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Development Info The Fall diary #1 at RPG Vault

Vault Dweller

Commissar, Red Star Studio
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Tags: Fall: Last Days of Gaia; Silver Style

Carsten is back! <a href=http://rpgvault.ign.com/articles/504/504512p1.html>RPG Vault</a> posted <b>Carsten Strehse</b>'s <a href=http://rpgvault.ign.com/articles/504/504512p1.html>recollection</a> of his work on <a href=http://www.the-fall.com>The Fall: Last Days of Gaia</a>.
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<blockquote>The team also agreed that it should be a party-based rather than a single-character RPG. Having access to several characters not only increases the replay value, it also adds a lot more tactical options to the combat aspect. And while we're on the battle system, real-time that can be paused manually or automatically was favoured since I found <u>fully turn-based to be too time-consuming for the kind of game The Fall is supposed to be</u>. However, we also worked a simulated turn-based (STB) approach into the game, which I'm going to cover in the next diary entry.</blockquote> What next? We found that deep and meaningful dialogues are too time-consuming for our RPG so we designed a system of grunt-based communications: one grunt means yes, two grunts mean no.
 

Diogo Ribeiro

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And while we're on the battle system, real-time that can be paused manually or automatically was favoured since I found fully turn-based to be too time-consuming for the kind of game The Fall is supposed to be.

I thought that turn-based was ruled out because it wasnt' appealing to the masses, or so hinted Carsten at DAC.
 

Taoreich

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I realize that this is the subject of much vitriol and fundamentalist rhetoric, but I really am curious as to why the combat model (real time vs turn-based) is so critical in the context that it is labelling itself as an RPG?

The analagy used, that of dialogue, seems a bit off the mark since, while the character's interaction with NPC's certainly helps define the ROLE of the player, the battle type merely defines the type of meta-gaming that will occur; a mini-game, if you will. Real-time twitchy combat speaks to those who like to work on their mouse/keyboard arobics, and turn-based combat appeals to prefer a more academic/strategic exercise.

So what's the relationship? How does turn-based add to the RPG element? I enjoyed ToEE's combat (thought it was extermely well designed, as a matter of fact), but I would be hard pressed to say that it added and role-playing element, especially none of my cast of characters were designed to be tactical geniuses; that was all me (hence the meta-gaming aspect). So again, although it made an aspect of the game more enjoyable than real-time (or real-time-with-pause) I fail to see the relationship with role playing.

Any takers? Aside from turn-based is teh w1n !!!11!!! ?
 

Michael_Wolf

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Taoreich said:
IAny takers? Aside from turn-based is teh w1n !!!11!!! ?
The main problem with real-time combat in CRPGs is that in most cases the player's reflexes are more important than the character's skills and abilities. That's why I prefer pen & paper roleplaying over life action roleplaying. When I play a RPG or CRPG I want to play a character (or a group of characters) with abilities beyond my own. Of course, the mental abilities of a player always are a limiting factor. You cannot possibly play someone much more intelligent or knowledgable than yourself, but it's perfectly possible to play an agile and strong fighter even when you are the total opposite in real life. In real-time combat in computer games your physical abilities also limit your characters performance and that detracts IMO from the gaming experience. Of course there are CRPGs with real-time combat that are fun to play, but generally I prefer turn-based combat.
 

Elwro

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Michael_Wolf said:
[The main problem with real-time combat in CRPGs is that in most cases the player's reflexes are more important than the character's skills and abilities. .
Yes, but in turn based you can lead a party of brain-dead barbarians to victory using your tactical genius and some sophisticated manouvers. In either mode success depends more on the player's skill - be it manual or mental - then the character's.
 

Taoreich

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Exactly. It seems that there may be a relationship between TurnBasedCombat:EnjoyableGamingExperience (depending upon preference) but not TBC:GoodRPG
 

Human Shield

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Many times they take a turn-based rule set and put it into a realtime with pause system that totally throws the balance and flow of combat off.

Turn-based is just better for a serious RPG, if you want to fight tons of rats then real-time is probably better.
 

EEVIAC

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I'm optimistic that a really amazing RPG can be made with a RT combat system, but I'd say its going to take a developer of considerably more skill and experience than Silver Style.
 

chrisbeddoes

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Taoreich said:
I realize that this is the subject of much vitriol and fundamentalist rhetoric, but I really am curious as to why the combat model (real time vs turn-based) is so critical in the context that it is labelling itself as an RPG?

The analagy used, that of dialogue, seems a bit off the mark since, while the character's interaction with NPC's certainly helps define the ROLE of the player, the battle type merely defines the type of meta-gaming that will occur; a mini-game, if you will. Real-time twitchy combat speaks to those who like to work on their mouse/keyboard arobics, and turn-based combat appeals to prefer a more academic/strategic exercise.

