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  1. #1
    Network Hub thesisko's Avatar
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    Wanting a PC focus, complexity, challenge and depth is NOT "nostalgia"

    I think that recent comments by RPS staff regarding Kickstarter show a fundamental misunderstanding on why projects like Wasteland 2 and Project: Eternity have been successful.

    Backing these projects isn't about wanting "ugly animations, clunky controls and numbers everywhere". For me, and I suspect for most backers, it's about the fact that there hasn't been a really great party-based PC RPG in quite a while.

    What the hell should Obsidian use for reference if they can't use BG/PST/IWD?

    "Project Eternity aims to combine the reactivity of Alpha Protocol, the exploration of New Vegas and the tactical combat of Dragon Age"

    Does that sound better and less "nostalgic"?

    The fact is that many RPG fans have been disillusioned by how "modern" RPG's have placed an ever-increasing emphasis on action to increase marketability, reduced dialogue choices because of constraints of voice-acting and stripped away depth, challenge and complexity because it doesn't "appeal to a mainstream audience".

    That's not "nostalgia" or rejecting progress, it's simply saying "Hey, I don't think I like this type of product they're labeling "RPG" these days, could I please have something that matches my tastes better?"

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    ...
    And your tastes (and mine in many ways) match what was popular in the past. Hence, nostalgia. I miss back when fast food french fries were cooked with animal grease and had a metric crapton of salt. I could say that, but what I am really saying is that I am nostalgic for the unhealthy cardboard of my youth. There is nothing wrong with that (aside from the obvious health concerns :p).

    Also
    "Project Eternity aims to combine the reactivity of Alpha Protocol, the exploration of New Vegas and the tactical combat of Dragon Age"
    Actually sounds perfect :p. Although, I would namedrop The Witcher (1 or 2) instead of Alpha Protocol.

    I think the guy who was spamming up the forums with his game a few days ago is the best example of when nostalgia/old-school is bad. His game looked rather crappy, but he kept explaining it away with "it is meant to look like an NES game!"
    That is "old school" as a crutch

    Then you have games like Retro City Rampage which superficially resemble 16-bit era graphics (probably closer to 8, but the colors seem more vibrant), but demonstrate all the advances in 2D gaming that we are accustomed today. That is being stylish and "old school" but not using it as a crutch.


    If someone were to release something that looked like Wizardry 1 (and even played like it, right down to obscenely unbalanced gameplay), they should get lynched.
    If someone were to release a dungeon crawl with an emphasis on small parties, manually mapping things out, and makng you memorize your own spells while taking advantage of things like mouses and actual graphics, they would sell pretty well (Grimrock is a lot like that).
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by thesisko View Post
    "ugly animations, clunky controls and numbers everywhere"
    This was the worst bit of the article for me and one of the worst things I've read on RPS. There's just so many things to get angry about here. Firstly, like you said yourself, people don't want old CRPGs due to their graphics or interface. People want them because of their superior and more complex gameplay, without as much influence from other genres like cover shooters. Secondly, "numbers everywhere" is both very misleading and also not necessarily a bad thing at all. I mean, I can't think of many CRPGs with "numbers everywhere". In fact, the Ultima games only had around 3 statistics and they are the most praised "old school" RPGs from the DOS era. And of course, why is "numbers everywhere" a bad thing? Getting rid of lots of attributes and skills and streamlining character development (by introducing things like skill trees) is one of the key reasons why modern RPGs are dumbed down in the first place.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    And your tastes (and mine in many ways) match what was popular in the past. Hence, nostalgia.
    That isn't really nostalgia, though. That's just liking things that used to be made and now aren't. That's not sufficient to call something nostalgia. If the world stopped making video games for twenty years, and then after twenty years you said "hey guys, I want some new video games", you wouldn't be being nostalgic, you'd just be wanting something.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    ...


    Then you have games like Retro City Rampage which superficially resemble 16-bit era graphics (probably closer to 8, but the colors seem more vibrant), but demonstrate all the advances in 2D gaming that we are accustomed today. That is being stylish and "old school" but not using it as a crutch.

    Care to elaborate in these advances? Is savespots everywhere or save states a kind of advance? Most of the time indie games are just the worst of both worlds! Shitty graphics with casual mechanics is crap.
    Last edited by dnf; 05-10-2012 at 03:49 PM.

