Thursday, June 28, 2007

LB:EF - Missions 13, 14, and 15

Missions 13 to 15 are another sort of mini-story. In these missions, you encounter your first references to the military aspects of the game. As before, however, peaceful solutions are encouraged. Another character from the books and movies arrives to help and you also encounter two very special aspects of the game: Saints and scrolls.

Saints are special characters who I find are akin to Old Testament prophets. They are not a character type that can be acquired through training, but they will join your group when you find them. They have a number of very powerful abilities that don't really come into play at this point in the game, though.

A scroll is a special item that is produced by chapels when you achieve certain goals. When one appears, you must send a character to acquire it. When you do, the gameplay narrator (as opposed to the narrator for the mission introductions) reads a passage from the Bible which also appears on your screen. The scroll then becomes a usable item. What does it do when you use it? You'll only find out if you play the game. *wink*

By the way, it suddenly hit me a few days ago where I had heard the gameplay narrator's voice before. It's Chris Fabry, who can be heard on Christian radio (I've mainly heard him on Adrian Rogers' "Love Worth Finding" program) and who has also co-authored the "Left Behind: the Kids" series of books.

Mission 13

Find a new friend, recruit, train, build and more.

Mission 14

Recruit, train, build, find the Saints and more.

Mission 15

Recruit, train, build and more.


VE: 0
CK: 0
PS: 29 (previous score of 26 + 1 per mission)


Previous posts:

LB:EF - Mission 12
LB:EF - Missions 9, 10 and 11
LB:EF - Addressing an opening animation criticism
LB:EF - Easter egg?
LB:EF - Email from the game's senior producer!
LB:EF - Missions 6, 7 and 8
LB:EF - The first few missions
LB:EF - Tutorial
LB:EF - the manual
New S&B series: "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" in detail
The left's lies about "Left Behind: Eternal Forces"


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Monday, June 18, 2007

LB:EF - Mission 12

This one was tough! There's lots going on with quite a few objectives to complete. The GCP forces attack you in earnest and your main goal is to survive. It got a bit confusing as to how to complete the objectives without losing any heroes, but being patient and trying again eventually paid off. Although this is the first mission that includes needing to build defensive turrets, as with the previous missions, a peaceful outcome is required.

VE: 0
CK: 0
PS: 26 (previous score of 25 + 1)


Previous posts:

LB:EF - Missions 9, 10 and 11
LB:EF - Addressing an opening animation criticism
LB:EF - Easter egg?
LB:EF - Email from the game's senior producer!
LB:EF - Missions 6, 7 and 8
LB:EF - The first few missions
LB:EF - Tutorial
LB:EF - the manual
New S&B series: "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" in detail
The left's lies about "Left Behind: Eternal Forces"


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Friday, June 15, 2007

LB:EF - Missions 9, 10 and 11

Missions 9 through 11 are a mini-story that have similar goals. There's even a surprise ending (which unfortunately does not bode well for mission 12).

Missions 9, 10 and 11

Recruit neutrals and enemies, train, build, and avoid violence.


VE: 0
CK: 0
PS: 25 (previous score of 22 + 1 per mission)


Previous posts:
LB:EF - Addressing an opening animation criticism
LB:EF - Easter egg?
LB:EF - Email from the game's senior producer!
LB:EF - Missions 6, 7 and 8
LB:EF - The first few missions
LB:EF - Tutorial
LB:EF - the manual
New S&B series: "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" in detail
The left's lies about "Left Behind: Eternal Forces"


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LB:EF - Addressing an opening animation criticism

I can't remember or find where I read this, but one criticism of LB:EF centered around the opening animations, in particular, one that shows [with much artistic license] the Rapture from space. This animation actually is part of the Left Behind Games' company's title graphic and there's no indication whatsoever that this is what the game makers actually believe the Rapture will look like. It starts by zooming in on a rotating Earth and shows many ghostly white streaks of light escaping the planet into space. The streaks vanish from view and the sun appears from behind the Earth in a bright flare that dims to reveal the Left Behind Games title graphic.

So anyway, the criticism of this animation was that the person thought that an inordinate number of ghostly streaks came from the United States. Upon close examination, however, the streaks can be seen appearing first from Asia, followed by Europe, Africa (both on the far side of the Earth) and the Americas almost simultaneously. I believe the confusion of the critic stems from the fact that the U.S. is on screen the longest in the animation and from how the streaks blend in to one another, making it difficult to tell where some of them originate from unless you watch carefully.

All in all, this is a silly, dishonest criticism, but it is important to address it because it illustrates how petty the critics of the game are.

Previous posts:
LB:EF - Easter egg?
LB:EF - Email from the game's senior producer!
LB:EF - Missions 6, 7 and 8
LB:EF - The first few missions
LB:EF - Tutorial
LB:EF - the manual
New S&B series: "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" in detail
The left's lies about "Left Behind: Eternal Forces"


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Thursday, June 07, 2007

LB:EF - Easter egg?

I'm not sure if this is an easter egg or something that really exists in New York City. Check out this partial screenshot:

(Click to enlarge.)

