GOAT is headlining on the UNITY engine blog!

Talk about anything related to Ghost of a Tale here.
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david
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Thu Apr 24, 2014 5:10 am

Hey guys, I think you'll enjoy that - at this very moment - an article on GOAT is headlining the UNITY blog. As you probably know that UNITY is the engine that GOAT is being developed on.

http://blogs.unity3d.com

This blog goes out to many, many people... maybe millions :D

On a side note: as we have speculated back and forth about here on our forums before, some kind of cooperation with Unity may happen. I asked Seith again about it yesterday, and he said 'maybe' in knowing kind of way, which makes me think that there has been some initial discussion. Which would be tremendous :mrgreen:
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evilkinggumby
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Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:21 am

just so long as we don't see billboards in game with "UNITY 3D" everywhere.. lol . that'd be a little silly.. hehehe

that it's to say it wouldn't be completely unwanted. They could make reference to a city of castaway mice or other animals called "The Village of Unity". Then street signs and other markers could be around.. haha

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david
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Thu Apr 24, 2014 11:19 pm

@EvilKing... Actually, your idea for references is really cute! (done in taste and moderation). I love to see clever, subtle, relevant ones, so you have given me the idea to start a thread to gather thoughts for references in GOAT.

You'll be pleased to learn there almost certainly won't be a lot of sponsored billboards and signage - Unity or otherwise - in GOAT :mrgreen:

Though perhaps, in a distant, highly improbable future or alternate universe, a heavily-ironic futuristic GOAT mod will feature every available surface sponsored and used for commercial advertising?

PS. I really like your suggestion of a city or town to explore in GOAT, and the concept of a castaway community of mice (the isolation could have driven them hilariously eccentric in different ways, making for some fun characters)
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evilkinggumby
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Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:28 am

LOL for a moment when you mentioned GOAT mod i thought of a GOAT simulator mod for GoaT where you explore the gam as a large floppy goat.. that'd be.. weird...

the mouse town.. yeah that'd be right fun. The original short story I did (you know, the first goat fanfic..lol) would have incorporated that, as it delves briefly into the mouse life prior to getting onto Periclave. But it could still be done, if so willing, as flashbacks and sections of memories. Like they did a bit with the newer Tomb Raider, you could dedicate parts of the game to this around campsites.

Either having flashbacks with drawing and dialogue recanting stories from Tilo's childhood, or folktales taught when learning the lute. Or entire dream sequences where Tilo has a nightmare from back in the village that you have to sort through in order to get Tilo to wake up. Could even have quick pop-in windows showing Tilo sleeping and wincing/flinching in his(?) sleep or an enemy getting dangerously close to the campsite, urging the player to get through the nightmare quickly.
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david
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Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:58 am

@EvilKing... Goat Simulator... that really is a brilliantly ludicrous concept for a game and I'm really keen to play it. I believe it has done incredibly well since release: http://www.goat-simulator.com

With regard to in-game story/back story/expositions/cut-scenes/documentation, I could be completely wrong, but I think Seith will aim for a 'bare-bones' approach, strive to keep the players in-game, and allow them to figure things out using clues the environment and items in it. He has certainly expressed that there won't be a lot of 'hand holding'. Personally, I believe that GOAT will be set in a detailed world with a backstory, but delving into it may be mostly optional.

As you probably know, Dark Souls is one of the inspirations for GOAT, and Seith may lean in this direction:
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2011- ... ls-article
http://gamasutra.com/blogs/TomBattey/20 ... _Souls.php

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Your pop-up window concept, showing the dreaming Tilo, sure is smart and innovative! Personally though, I'm hoping that Seith will go after (one of) the holy grails of gaming.... a completely interactive movie... without a HUD / cut-scenes or other 'game-like' effects (like hovering arrows pointing towards the objective, or special icons hovering over items that can be picked up).

But doing it all would need:
a) a world rich enough to tell its own story without needing cut-scenes, text or some type of narrator/NPCs providing tons of explicit exposition/guidance, and
b) in-game visuals that communicate key items/objectives players without the need for a HUD or hovering 'interesting item' pointers.


Doing it all would be HUGELY ambitious and quite risky too. Imho Seith is already stretching indie boundaries in terms of visuals... he's doing AAA graphics instead of 'indie art' (I love indie pixel art too, but GOAT is waaaaay the opposite).

