Fallen Enchantress–creating cut scenes

By on May 3, 2011 10:37:12 AM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Frogboy

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Here’s a video of Scott (Boogiebac) working on some cut scenes for Fallen Enchantress.

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May 3, 2011 10:43:04 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Not quite quick enough!   Hawawaa beat you to the punch. <grin>

Best regards,
Steven.

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May 3, 2011 10:46:00 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

keep up the dev feeds! nice work keep it up !

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May 3, 2011 11:14:47 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I love effects like the one used in that cutscene. Not only does it save time, but it feels right for the "comic" style of Elemental.

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May 3, 2011 11:41:13 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Really looking forward to this coming out.  

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May 3, 2011 12:39:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

"alot more soul in it"...................I like that.

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May 3, 2011 2:05:17 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Who is the talking camera guy?

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May 3, 2011 2:12:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Brad...he like to suprise us with improtu mini-interviews

edit: FIIIIRRSSTT!!!!!!

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May 3, 2011 2:12:27 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Frogboy.

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May 3, 2011 2:16:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

That was Frogboy, the CEO of Stardock.

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May 3, 2011 2:18:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

it will be really nice to see more of the gorgeous art that has been created for this game and see the story brought to life. i expect to really enjoy this stuff.

however, i'm not sure if it's the best use of resources. most of us never played the campaign that shipped with the original game, and even (in the best case scenario), that the campaign and sandbox games were integrated as i always hoped they would be (both in elementa and gal civ 2) most will surely end up skipping the cutscenes after the first or second playthrough. in fact, i am unlikely to play the FE campaign either, unless it is as deep and open as the sandbox (or better yet, the same game).

moreover, if you want to compete with the best, the production values will have to be really good. can you honestly say that people wil enjoy your cutscenes as much as they do in mass effects? (and if so, great). i thought the narration on the opening sequence in WoM was really cringy (the one on the website though, with the female voice, was much better).

moreover, are the peope who want that, emotive immersive rpg experience really going to play what wil (hopefully) always be a hardcore turn based strategy game? i know that the game already has rpg elements, but to my mind these make it more hardcore, not less, because of the amount of extra micro they add.

i love rpgs, but it is important to play to your strengths and know your audience (present and target). i'm not saying don't make the game more immersive, but don't do anything that you can't do as well as, or better, than anyone else. by this i mean, cutscenes, power poly graphics and animation, expensive narration or any other kind of production values that "take over" the gaming experience and interrupt gameplay. some good examples: the baldur's gate games have beautiful handpainted graphics, but next to non-existant animation and bare bones narration. but they are as good games as the newer rpgs because of their greater flexibility, depth and shear size. they did what they could well and avoided what they couldn't. or if you want a more recent example, indie smash Braid. gorgeous art and music, 0 narration or 3d animation. you are never forced to take a break from the basically fantastic game experience.

this is not to say what you're doing is a bad idea. i wil enjoy everything you add to the game, i just hope you play to your strengths.

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May 3, 2011 2:32:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Sethai: It's an issue of communication with the player, IMO. Its relativly easy to implement 'things' that happen, or for the player to do, but it's just as important (if not MORE important) to properly communicate with the player whats happening in the game and why.

Proper and engaging feedback, be it in a cutscene, animation, or some other asset.

We dropped the ball on this in WoM...you can't have a 'fantasy game in an RPG world' and fail to intergrate that lore and world into the gameplay experience. We left too much to the imaginations of the player last time, and as long as the FE assets created fit the style of the world we're building, then only positive things can come from it (and don't worry, we have several quality female VO artists on the docket this time...sparing no expense this time around).

Ironically, I have a "Making of Braid" video on in the bg...great game. I like what Mr.Blow has to say on design in general.

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May 3, 2011 4:24:25 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Couldn't really see anything from the animation in the vid. Maybe give us a proper cutscene teaser soon to better understand what you're talking about?

 

PS. Nice shirt, looking good BoogieBac. Like your style.

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May 3, 2011 5:08:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Nice

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May 3, 2011 5:34:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Ya know, I on that video I saw Lord Xia's posts on BoogieBac's left monitor. What's up with that?

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May 3, 2011 5:38:50 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Xia's actually a man of few words...I like to use my admin powers to 'spice up' his posts

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May 3, 2011 7:05:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

So you think people who play fantasy games have less imagination than people who play sci-fi?

