Official Codex Discord Server

  1. Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.
    Dismiss Notice

Development Info GDC 2018 Talks: Michael Cranford, Josh Sawyer, Jeff Vogel

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Infinitron, Mar 31, 2018.

  1. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Parrots:
    71,190
    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Click here and disable ads!
    Tags: Interplay; Jeff Vogel; Josh Sawyer; Michael Cranford; Obsidian Entertainment; Spiderweb Software; The Bard's Tale; The Bard's Tale II: The Destiny Knight

    There were several Codex-relevant talks given at GDC last week. Bard's Tale creator Michael Cranford gave a presentation about the development of the first two games in the series, Obsidian's Josh Sawyer spoke about designing choice & consequence as part of a group session that also included the likes of Soren Johnson and Raph Koster, and Jeff Vogel gave a talk about being Jeff Vogel. Unlike previous years, this year GDC have been pretty quick about making the videos of these talks public. Here are the links:

    Classic Game Postmortem: 'The Bard's Tale I and II'

    This session will explore the conception and development of Interplay's 'The Bard's Tale I & II', led by Michael Cranford. He will share the vision that led him to the game's conception, design, and development from his years as a dungeon master. The games are an expression of Cranford's personal love for the genre and desire to surpass the experience of tabletop gaming. The session will explore the vision behind the game and help illuminate a trajectory in gaming which has remained strong to the current day.

    Rules of the Game: Five Further Techniques from Rather Clever Designers (starts at 42:30)

    How do you make your games work? There's no sure-fire way to design great games, but over numerous successful projects the best designers develop techniques that help them craft compelling experiences. Returning for GDC 2018, the Rules of the Game session takes five renowned designers and asks them to go into detail about a rule they've used in their work. Each speaker has ten minutes to dive into their technique and provide detailed examples about how they have used the rule in past projects, honestly sharing the pluses and minuses including where their rule works well and where it may be less applicable. These are personal rules that you may not always agree with, but they're guaranteed to provide interesting fodder for your own game design thoughts and help you build your own design rulebook.

    Failing to Fail: The Spiderweb Software Way

    In 1994, Jeff Vogel founded Spiderweb Software, one of the oldest continuously operating indie game companies. This is the story of the company, the tricks it used to endure and make money for decades in this brutal business, the history of indie gaming from a bunch of random shareware weirdoes to an industry powerhouse, and a pile of helpful business advice from someone who has stayed around for a long time. Features funny anecdotes, crunchy sales information, and the delightful rantings of a cranky old coot.​

    I watched the first two of these, and Michael Cranford's presentation is definitely a highlight, taking an unusual turn in its second half to discuss Christian philosophy and settle some old scores. A live summary is available on Twitter courtesy of the illustrious Andrew Plotkin. There's no written summary for the session Josh Sawyer participated in, but its slides are available here. For Jeff Vogel's talk, there's an article summarizing it at GamesIndustry.
     
    • Brofist x 8
    • Participation Award x 1
    • meh x 1
    • I found this text to be too long and as such I didn't read it x 1
    • Thanks! x 1
    • Informative x 1
    ^ Top  
  2. Chaotic_Heretic Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck

    Chaotic_Heretic
    Joined:
    May 1, 2013
    Parrots:
    3,355
    Location:
    The border of the imaginary
    So lets see.

    Michael Cranfird - I dunno much about him really

    Josh Sawyer - SJW Autist Lord of Balance and Blandness; the eternal enemy of all fun loving grognards.

    Jeff Vogel - After his Magnum Opus of Geneforge; he chimped out big time with Avadaon, nuAvernum and his inability to accept any form of criticism.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018
    • Brofist x 6
    • Funny x 3
    • decline x 2
    • Shit x 2
    • Edgy x 1
    • butthurt x 1
    • Racist x 1
    • Bad Spelling x 1
    ^ Top  
  3. rojay Novice

    rojay
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2015
    Parrots:
    2
    That's got to be the most stereotypical "Codex" response ever.

    a) "wtf?"

    b) "cuck"

    c) "SO over that guy"

    Unless it's a parody post, in which case, well done.
     
    • butthurt butthurt x 7
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    • STOP! posting STOP! posting x 2
    • retadred retadred x 2
    ^ Top  
  4. Humanity has risen! Arcane Patron Repressed Homosexual

    Humanity has risen!
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Parrots:
    13,085
    Location:
    Ottawa, Can.
    To me, "game design philosophy", "game design", "quest design", and any such expressions are all meaningless vanity. You don't make anything good by following a "design philosophy". You do it if you have the imagination and skill to materialize all your ideas in a coherent whole. They're trying to make it look much more romantically than it is, except Jeff Vogel. He always spoke realistically and reasonably without trying to insert abject ideas to sound smart.

    Also, it seems Cranford has gone full-on SJW. Very disappointing. But then again he wouldn't be invited to GDC if that wasn't the case.
     
