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dangerdoom volvo
Nov 5, 2009


I miss pre-white power codex

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SNAKES N CAKES
Sep 6, 2005

DAVID GAIDER
Lead Writer


I have a theory that indie RPG developers deliberately abstain from hiring women and minorities so they can count on Codex support for their Kickstarters.

X_Toad
Apr 2, 2011


That's too much of a conspiracy theory for me. Plus I believe that the Codex is the only outfit to have interviewed Carrie Patel, Obsidian's most prominent woman writer, and to have done so specifically because she works at Obsidian. Actually, I think I learned that she was a writer for PoE through that interview.

Airfoil
Sep 10, 2013

I'm a rocket man


X_Toad posted:

That's too much of a conspiracy theory for me. Plus I believe that the Codex is the only outfit to have interviewed Carrie Patel, Obsidian's most prominent woman writer, and to have done so specifically because she works at Obsidian. Actually, I think I learned that she was a writer for PoE through that interview.

The Codex is run by (mostly) rational people and has quite a few good and insightful posts, but they don't believe in any sort of moderation. Unsurprisingly, this turned it into a bit of an rear end in a top hat echo chamber.

Fair Bear Maiden
Jun 17, 2013


X_Toad posted:

That's too much of a conspiracy theory for me. Plus I believe that the Codex is the only outfit to have interviewed Carrie Patel, Obsidian's most prominent woman writer, and to have done so specifically because she works at Obsidian. Actually, I think I learned that she was a writer for PoE through that interview.

You are aware that you're replying to SNAKES N CAKES, right?

Ratios and Tendency
Apr 23, 2010

MURALI



Basic Chunnel posted:

People wanted BG1, they got BG1.

They wanted a best-of the IE games. BG had the most conservative setting but it was Bioware's first rpg and succeeded in it's goal of recreating AD&D on a computer. PoE's setting maybe didn't even surpass BG1 with none of the mitigating context, and was way short of Torment or BG2.

Ratios and Tendency fucked around with this message at Jul 19, 2016 around 06:59

X_Toad
Apr 2, 2011


Fair Bear Maiden posted:

You are aware that you're replying to SNAKES N CAKES, right?
Actually, no. Is (s)he some kind of infamous fellow? I mean, that avatar is suspicious, but still...

multijoe
Oct 15, 2007



Fun Shoe

SNAKES is a posting hero

idonotlikepeas
May 29, 2010

This reasoning is possible for forums user idonotlikepeas!


PoE was much better than BG1 in every respect. I mean, there's no contest. I've been thinking about this lately, since I decided to play through BG1 again to see the new content those folks added recently, and having played PoE actually makes it a lot harder to slog through some of the worst parts. I mean, I'm playing a different edition, with eighteen years of improvements, engine upgrades, and bugfixes, and it's still not even close. The PoE writing is miles better. The companion characters in BG1 are paper-thin at best, with maybe one or two exceptions, which is absolutely not something that can be said about PoE's. The game systems are all universally better; AD&D 2E, as much affection as I have for it personally, is an absolute trainwreck of an RPG system even in tabletop, and translated to a computer it is just plain bad in the most terrible and jankiest of ways. And it is especially awful at lower levels, that is, the ones that BG1 covers. The reasons for that have, I think, been well-covered in lots of places (wildly disparate class usefulness, super swingy combat that relies far too much on feast-or-famine die rolls, the existence of instant death abilities, etc.). Conversations and actions in PoE actually have different outcomes based on all kinds of different factors, and there are choices that are not simple good/bad binaries (where the bad choice inevitably gets you kicked in the nuts in BG1). There are actually different areas with different styles and color palettes, whereas BG1 is just miles and miles of empty, samey wilderness with the occasional batch of random gibberlings or gnolls to remind you that you're still playing a game.

Now, this is not to insult Bioware or the work they did - BG1 was revolutionary in a lot of ways, and PoE had the advantage of BG1 having already existed, so it could avoid a lot of its worst mistakes. But just comparing the final products? Of course PoE is better, when looked at without the veil of nostalgia. One could certainly have a discussion about whether PoE is better than BG2, and I think there are arguments to be made there, but BG2 also had a bigger budget and an established engine to work with, so we'll have to see how PoE2 stacks up to it. I don't expect Tyranny to be BG2 level either; it's more like a side-story, so it might be better compared with things like Icewind Dale.

