Putting the 'role' back in role-playing games since 2002.
Donate to Codex
Good Old Games
  • Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.

Clockwork Revolution - inXile's steampunk time travel first-person action-RPG led by Chad Moore and Jason Anderson

MLMarkland

Arcane
Developer
Joined
Dec 12, 2006
Messages
1,663
Location
Malibu, CA
"it's good because it's popular"
It's a suprisingly common line of argument on the codex the last couple years
It’s a known fallacy.

With rare exception, the popularity of something in the short run is inverse to its quality. Lowest common denominator products have the greatest chance of reaching critical mass in brand equity.

The relationship flips the more time passes. If something is popular 500 years from now, it is very likely that is it also good, or people would not have expended energy preserving and remembering the thing.

Fallout 1 was not popular at launch, but became the longest running top 100 seller on Steam, is a simple example of this in games.

Shakespeare.

Herodotus.

Etc.
 

Roguey

Codex Staff
Staff Member
Sawyerite
Joined
May 29, 2010
Messages
36,052
"it's good because it's popular"
In the fanta poll it's tied with Troubleshooter (a Korean tactical game) though both lost to "we don't enjoy games anymore but we're still here out of habit." (or the "you and ten other angry guys with tastes that are narrower than a hallway in a camp of pygmy dwarves" option as Josh Sawyer put it a long time ago)
 

MLMarkland

Arcane
Developer
Joined
Dec 12, 2006
Messages
1,663
Location
Malibu, CA
"it's good because it's popular"
In the fanta poll it's tied with Troubleshooter (a Korean tactical game) though both lost to "we don't enjoy games anymore but we're still here out of habit." (or the "you and ten other angry guys with tastes that are narrower than a hallway in a camp of pygmy dwarves" option as Josh Sawyer put it a long time ago)
PUBG was a fun game for a while
 

agris

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Apr 16, 2004
Messages
6,890
"it's good because it's popular"
In the fanta poll it's tied with Troubleshooter (a Korean tactical game) though both lost to "we don't enjoy games anymore but we're still here out of habit." (or the "you and ten other angry guys with tastes that are narrower than a hallway in a camp of pygmy dwarves" option as Josh Sawyer put it a long time ago)
Did you just assume my gender?
 

Trithne

Erudite
Joined
Dec 3, 2008
Messages
1,200
I've always hated steampunk, always seemed like a talentless hack's idea of "new and original".

Steampunk is a form of cultural mimicry. Its cogs and bolts are the headjacks and rainy nights of cyberpunk, but without any relevant foundational theme behind it. Where cyberpunk has something to say about the relationship between technology and social dynamics, steampunk can only say "this looks neat, right?".

If you hate steampunk, it's because you intuitively understand it's a skinwalker concept.

"Steampunk" originated with Gibson's Difference Engine, exploring the idea of "What if the Victorians had continued on to invent the computer, and how would this affect their society?". He wasn't really a fan of the term since there wasn't as much of the "Punk" elements as there was in his earlier works, and less "High Tech, Low Life" juxtaposition, although the concept does has room to explore it when you approach it from that sort of direction.

"Steampunk" as seen here is just "Victorian England with robots", purely an aesthetic.
 

MLMarkland

Arcane
Developer
Joined
Dec 12, 2006
Messages
1,663
Location
Malibu, CA
I've always hated steampunk, always seemed like a talentless hack's idea of "new and original".

Steampunk is a form of cultural mimicry. Its cogs and bolts are the headjacks and rainy nights of cyberpunk, but without any relevant foundational theme behind it. Where cyberpunk has something to say about the relationship between technology and social dynamics, steampunk can only say "this looks neat, right?".

If you hate steampunk, it's because you intuitively understand it's a skinwalker concept.

"Steampunk" originated with Gibson's Difference Engine, exploring the idea of "What if the Victorians had continued on to invent the computer, and how would this affect their society?". He wasn't really a fan of the term since there wasn't as much of the "Punk" elements as there was in his earlier works, and less "High Tech, Low Life" juxtaposition, although the concept does has room to explore it when you approach it from that sort of direction.

