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Company News Bethesda: Games must evolve & grow!

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
Developer
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Messages
28,038
Tags: Bethesda Softworks; Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

That <a href=http://www.rpgcodex.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=13289>Ken Rolston interview</a> has caused some controversy at the <a href=http://www.elderscrolls.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=447777&st=60>Elder Scrolls forums</a> and prompted Mark Nelson, one of the developers, to respond:
<br>
<br>
<blockquote>Were you to ask Ken which is a better game, I'd bet my next paycheck he would tell you it's Oblivion. I'd agree. It's a superior game in almost every way (and I say "almost" intentionally--Morrowind succeeds in some ways that Oblivion does not). Some old-school RPGers will disagree, and I understand that. The fact is, gaming evolves--whether or not you like the direction of the evolution is a matter of taste. There will be successes along the way, and failures, but if games (yes, even RPGs) do not continue to grow (<u>and develop a larger fan base</u>), they will stagnate and die. Like it or not, it's the way of things.</blockquote>Translation: RPGs must sell a lot or we'll stop making them and start making action games instead!
<br>
<br>
<blockquote>I do believe that it's important to change games to make them better (i.e., more fun). Honestly, there are a ton of conventions from old-school RPGs that simply aren't very fun. They are artifacts of systems designed 20 years ago that we hold as sacred, but they aren't necessarily any good. We tried to fix or remove these where we could. Some don't like the changes, and I respect that opinion. Honestly, I fought against many of these changes (including fast travel, the compass, and leveled creatures), but in the end, I think most of them make the game better.</blockquote>We hold those games as sacred because they are infinitely better than the drivel neo-Bethesda wants to make.
<br>
<br>
And while we are talking about Bethesda: ( <a href=http://www.elderscrolls.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=449612&st=46>link</a> )
<br>
<blockquote><b>ESF poster:</b> yeah, it sounds as if good old pete only hears what he wants to hear. Thanks for the support. I am selling my copy of Oblivion on Ebay. I care nothing about the add-ons or expansions.
<br>
<br>
<b>Darth Pete:</b> Thanks. That was deep.
<br>
Here's some insight for you. Your time left here is short.</blockquote>Charming guy, isn't he?
<br>
<br>
 

Rivo

Novice
Joined
May 11, 2006
Messages
91
That Pete guy makes my day complete. Shit, he's so fucking hilarious. Fucktard.

What a complete douchebag. I hope his wife leaves him and he will lose all his hard-earned money *kuch* to her for the alimony. Suck it tard.

Remember me to kill him when I have complete world domination.
 

Volourn

Pretty Princess
Pretty Princess Glory to Ukraine
Joined
Mar 10, 2003
Messages
24,939
"Here's some insight for you. Your time left here is short."

Hahahah! I love it! GO PETE GO!

I don't care for Bethesda's games; but I love when devs give the SMACK DOWN!
 

Drakron

Arcane
Joined
May 19, 2005
Messages
6,326
Volourn said:
I don't care for Bethesda's games; but I love when devs give the SMACK DOWN!

Pete is a PR Monkey, not a developer.

You, as usual, PHAIL.
 

Volourn

Pretty Princess
Pretty Princess Glory to Ukraine
Joined
Mar 10, 2003
Messages
24,939
He's close enough for government work. He works for Bethesda, a game developer (and publisher).


Game over.
 

Zomg

Arbiter
Joined
Oct 21, 2005
Messages
6,984
Honestly, there are a ton of conventions from old-school RPGs that simply aren't very fun. They are artifacts of systems designed 20 years ago that we hold as sacred, but they aren't necessarily any good.

I wish people would go into specifics when they say stuff like that. Otherwise it's just a mindless appeal to false progress.

If you're talking about looking up journal entry #35, I agree with you. If you're talking about grinding, or combat that is not characterful, strategic or exciting, I agree with you. If you're talking about inventory management, I agree with you. If you're talking about not having tooltips and drop-and-drag, I agree with you.

If you're talking about being able to assert a personality and nature for your character in the gameworld, to which the gameworld reacts, you need to admit you're a talentless backslapper who wants to fix massah's fence even if he ain't been tol' to. If you're talking about not following a fucking arrow around, you're a shithead.
 

