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6421  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: "All Games becoming RPGs" Topic on: September 15, 2009, 11:39:05 AM

That's like one of those articles by someone that thinks they're funny only they're not actually funny. At all. The only thing worse than parody is bad parody, and the only thing worse than bad parody is bad parody that doesn't really rise above the level of what it's parodizing.

The problem is that gamers want everything because gamers don't really know what we want, which is why we end up with unplayable bugfests that lack clear design goals or clear reasons to exist beyond illustrating the ills of featuritis, like Daggerfall or Battlecruiser.

"Hey, remember Thief? That had really cool stealth in it. What if Game X had stealth?"
"I really like the classes from Team Fortress."
"Stats are a great way to bring cohesion to the experience!"
"Every game should have an open world like Half-life."

(alternatively, going from that Resident Evil 5 review, you also get games that play incredibly similarly to eachother... from a lack of good ideas, maybe. There really are a lot of RPGs that aren't distinct from other RPGs, honeslty, and this applies to a whole bunch of genres too, only people seem more forgiving of really samey RPGs).

(Noteworthy, the funning thing is RE's unique controls are taken lock, stock, and barrel from Alone in the Dark, but nobody remembers that anymore).

(Similarly, I thought System Shock 2's RPG elements were tacked on and not at all well-balanced and I largely viewed them as detrimental for not allowing me to perform some action as a virtue of not having some Numerical Value to let me).

More related and not an aside, if we're using stats as the defining element of RPG gameplay... Well, why do devs think other games need stats, and why do RPGs need stats? What purpose do experience levels and stats actually do to enhance the gameplay, especially if character building is entirely hands off? As I said. It didn't make SS2 any more fun for me -- in fact, quite the opposite.

I think, personally, stats are necessary for abstracting data. So if you're dealing with something large in scope -- such as my favorite wargame, Crusader Kings -- you need a lot of abstraction and you need a lot of stats, in order to keep the game consistent to a central idea (otherwise it devolves into a mishmash of genre melding, modes, and minigames).

So let's put it this way. RPGs, in their PNP form, needed to abstract combat because that's unmanagable otherwise, and I mean, PNP rpg combat is essentially strategy game. Okay. Why do console/computer games need to abstract combat in this way? One reason might be because you want a strategic angel on combat. Fine. Makes sense,

So why the other stats? again, in PNP it was, I guess, a mechanic to force players to remain in character. You can't do anything your character couldn't. This aspect is more downplayed in electronic RPgs, and more or less not existant in console RPGs. So what purpose do stats serve here?

Additionally, why are experience levels necessary? I understand that it's to force the player to wait to get new abilities -- relating to differed gratification, pacing, and balance -- but why not have events unlock new abilities? A few games have done this (or similarly, granted experience in an event driven instead of combat driven way) and it works very well.
6422  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Response to the review of Flower, Sun, and Rain on: September 15, 2009, 11:34:01 AM
I remember when people making installations made their own stuff instead of just finding random junk on the street and putting it in a room :(
6423  Media / The Soundroom / Re: Song of the Moment: The Original RPGFan Post Count +1 Megathread on: September 15, 2009, 12:47:32 AM
I started listening to GBV again. Right now I'm kind of Obsessed with Big Boring Wedding. It's a just-under-four-minute song where just-under-half of it is buildup. Crazy tense buildup. And then the chorus. "Pass the word the chicks are back, yeah. The chicks are back, yeah. The chicks are back." It sounds stupid when you write it out like that but when you hear it, in a car, with the windows down, it's mindblowing.

Especially the part where it breaks. The little part right BEFORE the chorus. And then the guitar gets crunchy, and Bob's voice melts me.

And I think I've said before that Official Ironman Rally Song is one of the most understatedly crushing songs... that's maybe more so because I'm FROM Ohio. You can't understand Ohio if you're not from Ohio or songs about Ohio if you're not from Ohio because Ohio is an imaginary land vortex and I am a liar.
6424  Media / The Soundroom / Re: The Recent Musical Purchases Thread on: September 15, 2009, 12:44:03 AM
I've put off buying music till I go to Parma, but when I'm there I'm gonna try to pick up the latest Wild Beasts album and uh, the latest Circulatory System album.

Also Rumors by Fleetwood Mac.
6425  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Game Journal XX - Sharpened Pencil Midnight Bathouse on: September 15, 2009, 12:42:50 AM
I think I'm at 65 hours too -- at the last dungeon -- without having done any of the Kalpas, because of all the damn time I spent on puzzle boy. And when I finished that it was really fulfilling.

I think I actually started doing Puzzle Boy (teehee a double entendre !!) over christmas break the year that game came out. Specifically on the day we were having a bit of a family reunion. it's sort of funny because my uncle was there and he's dead now, just like everyone else that died this year.

