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

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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?

Obsidian gets much of that credit for the games its founders made as Black Isle: Fallout 1 & 2, Icewind Dale 1 & 2, and mostly for Planescape: Torment.

Personally, I enjoyed every Obsidian game I played so far. Even though they had buggy releases and unfinished content, they were still great. NWN 2 and KOTOR 2 were very buggy and have much missing content (KOTOR 2 at least got fixed by fans), while Alpha Protocol and New Vegas were very buggy, but got fixed. I think that they are on the right path.

I'm not hyped for Project Eternity though. I would've liked to see them make another non-fantasy RPG.

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.

Also, my guess is that Stick of Truth will end up being a disgrace to RPGs and will be really dumbed down and not really that good. Also, it will be bugged out the ass. I guarantee it.

Also, I think one thing that people like about Obsidian is that they don't seem to have any "must make money" attitude. Each of their big games tends to have a goal of making a good RPG with story focus and well written background. They are one of the only companies that does that.

So they're better at Game Design than they are at Software Engineering, basically. Surely not every game must be a show of technical expertise. I mean think of all the games made with engines by Valve or id. Speaking of which, id are like the exact opposite; some of the best Software Engineers in the world, but bloody awful at making games. I just think it's probably best for the industry to have both sides of the coin.

It's like when you've got a singer that doesn't write their own songs. Sure, I can respect someone a lot more when they're also a writer, but I can still say someone's a good singer if they're, y'know, a good singer. At the end of the day, Obsidian are damn good at Game Design.

I like them because they write good characters and tend to put an interesting twist on any established setting they are given to work with. They're also one of very few developers out there with any skill whatsoever when it comes to writing basic dialogue, an issue which continues to frustrate and annoy me. Pretty much any self proclaimed person of good taste will laugh at Twilight for its cheesy hammy dialogue and terrible trite story, yet Twilight is about on par if not slightly better than the common fare in video games.

Seriously pathetic. Why do so many people just ignore this issue?

So that's why I like Obsidian. They're also one of few major developers out there with any interest in doing things 'old school' style when it comes to gameplay, which I appreciate. Genuinely can't wait for Project Eternity.

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.

The Madman:
I like them because they write good characters and tend to put an interesting twist on any established setting they are given to work with. They're also one of very few developers out there with any skill whatsoever when it comes to writing basic dialogue, an issue which continues to frustrate and annoy me. Pretty much any self proclaimed person of good taste will laugh at Twilight for its cheesy hammy dialogue and terrible trite story, yet Twilight is about on par if not slightly better than the common fare in video games.

Seriously pathetic. Why do so many people just ignore this issue?

So that's why I like Obsidian. They're also one of few major developers out there with any interest in doing things 'old school' style when it comes to gameplay, which I appreciate. Genuinely can't wait for Project Eternity.

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.

I didn't really try Baldur's Gate but from what little I played of it, I think it was because I did not care for AD&D. If the game was Pathfinder or 3.5 based, I would be more interested. I just don't like how clunky second edition is.

recruit00:

I didn't really try Baldur's Gate but from what little I played of it, I think it was because I did not care for AD&D. If the game was Pathfinder or 3.5 based, I would be more interested. I just don't like how clunky second edition is.

Obsidian doesn't have much if anything really to do with Baldur's Gate. Black Isle was used as publisher for the BG games but they had little to nothing to do with the development of the series, that was all Bioware. Why do you mention Baldur's Gate? Or did you mean in context with Project Eternity and my tastes for semi old fashioned pc rpg? Because if so I imagine its a personal taste. I love isometric tactical combat, it's so much more rewarding than any other means of rpg combat I've ever experienced. I enjoy a game that challenges my mind in both a tactical sense for battle as well as a more narrative sense with elements of roleplaying.

glchicks:
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.

People tend to forget that Neverwinter Nights was a bug ridden mess on release as well, it's only two expansions and multiple patches later that we got the experience we have today. The default campaign in NWN is also terrible, like genuinely and objectively terrible, so unless you were buying it for the multiplayer NWN was crushingly disappointing on release...

