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What is an RPG?

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by DragoFireheart, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. Gragt Arcane Patron

    Gragt
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  2. easychord Scholar

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    RPG is a narrow old fashioned genre that must be surpassed by new games like Dragon Age 2 whose sophisticated emotional content elevates them past the level of mere games to that of high art.

    Alternatively it is a hybrid genre with certain iconic Strategy, Simulation and Adventure elements that can be mixed together in multiple ways with no fixed formula.
     
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  3. J_C One Bit Studio Patron Developer Sad Loser

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    We don't have to pretend. You are stating the truth. :smug:
     
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  4. Kosmonaut Lost in Space

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    FaggotFireheart post condensed in fewer words.
     
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  5. Rpgsaurus Novice

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    :lol:
     
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  6. Since we are having a reasonable conversation, let me present my opinion a bit further, spreading out my points into three instead of two:

    1) A character development system allowing Leveling and/or XP/skill points (Vampires!)
    2) A nonlinear story splattered with Choices + Consequences
    3) A flexible game mechanic that provides a varied gameplay according to a role you can choose to play. This need not be hard coded but a skill/feat distribution system that forces to choose only a few skills/feats can practically make you specialize or suffer gimping.

    I think these are common features of all so called RPGs. 1 AND 2 are necessary elements, whether there is only one character to play or customization is available. The third is the cherry. Oblivion/Fallout 3 are spoiled because of the lack of the third in my opinion. Deus Ex specifically did a great job (for its time) on the second part, even when it wasn't a hard non-linear game (3 end choices unaffected by the rest of the game).

    I am not against a single character RPG at all. I just feel that the element of customization makes the game worth its while

    Also, I think that combat should be entertaining: Meaning that it should be tactical and intelligent; loot should be scarce ( no +10 swords of pink hippopotami) and magic should be limited (no spell of eternal doom) so that it does not become trivialized. But that's just my opinion man.
     
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  7. Jools Eater of Apples Patron

    Jools
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    I don't think 2) is "necessary". Recommended? Yes. Wished for? Yes. But not indispensable. Furthermore, a -good- story is not necessarily non-linear: there are plenty of good non-linear stories, and plenty of good RPGs with fairly linear stories and limited C&C. I'm quite sure you can come up with a lot of books with good, even excellent, but linear stories.

    Some games will give you an illusion of non-linearity, some will actually provide some degree non-linearity (although in very limited degrees, because of the limitations inherent to the videogame medium), but in the end a good 95% of RPGs feature a pretty linear story.

    Point 1) and 3) are fine. I feel there is still margin for improvements, but most games will fit into those categories.
     
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  8. An RPG ought to have a non-linear story, what's an RPG without a choice? How do you play a role then?

    Also the only non linear books would be choose your adventure kind. Books are essentially linear.
     
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  9. NicePics13 Novice

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  10. Rpgsaurus Novice

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    "Story" is secondary to RPGs, IMO. Some do manage to pull off a good story element, like PS:T. Some, however, may succeed despite having little to no story: consider roguelikes and dungeon crawlers, for instance.
     
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  11. Raapys Arcane

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    You're not confusing non-linear story with non-linear/open-ended gameplay by chance? Because I can't really recall many RPGs with a non-linear story. Fallout would qualify I guess, but that's the first and only game which comes to mind right now.
     
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  12. Ok. Granted. :salute:
     
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  13. Jools Eater of Apples Patron

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    That. Again, Ultima7 has a linear story, and pretty much no room whatsoever for "alternative" character development. Gothic and its three factions also have a linear story and a single, blurry, character. The Witcher only lets you play as Geralt, and again despite a few (irrelevant) choices the story is straightforward and linear. PST is story-heavy and only lets you play as TNO, and still qualifies as a Codex-trinity-worthy RPG. Deus Ex offers some degree of non-linearity and kinda influential C&C's, but "fixed" character.

    On a side note, I am a storyfag myself, but I don't think that a good story in an RPG relies exclusively on non-linearity and C&C's. A good story can be the simplest ever told, or just an average one but written excellently, or a combination or more of these elements in variable %. There is no "perfect story" formula, not in books, and not in games. Finding one of the many possible balances is the key. IMHO, ofc.
     
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  14. shihonage Subscribe to my OnlyFans Patron

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    There's not been an RPG with a truly non-linear story. But there exists a collection of tricks aimed to fool a player who's willing to be immersed.

    Two of them are:

    * Wide rails. Parallel but somewhat dissimilar paths to the end (via gameworld's reactions to character's build)

    * Modularity. Individual outcome for each settlement.

    There's also advanced modularity, where people offer quests contextually relevant to other quests you've chosen to do (not just for them), and to your prior actions in general.

    Put together, these tricks can make for a pretty cool RPG.
     
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  15. Rogue Educated

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    fucking awesome lol
     
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  16. HardCode Erudite

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    An RPG means riding around on horseback killing things.
     
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  17. Hobo Elf Arcane

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    An RPG is a game where you can do cool shit like backflip dragons.
     
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  18. Jaesun Fabulous Moderator

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    An RPG is where you can play a dragon.
     
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  19. Marquess Cornwallis Cipher

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    From the (descriptive) linguistic point of view, an "RPG" is whatever a sufficiently large amount of people call an "RPG". It gradually came to be applied to a variety of different computer games; sometimes for historical reasons that pre-date computer gaming (e.g. being similar to board wargames, PnP RPGs, etc.), sometimes based on superficial similarity of selected game mechanics (levelling up, character stats, experience rewards, branching storylines, etc.), sometimes based on perceived continuity with earlier games regarded as RPGs, sometimes based on being given the RPG label by their creator, etc. This results in a chain of meanings: RPG "A" can share a set of characteristics with RPG "B" and another (different) set of characteristics with RPG "C" which can share another (different) set of characteristics with RPG "D", etc., etc. There is no intersection and no perfect abstract definition that will fit all cases. Thus, any such definition you provide will reflect more on you and your preferences than anything else, and will exclude any number of games that the world at large will happily continue to call RPGs.

    Tl;dr: Thread an eye-opener, the OP a Socrates of game analysis.
     
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  20. Nael Arcane

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    [​IMG]
    TROLL: WHAT IS AN RPG???

    [​IMG]
    HIVEMIND: Durr... Not this again!

    [​IMG]
    Codexer 1: What the fuck is wrong with My Codex today?
    Codexer 2: Truly we live in evil times, m'lord. I will take the butthurt for you!

    [​IMG]
    Codexer 2: I'M AN RPG!

    [​IMG]
    Codexer 9877: I'M AN RPG!

    [​IMG]
    HIVEMIND: I'M AN RPG!

    [​IMG]
    Codexer 12421: I'M AN POTATO!

    [​IMG]
    Codexer 1: Fuckin Pollacks, man. I love em.

    [​IMG]
    THIS IS AN RPG.
    NEVER FORGET.


    :rpgcodex:
     
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  21. Hobo Elf Arcane

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    :lol: :salute:
     
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  22. 314159 Educated

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  23. deus101 Never LET ME into a tattoo parlor!

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    "RPG's were spawned out of the early tactical tabletop games(we're not talking about Risk here) what RPG's did was to add another tactical facet of it, the setting.
    What RPG's can also be called is an universal strategy game, you should in effect be able to do ingame, whatever that was possible as long it followed limitations put in the characters."

    just something i posted on gamasutra.
     
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