I wish nighttime wasn't so dark.

Anyway, I'm going to start playing Morrowind again, because I identified why I wasn't digging it. And the reason is I'm retarded. See, I thought the combat being sort of lame was to blame. Admittedly, Oblivion's combat was better. But no, that's not it. See, for realism's sake, I installed a mod that made you fall down for like five seconds whenever your stamina hit zero.

Cool in a sense but it made the game tedious as fuck.

Derp!

(Is it seriously wrong that I think people are wasting their time with game's like Guitar Hero, when they could just go play a real guitar, or learn to, when I also think that I'd really like a game about gardening, when I could actually just go out and do gardening?

This is related to Morrowind because I keep downloading farming and family-raising mods for it. I wish I had kids, sometimes. But I also want to pursue a PhD and I don't know how much of this stuff I could do at once. I wish I was a drugged-out furry weeaboo sometimes because they have more fun than me.

While playing guitar hero.

'3')

So apparently there's actually a mental disorder called derailment. Apparently, I caught it from Googling and Wikipediaing too much.
6426  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: "All Games becoming RPGs" Topic on: September 14, 2009, 06:56:51 PM
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That reminds me, one subgenre of RPGs that clearly isn't an adventure game is the sRPG or tRPG, since it plays out more like a TBS, and doesn't usually have the character wondering around dungeons and countryside.

Not entirely. There are exceptions, notably Arc the Lad 2, and Grownlaser 2 and 3 in some marginal sense because, while ultimately battle oriented, they had a higher degree of adventurismo to them. Sort of.

Also there's the King's Bounty-styled SRPG (HoMM, Disciples, Lords of Magic, etc.).

Anyway, RPG's have always been sort of nebulously defined (I am going to used the phrase 'nebulously defined' SO FUCKING MUCH this year because I SO FUCKING CAN and I'm not SO FUCKING HIGH because I'm a vegan) and I have to admit that I found this particular editorial a little aimless.

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Cross-pollination will always happen.  Hybrids might grow.  But the flowers themselves will still maintain their own unique traits.

Except sometimes you get weird things like Cereus peruvianus which isn't well classified and it's not really clear if it's a species, hybrid, or if it even occurs naturally.

Or, more specifically, RPGs, as videogames, arose as an attempt to emulate older PNP games, which were initially a hybrid of the well established tabletop wargame genre with something that would provide an underlying narrative/adventure aspect.

So putting this back into plant terms, FFT is what happens when you crossbreed a Leuchtenbergia with a Ferobergia, and Quest for Glory is what happens when you crossbreed a Ferobergia with a Ferocactus.

I'm a goddamn nerd!
6427  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Game Journal XX - Sharpened Pencil Midnight Bathouse on: September 14, 2009, 06:42:39 PM
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And the tired mechanic NEEDS to be there, because otherwise you could just stay in Tartarus forever and grind.

P3, being a pseudo-roguelike, needs a decay factor -- something to force you forward. Traditionally in roguelikes, you have hunger as your primary decay factor. P3 uses exhaustion. Personally, I think you should've been allowed to eat in the labyrinth a certain number of times to restore your tiredness, but that may have broken things a bit.

Exhaustion also provided another important link between the life sim aspect and the dungeon crawl, of course, since you could become tired either place and your exhaustion affected both parts of the game.

P3 turned system integration into an art form, dammit.

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She did say it was impossible to max out all the social links due to the time limit. Is this true?

I believe so but it's not really necessary to max everything anyway.

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This reminds me of Valkyrie Profile and how you are given a certain amount of blocks to use up each chapter before the chapter ends

P3 is nowhere near as frantic as VP in that sense. If you run out of time in P3 you're really trying to. The big exception is if you get really OCD about Elizabeth's requests.
6428  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Game Journal XX - Sharpened Pencil Midnight Bathouse on: September 14, 2009, 11:54:18 AM
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I'd really like to try the game again. I'll just restart it, and check a Faq on suggestions for character building I guess.

If you mean Contact, from what I've seen so far, it's more about picking the right weapon for a given situation, since, while there is eventually weapon obsolescence, at any given time there's also generally not a clear best weapon (especially when you factor in that different weapon types have different auto-skills too). The other big thing that comes in later is resource management in terms of food having different digestion times and stat boosting properties. An effective strategy might be to get a few things with really low digestion times (herbs, potions) and save the actually foodstuffs, which have much longer digestion times, as a sort of temporary stat boost. You can't really eat tons of beef to restore HP, because you'll get full and be sort of vulnerable as you can't really heal in that state.

