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Default Alpha Protocol - Preview @ Worthplaying

June 16th, 2009, 06:49
Worthplaying serves up an E3 preview of Alpha Protocol:
The demo started off at a trainyard area in Leningradski, where a weapons shipment was taking place. As Mike enters the yard, a mercenary named Sie introduces herself, and here's where we were shown the timed dialogue system. Several choices were displayed as shorthand responses to the attitude that Mike could reply with, but if the timer runs down, it will default to the last choice that was selected. In this demo, the presenter decided to side with Sie and ask for help, but he also had Mike reply in an honest fashion, which earned points with the mercenary. The dialogue system and the choices that it offers, along with the consequences, shouldn't be too much of a surprise to players familiar with Chris Avellone's prior work (Planescape, Fallout 2), and it looks like fans can expect much of the same expertise to shine in Alpha Protocol.
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June 16th, 2009, 06:49
Sounding better and better with every preview. Skills, classes, gear, perks, dialog with consequences… what's not to like?

If DA is so hot, why isn't BW marketing it more like this?
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June 16th, 2009, 10:14
Well, personally, the feeling based just on what little I've seen that the story and whatnot will be 'adolescent macho-style rubbish'. I can't say 'smash face into table' was high on my desired 'dialogue' option list, for example.

I'm going to let you guys check this one out first, let us know how it is .
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June 16th, 2009, 10:39
Originally Posted by The Usernameless One View Post
Well, personally, the feeling based just on what little I've seen that the story and whatnot will be 'adolescent macho-style rubbish'. I can't say 'smash face into table' was high on my desired 'dialogue' option list, for example.
As opposed to the sophisticated, mature, artistically sophisticated, and subtle storytelling in…?
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June 16th, 2009, 11:12
Pft, don't get carried away.

I'm disapointed with RPGs in general on this point, but there is such a thing as 'crossing a line'. My own personally defined line. Obsidian said it themselves, their main character is designed to appeal to a 15 year old's sense of what he could be 'when he grows up' and thinks is rad, for example. And that's the general feeling I have about the game, right or wrong.

Which is not a BAD thing, just not appealing to me.

I think you'll find that the new DA marketing and AP are aimed directly at the very same people.
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June 16th, 2009, 11:12
it's hard to comprehend the enthusiasm around this game (except that from its makers and promoters ofc, since they're getting dough for it) according to what has been shown and written so far.
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June 16th, 2009, 11:28
I think it looks to be a nice fun hybrid, and this preview backs that up for me. I'm with PJ on this one … in terms of opinion and the questions over marketing.

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June 16th, 2009, 12:17
Originally Posted by The Usernameless One View Post
I think you'll find that the new DA marketing and AP are aimed directly at the very same people.
Then how come the AP marketing is working on me, but the DA marketing is failing?
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June 16th, 2009, 13:07
Because they are each going about it the way they feel is the best? Doesn't mean they both don't have the same people in mind does it? Maybe Bioware is over-compensating a little because they feel Dragon Age has a nerdy old-school PC image they want banished? I don't know.
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June 16th, 2009, 13:31
So, you believe Obsidian and BioWare are both trying to reach the same people, but only Obsidian is succeeding?

Or perhaps it's BioWare that's succeeding and Obsidian that's failing, if I'm not the kind of person they're trying to reach?

Or perhaps you're mistaken, and they're not trying to reach the same people?
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June 16th, 2009, 13:42
They are both based on recent films (Bourne/LotR). So there is a cross-over of ideas in some respects to audience. How similar Bourne and LotR audiences are I haven't a clue, but the main aspect, I believe, would be there are lots of both.
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June 16th, 2009, 13:52
I believe Bioware and Obsidian both know who 'the market' is, generally speaking, and that DAs marketing and AP's subject matter, characters etc are both manifestations of that knowledge.
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June 16th, 2009, 14:21
The developers in BioWare and Obsidian certainly know who their target audience is. However, BioWare is a part of EA now, and probably has to go through EAs marketing division - they're most likely aiming at a much wider audience than BioWare normally would.

