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Editorials - Never Look Back

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  • LordBrianLordBrian Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Outside of say Tad Williams and Robert Jordan most books tend not to have hours of pointless crap in between the story bits.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    When talking about Robert Jordan books, I think you meant to say "hours of pointless crap in between entire books."
  • DracosDracos Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    Gary Gygax is Gary Gygax. Creating a world class pen and paper RPG does not make you god. Nor did he get attributed in any post that you've made. Somehow I don't doubt his perspective as, looking at his work, story is not very meaningful to him at all in an RPG. He's a classic Gamer's Gamer. He builds stuff for the challenge aspect of it.

    Seriously, you aren't getting it. It's not that your 'opinions' are not mainstream. It's that they are flat out blind to what's out there. What you are complaining about is something no educated gamer should have a reason to. A little searching generally will fulfill the desire for alternative gaming solutions.

    So you like something different? POWER TO YOU. GO FIND IT! IT IS THERE!

    I don't know why you keep assuming people are getting angry though. I'm certainly finding you amusing laugh.gif.

    Dracos
  • Red RavenRed Raven Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"
    I know my opinions aren't mainstream ( for console RPG circles anyhow...), but I didn't think I would get people ANGRY over it.
    [/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    As pointed out before, I do not particularly care what your opinion actually covers, I just vehemently detest the "go to the library" anachronism which has - so it seems - been in circulation for decades now. As Dracos so elegantly pointed out, a RPG's story encompasses many more aspects than simply its script, and thus cannot be compared to books in any direct, meaningful sense. In other words, you are not very likely to dissuade people in the RPGamer forums by suggesting doing something completely different than what they obviously enjoy doing currently - playing RPGs.

    Your opinion is indeed valid and perhaps even worthy of discussion. Unfortunately, using insulting language, a hackneyed argument and other clearly subjective assertions to trivialize the predominant hobby of a prospective audience is not exactly conducive to intelligent debate. Fact is, a majority of the people that frequent this forum actually do enjoy playing RPGs in spite of - and sometimes even for, if you can imagine that - their predisposition to story and linearity. Indeed, it is for this very reason that this website has sections entirely devoted to fanfiction, editorials, art, and music for

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"
    [their] favorite Squaresoft angstfest [...]
    [/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    and other similar RPGs: because millions (!) of people seem to enjoy this sort of thing. Not your cup of tea? There is a wealth of other games on the market, including quite a few whose sole focus actually happens to be on gameplay. I would personally suggest GTA3, Devil May Cry, Medal of Honor: Frontline, and Super Smash Brothers to name a handful. I am tempted to suggest that you would enjoy PC RPGs (Fallout, Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, et al) much more than those of the console variety, but considering the fact that you do not like

    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"
    [...] stupid pointless random combats that don't do anything but extend gametime in a way that irritates those of us who aren't easily amused by the same thing for 2/3rds of the game...
    [/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    then I shall refrain from doing so - seeing as how your description holds true for every game in this genre, PC ones included. ?

    Now, if you will excuse me, I will be returning to my enjoyment of Disgaea: Hour of Darkness.

    ? -Red Raven
  • BloodcatBloodcat Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    Well, considering TWICE in this thread I have said no insult was intended.. And I did say I apologized if the manner of writing offended..

    Most of the places I post and the people I hang out with in RL are hard talking types. We don't flower our language. We know we aren't trying to insult (usually) and its nothing to worry about. In my world Ma'am doesnt mean b!tch. B!tch means b!tch. Im used to people getting what I say and not being offended by it. My post wasnt meant to be insulting.
    Now, if I wanted to be insulting about console story based RPGs and its fanbase, I would. But those days passed by months ago. Ive kinda cooled down. At least I thought so..

    We cool now, or would y'all rather the powers that be just banned me and be done with it?
  • DracosDracos Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    Last I heard, being wrong was not a banning offense here.

