Obsidian Entertainment - Interview with Josh Sawyer - RPGWatch Forums
|
Your donations keep RPGWatch running!
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Obsidian Entertainment - Interview with Josh Sawyer

Default Obsidian Entertainment - Interview with Josh Sawyer

April 21st, 2018, 14:10
VG24/7 reported on an interview Josh Sawyer had at Reboot Develop. In the interview Josh expressed the desire for RPGs to be more radical.

Josh Sawyer, design director at Pillars of Eternity and Fallout: New Vegas developer Obsidian, would like to see the RPG genre evolve radically beyond its current state.

Stats and combat systems shouldn’t define the role-playing game, said Sawyer, although he admitted he has been complicit in creating games that stick to an accepted template.

“The hardcore RPG audience is very traditional,” said Sawyer at Reboot Develop this week, discussing the evolution of genres.

[…]
More information.
Silver is offline

Silver

Silver's Avatar
Spaceman
RPGWatch Team

#1

Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 7,119
Mentioned: 38 Post(s)

Default 

April 21st, 2018, 16:37
The big drawback to the examples he gives, Fallout and Elder Scrolls, is that they give away virtually any sense of tactics, teamwork, or skill/ability synergies between party members. They are heavily focused on the PC, with companions being given weak, subordinate roles. While they can be enjoyable as action games, I don't think they're an improvement in terms of role-playing. If anything, the heavy focus on graphics in those games has been a malaise upon the cRPG genre, leaving the 20-year old style superior in terms of role-playing elements. Personally, I thought DA:O was a better example of trying to progress the genre… although the skill system sucked and the available tactics were lame.
rjshae is offline

rjshae

rjshae's Avatar
Periapt vs Paronomasia
RPGWatch Donor

#2

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Seattle
Posts: 4,763
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)

Default 

April 21st, 2018, 18:07
@rjshae I think you misunderstood Sawyer, he doesn't think RPG means stats, tactics or combat abilities because too many games have those now (like all of them). For him, role-playing games are defined by the player’s ability to alter the storyline of the game through his or her actions, rather than the amount of stat tweaking or hit points a player delivers in combat.

He just use Fallout and TES as example of games where the role-playing is very different from isometric games (which is true).

Saying that, the Elder Scrolls games since Oblivion have been very linear and shouldn't even count as RPGs to Sawyer, although I suspect the very sim nature of them keep them up there.
--
It's developer is owned by Sony which means it'll remain a hostage of inferior hardware. ~ joxer
azarhal is offline

azarhal

SasqWatch
Original Sin Donor

#3

Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 7,263
Mentioned: 24 Post(s)

Default 

April 21st, 2018, 18:22
Well kinda agree with him but take his opinion with a grain of salt. As he was the main designer of Icewind Dale II, and it was to combat heavy with stats & less story.

I believe he once admitted it was his vision of what Baldur's Gate should of been. Now he might of changed his views since then, but his older blog posts don't show it.

Anyway I wouldn't mind more Bethesda style RPGs. The trend we should all be worried about is Major RPG developers making all future RPG games into GAAS.


*GAAS = Games as a Service
--
“Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by
lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.” ― Robert Heinlein
Couchpotato is offline

Couchpotato

Couchpotato's Avatar
Lazy Layabout

#4

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: New England
Posts: 21,374
Mentioned: 49 Post(s)
+1:

Default 

April 21st, 2018, 18:41
Josh strikes again.

Was it fans or him who decided that crazy world is a new game trait in FO3 and not default worldstate for everyone to "build" from there. Why a player had to make the cardinal choice before the game even started?

The other day I've argued about what RPG is and what RPG elements are dunno with who anymore, but it doesn't really matter. What matters is we're just the audience here and Josh is into game developing business. We don't make games, Josh does.
So Josh, instead of rubbish "balancing" of the dead horse, how about making the bloody player’s ability to alter the storyline of the game through his or her actions already.

