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Default RPGs and PnP Roots

February 2nd, 2008, 16:36
@BroNone

Here Here! Well said. Bravo! Usually I'm at odds with your approach but I agree with the both your sentiment and the details you esouse here.



Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
With regards to the topic, a diversity of choices is a good thing, so if developers can find new directions to take their RPGs that open new roleplaying opportunities, I'm all for it. That said, I firmly believe the "classic" model is still the best when properly exploited and it expands the roleplaying options rather than limits them.

And Ed de Castillo sounds like a walking next-gen action advertisement. Lots of flash - time will tell on the substance.

I agree that video games are a visual medium but (currently) there are restrictive practical limits on content creation, so the insistence that a game have high visual fidelity is obviously a strength for what most people call "immersion" but a limitation on the number of possible options and interactions. I can't scale walls to enter an upper window in most games because the additional animations and so on are just too much work for little payoff, but I can easily have as many text based options as the designer wishes to imagine. I'm not suggesting games should abandon nice graphics and only rely on text but some of the old techniques have advantages for this genre in particular.
Exactly. Developers who are being trained in the next shiny have not had any interest in the mechanics of such games for decades. The first time these were around such games were just being introduced. Now we have a generation of devs that only watched movies and played twitch arcade games and consoles.

They seem to be be inspired by the themes and the sales figures of these kinds of games they seem to despise the mechanics and think the technology is there to dismiss it altogether.

Bioware did an about face a few years ago when they teamed up with the Unreal group to create an RPG layer for the engine. I think the results are less than stellar (if anything at all) but FPS are drastically missing depth. In my Applications Programming class my main guy loved working with the NWN engine. He was an expert with Unreal and was starting to feel extremely limited in that you could only create graphics and mazes for it.


Rather than incorporating what is good with RPG's taking them in different directions has always been more successful. Its actually one of the main points of the article but he interprets it as a move away from PnP instead of varying on the idea or seeing the value of different companies interpreting them for computers. Ultima brought out wilderness exploration, exploring the town was central to Bard's Tale, Rogue did what it did to DnD, UU made CRPG's First Person, the Japanese did what they did to it, and then we have online. The stat layer is a good example of adding RPG functionality to what is a multiplayer Adventure game. Again, Adventure predates D&D publishing by two years.



@RC and Jaz - After running one of the top servers on NWN for years I believe the article failed to miss the importance of this game. No other product tried to emulate the PnP experience on computer as much as NWN did. Unfortunately, the idea was completely missed by the casual computer gamer and their


I'm glad he is familiar with some history of CRPG's like Pedit5, DnD and Oubliette. Those are going to be part of an article I'm going to write.

My last note is that the writer completely missed the fact that WotC is on the same wavelength as his article. D&D 4.0 is also attempting to streamline and use the computer model more. Since the D&D Diablo they've been pushing for models more familiar to computer users with monty haul type trasure and the twitch of D&D Online, abandoning their own ruleset.

Developer of The Wizard's Grave Android game. Discussion Thread:
http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22520
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