    Anyhow, for the 'third' time now. It wasn't that your language was insulting, it was that your tone and writing was dismissive to the genre while lying about what you really felt about it. And, for further reference:

    "Not to be insulting but your hobbies are stupid, trite, and utterly pointless. Those who make the stuff you like are uncreative half-wits and you suck for buying into it."

    Prefacing an insulting narrative or line with: Not to be insulting, only makes you seem gutless and invites further ridicule in response.

    Dracos
  • hlhsquallsionhlhsquallsion Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    look at all the good stuff i missed. -_-
    just want to add that, i've read both eds, and, really sorry to burst anyone's bubble, but i find them both narrow-minded. I personally find the first one better, tho. Anyone who've seen The Hulk knows long length don't make a good movie tounge.gif .

    As for the RPG plot thing:
    1. What is the difference between "plot" and "story"? I thought they're synonyms.
    2. Not every RPG is equal, and not every RPG is tuned to story/plotline. Hell, what is the definition of "RPG"? Huh?! I even think "RPG" is a bit of a misnomer; don't you play roles in every other genre?

    Boy, is it flaring in here a bit.
  • RicoRico Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (hlhsquallsion @ Sep. 04 2003,17:37)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"1. What is the difference between "plot" and "story"? I thought they're synonyms.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    Plot usually is the main storyline in any given work, while there can be multiple stories contained therein.
  • MetacodMetacod Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    I remember Ardea once saying that technically, we shouldn't call sequences of events in entertainment "stories" because "a story gives no thought to causality, while a plot does". I'm not sure how true that is, though.
  • Red RavenRed Raven Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    I cut my own forum teeth in DarwinAwards and although that group is no stranger to harsh sarcasm - especially in certain hot-button topics - there was always a fine line one had to walk to avoid ad hominem and "Poisoning the Well" accusations. If such accusations were well founded, then the collective group showed no mercy in rationally explaining why one's opinion was completely irrelevant and otherwise ostracizing one from that forum thread entirely. While it is abundantly clear that RPGamer's forums are not held to the same standards, I nevertheless have carried over the painful lessons learned from DarwinAwards and apply them - perhaps inappropriately - here.

    In other words, yes, we cool.

    As for the difference between plot and story, well, they are largely synonymous. In the sense of RPGs however, I see story as a culmination of the entire work as a whole while plot is what the player actually plays through. For example, I greatly enjoyed the story of Diablo but felt the plot was terrible - there was a terrific story going on but I never felt a part of it. By the same token, I absolutely love Fallout because while the overall story might not have been entirely groundbreaking (although that is debatable), the plot - what I experienced playing through the game as a character - was phenomenal. I am no expert on semantics though, so this is merely my opinion.

    I'm sure another debate over the "correct" definition of the RPG is hardly necessary, but I would like to note the difference between playing a role in, say, Doom versus playing a role in FF7. Or Mario Kart versus Grandia. Or Tiger Woods Golf versus Vagrant Story. So while it is technically correct is stating "one assumes the role of paddle" whilst playing Pong, I would suggest that it would be inappropriate to consider the level of player involvement in Xenogears to be analogous to it. Personally, it is this fundamental player involvement with a RPG's various characters I view to be the defining characteristic that separates it from other genres. If an RPG fails to make such a connection to the player, then it would have been better released as something else entirely.

    ? -Red Raven
  • SpideySpidey Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    Isn't it said that there are really only truly three or four stories written in humanity..just different versions I guess. I always consider something like "a love story" or a "a story about people fighting" whereas a plot is something more specific to the work as a whole. But that's just me..and not the real difference between the two biggrin.gif
  • DracosDracos Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    Eeeh. Overly generalized definitions are rarely worth much. I'd say a definition of a story that provided so little basis for analysis would be a rather poor definition.

    So, no, it's not true there are only three or four 'stories'. Even if we were using overlying themes (Which is what you referred to), there are more than 3-4.

