Neal Stephenson kickstarting swordfighting game

SockMan!

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http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/260688528/clang

This looks interesting since it's attempting to address the silly "press button to swing sword" gameplay mechanics that very few games have ever tried to improve upon. Doubly interesting considering who is funding it.

Though I have to wonder why Neal Frickin' Stephenson feels he needs to run a Kickstarter project - he's probably more than capable of funding the project (or securing funding considering who he is) so I'm guessing this is more about publicity than money.
 

djsb

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What the heck, why not. After all these years I haven't wasted money on Neal yet.
 

InternationalHat

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There was Die By the Sword... also it was less "this mechanic is awesome" and more "this is hilarious, watch me wave my arm around like a 3 year old with bad motor control"

Seems like a poor idea :\
 

jojo69

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mount and blade

I think it is going to be hard to improve much on the mechanics with a mouse/keyboard interface. Refinement sure, but I doubt a revolutionary leap.

That said...I eagerly await snow crash...the game
 

rudy

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Though I have to wonder why Neal Frickin' Stephenson feels he needs to run a Kickstarter project - he's probably more than capable of funding the project (or securing funding considering who he is) so I'm guessing this is more about publicity than money.

The fundamental problem with kickstarters and why I do not fund them. Good ones are almost always run by guys who could secure the funding on their own.
 

MavericK

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Ehh...I was cool with $15 for a copy. Grim Dawn was $18 and I (somewhat reluctantly) went in for that as well.

Not gonna do $25 for a Kickstarter, sorry.

Oh, plus you need some sort of special hardware to play it as well. Meh.

Sounds cool but I'll wait to see if anything actually comes of it.
 

Saturn_V

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Valve Time. The last thing we need. :p

I bit for $25. Partially because I remember the agony of DBTS, Jedi Knight and Mount & Blade. But mostly because I think PC gaming needs a first-person melee engine.
 
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Parmenides

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Valve Time. The last thing we need. :p

I bit for $25. Partially because I remember the agony of DBTS, Jedi Knight and Mount & Blade. But mostly because I think PC gaming needs a first-person melee engine.

Absolutely we need a first person melee engine! Kind of don't care for the extra hardware though. It would be nice to have everything done with the mouse/keyboard.
 

drdoug99

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The fundamental problem with kickstarters and why I do not fund them. Good ones are almost always run by guys who could secure the funding on their own.

The whole point of Kickstarter is to see if there is any interest as well. Why would you expect someone to fund something that may have no interest to anyone other than Neal Stephenson? Then it would be a waste.

This way, it generates a following, and people spread the word, and exciting things can happen. Waiting to see what happens once this is released is pretty stupid, since this will never happen without fan based community support, from viewers like you. :D Kickstarter is the PBS of the Internet age, I'm glad to see new ideas and innovative ambitious projects like this come out.

Looks like it's well on it's way to passing it's goal, which is good. Just like the Wii, or Kinect....they are first gen tech....yes they have a long way to go to get to the holodeck realism we all want (at least I want) but at least it's a step forward, just like this is. It's progress, and it will be slow, and maybe it won't turn out that great. But then like Neal said in the video, it will be a framework and toolkit for others to improve upon. But without enough support, it won't happen at all, and his idea will be shelved, maybe never to surface again.
 

drdoug99

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Valve Time. The last thing we need. :p

I bit for $25. Partially because I remember the agony of DBTS, Jedi Knight and Mount & Blade. But mostly because I think PC gaming needs a first-person melee engine.

The best melee style game I have played was the Condemned games. They really made each punch you gave, or when you got punched or a crowbar to the face, felt real. A very visceral experience, kind of raw and very brutal, just like real fighting. If they could improve upon that somehow, that would be the standard of a good melee experience.
 

Eulogy

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My troupe are a lot of the fighters you see in the background. This was a fun video to shoot, though they cut out some of the cooler stuff we tried. Either way, this is a cool effort.
 
