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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » RPG Vault - Roundtable #7, Part 1

Default RPG Vault - Roundtable #7, Part 1

July 9th, 2007, 23:35
These roundtables are RPG Vault's best feature, in my opinion. Number 7 asks various developers "Are RPGs as much fun as they could or should be?" Jeff Vogel, Ed Del Castillo (Liquid - Rise of the Argonauts) and Michal Madej (CD Projekt - The Witcher) are among the respondents. Here's a bit from Ed Del Castillo, because we haven't heard him speak on the genre before:
My first rule is that I get to do cool stuff. Things I've never done before, would never think to do, that I've seen in my favorite movies… you know, cool stuff. I don't want to be looting dead bodies (unless I'm a villain), fiddling with my inventory, counting my coppers, or dare I say it… fishing! I want to kill two guys at once using a maneuver only Jet Li and a jungle of wires could pull off, not the oh so fun I hit you, you hit me combat we have today. My laser rifle should burn holes through starships, and my deeds should be etched into the temple walls.
My second rule is that I want to look cool. I want my armor to gleam, my gun to sound like a howitzer, my ship to look like it can do the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs. Most importantly, I want it all to look good together. If I'm a thief, I want to look like one at every level. If I'm a knight, I don't want to carry around a rinky-dink shield just because it has better buffs. I'm tired of looking like a medieval dumpster diver when I play these games. I can't form a cohesive vision for my hero when I look like the sidekick.
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July 9th, 2007, 23:35
Keep Ed Del Castillo away from rpgs since what he is asking for is not an rpg but just an action game and if he makes rpgs in his vision they won't be rpgs anymore and bring down the genre.
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July 9th, 2007, 23:40
why is this named "RPG roundtable"?
and why do these people make rpgs anyway?
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July 9th, 2007, 23:47
Ed didn't exactly endear himself to CRPG fans, did he?

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July 10th, 2007, 00:23
Re quote by vidder.
[why is this named "RPG roundtable"? and why do these people make rpgs anyway?]

When sitting at a "round" table each participant is deemed as equal, there is no leader and no one is inferior because there is no "head" of the table. This of course only relates to the viewpoints, King Arthur for example was the "head" of his round table for he was the leader. Yet he was strictly ensuring visual parity with his knights.

The round table concept in regard to rpg developers being equal at the table is a good one because within peer group pressure, there will always be one or more who are better positioned and able to show leadership in exchanging ideas…very interesting.
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July 10th, 2007, 01:14
http://www.mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,8028/ are his palmares.

I do agree with him that a video game should give you something cool (or different from real life) to do. But as said, those things he mentions are already being done in dozens of action videogames.

Roleplaying games give developers de oportunity to do something "cool" (developing your character instead of being the lead right at the start) that distinguishes it from "mundane" action videogames.
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July 10th, 2007, 08:06
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
Ed didn't exactly endear himself to CRPG fans, did he?
No. But I am sure he has a wonderful career ahead of him. A true champion of bubble-gum gaming.
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July 10th, 2007, 09:10
Remember, Ed was once a part of what became Ultima 9!! Nuff said!!!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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July 10th, 2007, 14:27
Since we're picking on Ed, I'll chime in:

2. Don't make me do things that break my character, like looting dead bodies, collecting junk or killing innocents. Give me heroic and character-defining alternatives for getting money and equipment.
That is actually interesting - my Paladin shouldn't be cracking chests and barrels looking for gold or desecrating corpses. Yet you have to in order to survive … there should be another way.
3. Stop making me the smallest part of the story. I'm the hero of this "movie". Make me the biggest part.
Huh? Does this guy actually play any of these games? Isn't the basis of nearly every big fantasy RPG that you rise from nothing to the greatest power that is able to shape the course of history and defeat the seemingly unstoppable forces conquering the world. Or does he want to avoid the 'bring me a cup of sugar from the baker' quests at the beginning?

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July 10th, 2007, 16:57
All of these guys fails to see the point I think!! What do I like most about RPG's??

Exploring new wounderful worlds. If I want to kill people in spectacular ways I play fighting or action games.

Anyway it has become next to impossible now… the cost for creating a new fantastic world is just too high… the only way appears to be auto-generation these days as Gothic 3 and Oblivion has proven!
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July 10th, 2007, 18:46
Poor Ed. Yes, he's bombastic, and yes it's not an RPG, but I think the work Liquid did with Dragonshard was quite good, actually. Showed a good eye for atmospherics, some skill at drawing up interesting characters and unit types and, most importantly, some nice "out-of-the-box" thinking. I see a lot of that skill as transferrable to an RPG.
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July 10th, 2007, 18:50
Ed was the producer on Command & Conquer. The man is a gaming legend. Maybe not a gaming legend that is very good at expressing himself clearly but a legend nonetheless .
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July 10th, 2007, 19:08
Ed's comments and ideas, perhaps tempered down a bit, are perfectly in-place for an RPG. The more the player can define their character, the more involved they will feel in the story you are telling. There are exceptions of course, but generally speaking, people like as much control over how their character looks and is built as they possibly can. Look how much modding was done with NWN to achieve those very things.

The current problem that I have with most modern cRPGs is the focus on developing a visually detailed and intricate game with everything else coming in after that one priority. Games look better now but they sure aren't better RPGs.
So much can be done with "lesser" technology to achieve an immersive gaming environment and that do not rely on "next gen" graphics. Personally I don't find graphics to be the primary factor in whether or not I'm engaged in the story being played out. You can do a lot with sound and text to capture the imagination, for example.

You know the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don't alter their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views, which can be uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.
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July 10th, 2007, 20:03
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
Ed was the producer on Command & Conquer. The man is a gaming legend.
John Carmack is a gaming legend too, and he shouldn't be let within attainable restraining order distance of a RPG project.

I too disagree with most of Ed's comments. I was slack-jawed in disgust reading his quote in Dhruin's teaser (and I went on to read the rest).

As has been pointed out in the above comments, I definitely see value in making actions suit the character, but we all have the power to exercise restraint when role-playing. If I'm playing a paladin, I'm not going to just go around looting houses even if I can and there are no in-game restrictions. Of course sometimes it's fun to I can find a rationale for it. That can be one of the fun parts of being a so-called-good character, rationalizing doing bad in the name of righteousness. Perhaps I'm confiscating goods needed to forward my righteous quest from heretics.

Likewise you don't have to be a jack-of-all-trades in Oblivion if you exercise some restraint. Or you can be, if you enjoy playing that way. Choice should never be a bad thing. Oblivion has plenty of faults, but I never considered this one of them.

In pen-and-paper games you know what makes sense and you don't tell your DM you want to do something stupid, like "Hide in Shadows" while riding a burro at midday (okay, I was in a 1st edition campaign where a guy asked to do that exact thing, but it was his first session, and we got a load of laughs and a fun RPG anecdote out of it…the Stealth Burro incident). While the DM is there to keep you in check, you can do the same for yourself.
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July 10th, 2007, 20:12
The point Castillo makes about looting when it's a bit out of character is a good one. Everything else smells a bit pointless though. It's not like it's going way out on a limb to say "I want to make games with cool stuff in them!".

Who exactly plans on, or espouses making a game where the PC looks like a turd, you achieve nothing of dramatic note, and your gun/battlecry/incantation/fireball sounds about as intimidating as a mouse's fart?

I agree with Gallifrey an' all. I'm still happy dipping into the IE games, so visuals aren't super-important to me. Solid mechanics, writing, choices, voice-acting etc. are more important to me than being able to spot the magic ring I equipped, rendered on my character model. Stick the development slider further towards "gameplay" and away from "graphics", in my opinion.
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July 11th, 2007, 07:04
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
Ed was the producer on Command & Conquer. The man is a gaming legend. Maybe not a gaming legend that is very good at expressing himself clearly but a legend nonetheless .
D.W. Bradley is/was a legend too!! Nuff said!!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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July 11th, 2007, 08:55
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
D.W. Bradley is/was a legend too!! Nuff said!!!
At the risk of thread derailment; if only DWB would veer away from action games. I wouldn't say no to another first-person party based game from him with TB, or near-TB, combat a-la Wizards and Warriors (yes, I know it's generally disliked. I liked it regardless ).

Maybe the fact that DWB used to be involved in making decent RPGs makes him the bigger tragedy; Ed hasn't ever been involved in making a decent RPG (correct?).

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Last edited by Shagnak; July 11th, 2007 at 09:21. Reason: to make it more on-topic
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July 11th, 2007, 12:33
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
D.W. Bradley is/was a legend too!! Nuff said!!!
Who is he, anyway?

If he makes a game perhaps I'll write an article (or four) about it

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July 11th, 2007, 12:42
He was a developer of 4 games I know about, wiz 6,7, wizards and warriors, and dungeon lords.

Wiz 7 is, what I consider to be (and any fair minded person would also), a ground breaking rpg for its time. It had meaningful factions, an automap that imrpoved by skill, etc, etc. A very unique setting.

I like wiz 8 a lot, but it was a streamlined and dumbed down version of wiz 7. It is reflected in everything from character creation, to leveling up, etc. If you haven't played wiz 7 gold, I'd get it (gold adds some fancyness like voice acting).

Wiz and wrriors is also worth playing. It is a pain top get started as you have to use a program to change some art in the game into a different program so you can use buildings in towns, but it is a good 1st person, 3d dungeon hack with some innovations and unique takes on standard conventions.
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July 11th, 2007, 13:02
Yep, and then there was Dungeon Lords!!!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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