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  Click here to go to the first staff post in this thread.   Thread: Let's Play: The Banner Saga PAX demo!

  1. #21
    Superbacker Ratatoskr's Avatar
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    I vote #2 just because no one else is. Besides, this is obviously not the time for young idiots to try and prove themselves.

  2. #22
    Fiiight.

    Just because I would not choose that option in my play through,
    No one said life was meant to be easy, what makes you think death will be?

  3. #23
    I think I'd go with 3, it'd be useful to get some experience for the young fighters early on.

    But in terms of role-playing, 1 sounds more "fatherly".

    Ah, choices, choices. Three, and let's hope we don't lose anyone in the coming fray.

  4. #24
    Alette will have to fight them anyways, so this time is as good as any, let them fight!
    (Great records btw! Visually I liked every single bit of it!)

    Are you looking over the comments on youtube? I would like to quote Alex Davies, he stated:

    "For games without voice-over, I prefer the option of having text appear gradually, as if the character was speaking (or as if it were being typed as we watched).
    A lot of big-budget games use this and it makes the speakers seem more "alive" in the absence of sound.
    Another similar trick is little sounds every time a new phrase appears - perhaps distinct sounds for each character.
    Are these things which could be added easily? Have they been tested?"

    I couldnt have said it better, so do I and his questions are mine!

    Best regards
    grumpy

  5. #25
    Senior Member Wordplay's Avatar
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    1) Go with Egil

    Edit: Actually, re-reading this, I'd like to change my vote (if I may) to 3) Let them fight.

    Like the playthrough - though it's difficult to appreciate the consequences of the decisions at this point.

    So now we know what the Hunter and Landsman abilities are... being able to pass through allies is really going to shake up positional play, but the text for the active raises more questions than it answers... Does that mean in addition to your allies' usual attacks, or instead of?

    I can really see the former raising some interesting synergies...
    Last edited by Wordplay; 09-03-2013 at 07:55 AM.

  6. #26
    Community Moderator Guğmundr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wordplay View Post
    Does that mean in addition to your allies' usual attacks, or instead of?
    In addition to! But only if they're in range.
    Án brynju, mağur er varnarlaus. Án styrks, er hann ekkert.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Wordplay's Avatar
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    Thanks for the response!

    My first thought was that this would be really overpowered, but when I thought about it some more, it occurred to me that this actually takes a fair bit of set-up to be devastating, not unlike the other combos.

  8. #28
    Developer raven2134's Avatar
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    I'm not too keen on having text gradually appear. That depends on the reader's reading speed. A lot of people play RPGs and most go for instant text rather than the appear bit by bit. It can be awkward when it's set really fast cos the reader reads fast, and it breaks immersion when you can click to make all the text appear while it's typing. I personally prefer the text appearing as it does. It's sleek, elegant and simple. Whatever my reading speed is the text appears conveniently and looks good. The unique sound when someone says something is a neat idea, it just has to be done carefully cos it can get annoying if the sound gets tiresome (cos there's a lot of character shifting during conversation).

  9. #29
    #2. Not now, Alette!

  10. #30
    Superbacker mindflare77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guğmundr View Post
    In addition to! But only if they're in range.
    Perhaps a niche case, but what about Bowmaster range? Or is it just base attack?

    Also, I wouldn't mind some more explanation of the choices, a la this comment. But I'll go with the third choice. More experience, lads. You'll need it.
    Avatar/banner done by StandSure.

  11. #31
    Community Moderator Guğmundr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mindflare77 View Post
    Perhaps a niche case, but what about Bowmaster range? Or is it just base attack?
    I haven't had the chance to try this situation, but I'm almost certain it's always just a regular strength attack.
    Last edited by Guğmundr; 09-01-2013 at 11:03 PM.
    Án brynju, mağur er varnarlaus. Án styrks, er hann ekkert.

  12. #32
    My vote for the choice is #1. I agree they need experience fighting, but right now getting everyone else ready to hole-up or help fight is more important.

    For some of the other things brought up... To me, the panning itself isn't a problem, but panning then cutting seems odd. If you think about how it's normally done in movies, when they show 2 people talking who are facing each other, they do hard cuts back and forth between them (Yeah, in some cases they'll do a circular pan to move from one to the other, but that's usually used to obtain a specific effect). I think having it pan between two people who are next to each other, facing the same way, is fine. But it just seems really weird to pan to the back of a character's head, then suddenly reverse the angle so we're seeing his/her face. In that case, I think just doing a quick cut from one to the other will work better.