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MavericK

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I also found it a bit odd when he grabs the 360 controller and chastises them for using a thumbstick for melee fighting.

As if any other game type ever is "realistic" to play with a thumbstick, or even mouse and keyboard for that matter? I don't really see what his point was other than kind of acting like an elitist.
 

Godmachine

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I also found it a bit odd when he grabs the 360 controller and chastises them for using a thumbstick for melee fighting.

As if any other game type ever is "realistic" to play with a thumbstick, or even mouse and keyboard for that matter? I don't really see what his point was other than kind of acting like an elitist.

This is the vibe I got from the video. "My concept is vastly superior to anything else available and isn't it cute how antiquated current fighting game controls are?"

Not really into supporting an elitist attitude with a crowd funded game.
 

MavericK

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This is the vibe I got from the video. "My concept is vastly superior to anything else available and isn't it cute how antiquated current fighting game controls are?"

Not really into supporting an elitist attitude with a crowd funded game.

Exactly. Don't get me wrong, the idea of decent melee combat in games is a great one, and maybe it's time someone did something unique about it, but yeah, the attitude was off-putting. Also the proprietary hardware requirement is a no-go for me. Basically it seems like they want to make a Kinect game or something.
 

DeathPrincess

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I usually hate all these "see the developer" stupid videos. But he should have dressed more like this!


Fund my kickstarterrr!!!

Also Gabe Newells brother made a cameo. (now I feel mean :D). This seems like it would last as long as a wii game...:(
 

sir-gold

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I also found it a bit odd when he grabs the 360 controller and chastises them for using a thumbstick for melee fighting.

As if any other game type ever is "realistic" to play with a thumbstick, or even mouse and keyboard for that matter? I don't really see what his point was other than kind of acting like an elitist.

The point was to introduce the new motion controller for the game. He was just being overly dramatic about it.
 

RIPATI

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Some of you are having very weird reactions to the video. Disinterest is understandable, but hostility? His tongue is so firmly in his cheek it's practically piercing through his face.
 

Stiler

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mount and blade

I think it is going to be hard to improve much on the mechanics with a mouse/keyboard interface. Refinement sure, but I doubt a revolutionary leap.

That said...I eagerly await snow crash...the game

Severance (aka Blade of Darkness) had leaps and bounds a MUCH better melee combat system.

The melee combat in Mount and Blade is it's weakest point imo.

It has great mounted combat, great ranged combat iwth it's bows/crossbows, but melee combat is just so damn "simple" and the mechanics are as well.

The problem with many melee combat systems is that they rely on movement to do an action, this creates an ABSURD feeling/looking melee combat where you hav epeople just running side to side/back/fourth hacking away at each other with no real movement or sense of action dependent on what your enemy does.

Severance got by this by instead of moving THEN doing an action, you press the moues button (hold it down) THEn press a movement key. This makes combat look a lot better, more natural, and doesn't lead to the stupid looking "floaty/ice skating" style of melee combat that game slike Mount and and Blade, Jedi Knight, and others have.

Sadly Severance is a very under appreciated game, many people haven't played it and no other game has even came close, they all seem to want to copy a Jedi Knight style combat or something else.
 

jojo69

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You either love it or you hate it

hundreds of folks playing it every night
 

Stiler

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Playing = Thinking it's the best thing ever?

I love mount and blade (have bought it since before it was released, when it was like 5 bucks to get it) and currently play the Napoleonic wars expansion for it.

That doesn't mean I don't find the melee combat to be weak/not that great compared to other games I've played.
 

jojo69

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M&B is the best pre gunpowder combat sim I have played, the control interface has really grown on me.

Perhaps I should try this Severance, does it have multiplayer servers? It doesn't have magic and goblins and crap does it?
 

Stiler

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M&B is the best pre gunpowder combat sim I have played, the control interface has really grown on me.

Perhaps I should try this Severance, does it have multiplayer servers? It doesn't have magic and goblins and crap does it?