    Dracos
  • LordBrianLordBrian Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    I thought the number was closer to 45, personally.
  • MetacodMetacod Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    This is getting off-topic, but I'd say that it's more like there are 45 good stories. That is, there are 45 core types of event sequences that are known to have powerful effects on humans, and so storywriters usually use variations of them. There are hundreds of stories one could write about, say, the movements of protons and neutrons, or celestial events, but they simply wouldn't interest a group of biological creatures on a macroscopic scale which live on a single planet and were "designed" only to interact with macroscopic objects on that planet, so no one writes about them.
  • BloodcatBloodcat Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Dracos @ Sep. 03 2003,20:39)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Last I heard, being wrong was not a banning offense here.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    But im not wrong.

    I apologized for how I said things, not the actual content.

    Nobody is ever going to convince me that RPGs should primarily be about story. I grew up with RPGs where the story was effectively "There is an evil wizard. Go kick his ass. You figure out how on your own bucko!". I have no problem with this.

    Maybe if the stories in console RPGs were better I could understand the reasoning more, but they aren't. Its basically by the numbers pandering to Japanese High School and College kids. The casts and stories seem about as predictable and cookie cutter as the latest American slasher flick filled with actors from the WB network.

    Of course there are RARE exceptions to this, but its still all too common.

    Enjoy those stories if you want, but it doesn't mean I am gonna smile and nod about it.
  • MetacodMetacod Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Bloodcat @ Sep. 06 2003,13:58)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Maybe if the stories in console RPGs were better I could understand the reasoning more, but they aren't. ?Its basically by the numbers pandering to Japanese High School and College kids. ?The casts and stories seem about as predictable and cookie cutter as the latest American slasher flick filled with actors from the WB network.
    ...
    Enjoy those stories if you want, but it doesn't mean I am gonna smile and nod about it.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    Are you an educated expert in literature and film? If not, then why is your opinion about what's "predictable" or "cookie-cutter" any more "correct" than ours? And if it isn't, then why do you have a problem with us enjoying the stories you find predictable? It's just as likely that you're seeing cliches that aren't there as it is that we're enjoying cliched stories. What would you say if I said that because I found your favorite novel's plot to be "cookie-cutter", I didn't condone you reading it?

    That said, I do think that most RPG stories are pretty bad. Even the good ones (like Xenogears) have major execution problems. But I don't go around criminalizing people for enjoying them, because I know I don't have enough education in literature to describe why the stories are objectively bad, if they indeed are.
  • SpideySpidey Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"There are hundreds of stories one could write about, say, the movements of protons and neutrons, or celestial events,[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    Heh heh, at least this story sure sounds better than the ones in half the movies out there tounge.gif laugh.gif
  • DracosDracos Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    Blood:

    Did you read my posts? I don't believe I ever indicated that you had to enjoy stories in RPG or that you were 'wrong' for not caring about them. What I indicated you were wrong about was that RPGs have to fit this tiny narrow mold you were pretending all RPGs produced these days fit into. Open your eyes and look around. There are a lot of RPGs that either have no story or service entirely to other tastes. Your 'logic' was flawed, not your personal likes.

    Dracos
  • LordBrianLordBrian Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"I grew up with RPGs where the story was effectively "There is an evil wizard. Go kick his ass. You figure out how on your own bucko!".[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    Then you apparently didn't grow up playing console RPGs, since the "how" was always (fairly) clearly spelled out for you. The only choice you ever really had in the games were in which area you felt like killing monsters for hours on end to get money and experience.
  • BloodcatBloodcat Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (LordBrian @ Sep. 06 2003,19:49)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Then you apparently didn't grow up playing console RPGs, since the "how" was always (fairly) clearly spelled out for you. The only choice you ever really had in the games were in which area you felt like killing monsters for hours on end to get money and experience.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    I think you hit the nail on the head there. Heck, you did it twice.

    I did not grow up with console RPGs. I was already an adult (sorta) when FF2 (4) hit the scene and really got the ball rolling. It and Cosmic Fantasy 2 for the Turbo Grafx 16 CD were really the first RPGs to really push the story over the gameplay. I had a blast with both games back in the day, but I simply cannot play either one of them now for more than an hour or two before I drop the controller in disgust.

