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Author Topic: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread  (Read 54457 times)

Ozymandias

Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #50 on: 02 Apr 2009, 21:20 »

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.

This is a bad opinion.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #51 on: 03 Apr 2009, 00:55 »

Nah, there were definitely bad design choices in ME. Some glaring ones with level design in particular (The Citadel was poorly planned out and there are of course the sidequest planets) and the much-vaunted dialogue wheel was just a reskinned dialogue tree that actually introduced more problems than it fixed (for one, very few of the conversations actually seemed to branch). Bioware talked about all the mistakes they made during GDC, you can look up the text if you want.

And the combat was by and large boring, for a number of reasons. Tactical choices were extremely limited. Cover was spotty and poorly implemented, and the AI was not terribly good. Bioware is capable of making really incredible games (BG2 is probably my favorite game of all time, I've played it as least as much as I've played Fallout 2, which is saying something) but ME is indicative of a general decline in the quality of Bioware's design philosophy since NWN shipped (I'd say gradual but ME was far superior to Jade Empire) away from more free-form gameplay towards highly linear and controlled narratives. I liked it in KOTOR but I've liked it less every time I see it.

I've got high hopes for DA and ME2, though. I think I'll probably end up disappointed in one or both of them, but as Fallout 3 showed developers by and large aren't dumb about the inherent flaws of their design philosophies even if they are unwilling or unable to work out al the kinks.

Point is just because something is enjoyable (and ME was imminently replayable, for those first few runs) doesn't mean it's beyond criticism.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #52 on: 03 Apr 2009, 08:00 »

I think you were on the mark on the nature of the narrative actually being fairly linear and the blandness of the sidequest level design is almost legendary but to complain that the combat was limited demonstrates borderline insanity. It was limited if you never used your abilities, never specified and targeted your partners' abilities, never worked to streamline your partners' strategies, never switched your weapons, never switched your ammo, never used grenades, and never utilized the environment. However, if you can even so much as read the preceding sentence you probably found it to be at the very least a competent combat system.

If you base your criticisms and opinions off of what the designers themselves say are the strengths and weaknesses of the game, please for your own benefit and mine never listen to me talk about my own music.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #53 on: 03 Apr 2009, 11:20 »

But at the same time, it's very clear from all the GDC discussion on Mass Effect 2 that they are very aware of the flaws of the first game and it sounds like their design process is much more streamlined now.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #54 on: 24 Apr 2009, 01:03 »

Sorta-walkthrough video, focusing on faction choice and its implications for gameplay.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #56 on: 29 May 2009, 00:05 »

CGI trailer. One hopes we'd see such choices in the game itself.

Not very good CGI faces either.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #57 on: 29 May 2009, 10:49 »

if your options really are as varied as all that then i will be extremely pleased.

hopefully i'm not disappointed.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #59 on: 01 Jun 2009, 00:08 »

Holy crap, I haven't seen or heard of MDK in forever. I wonder if I can still find it for the Dreamcast.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #61 on: 03 Jun 2009, 14:57 »

Walkthrough vids - 1 and 2.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #62 on: 13 Jun 2009, 12:33 »

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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #64 on: 22 Jul 2009, 23:09 »

A longer demo

There are so many things I don't like about that clip.  There seems to be basically no urgency to the guy's actions.  A bad guy will kick open a door to surprise attack you and then stand there waiting for you to shoot him.  The snipers and running their lasers over the window where he is standing, and yet he can stand there and take his time to aim at whatever the hell he wants.  At one point there's a bad guy and a support guy standing next to each other shooting and not killing each other, then he rounds the corner and shoots the bad guy once, killing him.  There are times when he is getting shot from behind and just not paying any attention to it at all.  At some points he's crouching and walking in plain sight of anyone who isn't blind or mentally handicapped and yet none of the guards see him.  I also agree with one of the commenters when they say that it's dumb that you can be in the middle of a huge firefight in one section of the base, then turn around a corner and everyone's just walking around like they can't hear anything when they should at least be on some kind of alert.  Pretty fucking dumb.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #65 on: 22 Jul 2009, 23:13 »

It really didn't look good, no. But if what I hear from the devs is any indication, the presentation build was early alpha, and a number of elements in the game were "weighted" to make the presentation go exactly as they wanted it to go as smoothly as possible (AI scaled back, PC made invincible and super-strong, etc.) They've got a few months yet to work out the kinks. But I don't know if I'd expect the AI to get all that great. In general, game AI is rarely consistently spectacular. It's a tough thing to try and get right - when programming for combat, you want enemies to miss some of the time, but not too often / too rarely, for example. I think the biggest problem that AP faces w/r/t AI is that they've gotten it in their heads to make stealth a viable gameplay option. It just doesn't do to make enemies realistic because if you slip up once, the entire mission becomes a disaster and you have to reload the game or fight all the way through it. Thus generally you make AI pretty fuckin' dumb - Enemies don't communicate with one another, they're relatively hard to alert and if you hide, eventually they will give up and continue their routine as though they never saw you in the first place.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #66 on: 22 Jul 2009, 23:18 »

