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Messages - Mayo Master

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Team Avalanche / Re: Gallery Proposal
« on: 2016-01-28 00:10:27 »
What to say...

A gallery proposal has hit the forums before, but went away with the setup of the different threads of every artist.

Most of the images turning up as blanc is due to the fact that initially image sheck was being used as a free site to upload. However they changed into a paying service in (at least for me) that's a waste. Even if i login there now, there is only 1 of the 100 images left which I originally uploaded years ago.
But I agree it would be nice to repair at least the first posts.

Another point is that since the news of the remake of FFVII everything feels like a waste of time, and it takes a lot of time to recreate a scene in full glory.

As for the releasing of the source files, that's a personal decision for each and every artist for themselves. And to be honest don't put your hopes up on that.

I very much agree, especially on the relevance of the project now that the remake is on tracks.
In fact, when I uploaded the images of the "Released" scenes to googledrive, it had the appeal that we wouldn't be at the mercy of a change of policy from an image hosting site.
Now, for sharing source material, I'm not really inclined to do that. Most of the blender files are not only huge, they're also extremely heavy on textures based on images from, which does not allow the sharing of their images (it allows free usage, but not sharing).

Team Avalanche / Re: I guess that's it, guys
« on: 2015-08-12 15:37:47 »
For FFX Remaster, it's a combination of things. Let me list a few: random encounters with turn-based battles, uneven quality of character models (main characters were nicely remodeled, but most NPCs had the PS2 poly-count, and even with re-texturing, you feel it), dated animations, some narrative elements... they're mostly inherent limitations of what a Remaster offers.

Team Avalanche / Re: I guess that's it, guys
« on: 2015-08-11 16:16:06 »
We don't have the personal resources nor the amount of time it would take to finish. With the announcement of the remake we have even a deadline and the worst thing a graphical reference which will lets look this project amateurish (I know that it isn't, but tell this the people who have never played the first release and are now trolling through the internet).
I very much agree. At best (with all the time in the world), we might have been able to make something near the quality of FFX remaster. For having played it, while I didn't find it bad, the game felt dated nonetheless. As a player, I'm much more interested in a remake than a remaster.

Team Avalanche / Re: [HD Remake] Transports - Highwind
« on: 2015-08-09 17:20:16 »
That's a great turbine model  :)
Unfortunately I do not have anything like a model of the Highwind.
By the way, on my end I've resumed working on the Tiny Bronco. Eventually I'd like to see about making a 3d print of it  ;)

Troubleshooting / Re: Sound driver issue - Windows 10?
« on: 2015-08-06 22:50:50 »
This is how I use aali's 0.8.1b driver.  It doesn't work if I follow the installation instructions given by aali but if I install the ffconfig.exe from 0.7.11b plus all the files from 0.8.1b and set the graphics driver in ffconfig.exe to custom then it works no problems.  Haven't had any issue with sound whatsoever since on Win 10 however this is obviously dependent on a per driver basis.  I am using the on-board audio inside of Maximus VII Hero board with no trouble.
I tried to follow this method, but then when I run FF7config.exe, upon choosing the "custom" graphic driver, then I get a popup "The specified procedure could not be found". I checked Aali's thread, not sure if that detail was important or not.
In any case, the result was the same: still unable to load the game past the "Initializing sound" test.

Troubleshooting / Re: Sound driver issue - Windows 10?
« on: 2015-08-05 01:04:30 »
I have been setting my mods manually (via modpath) because when I was actively working at Team Avalanche I needed to do a lot of testing for the fields. I was using Aali's 0.7.11b because when I initially tried 0.8 it didn't do well on my end, so I reverted back. I haven't tried with the latest 0.8.1b though.

Troubleshooting / Re: Sound driver issue - Windows 10?
« on: 2015-08-04 23:34:57 »
Thanks for the leads, I appreciate.
I still haven't been able to fix the problem. What's odd is that I my computer does have sound, has all the drivers updated, passed the sound test in FF7Config, but when I launch the game it produces the same issue, with the app log never getting past the 'Initializing sound' test.  ???