No publisher interested? That's the excuse after Eternity's success on KS? Gimme a break. I know I'd buy that at any price no questions asked before spending a dime on stupid Allods MMO I can't remember it's name. Skyforge I think.

Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
The trend we should all be worried about is Major RPG developers making all future RPG games into GAAS.
It's not just RPGs, it's every genre possible. Both EA and Ubi want it.
I'm not worried however, there are still publishers who understand that a huge number of their customers want new titles and not farm the same stupid farmville over and over for decades. These services are supposed to steal WoW and LoL audience. A (sorry for calling them: boooooooooooooring) audience that plays only one game and nothing else, audience incapable of widening their experience with new stuff, one has to be a big optimist thinking this audience will jump on their "service" just because.
Good luck with that.
--
Toka Koka
Last edited by joxer; April 21st, 2018 at 18:52.
joxer is offline

joxer

joxer's Avatar
The Smoker
RPGWatch Donor
Original Sin 1 & 2 Donor

#5

Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 21,327
Mentioned: 148 Post(s)

Default 

April 21st, 2018, 20:13
Ever since Sawyer had free reign with the design of the PoE systems I take everything he says with a huge grain of salt. That game always gave me the feel it tried to reinvent the wheel just for the sake of it. Not to speak of the obsession with balance. The mental spread alone you had to do just to connect Might with Magic gave me a headache.
Darkheart is offline

Darkheart

Darkheart's Avatar
SasqWatch
RPGWatch Donor
Original Sin 2 Donor

#6

Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: BW, Germany
Posts: 1,581
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
+1:

Default 

April 21st, 2018, 21:53
Originally Posted by azarhal View Post
@rjshae I think you misunderstood Sawyer, he doesn't think RPG means stats, tactics or combat abilities because too many games have those now (like all of them). For him, role-playing games are defined by the player’s ability to alter the storyline of the game through his or her actions, rather than the amount of stat tweaking or hit points a player delivers in combat.
No, I got that. I just think stat progression and characteristics are a big part of player choice in the game world. It should be a mix; providing the player the ability to play unique characters and to impact the game world through their actions. The examples he's using are focused on actions, without saying your character design choices should have a noticeable impact on how those actions play out.

A radical change in the RPG genre is probably going to require an AI capable of playing the role of the DM. Until then, the variations in outcomes are always going to be limited to what the game designers can foresee.
rjshae is offline

rjshae

rjshae's Avatar
Periapt vs Paronomasia
RPGWatch Donor

#7

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Seattle
Posts: 4,763
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)

Default 

April 22nd, 2018, 21:53
I'm not sure that computer AI is the limit. The fact is providing more meaningful choices means developing more content. For example the Witcher 2 had two or three really meaningful choices, but you got to see and play through a bunch of material that you didn't with the other choices. And when I mean a bunch, I mean in relation to other computer games. Really you didn't get to play that much more. Age of Decadence has tons of material, but each playthrough is relatively short. Torment and Vampire: Bloodlines make character choice at the beginning very meaningful as to how some characters or locations are. In most other RPGS choices are cosmetic, because to develop that much extra material (which most players will never see) you have sacrifice other elements, or like AoD, work on a game for a decade.
forgottenlor is offline

forgottenlor

forgottenlor's Avatar
Font of Useless Knowledge
RPGWatch Team
RPGWatch Donor

#8

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Vienna, Austria
Posts: 2,170
Mentioned: 41 Post(s)
+1:

Default 

April 22nd, 2018, 23:28
@forgottenlor
I agree regarding content but still think AI will improve the role playing possibilities for more systemic games where assets can be more repeatable.

Content really is king through for a well rounded rpg experience.
Silver is offline

Silver

Silver's Avatar
Spaceman
RPGWatch Team

#9

Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 7,119
Mentioned: 38 Post(s)
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Obsidian Entertainment - Interview with Josh Sawyer
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 06:55.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by DragonByte Security (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright by RPGWatch