Goliath

Arcane
Zionist Agent
Joined
Jul 18, 2004
Messages
17,830
IMHO Pete is gay 2TM BTW Volourn 2186 555
AFAIC Oblivion is !RPG AIUI
B4N
 

Jora

Arcane
Joined
Mar 14, 2003
Messages
1,115
Location
Finland
And to think I thought it was inappropriate of Vault Dweller to call Hines a piece of shit.
 

Elwro

Arcane
Joined
Dec 29, 2002
Messages
11,749
Location
Krakow, Poland
Divinity: Original Sin Wasteland 2
Pete seems to believe in the vicious circle that if you haven't played the game for 80 hrs, any criticism you might express is baseless; but if you have, it means you have to like it, since otherwise you wouldn't have spent so much time playing it. Therefore, any criticism anyone could display about the game has to be baseless.

And a funny quote about ESF:
"You think I'm not aware of the shortcomings of the game just because I work here? These forums are a nonstop litany of moaning and wailing that is impossible to miss."
 

Seven

Erudite
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
1,728
Location
North of the Glow
Jora said:
And to think I thought it was inappropriate of Vault Dweller to call Hines a piece of shit.

No, he didn't call him a piece of shit, he just said he was full of shit. :wink:
 

Kendar

Novice
Joined
Mar 30, 2006
Messages
80
Vault Dweller said:
Translation: RPGs must sell a lot or we'll stop making them and start making action games instead!
Already done.
a moron said:
I do believe that it's important to change games to make them better (i.e., more fun).
That's complete bullshit. « Fun » it used to means an immediate pleasure born from the gameplay, at least for all the time I have seen it being used. The most common examples are real-time action, like killing things, plate-form, stuff like that.

We are talking about two schools (scenaristic developement versus gameplay), of course, and the demonstration of popularity Nintendo did at E3 has proven that a creative gameplay, an immediate fun, can be crucial. But for some people, that simply cannot be enough. These games are designed to have fun, and often, their developement is bitting its tail. No story, or a flat one. The game plays as « do A to do A again, but a bit diferently ». If the scenario doesn't follow, I simply have the impression of wasting my time. I accomplish nothing (I consider mindlessly running after teh ubar score as nothing). Give me an interesting reason to do it, and I gladly will.

In term of "fun", Fallout and Planetscape Torment are close to 0. Why are they so great ? Well,
a moron said:
there are a ton of conventions from old-school RPGs that simply aren't very fun
, including dialogs trees where what you say is important, developping my character, learning about the story, reading books to understand the world, thinking by myself to solve a puzzle and understand a situation, etc. Not "fun". No. Just great. Is that hard to understand for a team who is proud of the 400 books to read in Oblivion ? They hyped something that isn't very fun, right ?

Those things make the game deeper, richer, and *gasp* better.

Except if "good" means "fun", in wich case I have yet to see a good role-playing game, except Gothic 2, maybe, although it lacked some depth in the role-playing part, and the gameplay part could be frustrating at times.

But today, there is a damn inteligentzia : if you say "xxx sux, gameplay rulz", you are teh hero. Who needs some retarded dialogs trees and useless interesting scenario ? Gameplay rules, because a game has to be "fun". z0mg.

Even if the FF are completely lacking in term of rople-playing, they are damn good at telling a story. If you happen to like the story, you will simply face the favourite games of your life.

I think the aforementionned inteligentzia was maybe born at the time of FF7, or at least it was a reaction to a similar game : the purpose was to tell a story, completely linear, through compelling characters and pretty cinematics. Simply, the story develops under your eyes through scenes beautiful to look at.

So when waiting for the next game, FF fans knew that they were very likely to like the story, so as soon as they were able to see the graphics and the quality of the cinemas, and also the chara-design, they could tell rather precisely is they were going to like the game or not. They will have a story they like, characters they should be attached to, and if they won't go to the cinema for that, it is because they are given some interactivity, like fighting and exploring (and also because few films are 40-hour long). For example, personally, I know nothing of Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey, but I already know I am very unlikely to like the first, and that there are great chances that I love the second. What I have seen so far in term of visual design and ambiance of the scenario is enough to give a basic judgement of these games wich will be very classical in their construction.