Troubleshooting / Sound driver issue - Windows 10?
« on: 2015-08-03 18:27:19 »
Hi folks,

I've been happily playing the game with a bunch of mods via modpath and Aali's driver v.07.11b. Yesterday I changed my OS from Windows 8 to Windows 10, and since then the game fails to launch. The app log doesn't get past the "Initializing sound..."  so I sense it may be an issue with the sound drivers. However, I've not been able to fix that issue (it may be simple, but I've been running around in circles for some time now).
I tested the sound output in ff7Config.exe, tested my sound devices... nothing. Un-install, re-install, same problem.
Any ideas? Thanks.

Team Avalanche / Re: I guess that's it, guys
« on: 2015-07-01 17:20:20 »
It was still a very decent system overall and unlike modern games, you got more control of your characters (even the Summons) not less.  It was far more fun and intelligent than FF12 imho
I've never quite understood that particular criticism of FF XII (the notion that "the game plays itself" or "players do not have control on the party's actions"). First because the game always gives you the choice of disabling gambits and having the player make every single input, and second because even with Gambits on, the player's choices were always taking over Gambit action. In the end, the amount of input/control could be configured to a great extent (it could even be played like good old ATB if the player wished to), and I'm not sure how that makes this system "less intelligent" than that of earlier FFs.

Team Avalanche / Re: I guess that's it, guys
« on: 2015-06-30 21:05:35 »
I think that DQ8 has the best battle system I have ever played because it is simple designed and every skill is more or less useful in end.
Noooooooooooooooo! Not DQ8  :evil:!
Well, I would agree that DQ8 is the embodiment of extremely traditional turn-based mechanics. As you can suspect, this combat system was not really to my liking (which did not prevent me from enjoying the game as a whole, though), in part because it made me feel like I was still playing with the same mechanics I've played with back in the days of the Genesis (1991!).
Personally, I prefer when a combat gameplay feels seamless, follows a dynamic flow of actions and stimulates quick reaction/anticipation. I think I do not like most turn-based systems mostly because of their repetitive "stop & go" pacing, and because they do not tend to offer much originality.

Team Avalanche / Re: I guess that's it, guys
« on: 2015-06-30 18:03:56 »
So... you wish me to explain why I would have the dumb idea of willing to change the ATB system? Okay.

Personally, when I play a RPG, I play it primarily because I'm interested in the discovery of a fantasy world, epic adventures, and relationship between characters, and how the video game medium has a particular way to get the player immersed and involved in all this. When I play a RPG, I do not feel attached to specific combat mechanics. Regarding combat mechanics, what matters to me is that they're entertaining, have a certain element of strategy, and be coherent with the story/universe. If combat mechanics follow "Scheme X" instead of "Pattern Y", I don't really care. Now, I've never said that I didn't like ATB: actually I found that ATB was interesting and entertaining when I was playing the game back then. However I tend to prefer more dynamic systems, something that has a little more punch to it. Now, saying that an "action" orientation of the gameplay would be necessarily brainless, especially in comparison of earlier games, is in my opinion invalid: first because having to take fast decisions isn't necessarily detrimental, and second because earlier games did not necessarily require a much more clever approach (many old turn-based RPGs proposed combats which would be solved by "Attack">"Attack">"Attack" more than 90% of the time).
I will even make another case: when I recently played Dragon Age Inquisition, the game offers you the possibility to either play it like an action RPG, or to pause anytime for instructing your characters to take a specific course of action (which kind of breaks it down to a turn-based approach). If you play in higher difficulty setting (which I did), you have to plan your actions a lot more carefully, so you tend to take combat with a more "turn-based" approach, whereas you can keep the pace of an action game if the difficulty level is more forgiving. While I certainly had the impression that a higher difficulty mode made the game more "strategic", I was not at all convinced that it made the game more entertaining. And please, I am not saying that because "I don't like to think, it makes my head hurt"  ::)
Personally I would like the ATB system to be replaced because I desire a renewed, refreshed experience. There are other ways to make a game work, and I'm open to a variety of ideas. I do not hold a specific vision which should be adhered to dogmatically.

