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Old 12-26-2005, 06:49 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by MoriartyL
Wow.

This is so not what I intended. Let me try again.


It seems to me that the AGCP has the potential to be much more than just an excuse to replay old games. I think we can and should use it as an opportunity to learn from the past: To analyze developers' intentions as one might analyze a painting or piece of music, so as to better appreciate the end result. To look for what can be learned from, and more importantly what can be improved upon. To consider alternatives to what was done, to broaden horizons. To improve our own perceptions by differentiating the good from the bad. In short, to look at these games with an open mind.
Ok, fair enough. I was looking at it from the mere "fun" point of view.

I have to say, though, that I'm not so sure that over-analysing (as I see it) can really be useful, and in any case the analyse depends so much on one's taste that it's a bit hazardous.
For example, I feel like BASS has a really well done comic feel, when you don't. How is this going to allow us to analyse anything?
Not to mention the fact that I would use BASS as a good example of "how to do things properly", when you obviously (seeing how you think it flawed) won't.

EDIT: And for the record, I like the capitalisation a lot. I used to hate it, though.
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Old 12-27-2005, 01:09 AM   #42
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I like the capitalisation a lot.
Great! I was just going to ask what it's good for. Is it just there to make a connection with comics? Or is it trying to imply that these men from the future speak with a strange dialect? Or what?

I've played the alternate intro, and now I get it. The comicbook came with both versions of the game, right? So the player was actually expected to know a lot about the characters before starting! Sorry if I'm stating the obvious here, but this is a pretty radical idea. Generally, a game assumes you know nothing at the beginning, but here, we're starting from the end of a scene!

The intro music is nice. The problem with pacing is not in this version, since the intro is slow, focusing on a static (more or less) picture of the city to build atmosphere. And if I had read the comicbook before playing, I think some of my issues with the story would have been cleared up- in a comic, the reader can read slowly, or reread, or read the whole thing several times. So even though the pace is off the charts, the whole thing's perfectly clear.

The question that remains is: Why did they mess it up so badly for the CD-ROM version? The floppy is the definitive copy, no?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninth
I feel like BASS has a really well done comic feel, when you don't. How is this going to allow us to analyse anything?
Just saying "I feel like..." is not enough, in that case. I have given some examples of how the style could have been more substantial, and I would expect from you to show me why I am utterly wrong.

(By the way, when I make a point and give detailed reasons, I generally want to be proven wrong. That this was not understood is probably the source of all the confusion.)

Last edited by MoriartyL; 12-27-2005 at 01:14 AM.
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Old 12-27-2005, 02:58 PM   #43
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Now that I'm slightly more awake, some of my own thoughts on the intro...

I'll start by saying that I agree the CD intro could have been better done than simply a slideshow of the comic. Gabriel Knight 1 also had an intro that was based from a comic version, as well as cutscenes throughout the game that were essentially animated comic panels, and it came out a lot better than it does in BaSS, IMHO.

I also have to admit that it never occurred to me at all to think of Beneath a Steel Sky as being comic-book-esque, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

For one, I admittedly don't read comics frequently, so I wouldn't be inclined to make that sort of connection without prodding or obviousness.

For two, Gabriel Knight has more comic-book-esque elements than BaSS, but I don't think GK1 is comic-book-feeling at all despite that.

For three... I honestly just thought that the weirdly capitalized WORDS were just some bizarre quirky THING on the PART of the designers... I never before now considered the thought that there might be anything DEEPER to it.

So, a collective (sheepish grin) on my part all there!

I also agree that the pacing of the intro is a bit too fast, as well as the fact that it manages to suffer from having both too little info and too much. However, I do personally feel that (going from my admittedly possibly fuzzy memory of plot points) things you learn later in the game make it a bit more understandable why the intro is the way it is (and why it'd be hard to address some of Moriarty's issues, even though I can see his point). But of course I can't talk about that in detail right now.

I've only ever played the CD version, and that only a couple years ago, so I'm unsure myself as to whether the hard-copy comic was included with every copy of the game. (I could swear up and down that my CD version came with it, but I can't *find* the darn thing now. *grumble*) I would hope that they did, though, otherwise the floppy version would be missing some pertinent info. (Like, for instance, as was already said, why you'd need to fix Joey, who Joey even was, and what Foster means by his home and people being destroyed.)

Furthermore, I think it would add a new interpretation to things. With the comic and CD, it is (to me, anyway) fairly obvious that Foster is a "good guy"... his new home and people have been blown up by thugs who have kidnapped him... and whatever they want him for, he was a child when it happened and he doesn't seem to remember it.

With the floppy, however, I'd find myself wondering if maybe Foster *had* done something "wrong" (at least from Reich's faction's POV) to tick people off.

