Avernum 4

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AuthorTopic: Avernum 4
Warrior
Member # 4414
Profile Homepage #175
Before I even consider the possibilities regarding the plot, engine, or anything else in A4, I am first going to be afraid of the player character art. In all Avernum games, my party creation has revolved around choosing the least hideous portraits and icons. The humans are the worst; the men look like they were copied from Disney cartoons and the women look like rejects from bad fantasy anime. Between these, and the retarded dashed-off-in-ten-minutes Foglio cartoons infesting the statistics screens, the Avernum world has lost much of its dramatic potential. No matter how serious or scary the current happenings in the plot are supposed to be, there is always a slight comedic undertone provided by the doe-eyed idiots representing your characters. And as if that wasn't enough, with only a click or two on your stats/training screens, you can see a whole gallery of noseless, four-fingered, disproportionate clowns with bulbous eyeballs, cutesy felines that reduce the nephilim to fuzzy Looney Tunes kitties, and zig-zag-toothed cartoon dinosaurs serving only to castrate the slithzerikai.

The world of Exile seemed like it might have some grit to it...and apart from a few smatterings of humor, was serious in atmosphere. The Avernum universe has turned it into a Saturday morning cartoon.

And remember in Exile, when the character icons actually looked different beyond the changing of a few pixels or a color? Remember when your parties could actually look kind of different from one another?

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Posts: 86 | Registered: Friday, May 21 2004 07:00
Master
Member # 4614
Profile Homepage #176
Of course, Jeff's games have never been that graphically brilliant. People buy the games for the gameplay and plot.

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Posts: 3360 | Registered: Friday, June 25 2004 07:00
BANNED
Member # 5219
Profile #177
I'd say, for doing it off of scratch, its pretty good. I mean, I couldn't do that. :D But compared to other games, yeah, it sux.

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Posts: 394 | Registered: Saturday, November 20 2004 08:00
Warrior
Member # 5091
Profile #178
It has nothing to do whatsoever with the quality of art. Exile's art is pretty good for what it is. It matches the atmosphere.

I agree with Cav in that Avernum's graphics make it difficult to take it seriously. I think that was my main problem with the series -- the more "realistic" graphics actually made it harder to suspend disbelief. Perhaps a parallel to the Uncanny Valley could be made.

I find it extremely difficult to distinguish, say, Vahnatai from each other in Avernum. In Exile, different types of monsters were vividly differentiated -- hell, you could see the armaments they wielded with much better clarity.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again -- iso-3D sacrifices a good amount of detail by using precious pixels on perspective. That's why I concentrate on 2D gaming exclusively. If I ever move to iso-3D graphics, they will be large and high-resolution, rather than the undifferentiated blobs that make up Avernum's graphics.
Posts: 180 | Registered: Friday, October 15 2004 07:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 3310
Profile #179
Amen to that, Cavanoskus! Word to word!

I love the skill screen drawings, though. At first I had some problems accepting them but now they're a part of my spine. I don't generally approve of the Avernum world getting more plastic in look and feel, but those drawings are priceless.

Even so, they are another reason to keep Exile and Avernum apart. Let nothing defile the holy script(ure)!

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Posts: 756 | Registered: Monday, August 4 2003 07:00
Warrior
Member # 3870
Profile Homepage #180
I have mixed feelings about the skill screen cartoons. (and I mean 'mixed' in the sense of 'mixed', not a disguised way of saying 'bad')

Some of them are priceless, yes (I loved that picture of the woman peeling an apple with this sword). Others are unrelated to the actual skill in anything beyond name (honestly, a 'poison ring' picture for the assassination skill?). Still others are just crappily drawn.

I have little problems with the skills screen making the story less serious - the screen isn't involved in the story, you will never see a character saying "I can give you an additional 10 points of Strength." (if they did, then I'd complain).

As to the isometric screen, I'll agree. It's an ambitious step on Jeff's part and it certainly improves navigation, but it takes away some of that atmosphere and detail by replacing it with perspective and animation. So the game gets easier to handle, but less authentic at the same time.

What I'll say in Avernum's defense: Where you had 3-4 windows showing small bits of text, you now have one nice big screen. The text is what makes the depth of the story, so anything that makes it more readable is an improvement.

