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TychoCelchuuu

In the Valley of Gods - Indie-film Ana Jones (Campo Santo's New Valve Game)

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On 12/8/2017 at 1:30 AM, Roderick said:

The shocking twist will be that your partner is actually your own ghost from 17 hours ago.

 

I desperately want for this to be true. 

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Game looks great! Really cool characters, concept and setting. 

 

Using the movie-about-making-movies genre with a video game enabled the dev team to come up with the really neat feature of "making"/watching your own documentary. That's a unique, great feature that wouldn't be possible to do in any other medium--kudos to whoever came up with it. (Also get the sense the story will have more to do with the relationship between the two characters than the movie-about-making-movies aspect, which is great.)

 

Presuming there will be dialog options to choose from between the two characters in-between the documentary-making segments. Will be interesting to see if there's any other systemic aspects other than those two, and how much variability there is with "making" the documentary. If there's enough variability to make it so the video outcome from the second playthrough looks sufficiently different than your first one, that'd be cool (in terms of making a second playthrough compelling and to make it interesting for people sharing and comparing their videos online). Imagine there can't be too much dramatic variability with it, though, which is understandable. I think those two systems, especially the unique documentary one, are more than enough for a first-person exploration game like this.

 

Another cool aspect of "In the Valley of Gods" is it will very likely be the greatest Egyptian-themed visual narrative work made thus far. It's amazing to me that as much as the basic iconography (pyramids, hieroglyphics, mummies, etc.) of Egypt has permeated/sustained into modern culture, there really hasn't been a great visual narrative work set there. 

 

The best Egyptian-themed movies are "The Mummy" (1932), "Five Graves to Cairo," "The Prince of Egypt," and "The Ten Commandments" (1956). Those are all good--I like "Five Graves to Cairo" the most--but they all have fairly significant issues and I wouldn't consider any of them to be great.

 

The best Egyptian-themed comic (that I'm aware of--there may be more) is "Cigars of the Pharaoh." That's an early Herge "Tintin" comic. It's pretty good/entertaining, but since it's early Herge--one of the first six "Tintin" stories he made--it has some pretty awful/unfortunate depictions of native people. Herge apologized for this aspect of his early work later in life, but it's still hard to look past it when viewing his earliest work. (If anyone's ever looking to get into "Tintin," start with "The Black Island," his seventh story featuring the character, and go from there. Of the first six stories only "Cigars of the Pharaoh" and "The Blue Lotus" are worth reading, and like I just said, while entertaining in the action-adventure sense both have some bad depictions of native people. And whatever you do don't waste your time on the middling Spielberg adaptation.)

 

So yeah, I think "In the Valley of Gods" has a very strong shot of being better than any other Egyptian-themed visual narrative work that has been made so far, which is very cool. Maybe it'll inspire a renaissance in great works set there and in nearby places!

 

Some people in this thread have discussed the art style/depiction of Zora; personally don't see any issues there. The art all looks great/incredibly well-done to me. (If the team feels like they need help in that department at any point, there are many great black artists they could inquire about doing contract or full-time work, such as Tiffany Ford, Shivana SookdeoCatt SmallK. L. RicksAlleanna HarrisPearl LowOlivia F.Laura WilsonVashti HarrisonChelsea Charles, et al. I don't know much about 3D modeling, so couldn't give recommendations there, but surely there's many great black 3D modelers, as well.)

 

Like everyone else greatly looking forward to the game! Easily my most anticipated game now. Take your time and best of luck with the rest of production. 

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17 hours ago, TychoCelchuuu said:

I liked the Spielberg Tintin movie. It has one of the most kinetic, joyous unbroken action scenes in the history of movies.

