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  1. #41
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RogerMellie View Post
    Come on dude, I'm just chuffed we're onto the 2nd page of a thread without someone calling the other a misanthropic, Nazi, communist, feminist, capitalist, DA2-loving pleb. There's hope for the RPS forums yet!!!!!
    It's a "defining RPG" thread, and it's not even barely disguised. Don't go holding out too much hope.

    Quote Originally Posted by QuantaCat View Post
    the actual work should be in the characters hands, not in the players.
    That word. I don't like that word.

    That word is why these arguments keep happening.

    Stop using that word.

    (That, and since nobody is actually picking up a gun and firing at a target, there is still a level of abstraction in design: Pointing and clicking and having the RNG determine how far the bullets stray from the target rather than... pointing and clicking and having the RNG determine how far the sword misses the target, oh gee, I think I just made another point, didn't I?)
    Last edited by Nalano; 05-10-2012 at 06:22 PM.
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  2. #42
    Moderator QuantaCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    That word. I don't like that word.

    That word is why these arguments keep happening.

    Stop using that word.
    Then whats the point? Like I said in those posts: its about playing a role. The role should be played out. Unless you play roleplaying games for something else. Ideally, all of this would be an improv game played between friends, no rules, no game master, pure storytelling and different characters to play.

    (ie. roleplay as the kids do it)

    The fact that there are computer games to illustrate all that is around it, is just a way to get players to immerse more into the world whatever story teller is creating.
    - Tom De Roeck.

    verse publications

    "Quantacat's name is still recognised even if he watches on with detached eyes like Peter Molyneux over a cube in 3D space, staring at it with tears in his eyes, softly whispering... Someday they'll get it."

    "It's frankly embarrassing. The mods on here are woeful."

    "I wrinkled my nose at QC being a mod."

    "At least he has some personality."

  3. #43
    Network Hub Koobazaur'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.
    Pretty much spot on. Albeit, many people due to nostalgia are used to clunky interfaces to the point where they find them preferable to streamlined ones; notice how every time a new version of software comes out people bitch and whine about the changes until they get re-used to it and only in retrospect realize that yes, the change was good. But many hardcdore old-school gamers never seem to make that realization.

    There's also the concept of "aging" - some games simply age better than other. There are few that were mind blowing when they came out, but trying to replay them now is a pain (Arcanum, with its somewhat lackluster combat and graphics much more forgivable at the time); but then there are those which, despite their old nature, are still fantastic avoiding the oldschool pitfalls (Doom, Deus Ex).

    Quote Originally Posted by QuantaCat View Post
    Then whats the point? Like I said in those posts: its about playing a role. The role should be played out. Unless you play roleplaying games for something else.
    Well, in gaming world, the genre names have little to do with what the genre is really about. RPG is really more about stats, leveling up, items, quests, stories, choices etc. Playing a role isn't strictly speaking part of the genre, at least not anymore than playing a space marine in Doom is.
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  4. #44
    Moderator QuantaCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koobazaur View Post
    Well, in gaming world, the genre names have little to do with what the genre is really about. RPG is really more about stats, leveling up, items, quests, stories, choices etc. Playing a role isn't strictly speaking part of the genre, at least not anymore than playing a space marine in Doom is.
    And I think this is the core of the matter: not anymore it isnt. Thats what those people that cling onto "oldschool games" so much mean when they do that: they want the gameconcepts and genres of old, not this "new" meaning.

    Of course, you dont have to get all silly about actual terms and ways of calling something, but someone calling Stereoscopic video material "3D" can drive me mad, for example. So I guess there is a fine line to thread here between "just doing it to be correct" and "omg RPGs used to mean something completely different, I want a new one of those pls"
    - Tom De Roeck.

    verse publications

    "Quantacat's name is still recognised even if he watches on with detached eyes like Peter Molyneux over a cube in 3D space, staring at it with tears in his eyes, softly whispering... Someday they'll get it."

    "It's frankly embarrassing. The mods on here are woeful."

    "I wrinkled my nose at QC being a mod."

    "At least he has some personality."

  5. #45
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuantaCat View Post
    Ideally, all of this would be an improv game played between friends, no rules, no game master, pure storytelling and different characters to play.
    Yes.

    So where does all this bullshit about how the world is abstracted fit in to all this? All systems have limits. It is only important that we have a world.
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  6. #46
    Moderator QuantaCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Yes.

