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Default RPGWatch - New Poll and Site Update

August 19th, 2007, 15:59
We've kicked up a new poll, so go over and vote (and comment) on the right. Yes, the topic is the game de jour but beyond measuring interest in Bioshock, it might give a bit of a feel for how many of our readers are moving to consoles (at least for some of their gaming) and perhaps whether some readers hate seeing RPG-lite games on the site.
For the previous poll, most respondents (about 73%) knew that our 1st-year anniversary is fast approaching - how time flies. We had grand plans when we started RPGWatch and we haven't had the time to follow through on all of them but I think the site is coming along nicely, so far.
If you haven't noticed, we recently added searchable database access (hit the Games link at the top) where you can search by title, developers and publishers. It will take some time to fill all the gaps but the data is pretty comprehensive for the last 18 months.
The Leipzig GC is a week away and we should have some cool features out of that. Looking beyond, we'll be calling for additional staff (including MMOWatch) and (quality) articles from interested readers — if you'd like to help out, please send me a PM or watch for more details.
More information.

-= RPGWatch =-
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August 19th, 2007, 15:59
Missing a poll option. I'll play it, but I also think it has no place on RPGWatch.
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August 19th, 2007, 16:30
Why not? This site, as the old dot, has been inclusive far more than exclusive. Enough people here are interested, and belive it to be an rpg, to warrant coverage. I'll probably never buy it, or even play the demo, but I don't see a good reason not to cover it when the interest is clearly there. If this site was only to cover real crpgs there wouldn't be but one or two news posts every couple of months.

As it is, I think there coverage is odd. Why not cover GTA? Why not cover any game that could be argued to be an rpg by today's standards? Why Stalker and not Halo 3? Etc. It doesn't make sense to me. But what does make sense, is that there is some sort of magical devide that this site's members somehow can feel. This game that isn't really anything close to be an rpg should be covered by rpgwatch, but this other game that is almost exactly like it shouldn't. Why? Who knows? But I think the majority of the people are happy by what is and is not covered, and that even though it cannot really be explained it somehow makes sense. Why anger the majority of posters by not covering Bioshock, when this site would gladly cover system shock 1 and 2 news and includes a lot of system shock 1 and 2 fans and people that belive Bioshock is an rpg?

It wouldn't make any sense at all not to cover it, even though it doesn't make sense to cover it really.

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August 19th, 2007, 16:37
The lines between genres are becoming increasingly blurred. The RPG "flavor"if you will, is mixed into the broth of almost everything else these days. I think it makes sense to be "inclusive rather than exclusive." The site is pretty adept at letting the games speak for themselves by way of posting a newsbit and letting people comment on it or not, which I think is a fair and viable format for discussion and makes its own criteria. If there's an interest in the game, it's not the site hyping it, but the audience expressing opinions about it.

btw, One thousand eleven, you have no post count…odd.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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August 19th, 2007, 17:05
Sure, lines are blurred, inclusiveness, all that…

But Bioshock has been explicitly described as "not with RPG elements" by Irrational. They've really pushed for it being recognised as an innovative "deep FPS," circumventing any direct comparisons or overlap to the RPG genre.

That's pretty clear.
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August 19th, 2007, 17:10
This site covered STALKER which gameplay etc. so far reminds me of Bioshock's gameplay. They are both FPS games on the surface, but they have interesting takes on weapon & skills upgrades etc.
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August 19th, 2007, 17:15
Do you think there's a better way for the Watch to deal with it? Maybe split off the news headers into a non-rpg section, like the MMO area? Might be a nice idea in a way, but it involves work which there may not be the resources for atm.

Obviously a lot of people here are interested in the game. It would be dropping the ball not to include some kind of coverage.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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August 19th, 2007, 17:37
I have been playing PC games since 1986.

Any game that makes me feel like I am actually the protagonist is a role playing game.

To date, these following games gave me an intensely personal role playing experience - In no particular order

Half Life as Gordon Freeman
Planescape Torment as The Nameless One
Fallout as the Vault Dweller
Everquest circa 1999 when race and class mattered.

Yes I played Baldurs Gate and it was not a role playing game for me because I did not know who I was portraying and the game frankly did not make me care.

So, cover what you like. Companies do not decide what defines an RPG. I do.
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August 19th, 2007, 17:41
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
The Leipzig GC is a week away and we should have some cool features out of that.
So I guess someone is actually going (Brother None was asking I recall, but If
you actually gave a definite reply I missed it), great !

Will these cool features include a preview of the Witcher which will be playable
there ? Pretty Please

(PB's announcement coverage is as sure as rain ofcourse so I wont even ask)

Oh and about the rest of the discussion, You guys can cover anything you feel
comfortably covering I guess. Speaking for myself, if a piece does not interest
me I will not read it ! see how simple life can be
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August 19th, 2007, 17:46
Thats just silly. I've been playing rpgs just as long and I don't feel some god-like ability to label or relabel things as I see fit. I can call a motorcycle a car all day, but it isn't. I can call a turkey a cow, change the name of doctor to smoctor, and do all sorts of crazy things. But I'll never say people have to jump on board my crazy-train an accept my nonsense because I am the sole decider of what is what. An rpg is a thing that stands for something, and that means it can be defined and is exclusive by nature. This site can cover what it wants, the members can believe what they want, but what a rpg is is a seperate thing and your belief, or anyones, is irrelevant.

