Official Codex Discord Server

  1. 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.
    Dismiss Notice

Interview Fargo, Sawyer, McComb and others weigh in on the future of RPGs at Rock Paper Shotgun

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by Infinitron, Jun 27, 2018.

  1. Jedi Master Radek Arcane

    Jedi Master Radek
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2013
    Messages:
    3,181
    Upping one another with pretty graphics is easy when you have millions to spare. Big companies love it. Making good gameplay is more challenging and risky than throwing a lot of money on the project. This also means that the barrier of entry is extremely high and it's easy for the few megacorporations to remain at the top.
     
    ^ Top  
  2. holla_cabezas_de_mierda Arcane

    holla_cabezas_de_mierda
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    1,796
    I recall both those games now that you mention them, but I was just going off the Wikipedia list. Anyway, the pool of radiance one was truly awful, but I can't recall if it actually used all of the rules and included all the classes etc--I think it basically did if I remember right.

    The tactics game, I have no idea how much of the rules and classes were implemented or not--perhaps somebody knows?

    I also did not mention Eye of the beholder series, but it was on purpose..it only had a few classes and was basically like D&D basic rule set, which does not meet the criteria I was using. i is very likely i am overlooking others as well..
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2018
    ^ Top  
  3. holla_cabezas_de_mierda Arcane

    holla_cabezas_de_mierda
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    1,796

    Interesting. If most are truly running their companies in this fashion its no surprise then how quickly and often they go bust and how once they release a game they are immediately desperate and seemingly just a month or two away from total bankruptcy. It seems totally reckless if this is truly how a majority are managed. They seem not content to manage in a manner that does not require ever increasing growth and project scale. Just seems like a disaster waiting to happen.
     
    ^ Top  
  4. Telengard Arcane

    Telengard
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,621
    Location:
    The end of every place
    If you sit on an engine and don't make major improvements on it, then you can expect that each new unit you make on that engine will sell about 30% less than the previous unit. Yes, there will be ups and downs, some units doing better than others, but if you plot out all units on a graph, that's what your trend line will be. And so under that business model, every year you will want to shrink your company in order to make ends meet. Until eventually it's just you doing new editions as a hobby, not a business.

    If you want to make games for a living, you always have to keep in mind the difference between what people say and what they do. Because people are (and you can bet your bottom dollar on this) full of shit.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Prestigious Prestigious x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
    ^ Top  
  5. holla_cabezas_de_mierda Arcane

    holla_cabezas_de_mierda
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    1,796
    John Tiller uses some 1990 wargame engine he devised and keeps churning out operational level WW2 games (basically board game type design, but with more fine combat detail because computers etc..) for the last 30 years or so and has hardly touched the engine. He sells one or two games a year in the series and charges 35-40 dollars and never has sales and has made a pretty good living doing it...he also uses the engine to make other wargames in different era's, like civil war, or tactical games simulations similar to advanced squad leader. His customers upgrade the art and map graphics themselves, which he is incorporating into the games and re-releasing all the games as 'gold editions' at full price.

    http://www.johntillersoftware.com/

    Yeah he is not going to go public and have an IPO or become Electronic Arts, but I am pretty sure he is very well off. He knows his customer base and sells what they want. I believe there is a similar market (but even larger) for D20 based RPG's. Yeah I know there is that one dude who makes his shitty boring RPG's that people have been buying forever (spiderweb software), and his success sort of makes my point because IMO his games are simple, boring, bland and just overall lacking and yet he has done very well. If somebody did what he was doing with D20/D&D/Pathfinder and using an engine like Infinity or ToEE I think they would do much better, or at the very least the same.

    Also there is no reason you could not improve the engine as you go along. You don't have to sit on it, but you also don't need to reinvent the entire thing every few years. Modern companies not only reinvent the engines but often try to also create their own RPG systems over and over again too, which I think is wasted energy for the most part.

    I am not opposed to people making new RPG systems, but most people should not be bothering because their designs are not better than what already exists. I am all for some talented person making new gaming systems, but as it is now it seems like every single CRPG maker creates their own RPG system every few years, and IMO its just wasted effort at the very best, and likely even worse than just not designing their own system and using an existing one.
     
    • Fabulously Optimistic Fabulously Optimistic x 2
    ^ Top  
  6. holla_cabezas_de_mierda Arcane

    holla_cabezas_de_mierda
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    1,796
    '
    'Fabulously Optimistic'??.....seems like I am actually the opposite. I am questioning the idea that most companies efforts are worth their time with regards to design. Wouldn't somebody who thinks companies all making their own game worlds and game engines every couple of years results in the best outcome actually be 'fabulously optimistic'? I am being more negative and skeptical while applying standards and criticism.
     
