Why people give Obsidian a little to much credit (IMO)

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 NEXT
 

wombat_of_war:
alpha protocol has a cult following and its one of my favourite rpgs full stop.

i love new vegas although weapon balance is practically non existant and you need the game to be modded to fix that

I just started a new run a couple days ago running jsawyer.esp. Gotta say, I'm really enjoying it.

Also, a mod for recovering throwing weapons. Javelins all day every day.

Saviordd1:
People often bring up in arguments how Obsidian managed to make the second game in many series better than the first, and make the story better and improve gameplay mechanics.

Well...yeah, they had an extremely solid foundation to do a little bit of building on.

You say that as if it's an easy thing, when a lot of other studios don't even manage to improve on their *own* games with years in between. For instance Morrowind --> Oblivion, Dragon Age: Origins --> Dragon Age 2 etc.
If anything, running franchises/brands into the ground is the more likely outcome.

Let's count the games they've made already first:
2004 - Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords
2006 - Neverwinter Nights 2
2007 - Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer
2008 - Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir
2010 - Alpha Protocol
2010 - Fallout: New Vegas
2011 - Dungeon Siege III
2013 - South Park: The Stick of Truth
2014 - Project: Eternity

In-between those they managed to take KOTOR and within a year (*13 months* development time since LucasArts decided to release it several months earlier than planned to get the Christmas market) to get used to the tools, the Star Wars universe they were working in etc. and to write a story they arguably managed to make a better game than BioWare could.

Same thing with Neverwinter Nights 2, the game itself and the Original Campaign was infinitely better than what BioWare delivered with Neverwinter Nights, although it isn't anywhere near the quality of older classics. With the Mask of the Betrayer campaign they even came close to Planescape somewhat.

Alpha Protocol was fresh and had a lot of potential but they didn't follow through with it.

Fallout: New Vegas is again almost infinitely better than Fallout 3 and that yet again with only somewhere between 12-18 months to write and build the entire game.
We've seen what BioWare for instance can manage in a time span like that with Dragon Age 2 recently.

If you count their work as Black Isle they are one of the best studios that ever existed and if they are anything, it is more underrated than overrated:

1997 - Fallout
1998 - Fallout 2
1999 - Planescape: Torment
2000 - Icewind Dale
2001 - Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter / Trials of the Luremaster
2002 - Icewind Dale II
2004 - Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II (most of them were over at Obsidian at this point, since it was founded 2003 and Black Isle was closed December 2003)

Saviordd1:
But even with that advantage they STILL manage to release a game with as horrible bugs as New Vegas (And don't give me that "Bethesda was QA" crap, Obsidian was the one who looked at the finished product and said to Bethesda "Yes, ship it")

Uhm, somehow you seem to be heavily misunderstanding the role of a developer that has entered a contract with a publisher. They can't say shit and if Bethesda decides to ship it, they better make sure that it's ready to be shipped.

An Ex-Obsidian employee that worked on the game described the scene as follows a while back:

I don't really have anything to add to this discussion. Instead I thought I would talk to about my favorite scene from Empire Strikes Back. You remember when Han and Leia go to visit Lando on Cloud City - and then Lando surprises them by having Darth Vader there. I love that line where Darth Vader says regarding the deal Lando had with him, "Pray I don't alter it any further", referring to the deal.
Yeah, that was great.

And then we also know about this:
image

Saviordd1:
Basically that's my point, Obsidian gets way to much credit for what they do and while they do release games we need to stop seeing them for some super game messiah.

If you ask me, they don't get *enough* credit for all the dumbfuckery they've had to deal with so far, especially from publishers. It's rather surprising that THQ hasn't pushed out The Stick of Truth already, but Trey & Matt might have financed large parts of it themselves.
And I'm tired of hearing how some of their games, for instance Fallout: New Vegas was "so bugged". It wasn't any less or more bugged than Fallout 3 was initially, which also crashed, stopped working or could screw up story-relevant quests when it came out. For some reason Bethesda almost never seems to catch any Flak over their games being shit or performing shit. For instance we know that Skyrim was for all intents and purposes entirely broken on the PlayStation 3 and even then a lot of people went out of their way to find the culprit somewhere else. Bethesda is an entirely overrated developer.