    Nostalgia seems to factor heavily in gaming. Too heavily if you ask me.

    Though im not totally innocent here either. I have a special place in my heart for Phantasy Star 2, Wizardry, the Bard's Tale, and the 8 bit Ultima games.

    And that second bit about the lack of choice is probably one of my biggest gripes with the genre. (And a reason I don't play adventure games much if at all...) I want choice. I LIKE choice. I NEED choice. Gimme some variety. Lots of cool stuff to do. Its totally doable, but especially in the console RPG arena they refuse to out of laziness.

    I mean, if Grand Theft Auto has taught us anything, its that people LOVE being able to do whatever they want in a videogame. People like playing the games, not being a puppet.

    That's probably why I am so darn harsh on console RPGs. The technology to give players choice is there but Square and company seem more interested in coming up with the SYSTEM SYSTEM, which is usually just gameplay enhancements many PC games have had for years and never advertised. (Wizardry 1 in 1981 had a job system in it. It was one of the first mass market electronic RPGs. Arc the Lad 4's terrain destruction stuff appeared in XCOM back in the early 90s. And so on.)

    I mean, if they want to tell a story, even if its one I personally find silly, that's cool. But howabout a little something for people who want to have a game and not the same old thing? Wing Commander had a branching storyline that changed depending on how well you did in game, and you could end up with one of three different endings. Why not something like that? If it could fit in a 5 megabyte game in 1990, I think a 2003 DVDROM game could handle it.

    Take one of the most popular RPGs out there, FF7. Why couldn't it have done this? A couple of subtle choices here and there and you have an entirely different experience. Not only that, but it adds replayability to the game!

    Why not one that allows you to save Aeris? Or another one where you join up with Shinra again and become a badguy? If games like Fallout and KOTOR can add MASSIVE amounts of player options and game reactions to the player, how come console RPGs can't do it? I mean, Chrono Trigger did some of this on a small SNES cartridge. How come it did so much that WORKED and MADE sense in the genre and its all but been ignored by almost every game since?

    There is room for innovation in RPGs. It irks me that it rarely happens. Or when it does, its ignored by the majority.

    (The first time I heard console RPGs called "Traditional" was back before FF7 came out in an EB store. Some guy was looking at the games available and mentioning wanting an RPG. I happened to be doing the same and mentioned that King's Field was pretty darned good and a lot of fun. He said it wasn't traditional. This HORRIFIED me, as a 1st person RPG is just as worthy an RPG as a top down one. Hell, the earliest RPGs were pretty much ALL first person. Wizardry was, and Ultima switched between 1st and overhead tile movement depending on what you were doing at the time. There is NO ONE WAY TO DO RPGS. But some people seem to think there is. I know what I prefer, I think I have made that mighty clear..)

    And im not insulting anyone for liking the console RPGs. I am totally baffled at the fact people do, but I don't hate people for it. And im not telling people to stop playing them. Though it would make me happy if games like Fallout 2 were the norm..

    Though its not just RPGs that need to get their rears in gear and get with the times.

    Resident Evil is a prime example of a game series that keeps doing amazingly stupid gameplay things most people hate.

    Which is why games like Eternal Darkness and Silent Hill are stealing most of it's thunder.

    And need I even mention the Army Men and Tomb Raider games?

    Stagnation can all but kill a genre.

    Do we really want RPGs to go the way of the sidescrolling platformer and the shootemup?
  • SpideySpidey Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    Yeah i'm with you there. The only console RPG i can think of that tried any serious "story branching" was Valkyrie Profile..and only in certain ways. Still not what i'd like to see.
  • DracosDracos Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    Bloodcat:

    You aren't looking back far enough. RPGs well prior to those used overhead. Namingly as it wasn't sound to do a first person rpg with ascii graphics and the like. First person RPGs did not become technically possible until the advant of vga and similar 'advanced' graphics systems. Technically, the grandfather of the RPG was games like Zork, which were purely text adventure, but for traditions sake, it's perfectly reasonable to refer to an overhead perspective as a traditional rpg design.

