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Default Disco Elysium - Moving RPGs to the Next Level?

April 17th, 2018, 02:30
Greenman Gaming previewed Disco Elysium at EGX Rezzed and think it is going to shake up the RPG genre.



Think it Over

You have an inventory in Disco Elysium where you can manage the items you pick up. It doesnít end there though, you can also pick up ideas as you proceed through your case. For example, at the start of the game you are asked to investigate a corpse, swinging softly in the breeze from a nearby tree. As part of its narrative structure you can attempt actions or attempt to succeed at challenges through the dialogue options, and itís possible to fail this particular challenge a few times simply because the body has been hanging there several days, and youíre quite hungover.

So even after using something to take the smell away, you might find yourself needing a new option. In comes an idea your partner gives you, to get your shit together. You see, in Disco Elysium you have a second inventory related to ideas and concepts that you come across. Slotting this idea about getting your shit together in there, you are given a small in-world timer which passes as you talk to people. After thirty in-game minutes, the idea ripens and bursts intoÖthe shit singularity, meaning that you do indeed have your shit together.

[…]
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April 17th, 2018, 02:31
I honestly have no idea what to expect from this game but what they seem to be doing with the dialogue system really excites me.
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April 17th, 2018, 02:43
Originally Posted by TheSnarkyShaman View Post
I honestly have no idea what to expect from this game but what they seem to be doing with the dialogue system really excites me.
I have the same sentiments. I like the idea of the dialogue system but as to how it actually plays? I want to believe but what they are trying to do is very hard to execute well.

The skill system also seems quite unique in its own right.
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April 17th, 2018, 04:31
It certainly has the potential to shake some stale trees, and perhaps elevate the same old same old. We've got a bit to wait but for now it is all sounding pretty darn good to me.
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April 17th, 2018, 07:57
Yep. I don't know if what they're doing is going to work, but I love that they're pushing the boundaries. If they stick the landing this could be something really special.
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April 17th, 2018, 09:57
I don't think it's a new level of RPG, sorry.

It is a new level, definetly, but of VN.
Current VN blueprint is choice based story progression with tons of mostly irrelevant text and just a few stills. That stale genre needs some thorough shaking and this game could finally replace the same old and quite boring/predictable design after you pass through a few such games. I don't know why we had to wait for a VN that's fully animated instead of staring at frozen paperdolls.

The best RPGs of course are those that add elements of VNs. IMO. But you knew I'll say that because the story to me is the most important thing.

Here's hope though, while you wake up naked in Disco Elysium, the game will allow you to be naked at any time during it's progress as a result of your choice.
If it doesn't, ah well, there are always those kinky japanese VNs to grab. No, not all contain tentacles, of course.
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Last edited by joxer; April 17th, 2018 at 10:08.
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April 17th, 2018, 15:15
Is 'VN' an acronym I'm supposed to be familiar with?
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April 17th, 2018, 15:25
Stands for, "visual novel", I think. But that's only a guess.
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April 17th, 2018, 15:28
You're correct. Being familiar with the acronym depends on your taste I guess. If you've never seen or played one of those, I have to recommend:
http://store.steampowered.com/app/412830/STEINSGATE/
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April 17th, 2018, 16:31
They're about to announce the sequel that will be in a world of lava, the name of the sequel is 'Disco Inferno!'.
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April 17th, 2018, 17:18
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
I don't think it's a new level of RPG, sorry.

It is a new level, definetly, but of VN.
No, a visual novel allows you to make any dialogue choice. There are no character statistics or "build" affecting the outcome of your choices. There's no skill points or leveling up. It plays just like a "choose your own adventure" book.

An RPG offers dialogue choices, but also incorporates skill checks. Skill checks are what make it an RPG. You do them all the time in PnP RPGs. You want your character to do something? DM has you roll a skill check to see if you succeed.

We don't see skill checks in CRPGs all that often, but that's only because the majority of role-playing video games are so combat centered. The most you'll typically see in mainstream RPGs is a check for thief skills like pickpocketing and more rarely persuasion / social skills check.

This why I'd argue Unrest was a visual novel, but dialogue heavy games like Age of Decadence and Torment: Tides of Numenara are RPGs. That AoD and TToN have combat is irrelevant. Even if combat was entirely absent, they'd still be RPGs.

So yes, Disco Elysium is an RPG. It will implement some innovative ideas that have never been done before. Of course, whether it is a enjoyable RPG remains to be seen. But to claim it won't be an RPG because it won't have combat (in the traditional sense) is false.. and symptomatic of the problem with CRPGs. Most RPGs are so full of (mandatory) combat that many people think that's what RPGs have to be about. I hope this game is a success so that more "combat-less" RPGs are developed. Developers spend so much time developing combat systems and dialogue has been the neglected, underutilized gameplay element.
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April 17th, 2018, 17:22
If I go with your logic then Rise of the Tomb Raider is also RPG. FC3 too. Levels, improving and skillchecks. But those are just elements man.
No, Disco Elysium is not RPG. It's VN with RPG elements.

