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dowon
03-10-2008, 11:42 PM
http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=253567

Game Informer April Issue - Alpha Protocol Cover Story (Obsidian's New Action RPG)
------------------------------

Alpha Protocol

(1 player action/RPG)

Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Platform: PS3/360/PC
Publisher: Sega
Release: Spring 2009

"A modern day espionage focused action/RPG that takes you on a suspenseful ride in the vein of James Bond, Jack Bauer, and Jason Bourne. Take a wet-behind-the-ears greenhorn agent up through the ranks to become a bona-fide super spy."

-Main character is Michael Thorton, a fully trained but inexperienced young operative who has the world turned upside down when a mission goes wrong.

-Title "Alpha Protocol" is a phrase that is used when operatives go underground to work off the grid. Usually reserved for senior agents.

-Battle system is similar to Mass Effect but have more in common with Uncharted. It revolves around real time combat with an emphasis on gun play and high tech gadgets.

-Third person perspective, action orientated gameplay

-Close quarters combat can be a last resort or primary method of fighting depending on how you spend skill points you have earned.

-Skill system is based most closely on Fallout. It's classless, you have 10 skills and 10 ranks in each skill. Skills don't simply improve things like accuracy, they improve the way your character will perceive situations.

-The game will suit all play styles from the run and gunner to the stealth assassin.

-Extremely in depth dialog system that is a mix of Mass Effect and Indigo Prophecy. Once conversations happen, that's it, no revisiting the NPC to try to talk again and again. System is named the Dialog Stance System. You dictate your characters tone in a conversation by pressing a corresponding face button. Options can be cool and suave others can be brash/impatient.

-You can have multiple active missions in different countries and travel freely between them.

-Lots of girls and romance subplots. You'll meet tons of different girls on missions and yes you can bag them all.

-Current control scheme for selecting powers and weapons is similar to Bioshock.
I think Alpha Protocol is the Unreal 3 Project that Avellone and Mitsoda is working on.

SilentScope001
03-11-2008, 01:28 AM
Oh noes! Mass Effect is now being copied! The Mass Effect clones will then reproduce, multiply, and invade the RPG gerne until its too late and we all get an influx of choice, choice, choice. Sooner or later, the choice of what shoe you'll wear will end up deciding the fate of millions of people. You heard it first from me.

Oh you know what? Fine. I'll splurge on the CIA rpg.

Jae Onasi
03-11-2008, 11:00 AM
Oh, geez, why can't they do it like VtMB and have a girl spy who can bag the guys? Sigh. Otherwise, it sounds like a lot of fun.

Here's the thread from the Obsidian boards. http://forums.obsidianent.com/index.php?showtopic=49167

Some people think the GI article is an April Fool's. :)

SilentScope001
03-11-2008, 12:49 PM
Oh, geez, why can't they do it like VtMB and have a girl spy who can bag the guys? Sigh.

What makes you think Micheal Thorton is a boy? ;)

Pavlos
03-13-2008, 02:02 PM
Oh noes! Mass Effect is now being copied! The Mass Effect clones will then reproduce, multiply, and invade the RPG gerne until its too late and we all get an influx of choice, choice, choice. Sooner or later, the choice of what shoe you'll wear will end up deciding the fate of millions of people. You heard it first from me.

It sounds more like Deus Ex than Mass Effect, to be honest with you.

Although I don't doubt Obsidian's ability to craft a story I can't help but get a negative vibe from this press release; what's with all the name dropping?

Edit: Source (http://www.ebgames.com/product.asp?cookie%5Ftest=1&product%5Fid=200463)

Loyalty carries a price and no one knows this more than agent Michael Thorton. A talented young agent cast out by his government, Thorton is the only one with the information needed to stop an impending international catastrophe. To do so means he must cut himself off from the very people he is sworn to protect. As players determine how to accomplish different objectives, the decisions made and actions taken in each mission will ultimately transform the type of secret agent Michael Thorton will become. Every choice the player makes as Michael Thorton will carry consequences for his future and the fate of the world.

That sounds more like an Obsidian game :).

Corinthian
03-13-2008, 02:54 PM
Let's hope it's actually properly completed this time and we don't get another patented Obsidian "On your way out of the dungeon, rocks fall. Everyone dies. The end."

Lantzen
03-13-2008, 04:16 PM
Well, could be good to play the expansion rather then whinne at the ending.

And i really like most of the new games Obsidian have done, so om looking forward to this

Pavlos
03-13-2008, 04:34 PM
Well, could be good to play the expansion rather then whinne at the ending.

Quite. MotB is definitely a complete and well executed piece of work. At this time, it is probably Obsidian's magnum opus, despite being an expansion.

Corinthian
03-13-2008, 06:49 PM
You do realize that a properly made game does not require an expansion to have a satisfactory ending. For example, Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn - it had a satisfactory ending BEFORE the expansion. The expansion's ending wrapped up the overstory, but the self-contained Irenicus story was wrapped up without apparently killing the protagonists.

I mean, it'd be like if Fallout's ending were replaced by "After slaying the Master, the Vault Dweller returned to the Vault, found it had been looted by Super Mutants. He was then ambushed by a Mutant assault team. They have not been seen since."

Pavlos
03-14-2008, 01:17 PM
You do realize that a properly made game does not require an expansion to have a satisfactory ending. For example, Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn - it had a satisfactory ending BEFORE the expansion. The expansion's ending wrapped up the overstory, but the self-contained Irenicus story was wrapped up without apparently killing the protagonists.

I was more suggesting that Obsidian seems to have pulled up their socks when it comes to polishing and completing their games :). I am well aware that the high quality of MotB doesn't redeem NWN2's ending (or certain questionable design decisions; a.k.a Old Owl Well). However, it more than redeems Obsidian Entertainment's reputation for creating intelligent and well-designed games.

To be honest with you, even if they have to go the mainstream route to stay afloat, I'd be happy if Obsidian carved a niche market with NWN2 expansions. Mask took me right back to the golden age and I'm not adverse to visiting it again.

I still cross my fingers in the hope that there's room for a AAA standard, intelligent RPG; one with a plot that respects your decisions and harkens back to the glory of late 90s. A guy's got to hope, right?

Edit: It be confirmed.

Obsidian Entertainment (http://www.obsidianent.com/). As well as the nifty cover of Game Informer (http://www.gameinformer.com/News/Story/200803/N08.0313.1155.46802.htm).

If you love RPGs but are tired of swinging swords or slogging around in spacesuits, you’re in luck. Obsidian Entertainment is drawing on its Fallout and Planescape: Torment roots with its new espionage-based game Alpha Protocol. Drawing on the three J.B.s for inspiration—Jack Bauer, Jason Bourne and James Bond—the developers are giving players plenty of different ways to tackle problems. You can rely on brute force, stealth or gadgets to accomplish missions, and also navigate through a nuanced conversation system.

Edit to the edit: If anyone in the States who has access to the April copy of Game Informer could post more information from the article that would be awesome and likely rewarded with ice cream; though I cannot guarantee whether or not it will still be fresh after it's been shipped over the pond.

Edit the third: If you want the full and official press release then you can access it by clicking here (http://news.teamxbox.com/xbox/15954/Sega-Announces-Alpha-Protocol/)... or here (http://news.teamxbox.com/xbox/15954/Sega-Announces-Alpha-Protocol/). I know it's the same link but I want to give the player real choices in this RPG :xp:.

Corinthian
03-16-2008, 05:37 PM
I just get tired of people going ape over Obsidian - They've made 1 mediocre game, one game that had great potential, but was unfinished. Not entirely their fault, but the fact remains, and one game that is allegedly good, but as I haven't played MOTB, I can't really give a thumb either way. It's not exactly a great track record considering these guys are considered the successors of Black Isle.

Still, now that they're not making sequels to other people's games, Avellone might get back into the swing of things.

Jae Onasi
03-17-2008, 06:13 PM
Just a quick note: there's a thead on NWN2 that addresses the ending as well as the problems and merits of the game in general. If you could continue NWN2 specific discussion there that would be appreciated. If it has relevance to AP then it belongs here.
Thanks. :)

Lance Monance
03-18-2008, 04:08 PM
Doesn't sound all that interesting to me but it could be great.

-Extremely in depth dialog system that is a mix of Mass Effect and Indigo Prophecy. Once conversations happen, that's it, no revisiting the NPC to try to talk again and again.

Hm. I for one am not too fond of this. On my first playthrough I usually pick dialog choices that would reflect what I would do in real life, but if I feel I don't get the right reaction, I speak to that NPC again.

Well, as long as there are no ridiculuous loading times I can still do that in AP.

Pavlos
03-19-2008, 11:19 AM
Some kindly poster on the Something Awful (http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=2796825&userid=0&perpage=40&pagenumber=2#post341152257) forums has posted up scans of the article. Beware: at ten pages, it seems about as long as Milton's Paradise Lost. I'd say it's worth it, though :). The article has actually left me asking myself if Obsidian has found the right mix between a commercially viable, modern game and an intelligent old school RPG. While I reserve judgement until I actually play this thing, if what they're saying is true then it certainly seems that way.

And for the lazy (:xp: ):
I got the newest Game Informer in and they have a ten page article on what could possibly be the coolest idea for a WRPG I've heard of since Mass Effect. It is called Alpha Protocol by Obsidian Entertainment. What is the idea behind this RPG that has me ranting?

You are a modern super-spy. You are James Bond. You are Jack Bauer. You are Jason Borune. You are John Clark.

(What is with badass spies and short, four-five letter first names starting with "J?")

Not in the literal sense, but you get the idea. You play as rookie CIA field agent Micheal Thorton, who screws up on his first mission and gets framed in the process. He knows that something big is going down and has to figure out what, without the CIA's support. You have a list of names belonging to people all over the world as clues leading to the bigger conspiracy. The game consists of traveling around the world, tracking these people down while conversing with informants and taking on various side-operations connected to the main story.

In terms of combat, it will be much like Mass Effect. That is to say, it will be a third-person shooter. However, the game wants you to craft your own kick-ass super-spy. There are a number of different skills that you put points into to improve that particular area, like becoming better with pistols or hand-to-hand combat techniques. The developers said they want you to have freedom to develop Thorton how you want, while making sure that you can't just max all the skills and get a spy that enjoys the best of all worlds by the end of the game. You can go the Solid Snake or Sam Fisher way and lay low while enemies go past, relying on stealth. Or you can take the Jack Bauer approach and just start shooting things with your pistol.

When it comes to conversations, they are taking an approach that is like Mass Effect, but different at the same time. When starting a conversation you choose your "tone," but not what you actually say. That is determined by which tone you take. There are three tones: Smooth (And when it comes to the ladies, flirtatious), professional, and brash. This is much like Mass Effect's Paragon, Neutral, and Renegade system.

However, unlike Mass Effect, the conversations are more like cutscenes. You choose your tone and watch it play out just like a conversation in a cutscene or movie. You also have a limited amount of time while the NPC is talking to change your tone, resulting in different responses. This means the conversations are supposed to be more natural, and you won't run into times where, like in many RPGs, you get the same response no matter what you say. Also, once you have had a conversation, it's over. You can't just go back to the NPC and redo the whole thing.

The game also deals with morality, but not in a typical "Light Side vs Dark Side" ordeal. Instead, Obsidian is aiming for more the morally blurred path than outright good and evil to reflect the real world of espionage. Sometimes you have to do dirty things as a spy, which the game promises to reflect.

I bet you are all asking "Well Raven, this is a James Bond-like spy RPG...Where are the hot Bond Babes?" Don't worry, Obsidian is promising numerous hotties that you can develop relationships with, be it romantic or purely sexual. Yes, you heard me right, you can go all James Bond and, apparently, bed every one of these ladies if you work it right.

This is a highly condensed form of a ten page article, so I'm leaving a lot out. I'd suggest reading up on this game. Alpha Protocol promises to be a great RPG, blending a unique setting for the realm of RPG games with what is basically evolutions of concepts we have already seen in Mass Effect. This looks to be an action-heavy espionage thriller of an RPG for everyone sick of more fantasy or sci-fi settings (Not that there is anything wrong with that).Source (http://uk.gamespot.com/users/raven28256/show_blog_entry.php?topic_id=m-100-25353008)

This could actually be pretty good...

Interest++

Edit: I like the way they seem to be making sure that you cannot become a Jack of all trades but rather have to specialise in something and while I'm still not sold on the dialogue system, it does seem that it may allow us to get away from fake choice syndrome (present in NWN2, Mass Effect and God(s) only knows how many other RPGs) whereby you are presented with a dialogue choice and regardless of what you choose, you'll get the same response from the NPC.

I'm also pleased to see more games and developers straying from good and baby eating alignment schemes. Hopefully Obsidian will be able to deliver on their promises of grey morality.

But, you know, I sometimes wonder if Feargus actually knows what's coming out of his mouth. "Approaching Alpha Protocol we really looked at what we're good at. We're good at making role playing games." How insightful...

Lantzen
03-19-2008, 12:57 PM
I like the idea of the side mission that leads up to the main, depending on how you completed the side mission the outcome of the main could change, ot how you go about it. Feels like you could get a big diffrence in your game depending on how you do the side quest.

Gargoyle King
03-29-2008, 07:23 AM
Oh noes! Mass Effect is now being copied! The Mass Effect clones will then reproduce, multiply, and invade the RPG gerne until its too late and we all get an influx of choice, choice, choice. Sooner or later, the choice of what shoe you'll wear will end up deciding the fate of millions of people. You heard it first from me.IMO Mass Effect is way overrated, i've completed it Fully with both endings, both times only taking me about 35-40 hours max to do it. The graphics are good, but not breathtaking and the story just got repetitive after a while. Plus, if you actually do the sidequests in the game the same modules are reused over and over again, with subtle changes made to try to create a new area; lazy designing on Bioware's part IMO. So maybe it won't be a clone, but better than Mass Effect which doesn't seem that hard top fathom after playing ME.

Pavlos
04-03-2008, 02:21 PM
Game Informer gets some exclusive shots of Alpha Protocol (http://www.gameinformer.com/News/Story/200804/N08.0402.1915.21164.htm)

Obsidian Entertainment’s new title Alpha Protocol sent the gaming industry into a frenzy when we revealed via our April cover just a few weeks ago. The company is very excited to move on to a new original IP that centers around a CIA agent named Michael Thorton. Mixing an RPG, and action game and a shooter, Alpha Protocol will no doubt be a high-octane adrenaline ride.
Shame we can't really tell much about the gameplay from these pictures. So far I have: People talk to you and you can hide behind corners with a gun. :xp: Although, it does give us an insight as to what Obsidian's art direction will be like in this game. There seems to be quite a bit of variety - classical architecture ([url=http://www.gameinformer.com/Templates/News/ScreenShotsViewer.aspx?CS_pid={A7109B2B-E362-4B10-B75B-A9C3E0A5626C}&mediaId=2) to modernist minimalism (http://www.gameinformer.com/Templates/News/ScreenShotsViewer.aspx?CS_pid={A7109B2B-E362-4B10-B75B-A9C3E0A5626C}&mediaId=3) - which is always good.

By the way, does anyone else think that Thorton looks phenomenally bored staring out of that window?

Also: Who are these four-eyed goggle people?! I want to know, the uncertainty of it all is plaguing my dreams and stopping me from doing my work! I cannot function!

Pavlos
04-23-2008, 12:48 PM
The UK magazine PC Zone has released an article which Games Radar seems to have nicked. (http://www.gamesradar.com/pc/alpha-protocol/preview/alpha-protocol-first-look/a-20080422121024489075/g-20080313162151178085)

“Essentially, the player chooses a ‘stance’ for Thorton (suave, professional, or aggressive - although the actual breakdowns branch a great deal from this) and then Thorton responds appropriately - and amusingly,” explains Rucinski, having selected his own internal suave stance. “The dialogue system is also set up so that you can’t repeatedly have the same conversation with an NPC to try to find the ‘best’ answer or all the information available. [Pavlos: How is this amusing... ?] This means that if you are a jerk to a person you will get a reaction the next time you talk to them. It reinforces how important that first impression is.”
Nice to see that Obsidian keeps on bringing this up. I don't know how well it will sit with the mainstream "When do I shoot?" crowd of RPG players but I'm certainly pleased that at least one developer is interested in making you face the consequences of what you've said to a person. Hopefully they'll take it further than just:

Mr. X: Generic angry response to you!
Player: Can I ask you some questions?
Mr. X: Certainly!

If James Bond is where the action comes from, Syriana has a big influence on the theme.
I salute you, Obsidian, for your good taste. Could this be to the supar spy genre what KotOR II is to Star Wars? And yes, I did get that question from the Obsidian boards. I guess that makes me a talentless hack. Oh well...

stoffe
04-23-2008, 02:18 PM
“The dialogue system is also set up so that you can’t repeatedly have the same conversation with an NPC to try to find the ‘best’ answer or all the information available. This means that if you are a jerk to a person you will get a reaction the next time you talk to them. It reinforces how important that first impression is.”

Wouldn't people just be able to save and reload savegames between each conversation attempt and continue to do as usual in CRPGs to explore the dialog thread? :)

Don't see how it would be all that different from how it works in their previous games.

Achilles
04-23-2008, 02:33 PM
You could, however if I read the various articles correctly there wouldn't be much point in doing so, as no one path is "better" than another.