I should know, I bought it when it first came out. Day one even! Want me to take a picture of the box? It's on the shelf right next to me.

So having been drawn into buying the game on the lure of Biowares previous singleplayer experiences; Baldur's Gate for example, and having no real interest in the multiplayer, you can imagine my feelings at the time. Oh sure NWN eventually more than redeemed itself but on release it was a disappointing mess for many fans.

NWN2 by contrast at least had a pretty fun singleplayer. Not great, but easily superior to that of NWN or Shadows of Undrentide. Meanwhile just like NWN it too has blossomed with a fantastic expansion which is easily the highpoint of the entire NWN franchise in terms of singleplayer content and a plethora of amazing fan modules. So all this hate of NWN2... well, it's just silly.

I never understand when NWN2 is brought up as some black stain for Obsidian, especially in the many inevitable 'Bioware vs. Obsidian' topics that always pop up across internet forums.

I think obsidian are great. They just need a second dev to check over them or do the actual coding :P I think they'd be better as a writing/ ideas department.

glchicks:

I just want to grab you by the collar and ... have an engaging and lively discussion with you while drinking some tea and eating m&ms. GRRRR.

Honestly I havent been back to NWN2 since the original released, and never having played the first game Im a little bit contextually disoriented. So maybe Im not being entirely fair to it, however I stand by my position that the original campaign is just a mess of a game.

I want to add that there is just something about polygonal crpgs that just doesnt sit right with me. They just feel wrong, give me the isometric icewind dales or baldurs gates any day. The original dragon age is certainly an exception to that paradigm

If you're ever in Alberta Canada I'd be happy to buy lunch sometime.

And I actually agree with you to an extent. I defended NWN2 there, but overall I still find the actual gameplay at best mediocre. Same with the original NWN for that matter, which had a better feel to it in terms of controls but suffered by only letting you ever control one character at a time. I'd take a decent isometric rpg over either. Temple of Elemental Evil is probably my favourite rpg in terms of gameplay, pity the story and rpg mechanics were somewhat lacking by comparison. Gameplay however was fantastic!

Oh what I'd give for more games to have been built using that engine.

Incidentally give NWN2 another try. Mask of the Betrayer, its first expansion, is easily the high point of the entire franchise in terms of singleplayer content and as for fan modules what it lacks in quantity compared to the first it makes up for in quality. There are some amazing NWN2 mods out there! Two expansions and a library of patches later the game runs and plays much smoother as well. I've been told the multiplayer is not nearly as good in 2 as in 1 however, but as previously established that's not really something I'm interested in. Still for fairness sake it's worth mentioning. So while Neverwinter Nights 2 will never be perfect in terms of 'western rpg' I still think NWN2 can hold its head high and with pride.

Catchy soundtrack too:

As far as I'm concerned KOTOR II was horrible compared to the original. So yes I agree with the OP.

Oh, wow; you mean all these huge, often open world RPGs that Obsidian have made had bugs in them!? My god, who would have thought that? God damn people, cynicism coming out your asses.

I think Project Eternity will be the final, decisive piece of evidence on whether Obsidian keeps getting screwed by their publisher or they're just bad at polishing/QA.

As to why some people (me included) rate them so highly; I don't think you'll find anyone who thinks they've ever released a flawless game, they're always broken and bad in some capacity, but the things that they excel at are so rare in the industry that for people that value those things, they far outweigh the negatives of their games. I would not advise buying their games on release and I always get them on PC so I can mod out some of the brokeness, but I don't know what other major developer I would turn to for old-school RPG sensibilities and consistently good writing. Their games aren't well polished or technically excellent, but I can find hundreds of games that are well polished, technically excellent and completely uninspired and uninteresting. That's just not what I'm looking for when I choose to play an Obsidian game.

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)

You say that like it's an easy thing to do. Yeah, they have a solid foundation of the engine and some of the assets to start from, but the vast majority of series go completely down the shitter when the property is handed over to another developer.

