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A few questions

I'll answer as best I can. I can illuminate the past, my friends.

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A few questions

Postby Paradoks » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:41 am

Hello Mr Cabuco.

First of all I would like to thank you for opening this forum and allowing us to ask all these weird and crazy questions. I really appreciate the time you spend to provide answers to us rabid fans ;) .
Second - I would like to apologise for a painfully generic thread title, but I thought it would be better to keep all my questions in one thread and not litter the forum with different threads for each of them.

I would appreciate if you could answer some of these questions. I know that some of these may be about completely irrelevant tiny details but I would like to hear your answers nonetheless.

1) Balance Emblem
At some point while browsing the textures in Defiance I noticed a little detail. The Emblem fragments' colours are also the same as the 'combat barriers' for the corresponding races. Is all this a huge coincidence or was there actually some sort of connection between the races and the Guardians?

2) Real world textures
I know that many textures in LoK do exist in real world. Like for example Avernus Cathedral in Defiance has Florence Baptistery doors, Notre Dame Paris Cathedral rose window, Palau de la Generalitat in Barcelona fasade, Pere Lachaise cemetary figures and a couple of things that I missed. I managed to compile a relatively long list, but there are some things I think are there somewhere but I can't find them anywhere. I'm still having fun finding these images, so I'll just post the ones that took me a long time without any effect. I'm not even entirely sure they exist in real world but at least the first one seems too... specific. The one that is bugging me the most is this.
Image
I know it was made by Arnold Ayala but I also know that you used it in Sarafan Raziel's concept art as a part of his armour, so I'm hoping that you know where it originally comes from. Seems like it is a part of some triumphal arch (a figure on another texture near that area comes from the one in Paris). If you could give me a hint on where to look (or confirm hat it doesn't have real world counterpart) I would be really grateful.

Also - is there any significance in this detail?
Image
I'm asking because it's in SR1, SR2 and Defiance. I think that it is the only "unimportant" part that is in all these games.

Another question about these paintings (I hope the left one doesn't qualify as inappropriate).
Image
On the left it's definitely Lucretia's suicide, a very popular motif in painting, but again, I don't know where the exact picture comes from (looks like something between Tiepolo and Antolinez). I couldn't find anything on Pauline on the right though. Could you share some light where these images come from or is this independent work?

3) Differences in Vorador's Mansion
There are some not so obvious differences in Vorador's Mansion before and after Raziel's departure to Avernus like those shown in the picture below.
Image
I don't think that Moebius' mercenaries were doing any renovations ;) so I have a question whether it is a case of someone not inserting these details into old mansion, or someone not removing them from the new one? Or was this intentional and there is a reason for these differences?

4) Defiance nitpicking ;)
Has any tester pointed out that Kain couldn't have possibly spotted Avernus from the Vampire Citadel?

5) Hidden Messages
Do you know what is written on the right texture?
Image
Binky24 on Eidos forums deciphered the middle one, but the one on the right has too small resolution to read.
And another example from Defiance:
Image
We know that the first word is Kain, but the rest is really hard to read.

6) What happened to Raziel's clan? Last time this question was asked we got an enigmatic answer "This is currently unrevealed".

7) What was the architectural inspiration for Janos' Retreat? All I know for sure is that it has stained glass windows from Wells Cathedral ;).

Thank you in advance for answers.
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Re: A few questions

Postby The Hylden » Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:24 am

Paradoks wrote:3) Differences in Vorador's Mansion
There are some not so obvious differences in Vorador's Mansion before and after Raziel's departure to Avernus like those shown in the picture below.

I don't think that Moebius' mercenaries were doing any renovations ;) so I have a question whether it is a case of someone not inserting these details into old mansion, or someone not removing them from the new one? Or was this intentional and there is a reason for these differences?


