Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Ogi79

To Josh Sawyer about latest interview

Recommended Posts

clarification: briareus is/was a developer for black isle.  so we dug up a 15 year old post from a black isle developer posted on nma referencing the sales o' fo.  figured such remote, obscure and strangely relevant would get an enoch eye-roll.

 

HA! Good Fun!

  • Like 1

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eh, there is room for both. 

 

I think part of the problem is that when the PC market started to dwindle in 2002ish and the console market stole that thunder, we lost developers like Black Isle, Troika, etc to closing down.  We cRPG fans simultaneously lost Bethesda and Bioware to Consoles, and their games started getting streamlined.  Sure, I liked Oblivion, but it wasn't Morrowind or Daggerfall.  I'm not a fan of Skyrim, but I'm glad I own it because of the Enderal mod (which I love).  I also love both Kotor games, and enjoy Jade Empire and the first 2 ME games, but not at the loss of games like BG 1 and 2, Fallout 1 and 2, or NWN 1 and 2.  I think many RPG fans that lived through the dark 2002-2012 decade tend to overreact, but I understand why they do.  It's easy to see developers moving on to make more mainstream games, and that is a fear for many.  So, they freak out. 

 

I honestly think Bethesda is pretty good at building environments (not dungeons though).  Their towns are too small as well.  However, their writing, combat, and AI is abysmal.  Which IMHO is why they make games as wide as the Pacific and as shallow as a teaspoon.  They also have maintained (last I heard) a really small staff to work on FO and TES for a AAA game studio.  It is between 30-60 people or it was just after Skyrim.  I remember a Todd Howard interview where he said as much, but I couldn't find it if my life depended on it.  Compare this to CDPR who employed somewhere around 120 or more.  which is a much more common number in AAA game development.  IMHO this is why they focus on things like Radiant AI, and what not.  because they don't have the people to hand craft these things today, and they don't want a huge studio either.  So, they try to make little immersive things to try make up for it.  Darned if you do, and darned if you don't.  However, their games sell.  So, unless that changes they won't change anything.

 

As long as I get Shadowrun type games, PoE games, DOS games, DIsco Elysium, Copper Dreams, etc etc... I coudn't care less what else comes out.  In fact, FONV being the best 3D Fallout makes me think that IF Obsidian was making a AAA game similar to TES or FO3/4... I'd give it a go.  At least I know they would put SOME focus on story and writing to make it somewhat worth my while. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eh, there is room for both. 

 

 

am not thinking it need be an either/or.  hopefully such is what josh is awkwardly struggling towards.  the grognards got this weird notion o' a proper crpg, and in their view, all right thinking developers should be striving to achieve the ideal.  such folks resist any sorta change save those "changes" which bring closer to the ideal.  saw this problem with poe development and slavish devotion o' a segment o' backers to ie games.  sadly, deadfire development has had same kinda problem but with poe as the accursed ideal. shouldn't need be either/or.  developers is thankful attempting to build a better mousetrap and am thinking such exploration o' new possibilities is admirable and beneficial. poe were a nice attempt to improve 'pon ie game fundamentals while getting rid o' unnecessary baggage.  failed as much as it succeeded, but obsidian's poe efforts were a step away from the proper or (imaginary) ideal and doing so often lead to improved gameplay.  

 

'course equal bad is the kinda flavor of the month mentality which has folks holding up the success of __________ as proof o' the way to build future crpgs.  again, such myopia is how bg got saddled with costs o' adding an mp feature. so what is the evolution? fo3 a few years ago and then skyrim, witcher 3, d:os 2, etc.  got these games, many o' which is extreme different from each other, and try to reverse engineer the perfect game from 'em?  silliness.  is not evolution.  is trends.  is fashion.  as with food and movies and music and literature, some stuff never complete goes outta style.  

 

regardless, is not needing be an either/or. 

 

HA! Good Fun!

  • Like 1

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I don't disagree. Well, except I'm extremely happy with what deadfire has done to facelift the IP from PoE1. Resting is better. I like the overland map travel similar to Storms of Zehir, FO1 and 2, and Arcanum. Mutliclassing is done incredibly well. I think they learned from their info-dump dialogue in PoE1, but we will see. There are more things they have done that i like, but that isn't what this thread is about. So I'll move on.

 

I would say that old school, Codexian cRPG fans are conservative as heck. They remind me of some metal heads I have as friends. The constant "That's not metal" sentiment that they tend to ooze. The thrash guys hate everything not thrash, the death guys hate evrything not death metal, and So on. They only agree on Motorhead. To be fair everyone likes Motorhead.

