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John
09-05-2013, 03:25 PM
Fantastic article! When we went to the DWS recording, we brought along a development machine with a polished build of the first part of the game. These are the impressions made on Nathan Grayson, from Rock, Paper, Shotgun:

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/09/05/impressions-the-banner-sagas-single-player-story/

quartex
09-05-2013, 03:33 PM
What was the DWS recording?

And just to warn people who don't want spoilers for the single player game, this article contains LOTS of juicy spoilers about characters and plot points. The characters remind me a lot of the Northmen and the Union from Joe Abercrombie's "The First Law" series.

Aleonymous
09-05-2013, 03:43 PM
DWS == Dallas Wind Symphony (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dallas_Wind_Symphony)

It was the official/final recording of the game's music, under Austin Wintory (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austin_Wintory)'s guidance.

Good tip about the SPOILERS, quartex. I actually avoided reading it altogether :D

quartex
09-05-2013, 04:02 PM
Aleonymous - I'm sure you'll enjoy the final game even more by avoiding spoilers. But the article reinforced my belief that the gritty theme of the "What is Told" short story on Stoic's website is reflected in the plot of the game itself.

Slimsy Platypus
09-05-2013, 08:47 PM
Wow, the read through this article really hints at complexity of the Story. First the Saga's visual presentation gave me a nerdgasm, then the combat system gave me a second nerdgasm, now I am in mid-nerdgasm when getting hints of the delivery of the story.

And on the note of "the story is told through (admittedly very well-written) text" from the article: the other week I finished a play through of Ogre Battle 64 (I play A LOT of classic games); after dwelling on how good that story was I began to consider the delivery of story in games. Just off the top of my head (without thinking too hard about it )I would say FFVII, Ogrebattle 64, Knights of the Old Republic I (KOTOR), and maybe Mass Effect II were the best stories I've played through. The first two are over a decade old and they just have walls of text and a score. When I play KOTOR I don't even listen to the voice acting; I quickly read the lines and skip to the next one. For me, it's all about the quality of the story, the content, and the delivery - none of which require voice acting to work well (by delivery I mean how it's dumped on the player in terms of portion and timing).

I would be lying if I didn't think "ugh" when first hearing that The Banner Saga's quests would be delivered via text boxes. But when thinking back to how well they worked in King of Dragon Pass, Oregon Trail, and even FTL (they were the best parts of those games!), my reluctance rapidly turned to excitement. I'm just so excited for the Saga. I can tell already that I'm going to play through the game a million times just to see what happens with all the different options.

What's really exciting is that is appears Alex/Stoic has evolved the "decision" system even further. In all the games with dialogue-choice systems I can think of (quickly from my head: Jade Empire, Mass Effect series, and KOTOR series) the systems simply boil down to good-vs.-evil. You basically choose what path your are going to go and try to make your choices comply with that path, rather than choose how you would actually approach the situation. And this is largely due to how the game is written; there typically isn't a lot of choices that steer clear from the radical ends of the spectrum (I can kill this guy or give him free money... hmmm).

Some other games like the Dragon Age Series, Fire Emblem Series, and even Diablo 3 (sort of) have dialogue options that are simplified to you talking to your companions throughout the game until you get something, but those don't really tie the players to their "decisions" in any type of meaningful way.

Alright without rambling too much more, what I'm trying to say is what I see with The Banner Saga's story is an evolution of the genre. Rather than choose the right or wrong decisions, we're appear to be choosing from a couple approaches in the grey area, and dealing with the natural results that come from them. We wont be accidentally getting Dark Side points, or losing the ability to bang a hot alien - we're apparently going to be dealing with the natural aftermath from decisions that don't have apparent answers. And because of that, I can't wait to play through the Saga's story (not to mention the ability to see more breathtaking artwork!).

As always thanks again Stoic, keep it up guys!

Slimsy Platypus
09-05-2013, 08:49 PM
Wow, now that I've finished rambling and I look upon my massive wall of text, I impress even myself with the ability to begin a simple reply and turn it into a novel... cheers!

InfiniteNutshell
09-05-2013, 09:37 PM
What's really exciting is that is appears Alex/Stoic has evolved the "decision" system even further. In all the games with dialogue-choice systems I can think of (quickly from my head: Jade Empire, Mass Effect series, and KOTOR series) the systems simply boil down to good-vs.-evil. You basically choose what path your are going to go and try to make your choices comply with that path, rather than choose how you would actually approach the situation. And this is largely due to how the game is written; there typically isn't a lot of choices that steer clear from the radical ends of the spectrum (I can kill this guy or give him free money... hmmm).

This. Sooo many games have "moral choice" systems like this. One of the really exciting things about The Banner Saga is the idea of making actual hard choices, with lasting consequences but not in a simplistic "good path or evil path" way.

Richard C
09-05-2013, 10:39 PM
I agree w/ Platypus about the nerdgasm, and the text dialogue being awesome in Dragon Pass and FTL. (loved those games so much!) Although another excellent game you should check out is Expeditions: Conquistador. Similarly, it also does all the dialogue through text in a very engaging way (plus has some nice similarities to Banner Saga).

Also the last post & Platypus's post about "moral choice" games being outdated - totally agree! Banner Saga looks like it has more of a "ambivalent choice" (similar to KoDP) which is infinitely more interesting!!

Anyway - I loved the original Article too! Although now I am even more aroused at the prospect of playing banner saga, num num num.