Obviously, some morons watching the scene and unable/unwilling to think a bit, decided that these guys liked the games only for the graphics. Ever wondered why the MGS fanbase who so big and fanatic while the gameplay is deep in some way, but restricting and frustrating in all the others ? Ever wondered why there is a *gasp* Imperial Library ?

a moron said:
they aren't necessarily any good.
I agree. They are not necessarily any good. They just proved they are. So I guess that is enough, right ?
I mean, if you want to provide B (great role-playing experience in that example), and if you use a method A for wich in appearence, there is no connection, for wich it cannot be explained why it helps, for wich seems to lead to the contrary of what you want, as long as doing A gives B, then why rejecting it ?

What were you thinking with your one-choice dialogs, linear quests, rule-all-the-factions-without-restrictions, havok physics, parallax mapping, rocket launchers, soil erosion and Patrick Stewart ? Maybe they are somehow good at provinding an amusing game, but you will have to stick to the boring dialogs trees and pathetically soporific meaningfull choices with not-fun-at-all undoable consequences in order to provide a good rople-playing game.
 

Hazelnut

Erudite
Joined
Dec 17, 2002
Messages
1,490
Location
UK
In that thread I found this, and I feel it's interesting enough to reproduce here since it concerns an interview which is often quoted here, for those who have not gone wading over at the ESF tonight.

mrbigcat said:
Just for some interesting perspective on Ken Rolstons and Todd Howards design philosophy. Here is a quote from an Ex-Bethesda Dev Douglass Goodall that I believe was originally on the main forums. It was in response to an honest, and telling interview he had made at the Imperial Library on his views about Morrowind before that interview was removed by the request from another dev apparently acting entirely on his own (perhaps from some sort of feelings of loyalty in order to protect the good name of Ken and Todd, although perhaps that is my own conspiracy theory). By the way, for a better understanding I strongly suggest you read the interview itself, a bit of digging around RPGCodex should help you find what you are seeking.

Douglas Goodall said:
"There's no easy way to express creative disagreements politely. When I was asked about doing an interview, I figured I'd try. I also figured I wouldn't succeed and people would see more accusations than mea culpas. So I'm not surprised by the reactions here. Nevertheless, I feel I should respond to them, surprise or no surprise.

Perhaps I should have "cheated" and told Sinder Velvin (who did a very good job on the interview, by the way) a few good questions to ask. Or perhaps I should have been dishonest or taken the easy route and refused the interview (although it's very difficult for me to avoid any invitation to talk about myself at great length).

The key point is that I failed, not just with the interview, but with Morrowind itself. No one else burned out on Morrowind. I did. Everyone turned into vitamin-D deficient zombies, but only I became obnoxious. I disagreed about a great many things, but I thought Morrowind would do poorly in the marketplace, and it did rather well. I was wrong.

Basically, Morrowind was a worse game than it could have been because I was stubborn and cared too much about consistency. I let the fans down because I was too wrapped up in what the fans of Daggerfall would think that I wasn't paying enough attention to what the future fans of Morrowind would think.

I disagreed with Ken partly because I was stubborn (and because I enjoy arguing--I did mention that, right?) and partly because I didn't understand what he was saying most of the time. This is not his fault, but mine. We came from very different backgrounds and had different vocabularies. I'm not a very "academic" game designer. I say "Rock-Paper-Scissors," not "Intransitive Power Balance Relationship." Ken probably wouldn't say that either, but in the absence of any legitimate game design vocabulary, most designers make up their own words for things. I stole my game design vocabulary mostly from game theory and board games. Ken came from a tabletop RPG background (Runequest, Paranoia, etc), so he had entirely different terms for the same concepts. I could have put more effort into understanding where he was coming from, but I didn't. For no good reason, apart from a lack of time.

I disagreed with Todd a lot because Todd and I do not like the same kinds of games. This is not his fault or mine. Whether it is more fun to smash things with a huge axe or coax secrets from obfuscated texts is pure opinion. Whether it's better to play against dice or against an intelligent designer is pure opinion. Frankly, most gamers are more like Todd. It is in Bethesda's best interests to appeal to those gamers, instead of making a game that appeals to me. I selfishly didn't want to work on a game that didn't appeal to me, but that wasn't my job. My job was to work on Morrowind, regardless of whether I liked it or not.