Ctrl Alt Del
04-23-2008, 03:14 PM
Not in the literal sense, but you get the idea. You play as rookie CIA field agent Micheal Thorton, who screws up on his first mission and gets framed in the process. He knows that something big is going down and has to figure out what, without the CIA's support. You have a list of names belonging to people all over the world as clues leading to the bigger conspiracy. The game consists of traveling around the world, tracking these people down while conversing with informants and taking on various side-operations connected to the main story.
Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?

Kidding aside, that seems a pretty good start. I don't think I've ever played a spy-based RPG, or whatever it's called.
In terms of combat, it will be much like Mass Effect.
In terms of almost everything, it seems.
That is to say, it will be a third-person shooter. However, the game wants you to craft your own kick-ass super-spy. There are a number of different skills that you put points into to improve that particular area, like becoming better with pistols or hand-to-hand combat techniques. The developers said they want you to have freedom to develop Thorton how you want, while making sure that you can't just max all the skills and get a spy that enjoys the best of all worlds by the end of the game. You can go the Solid Snake or Sam Fisher way and lay low while enemies go past, relying on stealth. Or you can take the Jack Bauer approach and just start shooting things with your pistol.
Amazing! Wait, it's not amazing... RPGs do that since the God made the world.
When it comes to conversations, they are taking an approach that is like Mass Effect, but different at the same time. When starting a conversation you choose your "tone," but not what you actually say. That is determined by which tone you take. There are three tones: Smooth (And when it comes to the ladies, flirtatious), professional, and brash. This is much like Mass Effect's Paragon, Neutral, and Renegade system.
Far too much, I'd say. And seems pretty restrictive. Let's see how this ends up.
However, unlike Mass Effect, the conversations are more like cutscenes. You choose your tone and watch it play out just like a conversation in a cutscene or movie. You also have a limited amount of time while the NPC is talking to change your tone, resulting in different responses. This means the conversations are supposed to be more natural, and you won't run into times where, like in many RPGs, you get the same response no matter what you say. Also, once you have had a conversation, it's over. You can't just go back to the NPC and redo the whole thing.
They better have a more-than-complete journal, then. What if I want to review info?

Plus, depending on how key those cutscen... er, dialogs are, how's that any different from Bioware's games?
The game also deals with morality, but not in a typical "Light Side vs Dark Side" ordeal. Instead, Obsidian is aiming for more the morally blurred path than outright good and evil to reflect the real world of espionage. Sometimes you have to do dirty things as a spy, which the game promises to reflect.
What was the key word again? Oh right, Mass Effect look alike.
I bet you are all asking "Well Raven, this is a James Bond-like spy RPG...Where are the hot Bond Babes?" Don't worry, Obsidian is promising numerous hotties that you can develop relationships with, be it romantic or purely sexual. Yes, you heard me right, you can go all James Bond and, apparently, bed every one of these ladies if you work it right.
Multiple love/fun interests, noted. About the sex scene, old.
This is a highly condensed form of a ten page article, so I'm leaving a lot out. I'd suggest reading up on this game. Alpha Protocol promises to be a great RPG, blending a unique setting for the realm of RPG games with what is basically evolutions of concepts we have already seen in Mass Effect.No doubt at the last sentence.

Although I criticized the game heavily, I'm expecting something good out of this one. But nowhere as revolutionary. :)

mimartin
04-23-2008, 04:15 PM
It said “like Mass Effect” enough times to peak my interest. :D

I hope they do the conversation system different than Mass Effect. Steady now, but one of my criticisms of Mass Effect is the dialog system. It took absolute no brains or the ability to read to take the Paragon or Renegade path. Just simply choice the upper response every time and you are a good boy/girl, take the lower response and you are a bad boy/girl. You've already guessed the middle is Neutral.

I wish game developers would me think a little about my response. Other than that I love the dialog system in Mass Effect, but always knowing the correct response got a little old after awhile.

Achilles
04-23-2008, 04:28 PM
It said “like Mass Effect” enough times to peak my interest. :D It said "Obsidian" enough times to peak mine. :)

I hope they do the conversation system is different than Mass Effect. Steady now, but one of my criticisms of Mass Effect is the dialog system. It took absolute no brains or the ability to read to take the Paragon or Renegade path. Just simply choice the upper response every time and you are a good boy/girl, take the lower response and you are a bad boy/girl. You've already guessed the middle is Neutral. *falls out of chair and onto floor*
Whut?!

I wish game developers would me think a little about my response. Other than that I love the dialog system in Mass Effect, but always knowing the correct response got a little old after awhile.Yeah. On the flip side, I do see how doing this makes the game more cinematic. I think the trade-off is immersion. At the same time, I don't know how "immersed" I've been in the past while rolling my eyes at available dialog choice and groaning as I click some cheesy line that's kinda sorta in a far-off way in the vicinity of sounding like sometime my character might actually say.

"blah blah blah single glorious day! Blah blah poorly written Bioware dialog line blah blah"
1) I would never do such a terrible thing! I love teh pixies with all my heart!
2) Chicken gravy is my favorite
3) Blarg! I'll wear your face as a hat.

Pavlos
04-23-2008, 05:41 PM
Wouldn't people just be able to save and reload savegames between each conversation attempt and continue to do as usual in CRPGs to explore the dialog thread? :)

Don't see how it would be all that different from how it works in their previous games.
You could do that if you wanted to but I gather that the idea behind is to force the player to think about what they're saying rather than just clicking on choices randomly.

Locking down quest lines (even if quests can still be solved through other means) is a far more effective way of getting you to think than seeing "Your Alignment has shifted +2 to Evil." Being forced to complete a quest using skills that your character is weak in (in my case that would probably be combat) because you have ticked off an NPC would certainly make you think twice about your choices.

Before now, Obsidian didn't appear too keen on the idea of locking down NPCs because you insulted them. NWN2, ever in possession of both brilliance and absolute dirt, is guilty of this. You disagree with someone, argue with them, but the quest continues on unabated by anything you say. Having a shouting match with Lord Nasher doesn't have any effect on your standing with him, it's purely cosmetic.

This sort of thing is something Obsidian seems to like. KotOR II had the influence system to make you consider what you were saying to your party members (unfortunately there was no consequence in story terms to the way you treated them) and MotB introduced the spirit eater mechanic to make you think thrice about resting.

That is provided, of course, that Obsidian delivers on this and it isn't just mindless hype along the lines of "EPIC!" and "redefining the RPG genre."

Jae Onasi
04-23-2008, 05:43 PM
2) Chicken gravy is my favorite
*Jae chokes on her Diet Pepsi laughing*

Mod note--posts about NWN2 were split off into the NWN2 thread (http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=172143&page=12&pp=40).

Lantzen
04-23-2008, 06:00 PM
Yeah, i think it's good Obsidian is trying new things to the genre. Even if some of them haven't work so good at the begining atleast. Like you said about the influence didn't do so much during Kotor2, but they improved it during NWN2, and even more during MotB. So if they have a similar system in AP they maybe have perfect it. Same with the spirit eating thing from MotB, was some serious flaw in it, like changing aligment and the bug you died when you tryed to travel to some places during the wrog time of the day. But like the influence system it will probaly be improved if they continue doing similar things.

And i like the thing they doing with the dialougs, remind me of Fahrenheit and that worked pretty good. The dialougs feelt more alive when they just keept on talking, and if you didnt choose in like 3-5 seconds the game auto choose, and usaly it was the choise that gave most info. But the thing with it's just three diffrent dialougs path you can have, even if they are very diffrent could get a little boring in the long run. Think that it can feels like you dont have any controll over the conversation with just three diffrent path, maybe if they would have subpaths under the main diffrent dialougs path it would feel more like you have controll over the conversation. But since we haven't see how the system work it's to early to say anything about it

stoffe
04-23-2008, 06:08 PM
You could do that if you wanted to but I gather that the idea behind is to force the player to think about what they're saying rather than just clicking on choices randomly.

Though I got the impression you couldn't pick what you are saying, just the tone it is said, with emotion-driven responses instead of canned lines?

And if, like Achilles said, it doesn't matter what you click since no path is better than the other, it would be a somewhat cosmetic choice anyway since you'd advance in the game either way.

Unless the game has some kind of log that records conversations you've had for later playback this will also make it harder for the player to remember things the NPC might have told them. Not everyone plays through games in one sitting. If you only play for a few hours each weekend it may be unreasonable for the game to expect you to remember everything you've been told a week ago. :)


NWN2, ever in possession of both brilliance and absolute dirt, is guilty of this. You disagree with someone, argue with them, but the quest continues on unabated by anything you say. Having a shouting match with Lord Nasher doesn't have any effect on your standing with him, it's purely cosmetic.


Not entirely. If you consequently did piss off Lord Nasher whenever given the opportunity you will not be given the offer to join the Neverwinter Nine in the last act. So it's not entirely without consequence. :)

Pavlos
04-23-2008, 07:05 PM
And if, like Achilles said, it doesn't matter what you click since no path is better than the other, it would be a somewhat cosmetic choice anyway since you'd advance in the game either way.
They've said that all outcomes will be rewarded equally, which is something that I'm not thrilled with. But perhaps I'm just old fashioned and expect a dedicated player (one who pumps all of his experience points into dialogue skills and who takes the time to listen and probe what an NPC is saying) to get rewarded more than someone who decides to pick up a gun and start shooting everything in sight.

But while that is true, 'equally' does not necessarily mean the same.

As always, a generic Dungeons and Dragons illustration is the best way forward: If I saved Old Mother Eppis from the nasty thugs by killing them, she may give me her son's armour of god-like powah. If I helped the nasty thugs then they may give me a cut of the 500 gold pieces she manages to have stashed away on her person - an infinite bag of holding is likely responsible for this - which comes to the same value as the armour. You advance the game and get an equal rewards but you do so in different ways and, as such, get different results.

And I would hope that the variation comes not just in rewards and the manner in which you progress the plot but also in the actual plot points. No point in having a plot branching off if it's only going to last for that one quest and have no bearing on the progression of the rest of the story.

That's how I interpreted 'equally', anyway. Of course it could be that my interpretation is wrong and yours is right, in which case the choice would be purely cosmetic. In which case, I would promptly fly to California and throw rocks at Obsidian's building before visiting Black Isle's grave and weeping over it.

Although I criticized the game heavily, I'm expecting something good out of this one. But nowhere as revolutionary.
I would hardly call Mass Effect revolutionary but, then, very few games are. Not that shattering the wheel and redesigning it is the be all and end all of things. I'm quite happy with my old wheel only with speed flaps or something... :xp:

Corinthian
04-23-2008, 07:50 PM
Well, this is Obsidian's big chance to actually make a good impression on me. I'll forgive their massive screwups with NWN2's OC (I should have Mask of the Betrayer sometime within the next two weeks, incidentally, so you can stop pestering me) and KotoR 2 if they manage to do this properly, attributing their previous failures to having to work with someone else's crap.

Ctrl Alt Del
04-23-2008, 08:19 PM
I would hardly call Mass Effect revolutionary but, then, very few games are. Not that shattering the wheel and redesigning it is the be all and end all of things. I'm quite happy with my old wheel only with speed flaps or something... :xp:
Pardon me, I didn't expressed myself clearly. I meant "nowhere as revolutionary as Obsidian claims it to be". :D

I mean, the part where it says the game will force you to focus on one weapon or ability, thus forbidding you from becoming a jack-of-all-trades. How's that anything near as new?

Well, this is Obsidian's big chance to actually make a good impression on me.
Us both.

Although the "spy framed by it's own kin" plot makes a lot of movie titles flash on my head.

Corinthian
04-23-2008, 09:00 PM
I'm doing my best to ignore everything they're saying until after the game has been released, after which I'll find a reputable news source (So not IGN) and take a look-see. Of course, I don't think it really matters whether I get it or not because one of my brothers almost certainly will, and I can just mooch off them.

mimartin
04-23-2008, 11:38 PM
I would hardly call Mass Effect revolutionary but, then, very few games are. Not that shattering the wheel and redesigning it is the be all and end all of things. I'm quite happy with my old wheel only with speed flaps or something... :xp::lol:
I’d agree Mass Effect was not revolutionary, but it BioWare did take many different recent game innovations and combine them in one package. However, it was nothing really new and certainly nothing like they advertised in the prerelease hype. Despite its flaws and, as pointed out in this thread, BioWare’s writing (which was fairly good in Mass Effect despite what someone that has not played the game may say :D), it is a very good game and on top my favorites list. If the entire game had lived up to the quality and the moral dilemma of the downloadable content, I would say it was revolutionary. I am holding off complete judgment until the PC version is released, I want to see what the control of your NPC companions is like on the PC, as it was nonexistence on the 360 version.

Obsidian seems to have fallen into the BioWare media model by publicizing the game while it is still in early development. I hope it works out for them and does not end up disappointing the consumer, like many Mass Effect players were, that gets a game considerably different from the game that was hyped more than a year prior to its release. I do not plan to follow the hype and ending up disappointed that a feature was not included as I was disappointed with the released dialogue options and NPC control in Mass Effect.

Pavlos
04-24-2008, 01:03 PM
Pardon me, I didn't expressed myself clearly. I meant "nowhere as revolutionary as Obsidian claims it to be". :D

I mean, the part where it says the game will force you to focus on one weapon or ability, thus forbidding you from becoming a jack-of-all-trades. How's that anything near as new?
Sorry about the misunderstanding :).

Anyway, it's not revolutionary at all, I agree. But it's refreshing to see a developer advertising a game feature such as not being able to become Master of the Universe™. Provided the combat is well-balanced then it'll likely make us think a little more about which skills we choose to level up so as not to gimp our characters.

Although the "spy framed by it's own kin" plot makes a lot of movie titles flash on my head.
I don't think the originality of the premise is what's important, to be honest. It's what you do with it, what your themes and techniques are that make it interesting. Some of the greatest works of literature just steal other people's stories.

Someone like Shakespeare doesn't remain popular today because his plots were original - A Midsummer Night's Dream just rips off Ovid, Hamlet is a rehash of generic revenge tragedy (man kills man, man gets revenge on man, both men die) and half of his plays are historical - but because of his unique style, his characters - like Hamlet and Iago - and the comment on society and life he was attempting to give.

Milton ripped off the book of Genesis in Paradise Lost but the reason why that epic is interesting - if not enjoyable... Milton seems more to be respected than loved :p - is because he takes Satan and makes him a sympathetic figure and causes you to question if the Christian god, as portrayed in Genesis, is really all that great.

Yes I have been reading a lot of renaissance literature lately. >_>

I'll shut up now.

Ctrl Alt Del
04-24-2008, 05:04 PM
Obsidian seems to have fallen into the BioWare media model by publicizing the game while it is still in early development. I hope it works out for them and does not end up disappointing the consumer, like many Mass Effect players were, that gets a game considerably different from the game that was hyped more than a year prior to its release.
:lol:
I did read myslef here.
But it's refreshing to see a developer advertising a game feature such as not being able to become Master of the Universe™. Provided the combat is well-balanced then it'll likely make us think a little more about which skills we choose to level up so as not to gimp our characters.
Still, that is not new at all. Almost every RPG with some depth of costumization has such a feature. If we do compare that to K2, however, that's a vast improvement, seeing how he/she became a killing machine after level ten or so.

Lantzen
05-18-2008, 08:33 AM
http://www.worthplaying.com/sections.php?op=viewarticle&artid=2209

Da_man
05-18-2008, 10:17 PM
Still, that is not new at all. Almost every RPG with some depth of costumization has such a feature. If we do compare that to K2, however, that's a vast improvement, seeing how he/she became a killing machine after level ten or so.
Agreed. The leveling system is not too good in either KoToR. What K2 needs is a leveling system like in Oblivion, where at level one you fight a rat, but at level 23, you fight a minotaur.

To get back on topic, I'm really looking forward to Alpha Protocol. It seems like a seriuosly cool game from the GameInformer issue.

Lantzen
05-19-2008, 03:23 AM
Are you kidding me ? Oblivion have the worse level system ever, later when you are on level 40 you still figth the same minotaur with +x hp or bandit with +x hp and glass weapons and armour

Corinthian
05-19-2008, 03:35 AM
No kidding. Oblivion's leveling system was wretched, one of the worst gameplay mechanics I have ever seen. A game should not get harder as the player character grows in power, it's supposed to get easier.

Lantzen
05-19-2008, 05:50 AM
I like the way Kotor handle it, when you are level20 you are suppose to be powerful, if the enemy was at the same strength what the deal with you being the best ? And now i can't speak for evryone, but Malak was pretty hard for me the first time i meet him, and for my friend too. But on the rerun when i know how to build the characther better he wasn't such a problem. When i play now i even have the hardcore mod that Shem made, plus a normal hardcore mod and now he is a opponent that is funny to fight

In K2 i can agree that the game is pretty easy all the way thourgh, but thats probaly because you know how to build the characther from the begining, and that you didn't know how to do in K1 the first time


But i won't write about this anymore since we getting off-topic

Da_man
05-20-2008, 12:52 AM
Are you kidding me ? Oblivion have the worse level system ever, later when you are on level 40 you still figth the same minotaur with +x hp or bandit with +x hp and glass weapons and armour

But you have to thibnk of the time spent getting to level 40. I only just got to level 23, and I've been playing the game on and off for 6 months. By that time, I was bored cuz I had done everything in the game. The system works, until you get into the higher levels.

Lantzen
05-20-2008, 05:33 AM
I was 40 after around 100h, and that's how much i played the game in total. And it started to brake way before 40 IMO. Even around level 23 many of the enemys is the same, with just +x hp and the bandits too, don't think they got glass armour yet but they probaly have some very expensive items at that point. Think the only enemys that you didnt notice the +hp on was the rats and crabs :xp:

And doh, i said i didn't want to continue the discusion, and yet here i am again ^^

Pavlos
06-01-2008, 11:54 AM
Source (http://forums.obsidianent.com/index.php?showtopic=49837)

Obsidian's Matthew Rorie has posted twelve new screenshots over on the developer's boards.

