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The Western: FPS? RPG? RTS?


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#1 bishop_pass   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 08 December 2002 - 07:26 PM

From the high plains of Wyoming to the Rio Grande of Texas and further out west to the mining towns of the Sierra Nevada... This genre isn''t exploited to its potential. No doubt some will claim that it doesn''t lend itself to play like a fantasy or sci-fi epic might, but that just isn''t true. The Western contains many of the classical elements any game could hope for. Indian culture alone provides many fascinating analogues to fantasies, including cultural conflict, rituals, nomadic lifestyles, medicine men, war, foreign customs... Weapons include pistols, rifles, shotguns, the bow and arrow, knives, swords, gatling guns, cannons, dynamite... Places and locales include mining towns, saloons, bars, jails, the gallows, mainstreet, alleyways, goldmines, gulches, canyons, caves, railway stations, railway passenger cars, cantinas, haciendas, watering holes, wells... Activities include gambling, gunfighting, barroom brawls, knife fights, hangings, arson, carriage driving, horse riding, claim jumping, bounty hunting, lying, cheating, investigating, sneaking, business building, ... Transportation includes walking, riding, carriage driving, railway, mule train...

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#2 Chentzilla   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 08 December 2002 - 09:15 PM

If this thread is about the Western genre (like those movies with Clint Eastwood)in games, then that''s what I''d like to see:

- FPS? I hate FPSs! I believe FPSs are done by those who can''t create a good-looking hero. My vote for third-person 3D adventuring (RPG elements welcome).

- Improved horse factor. I so much pitied that all these ''Yiee-haw'' parts in the Outlaws were non-interactive. Also, I want the player to really feel that bond with his animal. To rely on it, and also to be in charge of it. I want the player to pity the loss of his horse.

- Context-sensitive soundtrack. Like the Outlaws, but corresponding to what''s happening.

- Trenchcoat waving in the wind.

- Shooting from two revolvers simultaneously. Realistic reloads taking time (see Outlaws again).

+ everything bishop_pass said.
Now will somebody please make my dream come true?


#3 bishop_pass   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 08 December 2002 - 09:21 PM

quote:
Original post by Chentzilla
- Improved horse factor. I so much pitied that all these ''Yiee-haw'' parts in the Outlaws were non-interactive. Also, I want the player to really feel that bond with his animal. To rely on it, and also to be in charge of it. I want the player to pity the loss of his horse.

Excellent! Develop a true communion between man and horse based on trust. The horse is a powerful, graceful and fast animal, but a relationship is necessary between man and animal before the full potential is realized.

And don''t forget, horse thieves are hung!



#4 smiley4   Members   -  Reputation: 193

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Posted 09 December 2002 - 07:41 AM

Lol, and to think that I thought of that idea this summer. There are many different weapons you could choose from too since most of them were hand made. I think that you could make a FPS that can change views to 3PS. You could make it like an RPG/FPS with 3PS option. I''ve got a storyline for such a game that I''ve been toying with for about a month now. You start out as an Undercover US Marshal on the trail of a notorius gang know as the Rustlers. Your first contact to finding the gang is the local banker at Dry Gultch...

#5 Iron Chef Carnage   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1794

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Posted 09 December 2002 - 08:09 AM

If it''s going to be based around a single character, then I agree with the third-person action/adventure with RPG elements. I also think that the game should start when the character is very young, like Nevada Smith. Make him 17 or so, with good physical fitness, but little to no weaponcraft outside of hunting. Let the skills develop with real-time practice, like shooting cacti from horseback as you go from town to town.

Also, if it''s going to be a Western, there has to be the possibility of dying in the desert. You''ve gotta carry water, or find it, if you want to live out there. Not just you, but your horse as well.

Include a variety of factions, like lawmen, who are sparsely distributed but well-trained and like-minded, and cattle rustlers, who stick together but are essentially boobs.

