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Default RPG Codex - RPG of the Decade: Developers' Choice

April 17th, 2010, 15:12
A pretty cool article at RPG Codex sees a commentary on key games and studios over the last decade, followed by a calvalcade of developers giving their choice and opinion. Almost every indie developer we know is represented, along with a handful of major studios. The range of thought is striking, from unusual choices like NWN (you'll be surprised how many pick this) to hardore classics such as Arcanum to not being impressed by anything at all. Well worth a read and here's a sample that I bet you won't see coming. Tim Cain's choice is…
Tim Cain (Fallout, Carbine Studios MMO)

http://www.carbinestudios.com/

There were so many good RPG’s released in the last decade that it is hard to choose the “RPG of the Decade”. I am embarrassed to say that I haven’t played some of them, and I only want to nominate a game that I have played. And that list is still large: Baldur’s Gate 2, Icewind Dale 2, Neverwinter Nights, Dragon Age (Bioware is on a roll in my list, you can see), Fable, Deus Ex, Fallout 3, Geneforge. So I am going with a game that captured my imagination and that I played for many many hours, and that I think about when designing my own games. And that game is…

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

There are so many things about this game that I loved. It was an open sandbox world, where I was free to go where I wanted and act how I wanted, and I had to live with the consequences of my actions. I became a vampire (and got cured later), I joined every guild and reached leadership status in them (and I loved the Dark Brotherhood the most), I did every Daedric shrine quest, and I explored most of the continent. In fact, I ignored the main storyline for most of my playing of this game, and I had more fun with the guild storylines and with trying to get every house in the game. The huge combination of skills, stats, spells and items, and the detailed character customization at the beginning of the game, really made me feel that I could play roleplay anyone I wanted. The game is not without its flaws (the auto-leveling of monsters springs to mind), but overall, this game was everything I wanted in an RPG: open-ended, re-playable, good-looking and downright fun.

However, an honorable mention must go to Blorp Zingwag: Elf Detective. With a name like that, you know it has to be good.
More information.
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April 17th, 2010, 15:12
Tim Cain? THE Tim Cain? One of rare designers with outstanding imagination?
He chooses boredomallovertheplace Oblivion?! Are they sure it's Tim Cain and not Lord British who wrote that?
I'm gonna commit a suicide.
Ok, ok, I won't, he admits he didn't play many RPGs so I shouldn't feel that much surprised.

I've read the rest of the article, and I must say that I've doublechecked if the date was 1st of april. Chris Tailor choses Torchlight?! I can't believe this, I simply can't.

The only one who was brief and probably got the choice I like was Michal Madej, he didn't choose one game actually, but went with a set of games I enjoy(ed): Deus Ex, Arcanum, Bloodlines and ME2.

I'm afreaid this means only one thing. Tim Cain's FO3.5:NJ will be another booooooooooorin' Oblivion. Tim, goodbye from me.
Fallout Online will be who-cares-about Torchlight online. Yuck!!! I'd rather play missbimbo.com.

But The Witcher2? Will I see a mix of Deus Ex, Arcanum, Bloodlines and ME2? Will I see a game with: almost unlimited number of quests and items, massive map with many places to visit, a comprehensive story with humor and choices, a scifi/mystery/thriller/horror RPG? If yes then I'm buying this one.

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April 17th, 2010, 16:55
I think he was just trolling the Codex. Successfully, it appears…
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April 17th, 2010, 17:33
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
Tim Cain? THE Tim Cain? One of rare designers with outstanding imagination?
He chooses boredomallovertheplace Oblivion?! Are they sure it's Tim Cain and not Lord British who wrote that?
I'm gonna commit a suicide.
Ok, ok, I won't, he admits he didn't play many RPGs so I shouldn't feel that much surprised.

I've read the rest of the article, and I must say that I've doublechecked if the date was 1st of april. Chris Tailor choses Torchlight?! I can't believe this, I simply can't.

The only one who was brief and probably got the choice I like was Michal Madej, he didn't choose one game actually, but went with a set of games I enjoy(ed): Deus Ex, Arcanum, Bloodlines and ME2.

I'm afreaid this means only one thing. Tim Cain's FO3.5:NJ will be another booooooooooorin' Oblivion. Tim, goodbye from me.
Fallout Online will be who-cares-about Torchlight online. Yuck!!! I'd rather play missbimbo.com.

But The Witcher2? Will I see a mix of Deus Ex, Arcanum, Bloodlines and ME2? Will I see a game with: almost unlimited number of quests and items, massive map with many places to visit, a comprehensive story with humor and choices, a scifi/mystery/thriller/horror RPG? If yes then I'm buying this one.
Don't like his choice too, but really man, you're making it sound more dramatic than it really is… Tim Cain likes Oblivion. Wow. Life goes on.
Also I don't really understand what you're talking about when you say "Tim Cain's FO3.5 : NJ" ? Are you referring to what exactly? Tim Cain hasn't been involved in any Fallout game that's not FO1 and he's not actually working on Fallout : New Vegas (if that's what you talked about) but rather on an unnanounced MMORPG with Carbine Studios.
As for Chris Taylor, he liked Torchlight because he found it a fun game, doesn't mean he's basing his design decision on the V13 project (who knows if in the end they'll be able to call it Fallout Online..) on it…
Finally, The Witcher 2.. I'll have to wait for new informations but it seems that they're taking the right design decisions.. of course you're setting the bar WAY TOO HIGH, no game will ever be developed with almost unlimited quest & items, dev time and resources are limited you know…
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April 17th, 2010, 18:16
Now I know I like Tim Cain games and, ironically, at the same time I really dislike Tim Cain tastes about them.
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April 17th, 2010, 18:28
Interesting article.
Kinda shows that developers don´t have much time to play computer games .
Some of them choosing a toolset instead of a game was a cop out though.
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April 17th, 2010, 19:26
Well as one of the developer noted; when you become a developer your perspective changes. Sometimes knowing too much spoils (or changes) the atmosphere.
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April 17th, 2010, 20:53
I think I'd have to go with "not applicable". I can certainly understand why people had so much trouble making picks. There isn't any one game that had the depth and "charm" that I associate with classics of the 1980s and 1990s. Some had one or the other, but none had both.
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April 18th, 2010, 03:26
Actually I think Tim Cain absolutely nailed what I loved about Oblivion. I never played the main story line but have made many of my own stories up traipsing around the world righting wrongs or causing them.

