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  1. #141
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    We certainly had developers at the time bragging that their games "used almost all of the keyboard"
    This one still gets me. The fact that you can map each individual action to its own key shouldn't be hailed as complexity. People lament that the F or E key is the universal "interact with world" key, but that shouldn't be an issue because we don't need 104 keys if 8 or so will suffice. Needlessly binding keys to actions that could be amalgamated into one is bad design.

    A lot of the games of yesteryear only used the majority of the keyboard because mouse-driven interfaces were largely impractical due to the low screen resolutions - you'd get a UI that took up an absurd amount of space if you relied too heavily on the mouse. We don't have that problem today, so an over-reliance on keyboard shortcuts isn't required.

    One of the few good things about the ARMA UI is the action menu - go up to something, little box pops up, use mousewheel and MMB to select what action you want, or just press MMB to perform the most common action for that object. Or going back to the oldschool days, Quake didn't even have a use key, you'd just run into a button to press it.

  2. #142
    ME3 is the biggest offender with its space-bar for everything

  3. #143
    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    We're supposed to like these guys because what they did ten years ago was innovative. The implication of this is that, given free piles of money, what they'd do now would be innovative.
    You're addressing some ghost audience who believed Planescape was innovative and told you to like it because of that. Who are those guys? I can't be responsible for what they're saying, and I can't argue against any points you're putting to them. If you want to talk to me, I believe Planescape was a refinement on what came before.

    They're continuing to make the type of game they are good at making. This is obviously a good plan. It'd be dumb to ask Frazetta to stop painting sexy ladies, and it'd be dumb to ask Chris Avellone to stop making dialogue-driven RPG's. Asking HR Gieger to make something that isn't creepy isn't asking to be "Wowed" or "Increase ones palette", it's just asking him to do something he's terrible at for the sake of novelty.

  4. #144
    South Park RPG is obviously MCA's magnum opus.

  5. #145
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r3dknight View Post
    ME3 is the biggest offender with its space-bar for everything
    True, because it bound space bar to running and rolling, which was absurd and shouldn't have happened. But that doesn't mean that the other end of the scale where everything has its own key is a smart move either.

  6. #146
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lukasz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soldant View Post
    True, because it bound space bar to running and rolling, which was absurd and shouldn't have happened. But that doesn't mean that the other end of the scale where everything has its own key is a smart move either.
    depends on the game mate. in fps? of course not.

    a proper simulator having dozens of keys? yes. its a smart move.

  7. #147
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukasz View Post
    depends on the game mate. in fps? of course not.

    a proper simulator having dozens of keys? yes. its a smart move.
    Even then though sometimes it's inappropriate to use up the entire keyboard. ARMA for example (I guess this is leaning towards sim mode) has an absurd number of keys which could have been condensed down, and really BIS seem to just be keeping them because it was like that in OFP.

    For flight sims? Yeah, I'll give you that, at least in part, mostly because you need to be able to bind various functions to other controllers. But you also can't amalgamate many of those controls because of the game design, so it's not really contrary to what I'm saying.

  8. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by archonsod View Post
    So did past RPGs. The fundamental problem you have with any RPG on the computer is that we don't yet have a sophisticated AI capable of playing the GM. As a result you have no real option but to limit the choices, except for combat which is sufficiently simple enough the computer can handle it. In fact, it's the more sandbox stuff such as what Bethesda tend to put out that's more consistent with the pen and paper RPG; the earlier games committed the cardinal sin of railroading the player (in fact, really you could say something like Baldur's Gate was closer to the adventure gamebook than it was an actual RPG). The problem there of course is that you have to sacrifice narrative to do it.
    It's true that Elder Scrolls games are about the only major RPG games left that try to do this sort of thing. They do it in a very simplistic way, though, compared with something like Realms of Arkania. When it comes down to it, there aren't many interactions in Skyrim other than steal, sneak, fight. You're given much more freedom to decide which of these you want to do, but it's still not much.

    I doubt we need a GM to put some more RPG into RPGs. I doubt it even necessarily damages narrative if that's important to you: you can increase interactivity and the range of things a particular character can do without making their effects "global", which is the big problem for a fixed storyline. Looking at another genre, consider a game like Thief, which to me is a great way to run a first-person game: you have levels with lots of possibilities, paths, tactics, and so on. The final state of a particular level and the way that play went will differ wildly between playthroughs and players, but at the end none of that influences the story. Interactivity and options is more difficult for RPGs than FPS games, but I think it's quite cowardly and negative to back away from it.

    Quote Originally Posted by archonsod View Post
    It's also kinda odd to marry the pen and paper model with complexity and depth. The pen and paper systems are naturally limited because the system generally needs to be calculable by a human within a reasonable period of time, which isn't a limitation we face on a modern computer.
    The pen-and-paper model that I was meaning was more the philosophy of play rather than the rules of play. In a pen and paper game, or a LARP game, or a no-rules RPG, the fundamental point is that the players decide their action from a large set of plausible possibilities. Clearly they will always have more freedom to choose their possibilities than in a video game, but isn't it a bit sad that the modern cRPG basically only allows the player to make combat choices?