Actually, this game might be best if it''s modelled on something like Grand Theft Auto III. A total moral vaccuum, in which you can join the US Marshalls or rob trains or assassinate Mexican politicians for a living. Apart from survival, all your goals would be self-set. you could get rich or live in a cave. It would be neat to see your face on a wanted poster, and watch your bounty rise, or else track down men with bounties on their heads and turn them in to the local law. Total freedom would really capture the lawless nature of the romantic fiction that is the Wild West.

#6 SpittingTrashcan   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 09 December 2002 - 08:17 AM

This is more of a horror/western than straight up Old West, but you might be interested.

Priest MMORPG

-STC

---------------------------------------------------
-SpittingTrashcan

You can''t have "civilization" without "civil".

#7 smiley4   Members   -  Reputation: 193

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Posted 09 December 2002 - 09:03 AM

You know Iron Chef, you have a good point. Of course this game you're talking about sounds like it would work better with the Morrowwind setup with a few modifications.

You have stats on your rifles, pistols, lassos, and dynamite sticks. You have customizable starting stats with customizable character look. You could be with the Wild Bill Circus and travel with them for crying out loud!

Imagine seeing people dueling in the streets at noon or seeing old drunks clamering out of the saloon. Some of them just pass out in the street and others trip, fall onto a trauf, and vomit realy loud while their friends laugh at them.

You could win blackjack with the wrong person and then it could start a saloon brawl. Indians could stampede through the town off to war with the US soldiers that have been driving them back off their land. You could shoot a soldier because you think what their doing is wrong and then have a bounty on your head.

You could also join ranks with local gangs and work up a reputation that earns you xp. Anything could happen. You rob the bank and then gain more xp. Your class could change based on reputation. In fact, you might not even need a class system.

[edited by - smiley4 on December 9, 2002 4:04:28 PM]

#8 bishop_pass   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 09 December 2002 - 09:31 AM

In addition to all the stuff I said...

Bank robberies, gangs, wanted posters, hidden Spanish treasure, banditos, land grabs, drunks, the livery stable, grudges, stampedes, buffalo, tack & saddlery, mules, hogs, hats...

The sheriff makes the law in the town. Different towns have different laws. Some towns require you to check in your arms upon entry.

And the towns have such great names. Names like: Whiskey, Tombstone, Silverado, Purgatory, Bodie, Cerro Gordo...

#9 Iron Chef Carnage   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1794

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Posted 09 December 2002 - 09:49 AM

Well, that would be a terrifically immersive world, and would be very conducive to character development. The only real obstacle to a good Wild West RPG is that death comes so easily there. If it''s to be one-player, you can just make the player character damn near invincible, like in GTA III, where you can absorb pound after pound of lead and then bring down the baddies with a few shots. For a MMORPG version, you''d have to make it very, very easy to create a character, since the more ambitious players will get blasted fairly regularly. Heck, I know people who play P&P RPGs with strict death rules, and they sometimes go through three or four characters in a single sitting. Just come back as their own son, and power on through.

#10 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 09 December 2002 - 10:09 AM

quote:
Original post by bishop_pass
From the high plains of Wyoming to the Rio Grande of Texas and further out west to the mining towns of the Sierra Nevada...

This genre isn''t exploited to its potential. No doubt some will claim that it doesn''t lend itself to play like a fantasy or sci-fi epic might, but that just isn''t true. The Western contains many of the classical elements any game could hope for.


Could not agree more. I have never understood why there are so few computer games for westerns and superheroes. These are some of the richest genres in pop culture, yet we can easily count the number of western games on one hand.

I suspect the reason for this is that these genres really lend themselves to a CRPG, and CRPGs are simply not popular with publishers. They take a lot of resources, and are notoriously difficult to test. When you add any deviation from the standard Tolkien ripoff world, the publishers panic.

Anyway, I''d vote for a (what else?) CRPG. If I never play an RTS again, that''d be fine with me. I loved Outlaws, so I would give an FPS a chance, but I really doubt I''d stick to it.


#11 rmsgrey   Members   -  Reputation: 153

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Posted 09 December 2002 - 04:36 PM

I regard "western" as a setting, as much as "tolkeinesque fantasy" "cyberpunk scifi" "modern urban" etc. While it''s possible that some settings may be better suited to certain genres of gameplay than others, in general, you can make just about any type of game in just about any setting. After all, I''ve seen pinball tables with a Wild West theme...

