Finished the game. Story feedback and appreciation

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badgesareus
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Right from the start, you are slotted straight into a predefined character and then led down a predefined path to a predefined ending.
Did you play Nehrim? Or Arktwend? If so, you shouldn't have been surprised by this, it is the SureAI formula.
Nicolas Samuel
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@Moirai

I actually can see your point, and I know Enderal isn't perfect. I think I wrote that already somewhere else, but I know that it's linearity is one of the weaker points of Enderal - that is, if you are a player who values choice a lot. The main reason we didn't incorporate more choices is, that it simply wouldn't have been do-able with our limited resources. Basically, the whole story was written, translated, and implemented by just a handful of people, in the end only two (and in the very end, only one person, me). From the very beginning, we had a lot of internal discussion about the scope, and it was very unclear to us if Enderal would ever see the light of day. Now, imagine, you would have been given the choices you were talking about: Essentially, with every decision (provided that it was a meaningful decision), a whole new branch would have opened, which would have doubled the work in every aspect. Teams such as CD Projekt Red or Bethesda usually have, don't quote me on this, somewhere around five to fifteen quest designers (who don't always write the actual dialogue - I think they do at CDProjektRed, but I'm not sure) working on a story, plus, the writers don't do the translation or the voice acting direction (which is a full-time position on it's own). Not to mention that they have artists, scripters, coders, animators, you name it. Basically, we had to do all of this on our own, and most of us had a day-job, at least part-time. I think this is a very important aspect to consider.

That being said, I think if the DLC I plan on developing is going to happen (more information on that soon), there will be a secret ending like the one you were talking about. I thought a lot about this, and I did, under no circumstances, want a "perfect ending" that took all meaning from the story. What I came up with now, is, I believe, a very haunting, beautiful and meaningful alternative to the two current endings which adds a new layer of meaning to the story. Also, I hope that the way of "unlocking" this ending is really interesting. Also, given that there will be a lot of new story content (guilds, very cool side quests), I think that will add a lot of replay-value to the game. :)

Best,
Nicolas
ywhtptgtfo
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Nicolas Samuel hat geschrieben:
@Moirai
The main reason we didn't incorporate more choices is, that it simply wouldn't have been do-able with our limited resources. Basically, the whole story was written, translated, and implemented by just a handful of people, in the end only two (and in the very end, only one person, me). From the very beginning, we had a lot of internal discussion about the scope, and it was very unclear to us if Enderal would ever see the light of day. Now, imagine, you would have been given the choices you were talking about: Essentially, with every decision (provided that it was a meaningful decision), a whole new branch would have opened, which would have doubled the work in every aspect.
Yep, that's quite understood. It's amazing your team can deliver so much with so little resources. :)
That being said, I think if the DLC I plan on developing is going to happen (more information on that soon), there will be a secret ending like the one you were talking about. I thought a lot about this, and I did, under no circumstances, want a "perfect ending" that took all meaning from the story. What I came up with now, is, I believe, a very haunting, beautiful and meaningful alternative to the two current endings which adds a new layer of meaning to the story. Also, I hope that the way of "unlocking" this ending is really interesting. Also, given that there will be a lot of new story content (guilds, very cool side quests), I think that will add a lot of replay-value to the game. :)
What'd be nice is if the game doesn't end after the main quest so that the player can go back to doing side quests. It's true that we technically can load up a save to just before the final quest and do all the side quests, but this just isn't the same.
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ywhtptgtfo hat geschrieben:
What'd be nice is if the game doesn't end after the main quest so that the player can go back to doing side quests. It's true that we technically can load up a save to just before the final quest and do all the side quests, but this just isn't the same.
It makes no sense at all for Enderal to continue after the main quest is done. The point of no return has long been passed by then. :wink:

At most, as I suggested in another post, I could see a DLC working on the post Star City ending, having the prophet go through the stages of what happens as he observes, influences and awaits for the next humanity, in age leaps. 8)
badgesareus
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That being said, I think if the DLC I plan on developing is going to happen (more information on that soon), there will be a secret ending like the one you were talking about. I thought a lot about this, and I did, under no circumstances, want a "perfect ending" that took all meaning from the story. What I came up with now, is, I believe, a very haunting, beautiful and meaningful alternative to the two current endings which adds a new layer of meaning to the story. Also, I hope that the way of "unlocking" this ending is really interesting. Also, given that there will be a lot of new story content (guilds, very cool side quests), I think that will add a lot of replay-value to the game.
Could you please clarify? Are you talking about the Golden Sickle quest line or the Rhalata when you refer to a DLC, or something completely different? When you mention a secret ending, do you mean alternate endings for the DLC, or for the main story? And would the secret ending depend only on choices made in the DLC or would that be affected by choices made before the DLC?
Moirai
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Nicolas Samuel hat geschrieben:
@Moirai