    Anyhow, I love how you dismiss those who like the stuff into "Nolstalgia" and then proceed to ask for the holy grail of dynamic RPGs. I love it when people do that without having even a clue of how it is done or the difficulty inherent in such a project.

    CT didn't have 'dynamic' choices. Your only choice was when you killed Lavos, resulting in a different ending Cinema. Once you made that 'choice' the game was over. Big dynamicism there. Fallout did have something that gave the illusion of dynamic choice...how did they do it? Oh wait, there was no story beyond: "Go pick up a item x from here and bring it back." None of the dozens of scenes had any actual relevance to the main plot. They were all in effect just side stories. Whether you did them or not had, at most, the difference of a text box. There was to my recollection maybe 2 scenes in which the dynamic effect became more than just: enemies appear or text boxes change.

    You then ask why didn't they do this with a huge story like FF7? One that already took 3 cds at the time to hold it all? Gimme a freaking break here. If any of the options you listed were included in any sense save a 'instant game ending' sense, then it would require pathing each of those routes, and we'd be buying a twenty-five cd pack to handle it. It would require new art, new scriptings, different quests, and basically almost enough material to go ahead and start another game.

    Yay for choice. May it stay solidly where it belongs. In games built to handle it. Leave my ####ing console 'traditional' rpgs alone. There's a huge difference from branching storyline arcs which just involve mainly new text and branching storyline arcs that change the entire direction of the game.

    You explain how stagnation kills a...series. But the series you reference suffered from constantly degrading gameplay if I heard right. It wasn't simply that they repeated the same thing... it was that they innovated in ways that the mass population didn't like. Yay for innovation! Innovation means sometimes things aren't liked and they die! YAY!

    Innovation happens in RPGs. But, as a matter of REALITY, it generally doesn't take hold in the mainstream. If it DOES change the paradigm of the mainstream, then it becomes the next big thing, and a few years from when it comes out only someone genuinely paying close attention will have realized: Hey there was a paradigm shift.

    99 percent of innovative stuff just slams into the wall. People don't like it or they don't hear about it, whatever. It's the cold cruel facts of life that something 'new' has to fight it's way to the top or be content to die in obscurity. Some games, (The Sims, Fallout, etc) do fight their way to the top. Most don't. Most end up just being a cult game or failing altogether.

    Dracos
  • RicoRico Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Bloodcat @ Sep. 07 2003,02:21)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Why not one that allows you to save Aeris?[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    If you'd really like to have the Planet blow up, and by extension lose the game, you can simulate the experience by being killed in a fight and not playing again.
  • MetacodMetacod Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Bloodcat @ Sep. 07 2003,02:21)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"And im not telling people to stop playing them.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"If a person's reason for playing an RPG is primarily the story, I would request them to go to this magical place we call: THE LIBRARY. ?Within are many many WONDERFUL stories in these collected slips of paper known as BOOKS.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    Anyway...
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Why not one that allows you to save Aeris? ?Or another one where you join up with Shinra again and become a badguy?[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    I think Dracos and Rico already got the main points. First of all, making different branching segments and making them interesting would require too much work and probably too much disk space. Secondly, that would ruin it for people who actually care about a good story. Why not one where you could revive Aeris? Aeris was supposed to die. Her death is not only an important factor in the motivations of the characters, but as Rico said, it is in the end necessary for the plot to resolve in a relatively happy way.

