We Happy Few Update!Complications Ensue
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Saturday, February 27, 2016

I’ve been continuing to search for a voice for some revelatory audio. There’s a character in game who’s autistic. Good actors are hard enough to find; actors who can play autistic with emotional truthfulness are rarer still. And, the role has another characteristic I can’t tell you yet. Few people can handle a speech impediment without the impediment becoming the whole performance. And, we want charisma in our voices.

(My daughter is autistic, so autism is something I think about a lot. It’s nice to be able to put it in the game. And by “nice,” I mean that it’s going to take us to a seriously effed-up place.)

Meanwhile, I’m continuing to work on dialog for encounters. Writing encounter dialog is tricky because sound eats memory, and we need the game to be a reasonable size on your computer or console. So I need to suggest as much as possible in as little dialog as possible. Also, any time Arthur talks, that means our other player characters will eventually have to have something to say, too. On the other hand, we’re long past the point in video games where we can get away with throwing text on the screen. And a voice performance adds so much, anyway.

I’ve also been having a bash at tooltips. The designers have written very “gamey” tooltips, e.g. “does .2 shock damage + .4 blunt damage.” I feel that takes you out of the game, so the tooltip will now read something clever-ish like, “this weapon is really smashing, and a bit shocking too.” I changed the "sharpened stick" to a "pointy stick," and of course the tooltip is "much more effective than any tropical fruit."

And there’s the usual ongoing support. What brand gin do people drink? What do Wellies say after they are no longer distracted by Rick the Stunt Duck? What do Bobbies say? Each one of these is not a lot of work, but they add up, and there’s a fair amount of bookkeeping necessary as well, to make sure that everything gets recorded and shepherded into the game.

The rest of the team's update is here.



> I’ve also been having a bash at tooltips. The designers have written very “gamey” tooltips, e.g. “does .2 shock damage + .4 blunt damage.” I feel that takes you out of the game, so the tooltip will now read something clever-ish like, “this weapon is really smashing, and a bit shocking too.”

Oh god. It's you. You're the person responsible for this. You are the man who takes something that is actually useful and informative and turns it into worthless text-fart, because it's too number-y for you. It's been you all along.

I wish I could wave a wand and turn the speed dial on your car into a sign that just says "vroom vroom" and the site you use for your online banking into a cardboard sign with "there's some money there or something I dunno" on it.

By Blogger Megazver, at 10:49 AM  

Would it make you feel better if the detailed information was available in some other place, e.g. the wiki? It's not like we are trying to keep it a secret. It just feels less immersive. There is no way for Arthur to know precisely how much shock damage his shock device does.

Also, if you read the tooltips carefully, they contain the information you're looking for in useful form. Things that are "extremely" good at something are better than things that are "very" good at something.

I'd be perfectly happy if my speed dial said, "You are going slower than traffic," "You are going with traffic," and "Whoa, Nelly! Keep that up and you're going to get a ticket." The actual number is not that meaningful in real life.

It's an artistic choice, and I recognize that it's annoying to some more systemic style gamers, but hopefully we can come to some sort of compromise.

By Blogger Alex Epstein, at 11:31 AM  

I confirmed with David, and we'll post the exact numbers on the wiki.

Question for you: if we had not provided that information in the first place, would you miss it? Generally, when I play combat games, weapons will bars showing reload speed, damage, range, etc., so I can figure out which you need; but they don't necessarily give me the exact number.

My feeling is that Arthur can't possibly know the details of his weapons, since they're all makeshift. He only knows if one thing does relatively more damage or is relatively harder to swing.

By Blogger Alex Epstein, at 11:42 AM  

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