The Madman:
This is incorrect. Chris Avellone works at Obsidian and was the lead designer for Planescape: Torment. He not only designed it but is also responsible for having written a large chunk of its dialogue as well, which if you've played the game you'll know is the main reason to even, well, play the game. Chris Jones is another high-up at Obsidian games and was the lead programmer for the Fallout titles before eventually moving to Troika games and eventually Obsidian.

About every single thing he said was "incorrect".

Obsidians only problem is that they make the most buggy games known to man, I love KotOR just as much if not more then the original. New Vegas is an amazing game and somewhere underneath all the bugs Alpha protocol is a decent game. I wouldn't say we give them too much credit, I'd say we give them the benefit of the doubt more often not because the release good games, they're just poorly made.

I can work through and around bugs to experience compelling story and gameplay. I have no interest in working through a bug-free yet vapid, intellectually and emotionally void of a game. They're one of the last groups to remember what made us (older people) fall in love with games, and I'll be damned if I condemn them for carrying that torch. Stronger people would have caved and made Gears of Grand Theft War Duty after the hell they've been through.

I'm with you, op. I've come to the point where I simply can't justify day 1 prices for what I know will be riddled with bugs. Say what you want about the relationship between publishers and developers, but Obsidian appears to simply fail in managing their resources and time available in order to ship a polished product.

I't amazes me that people can feel so strongly about something being "meh". It's not like people disagree a whole lot here it's just people that think Obsidian is good and people that think they are not so good.

Having backed Project Eternity, I had begun to realize that I had never actually played an Obsidian game before (unless Planescape Torment counts, which I only played a little bit of). Since then, I've kinda gone on an Obsidian Binge, completing Alpha Protocol (twice), just about complete with Kotor 2, and moving on to New Vegas next.

And I have to say, after what I've played, I have the utmost respect and confidence in their ability to make great games that matter to me. I won't defend the buggy nature of their releases, but the maturity of their writing and their ability create complex and dynamic storylines is beyond reproach.

It is insane the backlash that Alpha Protocol got. I went in expecting mediocrity from everything I've heard, and instead it came out to be my personal game of the year. The storytelling puts Mass Effect and Heavy Rain's dynamic storytelling to absolute shame. The game mechanics might not be the creme of the crop, but they're serviceable to the point where there's really not much to complain about.

I will fully admit that mechanics have never been all that important to me though (Xenogears, a mechanically broken game, is among my most favorites ever). I'm just saying that if story is what you look for the most out of videogames, I'm starting to believe that Obsidian are the best in that regard.

AntiChri5:
But they always seem to need that foundation of other peoples work to build on.

But what's wrong with that? Most games use an outside engine, I mean almost all modern fps games are based on the work of John Carmack.

Edit:

Elyxard:

I will fully admit that mechanics have never been all that important to me though (Xenogears, a mechanically broken game, is among my most favorites ever). I'm just saying that if story is what you look for the most out of videogames, I'm starting to believe that Obsidian are the best in that regard.

Personally as some who enjoys gameplay over story I could also say that not only do Obsidian do the best storylines in modern WRPGS they do the best gameplay too, they're the only company left who still incorporate proper role play mechanics.

AntiChri5:

Thing is, if you get fucked by the publisher every time you have to ask yourself what you are doing wrong. Executive meddling does happen, but with this frequency?

One could also wonder how Obsidian manages to stick around and make games, considering that most other developers only get one or two chances and if they get screwed by the publisher they have to fold. The fact that Obsidian repeatedly gets screwed and still manages to punch out new games suggests that even if they get the short end of the stick they are still good enough to make games that people want.