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August 19th, 2007, 18:30
I think that with BioShock things are complicated and blurred, because the older games with the similar name actually WERE RPGs, so pretty everyone more or less expected this for the new game as well, even behind the lines.
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August 19th, 2007, 21:20
Our policy which games we cover is actually quite simple. We add all PC RPGs to the DB and all ca. 50 / 50 mixes like Heroes of M&M or SpellForce. We often report about TB tactical games with RPG elements like Jagged Alliance. Other games are only covered if at least one editor considers them worth it. This is of course more often the case if there is reason to believe a game will have substancial RPG-elements or if the developer was responsible for a couple of RPGs in the past.
So why isnīt GTA covered? Because none of us is interested about it.
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August 19th, 2007, 22:40
bioshock not being covered by rpgwatch would make no sense. true ken levine wants to make the best fps ever. most rpgs are not fp. but if bioshock has many of the same feelings and elements of great rpgs who cares what its called. why can't irrational rase the bar for fps? is segregation really that appealing to people? to me its like saying a person can't be muslim if their white or yadayadayada.
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August 20th, 2007, 00:18
This is a good debate to have, so I'm really happy to get into this. I don't think there is a coverage regime that would suit everyone but our policy has generally been to be more inclusive, rather than less.

The specific mandate that I wrote at some point was "RPGs…bla, bla, bla…and any other items likely to be of interest to our readership".

We started covering Bioshock (at RPGDot) when all we knew was spiritual SS2 successor + Irrational + German WWII bunkers. Over time, it's changed quite considerably. To be honest, I'm not entirely clear how much of the SS2 legacy remains but Levine seems adamant the Looking Glass principles have been retained despite the FPS message.

Either way, we started covering it in good faith and I decided to continue. And I think it really is of interest to many readers, including the oldies who remember Ultima Underworld fondly and follow the Looking Glass heritage from there.

In general, I'll continue to do that. If BioWare or Chris Avellone or Van Carnegham suddenly pop up with a non-RPG, we'll probably do at least one post just for old times' sake.

——

We will be at the Leipzig GC. There is a lot to cover (probably more than E3) so we'll have to see how much depth and how quickly we can get features out…but we'll be there and we'll see The Witcher for sure.

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August 20th, 2007, 00:46
Sounds reasonable to me.
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August 20th, 2007, 01:02
I doubt it warrants a serious discussion, Dhruin. Bioshock kind of sticks out because the developers are so adamant about it not being defined as an RPG, but in general the lines are way to vague to pretend that clear lines of policy could be drawn.

Continuing as you are makes sense. If there's something you're covering that really makes no sense, I bet the users will point that out.
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August 20th, 2007, 01:38
Hey, we even cover Space sims since many of our readers enjoy them and quite a few now have definite rpg elements!! I wrote an article on X2 as an RPG back at the Dot!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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August 20th, 2007, 06:26
1111.

Thats just silly. I've been playing rpgs just as long and I don't feel some god-like ability to label or relabel things as I see fit. I can call a motorcycle a car all day, but it isn't. [plus some Ozzy Osbourne reference]
I did not say Half Life was a salami sandwich. It was a PC game that made me feel like like I was playing the role of Gordon Freeman.
(Hey kids! Can you find the secret code in that sentence?)

Nor did I implore anyone to ride my crazy-train. Please keep your personal attacks in context and relevant.

Marketing arms of companies call games "shooters" "rpgs" "sims" and so forth as a marketing tool. Sim fans will buy a new sim, rpg fans will buy a new rpg. It is simple and effective but it is not "defined and exclusive by nature" as you put it.

Gorath wrote So why isn´t GTA covered? Because none of us is interested about it.
Even this websites staff admit what is covered is flexible.

To be fair, I am interested to hear what unmistakably defines an RPG. When you make adamant statements like that, be prepared to back them up.
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August 20th, 2007, 11:01
I always felt that the editors have shown a good hand in what to cover and what not to cover (at the dot as at the watch), so I can just say: keep going!
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August 20th, 2007, 15:12
I like the flexible nature of coverage … coming from FPS first and RPG's second and being heavily into handhelds, it is that broad coverage and flexibility that makes this one of my two favorite places on the web

Because I think there are reasonable limits that are applied - I don't expect to have a discussion in the 'on topic' section regarding 'Crysis' or 'Star Wars Force Unleashed' or 'Cooking Mama 2' … but a great thing is that there are enough diverse people here that while the on-topic stuff is heavily covered I know I could find a discussion about those games in the *off*-topic forums.

Originally Posted by Reyla View Post
Any game that makes me feel like I am actually the protagonist is a role playing game.
I know you defined it personally but you *had* to know what was coming

— Mike
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