Team Avalanche / Re: I guess that's it, guys
« on: 2015-06-30 15:40:00 »
If you feel we were unorganized, I'm accountable for that since I had taken the lead of the project. I managed TA with the following principles:
- My chief concern was how few we were, and that each artist could produce a scene in about 1.5 month minimum, and that the whole project demanded more than 500 scenes to be re-created. Since we were stretched so thin, what I wanted to avoid above all was redundancy. Thus, I tried to manage the project so that each person would work on really separate places. One of the problems regarding Midgar scenes was that some artists never made it quite clear what the extent of their contributions would be like (and I'm not talking about SpooX), and I was always willing to give them the benefit of the doubt rather than discounting them out right (again, because of our overall productivity issues).
- I had to account for the fact that various artist may very well have different creative profiles. To generalize: on the one hand there are three steps regarding the production of a work: getting the work started, developing a started work, and being able to wrap up and finish the work. Creative people are generally good at one of these three things, seldom at the three things at once. On the other hand, when facing a multitude of tasks, some people prefer to work sequentially (getting each job one after the other, and seeing each job through one by one), some others prefer to branch out (starting numerous jobs, and keep juggling between jobs). People preferring the "branching out" option are rather uncomfortable with a sequential approach, because keeping at a single task gets them bored and make it seem like a chore. So I think it is best to leave the people work with the approach they're the most comfortable with. I had the feeling that you could classify SpooX (he'd confirm himself, maybe  ;)  ) as someone who excels at starting tasks, and prefers to branch out.
- I had to be aware that, for contributors, many Real Life aspects had to take precedence over Team Avalanche. Be it job responsibilities, taking care of family/friends, recovering from an accident, all this is more important than Team Avalanche. It would be pointless to ask of someone else not to have a balanced lifestyle for the sake of the project. I've experimented upon myself last year since I had occasionally crossed the line between "hobby you're passionate about" and "chore you want to get over with", and even if you want to remain serious and passionate about this, Team Avalanche has to remain a hobby. This was in my opinion the only line to follow, because you can't have the drive for such project if you lose the "fun" aspect of it. That's why, after evaluating that, I was estimating the maximum productivity from an artist to be around 10 scenes per year, and more realistic expectations would even be below that.

I hope you can better appreciate the inherent limitations of undertaking a massive project when calling on the efforts of a loose group of amateurs.

You dismissed everything I had to say, and in a very negative way, based on the technicality of my writing, and not my overall meanings. I was attempting to have a friendly discussion which you have nearly single-handedly ruined any enthusiasm I had for speaking on the subject here.
Personally, I believe that I share your subjective impression. In my opinion, I think it is very difficult to have a conversation which does not degenerate into a confrontation.

When someone claims to "debunk" something by taking various 5 seconds excerpts and placing them out context, it should start tripping all sorts of alarms regarding credibility. Using such methods, you could literally "prove" anything. I once was puzzled when I pulled a story out of my butt to explain how a hurricane hitting the USA had an effect of the retail price of sauerkraut in Europe (intended as a joke), and someone believed it.
It reminds me of another "docudrama" where someone complained about how polluted the water was, stating that he took a water sample from a murky pond to a lab, where they found high content in Aluminum. I just let you guess what would happen if you get some clay particle in the sample.
I have very little to say to people who are in denial of science, except maybe "you believe what you want to believe".

Team Avalanche / Re: I guess that's it, guys
« on: 2015-06-26 22:32:08 »
Well, I wanted both... I wanted it to fix what needed fixing, rather than alter story, remove content, and remove systems...  that to me isn't even a remake.  If it is, it's a lazy one.
Right now, I do not think it is fair to say that, on many counts. I would prefer to discuss the changes brought by the remake once we know more about them, and even then, we're likely to disagree on their merits/flaws (since I would prefer the ATB to be replaced, and certainly not by a turn-based system).