I'm with Madman. I think Obsidian have the best story elements (characters,dialogs,choices & consequences) and also prefer their rpg mechanics (character systems, skill checks, things of that nature) to the other major RPG devs like Bioware and Bethesda, say.

If they could only combine a combat system like Temple of Elemental Evil had, with the writing of games like Planescape and Mask of the Betrayer. HEVAEN

And yea, can't wait to see what they come up with without the shitty publishers interference also. Kinda pissed that they decided to go RtwP instead of turn based in Project Eternity though. Especially being as how they have Tim Cain now, and he's the man behind ToEE and a big TB guy.

Asmodeus:
Kinda pissed that they decided to go RtwP instead of turn based in Project Eternity. Especially being as how they have Tim Cain now, and he's the man behind ToEE and a big TB guy.

I've always found the pausable-realtime thing a bit hit and miss. I like it a lot less when I'm controlling multiple characters; I never got through all of NWN2 for this. I was fine with KotOR II as you don't need to micromanage your followers all that much, if at all. The original NWN was probably my favourite of that sort of genre, as you can watch over the one hero and play it in full real time.

So yeah, with the group-combat emphasis they've been talking about in P:E, I think I'd probably have prefered a full turn-based system.

glchicks:

Ill have to check out temple, Ive heard about that one on and off but never got around to it. Ive also heard a lot of good about mask of the betrayer, but my prejudice against nwn2 prevented me from trying it...maybe Ill give it a shot when I have time.

This is kind of random, but have you ever been to Toronto? I'd love to hear an Albertian opinion on Toronto. Im just weird and random like that. Is it true what they say, that everyone in canada hates toronto?

Both are worth giving a try, if for completely opposite reasons. Mask of the Betrayer is a fantastic story with mediocre gameplay and Temple of Elemental evil is a mediocre story with fantastic gameplay, both entertaining in their own way.

As for Toronto, that's a bit off topic but yes, I've been there. No, I don't hate it. Everywhere has its stereotypes though. People like to mock Toronto as the wannabe stuck up New York of Canada, meanwhile everyone in Toronto likes to mock Alberta in general as the wannabe hick Texas. BC are druggies, Newfies are weird, Montreal is rude, and no one lives in Saskatchewan except the former cast of Corner Gas. Meanwhile we all ride Polar Bear to work being lumberjacks, live in Igloo, have mounties, and eat syrup and 'Canadian bacon' all day every day.

Canadian stereotypes, gotta love em!

Fallout New Vegas is my favourite game of all time, but I still agree with you. All Obsidian did was polish. They didn't have to build much from the ground up.

T'Generalissimo:
I think Project Eternity will be the final, decisive piece of evidence on whether Obsidian keeps getting screwed by their publisher or they're just bad at polishing/QA.

As to why some people (me included) rate them so highly; I don't think you'll find anyone who thinks they've ever released a flawless game, they're always broken and bad in some capacity, but the things that they excel at are so rare in the industry that for people that value those things, they far outweigh the negatives of their games. I would not advise buying their games on release and I always get them on PC so I can mod out some of the brokeness, but I don't know what other major developer I would turn to for old-school RPG sensibilities and consistently good writing. Their games aren't well polished or technically excellent, but I can find hundreds of games that are well polished, technically excellent and completely uninspired and uninteresting. That's just not what I'm looking for when I choose to play an Obsidian game.

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)

You say that like it's an easy thing to do. Yeah, they have a solid foundation of the engine and some of the assets to start from, but the vast majority of series go completely down the shitter when the property is handed over to another developer.

yeah gotta agree with this, osbidian has a certain nack for what they do, and it's extremely rare.

if i'm looking for a technically sound game, there are dump truck loads of them piling out by other devs/publishers, and even then i only play those games once while obsidian games i usually replay bare minimum 5-6+ times and mod the hell out of them. I often feel like they are making the game for the sake of making a game because they love it, not because they are doing it as a greedy business decision (not saying publishers/devs are wrong for that reason, just saying i appreciate obsidian because they always seems to go for what they WANT to do, not what will gain them the most profit).

the ole saying always works with me:

"shit games can be polished many times over, but they are still shit. Great games can be broken, but can be fixed into master pieces in time"

not to mention i'm bloody excited as hell for project eternity, and the stick of truth (partially because i love south park and the creators, but with obsidian behind it i think it'll be great. Probably not a traditional rpg but with their own twist to it.)

