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What is old school gameplay?

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by eli, Dec 19, 2020.

  1. eli Educated

    eli
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    I have been playing cprgs, old and new, and most reviews will explain crpgs as old school, Why do people use that term as tho it is a genre of sort? What a thing constitutes in a gameplay system as old school? Is it like 90s games when enemies touch you and you get damage?
     
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  2. octavius Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    octavius
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    It means there's no quest compass, no or minimal hand holding and you don't "play it for the story".
     
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  3. Ol' Willy Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck Zionist Agent

    Ol' Willy
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    Old-school RPGs - real RPGs
    New-school RPGs - console popamoles/open world trash/interactive movies
     
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  4. Butter Arcane

    Butter
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    It means the devs didn't streamline the gameplay out of the game.
     
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  5. Hellion Arcane

    Hellion
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    "Old-school" has come to be associated with "Turn-based, lots of text, relatively greater difficulty".
     
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  6. Sranchammer Arcane

    Sranchammer
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    I'm Ridin' with Biden I'm Ridin' with Biden
    Basically it means badass - only pussies complain about it.
     
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  7. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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    When there's more gameplay than whatever else the fuck devs like to put in games these days.
     
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  8. Verylittlefishes Sacro Bosco Patron

    Verylittlefishes
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    It's when you are old now and remember how good gaems were when you were in school.
     
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  9. Dorateen Arcane

    Dorateen
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    Old school also signifies a greater degree of abstraction. Graphic fidelity or realism is not required, a player can move onto a tile and fight enemies that were not visible on the map. Often, old school means allowing the player to use their imagination and "fill in the gaps".
     
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  10. moraes Arcane Patron

    moraes
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    Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Codex USB, 2014 Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    - Reading manuals before playing the game
    - Drawing your own maps (sometimes)
    - Using some physical token to pass the copy protection system
    - High difficulty is expected (but not always the case)
    - Keyboard-centric user interface
    - Less than 1% of the budget goes to the writing (with some exceptions)
     
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  11. KeighnMcDeath RPG Codex Boomer

    KeighnMcDeath
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    Stuart Smith wrote a bit on that when he made his games esp Fracas for the AppleII. Old school though... predates the 90s though. Hit up late 70s and you're going waay old school.

    You really had to have an imagination though. Millenials, gen z, and later will probably see many of these as CRAP.

    Is there a lot of role-playing conpared to tabletop of that age? No! Even todays eye candy games fail and are limited. Computer/console/phone are just easier to time manage than getting a pack of pals together for gaming/drinking/eating.

    In my experience, the older you get and the smaller your pal resources are; the nostalgia wears off and games seem meh like number crunching spreadsheets. It just doesn't capture that awe and wonder when I was younger.

    When I look at games it seems its just progressive overload to trigger dopamine fix. The drug has failed now in me so I look at gaming as bleak. Oh, i buy and trigger a small one but the hit dies right after purchase/download. Never thought in my lifetime I'd feel this way about games.

    Instead, I work out, garden, hike or bike. (Or spend too much time posting here).
     
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  12. V_K Arcane

    V_K
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    By this time in history, even on the Codex there are at least two definitions of oldschool. Old folks like me take it to refer to late 1980s - early 1990s era: the Goldboxes, Wizardry, Ultima, Dungeon Master, Quest for Glory, Realms of Arkania and many less known (but not less worthy) titles. Games with minimal handholding, rather minimal dialogs (because memory and disk storage have to be used sparingly), highly non-linear and focused on exploration - more often than not, in first-person. For the most part, they share the dungeon crawler mentality (even when not being dungeon crawlers per se) in the sense that the challenge comes from navigating the dungeon (or the world) as a whole rather than from individual encounters - combat can sometimes even feel as an afterthought, and some games from the era even have autocombat option. Most of those games are also party-based and allow full party creation.
    For somewhat newer folks, oldschool refers to late 1990s - early 2000s era: Fallouts, Infinity Engine games, Gothics, Morrowind, possibly Diablo. Those are still not very handhold-y, but having quests - that is explicitly stated tasks you must complete - becomes the norm rather than the exception. This is generally a text-heavy era, since memory limitations are no more and voice acting isn't there yet, having more elaborate stories and branching dialogs. For the same reason, party creation gave way to creating a single character and recruiting companions with their own backstories and quests. Those are also mostly isometric games.
     
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  13. karoliner Magister

    karoliner
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    Consensual sex in the missionary position for the sole purpose of procreation.
     
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  14. GentlemanCthulhu Savant

    GentlemanCthulhu
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    I think it's a meaningless buzzword. Way too vague to have any value. But if I were to try and define it, i'd say it has something to do with giving the player less handholding and treating them as people with brains who can figure shit out.
     
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  15. Real old school gameplay means random encounters full of trash mobs on every step.
     
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  16. samuraigaiden Liturgist

    samuraigaiden
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    RPG Wokedex
    When the professional gaming press uses the term to describe, for example, Divinity Original Sin 2, what they are really saying is they can’t be bothered to actually write about the game - or even think about it - with any more depth than a shallow puddle of ignorance so they are resorting to a generic buzz word that works as a dog whistle for a lot of people, whether they realize it or not.

    As for what it actually means to be old school, look at V_K’s post. He hit the nail in the head.
     
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  17. Jvegi Arcane

    Jvegi
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    It means it's like those old classics, like KotOR and Mass Effect.
     
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  18. Desiderius Found your egg, Robinett, you sneaky bastard Patron

    Desiderius
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    Insert Title Here Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    The joy of figuring things out for yourself and having to.

    Gygax used dice in the first place because it’s fun and rewarding to work your way out of a tough roll. Think Escape Room.

    Sometimes you bust out early on poker night and just hang out drinking with your buds for an hour or two and sometimes you roll a fighter with 4 CON and get killed by a rat in the second room of the dungeon.

    But oh that time you got a Wizard with 12 INT to fifth level and he saved the whole party with a lucky Stinking Cloud!

    That’s old school.
     
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  19. KeighnMcDeath RPG Codex Boomer

    KeighnMcDeath
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    Stinking cloud.... lol. Funny on c64 it even worked on undead.
     
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  20. Derringer Learned

    Derringer
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    You could probably get more of a dopamine fix being out in the sun compared to playing the trash released nowadays. Every overbudgeted game is a looting scavenger treadmill checkbox sold with a marketing campaign that has more money put into it than the software itself.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2020
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  21. KeighnMcDeath RPG Codex Boomer

    KeighnMcDeath
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    Probably why I do such. I do get more of a rush exercising.
     
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  22. Derringer Learned

    Derringer
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    It tangibly makes you happier. Better than chasing lies used to sell bad software.
     
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  23. KeighnMcDeath RPG Codex Boomer

    KeighnMcDeath
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    Gaming. . . . . . . . . . .
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    .
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    .




    So need a meme video with this playing in the background.
     
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  24. PorkyThePaladin Arcane

    PorkyThePaladin
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    Old school gameplay means a lot of things, including some bad ones (e.g. using graph paper to map the game yourself, or some arbitrary difficulty bullshit), but fundamentally, it meant player agency. There were no quest compasses/markers/cookie trails, you had to listen to NPCs and figure out where to go yourself, using hints, landmarks, etc. You had to solve some "puzzles" or overcome some obstacles/figure stuff our yourself. Instead of long cut-scenes and games revolving around developer narrative, games were much more about gameplay.

    Some modern games do have some or a lot of that mindset: Breath of the Wild, Kingdom Come: Deliverance, ELEX, Dark Souls, and Dwarf Fortress come to mind, among others, but the mainstream is clearly going in a different direction, because that's where the money is.
     
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