Also there's a way of getting more attacks in a fight, although I haven't really figured out how to get this to happen consistently. One way is to get your speed pretty much equal to the enemy's but slightly faster, so you always cancel their attacks. Another way is to get the first attack (using stealth seems to work on humanoid enemies, here, or at least it did in Ft. Eagle where the level's sort of set up for it).

Also just ignore mochi.

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Beat Yoyogi Park in Nocturne, and Mother Harlot.

What's your current time in the game, just curious? I never really did that Kalpas much. I should go back and do that sometime.
6429  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Megami Tensei Topic on: September 14, 2009, 02:50:52 AM
Yes.
6430  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Game Journal XX - Sharpened Pencil Midnight Bathouse on: September 14, 2009, 02:44:59 AM
I haven't played RPGs in awhile (Ut2K4 in Invasion mode with the RPG mutator on doesn't count) so I played Contact for a bit! Beat Ft. Eagle, finally (still not sure what the pluses/minuses on the wall did. It either disables enemy respawning or it's just for fun. Whatever), explored Aegis a little, went back to Ft. eagle and did some stuff there before getting raped by snakes, uh... unlocked some auto-skill for knuckle mole. Contact makes me feel mellow.
6431  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Megami Tensei Topic on: September 14, 2009, 02:42:26 AM
Traditionally yellow is a color associated with insanity and the sort of simultaneously sick and antiseptic feeling associated with hospitals, hence the existence of literary works such as The King in Yellow and The Yellow Wallpaper.
6432  Media / Miscellaneous Games / Re: New 2-D Sonic game from Sega on: September 13, 2009, 10:46:40 PM
My favorite part of Sonic Adventure is when the game is essentially playing itself because you're running at the camera and can't see shit and any attempt to do anything will inevitably get you killed.
6433  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Game Journal XX - Sharpened Pencil Midnight Bathouse on: September 13, 2009, 10:09:11 PM
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I'm, uh, not really sure of what I think of the implementation of undead in this game. :P

They're zombies. They're not SUPPOSED to be sexy >:/

Anyway, I predict that Scribblenauts gets trashed in reviews for not implementing every little possible interaction imaginable, even though doing that with a brute force method is more or less impossible, and that coming up with a system of handling that generically is also borderline impossible. Or would require a ten-year development cycle, or having ToadyOne on the dev team.

They provided exactly what they said they would. Maybe the controls ARE a bit wonky but it's hardly gamebreaking.
6434  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: I can make games? Journal on: September 13, 2009, 09:45:04 PM
I decided to entirely rewrite Quogue using a top-down design approach. Currently I have a game loop written, but otherwise no functional code. However, I know what I'm trying to write this time.

My current concern is that I THINK my Level class might be leaning towards being a rather sloppy God Class. CURRENTLy, or at least how I'm intending it, it'll be a large, essentially singleton (bad for this, but in a later program where I have multiple levels...) class that stores the map's layouts, collision layer, and actors (where actor is loosely defined as player, pickup, jumppad, or projectile). It has absolutely no functionality in and of itself. It's just a large, compositional container class. Actually functionality -- such as projectile movement or player movement -- is relegated to the specific classes (IE, there's not Level level movement function. Only player.move(), projectile.move(), etc.)

(Additionally there are external movement functions which are mostly there to provide another layer of abstraction and do stuff like call every projectiles movement command in sequence).

---edit---

Okay, figure something out with how I need to structure actor data.

Actors, here, are defined as any entity in a level that actually does something. In my case, that'd be the player, projectiles, jumppads, and pickups (and bots, if I ever implement them). Originally, I had a single Actor class containing arrays of each kind of actor. However, I couldn't come up with an elegant manner of dealing with all these things. So, for the time being, I came up with an interesting kludge to mimic inheritance.

There's an Actor class, which contains a pointer to either a jumppad or a pickup (projectiles and players are now handled differently). Additionally, there's an integer specifying which 'class' the Actor holds.

As I said, kind of a kludge, but it seems like it should work. Now I can, say, have a single getActor function which will locate any given actor in the list with any given ID (because Actor ID is in the actor object and not the specific subtype it's pointing too), and then call THAT specific actors functions based on it's type id.

I might also be able to move the subtype functionality to the Actor container class, by having a function pointer to, say, getName in the actor class, that'll either point at jumppad.getName or pickup.getName, and calling actor.getname will immediately call the right function because function pointer wizardry is awesome

---edit---

Tried rewriting this in C++. Remembered how much I hate C++.
6435  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Which series has gone the longest without a dud? on: September 13, 2009, 05:48:04 PM
I think Alicia was talking about graphics, although from a mechanic's only standpoint, I'd say MTG is more interesting than FFVI as long as we're not talking about Planeshift era MTG because Planeshift was retarded as hell. and the art sucked. HURF A DURF RAINBOW AIRBRUSHED RAINBROS ^_______________^
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