Don't be expecting any huge revelations from these shots; they're basically more of the same: Thorton shooting people and Thorton standing around. Still, it's nice to see more of the locations we'll be exploring and take a closer look at Obsidian's art direction which, to be honest, seems very... clean.

The areas look as though they've just been taken out of their box and assembled by a proud new owner who intends to polish them every weekend.

Lantzen
06-04-2008, 10:34 AM
Since when did it become a MMO ? ^^
http://www.totallyps3.com/gameinfo.php?gameid=231&details=news&newsid=473

But in the case, that they changed it from a RPG to a MMO in like one week i lost all interest in the game.

Pavlos
06-21-2008, 08:23 AM
Source (http://www.next-gen.biz/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=10839&Itemid=2)

Next Generation (http://www.next-gen.biz/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=10839&Itemid=2) has posted a preview of Alpha Protocol from the magazine Edge up on the web for all to see.

There’s no playing back through dialogue trees to get a better outcome. (Avoiding the potential for frustration this may cause, there is no wrong answer in most circumstances, just different consequences and different rewards.)

Alpha Protocol seems to be a game of contradictions. On the one hand the choices, consequences, and dialogue decisions that actually affect how a character speaks to you all make my little RPG-nerd heart flutter. On the other, though, we have some dubious gameplay decisions (infinite ammo?), combat that seems to be lifted from Mass Effect and the parallels in gameplay between this game and BioWare's latest will probably end up hurting Obsidian in the end. People will play Alpha Protocol and then just paint it as "Mass Effect, only not as good."

I hope for the plot but not for the gameplay; then again, Obsidian's strong point has never been in gameplay, anyway. Hacking through legions of orcs in Old Owl Well, anyone?

mur'phon
06-21-2008, 08:53 AM
Well, having different "propper" consequences should be enough to make it better than ME, at least in my book. Borowing the gameplay from ME is also a good idea imho, in too many rpg's combat is a chore for me, but in ME (and a few others like VtMB, IWD2, JE) it's fun. If Obsidian is unable to make combat fun, why not borrow from someone who can?

Achilles
06-23-2008, 02:26 AM
Source (http://www.next-gen.biz/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=10839&Itemid=2)

Next Generation (http://www.next-gen.biz/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=10839&Itemid=2) has posted a preview of Alpha Protocol from the magazine Edge up on the web for all to see.Thanks for the links Pavlos. I thought that this was a pretty interesting statement:“I’ll probably be found dead a week later for saying this, but I felt that KOTOR2 was perhaps a C+ because it wasn’t finished,” says Avellone. “That’s my fault. It was an ambitious project but that doesn’t excuse the fact that you should work within the resources that you have. Things got better with Neverwinter 2, but I do not consider it to be an A product. More of a B-. Part of the issue is you’re still trying to form a team. But eventually everybody understands how everybody works, and the pipelines get more finalized and you get a lot more support. The expansion pack for Neverwinter 2 was an A-, and I have very high expectations for the future – we’re just going to get better.” If MotB was an A-, then I'm eager to see what an A+ looks like.

Pavlos
06-25-2008, 05:30 AM
Source (http://www.hookedgamers.com/articles/preview/575/alpha_protocol)

Hooked Gamers (http://www.hookedgamers.com/articles/preview/575/alpha_protocol) has posted a preview of Alpha Protocol. There's nothing new here but it's always worth a read.

The initial anticipated release date is February 2009. However, the Obsidian designers are notorious for pushing back release dates "until the game is actually done."
Yes, historically, Obsidian's problem has not be releasing too early at all... it's been pushing back the release date. That's why KotOR II was so complete and polished what with that huge development cycle of thirteen months.

Ctrl Alt Del
06-25-2008, 04:39 PM
Much of the game will involve dialogue trees. Within any given dialogue, the player may decide to model his approach to emulate the J.B. of his choice: Jack Bauer (aggressive), James Bond (suave) or Jason Bourne (professional). It should be noted that Obsidian pointedly does NOT use these labels. But if it “walks like a duck and talks like a duck…
Looking way too much as in Mass Effect. I hope there's innovation on the story, then.

However, you had better get the conversation right the first time, because you will NOT be able to re–initiate any given dialogue tree as you can in many other games.
Which sounds like an incredibly silly decision. You want the game to look more realistic by not letting you have the same conversation again and again? Fine, then just don't talk to them about it anymore but don't cut that option for me. Besides, what keeps the player from reloading and trying another option on the dialogue?

mur'phon
06-25-2008, 05:36 PM
Nothing, unless they do it The Witcher style, which i hope (so you saved some elfs, 6 hours later, you'll know if that was a good idea).

Achilles
06-25-2008, 05:42 PM
Fine, then just don't talk to them about it anymore but don't cut that option for me. Besides, what keeps the player from reloading and trying another option on the dialogue?I wonder if they plan on disabling when (or where) one can save (ala the GTAs, The Witcher, etc).

Serpentine Cougar
06-25-2008, 07:04 PM
Sounds interesting. At least they're trying something different.

Pavlos
06-26-2008, 06:57 AM
Looking way too much as in Mass Effect. I hope there's innovation on the story, then.
I'd say it's worse than Mass Effect's dialogue system. Rather than clicking on a three word option which will often have nothing to do with what Shepard actually says, I now click on a 'mood'. Well, suave could mean anything. All of the James Bonds (from Connery to Craig) have brought a unique touch to the role but they've all been suave in some way or another. I have no idea how the mood will cause my character to act. It's like shooting an arrow half blind, with an arm and a leg tied behind your back.

I appreciate Obsidian's attempts to bring us dialogue choices which are flavoured rather than the stock good/evil/I want a cup of tea arrangement which is very common in post-Fallout 2 games. It means conversations sound like... well, conversations rather than a search on Wikipedia with the occasional moral choice to make.

Pavlos
07-04-2008, 03:04 PM
Source (www.obsidianent.com)

I do remember my password! How exciting.

Obsidian has obviously been awfully busy giving interviews and allowing the press to sample their new FPS-RPG, Alpha Protocol.
Gameplayer (http://www.gameplayer.com.au/gp_documents/Alpha-protocol.aspx?catid=Previews), the ubiquitous Kotaku (http://kotaku.com/5021528/alpha-protocol-aims-ambitiously-for-rpg-fps-fans), QJ.net (http://pc.qj.net/Obsidian-on-blending-FPS-with-RPG-elements-for-Alpha-Protocol/pg/49/aid/121748), Game Informer (http://www.gameinformer.com/News/Story/200807/N08.0703.1500.50330.htm), and the lovably bookish Gamasutra (http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=19267) are all sporting fresh, new articles.

We also learned a bit more about the game’s mission structure. Both main and side missions will have more than one way of being completed. While this is nothing new to games, Obsidian has but their own spin on things. The different possibilities will depends on how a player has made their choices up until that point. The completion of a mission a certain way will also effect not only what they see on the news but subsequent missions later on. “In particular, a lot of the little thing you do will show up in the end game,” Design Producer Nathan Davis explains. 'It will show up depending on who you ally with and what factions are friendly with you, they may come in and help or hinder your ability to finish the end mission.'

What fun.

Ctrl Alt Del
07-04-2008, 03:25 PM
Damn, I hate how I critscize that game so much, but I feel I must agree with the article where it says "It's nothing new".

I wonder if they plan on disabling when (or where) one can save (ala the GTAs, The Witcher, etc).
I've thought on that possibility, however I don't find it likely nor useful. If you allow me to make a little forced comparison, I'd say save points are plenty on eastern RPGs while the "save-whenever-you-want" system is present at a lot of western RPGs. So I wouldn't count on it.

Pavlos
07-16-2008, 04:14 PM
Source (http://www.destructoid.com/e3-08-sega-blowout-alpha-protocol-95437.phtml)

Obsidian have released six new screenshots (http://www.destructoid.com/e3-08-sega-blowout-alpha-protocol-95437.phtml) of their profession, suave, and aggressive espionage-themed action RPG, Alpha Protocol.

You know, despite being initially impressed with Alpha Protocol, the art direction is beginning to worry me. The whole thing looks generic (despite the re-emergence of the weird four-eyed goggle people of doom, death, and destruction (http://bulk.destructoid.com/ul/95437-e3-08-sega-blowout-alpha-protocol/Alpha_Protocol_-_E3_-PS3,_Xbox_360,_PCScreenshots14874AP_Screenshot_E32 008_04-noscale.jpg)), the video game equivalent of the sort of music that a cab driver might play while he's got passengers in the back; inoffensive and never striking.

Of course, that might be the point. The art may be designed to ground the player in 'the real world', to make whatever comment the game may have on society seem that much more shocking and effective.

We shall have to wait and see, keeping an eye out for more detailed previews and the inevitable videos of epic battle sequences gameplay.

Pavlos
07-19-2008, 08:44 AM
Source (http://www.seganerds.com/)

Remember that roundtable discussion on Alpha Protocol a few months back? (Of course you don't but I'll pretend that you said, "yes".) Well, Sega Nerds seems to have a more complete transcript (http://www.seganerds.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/ap_roundtable_1.pdf) of it for your enjoyment. Featuring Executive Producer, Chris Parker, Marketing and PR Director, Matthew Rorie, Senior Producer, Ryan Runcinski, Art Producer, Abia Roberts, and Design Producer, Nathan Davis, the question and answer session covers topics from Alpha Protocol's character creation to marmalade.

Despite some odd typos (apparently, some of the folks at Obsidian used to work at Blackout Studios; maybe a quibble about what happened to Black Isle... ?) there's some interesting stuff in there.

To be honest we’re going to see how this all works out but the visual style we’ve focused on is Syriana and we feel like the cinematic effects bring in that cinematic language to our game. And when it comes to our story we have those hard hitting, gritty aspects. I think when you put the two together it definitely elevates the visual language that we’re going for with this game. When it comes to our characters we are going for some over the top characters. You’ve probably seen it in some of the concepts and other things that we’ve released already. We want to stay away from just guys in suits. It also helps gameplay wise when your bosses show some type of over the top characteristics. So those are the things that we’ve focused on for our visual style of the game.

Imagine a game where no one wears a suit... and one character, an assassin does. He blends in because of his suit, yet stands out because no one else wears one. You never see his face, never hear his voice; only ever see his back on security camera records; only ever see the results of his assassinations, two shots to the head. And he's chasing you. You.

Don't tell me that the generic can't be interesting -- it can. It's how you use it that counts. Make the generic special and you've got something interesting.

It's my idea you're not allowed to steal it >_>

Arátoeldar
07-21-2008, 12:57 AM
Despite some odd typos (apparently, some of the folks at Obsidian used to work at Blackout Studios; maybe a quibble about what happened to Black Isle... ?) there's some interesting stuff in there.

Come On Pavlos I thought you knew that O.E. was started by ex-B.I. people such as Feargus Urquhart, Chris Avellone and Josh Sawyer.

Miltiades
07-21-2008, 08:34 AM
He does. In the roundtable, however, they say Blackout instead of Black Isle. Hence why Pavlos said "some odd typos". ;)

Bee Hoon
07-21-2008, 10:20 AM
I was disappointed when they said that you have to play as a guy, but at least he looks reasonably cute. Hey, if I have to play as a guy, might as well be one who's good eye candy right? :lol: His sweater in Matthew Rorie's second screenshot is fugly though.

Pavlos
07-24-2008, 08:19 PM
Mopping up after E3 season, here are some of the previews for Obsidian's Alpha Protocol which you may have missed in between all the drooling journalists have been doing over The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion: Guns Edition. FYI, the 101 on the back of the vault suit isn't a clever reference to the eponymous room in Nineteen Eighty-Four... they chose it because it looked cool.

Gametrailers (http://www.gametrailers.com/player/37290.html?type=)

An interview with Producer Chris Parker retraces some of the information already released on Alpha Protocol. Of interest for the music buffs may be the tune playing in the background of the video.

I would say my favourite thing about Alpha Protocol is actually the story. I've been making roleplaying games my entire career at Obsidian and at Black Isle and story's always a huge thing; how the characters interact with you, how you decide over the course of the game whether they're going to like you or dislike you, what you can actually get them to do or not do over the course of the game and then how that affects the world as a whole and Alpha Protocol is really, really focussing on that sort of big, reactive world environment, making sure that everything you do has an immediate effect, long term effects on the game and really plays out for the character..."

I may not be a huge fan of the mechanics and art direction but the game's plot, or rather how said plot works, certainly intrigues me.

IGN (http://uk.pc.ign.com/articles/891/891912p1.html)

IGN have run a traditional-looking and traditional-reading article giving us some more insight into the way the game works.

This is a game with an emphasis on keeping the pace high, even during moments when you make decisions. A lot of RPGs in real-time will pause when you have to make a decision, so you can think about what you want to do. Alpha Protocol has a timer that only gives you a handful of seconds to choose. So you have to think on your feet whether you want to, say, talk nice to the American Marine guarding the embassy you're trying to get into, talk sarcastically, or pull your gun on him.

Always thought that decisions were the most interesting and defining feature of RPGs, myself.... The dialogue system seems interesting though.

GameSpy (http://uk.xbox360.gamespy.com/xbox-360/obsidian-project-1/891511p1.html)

GameSpy have taken the liberty of renaming the main character from 'Thorton' to 'Thorne' in a preview which, while fleshing out aspects of the plot, doesn't really detail much more about mechanics. Worth a read for spoiler-philes, phobes may wish to stay away.

In our case, our Obsidian demonstrator decided to talk before the guns came out, walked straight up to the U.S. Marine guarding the door, and tried to bluff his way into the embassy. The player's dialogue choices reflected what Obsidian calls the "three J.B." emotional paths through the game. The player can choose to speak in a clipped, professional manner (the Jason Bourne), a smooth operator (the James Bond) or as an aggressive psycho (the Jack Bauer). The choices the player makes will determine quite a bit about the world in which the player operates, as the game is inhabited by various factions that have a memory and will long remember how the player treats them. Shooting the Marine guard will seriously alienate other Marines in the game, making them much less friendly and more prone to pull their guns on Thorne.

Thought Obsidian dropped the "three J.B." line?

Thunderbolt (http://thunderboltgames.com/features/article/e3-2008-sega-feature-for-ps3-xbox360-pc.html)

An article more focussed on providing general information about Sega's games at E3, it does contain a few interesting paragraphs on Alpha Protocol

Another level had Michael hunting down an arms dealer. Once the target was found, several options were available. The villain could be brought in and arrested, which is what the objective truly is, or could be shot in the head just to be a jerk. The most intriguing option was letting him free in exchange for money. If extortion is selected, the villain later becomes a valuable ally thanks to his arms dealing. Producer Chris Parker said that the goal of Alpha Protocol is to “make the player feel like all the choices they make are driving the world around them.”

Doesn't seem all that innovative but, then again, at least one of those decisions has a larger consequence on the progression of the plot, hopefully beyond just getting a nifty new store.

Pavlos
08-16-2008, 10:12 AM
Source (http://www.videogamer.com/pc/alpha_protocol/preview-1147.html)

VideoGamer.com has published a preview-interview (http://www.videogamer.com/pc/alpha_protocol/preview-1147.html) with Obsidian Entertainment's Nathan Davis about Alpha Protocol, the company's espionage-themed RPG.

It's how your decisions impact the game world and Thornton himself which has our eyebrows raised. In Mass Effect it was clear what decisions would make your character more evil, or more good. In the end these moral choices were driven more by the pursuit of specific statistical bonuses than genuine concern for the characters and plot. Nathan promises a system with blurrier lines.

I wonder when journalists will stop calling Thorton "Thornton"...

Ctrl Alt Del
08-16-2008, 10:48 AM
^ Blurry indeed.

How they plan on doing that? Fable-esque, like a halo atop of your head if you're good and a pair of horns if you're a bad boy?

Most of the RPG-ness of the game will be conducted in one of the game's many safe houses. These hubs will be where you'll coordinate with your contacts, receive intel on and select missions to embark on, buy and sell equipment and customise Thornton himself, which Nathan demonstrates in a CIA safe house in Saudi Arabia.
And this keeps looking more and more like Mass Effect. Those safe houses seems to be for AP what the Normandy was to ME.

But, unlike in other games, you won't be messing about with your threads just for stat bonuses and to impress the ladies. Thornton's outfit will often have an impact on gameplay. Remember that incident with the marine we described earlier? If Thornton had a combat suit at his disposal he may well have been able to sneak to the US embassy with nary a care in the world. "We wanted to make sure you're always the crazy, sexy, cool stud super spy Mike Thornton," says Nathan. "But we wanted to give you some ability to change some of the things a super spy might want to change."
At least this looks more interesting.

SpaceAlex
08-16-2008, 11:10 AM
"We wanted to make sure you're always the crazy, sexy, cool stud super spy Mike Thornton," says Nathan

Oh my, how exciting is that. :roleyess: This is beginning to sound like this game is geared more towards the younger gamers. Let's hope I'm wrong.

Arátoeldar
08-16-2008, 11:10 PM
Oh my, how exciting is that. :roleyess: This is beginning to sound like this game is geared more towards the younger gamers. Let's hope I'm wrong.

Agreed. OE should remember that the RPG genre fan tends to be older and has a larger female population.