Oh, don't tell me it's from a paradox change. Squid will never let me hear the end of it :p

Edit: that mural with the red dragons and blue birds actually matches the braziers you have to light and diffuse to open the vault to Janos' corpse. Not sure what the mural of the tree could represent.
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Re: A few questions

Postby Raina Audron » Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:35 pm

Hmm, yes, I noticed that mural of the tree there too, when it was just a blank window before... I wonder how it is possible as well.
Image
"My faith in destiny is all I need to prevail" (Raziel, Soul Reaver).
http://theancientsden.blogspot.com/
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Re: A few questions

Postby Jake Pawloski » Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:57 pm

Lol, yeah Daniel, please do tell what happened to Raziel's Clan. :)
My guess is that in the original plan for the story, Kain killed them which is why he said "what I have made I can also destroy"
but they might have picked the fight knowing that Kain had their Clan leader killed in the abyss, not knowing Kain had a plan.
OR in a less likely theory they might just have been hunted by humans and Kain falsely confessed to it so that Raziel would be reckless and pissed
and follow Kain back in time "Your reckless indignation led you here, I counted on it"...Either way, Kain likely took the blame on purpose whether he did it or not,
but I'm guessing Kain had something to do with their disappearance. I hope Daniel knows the answer to this one, because it's been on our minds for a long time. xD.
Last edited by Jake Pawloski on Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: A few questions

Postby Tim Controls Me » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:17 pm

to piggyback on Paradoks' art-related topic,

Image

what about all the dragons that pop up in vampire art?
are those entirely mythic creatures? Were they chosen as the vampires' team mascot because you guys thought vampires would feel the most kinship with dragons out of all mythic beasts? (since vamps are descended from 'terrible' winged things themselves.) Or is there something else going on here, with actual historical dragons being on Nosgoth at some point? (because we did see some dino bones in Avernus' basement in BLood Omen).
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Re: A few questions

Postby Daniel Cabuco » Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:54 am

Paradoks wrote:Hello Mr Cabuco.

First of all I would like to thank you for opening this forum and allowing us to ask all these weird and crazy questions. I really appreciate the time you spend to provide answers to us rabid fans ;) .
Second - I would like to apologise for a painfully generic thread title, but I thought it would be better to keep all my questions in one thread and not litter the forum with different threads for each of them.


You're very welcome, Paradoks. I'm glad that the community is still alive and it's fun to answer these questions. Don't worry about the thread title, I often spend more time on the title than I do on the content.. racking my brain trying to come up with something witty or attention getting. :P

Paradoks wrote:I would appreciate if you could answer some of these questions. I know that some of these may be about completely irrelevant tiny details but I would like to hear your answers nonetheless.

1) Balance Emblem
At some point while browsing the textures in Defiance I noticed a little detail. The Emblem fragments' colours are also the same as the 'combat barriers' for the corresponding races. Is all this a huge coincidence or was there actually some sort of connection between the races and the Guardians?


I would love to tell you there is some secret story behind that, but it was just a technical requirement for associating the correct emblem with the appropriate demon guard. I forget exactly what it was at the time, but I know I was asked to tint them to match.

Paradoks wrote:2) Real world textures
I know that many textures in LoK do exist in real world. Like for example Avernus Cathedral in Defiance has Florence Baptistery doors, Notre Dame Paris Cathedral rose window, Palau de la Generalitat in Barcelona fasade, Pere Lachaise cemetary figures and a couple of things that I missed. I managed to compile a relatively long list, but there are some things I think are there somewhere but I can't find them anywhere. I'm still having fun finding these images, so I'll just post the ones that took me a long time without any effect. I'm not even entirely sure they exist in real world but at least the first one seems too... specific. The one that is bugging me the most is this.
Image
I know it was made by Arnold Ayala but I also know that you used it in Sarafan Raziel's concept art as a part of his armour, so I'm hoping that you know where it originally comes from. Seems like it is a part of some triumphal arch (a figure on another texture near that area comes from the one in Paris). If you could give me a hint on where to look (or confirm hat it doesn't have real world counterpart) I would be really grateful.


Hmm.. yeah I remember that one, but don't remember exactly where it's from. You might try the Arc de Triomphe or the area nearby. I believe it's Parisian.. the nose does have the Greek/Roman ideal, though. Sorry, I didn't source the angel, so I don't know exactly where it's from. Good job locating source from the rest.

Paradoks wrote:Also - is there any significance in this detail?
Image
I'm asking because it's in SR1, SR2 and Defiance. I think that it is the only "unimportant" part that is in all these games.


Not really. We just liked using it. :P We did like to associate dragons with the Vampires because it was the strongest representation of them: Strong, winged, noble and dangerous. The vase between them reinforced the Amphora Jar theme we had as well.
Paradoks wrote:Another question about these paintings (I hope the left one doesn't qualify as inappropriate).
Image
On the left it's definitely Lucretia's suicide, a very popular motif in painting, but again, I don't know where the exact picture comes from (looks like something between Tiepolo and Antolinez). I couldn't find anything on Pauline on the right though. Could you share some light where these images come from or is this independent work?


