Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
  • Post
  • Reply
Rocket Baby Dolls
Mar 3, 2006

Normally I don't make aesthetic criticisms in other peoples' homes, but that rug looks like a beaver exploded. If meat is murder, then that rug is at least a severe beating.



What is this?

Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans is a point 'n' click adventure game that was developed in 1996 by Blizzard Entertainment and Animation Magic until its cancellation in 1998. The game takes place after the events of Warcraft II: Beyond The Dark Portal, where the Orc Horde has been defeated by the Human Alliance and have been taken as slaves or confined to reservations. We play as an Orc called Thrall, who was captured as an infant by Lieutenant Blackmoore on a battleground during the events of Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Blackmoore kept Thrall as a slave and purposefully stopped him from encountering other Orcs, intending to make him a pawn to unite the Orc population into becoming Blackmoore's personal army. Blackmoore has some very high hopes for himself, he probably would have had better luck if he wasn't a sadistic maniac.

Development and cancellation

The announcement of this game came out of nowhere, Blizzard were adventure game fans and had considered making one for a number of years but they just didn't have the resources available to do it. That was until one of their sister companies, Capitol Multimedia, approached them with a proposal and with the resources to be able to do it. The animation studio brought in to work on Warcraft Adventures, Animation Magic, had previously worked on games such as Hotel Mario, Kings Quest VII and the CD-i Zelda series.

The game was conceived towards the end of 1996 with a release date set for some time in 1997. But the development started to falter as Blizzard struggled with the development process of an adventure title and with the animation company being located in Russia it made things more difficult to co-ordinate with the different time-zones. The language barrier also made communications slightly difficult at times and concerns were raised about the quality of the animations that were being produced. They weren't up to Blizzard's standards and they decided to fly a team out to the Russian office to help bring the quality up to their own standards. Ultimately though, it wasn't enough. The Curse Of Monkey Island was released in 1997 which was visually superior and became a direct competition with Warcraft Adventures. They made a decision to push the release date back by six months to redesign the game and brought in a South Korean studio, called Toon-Us-In, to produce full-motion video animated cutscenes.

At the beginning of 1998, Warcraft Adventures was in alpha stage and was almost complete. The game could be played from start to finish, most of the voice recordings were complete and most of the visuals were in place. But the team working on the game felt that the game was "good, but not great." A decision was made to hire Steve Meretzky as a consultant, Blizzard considered him to be an expert in the adventure genre due to his work with Infocom and had recently released The Space Bar. Meetings were held and it was decided that a heavy redesign was needed. Meretzky worked with Blizzard to rewrite sections of the dialogue, make changes to the gameplay and also to construct a new user-interface. With Meretzky's help, Blizzard had transformed the game into a much better state.

The team decided not to go forward with Meretzky's redesign as they felt like they would essentially have to start over again and that it would push the release date back by another year. They also didn't feel like the game, in its current state, was up to their own standards. Blizzard pulled Warcraft Adventures from E3 in 1998 as LucasArts had begun showing off their new 3D adventure title, Grim Fandango. Meetings were held and on May 22, 1998, Warcraft Adventures was publicly cancelled.

I'll link to the Wikipedia article as it gives a much longer summary, there are more sites out there that go into detail. If anyone knows of any specific articles that would be of interest then I can link them here too: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warcr...rd_of_the_Clans

Leaks

Footage from a leaked version of the game was uploaded to Youtube in 2010 by a Russian fan called "MAN-Biker". It was deleted some time afterwards but he decided to upload a complete longplay of the game, from beginning to end, in 2014. He claims that a Russian games developer, not one who was affiliated with Animation Magic, had sent him this version. This version of the game lacked cutscenes

It wasn't until 2016 when another Russian fan called "reidor" leaked a different version of the game online. This version contained cutscenes and was sent by an unnamed third party. Soon after this version leaked, "MAN-Biker"s decided to circulate his version of the game too. Blizzard sent out cease and desist notices, but by then it was too late.

Let's Play details

Please do not post any download links for this game in this thread.