 

Ha, we'll have to agree to disagree on that one! I find the Herge "Tintin" comics it's adapted from to be significantly better (even with their major issues), especially the clear line art style versus how the movie looks. (The dialogue and action-adventure aspects are also much better, in my opinion.) Also personally not a big fan of Spielberg's thus far unsuccessful attempts to return to the type of subject matter he excelled at in the 80s/early 90s--he just hasn't been able to rekindle the magic of those entertaining action-adventure movies since 1993, which is totally understandable for many reasons. (I've enjoyed a lot of his other late-period work, though!) 

 

Never thought about it before, but interesting to consider if his adaptation of "Tintin" is better than "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull"--obviously the source material is, but hell, I'd also concede that the movie slightly is. Kinda weird to have the ersatz adaptation of a work that many people mistakenly thought he was inspired by for his own popular rousing action-adventure movies be better than the fourth sequel in that series, but there's an argument to be made that is the case. Maybe against all odds Peter Jackson's "Tintin 2" (if it's ever made) will somehow be as good or better than its source material and all the Indy movies. Highly unlikely, but it's possible. (I'd love to be excited about a Jackson movie once again, too.)

 

(Though it does seem fitting to talk about "Tintin" and Spielberg/"Indiana Jones" in this thread, I doubt the Thumbs folks want it to stray too far from their work. Of course feel free to correct me if I'm wrong about that! And feel free to PM me @TychoCelchuuu and anyone else if you wanna talk about "Tintin" and/or Spielberg more; always happy to chat about silly action-adventure stuff.)

 

Regarding "In the Valley of Gods," I wonder if they have a specific date in the 1920s in mind, and where/how many silent movies would have played in Egypt at the time. If they wanted to they could potentially have some cool silent movie homages (all movies made prior to 1923 are now in the public domain). Definitely wouldn't want to go overboard with that stuff, though.

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Re: Tintin movie

 

My take away from that movie was being totally confused as to Tintin's motivation to participate in his adventures. Indiana Jones is an archeologist working at university and has that motivation. Tintin, as presented in the Spielburg movie, has some pretense of being a journalist, but the events are sort of a random string of treasure hunts and breaking and entering, for what is ostensibly a glorified antiquing excursion. The result was a perception that Tintin was just a sort of meddling thief. Am I wrong in desiring Tintin to want to sit down and publish an expose or return a thing to a museum? Perhaps it is that Tintin's hero's journey does not seem to feed back into society, feeding simply into a selfish joy of discovery and plundering. Am I off base? Did I lose the plot?

 

Re: Valley of the Gods

 

I really enjoy that the photography element of Firewatch has been integrated into primary gameplay. How dynamic this will be is up in the air. But I have raised expectations of watching the film the player makes at the end of the game. Or creating makeshift dark rooms in tombs to review the footage and discover secrets. Waiting to the end of the game to review the un-edited footage, straight from the camera, could be a compelling travelogue of the game, and an interesting summary of the that play through's unique narrative. In a certain way this mixes the caricature found at the end of Firewatch into Valley of the Gods gameplay, the resulting film is paralleled with the caricature Delilah makes of Henry. Both summarize game choices into a single document.

 

 

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Hyped for this. I've been missing the Egyptian setting in games for a long time now. I was very excited for Assassin's Creed Origins in that regard, but not when I saw the gameplay. This looks like it'll turn out to be the perfect mix!

 

Dang though, guess I'll have to shelve my game about a black woman making a documentary now.

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This conversation between Amy Hennig and Sean was a really good read. Wide-ranging and funny; I particularly liked the bits about "Chaos in the Windy City" and narrative/interactivity in games.

 

Also: this might not be of any help to the dev team, but I thought folks would still enjoy looking at these great posters for silent movies that are in the public domain (made prior to 1923) regardless. I have no idea if a movie in the public domain means that additional material related to it (such as posters and other promotional material) are *also* in the public domain, but if so maybe they could be useful for the dev team. (Though the setting could very well preclude them from being able to be used even if they are part of the public domain, if it wouldn't make sense in terms of a movie theater being anywhere close to where the game takes place.) 

