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Default Does the revival of old school CRPGs inhibit devs from evolving the genre further?

March 6th, 2020, 12:31
Divinity OS, OSII, Pillars of Eternity, Deadfire, Pathfinder: Kingmaker, Tyranny, Wasteland 2 are just a few recent games of many which drew heavy inspiration from the RPGs of old and games like Divinity OS even refined the formula to a certain extent. Some of these games were made by indie studios, others were made by experienced ones and most of these games relied on crowdfunding, establishing the fact that there is certainly a good demand for such kinds of games. Obsidian even made Outer Worlds which tried (and succeeded) to appease Fallout fans (mostly) and fans of first person RPGs in general, but it certainly didnít bring anything new to the table (being a AA project). And thatís the point I want to make that if no developer will ever take it on themselves to come up with something new, unique and still strike a chord with the players (both new and old), will we ever get a Fallout, a Morrowind, a Baldurís Gate, a Demonís Souls in the future?
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March 6th, 2020, 12:55
I don't WANT "new" necessarily. QoL improvements absolutely, and I think DOS is a good example of evolving without alienating. But sometimes it's not broke, so why fix it? There are still attempts at moving the genre forward, like I suspect CP2077 will. But many games try so hard to move forward they fall instead, at least in my view.
Last edited by TomRon; March 6th, 2020 at 13:06.
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March 6th, 2020, 13:25
While it is most true that many old classics have been getting modern sequels ever since the kickstarter era began, it is not the full picture. There have been some innovative and orginal games over the years as well. Two examples below

The fact that Kingdom Come deliverance ended up being a middle ages based "realistic" rpg without any fantasy elements is pushing the genre forward quite a lot. And it is really unique how many things have a meaningfull effect on Henry's character development, story and gameplay. Or how about the most obvious thing: The combat system. Have you seen anything like that in other rpgs? KCD is game that comes around once in a decade.

Elex: How many games of late have tried to mix science fiction and fantasy together? And how many have done so in an open world setting? I was sceptical at first whether their vision would work since Risen 3 wasn't exactly a homerun combining Pirate theme with traditional fantasy together. However the gameworld and setting in Elex really drew me in. There is definitely room for imporovement, but Pbs pushed the genre forward this time around instead of just relying on old tricks.
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March 6th, 2020, 13:51
There is no revival, it never disappeared.

As to old school, the new wave deconstructs old school to reduce it to something compatible with insecure players.

Old school games provided more variety in situations to handle. It left the stage thinking that the momentum was about addition. The new wave is all about withdrawing. It is an evolution. An evolution to liberate gaming from the constraints of gaming.
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March 6th, 2020, 13:52
Originally Posted by Dez View Post
The fact that Kingdom Come deliverance ended up being a middle ages based "realistic" rpg without any fantasy elements is pushing the genre forward quite a lot. And it is really unique how many things have a meaningfull effect on Henry's character development, story and gameplay. Or how about the most obvious thing: The combat system. Have you seen anything like that in other rpgs? KCD is game that comes around once in a decade.
True, it does stand out and something I really want to play, but don't have a powerful enough machine.

Originally Posted by Dez View Post
Elex: How many games of late have tried to mix science fiction and fantasy together? And how many have done so in an open world setting? I was sceptical at first whether their vision would work since Risen 3 wasn't exactly a homerun combining Pirate theme with traditional fantasy together. However the gameworld and setting in Elex really drew me in. There is definitely room for imporovement, but Pbs pushed the genre forward this time around instead of just relying on old tricks.
Horizon Zero Dawn comes to mind, even though I haven't played either and maybe HZD leans more towards sci-fi.
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March 6th, 2020, 13:55
While I haven't played it yet, Tower of Time has an interesting take on combat and looks quite refreshing. Also, there is that new game coming out with time rewind mechanic whose name I can't remember.
Those are all indie games from smaller developers but I guess it has always been that way. Smaller devs do the innovative stuff while bigger ones do the tried and true stuff with a bigger budget. Obsidian, Larian and inXile are all pretty much established now and are no longer indie (Obsidian and inXlie were bought by Microsoft, Larian is still indie, but is much bigger than what is usually considered indie), they are more AA devs now. Not to mention Bioware. Give it a few years, something innovative will pop up and turn out popular and those devs will make a bigger budget version of it.
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March 6th, 2020, 14:30
But the genre is evolving.
- In the past world changing c&c was nonexisting, today quite a few games require at least 2 playthroughs to see all of the potentially accessible world areas.
- Character creation with only predefiend still portraits in the past got very close to Sims capabilities.
- Checkpoints? What's checkpoints?
- Gothic started voiceover trend, but now plenty of RPGs have several languages full VO
- "Can it run Crysis" is ancient past, now the question is can it run the brand new RPG

It's not about any revival, it's about accepting new technologies. If any genre does it, it's RPGs. For example, how many nonRPGs include hairworks?
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March 6th, 2020, 15:00
Originally Posted by Tihskael View Post
Divinity OS, OSII
Are not old school RPGs, they're not reviving anything, they evolved tons of stuff, just as all Divinity games have lots of evolutionary aspects that are rarely seen in other games such as, to name but a few: The Pyramid Stones, being a dragon, telekensis etc etc.

