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Aliens RPG Cancelled

The Obsidian Community Forums finally drop the other shoe on Obsidian's on, off, on again, off again Aliens RPG (thanks Giant Bomb/Shacknews). The latest (for the moment) is that the game is officially cancelled:

Hi guys, The Guildmaster here. Rumors have circled around a bit regarding the fate of the Aliens role playing game that Obsidian and SEGA had been working on. Unfortunately, it is true that we are no longer working on the game, and we wanted to finally announce that officially to everyone who has been following its development. We’re going to keep this forum up for another week for archival purposes and to allow you guys to finish up any open threads, and then we will shut it down since it is no longer a product that is in development.

All of us here at Obsidian would like to thank you for your interest and support during its development, and we encourage you to check out the recent news about Alpha Protocol, which is coming to the PC, Xbox 360 and PLAYSTATION 3 very soon!

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53 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 1.
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53. Re: Aliens RPG Cancelled Jun 28, 2009, 20:07 Surf
 
100% Accurate. Jerykk states so many truths in his posts. I too wish the gaming industry would take more chances, and the last one I tried that did was Zeno Clash and Goo.  
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52. Re: Aliens RPG Cancelled Jun 28, 2009, 18:08 Jerykk
 
Yeah, the combat was pretty weak in DX. However, the new DX will have a cover system which is utterly retarded and unnecessary for an FPS. From what I've read, the stealth mechanics are being severely dumbed down too. Now it's all about line of sight rather than lighting and sound. The game is still a ways off so hopefully these things will change but based on what has been revealed thus far, I'm not going to get my hopes up.  
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51. Re: Aliens RPG Cancelled Jun 28, 2009, 18:00 shponglefan
 
As much as I'm excited about both, this is specifically why I worry about the new Deus Ex and Thief sequels.

I'm actually hoping for some good combat in the new Deus Ex game. The combat in the prior games sucked balls.
 
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50. Re: Aliens RPG Cancelled Jun 28, 2009, 17:51 Jerykk
 
As much as I'm excited about both, this is specifically why I worry about the new Deus Ex and Thief sequels. How can developers of these properties miss the whole point of these games and still be allowed to develop them?

I think it's because the publishers don't really care about the original games. They are just using the brands to raise awareness and build hype amongst the existing fanbase. The fanbase gets excited and spreads the word and gets other people excited, then the game comes out and is a disappointment to the fans but the new players love it. This is what happened with Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon, Oblivion, Fallout 3, Bioshock (not an official sequel but definitely a spiritual one to SS2) and what will most likely happen with Thief 4 and DX3.
 
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49. Re: Aliens RPG Cancelled Jun 28, 2009, 17:27 Prez
 
They repeatedly state how the previous games were too slow and methodical. Problem is, stealth games are SUPPOSED to be slow and methodical.

As much as I'm excited about both, this is specifically why I worry about the new Deus Ex and Thief sequels. How can developers of these properties miss the whole point of these games and still be allowed to develop them?
 
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Goodbye my Monte boy. May you rest in the peace you never knew in life.
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48. Re: Aliens RPG Cancelled Jun 28, 2009, 16:57 Jerykk
 
Blending of action and RPG elements has been going on for decades. Look at the the Mana games, the Zelda games, River City Ransom, the System Shocks, the Diablos, Arena, Daggerfall, etc. This isn't new.

Yeah, except there used to be a distinction between RPGs and action RPGs. Now there's only action RPGs. Same thing with stealth, horror and other genres. If you look at how Ubisoft is marketing Splinter Cell: Conviction, they keep emphasizing how it's so much faster and more visceral than its predecessors. They repeatedly state how the previous games were too slow and methodical. Problem is, stealth games are SUPPOSED to be slow and methodical. If I can just run through a level shooting people in the face, I'm playing an action game, not a stealth game. Publishers used to understand and embrace the differences between action games and other genres but now they apparently believe that fast-paced, visceral and action-packed is the only way to go.

This was followed by several waves of resurgance through the late 90's and 2000's.

I certainly hope you're right.

Oh I can think up some really amazing releases in the past 6 years.

While there have certainly been some good releases, there's nothing that's really impressed me like games from the 90's. Nothing as ambitious, innovative or downright revolutionary. I think it's hilarious/sad when a new game touts a feature as exciting and new when it's already been done (better) about a decade ago.