SillyBear:
Fallout New Vegas is my favourite game of all time, but I still agree with you. All Obsidian did was polish. They didn't have to build much from the ground up.

The thing is, New Vegas was good DESPITE the shitty engine.

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)
2. Their games are either buggy messes or down right unplayable.
3. My opinion of course but their sequels to the other developer's predecessors are always inferior (KOTOR, NW, Fallout 3, etc.)
4. Their writing for the most part range from best case scenario decent and worse case very subpar.

Despite this, I used to love Black Isle for their past games when they existed, but unfortunately, their dead. Apparently though, people think Obsidian=Black Iisle because the founders of Black Isile happen to be the CEOs of Obsidian. Which of course, they don't realize that the majority of the ACTUAL talent from Black Isile is not with Obisidan so they like to think that the old and great Black Isile is still alive.

With all of this said, I am very interested to see whats going to happen with Project Entneity. People like to claim that Obisidan for their past games have been "bullied" by EVERY SINGLE PUBLISHER they turned too for all the cut content and bugs, so having no publisher (as far as we know) for this game might decide if obsidian really did get "bullied" by all those publishers for their incompentent QA. I hope I'm wrong and it does succeed because I never hope for any game to suck but I wouldn't be surprised either.

WoW Killer:
So they're better at Game Design than they are at Software Engineering, basically. Surely not every game must be a show of technical expertise. I mean think of all the games made with engines by Valve or id. Speaking of which, id are like the exact opposite; some of the best Software Engineers in the world, but bloody awful at making games. I just think it's probably best for the industry to have both sides of the coin.

It's like when you've got a singer that doesn't write their own songs. Sure, I can respect someone a lot more when they're also a writer, but I can still say someone's a good singer if they're, y'know, a good singer. At the end of the day, Obsidian are damn good at Game Design.

Bingo.

When I get into a Obsidian game I know I'll get some bugs, but I also know I'll get a pretty story out of it.

The Madman:

Oh what I'd give for more games to have been built using that engine.

You (and I) might be in luck. It's not using the same engine, but it's being billed as a tactical turn based rpg in the mold of games like ToEE and the old D&D Gold Box games.

http://www.chaos-chronicles.com/ "ToEE shall be our paradigm"

AND it's using D&D 3.5 Open Games license, like Knights of the Chalice did. So they'll be able to use the d&d rules, and a whole bunch of the monsters too. http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Creatures

Here's a thread where the devs are active, chiming in discussing the game.
http://www.rpgcodex.net/forums/index.php?threads/chaos-chronicles-discussion-thread.76538/

It's not a kickstarter either.

"How are you funding this?"

Beside self-funding with money from commercial projects we did, we've got funded by a german film funding called FFFBayern. To successfully complete the project we also receive payments from our publisher bitcomposer who is going to distribute the game worldwide.

image

I think that people care less about all the issues you mentioned, and care more about the brilliant characters, stories and worlds they create.
At least, that's where my priorities lie.

They're great. KOTOR 2 and NWN 2 were both better than their predecessors, I really liked Alpha Protocol, and New Vegas was a great game only marred by the bugs.
They consistently have better writing than just about any other developer out there too.

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.

Keep in mind that this is something big publishers have a problem accomplishing. The beloved Bioware scrapped the Mako for scanning when all it needed was a few tweaks. There are a lot of examples where beloved devs don't improve on a solid foundation, they scrap it instead. This is one of the cool things about Obsidian; they can see potential in spite of the risks.

