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Default RPG News - Roundtable #6, Part 3 @ RPG Vault

October 26th, 2006, 00:09
They don't make RPGs like they used to wraps up at RPG Vault, with input from Flagship's Bill Roper, Irrational's Ken Levine, Larian's Mark Brouwer, Alan Miranda from Darkness over Daggerford and indie Amanda Fae from Aveyond. Here's a short bit from Mark Brouwer, since we haven't heard much from Larian for a while:

Gameplay has also evolved over the years and, in my opinion, it has grown quite a lot. People don't remember the misses from the past, only the hits, which is why the past will always seem better, as hits don't happen all that often.
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October 26th, 2006, 00:09
I find it interesting that pretty much all the developers felt that there wasn't anything missing. In a way, it's disappointing that they don't really acknowledge the complaints of us old-skool gamers.

Eventually, there will be enough pent-up demand that someone will make an old-skool RPG and it will sell like hotcakes. It will be fun to see when that happens.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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October 26th, 2006, 01:50
They all seem to chalk it to nostalgia - bt at least some acknowledge that the use of the imagination in prior years created a more memorable experience. But it isn't that far back that we hit some good stuff …

— Mike
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October 26th, 2006, 02:38
Yes, it's common to talk about the late-great golden age of rpg's as if it was hundreds of years ago.I have to admit that when you play a graphix-hog game of today, tho, that 2001 copy of Wizardry 8 seems a lot older than 5 years.

Unfortunately, the graphics are the only improvement since then that I can see.
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October 26th, 2006, 03:59
I thought most of them had been playing G3 and had got hooked on Swampweed!! The final Indie developer was the only one who made sense. I could rip the others to pieces over some of the nonsense they wrote!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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October 26th, 2006, 12:58
After reading through all 3 parts of this roundtable I am left with a rather sick and empty feeling. Graphics are not innovation, stripped down and dumbed down rpgs are not innovation.

I think the developers have gotten just as lazy as the gamers that they peddle their wares to anymore. Guess there will never be another game like an Ultima IV or the original pools of radiance, or planescape: torment because they more often than not required the players to think. Guess its time to go dust off my DM manual and get back into pen and paper rpgs.
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October 26th, 2006, 14:07
The common thread that was unspoken is that we ascribe to a definition of RPG that is anachronistic. That business demands 3D worlds, high graphics and fully voiced action. Oh, and because of the mythical 'Casual Gamer', *none* of our games can have quests that are hard or take a long time. C'mon - that is crap … *no one* who is a 'Type 1' Casual Gamer is going to play 'real' RPG's anyway (Type 1 is the type playing Bejeweled and Sudoku as their major gaming outlets), and for 'Type 2' (I get 3 hours of gaming a month) they just need a good journal and quest log.

— Mike
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October 26th, 2006, 17:19
The final Indie developer was the only one who made sense.
Yeah my friend Amanda she is great!, though she prefers the adventure style RPGs.

I want to say that RPG's have not taken steps forward, they've taken steps backwards. When I heard one of the Oblivion designers say "My favourite game is Ultima 7", and I want to base many things of that. That's why we developed the radiant AI system. I thought WOW this game will rule.

Now that I compare the games that are ( yes that's right folks ) 12 years apart. Oblivion is inferior in almost everything.

Graphics - Yes Oblivion is beautiful, but there are like 3 different tilesets for dungeons and they all look more or less the same. Same goes for indoors, and houses and wilderness. YEs it's beautiful, but it's not exciting to see the same thing over and over and over, I am so sick of the caves that all looks the same that I want to puke. Every single dungeon in U7 was varied and exciting.

Story - OOps the emperor has been murdered by some crazy cult, and oblivion gates open all over… I have to close them and stop the invasion. The story gives me zero. The U7 story is great, and you can make parallells to society even today.

Gameplay - Oblivion…. Hack slash, Hack slash, Hack slash, by yourself, or with a really stupid AI companion who can't die. The roleplaying is minimized to answering a question with three different choices and spinning a wheel. In U7 I could go for hours without any combat and enjoy it a lot, there were just so many different things to do, from building a staircase of boxes to reach that item at the top, to baking bread, or other jobs.

Characters - The characters in Oblivion do not only look stupid, they're pathetic lifeless beings, who can speak about rumors that every other person speaks about, or might I have one quest for you. They might walk around a bit and go to sleep….. maybe even eat…. but what does it matter when they're just like robots?

Quests - Oblivion: Go to this spot on the map, kill somoene, done. There are some quests that are better than this, and at least they tried… though most of them ends up with some killing. A big plus for the amount of quests to do! U7 had all sorts of quests, and you really had to think on how to solve them, and talk to different people, not go to a fixed map spot, and get detalied text descriptions a long the way.

The sad thing is that Oblivion is still the second best attempt in recent years.

Thanks god, for the Gothic series , though I feel they're moving a bit in the wrong direction with G3. They also did a lot of things right.
Last edited by GothicGothicness; October 26th, 2006 at 17:26.
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October 26th, 2006, 17:21
It's all about the Big $$$, it seems. Yes, some hard-core traditional game elements are difficult at first, but if there is no difficulty there is no satisfaction in acheiving mastery, or god forbid, strategically outwitting an AI thru sheer teeth-gritting tenacity.

Seems like the games industry stopped being for and about actual gaming a long time ago.

Perhaps it reflects our entire culture in microcosm. Many people have no real challenges in their lives(that they want to look at, anyway) so they create an artificial challenge—as in so-called "reality TV" —-but the problem with that is that it's totally controllable and safe, thusly minimally rewarding. And then it's on to the next toy or experience.

I guess even a fantasy of a real challenge is too intimidating for this hypothetical
gaming audience.
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October 26th, 2006, 18:07
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
The common thread that was unspoken is that we ascribe to a definition of RPG that is anachronistic. That business demands 3D worlds, high graphics and fully voiced action. Oh, and because of the mythical 'Casual Gamer', *none* of our games can have quests that are hard or take a long time. C'mon - that is crap … *no one* who is a 'Type 1' Casual Gamer is going to play 'real' RPG's anyway (Type 1 is the type playing Bejeweled and Sudoku as their major gaming outlets), and for 'Type 2' (I get 3 hours of gaming a month) they just need a good journal and quest log.
Hey, I like Sudoku!

I think you've hit the nail on the head, Mike. It's really disappointing in a way. I at least hoped for a couple developers to say something along the lines of, "We'd like to cater to old-skool but it simply can't be done in today's business model." They're all content to move on.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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October 26th, 2006, 18:13
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
Hey, I like Sudoku!
Me too - I don't know how many boring (but mandatory) meetings I've passed with Bejeweled (1 & 2) and Sudoku

— Mike
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