This comment was edited on Jun 28, 2009, 17:02.
 
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47. Re: Aliens RPG Cancelled Jun 28, 2009, 14:56 swaaye
 
Look at the games that were released between 1995 and 2001..... Now look at the games released in the past six years.

Oh I can think up some really amazing releases in the past 6 years. I'd also be willing to argue with you about the usual list there of "totally awesome '90s staple games". It's all subjective.

Sure the '80s and '90s were rather revolutionary. That's because they were coming up with new genres left and right. Interactive entertainment was newly born, after all. Some ideas worked well, some sure didn't. Some of the seemingly abandoned genres (out of the limelight basically) might sell today or they might not. Just like some movie genres are good popcorn blockbusters and some simply will never be. But tastes do change over time.

The gaming industry is very young yet. It's pretty obvious that 3D for example is still very unrefined, regardless of how positively the PR guys talk about their latest stuff. It definitely is still evolving.

The jaded folk living in their perfect pasts are just unhappy that the industry hasn't evolved as they imagined it would. I think that's a life lesson or something.
 
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46. Re: Aliens RPG Cancelled Jun 28, 2009, 13:54 shponglefan
 
Action games have always been the most popular genre, yes. But there was still a very distinct separation between it and other genres. Look at RPGs. Jade Empire, Fable, Mass Effect, Fallout 3... all of those are essentially action games with RPG elements.

Blending of action and RPG elements has been going on for decades. Look at the the Mana games, the Zelda games, River City Ransom, the System Shocks, the Diablos, Arena, Daggerfall, etc. This isn't new.

Ditto with blending of action and other genres (adventure, strategy, sims, etc).

I'll grant that in recent times action-oriented gaming has become more the fore-front of gaming (that and "casual" gaming), but gaming always goes through cycles. For example, the RPGs you list (the BioWare AD&D games, the Fallouts) came after RPGs were pronounced dying on the PC platform. This was followed by several waves of resurgance through the late 90's and 2000's.

I agree that it would be nice if there were some broader genres of games (particularly space sims; oh how I miss the days of X-Wing and Tie Fighter!). But there are still games in neglected genres being released (again, look at Telltale licensing and releasing new games based on Lucasarts frachises), so keep enjoying what we have now until such genres stage their comebacks.
 
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45. Re: Aliens RPG Cancelled Jun 28, 2009, 12:54 Kajetan
 
As I scroll through the list of PC titles listed from E3.. I don't think PC gaming is dead.

Yap, the PC as a gaming plattform is becoming less attractive only for the major publishers. Smaller devs, smaller publishers are making good money from PC gamers and are HAPPY, so very happy, that the majors are leaving the battlefield. Are, for example, Valve or Relic suffering from any decline in PC gaming? Is Stardock suffering? Is Paradox suffering? They take over, as publishers like Activision or Ubisoft are concentrating more on consoles.
 
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44. Re: Aliens RPG Cancelled Jun 28, 2009, 12:29 ColoradoHoudini
 
Here's the pitch...
I'm sorry, I refuse to upgrade every year for games. It's stupid.

A SWING AND A DRIVE.... wayyyyyyyyy back... over the wall !!!!!
Agreed. If you upgrade yearly, you really are stupid.

HOME RUN!!


As I scroll through the list of PC titles listed from E3.. I don't think PC gaming is dead.
 
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43. Re: Aliens RPG Cancelled Jun 28, 2009, 10:42 Zadig
 
The problem is that the innovations have since disappeared. Why are no new RPGs as open-ended as the old ones? Why don't games have writing as mature and engaging as that of PST or DX? Why has the ability to lean, crouch, jump and go prone been replaced with extremely limited cover systems? Why haven't any games matched the sheer speed and mobility of Tribes or Quake? Why have light and sound stealth mechanics been dumbed down or completely removed? Why have space sims, mech sims, vehicular combat sims, adventure games, etc, all but disappeared? Why has depth and challenge been cast aside in favor of accessibility and instant gratification? If the games of the 90's set the standards of today, I'd be a happy camper. Unfortunately, modern standards are a step back in almost all respects.