"Steampunk" as seen here is just "Victorian England with robots", purely an aesthetic.
Space 1889 was a rando tabletop game in 80s/90s that was more Gibson limited punk
 

MLMarkland

Arcane
Developer
Joined
Dec 12, 2006
Messages
1,663
Location
Malibu, CA
2023 and people still ignore the 2020 game of the year (after fully patched).
17611.jpg


It's in decent company.
2020 game of the year was starting in LA, escaping with an insane Russian trucker on cocaine, delivering spooky shit to Navajo Nation through dozens of military checkpoints and continuing east through the wasteland
 

agris

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Apr 16, 2004
Messages
6,890
2023 and people still ignore the 2020 game of the year (after fully patched).
17611.jpg


It's in decent company.
2020 game of the year was starting in LA, escaping with an insane Russian trucker on cocaine, delivering spooky shit to Navajo Nation through dozens of military checkpoints and continuing east through the wasteland
Underrail GOTY description right there
 

cvv

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Mar 30, 2013
Messages
18,405
Location
Kingdom of Bohemia
Codex+ Now Streaming!
I've always hated steampunk, always seemed like a talentless hack's idea of "new and original".

Steampunk is a form of cultural mimicry. Its cogs and bolts are the headjacks and rainy nights of cyberpunk, but without any relevant foundational theme behind it. Where cyberpunk has something to say about the relationship between technology and social dynamics, steampunk can only say "this looks neat, right?".

If you hate steampunk, it's because you intuitively understand it's a skinwalker concept.
A rare opportunity for me to say "couldn't have said it better myself". Well done.
 

Harthwain

Magister
Joined
Dec 13, 2019
Messages
4,975
I've always hated steampunk, always seemed like a talentless hack's idea of "new and original".

Steampunk is a form of cultural mimicry. Its cogs and bolts are the headjacks and rainy nights of cyberpunk, but without any relevant foundational theme behind it. Where cyberpunk has something to say about the relationship between technology and social dynamics, steampunk can only say "this looks neat, right?".

If you hate steampunk, it's because you intuitively understand it's a skinwalker concept.
A rare opportunity for me to say "couldn't have said it better myself". Well done.
It's less problem with steampunk as a concept and more with "It's a kind of magic" approach.
 

cvv

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Mar 30, 2013
Messages
18,405
Location
Kingdom of Bohemia
Codex+ Now Streaming!

"Steampunk" originated with Gibson's Difference Engine, exploring the idea of "What if the Victorians had continued on to invent the computer, and how would this affect their society?".
Didn't know that, never read, can't stand Gibson.

Anyway it's a dumb proposition with a clever looking hat on top, the Victorians actually DID invent a quazi-computer - the aforementioned difference engine, cobbled together from wood and metal cogs - and the reason it never changed their society in any way was because an actual computer needs at least a vacuum tube, or better yet an integrated circuit, to make any difference IRL, and those were only invented a 100 years later. The idea lacks any plausibility, placing a modern-day invention into a technologically incompatible environment, and therefore is stupid and offensive and we should shit on it.

It's like saying "what would happen if Youtube was invented in 1992?" Well nothing would fucking happen coz you can't exactly watch videos over a dial-up can you.
 
Last edited:

bobocrunch

Educated
Joined
Dec 26, 2018
Messages
148
Something I've noticed in the games going for a steampunk look is they love the WWI recruitment posters, and it made me think of why steampunk is often jumbled up. It expresses the joyous naivety of progress and individual achievement during the Victorian era but counters it with the paranoid and collectivist statist bend taken towards the Edwardian era and WWI.

I don't know whether it's unconscious or not but a lot of the media mixes Victorian and Edwardian themes, and if they understand that combo it could help carve out a niche for what it wants to say and put the 'punk' in the name with a rejection of these norms rather than just being Dude Cool Cogs

Arcanum touched on this with how (seemingly and self-seriously) advanced the scientific and legal culture was and how it becomes a vehicle for power, and I hope this game can do something other than a hamfisted diet black girl Mosley
 

S.H.O.D.A.N.

Learned
Joined
Dec 16, 2020
Messages
425
"Steampunk" originated with Gibson's Difference Engine, exploring the idea of "What if the Victorians had continued on to invent the computer, and how would this affect their society?".

I'd argue it also died with Difference Engine, because alternate history was an established literary concept at that point and it's clear the term was coined as a marketing play on Gibson's fame as the "father of cyberpunk". They needed to put something on the cover, that's about the extent of effort that went into it.

Difference Engine itself felt like very classic spec fiction to me. Not bad, but certainly not a harbinger of a new subgenre.
 
Self-Ejected

Netch

Self-Ejected
Joined
Jul 22, 2021
Messages
92
Has InXile been shit or is this a new development? I only know them from Wasteland, and the few hours of Wasteland 2 that I played were pretty good. But this just looks like a shitty Bioshock Infinite ripoff, complete with time travel/tears. I'm honestly baffled that they made this and somehow didn't realize that they were completely ripping off a massively known game (unless they did know? but if they did know then WHY???).
 

cvv

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Mar 30, 2013
Messages
18,405
Location
Kingdom of Bohemia
Codex+ Now Streaming!
Has InXile been shit or is this a new development?
Kindda shit but so far they've been nowhere near the level of bluehair degeneracy of ObSHEdian.