By my perception, it's more that people who play sci-fi are satisfied with less in terms of the things fantasy people prefer, if they are satiated with interesting tech and things like that, while magic and such systems would have to be totally revolutionary and unheard of to draw in Fantasy fans, who are more discerning when it comes to other aspects of the setting.

Furthermore, GalCiv was not as bland as WoM. Though I first played GalCiv fairly late in the post-release cycle, much of this was there from the beginning. When I got to it, it had a lot more little things that imply setting than does War of Magic. Things like races, which were already diverse at the beginning even though they shared a tech tree for a long time. There were the humans and the drengin, which roughly parallel the kingdoms and empire, but then instead of being five versions of each of those, there were robots and bugs and amphibians and things. Then with random events/morailty and your political structure, that builds a lot more uniqueness to your empire than War of Magic can exhibit. In War of Magic, you're either human or fallen, and there's some differences between the races other than that, but the difference between people that are good at making money and people who are good at working metal is not as big as the difference between Yor and Altaria. And then WoM totally lacks any sort of social policy mechanic. There's not even the random events requiring you to make decisions like that, and even GalCiv's simplistic "empire/federation/democracy" thing is absent.

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May 3, 2011 7:06:58 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

[quote who="Hawawaa beat you to the punch. <grin>" reply="10" id="2931499"]it will be really nice to see more of the gorgeous art that has been created for this game and see the story brought to life. i expect to really enjoy this stuff.

however, i'm not sure if it's the best use of resources. most of us never played the campaign that shipped with the original game, and even (in the best case scenario), that the campaign and sandbox games were integrated as i always hoped they would be (both in elementa and gal civ 2) most will surely end up skipping the cutscenes after the first or second playthrough. in fact, i am unlikely to play the FE campaign either, unless it is as deep and open as the sandbox (or better yet, the same game).
[/quote]

 

I think its really important that they make the effort with cutscenes to try and flesh out the gameworld and help players immerse themselves in it more. I will no doubt end up skipping cutscenes as well after seeing them a few times, but the important part is their impact the first time around.

 

Just as a quick example, I dont know if you ever played Alpha Centauri? The cutscenes there were triggered whenever you completed a super-project and helped really set the mood of a dark dystopian future civilisation:

 

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=alpha+centauri+secret+project&aq=7&oq=alpha+centaur

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May 3, 2011 8:35:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Cruxador,
So you think people who play fantasy games have less imagination than people who play sci-fi?
  Ah, sorry, that's not what I ment

Both GC2 and WoM have the benifit of catering to a very creative group of players, with GC2 having the extra benifit of having some additional features that push immersion (random events is the big one in my eyes) and...you know...being stable

WoM, however, also caters to a section of the RPG crowd: a demographic that expect a certain level of richness, depth, and polish to their games. That's not to say they aren't creative, but RPGs are well known for heeping on polished and intergrated lore and many fans of that genre expect that here as well.

A large part of our FE focus is bringing that polish, whenever and wherever possible.

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May 4, 2011 10:32:43 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I for one LOVE the artwork, and its wonderful to see you guys using it and taking it to the next level.

There is alot of talk about the importance of lore.

But this brings back MoM. To me that game had no lore, but i played it for hours on end. I think lore is important but gameplay>everything else.

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May 5, 2011 5:52:43 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Grove12345,
I for one LOVE the artwork, and its wonderful to see you guys using it and taking it to the next level.

There is alot of talk about the importance of lore.

But this brings back MoM. To me that game had no lore, but i played it for hours on end. I think lore is important but gameplay>everything else.

 

Sorry but I am in an opposite opinion about that. Most of the greatest gameplay can feel kind of dull to people, if it lacks some purpose and is just about mechanics and numbers.  Yes of course not all but I guess it is hard to give exact % numbers  about what people prefer. For example I even endure a bad gameplay system if teh story is ctaching and nice and a game just does have the right atmosphere. I am as well aware that there is the opposite spectrum around and a lot in between but saying gameplay > all is for me a just personal opinion and hardly reflects what someone does prefer or not.

For example Apple, as much I dislike teh company for many reason, sells their things mainly about the feeling nice and status aspect by mainly hiding the mechanic and 'gameplay' to the user sort of.

What I mean is someone certainly prefers something nice shaped with the same abilities over something  that looks like a brickstone and depending on the person one thing is higher weighted than the others. The optimal case would be to find the right balance that most people like. After all tehre is always someone that dislikes some aspect that 80% love for example.

Thinking about this makes forum feedback as a whole always a bit complicated.

Sorry if it sounds to confuseing. English is not my first language after all.