  6. #6
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    That isn't really nostalgia, though. That's just liking things that used to be made and now aren't. That's not sufficient to call something nostalgia. If the world stopped making video games for twenty years, and then after twenty years you said "hey guys, I want some new video games", you wouldn't be being nostalgic, you'd just be wanting something.
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/nostalgia?s=t
    Yes, it would be.

    Its like when older people complain they miss when pop music as all about acid/date rape rather than pot/sex. Yes, they probably have some very strong reasons for it, but it still boils down to them wanting a return to back when new stuff was made along their tastes.

    Going by the silent movie example sentence from the page I linked to:

    Good modern day silent movie: Something that actually tells a captivating story that embraces the concept. MANY operas could be done like this
    Bad modern day silent movie: Hiring a bunch of deaf mutes because you get a tax credit.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    That isn't really nostalgia, though. That's just liking things that used to be made and now aren't. That's not sufficient to call something nostalgia. If the world stopped making video games for twenty years, and then after twenty years you said "hey guys, I want some new video games", you wouldn't be being nostalgic, you'd just be wanting something.
    What about the people that start playing old games today? If he find a old game being superior to a newer game from the same genre(my case) is this nostalgia? There is lots of things i liked back in the day that i found mediocre today as well

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wizardry View Post
    And of course, why is "numbers everywhere" a bad thing?
    A game design mechanic can be terrible if implemented improperly, so the OP might have been referring to those terrible games in the past that used stat building as filler.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/nostalgia?s=t
    Yes, it would be.

    Its like when older people complain they miss when pop music as all about acid/date rape rather than pot/sex. Yes, they probably have some very strong reasons for it, but it still boils down to them wanting a return to back when new stuff was made along their tastes.

    Going by the silent movie example sentence from the page I linked to:

    Good modern day silent movie: Something that actually tells a captivating story that embraces the concept. MANY operas could be done like this
    Bad modern day silent movie: Hiring a bunch of deaf mutes because you get a tax credit.
    No, you are wrong. The very definition you linked to required that nostalgia is based on "wistful" and "sentimental" yearnings. This is more specific than liking things of type X, not having any new things of type X for many years, and wanting a new thing of type X. Nostalgia is a subset of wanting new things that are like old things.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    That's actually a good point mash.

    I see a lot of people defending Inquisitor's combat and pacing because it is "old school". No, it is just bad pacing.

    You should NEVER have to interrupt the narrative to go grind for a few hours. If you want to force that for the super-dungeons, fine. But not the main story dungeons. Otherwise, that is just filler.
    Hell, even Final Fantasy generally used to get that right (not sure about these days, last one I played had Buttz and the job system).

    A modern advance is to have a metric crapton of sidequests (to be fair, so did the older RPGs...). Those are also padding, but when done properly they add to the narrative. When done poorly, they are just a checklist for loot.
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  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    No, you are wrong. The very definition you linked to required that nostalgia is based on "wistful" and "sentimental" yearnings. This is more specific than liking things of type X, not having any new things of type X for many years, and wanting a new thing of type X. Nostalgia is a subset of wanting new things that are like old things.
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/wistful?s=t

    Can you describe Wizardry (the poster) as anything OTHER than wistful with respect to his love of early CRPGs? :p

    The very fact that things are being played up as "old school" is a play to nostalgia. Otherwise, they would all be described with respect to their modern implementations.
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  12. #12
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    None of your post addresses the two sentences that you wrote and I disagreed with:

    And your tastes (and mine in many ways) match what was popular in the past. Hence, nostalgia.
    This is wrong. I don't intend to get sidetracked.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    None of your post addresses the two sentences that you wrote and I disagreed with:



    This is wrong. I don't intend to get sidetracked.
    Actually, they kind of did. But let's give it another go in the interest of clear communication.

    Many of the things I like about gaming come from the olden days, when I was growing up. For the sake of argument, let's assume that the abstract "you" agrees.

    Many of the conventions in modern gaming do not match what I grew up with.

    Now, I can give a long list of what I liked about the older games (and many modern games still have those...). But it boils down to me yearning for a return to those old concepts and how they made me feel.