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Posts: 156 | Registered: Thursday, January 8 2004 08:00
By Committee
Member # 4233
Profile #181
Did the skill screen drawings come before or after Fallout, I wonder...
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Shake Before Using
Member # 75
Profile #182
Cav> There were some pretty hideous icons in BoE, too, but I agree. There are only like 2 or 3 character icons I use for each game. I'm not saying rejects from fantasy anime are bad, but I will say that the only female that finds her way into my party on a regular basis is a Slith wearing a cute pink robe. :P

AM> After. Pipboy is awesome.
Posts: 3234 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Apprentice
Member # 5246
Profile #183
What is wrong with most of you. You do realize you didn't buy Baldur's Gate? You know when your playing Avernum that you are in fact not playing Neverwinter Nights?

Becuase most of you are still in high school I can excuse you... for the rest of you.

Worthless sacks of crap.

Jeff is doing a great job. The fact that most of you don't even know what code is, atests to the fact that you really couldn't do any better even if you tried.

Does Jeff even read these boards? Man if he does, he must hate most of you. I always wondered why his emails were so short. Haha.

The fact of the matter is... the games are good. Have you ever played the perfect game? The game that left nothing to be desired? Anyone who says yes, is a liar or simply doesn't possess the faculities to realize there is more to be desired.

Earlier in the post someone commented on a 3d engine. For starters 3d design is possible with one or two people. They need to be able to design and draw, and be willing to give up a few years of their life. Since the content is based in large on story and not keeping up with jone's... i think a 3d engine is... 1.) not needed and 2.) a mute point.

Question me... I dare you.

For those of you getting your panties all in a not, you should seriously consider that this post is probably not the root of your problem, but the fact that you have forgotten whether your a male or female.

Little advice, think about something else.
Posts: 24 | Registered: Friday, December 3 2004 08:00
Master
Member # 1046
Profile Homepage #184
quote:
Originally written by 2disbetter:

I am a retard.
Fixed your typo.

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Posts: 3323 | Registered: Thursday, April 25 2002 07:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
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Yeah. I mean, he's mostly right, but he's still an angry moron.

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Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Master
Member # 4614
Profile Homepage #186
quote:
Originally written by 2disblister:
Does Jeff even read these boards? Man if he does, he must hate most of you.
Nope, for that reason. He mostly just reads the game boards shortly after the release of a new game or makes announcements. Wait, that's all he does.

Everyone hates everyone here---generally anyway.

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Posts: 3360 | Registered: Friday, June 25 2004 07:00
Warrior
Member # 5091
Profile #187
quote:
Originally written by 2disbetter:


For those of you getting your panties all in a not, you should seriously consider that this post is probably not the root of your problem, but the fact that you have forgotten whether your a male or female.

IMAGE(http://djur.desperance.net/img/jerkcity/pants-crying.png)

Looks like the short bus came by again.
Posts: 180 | Registered: Friday, October 15 2004 07:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #188
I don't like to feed trolls, but this one took a dump on a topic that I have an emotional attachment to, seeing as how I created it. Therefore, I present the following.

quote:
Originally written by 2disbetter:
What is wrong with most of you. While I admit that this question is largely rhetorical, it should still have a question mark.

You do realize you didn't buy Baldur's Gate? Aside from being a horrible assumption — many of us, myself included, DID buy Baldur's Gate — this is horrible interrogative style. In a question, the normally emphatic "do" gets fronted to mark the interrogative mood.

You know when your playing Avernum that you are in fact not playing Neverwinter Nights? This is what an English teacher of mine called an "illiteracy." The word "your" is a possessive. You meant "you are," which abbreviates to "you're." Use an apostrophe, o superior one.

Becuase most of you are still in high school I can excuse you... for the rest of you. I'm not in high school, and I can spell "because." To the best of my understanding of your syntax, you wanted a colon at the end of this section, not a period. This is a run-together sentence, too, although a poorly formed one, because the second part of it ("for the rest of you") was clearly intended to mean, "to the rest of you, I say," but it has no subject or verb. Fragment!

Worthless sacks of crap. This is also a fragment. I suppose one could argue that it is an exclamation of sorts, but if so, it really should be preceded by a colon or marked off by some punctuation.