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May 5, 2011 7:31:26 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Grove12345,
...MoM. To me that game had no lore, but i played it for hours on end. I think lore is important but gameplay>everything else.
Yeah, it really is a tightrope walking that line between 'building an immersive world' and letting the player drive the narrative of their sandbox game. I think the best comromise is to make sure the game is aware of the events that the player is aware of.

Gal Civ 2, for instance, gave a lot of its feedback on the state of the game through AI conversations. If it became aware of somethign that it understood, then it would bring up a dialog to let the player know that IT knew (ships on the border of territory, starbases getting plopped inside their borders, etc). Our first step in WoM is to simply help guide that narration by underlining key events..."You've just entered this magical, dangerous area and you'll probably die!" can not only build on the narrative, but it informs the player that they may not be strong enough for the area they're wondering into. In WoM, it was pure guesswork, which is never a good thing to drop on a player trying to juggle a vast empire.

Quoting Selphares,
For example Apple, as much I dislike teh company for many reason, sells their things mainly about the feeling nice and status aspect by mainly hiding the mechanic and 'gameplay' to the user sort of.
Funny that you bring up Apple...their design philosophy came up as we looked back on WoM's development process to determine what we were doing wrong.

Brad pointed to Microsoft as the way we've run things traditionally...engineer driven development. You take an idea and let the implementation steer much of the design (ie. "What CAN we do?"). At Apple, on the otherhand, the designers rule all, and tend to really focus on a tight scope (ie. "What SHOULD we do?"). They shape the code to their predetermined design vision, and we lacked a proper team of designers to set things up and keep that 'overall picture' in mind.

But now we have Derek, Jon, and Toby, and the project is considerably better off with them on the team

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May 5, 2011 4:51:32 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

.

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May 6, 2011 9:32:54 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

...and what Kadrium said.   

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May 6, 2011 3:23:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Kadrium,

Quoting BoogieBac, reply 21
Quoting Grove12345, reply 19...MoM. To me that game had no lore, but i played it for hours on end. I think lore is important but gameplay>everything else. Yeah, it really is a tightrope walking that line between 'building an immersive world' and letting the player drive the narrative of their sandbox game. I think the best comromise is to make sure the game is aware of the events that the player is aware of.
MoM didn't have incredibly strong and vibrant lore, but it was built on a lot of standard, classic fantasy tropes -- elves, dwarves, lizardmen, dragons, etc. That made their setting immediately approachable and graspable by anyone who's ever played D&D or picked up almost any fantasy literature, or played almost any other fantasy video game at the time. This is the lore equivalent of fan-fic. You don't need to develop your own characters and settings, someone's done that work for you.

Elemental is not relying on those tropes, so there's not that immediate sense of familiarity. They have to work harder to sell the world to you, and you aren't able to make any instant assumptions about any of the races or characters based on those sorts of standard fantasy mechanics. Everyone knows Dwarves are fond of drink and industry and Elves love the woodlands and magic, but you don't have that instant familiarity with the Elemental factions.

 

Ah exactly what I mean, partly a problem is a bit lack of connection or empathy to the races to some degree. Blunt said someoen can get away with Elves, Lizards and dwarves by even adding less background to them as a race. On emotional level Elemental would have gottten quite different reactions if you have the known things around without much explanation. Since it are anway new races and you sort not can connect with their goals it feels a bit tough to connect to them. At least for me as a more story driven person since I am more from the Pen and Paper and general literature corner it felt sort of meaningless to play a race at all. In some way the upcoming Sequel makes it even harder to even play the game, since the Sequel is the more story driven one, which is kind of sad since I really like the base Idea behind the original one.

On the other hand I really love the story and the background to Sword of the stars for example. They made a nice Race bio and background with a writer to the certain groups  that is nice to read and each race had a kind of unique thing about itself, that let them feel different.

Anyway I stay far away to dare to give advice in this matter creating immersion that is catching is a really a tough thing. Maybe reading tvtropes would help to get a base feeling for things, than again readin that one leads to a breakdown in productivity for certain.

 

The example with apple was just a random one, but yes that is what I meant about it. Anyway I think they listen to much to their design people.

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May 6, 2011 8:15:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

wow. I leave it for a few months and you guys are really starting to nail things down.

Fallen enchantress is looking good from what I've seen in the dev journals and I'm pleased to hear you're adding more soul to the game.

I do hope some of that soul translates into giving the AI some personality though. If you're going to flesh out the game world it'll be odd to have something so homogeneous in the mix.

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