Besides that, I was the new guy on the team. I should have deferred to Ken and Todd instead of arguing, regardless of my personal feelings about Morrowind and the Elder Scrolls series. If I didn't argue as much, I would have gotten more work done, and I think the game would have been better. I should have given up on Morrowind being the kind of game I enjoy when I read the design docs my first day there. Instead, I was pigheaded. I still feel that Ken was squeezing a Hermaeus Mora shaped Vvardenfell into a Roman Province shaped space. But he was the lead designer. If he wanted to do that, it was his business. I should have gone along with his plan, instead of trying to change the map. Just keep in mind that from his perspective, it was the other way around. From his perspective, I was the one who was trying to cram the moldy and flaking third claw of Hermeaus Mora into a Roman Province.

Even I stole from history when I was in a hurry or feeling uncreative. Sermon Zero came from the Rennes-le-Chateau hoax. The Bal Molagmer came from the Carbonari. Etc.

I expected disappointment from lore fans about things like Divine Metaphysics, but I think it's better to know the truth. This is just a personal opinion, but as long as real mysteries remain unsolved, I'd want someone to tell me when I was wasting my time. I should have done it sooner. In fact, I did do it sooner, but no one believed me the last dozen times I've said Dwemer books were probably random letters, and I don't expect that to change.

I didn't make the Dwemer books myself, but I did have a hand in them. One of the artists made the books. I didn't give him any particular message to include. I just said to make some drawings based on the design documents and put some Dwemer letters in it. This is something else that was my fault. I should have included an actual message, but I wasn't up to the task. I can't write Dwemer the way Michael Kirkbride does. I know. I've tried it (see "Hanging Gardens" as a particularly bad example of me trying to write Dwemeri style). I decided that random letters were better than another bad attempt at writing like MK, or writing something like "drink your Ovaltine," so that's what I did. Besides, I figured it would be obvious that it was just random letters... In retrospect, this was another mistake.

As for there not being any official answer to several lore puzzles, I can see that upsetting people, too. In this case as well, I think it's better to know the truth. Look at it this way: If the official lore isn't perfect, if the official lore is ever-changing, you can do whatever you want.

In fact, since there wasn't an official answer to several things, debates on forums like this may alter the "official" lore more than you know. If you have a really good (or cool sounding) argument about what really happened at Red Mountain, it can influence the designers. Far from making such debates meaningless (in that no one will ever be "right"--no one ever wins a debate anyway), it makes lore discussions much more important.

I'd still prefer an internally consistent game world, but unless you keep the same lead designer for every game (or hire only designers with unusually small egos and an unusual respect for stare decisis), that's not going to happen. Tamriel is not a living game world because it has deep, well-documented consistencies (like Tolkien). Tamriel is a living game world because it has very little consistency.

Think of Tamriel as a plate of spaghetti that a dozen designers have cut, chewed, and swirled around on the plate. Not a pretty thought? Maybe not, but it means that anyone else can come by and cut off a string or add a few strings or push the fork around a little without ruining the plate. I prefer artificial worlds that are more like Legos. Legos that glue themselves together, so that you can add new Legos, but you cannot alter or remove what's already there. But that's another personal opinion, and if you have to remove one of the Legos near the bottom (say, for technical reasons), you're in bigger trouble than you are with spaghetti.

Before I worked at Bethesda, I thought about writing Elder Scrolls fanfiction and putting some of my characters up on Andel Crodo's Fashion Gallery (after several name and ownership changes it is now The Imperial Library, though I believe the original stories and biographies are gone). The only thing that stopped me was fear. I was afraid I'd make mistakes or have egg-of-time on my face when the next game came out, since I didn't know the lore as well as the creators. When I got to Bethesda, I discovered that I did know the lore as well as the creators. The same is probably true of most lore-oriented Elder Scrolls fans. So if you have an idea for a plugin or a story, but you don't want to contradict the lore, just do it. Don't worry so much. If it contradicts a future game, so what?

This is a lesson I learned after leaving Bethesda: don't worry about the fiction. Tamriel isn't a carefully constructed pyramid of magically sticky Legos. Tamriel is spaghetti. It can be anything you want it to be. That is a plural "you," including the fans as well as the current designers. If I learned that while I was still working for Bethesda, or if I was just a little less obsessed with Daggerfall, I might still be there.

Doug "AFFA MU" Goodall
Game Designer Emeritus
Dark Lord of Negativity

P.S. I'm not angry with Bethesda Softworks anymore. If I were angry, it would be unmistakable. Anyone who knows me can confirm that."