Because, let's be honest here, the majority of Obsidian games have had a kernel of awesome at its' core. What is problematic with their games has always been the apparent unfinished state of the games at launch, including sections with obviously cut content and loads of bugs, not the actual story or gameplay itself. Considering that their two most high-profile releases so far (KotOR2 and FO:NV) both had a development cycle of less then two years (13 and 18 months respectively) that's something you have to expect.

Well, in the cases of Kotor2, NWN2 and Fallout New Vegas I have to give the devs some credit.
Obsidian were handed turds in the form of NWN, Kotor and FO3 to work with and they created half decent games out of those crappy originals. That has to count for something.

Alpha Protocol is the real disappointment here. This game could have been GOTY material if the combat and stealth and AI didn't suck so much. Then there's those shitty minigames, especially the hacking parts.
Contrary to popular myth, I never encountered any actual bugs in AP during my playthrough.
So AP has the common CRPG flaw: shitty combat. Only for a shooter, people are going to demand some actual standards, because the FPS been done well so many times before.

Project eternity will prove what Obsidian is really worth as a CRPG developer.

Olikar:

AntiChri5:
But they always seem to need that foundation of other peoples work to build on.

But what's wrong with that? Most games use an outside engine, I mean almost all modern fps games are based on the work of John Carmack.

There is a world of difference between using someone elses engine and using someone else's game.

WoW Killer:
So they're better at Game Design than they are at Software Engineering, basically.

Obsidian suck at Game Design. So far all of their games are copy-pasted gameplay from Bioware, infinity-engine games were EXACTLY infinity engine games, top-down, combat-focused, with gameplay that was unsuitable for what they were trying to achieve.No need to give KOTORII or F:NV as examples(although it's understandable in those cases) Later on Alpha Protocol had the copy/pasted gameplay of ME (except you didn't have party members). No one wants them, or expects them, to make a revolution in Ray Tracing, but they should at least try and make their games NOT feel like someone else's games.

Obsidian do not make their own gameplay, they just write stories. Admittedly, their stories are good for the video game market.

AntiChri5:

Thing is, if you get fucked by the publisher every time you have to ask yourself what you are doing wrong. Executive meddling does happen, but with this frequency?

glchicks:

You are conveniently forgetting about alpha protocol. Sega gave them all the time in the world to perfect that game.

Even if that wasn't the case "It's the publisher's fault!" is lame excuse. Yes, publishers are d*cks, but every other studio is working with them, with the limitations they provide and somehow they deliver. I can buy that you got screwed once, twice, but EVERY TIME? Give me a break, you're jsut horrible at your job.

As for the topic - No. Obsidian are not overrated, they're a failing company that's hanging by a lifethread.

And with Project Eternity the "publisher" issue isn't dealt with. At the end of the day Obsidian would still be hard-pressed by time, they have a limited budget and they have to be done before the money ran out. I expect when the game is released to be suffering from the same issues every Obsidian game has suffered - cut content and bugs.

Traun:

Later on Alpha Protocol had the copy/pasted gameplay of ME (except you didn't have party members).

Ha, "they copied Mass Effect, only it's completely different!"

AP tried to be a variant on Deus Ex, not ME. There's many similarities with Dx, from the slow targeting reticule to the skillsets. Not so much with ME.

So AP didn't have original gameplay(if you know your games), but what shooter post ty 2000 really does? Shitty controls and dumb AI/level design really did it in for AP.

i love them, theyve made some of my favourate games, they also have some of the best writing and are willing to do old school titles

in terms of bugs though, well i havnt really encountered that much really, if im honest apart from one time in New Vegas where a guy clipped through the chair ive yet to encounter any bugs in the obsidian games ive played

I've yet to see anyone praise Obsidian for their technical achievements but their way of handling the story and the quality of writing has constantly been somewhere at the top of what the industry produces. That is why some people like them.

I agree with they should not receive universal praise, but this is largely retroactive as they appear to have been complacent with their situation.

Traun:

Obsidian do not make their own gameplay, they just write stories. Admittedly, their stories are good for the video game market.

