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Game News J.E. Sawyer: Obsidian's Five Hard Lessons Of RPG Design

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by Jaesun, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. Mangoose Arcane Patron

    Mangoose
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    Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity
    From his formspring:

     
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  2. Excidium P. banal

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    :hmmm:
     
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  3. sheek Arbiter

    sheek
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    Lesson #1: If you are Obsidian, stick to action games and don't even try to make an RPG
     
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  4. Xor Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Xor
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    Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Divinity: Original Sin Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Divinity: Original Sin 2
    The gameplay thing is a legitimate problem with developers today. There are examples everywhere of developers favoring superfluous bullshit over gameplay. It's why Molyneux is so obessed with trying to provoke "emotional reactions" from players instead of focusing on making the gameplay fun. Look at that game Silicon Knights made a while back, Too Human. The gameplay was shit and everyone said so, but in interviews all the lead developer wanted to talk about was the story and character of Baldur. Look at Metroid: Other M.

    Designing good gameplay is hard; it requires a lot of work and fine tuning from developers. Even when the genre is very well established it can be difficult.

    As for Obsidian, I think they very much want to be making RPGs, but they can't find a publisher willing to accept a pitch for anything RPG-like, so they're forced to make action games that end up sucking because it's not what they're good at. The gunplay in FNV was much improved over AP, though, so maybe they're getting better at action.
     
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  5. Clockwork Knight Arcane

    Clockwork Knight
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    What the fuck :lol: This is cutscene love taken to the next level.
     
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  6. Mangoose Arcane Patron

    Mangoose
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    I don't think he's talking about himself nor does he think it's a good thing that gameplay is viewed as a chore.

    I wonder who he's referring to at Obsidian (if he is, as a reply to the SoZ mention?).
     
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  7. Clockwork Knight Arcane

    Clockwork Knight
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    Yeah, I know, the last sentence makes it pretty clear. Still, the concept is surreal. Even casuals like the "game" part of videogames. What do you even call someone who wants to play a game but not play a game? A confused cinephile?

    Don't forget DA was mentioned, too. He could just be talking about Bioware, which seems more appropriate given the context.
     
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  8. Roguey Codex Staff Sawyerite

    Roguey
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    Torment fans.
     
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  9. Sceptic Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

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    Divinity: Original Sin
    Fixed.
     
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  10. Mangoose Arcane Patron

    Mangoose
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    I dunno, it doesn't seem surreal to me anymore these days. I was coincidentally thinking about Bioware's lack of gameplay before I read the above quote. I was thinking that if Bioware romances had the gameplay complexity and substance of Hentai dating games, I really wouldn't have much problem with them at all.
     
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  11. waywardOne Arcane

    waywardOne
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    You can take this as far back as 2nd edition AD&D in the Gameplay vs LARPer debate.

    1st edition had schools of magic as a way of... nothing more than adding some hazy lore that the DM could riff off of if it mattered. The only "specialist" was the Illusionist. The difference is that the Illusionist was as much of its own independent and viable subclass as (at the same time) Assassin was to Thief, Druid was to Cleric, and Ranger was to Fighter. He had many spells that only he could use and his spell level was capped at 7 instead of 9 as with normal wizards.

    Deep in the bowels of TSR, a hack writer was tasked with coming up with some modules based on dragons. He was soon joined by a woman who was turned down as game designer but hired as a book editor. Put these two geniuses together and you get the Dragonlance farce. The first, Tracy Hickman, was a Mormon theater nerd. The second, Margaret Weis, was a Missouri native (hick state, for our non-American readers) writing children's books whose only experience with either gaming or the fantasy genre was reading Lord of the Rings once in college. These two helped usher in the era of the bland and cliched fantasy settings born of second-rate pulp fantasy authors (Salvatore et al).

    Why the bio? Because those two were the ones primarily responsible for making all schools of magic into actual mage specialties for 2nd edition, despite the horrific dumbfuckery of doing so. The opposition school concept, the lack of unique specialist spells, several schools being either too limited or inherently underpowered to be a viable specialty, and so on.

    You wouldn't hire an accountant to write love poems, so why do they keep letting storyfags be involved with game mechanics?
     
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  12. commie The Last Marxist Patron

    commie
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    Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Doubly Fixed.


    * Skyway has Fahrenheit listed as one of the best games of all time.
     
