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Author Topic: What makes RPGs [an] Epic?  (Read 5142 times)
Lard
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« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2009, 02:59:25 PM »

The Suikoden games always do a good job of making things feel epic, even the first two.

With so many people, a growing castle, it really feels like you've accomplished something and they do a good job of making whatever you're worried of losing, like your homeland, is at stake.

Also, in SMT Nocturne, you get to remake the world however you choose.

How is that not epic?
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« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2009, 04:57:42 PM »

Narrative complexity and scope. Those are the only two definitions you really need. The sad part is most people apply it using scope only, which is why it's become such a tired term.
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« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2009, 07:21:22 PM »

awesome boss music can make a rather easy boss encounter seem epic.
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Dincrest
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« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2009, 09:42:37 AM »

Narrative complexity and scope. Those are the only two definitions you really need. The sad part is most people apply it using scope only, which is why it's become such a tired term.

I'll +1 this. 

When I think "epic" I think stuff like The Iliad, The Odyssey, Ramayana, Mahabharata, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and Gone With the Wind.  Broad scope and complex narratives. 

With a lot of video games, I can dig the narrative complexity without the broad scope.  Ever17's my all time fave and it's all about the complex narrative with a very tight scope/focus.  In games like Magna Carta, the scope is certainly there and the narrative is solid, but there are lulls where nothing really happens.  Perhaps that's fine in a book, but not so much in a video game. 

I wonder, in marketing is "epic" becoming a term like "mojo" where it's more defined by gut feeling than criteria?  Where you can't explain it beyond "I know it when I see it."  Perhaps it's becoming a nebulous concept in gaming but remains more defined in books or movies?  I don't know. 
« Last Edit: April 24, 2009, 09:44:39 AM by Dincrest » Logged

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daschrier
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« Reply #19 on: April 24, 2009, 11:13:48 AM »

Even though I loved both DQ8 and Persona 3, I would say DQ8 was epic and P3 was not.

DQ8 had you exploring huge continents, meeting many new characters, exploring caves and dungeons.

P3 you're basically confined to one town and a random tower.

That's how I would define epic.
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Eusis
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« Reply #20 on: April 24, 2009, 11:48:08 AM »

P3 you're basically confined to one town and a random tower.

Yeah but
Code:
the game has a FUCKING MOON transform and begin to fall during the climax. And really, the whole story's about the inevitable end of the world.

The scope of the plot itself is probably the most important part, just because it's confined to a single town doesn't mean it isn't epic!
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daschrier
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« Reply #21 on: April 24, 2009, 12:08:26 PM »

Well, I did say that that's how I defined it...

To me, I never really felt like the whole world was in danger, because you never see any of the world...

Nocturne had more of an epic feel to me, while it did take place in a smallish area, I felt the dread and chaos more in that game.
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magusgs
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« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2009, 02:48:13 PM »

The problem with lumping scope (fairly objective) together with complexity (more subjective) in a descriptor like "epic" is that it begins to lose its value as a descriptor.  In philosophy (the study of abstract discussion), terms are usually defined to keep objective descriptors separate from subjective descriptors, which helps avoid confusion.  Otherwise, in this example, "epic" storytelling pretty much equals "good" storytelling.  Which is fine with marketers, because marketing is more about misdirection than clear communication anyway.

Addendum:
Complexity need not be subjective, but the problem is the usage in this context.  We call a game with a well-written multi-layered story complex, but a game with a terribly written multi-layered story isn't complex--it's pretentious, or nonsensical.  In other words, only "good" stories can be complex, which is what injects the subjectivity into the word.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2009, 03:01:40 PM by magusgs » Logged

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« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2009, 03:54:23 PM »

Addendum:
Complexity need not be subjective, but the problem is the usage in this context.  We call a game with a well-written multi-layered story complex, but a game with a terribly written multi-layered story isn't complex--it's pretentious, or nonsensical.  In other words, only "good" stories can be complex, which is what injects the subjectivity into the word.

Ah yes, that's what i was going to say, having a ton of characters and sub-plots going around won't make a story good or "deep" by default. A good story can work just fine with just 3 or 4 characters talking in the same room. It's not about the quantity but the quality.
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