Your joking right? name one existing game company that makes RPGs that has better gameplay than Obisidan, hell name one that has even equal gameplay to Obsidian games.

glchicks:
You are conveniently forgetting about alpha protocol. Sega gave them all the time in the world to perfect that game. They delayed release like 7 times, and it was a pile of mediocre, boring shit. People just dont want to admit that a developer who developed some sterling examples of fantastic crpgs back in the day have simply lost it. And as for their "improved sequels", give me a fuckin break. NWN2 is a pile of dog shit, and Kotor 2 is just simply not as engrossing as the original in any way. Sure, sure, its an opinion. Sure.

This, so many times this.

Every time I hear the "its the publisher's fault" BS excuse for Obsidian it makes me cringe.

The only commonality between Obsidian games is that they are buggy, have terribly broken game mechanics, and Obsidian made them, and thus the only people who are to blame for OBsidian's game being bad.... is Obsidian themselves.

Saying anything else is just trying to make excuses for a game developers inept staff.

"Why people give Obsidian a much to little credit" is what you should be asking :P

They are one of the few companies that take risks and try anything new or interesting.

As for the bugs, they are on par with Bethesda that for some reason get a pass :/

How was Alpha Protocol not great? The gameplay kinda blew but it was role playing done to the max. Every single damn decision I made in that game had some sort of impact, no matter how small.

Sheesh, people, learn to use "overrated" responsibly, will you?

Saviordd1:
A: Built on a pre-built engine where a good amount of the work is done for them (KOTOR, NWN2, basically anything they're famous for)

Which, I have no idea why you bring up, since I don't think people give them credit for the actual engine they use. Do you mean to say that people like Obsidian because of a mistaken belief that they made those games from scratch themselves? Or are you saying that people like the games and stories, but should like them less, since Obsidian didn't make them from scratch? Either of these is quite stupid, if you ask me.

Saviordd1:
B: Not all that great (Alpha Protocol, Dungeon Siege 3)

So you don't like some games, or heck, maybe the games aren't as goo (haven't played either) yet that devalues the rest of Obsidian as a whole?

Jove:
Obsidian is very overrated.

And you, my friend...mind explaining what the fuck overrated you think means? See, I take it as "given too much credit" or "liked too much" as in beyond what is reasonable or acceptable. And you seem to mean...something completely different.

Jove:
1. They never make their own freaking IP (Project Eternity will be the first, Alpha Protocal doesn't count considering how much of a total flop it was)

So-o-o, at what point do people give them credit for being original, rather than making games people like? I've yet to see somebody solely go "Oh my god, I liked game X so much because the series didn't exist before!" rather than like a game for the game itself. If somebody should be overrated based on IP, then BioWare and DA:O (well, anything aside from Mass Effect and Jade Empire, actually) are a good example. It's a brand new IP, yes, but it's playing by so many old tropes that it feels like I'm seeing the universe for the bazillionth time. Yet people like the game, so I cannot say it's undeserved or anything. It only matters if original IPs are a requirement to like something. They aren't, so it doesn't.

Jove:
2. Their games are either buggy messes or down right unplayable.

Again, when did people give them credit for technical achievements? No, people don't give them too much credit there, because they don't give them credit for that. Obsidian titles are notoriously buggy, I doubt anyone can say the opposite. But, hey, so are Bethesda titles - I've yet to see anybody going "hurrr, Bethesda gets too much love, durr, and their games, like, crash and are buggy and stuff". For some reason I see this more often aimed at Obisian for some reason - the claim that because a game is buggy, people who like it are somehow wrong for doing so. "I liked game X" "Yeah, but it was buggy on release!" so is the proper response "Oh gods, I'm sorry, I'll go repent and never like the game again"?

Jove:
3. My opinion of course but their sequels to the other developer's predecessors are always inferior (KOTOR, NW, Fallout 3, etc.)

"I think the previous games are better, hence whoever likes the newer ones is wrong"
Hey, good to know, thanks for sharing with us.

Jove:
4. Their writing for the most part range from best case scenario decent and worse case very subpar.

