Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Codex Interview RPG Codex Interview: Daniel Bill on DEMIURGOS: Path of the Leviathan

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by JarlFrank, Aug 1, 2017.

  1. Reapagender: ⚧ Doom Preacher

    Reapa
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    i have read the interview and saw a few seconds of your pitch video and feel i need to remind you a game is more than just philosophy and art. with that in mind, rethink your UI. and don't give me that "it's just a placeholder" crap. when making a pitch video every fucking thing must be perfect.
    and get a fucking signature and a shave. you are representing a company whether you like it or not. advertising and image is especially at this point your top priority even in this schweinestall.
     
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  2. Daniel Billgender: ⚧ DemiurgExMachina Developer

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    Yes, absolutely! I just thought, that the philosophical elements of the game are a unique selling point, people could be interested in. In the preview video I show a lot of gameplay elements and in this video I talk about the quest system and how you specifically interact with the world.
    Gameplay is very important to me, since I grew up as a Nintendo kid before getting my PC - and you can say what you want, but Nintendo is gameplay wise propably best imo.

    I think the UI is "ok". Is it that bad in your opinion? We weren't able to pay someone for better designs - thats one thing we would use the Kickstarter money for.
    I think important is, that we showed the clean UI of a comparatively complex game and though the graphics might not be the best, the ideas behind it count much more imo.

    Aye!

    You mean like beard shave? I did shave before I went to work today!

    Yes, can't argue with that. I already explained that I made a few false assumptions regarding Kickstarter. I am really sorry if people are disappointed but I can't change it now.
    And I cleaned up yesterday!
     
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  3. aratukgender: ⚧ Savant

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    I think his attitude is that it's pretentious to ever explicitly discuss these concepts in the context of a computer game. You will probably encounter this attitude a lot.

    It is true that it's difficult to discuss these kind of abstractions in such a way that results in satisfying gameplay — an integrated experience. Often when you play a game that tries to do this kind of thing, it has resulted in a lot of unnecessarily fancy, half-baked verbiage tacked on to quite a conventional game.

    What I find encouraging about this game is the design of the Kickstarter campaign itself. The tiers for opportunist, socialist, imperialist, & libertarian, with their respective allocation of votes, seem to show that the designer is already looking to integrate his philosophical notions as an experience that makes sense for me, the player. It wants to be part of the whole, not just a dialog tree you have to get through before you fight a boss mob.

    This will be tricky to pull off in a way that is coherent, but I think it deserves a shot.
     
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  4. Reapagender: ⚧ Doom Preacher

    Reapa
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    you could have just tipped your hat in acknowledgement.


    i was just criticizing your pitching video regarding the UI. the whole philosophy sentence was just the introduction to the criticism. whoever invented writing style probably thought it was a good thing. i'm sorry about the confusion.

    forget the shave, it was just filler. remember the signature.

    i looked again at your UI and immediately remembered why it was the only thing that stuck with me. i'll do you the courtesy of letting you look at it once more yourself and telling me again it's ok, before i unleash the hounds of war.
     
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  5. Daniel Billgender: ⚧ DemiurgExMachina Developer

    Daniel Bill
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    Thanks a lot for clearing that up. Now I believe I understand it and it isn't untrue at all.
    I saw all the - regarding their philosophical component - pretentious games of the last 10 years. Fallout 3 and especially 4 for example, or even games like Tyranny, a game that really had an intriguing plot and ideas imo.
    In most cases though I think developers just design a more or less classic RPG game and they put this philosophical, political or ethical stuff on top, to be seen as something "sophisticated". Demiurgos is different I think, no matter how it ends up.
    The political and philosophical aspects are deeply connected with all of the gameplay and therefore I hope that we achieve the coherent experience you also mention in your post.
     
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  6. Reapagender: ⚧ Doom Preacher

    Reapa
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    his attitude is retarded and doesn't even deserve any ratings, much less discussion.
     
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  7. Grampy_Bonegender: ⚧ Learned

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    I got triggered by "demiurge," second game I've heard this year using it, and a lot of Plato discussion seems to be going around these days (collapse of democracy).

    In any case, developer seems legit, put me in my place. I don't fund kickstarters as a rule, but I wish him the best in making his game.

