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May 19th, 2010, 13:09
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
NWN2 is huge. Exceptionally huge. The amount of stuff to do, skills to use and spells to cast is redicilous. Dragon Age was in development for 5+ years while NWN2 was in development for a little over 2 years, yet NWN2 has significantly more abilties, spells, skill checks and so on and so forth, in addition to multiplayer support and an extensive toolset.
You seem to be forgetting that not only did they have a complete engine with which they could work and improve, they also have dedicated artists that are either capable or not capable of producing better results. While their designers, scriptwriters, etc., are working on their stuff - they have artists working on theirs.

I agree NWN2 had tons of content, but - for instance - pretty much every single humanoid in the game (if not ALL of them) are based on the EXACT same skeletal structure, and that's actually what you need to animate. They did a pretty bad job, if you ask me. Just look at your character running around - and he looks so unnatural. Beyond that, you can take a look at the facial modelling during character creation. They look really quite awkward - and I can never find a face that looks "good" - and only at best, adequate.

You can claim that's because they didn't have time - but really, are you not kidding yourself? They can't animate a single skeletal structure that's used in so many vital NPCs? They can't make that commitment?

I suspect you respect Obsidian, as do I, but you're letting that respect cloud your vision - to the point where you're being overly forgiving of their flaws.

NWN2 took a while to develop, and the vast majority of the groundwork was laid by Bioware with the Aurora engine and the D&D rule implementation - just like the case was with KotOR.

No wonder there's little time for optimization. Sure, you can blame them for being over ambitious, but it's hardly the "technical competence" that is in question here
I don't think there's much way of proving either, really. Whether they simply overcommit or don't have the skill required to polish what they commit to - is more a semantic point to me.

I don't really care what the reason is for the lack of polish and technical quality, I can only say it's there.

Maybe you think it has nothing to do with technical skill, and that's your opinion, though I think it's incredibly blind.

But we have no way of knowing, and we never will.

Edit: I wouldn't be surprised if Alpha Protocol had twice the content of ME due to all the possible ways to solve it (not just in terms of combat, but also dialogues and consequences), yet it's bound to be less polished, as I very much doubt it had a bigger budget than ME did.
Well, I guess we have very different opinions about polish and technical skill.

Ever since KotOR2 - Obsidian has been releasing poorly optimised and technically "awkward" games, when you take into consideration what they're working with.

Basically, they've been using the exact same engine Bioware uses for all their games, and though they're likely improving them (certainly, they worked on NWN2 improvements visually) - they can't come anywhere near Bioware in terms of the polish.

They basically ruined the NWN2 modding potential, by failing to realise what made NWN easy to create content for. I simply don't think they're particularly smart "outside their strengths".

I think of them as passionate talented nerds, without the ability to look properly "over the fence" and see what's needed, or make an informed decision to either go for mass appeal, or stick to what they're good at.

I wouldn't call NWN/ME/KotOR small projects - and to me it's SUPREMELY obvious that Obsidian simply don't have the technical skills to reach that same level of polish. You can dance around semantics, claiming they don't have the time or they don't have the resources to hire talented artists - but the end result has always been the same - to me.

I'm going to take a fresh look at Alpha Protocol, and see if they've improved in this area. Even if they haven't, it's no big deal - as I've always enjoyed their games because I value their design approach a lot.

In fact, I tend to prefer Obsidian's work over that of Bioware. But I'm not going to pretend Obsidian is not Obsidian.

Just like Troika wasn't about art or polish. It even said so on their own logo

Nothing wrong with playing to your strengths, which is why I was always puzzled by their decision to go with Alpha Protocol - because it doesn't REALLY seem like an Obsidian game.

What I'm seeing, is Obsidian capitulating to the realities of the market, and for that to be a true success, they'll need to hire talented artists and coders or gather enough resources to reach a genuinely polished state. If they don't, they're bound to fail eventually - just like Troika did.
Last edited by DArtagnan; May 19th, 2010 at 13:23.
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