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Gearbox & Obsidian on Aliens?

Gaming Target (thanks Shacknews) has discovered the preliminary ALIENS Games Website pertaining to the announcement from this morning (story). According to their report, the copyright information in the page's footer, which has since been changed, originally included the names of both Gearbox Software and Obsidian Entertainment. The genres mentioned in the announcement are first-person shooter and role-playing game, which fits the respective styles of these two developers.

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31. Re: Reviews, reviews, reviews Dec 12, 2006, 18:35 Scottish Martial Arts
 
They put the level cap back on that was taken off in the NWN1 expansions, max 20 now.

The campaign doesn't extend into the epic levels, so if they implemented epic levels there would not be any content to make use of it. While I agree that it's lame that epic levels arn't in, it makes no sense from a developers stand point to take the time to implement epic levels for the initial release. It takes development resources to implement a feature and when you are on a tight development schedule it is a waste of those resources to implement a feature that won't be used until a later date. Would it have been better if NWN 2 had shipped with two seperate campaigns, the second going into epic levels? Sure, but that's not a realistic expectation. Plus, it's not like NWN 2 is any worse a game for not having epic levels, it just didn't implement an optional feature.

Reshashed voices, and only a handfull of new ones

Did that really have a dramatically negative impact on your gaming experience? Given how little you hear your character's voice set it hardly makes a difference whether they have any player character voices at all. While it would've been awesome had they included 2 dozen new voice sets that were voiced by professional voice actors, the impact that that would've made on the game experience is so minute as to be virtually non-existant.

Like you said, linear, things are going to happen regardless how you work, like conversations.

My only major complaint with the game, other than technical issues. Not sure what you mean by "conversations happening regardless of how you work", though.

Area to area transitions, gone, I liked being able to walk from one area to another, through the wilderness, without it there isn't a sense of urgency.

Neither the Fallout Series, the Icewind Dale Series, Planescape: Torment, or Baldur's Gate II included wilderness areas. Instead you fast traveled from key location to key location. It's a different way of handling the gameworld but that does not mean it's worse. Again, this is hardly a damning indictment of the game's design; so many other excellent RPGs have handled traveling the gameworld like this that it makes little sense to complain about it as if it has completely ruined the game.

Development - it is possible to go back in time (after dealing with dryad you can go back to ember and reopen the areas from that time, as if they weren't locked out at all)

Huh? As I recall you can travel to Ember at any time during the 2nd and 3rd Act and everytime you do Ember is still destroyed. That said I can think of at least one severely bugged quest in the game, if that's what you're getting at. Didn't stop me from finishing or enjoying the game though.

This comment was edited on Dec 12, 18:37.
 
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30. Re: Reviews, reviews, reviews Dec 12, 2006, 17:45 Nighthawk
 
Well, if you want specific gripes...
- They put the level cap back on that was taken off in the NWN1 expansions, max 20 now.
- Reshashed voices, and only a handfull of new ones
- Like you said, linear, things are going to happen regardless how you work, like conversations.
- Area to area transitions, gone, I liked being able to walk from one area to another, through the wilderness, without it there isn't a sense of urgency.
- Development - it is possible to go back in time (after dealing with dryad you can go back to ember and reopen the areas from that time, as if they weren't locked out at all)

There was so much wrong with that game, and I'm sure I don't know the half of it.


 
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29. Re: Reviews, reviews, reviews Dec 12, 2006, 15:47 Scottish Martial Arts
 
the content is weak, and most of it rehashed from NWN1, and the ending is garbage.

Perhaps you could elaborate. Saying the content is weak does not explain why it is weak. Same deal with content being a rehash. Do you mean that NWN2 still uses DnD and as a result a lot of the same feats, spells and classes that were in NWN 1 are also in NWN 2? If so, that hardly seems like fair criticism to me. I'll agree with the ending being weak but I think the castle siege more than made up for that.

My only real problem with NWN 2 was that it was strictly linear until the third act, with only a handful of non plot essential quests. Otherwise I thought it was a massive improvement over NWN 1's single player game, and it's not as if NWN 1 was especially non linear either.