Originally Posted by Tihskael View Post
Pathfinder: Kingmaker, Tyranny
Are not old school RPGs, they're not reviving anything, they evolved tons of stuff from rest-management to spell-creation and etc etc.

Originally Posted by Tihskael View Post
Wasteland 2
Is a sequel. Yes, it's been a few years since the original… but then I'm sure the next Elder Scrolls game will be quite a few years since it's predecessor. Perhaps that game will be classed as an old school revival game?

Before I go any further, am I ok to discuss this topic @crpgnut ? Or are we just supposed to humour the guy's agenda indefinitely? I require you're authority on these matters.
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March 6th, 2020, 15:07
Can I ask what agenda is that supposed to be?
Adding masala dance&sing interactive cutscens to RPGs? If that's so, I'll join that same agenda.
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March 6th, 2020, 15:15
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
Can I ask what agenda is that supposed to be?
Adding masala dance&sing interactive cutscens to RPGs? If that's so, I'll join that same agenda.


Well, judging by the games he tends to use as positive references, Elder Scrolls, Ocarina of Time, Horizon Zero Dawn, and the games he uses as his "what's with all this 'old' crap", such as Arcanum, Divinity, Pathfinder etc, one is beginning to suspect that we're going to have to start putting up with an awful lot of console lover's tantrums over the next few weeks as the guy attempts to persuade everyone that:

'Exciting' console action games = a hobby evolved.

Which I'm sure you'll love.

I dunno about the dancing masalas though, maybe there is a ray of light in there somewhere?
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March 6th, 2020, 15:49
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
Are not old school RPGs, they're not reviving anything, they evolved tons of stuff, just as all Divinity games have lots of evolutionary aspects that are rarely seen in other games such as, to name but a few: The Pyramid Stones, being a dragon, telekensis etc etc.
Divinity OS Kickstarter- "Divinity Original Sin is an old-school cRPG with new ideas & modern execution, will release this year. Funded by fantastic backers!"

Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
Are not old school RPGs, they're not reviving anything, they evolved tons of stuff from rest-management to spell-creation and etc etc.
Kingmaker Kickstarter- "Here at Owlcat Games, we love and are inspired by classic isometric computer RPGs like Baldur's Gate, Fallout and Arcanum. Our dream is to rekindle the thrill of playing those games for the first time."

Oh I thought they would make the same exact game after 20 years. Thanks for the wonderful insight.

Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
Is a sequel. Yes, it's been a few years since the originalÖ but then I'm sure the next Elder Scrolls game will be quite a few years since it's predecessor. Perhaps that game will be classed as an old school revival game?
Well, Interplay closed down and years later Brian Fargo bought the IP from Konami and revived it and made a sequel.
Bethesda isn't dead yet and if it does die, years later Todd somehow gets the IP back, makes a sequel, I will definitely call it a revival.
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March 6th, 2020, 15:55
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post

Well, judging by the games he tends to use as positive references, Elder Scrolls, Ocarina of Time, Horizon Zero Dawn, and the games he uses as his "what's with all this 'old' crap", such as Arcanum, Divinity, Pathfinder etc, one is beginning to suspect that we're going to have to start putting up with an awful lot of console lover's tantrums over the next few weeks as the guy attempts to persuade everyone that:
Sorry I don't own a console. Never did use HZD as a positive reference. Never said 2000s games were "old crap". Never inferred I am a console lover, can't I like games outside the genre? You're awfully good at reading between the lines and reaching illogical conclusions. Bravo, my friend!
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March 6th, 2020, 15:57
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
Can I ask what agenda is that supposed to be?
Adding masala dance&sing interactive cutscens to RPGs? If that's so, I'll join that same agenda.
You got me.
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March 6th, 2020, 15:59
Originally Posted by Tihskael View Post
Sorry I don't own a console.
How do you manage to play Ocarina of Time?
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March 6th, 2020, 16:37
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
How do you manage to play Ocarina of Time?
You can play that on the PC.
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March 6th, 2020, 16:40
Also to answer Ops question, things will only evolve if people get bored of something. If people are having fun playing "old school" stuff then that s what you get. But sooner or later people get bored of things so they will look for something new etc.
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March 6th, 2020, 16:42
Originally Posted by lostforever View Post
You can play that on the PC.
My google shows:

There is no actual PC port of Ocarina of Time. Since Nintendo get a lot of their money because of their games and consoles, they decided to stick with the plan. Youíre gonna have to get Project64 and a ROM of the game if you want to play the original Nintendo 64 version of the game.
?
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March 6th, 2020, 16:47
Originally Posted by lostforever View Post
Also to answer Ops question, things will only evolve if people get bored of something. If people are having fun playing "old school" stuff then that s what you get. But sooner or later people get bored of things so they will look for something new etc.
This. I like more of the same if it is actually good and if I don't get bored of it. I got bored of Bethesda's game design with Skyrim so I didn't play any of their games after that. But I still haven't got bored of the Baldur's Gate-like RPGs so I'll gladly play the new Pathfinder game when it comes out.
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March 6th, 2020, 16:48
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
My google shows:
?
Emulators. They've been a thing for 20+ years. I played a lot of Zelda games despite never owning a Nintendo console past SNES.
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March 6th, 2020, 16:52
Any good one that won't make my eyes bleed (read: not 320x200 res)?
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