I actually can see your point, and I know Enderal isn't perfect. I think I wrote that already somewhere else, but I know that it's linearity is one of the weaker points of Enderal - that is, if you are a player who values choice a lot. The main reason we didn't incorporate more choices is, that it simply wouldn't have been do-able with our limited resources. Basically, the whole story was written, translated, and implemented by just a handful of people, in the end only two (and in the very end, only one person, me). From the very beginning, we had a lot of internal discussion about the scope, and it was very unclear to us if Enderal would ever see the light of day. Now, imagine, you would have been given the choices you were talking about: Essentially, with every decision (provided that it was a meaningful decision), a whole new branch would have opened, which would have doubled the work in every aspect. Teams such as CD Projekt Red or Bethesda usually have, don't quote me on this, somewhere around five to fifteen quest designers (who don't always write the actual dialogue - I think they do at CDProjektRed, but I'm not sure) working on a story, plus, the writers don't do the translation or the voice acting direction (which is a full-time position on it's own). Not to mention that they have artists, scripters, coders, animators, you name it. Basically, we had to do all of this on our own, and most of us had a day-job, at least part-time. I think this is a very important aspect to consider.
Nicolas,

Very much appreciate your response. Thank you for your time. And I hope that none of my posts on this forum have caused any offense to yourself, or anyone else on the SureAI team. That certainly isn't my intention. Yes, I've been critical about game stories in places and quite unambiguous with my viewpoints. But, these are just general thoughts and comments that I'm expressing, simply for discussional purposes.

I do fully understand why continual branching pathways would be prohibitively labour intensive. No arguments there. It was one of the reasons why I mentioned the Metro methodology of silently tracking choices and then, provided the prerequisite number of good choices had been made during the play through, a single alternate story branch would occur right near the end to provide a positive end rather than the standard rather melancholy ending. In essence, it's almost identical in many ways to the the 'flirt' system you guys used to track and progress the companion romances.

The idea of a DLC providing another variation on the ending does sound extremely fascinating though. I hope you manage to find the time to make it a reality. :)

All the best
Nicolas Samuel
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Hey Moiai, don't worry, absolutely no offense taken - as I said, I even agree with some aspects of your critique, I only wanted to shed some light on the reasons behind these shortcomings. :)

Badgesareus, I can't say too much yet, but there will be information soon(ish)! Essentially, it will be somewhat of a one-man-project in which I will try to implement some of the stories that have been left out (see "A moment of silence"-thread). As for the secret (main quest) ending, as we plan it now (Subject to change!), it will be similar to what Moiai described in the Metro ending. Players won't know they have unlocked it (even though there are hints) until it happens.
Newcago
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I wouldn't mind a secret ending at all (and the idea of one really excites me) but I'm glad it wasn't included from the start. Had there been some elusive third ending from the beginning (potentially happy, potentially not) I think I would have wasted time chasing that one and missed out on a lot of the ending themes.

This game is beautiful the way it is, and I think everyone should experience it that way first. But it would nice to do a playthrough in the distant future where I feel like I can look for something new.
ninjamelody
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Nicholas (manipulator of the high ones),

Thank you for your response and yes, I understand the great deal amount of work would be done if there were going to be more radical choices about the story. I really appreciate the DLC your team is planning, try not to draw boxes on anticipating so I can be surprised!

I'm not sure if this is too personal or you've already given interviews about it, but what is actually the benefit of you making such mods and putting countless hours and some $$$ for the actors/artists, with the team technicall be somewhat underpaid, and we players enjoy them for free?

I'm anticipating the answer is somewhere between:
[Jespar choice] for my own fame, pride, and spotlight for huge game companies to hire me.

and [Non Jespar choice] for the better humanity, for all us to be able to enjoy such experience.
Nicolas Samuel
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I'm glad you see it that way! I also think that the DLC and the guild questlines (and the very, very, very cool new story missions) will add a lot of re-play value. :)

@Ninjamelody

Good question! I think it's a mixture of both. The DLC really is a pure passion project, as I would probably be better off applying at the big companies right now. However, developing a DLC also gives me time for my writing projects, and we will soon make an announcement regarding the whole DLC/novelette-project, because we might need some support. :)
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