Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Interview Obsidian Media Blitz: Josh Sawyer and Feargus Urquhart Interviews

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Infinitron, Sep 7, 2017.

  1. Prime Juntagender: ⚧ Arcane

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    I agree, rogues were an entirely dispensable class in P1.

    These exceptions aside, however, class differentiation in Pillars was exceptionally good. They really do play differently, and your party composition dramatically affects the tactics at your disposal.

    The thing with (A)D&D thieves is that outside a tabletop game, or a game specifically crafted for them, they kinda suck. They shine out of combat, and if a game doesn't have a lot of out-of-combat content, they're just deadweight. None of the party-based D&D computer games did.* Josh did the right thing by not cloning AD&D thieves in a game that didn't have the content to support them.

    *Okay, partial exception for Storm of Zehir. That really did squeeze maximum mileage out of non-combat skills.
     
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  2. Revgender: ⚧ Savant

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    Sawyer has Fallout: New Vegas.
     
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  3. l3loodAngelgender: ⚧ Proud INTJ Patron

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    My high str retarded mage that can rip books with his bare hands and can barely read is kicking ass and taking names. How is that even a design?

    So you press on character creation screen and then something awesome has to happen in Dragon Age 2 Obsidian games.
     
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  4. Lurker Kinggender: ⚧ Self-Ejected The Real Fanboy

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    Okay.

    They have more than one hundred people on payroll. Do you think that will gamble with their confidence by making their dream game? Especially now that they sold a lot by delivering a mediocre game? No. They will try to do the same thing, but more efficiently. They think like a publisher. This is their job. What them want have nothing to do with it. It’s checklist box design all the way. We are talking about people who made a risky choice when they're younger and didn’t know better and now are trapped in a poisonous environment. Tim Cain is just a shadow of his former self. His passion for cRPGs is long gone.

    But any market is small in comparison with Triple-A. The proper comparison is between BG, and the rest. If you consider that, the BG series was never small. In fact, alongside with Diablo, it was always on its own level of popularity turbocharged by D&D franchise. PoE is practically a skeleton of a game and they sold almost 1 mill units with a ridiculous price tag. That’s a lot. And it’s not just Obsidian, mind you. Harebrained Schemes delivered sub-par games as well, and sold a lot of units too. cRPG players like to think of themselves as hot shit, but they are not. They are mediocre and predictable. The mere resemblance of a traditional cRPG with checklist design is enough to satisfy their tastes. Anything beyond that it is risky and will only get you in trouble. If they weren’t, we would have more developers making risks.
     
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  5. Lurker Kinggender: ⚧ Self-Ejected The Real Fanboy

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    How many people worked on these games again? Did I heard any of you mentioned Guido Henkel? How about John R. Gonzalez, the Lead Creative Designer of F:NV? Ever heard of that guy? I'm sure that they used a lot of content from Van Buren. Who made those drafts? Praising and criticizing developers individually is ridiculous, guys.
     
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  6. aweighgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    you'd be surprised at the amount of input 1 person has over a sprawling project.

    i would venture to say the larger the team the more large chunks of the project are dictated by fewer individuals.
     
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  7. Chainsaw Gutsfuckgender: ⚧ Educated

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    So you are saying that there are some trap choices in character creation that are obvious, like making a mage with low intelligence but high strength.

    But what if you want to hybridize? For example making a warrior that also has some stealth skills. Someone might point out that this build is inefficient, because the wise choice would be to make a pure warrior or a thief, instead of being mediocre at both. But this can be used as an argument against every type of hybrid characters. If the system is designed in a way that punishes hybridization, why even put the option to hybridize in the character creation? What is the purpose of letting the player create a character who is unable to finish the game?

    This isn't a problem in tabletop RPGs because there is a DM who creates the encounters with the player's build in mind. How fair would it be if the DM didn't give a damn about your warrior/thief hybrid and just went fuck you, you must either fight this ogre that requires 100 strength or lockpick that door that requires 100 lockpicking? If he wanted you to play a specialized character why not tell you this from the start? The same applies to cRPGs.
     
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  8. Lurker Kinggender: ⚧ Self-Ejected The Real Fanboy

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    Fallout: New Vegas team

    Developers

    Project Director
    J.E. “Serpiente” Sawyer

    Production
    Executive Producer
    Larry "54 DD" Liberty

    Producers
    Mikey "Archbishop of Babies" Dowling
    Jason “Lord” Fader
    Matt Singh
    Tess "Obsidian's Gay Cowgirl" Treadwell