Corinthian
08-16-2008, 11:43 PM
And again I wonder why Obsidian is so popular.

Arátoeldar
08-16-2008, 11:47 PM
And again I wonder why Obsidian is so popular.

Because Interplay-B.I.S.-O.E. have made and are making great RPG games.

Corinthian
08-16-2008, 11:52 PM
O.E. is not Black Isle or Interplay. And O.E. has made Great Unfinished RPG and maybe Great Expansion - I don't know, Mask of the Betrayer hates my computer.

Emperor Devon
08-16-2008, 11:52 PM
A lot of RPGs in real-time will pause when you have to make a decision, so you can think about what you want to do. Alpha Protocol has a timer that only gives you a handful of seconds to choose. So you have to think on your feet whether you want to, say

This sounds terrible. I hope it can be modded out.

And O.E. has made Great Unfinished RPG and maybe Great Expansion

Don't discount MotB for being an expansion, its done better than most other RPGs are. Personally I think of it as the game the OC should have been.

Corinthian
08-16-2008, 11:54 PM
Yeah, I hear Mask was really good. It doesn't work on my comp for some reason, though, bugs right after I fight the Bear-God-Guy-thingie. But that's not a great track record, really.

Arátoeldar
08-17-2008, 12:18 AM
O.E. is not Black Isle or Interplay. And O.E. has made Great Unfinished RPG and maybe Great Expansion - I don't know, Mask of the Betrayer hates my computer.

O.E. may not be exactly B.I.S. (Interplay Thank Goodness no Harve Cean) However B.I.S. ex-employees formed O.E. and other former B.I.S. came there to work such as Josh Sawyer.

Corinthian
08-17-2008, 12:24 AM
A handful of employees do not a company make. Obsidian has potential, admittedly, and I have faith that Alpha Protocol will be good if just because it's going to be a Forerunner, but Obsidian has made a rather bad impression on me, what with Rocks Fall Everyone Dies and what happened with KotoR 2, although I don't hold them responsible for many of that game's failures.

Arátoeldar
08-17-2008, 12:39 AM
A handful of employees do not a company make. Obsidian has potential, admittedly, and I have faith that Alpha Protocol will be good if just because it's going to be a Forerunner, but Obsidian has made a rather bad impression on me, what with Rocks Fall Everyone Dies and what happened with KotoR 2, although I don't hold them responsible for many of that game's failures.

I guess that Tim Cain, Leonard Boyarsky and Jason Anderson didn't matter at Troika Games. :rolleyes:

Pavlos
08-23-2008, 02:37 PM
Source (www.gamespot.com)

Gamespot has uploaded a minature preview (http://uk.gamespot.com/xbox360/rpg/alphaprotocol/news.html?sid=6196637&om_act=convert&om_clk=newsfeatures&tag=newsfeatures;title;1) on Obsidian's Alpha Protocol based on what they saw in the Sega booth at Leipzig.

Another cool aspect is the media feedback. Your actions may be reported on the TV news, for example, and you'll also be able to sit down at your computer to check your e-mail. The one thing the team isn't including is vehicles, despite the game's use of Unreal Engine 3 technology.

Arátoeldar
08-23-2008, 03:37 PM
I swear Pavlos. The only thing you must do is scourer the interweb for RPG info..:xp:

Ctrl Alt Del
08-23-2008, 06:46 PM
We managed to secure an appointment to see the latest build of the game at the Sega booth, where we saw a couple of new things about this promising spy-based massively multiplayer online role-playing gameHolywhathehell?

Your base of operations will be kitted out exactly as you'd expect for a spy's home. The developers have clearly watched Mr. & Mrs. Smith, as the gadgets and weapons reveal themselves from regular household cabinetsMerely aesthetical, but a nice move.

Another cool aspect is the media feedback. Your actions may be reported on the TV newsAlso known as: the elevator shaft of Mass Effect.

and you'll also be able to sit down at your computer to check your e-mail.Also known as: the comm room of Mass Effect.

mur'phon
08-23-2008, 07:20 PM
Really? There was this game which happened to be the best ever where they did that before ME, though it was probably not the first.

stoffe
08-23-2008, 08:19 PM
Also known as: the elevator shaft of Mass Effect.
Also known as: the comm room of Mass Effect.

It's not like Mass Effect invented any of those gameplay elements anyway. You have the same in Vampire the Masquerade:Bloodlines (2004) and Deus Ex (2000) for example.

Not that I mind. I don't need gameplay elements to be new and revolutionary. If something works well, and is well implemented there is absolutely nothing wrong with it recurring in different games.

Pavlos
08-23-2008, 09:03 PM
I swear Pavlos. The only thing you must do is scourer the interweb for RPG info..:xp:
It actually doesn't take up as much time as you'd think; only an hour or so a day to search and post up anything interesting to either myself or the community.

Arátoeldar
08-23-2008, 09:26 PM
It actually doesn't take up as much time as you'd think; only an hour or so a day to search and post up anything interesting to either myself or the community.

I know. I'm only teasing you. <3

Ctrl Alt Del
08-23-2008, 09:30 PM
It's not like Mass Effect invented any of those gameplay elements anyway. You have the same in Vampire the Masquerade:Bloodlines (2004) and Deus Ex (2000) for example.

Oh, those features are commonplace on games, all right. I just said Mass Effect twice (and many other times throughout this thread) because to be honest, a lot of the game so far looks incredibly like Bioware's latest hit.

stoffe
08-24-2008, 08:20 AM
Oh, those features are commonplace on games, all right. I just said Mass Effect twice (and many other times throughout this thread) because to be honest, a lot of the game so far looks incredibly like Bioware's latest hit.

And Mass Effect in turn looks incredibly like a bunch of older games. Game development seems to be mostly evolutionary, where they take (hopefully) good elements from older games with minor tweaks and put them together into new games. There isn't a lot of innovation within computer games (except on the graphics side) as of late.

In my opinion it's unfair to accuse one game of ripping off another, when the presumed ripped off game in turn would be an equally big rip off of older games when viewed from the same perspective. :)

Ctrl Alt Del
08-24-2008, 03:54 PM
In my opinion it's unfair to accuse one game of ripping off another, when the presumed ripped off game in turn would be an equally big rip off of older games when viewed from the same perspective. :)

Yes, but it's equally unfair to take those fairly old elements and brag that they're revolutionary.

stoffe
08-24-2008, 04:07 PM
Yes, but it's equally unfair to take those fairly old elements and brag that they're revolutionary.

Typical marketing buzzword. Seems like most press releases are required to contain that word (and a series of others in the same vein) nowadays. You'll find plenty of proclamations of new and revolutionary features in the Mass Effect press releases as well, for example. :p

I'll reserve judgment until the game is done just how revolutionary it is. Or maybe not. The (revolutionary?) dialog system in Alpha Protocol, as it has been described, is rather discouraging to me.

Pavlos
10-19-2008, 11:36 AM
Source (www.ign.com)

Obsidian have released their first trailer for Alpha Protocol which can be found here (http://uk.pc.ign.com/dor/objects/794750/alpha-protocol/videos/APCGTrailer_101608.html;jsessionid=22dpl2e8ioiuq).

Ctrl Alt Del
10-19-2008, 01:17 PM
Incredibly short trailer, but fairly good. I'd love to see how mature it's final content will be.

Achilles
10-19-2008, 03:34 PM
Were those animations horrible or is it just me?

Jeff
10-19-2008, 04:15 PM
I kind of see what you mean, but I didn't think they were too bad. Too short to really make a fair judgment to me.

dowon
11-22-2008, 12:00 PM
Video developer diary with gameplay footage (http://www.gamespot.com/pc/rpg/alphaprotocol/video/6201453/alpha-protocol-dev-diary-1?hd=1&tag=topslot;img;4)

jrrtoken
03-14-2009, 03:17 PM
Link (http://www.gametrailers.com/gametrailerstv_player.php?ep=51&ch=1&sd=1)

A massive segment focusing almost entirely on Alpha Protocol on GameTrailers.

It's looking very, very nice so far. I just hope that Sega markets the hell out of it.

Ctrl Alt Del
03-19-2009, 04:35 PM
^ It does look very nice, although I'm still suspicious of their "revolutionary" talk system.

Also, for the lulz, anyone noticed at 2:00, when the interviewer asks "And the action is gonna be good?", Feargus kinda stutters before answering "Er, absolutely".

jrrtoken
03-19-2009, 06:52 PM
It does look very nice, although I'm still suspicious of their "revolutionary" talk system.True, although almost every feature that BioWare has called "revolutionary" has often been sub-par, so it's not like anything new is afoot.

jrrtoken
04-05-2009, 07:34 PM
Developer Diary #2 (http://www.metacafe.com/watch/2651118/alpha_protocol_developer_diary_2/)

Lookin' great, I just hope that it really is as expansive as they say. Yet, then again, I always have high confidence in Avellone. :D

jrrtoken
05-20-2009, 08:14 PM
Developer Diary #3 - Dialog (http://www.gametrailers.com/video/reactive-world-alpha-protocol/49478?type=flv)

Judging from what their dialog system is being developed, I think this might really provide more options for purely social and conversational dialogs that aren't always 100% related to the task at hand. I.E., presentation and tone of voice could be a greater factor than what you really say.

If this true, AP might come close to my personal übermensch of dialog and conversations: A true, natural replication of real-world conversations. Well, at least it might happen if Sega doesn't rush them towards a deadline. :p

Jae Onasi
05-20-2009, 08:25 PM
I'd love to see what they do with the dialog--exploring the different dialog trees is one of the more fun parts of playing any RPG for me.

Ctrl Alt Del
05-21-2009, 02:27 PM
Still pretty skeptical over here. It's Mass Effect all over again.

jrrtoken
05-21-2009, 05:15 PM
Still pretty skeptical over here. It's Mass Effect all over again.Okay, but I can say the same exact thing for Mass Effect 2, as well as BioWare's preceding games which ME borrowed from heavily.

To the point, nothing is truly original. AP might have gameplay similar to ME, but considering that Obsidian is going into murky territory by having an RPG set in the present day instead of a redundant high-fantasy or deep space atmosphere, I'd have to give them some credit for adapting a gameplay formula and massively editing it to include some innovation. They did the same thing with Star Wars; They warped, changed, and put in things that would be unheard of in Star Wars, but yet, it still felt like Star Wars, and I loved it.

Jae Onasi
05-21-2009, 06:49 PM
There's nothing wrong with using elements that work, game-play-wise, and re--using those if they are popular features or help enhance the experience. We expect certain HUD organization and controls in FPS games' and some people get bent out of shape if it's changed. Taking a working system and making enhancements to it is perfectly acceptable in my book. Why re-invent the wheel if people like how it''s already working and want more of the same, or at least substantially similar?

Miltiades
05-21-2009, 09:25 PM
Agree with the above.

The only thing I'm still worried about is the time bar during the dialog. I don't like being forced into a choice in a certain time frame, I like to ponder my choices. Except for a better flow in the conversations, it also seems to have no use.

A remark I've seen somewhere else that's worth mentioning, is that the choices in the dialog itself, going by what we've seen in the videos, aren't very varied. I can see clicking on professional getting boring after a few times. So I hope the choices are going to be varied.

Sharen Thrawn
05-21-2009, 10:05 PM
Still pretty skeptical over here. It's Mass Effect all over again.
From a gameplay point of view, it will be similar. But I'm positive it's story will be far superior to that in Mass Effect. Besides, as PastramiX said nothing is trully original, but when it comes to the RPG genre, a modern-day espionage role-play adventure is an actually freash idea, definitely more than a space opera. I'm really excited for this game. This may be the it title for Obsidian if they are able to polish it on time.

Ctrl Alt Del
05-23-2009, 10:53 AM
Okay, but I can say the same exact thing for Mass Effect 2, as well as BioWare's preceding games which ME borrowed from heavily.A sequel, which, understandably, won't stretch the original formula much.

To the point, nothing is truly original. AP might have gameplay similar to ME, but considering that Obsidian is going into murky territory by having an RPG set in the present day instead of a redundant high-fantasy or deep space atmosphere, I'd have to give them some credit for adapting a gameplay formula and massively editing it to include some innovation. They did the same thing with Star Wars; They warped, changed, and put in things that would be unheard of in Star Wars, but yet, it still felt like Star Wars, and I loved it.When you take an entire new game and shape it after another it's fine'; we call it inspiration. When you copy most of it's aspect changing setting, story and another characteristics that may very well be branded gimmicks on this case, we have a problem.

At any rate, I was referring more to the dialog, which was the clear focus of the last video. I already had this same conversation with the thoughtful Stoffe and I think we reached a conclusion to wait and see for ourselves. Still, those dev diaries present us with the great (dis?)service of further exploring their dialog system, and one can't help but voice his preliminary impressions about it.

To paraphrase, if I'm not mistaken, Pavlos, while the system looks undeniably like the Mass Effect conversation wheel, it also looks worse, since the choices have been reduced to voice tones, instead of short phrases, interjections and [actions].

There's nothing wrong with using elements that work, game-play-wise, and re--using those if they are popular features or help enhance the experience. We expect certain HUD organization and controls in FPS games' and some people get bent out of shape if it's changed. Taking a working system and making enhancements to it is perfectly acceptable in my book. Why re-invent the wheel if people like how it''s already working and want more of the same, or at least substantially similar?No problems there, if they were improving it. Issue is, the way they're marketing this, things seem worse, not better, or even the same.

From a gameplay point of view, it will be similar. But I'm positive it's story will be far superior to that in Mass Effect. Besides, as PastramiX said nothing is trully original, but when it comes to the RPG genre, a modern-day espionage role-play adventure is an actually freash idea, definitely more than a space opera. I'm really excited for this game. This may be the it title for Obsidian if they are able to polish it on time.The premise is one thing, and also something I'm excited about. But if all I cared was that, I'd keep reading literature classics on my free time instead.

Pavlos
05-23-2009, 12:23 PM
To paraphrase, if I'm not mistaken, Pavlos, while the system looks undeniably like the Mass Effect conversation wheel, it also looks worse, since the choices have been reduced to voice tones, instead of short phrases, interjections and [actions].
I don't remember saying that but I do have a memory like a sieve. Anyway, Brian Mitsoda -- former creative director, of Bloodlines fame -- actually designed the dialogue stance system before Mass Effect was announced. 'Cause I'm a creepy stalker I'll reference that with a link to his MySpace page:

Source (http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=53880425&blogId=477803171)

Over the last few weeks I’ve gotten some emails/rumors concerning my work on certain projects, so I thought I’d clarify. Firstly, to those who were wondering – I wasn’t affected by anything related to layoffs at Obsidian, chiefly because I haven’t been at Obsidian for a very long time now. In relation to this, for good or ill, I have nothing to do with Alpha Protocol as it is being developed currently. I was working on the creative direction, story, and dialogue for previous iterations of the game, but outside of a dialogue system I created (before Mass Effect was announced) for an earlier version of the game, my (and Annie Carlson’s) original dialogue and plot – again, for good or ill – are not being used for the game. Any characters I’m attributed with creating bear only a superficial resemblance to the ones in my original story.

Besides, the two systems are quite different. One reworks the old wordy responses of ye olden days RPGs into a short "idea" and the other does away with the concept of specific choices and places an emphasis on personality-driven responses; so rather than making the specific choices you decide on what mood you wish to take. The idea is to make conversation branches more organic and less obvious.

The success or failure of that can only be judged when the game comes out.

Edit: I don't particularly like the idea of either of them; though I might have been enthusiastic at some point. They both seem rather... vague at times. I cannot speak for Alpha Protocol but Mass Effect's changes were mostly cosmetic and they did very little to enhance the richness (there's a nice vague word for you) of the dialogue. By that I mean: encounters were still pretty much the same as we'd seen from BioWare before (with the exception of that choice you have to make on Virmire). To nick a method of arguing from Gerard Manley Hopkins: if you were a BioWare developer you could imagine writing Mass Effect. If you were Shakespeare you couldn't possibly imagine writing Hamlet.

Which is not to say that I don't find Mass Effect fun; I just don't think it's worthy of all the gushing praise it receives. I'm not sure if I'm making sense... I'm quite tired.

jrrtoken
05-23-2009, 12:55 PM
When you take an entire new game and shape it after another it's fine'; we call it inspiration. When you copy most of it's aspect changing setting, story and another characteristics that may very well be branded gimmicks on this case, we have a problem.Seeing as Obsidian's writing is always better than anything that BioWare can come up with, I'm pretty sure that AP will have much more expansive plot than ME.

Other than that, I don't really see the problem. Mass Effect was nowhere close to being innovative, no matter what everyone else says. BioWare took two things and put them together, and called it a new. I'd say that it would be more of a gimmick to simply shorten dialogue options into simple phrases, rather in AP's case, it's more or less introducing more physical choices, i.e. actions.

Rake
05-23-2009, 02:43 PM
Like someone earlier said, I really don't like the timed dialogue thing. Hopefully they give you the choice of putting a timer on it, and the choice of not putting one; for I love to explore my options and to really think of them before I click on an option.

DarthParametric
05-23-2009, 04:47 PM
They don't want you to think, they want you to instantly react. Supposedly selecting from a limited pool of predetermined vague "moods" is akin to a real conversation. Personally I think both systems (AP's and ME's) are rubbish. It's just one more concession to the action crowd that continually water down the RPG genre.

Emperor Devon
05-23-2009, 05:50 PM
Personally I think both systems (AP's and ME's) are rubbish. It's just one more concession to the action crowd that continually water down the RPG genre.