Jeff is doing a great job. This is perhaps the only grammatically correct sentence in your entire post. It is also the most contentious. The fact that you are not a part of the Blades community partly excuses your ignorance.

The fact that most of you don't even know what code is, atests to the fact that you really couldn't do any better even if you tried. Oh, you're a smart one. I can name at least ten people here who can code better than anyone that you know, and I know someone who is on the verge of doing better at this very moment. Most people here can also spell the word "attests."

Does Jeff even read these boards? No, and I congratulate you for your second mechanically well-formed sentence in your post. Honestly, two out of eight isn't bad for a batting average.

Man if he does, he must hate most of you. Exclamatory remarks should be set off by a comma. That is, your sentence should read, "Man, if he does...."

I always wondered why his emails were so short. Yes, because he doesn't particularly interact with the community, his e-mails to you are short. This makes perfect sense. However, you're doing well on the mechanics: you have three out of ten good ones, so far.

Haha. You fail AT LIFE.

The fact of the matter is... the games are good. Should I ding you for an unnecessary ellipsis? Properly, those three dots should only be used when ommitting something in a quote.

Have you ever played the perfect game? Wow. You have achieved a fourth mechanically correct sentence. It only took you thirteen sentences to get that far.

The game that left nothing to be desired? This is a fragment, you sad, sorry, illiterate individual.

Anyone who says yes, is a liar or simply doesn't possess the faculities to realize there is more to be desired. The word "faculities" sounds like one of two things: either an island getaway ("You have just won a free trip to the Faculities!") or a part of the body particularly prone to disease ("I'm sorry, sir, but we will have to operate on your faculities"). I assume you meant "faculties." Also, I hate your comma use here. Why the hell do you feel the need to separate your subject from your verb with a comma? This is the worst insertion since the last seventies porn movie.

Earlier in the post someone commented on a 3d engine. Earlier in the post? I am confused. Perhaps you meant earlier in the thread. I suppose this sentence is mechanically correct, but you clearly used the wrong word. You're still batting four for fifteen.

For starters 3d design is possible with one or two people. There are those who would complain that a polysyllabic transition word or phrase like "for starters" should be set off with a comma. I am such a person.

They need to be able to design and draw, and be willing to give up a few years of their life. Again, your comma use is flawed. Do not separate your verb from your subject by inserting a comma in between the two of them.

Since the content is based in large on story and not keeping up with jone's... i think a 3d engine is... 1.) not needed and 2.) a mute point. Whew. This sentence is fun. Your idioms are repeatedly lacking: I think you're trying to say, "in a large part," not "in large," and "keeping up with the Joneses" — don't form a plural using an apostrophe, and for crying out loud, capitalize your proper nouns. Capitalize "I" when it is the first person nominative pronoun. And the word "mute" means "unable to speak," not to be confused with "moot," which means "of no practical relevance." I need not mention that your numbering system is horribly unidiomatic prose, but I will anyway.

Question me... I dare you. I'd rather not. You clearly have nothing valuable to offer. Also, you splice sentences like a valley girl on crack. You have a finite verb in the imperative mood prior to your ellipsis. That is a complete sentence. You have a subject with a finite verb in the declarative mood after your ellipsis. That is a complete sentence. A semi-colon or a colon are needed to join two independent clauses; an ellipsis will not do it, no matter how hard you try.

For those of you getting your panties all in a not, you should seriously consider that this post is probably not the root of your problem, but the fact that you have forgotten whether your a male or female. The word "not" is a negative, not to be confused with the word "knot," which is a thing that one might tie with, for example, rope or panties. Also, as above, "your" is a possessive, and you clearly intend "you're," the contraction of "you are." I need not mention that your logic is atrocious — it's ad hominem, I guess, but pathetically badly executed, at that, demonstrating that you cannot even execute your fallacies well — but because I am annoyed with you, I will anyway.

Little advice, think about something else. As soon as I'm done writing this post, I will. By the way, this sentence would be a comma splice, except that the first part of it is a fragment, so I suppose it's just a horribly misplaced appositive. You can't put a noun in apposition to an entire clause, you dolt.
EDIT: For the record, you batted four for twenty-one. That's an average of .190. Sadly, we have to send you back to the minor leagues.

