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Old 07-10-2010, 08:41 AM   #721
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Originally Posted by Luther10 View Post
So still no US publisher? that's disappointing...
Yes, it is. Although we could still get a download version, I suppose, this is one game I definitely want to have with the box and whatever else comes with it. I hope we hear about a U.S. publisher soon. It's weird to see it available on Amazon.co.uk and nothing about it at all on Amazon.com.
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Old 07-10-2010, 11:22 AM   #722
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Two questions. How does the "direct control" for the 360 work? Based on how it's described I think of Wallace and Grommitt's control scheme with it's "hotspots"....which is dumb....stupid...idiotic...as you can tell I hate it. Does the 360 control scheme work well?

Also, even if it does work well, can someone from AG ask that they include a classic p & c control option for the 360 version? Monkey Island: SE disproved the claim that point & click can't work on a console controller and I'd MUCH rather play the game with a traditional p&c interface on 360 than some idiotically designed "console-gamers-can't-point-and-click-so-we-came-up-with-this-BS-control-scheme" like W&G. Maybe someone from AG can pass along the fact that those of us who want to play this on the 360 would like an option to switch to the traditional interface. Which would take all of a day for the devs to properly implement.
Hey,

I can't tell you much but it's not like the one in W&G, thanks God. Actually that one was my "how not to do it" reference during the project... But I clearly wouldn't say that it's idiotically designed neither as it works for some gamers.

One thing is for sure the philosophy for designing the control scheme for Gray Matter on the Xbox360 was never "console gamers are stupid so let's give them a BS control scheme", and I think that no one in the industry thinks like that. It's just that what Halo did for the FPS genre on console (among other things the clever and now standard "dead zone autolock"), no game has done it for the P&C genre yet.

But back to our case, the idea was more that PC gamers tend to "direct" their avatars in games, while console gamers are more used to "control" them. It's of course not a general rule, no need to bring up exceptions. So we went for direct control which is not only way more intuitive for console gamers, but also more immersive in my humble opinion. I'm not saying that a cursor couldn't have done it: it was a choice, not a necessity.

We took some console AG with direct control trying to identify the shortcomings. The main game used as reference was Syberia 2 for the Xbox with it's simple relative control (as opposed to the absolute one in Grim Fandango or Alone in the Dark) and "press A to interact".

The Radial interface that we came up with is a proposal for solving the problem of the selection of one of two very close-by hotspots to interact with, which often made necessary to make your character dance the tango in order to have him select the door instead of the light switch!

There was also the issue of far objects like the sky or a roof (some hotspots were missing in the console version of Syberia because of this IIRC).

I'm not saying that we came up with the perfect solution, especially because, as has been mentionned by Jannik above, the bulk of the game wasn't designed for anything but mouse and keyboard in the begining, and production had already been started without consoles in mind by the former company. The scheme needed to adapt to the already existing engine, gameplay, interfaces and other mechanics, which is to be expected considering the game's (long) history.

But at least I'm pretty confident that people will like it better than the one in Wallace and Gromit, which isn't a big achievement...

Sorry, this message is not super informative, and I can't answer your question about the presence of a pointer control scheme for the console version.

Whish I could tell more but I hope it at least reasured you that console gamers weren't dissed or anything during the production of Gray Matter... I for starters have mainly been a console gamer in the recent years anyway, so it would be a bit like

Excuse my french, and I hope you'll love playing Gray Matter as much as we did love working on the thing.

Cheers,

Dinga.
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Old 07-10-2010, 09:51 PM   #723
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Hey,

I can't tell you much but it's not like the one in W&G, thanks God. Actually that one was my "how not to do it" reference during the project... But I clearly wouldn't say that it's idiotically designed neither as it works for some gamers.

One thing is for sure the philosophy for designing the control scheme for Gray Matter on the Xbox360 was never "console gamers are stupid so let's give them a BS control scheme", and I think that no one in the industry thinks like that. It's just that what Halo did for the FPS genre on console (among other things the clever and now standard "dead zone autolock"), no game has done it for the P&C genre yet.

But back to our case, the idea was more that PC gamers tend to "direct" their avatars in games, while console gamers are more used to "control" them. It's of course not a general rule, no need to bring up exceptions. So we went for direct control which is not only way more intuitive for console gamers, but also more immersive in my humble opinion. I'm not saying that a cursor couldn't have done it: it was a choice, not a necessity.

We took some console AG with direct control trying to identify the shortcomings. The main game used as reference was Syberia 2 for the Xbox with it's simple relative control (as opposed to the absolute one in Grim Fandango or Alone in the Dark) and "press A to interact".