Speaking of interpretations, how about the change in dialogue there?

In the CD/comic, the pilot says "Sir. The guidance system! It's gone crazy!" The crash is thus a bit ambiguous to me... did someone sabotage the copper in some way? Did the pilot goof up somehow? Or was it just the quirks of fate?

In the floppy however... well, I personally think "I'm picking up a jamming signal, sir!" is pretty blatant. Somebody knew the chopper was coming and jammed the guidance system signal from locking on for a landing. Which of course begs the questions, who and why?

The dialogue in the floppy version also made it more clear to me that the reason Reich missed his first shot at Foster was because the pilot stumbled in and got in his way... I missed the significance of the pilot's ducking down the first time. (Which, admittedly, was probably just due to my own DUHness. )

All of my other thoughts about the intro I think I've already stated in some shape or form, like the various questions that it engenders for me, for instance.

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Old 12-27-2005, 03:00 PM   #44
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I played the disk version of the game before I ever played the CD version's demo, and thus originally never saw the CD intro. I actually like the more mysterious opening of the floppy version, though I'm sure there will be plenty of people that disagree with me.
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Old 12-27-2005, 03:27 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoriartyL
I've played the alternate intro, and now I get it. The comicbook came with both versions of the game, right? So the player was actually expected to know a lot about the characters before starting! Sorry if I'm stating the obvious here, but this is a pretty radical idea. Generally, a game assumes you know nothing at the beginning, but here, we're starting from the end of a scene!
At least there's a scene. Gabriel Knight 3's opening makes absolutely damn-all sense without the accompanying comic.
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Old 12-27-2005, 03:28 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Richard
At least there's a scene. Gabriel Knight 3's opening makes absolutely damn-all sense without the accompanying comic.
True. I pity those who bought the budget version, even if the comic is hidden on the CD.
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Old 12-27-2005, 11:31 PM   #47
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I'm not sure how Gabriel Knight fits into all this, but I think it's a really cool idea having the start of a story expect the player to know what's going on. When you go to see a movie, you expect the first half hour or so to deal with setting up the story. But say that part is radically different from the tone of the rest of the movie, or the pacing is completely different. The filmmakers could release a video setting the whole thing up on the internet, so that everyone going to see the movie will know enough going in to make sense of what happens.

Okay, so it's not commercially viable, but it's still a good idea. You know what, it could work with DVDs the same way it does with games- replace the video with a comicbook packaged in.
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Old 12-28-2005, 06:15 AM   #48
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Moriarty: I personally was trying to contrast the way that Gabriel Knight 1 handles the whole "hard copy backstory comic" and intro thing versus the way Beneath a Steel Sky does it. I would offer GK1's handling as similar to reading the BaSS comic and then watching the floppy intro (with vastly different stories, natch).

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Old 12-28-2005, 01:30 PM   #49
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On to Hobbin. Personally, I was afraid he might turn me in. If I were being hunted, I'd try to not be seen, not go into a lengthy discussion with the very first person I see on a flimsy pretense. Now, the comic does say that Foster's been "trained to hunt", so it's probable that what he'd do under these circumstances are very different from what I would do. But then a disconnection between player and character needs to be made, so that the player can observe this trait in the character. The dialogue choices are too matter-of-fact to generate this disconnection, so the scene loses emotional realism. The choices should have been worded more cleverly, as if Foster is pretending he knows more than he actually does, and not raise suspicion.

While I'm mentioning the lack of realism, I should bring up the elevator distraction. Even if we accept the theft as a necessary contrivance, this is totally unnecessary. Hobbins is an engineer, no?- it makes sense for him to go back and forth between rooms, fiddling with machinery. He certainly isn't expecting Foster to steal his lunch, so he won't worry about leaving him alone in the room. That's the player's cue to steal it. It's simpler that way, more believable, and it moves the plot along better.

(This is your cue to prove me wrong )
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Old 12-28-2005, 02:12 PM   #50
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Unfortunately I can't contest the first point, as it's one of the few major issues I have with the game... many of the characters seem pretty unconcerned with Foster asking lots of weird questions about what should be common information.

Although, Hobbins doesn't really strike me as being the sharpest knife in the drawer...

(I'll add that I also was pretty sure Hobbins would turn me in if I said the wrong thing...)

As for the latter point... the theft *isn't* a contrivance, honest.

These are very arbitrary stopping points I've made... most of the locations you can visit and revisit as needed. So while you technically can usually be klepto/obsessive and take/do everything as soon as you see it whether you currently need to or not, I do remember the game being pretty good at giving you reasons to do/take things at later points.

