Eschalon Reviews

Ask questions, share hints or chat in general about Eschalon: Book I.
User avatar
Evnissyen
Captain
Captain
Posts: 1078
Joined: July 7th, 2008, 11:28 am
Location: Elizabeth Warren Land
Contact:

Re: Eschalon Reviews

Post by Evnissyen » August 20th, 2008, 12:02 am

Ah, the stump. That's where I found my sword, at the beginning. I was trying to remember where I'd found it.

Are its contents really class-dependent? I'll have to check that out; thanks.
Certainty: a character-driven, literary, turn-based mini-CRPG in which Vasek, legendary "Wandering Philosopher", seeks certainties in a cryptically insular, organic, critically layered city.

User avatar
Evnissyen
Captain
Captain
Posts: 1078
Joined: July 7th, 2008, 11:28 am
Location: Elizabeth Warren Land
Contact:

Re: Eschalon Reviews

Post by Evnissyen » August 24th, 2008, 1:05 am

By the way... I don't want anybody, especially BW, to think or feel that I'm trashing the game.... I like it, I just feel that there's a great deal missing, and I think that if those missing things can be addressed (I think most importantly 1. the 'power feel' of magic as well as making magic more powerful, and 2. the narrative involvement of NPC's, who are very important for enriching a game's story) then Eschalon Book 2 can be a truly great game. It has enormous potential. I do not like most games very much, so I very seldom buy any. I liked Eschalon enough to buy it. Yes, I got tired of it by level 11... but I sure as hell don't regret buying it and, maybe more tellingly, I'm still frequenting the forums... and complaining about the game.

...Just to be clear.

Also: Doesn't anybody have an answer to my question? If you're not a Healer or a Magick User: which trait raises your mana points? Intelligence or Wisdom?
Certainty: a character-driven, literary, turn-based mini-CRPG in which Vasek, legendary "Wandering Philosopher", seeks certainties in a cryptically insular, organic, critically layered city.

Artius
Initiate
Posts: 12
Joined: August 15th, 2008, 11:40 am

Re: Eschalon Reviews

Post by Artius » August 28th, 2008, 1:26 pm

Evnissyen wrote:Also: Doesn't anybody have an answer to my question? If you're not a Healer or a Magick User: which trait raises your mana points? Intelligence or Wisdom?
Don't have the answer to this one, but I have an answer to your other one. The stump contents are definitely class-dependent. Both the Healer and the MagickUser get a minor offensive spell in the stump. Fighters get a short sword and Rougues get some lockpicks (I got three, not sure if the number changes ever). I haven't played a Ranger yet, but I would assume they get a bow and arrows.

elsol
Initiate
Posts: 19
Joined: August 27th, 2008, 10:46 pm

Re: Eschalon Reviews

Post by elsol » September 7th, 2008, 7:48 am

My review:

Pros:

1. The character building freedom was extremely enjoyable.
2. The 'working' quests were a fantastic touch... i like how they work to gently guide one along.
3. There were some truly ingenious bits -- i.e. The Amulet 'gotcha' for killing Lilith and emptying the vault; one of my favorite 'little' details was the combo of Cat's Eyes & Predator Sight (how they worked, how they were named, etc.); how encumbrance and weight were 'properly' annoying in not letting the player walk around with a condo on their back.

Cons:
1. For a caster heavy character, it's druidic or nothing... I wanted to take nefarious but magic was not affected by the axiom.
2. Saves for full magic damage -- throw me the half-damage bone... pretty please :-)
3. I thought the game could do with an 'more difficult' setting -- basically, one of those "You've finished the game -- now, take that character and try to beat it on the 'Destroyer' Difficulty"


All in all, well worth my money & will be buying Book II.

User avatar
Vyvern
Initiate
Posts: 10
Joined: March 24th, 2008, 4:56 pm
Location: Sweden
Contact:

Re: Eschalon Reviews

Post by Vyvern » September 22nd, 2008, 4:51 am

My Review, 3,5/5. Best Rpg i Played since long time.

Great game but it would be fun with some other in-game features to fill the void. ( Like Events or other Special Scenarios etc. ??? :) )

Ohwell Looking forward to Book 2.

