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Thread: The Untold History of Arkane

  1. #1
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland

    The Untold History of Arkane

    Noclip's new Arkane documentary has been 1-2 years in the works and it's got a loooot of good stuff in it. The first episode is mainly devoted to covering their 3 cancelled projects: The Crossing, LMNO, and Half-Life: Ravenholm. I'm gonna be honest and admit I'd never even heard of the last one.



    The Crossing and LMNO both look interesting, but after watching this I am seriously bummed Ravenholm never saw the light of day. It's like a more ImmSimmy Half-Life 2!

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Dark Messiah: "Put spikes everywhere!" Lol. Explains a lot.

    EDIT: Oh, I don't think I ever knew that Arkane made chunks of Bioshock 2.
    Last edited by Pyrian; 26th May 2020 at 16:17.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    "The Adventures of Sir Deathboot Kicksalot in the Land of the Conspicuously Placed Spike Racks"

    That multiplayer game concept sounds a lot like what Evolve became -- pitting a powerful character against a team of weak ones. I wonder if anything from that project led to the making of or carried over to Deathloop.

    You could probably do an entire game just centered around communicating with an alien and trying to solve puzzles requiring cooperation la The Last Guardian.

    Ravenholm sounds like it would have made a really cool VR game.

  4. #4
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Arkane: made some pretty cool games in the 2000s, then they recruited Digital Nightfall from TTLG and became one of the most innovative and beloved studios of the 2010s. That's all you need to know.

    (Looks like a cool doc. I'll try to get around to it soon.)

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I'm looking forward to watching this, but I have to admit that I'm a bit wary of Noclip's videos getting longer and longer (by and large). I like their work, but especially with their videos on The Outer Worlds I got the impression that overall they could easily have been a third shorter without losing much in the way of substance. I like that they do documentaries about companies and games that they like, and that affection shines through without turning the documentaries into fluff PR pieces, but perhaps they're finding it more difficult to pare down their material exactly because they are quite fond of the subject matter.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    I like that they do documentaries about companies and games that they like, and that affection shines through without turning the documentaries into fluff PR pieces
    I'd say that's not exactly true. They don't try to be journalists or documentalists in a real sense, they hardly ever ask difficult questions, and they don't control the narrative. The quality of their material depends a lot on what studios will give them, or whether they see a studio in interesting situation. And there are studios that exploited that, The Outer Worlds doc is basically a soft PR stuff that could end up as "making of" clip for a collector's edition. Obsidian was smart enough to take over the narrative and push it in their favor.

    I know it's hard to be like Jason Schreier, but in their documentary about Creative Assembly Chris Bratt showed them exactly how hard interviews should look like. That was a superb journalist work. I haven't finished watching the Arkane doc yet, but I bet they didn't ask Raphael any difficult questions about his departure from Arkane.

    The other thing I noticed is that Danny, as nice guy as he is, started to put himself in the spotlight more often, and saying pretty banal stuff on things he's about to show. That diminishes impact of the footage, and sometimes feels like just patronizing the viewer. Show don't tell, seriously.

    The overall comparison that comes to my mind is from photography world, i.e. "Finding Vivian Maier" vs. BBCs "Vivian Maier: Who Took Nanny's Pictures?". First one is a drama movie about the guy who bought VM photos, dressed as documentary. Second one is a fantastic journalist work. Unfortunately noclip is heading towards the first example.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    For me it's still in "An Oral History of..." territory. We get an impression of what it was like for the teams. There's absolutely a place for this IMO, but it's very different from what Schreier has done over the last few years, and yes, I do think there's a risk that it turns into unintentional (?) PR. For me it's not quite there yet, but it brushes up against it.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Sure, he barely contributes to it, mostly just lobbing softballs when he's in it at all. The vast majority of the video is the devs talking and some gameplay video. I liked it anyway, though? It was interesting and it kept my attention.

  9. #9
    Arkane's "Prey" just appeared on GOG.

  10. #10
    Moderator
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Hong Kong
    For those of you that haven't played Arx Fatalis, you can pick up a free copy courtesy of Arkane's 20th anniversary. There's also a new patch as well, with some bug fixes and a compatibility update for W1
    Apologies for cross-posting it here as well as our UnderworldArx Fatalis forum, but I figured that most people that pop their heads in there occasionally would probably own it already.

    https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/202...th-anniversary
    Last edited by Al_B; 30th May 2020 at 05:24. Reason: post has been moved

  11. #11
    Let's have the discussion of the new Arx Fatalis version in the Arx Fatalis forum, thanks :)

    https://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=150589

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror
    Man, lots of information in that documentary that AFAIK no one has ever seen before. Makes me even sadder that LMNO never saw the light of day, that seems like it would have been a groundbreaking game had it been released 10 or so years ago.

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Finished watching it too, and while LMNO and Ravenholm bits were quite fascinating, the video falls apart as a whole. Maybe it should have been split into parts, one per game perhaps? Pacing is really bad and screen time for Dishonored 2 and Prey is ridiculously short, and these games get pretty shallow treatment in comparison. And those nervous interjections by the host to make sure everyone "gets the point", or these reassurances about videos on DLCs... Well, they do know how to make a series, they've already proven that, but they clearly have no idea how edit movies (yet).

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    I think they've said they want to tackle Prey and Dishonored separately and that's why these games got so little screen time.

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2005
    Location: Not Kansas
    I just want another Dishonored game. Please.

  16. #16
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Another Noclip Arkane vid! Don't watch if ya haven't played Prey yet, obviously.



    Interesting hearing about all the testing and reiterating that goes into making a sequence like this. I've run into this issue myself, of needing a fresh set of eyes on my games when I tweak something in the tutorial or opening stages, because only a new player can tell you if it really works or not.

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