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LBA Prequel The goal of this project is to make a prequel of LBA1 using the original engine. (homepage)

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  #26  
Old 2009-08-17, 01:16
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Not all hope is lost...but we have to get our act together.

The major point in any of these projects is that we go for what we can think off, and not of what we can actually pull off.

To create a new engine by one man is quite pointless, and makes me wonder why no-one thought of using an out of the box engine. If Jasiek could use that A6 engine on his own and produce a kickass full 3d citadel islands, why can't we?

Now we have a collection of great concept art, a nice music score ( although not yet mixed right, and not consistent in quality as the latter pieces blow away the older ones ) and a lot of experience of how we should not run a project like this.

As nothing is lost but time, I'd say we have better chances of achieving something now than 4-5 years ago when we were naive and too unrealistic.

Besides, the LBAnet program makes me rather optimistic as well.
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  #27  
Old 2009-08-17, 03:38
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I'm pretty sure people have tried out of the box engines before now, but normally it results in them deciding its too inflexible to make a LBA game with.
Action-Adventure games are probably the hardest genre to make.
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  #28  
Old 2009-08-17, 08:35
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Personally I tend to trust whatever Zink says, he's proven to know what he's talking about.
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  #29  
Old 2009-08-17, 09:05
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DF, that could work, but there are some problems.
- We can't simplify the game's storyline much. It should be about the same length as the LBA 1's story, otherwise it will be too short.
- "Two different views" - I don't see that. If they release a story from another character's point of view, people will still know most of it, including the ending, so the game will become boring.
- Game in parts - it might work, but I don't think people will like downloading the new part of the game every half of the year (or every year) that will last for just a couple of hours of playing.

Jesse, we have discussed the game creation software, and the main reasons we rejected them, as far as I remember, were:
- they are paid,
- they don't give us enough freedom,
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  #30  
Old 2009-08-17, 15:45
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The problem with simplifying the script, as some are saying, is hard. We've had the discussion internally for awhile. I'm not saying this because I'm sensitive about the work I put in; far from it. I've let Luke and Yev rape the absolute shit out of it because I knew from the beginning it was raw and needed someone with the time and energy to go through and tune it up.

The issue is really that many of the things in the script could be rendered down (not rendered in the technical sense, but in the literal sense) and fit into the game, but it would lose most of the personality that the game has. Think of doing LBA 1, except without any of the charm or personality it has. When I wrote the script, I didn't write with reckless abandon for the technical limits, I knew of them, but I also wasn't going to constrain some of the ideas just because we didn't "know if we could pull them off" yet.

For instance, there is a battle with a snow creature that I wrote in the script which, as originally written, wouldn't have worked in the engine, but we chatted about it and discussed ways of making this possible. It didn't change things too fundamentally, just changed things to fit into the constraints of the LBA engine.

I haven't chimed in until now because I've been reading other peoples thoughts. No, I don't think the Prequel game project is dead, but it is an untenable burden that the programmers of this team have placed upon themselves to try and come up with a full-length game engine, tools, etc. with a team of approximately 2 people, both of whom have real life jobs and commitments.

I like what DF had mentioned about more community involvement. If we did have more programmers - and I'm thinking along the lines of LBANet - it would help reduce the burden on Alex and Zink. Even if they might never admit it, it is unfair to them to have to work alone on the programming aspect.

With regards to the comic, the thought I currently have and am discussing with Yev is that we have a flash movie that uses the cels of the comic book to tell the story. This would mean utilizing the voice actors we hired as well as soundtrack Jesse wrote and many other components from the original team. Think of this as sort of the Matrix anime that was released to couple with the real movies. A better comparison would be a movie (or game, as it were) that is adapted to another medium. We're telling the story in such a way that will not be hindered by technical limitations. The goal we have is to, in part, support and supplant the eventual game itself, but ultimately, to tell this exciting fan-created chapter of LBA history.
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  #31  
Old 2009-08-17, 16:24
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I never liked full motion comics though, as it basicaly comes accross as bad animation rather then a comic-with-extras.
I think the key is, everyone reads at different paces, so with a comic your progression should be manual and not automatic.

A comic with music, however, I specifically think could be ace.
Of course, I am slightly bias as I'm developing a kinda comics system myself at the moment. (which oddly,despite saying the above dosnt yet support sound at all.....)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zink View Post
DF, that could work, but there are some problems.
- We can't simplify the game's storyline much. It should be about the same length as the LBA 1's story, otherwise it will be too short.
- "Two different views" - I don't see that. If they release a story from another character's point of view, people will still know most of it, including the ending, so the game will become boring.
- Game in parts - it might work, but I don't think people will like downloading the new part of the game every half of the year (or every year) that will last for just a couple of hours of playing.
,

Ok, fair enough if its not a splittable or dividable story.

