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Author Topic: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread  (Read 54333 times)

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Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« on: 20 Aug 2008, 14:00 »

Since the game's 5 months or so away, and the E3 thread's pretty much done for, so I'm making this thread for those of you who are interested. These new pics are from Leipzig.

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So basically, for those not in the know (and given Sega's promo performance, that's most if not all of you) Alpha Protocol is an espionage-themed Action RPG from Obsidian Entertainment slated for release in February (man, that spelling annoys me). It's made by the same dudes who, in the past, have made Neverwinter Nights 2, Knights of the Old Republic 2, Planescape: Torment, Fallout 2 and the Icewind Dale games. Specifically this is being designed by the guy who did KOTOR2 and PS:T.

Basically, the gist is thus - you are Michael Thorton (no N like Billy Bob), a trained CIA operative who goes on a mission that, of course, must go haywire. You are framed for something or other and you go Alpha Protocol (off the grid and on the run to complete a mission) while you are the only person who is aware of a global conspiracy with malevolent intentions, and you alone have to stop it. You have a list of informants and safehouses spread across the globe, and you go about trying to find out what's what.

Before these screenies were released the game looked a lot like Mass Effect, and it still sort of does, mainly due to both of them using UE3, but it's slowly setting itself apart. The character models are less shiny, and there's actual CQC (the dev in charge of melee fighting says it's American Kenpo) that looks very promising (certainly my first playthrough) The primary inspiration for animation and combat is Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, which I've heard very good things about but haven't played because boo hiss Sony.

The dialogue system is like ME, but it's even simpler. It's much more like Indigo Prophecy (Fahrenheit for you euros) your responses are timed, and you're given a very simple summation of the actions you can perform. "Draw gun" "smooth talk" "bribe" "threaten", etc. It should lead to fewer "but I didn't want to shoot the guy!" moments like the sort you got from ME. In general there will be 3 different "conversation paths" you can take. There's suave (Bond), brutal (Bauer) and professional (Bourne), more or less. You can choose one of these "paths" and put the controller down as the timer ticks down and automatically chooses responses indicative of the path, or you can switch at a whim. The devs have promised that once you've gone through a dialogue tree, you can't go back through it. So you have to be sure of what you're doing.

One thing about the game that people are skeptical of at this juncture is that it looks like the game will have unlimited ammo. You're likely going to be made to choose your weapons and mods at the beginning of a mission (like Hitman) but you won't be able to retrieve enemy weapons. Among the strategy enthusiasts this doesn't sit very well. You'll have to reload your guns, but you'll have infinite clips and can thus go full Rambo for an entire mission if you wanted to. The tone of the game is sort of hard to pin down. There are camp elements, given that they're drawing somewhat from the Bond legacy, but they're also trying to ground the game in the real world, even if that world is exaggerated (CQC, for example, is an absolute last resort for any real soldier or fighter)

Here's a more recently released preview from E3.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #1 on: 20 Aug 2008, 19:52 »

Jeez, I just realized that February 2009 only is a little over 5 months away. It seems so much longer. I am hoping that this is the game that finally makes Obsidian into a premier RPG developer. I mean, NWN 2 was fine, but it was buggy as hell, and of course everyone knows the trials and tribulations around KOTOR 2's development. I hear Mask of Betrayer was great, but in the grand scheme of things it was just an expansion pack. I'm curious, do we know whether Obsidian owns this IP themselves in the same way Bioware owns all their original IP, or does Sega own Alpha Protocol?

Sega certainly seems to have a lot of faith in the Obsidian team, since they handed them the development keys to the Aliens RPG that they're working on next as well. If Alpha Protocol hits it big, I wonder if Sega tries acquiring them like they recently did with Creative Assembly.

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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #2 on: 20 Aug 2008, 20:19 »

The IP was developed internally and then pitched to Sega, if I recall correctly, and Sega farmed Aliens out to Obsidian at the same time they commissioned Gearbox (there is also apparently some overlap between the two games, storywise / artwise / characterwise)

It'd be interesting if Sega were to buy out Obsidian. They seem more of a mid-level publisher than an EA or Activision. But I'm wary of it. Troika set out to become the "pet RPG developer" of a few publishers but it didn't work out at all, mostly due to Troika's staggering inefficiency and propensity for pissing them off. Obsidian seems more savvy than that, though. They're making games more of the times, at least.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #3 on: 20 Aug 2008, 21:11 »

As I understand it, Sega contracted Obsidian for Alpha Protocol (which of course was still secret at that point) and the Aliens RPG at the same time, probably around the same time they partnered with Gearbox for the Aliens shooter. I feel like Gearbox is doing something else for Sega beyond that and the Wii remake of Samba de Amigo, but I can't remember it offhand.

