|
Your continuous donations keep RPGWatch running!
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Rampant Games - Various Blog Posts on RPG's

Default Rampant Games - Various Blog Posts on RPG's

July 6th, 2013, 19:02
Rampant Coyote has been a bit busy on his blog in the past weeks. I have three posts from his site that might interest you.

Up first we have "Are Publishers Getting Interested in Old-School PC RPGs Again?"

Is this a great thing?

Well, there’s certainly a question of whether it’s really “a thing” or not. At least the publishers are expressing interest and curiosity… and, in the case of Ubisoft, actually putting their money where their mouth is. But publishers always do this. If there’s money to be made in gaming, they’ll try their best to explore it. That’s why they exist. Many times in the past publishers have made less-than-stellar forays into gaming territories outside of their comfort zone, and retreated. This could be one of those times.

But if they really do go there, and return to the fields they abandoned long ago? While I’m personally a little miffed that I’m such a slowpoke and that my “desperately underserved niche” that I was going to try and occupy with very few neighbors is suddenly looking very crowded, I’m otherwise pretty excited. In the words of Bruce Willis in Die Hard, “Welcome to the party, pal!” As a gamer, the idea makes me giddy, even though I already own far more RPGs than I have time to play. As a game developer… I think it opens up a lot of opportunities. I think the upside wins, overall.
Next we have, "Computer RPGs – A New Golden Age, a Boom, or a Bust?"

Anyway, back to the drinking from the firehose thing. We had a great boom in genre in that time, but the boom was accompanied by bigger budgets, bigger scrutiny, and bigger disasters as publishers tried to find ways of economizing or broadening their audience. I actually enjoyed Al-Qadim: The Genie’s Curse, and I know there were people who really liked Menzoberranzan. So it wasn’t like people weren’t enjoying the perhaps less-than-stellar titles. But the golden age became a plethora, which became a glut, which became – eventually – a bust. If you define a bust as a “correction” back to norms after a boom.

So… on to today. Desura lists five new or majorly updated games in the RPG category in the month of June. If you include Android / iOS titles, things get significantly more crowded. IndieRPGs.com has several new game announcements (not sure how many of ‘em get to market) each week. Throw in the usual trickle of big-budget (or, apparently, some upcoming not-so-big-budget) mainstream publisher titles for PC and consoles, and things are getting pretty busy out there. There are far more games than I have time to play, that’s for certain.

As a parallel from the tabletop “dice & paper” side, I was thrilled with the “Open Gaming License” of Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition in 1999-2000. And, to my delight, the marketplace was suddenly overflowing with third-party expansions. Yeah, a lot of ‘em were crap. But there were all kinds of gems to be found out there. There were some nice experimental products, some blasts from the past, and what seemed (for a short time) to be an incredibly healthy, booming market. But then came the steep discounts (as a consumer, also an enjoyable development), and products dried out pretty quickly. The release of the “3.5″ edition of D&D was arguably rushed in order to deal with steep decline in sales that followed the boom.

So now, we’ve got indie games in general, and indie RPGs specifically. Are we heading for a new glut? A new bust? In 2016, are we going to look back on 2012 – 2014 and say, “Wow, those were awesome days to be an RPG fan… so many games. Why don’t people make games like that anymore?”
And finally we have, "The Same, Only Different: Where and How Much Innovation in Video Game Design?"

Is it really important to change up the mechanics from game to game to provide a different experience? We don’t make a major change to the rules of basketball or baseball every season, let alone from game to game. You’d think the audience would get bored after two or three games, right?

So what’s really more important? If you had a choice between two non-optimal alternatives, which would you choose?

A) A game with some really fascinating and innovative new mechanics but with the same old plot and setting (say, sci-fi-industrial) you have seen a million times?

Or

B) The same old mechanics you’ve played for years, but with an exciting new setting, intriguing characters, and a gripping, twisty plot?


Yeah, I want the best of both worlds, too. But if you only had to pick one or the other – new gameplay or new story, or “mechanics
More information.
Last edited by Couchpotato; July 6th, 2013 at 21:16.
Couchpotato is offline

Couchpotato

Couchpotato's Avatar
LazyGamer
RPGWatch Team

#1

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Potato Land
Posts: 8,667

Default 

July 6th, 2013, 19:02
So what’s really more important? If you had a choice between two non-optimal alternatives, which would you choose?



B) The same old mechanics you’ve played for years, but with an exciting new setting, intriguing characters, and a gripping, twisty plot?
This. Not necessarily a new setting, but the characters and plot are essential to a good story.
rjshae is offline

rjshae

Bob
RPGWatch Donor

#2

Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,304

Default 

July 6th, 2013, 19:26
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
A) A game with some really fascinating and innovative new mechanics but with the same old plot and setting (say, sci-fi-industrial) you have seen a million times?
I'm content with games that offer refined and nuanced gameplay in a classical fantasy setting, so this. I'm tired when it comes to things like classical cyberpunk but that's because sci-fi does less for me.

The "problem" is, as long as elements of a game are instantly recognizable as oldschool/ tried and true (such as the setting), a lot of people tend to judge it as being the "same old, same old" (even if the mechnics are radically different). See Project Eternity.

"In Grimwhoah, you can ride on turtles."
Sacred_Path is offline

Sacred_Path

Sacred_Path's Avatar
Basement Horror

#3

Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Germany
Posts: 776

Default 

July 7th, 2013, 12:09
B, without a doubt. I would go so far as to say I DON’T want new mechanics. Improved maybe, where systems get more fleshed out. But if you gave me a game with say Fallouts mechanics (1&2), in the same setting or a different one
but with a new story and new places to explore, I would be satisfied for as long as it took to complete the game. And then I’d want a sequel.

Many of my favourite games are series that use pretty much the same mechanics between iterations but are still different games. The Wizardry series, MM, Homm, the infinity games, the first three Fallouts (1, 2, and tactics). Love ‘em all! Give me any one of those with maybe a bit improved graphics, and some interesting plots and/or twists, and no voice overs. Bloody brilliant.
tomasp3n is offline

tomasp3n

tomasp3n's Avatar
Watchamacallit?

#4

Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 583

Default 

July 7th, 2013, 12:22
A) A game with some really fascinating and innovative new mechanics but with the same old plot and setting (say, sci-fi-industrial) you have seen a million times?
I find that to be an odd example considering there aren't many crpgs that use a Sci-fi setting.
JDR13 is offline

JDR13

JDR13's Avatar
SasqWatch

#5

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Florida, US
Posts: 17,446

Default 

July 7th, 2013, 13:59
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I find that to be an odd example considering there aren't many crpgs that use a Sci-fi setting.
Yeah, I don't really get it either. And come to think of it, I cannot think of THAT many that use a High Fantasy setting either. Books yes, absolutely. But when it comes to CRPG's I can't think of a single theme that I wouldn't want more of, although I prefer Cyberpunk, Scifi and Postapocalyptic to Fantasy.
Last edited by tomasp3n; July 7th, 2013 at 14:33.
tomasp3n is offline

tomasp3n

tomasp3n's Avatar
Watchamacallit?

#6

Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 583

Default 

July 7th, 2013, 17:51
A and B are about equal for me. If the game mechanics are good, then using that in an entirely different type of story and setting could be good. If a setting is good then an entirely different story with different game mechanics could be good.

I need a different story in each case, though it needn't be a different type of story. Regardless, if it's good then it's good and I would want that.
NFLed is offline

NFLed

Sentinel

#7

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 290
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Rampant Games - Various Blog Posts on RPG's
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 06:55.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright by RPGWatch