources they have they clearly need to think about focusing their efforts where it's going to be the most noticeable. If later on they can revisit it and find they have time for more visual variation, awesome.

And by the way, Viktor, since you posted it in your signature and want to be told - ease off on Blood Bridle. They're not being rude or anything - they have a opinion and they stated it in a civil manner. They're not trying to start a fight, and I think you've actually misconstrued their point a couple of times and responded sarcastically when it really wasn't needed.

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In this game, you're going to be pretty zoomed out for almost the whole time,

SurplusGamer makes some good points. The one area we might get the best view of our heroes is when they become regents -- the whole throne room we see during the demo build.

Smiles

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You can do a lot with the models so long as you don't start resizing different parts that messes up the skeleton for animation. as soon as you do that, the budget explodes because you constantly have to reskin the models to adapt to every variation.

However, this is still the type of game where customization probably has the least payoff considering your effort has a countdown on it till it dies.

In terms of visuals for heritage, lining them up and seeing the whole family could make it worth-while, but it's the sort of element where it doesn't feel like it'll have a lot of payoff if you don't go far enough. For me it comes down to you either do it right, or not at all, and unfortunately, height and size should be part of that which, like I've said, causes problems, not to mention the vizualization for the family tree is about the only situation I can think of where it has any real payoff.

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One thing this topic seems to have missed though, is skin colour. Is that a yay or a nay from the team? I can't remember.

Skin colours would be fairly easy to put in the game, if you already have hair colours, no? They could use the same basic system, but modify it just a tiny bit.

Skin colours would make the variation of your characters a lot more noticeable.

Oh, and for all you saying looks don't matter, YES the gameplay should come first, BUT, if the Lord of the Rings movies had all heroes look like Aragorn, would the movie still be great? Looks DO matter, i want to be able to SEE difference in my characters, it will help me bond to them, and it will help me immerse myself into the game!

I don't find a game funny if i can't "LIVE" the game, does anyone know what i mean?

And varied looks makes it a LOT easier for me to immerse into the game, and thusly "LIVE" the game.

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The team has said repeatedly there will be skin and hair color options. That's the sort of basic feature which even exists in flash games you can take for granted will be included. Eye color might not be included since you never see it so everyone has baby blue eyes. Hopefully, beyond the obvious reds, blondes, and brown options there's a platinum-blonde/white-hair option to customize one of the starting bloodlines to be albino. I'm sure a GoT fan would want some purple-eyes in there too.

What they might not support is weird colors: punkish fluorescent-pink hair, anime-turquoise hair, and orc-green or alien-purple skin.

if the Lord of the Rings movies had all heroes look like Aragorn, would the movie still be great?

This argument's so shoddy it makes me suspect you're trolling.

Stating the Obvious: actors already look different from one another. It costs the movie-makers nothing to have actors which look different from one another. If you meant costumes, the costume department has to make the outfits separately anyway so one increasing the cost could only be a result of some material difference like it uses a different kind of metal or has more detailing.

Movies are just sights and sounds. They must place a greater weight on their visuals and audio accordingly. Staring at the same guys for 2-hours and seeing their faces means it's important those faces look good.

A videogame like MC by contrast has gameplay so its' sights and sounds aren't as heavily weighted in the mix. You will not spend hours staring at your model's face in a normal playthrough so there does not have to be as much investment in the face (high-poly, animations to move the mouth, many face variants so you don't notice clones).

Skin will be covered by armor so it's more important there is variation between the armor pieces textures (shininess, scratches, dirt/grime patterns, blood splatters post-combat a la Dragon Age, flesh like the demon armor in Demonicon, wood vs metal, etc.) than in skin patterns (freckles, wrinkles, sun burn, farmer's tan...).

Likewise, helmets will cover heads so there should be more helmet types than hair styles. It was a mistake in X-com that they had 3 or so helmets to many hair styles so you'd typically keep your guy's helmet off so the squad members didn't all look the same. In MC, where there'll presumably be separate helmet-pieces with stats, it will make even less sense to invest in a lot of hair options which won't be seen. There could be a toggle, as in cut-scenes for some RPGs, to not have the helmet appear on the model, so equipping it only functions to change stats, but that option's usually included for cut-scenes and dialogue where you see the model's face move.

With the team cutting higher-priority features like enemies and classes, I wouldn't expect some Guild Wars 2 level character customization.

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Okay, so you, among others, seem to think there has to be a "trade" of some sort. It does NOT. If DF wants to, they can make both the gameplay in general AND the variety in looks pretty damn epic, in my opinion. It's just gonna take a LIIITTLE bit more effort than if they simplify looks, and I personally want this game to be the best game possible.

In The Fairy Tale Land of Make Believe, sure. There's no trade off and DF can can add anything they want and make Dwarf Fortress look like checkers.

In real life, where budgets/time-frames/limitations on multiple different levels are a major concern, there are trade offs. And if you think anything you've been offering up in this thread only takes a "LIIITTLE bit more effort," then you've never made a game before.

It's one thing to make a suggestion. It's another thing entirely when you downplay everything that goes into making a suggestion a reality.

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