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Thread: A Gingerbread Orange -- Part One: Whipping Poop at a German's Hut!

  1. #1
    Previously Important
    Registered: Nov 1999
    Location: Caer Weasel, Uelekevu

    A Gingerbread Orange -- Part One: Whipping Poop at a German's Hut!

    I'm not a complicated man. I like pleasant conversation, happy little flowers, talking to strangers, and wandering around covered in other people's blood. Given the opportunity I would happily revert to the pig-ignorance of my youth, before the piecing together of dissociated knowledge had opened up such terrifying vistas of reality (and of my frightful position therein) that I went mad from the revelation and fled from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a particularly well-crafted dark age.

    In 15th Century Bohemia, of all places.

    There was me, that is Henry, and my three friends, that is Matthias, Fritz, and Matthew, and we stood outside the tavern in Silver Skalitz trying to make up our rassoodocks what to do about Deutsche the improbably-named German and his heretical rantings. If I'm honest, I wasn't really looking for a scuffle so soon after waking up, and the 47 apples, 12 onions, 11 carrots, and 3 bread rolls stuffed somewhere deep into my tunic weren't exactly what you'd call "performance enhancing" -- just made my junk LOOK bigger, is all. Not to mention the lentil soup threatening to scald my delicates if I moved too quickly. I gingerly extricated the bowl from wherever I'd been stashing it and sipped cautiously while Fritz stumped for a bit of the old yarble-bashing to be summarily laid at Deutsche's door. Matthias (Matthew? I've known these sods for years and I can't tell them apart) had a more artistic vision and so we set off to throw poo at a guy's house.

    Hello, Kingdom Come: Deliverance. You have officially got my attention.

    For an illiterate 15th Century Bohemian peasant, I sure do keep detailed notes about everything I've even remotely considered to be a good use of my time. Not to mention all the stuff someone ELSE has decided would be a good use of my time. As is the way of things, a simple fetch quest has turned into a squirming nest of distraction: The drunk guy won't give me the money so I can't buy the charcoal. I thought about stealing the things back from him but a) that's not going to give me money for charcoal, b) I don't have lockpicks, and c) two decades of fiberwire takedowns has conditioned me to step out of areas that warn of trespass until I've sussed the vibe a bit more thorough, like. Oh, and the German fellow. And now literal shit-slinging. God only knows when I'm going to find the time to do whatever else I've scribbled down... something about ale and a swordfight lesson? A hilt? Which one of these Amish women is Bianca? Why can't I hold all these limes?

    Found myself standing in front of a poo-spattered house, hands brown and sticky like a bit of wood from a tree, when Deutsche's son and his droogs came by to ask what we thought we were doing. I went over to defuse the situation with my newly-acquired prowess in Speech.

    This, o my gentle reader, is where GBM's failings finally became glory. In Seyda Neen, in Valentine, in Goodsprings, in Arx, and in Balmora -- these and a thousand other towns at the start of RPGs -- I have always begun by starting a conversation with the wrong button. You may be familiar with previous conversations such as "GBM Gets Off the Boat in Vvardenfell" and "I Killed Two Pigs With My Club" -- I'm here to tell you (with the bodies of dead lawmen in Valentine as my most recent witnesses) that very, very little has managed to change.

    "Hey, man," I wanted to say to the burlier-than-I German lad. "Your dad's being so uncool in town right now that having his house beshitted a wee bit is a blessing considering the thumping Fritz was stumping for earlier."

    What I actually said was a bit more along the lines of PUNCH YOU RIGHT IN THE FACE. And this time, for once in my long and storied gaming career (that's career as in "to move swiftly and in an uncontrolled way in a specified direction") it was the proper thing to do.

    How we laughed as we ran from the catchpole (joke's on him... we're Czech), and as we caught our breath behind that bastard Kunesh's house I reminded my droogs that they said they'd muscle me up if I went a-shitpitching with them. Drunk and useless Kunesh may be, but I was hung over and useless, with breeches well full of root vegetables and a fresh bruise on my cheek. Seemed I got away unscathed compared to the others, though -- Fritz' face looked like a mandrill's bottom, and the Matts were each sporting identical black eyes.

    "Alright," I said. "Tit for tat, amigos. We done the poo, now let's bully that disagreeable Kunesh into doing the right thing by my dad."

    When I'd finished speaking calmly to Kunesh with the flat of my hand I realized that my friends had scarpered. I guess they got fed up with me not letting them get a word in edgeways. No matter. I had a set of keys and I was determined to find something I could sell to satisfy Kunesh's debt to my patient father. As I rifled through the pummeled drunkard's palatial estate -- he has TWO rooms devoted to nothing but broken furniture, is that decadent or what? -- I remembered my swordfighting appointment. And the ale thing. And oh, right charcoal. Something about a hilt? Jesus. I wished I could read all these notes I'd made in my journal.