Rascyc
Jan 23, 2008

Dissatisfied Puppy

X_Toad posted:

Actually, no. Is (s)he some kind of infamous fellow? I mean, that avatar is suspicious, but still...
Snakes is the final protector of the forum before we descend into the codex.

Basic Chunnel
Sep 21, 2010

Jesus! Jesus Christ! Say his name! Jesus! Jesus! Come down now!



Ratios and Tendency posted:

They wanted a best-of the IE games. BG had the most conservative setting but it was Bioware's first rpg and succeeded in it's goal of recreating AD&D on a computer. PoE's setting maybe didn't even surpass BG1 with none of the mitigating context, and was way short of Torment or BG2.
You can't really get a best-of the IE games, they're all different on a pretty fundamental level and emulating one limits your ability to emulate another in some way. You can't have the exoticism of BG2's locales with BG1's sprawl (not to mention its responsibility to introduce a coherent setting* and the low stakes and provincialism that low-level questing invariably lend themselves to). You can't have BG1's exploration with the density and (relative) plot momentum of BG2, you can't have the party dynamics of BG2 with the free-for-all party combinations of IWD2, you can't have the immediacy / depth of narrative of Torment and the freedom to choose character identity in any of the others. In each of these cases a choice was made and I'd argue the exploration focus was the most profound in terms of how the game looks and how it plays from hour to hour. It resembles BG1 in the most relevant ways.

* and as many have noted, Forgotten Realms is decidedly not a coherent setting

Darkhold
Feb 19, 2011

No Heart
No Soul
No Service

X_Toad posted:

Actually, no. Is (s)he some kind of infamous fellow? I mean, that avatar is suspicious, but still...
He's a very dedicated gimmick poster. He rose to SA fame during the development of DAII posting insanely cheery up to date news and praising the game constantly. He was so up to date with news many believe he's a disgruntled insider.

I don't know if he's ever quite regained that level of posting but he pops up occasionally in game threads. If you don't like his gimmick he's still useful as a news aggregator.

There might be alot more. I just know him from discussions I've seen him in.

Furism
Feb 21, 2006

Live long and headbang


Snakes posts were cool when he made fun of DA2 or ME3 but not so much when he makes fun of my beloved PoE.

Vargs
Mar 27, 2010



I don't like PoE but it isn't fun to laugh at in the same way as DA2. DA2's marketing and hype were hilarious, and the game was bad in some very silly ways. PoE is just extremely bland.

Oh dear me
Aug 14, 2012




SolidSnakesBandana posted:

I thought it was lame that I had to basically "grind" out the money to get to the point where I'm finally "ready to start playing for real" to paraphrase something Lt Danger was talking about.

This is actually a thing that bothers me about character progression in RPGs generally. I go through all that character creation stuff, ostensibly making all sorts of decisions about my character's profession and skills, and at the end of it I have a pretty bland and generic character anyway, because it's the beginning of the game and I don't really have much skill at anything. I spend the game longing for skilllups so that I can learn skills and spells which will allow me to do cool and interesting things, and when by the time I have a good range, there is not much cool and interesting left to do because the game is over.

Does it have to be this way? What if we could start with good skills, and learn some more during the game, but have ones we don't use atrophy?

DropsySufferer
Nov 9, 2008

Impractical practicality


Vargs posted:

I don't like PoE but it isn't fun to laugh at in the same way as DA2. DA2's marketing and hype were hilarious, and the game was bad in some very silly ways. PoE is just extremely bland.

Agreed on PoE being bland, by the time I got to the end I was glad I was done; just like finishing an unpleasant chore. Other thing that bugged me were the backer reward characters all over the place. Those things literally drained my enjoyment of the game every time I saw one.

GreatGreen
Jul 3, 2007
Probation
Can't post for 33 hours!


Oh dear me posted:

This is actually a thing that bothers me about character progression in RPGs generally. I go through all that character creation stuff, ostensibly making all sorts of decisions about my character's profession and skills, and at the end of it I have a pretty bland and generic character anyway, because it's the beginning of the game and I don't really have much skill at anything. I spend the game longing for skilllups so that I can learn skills and spells which will allow me to do cool and interesting things, and when by the time I have a good range, there is not much cool and interesting left to do because the game is over.

Does it have to be this way? What if we could start with good skills, and learn some more during the game, but have ones we don't use atrophy?

