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What is old school gameplay?

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

  1. Crispy Don't get old. Undisputed Queen of Faggotry

    Crispy
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    Let me put it this way. If a computer game (particularly RPG) possesses any of these traits, it's not old-school:

    - Has real-time combat, whether including the ability to pause or not
    - Relies on the game player's skill to succeed in, as opposed to the characters' skills in the party the player creates
    - Features nothing but irrelevant and/or surface-level game background, such as its world's history or the meaning of the story
    - Literally sprays loot everywhere, as in a fountain
    - Requires the player to repeat the same combat encounter over and over until a perfect sequence or series of moves is completed without error
    - Can be completed in less than a month (unless the player has no life and/or has autism)
    - Relies on anything other than patience, intelligence, cunning, and contemplative planning to excel in

    I think that about covers it.
     
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  2. jungl Arbiter

    jungl
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    This is how I see it. Old school games you have to get invested into the game and THINK how to approach stuff, where to go what to do and how to beat it. New school games always egg you forward somehow and have over abundant "easy" design like skyrim where the treasure is always at the end of the dungeon and puzzles are easy.
     
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  3. Bad Sector Cipher Patron

    Bad Sector
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    Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex
    So Telengard isn't old-school :-P.
     
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  4. Risewild Savant

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    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Gastrick Educated

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    Old school->Pristine, excellent, takes intelligence, challenging, a good story, deep mechanics, fun to play, charming graphics, has an atmosphere.

    Nu school->shit, awful, made for retards, braindead easy, bad writing, shallow mechanics, boring to play, generic graphics, zero atmosphere.
     
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  6. Cat Dude Learned

    Cat Dude
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    Any rpg with Isometric view or blobber or wall of text.
     
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  7. KeighnMcDeath RPG Codex Boomer

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    Zork 1-3?
     
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  8. Jasede Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron Sad Loser

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    When mainstream reviewers say old school RPG they mean Dragon Age and Mass Effect so your question is hard to answer...
     
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  9. Carlos' Bitch1 Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    I still think of Fallout as 'new' in a way. I cannot believe it was 23 years ago....and Pool of Radiance 32 years ago....ancient history in gaming. Bards Tale is even worse at 35 years, Ultima 3 37 years....
     
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  10. KeighnMcDeath RPG Codex Boomer

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    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Tavar Educated Patron

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    For me "old-school" implies a focus on gameplay without any clutter heaped on top of it. Games were much more limited in the nineties and early 2000s then they are today, so developers couldn't stuff their games full with pointless minigames or with tons of cutscene which turn your game into a movie. Instead, the focus was on the core gameplay loop and how to squeeze as much fun out of it as possible. Games also used to be harder and with less quality of life features, but I think the latter was more caused by the lack of knowledge in that area than by design (drawing your own maps for example was never fun).
     
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  12. KeighnMcDeath RPG Codex Boomer

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    Eh... map drawing is an acquired taste. If you were drawing maps before gaming then it was no big deal. I still love map drawing but i turn it into digital (or did... last few was ultima iii gba and sword of kadash. I was working on Azalta for a bit.

    I'm thinking of going back to Deadly Towers to give it the screenshot map touch but then i just go workout instead.
     
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  13. samuraigaiden Liturgist

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    One fundamental difference I see that separates old-school games and modern games: you weren't expected to necessarily be able to complete them. Or, at least, it wasn't a given that you would be able to. It wasn't just about "not losing interest", a level of proficiency had to be achieved.

    This is why the lack of difficulty options in Dark Souls rubs a lot of people the wrong way. "If I paid for it, I'm entitled to experience the full content."

    Of course, I'm not saying all games are the same. Just like Dark Souls exists as an exception among modern games - while still being a modern game nonetheless - also many examples could be brought up of old games that had difficulty options or were easy enough that anyone could complete.
     
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  14. Yosharian Magister

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    And yet the writing is still better than 99% of modern RPGs
     
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  15. Nifft Batuff Arbiter

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    A game is "old school" when you can manually save everywhere, as in the old PC gaming of the late '90s.
     
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  16. KeighnMcDeath RPG Codex Boomer

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    Again, it really depends how far back you go. The earliest rpgs had a story but most was either on the box art, ads, or the manual. These oldest games had very limited dialogue and the end game was very lackluster. It basically had to rely on fertile imaginations. Early SSI games like Phantasie, Shard of Spring, Wizard's Crown etc... or Ultima 3 and earlier was more or less "YOU WON!" The wording might be more colorful but look at the machines you were working on. Gameplay? At best you have tactical TB combat and at worse... something like Telengarde (which is a strategy all its own with the god awful random mob generation. (I did like certain aspects of the game though). Questron wasn't bad for end game.

    I'm sure there is a sweet spot for CRPGs but the earliest I see as attempts to port tabletop to the screen. Some people may even wanted to port those games back to tabletop. That was the allure imho.
     
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  17. buffalo bill Prophet

    buffalo bill
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    new school games are those developed toward the end of/after the "digital revolution" (1975-2020ish)—now nearly everyone has access to game-playing hardware, and so these games cater to the interests of the masses for profit maximization

    old school games are those developed nearer to the start of the digital revolution, and so catered to a smaller subset of the population who had access to and interest in computer games. I.e. an elite population of computer, math, and tabletop gaming nerds
     
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  18. fantadomat Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck Edgy

    fantadomat
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    It means that you need a modicum of brain to be able to finish it,no hand holding or stream lining,good description of destination and the path to it. Sadly a lot of people overuse the world old school and frequently it makes me cringe. A lot of dumbfuck youtubers and streamers think of games like skyrim and fallout 3 as old school. Generally it is matter of perception, old school means games i have played when i was teen.
     
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  19. Metronome Learned

    Metronome
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    When I think Old-school I think of technical limitations and games designed for people who only own a few games. There are some old games which are difficult but difficult games exist today and easy games existed back then.
     
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