To put it another way. The philosphy of Todd and Ken is simplify and streamline (not because that makes a better game necessarily) but because that is what the masses want and that is what will sells the most units.

I'd just like to point out that this was a quote that I don't have the original, so we should bear in mind the possibility that its a fake. If anyone can find some evidence of authenticity then that'd be great.
 

Lumpy

Arcane
Joined
Sep 11, 2005
Messages
8,525
Hazelnut said:
In that thread I found this, and I feel it's interesting enough to reproduce here since it concerns an interview which is often quoted here, for those who have not gone wading over at the ESF tonight.

mrbigcat said:
Just for some interesting perspective on Ken Rolstons and Todd Howards design philosophy. Here is a quote from an Ex-Bethesda Dev Douglass Goodall that I believe was originally on the main forums. It was in response to an honest, and telling interview he had made at the Imperial Library on his views about Morrowind before that interview was removed by the request from another dev apparently acting entirely on his own (perhaps from some sort of feelings of loyalty in order to protect the good name of Ken and Todd, although perhaps that is my own conspiracy theory). By the way, for a better understanding I strongly suggest you read the interview itself, a bit of digging around RPGCodex should help you find what you are seeking.

Douglas Goodall said:
"There's no easy way to express creative disagreements politely. When I was asked about doing an interview, I figured I'd try. I also figured I wouldn't succeed and people would see more accusations than mea culpas. So I'm not surprised by the reactions here. Nevertheless, I feel I should respond to them, surprise or no surprise.

Perhaps I should have "cheated" and told Sinder Velvin (who did a very good job on the interview, by the way) a few good questions to ask. Or perhaps I should have been dishonest or taken the easy route and refused the interview (although it's very difficult for me to avoid any invitation to talk about myself at great length).

The key point is that I failed, not just with the interview, but with Morrowind itself. No one else burned out on Morrowind. I did. Everyone turned into vitamin-D deficient zombies, but only I became obnoxious. I disagreed about a great many things, but I thought Morrowind would do poorly in the marketplace, and it did rather well. I was wrong.

Basically, Morrowind was a worse game than it could have been because I was stubborn and cared too much about consistency. I let the fans down because I was too wrapped up in what the fans of Daggerfall would think that I wasn't paying enough attention to what the future fans of Morrowind would think.

I disagreed with Ken partly because I was stubborn (and because I enjoy arguing--I did mention that, right?) and partly because I didn't understand what he was saying most of the time. This is not his fault, but mine. We came from very different backgrounds and had different vocabularies. I'm not a very "academic" game designer. I say "Rock-Paper-Scissors," not "Intransitive Power Balance Relationship." Ken probably wouldn't say that either, but in the absence of any legitimate game design vocabulary, most designers make up their own words for things. I stole my game design vocabulary mostly from game theory and board games. Ken came from a tabletop RPG background (Runequest, Paranoia, etc), so he had entirely different terms for the same concepts. I could have put more effort into understanding where he was coming from, but I didn't. For no good reason, apart from a lack of time.

I disagreed with Todd a lot because Todd and I do not like the same kinds of games. This is not his fault or mine. Whether it is more fun to smash things with a huge axe or coax secrets from obfuscated texts is pure opinion. Whether it's better to play against dice or against an intelligent designer is pure opinion. Frankly, most gamers are more like Todd. It is in Bethesda's best interests to appeal to those gamers, instead of making a game that appeals to me. I selfishly didn't want to work on a game that didn't appeal to me, but that wasn't my job. My job was to work on Morrowind, regardless of whether I liked it or not.

Besides that, I was the new guy on the team. I should have deferred to Ken and Todd instead of arguing, regardless of my personal feelings about Morrowind and the Elder Scrolls series. If I didn't argue as much, I would have gotten more work done, and I think the game would have been better. I should have given up on Morrowind being the kind of game I enjoy when I read the design docs my first day there. Instead, I was pigheaded. I still feel that Ken was squeezing a Hermaeus Mora shaped Vvardenfell into a Roman Province shaped space. But he was the lead designer. If he wanted to do that, it was his business. I should have gone along with his plan, instead of trying to change the map. Just keep in mind that from his perspective, it was the other way around. From his perspective, I was the one who was trying to cram the moldy and flaking third claw of Hermeaus Mora into a Roman Province.