This bothers me as well. Some developers go even worse than that and make it so you have to play through the same game 2 or 3 times before you can fully develop a character.

A solution I've always thought would be good at combating this would be balancing games so characters reach full build maturity around like 1/3rd or 1/4th of the way through the 1st playthough, then from that point onward your advancement comes from gear to boost your power and/or give you cool extra abilities or procs or whatever. Just make leveling from then on increase your stats across the board so there can still be significant power differences between levels, but players still have access to complete and complex builds and playstyles early on.

Basic Chunnel
Sep 21, 2010

Jesus! Jesus Christ! Say his name! Jesus! Jesus! Come down now!



Oh dear me posted:

This is actually a thing that bothers me about character progression in RPGs generally. I go through all that character creation stuff, ostensibly making all sorts of decisions about my character's profession and skills, and at the end of it I have a pretty bland and generic character anyway, because it's the beginning of the game and I don't really have much skill at anything. I spend the game longing for skilllups so that I can learn skills and spells which will allow me to do cool and interesting things, and when by the time I have a good range, there is not much cool and interesting left to do because the game is over.

Does it have to be this way? What if we could start with good skills, and learn some more during the game, but have ones we don't use atrophy?

Play mass effect 2

Oh dear me
Aug 14, 2012




Basic Chunnel posted:

Play mass effect 2

I have done so and I don't know what point you're making. In ME2 there is only limited character creation and I start out with few skills.

Lt. Danger
Dec 22, 2006

jolly good chaps we sure showed the hun

Oh dear me posted:

This is actually a thing that bothers me about character progression in RPGs generally. I go through all that character creation stuff, ostensibly making all sorts of decisions about my character's profession and skills, and at the end of it I have a pretty bland and generic character anyway, because it's the beginning of the game and I don't really have much skill at anything. I spend the game longing for skilllups so that I can learn skills and spells which will allow me to do cool and interesting things, and when by the time I have a good range, there is not much cool and interesting left to do because the game is over.

Does it have to be this way? What if we could start with good skills, and learn some more during the game, but have ones we don't use atrophy?

I think there's a couple of ways to look at this, depending on what you prefer in a game.

What I think Basic Chunnel is driving at is that ME2 has fairly shallow vertical progression, strong horizontal progression, hard counters and skill-based gameplay. Low-level skills aren't numerically useless compared to high-level skills, are a lot quicker to unlock, are still necessary in the rock-paper-scissors defences mechanic, and ultimately all skills are secondary to player action anyway.

The end result is that Shepard in ME2 generally feels effective and build-complete very early on (I'd say after only a couple of missions - certainly before Horizon). Potentially all you would really need from the ME2 system would be for it to be larger and more developed - the core principles are what you're looking for. Perhaps, anyway.

Oh dear me
Aug 14, 2012




I don't know, it seems to me that another way of looking at that is that characterization is simply very limited in Mass Effect. You can only be Shepard, and you can only ever learn one set of about 4 abilities (basically 'spells'), which you will get better at over the course of the game. True, there are a few different (but rigid) sets of 4 abilities to choose from, but this isn't a generous or flexible character building menu. And if the number of possible skills were greater, but you still started out with none, it would of course take a longer time to get them, just like other games.

Lt. Danger
Dec 22, 2006

jolly good chaps we sure showed the hun

Right, right, but I think this is a matter of implementation. It wouldn't significantly alter the core game system to have a larger skill pool, more frequent level-ups or more skill points on level-up, more starting skills, maybe a secondary character building mechanic like a feat system or a more developed weapon/armour system. I don't think ME2 gives you what you want, but it's leaning in the right direction.

Compare to D&D/PoE, where vertical progression is infinite. You'll never finish building your character because there's always another level, a tougher monster, a stronger Fireball, another step on the progression treadmill. Level 1 characters feeling largely helpless is a core system feature, for whatever that's worth to you.

Rascyc
Jan 23, 2008

Dissatisfied Puppy

Happens with itemization too for better or for worse.

SNAKES N CAKES
Sep 6, 2005

DAVID GAIDER
Lead Writer


quote:

Dev Diary #7 – Verse
27 July, 2016 Author by Brian Heins.