I disagree on Mass Effect's. At its core, it's really just having the player's dialogue options spoken aloud.

Apart from making the atmosphere more cinematic, I think it also forced BioWare to give the player larger amounts of dialogue (if indirectly). Most of the time in RPGs (Obsidian's included, though to a lesser extent) the player selects responses that are several sentences long and listens to an NPC ramble for paragraphs.

Although giving the player a closer amount of dialogue to what NPCs got and spoken lines isn't a novel concept, no developers did it until Mass Effect. For that, at least, I think BioWare deserves credit.

I agree with you on AP's dialogue system, though. I don't think all possible responses the player could have to a situation can be boiled down to single emotions, even if that does make selectable responses less confusing than Mass Effect's (though I think that could be remedied with clearer writing).

Seeing as Obsidian's writing is always better than anything that BioWare can come up with

I know that it's now cool to bash BioWare at every turn, but seriously, play some more of both their games (is more than 2 a good number?) before making such blanket statements. Irenicus' writing in BG2, for instance, puts most of the dialogue in NWN2's OC to shame. There's a number of other instances in which Obsidian's writing has been less than stellar. AJ's dialogue in MotB was terrible, and that was in the midst of an otherwise amazing game.

Miltiades
05-23-2009, 05:57 PM
They don't want you to think, they want you to instantly react. Supposedly selecting from a limited pool of predetermined vague "moods" is akin to a real conversation. Personally I think both systems (AP's and ME's) are rubbish. It's just one more concession to the action crowd that continually water down the RPG genre. All of this to serve a better cinematic experience. I'm not following BioWare's (and with this title, Obsidian's) reasoning. I want a gaming experience. If I wanted a cinematic experience, I'd watch a movie.

One of the issues I had with Mass Effect was that in their dialog system (which isn't any different from other branched dialog systems), the option you'd choose would sometimes surprise you when your PC would execute it. The keywords that replaced the full sentences were vague, and I think Alpha Protocol's take on it is an improvement, where you choose your attitude towards a character, and you're far more likely to get the result you want. Still, both systems start from the idea that it should give gamers a cinematic experience, and as a result, neglect the gaming experience, or rather, the RPG experience.

stoffe
05-23-2009, 06:13 PM
I disagree on Mass Effect's. At its core, it's really just having the player's dialogue options spoken aloud.

Spoken dialog does make your character come more alive than when it is mute, even though it leaves less to the imagination. Generally I like it. The biggest problem I has with the Mass Effect dialog choices were that some of them were very hard to figure out in advance what type of actual conversation they would result in.

I remain highly skeptical of the dialog system in Alpha Protocol as it has been described, since it would clash strongly with my preferred playing style.


Although giving the player a closer amount of dialogue to what NPCs got and spoken lines isn't a novel concept, no developers did it until Mass Effect. For that, at least, I think BioWare deserves credit.

Deus Ex and Invisible War did, all of Denton's dialog was spoken there. Though it had a lot more limited choices compared to more recent RPGs.

(Have you played Deus Ex yet? :p)

Emperor Devon
05-23-2009, 06:22 PM
Still, both systems start from the idea that it should give gamers a cinematic experience, and as a result, neglect the gaming experience, or rather, the RPG experience.

The RPG experience = seeing your character's lines in text over audio format?

@the stoffe: eventually. :xp: I finished Bloodlines, so you know that doesn't mean 'never'!

Totenkopf
05-23-2009, 06:40 PM
Spoken dialog does make your character come more alive than when it is mute, even though it leaves less to the imagination. Generally I like it. The biggest problem I has with the Mass Effect dialog choices were that some of them were very hard to figure out in advance what type of actual conversation they would result in.


I sort of liked having the PC speak for a change (after the KOTOR games anyway). The one good thing about that wheel was that the vo didn't match verbatim the dialogue, but mostly the attitude behind it. Frankly, as long as the vo does a reasonable job, it's not so bad. Does limit things a bit (sort of hard to pic Shephard's vo coming out of some of the nonwhite faces--male and female--that I used), but not a deal breaker.

Miltiades
05-23-2009, 07:03 PM
The RPG experience = seeing your character's lines in text over audio format? Getting yourself into a role, and as a player making choices that fit that role. While choosing an attitude may improve the cinematic experience (and indeed gives your player a voice, which, if you don't like it, you'll have to put up with for the rest of the game), choosing an attitude can result in many different situations, and (like in Mass Effect, though, as I mentioned, perhaps to a lesser degree) your character may do something you didn't actually want him to do. If, for example, you choose the option "Aggressive", this could mean taking a charged approach in the conversation, or it could mean your character takes his conversation partner by the throat and smashes him against the floor. An RPG is about what you want to do, but your freedom is taken away here, and the only thing left to do is choose how you'll behave during a conversation, and those choices are open for interpretation.

Full lines, while restrictive itself, are clear in what they will make the player say.

DarthParametric
05-23-2009, 07:15 PM
The ME system is just a cheat to hide lines of dialogue recycled multiple times under different tags on the wheel. There is very little difference for the most part between renegade and paragon dialogue. Most of it is reused for both paths, it's just labelled differently. The reason is of course because VO work is expensive, so they sacrificed more diverse dialogue choices in the name of the "cinematic" experience. Bleh. Personally I'd prefer text if it meant more dialogue and more options.

jrrtoken
05-23-2009, 09:52 PM
I know that it's now cool to bash BioWare at every turn, but seriously, play some more of both their games (is more than 2 a good number?) before making such blanket statements. Irenicus' writing in BG2, for instance, puts most of the dialogue in NWN2's OC to shame. There's a number of other instances in which Obsidian's writing has been less than stellar. AJ's dialogue in MotB was terrible, and that was in the midst of an otherwise amazing game.No, I definitely agree that BioWare has showed some great writing in the past. They've also been increasingly improving their writing talents, and you'll definitely notice the evolving improvement if you play KotOR, Jade Empire, and Mass Effect in order. Now, each game may not be leaps and bounds better than its predecessor, but it's the subtle differences that can stand out.

As far as audio over text, I'd definitely prefer text over audio for the PC, for several reasons. Since ME used only one voice actor for each gender, that limited diversity, and in turn, didn't really let me, IMO, identify with the PC. That, and there's also narrowing down your last name, which also puts hindrance on immersion, no matter if you're named Shepard or Thornton.

Ctrl Alt Del
05-23-2009, 10:27 PM
About the wheel system discussion that seems to have spawned on the recent topic, I have pretty much mixed feelings.

Was it an improvement from the traditional, rarely voiced and showing it's entire content before you click on it method? I can't answer that, mostly because I believe it's a parallel system, which has a different proposal to deal with the same situation. I can say it's not quite there yet. It's far from perfect - which was expected, since it was unprecedented - but the direction Alpha Protocol is taking it, we can hardly say it's an improvement of any kind, or that it contains enough discrepancies to be considered an entire new category.

While the cinematic feel could be given using the traditional convo system that they always used (not saying it would be effective, but it would work), the part of the Wheel that really stands out is the fact it's an honest way to progess on the dialogs. So what if the bad boy answers are always on the down side of the wheel or if conversation ending choices are normally lined on it's right side? The point is that you focus on the dialog it's subjects, not on the options positioning. And why call it honest? Why, didn't the older convos did just that? Didn't you knew which options would probably trigger an agressive or gracious response?

DarthParametric
05-24-2009, 02:42 AM
I wouldn't call the ME/AP systems parallel to the traditional system. Under the hood they are all the same system - branching dialogue. It's just the window dressing that is different. Now if Obsidian continue development for the new system they were building for the Onyx engine and the scuttled Aliens RPG, perhaps we will have a true parallel system. Something that operates differently in a mechanical sense to achieve the same end goal. Possibly a version of it could show up in New Vegas, but I'm not holding my breath.

Miltiades
05-24-2009, 07:31 AM
Was it an improvement from the traditional, rarely voiced and showing it's entire content before you click on it method? I can't answer that, mostly because I believe it's a parallel system, which has a different proposal to deal with the same situation. I can say it's not quite there yet. It's far from perfect - which was expected, since it was unprecedented - but the direction Alpha Protocol is taking it, we can hardly say it's an improvement of any kind, or that it contains enough discrepancies to be considered an entire new category. Calling the system in AP something new would indeed be wrong. Whether it's an improvement on what Mass Effect brought, however, is something else. We will have to wait and play the game for that. In any case, it's a system I'm not particularly fond of, and while the 'traditional system' has its flaws as well, I prefer it. But I do encourage trying out new things, so there's a thumbs up for that. On the other hand, as DarthParametric said, they're basically all just one and the same system - branched dialog. I'd love to see developers break away from that system, how hard that may be.

jrrtoken
05-29-2009, 09:15 PM
E3 Trailer #1 (http://www.gametrailers.com/player/49823.html)

Probably the best trailer of AP I've seen yet. Whether or not Obsidian will be able to include that many options in every quest is yet to be seen, but it is promising and titillating.

dowon
06-12-2009, 02:32 PM
1UP interview/gameplay footage video (http://gamevideos.1up.com/video/id/25198/bigger)

Not bad.

Achilles
07-15-2009, 03:30 AM
Pre-order bonus stuffs were announced this week (http://news.teamxbox.com/xbox/20196/SEGA-Announces-Alpha-Protocol-PreOrder-Specials/).

Assault Pack if you pre-order from GameStop.
Stealth Pack if you pre-order from GameCrazy.

SpaceAlex
07-15-2009, 08:01 AM
Pre-order bonuses? How annoying.

jrrtoken
07-15-2009, 12:25 PM
Pre-order bonuses? How annoying.Exactly. It's essentially cheating, but in a friendlier way. Obsidian probably didn't have much control over it to begin with, IMO.

Either way, at least this does confirm ammo variations.

Achilles
07-15-2009, 02:20 PM
Obsidian probably didn't have much control over it to begin with, IMO.

Based on some of the posts I've seen from Obsidian employees, I get the impression that the quote above is pretty much on the money.

DarthParametric
07-15-2009, 02:24 PM
Yeah that would be all Atari's doing. EA is planning on doing the same for Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age judging by a recent survey they sent out.

Jason Skywalker
07-15-2009, 04:23 PM
So, quick question about this: can you customize Mike's appearance?

jrrtoken
07-15-2009, 04:29 PM
So, quick question about this: can you customize Mike's appearance?From what I know, you can. Not only can you customize facial features at the beginning of the game, but there's also clothing and accessories that you can buy and equip later on. One video had Thorton flaunting frame-less glasses like he was a Gucci model. :p

DarthParametric
07-16-2009, 12:20 AM
That's interesting. I assume then they are doing the same thing Bioware did with ME promotion with their default male Shepard. I hadn't heard anything about customisation in AP and just assumed they were going with a preset character for story purposes.

I don't think Obsidian have promoted the game very well. Seems like all they've done so far is show off how much of a ME clone it is. I really wish they'd feature some of the unique stuff I've heard whispers about.

jrrtoken
07-16-2009, 09:05 AM
I don't think Obsidian have promoted the game very well. Seems like all they've done so far is show off how much of a ME clone it is. I really wish they'd feature some of the unique stuff I've heard whispers about.I believe that's more of Sega's failing, rather than Obsidian's. They often keep awareness of their games down to a low roar, unfortunately, especially when they've been actively releasing gems over the past few months. I certainly hope that Alpha Protocol sells well, as any extra profit extends Obisidian's lifespan over going belly-up like any other Black Isle offshoot. Of course, New Vegas will probably sell like hotcakes, as if anything that FO3 has told us, it's that Fallout is more of a mainstream brand now, which you can interpret in many ways.

jrrtoken
07-18-2009, 10:20 AM
Obsidian's released some community avatars, to your liking:

http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/8554/omendengavatar.jpg http://img249.imageshack.us/img249/6859/mike1avatar.jpg http://img194.imageshack.us/img194/5622/g22avatar.jpg http://img194.imageshack.us/img194/4760/braykoavatar.jpg http://img249.imageshack.us/img249/3125/sisavatar.jpg

Of course, resizing character bios from the official website also works: :p

http://www.lucasforums.com/picture.php?albumid=375&pictureid=3314 http://www.lucasforums.com/picture.php?albumid=375&pictureid=3315 http://www.lucasforums.com/picture.php?albumid=375&pictureid=3316 http://www.lucasforums.com/picture.php?albumid=375&pictureid=3317 http://www.lucasforums.com/picture.php?albumid=375&pictureid=3310 http://www.lucasforums.com/picture.php?albumid=375&pictureid=3311 http://www.lucasforums.com/picture.php?albumid=375&pictureid=3312 http://www.lucasforums.com/picture.php?albumid=375&pictureid=3313 http://www.lucasforums.com/picture.php?albumid=375&pictureid=3304

jrrtoken
07-18-2009, 10:25 AM
Continued from above:

http://www.lucasforums.com/picture.php?albumid=375&pictureid=3305 http://www.lucasforums.com/picture.php?albumid=375&pictureid=3306 http://www.lucasforums.com/picture.php?albumid=375&pictureid=3307 http://www.lucasforums.com/picture.php?albumid=375&pictureid=3308 http://www.lucasforums.com/picture.php?albumid=375&pictureid=3309 http://www.lucasforums.com/picture.php?albumid=375&pictureid=3301 http://www.lucasforums.com/picture.php?albumid=375&pictureid=3302 http://www.lucasforums.com/picture.php?albumid=375&pictureid=3303 http://www.lucasforums.com/picture.php?albumid=375&pictureid=3298 http://www.lucasforums.com/picture.php?albumid=375&pictureid=3299 http://www.lucasforums.com/picture.php?albumid=375&pictureid=3300 http://www.lucasforums.com/picture.php?albumid=375&pictureid=3294 http://www.lucasforums.com/picture.php?albumid=375&pictureid=3295 http://www.lucasforums.com/picture.php?albumid=375&pictureid=3296 http://www.lucasforums.com/picture.php?albumid=375&pictureid=3297

SpaceAlex
07-18-2009, 10:44 AM
Ha! Loving the piglet. :xp: The in-game model is not as charming as the concept art, though. :D

Also, it seems like redheads are in fashion again... like we haven't seen enough of them in the Witcher. :p

Astor
07-18-2009, 10:46 AM
Wow, they look pretty good. I'm loving the one eyed militant guy.

Miltiades
07-18-2009, 10:59 AM
Also, it seems like redheads are in fashion again... like we haven't seen enough of them in the Witcher. :p There are never enough. :)

DarthParametric
07-18-2009, 11:03 AM
Also, it seems like redheads are in fashion again... like we haven't seen enough of them in the Witcher. :pBlasphemy sir! You can never have too many redheaded hot chicks. Although calling them Scarlet is perhaps a tad clichéd.

Sabretooth
07-18-2009, 02:57 PM
One-eyed militant guy is definitely based off a real guy, I just can't remember who. But I know I've definitely seen that exact face somewhere.

Darth InSidious
07-18-2009, 07:33 PM
Abu Hamza?

Warning: more Picasso than Phidias.
http://www.instablogsimages.com/images/2008/02/09/abu-hamza-al-masri_7333.jpg

Revan 411
07-19-2009, 10:05 AM
This game looks quite interesting if I say so myself. My favorite portrait would have to be the the dude with the sunglasses. In other words, the last picture, on the first post.

Sabretooth
07-19-2009, 11:48 AM
Nope, it's the classic Rage guy.

http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/islamic%20rage%20boy.jpg

Char Ell
07-19-2009, 02:57 PM
Pre-order bonus stuffs were announced this week (http://news.teamxbox.com/xbox/20196/SEGA-Announces-Alpha-Protocol-PreOrder-Specials/).

Assault Pack if you pre-order from GameStop.
Stealth Pack if you pre-order from GameCrazy. I was just checking and it appears the pre-order bonuses are only for the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game...

Matthew Rorie (http://forums.obsidian.net/index.php?s=&showtopic=52659&view=findpost&p=952524) seems to reinforce the fact that the pre-order bonuses weren't Obsidian's idea as he states the general feeling at Obsidian is that it would suck for PC players to miss out on content.

Jae Onasi
07-19-2009, 06:34 PM
It'd be nice to have something for PC, too, although I imagine those can be modded in easily enough. This looks like it's shaping up to be a very fun game.

Darth InSidious
07-19-2009, 06:39 PM
It'd be nice to have something for PC, too, although I imagine those can be modded in easily enough. This looks like it's shaping up to be a very fun game.

It's just a pity it appears not to have caught the public imagination. No doubt there are too few halfling rogues and/or space marines in it.

Jae Onasi
07-19-2009, 06:42 PM
It's just a pity it appears not to have caught the public imagination. No doubt there are too few halfling rogues and/or space marines in it.

I'm hoping with enough press and good gameplay it'll turn into a huge hit, especially for Obsidian's sake. I like their games for the most part, and what to see them succeed.

Blasphemy sir! You can never have too many redheaded hot chicks. I love this guy.

Darth InSidious
07-19-2009, 06:44 PM
I'm hoping with enough press and good gameplay it'll turn into a huge hit, especially for Obsidian's sake. I like their games for the most part, and what to see them succeed.

Agreed, but looking at the places it scored in polls for E3 and its release date, I'm not hopeful. It could still be a hit, but I'm not betting on it without something like a viral ad campaign.

jrrtoken
07-19-2009, 07:26 PM
I have massive doubts that it will do well, financially, for more than one of the reasons already stated. Partially, it's Sega's tradition for putting barely any marketing incentive compared to other publishing houses, which is, in many cases, good, but when they've been releasing fairly good titles as of late, it means that all of the good title get tossed under the rug by the media. That's why similar RPGs as of late (:dev8:) have received almost unanimous raise by the media, all because each publisher used extensive marketing techniques (I.E., hyping) in their advertising campaigns.

