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Default Bard's Tale I - Remaster launches on August 14

August 9th, 2018, 23:16
Originally Posted by Cacheperl View Post
I am sure such notes or maps have value to you and many others. And this may be similar to how you value your old drawings. That would not be sufficient to call it art, from my point of view. To me, these things are keepsakes, or mementos. They derive their value from peoples recollections, not from artistic qualities. Sure, there may be items that have both aspects, and your old drawings or paintings may be an example.

Anyways, to go as far as saying that these maps were the most important part of the gameplay… Sounds to me like nostalgia tricks people into enshrining poor game design.
What is or isn't art is entirely subjective. If something is art to someone then it most definitely is art.

Also, I don't think older games like Bard's Tale necessarily had poor game design just because they didn't have the same quality of life features that we're used to today.
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August 9th, 2018, 23:17
Originally Posted by Cacheperl View Post
I am sure such notes or maps have value to you and many others. And this may be similar to how you value your old drawings. That would not be sufficient to call it art, from my point of view. To me, these things are keepsakes, or mementos. They derive their value from peoples recollections, not from artistic qualities. Sure, there may be items that have both aspects, and your old drawings or paintings may be an example.

Anyways, to go as far as saying that these maps were the most important part of the gameplay… Sounds to me like nostalgia tricks people into enshrining poor game design.
It's art, TO ME, in the sense that I created it. I have fond memories from observing that creation. Technically, you are probably right, it's not what most would objectively consider art.

But that debate sort of misses the point anyway. The main point is that the experience was fantastic and likely can never be repeated, because I can never be that young again, the experience will never be that new again, games are not made like that anymore, and I wouldn't have the time if they were.
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August 9th, 2018, 23:19
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Also, I don't think older games like Bard's Tale necessarily had poor game design just because they didn't have the same quality of life features that we're used to today.
I think he gets lost in the technicality of things when the real discussion is about the experience. Might as well say that the first cars or first rockets that took people to space were "poor design." By today's standards, yeah they're poor design. That misses the point.
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August 9th, 2018, 23:45
I think older games are very limited compared to better newer games simply because the hardware back then couldn't support very much relatively speaking. Mind your games back then were much more efficient - and they had to be to be able to accomplish what they did but still today hardware is more than 1000 times faster not to mention the memory foot print or gpu. Heck your phone is a lot faster than apple 2e….
-
Anyway it will be interesting to see how the games compare in these modern times.

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
What is or isn't art is entirely subjective. If something is art to someone then it most definitely is art.

Also, I don't think older games like Bard's Tale necessarily had poor game design just because they didn't have the same quality of life features that we're used to today.
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August 9th, 2018, 23:53
I'm not sure if this has been posted yet, but the cost of the trilogy will be $15 USD. There's an article here and the Devs confirmed the price in the Steam forum:
https://www.pcgamer.com/the-first-pa…uts-next-week/

Also, they're doing a similar remaster of Wasteland 1 to mark the 30th anniversary, which will be out early 2019. I have a feeling this is old news that I'd just forgotten about, but good news in any case.
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August 10th, 2018, 00:07
Originally Posted by Pongo View Post
Also, they're doing a similar remaster of Wasteland 1 to mark the 30th anniversary, which will be out early 2019. I have a feeling this is old news that I'd just forgotten about, but good news in any case.
Yeah, I'm quite looking forward to that. The original Wasteland is something I'd like to experience, but it's extremely dated to say the least. I hope the remaster goes beyond just redoing the pixel art though.

I'd like to see them adjust the skill system in a way that makes every skill useful in some manner, although that might be hoping for too much.
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August 10th, 2018, 00:52
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
What is or isn't art is entirely subjective.
Ok, sure. Does not mean the issue cant be discussed or reasoned about, but yeah.

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
If something is art to someone then it most definitely is art.
… to him/her. Not necessarily to me, your or the rest of the world.

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Also, I don't think older games like Bard's Tale necessarily had poor game design just because they didn't have the same quality of life features that we're used to today.
Just to clarify that point: A lack of a map, without any landscape features to otherwise approximate your location is poor game design, for that specific element of the game. Which is not to say that it's the designers fault. Parts of that issue were limited resources.
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August 10th, 2018, 02:56
Fifteen bucks for three excellent games is still a bargain. You don't have to wonder about the quality, these are proven masterpieces. Five bones apiece, and you'll spend days if not weeks solving each one.

I'm curious about the remake for Wasteland the first, that's another one that I know I'll be playing.
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August 10th, 2018, 03:49
Originally Posted by Cacheperl View Post
to him/her. Not necessarily to me, your or the rest of the world..
Did I say that you had to agree it was art?