The Radial interface that we came up with is a proposal for solving the problem of the selection of one of two very close-by hotspots to interact with, which often made necessary to make your character dance the tango in order to have him select the door instead of the light switch!

There was also the issue of far objects like the sky or a roof (some hotspots were missing in the console version of Syberia because of this IIRC).

I'm not saying that we came up with the perfect solution, especially because, as has been mentionned by Jannik above, the bulk of the game wasn't designed for anything but mouse and keyboard in the begining, and production had already been started without consoles in mind by the former company. The scheme needed to adapt to the already existing engine, gameplay, interfaces and other mechanics, which is to be expected considering the game's (long) history.

But at least I'm pretty confident that people will like it better than the one in Wallace and Gromit, which isn't a big achievement...

Sorry, this message is not super informative, and I can't answer your question about the presence of a pointer control scheme for the console version.

Whish I could tell more but I hope it at least reasured you that console gamers weren't dissed or anything during the production of Gray Matter... I for starters have mainly been a console gamer in the recent years anyway, so it would be a bit like

Excuse my french, and I hope you'll love playing Gray Matter as much as we did love working on the thing.

Cheers,

Dinga.
Actually this was quite helpful. All the previews I've seen have only mentioned the 360 version in passing (not too surprising given the PC-centric nature of the genre/game) but I thought it had been demoed on at least one occasion on the 360. Given that no one's talked about the 360 controls however had gotten me worried. It's nice to see that you guys have an appreciation for those of us who want to play this beautiful game on our consoles...in 57 inches of HD glory.

I do agree with your point about PC gamers directing their characters and console gamers controlling their characters....one of the reasons that adventure games and RTS work well on PCs while games like Ninja Gaiden or God of War tend to work better on consoles. It's nice to see you addressing the issue of hotspot proximity with your radial system. It's thinking like that which will help adventure games do well on consoles, and maybe even draw in new fans who might be curious but would be off-put by the way these games normally turn out on consoles (usually ported without a thought about how to make them work properly). Just like with Halo and the FPS genre, and recently with the RTS genre, all it takes is a dev who actually cares to put in the effort to make an "alien" genre work on a console comparably to how it does on PC. Maybe Grey Matter will be that game that pulls a "Halo" and shows that it can be done really, really well on a console also.

Given what you've said here I'm actually not so worried anymore. Thanks for taking the time to share what you could. Though I still wouldn't mind a classic point and click control scheme being selectable in the options menu....but regardless of that, I have faith now that you guys are giving the 360 version it's due. Best wishes that the game is a great success on both platform and that there's more to come.

Now about that US release date.....
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Old 07-12-2010, 01:15 AM   #724
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Though I still wouldn't mind a classic point and click control scheme being selectable in the options menu...
Quite MI2:SE for example, it's much more intuitive for me to play it with P&C than direct control. And of course, it doesn't really change almost anything, only that both sticks now move the cursor and 'A' now moves instead of looks (or something like that). But all the rest is the same.

But thanks a lot for the info, it sure was more than we expected (at least from my part)
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:30 AM   #725
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Well, i was searching the web for some other previews on Gray Matter and i found an interesting one on a polish site from that Oxford presentation in April. Some technical points really scared me, mainly the loading times and most importantly the character stiff walk animation ("Sam looks like a marching soldier") and pathfinding problems. I'm really, really afraid Wizarbox kept the awfull animation from that old trailer, and the load times from So Blond.

I know that was an old build, but could someone who saw the game on E3 confirm this? In your preview none of these points were mentioned, perhaps they are improved now?
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Old 07-12-2010, 09:44 AM   #726
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Hey,

I can't tell you much but it's not like the one in W&G, thanks God. Actually that one was my "how not to do it" reference during the project... But I clearly wouldn't say that it's idiotically designed neither as it works for some gamers.

One thing is for sure the philosophy for designing the control scheme for Gray Matter on the Xbox360 was never "console gamers are stupid so let's give them a BS control scheme", and I think that no one in the industry thinks like that. It's just that what Halo did for the FPS genre on console (among other things the clever and now standard "dead zone autolock"), no game has done it for the P&C genre yet.

But back to our case, the idea was more that PC gamers tend to "direct" their avatars in games, while console gamers are more used to "control" them. It's of course not a general rule, no need to bring up exceptions. So we went for direct control which is not only way more intuitive for console gamers, but also more immersive in my humble opinion. I'm not saying that a cursor couldn't have done it: it was a choice, not a necessity.

We took some console AG with direct control trying to identify the shortcomings. The main game used as reference was Syberia 2 for the Xbox with it's simple relative control (as opposed to the absolute one in Grim Fandango or Alone in the Dark) and "press A to interact".