 
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28. Reviews, reviews, reviews Dec 12, 2006, 15:37 Nighthawk
 
I'm reading a whole lot about sales of KotR2 and NWN2 and the sales are this, the reviews are that...but has anyone actually played these games??
I can't speak about KotR2, but I can say that NWN2 was a an unfortunate waste of my money.
The game is way to intestive on resources, doesn't patch properly (as of the 1.3...1.03?...latest patch I have to uninstall and reinstall it, without having modified anything) the content is weak, and most of it rehashed from NWN1, and the ending is garbage.
On top of all that, the (in game) special edition perks arn't special at all, and can be unlocked simply by editing an ini file.
I'm excited and disappointed about this announcment...I've been waiting for another aliens game since AvP2

 
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27. Re: No subject Dec 12, 2006, 14:52 Scottish Martial Arts
 
The fast travel map is another example where you can jump to the next destination so the developer does not have to create content between the two destinations.

Oh give me a break! I guess Baldur's Gate II must have been a total rush job, huh? They used a fast travel map and as a result there must have been only 200 hours of content there. For shame, Bioware!

 
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26. Re: No subject Dec 12, 2006, 13:08 Charlie_Six
 
I don't really think the merchants on the streets or the fast travel map are good examples of a rush job. I'm pretty sure both KOTORs had merchants on the street (as did NWN1), and both games also had 'fast travel maps' without content in between (hyperspace drive).

There are good examples of a rushed game but those ain't 'em
 
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25. Re: No subject Dec 12, 2006, 12:44 Parallax Abstraction
 
So if there is any blame it's with Obsidian. They need to do better at forecasting milestone and release dates in their contracts with publishers so they are not forced to rush the game out at the last minute.

The KoTOR 2 problem was entirely LucarArts' fault. They sprung the additional time constraints on Obsidian at the last minute. It was not something they could have planned for. Their original development cycle was supposed to be longer than it was, LucarArts cut it short suddenly. Also, while there is probably some blame over NWN2 that can go to Obsidian (i.e. deciding to start a new engine after the game development itself began, though everyone would have bitched at them too if the game looked like NWN1), Atari has a very well-known record for forcing games out the door early and cutting off developers before they are supposed to. If Obsidian worked with a publisher that actually cared more about releasing finished products, they might have better luck.

Few seem to understand that when the publisher has all the money, you do what they tell you to do or you are out of business. If they tell you to get the game out for Christmas even though it is unrealistic, that's too bad for you.

Just today I was listening to an old episode of the GDC Radio podcast in which the Lead Producer from BioWare on KoTOR 1 was talking about their experience with the game. LucasArts tried to pull the exact same thing on them with telling them they had to be out for Christmas and that even if the game wasn't finished, it was coming out then no matter what. What BioWare was able to do was leverage some of their extra capital in personnel and money (of which they have both in abundance from their successes with Baldur's Gate 1 & 2) to add a temporary boost to the development team in order to meet LucasArts' additional demands. KoTOR 2 was Obsidian's first game and they had no such resources. Go listen to it if you don't believe it, I think it's GDC Radio #13. Before throwing blame around, you need to really dig down into it to see who really bears responsibility. Sometimes it is the developer, more often it's the publisher and sometimes it's a number of things. But blaming the wrong people doesn't help anyone.

Parallax Abstraction
Ottawa, Canada
Xfire: pxabstraction - Xbox Live: PXAbstraction
 
Parallax Abstraction
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24. Re: No subject Dec 12, 2006, 12:35 Parallax Abstraction
 
So ... Atari forced them too? NWN2 is a hellish buggy, unfinished POS.

Yes, they did. Have you seen Atari's track record in this regard?

Parallax Abstraction
Ottawa, Canada
Xfire: pxabstraction - Xbox Live: PXAbstraction
 
Parallax Abstraction
Geek Bravado | YouTube
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23. Re: No subject Dec 12, 2006, 10:57 nightfend
 
Everyone always blames the publisher. But in actuality it is generally the developer that is ultimately responsible for how crappy a game is. Poor developers tend to manage their time poorly and miss milestones and then are forced to crunch out the last few months to meet their contractual deadlines. Unfortunately this means that features are cut and a slew of bugs creep into the project.

Neverwinter Nights 2 is a mediocre game at best. You can see how rushed the game is in the details. Examples? Take for instance the merchants who were moved onto the streets of Neverwinter instead of having their own buildings. It's a simple way to cut development time. The fast travel map is another example where you can jump to the next destination so the developer does not have to create content between the two destinations.

So if there is any blame it's with Obsidian. They need to do better at forecasting milestone and release dates in their contracts with publishers so they are not forced to rush the game out at the last minute.

 
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22. Re: No subject Dec 12, 2006, 10:23 Kajetan
 
Lucas Arts forced Obsidian to release Kotor 2 unfinished, because they wanted it out for christmas. Personally I think the writing in Kotor 2 was better than in the first one.