    Judging by the bolded items in the comment--"social scientist" and specifically Foucault, a notorious postmodernist and a fan favorite of SJWs--the commenter is probably zoning in on buzzwords indicating that this is going to be a social justice lecture disguised as a game. To the developer's credit, he insists otherwise, and I will give him the benefit of the doubt.

    But seriously, Foucault sucks.
     
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  8. oasis789gender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Ok, then I think one potential pitfall is that the key elements of the Demiurgosverse are founded in material conditions in that era, like the spartan social system's relation to phalanx warfare and what that means in the age of mechanized war. Or athenian (direct) democracy and the scale of an agrarian society being totally different from the scale of industrial/urbanized society. How these systems change and evolve is an interesting story to be told but we are being presented with a world which is more or less stable until the entry point of the player's involvement? I'm sure you've carefully considered these already, but it's unclear from the pitch itself.
     
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  9. Daniel Billgender: ⚧ DemiurgExMachina Developer

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    Thanks!

    SJW is propably the very last thing I would identify as. No pun intended. But thanks a lot for mentioning it!

    I mainly refer to his concept of Governmentality. Wikipedia:
    This as a concept could be even used to explain the SJW movement I believe.
    Though of course he maybe also said things I wouldn't agree with, as it is with everyone.
     
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  10. Daniel Billgender: ⚧ DemiurgExMachina Developer

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    As always I totally understand your point and am sorry that things are still unclear.
    Of course you cannot find a counterpart for every aspect of ancient greece and the Long 19th century - and there will be aspects of both worlds "missing". But on the whole I think the similarites lie in the actions and reactions, the way people comprehend, masses can be controlled and the way states react. I had a prof who tried to apply modern political science theories on to the ancient world and it was quite interesting for me to see that.

    I think the static phalanx warfare fits perfectly to WWI trench warfare! The mechanized warfare didn't play a role in the Long 19th century.
    This might be confusing because I often referred to Sparta as beeing partly influenced by Nazi Germany, but the general interpolation happens between the ancient persian wars and the time between Napoleons defeat and the beginning of WW2.

    Thats a legit point and it will be fun to think of an answer to that question.
    To talk about urbanization in the ancient greek world would indeed be a misconception, even though cities like Babylon were seen as the metropolises of their time.
     
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  11. Kyl Von Kullgender: ⚧ Literate

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    I share Oasis' main concern: you can't mash together these time periods without butchering classical history. For every similarity between the 19th century and the ancient world there are a dozen differences. Different material conditions produce different cultures and that matters--Marxism 101. Actually, that gets at another possible issue. When you're introducing all of these different social scientists/philosophers, their ideas often contradict each other, or at the very least there's a whole lot of tension. The world of Marx and Foucault is not the world of Freud and Jung.

    Butchering history isn't such a big deal since that seems to be half the point, but the philosophy is tougher. Do you know how you're going to get these ideas in dialogue with each other, or will you just mix and match particular aspects until they kinda-sorta fit together?
     
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  12. Daniel Billgender: ⚧ DemiurgExMachina Developer

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    Benjamin uses the words: breake up history. I think I know what you mean when you write: "Butchering history isn't such a big deal since that seems to be half the point, but the philosophy is tougher."

    Thats correct. The material conditions of the two time periods are mixed up. The global political and strategical situation of the ancient world leads to an loose allience of the greek city states, although there are different ideologies rivaling among them. Since the persian ideology was built upon the idea of never ending conquest, they cannot tolerate the greek influence over Ionia, therefore they prepare to attack. And so on.
    On the other hand you have the social conditions, which are the actual interpolation I think. Urbanisation, Industrialization, Pauperism are aspects solely taken from the Long 19th century era. Other aspects like polytheism, the cult of heracles or the significance of oracles are aspects solely taken from the ancient era. Lastly you have aspects that can be found to some extend in both eras. The actual political systems, the Helotes (state owned slaves) - and the workers in the 19th century or dissidents in Nazi Germany and much more. This is how I would explain the interpolation of the materialistic conditions of history and society.