The reason why I brought up the acquisition issue is that it's an increasing trend in the modern video games market. As technology increases and game development costs rise, along with gamer culture increasingly recognizing names and teams that produce quality product, publishers want safe investments in the form of talented studios. The Bioware/Pandemic deal earlier last year proves that pretty much nobody is off limits, but the thing is that right now, Obsidian is still relatively small in comparison so they'd be much cheaper to buy out. I think that Sega is obviously interested because quality western RPG studios are few and far between anyway, and with Bioware owned by EA and Bethesda still tied to 2K for the time being, Obsidian is really the only one left that has significant name recognition without a clear allegiance to a publisher. I bet they probably would have already tried if they had the cash on hand, which is why I'm guessing if Alpha Protocol does well commercially they'll just use the profits to offer Obsidian a deal.

That being said, I really don't think acquisition would necessarily be a bad thing for Obsidian. They very clearly have their shit together to a much bigger level than Troika ever did; their first couple of games had their bumpy development for sure, but since their publishers were Atari and Lucasarts I doubt very much of that was their fault to begin with. And I really think Sega has finally turned the corner from the post-Dreamcast slump: they're partnering with talented teams (the aforementioned deals with Obsidian and Gearbox, and also with Silicon Knights and Platinum Games), and I really think the Aliens initiative could end up being the prime example of licensed games done right. Those Aliens games have been in development in some capacity for nearly two years now, and they got good studios to work in genres they're comfortable with, so it's clearly not just some shitty cash-in like we're used to publishers putting out.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #4 on: 23 Aug 2008, 22:45 »

So wait... they contracted a dev studio with released but unfinished games under their belt to make a sickeningly complex RPGish game?

Oh, I'm so looking forward to it...



To clarify, I know it's probably not the soley the devs fault that KOTOR2, Fallout2, etc were released buggy and unfinished, but still.
« Last Edit: 24 Aug 2008, 09:37 by Statik »
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #5 on: 09 Oct 2008, 19:31 »

Oh hay, new website.

www.alphaprotocol.com

Also looks like it got pushed back a month. Whatevs.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #6 on: 17 Oct 2008, 15:59 »

Teaser!
(Obviously not in-game footage)
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #7 on: 17 Oct 2008, 16:14 »

Hmm, I wonder if the design in that trailer will be represented on the in-game graphics, because something about those character models looked a little strange to me. The proportions on the faces just seemed... off.

Still, I really wish we'd just get some friggin' gameplay footage or something one of these days.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #8 on: 17 Oct 2008, 16:56 »

In a few weeks, I reckon. It's... what, 5 months until release? Sega generally sucks with promotion, but as far as I understand it from Obsid's marketing director this is the thing that opens the floodgates, so to speak. We'll be getting more and more info as the months wear on.

As for the CG, yeah, the models are a little weird, but they seem to resemble NWN2's, from what I recall, and those weren't representative of the game engine. I can't imagine AP will have any worse in the way of character design than any other UE3 game.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #9 on: 21 Oct 2008, 00:59 »

i am so looking foward to this game. i've played mass effect right into the ground and need a new diversion.

and unless someone changes their minds and decides to do a KotOR that isn't MMO, this looks like it will have to do.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #10 on: 20 Nov 2008, 11:45 »

Developer diary / first actual footage of the game.

Looks a bit unpolished (for example, only the arms dealer at the end of the clip seems to have significant facial movement outside of lip-sync, probably due to that portion of the game being groomed for critical screening) but otherwise, pretty damn good. The animations are very fluid.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #11 on: 08 Dec 2008, 15:52 »


First public image of the Aliens RPG, heh.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #12 on: 04 Mar 2009, 19:14 »

Alright so scratch the stuff about Aliens RPG, as it may never see the light of day (which is unfortunate as Alien is my favourite film and I was very much looking forward to the game)

Just a heads up, next Friday (that would be 3/13/09) Alpha Protocol is going to be hitting Gametrailers TV in some capacity. So we'll probably see more stuff.