    So where does all this bullshit about how the world is abstracted fit in to all this? All systems have limits. It is only important that we have a world.
    see my previous post which probably was posted while you were replying.
    - Tom De Roeck.

    verse publications

    "Quantacat's name is still recognised even if he watches on with detached eyes like Peter Molyneux over a cube in 3D space, staring at it with tears in his eyes, softly whispering... Someday they'll get it."

    "It's frankly embarrassing. The mods on here are woeful."

    "I wrinkled my nose at QC being a mod."

    "At least he has some personality."

  7. #47
    Lesser Hivemind Node TillEulenspiegel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koobazaur View Post
    notice how every time a new version of software comes out people bitch and whine about the changes until they get re-used to it and only in retrospect realize that yes, the change was good.
    And designers tend to fall in to the opposite trap, assuming that all change is good. Look at the new sluggish (on a top-end PC running Chrome with a 50Mbit DSL connection!) Ajax-y interfaces of Twitter and Facebook and tell me those are better than before.

    Or the new GMail interface, where previously labeled buttons have been replaced with abstract monochromatic icons. Quick, what does an exclamation point inside a hexagon do? A down arrow on a box? How about a horizontal line inside a square? I have to hover every fucking time when previously I could just read the damn label. The old interface wasn't pretty, but it worked.

    Albeit, many people due to nostalgia are used to clunky interfaces to the point where they find them preferable to streamlined ones;

    But many hardcdore old-school gamers never seem to make that realization.
    I've never seen anyone who was nostalgic for old "clunky" interfaces. Any time I mention Darklands or Realms of Arkania in glowing terms, I also whine about the interfaces. Because they're shite, made in an era when you had to handle raw mouse input all by yourself.

    If you're talking about new console/gamepad-oriented interfaces, that's another matter entirely.
    Last edited by TillEulenspiegel; 05-10-2012 at 07:14 PM.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    People roleplay without character sheets all the time (I am not a fan, if only because I like the structure and limitations the sheet provides) and instead rely solely on their acting abilities and the like.
    Indeed they do. This is because Role-Playing Games (RPGs) are a specific type of game that facilitates Role-Playing. They are not synonyms. Incidentally, CRPGs started out as computer adaptations of this specific type of game, literally being Computer Role-Playing Games. What we have now are other types of computer games facilitating Role-Playing, based purely on video game concepts like shooters and hack & slashers. These games are also called CRPGs, but rather than being computer adaptations of RPGs, they are computer games that facilitate role-playing like RPGs did.

    This is the heart of the difference between "old school" and "new school".
    Last edited by Wizardry; 05-10-2012 at 07:20 PM.

  9. #49
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wizardry View Post
    Indeed they do. This is because Role-Playing Games (RPGs) are a specific type of game that facilitates Role-Playing. They are not synonyms. Incidentally, CRPGs started out as computer adaptations of this specific type of game, literally being Computer Role-Playing Games. What we have now are other types of computer games facilitating Role-Playing, based purely on video game concepts like shooters and hack & slashers. These games are also called CRPGs, but rather than being computer adaptations of RPGs, they are computer games that facilitate role-playing like RPGs did.

    This is the heart of the difference between "old school" and "new school".
    Who gave tabletop an open-ended monopoly on roleplaying? Gary Gygax made a ruleset, not a religion.

    Defining RPGs by how closely they adhere to TT is like defining fantasy by how closely it adheres to Tolkien.
    Last edited by Nalano; 05-10-2012 at 07:35 PM.
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  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    Who gave tabletop an open-ended monopoly on roleplaying? Gary Gygax made a ruleset, not a religion.

    Defining RPGs by how closely they adhere to TT is like defining fantasy by how closely it adheres to Tolkien.
    No. That would be defining RPGs by how closely they adhere to OD&D. Defining RPGs by how closely they adhere to TT is like defining fantasy by how closely it adheres to fantasy.

  11. #51
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sparkasaurusmex's Avatar
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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.
    I don't believe that nostalgia actually has anything to do with the medium people feel nostalgic for, that is just the reminder. Truly they are nostalgic for the way they used to perceive the world.