User avatar
CrazyBernie
Captain Magnate
Captain Magnate
Posts: 1445
Joined: November 29th, 2007, 1:11 pm

Re: Eschalon Reviews

Post by CrazyBernie » October 30th, 2008, 10:09 pm

CrazyBernie's Crazy Eschalon: Book I Review

The author of this article can not be held responsible for any spoilers contained within. Read at your own risk! Or have someone else read it for you... :shock:

Over a year after creating my first character in the land of Thaermore, I finally got around to completing the game. Granted, I have ADHD (if you believe in that sort of thing) and am easily distracted by things that are shiny, but I did finish it. Thus, I felt it necessary to share my opinions with everyone else, regardless of whether or not everyone else wishes to know them. Without further ado....

1. Character Creation

Ah, this brings back memories. Whether it be playing the old D&D based computer games or even some classic tabletop action, part of the fun was rolling the stats and deciding exactly what kind of character you wanted to portray. After spending far too much time re-rolling the dice, I finally settled on a Druidic Rogue of Nor'lander origin. I would have spent far less time re-rolling stats if there was an option to swap stats around, but it's a minor nitpick. My only real gripe with the whole Character Creation concept is the classes. They seem like almost an afterthought, with the inclusion of a single free skill. With the availability of trainers and books to learn the same skills, what's the point? If Eschalon is suppose to be a skill based RPG, why not just allow players to pick one free skill and do away with the whole Class option? You can include the class in with the Title, based on the starting skills. Either that or the classes should have more to differentiate them such as more starting skills or class-exclusive abilities.

Image

2. Gameplay

In total, I spent 22.5 hours on a single playthrough with my Rogue. Of course, this is not counting reloads for silly deaths and my initial re-rolling of chests to obtain decent starting equipment (yes, it's evil, but there's good reason... read on...). I particularly like the initial starting storyline for the game... waking up in a destroyed village with no memory of who you are and nothing but a note to put all your trust in... classic stuff for sure. The entire storyline itself is fairly straightforward... offering just enough to keep you going to the next point in your quest. I would have liked to see more sidequests and more fleshing out of some of the townspeople, but I won't beat the developers up too much on their first go-round :mrgreen:

I'm big on exploration in an RPG, so much time was spent wandering around, searching every nook and cranny to make sure I get all the loot and find possible secrets. Eschalon delivers in part on this aspect, with chests planted in obscure locations throughout the land. Unfortunately, the "hidden" chests are based on the same random loot table as the rest of the game, so I have every bit of a chance at getting that elusive Adamantine Great Sword +4 as I do the not so elusive tuber. This makes one less interested in exploring the game and more inclined to just plow through the main story. Then you run into the problem of needing to flesh out the story to keep people interested in completing the game. Or, it introduces the so-called "re-rolling" of chests, where one saves before opening a chest since the treasure is randomly generated upon the opening. Then, if you don't get what you want, just re-load the save and open again... and again... and again... until something shiny and new catches your eye.

There seemed to be a bit of imbalance to the development of your character as well. If you didn't max out a combat skill at the creation of your character, initial progression could be quite difficult. This is why I ended up re-rolling chests for decent equipment at the beginning of the game, after being trounced by a couple of lizards. That being said, by the middle of the game I was far too overpowered. Once I hit around level 10, I was a force to be reckoned with. When I reached the end of the game, it was far too easy. I was quite disappointed with how much of a pushover Gramuk ended up being, and obtaining the Destroyer ending was cake. My Rogue had a 98% chance to hit anything, and at most anything had a 19% chance to hit him. This is before any buffing, of course. It appears Alchemy is a big part of this imbalance.... with all my armor enchanted my AC was pretty much doubled. Combine that with Haste III, Healing III and Demon oil III... no wonder I was unstoppable. It's not that I needed alchemy to breeze through the ending, it just made it that much faster.

The enemies you encounter fit well with their locations. It was nice to not have a rat be your first encounter for a change.... :mrgreen: I am hoping to see a larger variety with Book II, and so far it looks like Basilisk is going to deliver.