    • retadred x 10
    • Prestigious x 2
    • Informative x 2
    • Disagree x 1
    • WTF am I reading x 1
    ^ Top  
  5. Ruzen Learned

    Ruzen
    Joined:
    May 24, 2015
    Parrots:
    214
    Michael Cranfird's presentation is really enjoyable but Sawyer is there for pure advertisement purposes you can really skip it.
     
    • Bad Spelling Bad Spelling x 1
    ^ Top  
  6. Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Parrots:
    71,190
    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    According to HHR -

    Veteran developer who spends 15 minutes roasting a tranny in front of a shocked San Francisco audience before expounding upon his Christian philosophy: pretentious SJW

    Guy who says this:

    Cool dude who tells it straight
     
    • Funny x 14
    • Informative x 3
    • Brofist x 2
    • Goldfist x 1
    • Prestigious x 1
    ^ Top  
  7. Paul_cz Cipher

    Paul_cz
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Parrots:
    1,014
    I am watching Vogel because I love the guy's blog and so far (10 minutes in) it is enjoyable, about what I expected knowing his article writing.

    Gonna watch the other two later.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    ^ Top  
  8. Humanity has risen! Arcane Patron Repressed Homosexual

    Humanity has risen!
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Parrots:
    13,085
    Location:
    Ottawa, Can.
    You leave out the parts where he is referring to a man who believes he is a woman as "she" multiple times, and apologizes for referring to him as "he" and by his birth name in the years where said man still hadn't begun disguising himself as a woman. In one of the questions he also points out how inclusive of every group, every demographic he now wants to be.

    Jeff Vogel is from the Pacific Northwest Seattle area, which has always been very liberal, so I never expected anything different from him. He has the decency of not rubbing it into everyone's faces constantly.

    Everything Jeff said was grounded in reality and practical, and as for the part you quoted from him, I agree with it. It doesn't serve any purpose to continuously immerse yourself in the negativity of perpetual Internet malcontents when you have a job to do.
     
    • Edgy Edgy x 3
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    • [citation needed] [citation needed] x 1
    • Shit Shit x 1
    ^ Top  
  9. MurkyShadow Glittering gem of hatred Patron

    MurkyShadow
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    Parrots:
    197
    Location:
    ye olde europe
    Codex 2012 Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong BattleTech
    A charismatic talk by Michael Cranford, some tidbits I didn't know about the creation of the Bard's Tale.
    And also a historic document:
    Show Spoiler

    Screenshot - 2018_04_01 17_25_26.png
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • Hoo Hoo x 1
    ^ Top  
  10. Junmarko Ravioli di canguro Patron

    Junmarko
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2011
    Parrots:
    1,674
    Location:
    Schläfertempel
    Grab the Codex by the pussy Bubbles In Memoria Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    The best medicine for professional victims is making them search for a real goal in life.

    You forget the Codex collectively memeing Grimoire into reality :lol:
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018
    • nice nice x 1
    ^ Top  
  11. Paul_cz Cipher

    Paul_cz
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Parrots:
    1,014
    Finished the whole Vogel talk and yeah, awesome guy, with compatible sense of humor. Kinda makes me wish I wasn't such a graphics whore (I require at least Fallout 1 level graphics for me to enjoy a game) so I could play his games.

    Him not reading forums and getting into twitter arguments I can respect, it is a waste of time anyway, as anyone who ever engaged in it can attest :p
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 3
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • decline decline x 1
    ^ Top  
  12. Humanity has risen! Arcane Patron Repressed Homosexual

    Humanity has risen!
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Parrots:
    13,085
    Location:
    Ottawa, Can.
    I never understood why so many people raged on Vogel and his ideas. He never acts like he is above us, that he is the one who is right and everyone else is wrong, and he is very humble and self-depreciating. His life anecdotes are tranchant, relatable and always fun to read. This is much more than can be said of virtually anyone else in the game industry.

    So what if he doesn't have the drive and stamina to make "hardcore games" like he used to do. He just wants to keep his house, have enough for retirement and for his daughters' college fund while not completely draining himself.

    You can tell this is someone who really cares about his audience. Who else refunds anyone who wants a refund on any of his games for up to a year after release?
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • retadred retadred x 1
    ^ Top  
  13. vazha Learned

    vazha
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2013
    Parrots:
    294
    Vogel sounds like a complete asshead to be honest.
    ""If someone is on the forums and you can see that they're just there to cause trouble, ban them! If people are making noise, 'That person isn't screwing up your business, you shouldn't have banned them,' then ban them too! The beatings will continue until morale improves! ...People who are nice and support you will understand."
    FFS.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Despair Despair x 2
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  14. Roguey Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

    Roguey
    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Parrots:
    22,899
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • Shit Shit x 1
    • Balanced Balanced x 1
    ^ Top  
  15. Junmarko Ravioli di canguro Patron

    Junmarko
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2011
    Parrots:
    1,674
    Location:
    Schläfertempel
    Grab the Codex by the pussy Bubbles In Memoria Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Didn't know much about Vogel, other than I enjoyed some of his games back in the day. Got me through uni down-time on an old laptop + student fees ;) (+his map layout was cool, made exploration fun = easy to forget about aesthetic)

