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View Full Version : Alpha Protocol's low production values.


Rindill
06-01-2010, 08:56 PM
I am really tired of games with great ideas ruined by low production values. I really looked forward to this game, being a fan of the Splinter Cell series and RPG's in general. Alpha Protocol is a huge let down. Now I know who to blaim, SEGA and Chris Parker, the ♥♥♥♥ers.

On Joystiq’s review, a commenter claiming to be a developer that worked on Alpha Protocol talked about the production failures the game faced and that the project should have been scrapped.

"I worked on this game (a fact of which I am not proud). I'm not here to defend it; I agree with all these reviews.

There was a ton of work put into this game. The problem is that is was a ton of undirected work, or work on things that were just stupid. The Executive Producer for the game, Chris Parker (also an owner of the company), seemed to think he was the world's greatest designer ever, and created all these absolutely ♥♥♥♥ty systems and wouldn't listen to any of the real designers or devs about things that just didn't work. And you can't exactly argue with one of the owners of the company when he doesn't want to listen. He basically took over the game and dictated exactly how everything would work (or not work, as the case may be). The other producers realized this early on and just gave up, leaving Parker to micromanage all the designers and programmers directly.

Sega also was a factor, because they kept changing the design requirements (yes they had heavy influence there), which never gave the producers and designers time to actually decide on one set of features to make and polish. The blame is still mostly Obsidian's because the execution was absolutely terrible, and it was obvious 2 years ago that this game should have been scrapped. Instead, though, they focused on adding still more features and never fixed the ones they already had. That is a recipe for tons of bugs and no polish... as is obvious.

This game was just an absolute failure of production, and it's no wonder that so many of the developers left the company, even after the 40% staff layoffs. I am still happy about some of Obsidian's other current projects, New Vegas included, because they are going pretty well. Their big unannounced project is looking great and is already much better than AP ever was, and that may end up being the game that everyone was looking for with AP.

Sega should have canceled AP instead of Aliens..."

JK_DC
06-01-2010, 09:08 PM
And still it isn't too bad. I'm playing on normal/recruit and having no problems. I died twice in 4 hours and set off 1 alarm and that was in the tutorial. The AI and animation are the worst parts of the game. The graphics are as good as any average game that comes out now. They are as good or better than mass effect 1. A patch for AI and nerfing some of the special abilities would make the game an 80 or so.

pot
06-03-2010, 03:20 AM
I agree, low production values and not enough polish and iteration on the various systems in the game make it look worse then it is. I do like the game somewhat but I am very dissapointed. I kinda knew something was up but I bought it anyway. I gave Obsidian a chance. I will wait for reviews on future Obsidian games. The game is far from the worst game ever tho, it is playable. I give it about a 7ish so far.

djuara
06-03-2010, 05:53 AM
Still much better game than the latest Splinter Cell game. :)

brotrrwinner
06-03-2010, 06:29 AM
Still much better game than the latest Splinter Cell game. :)

Anything is better than that POS

StingingVelvet
06-03-2010, 10:58 AM
With forced AF the game actually looks pretty nice to me, it's main problem is horrible animations, which yes, does make it look budget.

JK_DC
06-03-2010, 04:03 PM
The characters look like they are walking on ice. lol They don't take steps their foot slips on the ground and they move forward. The combat and shooting animations are fine though. I can't think of any other game that has this much replayability. I finish most games one time. This one is worth two or three plays, especially if a patch comes out. I have forced AF, edited the cfg for 5.1 and turned off background loading and it runs perfect. It just needs some polish.

Turn down sensitivity on sniper scope, up it on hacking game. Tweak the AI, balance the abilities a little more. Thats about all it needs. My best hacking time so far is 3.5 seconds.

Tenkari
06-03-2010, 07:06 PM
remember, a lot of games arent perfect when they are shipped. thats why this day and age most games have the ability to be patched to improve on them and fix problems.

JagFel
06-03-2010, 08:02 PM
remember, a lot of games arent perfect when they are shipped. thats why this day and age most games have the ability to be patched to improve on them and fix problems.

PC games have always had the ability to be patched, and usually were. In the past the problem was how to distribute those patches. (I fondly remember eagerly awaiting my monthly PC Gamer mag's with cd-roms, for that previous months round of patches and mods)


AP has a solid premise and underlying framework, but it really shouldn't have been shipped in the state it was.

StingingVelvet
06-04-2010, 01:19 AM
AP has a solid premise and underlying framework, but it really shouldn't have been shipped in the state it was.

One wonders what shape it was in 6 months ago when it was originally supposed to release.

I don't think it's that bad now though honestly, I haven't had any significant technical issues or bugs with the game at all to be completely honest.