Of course it's just IMO. I'm pretty sure some PC Gamer "pros" will ignore both you and me then call it immersive sim or something more ridiculous.
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April 17th, 2018, 18:08
Originally Posted by daveyd View Post
No, a visual novel allows you to make any dialogue choice. There are no character statistics or "build" affecting the outcome of your choices. There's no skill points or leveling up. It plays just like a "choose your own adventure" book.
Is that necessarily true? I think of all of the "Choice of" games, which are choose your own adventures where there is a often a massive number of character stats, and whether actions are successful depends on how high the skills is, or sometimes certain options are just greyed out. Some of them have a staggering number of stats, far more then you'd see in most RPGs.

I guess those games tend to be very text heavy though and aren't really visual novels. But I think there are visual novels that are starting to incorporate the same systems. Like that recent Telltale game with the secret societies.
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April 17th, 2018, 19:42
I know this might sound harsh, but I hope this game is not a financial success. Having combatless rpgs is the exact opposite trend that rpgs should go in imo.

Really, this is an adventure game with some stats. It’s not an rpg. But of course the story tards are all about it.

Behead all story tards!
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April 17th, 2018, 20:42
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
If I go with your logic then Rise of the Tomb Raider is also RPG. FC3 too. Levels, improving and skillchecks. But those are just elements man.
No, Disco Elysium is not RPG. It's VN with RPG elements.

Of course it's just IMO. I'm pretty sure some PC Gamer "pros" will ignore both you and me then call it immersive sim or something more ridiculous.
So what is your definition of RPG, then? You're claiming Disco Elysium isn't an RPG because it lacks a combat system, but (I'm assuming) the games you mentioned have combat. Why aren't they RPGs? (I haven't played Tomb Raider & have no intention of playing it, so I honestly have no opinion on this)… The lines between genres are getting blurred, but it seems increasingly arbitrary to say what is / isn't an RPG.


Originally Posted by Mustawd View Post
I know this might sound harsh, but I hope this game is not a financial success. Having combatless rpgs is the exact opposite trend that rpgs should go in imo.

Really, this is an adventure game with some stats. It’s not an rpg. But of course the story tards are all about it.

Behead all story tards!
So you think it's bad to make RPGs that emphasize role-playing? There are a shit-ton of dungeon crawlers, tactical RPGs, and action RPGs that are all about combat. They aren't going away. It's a big enough market to allow for different sub-types within the genre.
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April 17th, 2018, 20:56
Originally Posted by fadedc View Post
Is that necessarily true? I think of all of the "Choice of" games, which are choose your own adventures where there is a often a massive number of character stats, and whether actions are successful depends on how high the skills is, or sometimes certain options are just greyed out. Some of them have a staggering number of stats, far more then you'd see in most RPGs.

I guess those games tend to be very text heavy though and aren't really visual novels. But I think there are visual novels that are starting to incorporate the same systems. Like that recent Telltale game with the secret societies.
Honestly I've very limited experience with visual novels and am not familiar with the games you're referring to. Sounds like they might be described as "text based RPGs" or something rather than VN, but I really don't know.

I've played a couple of Japanese visual novel / dating sims, Unrest, and a bit of the Telltale Walking Dead. No stats in those. Can you name or link to any of the games you're talking about?
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April 18th, 2018, 00:17
Originally Posted by Mustawd View Post
I know this might sound harsh, but I hope this game is not a financial success. Having combatless rpgs is the exact opposite trend that rpgs should go in imo.

Really, this is an adventure game with some stats. Itís not an rpg. But of course the story tards are all about it.

Behead all story tards!
The industry has space for everything. Wishing that RPGs without combat are not financially successful is basically petty (not to say stupid because games like this can pave the way for interesting changes in more combat-focused games). Obviously, I'm slightly surprised that some people are against innovation. For some folks, we should still be playing Wizardry and the first Bard's Tale.
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April 18th, 2018, 00:57
Originally Posted by daveyd View Post

I've played a couple of Japanese visual novel / dating sims, Unrest, and a bit of the Telltale Walking Dead. No stats in those. Can you name or link to any of the games you're talking about?
If you have Steam, try typing in "Choice of Games" in the search engine and you will find a lot of them. One of my personal favorites was one called "Life of a Wizard", in which you play a customized wizard starting from birth, through apprenticeship, to adventuring with a party, to becoming a court wizard to ruling your own kingdom. The overall story narrative is maybe not as good a some of the others, but the amount of choices and options are huge. And it's cheap.
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April 18th, 2018, 01:37
I've played visual novel/RPG games, total RPG but also total visual novel so they're hybrids. For example Utawarerumono
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April 18th, 2018, 02:16
Originally Posted by daveyd View Post
So you think it's bad to make RPGs that emphasize role-playing? There are a shit-ton of dungeon crawlers, tactical RPGs, and action RPGs that are all about combat. They aren't going away. It's a big enough market to allow for different sub-types within the genre.
I’d say I’m against games calling themselves rpgs without combat. This idea of a game being an rpg because “you play a role and it has stats” always seemed absurd to me. Using that definition the new Madden Football game is an Rpg. It has stats and a story mode. Except you can even say it’s more of an rpg because the resolution of conflict actually involves gameplay.

And I disagree entirely about there being enough space for these non-rpgs. The marketplace is saturated enough with games that non-rpgs like these make the discovery problem worse.
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