#12 Dauntless   Members   -  Reputation: 314

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Posted 09 December 2002 - 07:55 PM

I think my very first post on this forum was about why no one had created FPS games in a historical setting before WWII and one of my examples was the western theme. I''d love to be able to play a Kit Carson scout, or one of the Nez Perce indians fighting off the 7th cavalry. Imagine re-enacting Wounded Knee. The historical aspect would easily lend itself to the more warlike genres of FPS and RTS.

As far as the western theme (not war) it provides a very open playing field since things were so chaotic then. I think that would make it an excellent candidate for a RPG style game as well. I remember playing an old PPRPG back in the day called Boot Hill (published by TSR) that was really fun. You could be whatever you wanted...an outlaw, a sheriff a pioneer, a prospector, and indian...whatever floated your boat.

All in all, it is a very neglected genre especially considering how popular it is the mainstream (or at least how popular it used to be).

#13 bishop_pass   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 09 December 2002 - 10:07 PM

One thing I see potential for is the idea of perception. The West was no exception when it came to the concept of fops, liars, pretenders, and outlandish individuals.

Simply based on outward appearances, a character can create a different effect. Where today, what papers you carry and what is on record play a major role, the opposite was true for the Wild West. Who you were could very well be who you could pass yourself off to be.

Different reactions could be elicited just on how you dress and of course, how you react. In short, your outwardly apparent character. Consider the fellow who sports an ivory handled pistol, wears a fancy vest, and carries himself with a certain repectability. Or how about some fop who wears a silly tophat, a gawdy pocketwatch, and an illfitting coat.

#14 smiley4   Members   -  Reputation: 193

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Posted 10 December 2002 - 04:48 AM

On the the note of getting killed with gun fights, you could rip off a piece of metal that you find near the railroad tracks, or you should only pick fights with less experienced outlaws, deputies, sherrifs, ect. With each fight you get a little more experienced on how to handle certian fighters. You could build up your shooting skill by entering tournements. You could win money that way to buy better ranged and quick draw weapons. Heck, you could also enter bull-riding tournements to build up your reputation with the townsfolk. If your a hero, then killing one person could be got away with. The people trust your reasoning behind your murder and call it an act of justice. You could win faction with different tribes of Indians and even have a sidekick if your lucky -- like the Lone Ranger.

#15 Iron Chef Carnage   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1794

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Posted 10 December 2002 - 12:00 PM

I think the most important thing for a game like this to have is opportunities to do all of the things that Western heroes do in the movies. Your character must be able to: quick draw, jump from a rooftop to the back of a waiting horse, cheat at cards, brawl in saloons, drink a whole lot, smoke more than he should, die in the desert, ride a horse, patronize prostitutes, be featured on a wanted poster, uphold the law, be hanged from a tree, hang others from trees, rustle cattle, fight indians, befriend indians, hunt wild game, buy supplies, sell scalps, shoot guns, throw knives, lasso cows, tip his hat, bathe in mountain pools, etc, etc, etc.

It''s not the stories that make the West interesting, it''s the blank slate, geographically, legally, ethically and professionally devoid of structure. A world in which a person can become something wholly new, without being bound by convention or law. It''s the perfect opportunity for "civilized" people who have seen and studied the nature of humans to see how they would have fared at the dawn of civilization. If a bunch of modern-day people found themselves in a new, uninhabited world, what sort of society would they form? The Wild West. It''s the true Renaissance.

