Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Preview RPG Codex Preview: No Truce With The Furies

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Infinitron, Mar 3, 2017.

  1. Make America Great Again Infinitron Trade Master Patron

    Infinitron
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    Tags: No Truce With The Furies; ZAUM Studio

    Of all the Codex's indie pet projects, ZAUM Studio's No Truce With The Furies is undoubtedly the strangest and most imaginative. In these days when the the commercial viability of such projects is in doubt, strong community relations are more important than ever. Perhaps that's why last month, ZAUM invited esteemed Codex contributor Prime Junta across the Baltic to their headquarters in Tallinn, Estonia for a hands-on impression. And what an impression it made! Here's an excerpt from his writeup:

    The core gameplay in No Truce is a hybrid of point-and-click adventure and RPG dialogue. There is no pixel-hunting; all interactable objects light up with the tab key, and observations brought up by successful (passive) skill checks show up as little thought bubbles you can click on. However, all interactions more complex than a single-line tooltip happen through the dialogue interface, dubbed the Feld Playback Experiment, itself an in-world mystery. Underneath ticks away a robust and parsimonious system of RPG mechanics: what appears in the dialogue interface is a product of your stats, your skills, your thought inventory, your history tracked in behind-the-scenes counters, and die rolls – subtly but effectively represented by a brief sound effect and animation of a spooling tape. Some checks are passive: a line appears in the Feld if you succeeded in an invisible stat check – for example, a successful Empathy check will have that part of your mind inform you that your interlocutor seems to have a thing going with the person they’re talking about; pass an Esprit de Corps check when you do something particularly stupid, and your partner will have your back. Others are active: you make the roll when picking the choice, with the odds displayed in a tooltip.

    A great many of these checks, interactions, and dialogues happen inside your mind. Your skills and stats are talking to you, pointing out things, suggesting things to say, demanding things, making connections, causing thoughts to appear in your thought cabinet. Your reactions to these prompts will determine what kind of cop you will become: behind the scenes, counters are incremented and flags are set. There is a tremendous amount of reactivity to these stats, counters, and flags everywhere: an ashtray may spark a craving for cigarettes or do nothing at all; a successful Visual Calculus check will light up a detail in the crime scene that a less observant cop would have missed. The dialogue tree is a virtual forest, a thicket of nodes with associated thresholds and conditions, changing as you change.

    There are two kinds of active checks: white ones you can return to after leveling up a skill, while you only get a single shot at a red one. The twist with those red checks is that the failures are often even more rewarding than the successes, not mechanically or in terms of achieving your aims, but in story and character. My failed checks had me in stitches: a hilariously awkward line, netting me a helpless laugh mixed with pity and a dash of sympathy, or another, which becomes a running joke. Kurvitz isn’t kidding about the “disgrace to the uniform” and “complete failure” thing. That’s what you are, or start out as. It’s up to you and your choices whether, over your adventures in the bad part of the bad part of town, you manage to climb out of it, or fade into the pale as another anonymous hobo, by way of Hobocop. Yes, you can equip a plastic bag to collect beer cans you can turn in for a few pennies in a last-ditch effort to stave off despair and defeat.

    You’ll probably not want to carry that bag around all the time, however, and not just because your partner will look down on you with a mixture of embarrassment and pity. That’s because you can only equip items in each of your hands. Equip a bottle of booze and you can take a slug mid-dialogue, giving you a bonus to Physique; smoking a cigarette will boost your Intellect. Other items will have their own specific effects: towards the end of the game, you will be able to dual-wield a pack of smokes and a pistolette, should you be so inclined.

