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Default The Broken Hourglass - Story & First Screens @ Official Site

January 8th, 2007, 17:37
Planewalker's update for The Broken Hourglass this week is Chapter 5 of the story On the Fly, which brings this serial to a cliffhanger conclusion:
In that instant, Lyrio realized he would crash. He had to make a choice if he wanted to avoid it. He could maintain his grip on Zephra, and the glider frame would inevitably break in two. They would both tumble into whatever fate the remains of the maelstrom had in store. His alternative was letting go of Zephra's dead weight. He might manage the glider over the city walls with a lighter load on the frame, perhaps as far as the channel if he took it gently. The leapwood creaked and bowed as Zephra continued to hang limply over the crossbar. Lyrio made his decision. He swept the glider as low as he could, until the fragments of supporting walls threatened to scrape their knees. It wouldn't be such a bad fall, Lyrio thought bravely. He might even manage a full landing if he was lucky…
Lyrio blinked as a wall seemed to appear out of nowhere before him. The air swelled in a buzzing aftershock, and he reacted in blind terror.
…and the first three in-game screens are on offer, showing a fight in the arena, the city streets and a long-forgotten tomb.
More information.
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January 8th, 2007, 17:37
Are these Commodore64 screenshots?
They look like from a 20 year old game.
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January 8th, 2007, 17:47
Originally Posted by szokol View Post
Are these Commodore64 screenshots?
They look like from a 20 year old game.
*sigh*

What's wrong with a C 64… Games were better back in the days anyway
Ok, you needed things like imagination and brain to play, both are no longer needed in modern gaming…

Those of us who perfer story and gameplay over Graphics can hope for Broken Hourglass and Age of Decadence… for rest there is Oblivion

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January 8th, 2007, 17:53
It's an oldschool RPG, infinity engine style, like Baldur's Gate and similar games. Those old cRPGs are still considered the kings of the genre by many, and probably always will, so a few small developers from time to time, often semi-proffesionals, make such games as their debut game or as a hobby because it's a passion. Noone expects them to sell millions world wide, but they feed the hunger of the hardcore, and allows developers to fully focus on story and lore instead of whatever sells best.

I will most likely try this game when it comes out, and I support its development.
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January 8th, 2007, 18:38
Nothing's wrong with C64, great games was written for that computer.
I complitely agree that graphic is not that important in an RPG game, I tried to say it is the XXI. century, there are minimal expectations.
Even if it will be the best RPG ever, these screenshots will make a lot of people to think that this game is bad, and they won't try it.
Nonone will buy an ugly car, if can buy a nice one.
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January 8th, 2007, 18:48
Originally Posted by szokol View Post
I complitely agree that graphic is not that important in an RPG game, I tried to say it is the XXI. century, there are minimal expectations.
Even if it will be the best RPG ever, these screenshots will make a lot of people to think that this game is bad, and they won't try it.
Nonone will buy an ugly car, if can buy a nice one.
They certainly aren't cutting edge graphics, but I disagree that they don't meet minimal expectations. They look about halfway between BG and Temple of Elemental Evil. I think they could have put more work into the backgrounds, muddied them up a bit, but these screens take me back. The only thing tempering my anticipation of this game is the unfortunate decision to stick with "turn-based with pause" combat instead of just doing turn-based.

As for the car metaphor, how do you explain the Volvo?
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January 8th, 2007, 19:02
I do unfortunately agree and concede that the audience for the game will be limited by the graphics - but they are clearly a step above Spiderweb, which does quite well for an indie developer turning out niche product.

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January 8th, 2007, 20:38
Spiderweb mostly succeeded because Mac players had no other choices. Since a lot of Mac players can play pc games now, Jeff is having to crank out a new game every year. They're all starting to look and play alike because of this too. I'm curious to see what happens to Jeff in the next couple years. Will he evolve or be part of shareware history. Time will tell….
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January 8th, 2007, 22:24
The graphics are definately a step below Baldur's Gate 1 (and not even close to ToEE).

I'll still give it a chance, though. Definately looks better than some other indie studios like Spiderweb. The gameplay and system sounds pretty interesting, too. I'm also a disappointing that they're sticking with RT w/pause and there are a few other niggling issues, but I'm still eager to see how it comes together.

