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Thread: Neal Stephenson's sword-fighting game

  1. #1
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    Neal Stephenson's sword-fighting game


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    Some of you may be interested in this: http://kotaku.com/5917188/a-hell-of-...ing-video-game

    - Chris


    P.s. The guy forging a sword out of a crowbar is a real bladesmith (also the head of the Valve video game company). His hammer was apparently made by Tai Goo.
    http://kotaku.com/5917194/neal-steph...his-appearance

  2. #2
    I gotta be honest man that game looks terrible. A game that sword lovers might like though is mount and blade and the upcoming war of the roses.

  3. #3
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    I'm fairly interested in the game mechanics, which is really what the project is about. Eventually, we'll see something like Oblivion or whatever, but with an actual sword-fighting mechanic. I would like that a lot, although I'd really prefer to see one based around Kinect or something. Kinda like the April Fools assassins creed kinect trailer.
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  4. #4
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    Its still in being worked on, and with Valves reputation it will probably be a long time till its released.
    Seems like they are going to use the new motion control. Hopefully they dont make some GuitarHero type of sword

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    double

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    Looks like the game will suffer from the same sort of OCD detail that has made Stephenson's books less and less fun.

    I get geeking out on sim detail and I certainly get wanting something more from blade combat than the usual hold-x-for-super-powerful-swing game mechanics. It seems like what he's aiming for would be best served by a Kinect motion-capture type controller, but that seems a bit much for an arena game. The more complex the mechanics the more chance there is of fouling up the control system or making the input too complex for the AI. Think he'd be better served just aiming to change the dynamics of blade combat to focus more on distance and timing and less on button mashing. The old PS1 Bushido Blade title got the mix pretty well. Something like that for WMA would be a good starting point from which to build IMO.

  7. #7
    I think that Twilight Princess on the Wii actually did a very good job of making sword combat interesting. Simplistic enough that you didn't have to be anything even resembling a swordsman in real life to play, but got you in the same strategic "head space" during combat and gave you a good variety of techniques to employ including shield bashes.


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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeaxyBeast View Post
    Looks like the game will suffer from the same sort of OCD detail that has made Stephenson's books less and less fun. .
    Ha ha, I am with you there.

    Maybe they will pull off some amazing cross-breed of Wii/Kinect mechanics so that it is more than an arm swinging game.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeaxyBeast View Post
    Looks like the game will suffer from the same sort of OCD detail that has made Stephenson's books less and less fun.
    Well, that level of detail applied to just an arena game just might work. Also, this would be one more step towards recreating the technoporn set pieces of Snow Crash in real life.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by gomipile View Post
    Well, that level of detail applied to just an arena game just might work. Also, this would be one more step towards recreating the technoporn set pieces of Snow Crash in real life.
    The arena game aspect is a useful limitation, I just wonder about how much level of detail they will try to build into the scripts and decision trees for combat.

    I once tried to write up the very first technique that every student is taught in Giron Arnis Escrima (outside block and follow-up) in as rich detail as I could taking into account body position and stance and targeting and timing for all of the elements. Just the 'defending' side description of a textbook demonstration of this very basic and simple technique ended up being about half a page and required sections of simultaneous movement for multiple body parts. As soon as I started to account for variables in attack angle and depth and 'energy' it quickly turned into a couple of pages of description with lots of connections to other possibilities. When I think about coding something like that and determining what the important factors are and where to script the available interrupts...wow. Tough calls all over.

    I think Stephenson's project sounds fascinating and that it would be a cool project to work on and a lot of fun. It also sounds like a really hard project to me because balancing realistic detail against playability and learnability and basic processing demands is going to require a lot of compromises. Is it a success if the combat ends up looking kinda like a typical LARP or is that still too much like your typical action RPG? Tough calls.

    (Also -- Note to self...must try out Twilight Princess some time)

  11. #11
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    I'd like to resurrect this thread and pimp the game Dishonored. It has great sword fights, wheellock pistols, and a pseudo-steampunk style world. While the creators said they drew inspiration from 16th-17th century london, I got more of a 19th century Austrian-Hungary Empire feel from it. It's certainly worth a look for fans of sword games and first person shooters.

  12. #12
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    two games sword lovers would like are both multiplayer and available on steam war of the roses and Chivalry:Medieval war fare. Honorable mention to Dark Messiah which is a single player game.

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