  12. #52
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Hypernetic's Avatar
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    I feel like whoever wrote that recent article was mistaken in believing devs have said kickstarter allows for more innovation. The gist of most of the kickstarters so far has been "Publishers don't allow us to make the game we want to make" and not so much "publishers stifle innovation".

  13. #53
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sparkasaurusmex's Avatar
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    Yeah, it's sort of an indirect thing, you have to connect some dots (which makes for great journalism, don't you know!)
    KS has definitely had this tone of "Publishers won't make this game" but there has also been this bit about publishers stifling innovation, so I guess that somehow KS will lead to innovative games?

  14. #54
    Network Hub Koobazaur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TillEulenspiegel View Post
    And designers tend to fall in to the opposite trap, assuming that all change is good. Look at the new sluggish (on a top-end PC running Chrome with a 50Mbit DSL connection!) Ajax-y interfaces of Twitter and Facebook and tell me those are better than before.

    Or the new GMail interface, where previously labeled buttons have been replaced with abstract monochromatic icons. Quick, what does an exclamation point inside a hexagon do? A down arrow on a box? How about a horizontal line inside a square? I have to hover every fucking time when previously I could just read the damn label. The old interface wasn't pretty, but it worked.
    This really goes both ways, some designs are better than others. For instance people bitch about Metro but I can see a computer unsavvy mom&pop loving the simplicity and intuitiveness of it. I also gotten used to the Ribbon interface in MSWord and see the benefit of it too; it makes a lot of options more accessible (while I do stumble trying to find where others are "hidden" but its just a matter of re-adjusting).

    I do agree about FB though, these guys just keep changing stuff for the sake of changing it. Some of it was good, but most is.. meh. Not even bad or good meh, just change for change's sake.

    I've never seen anyone who was nostalgic for old "clunky" interfaces. Any time I mention Darklands or Realms of Arkania in glowing terms, I also whine about the interfaces. Because they're shite, made in an era when you had to handle raw mouse input all by yourself.

    If you're talking about new console/gamepad-oriented interfaces, that's another matter entirely.
    Hmm my wording in the previous post wasn't clear, I meant that some "oldschoolers" prefer bad "oldschool" interface not so much because they like clunkiness, but because they are familiar with it, hence it feels "comfortable" to be using it. You would agree that the difficulty / entry barrier for many PC games (controls/big manuals/lack of tutorials/*.ini editing etc.) is often brought up as element of pride, like this is what defines a real "hardcore" gamer and if you can't get used to it, GTFO. In reality, inaccessibility is just poor design.

    You mention consoles/gamepads, which are a great example of this, with PC users always crying "consolitis" and feeling superior without ever stopping to think that, hey, maybe some of the streamline decisions are good (90% aren't but no one ever recognizes the remaining 10%)? Compare Deus Ex to DX:HR controls, the latter is far streamlined, yet equally functional. If you watch the video of Warren replaying DX (it was posted a while back) he struggles with controls and remarks how they almost "used every key on the keyboard" just because it was available.
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  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by thesisko View Post
    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?"
    Good post and thanks for the effort, but you knew gundato would swoop in on post one to shit on this thread and bury it with a barrage of asinine semantics arguing.


    Anyhow: nostalgia keeps being used as the default 'I'm out of valid arguments' rebuttal by people who don't understand what made a series popular or loved by the people discussing it.
    Just take it for what it is, the person throwing in the towel, and ignore it as best as you can.
    Last edited by Finicky; 05-10-2012 at 10:21 PM.

  16. #56
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jockie's Avatar
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    Erm, wrong thread!
    I write about them video games at these locations

    And on Twitter

  17. #57
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Innovation is not nostalgia. Remaking Game X from 1995 is not innovative. It's just another rehash of an old game. We complain about reboots and rehashes and ultimately that seems to be what we're heading towards - a rush to recover the "golden age" of the 90s by basically doing whatever the 90s did and calling it a feature.

    The article never said that PC centric development, complexity, challenge, or depth was entirely nostalgia. It just suggested that devs on Kickstarter weren't doing anything innovative by basically copying whatever the 90s did and calling it innovation. It's just bringing back a dead concept, that's all. And really, the article was right on that point - copying the mechanics of a dead and buried title isn't innovative, you'd have called it a clone if it was done in the same year as that game.

