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Default Brian Fargo - The Golden Era of CRPG's

June 27th, 2013, 02:18
Brian Fargo gave an interview with polygamia about the future of RPG's and other topics.

You were one of the first developers taking the story and setting seriously, and trying to make games looked more like movies.

I think when we were all young, we had a certain envy about the way films could touch so many people and have such mass awareness. But I was more influenced by good storytelling in general, whether it came from a movie or a book and it all starts with clever writing. I was a huge movie fan when I was a kid, and I reads hundreds of books and thousands of comics. I'm very fortunate to be in a creative business making my own mark.

Why do you like post-apocalyptic setting so much?

I'm not sure why I have always been drawn to it, but it seems like most of my favorite comics, books and movies all had some kind of end of world type apocalypse take place. I remember reading "Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth" as a kid and my absolute favorite movies as a kid were "The Planet of the Apes" and "The Omega Man". And of course later I became a HUGE fan of the Mad Max/Road Warrior series. In fact I spent quite a few times with the director George Miller and got very close at several times to make a game based on his series. With books I loved "Swan Song" by Robert McCammon and of course "The Stand" from Stephen King. I think the post-apocalyptic universes seem more plausible for the most part over straight up sci-fi, which makes it approachable as a subject.

In the mid-90 Interplay was home for biggest RPG franchises - Stonekeep, Baldur's Gate, Planescape Torment, Fallout. Do you think it was a golden age for the computer RPGs?

I think you are about to see the golden age of RPGs come rushing back in the next few years, with what I'm seeing from Obsidian, CD Projekt and of course what we are working on. But most certainly there was a purity to the development of RPGs in the 90's in which we were very attuned to our players. You could not make nearly the money on a game back then as you can today, and the budgets were a fraction of today's big spends. The risk factors changed greatly as we left the 90's and the pressure ramped up and created a lot of craziness. But I honestly see that purity and being in sync with the RPG players coming back full circle — in fact it is even stronger than ever.

How important is Kickstarter for the industry? Is it just a chance to revitalise some genres and series, or it's something more?

I have always believed that the concept of crowd funding is so much bigger than just us and these few games that we are doing. It really is about putting the power and profits into the creator's hands such that we can control our destinies and help others. Already you can see the effects of how the development community has come together in terms of promoting competitive games, sharing technology and even giving money to one another, this is not something you would normally see. The power of us sticking together will allow us to get some control back that has been lost. In addition you are seeing games get made like ours or Obsidian's for example that would have never existed if not for crowd funding and that is a major item in itself.

What would you tell to your critics, saying that it's been a long time since you've created decent game, and that your fundraisers succeeded only because of the sentiments?

Well certainly my experience with the publishers has not been very fruitful but I do my best when I am in control of my development. In fact I think the best creative work that is done in almost any entertainment industry is when someone has the power to make those critical sensibility decisions without needs for committees. But that said, our Bard's Tale game is one of the highest user rated games on Google Play on Android and I feel quite good about the creativity and content we delivered on that. This wasn't a game for core gamers, though, and I know some weren't expecting that. I set out to make a light RPG parody and for that we accomplished the goal superbly. So now with Wasteland and Torment we have a goal of bringing back classic RPG gameplay and that is the sensibility we will deliver on, plus we have our secret weapon of the crowd. Every aspect of development is being vetted by the audience so there will not be some big surprise or disappointment at launch. The vision of the game and the first playable have been shared with hundreds of thousands of people and we are in sync.
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June 27th, 2013, 02:18
our Bard's Tale game is one of the highest user rated games on Google Play on Android and I feel quite good about the creativity and content we delivered on that. This wasn't a game for core gamers, though, and I know some weren't expecting that. I set out to make a light RPG parody and for that we accomplished the goal superbly.
Yea, savepoints and respawns… Never finished that game although it was filled with humor.
Perhaps I should give it another try… Guys, any mod to stop area respawns in BT? Meh, when I think about it, it's the humor I'm interested in, so I'll just take the difficulty "casual" if it's available.