In our last update, we introduced you to Barik of the Stone Shields, one of your potential Companions. This week, we wanted to show you the other side of the coin, so to speak. Meet Verse, a fierce warrior with ties to the Scarlet Chorus.

https://pdxknightrider.files.wordpr...__verse_vo1.wav



Verse represents the bravado of the Scarlet Chorus. She’s constantly proving herself, challenging others, prodding for weaknesses, and delighting in the social power play within Kyros’ more volatile army. Her free spirit and playful sarcasm make her a fitting counterpoint to Barik and his iron walls of emotional repression.

Verse is a Scarlet Fury – one of the elite fighters in the Chorus, possessing training in all manner of exotic weapons and fighting styles. Combat for Furies is an art form, a coordinated dance ruled by passion over reason or tactics.

Like all members of the Chorus, Verse started out as a civilian in the southern continent of the Tiers – an ordinary girl on an ordinary farm. When the sun went down, she liked to sneak out to the barn and take a knife to the farm animals, and always sensed that she was destined for something more.

When the armies of Kyros arrived and started conscripting from the local populace, Verse recognized her calling. She was one of the few mad enough to volunteer and begin her new life in the howling mob, where she made a point of rising in the ranks with bloodthirsty ambition. She led multiple gangs at different times in the war, so she’s no stranger to pushing others around.

Everyone who joins the Chorus gets a new name. The name “Verse” was a compliment from the Voices of Nerat, who – in one of his crazier, artistic moments – heard music in the shrieking and howling of battle. He said that hers stood out louder than anyone else’s, and contained too many parts to be easily defined.

Verse has a special knack for learning the combat styles of others. She could spend five minutes watching a grizzled veteran wield a spear and know the form as if she had used it across a hundred battles. During the war, this talent manifested in an unexpected fashion. During a battle with the defenders of Apex, Verse suddenly froze in panic – a totally unheard-of reflex, coming from seemingly out of nowhere. The Scarlet Furies fighting alongside her died in battle because of this spasm of hesitation.

What happened next was stranger still: Verse felt the deaths of her sister Furies like a part of her mind getting ripped apart, and she stumbled from battle possessing knowledge of the battle stances and weapon acuity of her sister Furies – an unintended, almost parasitic reflex that fascinated and disgusted her.

Verse hates herself for the hesitation that stayed at her hand, and feels revulsion for everything that came after, which casts her instinctive need to challenge others and prove herself in perhaps a sadder light.

~Paul Kirsch, Narrative Designer

Combat Role

Verse was designed to blend between melee and ranged combat with ease, acting as a highly mobile single target damage dealer. Verse’s talent trees support this synergy between short and long ranged combat and allow her to perform the roles of melee assassin or ranged archer on the fly. Verse also possesses unique combat stances that allow her to further match the party’s needs in the heat of the moment.

When designing Verse’s talent trees, we started by splitting them by Melee or Ranged combat specialization. Deep in each of Verse’s trees lie talents that place strong emphasis on one style or another. Talents at earlier tiers are focused on value for both melee and ranged combat, maintaining synergy for users interested in a hybrid approach or those that enjoy switching styles frequently. Verse’s Duelist tree features a twin blade strategy geared around rushing through the fray and unleashing flurries of deadly melee strikes on weaker targets. Her Skirmisher tree is built around escape tactics and long range devastation via bow and burning arrow.

A few of Verse’s notable abilities:

Know Your Enemy: A talent which allows Verse to study her enemies in combat. This allows Verse to become increasingly more deadly the longer that a combat spans, increasing her Dodge and Parry each time she is struck by an enemy. As a quick thinking fighter, Know Your Enemy helps sell the idea that Verse won’t fall for the same combat trick twice.

Rush: As a Scarlet Fury, Verse is no stranger to sprinting into danger with a wave of Chorus allies at her back. The Rush ability gives players the chance to send Verse like a streak of lightning through the enemy ranks, drastically increasing Verse’s movement speed for a short time and making her immune to engagement.

Killing Spree: After felling a foe, Verse will enter a Killing Spree where she attacks multiple times with each of her basic attacks.

Burning Iron: Verse launches a single arrow doused in oil and flame. When it strikes, it ignites her enemy, burning them for Fire damage over time.

Unbound: Verse performs a spinning attack and vaults through the air to a safe location. A remnant of one of Verse’s fallen sisters appears in her place to face her foes.