Notice the Superman symbol on the building? Weird.

UPDATE: Kevin Hoekman informs me that the building is exactly how it appears in New York City. I probably should've guessed that after reading about how they painstakingly reproduced the city for the game. Well, with that being the case, then my second guess is that it has something to do with "Seinfeld." I've heard that Jerry Seinfeld is a big Superman fan and always had some reference to Superman in every episode. Perhaps the symbol on the building had something to do with the show or is an example of life imitating art (though I am loathe to call that show "art").

UPDATE 2: Kevin says it's a comic book store. Thanks, Kevin.

Previous posts:
LB:EF - Email from the game's senior producer!
LB:EF - Missions 6, 7 and 8
LB:EF - The first few missions
LB:EF - Tutorial
LB:EF - the manual
New S&B series: "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" in detail
The left's lies about "Left Behind: Eternal Forces"


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LB:EF - Email from the game's senior producer!

How cool is this?
Hey Jason,



My name is Kevin Hoekman and I am the Sr. Producer of left Behind: Eternal Forces. I have really enjoyed your series of blogs about the game. Please get the latest version of the game and blog about your impressions of the fixes. Every one of your issues should have been fixed by now. As for the animations – they are just what the creative artists came up with, sorry you don’t like them. You probably have noticed though that your influencers and recruiters now have animations when they are spiritually threatened. As for the voice overs, many units have over 25 call outs and industry standard is about 6. yes, many of them are the same words, but the inflections are different, thanks for noticing.



A really cool thing I am working on are the walkthroughs. These show exactly what the objectives are for each mission and how to complete them and you’ll notice that never tells the player to commit acts of violence against anyone. www.eternalforces.com/walkthrough



The latest version of the game is up – E9! www.eternalforces.com/updates.aspx



Kevin

And his follow-up after I responded:
Jason,

You have my permission, no problem. I didn't take what you wrote the wrong way. Believe me, I had many concerns about the game and have attempted to make it better with every update. We just released our ninth yesterday and have added over 100 features. Tell me any other game that did that within the first 7 months of releasing.

There were so many unfair things that happened in terms of people bashing the game without ever seeing it and the media had a lot to do with it. To this day we still haven't received a complete review of the game, even from those who reviewed it positively.

The novel included in the package, the system requirement page, the tech support button on that page, those are all firsts as far as I know. Buying music from links to itunes in the game, blogging discussions from links within the game, the list goes on.

We're still plugging along, making the game better every day.

We appreciate the truth being told!

Kevin

Wow! I'm really pleased and encouraged that Kevin appreciates my posts about the game. Thanks, Kevin!

Previous posts:
LB:EF - Missions 6, 7 and 8
LB:EF - The first few missions
LB:EF - Tutorial
LB:EF - the manual
New S&B series: "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" in detail
The left's lies about "Left Behind: Eternal Forces"


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Monday, June 04, 2007

LB:EF - Missions 6, 7 and 8

The missions start to get longer and more involved at this point, with more primary and secondary goals per mission. Also, opposing units start attacking you more often, so the difficulty is increased. While attacking back is an option, the units you command now are not fighters of any sort and will die very easily. If main characters die, the missions are lost. It's best simply to avoid hostile units unless attempting to turn them neutral or convert them.

Mission 6

Recruit friends and build while avoiding violence.

Mission 7

Non-violently defend your chapel (using your singers to turn hostile units neutral) from a gang and a small tank(!), recruit friends, and build. (Yeah, you might wonder how you non-violently defend the chapel from the tank. Well, if you play the game, hopefully you'll discover it through trial and error like I did.)

Mission 8

Recruit lots of friends (25) within a time limit, train a disciple, and build.

VE: 0
CK: 0
PS: 22 (previous score of 19 + 1 per mission)

Previous posts:
LB:EF - The first few missions
LB:EF - Tutorial
LB:EF - the manual
New S&B series: "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" in detail
The left's lies about "Left Behind: Eternal Forces"


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Sunday, June 03, 2007

LB:EF - The first few missions

First off, sorry about the delay. I had an issue with the latest update of the game and had to reinstall my copy. I don't know if anyone else has had the same problem or not. With my luck, it's just me. Anyway...

The first few missions in "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" are short and simple, so I will group them together.

Mission 1

Meet up with a friend and avoid gangs that attack you and rock musicians that drain your Spirit.

Mission 2

Recruit friends and bring them to an abandoned church while avoiding gangs and rock musicians.

Mission 3

Recruit more friends and build a cafe while avoiding violence.

Mission 4

Meet up with a friend, recruit a worship leader, recruit friends, build.

Mission 5

Train an evangelist, recruit another worship leader, recruit friends, build.



Lots of recruiting (i.e. "converting") and still no sign of "covert or kill." Well, except from the rock musicians and gangs, of course.

VE: 0
CK: 0
PS: 19 (previous score of 14 + 1 per mission)

Previous posts:
LB:EF - Tutorial
LB:EF - the manual
New S&B series: "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" in detail
The left's lies about "Left Behind: Eternal Forces"


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