    I guess it all comes down to the people who want a story, and the people who want a game. I, personally, am not much of a video game person at all. To put it frankly, I don't usually enjoy gameplay. I play RPGs because I like the stories, and it's easier to find an RPG with a story I'll like than it is with a book or a movie. I'm looking for a good story, and I see the ability to control it as a detriment. The example I always give is that in our real lives, we're always in complete control, yet our lives are incredibly boring. With scripted entertainment, everything is calculated to evoke the best response from you. The more control you get, the less likely the script you "create" through your choices is going to be anywhere near that interesting. I don't find the idea of controlling what I do to be thrilling (I can already do that in real life). What I find thrilling is dramatic stories (something I can't usually find in real life, and when I do they're usually not that fun). I guess you're different.
  • DracosDracos Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    Hmm, you make an interesting start Metacod. I think it would be quite interesting to elaborate on that in editorial form. An examination of the importance of linearity in a story-based RPG. As you said, it's incredibly important to the effect of a story to be able to control how the player experiences it. As with any great performance art, the control of this is key to the overall effect. Even the slightest change in the angle of a camera can have a monumentual effect on how the scene is perceived by a viewer watching. It's something a lot of people ignore when clamouring for choice: Not every branch or perspective is equal. Some things simply are more powerful and more evokative and to give the option for a weaker choice would be heresy to anyone who really was devoted to creating a powerful story.

    Personally, I think that'd be an interesting topic to get tossed up and written on.

    Dracos
  • hlhsquallsionhlhsquallsion Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    bloodcat:
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Resident Evil is a prime example of a game series that keeps doing amazingly stupid gameplay things most people hate.
    [/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    just want to tell you, I happen to like that series.

    You can't expect game developers to know everything. What do you want them to do, read our minds and say, "Oh, this is what they want"?
    You're asking, I presume, for more innovation. That is one HARD thing to come up with. It takes much creativity and intrigue to make something truly innovative, and it doesn't help that many of us are raised on past innovations and use the past and modify it and spit it out as a "new" product. Tough. It's tough to be original these days. You want choice? You don't have that for everything you do. You might as well make your own game if you're expert in that area, for all I care.
  • DracosDracos Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    HLHSquadron:

    So do a lot of people.

    Dracos
  • BloodcatBloodcat Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    Metacod, you made a good point.

    Your reasons for playing RPGs are different from mine. What you want out of RPGs is no less valid than mine, though yours is currently popular with a large and vocal group of gamers, albeit a small one when compared to the Madden/Grand Theft Auto/Sims "mainstream". What I want out of games isnt as popular, though GTA has done a nice job in giving me a game I would love to play but won't due to its subject matter. (Which is a WHOLE other topic altogether...)

    I play them for the game, and a good story is just an added bonus, like pretty graphics or a nice soundtrack. Which for me, are optional. Hell, in high school (1989-1992) I spent more time playing my Commodore 64 than I did my NES and Genesis COMBINED. And both of those systems were MUCH more advanced sounds and musicwise than the C64. Ive always been a big slut for good gameplay over every other bit of fluff in a videogame. I collect games and have entirely too many of them. (Over 350 console games and Cthulhu only knows how many PC games. Im afraid to do an exact count.) I have and pretty much will try any game once. Ive got everything from Text Adventures to Rythmn Games and I keep buying more, budget allowing.

    You want engaging storylines. I want a fun game where I am the one in control of the tale.

    Fair enough right?

    On to the rest of the stuff..

    Well Dracos, you DO realize there were various small and subtle choices in Chrono Trigger that were fun yet didn't totally throw off the story right? Like choosing between Magus or turning Frog back to normal? The court scene early on in Marle's castle? This kind of stuff is EASY to do. Its crap like Dragon Warrior FORCING you to marry the princess, or those communist (YOU VILL SAY YES OR ELSE) choices in Suikoden that really tick me. And folks say its too hard to make branching or subtle storyline changes? Somehow I think overpriced CGI sequences and J pop music take a lot more time, effort, and money than a branching storyline would..
    Again, I want to PLAY the game. Story is secondary to me. Gameplay first. Game no fun? Story can bugger itself. Game fun? Story can be ignored. Otherwise I would have never finished Metal Gear Solid 2, a fine example of a good game with a crappy story. And Zork was predated by Crowther and Woods' Adventure (aka: Colossal Cave) which came out in the late 60s/early 70s. Ultima and Wizardry were the first mass marketed (such as computer game sales were anyhow..) RPGs in the early 80s, 80-81 to be more precise. There were a few RPGs that predated it, and the original versions of both games made their rounds in the late 70s. Im not sure when the Aphsai games came out, which might be a top down game that got decent exposure and sales pre 81, but finding out exact info on this is hard. There is PLENTY of info available on console RPGs, but not anywhere near as much on PC RPGs in the videogame golden age. (It doesn't help that VERY few of these designers are known today, and even fewer are still in the business and giving interviews. Id almost kill for an interview with Stuart Smith, creator of Adventure Construction Set..)

