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To Josh Sawyer about latest interview


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#1
Ogi79

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Source:   https://www.vg247.co...-says-obsidian/

 

“The traditionalists probably get angry about this stuff, but Bethesda’s RPGs are very different from isometric RPGs.

“They’re much more action orientated, much more focused on the immersive experience. That shows there’s more room for RPGs to grow than just to be what they were 20 years ago. It’s really a matter of finding an audience that matches up with that,” he added.

 

No ..noono...NOOOOOO!!    Dont you  think for a second  that Bethesda is going right way!I Millions of fans  wants you to make next Fallout . why do you think thats the case? You say  ""immersive  experience"".In Fallout 4 that   immerzion is  broken  very fast.How  you might ask? For example  you have many many NPCs that  are soo annoying  and immortal !Cant kill it even with nuke!After 7 days in game same  creatures with same weapon  magicly  respawn on same position you cleared allready.Even when you have   main  quest  to clear Fort Strong  from mutants for Brotherhood , you do that ,expecting Brotherhood soldiers to  occupay location,nope,  after 7 days  same mutants are there. Is that immerzion???Choice and consequence??  what choice! what consequence!  there are none , just  cosmetic. Reactivity?? in traces...     At  the end , i  played 4 times   Fallout New vegas    with  4 tottaly differant experiences and i  enjoy it  every single time as it  was  the first. I  finished Fallout 4   1 time  and have no desire  nor will  to try again.Its pointless ,   what ever you do  you will have   same  outcome  same ending regardless what faction you play. No choice in dialogs  , what ever option you choose  your character will say the same thing. That is ultimate immerzion breaking!


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#2
Wormerine

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That shows there’s more room for RPGs to grow than just to be what they were 20 years ago.


Edited by Wormerine, 21 April 2018 - 01:02 AM.

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#3
Heijoushin

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I agree it's not a great interview, since he kind of knocks his own work and fans, but there's no need to get so worked up over the Bethesda thing. I'm not a major fan of them either, but you can't deny they're successful.

#4
Wormerine

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“So many games use RPG elements, stat progression and characteristics that are defined by those in RPGs. I start to question about whether that is the heart and soul of what a role-playing game is about,” he said.

“The way that I work on role-playing games, they tend to be more about playing a character that has a range of personalities and a way of going through a story that changes that story in a very significant way. The amount to which things like statistics or combat systems interact with that, really can be much more fluid.


I like that a lot. There is no delaying that PoEs are stagnant RPG. Its not even a criticism - they aim to recapture style of a 20 years old series of games. cRPG could be so much more and interesting. While Bethesda’s games are not to my liking it is not gameplay itself I dislike. I would certainly like to see a radical RPG from Obsidian.
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#5
Celeras

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The way that I work on role-playing games, they tend to be more about playing a character that has a range of personalities and a way of going through a story that changes that story in a very significant way. The amount to which things like statistics or combat systems interact with that, really can be much more fluid

He pointed to Bethesda’s success with Fallout and The Elder Scrolls games as examples of a developer taking role-playing games in a different direction.

Bethesda doesn't make games with character progression. They make worlds you can walk around and kill stuff in.
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#6
Lexx

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The way that I work on role-playing games, they tend to be more about playing a character that has a range of personalities and a way of going through a story that changes that story in a very significant way. The amount to which things like statistics or combat systems interact with that, really can be much more fluid.

 

Well, that's exactly how I also see RPGs. Nowadays, every second game has some sort of stats to increase, but that doesn't make them RPGs. Hell, Diablo was never an RPG for me. Deus Ex was never an RPG for me, and neither was Jagged Alliance (2). If you can't have any serious influence on the game world, then it's not an RPG for me... at least not a good one.

 

Just because he mentioned Bethesda as an example doesn't mean he's wrong.


Edited by Lexx, 21 April 2018 - 06:30 AM.

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#7
Gizmo

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Is this bridge-building, (as opposed to burning bridges?); or is it audience preparation? (...as in, this is their next project as it has to be to sell... so they need the audience to be made open to it.)
 
This is a disappointing view, not only from a designer, but possibly from the team. :(
 

He pointed to Bethesda’s success with Fallout and The Elder Scrolls games as examples of a developer taking role-playing games in a different direction.

 

What they did was an apathetic, debasement of a grand RPG series; and even of their own in-house brand.
 