Originally Posted by Cacheperl View Post
Just to clarify that point: A lack of a map, without any landscape features to otherwise approximate your location is poor game design, for that specific element of the game. Which is not to say that it's the designers fault. Parts of that issue were limited resources.
If the issue was limited resources, then it's not poor game design. Those two things are independent of each other.
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August 10th, 2018, 09:35
The lack of an auto-map wasn't really a choice back in the day, though.

The history of CRPGs is one of slow and subtle evolution - which is the case with most things.

They grew out of the PnP tradition, we must remember. In PnP - there's no such thing as automapping, well - unless you're the DM.

I don't remember when auto-mapping became the norm, but I believe it was sometime after the Goldbox games - as they all had a sort of primitive built-in automap feature, and they became very popular.

As for what's good or bad game design - as JDR is saying - is subjective. It's refreshing to hear him being so reasonable

Since I can clearly remember having the greatest (and most frustrating) time mapping old CRPGs - it must have been great game design for me, back in the day.

I don't think we can really talk about game design that's inconsiderate of our available time as inherently bad. It will depend on the particulars, and what audience you're targeting.

Personally, I'm a little annoyed they put auto-mapping into these remakes, because I was looking forward to hearing people talk about how "fun" it is to map out teleporter/spinning dungeons

As an anecdote, I can tell a little story:

A couple of years ago - I took my dog to the summerhouse at New Year's - because he hates loud noises - and I hate him not feeling good even more.

One cold-ass experience, I don't mind telling you

Anyway, I brought along my Android tablet (it's dead now, *cries*) - and I had made sure to install a couple of old adventure games.

The good thing about being in a summerhouse during winter - is that you're forced to be creative - and you're forced to "make do" with what you have available.

So, it wasn't long until I got bored watching shitty TV and I decided to turn on my tablet, and give a few games a go.

One of those games was The Legend of Kyrandia. A fantastic little gem, by the way.

Anyway, at some point in that game, you come across the "Fire Caverns" - or something like that. It's essentially a maze where you have to carry fire-berries in your inventory to light up the environment - or it will get too dark and you'll die. These berries last only a few moves, so you have to keep finding more to survive.

Now, you can potentially "wing it" - but I figured I'd map those caverns out, and I was lucky enough to find some nice graph-paper and a pencil.

Kyrandia is a very short game - and I think the combined playtime was around 4 hours. I think I spent 1-2 hours mapping out that cave on graph-paper.

You know what the interesting part of this story is?

That mapping experience was among the most fun I've had in gaming for years - and I actually saved my map to treasure it.

I would never EVER have bothered doing that, if it didn't feel necessary - or if I'd had other games available to distract me.

Just saying
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August 10th, 2018, 13:59
Originally Posted by Cacheperl View Post
To me, these things are keepsakes, or mementos. They derive their value from peoples recollections, not from artistic qualities. (..)
Anyways, to go as far as saying that these maps were the most important part of the gameplay… Sounds to me like nostalgia tricks people into enshrining poor game design.
Maybe the "art" term is too loaded, but it stands to reason that map drawing was an integral part of the experience. Not least of all because you probably spent 50-70% of your time with drawing. Gameplay doesn't exist in a vacuum: The designers knew people had to draw maps so a lot of stuff was dedicated to it, e.g.
  • map-related spells like a compass or a scry spell that tells the player their location in the labyrinth
  • Lots of stuff to make map drawing difficult, like spinners and teleports, anti magic fields etc.
  • Since you could only save, level up and sell equipment in town, you had to go back regularly. Maps help.
In a sense, mapping out each level completely could be considered the main riddle of the game and consequently each fully cartographed level meant a big step forward. There weren't a whole lot of "normal" riddles.

Anyway, gameplay paradigms have since shifted to something else and from today's point of view a lot of old school stuff is simply unbearable.
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August 10th, 2018, 14:29
Bard's Tale III (1988) already had a primitive auto-map so the concept isn't entirely new for the series. It was extremely useful actually for validating one's own maps and quickly getting your bearings for casting spells like Apport Arcane and Phase Door. I remember as a kid thinking on the C64 that the character marker on the map resembled a skull and crossbones.

As for mapping out BT 1 and some of the nasty esoteric dungeons of BT 2, that was another labor of love entirely! Many moons and hours were spent doing that, listening to records and chilling out to the ambience of bard's tale adventuring.
I still have my maps buried in the cupboard somewhere. There was a satisfaction in doing that and seeing it all coherently come together. Sometimes I'd even just do half maps for challenging sections and rely on my memory.

I think I enjoyed mapping Might and Magic I even more to some extent though, probably because the overland maps were all inter-connected and it was like putting a jigsaw together that you'd created that was slowly taking shape as you explored.
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August 10th, 2018, 15:27
I enjoyed the whole mapping process back in the day when I first played these. I'm not sure I'd enjoy it so much these days, but knowing the worth of these three products, it wouldn't bother me to do the mapping all over again. These games are totally worth the effort.
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