There's also some murkiness as to the release date. It could come out in the Summer or the Fall. Hopefully they'll tell us with this program.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #13 on: 04 Mar 2009, 19:24 »

Man, I couldn't be less jazzed for this.  It looks like KotOR/Mass Effect set in modern day spy shit.  Both those games played very clunky and got boring and generic very quickly, and the setting+trailer for this looks bland, boring and generic also.  I hope I am proven wrong, but it doesn't look too good so far.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #14 on: 04 Mar 2009, 19:26 »

I mean, like:

Quote
After a mission goes awry, Michael Thorton is cut off from all of his contacts and betrayed by his superiors and is being hunted by the United States government

come on.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #15 on: 04 Mar 2009, 19:35 »

Also, it probably doesn't help that it is using the Unreal 3 engine, which is fucking hideous.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #16 on: 04 Mar 2009, 20:18 »

I'm not particularly enamored of UE3 myself, but it's relatively stable and (I've heard that) it's easy to work with across platforms. With game budgets getting into the 8 figures these days I don't blame companies for flocking to it. You've got to hit a lot of markets to be profitable.

I'm not buying the incredulity over a hoary initial story hook. I mean, have you played the Fable games? People love shit stories. Obsidian does not make shit stories. If you're that concerned over story tropes I don't see why you would enjoy gaming in the first place. The industry standard is pretty fuckin' low and a lot of "brilliantly written" games would not pass the muster of even B-grade film (looking at you Metal Gear Solid). A lot of great games have had shitty beginnings. Hell, a lot of great games have just had shitty plots.

I would encourage you to play the other games that Chris Avellone has helmed. They've all been excellent and, in the case of KOTORII, far superior to their predecessors in terms of plot depth. To this day it boggles my mind that he managed to make a George Lucas setting interesting.

Which isn't to say that I'm not concerned. I haven't seen much of the game but some of the concept stuff, particularly with regard to characters, has been far too campy for my tastes. But I'm confident that the writing and design will shine through.

And as far as combat goes, it's hard to say at this point what it will feel like but what's been shown so far has seemed a marked departure from the dreadful action-queue system of KOTOR and the badly designed and badly implemented shooter mechanics of ME. AP looks a lot more like, say, Splinter Cell. I think you're taking the similarities in engines / visual designs and extrapolating from those similarities that are not, in fact, apparent. But it could turn out bad, we'll see. The promise of functional CQC is probably more interesting to me than it is to others.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #17 on: 04 Mar 2009, 21:00 »

I would disagree that Descent to Undermountain was a decent game, but ok, if you think it's going to be different from the stop-start/clunky gameplay of KotOR and ME then I'll give it time and see what it is like when it's actually out.

As for Unreal Engine games, I just took a look back over the UE games list and of all of them that I have played only the Brothers in Arms series and BioShock are any good.  The BiA series is good because they have a unique squad-based interface that makes it more than a normal shooter, and the quality of BioShock's setting lifted it above the normal "great textures but jilted, unnatural motion and absolutely horrible stark, fake lighting that gives me the heebie jeebies" of the usual UE fare.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #18 on: 04 Mar 2009, 22:34 »

Both those games played very clunky

Nope.

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and got boring

Nope.

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and generic

aw hell naw
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #19 on: 04 Mar 2009, 22:45 »

I find myself agreeing with est on pretty much all points he has raised.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #20 on: 05 Mar 2009, 13:59 »

from what I read, the only thing that really stands out for the game for me is the dialogue system. From what I've read, it looks to be more detailed that ME, which has me interested.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #21 on: 05 Mar 2009, 14:52 »

aw hell naw

I can appreciate that people disagree, but remember I also hate RE4, which everyone seems to pop hella boners over.  I think that I am just picky about certain things, and I can see a direct relation between the clunkiness (as preceived by myself) of the controls in KotOR, ME and RE4 and my distaste for all of them.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #22 on: 05 Mar 2009, 16:25 »

I didn't find the controls clunky, but I fuggin hated the item storage system. I'm a pack rat, and I don't like selling or dropping anything.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #23 on: 05 Mar 2009, 20:17 »

It's OK est, I don't like RE4 either.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #24 on: 05 Mar 2009, 21:28 »

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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #25 on: 06 Mar 2009, 08:04 »

RE4 is kinda OK on the wii.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #26 on: 06 Mar 2009, 14:12 »

Latest news down the pipeline (from Portugal!) is that infinite ammo has been scrapped as a concept, which I like.