He is right that systems don't define a genre, and that there can be great improvements done to future RPGs.  IMO he is wrong that systems don't define a series.  Bethesda's FO3, and its spinoff FO:NV—and FO4 are impressive spin-offs on their own merits, but they do not belong in the Fallout series—because they do not adhere to the Fallout series' systems and tenets.  NV isn't a numbered game in the series, but those other two franken-shooters are; and they sit like boils on its face.  Wasteland 2 is a better Fallout game than either three of these... and it has none of the fiction and atmosphere.... It wouldn't be a great Fallout sequel, but it's already a better one than FO3.
______
 

RPGs can become much more “radical” but hardcore players are “resistant to change”, says Obsidian

 

There is nothing wrong with making new games of all types—and new types... It becomes wrong when they begin branding new games with established older names —that have earned their reputations, and where none of it is presented in these new sequels bearing their names.  This is the way of it with the new Bard's Tale as it exists, so far.... This was actually the way of it with Wasteland 2 also... Mechanically it could pass for a Fallout spin-off; even a sequel, with some changes... but it's nothing like Wasteland... nothing like it should have been, to have had that name and designation.  This is great for the fan looking for anything like Fallout, but not good for the fan looking for another Wasteland.
 

Series' sequels should evolve from their roots—or not be so named. They should be built upon the common strengths of their foundation—not spring from radical mutation, or other origins entirely, (like a cuckoo bird set in the nest... who pushes the parent's real offspring over the side... like FO3 & 4 have done).  TES6 should never have to be a Titan Quest clone (and vice versa) —no matter any market changes... Call it something else, not a sequel.


Edited by Gizmo, 21 April 2018 - 08:20 AM.

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#8
injurai

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I agree it's not a great interview, since he kind of knocks his own work and fans, but there's no need to get so worked up over the Bethesda thing. I'm not a major fan of them either, but you can't deny they're successful.

 

I think it's more trying to diffuse this adversarial gap that is growing to some extent, where he feels different styled rpgs can co-exist. In fact I think he quite likes getting to work in the space he doesn't does, and doesn't necessarily want Bethesda encroach (like they would.) It's like what Paul Thomas Anderson says about comedy and blockbuster action films. He doesn't want them to go away, because then his high-brow art films become diluted, and he'd rather have people enjoy what they like. It's the same for Josh, he holds down the forts that he wants to see, others can do otherwise.

 

At some point a medium as drifted so far away from what you value, that you're criticisms start to make less sense with the new audience. TES is one of those.


Edited by injurai, 21 April 2018 - 08:37 AM.

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#9
Lexx

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Folks read Bethesda and get instantly triggered. Sawyer did not say that Bethesoft Fallouts are better than the originals or something like that. He merely acknowledges that not every RPG must be like 20 years ago. FNV is a prime example that you can make great games even with the Bethesda-systems. The games being better or worse than the original is irrelevant and a different issue.


Edited by Lexx, 21 April 2018 - 08:48 AM.

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#10
ShadySands

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Meh, I didn't even like FONV but I don't care if games get made that aren't in my wheelhouse.

#11
Infinitron

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Important thing to realize: When game developers talk about Bethesda RPGs or "making a Skyrim", they don't mean literally those games. They mean games that follow that broad open world action-RPG format that Bethesda pioneered.

 

I mean, come on. You think Sawyer and Obsidian don't realize that Fallout 4 has garbage narrative design? Of course they do.


Edited by Infinitron, 21 April 2018 - 11:01 AM.

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#12
HoonDing

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#13
Hurlshot

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Millions of fans? Try to remember that PoE only managed 80k in terms of pledges. That means it is pretty unlikely that millions are crying out for isometric games versus the next action fest. The numbers do not support that.
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#14
Tuckey

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Millions of fans? Try to remember that PoE only managed 80k in terms of pledges. That means it is pretty unlikely that millions are crying out for isometric games versus the next action fest. The numbers do not support that.

1.5 million for Divinity: Original Sin according to Steamspy while the sequel will inevitably pass that number in quicker time if it hasn't already. The audience for isometric games is only growing. All thanks should be given to Jake Soloman for the influence of XCOM 2012. You can see that with many new games emerging that are 'inspired by' these sorts of games like Phoenix Point and Phantom Doctrine.

 

The audience is definitely there for a good game.


Edited by Tuckey, 22 April 2018 - 03:10 AM.

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#15
Guard Dog

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It was BG I & II and FO I & II that got me into RPGs. I LOVED those games. And have since been disappointed to find out how rare they were. That's why I was so happy with PoE. And I'm looking forward to Deadfire. Games like that just don't come around very often. But if companies like Obsidian will keep making them I'll keep buying them. Even if I have to do it twice (Kickstarter).  I'm the audience THAT kind of game is looking for. I want my PC to be a different kind of person at the end of the game than they were at the beginning. Not just more skilled. 