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")

Wrong. Because Bethesda was funding the project, Bethesda decided when the game would be shipped. NV was Bethesdas call. Just like Alpha Protocol was Sega's call. Obsidian refuses to go be owned by a publisher so for every game they want to make, they need a backer. The problem with that is that backer is usually a publisher who not only wrestles for creative control but also tends to push Obsidian back on the QA roster in favor of more favored titles like say Bethesda pushing NV back for Rage and Brink and possibly even early stages of Skyrim.

The thing to keep in mind with Obsidian is they are contract developers. No publisher wants to give them money to make a new IP unless they hand over the rights to the IP. (Which is what happened with AP and look what happened. Sega believes that there is no market appeal for a modern spy genre RPG when it's easy to see those sales numbers would have been extremely higher if the game was more polished - which would have cost Sega's more money therefore more risk that they weren't willing to spend.) Kickstarter may help I think as the game is now being backed by a more patient community. All Obsidian needs to do is make this new RPG as good as what they usually make, polish it up, support modding and they can probably begin self publishing and give a big middle finger to the publishers that refused to back their potential.

If you are unable to see the potential within their works, then I guess wait around. Many of us can though. It won't be long before you can see for yourself what a lot of us clamor on about though.

Asmodeus:
You (and I) might be in luck. It's not using the same engine, but it's being billed as a tactical turn based rpg in the mold of games like ToEE and the old D&D Gold Box games.

There's a huge difference between ToEE and the old Gold Box games, kinda strange to say it's trying to combine those two types of rpg in particular. But nitpicking aside that looks genuinely awesome, thank you for mentioning it. I'm surprised I hadn't heard of it before this, it's not exactly like there are all that many games in this niche market for it to have gotten overlooked in.

Going to keep an eye on this one, could be fantastic. Worst case scenario even if the story and such is mediocre I've got another fun tactical rpg to play around with.

Jove:

Despite this, I used to love Black Isle for their past games when they existed, but unfortunately, their dead. Apparently though, people think Obsidian=Black Iisle because the founders of Black Isile happen to be the CEOs of Obsidian. Which of course, they don't realize that the majority of the ACTUAL talent from Black Isile is not with Obisidan so they like to think that the old and great Black Isile is still alive.

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.

Not counting the leads, you've also got developers like Timothy Cain, Scott Everts, Darren L. Monahan, Dennis Presnell, Jesse Reynolds, Dan Spitzley and a few others who were with Black Isle before eventually joining with Obsidian. Quite a few also worked at Troika at one point or another. Look it up!

To put it into perspective there are more people working in Obsidian that had to do with Black Isle than there are people who work at Bioware who had to do with Baldur's Gate, which was from around the same 'era' so to speak. This was after all around ten years ago.

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

Despite this, I used to love Black Isle for their past games when they existed, but unfortunately, their dead. Apparently though, people think Obsidian=Black Iisle because the founders of Black Isile happen to be the CEOs of Obsidian. Which of course, they don't realize that the majority of the ACTUAL talent from Black Isile is not with Obisidan so they like to think that the old and great Black Isile is still alive.

Totally disagree

I'd take Sith Lords (especially with the restored content) over KotOR
NWN2 (especially MotB) over NWN
New Vegas over Fallout 3

Wat ? Tim Cain, Avellone, Josh Sawyer, Jones, HELLO. Sure they're missing a few key guys like Jason D. Anderson and Leonard Boyarsky, but to say "the majority of the ACTUAL talent from Black Isle is not with Obsidian' is horseshit.

The Madman:

There's a huge difference between ToEE and the old Gold Box games, kinda strange to say it's trying to combine those two types of rpg in particular.

Well they are both turn based D&D crpgs, which there aren't exactly a boatload of, so that does put them in the same niche. Besides Dark Sun: Shattered Lands and Knights of the Chalice what other turn based D&D games were there for PC ? Oh yea, that other shitty Pool of Radiance game. Ruins of Myth Drannor

Obsidian's programmers suck. That's not just my opinion either, I know a guy who almost worked there and knew important people there, even he admitted that their programming department sucked. Not that they don't try, they are just.. sort of inept. I don;t feel that one flaw suddenly makes them B rate though. Ever company sucks at something.