 

I fall into this myself with RPGs, but I'm cognizant of it. I don't care for jrpgs, most modern action RPGs, and so on. I like building MY character so jrpgs are out. I prefer my decisions in game have ramifications. So I like the Witches series well enough, but not the modern Bethesda stuff so much. So on and so forth. However, we all have preferences.

 

Anyway to sort of go back to my music analogy... I think RPGs are a bit more like Prog Rock. Pink Floyd, YES, Jethro Tull, Rush, and ELO all are considered Prog to some extent. However, some have have very little in common with the others. EG Rush has odd time signatures, where Jethro is a mix of folksy stuff into the rock paradigm, and Pink Floyd is more psychedelic. However, at times they all have some prpgressive tendencies. These are very broad examples of these guys music to save time. So it is semi superficial. Dont judge! Real Prog Rock is hard to define, and imho RPGs are also hard to define.

 

With RPGs you can similarly focus on different aspects of the genre like the prog musicians. Some focus on combat systems (D: OS), some on open world (Bethesda), some on C&C (FO 1 and 2, witchers, etc), and some on RP dialogue systems (TTON). I'm sure there are other aspects ive neglected to mention. Dont judge!

 

Anyway, I think many people have that negative reaction when they think someone they trust in development would focus on aspects they dont deem as a "Real RPG". Many developers dont have the finances to make a perfect storm in a modern 3D first or third person game. They can get the open world, but sacrifice the C&C and character building (Bethesda). Or they get the world and C&C, but strap you with a premade protagonist (Witchers). Or they focus on C&C and have a smaller game with mediocre combat (TTON or perhaps even the original ME games). They always have to sacrifice something. Certain sacrifices cause the grognards to grab pitchforks because "that's not a real RPG".

 

If a developer makes a RPG that doesnt focus on things I enjoy... I just dont buy it. EG The lack of attribute focus means I still dont own FO4, but I wont stand on a soap box dumping on Bethesda. I just dont buy it. If I wanted a open world fps there are plenty of better examples than FO4 IMHO. Like Far cry, for instance. Some like it, and that's fine. Like I said with FONV under their belt id buy an Obsidian made open world shooter, but they care more about story and C&C than Bethesda. So I'm sure i could enjoy it more than I would FO4. Now had I heard that FO4 also had a great story... I'd have probably bought it. Eh,

 

This wont change because RPGs are such a broad spectrum of titles and everyone has the few things that they think makes "a Real RPG." It sucks, but it's their preference, their dollar, their time to invest, and their opinion.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder is open world an evolution of rpg design? Is success like the utterly humdrum Skyrims lets pretend quasi simulation a sign of quality? I played an open world very deeply simulated rpg a quarter century ago, so that hardly seems like something radically new and daring. 

 

I'd say an example of an rpg evolved and iterated quite successfully was the Dead Money dlc for New Vegas, it built gameplay and mechanics around the narrative and used one to reinforce the other in a very seamless manner, unfortunately I can't see it catching on as tired WoW mechanics, loot recycling, trash mob grinding, and Elder Scroll "gameplay" cycles seem to be more in vogue. 

 

An old game like Stalker or Gothic might be something to look at as well, but once again hardly an evolution considering their age.


Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never regard streamlining well, as its commonly done by developers. Bethesda take a tree and then lop off all the branches that make it interesting in the name of simplicity. In Fallout 4 the available builds you can develop is 1 due to the fact that every character can max out on everything. Similarly you can belong to every faction in Skyrim and lead them all with no consequences. Its simpler for the developer but leads to samey playthroughs and the lack of consequences for belonging to a faction renders the whole world meaningless.

 

Pillars 1 is a case of needing more streamlining because it had needless complexity that didn't add to the experience while simultaneously having pointless restrictions which limited your ability to play your way. There was also the issue of uneven presentation in terms of voice acting and other things etc. Pillars 2 is looking much better. I am not sure about its systems but they seem to be more thought about.

 

It is not that streamlining can't be done well. You can see that with Phoenix Point and its target cone (which can be larger or smaller depending on distance) that will guarantee a hit somewhere in the target sphere, per projectile, according to a variety of factors rather than show a percentage. They are professional soldiers, it makes sense that a professional soldier will not miss close-up. That is a sensible streamlining.

Edited by Tuckey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They mean games that follow that broad open world action-RPG format that Bethesda pioneered.