Now that gaming is more mainstream the market for games has gotten much larger and, unfortunately, much dumber. The open ended games have been replaced by heavily scripted ones because games like Half Life outsell games like Deus Ex. They’re also much easier for dumb players to get through. Complex game mechanics disappear because the mongoloids who won’t read the manual or play the tutorial will slander the game if they can’t ‘learn’ it in 30 seconds. Those changes are at least vaguely market driven.

I have no idea why writing and cut scenes are so bad now. Going from DX, NOLF, and PST to the embarrassing comic book drivel that’s churned out today is impossible to explain. Literate gamers will get increasingly frustrated with games and idiots like good stories too.

The “niche games” are dying because most publishers and developers are only interested in getting their own Warcraft/Halo revenue stream. The easiest way for them to approach that is to make clones of those games. That the WoW clones all fail spectacularly doesn’t seem to prevent every title ever made being in development as another “stab bears, boars, and wolves for 6 hours a day” MMO. This is just stubbornness and stupidity on the part of the devs/pubs – they want the money so badly that they refuse to acknowledge the market doesn’t want more of those games right now. There won’t be much innovation until they decide to stop chasing the Warcraft rainbow.
 
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42. Re: Aliens RPG Cancelled Jun 28, 2009, 04:22 Jerykk
 
I would say that Penumbra and Braid are two of the more popular indie titles out there].

Braid is probably the most well-known indie game, thanks to all the media coverage it got, as well as that stupid video by that one rapper. It was also on XBLA. Penumbra? Not quite so famous. If you created a poll at all the major gaming sites asking if people have heard of Penumbra, I'm pretty sure the vast majority of people would say no.

In any case, compared to the big budget games like GTA, Halo, CoD, Gears of War, etc, all indie games can be considered obscure.

Eh? Action-oriented gaming has always been the biggest staple of gaming (maybe not as much on the PC, but definitely in the arcade and console). Other than a dearth of turned-based RPG combat or turn-based strategy games, I'm not sure what you are referring to here.

Action games have always been the most popular genre, yes. But there was still a very distinct separation between it and other genres. Look at RPGs. Jade Empire, Fable, Mass Effect, Fallout 3... all of those are essentially action games with RPG elements. When was the last time you saw an RPG that let you talk your way through the game, like in Planescape: Torment or Fallout 1/2? Similarly, stealth and horror games have focused on action at the expense of everything else. Silent Hill: Homecoming was essentially a beat'em-up, RE4 and 5 are pretty much shooters and the much-acclaimed Dead Space is all about blowing monsters into little chunks. Splinter Cell: Conviction's idea of stealth is shooting dudes in the face and throwing them through windows. The current iterations of tactical shooters like R6 and Ghost Recon have eschewed planning and strategy in favor of fast-paced, highly scripted action. Hell, even the extremely niche genre of real-time tactical strategy games (Commandos, Desperados, Robin Hood, etc) became more action-oriented. Commandos 3 made the levels smaller and more "visceral" by adding contrived pressure-inducers like time limits and respawning enemies. Then there was Commandos: Strike Force which tried to turn the series into a shooter.

It's only going to happen once and after which you'll get some new ideas and designs, but for the most part the bulk of the innovation has already taken place.

The problem is that the innovations have since disappeared. Why are no new RPGs as open-ended as the old ones? Why don't games have writing as mature and engaging as that of PST or DX? Why has the ability to lean, crouch, jump and go prone been replaced with extremely limited cover systems? Why haven't any games matched the sheer speed and mobility of Tribes or Quake? Why have light and sound stealth mechanics been dumbed down or completely removed? Why have space sims, mech sims, vehicular combat sims, adventure games, etc, all but disappeared? Why has depth and challenge been cast aside in favor of accessibility and instant gratification? If the games of the 90's set the standards of today, I'd be a happy camper. Unfortunately, modern standards are a step back in almost all respects.

This comment was edited on Jun 28, 2009, 04:51.
 
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41. Re: Aliens RPG Cancelled Jun 28, 2009, 04:19 shponglefan
 
The American games industry, on the other hand, is pretty much all big budget blockbusters. Every genre is being pushed towards action.

Eh? Action-oriented gaming has always been the biggest staple of gaming (maybe not as much on the PC, but definitely in the arcade and console). Other than a dearth of turned-based RPG combat or turn-based strategy games, I'm not sure what you are referring to here.