    [...] Instead of an ethical alignment system, No Truce with the Furies has a political one, of a sort. You don’t track “Lawful” or “Evil,” you track things like “Fascist,” “Communist,” “Moralist,” or “Liberal.” For example, Kurvitz explains, suppose there is a black girl selling newspapers at a street corner. One of the lines you can say to her is “You’re black,” to which she will reply “Yes.” This by itself does not yet affect your Fascist counter. However, follow it up with “So what kind of music do you people listen to these days?” and it will go up a notch. Keep at it, and fascist thoughts will start appearing in your thought cabinet – an inventory for mental loot – and your brain will start feeding you ever more intensely fascist things to say. People will start to take offense, and to avoid that you might want to try to ignore those thoughts, to act normal, mouthing liberal platitudes to cover up your dark, shriveled soul, gradually turning you into a crypto-Fascist or even shifting your political identity to something more socially acceptable. Or you can embrace your inner blackshirt, rack up those fascist thoughts, and eventually process them into their final, complete, crystallised form: Revacholian Nationhood, giving a massive boost to your Physique stat. Slam down a mouthful of cheap booze on top of that, and you will be a full violent meathead, ready to Jean-Claude Van Damme the biggest, meanest kipt in town right in the face, even as you spiral deeper into alcoholism, delirium, and spite. Fascism and alcohol work well together, Kurvitz explains: Hitler started all his shit in beer halls, so if that’s the way you want to play it, he wants you too to have your moment of glory.

    This doesn’t mean No Truce is a game about becoming a Fascist, even though, Kurvitz points out, cops are naturally fascist. You can cultivate and process liberal, or radical feminist, or communist thoughts just as well, and many others besides. The Thought Cabinet is central to the game. Liberals will get their vision quest, and political thoughts are by no means the only ones being tracked or processed: you will change many other aspects of your personality and way of acting, and the world will react to it.

    No Truce will no doubt spark a fair number of “but what is a RPG?” threads on a fair number of RPG sites. The design decision to mediate all interactions through the dialogue interface does give it a point-and-click adventure feel; moment to moment, gameplay is reminiscent of, say, Chris Bischoff’s Stasis, as the real meat comes up in the Feld. If games like Mass Effect or The Witchers count as RPGs despite taking gameplay way out into cover shooter or twitch territory, then surely a trip in a different direction is allowed too. The Feld Playback Experiment works: it is enjoyable to interact with, it recreates pen-and-paper mechanics better and more faithfully than most action-oriented systems, and it has the welcome side effect of simplifying the programmers’ and designers’ jobs since they can represent everything as dialogue nodes, adding animations, sounds, and visual effects as necessary and as time and resources permit. Combat through dialogue isn’t without precedent, Kurvitz points out – Planescape: Torment had that bit in the Mortuary where you could break someone’s neck if your Dexterity was high enough, followed by a trip to that game’s mind cabinet if you passed a Wisdom check. Combat through the Feld will let ZA/UM sidestep a lot of the time-consuming polishing, balancing, and tuning that a tactical combat system would need. This isn’t a figurine game: it’s a tabletop RPG with narrated combat, transcribed onto a computer, stats, abilities, die-rolls, and all.​

    Read the full article: RPG Codex Preview: No Truce With The Furies
     
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  2. Make America Great Again Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis, Hater of Eternity

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    haha lol gommunism


    what are these people, twelve?
     
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  3. Make America Great Again Infinitron Trade Master Patron

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    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
    :dance:

    We could have posted this on Wednesday and continued the streak unbroken if not for some last minute image issues (and also Roxor needling PJ for writing too pretentiously :P)
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017
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  4. an Administrator Arcane

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    Did Prime Junta seriously travel to Estonia for an indie video game?
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017
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  5. Prime Junta Arcane

    Prime Junta
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    That was uncalled-for. His comments on the captions improved the article, and the rest of it I didn't act on so it did not cause any delays.

    Certain sacrifices have to be made to further the cause of proletarian internationalism. (Besides, it's not far, and it is possible to defray the expense through purchases of large quantities of low-tax alcohol and cigarettes.)
     
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  6. Kasparov ZA/UM Developer

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    He was here. I touched him. I haven´t washed my hands since...
     