 

Yeah but I have no interest in those.

 

I mean not every game has to be what I like but it would be nice if, you know, some of them were. I want strategy and tactics and party based mechanics, not to see how fast I can swing my virtual sword. If that is the only possible way that RPGs can develop and everything else is regressive than I guess there is no room for fans like me in modern RPGs.

Edited by Valmy
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never regard streamlining well, as its commonly done by developers. Bethesda take a tree and then lop off all the branches that make it interesting in the name of simplicity.

 

Yeah. It comes from a good place but all to often it seems to lead to a place where the game just sort of plays itself. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I keep saying, I love RPGs for their variety. My list of favorite RPGs contains everything from Fallout 1 and 2 over Morrowind to Final Fantasy 9. If I like the atmosphere, I most certainly like the game. Yes, I have some trouble with modern realtime combat, but I'm sure I can manage with a little more practise. I'm as hyped about Pathfinder: Kingmaker as I am about Cyberpunk 2077. I think there's room for all kinds of RPGs.

 

Let's take a look back. Early on, we had dungeon crawlers like the first 3 Ultimas or Wizardry. Okay, I missed that era, but I've read a lot about it. So, what do we have now? 3rd person realt-time RPGs (The Witcher, Vampyr), Isometric RPGs (Pillars of Eternity, Divinity: Original Sin), 1st person RPGs, often combined with an open world (Elder Scrolls, Fallout New Vegas), strategie RPGs (The Banner Saga, Fire Emblem), Dungeon Crawlers (Legend of Grimrock, The Bard's Tale 4), the traditional jRPGs (Tales of Berseria, Dragon Quest XI), and hack'n'slays (Path of Exile, Grim Dawn). Not to mention all those MMORPGs (TES Online, World of Warcraft with a million add-ons). I'm pretty sure I've forgotten some, but you get the idea.

 

Every developer has their own idea of what an RPG should be like, so there are so many different types of them these days. There's something for every taste. I just love it. I have so many different types of upcoming RPGs on my watchlist, it's almost scary. Sure, a lot of those are indie games, but they're being developed, and that's all that matters to me when it comes to games. So who cares if one person's defenition of RPGs doesn't fit everyone's taste, if there are so many other, differently minded developers out there, too? It's not the end of the world.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Every developer has their own idea of what an RPG should be like, so there are so many different types of them these days. There's something for every taste. I just love it. I have so many different types of upcoming RPGs on my watchlist, it's almost scary. Sure, a lot of those are indie games, but they're being developed, and that's all that matters to me when it comes to games. So who cares if one person's defenition of RPGs doesn't fit everyone's taste, if there are so many other, differently minded developers out there, too? It's not the end of the world.

Very true. I think for Obsidian fans they are concerned that the RPGs they enjoy from Obsidian will stop being made but that is no longer a concern. There are plenty of developers making CRPGs and other types of RPGs now. You don't need to be stuck with Obsidian anymore. Ultimately Obsidian will develop the type of games they want to develop but this is not the NWN2 era anymore. We have choices now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, acknowledging RPGs don't have to but do have other places to go and more ways to work than remaking BG1 all the time is apparently a very controversial view?

  • Like 3

The sky had never seemed so sky, the world had never seemed so world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, acknowledging RPGs don't have to but do have other places to go and more ways to work than remaking BG1 all the time is apparently a very controversial view?

 

Every single party focused tactical rpg is not a BG1 remake. First person action RPGs do not get slandered as Ultima Underworld remakes. It just gets so tiresome to be told how the games I enjoy are somehow special and deserve to be labelled as an artifact of the past for no reason at all, while other games which are very similar to games that are just as old get celebrated as evolutionary. They aren't, they are just a genre that is more fashionable but just as ancient in its heritage.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In response to Josh saying RPGs don't always have to be isometric RTwP party-based RPGs, the entire point of this thread was to say 'yes, they do, everything else sucks' and I'm the one being unfair because I exaggerated how they all look the same on the surface? :lol:


The sky had never seemed so sky, the world had never seemed so world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In response to Josh saying RPGs don't always have to be isometric RTwP party-based RPGs, the entire point of this thread was to say 'yes, they do, everything else sucks' and I'm the one being unfair because I exaggerated how they all look the same on the surface? :lol:

Nice strawman you've got there. It would be a shame if no-one bought into it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Wow, acknowledging RPGs don't have to but do have other places to go and more ways to work than remaking BG1 all the time is apparently a very controversial view?