    Quote Originally Posted by raven2134 View Post
    I'm not too keen on having text gradually appear. That depends on the reader's reading speed. A lot of people play RPGs and most go for instant text rather than the appear bit by bit. It can be awkward when it's set really fast cos the reader reads fast, and it breaks immersion when you can click to make all the text appear while it's typing. I personally prefer the text appearing as it does. It's sleek, elegant and simple. Whatever my reading speed is the text appears conveniently and looks good. The unique sound when someone says something is a neat idea, it just has to be done carefully cos it can get annoying if the sound gets tiresome (cos there's a lot of character shifting during conversation).
    I completely agree with this. I've never seen a game that has the text show up in this manner that's quick enough. But, I'm sure for some people it's always appearing too quickly. And yeah, usually I can click to make the entire text appear at once, but every time I do so, I feel like I'm taking a shortcut, and that immediately takes me out of the narrative. I'm not sure what the solution is here, but I don't think having the text appear at a pace is it. Some of the other suggestions, like colored text, lips moving, grunt-type noises, etc. might work.

  13. #33
    Yeah text should definitely appear all-at-once. You can change the pacing of a conversation by having more or less said in each line. Or with like ellipses.

    I vote #3 let them fight

  14. #34
    Developer raven2134's Avatar
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    I liked the camera panning/character switching during the conversation actually. Most other games like fire emblem do it with 1 character on the left and another on the right and then they talk to each other, and then switch sprites when someone new comes into the conversation. I liked how the camera panning gave the conversations a circle discussion feel, like a round table discussion.

    That's interesting in a subtly deeper way as well, cos as a game built on decisions you're often thinking as if it were a round table discussion and you had to decide on key stuff. All in all, the camera movement gave conversations a really dynamic element which for me breathes more life into this key element of the game (you spend a lot of time in conversations). Remember it could have been presented the old way, with just different people/portraits popping up on screen or ala King of Dragons Pass style (did I get that right?)

    *Disclaimer for those not aware, I've had a chance for some longer sittings with the game for early early playtesting.

  15. #35
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    I'll lay my thoughts about the camera panning/character switching during the conversation too.

    I think I like it, even tho I found it a little "annoying" at first, mainly because its not something I'm used to. I think that, after a little time with the game, it will seem natural to me, and I'll start noting its absence from other games

    And, a relevant question and a suggestion:

    (1) Is the panning smooth and/or CPU demanding? Because on slower systems, it might just become annoying if the panning is wonky...

    (2) I'd like to have a mouse-controlled panning during this "round table" conversation (as raven interestingly described it). It would also be interesting to check the other person's faces when called upon with a decision to make. For instance, if all --or just the main-- characters had a set of 5-6 expressions (e.g. happy, grim, determined, sullen, panicked), you could check their faces and decide what to do. That would make conversation more interesting, the characters more cinematic/deep and you'd actually feel you are affecting their emotions.

  16. #36
    I just wanted to quote here a comment from Youtube, which I found very interesting.

    Brendan Cook wrote:

    "One constructive criticism: in some older games decisions can be misleading and you end up making a choice that you didn't intend! When I choose "Not now Alette" am I postponing the argument opening up more options or having her go to the Great Hall while Rook stays with Ivar? Is the them in "let them fight" Alette & Egil, or the fighters & the dredge?
    I think it's super important to communicate to the player exactly what they are getting themselves into!"


    One thing I found disappointing and/or annoying in games such as Mass Effect, in terms of role-playing, was that I would chose a response based on the text I was reading on screen and my character would expand on it, giving a response that was nothing like what I imagined based on the text I had before me.

    So, this comment got me thinking: the meaning of choice #1 (seems to me that it) is clear: send the young warriors away. Sure, they miss on the possibility of gaining some experience. What is the upside? They are guaranteed to survive the encounter? Sounds reasonable in terms of role-playing (keep the kids safe) and strategy. Choice #2 seems to me less clear, both in terms of role-playing and strategy (and perhaps this is why it is getting fewer votes). Is it simply a sterner version of #1, or is there some other advantage/risk to be found in this choice? Then again, #3 (which I chose) seems to have the clear advantage of offering the chance for some (always useful) experience, at the risk of losing either (or both) of the young warriors? But then again, is there some (hinted at) advantage in sending them away, in terms of gathering more resources from the settlement or helping more people survive and join the caravan?

    If by sending them away, they miss on experience but help the caravan in some other way, it would present an interesting dilemma, in terms of balancing the combat team versus gaining some strategic advantage. Same with choice #1. I think #2 needs some clarification. Regardless, considering that it was the archer the one who clinched victory in the opening encounter, before that Dredge could cast whatever spell it was preparing, I don't think I'd want to face the next encounter without some long-range fighter. So, I'm sticking with #3 but I'd like to know more about what each answer would entail, especially #2 which seems somewhat obscure.