JagFel
06-04-2010, 07:13 AM
One wonders what shape it was in 6 months ago when it was originally supposed to release.

I don't think it's that bad now though honestly, I haven't had any significant technical issues or bugs with the game at all to be completely honest.


My guess is that's what they spent the 6 months dealing with, the significant technical issues. Which is a good thing. I haven't had any real problems either, other then occasionally getting stuck while wall sliding or clipping through the floor of a catwalk. Though the one time I watched a body flip flop on an invisible ledge was funny.

The control problems can all be fixed with patches, as well as skill balancing and probably the AI routines as well. But it shows a remarkable lack of polishing and hampers the game.

StingingVelvet
06-04-2010, 11:38 AM
Other than the hacking mini-game I think the controls are find too... haha.

Maybe I am blinded by how good I consider the core game, but what are the issues with the controls you have? Note that I disabled mouse smoothing.

JagFel
06-04-2010, 02:32 PM
Other than the hacking mini-game I think the controls are find too... haha.

Maybe I am blinded by how good I consider the core game, but what are the issues with the controls you have? Note that I disabled mouse smoothing.

Little things, the hack mini-game is my biggest complaint. The sniper scope super sensitivity is another, sometimes mouse look gets stuck if you're moving the mouse as you're exiting a min-game, you can't null/clear/unbind a key in the menu only rebind, mostly little things really.

StingingVelvet
06-04-2010, 02:39 PM
Little things, the hack mini-game is my biggest complaint. The sniper scope super sensitivity is another, sometimes mouse look gets stuck if you're moving the mouse as you're exiting a min-game, you can't null/clear/unbind a key in the menu only rebind, mostly little things really.

Ahh, ok... the sniper scope is crazy, yes.

I just thought you meant overall, like the whole control system is poor or consolized.

JK_DC
06-04-2010, 03:47 PM
I have the reload checkpoint error where enemies don't appear. That has to be fixed if nothing else. If I choose load checkpoint first I get a black screen so I reload checkpoint then load checkpoint to fix it. Annoying at best. I haven't seen any AI glitches. It has been good against me for the most part. I have been meleed several times while shooting someone else. AI throws nades really well. Try the game on hard/recruit if you have a problem. lol No more complaining then I'm sure.

JagFel
06-04-2010, 05:31 PM
Ahh, ok... the sniper scope is crazy, yes.

I just thought you meant overall, like the whole control system is poor or consolized.


Oh it IS consolized...I'm just sadly adjusted to such things and expected it.

Just finished my first playthrough, overall not a bad game. Excellent writing and story.

The skills/abilities need balancing badly though. I blew through the last levels using pretty much only chain shot and criting from cover.

StingingVelvet
06-04-2010, 05:51 PM
I have the reload checkpoint error where enemies don't appear. That has to be fixed if nothing else. If I choose load checkpoint first I get a black screen so I reload checkpoint then load checkpoint to fix it. Annoying at best. I haven't seen any AI glitches. It has been good against me for the most part. I have been meleed several times while shooting someone else. AI throws nades really well. Try the game on hard/recruit if you have a problem. lol No more complaining then I'm sure.

Did you change the streaming in the config files? That messes with enemy spawns.

StingingVelvet
06-04-2010, 05:52 PM
Oh it IS consolized...I'm just sadly adjusted to such things and expected it.

Well it is not a PC exclusive, no, and thus does not control like one. I don't see any real "consolized" issues with the basic controls though. WASD moves, mouse aims, every key is customizable, the mouse is fully supported in menus... seems good to me.

JagFel
06-04-2010, 06:16 PM
Well it is not a PC exclusive, no, and thus does not control like one. I don't see any real "consolized" issues with the basic controls though. WASD moves, mouse aims, every key is customizable, the mouse is fully supported in menus... seems good to me.

I didn't say it was a bad port, it functions well. But the menus within menus stuff is annoying. Like the weapon/ability/gadget menu, hit 'z' bring up the menu, select the item you want, then have to hit 'z' again to close it. Would have been better to close the menu upon selecting the item, as in most games, the extra step throws me off and breaks the flow for me.


As I said, mostly little things.

TheOD
06-04-2010, 07:49 PM
I didn't say it was a bad port, it functions well. But the menus within menus stuff is annoying. Like the weapon/ability/gadget menu, hit 'z' bring up the menu, select the item you want, then have to hit 'z' again to close it. Would have been better to close the menu upon selecting the item, as in most games, the extra step throws me off and breaks the flow for me.


As I said, mostly little things.
Double clicking the ability will close the menu and select it. Double click actually seem to work with every menus.

StingingVelvet
06-04-2010, 07:56 PM
Double clicking the ability will close the menu and select it. Double click actually seem to work with every menus.

