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Default What was the latest "great RPG" made by an American studio?

December 17th, 2020, 13:19
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
To be honest, your entire approach to gaming suspends my disbelief. Because we're talking about gaming, not high art. And even high art has problems "truly moving people emotionally" and "teaching something new about life".

Pong? Pacman? Space Invaders? Nope, no "world being truly believable" there.

Mario Brothers? Tetrus? Civilisation? Nope again.

Wizardry? Might and Magic? Ultima? Nope, one is clearly still in a completely fabricated world that the player is fully aware of, mostly grinding game-like content.

Narrative gaming? Sure, RPGs have scope for that, but it's always still going to be a background element, the foreground being gameplay.

The only way to get what you're pining for in gaming is to play either adventure games or visual novels, and the former are still games, which will require gamey elements which will reduce your ability to suspend your disbelief, for example:

The Longest Journey has a wonderful atmosphere and story and character narratives, however, it's a computer adventure game, so you have to come to a narrative standstill until you impossibly realise you have to combine 10 entirely unrelated random inventory items in a specific order and apply them to one random needle in a haystack in-game object in order for the game (narrative) to progress.

You strike me as someone who's browsing in a shoe shop and then complaining to the assistant about the lack of hats available to buy, because if they're selling apparel, why aren't they selling hats!
You misunderstand me. I still enjoy games, sometimes a lot. But story is what can make the game truly great to me. And you are right, that I will not find that in games, and that's why I spend less time gaming and more time reading nowadays. .

I'm not expecting gaming to be something it is not, but just don't enjoy it as much as I used to. I wish the stories and character building in games could be as great as they are in books, but they are not. At least not yet.

Edit: What I wrote above is about story driven RPGs. I didn't like the Icewind Dale games or blobbers much, due to not having enough focus on story. Other genres can have other criteria, I guess, though I never thought about them as much.

And BTW, I think a better comparison than yours would be to enter IKEA and hope there is unique furniture to be found there, or enter a comic book store and hope there are comics with the literary quality of great books there. Both are unrealistic, but hey, one can always dream.
Last edited by SveNitoR; December 17th, 2020 at 14:10.
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December 18th, 2020, 21:35
The story elements are very special, even more for an RPG. That's the link between video games and mainstream entertainment, movies, series, books, cartoons, comics.

That's the dream of some dev or industries, "reach" the entertainment level, and then the "art" level looks close (not matter if art is an illusion or not, the word still makes dream). That's also a track on how to repeat RPG in a series and mainly change the story elements, and then more money done more easily is a goal looking close.

The last decades have seen more and more money put in story elements, at least for RPG. If everything is considered, not any aspect of story elements progressed, but overall it's been rather big steps, most of them were steps forward. It's up to the point that a tag has been created, Story-driven RPG.

This had side-effects:
- It created a schism between RPG players, different categories having very different expectations for gameplay aspects or for story aspects.
- It created the RPG dumbing down era following closely the Platinium era, at least from the point of view of some RPG players.

That video games are gameplay mainly is far to be right anymore, that was hardly ever right, and now this even less right, at least for RPG. Now video games target to make players dream at least as much as they target make them play. And to make people dream it's a lot through words, graphics, sounds, not pure gameplay. In fact, gameplay contributes the most to it probably through simulation aspects. When the gameplay contributes to reinforcing the feeling that a game is a world, it contributes much more to make the player dream, than for example amazingly good combats.

But value a RPG only through the dream aspect, or through story aspects, that's for sure a very limited point of view evoking players opposition around Story-driven RPG and the RPG dumbing down era.
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February 20th, 2021, 22:19
Have there been any conclusions made in the thread?

I am curious why the limit to American studios? Companies in the US often dominate the cultural discussion, so it is amazing to see amazing outputs from countries that aren't the US or Japan. Lots of European, Russian etc studios have certainly dominated in the last decade. There are also some studios I can't find good info about where they are based. Also there are a lot of great smaller titles.
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February 22nd, 2021, 01:13
Originally Posted by hatlock View Post
Lots of European, Russian etc studios have certainly dominated in the last decade.
I think this is the point of this thread.
We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.
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February 22nd, 2021, 02:00
Originally Posted by Dasale View Post
- Nowadays dev developing isn't attracting as smart people, mmm, then why?
Game developers typically work for low pay and poor conditions. They are far better off working with databases and accounting software. Pay peanuts get monkeys basically.
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