    ^ Top  
  7. Davaris Australian Game Developers Developer

    Davaris
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2005
    Messages:
    6,450
    Location:
    Idiocracy
    It depends where John Tiller lives and if he has another source of income. If he lives in the country. he could have a nice standard of living on a modest income. And didn't the Spiderweb dude just raise 120 grand or something like that on his last kickstarter? I think the thing with these guys is they had the first mover advantage. They were there doing shareware when there weren't many others doing it, and they've held on to their fans from the old days, when graphical expectations weren't so high..

    I'm at the point where I don't care if a company is profitable or is worth more than another, because its irrelevant. Why should a gamer care about that? The endless discussions here about it are boring.

    The problem is you have this industrial graphical complex that has grown up around games, where 95% of the mental effort goes into how it looks. So you still have the same small number of people working on The Game as in the 1980s, but now you have this other 95% of hanger-ons who are just there to put dressing on it so it sells. And this group keeps growing and growing, sucking up more resources, and running smaller companies broke.

    Now we have programmers that really should be called artists. They pour 100% of their time and energy into 3D engines, trying to outdo the competitor on how it looks. These people are brilliant, they have the IQ and drive to work at NASA and many work themselves into a state on burnout. So what are all these brilliant people doing? They are making distractions aimed at retards, so the money can be made back on the fortune it costs to hire them. These games wouldn't test their mental abilities one bit, let alone stimulate them. What a way to waste a life. I find it funny as hell.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 3
    • Acknowledge this user's Agenda Acknowledge this user's Agenda x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • Despair Despair x 1
    ^ Top  
  8. holla_cabezas_de_mierda Arcane

    holla_cabezas_de_mierda
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    1,796
    those are all good points, I agree with what you are saying.

    the only reason I care about a companies profit is because if I like the company and its games I want them to keep making them, so I hope they do well enough to justify the effort.

    I agree though about the amount of resources and effort some people devote to this stalker like behavior seems to be over the top.
     
    • Acknowledge this user's Agenda Acknowledge this user's Agenda x 1
    ^ Top  
  9. Delterius Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Delterius
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    11,097
    Location:
    Entre a serra e o mar.
    who
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    • it is a mystery it is a mystery x 1
    ^ Top  
  10. Davaris Australian Game Developers Developer

    Davaris
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2005
    Messages:
    6,450
    Location:
    Idiocracy
    Both players and companies have been doing this to themselves since the 1990s. If you see people on the side of the road torturing themselves every day for decades and they won't stop, should it bother you? Meh, they will stop when they get tired of it.

    I think its a way for some to sperg out and avoid making games, because Indies do it too. I am a big fan of a certain programming show, because he shows you how to reduce things to the barest essentials. But even he spends 95% of the show struggling with graphics. His 2D engine has become 3D and the show now looks like it will never end. He is what made me see it, actually. lol
     
    ^ Top  
  11. holla_cabezas_de_mierda Arcane

    holla_cabezas_de_mierda
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    1,796
    who cares if you know him or not, its not meaningful (actually it is meaningful, just not in the manner you imagine it to be) since I am discussing business strategies that purposefully and successfully target a minor but persistent and loyal customer population. The fact you don't know him, yet he still makes a very good living is part of the actual point being made.

    Also, I left a fucking link ding-dong
     
    • Hoo Hoo x 1
    ^ Top  
  12. holla_cabezas_de_mierda Arcane

    holla_cabezas_de_mierda
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    1,796
    one of my favorite old games was a text based dungeons and dragons simulation. It would be so easy to make a good enough graphics engine that would satisfy me and I think a lot of people perhaps. That guy who made knights of the chalice is supposedly working on something that sounds very similar to what I want, so I do have some hope in this regard.
     
    • Prestigious Prestigious x 1
    ^ Top  
  13. Harry Easter Savant

    Harry Easter
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2016
    Messages:
    616
    Wasteland 2 was always quite niché and Tides was only a half-finished game in my book. The biggest thing that speaks again Pillars is, that it isn't Baldurs Gate. It was made with the promise to be like BG, but you can't turn the clock back.

    Still, I'm still not sure why Pillars doesn't sell more than Part 1, but if I remember correctly, it took Pillars 1 also quite some time until they sold one million.

    Original Sin always felt like the most modern of the games. Even if you didn't care about the story or the MP, the game allows you to do all kinds of crazy stuff or just experiment with the combat. But I also think that Larian was lucky to get exposuré by people like Matthew Mercer and Dodger.
     