 

Anyway, like I said even if not useful still thought some folks on the forum would enjoy them! Gives a decent insight into the types of movies/genres that were being made in the late 1910s/early 20s, and of course a strong reminder that movie posters from the 20s-60s are generally of a much higher quality than contemporary ones. (Though to be fair I totally understand how posters could be viewed as less important in terms of promoting movies nowadays than they were in an era devoid of easy access to trailers, information, etc.--still a bummer that beautiful ones like these are mostly not being made for new movies, though. Fan made posters and Criterion/Masters of Cinema covers are the closest we have, for the most part.)

 

Here's the posters:

 

"Cabiria" (1914): poster 1, poster 2, poster 3, and poster 4.

 

"The Phantom Carriage" (1921) poster.

 

"Nanook of the North" (1922) poster.

 

"Dr. Mabuse the Gambler" (1922) poster.

 

And here's some for movies from the 20s post-1922. (So not in the public domain yet; movies from 1923 will be added January 1, 2019, and movies from 1924 will be added January 1, 2020, etc. Just figured folks would like looking at these since they are incredibly well-done, too.)

 

"The Thief of Bagdad" (1924): poster 1, poster 2, and poster 3.

 

"The General" (1926) poster.

 

Fritz Lang's "Spies" (1928): poster 1, poster 2, and poster 3.

 

"Woman in the Moon" (1929) poster.

 

 

Those posters are all for silent movies that came to mind for various reasons after seeing the "In the Valley of Gods" trailer. They're not all good/great movies, but they all certainly have great posters. If anyone's interested in getting into silent movies and looking for suggestions on where to start, my humble recommendation would be to start with "Safety Last!," "Sherlock Jr.," "The Phantom Carriage," and "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari." Feel free to PM me if you want more suggestions beyond those (maybe I'll start an intro to silent movies thread in the movie forum if there isn't one already). Anyway, hope y'all enjoyed the posters and the transcribed "In the Valley of Gods" convo/article--have a great weekend!

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On 1/13/2018 at 2:57 AM, Siromatic said:

this conversation between Amy Hennig and Sean was a really good read. Wide-ranging and funny; I particularly liked the bits about "Chaos in the Windy City" and narrative/interactivity in games.

 

Yeah, it's a good one!

 

Quote

Amy Hennig: Did you guys have a similar trailer for Firewatch?

 

Sean Vanaman: Yeah. The first minute of it was just a slow zoom on Delilah’s tower, and Henry and Delilah talking about some spooky stuff. None of that was in the game.

 

I actually like the early reveal trailer more than the final one.

 

 

Such a great tone-setter. That it doesn't spoil anything of the actual story is just a plus.

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So does Campo Santo go below the giant underground hats-and-gun-skins factory, or are they part of the above-ground operation?

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I'm sure they did this because it was to their benefit so congratulations to that but given Valve's track record of swallowing people up who you never hear from again, uh, I hope In the Valley of Gods is not their last game.

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How many weeks till Jake wheels his desk over to the tf2 dev team ;)

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Wildly unexpected news! Congrats though. If this means more resources and peace of mind to y'all in making games, then good for you. I'm sure the fundamental principle of the agreement was 'we get to keep making the games we want to make without outside pressure'. Hope it works out!

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Congratulations and all the best for the big move, Thumbs! I trust that Valve will be taking delivery of a crate full of orange foam very soon.

 

Does this happen often in these games industry acquisitions? A dozen pals/colleagues all at once upping sticks to live and work in a different city seems like a rare and singularly exciting/terrifying thing to me.

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Congrats and best of luck! This does indeed sound both exciting and scary.

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3 hours ago, gavku said:

How many weeks till Jake wheels his desk over to the tf2 dev team ;)

 

Surely he'll single-handedly revive and release Half-Life 2 episode 3...

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I'd be surprised if that didn't break the neck of any chance In the Valley of the Gods released on GOG.

 

God, do I need some drugs to crank that hype down now. I've been working it up for months.

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