    As I said somewhere before, of course there will be principles (axioms is the scientifically correct term I think) we put upon the world, which of course are in theory actually arguable. For example a materialistic view, as stated above.
    Everything else related to philosophy - in the narrow sense of the word - will not be judged by us. Best examples I can think of are Plato and Aristotle or CG Jung and Freud - because all of them directly contradict their counterpart.
    Who of them is actually right isn't part of the game. We want the player to be shown different points of view and we want to try to trick the player into misassumptions or that he unintentionally relativizes his prior thoughts. That someone who is a fanatically anti communist must admit that there is at least one single thing Marx was right about - and the other way around!
    In the end - no one knows if Plato or Aristotle were right. Maybe, just maybe - in an absolutly strange and incomprehensible way even both of them were (Keyword: Quantum Theory).
     
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  13. Reapagender: ⚧ Doom Preacher

    Reapa
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    joined yesterday

    please, bitch
     
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  14. Kyl Von Kullgender: ⚧ Literate

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    I disagree strongly with your take on the Persian wars. Persia had ruled Ionia gently for decades before the Ionian revolt, which was sparked by Athenian interference and out-of-power greek tyrants (in the original sense of the word) who used rebellion as an excuse to seize power in their respective cities. Ionia was greek, but Persia was a polyglot empire. They treated their Greek subjects well. Ionia was wealthier than mainland Greece, had better roads and paid lower taxes. The revolt was not a great idea. Praise the king of kings!

    The first Persian invasion of mainland Europe was a defensive action, not the result of an expansionist ideology. Athens was basically a pirate haven, and (among others) Miltiades, the great general of Marathon, had been preying on Persian shipping for years. More importantly, Athens fought the Persians at Sardis, Athens fought the Persians at Amathus, Athens fought the Persians at Lade (they sent official contingents to all three battles, it wasn't just some rogue citizens). Those were all Persian possessions, Sardis especially. Admittedly, the Persians got very brutal from the fall of Miletus on, but nowhere near as bad as some of the stuff we see the Greeks do to themselves in the Peloponnesian war. What should the Persians have done? Just sit there and take it? Their only real sin was losing. How many times do you let a foreign power incite rebellion within your borders, attack your navy, attack your cities, and defile your holy places?
     
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  15. Daniel Billgender: ⚧ DemiurgExMachina Developer

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    First, generally you are right. I tried to make a point in discussing the interpolation of history in the game and this statement was not entirely correct. But I think it wasn't entirely wrong either.

    It is right that the persians tried to comply with the ionc cities, since the ionic main goals were autonomy of the polis and free trade.
    On the other hand, the persians gradually tried to gain further control over them (like in Ephesos) - as most empires do - and the population identified itself clearly - as you said - as greek.
    Theres no rational argument against a man screaming "Freedom for my people!"
    I think this historical element can also be found in the austrian-hungarian empire for example - having all of these different cultures, it never could integrate them to a proper state, not by reason.
    So there were tensions, no matter what the persians did.

    I believe most of those tyrants had supposedly been installed by the persians to ultimately gain political control over the city states.
    Maybe a bit like someone could argue russia and the US did propably in the past several times. You could call it Athenian interferences or supporting a liberation movement.
    Just want to point out some ambivalence.

    True. The Ionic people had been seduced by demagoges against their economic interest.

    Hurrah!

    It surely was politically shown as such. And surely there were specific reasons, like those you mentioned.
    But speaking in terms of political and ideological understanding, the reason for the conflict was - among other things - securing the political power of the persian empire - an expansionistic superpower of its time, where every leader conquered land and fought battles. It was their profession to increase the power of their dynasty.
    If capable of doing so without exposing other battlegrounds, they would have invaded greece long ago. In fact, before these events the athenians entered an alliance with the persians, which they thought was meant as subjugation.

    Never again. May the Great King virtuously rule over all of the mediterranean world!
     
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  16. MicoSelvagender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Monstroterratum Furiosum Patron

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    Good interview. Some answers are almost like the interviewee had been reading The Codex beforehand. He says all the right things. ;)

    Backed the project, BTW.
     
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  17. I'm With Her Morgothgender: ⚧ for prison Arcane

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    Why is such an interesting game not getting a Triple-A budget?
     
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  18. VentilatorOfDoomgender: ⚧ RPG Codex Staff Patron

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    too cerebral, it's 2017 ffs
     
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  19. Ogggender: ⚧ Augur Patron

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    Nice interview. I backed the game, but I've got the feeling it won't succeed this time. I hope that you'll come back with a better prepared campaign. Just add some shiny things here and there : a neater UI, a better logo (this one looks like it's been designed by a high school student during his philosophy class), create some kind of community beforehand (do you have a twitter account? just call Trump a nazi and you'll get a few dozens followers), try to get a more proficient English-speaking guy in your team...