Ok, so I just watched the second clip and realised that I also think the graphics feel dated.  There's really no excuse for it because they are running on UE3, so what the hell?  I mean, this looks like Hitman + RPG elements, so that sounds like something I could be interested in it once I see a more finished product, but at the moment it's not pushing my buttons.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #67 on: 22 Jul 2009, 23:21 »

I don't know? I think it might be because they decided not to pursue a lot of surface effects, reflections and the like. But then I think UE3 has always been ass-ugly, especially when it comes to character models and objects, and AP is no exception.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #68 on: 22 Jul 2009, 23:24 »

Yeah, me too.  But to me it's always been ugly but felt current.  Something about the faces and lack of decent lighting effects makes me feel like this is a game from a couple years ago, not something that is set to come out in the future.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #69 on: 22 Jul 2009, 23:29 »

Actually I think things in AP look pretty okay from a distance. It's the close-ups that really suck. The problem with all of it, as you noted, is the lighting, as there doesn't seem to be any sort of dynamic lighting at all. Maybe it's something they'll add in with the beta, but if not, hey, at least it'll work on my laptop.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #70 on: 22 Jul 2009, 23:33 »

As you said, it's still a way off release (I think?) so maybe it is something they have off for initial trailers and they'll add it in later. Who knows?

I often find though that when I am watching a trailer instead of playing the game I am more critical of the graphics because I am not experiencing the gameplay portion firsthand.  Oblivion looked absolutely dismal to me, and even now I don't like the graphics overly much but still play it and enjoy the game.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #71 on: 23 Jul 2009, 22:05 »

It's definitely the lighting and overall lack of textures, and the perfectly bland contemporary environments aren't helping either. You can get away with a lot with good lighting, a strong theme and a lot of textures. Case in point: Bioshock.
« Last Edit: 23 Jul 2009, 22:11 by Alex C »
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #72 on: 19 Aug 2009, 16:08 »

Turns out if you prebuy AP now through Steam you'll get Space Siege free. That's like, a potentially good game and a mediocre game for the price of a potentially good game. Something to consider!
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #73 on: 21 Aug 2009, 16:48 »

It's definitely the lighting and overall lack of textures, and the perfectly bland contemporary environments aren't helping either. You can get away with a lot with good lighting, a strong theme and a lot of textures. Case in point: Bioshock.

If they're trying to go for contemporary environments because of the setting of the game, is calling them 'bland' really a legitimate complaint? Christ, people will find a way to complain about anything.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #75 on: 16 Sep 2009, 15:20 »


If they're trying to go for contemporary environments because of the setting of the game, is calling them 'bland' really a legitimate complaint? Christ, people will find a way to complain about anything.

An old post, I know, but I would have responded to it ages ago had I noticed it.

Please refrain from acting like I'm big a huge ass whiner here. I don't care if this game looks good or bad and there's basically a 90% chance i will buy it (I feel like I owe Chris Avellone money). I have no stake in it how the sales go and I would never have mentioned the graphics if est hadn't mentioned that he thought the game looks a generation or so older than it is. And frankly, I think he's right and I think that's in large part due to the reasons I mentioned. Colorful and highly stylized art design (or a shit ton of lens flare if you're EA/lazy) can distract the eye from a console's technical shortcomings. For example, Okami is pretty low tech but the hazy art style downplays the PS2's relative inability to push textures. Alpha Protocol doesn't have that luxury thanks to its subject matter and between that and the lack of texture/lighting it looks rather unremarkable as a result. It's kind of similar to the ol' uncanny valley problem; a lot of real life environments are only visually interesting because we can see things in far greater detail than any modern console is currently capable of depicting. This is a problem when you take it upon yourselves to make a game with a sensibility more in line with the Bourne Identity than Star Wars.

tldr version: Obsidian has my sympathies; it's hard to make contemporary environments terribly interesting. But that said, my sympathies doesn't make their game any prettier.
« Last Edit: 16 Sep 2009, 15:31 by Alex C »
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #76 on: 24 Feb 2010, 15:50 »

New, very slick trailer showing off the VA, which sounds pretty excellent.

There is now an official release date of June 1st in North America, May 27th in Oz and May 29th (I think) in Europe.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #78 on: 11 Mar 2010, 17:54 »

GDC reports seem to indicate that the narrative will be fractured ala early Tarantino films. Wonder how that's going to work.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #79 on: 12 Mar 2010, 01:21 »

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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #80 on: 12 Mar 2010, 11:58 »

Looks pretty good! Some of the animation transitions are pretty awkward looking, but the combat itself looks nice and responsive. It's a little more methodical than a standard third person shooter, but since you're playing a spy it should be.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #81 on: 12 Mar 2010, 21:28 »

Ok yeah, I'm on-board now.  Looks kind of like elements and graphics from Mass Effect crossed with elements of Borderlands, which is great because I loved Borderlands but wish it had a bit more depth, and my major gripe with Mass Effect was the squad combat when I really didn't give a shit about any of my mostly-ineffectual squadmates.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #82 on: 12 Mar 2010, 21:31 »