    ^ Top  
  14. HeatEXTEND Cipher Patron

    HeatEXTEND
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2017
    Messages:
    2,405
    Location:
    Nedderlent
    Probably because of poe 1/tyranny. I for one am not falling for that shit again, I'll just get the "everything-included-version" for 5 bucks in like 4 years, no hurry whatsoever.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    ^ Top  
  15. Cadmus Arcane

    Cadmus
    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2013
    Messages:
    4,113
    ¨
    Cuz PoE was fucking boring. Why would you buy PoE2?
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
    ^ Top  
  16. Harry Easter Savant

    Harry Easter
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2016
    Messages:
    616
    Hmm, fair point. You really have to work, to sell your game the first day, but this time they did more marketing. Hmm, maybe it was the pirate setting too?
     
    ^ Top  
  17. Delterius Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Delterius
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    11,097
    Location:
    Entre a serra e o mar.
    who
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
    ^ Top  
  18. ArchAngel Arcane

    ArchAngel
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2015
    Messages:
    13,043
    For me it was because PoE2 was more of the same and PoE1 was mediocre at best.
    They fixed a few things here and there but no important changes.
    But after MCA thing I would not buy it even if it was better.
    My plan it to wait for complete edition with all dlc and patches and then pirate it so I can try it. Without MCA thing I would buy that version at some steep discount.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    ^ Top  
  19. Telengard Arcane

    Telengard
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,621
    Location:
    The end of every place
    There's another little piece to that. Like a lot of people, holla_cabezas_de_mierda has treated all audiences as being equal. But they're not. To put it in RPG terms, each audience has certain strengths and weaknesses. And one of the advantages that strategy game makers have is their audience are happily content to play games for decades on end with a blank square and some dots and squiggles representing the different types of units. That is a unique advantage in that audience, however, which does not translate well outside of strategy games. Or like at all.

    Out in the less rarified realm where RPGs and Adventure games and Puzzle games operate, you are in direct competition at all times for dollars that your audience may instead choose to spend on the latest and greatest FPS or cinematic story adventure. You are not releasing your game into a void, with an audience that will only buy your type of game and cares nothing about graphics. You have competition, and you have an audience who cares very deeply and passionately about how many hair follicles he can see on his chosen champion's helmetless head. Even your vaunted Spiderweb developer has hired a couple of people and constantly works on upgrades of art and resources in order to continue to eke out a modest income. And you do that sort of thing because you must in order to keep your business afloat.

    This is the marketplace, kids. Competition, evolution, and death. Those who remain stagnant, die.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    ^ Top  
  20. Lutte Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck

    Lutte
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2017
    Messages:
    933
    It's true that most gamers are graphics whores. But from time to time, there are games that hit it big without really having much production values to speak of. From things as primitive visually as minecraft or stardew valley, to something more modern tech but still low in prod value like the original Dark Souls (heck, even the graphic whore'd up DS3 shows a ton of cost cutting everywhere if you look hard enough. Zoom into any environment you can't walk to and all you see is very low poly low res texture stuff), it's possible to make games that sell a decent amount without going balls deep into muhgfx.

    The real reason why the RPG genre is half dead is because most people just plain don't like RPGs. By don't like RPGs I mean the traditional type we talk about on the codex, not action rpgs, not dumbed down TES or Fagout shooter. The audience for the genre is fucking tiny. No indie RPG would ever sell as many copies as games like Terraria, Minecraft or Stardew Valley did. The genre, for all purposes and intent, has reached its maximum potential audience and the result is that very, very few developers even want to enter its niche.

    The thing is, gameplay wise most of the lauded RPGs on the codex are at best mediocre, at worst they just fucking suck. RPG devs, outside of a few rare attempts, rarely managed to make a convincingly good gameplay loop, something that goes beyond pure sheer boring repetition of the same routine of commands to give to your party. Cue the focus of this thread on DoS which while not particularly amazing at least attempted something sort-of different but without straying too far from the classics. There's a reason why BG2 sold better than PST and it's not because muhgfx. PST was a nice interactive book if you cared about its setting (I did and was very into it when it released) but the game part of it was absolute garbage. If you were to remake something like PST today and want to make enough money out of it to release more games you need to make a visual novel, not a RPG.
    So all that was left was to capture the graphic/cinematic interactive movie audience and sandbox larpers for larger studios because they were just incapable of producing something that people want to play and they need other hooks to get people to come.

    In the top 10 part of the top 70 RPG of the codex, the only games that even approach a decent gameplay loop is BG2. Maybe Wizardry 8 if it wasn't so fucking slowass. Is it even a wonder the genre slowly declined until almost nothing resembling the original games were left?

    Fallout games had a great world, great settings, characters, choices.. but the game part of it was basically get a decent weapon and aim for the eyes, rince and repeat till end, occasionally eat a stim. It really doesn't hold up.

    You want a cRPG revival ? Start by thinking on how to make those games actually good outside of the parts that could be extracted into a Visual Novel format (and yes, there are a few VN out there with C&C, it's not exclusive to cRPG)
    If your cRPG could be extracted into a VN without any actual loss then you've made something that spent more dollars than it should have in production.

    The same thing put down the MMORPG craze. The only thing that really sustained MMOs is the community side of it, the "fills a need for social interaction for people who have none" thing. Not even graphics could save MMORPGs, new MMOs struggle to keep an audience.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2018
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
    ^ Top  
  21. FeelTheRads Arcane Patron

    FeelTheRads
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    Messages:
    13,715
    The only one that could fit the "extract into visual novel without losing anything" description is PST. Even that is debatable. At the very least you're losing the exploration/detective work you do.

    But the rest? That's just retarded. The gameplay might not be great or even take a back-seat to the other features, but saying that removing it would not matter is just retarded. For some, it's even more than retarded. What's left out of stuff like say Morrowind or Gothic then?

    Fallout and Arcanum would not be the same if you just made them into visual novels either. No matter how basic or poor their "gameplay loop" may be, it's still part of the whole. Bad doesn't mean "not needed". It just means bad. It means that it can be replaced with something better.

    See what happens when you turn a game like that into a VN: Age of Decadence. Or, in other words: shit.
    They would have been equally shit if all you had to do was click on dialogue options to teleport you to the next "if then else" fork in the script.
    There are those disgusting storyfags who play these games just to get different ending slides, but that hardly means there's nothing else to them.
    The exploration and character development are excellent and they are part of the "gameplay loop". The only thing they need is a more complex combat system.

    Overall their "gameplay loop" is actually good and you could not just remove it without losing anything.

    Also, fuck you and your made-up terms.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2018
    • Brofist Brofist x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
    • retadred retadred x 1
    ^ Top  
  22. ArchAngel Arcane

    ArchAngel
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2015
    Messages:
    13,043
    I hate these faggots that claim Fallout was all about getting a gun and aiming at eyes.
    I am pretty sure my melee or unarmed runs played pretty differently.
    Or the speech runs.
     
    • Acknowledge this user's Agenda Acknowledge this user's Agenda x 1
    ^ Top  
  23. Davaris Australian Game Developers Developer

    Davaris
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2005
    Messages:
    6,450
    Location:
    Idiocracy
    Games like that are never made by people that preach from market research bibles. Market research like anything written down, is outdated when someone writes it down because its already been done. Those kinds of games are made by people who can think outside the box to produce something that is brand new and have the guts to follow through on their ideas. Luck also has a lot to do with it.

    So? Most people don't like most things.

    If people want to make money they should go into another line of work. In my country two indies just made 6 billion dollars writing project planning software. And they didn't spend their life living on scraps, or running companies teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, until they finally made it and lived happily ever after. They made a ton of money the whole time and lived a full life.

    So you don't like RPGs? lol

    He just put multi-player in so he could play games on the couch with his girlfriends. lol If he didn't have a AAA budget to spend on that game, you wouldn't even mention it.

    As I said above, I really don't care if people make money, making games. How does a game making money affect my enjoyment of it? Harry Potter made a ton of money, but I don't like Harry Potter so it doesn't help me.

    If you knew the history of Fallout you would know the SPECIAL rules were invented and added to the game in something like 2 weeks, because the GURPS owner caved to public pressure over some SJW issue that was trendy at the time and left Interplay in the lurch. The Perks part for instance was invented over night coded in immediately. Do you really expect perfection in the rules under those circumstances? lol

    Fallout would have had GURPS if the owner hadn't made a cowardly business decision and you would have nothing to henpeck it about. If the GURPS dude had stuck to his principles, Bethesda would be paying him right now and GURPS would be more famous than D&D. Instead now its just, "GURPS? What is a GURPS?"


    You are boring me dude. lol As I said I don't care about these business people. "RPG Revival" just means a feeding frenzy of business people thinking they can make a quick buck with no understanding of what made the games great in the first place.

    Anyone HERE could could make RPGs exactly the way they like in their spare time, if they didn't care about graphics. Caring about graphics is what stops everyone doing it and that is my point.
     
    • Salute Salute x 1
    ^ Top  
  24. Roguey Codex Staff Sawyerite

    Roguey
    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Messages:
    28,348
    Coming up with a large amount of content is difficult. :(
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Yes Yes x 1
    ^ Top  
  25. FeelTheRads Arcane Patron

    FeelTheRads
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    Messages:
    13,715
    Quite optimistic. If they had to pay a license for the system they'd likely just dump it. It's not like they actually give a shit about consistency if it doesn't fit with their plans.
    The only thing they cared about in Fallout is the Vault Boy because they could market the shit out of it and have shitbrain hipsters wear it ironically on t-shirts and sweaters.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Despair Despair x 1
    ^ Top  

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