    ...that presentation was anti-matter though, holy-shit

    Talking Points: Ordered by self-defeating.
    • We've been around a very long time.
    • We're a small studio of two, at one period, three.
    • We don't like working with other people.
    • We avoid constructive criticism.
    • The other employee is my wife
    • My graphical style was derided which annoyed me.
    • I re-use assets (upwards of 15 games)
    • Advertising doesn't work.
    • We've remade the Avernum series three times.
    • Geneforge 3 didn't sell due to similarity with installments 1 and 2.
    • The Steam platform has other games on it (Competition!? Oh no!).
    • Has to deal with Steam user community, but "he's white" so feedback isn't that bad etc (Leftist original sin)
    • I charged $40 for my games, back when I could *smirks after saying this* :argh:
    • I can't charge what I used to any more.

    Worst Quote: "Do not let anyone shame you out of being cheap." (24:00)

    Other...
    Show Spoiler
    Worst Quote: "I use methamphetamine..." (56:00)

    :deadtroll:
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
    • Funny x 5
    • Informative x 2
    • Brofist x 1
    • hopw roewur ne x 1
    • I found this text to be too long and as such I didn't read it x 1
    ^ Top  
  16. Bohrain Learned

    Bohrain
    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2016
    Parrots:
    622
    Given we have that 40+ page thread about that one guy who claims Fallout 3 is better than 2 and refuses listens to no arguments I can understand Vogel's point.
     
    • Funny Funny x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • it is a mystery it is a mystery x 1
    • :M :M x 1
    ^ Top  
  17. Glop_dweller Augur

    Glop_dweller
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2007
    Parrots:
    164
    That sounds like Koster's advice.

    Say... Does Jeff have a brother?
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018
    ^ Top  
  18. Humanity has risen! Arcane Patron Repressed Homosexual

    Humanity has risen!
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Parrots:
    13,085
    Location:
    Ottawa, Can.
    And yet he has been in business for 24 years and counting.

    Maybe indies should follow his example instead of peddling big dreams that will come crashing down?
     
    • Makes you think... Makes you think... x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
    ^ Top  
  19. Junmarko Ravioli di canguro Patron

    Junmarko
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2011
    Parrots:
    1,674
    Location:
    Schläfertempel
    Grab the Codex by the pussy Bubbles In Memoria Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Tiger Blood?
     
    ^ Top  
  20. Shaewaroz Arcane

    Shaewaroz
    Joined:
    May 4, 2013
    Parrots:
    1,165
    Location:
    In a hobo shack due to betting on neanderthal
    Cranford seemed to have come to GDC for one reason only - to set the record straight with Fargo and especially Heinemann.

    However I don't doubt that he was always the only creative force responsible for Bard's Tale and that Heinemann basically made a fan mod called Bard's Tale 3.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  21. mustawd. Self-Ejected

    mustawd.
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2017
    Parrots:
    1,405
    Just watched the Vogel one. Pretty entertaining. Just him as a person seems p. cool. However, if you've been keeping up with with his soapbox thread there's like 15% new stuff. Still interesting to me though.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    ^ Top  
  22. Paul_cz Cipher

    Paul_cz
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Parrots:
    1,014
    Banning assholes and trolls on official forums is fine by me. Codex is the place for assholes and trolls and that's why I like it, but if I operated forum I would not want it to be like Codex :D
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    • Funny Funny x 1
    ^ Top  
  23. Bumvelcrow Bellator Sempervirens Patron

    Bumvelcrow
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2012
    Parrots:
    1,865,778
    Location:
    Greater Celtika
    Codex 2013 Codex 2014 Make the Codex Great Again! Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    I watched the Cranford one. Very interesting, and not a particularly flattering picture of Burger Becky! It was very obvious that he was going after the feeling of immersion and being there, and that the limits of Bards Tale were those imposed by technology rather than choice. He even went as far as to describe himself as 'not a gamer'. I think that if he had stayed in the games industry then the games he produced would have increasingly been ones I wouldn't want to play, like Richard Garriott, and we'd end up getting something like a better Ultima 9 from him somewhere down the line, rather than Bards Tale 4 as it is currently envisioned. Rather too much of the talk was on selling Mage's Tale, a game I'm definitely not going to buy.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    ^ Top  
  24. Visbhume Prophet

    Visbhume
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2004
    Parrots:
    984
    Cranford has some odd theological beliefs. That said, game designer / theologian is a cool combo!
     
    ^ Top  
  25. Shaewaroz Arcane

    Shaewaroz
    Joined:
    May 4, 2013
    Parrots:
    1,165
    Location:
    In a hobo shack due to betting on neanderthal
    It reeks of academia. Theology, as well as all humanities and art, loses it's heart when it becomes academic.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    ^ Top  

(buying stuff via the above buttons helps us pay the hosting bills, thanks!)