Team Avalanche / Re: I guess that's it, guys
« on: 2015-06-26 18:09:31 »
It's rather a combination of the project's feasibility, and where it would fit in the end.
I had enough time for contemplating that the project's chances of success were very slim: as I said, it would have required a very tough schedule for 10 productive artists for 5-6 years in the best case. With the current crew, the team is closer to 3 people producing on average 5 scenes per year, so we would have needed some serious "snowball" effect to have any hope of getting somewhere. We would have needed to gather a lot of interest to incite people to join the team.
At the end of it, if the only purpose of the project was an upscale of the graphics, the project would end up being redundant with Omzy's and yarLson's, not to mention the possibility for new image filtering techniques to emerge. What stimulated me was the possibility to go beyond that and alter the original to bring improvements. I was feeling that it was up to me and the team to eventually get some kind of "remake", and to be honest I've been feeling constrained in my creative process by many technical limitations (although, I was still ok with that framework). With Square going at it pretty much "without limitations", they can transcend the original much better than I. If the project were to continue, I feel it would fall into some kind of "mucky middle", halfway between a conservative vision (sticking to the original, where Omzy's and yarLson's find their purpose) and an evolving vision (Square's remake). It's too much work for something having so little purpose. If there were good odds of being able to complete it before Square's remake, I would have given it a shot, but that's not going to happen.
There was someone in IRC who had read more.  But the interviews already have stated content is being dropped, even that "leak" guy has mentioned it.  But at the very least, it is not going to be the same game.  ATB and so on are not going to survive and that's among many things that fans actually want in a remake.  The remake will have nice graphics but it's not a replacement, so this project is still relevant imho.
In the end, what you would have liked is a HD remaster (like what Square did for FFX), not a remake. I am personally a lot more interested in a remake than a remaster (even if I had the choice, as a creator). Maybe because I've always been particularly interested in the process: "take a concept/idea, analyze it, and transform it to make it better". Square may not do it like I would, but I'm totally cool with that.

Modders of the original FF7, does this affect your motivation to continue working on it?
On my end, I feel there's not much point in continuing. My time and energy would be better spent elsewhere.

Team Avalanche / Re: I guess that's it, guys
« on: 2015-06-25 18:44:41 »
As far as the art in concerned, I'm convinced that I don't have the tenth of the talent of any artist from Square, and I certainly don not have the same resources either. I believe I'd be delusional to think otherwise. I think Yusuke Naora doesn't need my input to do his job. Personally, even in the productions from Square that I didn't like (FF XIII series, mostly), I remained in awe of the quality of the visuals.

With the news of the remake, if I still have passion for the art, I don't find much point of spending my life blood (as Kaldarasha aptly said) on something which they can very easily surpass. As far as art and creativity go, it would make much more sense to me to spend time on making something of my own, on an different project.

Y'know, I actually wouldn't agree with this. The first film in the original trilogy was a fill-in-the-blanks of Joseph Campbell's monomyth, and the other two were mostly not Lucas' work. He had a whole bunch of people serving to keep him in check, whereas on the prequel trilogy he had a whole bunch of yes-men who wouldn't dare disagree with the Great George Lucas, praise be unto him.
It's not so much that Lucas has lost his creative flair, it's that he never had it, but the more power he has the more obvious it becomes.

Honestly, I wouldn't know. I would still tend to believe he had a major role in the successes of the earlier movies. The Indiana Jones franchise followed the same fate (all of them had the story by Lucas and the direction by Spielberg), I'm not sure he had a smaller part in his successes than he had in his failures.

That said, I wonder if this might be at least in part the case with FF7 compilation. The original game was directed by Yoshinori Kitase, while everything else in the compilation has been directed by Tetsuya Nomura, relegating Kitase to far more hands-off producer roles. This, among all else, I would say is the chief cause for the drastic shift in tone between FF7 and Advent Children, a shift that ended up sticking to the rest of the compilation.