Of course, having a competing developer's release in the same month probably doesn't do wonders for your own title, too. :P

Mav
07-19-2009, 08:43 PM
This game needs to be in my hands already.

DarthParametric
07-20-2009, 01:24 AM
I don't think the problem lies in the level of exposure. I think they've had enough to get the game into the spotlight. I think the problem lies in the type of stuff they have shown, as I have said before.

Console shooter-RPGs like AP and ME tread a dangerous path. You can see they want to appeal to the mass-market shooter crowd, so they downplay the RPG elements and focus on the combat. That's a big mistake, as the shooter mechanics will likely be pretty poor compared to a straight FPS/3rdPS (as was the case with ME1) and visually it's nothing that hasn't been seen a gazillion times before. I think a lot of console shooter kiddies got burned with ME - they hated the combat and had to put up with constant breaks in the mindless combat for conversations (which they skipped through of course). No doubt they will be more cautious with AP.

ME scored a lot of coverage because the press got all excited by the conversation wheel (for some reason). Regardless of whether or not Obsidian came up with a similar idea independently, their system is going to be seen as a ripoff of ME, so that isn't going to win them much publicity (not of the positive kind anyway).

One of the things that could be a big winner for AP is all the supposed Bond-esque gadgetry, but we haven't really seen anything of this (other than some vague references and a few quick inventory pics). Again, they've chosen to play up the bland elements of the game that everyone has seen a bunch of times before.

Much like EA choosing to pair Dragon Age with a Marilyn Manson song, Sega's PR work for AP boggles the mind....

Sabretooth
07-20-2009, 10:52 PM
http://media.giantbomb.com/uploads/0/30/1069976-ap_ps3_cvr_sht_super.jpg

Anyone else think that logo and "The Espionage RPG" look mighty cheesy?

Mav
07-20-2009, 11:04 PM
Anyone else think that logo and "The Espionage RPG" look mighty cheesy?I like how they used default shaved head guy as the main character.

Sabretooth
07-20-2009, 11:12 PM
In b4 Sam Fisher mods

Sam Fisher Mods? -RH

jrrtoken
07-20-2009, 11:57 PM
Anyone else think that logo and "The Espionage RPG" look mighty cheesy?Yeah, the box art is rather unexciting, but I digress. As far as the subtitle goes; well, if Fallout had "A Post Nuclear Role Playing Game" as their subtitle on the box art, then I suppose others can do so as well.

The ESRB content summary is hilarious:Alpha Protocol

Platform: Windows PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

Rating: Mature

Content descriptors: Blood, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Sexual Content, Strong Language

Rating summary: This is a third-person shooter in which players assume the role of a special agent dispatched to track down stolen munitions and bring terrorists to justice. Players travel around the world, navigate through missions that increase characters' skill, and eliminate an assortment of enemies and terrorists. Players use shotguns, assault rifles, machine guns, grenades, and knives to kill enemies. Stealth attacks allow players to sneak up on and stab unsuspecting enemies. The most intense depictions of violence occur during interactive cutscenes where players have the option to "spare/wait" or "execute/goodbye" villains. Players can shoot surrendered enemies at close range with bullets to the stomach, kneecap, and forehead. Most injuries and deaths result in blood splatter that occasionally pools on the floor. During the course of the game, players can comes across exotic dancers dressed in skimpy clothing. In one scene, the central character has (implied) sex with a female villain: The villain is shown in underwear and climbs on top of the central character and mounts him; sexual activity is never depicted as the scene fades to black. One character in the game is depicted snorting cocaine from his hand; the central character comments that the person is "f*cking high."Well, at least we won't see yet another awkward, cheek-clipping sex scene a la Mass Effect. :xp: The cocaine reference is also humorously written, as well as the confirmation that Thorton can throw out quips at a moment's notice. :p

Master Shake
07-20-2009, 11:59 PM
http://media.giantbomb.com/uploads/0/30/1069976-ap_ps3_cvr_sht_super.jpg

Anyone else think that logo and "The Espionage RPG" look mighty cheesy?
No, just the right amount for a game that will decide your company's future.

DarthParametric
07-21-2009, 11:35 AM
Hooray for executions of surrendered enemies and kneecapping!

Ctrl Alt Del
07-21-2009, 02:07 PM
I think a more Bourne-like cover art would have been less fail than it looks now. Still, I couldn't be less interested on the cover and more on the content itself. Game's definetely shaping to something good.

Revan 411
07-21-2009, 06:15 PM
Argh, I don't think that box art is cheesy or corny. I actually like the font and the world map in the background. Seems appropriate for a modern day ''spy'' RPG. And like most other folks on this topic, I'm looking forward to Alpha Protocol. Hopefully, it won't be a disappointment.

Jeff
07-21-2009, 10:51 PM
Box art sucks, I think the game will make up for that though. :p If it's released on Steam or something I'll probably get it through there anyways.

jrrtoken
07-22-2009, 01:59 PM
Walkthrough Trailer #2

jujKOzHmLWA

This is the best trailer yet, and has completely enchanted me with this game. The safehouses seem to be much more than simply a starting location, and the various features are everything that I've ever wanted out of the generic "base" in RPGs. The ability to respond to emails using the standard dialogue system normally featured with conversations is brilliant. The weapon modification interface is exactly what I've been dreaming of in any game, and the facial customization system seems finely developed.

The dialogue also seems well-written, as of now, that is. Favorite line from Thorton: "Huh, Nasri. Why can't all terrorists be as fun to kill as you?" :p

Jeff
07-22-2009, 02:39 PM
The dialogue also seems well-written, as of now, that is. Favorite line from Thorton: "Huh, Nasri. Why can't all terrorists be as fun to kill as you?" :pThat was my favorite bit as well. :p Game keeps looking better, definitely one of my top titles coming out this year.

Astor
07-22-2009, 02:53 PM
It's definitely looking better all the time - the customization options are awesome, as are the skills.

I'm also digging the girl with the large gun at 0.25. :p

Sabretooth
07-22-2009, 11:01 PM
I'm also digging the girl with the large gun at 0.25. :p

I agree with you sir and also proclaim that I will not kill her during the game, because people as sexy as that should not be killed.

I really love the UI they've made, sleek and very in with the times. Nice to them develop such a lean and functional UI after the half-baked one in KotOR II. The video really impressed me, and like Jeff it's on my Top 5 list for sure. Just below Deus Ex, in fact. >_>

In fact, the game reminds me of Deus Ex, as I haven't seen an RPG in a modern setting since Deus Ex, so I'm really digging this shindig. The music at the end of the walkthrough strongly reminded me of Deus Ex. >_>

jrrtoken
07-22-2009, 11:57 PM
I agree with you sir and also proclaim that I will not kill her during the game, because people as sexy as that should not be killed.Her name's SIE, and she's a former East German operative, now a mercenary. She's also a 40-year-old dominatrix, and lives on a "Join me or die, bitch" motto. In the end, I'm thinking she'll violently sodomize Thorton, but that's just a hunch.I really love the UI they've made, sleek and very in with the times. Nice to them develop such a lean and functional UI after the half-baked one in KotOR II. The video really impressed me, and like Jeff it's on my Top 5 list for sure. Just below Deus Ex, in fact. >_>It definitely has that "realistic" feel, especially when using computers, much like how Deus Ex was. I'm hoping there's more computer-based elements, though, such as hacking into security systems and using them against enemies, as that never became stale in DX.In fact, the game reminds me of Deus Ex, as I haven't seen an RPG in a modern setting since Deus Ex, so I'm really digging this shindig. The music at the end of the walkthrough strongly reminded me of Deus Ex. >_>The game definitely seems to broadcast similar feelings to what I basked in when playing Deus Ex, and I think it might have the potential to fill in empty RPG elements left out by DX (An actual dialogue system, for one). Only time can tell, though. :)

As far as music goes, from most of the the 90 second samples that I've gathered from the official website, it gives of a very suspenseful, orchestrated vibe to it, similar to any action flicks of the day, particularly Batman Begins. It does have more electronica-inspired beats to it, along with more big brass blasts for action scenes. The main theme, for one, is fairly minimalist, yet still "loud" enough to catch attention.

Jeff
07-23-2009, 12:10 AM
I was just checking and it appears the pre-order bonuses are only for the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game...

Matthew Rorie (http://forums.obsidian.net/index.php?s=&showtopic=52659&view=findpost&p=952524) seems to reinforce the fact that the pre-order bonuses weren't Obsidian's idea as he states the general feeling at Obsidian is that it would suck for PC players to miss out on content.Just saw this post, ugh. I would have preordered it too, stealth pack sounds cool. I don't see how people can prefer western RPGs on consoles anyways, whether they're shooters or not.

Also, lol (http://forums.obsidian.net/index.php?showtopic=52659&st=0&p=952492&#entry952492).

Master Shake
07-23-2009, 12:44 AM
In the end, I'm thinking she'll violently sodomize Thorton, but that's just a hunch.
What's not to like?

DarthParametric
07-23-2009, 02:29 AM
Walkthrough Trailer #2For those that prefer something of a higher res than what YouTube offers:

http://www.gametrailers.com/video/sdcc-09-alpha-protocol/53077

Sabretooth
07-23-2009, 02:32 AM
She's also a 40-year-old dominatrix, and lives on a "Join me or die, bitch" motto.

I am definitely going to join up with this woman, in more than one way. o_Q

jrrtoken
07-23-2009, 12:52 PM
Another preview (http://www.videogamer.com/xbox360/alpha_protocol/preview-1859.html)

This is another really good article that goes into great depth concerning dialogue choices and their apparent consequences, and it seems to shine at that regard. There's also a good insight into the dossier system, which is a "journal" of sorts that keeps track of character and faction information. It doesn't seem to be just a metagaming element, though, as every time you learn more on someone/thing, that translates towards "better" dialogue options in certain situations.

Might I also say that the character Grigori shares the same voice actor as HK-47, and also shares a bit of his sarcastic and crude personality. :p

Achilles
07-23-2009, 06:43 PM
Mr. Rorie just revealed that the AP will have a gameplay time of between 20-25 hours.

I'm hoping this a "less is more" thing.

Astor
07-23-2009, 06:49 PM
Mr. Rorie just revealed that the AP will have a gameplay time of between 20-25 hours.

I'm hoping this a "less is more" thing.

Wow, that's certainly shorter than I would have expected. Let's hope you're right about 'less is more'.

Darth InSidious
07-23-2009, 07:22 PM
Mr. Rorie just revealed that the AP will have a gameplay time of between 20-25 hours.

I'm hoping this a "less is more" thing.

I was guessing it'd be a shorter game; I'm guessing the actual run-through time is made up for by the number of ways to play through/branching choices in the game. Hopefully.

SpaceAlex
07-23-2009, 07:31 PM
The ESRB content summary is hilarious:Well, at least we won't see yet another awkward, cheek-clipping sex scene a la Mass Effect. :xp: The cocaine reference is also humorously written, as well as the confirmation that Thorton can throw out quips at a moment's notice. :p

Ha ha, that was great. I think what makes it so funny is the fact that it's intended to be taken seriously. :D

Might I also say that the character Grigori shares the same voice actor as HK-47, and also shares a bit of his sarcastic and crude personality.

Oooh, I like that. Tabori is a fine voice actor (HK-47/HK-50s just wouldn't be so popular without him), and it's good to see him back in business. :)

I was guessing it'd be a shorter game; I'm guessing the actual run-through time is made up for by the number of ways to play through/branching choices in the game. Hopefully.

We'll see. I always tend to spend far more time in the game than needed, so the game will probably be around 10 hours longer for me. :D

DarthParametric
07-24-2009, 02:16 AM
Mr. Rorie just revealed that the AP will have a gameplay time of between 20-25 hours.Seemed like that was on the cards when it was revealed how few areas there were a while back.

Achilles
07-24-2009, 02:28 AM
Seemed like that was on the cards when it was revealed how few areas there were a while back.

:eyeraise:

Is there some magic "number of areas-to-hours of gameplay" algorithm that I'm unfamiliar with?

Jae Onasi
07-24-2009, 03:24 AM
Seemed like that was on the cards when it was revealed how few areas there were a while back.There were only 4 'major areas' in Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines (I guess 5 if you count the final boss area as a separate area), but that didn't matter. You could burn through the areas quickly by doing the main quest line, or you could do all the side quests and spend a lot of time. Also, the game was so different depending on what class you chose, along with your play style, that it's never been the same game twice for me. I'm hoping that AP can capture that same depth with its different play styles and many quests. If they can, the number of areas won't matter that much at all.

DarthParametric
07-24-2009, 06:18 AM
The difference between Bloodlines's "hubs" and AP's areas seems to be that AP is going for a more linear once-through type affair, similar to most of Mass Effect's main plot planets. Bloodlines had a bunch of side-quests within and between the hubs, and the main story-based "action zones" (for want of a better term) were separate areas outside the hubs. From what I've seen, AP's side-quests are very similar to, say, those in ME's Feros mission. It's a once-through deal where you can do a couple of minor Fedex-type side-quests along the way, but once you've shot all the bad guys that's it.

Pavlos
07-24-2009, 07:19 AM
The difference between Bloodlines's "hubs" and AP's areas seems to be that AP is going for a more linear once-through type affair, similar to most of Mass Effect's main plot planets. Bloodlines had a bunch of side-quests within and between the hubs, and the main story-based "action zones" (for want of a better term) were separate areas outside the hubs. From what I've seen, AP's side-quests are very similar to, say, those in ME's Feros mission. It's a once-through deal where you can do a couple of minor Fedex-type side-quests along the way, but once you've shot all the bad guys that's it.
There will be around four "just talking" missions per hub, should you choose to accept them, if I remember correctly. How long they are or what they entail other than "just talking", I don't know...

Sabretooth
07-25-2009, 02:01 PM
Yeah, I'm not surprised by this being a short game. It isn't exactly supposed to be an epic adventure through distant lands, it's a modern spy theme and games based on this have to just as short and slick.

Pavlos
07-29-2009, 08:28 AM
Source (www.ign.co.uk)

IGN have posted a short preview (http://uk.xbox360.ign.com/articles/100/1008292p1.html) of Obsidian's upcoming RPG, Alpha Protocol which puts emphasis on the game's RPG aspects and, rather shockingly, manages to spell "Thorton" correctly for once.The action misson we see is set in a bombed out Embassy, and affords us a chance to see the combat mechanics at work. Truth told, it's an initially unimpressive set-up, with the mission playing out like a mesh of some of the more generic third-person shooters available, complete with cursory cover-based gunplay, mini-game interludes to hack into terminals and keypads, and all interspersed with a little light stealth.

But Alpha Protocol's not a third-person shooterDun dun dunnnnnnn.and what's impressive about the action scenes is how each decision made, no matter how minute, feeds into the character progression. Farming experience points isn't a matter of stringing a series of headshots together - get to the end of a level without alerting anyone and you'll be rewarded with a generous dose of experience points too.

Miltiades
07-29-2009, 03:00 PM
Very glad about character progression. No more being punished for taking the smart way out of a level. :)

Avisto
08-11-2009, 05:09 PM
Another preview (http://www.videogamer.com/xbox360/alpha_protocol/preview-1859.html)

This is another really good article that goes into great depth concerning dialogue choices and their apparent consequences, and it seems to shine at that regard. There's also a good insight into the dossier system, which is a "journal" of sorts that keeps track of character and faction information. It doesn't seem to be just a metagaming element, though, as every time you learn more on someone/thing, that translates towards "better" dialogue options in certain situations.

Might I also say that the character Grigori shares the same voice actor as HK-47, and also shares a bit of his sarcastic and crude personality. :p

Thanks for linking to this article. I wasn't really excited about the choice system because from what I saw earlier, the system almost seemed half hearted at points, but now I can see It's not.

I'm also glad they put in the timer for conversations. I hated then in ME, when you fought Saren and there was a dialog sequence, you could just sit there for however long you wanted without responding. It really ruins the immersion.

Ctrl Alt Del
08-12-2009, 02:24 PM
I'm still not 100% sure of the game's awesomeness, but I must confess I'm now somewhat excited and buying it as soon as it's available. Don't care if it's a Mass Effect wannabe anymore (even because it seems to be distancing itself from the Bioware's game). Some points of interest from Pavlos's link include:

Even when you’re a git, it might benefit you. Even when you’re a saint, it might blow up in your face. There is no light or dark side. There is no good or bad karma. There are only reactions, many of which become won't become obvious until later in the game. Often it’s to your benefit to be aligned against factions and NPCs, pissing them off as much as you can. “We don’t make a habit of punishing the player for playing the game the way they’d like,” Nathan says.

The Field Agent (stealth oriented) class, which paired up with the spy-fiction background and the seemingly tremendous amount of emphasis put on stealth, can make teh game pretty interesting indeed.

However, it should be said that unless they do a good work on the hiding part, the game may turn into a nightmare for the players trying to imitate Snake or Fisher. I've seen my share of stealth-only games that winded up being terrible because of bad hiding mechanincs.

jrrtoken
08-19-2009, 07:30 AM
In other words, the official AP blog is up (http://blogs.ign.com/Blogs/BlogPage.aspx?blog=Alpha.Protocol). It doesn't feature anything amazingly new, but it does give a nice background for neophytes.

Oh, and AP is available for pre-order on Steam. Linkity-link (http://store.steampowered.com/app/34010/).