I believe one is from Lucretia's rape and the other from Lucretia's suicide. I forget the source, but it could be Rubens.. it doesn't look refined enough to be a Tiepolo. I didn't source it though.. sorry.

Paradoks wrote:3) Differences in Vorador's Mansion
There are some not so obvious differences in Vorador's Mansion before and after Raziel's departure to Avernus like those shown in the picture below.
Image
I don't think that Moebius' mercenaries were doing any renovations ;) so I have a question whether it is a case of someone not inserting these details into old mansion, or someone not removing them from the new one? Or was this intentional and there is a reason for these differences?

The one of the Ravens and Dragons was to clue the player into which brazier to light. My thinking was that they were always there, but were shrouded by a spell. I had it in Spectral, but was asked to take it out because it distracted the player into thinking there was a puzzle in Spectral.. which there wasn't. I always believed the changes in the glass were made shortly after Vorador's death by someone who revered him. (Umah perhaps) The tree was symbolic of the true Vampire nature before they became blood drinking. Whomever did it was driven off by the Vampire Hunters, and they didn't smash it because it wasn't inherently a Vampire Symbol (to them anyway)

Paradoks wrote:4) Defiance nitpicking ;)
Has any tester pointed out that Kain couldn't have possibly spotted Avernus from the Vampire Citadel?


Even if a tester pointed it out, I'd have waived the bug.We weren't about to spend another three months redesigning the area, rescripting it, remeshing it, lighting it, debugging the collision, setting the sound, events, enemy placement, and polishing it for something as trivial as that. It's something that happened because we cut down levels and moved things around. They're called 'D' level bugs and in a list of 2500 or so at the height of Alpha (10% of which are A level bugs that block progression), they usually get waived. I think only 1 in 1000 or so people would notice it.

Paradoks wrote:5) Hidden Messages
Do you know what is written on the right texture?
Image
Binky24 on Eidos forums deciphered the middle one, but the one on the right has too small resolution to read.
And another example from Defiance:
Image
We know that the first word is Kain, but the rest is really hard to read.

All of the quotes in the mausoleum should relate to Kain, Kain's family crypt, etc. It should say something along those lines.
The Elder God scripts should have a french or latin poem about the lost children of the Elder god. I forget the actual wording of it. It's a lament.

Paradoks wrote:6) What happened to Raziel's clan? Last time this question was asked we got an enigmatic answer "This is currently unrevealed".

When I worked on Soul Reaver, I believed them all killed (with perhaps a survivor or two). If you look at the scheme, Raziel's clan was the most powerful and favored. The sudden loss of their leader, and favor with Kain meant that they were targets for destruction: The other clans would have gleefully torn them apart. Based on the original SR storyline, Kain couldn't risk any of them developing wings and showing that Kain's gifts were mutating and growing beyond the Master. Kain was always first with the gifts.. that's how he maintained power.
By the time Defiance was made, I was wistfully thinking that perhaps a few of them survived, hiding throughout the realm. It's a sad thing though, because they would still be tainted and doomed to devolution. By the time Raziel saw them again, he probably wouldn't recognize them. Even if they did survive, I imagine Kain would have to put them down, perhaps activating the silenced cathedral so he could start over.. IF he went back to the original SR1 timeline.
Paradoks wrote:7) What was the architectural inspiration for Janos' Retreat? All I know for sure is that it has stained glass windows from Wells Cathedral ;).

Janos' retreat was an Aerie. We used a lot of Vaulted cathedrals as inspiration, because it had to feel like it was reaching upwards and gave winged vampires room to fly. Notre Dame, Wells and Coutances were references we used.
Paradoks wrote:Thank you in advance for answers.


Sorry I couldn't be of more help. I'm actually surprised people hunted down sources. I hope in doing so, that you got a feel for just how involved the artists were in finding great reference, and that it helped you in some turn to learn more about art and architecture. :)

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Re: A few questions

Postby Dubiel » Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:21 pm

Paradoks wrote:4) Defiance nitpicking ;)
Has any tester pointed out that Kain couldn't have possibly spotted Avernus from the Vampire Citadel?