I am not sure that Nomura is that much to be blamed for. Fair enough, he was at the lead of Advent Children, but for the rest of the compilation (BC, CC, DoC) his role was to lay out concepts and design characters. I don't believe he had a significant part in the direction/production. In my opinion, if the story and script are to be considered, then it may rather be Nojima's responsibility.

In the case of FF it's hardly the 1st time a creative "band" have lost their creative flair. Think of a The Sixth Sense remake. Or a Master of Puppets Remake. Or a Star Wars remake. By the same people respectively. Would I trust that they would pull it off? Not impossible, but given their latest work, being sceptical is not irrational here. It may very well be the most rational position to have in all these cases.
You've made a very good point. I guess we would agree that George Lucas' stuff in particular symbolizes that (and I'd understand very well the skepticism in the other two cases). Still, stuff can turn out being different and good (the re-arrangements with the orchestra in S&M were pretty damn good IMO). And for good or ill, nobody is more legitimate than the original authors for remaking it.

It looks like it already has gone back down, it seems hard to judge on a day to day basis. I know extremely little about finances, but I find it interesting that their shares has considerably increased during the past year, and quite progressively at that. It rather looks like it would correlate information/media release for FF XV.

I think the answer is - NONE of the staff are the right person for the job in terms of story.
Given they're actually the same people as the original writers, I'm left to wonder: would you consider the writing and narration of the original game to have been the result of a very fortunate accident?

A full remake could do what we have done and much more with the right people in charge.
For curiosity's sake, who in your opinion would have been the right people for taking the lead of this project? Sakagushi?

The person who decides is ultimately the director - and he should know the basics of game design.  Everything I get from the current crop at Square is that they don't, but they aren't held to account because of the brand.  It's not too hard to see what was wrong with the original:

1. Models are lego, graphics are pixellated because of low resolution. The pre-rendered setup is fine.
2. FMV have same problem
3. Difficulty is far too easy (probably needs a choice between hard / easy at game start)
4. Ties in with 3. The implementation of the materia system and battle system is poor.  The design is fine.
5. Localization into English is poor
6. Cait Sith (well, he's here to stay, sadly haha)
7. Some minigames (like Submarine) are unfinished
8. Game could have had more minigames at Gold Saucer

If those things were fixed and updated, the game would still retain everything that made it great and, at the same time, ADD to what was there originally.  But such a task would take a competent director and writing staff, a company that cared, and much more time and money than they are willing to spend.

If fixing these points were the way to your ideal vision of a remake, then things can't be looking too bad because the contributions of the modding community (including your own) are precisely doing that job! Item #1 would be fixed using Kaldarasha's models and yarLson's fields, Item #2 may need more video-editing work (if you go with an approach with upscaling and filtering each frame, it'd be tedious but still manageable), Item #3 and #4: there are difficulty patches (not to mention that if you push the config sliders to the maximum battle speed in "Active" mode, it'd make the game a little harder) which you must know better than I, Item#5 is actually your very own project, Item #6 is a long-term project you intended to carry out, only Item #7 and Item #8 would be a little more difficult to implement (not sure if anybody has been working much on the submarine game). So in the end we'll have Square's remake on the one hand, however it turns out, with certainly a different direction than what you propose, and on the other end we could also choose to play the original with the appropriate collection of mods which will make it faithful to your ideal vision. Is there a harm that they'll be different? If people recognize that your vision is superior (and that graphics do not matter that much), then they too will play the modded version of the original and be content with it, and they will leave Square's remake aside. I'm actually not sure there would be a point for Square to simply make the same modifications to the game as the modding community would (and certainly it wouldn't cost them that much money, if you cut down the budget for the graphic update).

It almost feels like the best PR move Square could possibly pull off would be to "hire" Sakagushi so that his name would be on the directors list. I'm not sure there's so much "bad blood" between him and Square (after all, he still seems to be talking to Kitase regularly), but would he be interested in getting involved in this?

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