Verse is a first and foremost a deadly assassin, her ability to dispatch high priority targets and remain mobile on the battlefield makes her well suited for the task. Abilities like Killing Spree and Know Your Enemy give Verse the momentum to tear down nearly any foe. While Verse is capable of dishing copious amounts of damage, she is notably more vulnerable than iron-clad counterparts such as Barik. Those with Verse in their party should expect to keep a keen watch to prevent her from getting in over her head. Abilities like Unbound and Rush are great offensive and escape abilities, though if on cooldown, Verse loses her mobility advantage and is left vulnerable.

With her highly active kit and powerful single target abilities, Verse feels like a storm on the battlefield, aggressive, relentless, and apt for dispatching key foes.

~Nick Carver, Systems Designer

I hope you enjoyed this look at another of your potential companions in Tyranny. In our next dev update, I’ll talk about setting the game at the end of the Bronze Age, and how we reinforced that in our items and lore.

That dialogue snippet and that haircut just scream Bronze Age to me. Goes to show what having a few gifted historians in high places can do for a company.

X_Toad
Apr 2, 2011


New short story, Trial By Iron, featuring Barik, the Archon of War and one of Lucky Luke's most common gags, the undertaker with the measuring tape (except that it's not an undertaker) :

https://blog.tyrannygame.com/2016/08/05/trial-by-iron/

X_Toad
Apr 2, 2011


It's time for a new dev diary, with a slight change of plans. Rather than talk to us about the Bronze Age-inspired setting, which Heins apparently didn't have the time to do, we get a companion presentation about Lantry, a scholar and mage who focuses on thrown daggers as well as healing, supporting and debilitating magic :

https://blog.tyrannygame.com/2016/0...diary-8-lantry/

evilmiera
Dec 14, 2009

Status:Perpetually fearful

X_Toad posted:

Actually, no. Is (s)he some kind of infamous fellow? I mean, that avatar is suspicious, but still...

Snakes is this forum's saviour, and I would gladly lay down my to revive him should he fall to the nature of D&D.

I loved PoE and I'm interested in this, but I want him to grace this thread with his presence.

evilmiera fucked around with this message at Aug 11, 2016 around 11:58

SNAKES N CAKES
Sep 6, 2005

DAVID GAIDER
Lead Writer


Gamerevolution has a huge interview up:

quote:

Interview: Writers for Obsidian's Tyranny on Writing Evil and Surviving a Tyrannical World

Developer Obsidian reintroduced the complexity and difficulty of classic cRPGs with Pillars of Eternity, which was just as successful upon release as it was with its Kickstarter campaign. Now that they have seen success with a cRPG, the team was eager to create another, but this time, there is no good vs. evil. In Tyranny, there is only the means to survive by being manipulative, strong, and staying somewhere between neutral neutral and chaotic evil.

Not long after presenting how the game will play at E3, the writing team began to publish short stories on the Tyranny blog. Their idea was to present a bit of what we can expect with the various factions in the game as well as just how dark the environment will be. I had an opportunity to talk with the Narrative Design Team about these short stories and about writing evil for Tyranny.

GameRevolution: What inspired the dark setting for Tyranny?

Matt Maclean, Lead Narrative Designer: The dark setting was one of the original pillars of the game’s design – ‘what if evil won?’ was the question asked in the earliest pitch documents. So ‘evil setting’ was an owner mandate from day one and as far as design constraints go, that’s a fun burden to have around your neck. Our inspirations included The Black Company, the Fallout series of games, and the ‘what if evil won?’ question was unavoidably read as ‘what if Sauron won?’ so there’s always a little Lord of the Rings in any modern fantasy, though I’m proud to say we don’t have elves or dwarves or a lovable midget race of any kind.

For my own interpretation of the question ‘what if evil won?’ I’ve always assumed the answer would be ‘sounds like real life.’ Evil wins when people learn (or are shaped by ignorance) to accept it as required and normal. So most of my own inspiration for Tyranny has come from real life. I’ve never read a book or seen a movie with a fictional villain as fascinating as Alan Dulles, Qin Shi Huang, or Kim Jong-Il.

GR: Did you take any ideas from books, games, or movies for this environment of evil winning? Which and how?