While that may or may not be true (won't judge either way) - compared to the other games out there, it's downright brilliant. Certainly above the average quality of game writing.

SajuukKhar:

glchicks:
You are conveniently forgetting about alpha protocol. Sega gave them all the time in the world to perfect that game. They delayed release like 7 times, and it was a pile of mediocre, boring shit. People just dont want to admit that a developer who developed some sterling examples of fantastic crpgs back in the day have simply lost it. And as for their "improved sequels", give me a fuckin break. NWN2 is a pile of dog shit, and Kotor 2 is just simply not as engrossing as the original in any way. Sure, sure, its an opinion. Sure.

This, so many times this.

Every time I hear the "its the publisher's fault" BS excuse for Obsidian it makes me cringe.

The only commonality between Obsidian games is that they are buggy, have terribly broken game mechanics, and Obsidian made them, and thus the only people who are to blame for OBsidian's game being bad.... is Obsidian themselves.

Saying anything else is just trying to make excuses for a game developers inept staff.

Traun:

Even if that wasn't the case "It's the publisher's fault!" is lame excuse. Yes, publishers are d*cks, but every other studio is working with them, with the limitations they provide and somehow they deliver. I can buy that you got screwed once, twice, but EVERY TIME? Give me a break, you're jsut horrible at your job.

As for the topic - No. Obsidian are not overrated, they're a failing company that's hanging by a lifethread.

And with Project Eternity the "publisher" issue isn't dealt with. At the end of the day Obsidian would still be hard-pressed by time, they have a limited budget and they have to be done before the money ran out. I expect when the game is released to be suffering from the same issues every Obsidian game has suffered - cut content and bugs.

You two are obviously unaware of how the relationship between independent studios and triple-A publishers works. Let me lay it out for you.

Obsidian is an independent company. That means, unlike Bioware, Dice, Retro, 343 or the vast majority of other development studios out there, they are not owned financially by a bigger company. They own themselves. Now this is good, because it means that they have the freedom to work on the projects they want, as can be seen with Project Eternity.

However, this freedom comes with a massive downside. Anytime Obsidian wants to make a game financed by a large publisher, that publisher will present Obsidian with a contract. And because Obsidian are independents, they will have next to no room to negotiate on any part of the contract. So if, for instance, the contract says that they only have 18 months to develop a game, as was the case with New Vegas, then Obsidian will only get 18 months to develop it. A studio owned by a publisher, such as Bioware, may have the leeway to negotiate for longer development time. As independents, Obsidian don't have that luxury.

Even worse, if the publisher then decided to change the terms of the contract halfway through development, as happened with both Bethesda and Lucasarts, there is nothing Obsidian can do about it. Obsidian are one small development company, and the publishers they get funding from are huge corporate behemoths with legal teams large enough to populate third-world nations. Basically put, as an independent company, Obsidian have next to no say in the amount of time they get to work on a game, when it ships, and they have no control over Quality Assurance. Those are all handled by the publisher. In the vast majority of cases, the bugs in Obsidian's games are a result of the publishers either slashing their development time, refusing to do any adequate form of bugtesting and quality assurance, or both. Obsidian have shown that when given a decent amount of development time, and allowed to use their own toolsets, they can make bug-free games. Just look at Dungeon Siege III.

Now, you may ask, if life as an independent is so difficult, why don't Obsidian get themselves bought out? Answer: because they don't want to end up like Bioware. As an independent, they can still shop their ideas around different publishers, take or refuse ideas as they see fit, and generally have more creative freedom in their chosen medium. I would imagine for a company like Obsidian, creative freedom is hugely important.

You may also be asking if Obsidian gets repeatedly shat on by publishers, why don't they become more discerning in their projects? The answer is that, unfortunately, shitty behaviour is now standard practise amongst pretty much all tje major mainstream publishers. Not only that, but being a company of limited finances, Obsidian have to be working on projects in order to stay profitable. They can't afford to keep paying programmers, artists and designers to sit around doing nothing while they spend another 6 months shopping around for different deals. As an independent studio, Obsidian's only funding comes from the games they're working on, and therefore they need to be working on something at all times in order to stay afloat.