I will be playing the more complete version of the game which includes cutscenes. It will be a video LP and I will do commentary as I play. I plan to upload at least one video a week on Sundays, if time allows I may post a midweek video too. I believe that there is extra footage of the game that are included with this release, I will try to access and show off in a seperate video or videos.

There is a restoration project that is currently ongoing and the team has made efforts to synch the voice acting, add more of the missing cutscenes and improve some of the compression in the graphics. They've also added music and sound effects from previous Warcraft games as well as replacing some of the original artwork with their own. As much as I appreciate the efforts, for better or worse I will be intending to show off the game in it's original alpha state.

Let's Play - Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans








Bonus videos

The first is an alternative introduction video that was included with this version. The audio suffers from horrendous desynchronisation so I've used the "Warcraft Adventures - Cutscenes Remaster Project" to (kind of) fix it. The original missed a lot of dialogue, the WACRP replaces the missing audio with robotic voices.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQXiOoqg8GU

The second video is a missing cutscene that belongs at the end of the fourth chapter. It seems like it was cut from this version because of changes to gameplay and they hadn't replaced the animation with the graphics that we have seen in previous cutscenes. It does set things up for chapter five though. This cutscene was missing from a debug menu, the WACRP restored the cutscene and made it accessible via the menu.

https://youtu.be/HmuG6q2vstY

Rocket Baby Dolls fucked around with this message at 15:05 on Jul 1, 2020

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

HardDiskD
May 6, 2009

Thanks Mr. Dancing Skeltal Warrior



Grimey Drawer

I have to admit the game is kinda amazing so far. Probably not amazing the way Blizzard intended, though.

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



I'm impressed by how much animation there is on Thrall, especially for a game that never made it to release.

life_source
May 11, 2008

Destroy everything?

Sounds fun.
Let's start.


Ah, Warcraft before it was retconned to poo poo. Both in game and irl.

This looks very cool. Basically as I imagined it could have been minus a few levels of polish. It makes sense that they saw other point and click offerings at the time and were scared of being anything but the best.

Sjonkel
Jan 31, 2012


Wow, this looks worse than I'd thought. The cut scenes look like stuff people made in Flash in the late nineties, and the animations aren't very impressive. It would have taken considerable effort to make this good enough for release. Still, looking forward to this and will be fun to see what could have been.

anilEhilated
Feb 17, 2014

But I say fuck the rain.



Grimey Drawer

Well, there's a piece of gaming history. Remember when people were looking forward to Blizzard games just because it was Blizzard making them?

e: Anyhow, in case it wasn't obvious, the posters are all Warcraft 2 references. The two job offers each have the picture of corresponding building from the game (human farm and mage tower) while Khadgar, Danath, Alleria and Turalyon are the heroes of Warcraft 2's expansion Beyond the Dark Portal. Grom Hellscream first showed up in there as well but he has a much larger role in Warcraft 3 (and presumably this game).

All in all I think I prefer cheeky cartoon Thrall to where Blizzard actually took the character.

anilEhilated fucked around with this message at 23:15 on Jun 14, 2020

IShallRiseAgain
Sep 12, 2008

Well ain't that precious?

anilEhilated posted:

Well, there's a piece of gaming history. Remember when people were looking forward to Blizzard games just because it was Blizzard making them?

That will always be the case, Activision Blizzard on the other hand......

I'm glad you made the thread, I wasn't aware that somebody managed to find all the cutscenes.

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

red bird





I remember seeing the trailer for this that came with the original versions of StarCraft and was super into it and looking forward to it because it had that Gargoyles feel to it and it seemed rad as hell. Then it just kind of disappeared and I found out later it had been cancelled, thus beginning Blizzardís trend of axing really cool side story games on the cusp of completion and then hoping everyone just forgets about them.

Yapping Eevee
Nov 12, 2011

STAND TOGETHER.
FIGHT WITH HONOR.
RESTORE BALANCE.

Eevees play for free.


Soiled Meat

Seems like a pretty okay, competent adventure game thus far... barring the obvious things like mistimed/missing sound effects and whatnot.

THE BAR
Oct 20, 2011

You know what might look better on your nose?


