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Lies, Damned Lies and Videogame Previews


Harsin
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Not once in the game, after 250 hours of play, did I pick up a single conversation topic by overhearing it.

Really? I certainly did. Unfortunately I can't think of any other quests at hand except for The Knights Of The Nine DLC, however it has certainly happened to me in a few occasions.

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Not once in the game, after 250 hours of play, did I pick up a single conversation topic by overhearing it.

It would definitely give you notes in your Quest Log. I remember overhearing a conversation about that bloke who had a twin brother in Bruma, and it added a quest or a note about going to talk to him to find out more.

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It would definitely give you notes in your Quest Log. I remember overhearing a conversation about that bloke who had a twin brother in Bruma, and it added a quest or a note about going to talk to him to find out more.

The conversation options and variations are far too small in Oblivion though, people don't seem to learn anything new and generally don't really do or say much related to what you've been up to, apart from occasions where it's clearly been pre-written into the situation / character. I've not noticed this over-hearing thing either but would be a good thing.

If it was smaller and more focused though, as discussed in the Oblivion thread, all of this stuff would be far more possible and involving, potentially great ideas and stuff, Where's the next elder scrolls anyhow?

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A Bizarre Creations quote from the last issue of Sega Saturn Magazine (November 1998) about their forthcoming game Metropolis (no Street Racer label yet):

"The cities are going to be populated, living environments, rather than the clinically empty ones seen in most racing games. Obviously it's early stages to be talking specific details, but as an example, we are planning that - depending on the section of the game - you could encounter other traffic, people, animals, etc..."

MSR was a great game, but it ended up being one of the most "clinically empty" racing games around - and it stayed that way even into Project Gotham.

And later, there was talk of being able to customise your car with graffiti-styled paint decorations, which would represent your teams online...

Another Dreamcast game: I remember C&VG reporting that Shenmue (then known as Project Berkeley) would feature a game world "as big as the real world". :) I'll blame that one on a mistranslation...

I also remember in the run-up to Halo 2 them talking about you being able to destroy light sources so you could stealth round the levels and that enemies would use dynamic cover such as tipping over tables.

Even Perfect Dark had that on N64 and to great effect too. I don't recall seeing that feature ever since in first-person shooters. Thank heavens it's coming to Arcade.

In Perfect Dark the lights can be shot out, but it's not like Splinter Cell where it has an effect on your stealth - the only place it affects the enemy behaviour is the one scripted moment where you can flick on a lightswitch to temporarily blind some NVG-wearing enemies.

As for all the Halo 2 features quoted in the first post - were they really ones that Bungie themselves officially announced they intended to include? Because IIRC, other than that big E3 trailer, they officially revealed very little about the solo campaign in the run up to Halo 2 - all the fans were dying to know about the story and combat, but all the interviews and press demos were multiplayer only.

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Edge hyped Unity to fuck. Even slapped it on the cover, and probably one of the shittiest covers ever too.

Of course they didn't look like utter pricks when it was canned. Oh no.

I remember a game called Exo making it onto the cover of Edge too. Where be it now?

Oh, and the damn lie of an e-mail from Peter Moore to all Dreamcast developers reassuring them that the Dreamcast won't be going anywhere anytime soon. HOHOHO, Peter! You're such a card!

Also every game promise Peter Molyneux has ever made. LIES.

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I remember a game called Exo making it onto the cover of Edge too. Where be it now?

Oh, and the damn lie of an e-mail from Peter Moore to all Dreamcast developers reassuring them that the Dreamcast won't be going anywhere anytime soon. HOHOHO, Peter! You're such a card!

Also every game promise Peter Molyneux has ever made. LIES.

I'm playing Fable 2 now. It's the same as the last one :)

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I remember an amazing preview in PC Zone in '93 or '94 for a PC version of Iron Crown Entertainment's Cyberspace RPG.

You could go into any room in any building in a city. Everything was in flat-shaded polygons except for characters' heads which were 8-way sprites. You could hack computers and security systems and stuff. It never came out.

I guess most of the potential was eventually realised by Deus Ex, but I still want a game with a massive properly working world, not just miniature Disney-village cities like Bethesda's games, or empty shells like GTA.

