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-   -   KoA: Reckoning - Visionaries Q&A: Ken Rolston (https://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16980)

Dhruin April 29th, 2012 15:47

KoA: Reckoning - Visionaries Q&A: Ken Rolston
Catching up on a couple of items, here's a community interview with Ken Rolston from the Amalur website:

We know that new tech constantly pushes forward the games industry and changes how developers create RPGs. But aside from those kind of tangible improvements, where and how did the RPG genre improve, change, and mature? And what have been some of the more important reasons as to why the genre did move in the direction it has? – By Goatrek
Ken: I could probably write a couple doctoral theses on that topic.
Off the top of my head, I can think of four major developments in CRPGs (Computer Role Playing Games). About two of them—MMORPGs and BioWare narrative games—I can't speak as a developer.
About the other two—freeform-open-world RPGs and action-combat RPGs—I have some insight.
The freeform aspect of CRPGs was prefigured in tabletop and LARP gaming, and followed a logical evolution into CRPGs. The open-world aspect of CRPGs was the result of Bethsoft's [Bethesda Software] development of engines that could produce vast, procedural worlds, and the tools to make the titanic boatloads of content to fill those worlds (relatively) easily.
The long-neglected and somewhat underdeveloped state of RPG combat looked like an opportunity—in particular, on consoles, which already had lots of models of compelling action combat—which Reckoning was designed to exploit.
Why does the RPG genre move in certain directions? Because the genre moves in the direction of underserved player fantasies and desires. First, someone has to identify an underserved player fantasy or desire; then, someone has to figure out how to make systems, engines, and tools that can create the CRPGs. And then someone has to figure out how to get the message and product into the minds and hands of the gamers.
More information.

qpqpqp April 29th, 2012 15:47

"visionaries" …ffs! and i LIKED KoA, thought it was a very good game, better than nwn, but not quite up to bethesda standards but pretty damn good for a fable clone anyway… the frickin questions, if they'd been any more softball, they'd have been on cable news. i'm surprised "what kind of tree" didn't come up. no questions about LEVEL LOCKS WTF WERE YOU THINKING!? ok i'm finished ^^;

Falchor April 29th, 2012 19:46

I enjoyed KoA a great deal for the first 25 or 30 hours; then the game entered a phase of overwhelming (almost mind-numbing) tedium… I literally couldn't bring myself to launch the game and throw those damn chakrams another 3,000 times. Which means the devs (including Rolston) failed with world-building.. with keeping my interest. I know others here played much further in the game and enjoyed it for what it was, but I don't think I could ever even consider buying another KoA game, if it was designed the same way.

Vahid April 29th, 2012 22:09

Good interview… I've finished KoA and didn't enjoy it much! In my opinion It wasn't a solid RPG because of its poor dialog system (lack of freedom), H&S combat system etc. KoA wasn't the game I'd expect but a good one. In spite of its positive reviews I don't like this kind of games anyway and never purchase Rolston's next game unless he transforms his game completely.

darkling April 29th, 2012 23:44

Ken the Visionary!

I like it.

Thrasher April 30th, 2012 22:42

Visionary?! What a load of #$%^&… :)

darkling May 1st, 2012 01:20

It makes me think of Tom the Visionary from Newsradio. Real far out guy, into computers. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyPpg0l1jMA#t=93s

Fluent May 1st, 2012 02:46

I love Ken Rolston. There's interviews I've watched with the guy that had me laughing my ass off at how crazy he is. I think he did a great job with Reckoning.

Thrasher May 1st, 2012 04:05

Yes, we know there isn't an RPG you don't love. ;)

crpgnut May 1st, 2012 22:36


Originally Posted by Thrasher (Post 1061141591)
Yes, we know there isn't an RPG you don't love. ;)

I thought that was Rune_74! :D

I'm glad for these guys that they enjoy almost everything that comes out. I'm a little more discerning, but I end up playing less new games because of it. Which is okay with me, because it leaves my money free for other interests. There is good and bad in being picky!

As far as Ken Rolston being a visionary: I wonder how he feels now that Skyrim and Reckoning have both come out. Ken left Bethesda to pursue his own vision of what makes a great crpg. He was able to pit his skills against that of his old company and they were lacking; at least economically/critically. If Ken is a visionary, what does that make Todd Howard and crew? Oh yeah, rich :D

Thrasher May 1st, 2012 22:40

I don't have time (or a desire) to play everything. :)

rune_74 May 2nd, 2012 00:25

I don't love every rpg, I just don't believe there is ultimately a black and white for what is good as an rpg to me.

JDR13 May 2nd, 2012 02:12


Originally Posted by crpgnut (Post 1061141739)
I thought that was Rune_74! :D

As long as it was made in America. ;)

rune_74 May 2nd, 2012 05:36


Originally Posted by JDR13 (Post 1061141776)
As long as it was made in America. ;)

Funny…I'm not american, you dork.

JDR13 May 2nd, 2012 05:45

I meant North America. Since you seem to love everything by American or Canadian developers while rarely giving any praise to European developed titles.

rune_74 May 2nd, 2012 05:54

Well, suffice it to say you are misinformed, I play most of the european games….I just don't kiss their ass and give them a pass for shoddy work if it is there. Like risen 2 for instance, it's fun, but clearly inferior in it's engine and graphics. (Note I didn't say it was a bad game I bought it after all).

JDR13 May 2nd, 2012 05:56

No, instead you give developers like Bioware a pass for garbage like DA2. :)

And no, Risen 2's graphics are not inferior. The outdoor environments are some of the best looking I've ever seen in a game.

rune_74 May 2nd, 2012 05:59

Hey I gave Piranaha Bites a pass on Gothic 3. Anyways, technically DA2 was superior to Risen 2 in the Graphics department. Not saying in game play mind you.

I only support the big companies though, just ask basilisk games and spiderweb;) I don't really need to defend myself though so whatever.

JDR13 May 2nd, 2012 08:23

Well I can only assume that "technically" superior doesn't mean that it actually looks better. :)

crpgnut May 2nd, 2012 16:55

I've not played Risen but I hope it's a graphic style more like Skyrim than Reckoning. I'm not too big into the comic book graphic style. How do female humans look in comparison to Skyrim? Can I play a female? I prefer looking at women when I play instead of dudes :D

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