So yeah... there's a crashcourse on how publisher/independent relations work in the games industry. It's a whole crock of shit, and Obsidian are not the only ones to get screwed over multiple times. Double Fine are an example of another studio who've repeatedly been shafted.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
snip

Occam's razor - among competing hypotheses, the one that makes the fewest assumptions should be selected.

Either
1. Every single publisher Obsidian has ever had EVER is incompetent.
2. Obsidian is incompetent.

Given that the instances were Obsidian did have all the time they wanted, i.e. Alpha Protocol, still resulted in a buggy, poorly thought-out, unplayable, mess, the answer is obvious, it's Obsidian's fault.

AntiChri5:
Obsidian is fantastic at making a better version of other peoples games. NWN2 was better then NWN, Kotor 2 was better then Kotor and New Vegas was better then Fallout 3. But they always seem to need that foundation of other peoples work to build on.

Please don't tell me you actually think NWN2 is better than the first. NWN 2 is one of the worst sequels to a game I've ever played. A series isn't meant to get worse as it goes. KOTOR 2 moves forward in some ways, but in a lot of ways, completely fails to live up to the bar set by the first game.

The only game I'll give Obsidian doing a good job at recently is New Vegas. It was a great game, but let's be honest - it was barely different the Fallout 3, so how much credit can you actually give them for that?

I really want to like them. I do. The old Black Isle is one of my favourite devs of all time, in my favourite era of gaming, but Obsidian have done nothing in recent years that actually makes them stand out as anything except for a developer of heavily flawed sequels.

SajuukKhar:

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
snip

Occam's razor - among competing hypotheses, the one that makes the fewest assumptions should be selected.

Either
1. Every single publisher Obsidian has ever had EVER is incompetent.
2. Obsidian is incompetent.

Given that the instances were Obsidian did have all the time they wanted, i.e. Alpha Protocol, still resulted in a buggy, poorly thought-out, unplayable, mess, the answer is obvious, it's Obsidian's fault.

Occam's Razor is, in this select instance, a crock of shit.

Games development is a hugely complicated process, with every game ever made involving the input of hundreds of people, millions of dollars investment, and about a dozen contracts getting every facet of development down into legalese. Therefore, any instance of developers getting screwed over is also going to necessarily be complicated, involving financing, and lots of legalese.

Furthermore, there are several practises in the videogame industry that are standard, chief among them being that it is the publisher's job to check quality assurance and bug control, and it is their job to relay this information to the developers. The majority of mainstream publishers employ extensive QA teams for this very reason. This isn't arcane lore, this is stuff that is readily available to find with a quick Google search.

Furthermore, it is on record and established fact that a)Lucasarts screwed Obsidian over by cutting their development time down to 13 months, and b) Bethesda screwed Obsidian by giving them only 18 months development, and skimping on their end of the bargain by doing next to no QA. These things are on record.

Alpha Protocol is a weird example because while Obsidian had a longer development schedule, there is evidence that Sega still incessantly messed things up with executive meddling, and forcing gameplay elements to be changed at the last minute. While there are no doubt probably things Obsidian could have done better, AP is probably an unfortunate mix of bad luck on Obsidian's part, and meddling on Sega's part.

If you're going to ignore all the technicalities, intricacies and complications that make up game development, and instead quote some obscure law that says all things can be simplified down into simple solutions, then good luck ever trying to find any honesty in the games industry. As it stands, I've got a far better assumption to make:

If a game has bugs, and you need to choose between the developer and the publisher as to who to blame, go with the publisher. Developers have no reason to ignore bugs, seeing as they actively hamper their development of a game, whereas publishers can ignore bugs as long as they think they'll still make a profit. Evidence: New Vegas, and KOTOR II.

Saviordd1:
A lot of people (Especially on this forum) tend to love Obsidian's games, often saying they are the last people who know how to make a good story in an RPG or whatever, and how they are underrated.