#16 bishop_pass   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 10 December 2002 - 06:28 PM

By the way, some good relatively recent Western movies are: (modern production values)
  • Tombstone - Kurt Russell
  • Silverado - Scott Glenn, Kevin Kline, Danny Glover, Kevin Costner
  • Unforgiven - Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freman, Gene Hackman
  • Bad Girls - Madeline Stowe
  • Jeremiah Johnson - Robert Redford
  • Maverick - Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, James Garner
  • The Last of the Mohicans
  • Quigley Down Under - Tom Selleck
  • American Outlaws
  • Dances with Wolves - Kevin Costner
  • The Quick and the Dead - Sharon Stone, Gene Hackman
  • The Jack Bull - John Cusack
  • The Sacketts - Sam Elliot, Tom Selleck (little bit old)
  • The Desperate Trail - Sam Elliot, Linda Fiorentino
  • Lonesome Dove - Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones, Danny Glover
  • The Man From Snowey River - Kirk Douglas


[edited by - bishop_pass on December 15, 2002 5:46:13 AM]

#17 smiley4   Members   -  Reputation: 193

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Posted 11 December 2002 - 02:08 AM

You know, to add a little element of excitement that is seldom used in westerns, we could add a Kung Fu fighter in the mix. After all, in the real West some of the Chineese were fleeing their home country just to start a living. I know some of you may just think that Shanghigh Noon was just a fad, but it was still a very possable reality. I think that good faction may be exclusive to only a few though since the Chineese were treated like crap in those days.

#18 smiley4   Members   -  Reputation: 193

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Posted 11 December 2002 - 02:41 AM

Also, to make this game a little more emmersive, you would need dialog that matches the dialect of the time period and of each personality/class type. Imagine talking to an Indian brave that speaks only fragments of English as opposed to an Indian Chief who knows the language of his enemy. Lets also say you were conversing with an evil upper-class governer as opposed to a good-hearted governer.

I think that a game like this would really require more plot and gameplay than eyecandy though. Because if you think about it, a western would require a map of the whole world to get all the big cities and other stuff that makes an RPG what it is. Unless this is an alternate Earth that were talking about, the map for the west alone wouldn't work. You would have to recreate the world as it was in the late 1800's. I think that to have a western as a game, you need a linear storyline or an alternate-Earth map.

Yet, then again, why not base the game on the future where civilization has diminished to a pesudo-version of the old west? You know, the usual all the world washed away and all that was left was this large chunk of land in the Pacific.

[edited by - smiley4 on December 11, 2002 9:46:43 AM]

#19 bishop_pass   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 11 December 2002 - 07:42 AM

quote:
Original post by smiley4
I think that a game like this would really require more plot and gameplay than eyecandy though. Because if you think about it, a western would require a map of the whole world to get all the big cities and other stuff that makes an RPG what it is. Unless this is an alternate Earth that were talking about, the map for the west alone wouldn''t work. You would have to recreate the world as it was in the late 1800''s. I think that to have a western as a game, you need a linear storyline or an alternate-Earth map.

You don''t need half the continent of North America to make it work. Different packages are set in different areas:
  • The Tombstone package is set in the Sonoran desert and the maountains of southeast Arizona.
  • The Mule Train package is set in Inyo County revolving around the small mining towns of the area in the Inyo Mountains and throughout Death Valley; towns like Cerro Gordo, Rhyolite, and so on.
  • The High Plains package has as its setting Wyoming.
  • The Sandstone package revolves around the canyons and cliffs of the Colorado Plateau in Southern Utah.


#20 smiley4   Members   -  Reputation: 193

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Posted 11 December 2002 - 08:05 AM

I'm just saying that in games like Everquest, Morrowind, AC, and Anarchy Online the appeal was that you could go anywhere and do anything. Thus, in all these games they had a land that was centered around an island or group of islands. The Old West, on the other hand, was located on an AREA of the contienant not a COMPLETE one.

If you have a linear-story format for the game (like in Deus Ex), or only have it based around a few famous towns (with a linking map view that uncovers where you need to go like in Persona 2 only without the turn-based stratagy), then it is understandable to the player if you can't go to a shoreline.

If you go with the alternate Earth scene, where the technology is like that of the Old West, and the names of characters and towns are based on famous western movies you can give the game more emmersiveness like in the style of a MMORPG. I'm not saying that you still can't make a good game if you don't build a whole world setting. I'm just saying that if you only base it around a few famous movies, you have to change your story tactics to include them all.

[edited by - smiley4 on December 11, 2002 3:07:19 PM]

[edited by - smiley4 on December 11, 2002 3:19:05 PM]




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