Thrall's "I would love to!" was straight out of the Orcs' naval unit acknowledgment clips from Warcraft II, wonderful.

Aces High
Mar 26, 2010

Nah! A little chocolate will do



there's something about Clancy Brown voicing Thrall that makes the game automatically more comedic in tone (not to mention the art style) but I can kind of see why Blizzard of old didn't think this was a game worthy of release. Makes me wonder if there's a copy of Ghost in a similar state of complete as this. Considering we have this as well as a fan completion of Resident Evil 1.5 I feel like there must've been something similar happened to Ghost

THE BAR
Oct 20, 2011

You know what might look better on your nose?


I'm just thinking that if this was made by the Hotel Mario guys, then it's nothing short of a miracle in terms of competence. This game is incomplete, but what's there seems awesome to me. The VA for Thrall and the menu system clearly takes inspiration from... well, a certain game.

Ignatius M. Meen
May 26, 2011


There's a very specific (unrestrained, amazing) look to Animation Magic animation, and these cutscenes really don't have that. I'm sure it's because Blizzard didn't appreciate the original look and these scenes are what came out of sending out a team to help at the very least if not the later SK studio mentioned, but what they got in competence they lost in liveliness. It's too bad there's no leaks of the original animations before the meddling, I love purestrain Animation Magic.

Rocket Baby Dolls
Mar 3, 2006

Normally I don't make aesthetic criticisms in other peoples' homes, but that rug looks like a beaver exploded. If meat is murder, then that rug is at least a severe beating.



In this video, Thrall makes a new friend, see's pigs flying and he tries not to choke his chicken in front of other people. There are parts of this section of the game where the voice acting is barely audible and at one point there is no voice acting at all. The first half of this video is quite a contrast to the second half, where the background noise becomes a little overpowering.

I haven't completed this game as of yet, I'm playing a section at a time on my own before recording so this is all new ground for me too.

THE BAR posted:

The VA for Thrall and the menu system clearly takes inspiration from... well, a certain game.

I know exactly which game you are talking about and I got those vibes too. I've played the next section in preparation for the third recording, there was a part of it where it immediately reminded me of... a certain game.

Shei-kun
Dec 2, 2011

Screw you, physics!


This definitely has the humor present in WarCraft 2. And in 3, if I recall. Outside of the plot itself, at least. Definitely feels like something you'd expect from the unit banter.

THE BAR
Oct 20, 2011

You know what might look better on your nose?


This game is genuinely funny at times. And aren't some of these things predating their original introduction in WC3/WoW, like Gazlowe and the homing chicken? I wonder if Blizzard had these planned and told them to use them, or if they're Animation Magic's inventions.

Melaneus
Aug 24, 2007

Here to make your dreams and nightmares come true.


No no no, Thrall, the correct line is "What the gently caress is a Samophlange?"

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!




Sam O'flaniggan? Bastard had his way with me and never called me back

George
Nov 27, 2004

No love for your made-up things.


THE BAR posted:

This game is genuinely funny at times. And aren't some of these things predating their original introduction in WC3/WoW, like Gazlowe and the homing chicken? I wonder if Blizzard had these planned and told them to use them, or if they're Animation Magic's inventions.

My understanding at the time was that a lot of ideas from this game explicitly made it into WoW.

anilEhilated
Feb 17, 2014

But I say fuck the rain.



Grimey Drawer

George posted:

My understanding at the time was that a lot of ideas from this game explicitly made it into WoW.
I think Warcraft 3 assumes this game took place, especially given the pre-established relationship between Thrall (whose first official appearance it is) and Grom.

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



I don't think WC3 even really offers an explanation of how Thrall ended up in charge of the Horde. Although I haven't read the manual in a long time, maybe there's a summary there. The game does have references to him being raised by humans, but it just kind of assumes you know what the deal with that is?

I'm pretty sure they were writing that game with this one in mind, at least.

Walrus Pete
Apr 16, 2008

Yo ho?



Tenebrais posted:

I don't think WC3 even really offers an explanation of how Thrall ended up in charge of the Horde. Although I haven't read the manual in a long time, maybe there's a summary there. The game does have references to him being raised by humans, but it just kind of assumes you know what the deal with that is?