I disagree with OP entirely. I think Obsidian are one of the most underrated developers.

It's true that they are usually handed IPs from other developers to do sequels, have you seen the current climate for independent medium sized developers? It's amazing that they aren't dead as it is nearly impossible to find funding for a developer of their size, and is impossible to find funding through traditional means to fund new IPs. Criticizing on this point is ridiculous.

As for having a game built on a pre-built engine, the same thing applies. How many games are made using the unreal engine? How about every new EA game using the same frostbite 2 engine? No one cares who makes the engine. You really expect a medium sized developer to have the money to spend 5 years making their own engine? Who is going to pay them for that?

You say they have this huge advantage making games, yet often they are tossed a contract to make a sequel, given 16 months to finish the game, then the publisher moves the deadline up by 6 months at the last minute (Kotor 2). What kind of advantage is it to be told you have to write an exam but with 2/3 of the promised time told to you when you are halfway through it? And despite this, you see how much people enjoy their games.

Again, as for bugs. This is a symptom of all of the above. Rushed time lines and other peoples engines. If they are working with someones engine then they need support from them to fix bugs that are engine based not script based. If you look at New Vegas, half of the bugs I had in that game are still in FO3 and Bethesda never got around to fixing them. Memory Utilization being the most glaring. If you ask my opinion I think it is ridiculous that Obsidian gets grinded on for being buggy when Bethesda gets a free pass. Look how buggy skyrim was, but no one knocked it down for it.

But the most important reason I like Obsidian is because their games are FUN. When I was young I remember playing a single RPG for months. Being stuck in the story and being eager for my next break that I could play more of it, Like reading a great book. Obsidian is one of the few people that can still do this, weaving an enthralling story into gameplay. I've had more fun with KOTOR2, MotB, F:NV, and AP then most other games in the past few years, especially compared to the budget and time spent on them. People enjoy a developer because they enjoy the games that they produce. It's that simple.

So, you want me to stop loving New Vegas and Obsidian for making it just because you didn't enjoy it?

Saviordd1:
(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")

Then explain to me why in the credits the "Director of Quality Assurance" works for Bethesda, the "QA Manager" works for Bethesda, the "QA Lead" works for Bethesda and why 69 of the 72 "QA Testers" and "Additional QA" all work for Bethesda?

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.

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.

Also, my guess is that Stick of Truth will end up being a disgrace to RPGs and will be really dumbed down and not really that good. Also, it will be bugged out the ass. I guarantee it.

Also, I think one thing that people like about Obsidian is that they don't seem to have any "must make money" attitude. Each of their big games tends to have a goal of making a good RPG with story focus and well written background. They are one of the only companies that does that.

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?

Whelp, Xyebane beat me to most everything. Assorted thangs to mention:

1. Sega insisted on the shooting mechanics of Alpha Protocol for reasons no living human being can explain or understand. They thought the game should be "more RPG-ish" and that that would help somehow. "Because Deus Ex" or something, probably. Despite the apparent long development time, there was a longish period between when they finished working on it and when it went gold that they were literally not allowed to touch it by Sega, and no, Obsidian did not choose when to say it was done, just as...

2. It was not Obsidian's call as to when to ship New Vegas. Damn man, of course it wasn't. They're a developer, and one that's never had a whole lot of weight to throw around. Of course that was the publisher's decision. And the game was no buggier than Fallout 3. QA is pretty much always a publisher thing, anyway, which says good things about Square Enix, because Dungeon Siege 3 was pretty much bug free. It just had the noticeable disadvantage of being a god damn Dungeon Siege game and therefore boring as hell and seriously they made a second DS when nobody likes Dungeon Siege why is anyone still making Dungeon Siege games stop.