    • Shit Shit x 1
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  13. Clockwork Knight Arcane

    Clockwork Knight
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    He who makes a Skyway of himself gets rid of the pain of being a gamer
     
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  14. sgc_meltdown Arcane

    sgc_meltdown
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    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/predilection
    Feel free to say that the point of my initial post was even about correcting your grammar in the first place, then carry on the nonexistent issue you raised by fueling it with additional misconceptions.

    In fact brah just so we're clear the post was me joking about the awkward preference (in my enlightened opinion naturally) some people do have for using 'passed' during certain phrases, like Proverbius

    so yes, the butthurt was in your house all along. You. Stop making yourself angry. Stop it.

    Well I think you're cute when you're angry
     
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  15. Sceptic Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

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    :yeah:

    Skyway has read and understood Nietzsche.

    He who fights gamers should look to it that he himself does not become a gamer.
     
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  16. almondblight Arcane

    almondblight
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    "For anyone else who knows better, yes I do know it's a matter of preference. "

    "In fact brah just so we're clear the post was me joking about the awkward preference (in my enlightened opinion naturally) some people do have for using 'passed' during certain phrases..."

    What are you talking about? It's like saying "let's go over their" is a preference. Really, I don't care much about grammar in general and screw up often on my own, but people shouldn't be arguing that something that is clearly wrong is acceptable.
     
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  17. sgc_meltdown Arcane

    sgc_meltdown
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    Heh, I was thinking of laterally related stylistic differences re locations like 'passed' and 'went past', and also giving the benefit of the doubt thought he would had such a valid occurrence of the former in his wall of text at the very least
    making it a conflation and not a complete misuse
    as it turns out now I see all his uses of 'passed' were wrong

    also
    http://www.rpgcodex.net/phpBB/viewtopic ... b40b#21117
    He was very insistent(as he can be) that his use of passed was technically synonymous with prepositional usage when I broached it with him a long while back and I think I relented.

    SO AS DU WOULD SAY YOU HAVE OUTFAGGED ME SIR
    or lady

    wear the honour proudly and seriously enough of this shit it was supposed to warrant a heh :P at the very most I kid you not and now blaaah blaaaaah blaaaaaaahhhh
     
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  18. Shannow Waster of Time

    Shannow
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    meltdown, why did you needlessly hop onto the sybian? Because DU told you it was fun being butthurt and smug about it?
    I don't get it.
     
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  19. sgc_meltdown Arcane

    sgc_meltdown
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    oh, when he escalates a facetious one line post into serious business 'this is how grammar works' and questions my education it's not needless, or butthurt, or smug?

    Then after I correct him and clarify I was joking anyway I'm somehow in the wrong and making it worse? Then almondblight wants to mince words. I mince as a courtesy. Next thing you'd say I'm the one who won't let things be now, instead of you. Please, go police some other posters while you're on a roll here, then tell me again about needlessness and sensitivity and productive discussion.

    Like your diatribes against racism in GRPG here on the codex of all places:
    http://rpgcodex.net/phpBB//viewtopic.ph ... 54#1705654

    Needlessly butthurt, did you say? Perhaps even smug as well? Glass houses and stones and double standards, Shannow. Perhaps you'd like to take up a moderator's position at Bioware?
     
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  20. Shannow Waster of Time

    Shannow
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    :troll:
     
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  21. Mangoose Arcane Patron

    Mangoose
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  22. sgc_meltdown Arcane

    sgc_meltdown
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    [​IMG]
     
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  23. RK47 collides like two planets pulled by gravity Patron

    RK47
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    Dead State Divinity: Original Sin
    Why so surprised? Remember there's a female writer wishing for skip the combat button to get to the next cinematic? C'mon now.
     
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  24. Bulba Learned

    Bulba
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    I've never experienced such a big problems in the game, that i had to start over after 20 hours or so of the game, through it did come close to a couple of times.

    In M&M7, my party consisted of a druid, instead of a priest, thus I could not cast protection spell against eradication. Considering the fact, that you only find out by the end of the game, that you cannot proceed without a priest, it has a potential of being a nasty game killer.

    I did manage to kill the bugger through a lot of tries, but there were times when I thought that this is it.

    Still, I would rather have a complex character creation system, whith potentioal game killers at the end, rather than having no influence what so ever on the character development, like they are going to implement in diablo 3.
     
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  25. almondblight Arcane

    almondblight
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    Actually, I didn't mince words.
     
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