    Additional Production
    Brandon Adler
    Matt Rorie

    Art
    Lead Artist
    Joe Sanabria

    Concept / Vault Boy Artist
    Brian "BRENZE" Menze

    World Building Lead
    Scott "Scotty" Everts

    User Interface Artist
    Jason "misterDNA" Sereno

    Character Artists
    Daniel Alpert
    Aaron Brown
    Kevin Manning

    Environment Artists
    Aaron Brown
    Cochey Cantu
    Roger "KOA" Chang
    Sean "The Butcher of Anaheim" Dunny
    Paul "The Wildebeest" Fish
    James "Subterranean Solzhenitsyn Aficionado" Garcia
    Ed "Leapin' Lemurs" Lacabanne
    David "Lion-2P" Lieu
    James “Simply James” Melilli
    Megan "Megantron" Parks
    Kristen "The Atomic Hammer" Wong

    Weapon Artists
    Mitch Ahlswede
    Daniel Alpert
    Aaron Brown
    Paul Fish
    Kevin Manning

    World Builders
    Jessica "Anita Sedative" Edge
    Denise "Space Dinosaur" McMurry
    Megan “Meganbyte” Parks
    Sydney "Detroit" Wolfram

    Additional Character Art
    Chris Willis

    Additional Concept Art by
    Massive Black

    Animation
    Lead Animator
    Mark Bremerkamp

    Animators
    Seth “Admiral McSethington” McCaughey
    Shon "Skippy" Stewart

    Additional Animation
    Anthony Rogers

    Audio
    Audio Director
    Scott Lawlor

    Sound Designers
    Justin “Il Papino” Bell
    Andrew "Doc Galapagoes" Dearing

    Additional Sound Designer
    Jonathan "Jin the Mad" Pendergrass
    Fryda Wolff

    Design
    Lead Designer / System Designer
    J.E. Sawyer

    Area Design Lead
    Charles "Flipper" Staples

    Design Lead / Lead Writer
    John "Jongo" Gonzalez

    Area Designers
    Jesse Farrell
    Eric Fenstermaker
    Akil "Long-legged Mac Daddy" Hooper
    Jeff Husges
    Robert “General” Lee
    Jorge "Oscuro" Salgado
    Travis "El Gimpo" Stout
    J.R. “Junior” Vosovic
    Stephanie Newland

    Writers
    Chris "MCA" Avellone
    Eric "Dirty Fenster" Fenstermaker
    Travis Stout

    Additional Area Design
    Eric "Siege Driver" Beaumont
    Jessica "Vertigirl" Johnson
    Casey "NSFW" Kwock
    Matt "Prince Latifah" MacLean
    Denise McMurry
    Sydney Wolfram

    Additional Writing
    Tess "I'm gay, not desperate" Treadwell
    George Ziets
    Jason "Monster of the East" Bergman
    Nick Breckon
    Matt Grandstaff
    Will "Badger" Noble
    Andrew "Mojave, 'mo problems" Scharf

    Programming
    Lead Programmer
    Frank Kowalkowski

    Programmers
    Michael "Friendlier Version of That Beard Guy" Bosley
    Jonathan Burke
    Justin "I'm not sleeping, I'm compiling" Reynard
    Dan "Dan Rubalcaba" Rubalcaba
    Rob "Pants are optional" Smith

    Additional Programming
    Anddy Archer
    Adam Brennecke
    Matt Campbell
    Jason "Additional Programming" Fader
    Brian Fox
    Sven Knutson
    Erik Novales
    Javier Olivares
    Daniel Teh
    Chris Tencati

    Quality Assurance
    Testers
    Ashley "Childlike Cat Empress of Chocolate Mushrooms" Betters
    Casey Kwock
    Anthony "Darth Anthrax" Rogers

    Obsidian Entertainment
    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Feargus Urquhart

    Chief Operations Officer
    Chris Parker

    Chief Information Officer
    Darren Monahan

    Chief Creative Officer
    Chris Avellone

    Chief Technology Officer
    Chris Jones

    Information Technology
    Chris Benson
    John Wunder

    But hey guys. Let's ignore this gigantic team and say this is Sawyer's game, because we need to suck developer's cock.
     
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  9. aweighgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    dude, do you seriously have that many posts and joined in 2015 wtf
     
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  10. Make America Great Again Rogueygender: ⚧ Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

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    Where do you see a thief class, pal?
     
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  11. Lurker Kinggender: ⚧ Self-Ejected The Real Fanboy

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    I'm a member of the Parrots Club. One of the oldest and most secretive cults organizations in the world. This is our symbol:

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]
    Sorry, but I can't explain our goals in the new world order!
     
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  12. Lurker Kinggender: ⚧ Self-Ejected The Real Fanboy

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    The problem is that other classes can do a bunch of stuff that only a thief should do, like lockpicking and disarm traps.
     
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  13. Make America Great Again Rogueygender: ⚧ Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

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    Anyone can learn how to pick locks and disarm traps, I don't see why that should be exclusive to a particular class.

    The choice between "take this one class or suffer wound penalties on a character every time you walk into a trap" is a lousy one.
     