    As an aside, though, even a cRPG is going to have to keep some of its systems relatively simple if you want the player to be able to define their character. They need to have a fair idea of what their choices are going to mean. There are so many RPGs past and present that present me with a lot of choices without telling me what they mean. It's quite annoying. And so if you have a really complicated simulation that takes full use of the computer's massive powers, you're risking turning character advancement into the choice "do you want sprarks, woobles, or finchkins this level?"
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  9. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    A long time ago, a crossroads was reached, and a genre's development sped off down one road. If we want to explore a different road, the first step is to go back to the crossroads.
    I disagree. I think it's perfectly reasonable to expect them to go back to the crossroads, then take the first step in down the other road. Thing is, there's no evidence that these projects aren't doing exactly that. They're still in the early design phase, so yes in general terms we know they'll be broadly similar to what came before, but in the parallel universe where games continued down the other path, that's probably all we'd know about the game at this stage in development.

    I could turn out to be entirely wrong, but I'm almost certain that most of these 'nostalgia' Kickstarter games will have a bunch of new, clever things in them.

    The only thing you can't KS is something unimaginably new and different, because if backers can't get a grip on what it is, they won't back it. But innovative evolutions of old genres? That might be exactly what we're getting.

  10. #150
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    Yeah, there will definitely be some new ideas and modern twists on the old in these games.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  11. #151
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r3dknight View Post
    ME3 is the biggest offender with its space-bar for everything
    Run, take cover, exit cover, vault cover(+direction), revive, switch, roll, pickup item= Space
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
    http://playingitwrong.wordpress.com/

  12. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by archonsod View Post
    Thing is, the innovation that has occurred is what people are decrying. For most of the past 40 years of cRPG's, it's been developers porting across pen and paper systems. The more actiony RPG's like Mass Effect are kinda the opposite of that; developers bringing in aspects of other computer games into the traditional RPG.
    Why this and not developers bringing in aspects of RPGs to other computer games?

    Quote Originally Posted by archonsod View Post
    So did past RPGs. The fundamental problem you have with any RPG on the computer is that we don't yet have a sophisticated AI capable of playing the GM. As a result you have no real option but to limit the choices, except for combat which is sufficiently simple enough the computer can handle it. In fact, it's the more sandbox stuff such as what Bethesda tend to put out that's more consistent with the pen and paper RPG; the earlier games committed the cardinal sin of railroading the player (in fact, really you could say something like Baldur's Gate was closer to the adventure gamebook than it was an actual RPG). The problem there of course is that you have to sacrifice narrative to do it.
    Can you tell me why it's fair to point out that earlier RPGs supposedly railroaded the player? Did Blade of Destiny or Star Trail railroad the player? How about Darklands? How did Ultima 4, 5 and 6? Wizardry 7? Wasteland? Any Might and Magic? How about The Magic Candle? Disciples of Steel? Even Fallout and Fallout 2 didn't.

    On the other hand, Bethesda games have map markers and quest compasses that will literally guide you through an entire quest chain once you've picked up the initial quest. Yes, there are lots of different quest chains spanning a rather large and almost completely open game world, but this is a minority design method when compared to the story driven BioWare style games. And don't forget that the Bethesda games are severely watered down by their action game design. You can have the most non-linear, open world game with infinite quest solutions, but if it's a first person shooter, text adventure, flight simulator or city builder then you don't have the best RPG.

    I'd take a Skyrim if it were party-based and had turn-based combat.

    Quote Originally Posted by archonsod View Post
    It's also kinda odd to marry the pen and paper model with complexity and depth. The pen and paper systems are naturally limited because the system generally needs to be calculable by a human within a reasonable period of time, which isn't a limitation we face on a modern computer.
    But this limitation is something that defines pen and paper RPGs. Having things calculable by humans means that decisions that affect varying factors can be judged fairly and accurately by humans. Instead of asking the player "which pixel do you want to target" you can ask "which square on the grid do you want to target". This shifts the skill requirement over to the territory of the thinking man.

    Having realistic ballistics favours time, practice and patience. If the player is burdened with positioning and angling the bow, and drawing back the string, the player is no longer making decisions suitable for a given character and is instead playing a mini-game where there is only one single objective for any given character.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nalano View Post
    The gameplay itself was far more straightforward and hokey than stuff today. So many possibilities of attacking the exact same problem, because that's what dungeon crawls are. They play out largely the same way, no matter how you build your druid. Those limitations of the day were actual limitations, and not all of them can be explained away by the technology. Whenever I hear Wizardry or whomever describe their vision of the Bestest Game Evar™, they reminds me of an semi-autistic nerd I know who'd rather play with his Blackberry than other people: Those games he puts on a pedestal had incredibly narrow scope, even if they were wide in other respects. Meanwhile he attacks games that are wide where his are narrow, because they are narrow where his are wide.
    What you mean by "They play out largely the same way" is in fact "They don't branch the story like in Alpha Protocol". I don't really know how you can claim that Mass Effect has less straightforward gameplay than even old dungeon crawlers. What gameplay does games like Mass Effect even have? You fight enemies in a less sophisticated and less challenging way, and then you pick one of three dialogue options that change little other than future dialogue options and cut-scenes (in other words not gameplay). So in other words you've got combat as the only actual gameplay in Mass Effect, and even then that's closer to Gears of War than anything else. So basically what you're telling me is that Wizardry 7 is more straightforward than Gears of War.
    Last edited by Wizardry; 09-10-2012 at 03:54 PM.

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