Indeed, which is very PC.

JK_DC
06-04-2010, 09:59 PM
Did you change the streaming in the config files? That messes with enemy spawns.

backgroundfileloading or onlystreamintextures? Backgroundfileloading seems to be the best to turn off for stuttering.

StingingVelvet
06-05-2010, 12:13 AM
backgroundfileloading or onlystreamintextures? Backgroundfileloading seems to be the best to turn off for stuttering.

Yes, those mess with enemy spawns.

Neverpleased
06-05-2010, 02:38 AM
I am really tired of games with great ideas ruined by low production values. I really looked forward to this game, being a fan of the Splinter Cell series and RPG's in general. Alpha Protocol is a huge let down. Now I know who to blaim, SEGA and Chris Parker, the ♥♥♥♥ers.

On Joystiq’s review, a commenter claiming to be a developer that worked on Alpha Protocol talked about the production failures the game faced and that the project should have been scrapped.

"I worked on this game (a fact of which I am not proud). I'm not here to defend it; I agree with all these reviews.

There was a ton of work put into this game. The problem is that is was a ton of undirected work, or work on things that were just stupid. The Executive Producer for the game, Chris Parker (also an owner of the company), seemed to think he was the world's greatest designer ever, and created all these absolutely ♥♥♥♥ty systems and wouldn't listen to any of the real designers or devs about things that just didn't work. And you can't exactly argue with one of the owners of the company when he doesn't want to listen. He basically took over the game and dictated exactly how everything would work (or not work, as the case may be). The other producers realized this early on and just gave up, leaving Parker to micromanage all the designers and programmers directly.

Sega also was a factor, because they kept changing the design requirements (yes they had heavy influence there), which never gave the producers and designers time to actually decide on one set of features to make and polish. The blame is still mostly Obsidian's because the execution was absolutely terrible, and it was obvious 2 years ago that this game should have been scrapped. Instead, though, they focused on adding still more features and never fixed the ones they already had. That is a recipe for tons of bugs and no polish... as is obvious.

This game was just an absolute failure of production, and it's no wonder that so many of the developers left the company, even after the 40% staff layoffs. I am still happy about some of Obsidian's other current projects, New Vegas included, because they are going pretty well. Their big unannounced project is looking great and is already much better than AP ever was, and that may end up being the game that everyone was looking for with AP.

Sega should have canceled AP instead of Aliens..."

Wait a second, New Vegas is being developed by the same guys?

You know Alpha Protocol is not that bad and actually quite enjoyable on a good PC. But they better stay the hell away from Fallout, though we have Bethesda to secure quality.

StingingVelvet
06-05-2010, 02:46 AM
Wait a second, New Vegas is being developed by the same guys?

You know Alpha Protocol is not that bad and actually quite enjoyable on a good PC. But they better stay the hell away from Fallout, though we have Bethesda to secure quality.

1) Obsidian is made up of the people who created Fallout.

2) Bethesda makes buggy games too, if not more so.

3) Yes, Obsidian is making Fallout New Vegas.

JagFel
06-05-2010, 06:36 AM
1) Obsidian is made up of the people who created Fallout.

2) Bethesda makes buggy games too, if not more so.

3) Yes, Obsidian is making Fallout New Vegas.


4) Bethesda is throwing LOTS of money at Obsidian to make NV.

5) Bethsda is also Publishing NV, and therefore Obsidian is going to have the time they need to actually work on the game.

gobbybobby
06-05-2010, 07:46 AM
I have found NO bugs with the game yet, only clocked a few hours. JagFel How long it take you to finish and on what difficulty?

JagFel
06-05-2010, 08:46 AM
I have found NO bugs with the game yet, only clocked a few hours. JagFel How long it take you to finish and on what difficulty?

16 hours according to the steam community clock. I only played on easy, was more interested in the story for the first run through.

JK_DC
06-05-2010, 05:03 PM
It took me 25 hours on normal/recruit. I tried to avoid alarms and being detected and did all hacking etc. myself. It seems people are trying to blow through the game.

I'm playing on hard/veteran now and having massive problems with the first boss. I finally sold the worthless SMG's. Those have to be the worst weapons in any game I've ever played. You can unload a full clip(actualy 2 since it is dual wield)and not kill someone if you are more than 10 feet away even though you hit them 12 times. The shotgun is doing okay, but 12 rounds to the face on the first boss doing 10% damage I don't agree with either. I have advanced rooom clear. I don't like that the pistol is the best weapon in the game.

JagFel
06-05-2010, 05:50 PM
yea, I've restarted on normal/recruit. Going to try exploring the various abilities and gameplay mechanics this round, also trying to avoid using the pistol this time.