    You seem to be a quite learned person, so use what you know to bring people around, even if it seems unethical. Just lie about your game: claim that it's better than Fallout and Baldur's Gate combined. Add a stamp "SUPPORTED BY THE CREATOR OF DEUS EX". Create some turmoil by clashing against Bethesda calling them a fraud and pretend that you're gonna deliver a better game than them (even if you don't have enough actual confidence to make such claims)... in a few words: do some marketing voodoo, it works.

    Seriously, I like that you're trying to touch controversial subjects and I see that you've got enough subtlety and culture to work on heavy stuff. I'm pleased that you're trying to present the player something different, to force them to make real decisions (and not fake choice à la Bioware) and maybe to teach them a thing or too (or at least to arouse their curiosity).

    I'm afraid though that the level of culture required to appreciate what you're aiming for may be too high to appeal to a sufficient consumer base. See right here. On the RPG Codex, a prestigious place with fine gentlemen. And look a the thick-witted reactions you get when you mention Foucault:

    -> oh great argumentation against one of the most influential theorist of the last century, you've certainly demonstrated your superior intellect here

    -> yeah, right, we judge the quality of a philosopher based on what? the quality of the people by whom he's been quoted on twitter and tumblr? Besides, if you'd ever read anything by Foucault, you'd know that the only thing that links him to the SJWs is the mere fact that he was gay. What he's actually best known for is his work on authority, biopolitics and governmentality (as Daniel Bill already pointed out). In a broad sense, he pointed out how bureaucracy and a form of diffuse control of the population has taken over the traditional disciplinary power of which a monarch was the incarnation.

    -> he wasn't, he's actually been associated with the structuralist movement, alongside Levy-Strauss and Barthes. But to know that, you'd have to have actually read a book or two and not just quote his wikipedia page
    How can you have an open-minded discussion on philosophical topics with people who pretend to know everything while demonstrating such a high level of lack of culture? How can you appeal to a large (or sufficiently large) consumer base if the immediate reaction you have is "booh! I don't like one of the guy he's talking about".

    Well, I think the short answer is: use that kind of controversy to your benefit. Don't say you're sorry for expressing some ideas that are not easy to understand or that disagree with some lunatics on any side of the board. Be known for your originality and be proud of what makes you smarter and more interesting than what's around. Try to learn about the guys who created the aforementioned Age of Decadence. They weren't aiming for the biggest crowd either. Their game has always been a very niche game, just as yours. But they still had to make themselves known. And to achieve some level of recognition, they had to show they were different, and unafraid to be different. Gosh, I still remember when Vince D Weller, their glorious leader CEO, first appeared on mainstream media (for instance here on RPS).

    TL;DR good luck
     
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  20. Vorarkgender: ⚧ Learned

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  21. Make America Great Again Parabalusgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    SUPPORT AN INDIE DEVELOPER FIGHTING FOR FREEDOM OF SPEECH AGAINST NAZI-HATING GERMAN GOVERNMENT FASICSTS.

    Game seems really ambitious and interesting. It's very similar to AoD and that took 11 years to develop and 2 more years to patch, makes me a tad cautious listening to the pitch. Great interview.
     
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  22. gaussgunnergender: ⚧ Magister

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    Too ambitious. Gameplay, setting, quests & factions look allright but I think the ideology & philosophy systems are too much. It's just a video game. I say if you can trim some fat and finish the game in early 2018 without kickstarter money, just do that. Make a smaller cheaper game, sell it, then make a slightly more ambitous second game. Just don't make it shovelware. :lol:

    If you do try Kickstarter again, first gather more followers on forums & social media. Then make a short polished video. Show what the game is about and what makes it special in the first 30 seconds of video and in the first page of text. Or whatever works for successful kickstarters these days... you know, be Indie Royalty, ask for $2 million, get $4 million. Yeah, I think Kickstarter is as bad as Early Access.
     
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  25. Gecosgender: ⚧ Educated

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    It's a shame the community cannot rally for the last €4,000 needed to fund this project. Looking at the money raised for Pathfinder - it's just a drop in the ocean for them. For Daniel the same amount would've meant KS funding success.
     
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