Rake
08-19-2009, 12:37 PM
Hmmm, I'm debating on whether to buy this for PC or 360, console shooters feel better imo, but then again, PC nets lots of mods and usually free DLC.

Darth InSidious
08-19-2009, 12:53 PM
Hmmm, I'm debating on whether to buy this for PC or 360, console shooters feel better imo, but then again, PC nets lots of mods and usually free DLC.

Get it for console and if you like it buy it for PC as well? Given the lameness of Sega's hype campaign, it'll need the sales. :p

Char Ell
08-21-2009, 11:09 AM
Looks like Alpha Protocol's release has been pushed from October 6 to October 27, according to Amazon and Gamestop anyway.

While not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things I was looking forward to playing AP in October and Dragon Age: Origins in November. Looks like that plan just got flushed down the toilet. :giveup:

Sabretooth
08-21-2009, 11:49 AM
Hmm good, good, gives me more time to play a real man's game: Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising.

yeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh

Darth InSidious
08-24-2009, 02:21 PM
This doesn't seem to have been posted, so I thought I'd bring up . Of particular interest may be the [url=http://blogs.ign.com/Alpha.Protocol/2009/08/21/127277/]Latest entry (]Alpha Protocol: The Blog![/url) on stealth playthroughs. It seems it isn't possible to avoid killing everyone, but that wouldn't be terribly realistic. That said, are "suped up" [sic] flash grenades, among other special abilities really that realistic to begin with?

Rake
08-24-2009, 02:49 PM
I was originally planning to play through as a straight gunner, but I think I just changed my mine. The only thing that slightly peeves me is shadow operative... too "magicky," to be placed in a modern day spy RPG imo, hopefully it only lasts something like 3 seconds (if it was anything more than 10ish, waaaay overpowered).

Darth InSidious
08-24-2009, 02:55 PM
Unfortunately, Obs don't have a great reputation for balanced/challenging combat (TSL's is absurdly unbalanced), although that said, what RPG developer does these days? Mass Effect, I'm looking at you. >_>

DarthParametric
08-25-2009, 10:58 AM
If it was truly "balanced", one bloke by himself running into a building full of bad guys would be dead a few steps inside the door. There is no such thing as balance in any form of shooter, action-rpg or otherwise.

Avisto
08-27-2009, 06:13 AM
Mass Effect, I'm looking at you. >_>
Insanity on my bastion adept was a joke.. It was like they didn't even try.

jrrtoken
08-27-2009, 07:29 AM
The viral marketing campaign has finally begun, with a Michael Thorton Twitter page (http://twitter.com/mikethorton)... written by Avellone.

Some gems:Shouldn't have, but I went in and fixed some instances of "Thornton" to "Thorton" in my service record. Get it right, guys.Thing is, the guards stick to the same routine with each new recruit in these obstacle courses. So if you watch the training vids once...He didn't like me asking if Yancy was really his first name. He said my first name must be "smartass." "Beats Yancy," I said. Not wise.

:tophat1:

Sabretooth
08-27-2009, 10:25 AM
As much as I like Avellone, I must say that that's a lame viral marketing idea. America's soon-to-be-greatest spy is on twitter posting about his hazing and the training runs? Way to go, Mr. Thorton, way to go. First thing I'm doing in the game is cancelling your twitter account.

DarthParametric
08-27-2009, 11:37 PM
I've never been a huge fan of Avellone, but I doubt this would be his call. As publisher, Sega would be handling all the marketing and PR decisions I would imagine.

Avisto
08-28-2009, 05:35 AM
This marketing campaign is almost as bad as Bioware's Dragon Age: Origins marketing campaign.

Pavlos
08-28-2009, 08:36 AM
This marketing campaign is almost as bad as Bioware's Dragon Age: Origins marketing campaign.
Until they release a "violence trailer", I don't think we can quite say that.

Rake
08-28-2009, 12:32 PM
Interesting interview with Matthew Rorie at Gamespot (http://www.gamespot.com/ps3/rpg/alphaprotocol/news.html?sid=6216435&om_act=convert&om_clk=previews&tag=previews;title;1&mode=previews).

Avisto
08-28-2009, 01:33 PM
Until they release a "violence trailer", I don't think we can quite say that.

Let me rephrase it. To me, it was almost as facepalm worthy as watching the Dragon Age Origins advert with MM in the background.

Char Ell
08-28-2009, 10:44 PM
Until they release a "violence trailer", I don't think we can quite say that. Eh? This isn't the "New S**t?" ;)

DarthParametric
08-29-2009, 03:49 AM
Interesting interview with Matthew Rorie at Gamespot (http://www.gamespot.com/ps3/rpg/alphaprotocol/news.html?sid=6216435&om_act=convert&om_clk=previews&tag=previews;title;1&mode=previews).Wow only 25 hours? That's pretty disappointing.

Sabretooth
08-29-2009, 05:14 AM
Mike Thorton is a spy, but we didn't want to lock players into any of the various spy archetypes that you might see in popular media. So, our solution to that problem was to allow players to be any kind of spy that they want. If you want to be a badass, take-no-prisoners sort of character, you can specialise in weapons like the assault rifle or the SMGs and go in with guns blazing.

"We didn't want to lock players into any of the various spy archetypes that you might see in popular media. So instead, we showed them each of the archetypes and asked them which one they'd like to be locked in."

Ctrl Alt Del
08-29-2009, 09:30 AM
^ Don't you love figure of speech?

Insanity on my bastion adept was a joke.. It was like they didn't even try.

Harder than anything they did before.

Pavlos
09-02-2009, 07:31 PM
Source (http://www.game-debate.com/games/index.php?g_id=90&game=Alpha%20Protocol#system%20requirements)

A site called Game-Debate (http://www.game-debate.com/) has published what are allegedly the recommended system requirements for Obsidian's Alpha Protocol, scheduled for release in October on the PC, PS3, and XBox 360.
Intel CPU - Pentium 4 2.66GHz
AMD CPU - Athlon XP 2400+
Nvidia Graphics Card - Geforce 7900 GT
ATI & Intel Graphics Card - Radeon X1800 Series 256MB
RAM - 2 Gbs
Hard Disk Space - 12 Gbs
Direct X - 9
Sounds as though the engine is pretty well optimised. No word yet as to the quality of the camera controls.

Darth InSidious
09-02-2009, 07:34 PM
That depends on whether those actually are the recommended specs. OEI doesn't have a great reputation in that area, unfortunately...

Astor
09-02-2009, 07:45 PM
If they are the recommended specs, I think I just about meet them.

I was planning to buy Alpha Protocol for the 360, but if they do turn out to be the recommended specs, I might just consider buying it for PC instead.

Pavlos
09-02-2009, 08:57 PM
Previews for Alpha Protocol seem to be coming thick and fast of late. From IGN to GamesRadar, several of the previews I could find over the past few weeks are listed below and none of them in any way shape or form reflect lacklustre critical faculties on the part of video game journalists.

Play.tm (http://play.tm/preview/26363/alpha-protocol/)

Play.tm's journalist has taken it upon himself to write about a game that he'd like to make rather than the game he was actually previewing, as evidenced by his inability to spell the protagonist's name and faulting the non-existent:
Specifically, segue cut scenes looked disappointing by the standards of some genre heavyweights - and worryingly there was no exterior exploration or travel to view as Thornton prepared to unleash his heroics. Surely the final game won't simply transfer the player from safehouse to mission and back again... surely that was merely an unexplained demo condition designed to save time? Regardless, it was safehouse-to-segue-to-mission. Done. Exterior gameplay was necessary, and its no-show was a distinct disappointment. Furthermore, as an aesthetic aside, characters were visually lacking in, well... emotion and character, and dialogue animation was particularly undercooked.
I didn't know that a lack of exterior exploration was such a call for rhetorical posturing or that damning a feature of a game; call me old fashioned but trekking across a featureless wasteland in an attempt to find, rescue, and escort home the neighbour's cat doesn't strike me as gripping gameplay. But, if the rt hon Stevie Smith says it: it must be true. Searing investigative journalism there from Play.tm.

GameOn (http://www.gameon.co.uk./game/preview/xbox-360/alpha-protocol-gamescom-2009-preview)

The highlight is the picture of the character screen.
With the official blurb out the way, you'll be wondering what the actual game is like, well luckily enough I was able to grab a viewing. So as stated earlier you take control of Michael Thorton and in RPG style you are able to customise how he will appear in the game world by changing hair types, hair colour, facial hair, glasses etc. However you cannot fully change his appearance with you controlling a named and vital character to the game's story line.
GamesRadar (http://www.gamesradar.com/pc/alpha-protocol/preview/alpha-protocol-hands-on/a-2009082816356957084/g-20080313162151178085)

GamesRadar's preview focusses mostly on "reactivity":
The idea of ‘reactivity’ is what will push Alpha Protocol forward. You can’t replay missions or go back and talk to characters – once you’ve made your choices the game adjusts and pushes on. And yes, you can sauce-up female spies and get your Bond-on, so best make the right moves the first time around.
Well, thank God for that, I don't think I could have played it thinking that female spies might be in the game for some other reason than being "sauced-up"; which puts me more in mind of Fargo, a woodchipper, and one of the antagonist's limbs than it does sex, it has to be said.

IGN (http://uk.pc.ign.com/articles/101/1017850p1.html)

IGN's Hilary Goldstein is kind enough to reveal the beginning of the game for us without warning before going on to analyse and expound upon her three hour hands-on preview of Alpha Protocol in intense detail over a whopping one page.
After getting through basic training, you can head into the field and take on the missions in Saudi Arabia or you can stick around, talk to some folk and earn bonus training missions. It's here that I got a real sense of the conversation system. It borrows heavily from Mass Effect. But where BioWare's RPG had selecting emotional reactions, Alpha Protocol asks you to consider how you are manipulating the conversation. There are three main options, each suggesting a different tone for your response. The idea isn't to play a character's emotional range, it's to find the best way to get a reaction from the other party. That reaction may be to make them angry or to sweet talk them or to simply annoy them. Each NPC has his or her own persona and you'll need to figure those out in order to get the conversational advantage.
Alpha Protocol: three hours, one page. Mass Effect (http://uk.xbox360.ign.com/articles/820/820296p1.html) one hour, three pages; and not one mention of the texture pop-in problems. I love how consistent game journalism is; it almost makes you think that satire is superfluous.

jrrtoken
09-02-2009, 09:22 PM
I find it to be fairly disconcerting when most previews of AP seem to be chock-full of incessant nitpicking; it's obviously a poor indicator of video game "journalism" when games marketed ad infinitum seem to be exempt of incessant nitpicking as seen here.

It's very possible that I am the one at fault here, and that AP really is a shoddy game; yet, then again, seeing the unanimously glowing exaltation that Mass Effect and Fallout 3 received, I suppose it does show that most mainstream video game journalism firms either intentionally pander to the very lowest common denominator, or they themselves accept bribes from publishers. I'd be willing to say that it is a combination of the two, with greater emphasis on the latter, however.

Either, it's not looking very good for AP and Obsidian financially, unfortunately. :(

Jeff
09-02-2009, 10:03 PM
It's very possible that I am the one at fault here, and that AP really is a shoddy game; yet, then again, seeing the unanimously glowing exaltation that Mass Effect and Fallout 3 received, I suppose it does show that most mainstream video game journalism firms either intentionally pander to the very lowest common denominator, or they themselves accept bribes from publishers. I'd be willing to say that it is a combination of the two, with greater emphasis on the latter, however.Or you are in the minority and most people tend to enjoy the games that are well received by the press. :wonder:

Rake
09-02-2009, 10:04 PM
I'm a bit nervous from Goldstein's comment on bugs, AI, etc... Hopefully the final version will be relatively bug-free and the AI somewhat challenging. Another concern that's itching at me, is I get the feeling the bonus abilities from stealth and combat might make the game way too easy; but hopefully, that issue is only in my head.

Jae Onasi
09-02-2009, 10:07 PM
'reactivity'--as if I'm going to play the game to sauce up a female spy. Thanks GamesRadar, for pigeonholing me as nothing more than a sex-crazed 13 year old.

@Jeff--some of these reviews were pure crap.

Jeff
09-02-2009, 10:23 PM
@Jeff--some of these reviews were pure crap.I only briefly looked over each of these AP articles, but I meant the fact that games like Mass Effect and Fallout 3 (mentioned by PastramiX) were critically acclaimed, apparently not because they're great games, but because the press is corrupt, or something.

jrrtoken
09-02-2009, 10:42 PM
Or you are in the minority and most people tend to enjoy the games that are well received by the press. :wonder:Call me paranoid, but it seems that there's been a larger percentage of games that have received a "perfect" or "near-perfect" rating as of late. Unless if games are somehow becoming astronomically better in quality in the past ~3 years, then there certainly is something afoot. You can also take in to fact that most games receiving said glowing scores were either franchise installments or products of high-volume publishers, with large marketing machines, to boot. One must also take into account that a good deal of game press sites usually have advertisements to the games that usually receive their unduly exaltation, I don't mean generic ad banners, mind you, I'm talking about custom-fit full-page advertisements, either in the background or during loading screens.I only briefly looked over each of these AP articles, but I meant the fact that games like Mass Effect and Fallout 3 (mentioned by PastramiX) were critically acclaimed, apparently not because they're great games, but because the press is corrupt, or something."Corrupt" isn't the correct term, as there's nothing legally restrictive when it comes to reviews. It could be considered "unethical", but no matter what one might call it, it's definitely suspicious, at the least.

If you also read some of the AP previews, particularly the IGN one, you'll find nitpick galore, especially the "fairly linear [missions]" complaint, as if every other recent game doesn't suffer from this problem, ME in particular. You'll also notice the dramatic difference in tone and composition between the AP preview and the ME preview, for one.

Jeff
09-03-2009, 12:06 AM
I do agree that a lot of times game sites give games too high of scores (several 10/10s for GTA IV and at least one 10/10 for MGS4 are probably not deserved), I think in general if a game receives fairly universal praise (several GOTYs in the case of Fallout 3), it's safe to say it's a good game. It's fine that you have your own opinion about the game, but just because you don't like it doesn't mean it's a bad game. There might be some of what you're talking about going on at huge sites like IGN and Gamestop, but I think if a game's Metacritic score is 85+ then it's pretty safe to say most people think it's good.

Jae Onasi
09-03-2009, 01:48 AM
It's entirely possible that OE is having some problems with this game like it had with TSL and NWN2. Just because the reviewers like ME better doesn't mean they're being unethical--it could just mean, surprisingly, that they like ME better. Let's face it--the endings on both TSL and NWN2 sucked in the opinion of a lot of people including reviewers, especially the end of NWN2 where you've just had the epic boss battle to save/conquer the kingdom, and rocks fall on your head and you die. Epic fail ending, in my opinion--nothing you did the entire game had any meaning, which is the whole point of a ROLE-playing game..... .
OE has to overcome the bad taste it left in many people's mouths. I think AP is a survive or die game for them. If they do well, it'll keep them on the map. If they pull some of the same crap they did with the ending of AP, I'm going to be unimpressed.

Also, just because you happen to love moral ambiguity and shades of gray in games doesn't mean everyone else does. I want my games to entertain me--I play them to escape real life, not deal with more of the same thorny moral problems I see in Real Life. If I want moral ambiguity, I can re-read Vanity Fair or Madame Bovary, or listen to any of the girls I have to work with at the Peyton Place office I'm unfortunately stuck at. I suspect that many of the readers of the game sites and gaming magazines share a similar mindset, and the authors and editors write for their target audiences ("looking for fun"), rather than the type of gamer you appear to be ("looking for an aesthetic subtle story").

mattig89ch
09-03-2009, 11:28 AM
I tell you this game looks awesome!

Did they post the specs you'll need to run this game for the PC? Heck, is it even coming out for PC?

Darth InSidious
09-03-2009, 11:46 AM
I only briefly looked over each of these AP articles, but I meant the fact that games like Mass Effect and Fallout 3 (mentioned by PastramiX) were critically acclaimed, apparently not because they're great games, but because the press is corrupt, or something.

Mass Effect was ****e and astonishingly boring; everything I've seen of FO3 suggests it deserved the title "most moronic nonsense of 2008". "Megaton" springs to mind as possibly one of the dumbest ideas ever conceived, to say nothing of its execution.

jonathan7
09-03-2009, 11:56 AM
I tell you this game looks awesome!

Did they post the specs you'll need to run this game for the PC? Heck, is it even coming out for PC?

Its a proper RPG so of course its on the PC.

The PC is the weapon of a superior gamer ;)

DarthParametric
09-03-2009, 11:57 AM
Wow you Obsidian fanboys sure are touchy. You'll be getting AP regardless so just ignore the game sites if it bothers you that much. Previews and reviews don't amount to a whole hell of a lot at the end of the day anyway. What moves the average slob to purchase is marketing, so if the game sells poorly you should be levelling your gripes at Sega.

Its a proper RPG so of course its on the PC.

The PC is the weapon of a superior gamer ;)Except that the PC version will almost certainly be a 3rd rate port of the console version, as is the unfortunate trend these days.

jonathan7
09-03-2009, 12:04 PM
Except that the PC version will almost certainly be a 3rd rate port of the console version, as is the unfortunate trend these days.

Well currently its being released for; Xbox 360, PS3, and PC, so hopefully not... We'll see!