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June 27th, 2013, 02:21
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
Yea, savepoints and respawns… Never finished that game although it was filled with humor.
Perhaps I should give it another try… Guys, any mod to stop area respawns in BT? Meh, when I think about it, it's the humor I'm interested in, so I'll just take the difficulty "casual" if it exists in it.
Well if it's one thing we can always count on is your hate for respawns and Skyrim. Sadly I don't know of any mods to stop them for Bards Tale.

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June 27th, 2013, 04:31
Why do you like post-apocalyptic setting so much?

I'm not sure why I have always been drawn to it, but it seems like most of my favorite comics, books and movies all had some kind of end of world type apocalypse take place.
One might argue that a post-apocalyptic setting is one where the individual hero can matter. After all, there are only a handful of survivors, so the active individual holds a greater importance relative to the surviving population. The same can be said of a fantasy setting where an individual can attain a significant power level relative to the common lot. This is in contrast to a modern setting where even a highly skilled adventurer can hardly hope to make a meaningful difference to the world as a whole.
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June 27th, 2013, 11:25
In the mid-90 Interplay was home for biggest RPG franchises - Stonekeep, Baldur's Gate, Planescape Torment, Fallout. Do you think it was a golden age for the computer RPGs?

Interesting that he says "mid-90s" there. The only game he mentions that was actually released in the mid-90s was Stonekeep, and that was an average game at best (imo).
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June 27th, 2013, 11:27
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Interesting that he says "mid-90s" there. The only game he mentions that was actually released in the mid-90s was Stonekeep, and that was an average game at best (imo).
AFAIK - those games are 1995-1999.

You're nitpicking.
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June 27th, 2013, 11:30
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
AFAIK - those games are 1995-1999.

You're nitpicking.
You could say I'm nitpicking, but I'm still right.

Other than Fallout 1 (1997) it's pretty hard to consider any of those games "mid-90s".

Everything else is 1998 or later. Definitely not mid-90s.
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June 27th, 2013, 11:34
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
You could say I'm nitpicking, but I'm still right.

Other than Fallout 1 (1997) it's pretty hard to consider any of those games "mid-90s".

Everything else is 1998 or later. Definitely not mid-90s.
I don't recall saying you were wrong.

Everything else would be 2 out of 4 games, sure.

It's true that in a perfect world, he probably would have said mid-late 90s.

I guess I'm having a hard time seeing how it's worth mentioning - but whatever
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June 27th, 2013, 11:40
I see it as 1 game out of everything he mentioned. Also, he's talking about franchises not just individual titles.

Somewhat insignificant yes, but it made me wonder about the guy conducting the interview.

I also wish that Brian Fargo had answered that question a little more directly. It's not that I didn't like what he said, but I'd be curious to hear what he thinks was the "golden age" of crpgs.
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June 27th, 2013, 11:41
Fair enough, we all have things we care about.
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June 27th, 2013, 14:19
I actually thought the same just recently. With the advent of crowdfunding and 1-box-solutions like Unity (whose importance I think is still understated even by the people using it), CRPGs are really starting to come into their own.

Add to this the fact that we are seeing a new breed of devs with academical backgrounds who are willing to approach the CRPG more seriously, even if it's in relatively light ways. Historical accuracy is one obvious example. Also see Josh Sawyer's developing of conlangs for Project Eternity. Whether you agree with him on the importance of such things or not, it's at least an example of how the CRPG can evolve and what you need designers for. Someone should ring up Garriott and tell him about it.

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June 27th, 2013, 18:56
I would say late 90-ies really. And people can scream as they like but FF7 had a strong impact on the revival of rpg's that were seen as dead.

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June 27th, 2013, 19:27
Bioware was founded 1995. Baldurs Gate development was from 1995 to 1998.

From a developer's or publisher's view it is Mid-90's.
From a consumer's view it is late 90's.

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