If you consider that Avernus is run by the Guardian of the Pillar of Dimension, it's not necessarily *impossible*. :P Even in BO1, there's no way that the city could naturally have "fit" into Nosgoth, so it had its peculiarities from the start.
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Re: A few questions

Postby Paradoks » Sun Sep 02, 2012 3:00 pm

Thank you very much for the answers. I didn't post earlier not because I don't appreciate them but because I was simply some 2700 kilometres away from my computer :).
Daniel Cabuco wrote:When I worked on Soul Reaver, I believed them all killed (with perhaps a survivor or two). If you look at the scheme, Raziel's clan was the most powerful and favored. The sudden loss of their leader, and favor with Kain meant that they were targets for destruction: The other clans would have gleefully torn them apart. Based on the original SR storyline, Kain couldn't risk any of them developing wings and showing that Kain's gifts were mutating and growing beyond the Master. Kain was always first with the gifts.. that's how he maintained power.
By the time Defiance was made, I was wistfully thinking that perhaps a few of them survived, hiding throughout the realm. It's a sad thing though, because they would still be tainted and doomed to devolution. By the time Raziel saw them again, he probably wouldn't recognize them. Even if they did survive, I imagine Kain would have to put them down, perhaps activating the silenced cathedral so he could start over.. IF he went back to the original SR1 timeline.

Interesting. Now - that leads me to another question. Why were the Dumahim the weakest of all vampires? Their clan was decimated, but that shouldn't hinder the evolution of those who survived. I always thought that they were somehow bound to Dumah himself, so his defeat would stop their evolution, but what you have written about Raziel's clan seems to invalidate that theory by analogy.

Daniel Cabuco wrote:Sorry I couldn't be of more help. I'm actually surprised people hunted down sources. I hope in doing so, that you got a feel for just how involved the artists were in finding great reference, and that it helped you in some turn to learn more about art and architecture. :)

Daniel

Your answers were very helpful. Hunting down sources is actually very fun :) (although I must say I'm surprised that to my knowledge Sedlec Ossuary wasn't used as a reference).

I have three more questions (for now ;)) I'm sorry if these were asked earlier:
1) Why was there so little actual Gothic architecture in SR1? The only medieval European inspired area seems to be the Drowned Abbey and that looks more Romanesque than Gothic. Also - vampire structures (Sanctuary, Ruined City) are obviously inspired by Islamic architecture (early concept art of the Sanctuary is even called 'Mosque' in one of artists' portfolios). What was the reason behind this particular style?

2) Can you say anything about the stained glass window in Nupraptor's Retreat?

3) What is the symbolism behind Vorador's crest? You already said about the connection between dragons and vampires but perhaps you could elaborate more about the bird (raven?) part.

Again - thank you very much for your time :).
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Re: A few questions

Postby Daniel Cabuco » Sun Sep 09, 2012 6:29 am

Dumahim, once they lost their clan leader, were easy prey for the other clans and Vampire Hunters. They were originally weapon based vampires, but when they started to go feral, using only their tongues as a weapon.. well things didn't go so well. Think about natural defenses and devolution.
A)They lost their ability to use trained weapons
B) They don't have the natural abilities of the other clans: Rahabim can swim, Melchiahim can use spare parts off anything, and are resilient, Zephonhim can climb walls, Turelhim can blast you with TK and are damn strong.. Dumahim ..stab you with their tongues. Their devolution wasn't tied to their leader, but their survival was.

SR1 was meant to be more 'city of lost children' like than gothic. I think we were trying to get away from the traditional sources, like how Vampire style was based on Islamic architecture. To go too goth would be somewhat cliche, and we were trying to do something unique and different. To this day, SR1's world is still my favorite. Dark, moody, and wonderous. It's like watching a Quay bros film, or the Tool video for Sober. I love that style of visuals.

I can't say much about Nupraptor's retreat, since it wasn't my level (I started as a level environment artist at the time, then worked my way up to a lead). But I always thought it was how Nupraptor saw himself: as a God. He would bestow his power upon pilgrims, much like a benevolent god. It's not that much of a stretch to say he would have become arrogant and held himself in such high regard.

3) When I was tasked with Vorador's symbology, I looked to Blood Omen 1 for inspiration. Looking him over, I thought he felt somewhat dragon-like. It represented his power and ferocity. But Vorador was also poetic, and tragic in an Edgar Allen Poe kind of way. So I thought the Raven matched that part of him well. He's also murderous and intelligent, so again it worked in favor of the Raven. I could imagine a number of them in his aerie, circling all the dead bodies, like the one hanging over his bowl of blood when Kain first meets him.

Hope that answers your questions!

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