DarthParametric
09-03-2009, 12:12 PM
The consoles will be the lead dev platform and define the limitations of the game. The PC version will just be a port of that. How much effort they put into providing a tailored PC GUI and control scheme plus higher res textures etc will be interesting. I can't imagine that tossing a 3rd dev platform that is notoriously difficult to work with (the PS3) into the mix is going to do much for Obsidian's already shaky quality control track record. Some of the previews above would suggest as much and I doubt miracles are going to occur before it hits shelves - it must be due to go gold in the next couple of weeks.

jrrtoken
09-03-2009, 04:50 PM
I do agree that a lot of times game sites give games too high of scores (several 10/10s for GTA IV and at least one 10/10 for MGS4 are probably not deserved), I think in general if a game receives fairly universal praise (several GOTYs in the case of Fallout 3), it's safe to say it's a good game. It's fine that you have your own opinion about the game, but just because you don't like it doesn't mean it's a bad game. There might be some of what you're talking about going on at huge sites like IGN and Gamestop, but I think if a game's Metacritic score is 85+ then it's pretty safe to say most people think it's good.Fair enough.Also, just because you happen to love moral ambiguity and shades of gray in games doesn't mean everyone else does.I didn't even bring this up to begin with, so... :indif:I want my games to entertain me--I play them to escape real life, not deal with more of the same thorny moral problems I see in Real Life.Using the same concepts and archetypes as seen in previous games isn't good design, period. Additionally, I'm sure others might complain about thematics and imagery, but to berate a certain game just due to the fact that it's "different" or "darker" is fallacious thinking, especially if the base quality of writing is overlooked entirely.If I want moral ambiguity, I can re-read Vanity Fair or Madame Bovary, or listen to any of the girls I have to work with at the Peyton Place office I'm unfortunately stuck at.Wait; Vanity Fair has deep, borderline philosophical writing? :raise:I suspect that many of the readers of the game sites and gaming magazines share a similar mindset, and the authors and editors write for their target audiences ("looking for fun"), rather than the type of gamer you appear to be ("looking for an aesthetic subtle story").Giving a hastily-put-together plot and expecting the average player to overlook it isn't smart design; it's shameless. If developers treat the entire gamer's taste gamut as one-dimensional and low-brow, then there is no evolution or innovation in storytelling and design. The same goes for reviewers who seem to somewhat eschew the mediocre for a higher score.

Jae Onasi
09-03-2009, 06:02 PM
Using the same concepts and archetypes as seen in previous games isn't good design, period.
Of course, we don't want them to be exactly the same, that's silly, but if a certain formula is wildly successful, and sales of Kotor indicates it was very successful, then why fix what's not broken?


Additionally, I'm sure others might complain about thematics and imagery, but to berate a certain game just due to the fact that it's "different" or "darker" is fallacious thinking, especially if the base quality of writing is overlooked entirely.Remember the average audience the game reviewers are writing for. You may not be a member of that average audience--what appeals to you may not appeal to the target audience of the reviewer, and hence while your opinion of a game may be valid, it isn't what's going to sell their magazines/web content. You've made the assumption that because the reviewers don't agree with your opinion, they must be up to something dishonorable and borderline dishonest. I'm offering an alternative explanation that you have not considered.


Wait; Vanity Fair has deep, borderline philosophical writing? :raise:I'm talking about Thackeray's novel, not the magazine....

Giving a hastily-put-together plot and expecting the average player to overlook it isn't smart design; it's shameless. If developers treat the entire gamer's taste gamut as one-dimensional and low-brow, then there is no evolution or innovation in storytelling and design. The same goes for reviewers who seem to somewhat eschew the mediocre for a higher score.First, this is simply your opinion on the plot itself; secondly, you're assuming that plot and story should merit more weight in an overall score than what the reviewers place it at. Their scores are based on a lot more than just plot/story.

jrrtoken
09-03-2009, 08:00 PM
Of course, we don't want them to be exactly the same, that's silly, but if a certain formula is wildly successful, and sales of Kotor indicates it was very successful, then why fix what's not broken?If the system in question is used repeatedly with little core change, then the system is stagnant. If companies still wish to cling to decade-old formulae, then why bother paying for a game that is nearly identical to one released several years in the past?

Remember the average audience the game reviewers are writing for. You may not be a member of that average audience--what appeals to you may not appeal to the target audience of the reviewer, and hence while your opinion of a game may be valid, it isn't what's going to sell their magazines/web content.But that's the thing; if all reviewers give one game unanimous praise, then it appears that all reviewers in question share the same mindset. According to your own hypothesis, not everyone can vehemently enjoy one game, and there will be discord; Ergo, if a game is given high enough praise, then there truly is not a unanimous decision of gamers abroad that the game in question is bona-fide perfect. Since reviewers are meant to give advice based on the representation of the gamut of players, then there would usually be more negative discord coming from the press. If there are negative ratings of GotYs out there, then they're obviously not being published very well, intentional or not.First, this is simply your opinion on the plot itself;...and you brought it up to inject your own opinion as well. If you're going to accuse me of adding my own thoughts into an argument, then you too must acknowledge that you brought up the point to inject your own opinions into it.secondly, you're assuming that plot and story should merit more weight in an overall score than what the reviewers place it at. Their scores are based on a lot more than just plot/story.Yes, but it's still a definite component of a video game, especially in today's use of the medium. Gameplay and plot should be married, and they should compliment each other, by both drawing in the player with a thematic repose, and then giving the player the tools to drive the plot through experience. Therefore, if one aspect is overlooked, then the game seems unbalanced. I haven't seen much importance placed on story in the mainstream media, and when it has, it's usually been brief.

Darth InSidious
09-11-2009, 03:37 PM
If we're done griping about Obsidian and praising crap games, here's another interview with Chris Avellone (http://www.x360magazine.com/qa/obsidians-chris-avellone-chats-alpha-protocol/) about Alpha Protocol.

Not much about the game, but plenty of the kind of shallow "gosh, writing words on a page and engaging your brain sure must be hard, Mr. Avellone!" queries you'd expect from a gaming journa- sorry, slushtyper.


When it came to planning Alpha Protocol’s story, what differences were there compared to Obsidian’s previous projects?

Feargus Urquhart, our CEO, came up with the idea in tandem with Chris Jones, our Technical Director at Obsidian. The theme was to create an action hero game set in the real world, and allow the player to take on the role of a highly-trained operative, working alone. Once we had this “theme box,” the team set to work on creating a game on that vision.

Good to see that Avellone has also mastered RTFQ/ATFQ...

On the other hand, the interviewer almost manages to ask something interesting which Avellone hasn't answered before...

Recently, we’ve seen BioShock popularise storytelling within the gameplay, without breaking away from it. Do you believe this kind of method is the way forward, or do you think there’s room yet for cutscenes?

I think Bioshock’s method is more immersive, and given the choice, I would prefer that any storytelling take place in a manner that doesn’t paralyze the player (as cinematic conversations tend to do in today’s day and age). A blend between RPG content and Half-Life 2 is my personal dream.
... but doesn't quite manage it.

If you've read interviews with Avellone before, none of this will seem particularly new, unfortunately. It's mostly the same stuff he always says - the only surprise is there isn't a question about KotOR II's cut content and what he'd do differently if he could.

Personally, I think you should read Pavlos' interview (http://www.starwarsknights.com/interview20090223.php) with Avellone instead, if you haven't already. o_Q

jrrtoken
09-11-2009, 07:42 PM
Apparently journalists have forgotten that "indirect storytelling" had already been perfected in the past decade by yet another Shock game, sans Bio...

Serpentine Cougar
09-14-2009, 08:33 AM
I don't know if anyone mentioned this before, but if you pre-order the game from Steam (http://store.steampowered.com/app/34010/), Direct2Drive (http://www.direct2drive.com/8420/product/Buy-Alpha-Protocol-with-FREE-Game-Download), or GamersGate (http://www.gamersgate.com/DD-ALPPRE/alpha-protocol-pre-order-bundle), you'll get a free copy of Space Siege. Not sure if that's a good deal or not, as I don't remember Space Siege getting many good reviews.... Note that Alpha Protocol is 4 cents more expensive at Steam than the other two (yeah, huge difference, I know).

Sabretooth
09-14-2009, 08:52 AM
If Space Siege is anything like its predecessor Dungeon Siege, then you'd best stay away from it, even if its free.

Astor
09-14-2009, 08:56 AM
If Space Siege is anything like its predecessor Dungeon Siege, then you'd best stay away from it, even if its free.

Hey! Dungeon Siege, while not brilliant, was enjoyable, to a point. Space Siege, however, is awful right from the get-go.

Giving it away free with another game is probably the only way to get people playing it. Although, I suspect most people will be far too busy playing Alpha Protocol to care. :p

Sabretooth
09-14-2009, 09:22 AM
Hey! Dungeon Siege, while not brilliant, was enjoyable, to a point. Space Siege, however, is awful right from the get-go.

I must confess I did enjoy it very much, but it was a time when I knew nothing of RPGs or even fantasy games, for that matter. The game was enjoyable, as you say, and then I played the expansion, Legends of Aranna.

A more brain-numbingly tedious video game experience I have not had. It left a bad taste in my mouth, both for itself and the vanilla game as well.

Still, the music was very good (Jeremy Soule?) and I still remember some of the music fondly.

Darth InSidious
09-14-2009, 07:40 PM
Official Xbox 360 Magazine Previews Alpha Protocol (http://www.oxm.co.uk/article.php?id=13888)

The good:
We could linger on the solid control of the cover and shoot combat, talk about the extensive character customisation list that'd have the average Fallout fan shivering in anticipation, or discuss the amalgamation of espionage thriller and RPG. But no. What stuck in the brain was the quality of the dialogue.

Overall, it's a pretty positive review, but it still can't resist a superficial comparison with Mass Effect:

It combines Mass Effect's love of dialogue branches and deep plot with Splinter Cell: Conviction's action-orientated realism. An espionage thriller, where quick wits are as vital as good aim.


A passing thing, but if the "dialogue branches and deep plot" are on a level with Mass Effect's near-total lack, I'm worried.

jrrtoken
09-14-2009, 09:18 PM
A passing thing, but if the "dialogue branches and deep plot" are on a level with Mass Effect's near-total lack, I'm worried.DI, you obviously can not recall that Mass Effect is the latest watershed in role-playing games; everything aspect, no matter how minute, is overwhelmingly perfect, and supersedes everything before it. After all, if every review site gave it a perfect score, then it must be a perfect game, along with the five other perfect games that were published in 2007. o_Q

Rake
09-14-2009, 10:13 PM
The only thing irking me about this game is Sega/Obsidian's inability to choose a release date. With so many games coming out this holiday; I was hoping this game would be out as planned, October 6 :confused:.

Darth InSidious
09-16-2009, 03:03 PM
PC Gamer does Alpha Protocol (http://www.pcgamer.com/pdfs/Oct09_AlphaProtocol.pdf)

A four-page spread in PDF format here, which is interesting. There's not a great deal that's new here, but it does present more of a synthesis of information than we've seen for a while, and the game is at last beginning to be noticed.

Only one (small) mention of Mass Effect in four pages, too. And it's not about the dialogue system, either.

SpaceAlex
09-16-2009, 11:49 PM
Sounds good. Don't rush this one, dear OE.

Avisto
09-25-2009, 09:34 PM
What's with some websites moving the Alpha Protocol release date to 2010? Gamestop says it's being released on June 1st, 2010, but the Alpha Protocol website still says Oct. 2009.

jrrtoken
09-25-2009, 09:51 PM
What's with some websites moving the Alpha Protocol release date to 2010? Gamestop says it's being released on June 1st, 2010, but the Alpha Protocol website still says Oct. 2009.There's been a huge amount of debate of sorts traveling around regarding the release date. October 9th is definitely a negative, seeing as it's definitely a bit too soon. I'd still say that the semi-official date of October 26/27 seems to be the most accurate, although there seems to be far too many games to be released in that current window to quash any release-instigated marketing buzz (Particularly that dark, gritty and mature RPG to be released on November 3rd >_>).

To be honest, I wouldn't mind an early 2010 release; that would allow more QA, more marketing (Although I'm highly doubtful of that ever coming to fruition :(), and would inherently allow more sales.

Q
09-25-2009, 11:56 PM
Yes, I've heard June 1, 2010 myself.

What the hell? I thought that AP was halfway out the door, already. :confused:

Avisto
09-25-2009, 11:57 PM
Oh. Too bad, I was about to put $60 down on a copy. I guess I'll wait until there's a solid release date to do it, and I'll put the money down close to the date.

Sabretooth
09-26-2009, 12:57 AM
Michael Thorton is Duke Nukem.

Jeff
09-26-2009, 01:06 AM
Yeah, I've already pre-purchased the game on Steam, so I hope it's not too far off. I guess a later release date would give it more time for polish and marketing, but really, whether it's released this year or next, it is being released amongst huge franchises or better marketed games.

DarthParametric
09-26-2009, 04:03 AM
What the hell? I thought that AP was halfway out the door, already. :confused:Well the most likely scenario is that, as ever with Black Isle and its offspring Obsidian and Troika, their games that are halfway out the door are only half-finished.

To be honest, I wouldn't mind an early 2010 release; that would allow more QA, more marketing (Although I'm highly doubtful of that ever coming to fruition :(), and would inherently allow more sales.But it probably wouldn't be so great for Obsidian's current cash-flow and ongoing operation.

Q
09-26-2009, 04:29 AM
I suspect that you're correct, but the full game has already been reviewed by several gaming sites, hasn't it? What's up with that?

DarthParametric
09-26-2009, 05:12 AM
A review copy isn't necessarily a finished retail copy. I've not seen any reviews myself, just previews. Most of those have mentioned a need for further optimisation.

JediAthos
09-26-2009, 09:36 AM
Obsidian's web site is still advertising an October release but I suppose that doesn't necessarily mean anything. A delay wouldn't really be anything new, and usually I don't complain about a small delay a couple weeks or even a couple months, but then there are of course games that have been delayed into oblivion. *cough* duke nukem *cough*

Ctrl Alt Del
10-03-2009, 02:56 PM
Still, the music was very good (Jeremy Soule?) and I still remember some of the music fondly.

Yes.

Char Ell
10-03-2009, 06:22 PM
I was planning on preordering Alpha Protocol but seeing as how the game appears to be unofficially delayed I think I'll wait for official word on the game's status. AP has turned out to be another reminder on why I don't place a preorder for a game I'm highly interested in until the game goes gold. ;)

jrrtoken
10-06-2009, 05:48 PM
It's offishul. (http://www.sega.com/games/alpha-protocol/)

At least "Spring 2010" doesn't exactly equate to a June 1st release, although it's still an deviously vague estimate. The reason for the delay is an even greater enigma; hopefully Sega isn't trying to maximize sales by instituting a contractual delay a la Activision, while leaving the development team in a state of lame duck. It'd be most sad indeed for Obsidian to pull a Troika. :(

Astor
10-06-2009, 05:57 PM
It's offishul. (http://www.sega.com/games/alpha-protocol/)

At least "Spring 2010" doesn't exactly equate to a June 1st release, although it's still an deviously vague estimate. The reason for the delay is an even greater enigma; hopefully Sega isn't trying to maximize sales by instituting a contractual delay a la Activision, while leaving the development team in a state of lame duck. It'd be most sad indeed for Obsidian to pull a Troika. :(

Well that just sucks.

Looks like Dragon Age (I know, I know) will be the only RPG i'll be playing this side of christmas.

Although, the site still says 'October 2009'. Very strange.

Sabretooth
10-06-2009, 10:14 PM
Although, the site still says 'October 2009'. Very strange.

It's a graphic, they have to make a new one before they can change it on the site. Guess they're too lazy for that.

Jeff
10-06-2009, 10:23 PM
Yeah I've noticed the Obsidian site isn't kept very well updated in the past.

Sucks about the delay, but nothing we can do but wait I guess. Will be nice at least when it does finally come out and I've already fully paid. Hopefully it can get some additional marketing aside from more Mike Thorton tweets till then.

cire992
10-07-2009, 06:17 AM
Look on the bright side, saves you some money this holiday. At the rate at which games are being delayed, there's going to be one hell of a spring '10 lineup. :D

Pavlos
11-30-2009, 07:44 PM
Source (http://forums.obsidian.net/index.php?automodule=blog&blogid=1&)

Chris Avellone's company-friendly blog on the Obsidian Boards (forums.obsidianent.com) has been updated with a new article, "Alpha Protocol Narrative Process Backslash Ramble", in which our hero descends into the inner-most circles of the Underworld (Mundaniad CXII.52226) to "braindump on Alpha Protocol and the narrative process".

The final draft of Alpha Protocol began about a year and a half ago, and it occurred because of two iterative questions - the first was, "what if you don't kill the 'bad guy' at the end of Saudi Arabia and just talk to him instead?" And then we asked the same question in Moscow with a slightly different bent - what if you had more choices on how that end sequence played out? Then we started asking if we could switch around handlers on missions more often since there were some characters we thought would be cool giving you mission advice. And then we started asking if you could choose a lot more of the missions you wanted to take, rather than most of them.

Read on, MacDuff (http://forums.obsidian.net/index.php?automodule=blog&blogid=1&).

DarthParametric
12-01-2009, 06:24 AM
Heh. Him moaning about being forced to add romances was a laugh.

What I found more interesting though was the previous post from October where he mentions that the dev team was doing QA work and that the bug count was fairly low. Curious, given the release delay and media comments on the technical issues seen in preview builds.

Rake
12-09-2009, 09:01 PM
New blog (http://blogs.ign.com/Alpha.Protocol/2009/12/09/133771/) up.

Pretty large flowcharts...