To each his own though and that is why we have so many different types of games.
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April 18th, 2010, 08:29
Great article Codex, gratz!

Damn what a bunch of babies, Tim likes the 3D Open World Exploration and things Oblivion got right, not everything. This is actually a hint as to what he is putting into his mmog, if you would get your heads out of your special place.

Trust me, most of the names I have been called you can't translate in any language…they're not even real words as much as a succession of violent images.
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April 18th, 2010, 10:37
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
I think he was just trolling the Codex. Successfully, it appears…
If it is that easy to troll the Codex, then they certainly deserve it. A lot of people find Oblivion great, including developers. Some people are so zealous they act as though liking Oblivion is blasphemy. Get a life
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April 18th, 2010, 22:52
Ah, but it *is* blasphemy. In certain churches, anyway…
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April 19th, 2010, 01:38
As long as Tim Cain likes Oblivion, himself, good for him. He's allowed to have his preferences, as long as he continues to makes game that are to my liking (on a side note, he should go back to making single player RPGs, as neither I, nor - I'm taking an estimated guess here - at least 80 % of his fan base like MMOs)
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April 19th, 2010, 04:39
After I submitted my pick, I realized that Baldur's Gate 2 still (barely) fit within the timeframe they were talking about. I considered changing my answer, but the truth was after spending many hundreds of hours playing NWN, with the simple instructions to pick our favorite RPG of the decade, I decided to let it stand. My favorite single-player adventure, no. But I enjoyed the hell out of it, and I'm still awed by what they accomplished.

Maybe I'm copping out. But it was an honest answer, and I knew I'd catch a little hell when I wrote it. And I was supposed to limit myself to a brief paragraph, too, and I couldn't even stick to that rule either. (Glad to see I wasn't alone there, either).

I enjoyed Oblivion, too. But it didn't make my short list of candidates for game-of-the-decade.
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April 19th, 2010, 16:16
I don't see why so many people (here) hate Oblivion. I loved Oblivion. It's one of the very very few games I've actually played more than once. Except for the silliness of having brigands on super-duper crystal armor, I found it great.
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April 19th, 2010, 16:41
Me too, wolfing. It has two major weaknesses: a boring main quest and level scaling. It has a ton of positives too though: great places to explore, interesting dungeon layouts, fun spell and enchanting mechanic, a good alchemy setup, and more. The biggest ++ to Oblivion though, is its amazing modding community. Bethesda would have still made buckets of money without the CS, but with it they've given gamers like me over a thousand hours of play. I'll never spend a dime on an MMO, so if Zenimax goes that route, Oblivion will be the never-ending mod game for crpgers.

Most people hate Oblivion because of the same sin that Dragon Age made: over-hyping the product till folks wanted to vomit.

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April 19th, 2010, 17:10
It has far bigger weaknesses than that from my point of view - the lack of any real choices being the biggest (in which order you do something is not the same as deciding the outcome of what you do). However, let's not turn this into yet another Oblivion thread.

To each his own. If he enjoyed it, good for him. It wouldn't make my top 10 of the decade, but I do consider it a good game - I have no difficulties seeing why others like it so much.
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April 19th, 2010, 23:23
It's fun for what it is. shallow choices, occasionally interesting gameplay, OK exploration (although very samey).
Last edited by Thrasher; April 21st, 2010 at 22:50.
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April 20th, 2010, 21:37
I'll agree with the samey feeling after visiting most "dungeon" locales. While the outdoor areas and the various cities all look different and have their own flavor, the dungeons were kinda disappointing. I understand why this was; the lack of a never-ending supply of artists and time. It still is kinda reality killing when you realize that one Ayleid ruin is nearly identical to all the others. Another weakness is the fact that the Ayleid ruins in particular didn't even remotely resemble a place that could have been lived in. Imperial Forts make sense when they mostly look the same. I always hoped a mod would improve the forts by making some of them manned. Especially if you're on the main quest. It'd be cool to be hired by the council to clear abandoned forts out for Imperial re-occupation. You could have a few Imperial companions to assist in the endeavor.

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April 20th, 2010, 22:13
Yeah, the Ayleid ruins weren't even close to be being cities, they were more like extended tombs… Kind of "ruined" the Ayleid lore… Most of the caves were alike, as were the outdoor areas within each region… I had the obsession of revealing every inch of the map. Even all the cliffs in the mountains. Don't think I have patience anymore for that…
Last edited by Thrasher; April 21st, 2010 at 22:50.
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