Here's the thing, they're rated where they should be rated, in the B list.

Now, they don't have BAD games, not by any stretch of the imagination.

But the thing is their games are either
A: Built on a pre-built engine where a good amount of the work is done for them (KOTOR, NWN2, basically anything they're famous for)
B: Not all that great (Alpha Protocol, Dungeon Siege 3)

People often bring up in arguments how Obsidian managed to make the second game in many series better than the first, and make the story better and improve gameplay mechanics.

Well...yeah, they had an extremely solid foundation to do a little bit of building on.

But even with that advantage they STILL manage to release a game with as horrible bugs as New Vegas (And don't give me that "Bethesda was QA" crap, Obsidian was the one who looked at the finished product and said to Bethesda "Yes, ship it")

Basically that's my point, Obsidian gets way to much credit for what they do and while they do release games we need to stop seeing them for some super game messiah.

TL;DRObsidian is meh, the games they make are either built off of old games so it makes it easier for them OR are of extremely meh quality.

Side Note: Yes, I know that they have Eternity and Stick of Truth in the tubes, but that's not out yet to prove itself is it?

Hmmm... I actually haven't noticed that much love for obsidian on this forum. There's a healthy mix of "Yes they have great games, but it's always so buggy."

Personally, I agree with you, they're rated where they should be, but Idk if I'd call it "the B list". They are one of the industries leading RPG publishers, second to Bioware and Bethesda mostly (I think) because they're games are so buggy.

Honestly, one of the biggest problems with Obsidian is that they're development team seems to not know when to say "no". So many of their games seem to suffer because Obsidian reaches too far or tries to put too much stuff in their games, and then they are either half finished with incomplete questlines or they're too buggy to be playable. This is a HUGE problem, and one of the reasons why I was hesitant to support their kickstarter.

But from what I've heard, Obsidian also blames corporate shenanigans for many of their problems. So one of the reasons why I supported their kickstarter was to run a little "experiment" to see what a AAA developer can pull off without any corporate oversight. It'll either be grand, or Obsidian will overreach in a way never seen before and the entire thing will crash and burn.

At any rate, do I think they're overrated? no. Do I agree with you that they're sort of "stuck in their place" because of decisions they've made? absolutely.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
snip

And yet, even with similarly short timespans, other game companies are able to produce vastly more well put-together games in a year/year and a half's time.

So again, the brokenness of Obsidian's games begs the question, if other game companies can do it well, why can't Obsidian?

SajuukKhar:

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
snip

And yet, even with similarly short timespans, other game companies are able to produce vastly more well put-together games in a year/year and a half's time.

So again, the brokenness of Obsidian's games begs the question, if other game companies can do it well, why can't Obsidian?

Show me one other development company making non-linear, morality-driven roleplaying games on a similar development schedule.

The only other game I can think of is Dragon Age II, which EA forced Bioware to rush out in just over a year. And surprise surprise, Dragon Age II is seen almost universally as a huge letdown compared to the original. And lest we forget, Dragon Age: Origins was originally started long before Bioware was bought out by EA, and had nearly six years of development time. Other expansive RPG games such as Skyrim and The Witcher 2 have all had fairly extensive development periods, certainly not the 18 month schedule that Obsidian has repeatedly been tied to.

RPGs take longer to develop than other games, because they focus more on player choice, and therefore need more time to work in all the variables that players can affect, and different paths they can take. It's pretty easy for a developer now to crap out a shooter in just over a year. Shooters have become centred around the idea of linear corridors, scripted sequences and highly limited encounters. A game which allows players to make moral choices, kill off different characters, go to different parts of the game world at different times and choose different endings is necessarily going to take longer to develop than your average Call Of Battleshoot if it's going to free of bugs.

As it is, Obsidian have consistently been given just enough time to get the world and story in place, get the mechanics down, and then publishers ship the game out before it can be checked that it's all working together properly. There is only one party to blame here, and it is not the developers, it is the publishers.