MacLean: The Black Company was very influential, with is excellent show of a world wherein the cast of characters know the stories and myths of the magical big wigs but are only semi-aware of how it all actually works. Black Company also had a great sense of soldiers-as-people and it didn’t fall into the brash hero/peasant savior nonsense that most fantasy novels can’t help but repeat to death. Myth: The Fallen Lords was also a big influence, with its grim take on the true cost of being a hero. Myth was also inspired by Black Company, and like Myth, Tyranny features magicalsociopaths with personality-driven powers set alongside grim, desperate regular folk trying their best not to die.
A world wherein there’s one big evil dude on top really only works when it’s sold with great big lies that get the average person invested in the evil (or just dependent upon it), instead of willing to resist it. And for evil to win long term, it also needs to be immune to self-implosion (since we’ve all read enough fantasy literature to know that the evil defectors are involved in 9 out of 10 evil regicides), so with that in mind, I’ve found most of my inspiration comes from non-fiction: fascism, American exceptionalism, drug cartels, capitalist corporations, and militaries through the ages have all provided a great deal of inspiration as to how evil wins.

Megan Starks, Narrative Designer: I really like the dark humor in many of the Orcs' lines in the Lord of the Rings movies. I also like to think a bit about some different bad guy groups like the Governor or the people running Terminus in The Walking Dead, the raiders in Fallout 3, the reavers in Firefly, US prohibition-era gangsters, or hired gun type characters (whether it be a spy like Brock Samson from the Venture Bros or a sellsword like Bron from Game of Thrones). For examples of good people, or just normal people - both good and not-so-good, caught in situations they don't have much control over (you do what you have to protect your country and/or to survive), I looked at various war movies for inspiration. If these influences seem like they're all over the place, it's because they definitely are. It's good to consume a lot of different types of narratives and character portrayals and blend them together new and interesting ways, in my opinion.

Paul Kirsch, Narrative Designer: I take some inspiration from Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melnibone series – not as much from the sword & sorcery angle as the impression that the protagonist comes from a context so inherently dark that cruelty and atrocity are the benchmarks for normalcy. If doing something unspeakably awful is presented in a casual tone, chances are fair I’m tipping my hat to Elric.

Another of our big themes is power and how it gets wielded. We take a lot of inspiration from Soylent Green – specifically the scene where Charleton Heston is supposed to be investigating a murder and he spends most of the time looting the victim’s upper-class apartment. He’s operating within the rights that his station affords him, he’s being a huge dick about it, but he doesn’t spend a moment questioning the ethics behind this behavior. That’s a good roadmap for understanding how the Fatebinder expresses their authority.

Robert Land, Narrative Designer: I played a lot of D&D growing up and was the DM most of the time so I spent days designing my own worlds and filling them with both good and evil, so I usually tap into those stores if I want something particularly evil to write about. But I love sci-fi, horror, and fantasy, so there's a gigantic mess of twisted ideas roiling around in my brain.

GR: What made you decide to write these short stories for the Tyranny blog?

Kirsch: We wanted to present some emotional / intellectual context for the world of Tyranny, to offer a sense of familiarity when approaching the game as a newcomer. The protagonist of Tyranny didn’t just stumble out of Candlekeep, a blank slate afraid and alone. He or she is a firmly established name in a hierarchy of influential people. They know their way around the world and its many laws, they know how to navigate the power available to them, and this gives them something of an advantage over the comparatively less-experienced player. The stories help to even the playing field as it were, and set the expectations for whatever lies ahead.

Land: Sirin quickly became one of my favorite characters I ever had the chance to develop and as her backstory kept becoming more and more tragic, I wanted the opportunity to tell one of her stories in more detail. She is probably the most powerful Archon on Terratus and the story gives you a little taste of just how powerful she really is.

GR: What do you enjoy most about writing them?

Kirsch: I’ve been working on the game long enough that writing these stories feels like fan fiction. The themes and types of experiences Terratus has to offer are very familiar. That’s quite different from sitting down in front of a blank piece of paper and thinking to myself: “I wonder if this world has clocks. Would they have a bell tower, a sun dial, a cow that wanders by every fifteen minutes? drat, what do they feed the cow? Where does their water come from? How expensive are candles? How do airships work?”

Land: When you develop a character and really get to know her, you want to tell as much of her story as you can. I loved giving everyone a little more insight into why Sirin is so messed-up.

GR: Do you have a favorite faction to write about/for?

MacLean: My favorite faction to write was the Scarlet Chorus, mostly because it’s a faction of grumpy jerks and I’m a grumpy jerk so it’s a perfect fit. More a lawless mob than a ‘proper’ army, the Scarlet Chorus is made up of folks forced to join or die, with the masses kept in check by aggressive gang leaders who rule as despots until they are challenged and dethroned. The folks in this bloody motley have to be rough, jaded, and darkly optimistic to make it through the day, so they’re all tinged with sass and deceit, and that’s far more fun than writing honest villagers.