Severance is a fantasy action adventure, yes it features non-humans (Mainly skeltons, undead, etc). However it's a dark fantasy that is focused on the melee fighting and some light range combat (bow and arrow) here and there.

You pick from different characters, you can play as a Knight, Barbarian, Dwarf, Amazon woman. The character you choose affects not only the beginning level you start but also what weapons and things you are proficient in.

The Barbarian for instance is great with two handers, great swords/axes, a Scythe, etc. The knight is great with a Shield and one - handed, the Amazon is good with Polearms/spears.

Not only is the character you choose what determines your combat capabilities, but also the weapon you use. The game has a very in-depth combat systemt hat ties specific moves to specific weapons. So say, using a special unique axe weapon will offer a different moveset list then using a sword or something else. This means that you can find wepaons with different moves that you like and it offers a lot more variety. There are quite a few moves dependent on the specific weapons (and character).

Combat in of itself is EXTREMELY dependent on defense as well as offense. You can not "button mash" your way through it. You MUST learn to dodge or block (certain characters can be better at one or the other). Shields can also be broken as well. Not to mention that the enemies themselves can fight amongst each other (certain enemies have no empathy for others and will fight each other if they get near them). There is also friendly fire from the npc's, so if you are fighting more then one enemy, they can actually end up killing each other if they hit them. The enemies can do EVERYTHING you can, dodge, block, so don't expect to think it will be super easy once you've fought them, there are also some very tough enemies too later in the game.

There's just nothing quite like the game's melee combat. If you take the time to learn it, and get into it, you will see. When you are able to "read" an enemies move, know when to dodge/block, or simply get lucky and dodge an attack only to see the enemy end up cutting his allies head off because you dodged out of the way, it's priceless.

Combat uses a stamina system (so you can't spam higher tier combat moves or things over and over). You have to manage your stamina during fights, if you get exhausted you move slowly/swing your weapon wildly. If you try to use a weapon that that character isn't proficient with they'll run out of stamina quickly too.

It is an older game though, I'm not sure how/if it runs on Windows 7. It came out back in the early 2000's, 2001-2 I believe. It was actually one of, if not the first retail game to feature real time lighting/shadows (even before doom 3). However the movement and things can take getting used to how it feels.

The game also features a lot of dismemberment/blood. If you ever played Rune back in the day, Severance is similar in that context. You can even pick up limbs/heads and throw them at your enemies (though it does hardly anything lol).

The game had lan support but no online natively (because of latency and things, this was back when most people were on dial up), the fans added it in, you can still find people to play with through the arokh's lair forum ( http://www.arokhslair.net/forum/default.asp?CAT_ID=4 ).

Here's a few ok videos I found on YT for it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tbcZvGSgVk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZdP83kxT-U

Really though, you kind of have to play it to really appreciate the combat system and how in depth it becomes/feels once you learn it. It might look a bit wonky because of it's age but it still (imo) is the best melee combat system that's been in a video game.
 

|Tch0rT|

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I knew it as Blade of Darkness. That game was the shit back in the day. Hard as fuck too. Definitely not a button masher. The combat feels clunky at first and can be hard to get into but once it clicks it's rewarding to dismember your foes. I never did finish it but I think I got pretty far with the barbarian. It will run in Windows 7. I was messing around with it earlier this year but I think it needs an OpenGL Raster program to work and some of the graphics are messed up but it's playable. The closest thing these days to it is Demon's Souls/Dark Souls but BoD had much more depth to the melee combat.

EDIT, link for getting it to work on Win7:

http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9401

sigh, what I wouldn't give to have an update to that game with modern graphics (leave the rest alone)...
 
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MavericK

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I knew it as Blade of Darkness. That game was the shit back in the day. Hard as fuck too. Definitely not a button masher. The combat feels clunky at first and can be hard to get into but once it clicks it's rewarding to dismember your foes. I never did finish it but I think I got pretty far with the barbarian. It will run in Windows 7. I was messing around with it earlier this year but I think it needs an OpenGL Raster program to work and some of the graphics are messed up but it's playable. The closest thing these days to it is Demon's Souls/Dark Souls but BoD had much more depth to the melee combat.