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January 8th, 2007, 22:50
I'm a bit surprised by the negativity. The graphics look quite nice to me for the sort of product they are trying to produce. Players that demand high-level graphics were never going to be interested in this title in the first place and given that it won't be a retail boxed product, most of them will never even hear about it. The car analogy is a bit specious — it's irrelevant that Ferrari makes sleek cars if I'm looking for a pick-up truck.

If you want a diverse RPG market, it's time to come to grips with the fact that this is what indies are going to produce. If you're happy with the current crop of AAA CRPGs released each year, don't waste your time looking at an indie game.

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January 8th, 2007, 23:09
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
I'm a bit surprised by the negativity. The graphics look quite nice to me for the sort of product they are trying to produce.
True, but I think we're all responding to the initial 'those look 20 years old' comment. And I think that the sad and unfortunate reality is that while many of us have no issue with those graphics (certainly don't stand in *my* way!), others place a great deal of emphasis on them and therefore it limits the overall potential audience. I think that says more about gamers than developers, but still …

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January 8th, 2007, 23:41
Yeah. I think this is a promising indie, so I guess I expected some excitement when I posted the newsbit and overreacted when I looked at the comments.

Looking good, Jason! Some dialogue screens, please.

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January 8th, 2007, 23:44
They're ugly as fuck. I'm somewhat disappointed after seeing the screenshots. I know compton-wei fellows are involved in bg-mod scenes for a long time so I expected the graphic to be at least bg quality. But these samples look pretty bad. They're definitely backward; almost as bad as spiderweb games. As someone earlier said, it' 2007 and there's minimum expectation and these samples just don't cut it at the moment.
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January 9th, 2007, 00:09
Nothing wrong with the graphics, the backgrounds in my opinion look rather good.
I am excited (except about the real time with pause combat ).
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January 9th, 2007, 00:34
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
I'm a bit surprised by the negativity.
I'm not!

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January 9th, 2007, 02:13
The screenshots look nice, but somewhat empty. In the IE games all the city maps had lots of debris, barrels and trash lying around, which gave the backgrounds a worn-in feeling that is missing in these screenshots.

Todd: Even the Codex wasn't negative. Actually, they were even rather positive.

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January 9th, 2007, 02:19
Originally Posted by KazikluBey View Post
The screenshots look nice, but somewhat empty. In the IE games all the city maps had lots of debris, barrels and trash lying around, which gave the backgrounds a worn-in feeling that is missing in these screenshots.

Todd: Even the Codex wasn't negative. Actually, they were even rather positive.
I know the Codex is postive about this release - they arent negative about everything. They tend to be pretty positive when it comes to indie RPG's or anything that passes all the criteria of a "real" RPG. I can appreciate that sentiment.

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January 9th, 2007, 04:42
While I'm a bit disappointed at the reaction, I don't think there's much in common between the RPG Codex forums and ours, some common posters aside, for better or worse. I don't think the site can be characterised as "negative" — but I don't think it's particularly surprising that CRPG fans might generally be disillusioned with the market. Each to his own.

Originally Posted by User Name
But these samples look pretty bad. They're definitely backward; almost as bad as spiderweb games.
They're not even close to Spiderweb's. And "minimum expectations" for what? Obviously that means Spiderweb is waaaay below your minimum expectation (fair enough - personal choice) but he is clearly the leading (arguably only) indie CRPG developer at this moment, so it seems disingenuous to me to expect way beyond the market leader. Conclusion? Indie CRPGs aren't for you. *shrug*

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January 9th, 2007, 05:12
Maybe I'm overreacting about the negativity. I find things to enjoy about alot of games that fit the RPG mold and others that stray toward action or cater to a wider audience. With few exceptions most games have promise or are just plain fun if you relax and enjoy them for what they are - instead of shredding them because they fall short in some aspects. Of course I'm talking about Oblivion - but the point is the game has positive aspects and deserves some recognition.

So Broken Hourglass lacks some in graphics. So what? Does it have a great story? Will it have a fun combat system? Deep rollplaying? Give it a chance folks.

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January 9th, 2007, 06:06
Exactly the point Dhruin was making. This site and the Dot previously have always been big supporters of Indie games. I enjoyed Oblivion for what it was, but it was a BIG disappointment in many ways; Daggerfall was vastly superior in most categories!! The AAA games deserve to be ripped when they don't match their hype, indies don't usually get much hype. I'd rather play a graphically poor Indy game that has depth and fun, than a pretty, but relatively boring console port like the big O!!

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