Starks: Within each faction, I've grown really fond of several specific characters. As a whole though, I like writing for the Scarlet Chorus. Their unruly attitudes and lack of hygiene has been endlessly fun to imagine and write.

Kirsch: The Disfavored and the Scarlet Chorus are fun for different reasons. As the most militaristic and viciously patriotic, it can be enjoyable to test the Disfavored’s limitations – what a soldier will do for their unit, how they balance their emotions and needs against the needs of the legion, and how their personality measures up to the expectations of the legion.

When it comes to the Scarlet Chorus, this is more fertile ground for creative exploration. No form of psychological manipulation, physical torture, or all-around weirdness is off the table when the Scarlet Chorus is concerned. We’re talking a Fury Road magnitude of diversity and strangeness. Since every gang has its own rules and twisted leadership structure, there isn’t what you’d call uniformity in any gang of Chorus rats.

To answer the question... yes. But I suppose it depends on what sort of day I’m having.

Land: Specific faction? No. But I do love writing evil options. When I play games, I always decide, "I'm going to try the evil path," but when the first choice presents itself, I can't bring myself to do it. But coming up with twisted things for the player to choose? I love doing that!

GR: Are there any plans for extended lore? I need more of those short stories, especially about Crow Trap and the Trap Gang.

Kirsch: Thanks! A friend of mine read “Under New Management” and described the Trap Gang as human jackals. I was pleased that it read that way.

MacLean: Hopefully you’ll find the game to be the extended lore. Some of the folks in the short stories will have cameo appearances in the game and you could spend a good deal of time reading the game’s encyclopedia if your life depended on a serious lore fix.

GR: The short stories suggest there's more to these factions than just burning and pillaging. Will we learn their back stories in the game? And is this indicative of how the narrative and role-playing will run in Tyranny?

Kirsch: If you want to understand the armies of Kyros, there’s no better entry point than the soldiers and Archons. Talk to everyone, take the time to ask questions and figure out who these people are. Even the Chorus understand that their way of life is unsustainable, and that someday the survivors will have to pick up pitchforks and boat oars for their intended purposes. If you’ve explored every dialogue option, we’ll know that we’ve done our job.

GR: Will the stories also touch upon the choices available to players regarding the type of tyrant they can be?

MacLean: We don’t plan to spoil any of the quests in the short stories, but hopefully the short stories give you a better sense of the world, its characters, and its oddities.

Starks: A lot of our stories focus on different characters and groups within the world of Tyranny. As a writer, my hope is that in giving a glimpse into these characters, we're also providing readers with insight into how different people handle the amount of power they have - or don't have - in their daily lives on Terratus. Everyone has their own motivations which, in turn, informs their actions in the face of both conflict and opportunity. Some people are only out for themselves, while others might operate on moral ideals or have a person they want to protect or avenge. Players, too, I think will choose motivations for their character which will then influence the way they progress through their path to power in the Tiers.

GR: Will the gamut of role-playing options run from killing everything just because to strategically ruling the empire with an iron fist?

MacLean: This isn’t a game of running an empire, so it’s safer to say the choices are all about surviving in a world where being a decent person rarely gets you very far. So your options run from deceptive, to abusive, to professional, to charitable, to terrifying, to passively indifferent. Generally speaking, you can attempt to inspire love and loyalty in others, but often that means doing sick and twisted things to earn the affection of evil people. Or if you get sick of people taking advantage of you, you can inspire fear and hostility in others.

Kirsch: The Fatebinder is an extension of Kyros’ law, so their role necessarily covers a lot of ground – anything from the regulation of merchant selling rights to the defense of legal precedent. If “killing everything just because” achieves the goal of bringing Kyros’ Peace to the new frontier, the Overlord is not above offering it as an available solution.

GR: Is there an option to play "nicely"? One who tries to rule with love instead of fear?

MacLean: Rule with love instead of fear? So you mean emotional blackmail and guilt? You can play as a ‘nice’ character within reason, the game doesn’t really have a ‘save the orphanage’ side quest, so being good in Tyranny often means less glamorous acts of goodness, like showing restraint and not answering violence with more violence, or lying to save lives.