    And the hlhsquallsion guy.. Have you actually read any reviews or articles about the Resident Evil games? ALMOST EVERY REVIEW COMPLAINS ABOUT THE CONTROL.

    And honestly, I don't care if you like that series. Likewise, you shouldn't care if I do not.

    Why should dissenting opinions be something BAD in videogaming?

    A lot of the stuff brought up in this thread is REALLY interesting, its just got far too much hostility over it, as if saying something is wrong to you, or it sucks is THREATENING.

    A good friendly debate is a GOOD THING. Contrary to what the Bush Administration thinks, disagreeing with the powers that be does not make you a traitor or a monster. It means you are thinking. And might actually LEARN something.

    A few folks in this thread, Metacod most notably, have helped soften my view of the console RPGers quite a bit. While I wasn't insulting anyone here or even attempting to, I did have quite the negative opinion of the console RPG crowd as a whole. That has been changed thanks to some smart discussion.
  • RosewoodRosewood Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    I've been gaming off and on, more off than on, and for only a couple of years. I've read far more books than I've played games--even though I'm a slow reader it takes a lot shorter time to read a book than it does to play the shortest RPG.

    I'm a fan of movie-style RPGs. For me there has to be a certain amount of "plot" and "character" and "theme" and all that other lit-crit fooferaw for me to get any enjoyment out of an RPG. I don't care if the story's on rails, as long as I care about what's going on and am interested in how upcoming events will affect the characters.

    This ties back to the game length issue actually. In most games, even the more modern movie-style ones, it seems like you have say 10% of story/character/etc and 90% repetitive monster battles. In a game that's 20 hours long you'd have (using my fudged figures) 18 hours of battles and 2 hours of story. In an 80-hour game you'll have 72 hours of battles. Even if the battles themselves have more variety than just "mash attack until everything falls down" thinking about that makes me tired. confused.gif

    My attention flagged about 60 hours into Dark Cloud 2, although I did manage to finish it....
  • RicoRico Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Bloodcat @ Sep. 07 2003,21:32)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Somehow I think overpriced CGI sequences and J pop music take a lot more time, effort, and money than a branching storyline would..[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    I'm not a CGI artist, but I can guarantee you that every vocal song I've heard in a game took less time to write and record than it would have to create branching storylines in the manner you suggest. And furthermore, it's rather silly to compare the three, as it's not like they take programmers and force them to write pop songs instead of programming an otherwise-intended branching storyline. Although I admit that most game programmers could probably sing Suteki da Ne with better pitch.
  • DracosDracos Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    Adding onto Rico:

    Division of labor. Adding branching storylines adds a hell of a lot more weight to, what is quite often, an highly worked programming as well as the scenario design crew, the writing crew, the art crew, the music crew, etc. CGI is something that's already expected of an art staff and while intensive, is a different order of magnitude than forging completely new segments of the game. J-pop is a joke comparitively in work level. You hire a trained group, they write/sing prepared song, done. It's quite possible to simply rent out a music studio and record all of the j-pop in even the heavily j-pop using games in a single day. I don't think they do it all in one day by any means, but it's quite possible to do it, unlike the sheer madness of pathing alternate storylines.

    Dracos
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