Maybe Introversion's new game will manage it.

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I remember a game called Exo making it onto the cover of Edge too. Where be it now?

I seem to remember reading that they just couldn't get the tech working well enough - only ever got it running at 4-5 fps - and eventually they just gave up. Shame, as it looked great.

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In the run-up to Bioshock there was quite a bit made about how Rapture had a complex eco-system of inhabitants with their own agendas...etc (very similar claims to Radiant AI actually). Then when it came out all you seemed to get was a few different Splicer skins with AI that consisted of run at player with melee weapon or stand still and fire and Big Daddies/Little Sisters on a rigid predertermined patrol path.

The big Edge preview of the game getting quite excited about all the deep decisions that you'd have to make during the course of the game and how it would effect your journey. In the actual game I think the only decision you actually get to make is kill/let go Little Sisters, the consquences of which are laughably signposted and all it changes is a short interlude around 3/4s in (very slightly) and which short FMV you get on completion.

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A Bizarre Creations quote from the last issue of Sega Saturn Magazine (November 1998) about their forthcoming game Metropolis (no Street Racer label yet):

"The cities are going to be populated, living environments, rather than the clinically empty ones seen in most racing games. Obviously it's early stages to be talking specific details, but as an example, we are planning that - depending on the section of the game - you could encounter other traffic, people, animals, etc..."

MSR was a great game, but it ended up being one of the most "clinically empty" racing games around - and it stayed that way even into Project Gotham.

There was a lot of guff around MSR, one particular one was that it was going to be completely open world- you could drive anywhere in the city, even in the middle of a race you could just veer off and potter around. Of course, these cities were super realistic (although, at the time, they did look quite realistic). Basically, you could drive anywhere in London, Tokyo or San Francisco.. Oh, and the radio would be updated in realtime, over the internet.

A lot of these things were "removed" after the lengthy delay!

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Halo was one of the biggest surprises in my two decades of videogaming.

And Halo 2 was definitely the biggest disappointment. It's one thing quoting a developer in an interview, but building what looks like half a level with the features there to see and then releasing a game passing almost no resemblance and you can watch being built if you spin 180 - sacrilege.

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Halo was one of the biggest surprises in my two decades of videogaming.

And Halo 2 was definitely the biggest disappointment. It's one thing quoting a developer in an interview, but building what looks like half a level with the features there to see and then releasing a game passing almost no resemblance and you can watch being built if you spin 180 - sacrilege.

The making of that came with the Halo 2 steelbook edition was quite telling. The feature seemed to show that Bungie's main focus for most of the dev time was LAN parties and company picnics and spending an inordinate amount of time on the E3 demo level. Then at the end you get 10 minutes of them going "Oh shit! We've got 6 months to finish it and we've done fuck all!".

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There was an interview with Jay Wilbur talking about Quake and how it was this immense RPG game. I remember him going on about quests and things like that.

Reading the Masters of Doom book it becomes clear to see how the events of producing Quake resulted in the leaving of Romero and why the game ended up the way it was.

In fact going further back, wasn't it at the end of one of the Commander Keen games where it said, "Coming Soon: Quake a 256 color side scrolling RPG with npcs and quests".

EDIT:

The first mention of Quake to the public was done in 1990 as part of Apogee's advertising for upcoming games. Designed as an RPG, the project was never completed and merely exists as a design document that shares the name of iD's Quake as we see it today. Found within the documentation of Commander Keen 3 mention of "Quake" states:

COMING SOON FROM ID SOFTWARE

As our follow-up to the Commander Keen trilogy, id Software is working on 'The Fight for Justice', a completely new approach to fantasy gaming. You start not as a weakling with no food--you start as Quake, the strongest, most dangerous person on the continent. You start off with a Hammer of Thunderbolts, a Ring of Regeneration, and a trans-dimensional artifact. Here the fun begins. You fight for Justice, a secret organization devoted to vanquishing evil from the land! This is role-playing excitement.

And you don't chunk around the screen. 'The Fight for Justice' contains fully animated scrolling backgrounds. All the people you meet have their own lives, personalities, and objectives. A 256-color VGA version will be available (smooth scrolling 256-color screens --fancy that)!