3. KotOR, important as it is to me and a lot of people, was... really pretty bland. I mean, it's a generally cool concept and it's impressive that they pulled off their first party-based console WRPG as well as they did, but it wasn't really anything special in its genre. It handled very awkwardly with a poor UI, terrible party control, and forgettable writing. KotOR 2 kept the poor UI and control, brought in genuinely interesting writing, and added a whole shitload of scripting errors and cut content. And dropped the "teleport back to the ship" button because Obsidian are a bunch of jerkfaces.

4. NWN was terrible. Its community content was awesome, but the base game was awful. NWN2 was better than it by default. Mask of the Betrayer was legit fucking awesome.

AntiChri5:

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.

Also, my guess is that Stick of Truth will end up being a disgrace to RPGs and will be really dumbed down and not really that good. Also, it will be bugged out the ass. I guarantee it.

Also, I think one thing that people like about Obsidian is that they don't seem to have any "must make money" attitude. Each of their big games tends to have a goal of making a good RPG with story focus and well written background. They are one of the only companies that does that.

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?

Sure, why not? You could argue that Double Fine's had a worse run of it, though Obsidian's catalogue of cancelled projects (Alien, Black Hound, etc.) probably puts them over the top.

EDIT: And for fun, a quote from Naughty Dog co-founder Jason Rubin:

We were forced to develop Crash [Bandicoot] 3 in the hallways of their [Universal's] offices. Although they still had a contract to give us office space, they decided to make our lives as miserable as possible. We were under extreme deadlines for a Christmas release, so we couldn't move the team in the middle of the project. We had to stay in those hallways until the game was done. Naughty Dog was working 16- to 20-hour days that year with no weekends.

To make matters worse, Universal refused to pay for the air conditioning in their offices, and thus their hallways, after hours. Los Angeles summers, especially in the San Fernando Valley, are extremely hot. At night, and especially during the weekend, the heat on the thirty-fourth floor passed 100 degrees. This is not an exaggeration. We had to buy thermometers and measure the temperature constantly because the heat was affecting more than our comfort. Our servers were going down because the internal temperatures of the hard drives were going over 130 degrees. And the building wouldn't let us bring in portable air conditioning units, so we were forced to cool the servers by blowing air over a bucket of ice with a fan. That solved the problem until we managed to disguise an air conditioning unit as a mini-refrigerator and sneak it in.

I could tell endless tales of Universal Interactive's spite and contractual misbehavior that year, but that's all history. They tried to break us. They couldn't. Although we all worked shirtless at desks in hallways that year, we got Crash 3 done. To put all of this in perspective, Crash 3 was guaranteed to make Universal hundreds of millions of dollars in profit. Yet, as a company, they didn't have the decency to accept our decision as independents to chart our own destiny. And they were vindictive enough to risk their financial windfall had their nonsense caused us to fail. If Universal had been more humane and reasonable, it is possible that Naughty Dog would still be making Crash products today.

Doom972:
Obsidian gets much of that credit for the games its founders made as Black Isle: Fallout 1 & 2, Icewind Dale 1 & 2, and mostly for Planescape: Torment.

Personally, I enjoyed every Obsidian game I played so far. Even though they had buggy releases and unfinished content, they were still great. NWN 2 and KOTOR 2 were very buggy and have much missing content (KOTOR 2 at least got fixed by fans), while Alpha Protocol and New Vegas were very buggy, but got fixed. I think that they are on the right path.

I'm not hyped for Project Eternity though. I would've liked to see them make another non-fantasy RPG.

I wouldn't call New Vegas "fixed".

It's in a worse state now then it was at launch.

At launch, there were 500 extremely irritating/problematic bugs. Now, there is one bug that prevents me from playing entirely.

After a mere 30 hours on my latest file, the game can no longer load The Strip. You know, the most important location in the game.

From what i heard, this was caused by the last patch.

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.

obsidian make games with the depth of story a hell of alot of players like and want from their games so people are able to look past the bugs for the most part

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