General support and encouragement thread!

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algaedrone
Posts: 1
Joined: 14 Aug 2016, 18:59

General support and encouragement thread!

Postby algaedrone » 14 Aug 2016, 19:27

Hello! I don't really have anything meaningful to add or anything like that. But after stumbling across this project I really felt the need to say how amazing I think it is and how excited and appreciative I am for all your hard work. I know this must be a very long and arduous process, and it might seem overwhelming or slow at times, but just know that loads of people out there are cheering you on! I'm sorry to waste more time here, but let me go on a brief speech about my experiences with Riven:

I only discovered Riven a couple years ago, but I was absolutely blown away. I am really interested in worldbuilding and unique fantasy settings, and I have NEVER seen a game that so clearly develops a setting and characters without saying a single word. Video games have the unique ability to tell a story just by allowing you to explore the environment and absorb information about this world, almost subconsciously. But sadly, almost no games do this. It's astonishing how the actual design of everything in this game contrasts the D'ni and Rivenese cultures. The Rivenese architecture is very organic and animalistic - their homes almost resemble hornet nests or weaver bird nests, and their technological level and culture seems like a primitive tribal society, with touches of pacific islander or native american cultures. And so the D'ni technology clashes harshly with this world. In comparison, D'ni technology is almost cold and sterile, but definitely advanced, with a sort of steampunk or art deco aesthetic. At any place on the island you can instantly spot the influences of D'ni culture, and see that they just seem out of place. And somehow, despite only being on-screen for maybe a couple minutes, Gehn ends up being the most memorable villain I've ever seen in a game. In most stories, someone like him would be depicted as a megalomaniac who thirsts for power. But just by exploring the world you get the distinct feeling that Gehn just doesn't care about the Rivenese. Yes, he depicts himself as a god and uses fear to keep them in line, but ultimately he secludes himself almost entirely and dedicates himself to his research, and so he comes off more as a vastly unethical scientist than a crazed dictator. And why wouldn't he? In his mind, this world, along with everyone in it, was his creation, to do with as he pleases. He doesn't care about them any more than an artist would care about a drawing he made. And because of this, you also get a strange sense of loneliness and melancholy when it comes to him - he considers no one else in this entire world to be his equal, or to even really be human, and so he spends his time alone, trying to hone his craft and escape. His fetishization of D'ni technology is fascinating too - he often uses technology even in places that it is inconvenient or bizarre (such as the underwater rail car in the village, which would be much better served with a bridge or boat) simply because he idealizes D'ni technology and looks down on the natives as ignorant savages.

Okay, I've rambled on for too long already. The point is that this is a tragically overlooked game that sadly many people have never played. But it paints such a unique and truly immersive and believable world that I will never forget it. And that's why I am so happy that there are dedicated people like you out there who are working to recreate this game in a stunning and even more immersive experience for modern players! Thank you again!

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nick
Starry Expanse Developer
Posts: 39
Joined: 21 Jan 2015, 22:18

Re: General support and encouragement thread!

Postby nick » 04 Nov 2016, 20:37

Hi Algaedrone, thanks for sharing!

I enjoyed your Riven breakdown, and I especially liked the comparison between Rivenese and D'ni technology. I agree with you that Riven's environmental storytelling is stellar - but I also think more and more games are doing this nowadays, which is fantastic. Narrative told through an environment is one of my primary passions as a designer, and I think I can blame Riven for it entirely!


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