The Radial interface that we came up with is a proposal for solving the problem of the selection of one of two very close-by hotspots to interact with, which often made necessary to make your character dance the tango in order to have him select the door instead of the light switch!

There was also the issue of far objects like the sky or a roof (some hotspots were missing in the console version of Syberia because of this IIRC).

I'm not saying that we came up with the perfect solution, especially because, as has been mentionned by Jannik above, the bulk of the game wasn't designed for anything but mouse and keyboard in the begining, and production had already been started without consoles in mind by the former company. The scheme needed to adapt to the already existing engine, gameplay, interfaces and other mechanics, which is to be expected considering the game's (long) history.

But at least I'm pretty confident that people will like it better than the one in Wallace and Gromit, which isn't a big achievement...

Sorry, this message is not super informative, and I can't answer your question about the presence of a pointer control scheme for the console version.

Whish I could tell more but I hope it at least reasured you that console gamers weren't dissed or anything during the production of Gray Matter... I for starters have mainly been a console gamer in the recent years anyway, so it would be a bit like

Excuse my french, and I hope you'll love playing Gray Matter as much as we did love working on the thing.

Cheers,

Dinga.
Hi Sidrath, nice seeing someone from the Gray Matter team here in the forum. The question I want to ask is this: Will there be a PS3 version of the game? Since PS3 shares similar controls with the 360, a port of that version will be easy, right? Thanks...
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Old 07-12-2010, 11:16 AM   #727
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I know that was an old build, but could someone who saw the game on E3 confirm this? In your preview none of these points were mentioned, perhaps they are improved now?
In previews experiences like that are usually either not mentioned at all, or generalized as rough edges, because it is well known the described game versions are still work-in-progress and it's impossible to say which elements will get improved and which won't. I'd wait for the first reviews of Gray Matter if you want to be sure.
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Old 07-12-2010, 11:25 AM   #728
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I'm really, really afraid Wizarbox kept the awfull animation from that old trailer, and the load times from So Blond.
AAAAAAAGGGGHHHHRRRRRRRR!!!!

I know I predicted problems with developer Wizarbox, because they made serious design mistakes in So Blonde. But please, let's NOT have the same loading problems as well! It was no fun to stare at total blackness, waiting and waiting and waiting for the next screen to appear, sometimes even a couple of minutes. Don't know why I finished So Blonde, but I have learned my lesson. Jane Jenson's story must be incredibly good, or I won't even bother to play Gray Matter after all the bad news.
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Old 07-12-2010, 03:45 PM   #729
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Jane Jenson's story must be incredibly good, or I won't even bother to play Gray Matter after all the bad news.
I kinda agree. Technical problems in a game can be completely demotivating and a game breaking experience. I know its hard and expensive to make a game excel in technical aspects, but we don't need a technical masterpiece, just an invisible and competent one. There are a lot of good narratives in games ruined by technical issues.

But i hope everything will be fine, or at least improved by October. If Gray Matter is running in the same engine as So Blond i'm guessing it will be a bit tricky to remove those terrible load times. I'm also worried about the animations, So Blond animations weren't that good either. Motion capture is the way to go, but i imagine its too expensive to even consider. It's really a pity about the lack of funds, Gray Matter should have been the pinnacle of modern adventures, but with no money...

However, i know nothing about game developing and Gray Matter development in particular so i could be scared for no reason and completely wrong
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:29 PM   #730
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Hi Sidrath, nice seeing someone from the Gray Matter team here in the forum. The question I want to ask is this: Will there be a PS3 version of the game? Since PS3 shares similar controls with the 360, a port of that version will be easy, right? Thanks...
Porting anything to the PS3 is never easy unless you are using an engine that was programmed to be compatible with it.
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Old 07-12-2010, 10:04 PM   #731
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AAAAAAAGGGGHHHHRRRRRRRR!!!!

I know I predicted problems with developer Wizarbox, because they made serious design mistakes in So Blonde. But please, let's NOT have the same loading problems as well! It was no fun to stare at total blackness, waiting and waiting and waiting for the next screen to appear, sometimes even a couple of minutes. Don't know why I finished So Blonde, but I have learned my lesson. Jane Jenson's story must be incredibly good, or I won't even bother to play Gray Matter after all the bad news.
I will wait for the reviews regardless, just like I do with any game.
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Old 07-12-2010, 10:19 PM   #732
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I will wait for the reviews regardless, just like I do with any game.
I usually read previews only, and afterwards the reviews. For the very simple reason that many, if not most reviewers give away far too much. Even at AG it happens sometimes, but not nearly as often as elsewhere.
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Old 07-13-2010, 12:20 AM   #733
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I'm really, really afraid Wizarbox kept the awfull animation from that old trailer, and the load times from So Blond.
There's very little in the way of gameplay videos out there, but Adventure-Treff did sneak a little bit out here. Hard to say much about the visuals of the game as a whole, but the walking animations have definitely been improved from those awful trailers.