Other tidbits
- Usually consequences aren't immediately apparent, and seem to be of the kind which determine how certain people and groups view your character.
- the article indicates that there are four different weapon makers in addition to the four different weapons
- weapon mods
- location based damage. It doesn't mention if this includes limb crippling.
- Hand to hand combat can be lethal or just leave people unconscious
- Avoiding enemies can be tech based or stealth based
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #27 on: 07 Mar 2009, 01:27 »

I am a curmudgeon

Hey, fuck you, I like a hell of a lot of stupid games.  I think I even started a thread about how (surprisingly) good Sain't Row 2 is.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #28 on: 07 Mar 2009, 01:40 »

According to yon Geoff Knightley the segment will feature, at the very least, one unbroken gameplay segment lasting around 2 minutes. So I guess we'll see how it plays in around a week.

Also the GTTV episode with all the new stuff airs tonight.
« Last Edit: 13 Mar 2009, 12:09 by KvP »
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #29 on: 13 Mar 2009, 12:08 »

PSN Qore segment on AP. The music I believe is BT, so I don't really like it, but the rest of it looks pretty okay. The facial animations are still incomplete for the most part and the walking animation looks a little weird.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #30 on: 13 Mar 2009, 14:37 »

what the fuck is BT? i keep hearing about how much people hate it, but i have no idea what it even refers to.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #31 on: 13 Mar 2009, 15:00 »

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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #32 on: 13 Mar 2009, 20:02 »

infinite ammo has been scrapped as a concept

Infinite ammo rules for action RPGs though.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #33 on: 13 Mar 2009, 20:03 »

"Ah crap, here come like twenty Geth, I guess I better get out my assault ri- OH SHIT" *bashes frantically at robot minions with butt of gun*
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #34 on: 13 Mar 2009, 20:07 »

Maybe they're going more of a Deus Ex route? About 1/2 FPS and 1/2 RPG...

I remember playing Deus Ex on the harder difficulties and having to use my assault rifle sparingly because you could burn through ammo so quickly.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #35 on: 13 Mar 2009, 20:19 »

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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #36 on: 14 Mar 2009, 13:14 »

GTTV episode's up. Most of the episode is devoted to the game, but there are asides to talk about Ghostbusters and a football game I didn't catch the name of.

From the looks of it I'm hoping they'll get more polish time, maybe shoot for a September release.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #37 on: 16 Mar 2009, 12:05 »

According to Press Release they're shooting for October, which is just as well.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #38 on: 16 Mar 2009, 14:47 »

Is the football game Backbreaker or whatever? The one that uses Euphoria?
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #39 on: 16 Mar 2009, 15:04 »

no idea. looked pretty good.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #40 on: 17 Mar 2009, 17:06 »

new screenies




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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #41 on: 02 Apr 2009, 14:59 »

There was another developer diary that leaked (came out?) today, but it's not on youtube at the moment as far as I know. Still, some people got some screenshots of character creation (ME-like) / item management (Hitman-like).
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I must admit that a large part of my enthusiasm for this game comes from the fact that its success could possibly have an effect on the fate of Obsidz' Aliens RPG, a game I really desperately want to get made.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #42 on: 02 Apr 2009, 15:32 »

I'm actually probably more interested in this game than the Aliens game, just because I love Mass Effect way too much and this basically seems to be lifting all of that game's features (as Obsidian tends to do) and putting it into the intriguing setting of modern-day espionage.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #43 on: 02 Apr 2009, 15:52 »

I love Mass Effect way too much and this basically seems to be lifting all of that game's features (as Obsidian tends to do)
Honestly the further AP keeps from ME, the happier I'll be. At the very least I hope it will be less clumsily designed, and the combat will be more enjoyable, and on both counts it looks to be shaping up that way.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #44 on: 02 Apr 2009, 17:50 »

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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #45 on: 02 Apr 2009, 19:13 »

less clumsily designed, and the combat will be more enjoyable

i had literally no problems with either of these things in mass effect
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #46 on: 02 Apr 2009, 19:38 »

The combat in mass effect functioned, it didn't excel.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #47 on: 02 Apr 2009, 19:54 »

I'm not actually sure combat has ver excelled in a Bioware game... ever. The combat was pretty enjoyable to me though, specially as a Biotic.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #48 on: 02 Apr 2009, 20:01 »

MDK 2
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #49 on: 02 Apr 2009, 21:18 »

MDK2? That was Shiny Entertainment. Unless you're speaking of an entirely different game.

Edit - Ignore my obliviousness and get MDK 2.

Edit again - Wait no, This is the proper thread, MDK 2 was definitely not made my Bioware.
« Last Edit: 02 Apr 2009, 21:24 by ackblom12 »
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