And the depth of play will be intense. No more "whack whack here's some gold". There will be interesting puzzles and decisions won't be "yes/no" but complex correlations of people and events. 'The Fight for Justice' will be the finest PC game yet.

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I've said it before but I'll say it again, that Quake RPG sounds like it could on paper have some potential, an almost simplistic Braid or 'Splosion Man style HD 2D scroller but with RPG stuff and real varied elements and characters etc might be actually quite cool. Something like Oblivion / Fallout 3 but without uncanny valley problems or repeat textures / locales due to 'simpler' artwork could really be quite good.

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There was a lot of guff around MSR, one particular one was that it was going to be completely open world- you could drive anywhere in the city, even in the middle of a race you could just veer off and potter around. Of course, these cities were super realistic (although, at the time, they did look quite realistic). Basically, you could drive anywhere in London, Tokyo or San Francisco.. Oh, and the radio would be updated in realtime, over the internet.

A lot of these things were "removed" after the lengthy delay!

Iirc, you can drive anywhere, but the option is only available after finishing all chapters.

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The making of that came with the Halo 2 steelbook edition was quite telling. The feature seemed to show that Bungie's main focus for most of the dev time was LAN parties and company picnics and spending an inordinate amount of time on the E3 demo level. Then at the end you get 10 minutes of them going "Oh shit! We've got 6 months to finish it and we've done fuck all!".

They were pretty open about what went wrong afterwards, but they're not going to tell you in the Special Edition that you just put out an extra £10 for that you've just bought half a game. :(

But yeah, they had to cut like six levels: a Covenant cruiser as the second level that would have introduced that female Commander and her ODSTs, which was replaced by a cutscene "that probably took as long to do as the level would have", a level after the Lake bossfight where you were in the depths of the Halo fighting Flood in a big Forerunner Tank that would have introduced Gravemind ahead of that cutscene "with tentacles moving past doors at the speed of a freight train", and then four levels at the end that featured Master Chief and the Arbiter teaming up, fighting through Voi and the African Desert before killing the last Prophet in a final boss fight at the Ark.

They also had to cut quite a few vehicles, the ability to pilot that Covenant APC and the Troop Transport version, the Mongoose and the Hornet. There were another two enemy Races and a few variations on models. Oh, and the Flamethrower (again).

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They were pretty open about what went wrong afterwards, but they're not going to tell you in the Special Edition that you just put out an extra £10 for that you've just bought half a game. :(

Erm, yeah I know, no need for the rolleys sport. My point was, and I apologise if I didn't make it clear, I was surprised by how candid the making of was for an official fluff piece.

Anyone remember those ultra-fake 'screenshots' of the Getaway released prior to the PS2s launch? My Google-Fu has failed me can't find a copy on the internet.

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They were pretty open about what went wrong afterwards, but they're not going to tell you in the Special Edition that you just put out an extra £10 for that you've just bought half a game. :(

But yeah, they had to cut like six levels: a Covenant cruiser as the second level that would have introduced that female Commander and her ODSTs, which was replaced by a cutscene "that probably took as long to do as the level would have", a level after the Lake bossfight where you were in the depths of the Halo fighting Flood in a big Forerunner Tank that would have introduced Gravemind ahead of that cutscene "with tentacles moving past doors at the speed of a freight train", and then four levels at the end that featured Master Chief and the Arbiter teaming up, fighting through Voi and the African Desert before killing the last Prophet in a final boss fight at the Ark.

They also had to cut quite a few vehicles, the ability to pilot that Covenant APC and the Troop Transport version, the Mongoose and the Hornet. There were another two enemy Races and a few variations on models. Oh, and the Flamethrower (again).

Do you have the source of this Halo 2 post mortem? I'd really like to read some stuff on this.

And yeah, to echo what people have said, the "excuse" DVD that came with Halo2 :(

If I recall, there is a shot of a large calendar on the wall showing their mile stone dates. It appears they did the whole thing in about 10 months.

...and the E3 demo took an insane amount of time to put together.

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