You'll have to give us a play-by-play. Oz is getting the game first, for once.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #83 on: 01 Apr 2010, 20:10 »

Oh I almost forgot, I got invited out to Sega's press showing of Alpha Protocol at PAX East, and I brought Stephen (Ackblom12) with me. I'll just post a link to my recollections on the demo and on the Obsidian PAX panel - voila. In a nutshell - combat looks pretty okay, facial animations are rough, but the game is funny. Remember that part of ME2 where you stab the mechanic in the back? The 15 minutes or so of footage we were shown had at least 2 such moments.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #84 on: 01 Apr 2010, 20:14 »

Seriously, those scenes were fantastic.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #85 on: 01 Apr 2010, 20:30 »

Also, preorders are back on via Steam. Space Seige is still free with one.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #89 on: 04 May 2010, 12:04 »

Game went gold today, it's finally coming out for real.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #90 on: 04 May 2010, 14:53 »

likely story
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #91 on: 05 May 2010, 20:15 »

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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #92 on: 05 May 2010, 22:10 »

Whatever that project is, I'm guessing Square-Enix is preparing it for announcement at E3 next month, which the entire game industry is gearing up for right now. If the rumor is true (which I still think people are reading a lot into) I'm still having real difficulty imagining what a Western-developed Final Fantasy game would be like, particularly from a developer like Obsidian. I guarantee there will be a tremendous internet bitchfit, if nothing else.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #93 on: 06 May 2010, 02:07 »

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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #94 on: 06 May 2010, 02:37 »

People who know people who know things have hinted that Obsidz is working with Squeenix on something. Could be smoke but this guy is usually right, and he picked up on AP months before anybody else did. Didn't seem like it warranted its own thread, though.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #95 on: 06 May 2010, 04:16 »

This is especially notable since the higher-ups at Square Enix have specifically been referring to potentially shopping Final Fantasy to Western devs. There was that aborted action game that GRIN was making before they got shut down that is widely rumored to have been a spinoff in the Final Fantasy XII universe, but Wada and Kitase have been mentioning a potential Western-developed Final Fantasy even more recently than that. That coupled with the supposed Obsidian-Square Enix collaboration has led some people to conclude that the 'Project X' referred to in that tweet will be, if not Final Fantasy XV (which seems unlikely, just because of the sheer amount of outcry that would inevitably occur on both sides of the Pacific), a major entry in the Final Fantasy series that Square will get behind in a big way.

I'm still slightly skeptical, to be honest. I can see how it would make sense from SE's perspective, but I can think of very few things further outside Obsidian's wheelhouse than Final Fantasy. The idea of Chris Avellone writing for a Final Fantasy kind of makes my head spin, since it would presumably be his 'turn' since AP's done and John Gonzalez is the creative lead on New Vegas. Then again, I guess it worked for Star Wars.
« Last Edit: 06 May 2010, 04:29 by Storm Rider »
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #96 on: 06 May 2010, 11:55 »

Mostly I just hate Twitter speculation, and that one tweet in particular is intensely vague, deeply vague. I'm just not a fan of playing connect-the-dots, you know?
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #97 on: 06 May 2010, 12:11 »

I don't mind playing at connect the dots if it's a small enough forum with relatively reasonable people. Such things mostly bother me when people turn it into a dick waving contest and start defending their pet theories despite having so li'l information to work with.

Anyway, I nearly got excited about the twitter and then I remembered that all of the stuff Square can get rights to that I'm actually interested in are all old Eidos brands that are already being resurrected in some form or other. Avellone writing for a Deus Ex game coulda been fun. Oh well. At least there probably won't be any strangely informative blind chicks running around this way.
« Last Edit: 06 May 2010, 12:12 by Alex C »
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #98 on: 06 May 2010, 12:52 »

Mostly I just hate Twitter speculation, and that one tweet in particular is intensely vague, deeply vague. I'm just not a fan of playing connect-the-dots, you know?

Absolutely. Like I said, I still think the rumor is on pretty shaky ground. There's certainly a decent amount of anecdotal evidence, but it's very tenuous. At this point, I wouldn't be surprised either way. I will say that Square has been very open about wanting to farm out their properties, and Final Fantasy in particular, to Western development studios, and Obsidian is basically the only notable Western RPG studio not already owned by a big fish like Bioware and Bethesda. A Western Final Fantasy doesn't explicitly prevent Square from partnering with another publisher like EA or Bethesda, like we've seen with Tecmo partnering with Nintendo and Microsoft, but at that point the profit structure is not as much in their favor so I doubt they'd bother.
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Re: Alpha Protocol photo depository thread
« Reply #99 on: 06 May 2010, 14:39 »

For sure. I mean, what I can see is that Square wants a bigger chunk of market share nowadays than the RPG market share, and while Obsidian doing something Final Fantasish might be a really good way for them to hook their way into the market in a place nobody's really at right now, they might also just want to publish an Obsidian game beacuse it is a game that they're interested in publishing, in a field where they'd maybe like to take a bite out of someone else's market share.
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