Wasteland 2 (the DE version) and Wasteland 3 are genuinely great RPGs.
Bard's Tale IV has a great core idea, you can never have enough blobbers with TB combat, but it overstays its welcome half-way through plus I prefer less puzzle-centric RPGs.
Numanuma is unredeemable shit but it does have isometric TB combat.

So inXile has been...complicated. With this they seem to go down the same shitter as ObSHEdian tho. At least the directors are old grognard nerds instead of a SoCal female dangerhair like Carrie Patel.
 

Roguey

Codex Staff
Staff Member
Sawyerite
Joined
May 29, 2010
Messages
36,052
"Steampunk" as seen here is just "Victorian England with robots", purely an aesthetic.
The premise of this game is in the title itself: starting a revolution against an oppressive regime. How is that not punk?
 

markec

Twitterbot
Patron
Joined
Jan 15, 2010
Messages
47,706
Location
Croatia
Codex 2012 Strap Yourselves In Codex Year of the Donut Codex+ Now Streaming! Dead State Project: Eternity Codex USB, 2014 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. Pathfinder: Wrath
2023 and people still ignore the 2020 game of the year (after fully patched).
17611.jpg


It's in decent company.
Wasteland 3 is Inxiles best game and it's a mediocre one.

Not something to give much optimism for future projects but you could always argue that its a sign that they are getting better at it.
 

Roguey

Codex Staff
Staff Member
Sawyerite
Joined
May 29, 2010
Messages
36,052
2023 and people still ignore the 2020 game of the year (after fully patched).
17611.jpg


It's in decent company.
Wasteland 3 is Inxiles best game and it's a mediocre one.

Not something to give much optimism for future projects but you could always argue that its a sign that they are getting better at it.
You have to consider the reasons why it's better. The glassdoor reviews support the hypothesis that it comes down to the injection of Microsoft money. Had they not been bought, they likely would have released another disappointing jankfest. But now they're happy, don't have to play the ponzi scheme anymore, and that one employee claims they have complete freedom over the kinds of games they want to make, so apparently Bioshock Infinite-with-more-RPG is what Moore, Anderson, and the rest truly want to do.
 

Roguey

Codex Staff
Staff Member
Sawyerite
Joined
May 29, 2010
Messages
36,052
If "opposing oppression" was the sole defining trait of punk, we'd have nothing but punk.
Arcanum wasn't very punk which is probably why they never marketed it as such. You could help a revolution, but that wasn't the main plot, which was about fighting some magic guy in another dimension.
 

cvv

Arcane
Patron
Joined
Mar 30, 2013
Messages
18,405
Location
Kingdom of Bohemia
Codex+ Now Streaming!
If "opposing oppression" was the sole defining trait of punk, we'd have nothing but punk.
Arcanum wasn't very punk which is probably why they never marketed it as such. You could help a revolution, but that wasn't the main plot, which was about fighting some magic guy in another dimension.
I don't rebember Arcanum being steampunky at all.

Might be wrong, been 15 years since I played it last, but steampunk is retrofuturism for me - "what if there are computers and robots and cars in the age of steam?"

Arcanum is more like, what would happen if the age of steam came into a traditional fantasy/magical world. Don't remember any kraaazzyy "look at me-aren't I kewl and shieet?" retrofuturistic elements in Arcanum
 

Roguey

Codex Staff
Staff Member
Sawyerite
Joined
May 29, 2010
Messages
36,052
I don't rebember Arcanum being steampunky at all.

Might be wrong, been 15 years since I played it last, but steampunk is retrofuturism for me - "what if there are computers and robots and cars in the age of steam?"

Arcanum is more like, what would happen if the age of steam came into a traditional fantasy/magical world. Don't remember any retrofuturistic elements.
There's definitely some weird science stuff you can make https://arcanum.fandom.com/wiki/Chapeau_of_Magnetic_Inversion https://arcanum.fandom.com/wiki/Machined_Platemail https://arcanum.fandom.com/wiki/Automaton https://arcanum.fandom.com/wiki/Charged_Accelerator_Gun
 

Harthwain

Magister
Joined
Dec 13, 2019
Messages
4,975
I don't rebember Arcanum being steampunky at all.
Arcanum has "steamworks" in the title ("Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura"), not steampunk. When people talk about steampunk they mostly mean the steam part of it. It's pretty much just a naming convention based on Cyberpunk (a derivative) without the substance behind it.
 
Last edited:

As an Amazon Associate, rpgcodex.net earns from qualifying purchases.
Back
Top Bottom