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Default Rampant Games - You Got Adventure in My RPG!

May 7th, 2009, 15:15
Another interesting post from the Rampant Coyote on the inclusion of Adventure game elements in RPGs:
I still like a dose of adventure game in my RPGs. Maybe because there's still some old programming in my head that still mixes 'em all together like they did in 1981, but a little bit of the old adventure game puzzle-solving makes the grind go down easier. So long as it's not too much of a head-thumping experience, that is - and with the ease of obtaining hints on the Internet, that's not too much of a problem anymore.

The problem is that the adventure game puzzles can run counter to what I consider good RPG design principles, and that creates a jarring experience.
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May 7th, 2009, 15:15
I do want adventure 'elements' in my RPGs. But just as in old adventure games, there should be things that hint you on the solution. If you're a lvl 1 party and you face a dragon, you obviously know there is another way in (talk to dragon, create diversion, etc). I think there's a misconception that RPG means that every 'encounter' must or can be overcome with a fight. I disagree, I think RPG just means that there are stats/skills that define what you can and can't do. An RPG/adventure hybrid would be like one of my favorite game series, Quest for Glory. You were faced with adventure-type situations, and your stats/class would determine what options were available to you. Some of these situations would have a 'kill them all' solution, but not all.
Most of what are considered the best RPGs, 'classics', don't worry about if the player would find solutions in the Internet. That's for the player to decide. Present the *characters* with situations, if the *player* wants to go to the Internet for the solution, that's his/her problem, but don't cheapen my experience because of them… I do like to think outside the 'combat box' when playing RPGs.
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May 7th, 2009, 21:48
I suppose I look at adding adventure elements in a different fashion. I like RPGs to allow for multiple solutions to as many problems as possible. I don't see it as adding adventure elements to RPG, I just see it as good RPG design.

Hints are good and bad. As a long-time adventure gamer as well as RPGer, even without hints, I usually find the adventure route. When I'm hinted that it's there, it takes some of the fun of discovery away. I always liked there being rewards for the player who takes the time to look in nooks and crannies and takes his or her time in the game. On the other hand, another gamer will, as you say, just miss all that effort put into alternate options if they aren't nudged.

I don't see an easy answer to this. One option is for users to be able to control the hinting just like they can something more mundane like monster difficulty, but we're talking about adding even more coding/scripting on top of all the coding necessary for putting in multiple options in the first place.

Most importantly, I'm just glad there are developers out there who give these things thought!
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May 7th, 2009, 21:59
Actually, it's pretty hard to separate adventure elements from the RPG genre, because unlike adventure games - RPG is a hybrid genre born from various other kinds of games, but especially adventure games.

The story aspect, certainly, and we all know that a good RPG must have a decent story. But traditional adventure game elements have been lost in most modern RPGs, and here I'm referring to the brain teases - whether they be puzzles, word riddles, or "detective" elements like complex NPC interaction.

It's sad, really, because I find that my love of RPGs, being my favorite genre, is based on it being a mix of genres. Since we're moving more and more towards a streamlined experience with less and less of the features I love so dearly - I'm finding it hard to be optimistic about the future.

I remain hopeful that some developer will re-introduce this kind of challenge, but only so far as it's commercially viable. As in, I know it won't be too complex lest they lose hold of the market.
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May 8th, 2009, 11:28
RPGs without adventure elements is pure tabletop, I think.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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May 8th, 2009, 11:31
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
RPGs without adventure elements is pure tabletop, I think.
Pretty much, or action games with stats and loot.
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May 8th, 2009, 11:35
Yep. Exactly.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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May 8th, 2009, 13:07
DArtagnan makes a good point in it being hard to separate elements, there is no general rule, the higher percentage of elements needed to denote the genre go towards pigeon-hole description…but not necessarily or strictly so.

(a) - An adventure game could have 1 rpg element.

(b) - A rpg could have 1 adventure element.

…and of course a percentage of anywhere in between up to maximum. Going along with this theoretical make up you can see that somewhere in the middle a game could be either or one or the other.

(c) - A 50% adventure and 50% action game could be an action or adventure game.

(d) - Now introduce one rpg element or small percentage thereof to any ratio of the above and instantly, at a stroke, you have a rpg….like it or not! - and that is the way many "rpg's" have been touted in the past. Adding an rpg tag to a game has been proven over the years to increase sales. One prolific example being Diablo-1, which was without a shadow of a doubt an 'rpg'.
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May 8th, 2009, 18:28
I think players expect a lot more from an RPG, and that's why the RPG tag helps to increase sales. You have a greater level of freedom to make choices in this genre (or you should), and that's what makes RPG so unique.

Technically speaking, I would say adventure elements are really just a subset of RPG, but the author makes a very good point.

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