OEs marketing, on the other hand, probably has to go through Feargus Urquhart, and I just don't consider it likely for him to ever go: "Yes, marketing my game as a console shooter for kidz sounds just about right!". Or anything similar.

From what I know, Feargus has not been doing anything but RPGs since he created Black Isle back in the days. As long as he's the CEO of OE, I very much doubt that'll change - if he wanted to change genre to get more money, he would've done it many years ago.

Personally (and I've said this many times), I feel that AP has a lot of potential, even when not considering who is making it. However, when you do consider the developers, the game could look like rubbish and I'd still pick it up based exclusively on their previous achievements.
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June 16th, 2009, 14:23
I think you're right that the marketing seems to be aimed at 15-year-olds, but for f*&%sake, why?! If the average age of your customer is 37, why on earth would you shoot for a 15-year-old? Is it because they feel playing a computer game is and will always be an essentially teenaged experience? The mindset is disappointing.

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June 16th, 2009, 14:24
This is the first good preview I've seen of AP, definitely on my buy list. I think Obsidian does it right, if they're given enough time to finish a game. After a pretty slow start to the year it looks like October is going to be the start of a lot of (hopefully) good RPGs coming out.

I wouldn't mind if just one or two wasn't a FPS hybrid but I'm just too stubborn to admit the industry has moved on.
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June 16th, 2009, 14:31
Originally Posted by screeg View Post
I think you're right that the marketing seems to be aimed at 15-year-olds, but for f*&%sake, why?! If the average age of your customer is 37, why on earth would you shoot for a 15-year-old? Is it because they feel playing a computer game is and will always be an essentially teenaged experience? The mindset is disappointing.
New customers? Why aim a lot of nonsense PR towards a group of people you know are far too thorough to buy based on a few flashy teasers? The 37 year olds have either made up their mind about buying a long time ago, or intend to read reviews and forums to find out whether or not they intend to buy.

Noone on RPGWatch would ever buy a game because they saw some special effects teaser or similar. We might be the target audience for the developers, but we're certainly not the target audience for the marketing people. They know that most of us will actually base our opinions on a whole lot more than a few previews and gameplay videos.
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June 16th, 2009, 15:22
It's still quite possible to alienate, or put off, an audience with your advertising methods. I bet some won't buy DA because of 'the new shit', but the advertisers hope to get more on board than they lose. It's taking the 'old guard' for granted.

Anyway, this is a AP newsbit so YAY for OB.
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June 16th, 2009, 18:08
Originally Posted by screeg View Post
I think you're right that the marketing seems to be aimed at 15-year-olds, but for f*&%sake, why?! If the average age of your customer is 37, why on earth would you shoot for a 15-year-old? Is it because they feel playing a computer game is and will always be an essentially teenaged experience? The mindset is disappointing.
May be they believe that all those 37 year old people never grew up, otherwise they wouldn't play computergames any more?

In otherwords: Most of the people playing these games have a low self-esteem and therefore a superman-complex and need to be treated accordingly?

Only kidding
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June 17th, 2009, 00:34
From what I've seen, the marketing for AP seems to focus in on all the choices and the intricate gloabal network of agencies and agents. That trailer where Thornton had the guy suspended from a building with a grenade in his mouth showed about 5 different choices, that all seemed to lead to different outcomes in terms of gameplay, possibly civilian deaths, and how it would affect you reputation.

DA has been focusing on hawt action, blood, and blood pumping hawt acshun!! and awesomeness.

I'll buy both on release day, but I'll be buying DA inspite of the marketing. AP's marketing has confirmed to me that I want the game. They are both supposed to be released in October too, so it'll be interesting to see how the actual games compare, both to each other, and to their respective marketing directions.

That said, I fully expect Bio and EA to try a few different marketing campaigns in order to win back the old school fans before release. They've got people talking and arguing on forums the interweb over. They have the mind share. So they do a couple of trailers and demos that show the cleverness of the stories and the depth of characterisation, the real choices and role playing.
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June 17th, 2009, 00:57
God I feel for you guys….there will never be any games you will like.
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