I'm pretty sure they were writing that game with this one in mind, at least.

They hired an author (Christie Golden, I think) to write a Thrall backstory novel, which came out a little while before Warcraft 3 did. And no doubt the manual had at least enough to say about Thrall and the post-WC2 history of the Orcs so that players would know what was going on.

achtungnight
Oct 4, 2014

Adequacy Achieved!

Read the novel, didnít really like it. A game would have been way cooler. Grom also never quoted any classic rock icons like he did in WC2.

Oh, and I too appreciate this LP.

Ignatius M. Meen
May 26, 2011


Yeah, I may be down on the animation for not living up (or down for the snobs ) to my expectations but the game itself has its own merits that I appreciate seeing shown off. If a few more things had gone right for the production, this might have been a classic.

evilmiera
Dec 14, 2009

Status:Perpetually fearful

Ignatius M. Meen posted:

Yeah, I may be down on the animation for not living up (or down for the snobs ) to my expectations but the game itself has its own merits that I appreciate seeing shown off. If a few more things had gone right for the production, this might have been a classic.

Given your name, and given who made the animations for this game, I presume you are one of the people who wanted the animations to look worse.

Ignatius M. Meen
May 26, 2011


evilmiera posted:

Given your name, and given who made the animations for this game, I presume you are one of the people who wanted the animations to look worse.

Objectively, I suppose... subjectively, they would look better to me if they looked closer to Animation Magic's other work. I think objectively they'd be more memorable too, as while this is competent there's nothing quite like a certain dancing man to catch your attention in the same way. But on the flipside there's nothing objectionable about the execution here either, so while I found it somewhat disappointing it's ultimately fine and doesn't detract from the rest of the game.

Ralepozozaxe
Sep 6, 2010




The new video #3 says it's private, video unavailable.

Rocket Baby Dolls
Mar 3, 2006

Normally I don't make aesthetic criticisms in other peoples' homes, but that rug looks like a beaver exploded. If meat is murder, then that rug is at least a severe beating.



In this episode, Thrall meets a troll merchant, an orc warrior and an ogre mage. This video covers the entirety of the third chapter and it's pretty chilled out, for the most part, the puzzle-solving isn't too taxing either. This won't be the only occasion of travelling halfway across the map to do\get one thing and then travelling all the way back again, either. There are two more chapters of the game left, and they're going to be much more longer than the first three.

So, Thrall was an original character going into this game? He seemed to have become quite a major character in other Warcraft releases. There was a series of books leading up to Warcraft III, one of which is called "Lord Of The Clans" and is an adaptation of this game. I understand he's quite a major character in Warcraft III as well. He also seems to be quite an involved character in the World Of Warcraft, he seems to be quite the regular in the series of books based off of it.

It's been seven or eight years since I last played WoW, I played through Warcraft 1& 2 but 3 slipped by me completely.

Ralepozozaxe posted:

The new video #3 says it's private, video unavailable.

I was just setting up and getting ready for posting it. It should be available now.

Tenebrais
Sep 2, 2011



Ah, you can really see what a fine, upstanding orc Thrall is that deserves to lead the Horde.

Yeah, Thrall never appeared in Warcraft 1 or 2; he was supposed to have been born around the time of the second war and taken prisoner when the Alliance attacked his clan when he was a baby. By the third game he leads the Horde to found a homeland of their own on a new continent.

achtungnight
Oct 4, 2014

Adequacy Achieved!

They're definitely mentioning a lot of recognizable Warcraft 2 characters in this. Zul'jin got his basic history right as far as uniting trolls & orcs, he looks the same too. Cho'gall is also a familiar face from WC2, as was Lothar, and the Shattered Hand Clan was from the expansion Beyond the Dark Portal. I don't think Azzur ever finished his LP of that. Grom Hellscream was from that expansion as well.

anilEhilated
Feb 17, 2014

But I say fuck the rain.