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  14. Lurker Kinggender: ⚧ Self-Ejected The Real Fanboy

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    That betrays a lack of understanding of what classes are about. You should have each member of a particular class to use them in specific circumstances.
     
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  15. Make America Great Again Rogueygender: ⚧ Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

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    Classes are about filling different combat roles. :) Limiting PoE's five skills to select classes just removes character building choices for no good reason. Like if we were being simmy about this, wizards and priests would only ever be able to put points into lore, so there'd be no point in even letting you put points into skills as it would be something that would happen automatically on level up.
     
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  16. Maxiegender: ⚧ Magister

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    In a system of, say, 5 classes, let's say that you can have 4 party members at most. If lockpicking is class-specific, then you simply must have thieves in your party, effectively reducing the number of feasible party combinations, unless you don't need lockpicking to finish the game. Most of the time it will still be detrimental to your party's strength, coz lockpicking implies chests with high-end unique equipment, or with enough gold to power one's party without abusing game's economy
     
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  17. Lurker Kinggender: ⚧ Self-Ejected The Real Fanboy

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    That’s like arguing that every class should be able to heal so that you don’t need a cleric in your party. It’s a misguided reasoning, because it is staple of a class based game that you have a party composed of different classes that are supposed to fulfill different roles when needed, inside and outside of combat. When you argue that will prevent you from making other combinations, like a pure fighter class, you are completely ignoring what these games should be about. A class based game inspired in D&D is not like other games and should not be modified to satisfy your expectations about other games. You could just as well adopt a classless system if you think that way.
     
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  18. Maxiegender: ⚧ Magister

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    did you put that post through some text editor again
     
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  19. l3loodAngelgender: ⚧ Proud INTJ Patron

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    You want beat a dead horse fine, but don't drag me into this nonsense. D&D lets players hybridize, but does not support player awesome play style, because as I understand that the point of this design is to make all builds good at anything. If a retarded barely speaking PC can cast highest lvl spells, then having stats becomes a scam, because they don't matter for shit. It just actually masks that your PC is The Hawke, because stats are there for flavour and everything possible when you are awesome.

    Alternatively you can ask: What is the purpose of letting the player fail at the game? Or more technically correct question: "Why let player fail to read a fucking manual?" where it fucking says that Int is important for mages. That's the correct question. Isn't it? The apparent answers are Not and it's bad for business.
    But I won't get distracted by this garbage, because the core thing here is player anything = awesome. Not some mystical bad builds, which are players fault.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
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  20. Prime Juntagender: ⚧ Arcane

    Prime Junta
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    So if you don't like a game, it's all Sawyer's fault, and if you do, it's thanks to the team. :salute:
     
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  21. Starwarsgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Not only that, it's probably good in spite of Sawyer's involvement.
     
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  22. Lurker Kinggender: ⚧ Self-Ejected The Real Fanboy

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    These are two different questions. I’m saying that you cannot put a game individually under a developer’s belt in a cooperative development enterprise such as cRPG development. Even in extreme cases such as Grimoire, Cleve still need the help of artist to make his game. But we are stupid, tribalist and tend to create heroes, so we talk about Tim Cain’s game, or Vault Dweller’s game, or Styg’s game, when the reality is that there are other people responsible for the game.

    Ok? Good, now that you understand what I was actually talking about, there is also a question of whether we can pinpoint individual responsibility for the faults of a game. If I can trace back design system principles to a specific developer, I can praise or blame him, depending on whether he was right or not in his choices. I’m justified in complimenting Josh Sawyer for his personal mod for Fallout: New Vegas, but I also justified in criticizing him for the terrible system in PoE. I can praise Eric Fenstermaker for his work on the Vault in FO:NV, and I cal also criticize him for the terrible writing in PoE.
     
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  23. Lurker Kinggender: ⚧ Self-Ejected The Real Fanboy

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    The day I stop using my text editor is the day I die. Or maybe it's the day that DarkUnderlord decide to implement justified alignment.
     
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  24. Revgender: ⚧ Savant

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    If you go with this reasoning than every game is a team effort, except maybe some of the indies, like Underrail in which Styg did the main work and even worked on it by himself for some time.

    I think that the lead still has a big responsibility and it's okay to give him credit when the work is really good, so Cain deserves credit for Fallout, Avellone deserves credit for Torment and Sawyer deserves credit for New Vegas. They established a vision, made sure the game was made according to it and were still the major responsible behind it, even if they didn't write every NPC in the games, nor wrote every line of code or whatever.
     
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  25. Laheygender: ⚧ Scholar

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    Autuer theory is applicable to games but I disagree with your examples. BIS was not a conducive environment to such attitudes based on the testimony of former staff, and NV is about as far from fitting the criteria as any game I can think of.
     
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