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  7. Projas Learned Patron

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    :hmmm:

    It's gonna end up being a commie propaganda, isn't it. And I had such high hopes.
     
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  8. Make America Great Again ERYFKRAD Arcane Patron

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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Something tells me Prime Junta kinda likes this game.
     
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  9. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
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    [​IMG]

    Seriously, haven't been this excited for a game since first reading about Age of Decadence. :salute:

    You better fucking deliver, the Codex now knows where you guys live. :shittydog:
     
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  10. an Administrator Arcane

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    Can i be an Ancap in this game?
     
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  11. ArchAngel Magister

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    I am currently throwing money at the screen but the game is not showing up :(

    PrimeJunta tnx for this awesome preview! I will never again bash you for liking PoE :D

    But I also hate you because my hype is now >9000 and that cannot bode well for once expectations meet reality..
     
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  12. ghostdog Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

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    Kudos to Junta for traveling to Estonia and delivering a massive amount of heroin-pure hype. :salute:

    Show Spoiler
    :argh: don't mess this up
     
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  13. himmy Arcane

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    If you're one of those people that believes any game that's not as edgy as /pol/ is commie and liberal propaganda, then yes.
     
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  14. InD_ImaginE Savant

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    Man my hype for this game just went through the roof. Definitely going to buy this.

    Release date plz Kasparov. I can only be teased so much.
    And because I am too lazy to look for it in the main thread: do you have any approximation on how long one play through will be?
     
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  15. Make America Great Again Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis, Hater of Eternity

    Darth Roxor
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    also, Kurvitz is certainly a nice surname to have :outrage:
     
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  16. ArchAngel Magister

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    Preview said this is half PST so hopefully we can get 20h out of one playthrough and it should be plenty replayable.

    I just hope they learned from failure that is TToN how to not put in mass of text just for sake of claiming they got lots of text.
     
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  17. Maxie Scholar

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    this is going to be a perfect game for those who don't exactly smoke crack but just puff it pretentiously
     
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  18. Fenix Arbiter

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    In general I feel excited, like - greatly excited.
    But this one make me worry:

    Why the fuck this can be called fashistic thing in any way?
    Or I'm that far behind the modern society?

    Besides that I really think it will be the Event for RPG.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2017
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  19. Projas Learned Patron

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    What, not thinking cops are naturally fascist is now being as edgy as /pol/? Also actual commies and liberals are two very different things.

    Anyway, I don't want to derail this with politics, I'm still excited for the game. But I'm watching you Kurvitz.
     
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  20. Prime Junta Arcane

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    You're saying this like it's a bad thing?

    I didn't think to ask. Marat Sar?

    Robert said about half of Planescape: Torment. The Hive + half the Lower Ward or thereabouts.

    I will be there, throwing rocks at their windows, if they fail. Proletarian internationalism be damned.

    srsly

    I wish I could spoil that opening for you guys. It's everything T:ToN isn't, but should have been. I don't recall seeing a single line of descriptive text anywhere, it's all dialogue, and dialogue that puts Quentin Tarantino to shame.
     
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  21. Kasparov ZA/UM Developer

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    A single playthrough will be no less than ONE HUNDRED YEARS.

    Game is planned to release at the end of this year.

    Infinitron, that screenshot with the pier can´t be viewed when you click on it :(
     
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  22. duanth123 Arcane

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    History rewriting itself to fit the incompetence of a single dev.

    http://steamspy.com/app/272270
     
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  23. KILLER BEAR Educated

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    What Fenix said^

    Uh huh. How is any of this relevant to fascism again?
     
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  24. Maxie Scholar

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    tell that to Vault Dweller hnah
     
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  25. Make America Great Again Taka-Haradin puolipeikko Arcane

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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Bubbles In Memoria
    [​IMG]
    I didn't know that this was going to be a party based game.
    Or do those portraits indicate something else?
     
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