Starks: You can certainly try. Actually, I think there will be plenty of nice tyrants taking over the Tiers. My husband plays one for example (while I play the more evil route). The game forces you to make some tough decisions, but ultimately the decision is still yours. What are you willing or not willing to do for the greater good? What about for your own self-interest or even, maybe, for your own survival?

Kirsch: Just because the Fatebinder comes from a bad place doesn’t make them Alex from A Clockwork Orange. The difference here is that “nice” doesn’t necessarily correspond to “right” in the same way that “evil” doesn’t correspond to “wrong.” Being wicked to someone might just get you the better result because that’s what this war demands.

GR: What kind of tyrant would you be?

MacLean: I would tax/imprison/kill people for having children, using fossil fuels, and wasting resources. And I won’t force people to eat other humans, but it will be subsidized until we learn to live within the limits of the planet. And I'd establish a court wherein you can prove your innocence by fighting a polar bear.

Starks: When I play video games, I like to stick to a lightly principled "do good things to good people and do bad things to bad people," but I also find chaos and the unexpected to be really fun and interesting. Surprising characters is particularly enjoyable. So I would definitely play a chaotic neutral Fatebinder. I'm always out for myself above all else - if it serves my own interests, I'll go for it regardless of the consequences to other characters.

Kirsch: I would be the innocuous-looking page who stands beside the throne holding a candelabrum or a very long scroll. You would never imagine that I was the head of the empire, or that the person sitting the throne is effectively a scarecrow meant to deflect assassination attempts away from me.

Land: I'd like to think I'd be the tyrant with the heart of gold, but who knows what would happen if I were presented with real power. But if my game-play experience is any indication, the first time I had a chance to be evil, I'd take the good choice instead.

Thank you all so much for your time. I know I'm even more excited about Tyranny and the opportunity to play a game where being good gets you nowhere. Tyranny is set to release later this year in 2016.

http://www.gamerevolution.com/featu...yrannical-world

X_Toad
Apr 2, 2011


"Up" not really being true, they took it down quickly.

Basic Chunnel
Sep 21, 2010

Jesus! Jesus Christ! Say his name! Jesus! Jesus! Come down now!



For god's sake just show us something that's not brown

X_Toad
Apr 2, 2011


There is lots of red in that article on the Scarlet Chorus.

And the interview is up for real now :

http://www.gamerevolution.com/featu...yrannical-world

Fair Bear Maiden
Jun 17, 2013


Had the chance to help with a Tyranny interview. I know there's not exactly a lot of excitement on the SA forums, but I figure someone might be interested.

idonotlikepeas
May 29, 2010

This reasoning is possible for forums user idonotlikepeas!


I think we're all pretty interested. We're just hanging around waiting for substantial new data.

Airfoil
Sep 10, 2013

I'm a rocket man


Definitely interested, but unlike Pillars I'm choosing to ignore any story or character information so I can actually go in fresh.

Really only paying attention to release date updates.

X_Toad
Apr 2, 2011


Airfoil posted:

Definitely interested, but unlike Pillars I'm choosing to ignore any story or character information so I can actually go in fresh.
I think you should at least read the short stories, if only to familiarize yourself a little with the world before going in.

CottonWolf
Jul 20, 2012

Could you imagine the step?
It's genius!


Airfoil posted:

Definitely interested, but unlike Pillars I'm choosing to ignore any story or character information so I can actually go in fresh.

Really only paying attention to release date updates.

Pretty much this. Happy to look at systems stuff, but I want to stay as far away from the story as possible.

Fair Bear Maiden
Jun 17, 2013


Seems like they're pursuing the same strategy as with Pillars of Eternity and not really releasing any plot info, only general setting information, so you should be covered.

Airfoil
Sep 10, 2013

I'm a rocket man


X_Toad posted:

I think you should at least read the short stories, if only to familiarize yourself a little with the world before going in.

Nah. I want to see the setting explained in-game. If it doesn't do that well, that's a pretty serious design flaw.

binarysmurf
Aug 18, 2012

I smurf, therefore I am.


Further details.

http://www.pcgamesn.com/tyranny/tyr...rtifact-weapons

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AriadneThread
Feb 17, 2011

The Devil sounds like smoke and honey. We cannot move. It is too beautiful.




drawing inspiration from the black company and myth: the fallen lords is the first thing i've seen about this to really get my attention

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