This is a genre that pretty much doesn't exist anymore, but used to be much bigger.
an important question:
game types that lose popularity usually do so because either:
1. the game type evolves into another more popular game type (2d platform shooters evolved into FPS games)
2. the demographic changed. flight sims are less popular than at first, because at first, only hard core geeks owned PCs, so all titles were designed by and for hard code gaming geeks (like me). then PCs became more common, enter the "casual gamer", "mass market AAA titles", consoles, Nintendo jump and shoots, Angry Birds, and all that stuff. the market grew, but also changed as to the demographics makeup, and what types of games would sell the most. its the same old story of broadening appeal means reducing to the lowest common denominator (usually sex and violence). "mass market crap for the mindless masses" as they say.
if it turns out that something like "Skyrim" vs "Fallout" is considered "the way" to do an RPG these days, then you may have a problem.
This genre was killed by our industry's decay. Most gamers are "casual" gamers who only want mindless killing frenzies like Call of Duty, and even with RPGs, "casual" gamers want simplistic rulesets they don't have to think about and are more concerned with aesthetics than gameplay. The industry as a whole is mostly concerned with pumping out smut that serves no purpose but to pump out as much violence for as little thought as possible, and even the makers of RPGs (which, you must remember, are a very small minority) are giving in to it by building games more and more for consoles while giving PC less and less support, and making their games simpler with each iteration at the expense of customization. Hence watered-down RPGs like Skyrim, which reek of consolitis, dominating the market. Even visually, this decay is evident. Games get higher and higher resolution, but they always end up looking worse as a result as next-gen graphics are dark, lack in colour and are completely bereft of any of the visual distinctiveness that the previous generations used to have. The music in games is getting less and less distinctive and memorable, and we end up with things like the soundtrack of Final Fantasy XII, where not a single song in the entire game could be recalled even one minute after they stopped playing. Everything in games is getting mushed together and everything that could make a game unique is being cut out, even though the few unique games that come out usually do fairly well, as game companies are being run by executives that don't know what a game is or how it is supposed to work, and are making idiot decisions based on market trends rather than any actual understanding of their consumers.
No marketing executive is going to recommend making a game in 2d, because 3d sells better. No marketing executive is going to recommend turn-based games, because real time sells better. No marketing executive is going to recommend quality, spirit, soul or originality, because cheap, uninspired, soulless knockoffs sell better. Our industry has too many marketing executives, and those marketing executives have too much power. And I realise I could put all that in a memo and entitle it "Shit, we already know."
I hate the way the market is going. I will have nothing to do with it. I want to make GOOD games for REAL gamers. Hardcore games that are unique, interesting and in now way cater to the brainless morons we call "the casual demographic." I have no interest in making a watered down RPG like Skyrim, I especially do not intend to make a mindless, repetitive twitch-fest like Call of Duty, and I don't give a flying fuck WHAT the market says. Even if I had the resources for a 3d, realtime, shooter-style RPG, I'd take the time to make sure it was unique and I would base all decisions on the game's quality, not profitability. That is who I am, and damned if I will ever let anything change that.
and now a word of advise from a table top gamer:
i started on classic D&D ruleset in 1977, 4 years before the invention of the PC. I ran a campaign on and off for about 5-6 years. the first game i ever wrote for the PC was a text based RPG written in 1982 on a Sperry Rand PC (8088 chip) with dual 360K floppy drives,and an EGA card (a nice PC for the time). the OS was MS-DOS 2.01 or 2.11.
if i'm turning to the PC for a good RPG experience, things like 3d, and real time are definite pluses. all other things being equal, i'd choose 3d and realtime every time.
I simply do not have the resources for a 3d, real time game. I'm making the best of what I've got as it is. I know what I would do with sufficient resources, and it's entirely different. (Still nothing like that mass-market AAA horseshit.) Here, have a link, I've already gone into it.
only if i was looking to control a large party rather than concentrate on the members of a small one would i consider 2d turn based, as there would be command and control issues for a large party in realtime.
you may find the the minimum standard for the game type you want to make has been raised. it may have been 2d turn based and evolved into 3d realtime.
This game *does* allow for a large party. The party can go all the way up to 32, even if only 16 are controlled by the player directly. That is WAY too many for real-time, but still a manageable number for turn-based gameplay. And I will reiterate my main point one more time: I am out to make a good game before anything else, profit isn't even my secondary concern. As long as the game makes more money than we spent on it, it's enough to make another. I would *like* to make more money, but I am putting the game first. I just want to make games, and I want to make them my way. Money is the means, NOT the end.
If I seem angry, that's because I am.
Edited by Jeremy Williams, 10 July 2013 - 12:05 PM.