The 90's were really great because the big publishers would take risks and fund unique and/or niche games. This is a very, very rare occurrence these days.

But the 90's were that way simply because gaming was still growing and expanding into new territory. It's like the Cambrian explosion of gaming. It's only going to happen once and after which you'll get some new ideas and designs, but for the most part the bulk of the innovation has already taken place.

This comment was edited on Jun 28, 2009, 04:19.
 
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40. Re: Aliens RPG Cancelled Jun 28, 2009, 02:47 Fifth
 
If that were true, I wouldn't know about Braid, Age of Decadence, Penumbra, Naumachia or any number of obscure indie games that spark my interest. However, the fact remains that big publishers aren't taking nearly as many risks as they used to and that genre diversity has suffered as a result.
I'm not sure if I would classify some of those titles as obscure. I would say that Penumbra and Braid are two of the more popular indie titles out there. The only one I haven't heard of is Naumachia - and that apparently isn't even released yet.
 
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39. Re: Aliens RPG Cancelled Jun 28, 2009, 02:36 Cutter
 
You missed a few, Jerykk, but I won't belittle the point, as it's fine list indeed. Still that really sucks, done right, this game would have kicked major ass!
 
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James Woods: Oh that's fun. That sounds like you had a fun time. Where would I fit in with the fun time, huh? Where does James Woods fit into the fun?
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38. Re: Aliens RPG Cancelled Jun 28, 2009, 02:04 Jerykk
 
That's all well and good. You just shouldn't make unfounded claims if you don't want anybody to rain on your parade.  
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37. Re: Aliens RPG Cancelled Jun 28, 2009, 00:46 elefunk
 
Sorry, instead of looking pessimistically on the past, I simply enjoy the amazing games that there are and that I still have far too little time to play. Especially far too little time to be jaded as fuck and spend time on message boards every day bitching about "BACK IN MY DAYYY"  
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36. Re: Aliens RPG Cancelled Jun 27, 2009, 23:56 Jerykk
 
If that were true, I wouldn't know about Braid, Age of Decadence, Penumbra, Naumachia or any number of obscure indie games that spark my interest. However, the fact remains that big publishers aren't taking nearly as many risks as they used to and that genre diversity has suffered as a result.

Look at the games that were released between 1995 and 2001:

1. Baldur's Gate 1&2
2. Icewind Dale 1&2
3. Planescape: Torment
4. Fallout 1&2
5. Arcanum
6. Mechwarrior 2,3,4
7. Interstate 76
8. Crimson Skies
9. Deus Ex
10. System Shock 2
11. Commandos 1&2
12. Freespace 2
13. Rainbow Six
14. Ghost Recon
15. Thief 1&2
16. Full Throttle
17. Grim Fandango
18. Descent 1,2,3
19. Independence War
20. Heavy Gear 1&2

Now look at the games released in the past six years.

This comment was edited on Jun 28, 2009, 00:15.
 
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35. Re: Aliens RPG Cancelled Jun 27, 2009, 23:38 elefunk
 
Sounds like you're paying too much attention to hype and the gaming media and too little attention to the huge array of games that have been coming out under the radar.  
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34. Re: Aliens RPG Cancelled Jun 27, 2009, 22:46 Jerykk
 
No, what has happened is gaming has gone mainstream. So we get a lot of big budget formulaic games. This is not unlike the film industry with the annual formulaic summer blockbusters and chick flicks. And like indie films, there is still innovation and risk-taking, but it's done on a smaller scale mainly by indie developers.

The big difference is that big Hollywood studios also put out films in a wide range of genres. Drama, comedy, romance, horror, mystery, etc. They don't focus solely on big summer blockbusters. The American games industry, on the other hand, is pretty much all big budget blockbusters. Every genre is being pushed towards action. The indie scene will always exist, thank god, but indies can only go so far with their limited resources. The 90's were really great because the big publishers would take risks and fund unique and/or niche games. This is a very, very rare occurrence these days. And no, rhythm games don't qualify as innovative.

Go buy a copy of Braid today (or better yet, buy two).

I did (well, I bought one copy). I did buy multiple copies of the Penumbra games though. Really great games and the only true survival horror games in years.

This comment was edited on Jun 27, 2009, 22:48.
 
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