EDIT, link for getting it to work on Win7:

http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9401

sigh, what I wouldn't give to have an update to that game with modern graphics (leave the rest alone)...

YES!! I couldn't remember the name of that game but that immediately came to mind when thinking of good melee/sword combat in a game. That was such an awesome game.
 

TwistedAegis

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I also found it a bit odd when he grabs the 360 controller and chastises them for using a thumbstick for melee fighting.

As if any other game type ever is "realistic" to play with a thumbstick, or even mouse and keyboard for that matter? I don't really see what his point was other than kind of acting like an elitist.

This is the vibe I got from the video. "My concept is vastly superior to anything else available and isn't it cute how antiquated current fighting game controls are?"

Not really into supporting an elitist attitude with a crowd funded game.

Insecure much or...? :confused: It was clearly meant to be humourous/sarcastic...I thought the entire video was hilarious. There is also a 2nd more serious video that gives more details.
 

Godmachine

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Insecure much or...? :confused: It was clearly meant to be humourous/sarcastic...I thought the entire video was hilarious. There is also a 2nd more serious video that gives more details.

Us liking it or not is really an issue with our insecurities? Lol. Right. Ok :rolleyes:

Just because we felt he came off as a bit of an elitist and that disinterests us suddenly we're being overly critical?

Gotcha.
 
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MavericK

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Insecure much or...? :confused: It was clearly meant to be humourous/sarcastic...I thought the entire video was hilarious. There is also a 2nd more serious video that gives more details.

Even if it was sarcastic, they're still making it with proprietary hardware which means it's going to be a niche thing at best.

I didn't think it was all that "clear" of sarcasm TBH. Sometimes, yes, but the overall theme of the video felt elitist.

Insecure? That doesn't even make sense.
 

maboblivion

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Realistic sword physics would be nice for some games with swords... tho not sure it would be as fun when you fail to parry... would be like morrowind at lvl 1. Swing & a miss
 

PornoSatan

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Their in-game examples don't look very impressive at all. I hope the core mechanics make up for it though
 

TwistedAegis

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I think their main goal is to create the core engine, however knowing no one will donate just to that they're putting out the first game for it at the same time.

And the insecure comments were about people getting upset over him making fun of a game controller. Really?
 

MavericK

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I think their main goal is to create the core engine, however knowing no one will donate just to that they're putting out the first game for it at the same time.

A core engine for what will essentially have to be a Kinect game. Pass.

Also, read that Reddit list if you haven't. Really excellent reasons why this probably will not do well.

And the insecure comments were about people getting upset over him making fun of a game controller. Really?

The point (that I was trying to make, anyway) is that it was retarded because using a controller for pretty much any game period isn't "realistic". Trying to make the point that using a controller for melee combat is just as stupid as trying to say that the controller sucks for platforming because that's not how you "move your legs and jump around realistically". Give me a break. I know it was supposed to be funny but TBH it just came off as sad and (as we said before) somewhat elitist.

You're entitled to your opinion about his intent or sarcasm or whatever but don't go off calling people insecure because you disagree.
 

Stiler

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If the idiot who made that Reddit thread watched the actual ENTIRE video and read the "Faq" he would feel like a moron.

They specifically talk about the Kintect, the controller they are using atm (Hydra sixsense). Basically the Hydra has a MUCH better controller then the kinect, the latency isn't there like the kinect, it uses magnets and not the IR, etc. It's quicker and can tell finite movements better, that's why they aren't making it for "kinect."

On top of this they mentiont hat the game WILL use mouse/keyboard as well, you will not HAVE to use the Hydra controller (it's already out, from Razer).
 

MavericK

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Okay, so, either you get the proprietary controller and, what...basically have to play it in front of your TV since you're not going to be swinging around a sword sitting at your computer, or you use a mouse/keyboard which defeats the purpose of the project in the first place?

There are still some valid points to be made about the viability of this.
 
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