Image

3. Graphics

While simple in nature, the graphics in this game are incredibly well done. Everything blends together nicely, be it the background tiles, the lighting effects, or the simple graphic for the apple in your inventory. Other "new-old-school rpgs" I've seen/played seem to have difficulty with this concept. One of the most notable examples in my opinion is the Spiderweb games. The characters don't seem to fit the surroundings that they're in. It's like one guy did the background tiles, another guy did the characters, and they never talked to each other or compared notes. None of that is a problem in Eschalon.

The only real gripe I have graphics-wise is the fixed resolution. Ok, well maybe two gripes, but they're related. The low resolution of Book I makes it a pain in the rear to run in a window on my laptop; it has a 15" screen with a 1600x1200 resolution. It scales pretty well in full screen, but then the other "gripe" comes into play... the HUD. It's huge! It effectively reduces the actual gameplay area to ~ 570x456. It'd be nice to see a more streamlined interface, something along the lines of.... say Pool of Radiance. If it could be shrunk down, maybe some alpha blending thrown in... or have the ability to toggle it on/off. I'd just like to see more of the world of Eschalon, and less of the interface. Is that too much to ask for?? :wink:

On the resolution thingy.... I know Book II is going to be 1024x768... that's great. The suck part is I want to get a netbook, and they run @ 1024x600... I lose again. :cry: HP gave me hope with the upcoming 1000 series... was supposed to be 1280x800... final specs put it back down to 1024x600... the bastards! :x

Image

4. Sound

Don't really have much to say here... ambient sounds are nice, creature sounds are normal fare, not really looking for an ear feast with this kind of game. I suppose there could be some improvement in the battle sounds, and it wouldn't hurt to have some voice-overs here and there with NPCs. Hopefully there will be some good ambient sounds in Book II in regards to the weather effects; thunder, rain, wind, and all that jazz will be something to look forward to. On a whole, the audio was pretty average.

Image


5. Overall - a.k.a. Fun Factor

Overall I enjoyed playing through Book I. Sure there were some gripes, but they were mostly minor and likely to be addressed in Book II. In the end, it made for a nice nostalgic romp through a fantasy setting. It made me bust out some other old-school rpgs just to play through them again, and maybe actually finish them this time around. :mrgreen: Upon finishing the game, my initial response was.... "That's it? I'm done already?? Wait... there's gotta be more!!" While partially a letdown, it was also partly a sign of solid game design. With the understanding that the game has been designed as a trilogy, the shortness of the game isn't such a big deal. However, it did raise a concern about the initial price of the game. My ex-gf bought it for me over a year ago so it's not so big a deal for me. Also, I enjoyed the game and I have no qualms at dropping the cash on Book II and Book III, but it may be a concern for potential new players. In the end I don't think it will be a huge issue as Book II appears to be shaping up as a larger, more involved experience.

Image

The Setup

Pros:
- Character Creation is fun. :mrgreen:
- Story is enough to keep you going, even if a bit on the thin side.
- Graphics are top notch for the game type.
- Lots of places to explore and a decent amount of "secrets"
- Overall enjoyable experience.

Cons:
- Short. Too short. Need more story and sidequests.
- Treasure/Loot system needs balance.
- Character Skills, Classes, and Leveling need balance.
- Resolution/HUD needs streamlining. More game, less HUD!!


Image

The Knockdown


I give it a final Score of 85%. It has some marks against it, but nothing drastic that will take away from the overall experience. I have great expectations for Book II 8)

Image
Last edited by CrazyBernie on October 31st, 2008, 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Dragonlady
Illustrious
Illustrious
Posts: 1466
Joined: August 29th, 2006, 2:38 pm
Location: CA, USA or Knumythia

Re: Eschalon Reviews

Post by Dragonlady » October 30th, 2008, 11:14 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
I just loved the comments in the screenshots! I was laughing so much I had tears in my eyes.
Sometimes the dragon wins...
Help save the earth. It's the only planet with CHOCOLATE!