As we know, from his background, Seith has the skills and knowledge. I guess it is a question of whether he has the time and resources. Even big-budget developers, with large teams of specialists, have shied away from this kind of ambition and risk.
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david
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Tue Apr 29, 2014 7:06 am

david wrote:This blog goes out to many, many people... maybe millions :D
Just to clarify my first post, I don't actually know how many people get the Unity blog, though in 2013 Unity developers numbered about 2 million with about 400,000 active monthly users: http://blogs.unity3d.com/2013/07/09/ano ... the-house/
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evilkinggumby
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Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:29 am

This is truly great news and I think it'll prove a great boost in interest and support. Because of the visuals i think a lot of indie devs will take an interest in the game and they'll be curious how Seith is pulling it all off with such minor funding and accommodations. :) It will truly be a great success story when this long road completes.

The biggest push will happen upon an alpha release I am sure, but this will help get eyes looking for the alpha. :)
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KwisatzHaderach
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Thu May 01, 2014 2:25 am

Holy smoke! that is a huge amount of users! I love to see GoaT getting the attention it deserves, I'm still in awe looking at the work Seith has pulled together so far.

Concerning the game interface and story progression I'm with david. I adore games that can create environments intuitive enough to make HUD markers dispensible while still providing freedom of movement. The last game that really nailed this was Dishonored imo. I turned off all the HUD elements and still, the game had a natural flow to its map navigation as well as to items being scattered throughout the levels (without that silly glint that seems to be a paramount concpet nowadays).

I have to say, as much as I like the opportunities of story-telling through backflashes and dream sequences, I always find they distract from the main gaming experience. They always feel tacked on. Imo this is due to the subjective way each individual experiences these things in real life. The wobbly screens and over the top bloom and maybe some slow-mo and grumbly hissing voices as they are often used for dream-sequences (in games and films alike) just don't resonate with how I experience them (I would image them as dry, matt and quite, just like this game btw: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6DTjWX7rh4). Same goes for backflashes.
Long story short: I prefer unbroken story-lines that convey history through their environments rather than through scripted spatial-temporal changes.
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david
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Thu May 01, 2014 7:56 am

I love great stories and movies. But I'm not convinced that games should follow the Hollywood movie model in approaching storytelling.... imho games should play to their strength of being an interactive medium, and always keep the player in-game, figuring things out if possible.

This is a HUGE challenge to pull off though, especially with a complex, detailed story and world history too... I know I'm asking for the sun, moon and stars.
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evilkinggumby
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Thu May 01, 2014 12:04 pm

david wrote:I love great stories and movies. But I'm not convinced that games should follow the Hollywood movie model in approaching storytelling.... imho games should play to their strength of being an interactive medium, and always keep the player in-game, figuring things out if possible.
Yeah I wasn't looking to see THAT happen, not in the extreme sense. I am not keen on games being so linear and straightforward that it feels less like playing a game as being guided through a pre-set story. Granted most games HAVE predetermined plot lines and stories, but we're at a point now where making that a bit more flexible and offering a variety of plot changes and even endings is much more possible.

But i am also able to recognize when certain tools and methods work, so I am not averse to them. And I am ok with (well done) non-linear storytelling. Whether it is entirely environmental or more explicit, I have seen that it can work. Look at "Gone Home". It tells a ton of story and characterization that can be experienced in a number of different routes (though it creates natural pinch points to help guide it a little). Unfortunately I don't think GoaT would have the luxury of that kind of game play style, as I don't think tons of audio narration, notes and letters, and generally "exploring" every environment meticulously would work well for the game I see being made.

I don't usually mind cut scenes or flashbacks/dreams in games if it falls into a natural point in the story where there is a break in he action and the story/characterization has it feel more natural. Granted the flowery "over saturated bloom and echoey sound and wispy visuals" is a bit dated and not necessary. Especially in games with a rich story and a LOT of lore/events that took place prior to the action of the game itself. It works as a very efficient 'short-hand'. Even if it does what Final Fantasy 8 did and has you play through a portion of the game as a different character for a while amongst the vision/memory.

Here is a question for you: how do you like lore/backstory/characterization in games to be implemented outside of cut scenes and/or flashbacks? Reading documents? Monologue narration? Dialogue between immediate characters? listed in the game's manual? I'm curious what folk prefer, or what other methods they come up with. :)

::edit:: Just a bit of explanation, a lot of what you'll see me suggest and brainstorm on here(all over the forum) is due to how I perceive this type of story and game. GoaT (to me) feels more akin to a folktale or oral-tradition bedtime story or fable. In that sense, having a strong narrative and using methods to reinforce and support the narrative in a more literal sense still feels ok; so that the player/listener doesn't get lost too often in the details and has to spend an excessive amount of time connecting the dots (and so drawing their focus from the story and possibly losing the "lesson" or point of it all). That's the storyteller in me though, and I admit it may be wholly inaccurate for what Seith is trying to do.
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