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September 6th, 2020, 00:57
Action RPG GRAVEN has been announced for 2021.

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ABOUT GRAVEN

A faithful priest of the Orthogonal order, exiled unto death for a crime in defense of another, you live again in a small boat, adrift in a swamp. A stranger ferries you to solid ground and bestows upon you vague instructions, along with a mysterious staff and book. Go forth, pious priest, alleviate suffering, uncover deceptions, and smash the eldritch perversions encroaching upon reality itself.

A marriage between modern development tools and techniques with a stark late 90s aesthetic bring the action first person puzzler GRAVEN to life, featuring character designs by Chuck Jones (Duke Nukem 3d, Half-Life) and the voice talent of Stephan Weyte (Blood, Fire Emblem, Dusk) in a dark yet distinct medieval fantasy experience.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Solve puzzles and scour lore to uncover the motives of the foul heretical sects behind the plagues and seasons undermining the land.
  • Alter your environment with all that surrounds you, wielding spells and crystals to adjust as you see fit in your pursuit.
  • Discover new weapons and upgrade them at blacksmiths and alchemists to customize your capability.
  • Expand your horizons by returning to old stomping grounds with new abilities and seeing how far down the chasms go.
  • Slay over thirty distinct enemies in an ever broadening world across numerous biomes.
  • Walk the parallel path, lest you stumble into the recesses of the world, where the fog knows no light, and creatures beyond time roam free.
  • Earn your peace.
More information.
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September 6th, 2020, 05:24
A retro-modern Heretic? I'm in!
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September 6th, 2020, 05:52
Stephan Fucking Weyte. Let's go!
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September 6th, 2020, 12:16
I'm really not convinced by the retro graphic style. The original games actually pushed technology at the time - Hexen took the (then current) Doom engine and stretched it in new directions, even allowing for re-entrant "open world" hub-style level arrangement.

Hexen 2 took this further with the (again current) Quake engine, and Heretic 2 used Quake2. Both aimed to be state-of-the-art at the time, with 3D acceleration etc at a time when many were still using software-3D.

A new game in that vein is pretty cool, but I'd prefer a modern visual makeover (as 3D realms did with the Shadow Warrior franchise), rather than one which artificially apes a retro look. Ironically it doesn't even look much like the 3D accelerated versions, which had the infamous early-3D 16bit low-res-bilinear-filtered-texture look, not the jaggy unfiltered look in the video. I suppose that's closer to the original Doom-based games though.
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September 6th, 2020, 12:42
Originally Posted by Irien View Post
I'm really not convinced by the retro graphic style. The original games actually pushed technology at the time - Hexen took the (then current) Doom engine and stretched it in new directions, even allowing for re-entrant "open world" hub-style level arrangement.

Hexen 2 took this further with the (again current) Quake engine, and Heretic 2 used Quake2. Both aimed to be state-of-the-art at the time, with 3D acceleration etc at a time when many were still using software-3D.

A new game in that vein is pretty cool, but I'd prefer a modern visual makeover (as 3D realms did with the Shadow Warrior franchise), rather than one which artificially apes a retro look. Ironically it doesn't even look much like the 3D accelerated versions, which had the infamous early-3D 16bit low-res-bilinear-filtered-texture look, not the jaggy unfiltered look in the video. I suppose that's closer to the original Doom-based games though.
There's so much wrong here, I don't know where to start…

1) The newer Shadow warrior games are developed by Flying Wild Hog games and published by Devolver Digital. 3D Realms had nothing to do with it, other than being okay with it.

2) Back then, developers did what they did because they had to. They were working within constraints of what was possible. Neither Hexen I nor II did something to "stretch" what was possible at the time, e.g. looking up & down was done before Hexen 1 did it. Nor was that in any way the aim of what the developers were doing (focusing on gameplay).
Nowadays, a style like this is a conscious choice, driven by someone who is passionate about it. That will always, always, ALWAYS result in a better style than something done out of necessity.
And this one looks like someone knows what they are doing. Which is a wonderful thing.

3) Just because extreme high poly count is possible nowadays, doesn't mean any developer can pull that off. Even if they wanted to, it would require A LOT more resources, money, manpower and time.
I'd rather have developers with limited funds focusing on what actually makes a game, the gameplay, instead of the graphics - which just need to be consistent & atmospheric to be good. And that already takes a lot of work.
A well-done retro style will always be better than someone who kinda tried high-poly, but without the AAA resources just ended up with something "meh" at best.

4) Low resolution graphics are good for your brain, as it needs to fill the "gaps" left by graphics with fewer details. Your brain loves that, give it some food instead of looking for graphics that will let the poor thing and your imagination fall asleep.
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September 6th, 2020, 12:59
I like the low-poly graphics and it reminds me of Arx Fatalis. The physics looks cool. Also the frame rate looks excellent and would run on my old toaster.