    Maybe some of those are not actually good design. Maybe some of them are good things that developers have stopped doing. Maybe some of them are still being done and I refuse to acknowledge it (sort of like how everyone bitched that we had no new turn-based squad-level strategy games... and the consoles were full of them :p).
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  14. #14
    Network Hub thesisko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/wistful?s=t

    Can you describe Wizardry (the poster) as anything OTHER than wistful with respect to his love of early CRPGs? :p

    The very fact that things are being played up as "old school" is a play to nostalgia. Otherwise, they would all be described with respect to their modern implementations.
    What of me then? I played Fallout 1 after Fallout 3 and preferred the former. I first played the infinity engine games after I already played KOTOR and thought the combat was more fun and the exploration immensely more rewarding.
    And say if they start making all TV shows as low-brow as "2 1/2 men" and in 10 years someone watches "The Wire" for the first time and wishes for more stuff like that. Nostalgia or a desire for quality television?

  15. #15
    Network Hub thesisko's Avatar
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    Oh, and there's a huge difference between changing tastes and market changes which drive certain niches out of business.

    Having lots of complex, challenging PC RPG's available but refusing to play them because "they're not like I remember! *shakes fist*? Nostalgia.

    Being told "The rising costs of development have forced us to cater to a wider market so we have to make our future games more "streamlined and accessible"? NOTHING to do with nostalgia.

  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thesisko View Post
    What of me then? I played Fallout 1 after Fallout 3 and preferred the former. I first played the infinity engine games after I already played KOTOR and thought the combat was more fun and the exploration immensely more rewarding.
    And say if they start making all TV shows as low-brow as "2 1/2 men" and in 10 years someone watches "The Wire" for the first time and wishes for more stuff like that. Nostalgia or a desire for quality television?
    Heh, that made me remember when O'Reilley, Generic Republican Sex Kitten, and Alan Combs (sp?) the Democratic Goblin were discussing music. The first two bitch about how music these days are all about drugs and sex and abuse. Combs (sp?) just goes on a rant about The Beatles (did they have anything that WASN'T about drugs or written while on drugs? :p) and the like.

    And you are right, there are exceptions. Like how a lot of teens/hipsters get a taste for the previous generation's music. They probably aren't being nostalgic. They genuinely like the characteristics of said music.

    But here's the thing: When someone's marketing is "We are making an old school RPG", they are targeting the nostalgic people. Otherwise, as you yourself said, they could just use modern terms. Because if it is ALL about game design, it shouldn't matter what game they reference.

    The problem is when they use it as a crutch. When they have crappy models and say they are going for an "old school" vibe. When they have poor pacing and cite how we used to grind all the time in RPGs. That is bad design, which makes for bad games.
    That's what RPS was saying, that's what I am saying. That's what anyone in their right mind should be saying.
    Last edited by gundato; 05-10-2012 at 04:11 PM.
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  17. #17
    Moderator QuantaCat's Avatar
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    Im sorry, but Im not a hardcore oldschool rpg lover, and I understand wiz' point perfectly. there is a certain lack of depth to all of these so called rpgs. Hence no, hes not being sentimental about it, unless you count being annoyed at developers for not producing quality is "sentimental".
    Of course, he is looking for a certain quality, but thats not nostalgia or sentimentality, just taste.
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  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    1) Nostalgia is most commonly understood to be the feeling when someone mis-remembers something from their past to be better than it actually was.

    2) I do not miss clunky interfaces, obvious kludges in translating tabletops to CRPGs, or wrangling with crappy AI or idiotic inventories. I do not miss textdumps or jump puzzles or escort quests or suffering the search for patches and fanhacks.

    3) I do miss the worlds envisioned in previous eras' games - from the Azteca/Art Deco-themed afterlife with Manny Calavera to the I-read-too-much-William-Gibson cyperpunk dystopia under Eurocorp to the slap-funk 70s thriller motif with Groove and Taurus.
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  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    1) Nostalgia is most commonly understood to be the feeling when someone mis-remembers something from their past to be better than it actually was.

    2) I do not miss clunky interfaces, obvious kludges in translating tabletops to CRPGs, or wrangling with crappy AI or idiotic inventories. I do not miss textdumps or jump puzzles or escort quests or suffering the search for patches and fanhacks.

    3) I do miss the worlds envisioned in previous eras' games - from the Azteca/Art Deco-themed afterlife with Manny Calavera to the I-read-too-much-William-Gibson cyperpunk dystopia under Eurocorp to the slap-funk 70s thriller motif with Groove and Taurus.
    I actually agree with everything you just said. Scary
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  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    The tactical combat of Dragon Age? Said in a positive light?

    Eww, I feel like I need to wash my eyes.
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