So what's the relationship? How does turn-based add to the RPG element? I enjoyed ToEE's combat (thought it was extermely well designed, as a matter of fact), but I would be hard pressed to say that it added and role-playing element, especially none of my cast of characters were designed to be tactical geniuses; that was all me (hence the meta-gaming aspect). So again, although it made an aspect of the game more enjoyable than real-time (or real-time-with-pause) I fail to see the relationship with role playing.

Any takers? Aside from turn-based is teh w1n !!!11!!! ?


Turn based ? The game requires that you think instead of mindless clicking.

That means that combat can take long say 1 or 2 minutes.A great variety of tactics could be sucessfully used.

In real time because the combat does not take long say 5 seconds
the game has to generate for you 12 to 24 times more opponents (12*5=60 1 min or 24 *5 =120 2 min )
and you kill them all by click click click.
The only tactic that is really used in 99 % of real time games in order to survive is
Go as near as needed in order to attract only a few opponents lure them away kill then and then repeat as many times as needed.
A most UNFUN tactic.
 

DarkUnderlord

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Elwro said:
Michael_Wolf said:
[The main problem with real-time combat in CRPGs is that in most cases the player's reflexes are more important than the character's skills and abilities. .
Yes, but in turn based you can lead a party of brain-dead barbarians to victory using your tactical genius and some sophisticated manouvers. In either mode success depends more on the player's skill - be it manual or mental - then the character's.
... and in real-time there's no thinking at all!

Turn-based: Relies on players mental capacity with no mouse dexterity.
Real-Time: Relies on players mouse dexterity with no mental capacity required!

I know which one I prefer.
 

Human Shield

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DarkUnderlord said:
... and in real-time there's no thinking at all!

Turn-based: Relies on players mental capacity with no mouse dexterity.
Real-Time: Relies on players mouse dexterity with no mental capacity required!

I know which one I prefer.

No silly it is real-time with pause because you need to pause and give the next turn orders for this special turn-based mode. It relies on no dexterity or mental capacity because this way everyone can play through the game and have tons of funs with the awesome reading of the storybook pages and CGI cutscenes. Its non linear because you can use the longsword of goodness or a katana of evil, totally revolutionary.
 

Taoreich

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Good points all, however, none of them address the topic of how this aids RGP's specifcally.

I submit to you that by its very nature, combat in a CRPG is metagaming and has no real relationship to the role of the character you are developing, As Elwro pointed out, the amazing display of tactical ingenuity by which your dwarven fighter led the party to victory belies the fact that neither his wisdom, intelligence or charisma are over 14. Somehow he was able to devine a masterfully cunning attack strategy and convince his henchmen of its merit in the thick of battle, even though he recently failed an INT check regarding the whereabouts of his pants.

I retract all of this if you are so disciplined that you are able to keep this in check without a DM present. Its tough, even in PNP, to willfully do stupid things in the name of staying in character, so I don't have much hope of such in an autonomous situation.

So - TB=fun? Sure
TB=Role Playing? Not so much
 

Human Shield

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Experience represents combat strategy. You start fighting low level monsters and you get into more complex battles as your experience increases.

Turn-based - Rules more complex, more options in combat (still not enough IMO), character skill determines success in actions.

Real-time - Which ever health bar drops first while each falls at pretty constant rate.

If you have a healer character good luck using them to their full power in real-time. If you have a fast character try hard to have him do more in "5 second rounds". If you have an archer have fun trying to stay out of melee range and getting off enough shots to be effective. Predict those area of effect spells because the entire group can move somewhere else. Try to set up a defence wall with fighters in real-time.

Create an all fighter group in a real-time game and see how effective it is, buy a lot of magic potions and you are set. You could do this in a TB game but potion use would cut down on other actions and the battles would still be more strategic.

Every class can be used much more effectively the way they are supposed to in turn-based, and each party member can use a larger number of options. Role-playing is about choices, turn-based gives provides meaningful choices every turn and lets all characters types be effective, broadening the possible choices for good characters.
 

Elwro

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Please don't think that I don't prefer turn based to real time. I just think that while
TB = more thinking
and
TB fun >> RWP fun
it isn't so that
TB => teh roalplayinge.

Being real time didn't stop Planescape from having lots of role-playing. Being turn-based didn't stop ToEE from being just a dungeon crawler.
 

Anonymous

Guest
You could maybe say that TB allows for some roleplaying, though.. I.e. you can choose and do things that you character would and wouldnt do, do strategies in the model of your character and stuff.

TB isnt roleplaying, but i'd say it allows for it happen.
 

Saint_Proverbius

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Taoreich said:
I realize that this is the subject of much vitriol and fundamentalist rhetoric, but I really am curious as to why the combat model (real time vs turn-based) is so critical in the context that it is labelling itself as an RPG?

Because real time with pause is the least interactive combat system ever envisioned by idiots, for idiots. I think we've covered this subject to death.
 

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