User avatar
CrazyBernie
Captain Magnate
Captain Magnate
Posts: 1445
Joined: November 29th, 2007, 1:11 pm

Re: Eschalon Reviews

Post by CrazyBernie » October 31st, 2008, 12:31 pm

Yeah, I kinda wish I had saved them for my Lewis The Fighter stories...

Oh well, I'll just have to squeeze that creative muscle a little tighter. :roll:

MegaHassan
Steward
Posts: 69
Joined: July 16th, 2008, 7:21 am

Re: Eschalon Reviews

Post by MegaHassan » November 18th, 2008, 7:52 am

Great review. :D

Palog
Marshall
Posts: 113
Joined: January 5th, 2009, 1:53 pm

Re: Eschalon Reviews

Post by Palog » January 10th, 2009, 8:15 am

I played just once the game and didn't tried much classes and options so on some points my point of view is limited but at least I finished the game and get a good overview of it.

Instead of doing a full review I'll comment some points of the excelllent CrazyBernie review. I agree with many points of this review, excellent graphics I like the style, nice exploration, good quests and story, random loot problem, skills balance problem, final battle a bit disappointing, 800*600 is too small and it's nice that book II will be 1024x768.

I"m more shared on some other points of the review:
  • Character creation: Well it is ok but too much random dice for me. All RPG doing that (and there are plenty) result in players reroll and reroll and reroll and you never know when stop and that's tedious.
  • Classes: I haven't tried enough the various classes to have a comment but I'd like focus that it's a SP RPG, no team here so making very distinctive classes can be quite difficult to not frustrate players because of some skill impossible to use. Myself I'd prefer much more a system using a team, even a small one like 3. But clearly that would require a very different design on some points.
  • Game lenght: It's right that it is a bit short but like a good book, it's a good point that at end you want more, it's a sign that it was good.
    For me the size is nice but some area could be a little more detailed with more contents like some wood area. Also few more quests and alternative options would be cool.
    Modern RPG fail too much into massive quantity that lower the quality because they don't have time to polish such a massive quantity. The time of my final game is 37H, not bad but I play slowly and few hours should perhaps be removed, between 2 and 3H when I let the game open without to play it. But it's also more time spend because of death/reload.
  • HUD: I agree that it could be optimized but disagree it should be reduced. For me there are clearly missing some HUD options. The inventory quickslot is nice but I'd like have more slots and for more type of elements like for spells or for items sets.
I'd like also add some points:
  • Hide in Shadows: Very interesting skill involvement in fights. Well you need explore in dark and that's a bit the negative point but that's an interesting option anyway.
  • Game difficulty: I enjoyed the difficulty which is quite nice... once I used the trick to skip most encounters during rests. I think the rest system isn't good and should be redesign. The puzzles are a bit on the easy side but too difficult puzzling is boring and I had to think during some time before solving some problems. I didn't found 2 quests, the book in the crypt (I had to look at the guide) and the ore quest that I finally solved only by exploring long after I had gave up search I was doing.
  • Writing: There's no pretension and a real sense of Fantasy and that change a lot from most modern RPG. That's a very good point and the main story is good as are the quests. For sure some deeper characters or some more complex quests could be good too, but time is time and Book I setup is quite good. If there's time to win it's about the books. Well face it, it's a pure short sort story, the more difficult writing challenge, so no surprise if most RPG using this just offer boring series of reading. For example the horrible books of the Baldur's Gate series. Well Eschalon does a bit better job for its books but well it's still a low fun. Few dialogs fail into the same problem by being pure dry historical stuff.
  • Dialog dynamic: Overall it's good but many time it's surprising that some dialogs option don't change a bit because of some events that happened. that sort of little details could add a lot to the world living and playing mood.
  • Random: On many point I felt the random factor being too important. Random is delicate because it can easily push the players into reload cheating. Myself I did it with disease traps because I was bored of getting diseased. I didn't like random approach for many points:
    • Chests loot: If the random is really required then at least get stuff of similar value for a same chest.
    • Disarm traps: It's so random that it makes feel this skill pointless. And that's one more push for reload cheating.
    • Pick lock: At least picklocks balance it a bit but it's still tedious stuff how random it is, again it's one more push for reload cheating.