Even I stole from history when I was in a hurry or feeling uncreative. Sermon Zero came from the Rennes-le-Chateau hoax. The Bal Molagmer came from the Carbonari. Etc.

I expected disappointment from lore fans about things like Divine Metaphysics, but I think it's better to know the truth. This is just a personal opinion, but as long as real mysteries remain unsolved, I'd want someone to tell me when I was wasting my time. I should have done it sooner. In fact, I did do it sooner, but no one believed me the last dozen times I've said Dwemer books were probably random letters, and I don't expect that to change.

I didn't make the Dwemer books myself, but I did have a hand in them. One of the artists made the books. I didn't give him any particular message to include. I just said to make some drawings based on the design documents and put some Dwemer letters in it. This is something else that was my fault. I should have included an actual message, but I wasn't up to the task. I can't write Dwemer the way Michael Kirkbride does. I know. I've tried it (see "Hanging Gardens" as a particularly bad example of me trying to write Dwemeri style). I decided that random letters were better than another bad attempt at writing like MK, or writing something like "drink your Ovaltine," so that's what I did. Besides, I figured it would be obvious that it was just random letters... In retrospect, this was another mistake.

As for there not being any official answer to several lore puzzles, I can see that upsetting people, too. In this case as well, I think it's better to know the truth. Look at it this way: If the official lore isn't perfect, if the official lore is ever-changing, you can do whatever you want.

In fact, since there wasn't an official answer to several things, debates on forums like this may alter the "official" lore more than you know. If you have a really good (or cool sounding) argument about what really happened at Red Mountain, it can influence the designers. Far from making such debates meaningless (in that no one will ever be "right"--no one ever wins a debate anyway), it makes lore discussions much more important.

I'd still prefer an internally consistent game world, but unless you keep the same lead designer for every game (or hire only designers with unusually small egos and an unusual respect for stare decisis), that's not going to happen. Tamriel is not a living game world because it has deep, well-documented consistencies (like Tolkien). Tamriel is a living game world because it has very little consistency.

Think of Tamriel as a plate of spaghetti that a dozen designers have cut, chewed, and swirled around on the plate. Not a pretty thought? Maybe not, but it means that anyone else can come by and cut off a string or add a few strings or push the fork around a little without ruining the plate. I prefer artificial worlds that are more like Legos. Legos that glue themselves together, so that you can add new Legos, but you cannot alter or remove what's already there. But that's another personal opinion, and if you have to remove one of the Legos near the bottom (say, for technical reasons), you're in bigger trouble than you are with spaghetti.

Before I worked at Bethesda, I thought about writing Elder Scrolls fanfiction and putting some of my characters up on Andel Crodo's Fashion Gallery (after several name and ownership changes it is now The Imperial Library, though I believe the original stories and biographies are gone). The only thing that stopped me was fear. I was afraid I'd make mistakes or have egg-of-time on my face when the next game came out, since I didn't know the lore as well as the creators. When I got to Bethesda, I discovered that I did know the lore as well as the creators. The same is probably true of most lore-oriented Elder Scrolls fans. So if you have an idea for a plugin or a story, but you don't want to contradict the lore, just do it. Don't worry so much. If it contradicts a future game, so what?

This is a lesson I learned after leaving Bethesda: don't worry about the fiction. Tamriel isn't a carefully constructed pyramid of magically sticky Legos. Tamriel is spaghetti. It can be anything you want it to be. That is a plural "you," including the fans as well as the current designers. If I learned that while I was still working for Bethesda, or if I was just a little less obsessed with Daggerfall, I might still be there.

Doug "AFFA MU" Goodall
Game Designer Emeritus
Dark Lord of Negativity

P.S. I'm not angry with Bethesda Softworks anymore. If I were angry, it would be unmistakable. Anyone who knows me can confirm that."

To put it another way. The philosphy of Todd and Ken is simplify and streamline (not because that makes a better game necessarily) but because that is what the masses want and that is what will sells the most units.

I'd just like to point out that this was a quote that I don't have the original, so we should bear in mind the possibility that its a fake. If anyone can find some evidence of authenticity then that'd be great.
It is authentic. There was also a News post here about that interview.
 

Ratty

Scholar
Joined
Mar 24, 2006
Messages
199
Location
Zagreb, Croatia
Re: Bethesda: Games must evolve & grow!