    Ah, cool. A hammer and an axe. I can sell these, buy some charcoal, keep the change. Right. Avanti!

    Bit of fight club in the sheepfold, trade some tools and 47 apples for charcoal, pocket the change. Well, I say "pocket" but it was more of a weird sleeve down the ass of my pants. It was the newest fashion here in Silver Skalitz, my friend Janek up at the castle even kept things in his crackpack that the Chamberlain had entrusted him for safekeeping. Like ornate hilts. Which reminded me...

    Fetch the sweaty hilt from a sweatier Janek, grab some cool ale from the tavern for dad. Then maybe I could get back to drinking. My girlfriend Bjork hinted at a blowie later on in the day as she handed me a pitcher from the cellar, so I poured the cool, cool ale into my crackpack and scurried off home with my chubby and my change. And some Schnapps. Ew.

    What a lovely day, what a perfect world. I smiled into the warm air and knew deep in my heart that nothing at all could possibly disrupt the magnificent tenor of my life.
    Last edited by Gingerbread Man; 23rd Feb 2020 at 02:20. Reason: my brain is as big as an egg!

  2. #2
    Previously Important
    Registered: Nov 1999
    Location: Caer Weasel, Uelekevu

    A Fistful of First Impressions

    Alright, so Henry has just had a Very Bad Day.

    I, on the other hand, have just had an excellent one. This is an immediately gripping game with interesting mechanics. At some level the depth of things reminds me of VtM:Bloodlines for some reason. I have some initial worries about certain things, but after poking my beak into the Nexus, I'm certain that I can find a way around anything I'm not entirely happy with.

    Here's some bad stuff: There's more clipping going on than at a barber convention holy cow -- I saw a dude holding his goblet by shoving it through his palm, and clothing seems to have no regard for collison. Henry's long wobbly arms get in the way of everything ever so slowwwwly. I can't believe how long it takes to pick something up off a table. And I don't like the fact that I can't alter head bob... especially the super exaggerated "bend to open door" and "reach slowly out with long wobbly hand that clips though the sword you're wearing" bits. I don't mind a bit of bob when running or riding a horse, but I do prefer to tone it down substantially for everything else.

    Also why can't I walk at a normal speed? This is gonna be another of these games where I'm supposed to follow someone and end up doing this ridiculous herkyjerk run-stop-run nonsense, isn't it? I understand that a protagonist has to have a way to catch up to or get away from people and things -- hell, I'm even finding this irritation in Hitman2 -- but when coupled with the headbob and dangly noodly arms... Ah, well. I'm sure I'll get used to it.

    I'm already used to a whole lot of things I should be annoyed with. Lip sync is so atrocious that I wonder if it was localized from Czech, but the typical and inexplicable range of English accents tells a different tale. Probably doesn't worry anyone else that Henry's dad is clearly from a completely different part of England (sorry, Bohemia) than his son, nor that random Americans keep showing up, but these kinds of tears in the fabric of reality make my bum go small sometimes. Minor quibble, I'll get over it.

    Combat. Oh, jesus. I love it. It's so hard, but without being hard like "The RNG Hates You" hard. You could swing a sword at a sleeping foe for an hour in Morrowind and connect like twice. Spamming was the order of the day. Deliverance (that's what I'm gonna call it from here on) lets you know that you're failing because Henry sucks and you suck at being Henry. It's all on me, I know exactly what I'm supposed to be doing. I just have no familiarity with the controls, the mechanics, the systems... it's perfect. I know I'll master it about as fast as the stats raise, and that's a great feeling. I think it's very important for an RPG to scale the player's increasing skill at the game with the character's increasing skills IN the game, and Warhorse has done it fairly well in my admittedly naive opinion. I don't think I'll change my mind about that, though.

    For a bunch of 75th percentile models and textures, the characters all have exceptional personality. The briefest of encounters have left me with strong impressions -- I'm actually hoping that this company approaching from what's left of Skalitz involves Fritz and the Matts. I actually hope they're okay. That was a wonderfully understated attack on the town, and I care about the people who died or may have died.


    Boy is combat hard. I might as well have been playing Oddworld for all the "try this" (die) "try this, ooo it worked" (die) "okay do that then this haha!" (dies) -- whatever the opposite of rage quit is, I was doing that.

    Once I'd figured out how to steer my horse and make it do a bit more than stroll away from the archers following me at a respectful distance while they peppered my bum with arrows, I found mysOH HAI ITS A CUTSCENE NO WAIT THERE'S GONNA BE SOME BLACK SCREEN AND THEN SOME LAG AND

    Wild cutscenes come popping up in the middle of DIALOGUE. Almost as bad as the Sword Angle / Camera Look schizophrenia -- though that one is most likely due to me not having worked out the target lock system. There are a lot of keys to remember, maybe I should try it on controller before I get too habituated to the KB+M? Thoughts on that?