So far it looks like a box/barrel kicking, smashing, exploding simulator. I would like to see more about character progression, story, weapons, armour .. etc.
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September 6th, 2020, 13:11
Originally Posted by SpoonFULL View Post
I like the low-poly graphics and it reminds me of Arx Fatalis. The physics looks cool. Also the frame rate looks excellent and would run on my old toaster.

So far it looks like a box/barrel kicking, smashing, exploding simulator. I would like to see more about character progression, story, weapons, armour .. etc.
Will this do?

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September 6th, 2020, 17:51
Originally Posted by Silver View Post
Will this do?
Yes absolutely - many thanks Silver!
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September 6th, 2020, 19:32
No map/minimap?
Meh.
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September 6th, 2020, 19:39
Hexen never heard of those games.

Actually I never played a single one either.
Originally Posted by Silver View Post
Will this do?
Yeah not my cup of tea thanks for sharing though.
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September 6th, 2020, 19:59
4) Low resolution graphics are good for your brain, as it needs to fill the "gaps" left by graphics with fewer details. Your brain loves that, give it some food instead of looking for graphics that will let the poor thing and your imagination fall asleep.
I liked the creative stretch on item 4. Now granted games that do all your thinking for you, have no strategy/tactics/challenge, and give you everything on a silver platter or a "AWESOME" button isn't going to feed your brain at all - it will vegetate it. Which is okay for pure entertainment purposes but I admit I am not as into that. I don't own a TV explicitly as I would prefer to turn to games and books - as they tend to require more brain power then sitting on a sofa.

Whether or not a retro-game with "bad" (subjective) graphics really feeds the brain and makes it work harder … I don't think so. As filling in the details/gaps isn't really a conscious thing.; it happens automatically. It isn't like making yourself study something, solve a puzzle, or the like. The brain does that on its own so it isn't really stretching any brain muscle.

Coming up with battle plans, learning mechanics, memorizing map locations, solving a puzzle, researching information and digesting it … that all helps the brain. But that isn't directly tied to bad/good graphics on its own. You can do that with AAA graphics or some old retro graphics (unless they are so bad you have to figure out what is happening as a puzzle in and of itself).

Maybe filling in mental holes automatically spurs a few more neurons to fire but I remain doubtful how much exercise that really gives the brain.
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September 6th, 2020, 22:41
Yeah, I don't think there's a lot of brain-stretching going on.

But, though I'm not a fan of deliberately pixelated graphics, I can understand why they do it. If you don't have the budget for high-end graphics, but you attempt it, you'll probably end up with a style that's realism-done-badly, and looks low-rent and amateurish. It's probably a good decision to cut down to a stylistic choice, like pixelation or low poly.

This one looks like it's competently achieving what it set out to do.
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Last edited by Ripper; September 6th, 2020 at 22:55.
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September 7th, 2020, 15:07
Just for the sake of stress relief and kicking the SHT out of enemies, I like this video! BOOKMARKED
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September 7th, 2020, 15:41
Under the "braindamage guaranteed" group?
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September 7th, 2020, 15:49
Originally Posted by wolfgrimdark View Post
Coming up with battle plans, learning mechanics, memorizing map locations, solving a puzzle, researching information and digesting it … that all helps the brain. But that isn't directly tied to bad/good graphics on its own. You can do that with AAA graphics or some old retro graphics (unless they are so bad you have to figure out what is happening as a puzzle in and of itself).
That is correct, but it is afaik also different parts of the brain.
Strategies, tactics, puzzling, etc. vs interpreting what you see/filling the gaps.

Originally Posted by wolfgrimdark View Post
The brain does that on its own so it isn't really stretching any brain muscle.

Maybe filling in mental holes automatically spurs a few more neurons to fire but I remain doubtful how much exercise that really gives the brain.
That's not exactly how the brain or training it works. Even if it is done automatically, it is still training, or at least "maintenance".
The brain is not a literal muscle, you know. Even if some analogies apply.

But yes, who knows how much more exercise you get from retro graphics vs realistic ones? I don't.
What is certain, though, is that it is more than if the brain had nothing to do - which is the case with most AAA graphics.
Again, note that I really only mean the "interpretation of graphics" part, not anything else.
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September 7th, 2020, 16:09
The graphics, to me, look fine. It's honestly more interesting to see a developer tackle their own engine than to see yet another Unity clone. The gameplay, on the other hand, seems rather basic and I can't envision myself playing this for great stretches of time (and I say that as a usual fan of the A-RPG genre).
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September 7th, 2020, 18:12
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
Under the "braindamage guaranteed" group?
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