[ Monday, December 06, 2004 22:16: Message edited by: Kelandon ]

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Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Shake Before Using
Member # 75
Profile #189
Avernum's art isn't the greatest, I have to admit. While I'm more a fan of Foglio's style than some of you clearly seem to be, several of the graphics, like Assassination, are completely and utterly out of place.
Posts: 3234 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Warrior
Member # 4414
Profile Homepage #190
I think I want to clarify my stance on the Foglio art. I don't hate it (although I admit I'm not particularly fond of his style). I just think it undermines any attempt at seriousness. It would be perfect for an Avernum/Exile comic strip, but not for any game with a primary purpose besides comedy.

And yes, the statistics screens DO come into your gaming experience, unless you never train your characters.

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AIM/Yahoo IM: Cavanoskus

Scary artwork and Bad Poetry
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Posts: 86 | Registered: Friday, May 21 2004 07:00
Warrior
Member # 3870
Profile Homepage #191
quote:
Originally written by Imban:

Avernum's art isn't the greatest, I have to admit. While I'm more a fan of Foglio's style than some of you clearly seem to be, several of the graphics, like Assassination, are completely and utterly out of place.
I wonder what Jeff aranged with Foglio when he ordered those pictures?

Time for another 'behind the scenes' guess.

"So, Phil, here's the thing. I give you this list of words, and you draw what you most closely associate with that word. You have one minute each. Here's the list:"

cat archerlizard pikemanassassinationsickness...:D

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"Toleration is not the opposite of intoleration, but is the counterfeit of it. Both are despotisms. The one assumes to itself the right of withholding liberty of conscience, and the other of granting it."
---Thomas Paine

Posts: 156 | Registered: Thursday, January 8 2004 08:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 3310
Profile #192
Look, the drawings are clichés. A quick look at the women's physique and clothing should remove all doubt. But they are clichés and proud of it! That's why I like them!

I can't believe anyone would start yapping about assassination not picturing the right kind of assassination. Doh, have you ever heard of humour? :P

[ Tuesday, December 07, 2004 01:24: Message edited by: Kreshweed ]

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Posts: 756 | Registered: Monday, August 4 2003 07:00
Apprentice
Member # 5246
Profile #193
Wow. To the english teacher I thank you. That was very very embarrassing. It kind of sucks that this board doesn't have a spell check. haha. There IS no excuse for my poor grammar. I apologize. I also apologize if I offended anyone. Reading the boards here for a little while I've noticed that comments such as mine fly around here quite often. I'll keep them under wraps. I was just trying to figure out why so many people complained so much about games that were supposed to not have that good of graphics.

Alright I'll stop now. My wounds from the verbal assault above are still too fresh and sore.
Posts: 24 | Registered: Friday, December 3 2004 08:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #194
Apology accepted -- and allow me to add that I'm impressed. Most people just keep on ranting when someone does that.

People who obsess about graphics annoy the rest of us too, but we find antagonising them to be counterproductive.

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Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Apprentice
Member # 5005
Profile #195
Lesson learned. Thanks for being better than ben and TMA (who only annoys the Desp community) and moving forward. :cool:

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Posts: 45 | Registered: Tuesday, September 21 2004 07:00
Shake Before Using
Member # 75
Profile #196
Well, Kreshweed, "Assassination" in Exile/Avernum never really meant, like, assassination. It was always more like Critical Strike or something. Assassination implies a measure of stealth, in my mind, whereas Exile and Avernum had Assassination as a skill for frontline fighters using halberds.
Posts: 3234 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #197
Very good point there. Actually, the skill really is "assassination" a lot of the times in my 1-pc playing style, which involves stalking through dungerons blessed and hasted to the brim, with sanctuary and stealth cast, and then creeping up on monsters and killing them with a few strikes.

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Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Warrior
Member # 5091
Profile #198
The limit of the probability of me wearing pants as the number of posts in this topic approaches infinity is zero.
Posts: 180 | Registered: Friday, October 15 2004 07:00
Warrior
Member # 2978
Profile #199
I was going to post this:

quote:
Originally written by The Dog And Pony Show:

Spam if you want to see me naked!
But then I realized that would constitute spam, and I wouldn't want that.

Edit: Dammit.

[ Tuesday, December 07, 2004 12:56: Message edited by: Emlurk ]

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