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Thread: Discuss - Game Director Letter November 2014

  1. #21


    So when will the World Boss start again?
    I actually like Lore #1. Well written.

  2. #22


    I prefer version 1, although version 2 was very good. It's simply easier to "mess up" a first-person narrative than an encyclopedic entry, so I think even if this sample was great, there's a higher risk with first-person perspectives in the future. Also, gamers love encyclopedias. Why do you think there are so many wikis around for popular games/comic books/tv shows?

  3. #23

  4. #24

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by ArcaneScientius View Post
    I would say have Conan tell it, i.e. make the lore entry from Conan's perspective. He has been everywhere and you can use him as a subjective source giving good information.

    In the Hyborian age piece, REH talks about the rise of the tribes:
    "In the north, golden-haired, blue-eyed barbarians, descendants of the blond arctic savages, have driven the remaining Hyborian tribes out of the snow countries, except the ancient kingdom of Hyperborea, which resists their onslaught. Their country is called Nordheim, and they are divided into the red-haired Vanir of Vanaheim, and the yellow-haired Æsir of Asgard.
    ... the Cimmerians are tall and powerful, with dark hair and blue or grey eyes. The people of Nordheim are of similar build, but with white skins, blue eyes and golden or red hair.

    Then from Phoenix on the sword, a direct quote from Conan:
    "Asgard lies to the north, and Vanaheim to the northwest of Cimmeria, and there is continual war along the borders."
    "Tall and fair and blue-eyed. Their god is Ymir, the frost-giant, and each tribe has its own king. They are wayward and fierce. They fight all day and drink ale and roar their wild songs all night."

    If you can merge these two, and write it somewhat as if Conan (or possibly another subject) were explaining it to an adventurer. In Jewels of Gwahlur, Conan even knew a bit of ancient tongues.

    By combining the styles to give useful subjective information, you will be able to give good lore detail and include vocative or conversational parts such as: "An icy country of mountains and glaciers, of wind-torn shrubs and the tracks of hungry wolves. But watch out when in Nordheim! The Vanir live for plunder and rapine while their women-folk defend their homes. All in the frigid land live by the sword."

    You can also include in-game details, such as "The mighty frost wyrm turns in the frozen bowels of the earth."

    Sorry, I don't do it as well as REH, but I hope my meaning is clear. Tell it from Conan's perspective is a good place to start to set the tone of lore entries.

    Jewels of Gwahlur extract:
    "In his roaming about the world the giant adventurer had picked up a wide smattering of knowledge, particularly including the speaking and reading of many alien tongues. Many a sheltered scholar would have been astonished at the Cimmerian's linguistic abilities, for he had experienced many adventures where knowledge of a strange language had meant the difference between life and death."
    Yeah, sure, he mellowed as he got older and even might have written some poetry, but I don't see him writing books. And his story quotes are far far too disconnected to be able to use to create coherent lore categories.

    There is a large amount of scholarly knowledge that we would want to include in the lore. If it more informational then that is less of a problem. For the second approach, giving it a voice, we would use characters from across the world such as scholars to give voice to the scholarly parts. If we limit ourselves to Conan it limits the system a lot. Plus the entries about Conan would be really awkward to write.

    For the record, the lore system will always preface things with the REH quotes. So the actual lore entry would first have the piece from the Hyborian Age and then the text from the GD letter. In both cases. I just didn't bother to put that in the letter as it would have wasted space and been repeated.

  6. #26


    Use both. Scholars write encyclopedias, adventurers spin tales.
    Short cuts make long delays.

  7. #27


    nice seeing both GD and Mods participating!

    If i could just add something..Saying less can be more may instantly distance me from some other group, so allow me to give two examples of why i find the second type of presentation so much better:

    - you did the content, no skipping, no gogo. Some of the things you read/heard made absolutely no sense, others could have lead you astray. NPCs filtering events through their own beliefs, etc. And at some point, again because this is something you wanted (which is also good as it entails the gogogo people are not forced to read, see: ADHD), the story finally comes to make sense! You understand the relations between NPCs, certain pieces, etc etc, you feel rewarded because what might appear as a goofy scenario for someone not having paid attention, for you it is pretty much organic;

    - having read what is there to read and more importantly, having looked where most don't bother, a plot has formed in your head connecting the various/disjointed pieces of information you have come across. At some point, an integral part of 'a' story is handed to you and you get to that moment where you can say "yeah, i knew it!" or "wouldn't have thought of that!...does that mean that...but why.."

    If these things can happen, you get to care. Because to get to them, you participated. That is what makes the difference. Just like in TSW
    Obsequious and arrogant, clandestine and vain

  8. #28

  9. #29


    For me too, the 2nd example of lore is much better. But it would have to be signed, so we know who exactly said it. And as the mod suggested, it could be scholarly if, for example, it was written by Astreas, or some other Hyborian scholar.

    I would also LOVE to find all the great stuff written for the game in an ebook. Over the years, there has been some pretty good writing in AoC (like the backstory of Karutonia or the House of Crom), and it'd be a shame to lose all that when the game will be taken off-line (even if that won't happen for many years). Even quest dialog can sometimes be pure gold (like the Astrologer or the Gold Seller in the Noble District).

    I would pay good money for a nice ebook like that!

  10. #30


    Quote Originally Posted by Nusquam View Post
    Thanks for response. I meant that you could use a knowledgeable person as the source, allowing good lore detail and a more conversational style.
    Think something like a top professor giving his opinion, which, because of his knowledge and experience, should at least be considered.
    But, based on your response, i would say make it an encyclopedia entry. But this could turn out to be sterile compared to using characters (example of kalanthes as intro to aoc) to give good, useful and less carrot-stuck-up-bum encyclopedia entry.
    I am advocating that the two styles be combined to give detail yet remain in keeping with game-feel of creative fantasy writing.
    Eg not using a drunken sailor in tarantia as source, but rather using pallantides as a source to describe poitain.
    The entries do not even need to quote a source. You can just use a character perspective as a guideline to give a good, detailed and engaging tone to the entry.
    Last edited by ArcaneScientius; 4th December 2014 at 05:29. Reason: added
    In balance with this life, this death
    -- Hand of Ibis RiP
    Magic is seeing what happens when you hit someone really hard, and when they disappear in a red spray, that's magic.
    -- Jansensen, Gunderman fighter {max taps - RiP}
    CQB Ranger

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