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I know I predicted problems with developer Wizarbox, because they made serious design mistakes in So Blonde.
You've mentioned "design mistakes" in So Blonde several times now. I haven't actually played So Blonde yet; can you elaborate? The lead designer of that game, Steve Ince, isn't directly associated with Wizarbox and has nothing to do with Gray Matter. What elements that disappointed you in that game do you think will transfer over?
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Old 07-13-2010, 12:35 AM   #734
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I know I predicted problems with developer Wizarbox, because they made serious design mistakes in So Blonde. But please, let's NOT have the same loading problems as well! It was no fun to stare at total blackness, waiting and waiting and waiting for the next screen to appear, sometimes even a couple of minutes.
The problem with the loading times was fixed for So Blonde: Back to the Island, so I can't see why it'd re-appear in Gray Matter. (Not that they can't screw something else up, just probably not that again.)
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Old 07-13-2010, 02:25 AM   #735
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It is fixed
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Old 07-13-2010, 04:30 AM   #736
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There's very little in the way of gameplay videos out there, but Adventure-Treff did sneak a little bit out here. Hard to say much about the visuals of the game as a whole, but the walking animations have definitely been improved from those awful trailers.
I never saw that video, it's actually the first glimpse of gameplay i have ever seen! The animations look a lot better than that old trailer, and those wierd head movements seems also gone now. Thanks for the video. Finding stuff on Gray Matter is an adventure by it self


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The problem with the loading times was fixed for So Blonde: Back to the Island, so I can't see why it'd re-appear in Gray Matter. (Not that they can't screw something else up, just probably not that again.)
I never played Back to the Island, so thats good news. I guess it means that the engine is improved now.

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It is fixed
Yey! I'm all hyped now... again
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Old 07-13-2010, 06:25 AM   #737
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Great video, flamedrake! Thanks for sharing. That's the first real in-game action I've seen so far.
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Old 07-13-2010, 06:22 PM   #738
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It is fixed
Damn you, beta testers!
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:51 AM   #739
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You've mentioned "design mistakes" in So Blonde several times now. I haven't actually played So Blonde yet; can you elaborate? The lead designer of that game, Steve Ince, isn't directly associated with Wizarbox and has nothing to do with Gray Matter. What elements that disappointed you in that game do you think will transfer over?
The jungle in So Blonde is your worst nightmare. I don't know or care who thought of it, Steve Ince or Wizarbox. It's the execution that counts and the execution was terrible. One word: pathfinding. It's not a real maze, but you have to traverse it a zillion times to get to the other parts of the island, only to get the message from some drummer or chief to go back where you came from and ask the gardener or the guy in the pub for help, etcetera. Other gameplay aspects were bad too: Half the time I couldn't get Sunny to run, doubleclicking on exits to skip screens would work only every once in a while, sometimes you had to click on specific spots for it to work.

Guys, I honestly don't mean to offend anyone, so don't take it personally, but...

@Kuru. That's not a review. It's a preview, obviously not based on first-hand experience. Has the game been released yet? IF the load problem has been fixed, great. But IF I'm going to play Gray Matter it will be on my PC and I'd really hate to see Wizarbox's PC mistakes fixed in the later console editions.

@Andrea. Sorry, but that's not good enough. When was it fixed? After the presentation in England only two-and-a-half months ago? If the load times are an engine problem and Kuru is right, that Polish reviewer could NOT have reported long load times (she also critisized the Xbox pad, btw). Or are you saying she exaggerated?
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Old 07-14-2010, 02:23 AM   #740
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Other gameplay aspects were bad too: Half the time I couldn't get Sunny to run, doubleclicking on exits to skip screens would work only every once in a while, sometimes you had to click on specific spots for it to work.
While I (partially) agree with your other posts, these were probably problems related to your configuration. I've played through the game two times and I've never had a single problem getting Sunny to run or skipping screens. Never.

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@Andrea. Sorry, but that's not good enough. When was it fixed? After the presentation in England only two-and-a-half months ago? If the load times are an engine problem and Kuru is right, that Polish reviewer could NOT have reported long load times (she also critisized the Xbox pad, btw). Or are you saying she exaggerated?
I'm afraid I'm not at the liberty to elaborate as much as you'd like. What I can say is this: while I never had a single problem with long loading times in any version of the game I tried, the last version I had the pleasure to test had extremely quick loading times. Really, really, really quick (I'm talking about scarcely two seconds).
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