    • Fights: That's an unclear point, I played many RPG and many sort of RPG but I wonder why Eschalon was quite frustrating because of the numerous hits that fail randomly. One culprit is perhaps the log showing only the percentage to hit but not the real percentage to do some damage. Another cause of this frustration is most probably the SP approach, with a party and as much random I probably quote it less than with SP. Also I think most SP I played don't have such random results.
  • Pets: Where are the pets? I didn't find any, a RPG can't be good with no pet! :P Ha well pets or some companions.
And one point to conclude, about the fights:
There's a long tradition of RPG using SP and fully turned based quite similar to Eschalon approach, it's the roguelike games. One of the older RPG genre and with a tradition of open source and improving a same approach. The result is that fights can be extremely tactical and interesting. Eschalon should have borrow more idea from this long gaming tradition. I haven't tried using magic for intense fighting so I don't comment this point. But other than that, the hide In Shadow skill generate interesting options during fights, that's a good point. But I bet that some of the best idea from roguelike game could improve the fights quality. Here some idea I throw here, for sure the whole system balance is a major point and I don't say that those points will have improve the current system but that sort of idea worth to be look at when designing such fighting system:
  • Close combat attack hits multiple opponents that are in contact. The player just attack one, this one get full attack and those close and not in back get also a hit with eventually reduced chance to hit or damages. This could be an attack mode among some other like a normal and a brutal that push back (see bellow).
  • Aggressive level cursor: At any time the player can change an aggressive cursor: That changes chance to hit and chance to be hit, the middle setup change nothing and other setup increase chance to hit and chance to be hit or decrease them both.
  • Running and stamina bar: The stamina restores slowly for any action but run and do nothing. For doing nothing the stamina restores fast. For run the stamina low down. When the stamina is at zero no running is possible and that's the only effect.
  • More long range attack tools. Any character could have the possibility to use some basic long range like throwing rocks with some efficiency and that also means many opportunity to find rocks everywhere.
  • Long range shot that hits slowdown opponent charging. That generates interesting tactical choices when multiple opponent are charging.
  • Some close range hits could push back the opponent of one case or two. That probably means to have two close attack and an interface design adapted to that. Another possibility is to have fight mode, normal or brutal. And eventually this mode brutal could have links with a stamina bar.
  • Jumping above an opponent. A special move could allow jump above (or bellow) an opponent instead of attacking, this could be a tool to escape in some difficult cases. Again, that could be setup in the quickslot bar.
  • Some trap system that can be used during fights. Follow some idea, most pick up in some roguelike game.
  • A trap that just setup an obstacle impossible to pass, a way to create yourself fighting corridors.
  • A trap that have a chance to push back the opponent walking or staying on it.
  • Limited number of traps used at same time and one turn to setup a trap.
  • Sneak attacks and sneak system that allow to see chance to be detected. See Beyond Divinity to see what I mean. In short a sneak mode allows see sort of aura on ground and related to character skills and monster position. The aura level is a visual hint of chance of sneaking, for example less light and back of opponent or high skill of silence walking and so on everything is computed to generate the aura. Ok with skill hide in Shadow as it is working the sneak attacks could be too much.
  • Quicklots: More slots and for more types of actions: For example to activate or not a sneaking/running. for spells if the player prefer. For equiping weapon sets. For activating attacks mode, like activate brutal attack mode that give chance to push back an oponent or normal attack mode or group attack mode. And so on.

User avatar
CrazyBernie
Captain Magnate
Captain Magnate
Posts: 1445
Joined: November 29th, 2007, 1:11 pm

Re: Eschalon Reviews

Post by CrazyBernie » January 14th, 2009, 12:02 am

Palog wrote: [*]HUD: I agree that it could be optimized but disagree it should be reduced. For me there are clearly missing some HUD options. The inventory quickslot is nice but I'd like have more slots and for more type of elements like for spells or for items sets.
My point wasn't to actually reduce the options in the HUD, but to reduce the real estate it takes up. We all know what the game looks like with the HUD, but here's a reference picture...