 

Every single party focused tactical rpg is not a BG1 remake. First person action RPGs do not get slandered as Ultima Underworld remakes. It just gets so tiresome to be told how the games I enjoy are somehow special and deserve to be labelled as an artifact of the past for no reason at all, while other games which are very similar to games that are just as old get celebrated as evolutionary. They aren't, they are just a genre that is more fashionable but just as ancient in its heritage.

 

Wow, you've just found the perfect words to describe how I feel as a fan of classic adventure games ever shooter players tell me AGs had no gameplay and were obsolete these days, because other games told stories, too. And the way I feel when gaming magazines compare newer titles to Monkey Island or Myst, even if they're completely different in feel and story.

 

But to stick with RPGs, I always feel a little triggered when people tell me, that there shouldn't be any isometric RPGs because they can't get into them. But yes, you're right. If it's isometric with a party, it's automatically like Baldur's Gate. If it's postapocalyptic, it's clearly like Fallout. Even if it's Wasteland 2, and therefore the sequel to a much older game than Fallout 1.

 

I enjoy a lot of RPGs because they stick out. Storywise, gameplaywise, or because they have very unique worlds and settings. Not because they're like this or that older game. Planescape: Torment isn't Baldur's Gate, Arcanum isn't Baldur's Gate, Divinity: Original Sin isn't Baldur's Gate, and Drakensang isn't Baldur's Gate, either. Let them stand for what they are: The very own ideas of their designers. We should be way past BG now, as much as many of us have enjoyed it.

 

Now let's get to the reason why I've really mentioned Adventures: Do you know why people say, classic adventures were dead? Because the genre got stuck in its development. Now adays, it's back. It's back in the form of games like Until Dawn, What Remains of Edith Finch, or Amnesia. I think that many people don't even realise it, but the first two are basically just classic adventures without puzzles. And they're popular enough to encourage developers to make more.

To stay around, genres have to move on. Otherwise you get that "I've seen that before, but better" feeling all the time. We might not always like every change, but it keeps the genre alive. Without the evolution of RPGs, there wouldn't be any of the classics nor any of the new highlights. We'd still play dungeon crawlers like Dungeon Master, where you just fight your way through a labyrinth to defeat an evil wizard. No Planescape: Torment, no Witcher, no Bloodlines, no Elder Scrolls, no classic or new Fallout. Nothing. We'll see where the journey goes. I'm curious. And taking more decisions to shape the virtual world around my characters is something I really want. It's the reason why games like PS:T,  the original Fallout, or even the still a bit newer Witcher games are among my favorites. (Except for The Witcher 3,  because my computer can't handle it)

I also think, complex character systems could come back es complex perk trees. Actually, they're already sneaking in.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Josh made the "mistake" of namedropping Bethesda games to get his point accross. The main point I think wasn't so much about games being simplified, or action based or anything like that. It was that a) players tend to think squarely into their lazy comfortably boxes. And as b) developer you either do likewise or are forced to do so also.

A far better idea would it have been to bring up Lookin Glass Games, but then it's a studio that folded in the early 2000s. Not because their specific take on all things CRPGs would be the one to rule all. But precisely for their willingness to keep challenging themselves, their players alike.
http://web.archive.org/web/19980224020118/www.lglass.com/p_info/dark/manifesto.html

http://web.archive.org/web/19980224014214/http://www.lglass.com:80/p_info/dark/howdo.html
 

 

A computer game can have all the trappings of a paper role-playing game (the Tolkienesque dwarves and elves, the "character classes," "to-hit rolls," and "experience levels"), but without role-playing it's not an RPG. It's computer strategy game about paper RPG's. Some of them are okay. The point of all this talk about computer role-playing games is not to claim that this project of ours is or isn't an RPG. The point is that great games don't happen by shoe-horning your design into a rigid category made up by some magazine.

Best quote ever.

 

That said, variety is the spice of life. I'll happily play something like PoE or Tyranny alongside to, say, Prey -- a game perceived as "Bioshock knock-off" by many last year but really really having more opportunity to "role-play" than some self-proclaimed RPGS. In an ideal world, there's room for everything. As developers oft may discover already when getting their games kicked off (no crowd funding, no PoE!) -- this isn't an ideal world. That's the flipside of the entire Crowdfunding concept, by the way. As players we far too often demand what we think we want for far too many reasons to discuss.

Edited by Sven_

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

So was Hitler, for a while  :p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...