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Default The RPG Podcast - What Is The True Definition of a Role-Playing Game?

May 20th, 2013, 17:49
Definition of a crpg - nothing easier than that:

A crpg is a computer game in which a player

1) can control 1 or more characters
2) gets experience by questing (exploring and combat)
3) by getting more experience you can level up your characters (skills, talents,…)
4) you can interact with the world, NPCs, factions
5) you can equip your characters with items you find, loot, shop for
6) a story is told - your actions and choices have consequences

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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May 20th, 2013, 18:01
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
Definition of a crpg - nothing easier than that:

A crpg is a computer game in which a player

1) can control 1 or more characters
2) gets experience by questing (exploring and combat)
3) by getting more experience you can level up your characters (skills, talents,)
4) you can interact with the world, NPCs, factions
5) you can equip your characters with items you find, loot, shop for
6) a story is told - your actions and choices have consequences
So, you consider X-Com an RPG?
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May 20th, 2013, 18:02
yes! JA2, too.

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May 20th, 2013, 18:05
JA2 qualifies for most people, I'd say. I don't know if X-Com is considered to be an RPG by a lot of people though.

Personally, I think your definition is too exclusive - but that ties into my original point
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May 20th, 2013, 19:06
What makes an RPG to me is the following. I did this quickly so I may be forgetting some stuff.

Advancement - Level advancement, skill advancement, feats, talents, any sort of character advancement system.

Loot - Inventory management. Lots of stuff to pick up, tinker with and ponder over.

Exploration - Some form of exploration. Hidden chests, hidden areas, things to see off the beaten path, etc.

Questing - Some form of questing system that sends you on various tasks.

I realize many games have these features, but the games that have all these features would be RPGs in my eyes.

I wouldn't consider Xcom an RPG. It has some advancement and loot mechanics, but there is no exploration. I would call it a strategy game with some RPG elements.

Far Cry 3 is an RPG, in my opinion.
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May 20th, 2013, 19:08
Well xcom doesn't have NPCs to interact with, which is a significant roleplaying omission.
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May 20th, 2013, 19:40
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
Well xcom doesn't have NPCs to interact with, which is a significant roleplaying omission.
It does - as you interact with researchers and some of the people you rescue.

Limited interaction, sure, but interaction.
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May 20th, 2013, 20:02
I don't remember any sort of interaction with any NPCs. Not sure what you are referring too.
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May 20th, 2013, 20:11
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
I don't remember any sort of interaction with any NPCs. Not sure what you are referring too.
You have a researcher that asks you what to research and tells you and shows you details about what you've researched. You also encounter NPCs on missions that talk to you and which you have to bring back to your ship.
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May 20th, 2013, 21:29
Not remembering any sort of researcher, just a menu. Also don't remember any NPCs on missions. Are you referring to the original or remake? I am thinking of the original.
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May 20th, 2013, 21:30
There are always borderline cases like Xcom, Nemesis: A Wizardry Adventure, System Shock 2.

But all games that fulfill

1) can control 1 or more characters
2) gets experience by questing (exploring and combat)
3) by getting more experience you can level up your characters (skills, talents,…)
4) you can interact with the world, NPCs, factions
5) you can equip your characters with items you find, loot, shop for
6) a story is told - your actions and choices have consequences

are crpgs.

mathematical:

1) … 6) => crpg

the reverse direction crpg => 1) … 6) doesn't apply always so we have no equivalence relation 1) … 6) <=> crpg


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May 20th, 2013, 21:34
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
Not remembering any sort of researcher, just a menu. Also don't remember any NPCs on missions. Are you referring to the original or remake? I am thinking of the original.
I'm referring to the recent version of X-Com, as I don't remember the details of the original very well.
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May 20th, 2013, 21:38
Well said. Some of those properties can be strong enough in a game that it is still classified an RPG but only has a proper subset of all 6. Grimrock for example, really has no story with choice and consequences, yet few would be silly enough to claim it is not an RPG, namely because of its strong classic party building, inventory, and leveling systems.
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May 20th, 2013, 21:39
Which ultimately means the definition is of limited use
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May 20th, 2013, 21:40
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I'm referring to the recent version of X-Com, as I don't remember the details of the original very well.
Well that explains it. I wouldn't call the old XCOM an rpg, but it's VERY close to being one.
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May 20th, 2013, 21:42
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Which ultimately means the definition is of limited use
Only for those who think in absolutes and black and white, or don't understand the concepts of equivalency vs implication.
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May 20th, 2013, 21:43
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
Well that explains it. I wouldn't call the old XCOM an rpg, but it's VERY close to being one.
To me, both could qualify - but I don't think of them as RPGs.

In my own personal opinion - a "true" RPG needs to emphasize character creation/development as much - or more - than any other aspect of the game.
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May 20th, 2013, 21:44
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
Only for those who think in absolutes and black and white, or don't understand the concepts of equivalency vs implication.
Which means you agree
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May 20th, 2013, 21:47
I would agree with that, and weight character building in this formula very high. I also think some sort of roleplaying choice and consequences should be weighted highly, but not enough on its own.
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May 20th, 2013, 21:49
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Which means you agree
Except I think the definition IS widely applicable, but as HiddenX pointed out, it is an implication relationship rather than an equivalency.
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