Grimey Drawer

I've got some really ambivalent feelings on Zul'jin not sporting the traditional troll accent. But yeah, he's kind of a big deal in the Warcraft history (which presumably started being A Thing after this game was "done") so seeing him like this is quite the shock.

e: The spells the ogre magi cast are literally their abilities from Warcraft 2 - Eye of Kilrogg spawns a scouting unit, Runes are landmines. Their third skill, Bloodlust, gets namedropped by Zul'jin (and is indeed a very likely cause of the human king's demise since it is an obscenely powerful buff, especially when combined with ogres).

anilEhilated fucked around with this message at 15:40 on Jun 22, 2020

HardDiskD
May 6, 2009

Thanks Mr. Dancing Skeltal Warrior



Grimey Drawer

achtungnight posted:

They're definitely mentioning a lot of recognizable Warcraft 2 characters in this. Zul'jin got his basic history right as far as uniting trolls & orcs, he looks the same too. Cho'gall is also a familiar face from WC2, as was Lothar, and the Shattered Hand Clan was from the expansion Beyond the Dark Portal. I don't think Azzur ever finished his LP of that. Grom Hellscream was from that expansion as well.

Zul'jin left out the part where he was rescued from a human prison at the start of Warcraft 2.

THE BAR
Oct 20, 2011

You know what might look better on your nose?


I love that one player rock paper scissors animation.

Rocket Baby Dolls
Mar 3, 2006

Normally I don't make aesthetic criticisms in other peoples' homes, but that rug looks like a beaver exploded. If meat is murder, then that rug is at least a severe beating.

I had some free time to record yesterday and decided to record the next chapter all in one session. Sometime before recording a chapter, I do a preliminary playthrough so I can make a mental note of things to check out that are of special interest, at the end of the chapter I make a save game as a marker of where to begin the next recording for the next chapter. I was forty minutes into recording the fourth chapter when I realised that I had saved the game at the end of chapter three without picking up the bone. I forgot about this and I realised at the exact moment that I needed to use it, which was sometime after commenting that it was in my inventory as I'd be needing it soon. Luckily I had enough time to start over and record another session, it's going to be a busy week so I wouldn't have had another opportunity until Saturday. I'm mentioning this as my commentary seems a little bit more stuttery than usual as I was feeling a little flustered.

Edit: I'll be editing the video soon into two parts, the first part should be up in two or three days time.

Chapter four is pretty spectacular in places. Have a screenshot:

Rocket Baby Dolls fucked around with this message at 23:23 on Jun 22, 2020

THE BAR
Oct 20, 2011

You know what might look better on your nose?


This is a greater loss than StarCraft: Ghost would ever be.

Crazy Achmed
Mar 13, 2001



Slippery Tilde

Honestly, this is really impressive and the majority of what I've seen so far seems on par or better than the average adventure game of the time. The tone and art are a bit jarring, though, when it switches from super serious and grim into wacky and cartoony. I figure they were going for a Saturday morning cartoon vibe (kinda reminds me of Gargoyles with the art style and "monsters are people too!" theme), serious for the most part but with some comic relief - and I'm not going to criticise, because getting that right has got to be really difficult.

[edit]Oh snap, I just watched the third video and this is getting goddamn real with the reservations, alcoholism, etc. Sensitive material but I would like to think they wanted to raise awareness rather than purely exploit it as a handy setting/plot device.

Crazy Achmed fucked around with this message at 11:43 on Jun 23, 2020

Avalerion
Oct 19, 2012



Stuff that's obviously just unfinished aside, one problem I'm seeing is that the puzzles just seem really simplistic.

George
Nov 27, 2004

No love for your made-up things.


Lol you can 100% count on the fact that Blizzard has always exploited racial stereotypes. Like itís not even a question.

Zeroisanumber
Oct 23, 2010



Nap Ghost

Why did Thrall give up being Warchief? He seems pretty awesome.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

FoolyCharged
Oct 11, 2012

Somebody call for an ant?



Zeroisanumber posted:

Why did Thrall give up being Warchief? He seems pretty awesome.

He turned into a mary sue stand in for the writer and took over everything in WoW that people begged to be rid of him.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply