RA Salvatore Says Copernicus Would "Blow You Away"

RA Salvatore Says Copernicus Would "Blow You Away"

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The Amalur MMO was surprisingly far along.

There's not really a silver lining to be found in the cloud that is the gutting of 38 Studios and Big Huge Games. One of the worst parts of it may be that the hard work of almost 400 people to build the Kingdoms of Amalur universe - and its upcoming MMO Project Copernicus - may never come to fruition at all. How would you like to work on a project for over a year, then simultaneously lose your job and realize that said year didn't produce anything anyone would ever see?

What's more is that according to fantasy author RA Salvatore - who worked on Copernicus as a consultant - the game itself was shaping up to be pretty awesome. Salvatore defended 38 Studios and Amalur in a comment to a news story on political blog DailyKOS.

I have to tell you that this was an amazing team of designers, engineers, artists, animators, writers, audio team and all the rest, all chasing a common dream - all pushing the envelope in their respective fields. And this game is much further along than is being reported - I wish I could show you some if [sic] it! - and the environments, the animations and the game-play would blow you away.

He admitted that the MMO market was very different than it had been when Copernicus started gestation 6 years ago - where even strong games with financial backing like Warhammer or The Old Republic could struggle. Still, Salvatore says that the Amalur MMO was worth the work itself.

"Maybe I'll never see a dime for those hundreds of hours," he wrote, "but I got the chance to work in the most incredible creative environment you can imagine. So be it."

Source: DailyKOS

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I give RA Salvatore a little more credit, as he spends all his free time non-writing(or book tours) playing World of Warcraft and Everquest before that.

It may have been worth the work, but would it have been worth the money?

A pity. I wasn't crazy about Amalur, from it's Fae-inspired world to it's far too easy difficulty. Still, a pity for so much creative work to swirl down the drain.

He seems like a good guy

Sorry Bob (Salvatore), while I've loved a lot of your published fiction, you really kind of dropped the ball here. While I won't say the writing/lore in Amalur was terrible, it also wasn't paticularly inspiring, and actually seemed to get mocked by a few people. It seemed pretty generic allowing for the slightly differant inspirational material, and on top of that lacked the magic of your other writing, which turned even the generic into gold. Amalur was a good game for other reasons, so at least here your opinion kind of doesn't matter... though it might if a lot of people were doing backflips in the street over the writing, but I really haven't seen that... quite the opposite in fact.

Likewise your partner in creating consulting, the guy who brought this writing and lore to life in the artwork, Todd Mcfarlane, dropped the ball pretty badly as well. I understand the vibe he was going for, but in the end this game looked like a competant knockoff of the artwork from say WoW or Torchlight. It worked, and was passable for a single player game, pretty much "follow the leader", but in the scope of an MMO it's even more of a whole "OMG, look at the WoW clone" thing, which is NOT good in this market.

It's hard to be critical without making it sound like I'm saying everything sucked. Amalur most definatly did not suck, but it also wasn't the second coming either. It was a good first game from a studio, but not massive franchise potential. To be fair, for all the failings without you and Todd the game might have been a complete train wreck, even if it was far par for your work (your failures are as good as the successes from other people in similar professions).

That said, I'd love to see someone hire the two of you to actually do your thing where you excel. You really needed to be adding that touch of magical awesomeness and personal association a fairly normal fantasy setting. Todd needed to be creating dark, disturbing artwork that makes your mind sort of reel when you look at some of it. Todd is not famous for making cartoony stuff, he's famous for things like "Spawn", and for producing "twisted" figures of children's properties wearing bondage gear and crap. Something that looks like twisted, horrorific, sexualized dark fantasy, but has a heroic/high fantasy core would be awesome with you two. Amalur's cartoon wonder land... not so much.

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Of course RA Salvatore will likely never read that, and like most people who read my stuff probably wouldn't agree (in the strongest possible terms) if he did, but it's my thoughts and what I wish I could say to him in response.

To be honest, if that's what he thinks than 38 studios falling might actually be a good thing, to some extent protecting him from himself. If he got committed to that property as a writer for a number of years, which could be very time consuming, he probably wouldn't work on as much other stuff, and really I think he'd never recover, especially if he thinks it's actually resllly good, when it's just passable. Sometimes artists get fixated on things and kind of be shown that it really isn't good, or what most people want to see.

Sort of like a sculptor who works with marble, snd is internationally lauded for it, suddenly deciding he wants to sculpt in a native style using dried, glazed dung. He goes from say producing realistic visions of god and warriors, to abstract piles of glazed crap that nobody cares about at all. His early work remains timeless, and is remembered from all time, though he dies starving in an alleyway surrounded literally by poop he tried to sell but couldn't. Similar things have happened to artists before. Sometimes creators need to be kicked into shape for their own good, and kept on the right path. Granted what we're seeing here isn't as bad as that example. To fall that far he'd have to say decide to say change his literary focus from heroic fantasy of any sort, to say writing erotic poetry exclusively in a bizzare arabic dialect that used to dominate the ancient world or something, which is the only language it will have any meter in, and coincidently happens to only be used by fringe groups of ultra orthodox Muslims who are violently opposed to the portrayal of anything sexual, making it effectively an affront to it's only possible fringe audience. He's not that far gone yet, and probably never will be, but still with these very early signs people might want to make sure he doesn't start to get sharp objects too close to his ears. :)

I like Salvatore. some of his books have permanent seats on my favorites space of the book shelf. Gotta say it was not his best work.

But Amalur was 75% of the finished MMO. With extra funding from the Single player RPG, they could fund the rest of the MMO. Unless they did the smart thing and redid the horrid art style.

Alright Salvy that's over and done with now get to working on an Underdark RPG!

You+Terry Brooks= Godly RPG world.

the environments, the animations and the game-play would blow you away.

Yeah... Seeing Amalur, I have difficulty imagining it as anything other than the bastard child of TERA and WoW...

I wouldn't worry too much about the possibility of it never being put on the market. If it's as far along as he says, someone will buy all the assets, slap them together as quickly and cheaply as possibly, filling in any gaps, then drive that cow to market.
Although I wouldn't trust Salvatore's acumen as a developer, he may just be talking out his backend.

 

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