Image

The HUD in Eschalon takes up about 46% of the available resolution... Now Imagine Eschalon with no HUD:

Image

See how much you're missing out on?? Finally, here's an example (albiet sloppy) of what something more optimized might look like:

Image

Note the more dynamic GUI with options to minimize various aspects of the HUD. It allows for more game real estate so you can see more of the world you're exploring. Obviously the more game space there is, the more of a performance impact it will have on your system, but I think it's nice to give options to those with faster computers to have more detail level options. Heck, the game hardly ever uses more than 20% of my CPU other than when it jumps up to 50% on a zone change.

I realize it's probably too late to incorporate this kind of change into the upcoming Book II (The HUD in B2 is Taking up 50% of the screen, BTW) since there's probably a lot of factors taking the game window size into account, but it's certainly something I would recommend taking a look at when the time comes to start thinking about Book III. Or you could just completely ignore my rambling and that's perfectly fine as well... 0_o

User avatar
BasiliskWrangler
Site Admin
Posts: 3805
Joined: July 6th, 2006, 10:31 am
Location: The Grid
Contact:

Re: Eschalon Reviews

Post by BasiliskWrangler » January 14th, 2009, 12:32 am

CrazyBernie is at it again! Nice GUI mock-ups! :)

Book I does contain some deactivated code to run in full screen (no interface) but it simply was too slow for our target range of computers, so we never took it beyond the alpha stage of development.

Even with Book II being more optimized, we're drawing more (and larger) hardware-blended tiles to the screen than with Book I and removing the interface really slows things down. However, if we have time, I promise we will look into adding a full-screen option for people who want to give it a try.
See my ramblings and keep up with the latest news on Twitter & Facebook.

Palog
Marshall
Posts: 113
Joined: January 5th, 2009, 1:53 pm

Re: Eschalon Reviews

Post by Palog » January 14th, 2009, 5:06 pm

The height is smaller, there's less quick slots and there's no automap. :P

Myself I see the "less hud wish" more like going on highroads where all modern games wanderer: More fancy and allowing ad snapshots looking better.
But better gameplay not sure. For example:
- To get less hud and more tactical options you end learning more keyboard shortcuts.
- To get more free space you remove the automap and end in some area to constantly open and close it.
- There's no exploration "fog of war" and the automap substitute to it in showing places not explored yet. Remove the automap and it's not sure it will be as fine.
- I don't see the right bottom corner as game area but more as area lost. That sort of approach that use a lot modern games constantly make you feel that you need remove the log window. Except that in Eschalon the log is more important than in modern games (that copy them each other and I don't think that Eschalon should enter in the normality). You'll end in a constant wish to remove it and feel it required anyway.
- The setup you propose is quite classical in modern games except that they allow bigger screen size than what will offer Book II. In NWN2 I'm using 4 full bar of quick slots but I'm also able to use much wider screen size.
- The screen size for Book II won't be that big and this will let some players like me with an unpleasant option to not have enough controls through sample mouse + HUD in order to get bigger game area and more tactical option or improving exploration.

Optimize it with a similar organization like in Book I could win more place and setup a standard including sample game interface and important log area not frustrating as much than the more modern setup you illustrate.

All of that is only to bring counter elements. I don't know what would be really the best. :D

User avatar
CrazyBernie
Captain Magnate
Captain Magnate
Posts: 1445
Joined: November 29th, 2007, 1:11 pm

Re: Eschalon Reviews

Post by CrazyBernie » January 15th, 2009, 1:50 am

The height is smaller, there's less quick slots and there's no automap. :P
Once again, it was a sloppy rendition that I just threw together... there's less quickslots because I simply chose not to put them in (honestly in a turn based game such as this I hardly even use the quick slots... keep forgetting they're there...) The height is smaller because of the rather thick border I put on the Text Box, which hiding or offering options such as adjustable height or opacity could easily compensate for, as well as eliminating the border altogether. If you look at the top right corner of the display, there's a button to pop out the automap, illustrating the advantages of a more dynamic HUD. I hate to use other games as an example, but here's a screenshot from Spiderweb's Geneforge 5...