I didn't mind the fact that you have to distract Hobbins, either... he struck me as the type who prefers not to leave his workshop unless interrupted by guards or annoying inspectors. Besides, why would he voluntarily leave to putter about in a room with junk and a broken robot anyway? (Or a room with a mysterious press and a walkway that leads nowhere?)

I'm not saying that simply having Hobbins wander the area on his own, leaving free time to snitch things, wouldn't have been a viable puzzle... maybe even a better one. I just don't have a problem with the current puzzle as it stands.

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"Actually, I'm thinking more like the Candyland board game. But, I like this idea better."
"I like the idea of Oompa Loompa Elementals."
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Old 12-28-2005, 02:42 PM   #51
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Where is everyone at? I've played some more today and have just made it to the Security building locker room.
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Old 12-28-2005, 03:30 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colpet
Where is everyone at? I've played some more today and have just made it to the Security building locker room.
colpet, I think you're meant to stop until Jeysie gives us the next stopping point. And please, no spoilers of anything after the furnace scene..
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Old 12-28-2005, 03:40 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RLacey
I actually like the more mysterious opening of the floppy version, though I'm sure there will be plenty of people that disagree with me.
Agreed. It gets me much more pumped up for the game, than that cheesy CD sequence.

I agree with Moriarty on Hobbins. It would've made more sense if he had wandered a bit more around, I think. Then you could've had the option of distracting him with the elevator (if you're in dire need of the contents of the cabinet) or simply stumble upon the cabinet while he's strolling around getting some stuff for Drive Shaft he was making.
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Old 12-28-2005, 04:00 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigjko
colpet, I think you're meant to stop until Jeysie gives us the next stopping point. And please, no spoilers of anything after the furnace scene..
Terribly sorry.
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Old 12-28-2005, 04:32 PM   #55
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Been away on holidays but back just in time to start with you all on this game. Seeing as I just played this not too long ago I'll try and keep a fresh perspective on this go of the game.

Intro, ok I'm pretty sure I used the cd version as well last time, but the intro seemed alot longer than I remerbered. Visually IMO it wasn't that pretty either, but it has character I guess reminds me a bit of some Anime's I've seen, the more sci fi ones.

Gameplay

Took me a while to find the menu as well, granted the fact that my keyboard has a F lock key on it which renders F5 useless when in fact that is the key i need to use still frustrating.

Graphics wise, other than the fact that the setting is quite industrious I quite like the style.

I luv joey always have always will, and he flys hehe, best quote "you are mr potato head"

And the voices I like them, call me strange but they seem quite appropriate to me, I have no issue with them.

The whole thing with reich didn't strike me as much as it did the first time as then too I was all why did he die I thought he was the prime evil guy, I guess the story is still to fresh in my mind, but still fun.

Ok well finshed for now interested to see how the rest of this group playing the game will go
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Old 12-28-2005, 06:30 PM   #56
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Heh! Well, if everyone's itching to move on already, just give me a day to play ahead and see what the next good stopping point would be. Probably early Friday I'll be able to post it.

Peace & Luv, Liz
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"Maybe it's still in the Elemental Plane of Candy."
"Is the Elemental Plane of Candy anything like Willy Wonka's factory?"
"If it is, would that mean Oompa Loompas are Candy Elementals?"
"Actually, I'm thinking more like the Candyland board game. But, I like this idea better."
"I like the idea of Oompa Loompa Elementals."
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Old 12-28-2005, 11:31 PM   #57
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Oh!- I forgot to ask, what's the deal with the beer? In the CD intro it makes sense- "Foster's Beer", but in the comic, what's the point? "This says Lager Beer, and I'm going to call you Foster, so look at the beer!" Ummmm...
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Old 12-29-2005, 06:18 AM   #58
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The short version: Different countries' trademark (copyright?) laws.

In some releases the comic had to be changed to comply. As for the game itself... I forget if it was changed there or not... the SCUMMVM version might well be the original unaltered version, if so.

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"Maybe it's still in the Elemental Plane of Candy."
"Is the Elemental Plane of Candy anything like Willy Wonka's factory?"
"If it is, would that mean Oompa Loompas are Candy Elementals?"
"Actually, I'm thinking more like the Candyland board game. But, I like this idea better."
"I like the idea of Oompa Loompa Elementals."
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Old 12-29-2005, 06:41 AM   #59
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For the question of the ScummVM version, see there.

And, once again, I much prefer the comic + short intro to the CD intro. And comics look terrible when pixellated.
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Old 12-29-2005, 06:45 AM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurufinwe
For the question of the ScummVM version, see there.

And, once again, I much prefer the comic + short intro to the CD intro. And comics look terrible when pixellated.
They also mess up his mother's burial in the CD intro. It's all black, with some weird white outlines, when it's supposed to be black and white. Then intro gets this overall feeling of being pretty rushed.
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