I dont think people mind games released in parts though, better to have to download more occasionally then wait 5 times longer to get any of it
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  #32  
Old 2009-08-17, 17:49
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It's not a full motion comic, what it would be is individual frames of the comic in flash. People could forward the frames, along with the music/voices, at their own pace, by clicking to the next frame.
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  #33  
Old 2009-08-17, 18:22
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ah, ok, thats better.
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  #34  
Old 2009-08-17, 20:33
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that sounds awesome, I am very much in favour DJ.
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  #35  
Old 2009-08-18, 23:13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zink View Post
I'm 99% sure we won't have anything "visual" in 4 months.
I've developed a large scale video game before with 4 programmers and am well aware of the non-visual aspects that go into game development. When I meant progress I meant progress. If you, Alex, plus others can show any kind of progress in 4 months that will indicate that a short demo will be feasible within 1-2 years, I'll withold publishing the story (if Luke and DJ agree). It will most likely be a "wait and see" kind of situation. And I would rather not alter the plot because I'm not into the alternate universe storytelling -- I like to create one version of one story instead of multiples.

Ragnar Tornquist (the creator of The Longest Journey) has said that if the continuation of Dreamfall is never produced, he will publish the story in either a novel or comicbook format. That's a smart move because I would rather read the story in a book than never read it at all.
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  #36  
Old 2009-08-19, 00:40
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Coding is indeed mostly non-visual, but I wouldnt underestimate the need to have playable-representations of stuff to test. Even within a demo in 4 months, there should be something to show, at least to Lightwing.
Even if its crude blocks moving about to demo physics, motion, or scripting.
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  #37  
Old 2009-08-19, 01:36
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Right, although that sounds like something for a new engine. If we're going to be going back to LBA1 engine (which we most likely will), I imagine there will be a lot of "I just managed to convert this file format to that format" or "I took care of a giant memory leak."
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  #38  
Old 2009-08-19, 01:51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightwing View Post
Right, although that sounds like something for a new engine. If we're going to be going back to LBA1 engine (which we most likely will), I imagine there will be a lot of "I just managed to convert this file format to that format" or "I took care of a giant memory leak."
Not necessarily, some good progress can be made very quick with enough free time. Personally when I program I need complete dedicated days (or nights) to achieve satisfying results. I can't get something interesting in 1 or 2 hours. However if I get the opportunity to work 3 days in a row on something, I can get very good progress very quick. I guess a lot of programmers work like this. But how to do when we have a full week of work and keep some free time to let our brain rest a little on week ends ?

I'll personally try my best to do something with LBAPI to gather the efforts, and work on LBAnimator Studio 2 to allow further and easier editing of the LBA models. As soon as I get a few fully free days I'll work on that. Which shouldn't be so far away from now.
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  #39  
Old 2009-08-19, 08:31
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thank uuuuuuuu please scroll down the archive of the Fan Games sections and see how many desperate attempts I had back in the days (2006-2007) to have us all work together but noooooo everybody wanted his own little project with his OWN ideas which were wayy better than any other right ? ego ego and ego again that's what drove the projects apart to zilch as they are now
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  #40  
Old 2009-08-19, 13:19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightwing View Post
I've developed a large scale video game before with 4 programmers and am well aware of the non-visual aspects that go into game development. When I meant progress I meant progress. If you, Alex, plus others can show any kind of progress in 4 months that will indicate that a short demo will be feasible within 1-2 years, I'll withold publishing the story (if Luke and DJ agree). It will most likely be a "wait and see" kind of situation. And I would rather not alter the plot because I'm not into the alternate universe storytelling -- I like to create one version of one story instead of multiples.

Ragnar Tornquist (the creator of The Longest Journey) has said that if the continuation of Dreamfall is never produced, he will publish the story in either a novel or comicbook format. That's a smart move because I would rather read the story in a book than never read it at all.
So you're aware of the programming progress, and nevertheless you're choosing to ignore the progress we're constantly making. So what proof do you want, exactly?
I'm not talking about memory leak kind of things. I'm talking about more or less constant work on the tools we need to start developing the game. This includes (and probably limited to):
- Link working on Animator Studio - I don't know his stage, so I can't predict if he will have any progress that satisfy you in 4 months,
- Me working on Architect (yes I was suposed to work on model converter, but the recent developments have shown that Architect still lacks some important features). I could say if I can show any progress in 4 monts if I knew what kind of progress you want to see.