  17. #37
    I absolutely love how this game is looking - visually and play-wise! Visually, it's gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. I already know that the combat is great, and it will be exciting to play tons of unique single player battle scenarios. The dialog and choices look intriguing and reminds me more of reading a choose-your-own-adventure book than modern RPGs (good thing), as modern RPG choices are nothing but tiring and disappointing facades. It's the wonder of choice and consequence that made RPGs something captivating in the first place, though there's little trace of that original spark in today's false RPGs.

  18. #38
    Developer raven2134's Avatar
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    Very interesting stuff!

    Aleo:
    The panning is wonky cos the game isn't optimized yet. Once they get it optimized it should go smoothly. Fair point tho, your observation emphasizes greatly how vital the optimization will be to make this work well, and I agree. If the panning is jittery, it'll be annoying.

    Regarding the swivelling around to see the other faces and expressions, I don't think that's part of their design right now. Also, I don't think they have the budget/time to do the additional expressions, but that would be really cool for the next chapter . Second doing a scroll on the view is a difficult idea though, it could run into some problems. Such as it could cause confusion if you forget/don't relate who's speaking because you're panning the camera around a lot. It could also happen that you swivel too fast and again it breaks immersion. Just some thoughts.

    Antares:
    Nice quote from Brendan. I'm writing this from work, though I'll probably do some comment responding on youtube later on: I think there's a fine line between practical writing+style and overworking the text. In this case I think the reader had enough context to put 2 and 2 together. The subject of the conversation shifted to Alette, therefore the options refer to Alette and Egil (no need to overthink the writing).

    Again I do think it's a fine line. Personally I think making the text more explicit in this case is handholding. ALthough I can also see other players making a mistake, possibly screwing up their choice and getting frustrated.

    One point though, I think the game right now is designed so that all your choices have real impact, they aren't just cosmetic blah, and in addition they give you some idea, based on the context of your situation, of what you'll do. More than this aspect of the design, however, is that the choice doesn't necessarily translate into a predictable outcome or result. I.e. no the player doesn't know exactly what'll happen. The player knows what they'll do but they don't know what plays out when they do what they chose. This is a key thing I think. This is means there's real choice in the game.

    The game isn't about making the BEST choice because you can fathom which of the choices is best (it's clear), instead the game is about making YOUR choice/es based on what you feel or think is the best response to the situation. Events then play out. Sometimes you're choice resulted in something good, sometimes something bad. I don't think you need to know the result to make a fair choice. What you need for the game and decision making to be fair, is an understanding of the risk and POSSIBLE OUTCOMES involved. And if at the end of the day you tried your best with the decisions you made but reached a less than stellar outcome...well that's sorta more real than making these pretend choices pre-destined to reach the best result. You played your Saga .

    Yes you could always do it again and look for the best choices/outcomes and do it that way eventually, but I find a great deal of value that you can play your game, even if only the first time you run thru it, and do the min/maxing after. Feels like a real RPG

  19. #39
    Thanks for the response.

    Just to clarify, I'm not talking about "best" choices but more easily identifiable dilemmas. The way I read the available responses (and of course I could be wrong but, again, that's part of the fun in playing a game) is that #1 sends the young warriors away, keeping them safe (with a possible bonus for letting the chieftain know that an attack is underway and thus help prepare the defenses/save more lives) while #3 keeps the young warriors at hand for the next battle, with the possible bonus of scoring a kill and the risk of falling in battle. Number 2, however, seems less clear: is it a stricter version of #1? Will it impact on Rook's relationship towards Alette? Does it result in her leaving or does it open up more dialogue options? (the latter seems unlikely, because I don't think we'd get to wait a couple of days for the next video only to be faced with another vote).

    I do agree, though, that there comes a point where if things get overanalyzed, it becomes hand-holding. Maybe it's just #2 that I can't quite understand how it'd impact on the story (the "real impact" you mentioned) and I guess that's reflected in the fewer votes, compared to "leave" (#1) and "stay" (#3).

  20. #40
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raven2134 View Post
    Regarding the swivelling around to see the other faces and expressions, I don't think that's part of their design right now. Also, I don't think they have the budget/time to do the additional expressions, but that would be really cool for the next chapter
    Indeed. Just throwing in suggestions. Concerning the face expressions, I was thinking of "simple" stuff, like raising an eyebrow, frowning, diverting the eyes, curling/tightening of the lips etc. I know there's normally tons of art and coding/linking to be done, so not hoping for anything like that for now.

    Quote Originally Posted by raven2134 View Post
    Yes you could always do it again and look for the best choices/outcomes and do it that way eventually, but I find a great deal of value that you can play your game, even if only the first time you run thru it, and do the min/maxing after. Feels like a real RPG
    Do we have a rough estimate of how many such vital decisions are to be made in "normal" play-thru? Is there a fixed number, e.g. 80-100, until you reach the ending or, like KoDP, its a 3-4 decisions per "TimeFrame" (be it day, week, span-traversed, random-event, major-event)?

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