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#16
Labadal

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^You should have a look at Pathfinder: Kingmaker.


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#17
pmp10

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Millions of fans? Try to remember that PoE only managed 80k in terms of pledges. That means it is pretty unlikely that millions are crying out for isometric games versus the next action fest. The numbers do not support that.

1.5 million for Divinity: Original Sin according to Steamspy while the sequel will inevitably pass that number in quicker time if it hasn't already.

Yes but Tyranny failed to sell well and Shadowrun has shown that this audience is not just nostalgia-driven but also fleeting.
Josh is right that RPGs need innovation, I just think that window of opportunity passed us by about a decade ago.

#18
Tuckey

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Millions of fans? Try to remember that PoE only managed 80k in terms of pledges. That means it is pretty unlikely that millions are crying out for isometric games versus the next action fest. The numbers do not support that.

1.5 million for Divinity: Original Sin according to Steamspy while the sequel will inevitably pass that number in quicker time if it hasn't already.

 

Yes but Tyranny failed to sell well and Shadowrun has shown that this audience is not just nostalgia-driven but also fleeting.
Josh is right that RPGs need innovation, I just think that window of opportunity passed us by about a decade ago.

 

Tyranny as a game was under-developed in terms of content. At least for me. Combat wise enemy variety was severely lacking. It did introduce some cool innovations through like lore links and the magic system spell construction.

 

Shadowrun has a large audience but that audience isn't having its expectations met. The game being isometric is not the problem, rather I believe that graphically the game was looking dated compared to its competition. Also the game engine was initially developed with tablets in mind and it shows features wise.

 

In terms of innovation I think the innovation is occuring from the XCOM like games. RPG developers would be wise to pay attention to this space. An example being the soldier bonding bonus from the XCOM 2 expansion and the propaganda posters you could make of your soldiers. Phoenix Point is using vehicles on the combat layer and has many other innovations beside. In terms of role playing character innovation pay attention to Disco Elysium.


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#19
Achilles

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Millions of fans? Try to remember that PoE only managed 80k in terms of pledges. That means it is pretty unlikely that millions are crying out for isometric games versus the next action fest. The numbers do not support that.

1.5 million for Divinity: Original Sin according to Steamspy while the sequel will inevitably pass that number in quicker time if it hasn't already.
Yes but Tyranny failed to sell well and Shadowrun has shown that this audience is not just nostalgia-driven but also fleeting.
Josh is right that RPGs need innovation, I just think that window of opportunity passed us by about a decade ago.
Paradox admitted that they dropped the ball on marketing and timing on the release. Tyranny’s sales number aren’t a commentary on the genre
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#20
IndiraLightfoot

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As someone who's been sitting around tables, playing D&D since the late 1970s, sometimes with great DMs, I'd say that I've had a hard time finding a game that recreate that mood (I refer to those intense and exciting role-playing moments - which indeed has the immersion of somebody telling a really good story, in which you can partake and of which you can chance the course of).

However, there is another side to RPGs that I adore - detailed fantasy worlds with cool rule systems, and having a party to strategically discover stuff with and fighting monsters and villains with.

This latter RPGing, I'd say NWN2 and BG1+2 did a fantastic job of recreating when I played solo.

 

And NWN1 persistent worlds with real DMs, they could sometimes pull off the Holy Grail, the double: Having that intense immersive mood and the cool party system all rolled into one happy marriage.

Clearly my most complete RPG experiences via computer!

 

Still, I very much agree with Josh.

When I snuck around the first like eight hours in Skyrim, I was really baffled and immersed at the same time, but more like "Wow, I am here, in this location, complete with nice sounds and sights". The RPG system was nothing to write home about, nor was the story (at all). Still, I'd say it's an immersive RPG, as I really don't like the term "immersive sim".

 

Another set of games, which are among my absolute favourites of all time, is Arkane's Dishonored series. That world building is excellent, as I get the feel of being in those cities and houses, and encountering real-ish people to deal with, and even monsters and other strange encounters. The settings are so convincing, elaborate and fun to explore that I hold them up as my best immersive RPGing in a computer game. However, Fallout IV lacked soul and story. It felt like someone flattened Dishonored hot and hard with an iron and placed it in the future, but with broken sneaking and sad systems, and then added Minecraft building on top.


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