So ... Atari forced them too? NWN2 is a hellish buggy, unfinished POS. Obsidian can do really good and inspiring RPGs ... but they need to work on their projekt management, time schedules and milestone management. Troika got axed, because they repeatedly failed in this department. Obsidian might be next.

 
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21. Re: Hmmm Dec 12, 2006, 09:58 Paranoid Jack
 
Just think of the possibilities of an Aliens RPG? If they do it justice it will be huge...

If one of your troops gets a face-hugger attached to his cranium you have to kill'em right? Since there was no way to remove them due to the acid blood.


Edit:

"As a direct result of Fox's efforts over the past 27 years, Alien has become one of the most recognized franchises in the motion picture industry"

If this doesn't make you feel old... but has it been 27 years since the first? Double checked and it was '79 for the first and '86 for the second movie. Damn!

This comment was edited on Dec 12, 10:17.
 
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20. I Dunno Dec 12, 2006, 09:51 Parallax Abstraction
 
After Brother In Arms: Half-Assed No-QA Xbox Port, I don't have a lot of faith in Gearbox. Obsidian could do this well, but it would be a definite shift for them unless they plan to make an Alien RPG. We need another Monolith game.

Parallax Abstraction
Ottawa, Canada
Xfire: pxabstraction - Xbox Live: PXAbstraction
 
Parallax Abstraction
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19. Re: Hmmm Dec 12, 2006, 09:31 Tigger
 
I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit.

It's the only way to be sure.

ROFLMAO.
 
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--
Tigger
Vic Fontaine for President
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18. Re: No subject Dec 12, 2006, 08:28 Narf2029
 
I think some people are just instinctively drawn to hate great things.

NAAAARF!

"Is it so hard to teach a child not to shoot people?"
 
Huh? I'm sorry, I was thinking about cake.
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17. No subject Dec 12, 2006, 07:58 Timo
 
Lucas Arts forced Obsidian to release Kotor 2 unfinished, because they wanted it out for christmas. Personally I think the writing in Kotor 2 was better than in the first one.
Oh, ok, so Kotor 2 sold a lot, must be great.
You're the one who said it tanked, you didn't say anything about it's quality.
Sorry, but Kotor 2 single handedly destroyed the possibility of that being a franchise.
Huh? It got good reviews and it sold well, how does that result in the destruction of the franchise? Enter the Matrix was a horrible game, but that didn't destroy the Matrix game franchise.

 
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16. Wth? Dec 12, 2006, 04:15 Acleacius
 
"Kotor 2 single handedly destroyed the possibility of that being a franchise."

What are you talking about there is already a KotOR 3 in the works.
Try jumping in forum decated to the thrid in the series.

 
The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.That is easy.All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.It works the same way in any country.
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15. Re: No subject Dec 12, 2006, 03:41 Masa
 
Kotor 2 single handedly destroyed the possibility of that being a franchise.

It was already a franchise in the first one and before that, Star Wars was pretty well established; Lucas and his movies and all that.

I will personally kick every person who worked on that game in the balls before I die.

Why? Kick Lucas in the nards for ultimatley signing off on the tripe that would become KOTOR2. Obsidian just made the game for them, as LA has desired. Holding them to some ethical standard and blaming them for the game that came about is just asinine. Obsidian's other games are damn good and the blame should be squarely be laid on Lucas Arts for demanding the game be made that way. Game development is yet another business venture, after all.

Look at it this way, it was another reason to read several reviews and user opinions to get a more evolved idea of the game would like.

 
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14. Re: No subject Dec 12, 2006, 03:35 Charlie_Six
 
Yup! I finished NWN2 co-op last night. Had a lot of fun. Way too easy except at the end. Obsidian's coo with me.. I guess their games are so easy because they assume most people are morons and don't follow the character building rules at all. Like in NWN2, I'm sure some people multiclass monstrously bad characters, so they have to make the game easy for those who refuse to read manuals.

I'm looking forward to playing the campaign again, but from an Evil perspective
 
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13. Re: No subject Dec 12, 2006, 03:19 Flo
 
You can call NWN2 ugly and an interactive novel but it has a great story and is extremely long.  
Supporter of the "Chewbacca Defense"
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12. Re: No subject Dec 12, 2006, 03:05 PHJF
 
Generally games that sell in the millions aren't considered tanks.

------
"Oh how awful. Did he at least die peacefully? To shreds you say. Well, how's his wife holding up? To shreds you say."
 
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31 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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