Archive for the ‘PC Games’ category
Some interesting back story leading up to it.
Chris Avellone’s name usually comes up in association with Planescape Torment, but I think Colin McComb contributed significantly more to the lore and the background. Chris’ idea of role playing didn’t suit the single face, single perspective of the Nameless One as it came out. If they had more resources, Avellone would have made the Nameless One more customizable so that the people can make them look like X. That is not quite the narrative people got at the end, however. I followed Avellone’s later games, and they all had a different philosophy compared to Planescape Torment rpg. I didn’t figure out why until recently.
Role play, as in putting yourself on the stage and playing a role you created for yourself is one thing. Role playing as in reading a story and putting yourself in the main character’s shoes, is something else. Planescape Torment is considered great, I suspect, because of the latter narration style, not the former.
Now back to the Pillars of Eternity summary:
Fall from Grace, a party companion character in PST, is done in a reworked fan art portrait there. It shows too much skin compared to her modest and reserved personality, but highlights well her charisma and coolness. Kuudere is what the Japanese might call that personality, which they polished over several generations of media marketing. Grace also has elements of the rich girl, the higher class, hard to obtain prize, without the arrogance. Annah would be a tsundere, of course, as I wrote about in a previous write up.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8s7iveWvBs Has the companion banter dialogue. More nostalgia.
I particularly thought this article they wrote was very interesting. It gave me a much better idea and impression of the company’s philosophy and outlook.
The comment I wrote to reply to it:
Before understanding humanity, one must first understand one’s own thoughts and soul. If there is a layer of self deception or a functional desire to rationalize a behavior as being based on logic or reality, when the goal is to overcome reality, then people cannot understand human emotion, because most of the time they are fooling themselves on what it is they truly feel about things.
Obeying an authority in society is one obvious way to shortcut one’s own desires and emotional goals. If that authority is considered powerful and righteous enough, the orders from said source may be high enough to override a human’s natural conscience and heart.
For an example of art for creating and generating human emotional reactions, Japan’s Muv Luv trilogy is well known, as well as various other romantic dramas, fantasy, or science fiction hybrids in their catalog of visual novel industries. Their software does not utilize advanced rendering technology, just advanced artistic expressions and writing.
If I’m honest with myself, I know I’ve had more emotional reactions to film, literature or music than I’ve ever had in gaming. When I speak to others they often admit to similar feelings.
Many of the modern Western creations of “art” in movies and what not, are very shallow and limited by language and current practices. So long as the gaming community cannot stand to touch romance or love, they will refrain from challenging the top. The two strongest human emotions are hate and love, and without understanding or utilizing either, there’s little chance of an artistic break through. Games, being interactive, should produce higher level reactions than passive viewing or reading. In certain cult hits like Planescape Torment, that’s even true. On average, it is not.
[Huge spoilers, so skip the pdf if you plan on playing PST. Read my summary instead.]
This vision document is hilarious.
Lead in Torment: Tides of Numenera
So after checking out the various articles there, I got to say this. Annah was, amazingly, CRPG’s first tsundere. It’s a Japanese conception in creating attractive and personable female characters. It combines tsun with dere, meaning thundering hostility and scorn with lovable and attractive behavior. Fall from Grace would be, I would assess, a coodere, someone that is cool to the main male lead but gets warmer later on. It’s amazing that the developer vision for Planescape Torment had all the ideas and mechanics of it in the construction, but never marketed it or even mentioned it. Perhaps it would seem sexist in the 21st century to speak of stroking the main male player’s ego concerning a “harem” of girls and loyal followers… but as various HBO and cable movies have proven, sex is attractive in the free market. What are romance novels for then if not?
I imagine that a lot of the reasons why players found Planescape Torment’s characters “memorable” was because of the male-female attraction factor, detailed in the vision document itself even. But in the American culture, it seems crude and rude to speak of it directly. Americans are becoming more puritanical and restricted as time goes on, not less. Certainly when compared to Japan it is so. Things like Gamersgate, Bioware’s reaction to their customers at the end of Mass Effect 3, and various infiltration and conquering of Western institutions by corrupt and rotten fanatics, are merely signs of what had started a long time ago.
Meanwhile the long sought after and imagined successor is finally working towards the Golden Finish line. It wasn’t done through corporate sponsorship or advertisement or petitioning some Powers that Be. It was done through the masses, through the crowds yearning for what the elites told them wasn’t profitable. Through belief and passion, the fan(atic)s of PST continued living through life, accumulating wealth, until they had an opportunity to spend it on what they wanted but did not know how to create.
For those that like “romances” in games, they should check Fate Stay/Night, Utawarerumono, Eien no Aselia, and various other PC games that are classified as Japanese visual novels or Story RPGs.
Morte, another character in PST, reminded me of various male friends (of the main lead) in VNs like Clannad. Dakkon reminded me of the Japanese’s priority on having the worthy lead, followed by valuable and skilled retainers (in the feudal sense).
There was also a sound clip file I linked long ago concerning Planescape’s companion dialogue and bantering. They were and still are, very fun to listen to.
Is the current trend and motivation scape.
One of my previous posts on this subject some years ago. Even then, it was getting “real” obvious what was going on.
I looked up what the most recently searched article was and this one from a year ago seems relevant. Most people talk about the ending and how it was good or bad now, but what I primarily noticed was how the media and Bioware reacted to their consumers. Not their fans or fanatics or who they thought were entitled gamers demanding a product that wasn’t theirs, but the people who paid them, who are paying for their Technocrat jobs. The hostility used against the Facebook communities and various social media linked consumers that wanted satisfaction concerning ME3, felt very familiar. Almost like the Leftist alliance’s modus operandi or SOP. Like a certain CEO of Mozilla got. Like Duck Dynasty clan got. It fits a pattern, even though the actors are dissimilar.
Some links that are related to this, in case the bottom falls out.
Bioware or EA’s corporate and PR functions seem to think their salaries are paid by Bioware and EA, when in fact it is the consumers that pay their bills. It’s often like how Leftists in the US think Americans work for the IRS, rather than the IRS being dependent upon American taxes for survival.
Most of the blog posts I wrote on this matter happened in the Spring of 2012, one year before the Top video I’m writing about now came out as a recap/review. I did it at the time even though the Leftist alliance was preparing to make war on Americans in the US, because a lot of the propaganda manipulation and Bio/EA reaction seemed familiar to me, as if it was a bunch of aristocrats crushing the peasants and putting them in their place. It resonated with me, even if I was ignoring a lot of world events at the time.
This is a Chris Avellone interview that describes bottom up hierarchies for creating art and games, vs EA/Bioware’s top down aristocratic model.