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March 7th, 2014, 12:26
Larian Studios Swen Vincke has posted a new update on his blogwith his opinion on how to educate players of his game. I found it to be a good read once again.

Here is a part of the post so make sure to read the link for the rest it.

I’m doing the press tour thing again, spending some time in the US, France, Poland and Russia, demoing the game to several media outlets. You can watch some of the output here, here or here. There’s also a big interview with me here in case you want to know about what’s driving us, where we’re hoping to go and where I think RPGs went wrong. More is coming but it’s essentially the same presentation in various incarnations.

I need to admit that I did pretty much everything I could think of to avoid this particular tour. I really didn’t want to go because I was loath to leave my family behind. They already don’t see me much these days and I cherish every moment I have with them. But our young PR manager can be a tyrant and he put a lot of pressure on me to show up at these media outlets.

“Game Informer will never write about us” I told him and he replied “Yep, if the PR manager shows up, that’s for sure, but maybe if you show your face that may make a difference”

I have to commend him because it turns out he was right.

While I still don’t know if Game Informer will write about us in their magazine, I do know that if we hadn’t made the trip to bitter-cold Minneapolis, the reporters over there wouldn’t have paid a lot of attention to Divinity:Original Sin, if at all. Now at least they’ve been sufficiently tickled to give the game a shot and play it together in cooperative multiplayer.

It seems to be a repeating pattern.
More information.

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March 7th, 2014, 12:26
I think Larian is making the right type of RPGs for me. That it is difficult to get this noticed by journalists, to me says that this isn't just an RPG where "something awesome happens when you press a button" (TM Bioware).
Once this stuff gets easy on Swen, it either means he has become so famous that his name alone sells games, or he should become worried and think about if he is still making the right type of game.

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March 7th, 2014, 14:50
I saw a lot of videos of him about D:OS and read a lot of articles
I really like his style.
I am starting to get ashamed because I never Finished Divine Divinty or played the other games of these guys
How would you guys describe DIvine Divinity II and beyond Divinity?

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March 7th, 2014, 15:32
Sounds like he had better include tutorials, which is fine, as long as they're completely 100% optional and I don't have to do them.
There are plenty of old school, turn-based, isometric games coming out where players are going to have to use their brains. Swen's problem is he's created a AAA game with an indie aesthetic. If the budget wasn't so big, he wouldn't have to worry so much about people "getting it".

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March 7th, 2014, 15:45
Originally Posted by titus View Post
I saw a lot of videos of him about D:OS and read a lot of articles
I really like his style.
I am starting to get ashamed because I never Finished Divine Divinty or played the other games of these guys
How would you guys describe DIvine Divinity II and beyond Divinity?
Beyond Divinity was a bit of a fail. It died for me when CTDs became too rampant, but I was pretty bored of the game anyway by that point. I had burned myself out on these 'grind zones' (dungeons excluded from the main quest but just 'there to do for the sake of doing because they are there) which are difficult to explain, but if you play them you'd understand. The plot is also more linear than the original and it was the open nature of the middle section of Divine which made Divine so popular.

Worth a play If you like the genre (or, rather, love the genre) and just want more of the same no matter how it's presented. If it wasn't for the grind zones (just don't bother with them, don't even get tempted to look) and the CTDs I probably would have finished it and been ok with it.
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March 7th, 2014, 15:46
Originally Posted by screeg View Post
Sounds like he had better include tutorials, which is fine, as long as they're completely 100% optional and I don't have to do them.
Actually I hate when tutorials are optional if you didn't finish the game art least once.

Oh and I'm against superultrahard difficulty enabled if game is not finished at least once. It happens ppl go there and then never finish the game, like you didn't play the game if you didn't play the hardest difficulty.

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March 7th, 2014, 16:23
It is not about PR or tutorials or wrong conclusions .
Turn based combat = game is shit , you barricaded yourselves together with a tiny minority of players who are still willing to play with fossils , have fun with that.
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March 7th, 2014, 17:13
Originally Posted by Tragos View Post
It is not about PR or tutorials or wrong conclusions .
Turn based combat = game is shit , you barricaded yourselves together with a tiny minority of players who are still willing to play with fossils , have fun with that.
8/10 troll points. Not bad!
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March 7th, 2014, 17:30
Originally Posted by Tragos View Post
It is not about PR or tutorials or wrong conclusions .
Turn based combat = game is shit , you barricaded yourselves together with a tiny minority of players who are still willing to play with fossils , have fun with that.
Ha how silly. This post feels like "Hey I am one of the cool kids because I don't play turn based!!!"
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March 7th, 2014, 17:49
Divine Divinity is one of my all time favorites. You should give it a try. I never was able to enjoy Divinity II as much, not sure exactly why.
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March 7th, 2014, 17:50
Originally Posted by Myrthos View Post
That it is difficult to get this noticed by journalists…
The U.S. gaming press is a snobby (or maybe snotty is a better word) group when it comes to games created by devs outside the U.S. I've noticed this for a long time, probably starting with Gothic 1.