    But the cutscenes are lovely. The mocap is gorgeously natural, the voice acting superb. I'm loving the conversation mechanic, miles better than Oblivion's pie chart noise. Again, the lip sync is poo and the textures are weak, but there's an HD texture DLC isn't there? Maybe I'll look into that. I can ignore poor lip sync for the most part -- I'll just look at something that isn't a character's mouth. Simple come bonjour.

    CryEngine 3 looks nice. It doesn't hold a candle to some other games in terms of ZOMG PHOTOREALISM but I think you guys know that I find hyper realism a bit naff nine times in ten. Waste of GPU resources that could be used on subsurface scatter or ambient occlusion or better freaking water modelling rather than distant trees and other LOD stuff. Or something. I can feel the rabies coming back. Coherence low, wizard needs DON'T SHOOT THE FOOD

    Yeah, I see the flaws. I'm sure I'll see more of them. I'm sure I'll invent some that only exist in my fevered imagination. But until then, I'm gonna make sure Henry survives, thrives, and finds out what happened to Bjork. Or that mill wench with the nice ass.

    There's a kind of sublime and beautiful realism going on here, and I think this is good. I'm invested, I'm intrigued, and I'm challenged.

    Well. You all knew I was challenged. That's been obvious since the last fuckin' milennium.

  3. #3
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Cuz of you, I've been playing Dishonored 2: Death of the Outsider. Yesterday, I used semblance, a power that allows to you take on the appearance of anyone you've knocked out previously, to chain choke a bunch of people into unconsciousness.

    When everyone wakes up, I imagine that poor French maid I ambushed is gonna catch a lot of flak. Oh well, SUCKS TO BE HER, I GUESS!

  4. #4
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    Get yourself a good set of loaded dice and make some real money.

  5. #5
    Previously Important
    Registered: Nov 1999
    Location: Caer Weasel, Uelekevu

    Oh my

    Right, well... Henry's had a bad day.

    That was spectacular. Low-key, frighteningly intimate, very powerful. Corpses in the rain, dogs and bandits...

    Went to see Her Ladyship, didn't I? Asked for help ditching the castle so I could bury my folks. Knew she'd be sympathetic, we get on well. She gave me some cash, told me where to lift some gear. Then she caught me picking the lock to her underpants drawer and Henry went to jail.

    Got out of the castle, though.

    No cash, no armor, no horse, no weapons. No sympathy, and no plan. Get walking, Henry.

    So much real panic when Radzig's sword got lost. I mean, I knew it had to be either scripted or anticipated (and obviously it's scripted) but I was really upset. Great investment in Henry and his fortunes already -- that's maybe the most important aspect of RPG writing to me, I have to care about the avatar or it's all just a waste of time.

    Currently scavenging dandelions so that I don't have to face Theresa's dad. Wearing nasty wet patchwork clothing cobbled together from the possessions of bandit corpses. I won't loot the other dead, not even for bandages.

    The short update is that I care what happens to Henry and I'm not going to let him fail. There's a baldhead Ysilde German who needs his head removing from his neck.


  6. #6
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: the Sheeple Pen
    Hey GBM, just wanted to let you know that I've enjoyed reading your Deliverance Diaries so far. Your posts probably don't make much sense to someone who has never played the game, but I finished it around a year ago and still remember most of it quite well, so it's fun to think back of my grand adventure with good old Henry and compare it to yours. I gotta say that Henry is one of the most likable protagonists in any game ever!

    I've been thinking of starting a new game lately, and reading your posts makes me want to do it even more... it's just that my first play through took way more than 100 hours, which is a lot for me these days. This time I've got all the DLC and stuff too, and I might choose the hardcore difficulty or whatever it was called. I'm not looking forward to those fights early on in the game, but I have a feeling that it might be more rewarding in the late game.

    Anyway, looking forward to the next part of Deliverance Diaries!

  7. #7
    Previously Important
    Registered: Nov 1999
    Location: Caer Weasel, Uelekevu
    I'm about to start using words like LiTeRaLlY uNpLaYaBlE if I can't get these framerate issues sorted. Cutscenes are excruciatingly awful, but I can cope with that. What I can't cope with is getting Seconds-per-Frame in combat.

    This could be very dire.

  8. #8
    Registered: Jun 2011
    Location: Trapped in Constantine's couch
    Great read so far haha! Anything from you GBM is solid comedy gold.
    Hope you can get the framerate issues sorted so you can continue!

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