Mark Nelson said:
I do believe that it's important to change games to make them better (i.e., more fun). Honestly, there are a ton of conventions from old-school RPGs that simply aren't very fun. They are artifacts of systems designed 20 years ago that we hold as sacred, but they aren't necessarily any good. We tried to fix or remove these where we could. Some don't like the changes, and I respect that opinion. Honestly, I fought against many of these changes (including fast travel, the compass, and leveled creatures), but in the end, I think most of them make the game better.
What conventions? You mean good design?

The man is absolutely right, CRPGs need to evolve. That's what talented designers do - they break new grounds. Guess what, BethSoft? You aren't there. At this rate, you never will be. So do the industry a favor, cut the crap and start learning from designers with a clue. You could start by playing some of the CRPGs you laconically dismiss as "not very fun", preferably with your brains in ON mode for a change.
 

Gwendo

Augur
Joined
Aug 22, 2004
Messages
990
Come on, let's be objective:

Would you play a game you don't like for 80 hours? If you play 2 hours a day, 7days a week, that more than a month playing the game everyday!

Shit, I didn't even spend 3 weeks with Fallout!

So, who played for 80 hours was just trying to give the game a shot, since the money was already wasted, huh? I can't see myself playing that time a game that I think it sucks.

I didn't like Oblivion, but still, I played it almost two weeks! So there must be good things that kept me playing the game! Maybe I would have played in half the time, if the game weren't slow due to performance/unoptimized engine issues? Maybe.

The game has errors that spoil it very much, but it has redeeming values, that keeps it fun, at least for a while.

There's no reason to discuss if it's a RPG or not. It's a game with some RPG characteristics that was fun to play while it lasted and that could had been much better, if it hadn't been designed by retards.

Giving all Bethesda's potential to Todd Howard's hands, is like offering 1 million bucks to a kid, and see him spending it all in candies.
 

Visbhume

Prophet
Joined
Jun 21, 2004
Messages
984
I think he's totally right, especially here:
Honestly, there are a ton of conventions from old-school RPGs that simply aren't very fun. They are artifacts of systems designed 20 years ago that we hold as sacred, but they aren't necessarily any good. We tried to fix or remove these where we could.
In fact, I would like them to drop leveling and skill improvement altogether. Just create your character at the beginning and stick to it. I want to be inmersed in a story within a reactive world, and I don't see why some idiot grind is necessary for that.

Also, fast travel rules if you have a life. And even if you don't, its more fun to spend your time masturbating than babysiting your character to place X for the umpteenth time.
 

Drakron

Arcane
Joined
May 19, 2005
Messages
6,326
That stupid.

The reason none removes it because it simply destroys character grow, if someone does that it would simply create a "action adventure" game.

The issue with leveling is the "Diablo issue" were gaining a level does not make anything meanfull beyond getting better stats, level grind exists when the developers created a shitty job at mob balancing and XP gain progression.
 

Zomg

Arbiter
Joined
Oct 21, 2005
Messages
6,984
There's nothing inherently wrong with abstracted travel.

Good luck with getting character progression removed from a mainstream RPG, though. That's what they're selling now, the Skinner box RPG model; that little cock shiver that people get from finding a Wicked Blue Flamberge of the Kings is the payload they drop on the consumer creche. It is by far the most salable portion of the traditional genre, which is why a little simple character progression is being integrated into most otherwise full-blown action games these days.
 

Drakron

Arcane
Joined
May 19, 2005
Messages
6,326
There is, the fact PnP roleplaying systems never successeful adapted it is a indication if you take away level progression you just get Interactive Fiction and LARP.

The problem is all challanges became absolute, your character either can do then or cannot ... there is no middle ground.

Quests end up being "the big 3" with talk/combat/stealth but aimed at the lowest common denominator of the 3 in order to make all characters viable.

In short you end up with Dreamfall + useless character generation.
 

flabbyjack

Arcane
Joined
Jul 15, 2004
Messages
2,602
Location
the area around my keyboard
Translation : "Yeah, we sold out tES: Oblivion, and we're gonna ruin Fallout 3 as well. It's called progress, baby! *Rolls in a pile of money*"

I dunno about you guys but this is a riot-able offense. We better not tell the Fallout fans from Europe because they'll start World War III over this...
 

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