With the Architect (even at current stage) we can already design islands and scenes (we can use original models for development and switch them to the custom ones later, when we have them).
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  #41  
Old 2009-08-20, 06:49
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Zink, I was looking over Prequel forums for over 6 months without a single post. If you're doing stuff for Architect, please post updates. Anything really. I remember how Alex used to update us regarding every tiny thing. That's great and lets people know that things are moving forward.
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  #42  
Old 2009-08-20, 08:30
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Nice thread!!!

I thought this project was ultimately dead.

And now it seems like it just has been expanded ^^



Btw: I applied TWICE for translating to spanish what I thought was the "complete" script for the Prequel at that time (I asked Double-J both times, I'm not sure if he remembers it but I do because I really wanted to be part of it and I was lacking skills at anything else).

So, now that I see there's an idea for a comic-book.....I'll propose myself a third time as a candidate to translate at least one chapter to Spanish (Going English > Spanish, I don't know any other language so far xD).

I know the actual dialogue could be "green" yet, but keep me informed, please?
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  #43  
Old 2009-08-20, 09:21
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Lightwing, I post updates to Architect in the Architect thread, but you're right, that I should post it also in the Prequel forum (on the Prequel blog maybe too?).
What level of detail should I include in the posts? I mean: post news on beta releases only and highlight only major issues there, or post news whenever I make an important code modification for the next release?

Also, Link, it would be good if you do the same. I, personally, would like to know your progress too .

RGaspar, I think DJ haven't answered you simply because there are no dialogs at the moment to translate. Yes, there are dialogs in the story script, but most of them will probably be modified, so it's not smart to translate them now . And we have some final dialogs for the demo, but I don't think we're going to release the demo in other languages than English, at least not at the beginning. We will think about that when we're close to the release.

Last edited by Zink; 2009-08-20 at 09:27.
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  #44  
Old 2009-08-20, 22:01
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Zink, if you make any sort of changes or updates that's fine. You can even make posts saying, "I fixed 4 errors that wouldn't let the program compile" or something.

Essentially, we need to get an idea that gears are moving and that a small demo is possible within a year or two.
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  #45  
Old 2009-08-20, 22:30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RGaspar View Post
Nice thread!!!

I thought this project was ultimately dead.

And now it seems like it just has been expanded ^^



Btw: I applied TWICE for translating to spanish what I thought was the "complete" script for the Prequel at that time (I asked Double-J both times, I'm not sure if he remembers it but I do because I really wanted to be part of it and I was lacking skills at anything else).

So, now that I see there's an idea for a comic-book.....I'll propose myself a third time as a candidate to translate at least one chapter to Spanish (Going English > Spanish, I don't know any other language so far xD).

I know the actual dialogue could be "green" yet, but keep me informed, please?
RG, I didn't forget you, but we don't need a translator until the script is 100% finalized.

It wouldn't do much good to translate several drafts, why make more work?
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  #46  
Old 2009-08-21, 01:15
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Also, Link, it would be good if you do the same. I, personally, would like to know your progress too .
Alright, I'll start a thread for that tomorrow.
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  #47  
Old 2009-08-21, 02:04
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Alright, I'll start a thread for that tomorrow.
This is good.
Also, thanks for the support everyone. Apart from some 3D modeling I didn't do much work on the prequel, so I'll just say on behalf of the team it's nice to hear fresh ideas and compliments.
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  #48  
Old 2009-08-21, 13:03
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Zink, if you make any sort of changes or updates that's fine. You can even make posts saying, "I fixed 4 errors that wouldn't let the program compile" or something.
Uhm, I would feel really strange posting something like this. Given that noone would understand what that means exactly .

I will then post updates when important things change (for example: "started implementing feature xxx", "fixed major bug yyy") as well as short-term plans and estimated ETAs when possible.

Will the public forum be okay for that, or does anyone from the team want to keep the progress in secret?
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  #49  
Old 2009-08-21, 14:41
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Will the public forum be okay for that, or does anyone from the team want to keep the progress in secret?
Public thread could be general updates, specific details should be kept within the private section.
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  #50  
Old 2009-08-21, 16:42
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Also, Link, it would be good if you do the same. I, personally, would like to know your progress too .
Quote:
Originally Posted by Link View Post
Alright, I'll start a thread for that tomorrow.
Done !
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