Sven is on the right track when he says that the evolution of RPGs from the standpoint of earlier games like the Ultima Series, Wizardry et al became highly stunted around the turn of the century with advent of better hardware and in particular, the 3D graphics card, soon followed by hardware based physics in said cards.

The U.S. gaming press is directly culpable for feeding the 'flash' over substance frenzy going on for more than a decade now. And when truly thoughtful, genre evolving games emerged (many from overseas) they were met with predictable snubs from the U.S. gaming press when graphics and control schemes insulted their sensibilities while overlooking great strides in gameplay and depth of features.

The mentality of the U.S. gaming press, if existing back in the day of Leonardo da Vinci, would have endlessly criticized the frame of the Mona Lisa while apparently oblivious to the work of art it housed.

Then again, I'm a curmudgeon these days, and perhaps the gaming culture here in the U.S. as seen through the lens of the gaming press has simply passed me by. But I'd bet good money that most of these people are fairly infantile in their day to day lives. Though not 'the gaming press' per se, example reflects case-in-point:

Originally Posted by Tragos View Post
Turn based combat = game is shit…
I TRUELY hope Sven is successful, not only because he's worked very hard and puts out the kinds of games I LOVE, but also from the standpoint of having more variety of games other than the next flashy FPS-2000. Crowd-funding helps with this hopeful eventuality, but still needs a good number of people like Sven out there with great ideas and the positioning to make them real.

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March 7th, 2014, 17:54
Originally Posted by TheSHEEEP View Post
8/10 troll points. Not bad!
You're WAY too generous, TheSHEEP. I'd say 5/10, tries too hard.

@TheMadGamer: I don't necessarily disagree with your sentiments about the gaming press, but I think you severely overestimate their influence on the success of games. With people getting their information digitally, I feel like public forums and fansites are at least (if not more) important than games journalists.

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March 7th, 2014, 18:04
Originally Posted by screeg View Post
but I think you severely overestimate their influence on the success of games. With people getting their information digitally, I feel like public forums and fansites are at least (if not more) important than games journalists.
I wasn't really addressing the gaming press's influence, just the general vibe I get from the press at the 50,000 foot level so to speak.

I agree with you about public forums and fan sites as I use them all the time to help me gauge not only games I'm considering to purchase but for other products as well. When it comes to games & hardware, the opinions here at this site are the ones I cherish most.

Consumers are a little bi-polar (well, maybe a lot bi-polar) about what they comment on, but far more useful to me than the press with it's MTV culture and one stunning example after the next of conflict of interest.

Also, one last thing while I'm on the subject, people in the gaming press, particularly the males, could stand to give the appearance of having showered, brushed their hair, and dress less like they just got out of bed. NOW GET OFF MY LAWN.

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March 7th, 2014, 19:28
Originally Posted by titus View Post
I am starting to get ashamed because I never Finished Divine Divinty or played the other games of these guys
How would you guys describe DIvine Divinity II and beyond Divinity?
I liked Beyond Divinity, though it obviously wasn't as good as Divine Divinity. Don't think it deserved the bad rep it got, although the Battlefields (what MinorityReport was calling the "grind zones") were a pretty dumb idea. I don't usually care for third (or first) person action RPGs, but Divinity II was really good despite being one. Probably in the top 3 or 4 alltime in that category, in my opinion.

As for Tragos, I don't think he's trolling per se, he's actually just an idiot. From another recent post of his:
Originally Posted by Tragos View Post
With no disrespect for people who are in this kind of games : interesting stories but turn based combat & parties remind me of gay orgies : not for me.
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March 7th, 2014, 19:56
I, too, believe that the current generation of Gamers was kind of "trained" to favour flash over substance.
By whom, that is the question.

I liked DD, meanwhile I found BD too dark and bloody for my taste - the setting, I mean. The mechanics were partly the same, and the Summoning Dolls were something I hadn't seen before in any game.

Originally Posted by Stingray View Post
As for Tragos, I don't think he's trolling per se, he's actually just an idiot. From another recent post of his:
He has an … interesting … way to put things …

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March 7th, 2014, 20:16
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
I, too, believe that the current generation of Gamers was kind of "trained" to favour flash over substance.
By whom, that is the question.
A lot of "gamers" just want a movie, not a game. They want something that looks pretty, isn't too complex to play, got full voice over so they don't have to read text and that they can finish fast. The "journalists" simply reflect that.
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March 7th, 2014, 20:32
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
I, too, believe that the current generation of Gamers was kind of "trained" to favour flash over substance. By whom, that is the question.
I grew up during the dawn of videogames, back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, ancient times, before the internet.