    But the thing the article didn't necessarily say was whether this was bad for us as gamers. A reduction in innovation isn't good for progression, which the article questioned, but the fact is that a lot of people liked those mechanics from the 90s. It's not necessarily bad to rely on tested mechanics as a foundation for the game, provided it's used appropriately and the game world itself is engaging. People seem to have decided that the article is saying "old games are bad and should never be brought back" which wasn't the point at all.

    From my perspective, where I believe the 90s was the golden age of gaming (also including maybe the first half of the 2000s as well, mostly for technical innovation and progression before the 360 basically killed it), I don't have an issue with bringing back old games or their mechanics, provided that doesn't mean bringing back crappy old interfaces or stupid arbitrary design decisions because that's the way they did it back then on a 386 and 4MB of RAM, because that's absurd. Alternatively, I can choose not to buy or Kickstart those games.

    But by the same token, I won't call it innovative, because it isn't. It's not innovative to do what was done before. It's not even novel. And that's what the article was getting at - not that bringing back old games or their mechanics is bad, just that the idea that Kickstarter was going to be a big revolution in allowing for developer innovation wasn't going to happen, and that in the rush to bring back old games there's little true innovation going on. Not that it's a bad thing necessarily, just that it's not the torrent of new, fresh ideas that some people might have hoped for. But anybody who has watched Kickstarter news could have told you that early on, because most things are clones of other popular (or marketable) indie titles, or effectively resurrect dead games. And they sell themselves on nostalgia, which is fine if that's what we want.

  18. #58
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus mashakos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuantaCat View Post
    Which is fine, but the awesome version of you should move and do in a way which is befitting the character, not you.
    Isn't that what Mass Effect attempted with it's combat system? Everyone said it sucked. (I liked it)
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  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuantaCat View Post
    No, Im not. a character sheet should be what the character is about, in all its actions.
    As championed by that ongoing famous RPG, Microsoft Excel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    That, and since nobody is actually picking up a gun and firing at a target, there is still a level of abstraction in design: Pointing and clicking and having the RNG determine how far the bullets stray from the target
    Silly thing there is that something like weapon accuracy isn't decided by the character. Nor is it decided by random chance. It's decided by ballistics, which is something a modern desktop can actually model. The reason for the character sheet was to provide an abstraction of real world interactions that the average human brain could cope with in a reasonable time frame. Given we're at the point we can model real world interactions in the spare capacity of the graphics card, it makes the whole thing somewhat redundant.
    The only reason to ride a steam train in the 21st century is because you like steam trains, which is fair enough. But trying to claim they're something fundamental to the concept of rail transport or represent some halycon era of mass transit is sheer absurdity.

  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by archonsod View Post
    As championed by that ongoing famous RPG, Microsoft Excel.
    Microsoft Excel is a better RPG than Lord of the Rings.

    Quote Originally Posted by archonsod View Post
    Silly thing there is that something like weapon accuracy isn't decided by the character. Nor is it decided by random chance. It's decided by ballistics, which is something a modern desktop can actually model. The reason for the character sheet was to provide an abstraction of real world interactions that the average human brain could cope with in a reasonable time frame. Given we're at the point we can model real world interactions in the spare capacity of the graphics card, it makes the whole thing somewhat redundant.
    The only reason to ride a steam train in the 21st century is because you like steam trains, which is fair enough. But trying to claim they're something fundamental to the concept of rail transport or represent some halycon era of mass transit is sheer absurdity.
    Yes. Aiming and shooting at a moving target is an important and thought provoking RPG decision. You can aim for any pixel on the screen and you can even choose exactly when you want to hit that pixel to the millisecond. If you want to shoot a man in the eye at a distance of 100m within 0.1 seconds of seeing him then that's a choice you can make. Whether you succeed or fail at this activity is of course purely down to the character, because every single player in the world will be able to at least pull off the required series of rapid hand movements at the required speed...

    The fact of the matter is that the activity of aiming a cross-hair in real-time has nothing to do with RPG decision making. Choosing to actually shoot a target is, because that target could be friendly, could be unarmed, could be easily subdued etc. You control the decision making of your character. You don't control how good they are at pulling off the required steps to execute your decisions. This is fundamental to the genre, and I do feel really sorry for those who can't wrap their head around it. It's almost like they are missing out on a whole genre of games, a genre that happens to be called role-playing games.
    Last edited by Wizardry; 06-10-2012 at 02:38 AM.

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