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-   -   Rampant Games - What Does "Old School RPG" Mean To You? (http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14198)

Dhruin July 12th, 2011 08:59

Rampant Games - What Does "Old School RPG" Mean To You?
 
The Rampant Coyote asks What Does "Old School RPG" Mean To You?
Quote:

I kinda tripped over this one working on the manual for Frayed Knights: The Skull of S’makh-Daon this weekend. Frayed Knights was inspired by favorite old-school RPGs, particularly games like the Wizardry, Ultima, and Bard’s Tale series. Oddly, when I first started I think I would have listed Wizardry VII: Crusaders of the Dark Savant was my biggest inspiration. It isn’t a game I actually ever played to completion (yet), nor my favorite of the series (that would be Wizardry 8). But I think I was entranced by the potential of the game even more than its actual implementation, and in many ways it epitomized this style of RPG for me. It represented a particular style of RPG at its height. […]
But as much as Wizardry VII acted as a representative for “old school RPG” for me, it’s hardly representative of even the games of its immediate era. It’s really hard for me to really put my finger on what characterizes an “old school RPG” because – seriously – the genre was a lot more diverse 20 years ago than it is today (unless you include indies, who are really bringing that back).
More information.

ChienAboyeur July 12th, 2011 08:59

RPG as a genre has never reached maturity. Evolution was stopped in its tracks around ten years ago. End result is known but progress towards it is stalling.

Old school RPG might refer to RPGs before the great stagnation.

kalniel July 12th, 2011 10:01

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur (Post 1061080306)
RPG as a genre has never reached maturity. Evolution was stopped in its tracks around ten years ago. End result is known but progress towards it is stalling.

Old school RPG might refer to RPGs before the great stagnation.

Isn't that what we said before Baldur's Gate as well?

bloodlover July 12th, 2011 12:35

In our day every game that has a skill tree, many weapons/armors and a few "choices" is declared RPG. At this rate Dragon Age will be old-school in 10 years. The answer to the question differs from person to person, mostly due to preferences and the time when that person played the game.
Another important factor in giving the answer would be the nostalgia factor. Most of the "RPG's" today are so far from what they were 10-15 years ago that one immediatly compares them and brings into discussion the better quality of older games. Of course looking back at them, modern games have mostly the same ideea but poorly implemented.
When Dragon Age came out, a lot of people were pleased because it offered something the genre needed : a story that could be influenced by the player, interaction between you and the party members, moral choices, epic boss fights and high difficulty. Ofc it's still a shallow game and the only companions I actually cared for were Morrigan and the dog, but it was the best thing we had until then.

Alrik Fassbauer July 12th, 2011 12:36

"Old school" = a conservative approach
"New school" would be the ME-series approach, I guess.
Action-RPGs are still a sub-genre to me.

DArtagnan July 12th, 2011 14:00

It's about roleplaying some kid attending an old school.

wiretripped July 12th, 2011 14:20

Quote:

Originally Posted by DArtagnan (Post 1061080358)
It's about roleplaying some kid attending an old school.

Ha! … :D

blatantninja July 12th, 2011 14:40

Quote:

Originally Posted by DArtagnan (Post 1061080358)
It's about roleplaying some kid attending an old school.

Or hanging out with these guys:


GhanBuriGhan July 12th, 2011 14:40

I would say "Designed without "accessability" being a primary design consideration"

HiddenX July 12th, 2011 19:20

Playing through Wizardry 6, 7 and 8 with one party is "old school".

After that saying "this was easy" -> Wizardry 4 and Might & Magic 2 are more challenging is "ancient school".

Hastar July 12th, 2011 23:04

Dark Heart of Uukrul now that is old school. :)

coyote July 13th, 2011 01:04

Planescape Torment. It's actually not particularly old (12/1999), but enbodies everything I like about RPGs from the past. A captivating story, interesting characters, well written dialogue, locations I wanted and had the chance to explore, choices that mattered, creative and distinct spells and so on.

The three years older Diablo, however, is already 'new school' in my eyes. Not a bad game, but it started a trend of simplification that is still predominant today.

I am sure there are many good reasons why some people consider Diablo 'old school', though, and 'Dragon Age' will certainly enter the 'old school' domain one day. It's not really a very helpful adjective…

ChienAboyeur July 13th, 2011 16:11

Quote:

Originally Posted by kalniel (Post 1061080313)
Isn't that what we said before Baldur's Gate as well?

Hard to see how it could be told before Baldur's gates.

ChienAboyeur July 13th, 2011 16:13

Quote:

Originally Posted by coyote (Post 1061080459)
A captivating story, interesting characters, well written dialogue, locations I wanted and had the chance to explore, choices that mattered, creative and distinct spells and so on.

And how does it not apply to adventure games? Looks much more like the expectations to adventure games than to RPGs.

Alrik Fassbauer July 13th, 2011 18:17

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur (Post 1061080559)
And how does it not apply to adventure games? Looks much more like the expectations to adventure games than to RPGs.

Well, if you follow the "I fight, therefore I play a role" paradigm, then you are right.

To me, personally, role.playing games were just nothing but "extended adventure games" - and consequently I was frustrated by games with lots of combat and few riddles or interaction at all ("interaction" which consists of interactively chopping a monster's head off doesn't count here).

xSamhainx July 13th, 2011 18:30

Old school to me means party-based, top-down isometric. Easy to die, memorable characters & engaging story. Makes you go "wow, for being a game from (enter earlier date) this really kicks ass!" once and awhile.

Thrasher July 13th, 2011 19:09

"old school" is a term that is so over used that it doesn't mean anything. "older" would be just as semantically descriptive. ;)

coyote July 14th, 2011 01:31

Quote:

Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur (Post 1061080559)
And how does it not apply to adventure games? Looks much more like the expectations to adventure games than to RPGs.

My list includes design aspects where I perceive a diminished focus in 'new school' RPGs compared to 'old school'. It was never my intention to list common aspects that classify any game as 'role playing'.

Like Alrik said, fighting is not an essential part of an RPG for me as well, although I do enjoy some challenging fights. Unfortunately, the pixel hunting and extremely linear advancement by randomly combining inventory items with the environment in order to recreate the weird chains of thought of some developer destroyed the adventure game genre for me. RPGs didn't have that even in the elder times.

Alrik Fassbauer July 14th, 2011 01:41

Imho "pixel hunting" became a fashion only some time through the last decade … It wasn't a thing that appeared (as such and under this name) earlier.

ChienAboyeur July 14th, 2011 14:29

Quote:

Originally Posted by coyote (Post 1061080717)
Like Alrik said, fighting is not an essential part of an RPG for me as well, although I do enjoy some challenging fights. Unfortunately, the pixel hunting and extremely linear advancement by randomly combining inventory items with the environment in order to recreate the weird chains of thought of some developer destroyed the adventure game genre for me. RPGs didn't have that even in the elder times.

Fighting is brought through the role of the character. Non fighting roles leads to combat as an non essential feature. No limit to what kind of role one can play in a RPG.

this list
Quote:

A captivating story, interesting characters, well written dialogue, locations I wanted and had the chance to explore, choices that mattered, creative and distinct spells and so on.
contains features RPGs can exist without.

A RPG does not require a story (no matter the quality) as what matters is the RP situations the player is provided with. A game world can generate RP situations without having any story.
Etc…

But they look as essential components for adventure games.


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