Image

If you compare it with their earlier games you'll see quite a difference. Sure, it makes the game look better in screenshots, but I'd like to think it doesn't hurt the gameplay terribly much either.

- To get less hud and more tactical options you end learning more keyboard shortcuts.
Once again, they could easily optimize the amount of space the HUD takes up without removing functionality.
- To get more free space you remove the automap and end in some area to constantly open and close it.
This doesn't really bother me personally, as I don't rely on the automap as much when I'm exploring. The maps in Eschalon aren't overly large to begin with, so it's pretty easy to gauge where you've explored. I can't speak for the map sizes in Book II, but I'm not overly worried.
- I don't see the right bottom corner as game area but more as area lost. That sort of approach that use a lot modern games constantly make you feel that you need remove the log window. Except that in Eschalon the log is more important than in modern games (that copy them each other and I don't think that Eschalon should enter in the normality). You'll end in a constant wish to remove it and feel it required anyway.
The easy way around having to constantly expand/minimize the log window would be to have it auto display text and then fade out after so many turns have passed without further prompts. Ever play World of Warcraft?? (Not that I should probably be talking about my horrible past.... *shudder*)
- The setup you propose is quite classical in modern games except that they allow bigger screen size than what will offer Book II. In NWN2 I'm using 4 full bar of quick slots but I'm also able to use much wider screen size.
The lower resolution of Eschalon is precisely why I proposed optimizing the HUD. Bigger screen sizes in modern games allow for more viewable area, a luxury that Eschalon cannot offer. The only option for that is reducing the amount of space the HUD takes up. For instance, in Book II it looks like the item icons are 49x49 pixels vs. 42x42 in Book I. Playing in either resolution on my monitor makes the icons huge, so they could have left them original size as well as the Automap and freed up that much more space on the HUD. Heck, I would have reduced the space between the HP/EXP/Mana/ETC, Kept the original 8 slots and Stacked 4 more on top for a total of 12 slots, allowing the HUD to be that much narrower. As a matter of fact.... this calls for another example.... !
Image

Egads!! 18 Quickslots for you quickslot fetish types! And look at all that free real estate(~20% more)! Yes, yes, I know, I even impress myself sometimes :mrgreen: I apologize to everyone at Basilisk for butchering your screenshots...

Again, I just think it'd be a nice option for those of us with faster computers to be able to see as much of the world of Eschalon as our computers can handle... in the end however it's just this one player's opinion. I can't fault anyone for not being able to upgrade (I myself went over 6 years between my last two system builds). I can only blame you all for holding Basilisk back from making the perfect RPG for ME... 0_o

And that was a joke, for anyone who couldn't smell the sarcasm... :wink:
*ugh* Wait, maybe I just need a shower... >.<

**Edit** P.S. We should probably continue this fight--- I mean this civilized discussion --- in a different thread. I'm starting to feel like a thread hijacker... :mrgreen:

Palog
Marshall
Posts: 113
Joined: January 5th, 2009, 1:53 pm

Re: Eschalon Reviews

Post by Palog » January 18th, 2009, 9:53 am

Well I'll continue the thread butchering but will only a little blow as I don't have much to add.
  • I agree that the interface could be optimized.
  • About using a separate area for the game screen like in Book I or using a full screen with interface elements thrown on it I don't feel it important, optimize and improve it is the point and eventually to have more quickslots.
  • The full screen versions are closer to modern games particularly because many aren't mouse controlled as they are using Doom like approach gluing the mouse to look. I suppose that some people are hurt by a different approach like in Book I.
  • About opacity/transparency I disagree it brings anything for stuff like map or log.
  • For the Geneforge example it's for me a typical stuff not well done with not enough slots. I haven't played it since a long time and never a lot but I suppose it has similarities with Avernum 5 and like it is far to have enough quickslots and don't even have quickkeys like in Book I.
  • It's just a guess but I bet that full screen approach requires to compute the game screen for the full screen even when interface elements hide some parts and with a separate area this reduce a lot the computed size area for few real size lost. Well with full 3D using fully the 3D cards that's perhaps not true.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests