Xarelok (work in progress)

Discussion in 'Feedback Requests' started by D0MINIK, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. Yshaana

    Yshaana Guest

    Hi D0minik, I don't know if you are actually looking for feedback, or if this is just a devblog, or even marketing in disguise, but here are my 2 cents regarding the character bio you have posted.

    I believe the fictitious names you have chosen are just that... too fictitious. Names like "Worrajug", "Gor Rugi" or even "Xarelok" sound and look very strange. In litterature (fantasy or scifi), very few authors manage to pull it off, and usually it is because they have artistic excellence behind them. If Michael Moorcock and Tolkien can invent names like "Melnibonée", "Hobbits", or "Arioch", it is because they manage to create a believable world, with extensive lore and forethought. Even if the names sound foreign, they use common syllables, and don't abuse the use of X's, K's and W's. (if the letters are worth a lot of points in scrabble, you should limit their use.) If you read Asimov, or Arthur C. Clarke (and many other writers), you realize that the names they choose are not that foreign, either common names used today (Peter, Mary, Sally, etc) or for invented names, they are often composed of usual sounding syllables (opening Foundation and Earth, by Asimov at a random page, you have Golan Trevize, Dom, Joy as character names. Planet names are even less exotic, yet still manage to convey emotion and a sense of adventure "Aurora", "Solaria", "Terminus"). Adding created names is not a bad idea, not by a long shot, but you should research why they are named that way. Right now it just feels like you invented them on the spot without any thought. I might be wrong of course, but that is the way I feel when reading the names.

    Regarding the story in itself, it is hard to follow. The punctuation seems a bit off and there are quite a few grammatical errors in it (Rage, war and peace, there seemed to be parts of all of these three at once in it). Before writing short stories about the player characters, you should start by explaining the world thoroughly, it will be easier to get a sense of who, what and where.

    Hope this helps, and this only reflects on my personnal opinion. Keep it up.
     
    #81 Yshaana, Oct 19, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 20, 2010
  2. D0MINIK

    D0MINIK New Member

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    Probably a mixture of all of these. I/we (dhk Games) are mainly looking for feedback during the whole development process, and we've already profited a lot from doing so. Whether this appears more as information or advertising for 'only readers' is what you need to judge yourself ;)

    The names are indeed quite exotic, we've been told oftenly. Maybe we really need to change them. However, we'll keep them at least as temporary development names for now. The effect in the final game can't be judged yet. Anyway, I mean to say I got your point. :)

    Honestly thanks for your feedback!
     
    #82 D0MINIK, Oct 19, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2010
  3. Reactor

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I completely agree with Yshaana's point. I wanted to say something about it a while back, but couldn't articulate it as well as Yshaana has :)

    As Yshaana mentioned as well, your writing is clunky to read.

    Phrases like, "a bad connection to the girls." and "gave him cover in this point" are just oddly phrased, with poorly chosen wording. Also, using phrases like "more and more" when talking about conquering planets makes the story sound amateurish.

    One other thing (if I can keep picking on you :)) is this-

    What is 'it'? The last thing we imagine 'it' to be, is the all the sorrow, all the pain, all the misery he had accepted for other planets. How was the leader of the operation supposed to stop that in an instant? And, he got a punch to the face for not managing it! Talk about a tough gig :D

    A lot of what I read is a lack of understanding when it comes to the basics of writing. Now, I'm no expert (and I'm sure the experts reading this are nodding their heads in agreement to that statement) but your stuff needs a lot of work. Have you thought about finding someone to rewrite it for you?
     
  4. zoombapup

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    I'd say completely ditch the narrative ideas. Its a thing that if you cant do well, you shouldnt do at all.

    Its a bit of a beginner mistake to think that everything has to have a narrative to explain it. Remember Quake? no real narrative? Did ok?

    Ditch it. Seriously.
     
  5. Reactor

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Good point that, and a good example.
     
  6. D0MINIK

    D0MINIK New Member

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    Ok, thanks for the feedback guys! We were not sure whether short stories would make sense for us and the game, obviously, the answer is no. That's how the development process makes you grow :)
     
  7. zoombapup

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    Good to hear you're really listening to feedback here. So many people come on here and don't hear the things they want to and completely ignore advice.

    My point about narrative was a bit blunt, so let me explain a bit. With narrative you are usually trying to set the player up with the theme of the world so they understand the context they'll be playing in. People think that to explain things they need to be literally explained (with narrative). But in reality, we already have lots of expectations and if you can get those working for you, you dont really need actual narrative at all.

    For your game, you have a very quake/halo style theme to the aesthetics. Thus its inherent that the player will generally be aware of the mechanics of those games. You have no need to explain a space marine being in a dark corridor to an FPS player, its inherently understood what that context entails (especially given a gun and some scary sounds).

    The same way that you might place crates and barrels in the game and can safely expect FPS players to know what to do. Or switches with red and green on them on walls.

    Honestly speaking, most FPS games are better off without the narrative. It's only big production budgets that have forced that narrative into the development of those games. Very few have enough narrative skill to pull it off (for example, compare the newer Bioshock with the latest FEAR). Frankly, without skill and budget in those areas, best to leave it to a players imagination and/or expectations.
     
  8. Bad Sector

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    Well Quake is not a good narrative example, even id themselves didn't liked that aspect of the game. Doom (not 3) is a better example: set the scene, the state and let the player loose in it :p.

    You can't just have random corridors and call it a game (ok it will be a game, but not a good one).

    But narrative doesn't have to be in the form of words. Personally i like level design-based storytelling. Scripting can help a lot here, but even simple placement of objects can tell a lot (remember the first time you saw the "backstages" in Portal and besides the wall writings were a radio and an opened can of food? This implies that someone lived there for a while). There is a very good presentation on environmental storytelling from Harvey Smith and Matthias Worch (who, btw, made one of the first successful episodes for Quake 1 - Beyond Belief - thanks to which he got a job as a level designer). Personally i fully 100% agree with whatever mentioned in this presentation. Also searching for "level design storytelling" on Google will bring a lot of interesting results.

    I've played both and... i don't see any difference in the quality of these games' narrative (keeping in mind the desired effect of each game). Can you point to the difference because i'm not sure what you mean.
     
  9. D0MINIK

    D0MINIK New Member

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    Xarelok will have, by the way, a focus on level design-based storytelling. The game story is meant to be understandable without ever having heard or read about it before in any way, and will be told to most parts during gameplay (at least that's the plan). Just to mention that.

    However, we thought it might be a good idea to introduce certain story elements in advance. :)
     
  10. zoombapup

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    Quite some feat, given neither are out yet :)

    I'm talking about bioshock infinite (or whatever its called) and Fear 3 (the one with the mechs).
     
  11. Bad Sector

    Original Member

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    Ah sorry i thought you meant "FEAR 2" and "Bioshock 2" - the newers do not exist for me until i see their moving polygons in my PC :D

    Although ok, "F3AR" doesn't make me excited or anything. In fact after seeing the videos i wondered how Monolith could go that low - until i saw that it isn't being made by Monolith :p

    Still i think it still is too early to judge. I didn't thought much about FEAR 1 either (in fact i considered it a Doom 3 clone with a couple of extra gimmicks :p) and only changed my mind while i was playing it :)
     
  12. D0MINIK

    D0MINIK New Member

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    Update: In the City

    [​IMG]
    In the City

    If you make it out of the mines, we will lead you into the cities of Gor Rugi. These are guarded well, most of the inhabitants are not living there voluntarily. They are being forced to work in the mines for the Worrajug Empire. So it is not a surprise there is a lot of trouble around - especially when there are some rebels on the run.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    The mixture of lighting, use of decals and illuminationmap shaders creates that kind of 'city mood' which differs from the rather monotone, dark mining environment. Additionally, we've covered the streets with many objects lying around to evoke a dense feeling here.

    You will be able to enter buildings and houses, stop by at a gun shop, fight in the streets of the city and enter the tunnel system to clear your way below the city.

    Isn't that an interesting offer from the catalog? We promise: You won't find a better travel package for Gor Rugi City. So we hope to welcome you on board soon.

    Yours,

    The dhk Games Travelling Agency.


    Links
    http://www.dhk-games.bplaced.net/
    http://dhkgames.freeforums.org/
    http://www.indiedb.com/games/xarelok
    http://www.twitter.com/dhkgames
     
  13. Bad Sector

    Original Member

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    It looks good, although the building on the left side could be a bit taller.

    But here is a big problem with the shots so far: get rid of these character models.

    This isn't your game.
    This isn't your game.
    This isn't your game either.
    This doesn't show your game in development.
    I doubt this is from your game too.
    And despite the use of the same gun (although a different color) i don't believe this shot shows your game too.

    But all the above show the same character (and a couple of them other characters) that you show all the time. This is because you're basically using the stock characters from FPS Creator (they're even in the program's cover). These characters aren't meant to be used for making a full proper game, they're these for experimenting with the program. Even if "The Game Creators" (who btw probably never ever "created" a game :p) present them as such, they're not. At least the characters are not, barrels and such are ok.

    You might not think it is a big deal, but it actually is: these are *characters*. They set the character for themselves and the game. They are *important*. You don't toss any skin and mesh around and be fine with it. You really need to get new character models made specifically for your game.

    Also these specific characters are terrible and more bland than a picture of 50% solid gray.

    And the one you use all the time looks like a sad imitation of Quake 3's Sarge in 80s porno sci-fi clothing.

    I hope i convinced you to consider changing these models :).
     
  14. zoombapup

    Moderator Original Member

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    Actually, Lee, the guy who wrote FPS Creator used to work for gremlin. So yes he's created games. (He lives up the road from me).
     
  15. Bad Sector

    Original Member

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    I meant the company, not individuals :)

    I took a look on their site and saw no game of themselves and despite what they say in their about page, when i read "The Game Creators" the first (and basically, only) thing that comes to my mind about their purpose is to create games. Something that they do not seem to have done (as a company/label, not individuals -- despite myself having made a bunch of games before joining 3Dreams last winter, 3Dreams can't say that they've made games because of me).

    Anyway that was just a small comment because the name always stood out as strange to me, my post is more about Xarelok's art than TGC's name or what they do (in fact i like what they do).
     
  16. D0MINIK

    D0MINIK New Member

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    I have to disobey in this point :)

    We would like to keep going with these models although your point is definitely a good one.
     
  17. D0MINIK

    D0MINIK New Member

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    Update: One Year Review

    [​IMG]
    One Year Review

    One full year of Xarelok development has passed, and so we feel it's time to look back and review the progress, shall we?

    The work on Xarelok was started back in November 2009, with dhk Games being founded at the same time for this project. We started with nearly nothing in resources, skills and experience. However, we had great hopes and ideas for this project at hand.

    [​IMG]
    First Internal (Pre-Alpha) Development Screenshot

    A lot has been done on Xarelok over the past year, and you can watch the progress yourself since the game announcement on 28th February 2010 on the web.

    [​IMG]
    3D Particles and Bumpy Textures

    You can read our full article here.

    See you soon on the next content update for Xarelok!


    Links
    http://www.dhk-games.bplaced.net/
    http://dhkgames.freeforums.org/
    http://www.indiedb.com/games/xarelok
    http://www.twitter.com/dhkgames
     
  18. Yshaana

    Yshaana Guest

    this is not feedback worthy...
     
  19. zoombapup

    Moderator Original Member

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    I agree, can you please post this kind of thing to your own website/blog and not here?

    Only post here if you actively seeking feedback on an alpha release. Then we can offer something useful.
     
  20. D0MINIK

    D0MINIK New Member

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    Very well, Sir.

    So far, this board was one of the best sources for critical voices, so I do regret to leave until there is a playable version for the game. Anyway, this seems to be the best solution then. :(

    This thread can be locked.
     

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