Opinions about Obsidian are pretty diverse, I'd say the credit balances out.
Source:
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.382677-If-Obsidian-made

Obsidian is awesome, I really don't know why the hell people think kotor 2's better than the first though. It was plagued by mary sue stuff and borderline canon-breaking stuff, even though it was a great game.

PS - not to mention it was severely unfinished.

KOTOR 2 was the single best star wars product ever.
because it was not very starwarsy.
your argument is invalid

People who like Obsidian: Too
People who dislike Obsidian: To

End argument.

From what I can gather it's good writing and quite good gameplay that they're renowned for, I haven't seen a post/met anyone who thinks that they're the Holy Grail of Game Design.

Personally, I like them a lot due to Fallout New Vegas and KoTOR 2, the former as a result of making a Fallout game that's actually fun & charming, unlike Fallout 1-3 which all felt rather bleak, and the latter because they actually attempted to explore the grey area of the Star Wars mythos, and for once, didn't present the Sith as a bunch of inherently evil emo bastards and the Jedi as righteous protectors of the galaxy, instead it presented both on the same level, ie, neither philosophy is right, and neither faction is better than the other, a stark contrast to KoTOR 1's insufferable preaching of the Jedi as the one's in the right(god those endings were unbearable).

So, in short, (I presume), good writing and decent gameplay can both be blown completely out of proportion, and indeed they have, as a result, that's why Obsidian is regarded in such a manner: the same way that Bioware was seen as the exemplars of game writing, even though their moral choice malarkey was completely biased and was nowhere near the level of The Walking Dead(the game).

recruit00:
I think when it comes to Obsidian, it is mainly an issue of publishing. They always seem to get pushed by the publisher to get stuff out faster which leads to the huge amounts of bugs in their games like AP and FNV.

I'm betting PE ships with the same sort of bugs but with no such excuses available.

The Madman:
As for bugs and such, yeah, it's sometimes rough. I do however think their reputation for games being of that nature is undeserved. From my limited experience New Vegas was no more (Or less) buggy on launch than Fallout 3 itself, same with Neverwinter Nights which is something a lot of fans tend to forget. That game barely even worked on launch. Meanwhile other games like Dungeon Siege 3 or expansions like Mask of the Betrayer are pretty much without glitches or issues.

Couldn't agree more.People seem to have a tendancy to completely overexaggerate the smallest bugs in Obsidian games while other devs get a free pass for similar or worse stuff..You only have to look at Skyrim on PS3.That game was literally unplayable for lots of people yet people seemed to blame everyone but Bethesda for it.If Obsidian had released something that bad they would be absolutely crucified

Jove:
Obsidian is very overrated.

1. They never make their own freaking IP (Project Eternity will be the first, Alpha Protocal doesn't count considering how much of a total flop it was)

So you complain that they never create their own IP's and then completely discount an original IP they did create because it wasn't sucessful enough.Yup that's a solid logical argument right there.An original IP only counts as one if it sells several million copies

Jove:
2. Their games are either buggy messes or down right unplayable.

I've never encountered any major bugs outside of a few graphical glitches in any Obsidian game I've played.

Jove:
3. My opinion of course but their sequels to the other developer's predecessors are always inferior (KOTOR, NW, Fallout 3, etc.)

Just my opinion but I actually preferred KOTOR 2 and New Vegas to their predecessors

Jove:
4. Their writing for the most part range from best case scenario decent and worse case very subpar.

Which makes it better than most seeing as the majority of writing in games is pulp level at best anyway

Akichi Daikashima:

So, in short, (I presume), good writing and decent gameplay can both be blown completely out of proportion, and indeed they have, as a result, that's why Obsidian is regarded in such a manner: the same way that Bioware was seen as the exemplars of game writing, even though their moral choice malarkey was completely biased and was nowhere near the level of The Walking Dead(the game).

Bioware's stories aren't really all that great, either. They've coasted on the same rough formula for almost all of their games and a lot of their so-called depth of story comes through exposition dumps. That's not good storytelling, it's just...Homework.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 NEXT

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked