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February 10th, 2013, 17:18
To add to tolknaz, I think your dual objectives of immersive design detail and actual "Role-playing" are intractably at odds and that is confusing us. The distaste for tactical combat is a very unusual dislike for someone who proclaims such a long history with RPGs and we could have an entire argument over that PnP-wise, but that's for RPG.net on another day. I acknowledge your preference and recognize the PnP game style; I've seen it before.

My problem is that you've already acknowledged the expense of full voice, but still proclaim the greatness of it without really acknowledging the inherent limitations. In game design terms, cRPG character development is best accomplished through what's called "player agency", strong options and alternative that advance your character or characters. You can do this with voice acting, but at a really really big expense. It's easier to railroad a plot while changing the flavor (the good/bad hero we've seen from Bioware since KotoR). It's also easier to make the world somewhat static while you affect your character by choosing what parts of the world you interact with (Elder Scrolls). Much more rare is where strong plot branching and voice acting combine. The gold standard in player agency is Planescape: Torment and I don't think even ME3 level budgets could hit that with full VA. New Vegas got a lot closer, but even that didn't have the breadth of options Ps:T did. For most of us on this site, having text does three things: it allow fast iteration and change so that you can craft better stories and create better agency, it allows us to hear the actors' voices in our own heads, *and* it creates much less expense so that more actual game can be created.

So anyhow, I'm kind of flummoxed by the apparent conflict I'm seeing here. You can have voice acting, you can have a small budget, and you can have strong character-driven roleplay but in these cases you can only pick two of them. And honestly I can only see the first and the last in very very high AAA budgets.

If full voice acting is really *that* important to you, then I can say with pretty good certainty that absolutely no RPG will be available to you for a budget less than, oh say, $12 million US (You know what? don't even let me quote a number. Even that may be low). The cost of paying talented designers and engineers plus all the ancillary stuff to make VA worthwhile is an order of magnitude greater than what we're working with here. Quality of the actors isn't nearly as big a concern as the production required to make it happen. This kickstarter stuff just isn't your world.
Last edited by Bedwyr; February 10th, 2013 at 17:44.
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