Final Post

New Years Day 2018, fin.

Everything has a course For me this Blog has run it's course. It's time to close the door. I have a few thoughts about why  now i...

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Video Game and the RPG the Player.

This might rock some cradles I don't know. I guess that would depend on the audience.
If a developer came out and said, our next effort on video game consoles is going to be an RPG.
Our RPG is / Has / involves / Is:

  •  combat heavy, the player will be engaged in  simulations of  combat in a fantasy world loosely based on  mid evil times and the works of Tolkien.
  • Enemies scale with the characters so they are always challenged.
  • Areas rarely scale, if a character wanders into the wrong area they might get in over their head. 
  • It will involve resource management, yes you will get to track your health, your spells, your rations, and even your torches.
  • Social interactions can be effected by reaction rolls, based on character attributes, appearance and other factors, or an NPC might just be grumpy because the player failed to provide pizza or beer and  refuse to give up any information at all (ok that's a stretch)
  • There will be nearly unlimited hours of game play, with multiple story lines going on at once, and  story arcs that may literally take years to complete.
  • The characters will have an effect on the game world, they may fail missions and adversely  effect the story around them.
  • Co-op play is  highly suggested, in fact it is the point of the  game.
  • Only "hot seat" Cop op is supported, in other words you can only play with others if they are present.
  • There are save points but they are not player controlled, they happen at opportune moments in the fiction.
  • There is allot to read.
  • It would be best for the payers to learn the  mechanics of combat so they can make good decisions when the shit hits the fan.
  • The graphics are going to suck, just use your imagination to fill in the blanks.
  • characters start off very  frail but will grow in power with in a class based, level system.
  • Leveling my take quite some time.
  • Death is permanent.
  • no re-spawns.

Holy shit!
No publisher would pick that up, noone would play it. OK only a sadist would enjoy it , a sadist with other sadists friends that are willing to come over sit and play it.

The game would be like Skyrim mixed with the difficulty of Nintendo's battletoads, and the group play of monopoly.
Sounds like fun. No, Not so much.

It's no wonder that classic RPG's are a lot to ask the current generation of players raised on next gen video games to swallow. I love just about everything I put on that list above, the risk or permanently loosing my character and having to start over fresh is to me an excepted part of my hobby. Starting over happens. Playing in a harsh world of enemies that really don't give a crap about your characters health is par for the course.

Can you really fail at video games theses days? I die on Skyrim about once every twelve minutes, I stink at the game. You know what I'm still chewing through the main story only because I save allot, and reload the damn game. Young people  raised in today's electronic environment can not be blamed for not jumping to invest in all of the things it takes to really play and enjoy a role playing game. No I am not knocking younger people, it's simply that they have broader options, and they have been raised with a diffident idea of what "Game" means. RPG's have competition these days that they just did not have back in 1977 when AD&D came out. Admittedly Zork was pretty cool but, it's not quite the same.

I'm a bit torn in my opinion about the generational differences concerning gaming. On one hand I think any new game that is written with an eye towards the traditional tropes of role playing games is going to have a tough road to hoe. Imagine dealing with and retaining a player base who either thinks the actuality failing in a game should be neigh impossible or who put as much thought into their next character as they would to their  next re-spawn in call of duty. "That hill Giant totally Pwned!"

On the on the other hand there is the sort of revolution in  "geek" culture going on over the past couple of years which may or may not have already peaked.  (Editorial: The Big Bang theory is just a live action version of Dexter's Lab.Eat it.) Which gives me hope that there is a fresh group of people that are going to be less self conscious about  saying "Hey Why not. I play what ever table top game Will wheaten decrees is good this week, why not try a role playing game? Will there be beer?"

Capturing a new audience that is used to having great graphics, vivid action, decent stories, and endorphin rushes fed to them via computers is going to be the  real mountain any new game will have to climb inorder to be the next big thing.

WoTC found out what happens when an design shoots directly for the  video game generation.  DunD4th edition was a fantastic table top combat system that any MMO game player could love. It was however widely disliked by  fans of traditional role playing games and story games. It failed with it's core market by trying too hard to grope  a new market.

I'm hoping the latest version of D&D will try and strike a balance between the two. From every thing I have heard they have tried very hard to satisfy the traditional fan base of grognards and goblin pokers. I'm just not sure what they are going to do to engage with the younger generation. The 15 to 20 year olds. That generation that can sit quietly in a diner with a group of six  friends, all texting.

 I'm sure they have a plan, but I hope it's better than having an app for that.

Thank you for reading!

Questions comments shenanigans welcome in the comments section!