Back then, we kids craved better graphics! As kids, we constantly engaged in hardware "fanboyism" before anyone coined the term 'fanboy.' I remember when ColecoVision came out. Donkey Kong looked so good, I HAD to buy a ColecoVision, for that reason alone. 3 paper routes and about 1 year later, I bought it.

But there was something else involved in the unspoken reasoning of kids who grew up back then as it relates to this subject. In an unspoken and irrational sense, there was this notion that better graphics equated to better gameplay. What I believe we were really thinking, if we could articulate ourselves, was that better, more powerful hardware could (would?) equal better games. Remember, the baseline of my generation was the 8-bit pixel-fest that was Atari 2600. It was all uphill from there.

And for a time, I even think well into the 90s, that notion was true on a frequent basis. Better tech, better graphics and so on seemed to result with better, deeper, more interesting games along with incremental improvement in graphics. Not always, but frequently enough to drive an entire generation to plunk down sometimes thousands of dollars for better hardware to play the next Ultima, the next Wizardry, and what not.

But something radically changed when 3D cards began to hit the scene. This change also impacted movies as CGI came into its own. That change was that visuals became god and everything else sort of took a second, third, and fiftieth seat in production. Suddenly, better tech seemed to result with bland, shallow, repetitive gameplay over and over again, going on now for the most part about 14 years - in the mainstream gaming scene.

I admit, I love great graphics. But I give them up in favor of effort being put into interesting gameplay. There needs to be a better balance. I'm hoping balance will be delivered via the crowd-funding scene. Games like Pillars of Eternity and Divinity:OS are right up my alley and I hope the trend continues. These games have nice visuals but the main appeal to me is the promised deeper gameplay that evolves the gameplay of games from the past.

But I think the visual love affair with mainstream gamers is far from having run its course. Get on GameSpot or IGN forums and it's graphics, graphics, graphics, all day long, all day strong. I'm sure a lot of these people are kids and I don't fault them. It's just too bad that the end result is FPS/Action everything with little substance most of the time.

Mobile gaming I think makes the situation worse. The skyrocketing trend of mobile games will have (if not, already has) cemented the notion with publishers that the shallower the game, the better. However, I also believe that the popularity of mobile gaming will relatively quickly, run its course and plateau at a much lower level of popularity - probably well within the next 5 to 10 years as the current generation of young gamers catches up to what we want - NOT just another pretty face but actual substantive gameplay. In the meantime, there is at least crowd-funding.

In a similar vein, I wonder if the new Star Wars movie will really return to great storytelling as is being promised, or will it be just another make-out fest of visuals coupled with par-for-the-course bland story as Star Wars 1, 2, and 3 were.

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March 7th, 2014, 20:46
I can understand that. Sounds reasonable.

However, I sometimes see screenshots of pixel games on mobile phones that I'd love to see on the PC as well.

I think that we've come into an age where the box cover ACTUALLY is able to depict the REAL in-game graphics ! During Monkey Island times even, that was a mere dream.

I think that nowadays there should be this kind of backwards thinking : THe worse the graphics, the better the gameplay and story perhaps ? It would be great if this would happen, because this would mean : Hey, they've put more power into the "fun factor" than into the "good looking factor" !

Minecraft comes to my mind. Or Dwarf Fortress.

Long ago, when there just wasn't any podssibility to get great graphiucs - on the side of the developer -they were kind of damned to put as much as possible into gameplay and story in order to appeal to people … At least that's what I think.
I could be wrong as well, because even with pixel graphics there were a lot of games NOT appealing to people …

In the Adventure games genre, the term "hand-drawn graphics" has already become an quality sign.

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March 7th, 2014, 21:28
Originally Posted by azarhal View Post
A lot of "gamers" just want a movie, not a game. They want something that looks pretty, isn't too complex to play, got full voice over so they don't have to read text and that they can finish fast. The "journalists" simply reflect that.
This is becoming increasingly common. My own daughters kinda shocked me when they repeatedly watch "let's play" videos… they'd rather watch someone else have fun and comment on their experience than play it themselves.

That's not 100% the case - my daughters are gamers, too. But it seems like the newer generation of gamers are increasingly passive. It's "the thing." I don't get it. I feel like there's something key that I'm just not figuring out.
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March 7th, 2014, 21:41
I say: Just give a damn on what those modern-day-zombie-gamers think! D:OS is the kind of game i´ve waited ages for. This is it! Now its the TIME! Its OUR kind of Game. It belongs to every Gamer which have a decent rest of cerebral activity! I will continue to support Larian and Obsidian.
To Hell with the mainstream crap!! Cant take it anymore!

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