Jump to content
  • Advertisement

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

kingy

The "role" in rpg

This topic is 5926 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Ive been thinking about the "role" in rpg. Most rpgs, mine included, are mostly battle simulations where the player must figure out the best strategy to not end up dead. A true RPG, Im beginning to believe, would not revolve around combat, instead an engrossing story that the character had to progress through with some combat thrown in; more like 80% story and 20% combat. The question is, would anybody play a game like this? Spectre Software - RPGs, strategy, puzzle games, programming

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
I have also thought about that before and I think that computer role playing games (CRPG) have a little common with true role playing games. In true RPG you are meant to take the role of your character and make your decisions according to the way the character would make them. That includes accepting the possible moral differences between the ''real world'' and the game world, which might be too much to ask from a regular player.

I am afraid that the regular player nowadays just want''s the quake in a different box. (N O T M E A N I N G T H A T L I T E R A L L Y ! ! !)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I just finished Morrowind last night, after logging probably 250 hours with the game. If I had to put a percentage on my non-combat versus actual combat play, I would guess that it was around 80/20, maybe closer to 85/15. That may have been due to the thiefly character I played. I spent a lot of time in the cities. There's no shortage of folks grooving on Morrowind. For me, Morrowind ranks right up there with Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss as the best CRPGs I have played. UU:TSA also was heavier on exploration/story than actual combat, and, in many ways, their combat mechanics were similar.

-Lochnar

[edited by - Lochnar on September 13, 2002 11:07:26 AM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by kingy
Ive been thinking about the "role" in rpg.

Most rpgs, mine included, are mostly battle simulations where the player must figure out the best strategy to not end up dead.

A true RPG, Im beginning to believe, would not revolve around combat, instead an engrossing story that the character had to progress through with some combat thrown in; more like 80% story and 20% combat.

The question is, would anybody play a game like this?



I think they probably would, and it might make a refreshing change from the standard ''walk in and hit things'' paradigm, but still I think you might be getting rid of one misconception, and replacing it with another.

A good story doesn''t make a good RPG any more than lots of hack and slash does. What DOES make a good RPG is enabling the player to develop a complete character. You could have the best story in the world, it still isn''t a ''true'' RPG unless the characters personality has some influence on the way things pan out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don''t play rpg''s because I hate the combat system in most I have tried and just get very bored with them. I like the exploring and story parts. if developers removed the combat then I would play them.

Just my humble view

I did like deus ex because it did''nt have that role of dice combat thing going on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RPG need conflict and systems to resolve it (actually all games need this)...but conflict resolution can be done in hundreds of ways besides direct combat.

If we as game developers don''t wake up to this fact then we are doomed to shovel out the same basic games over and over again.

In a typical RPG, most of the players sense of advancement comes from increaseing his/her characters combat efficientcy...The games are geared toword the "combat as conflict resolution" paradime...which is repeated endlessly through most all RPG games to date.

But by swapping out combat as conflict resolution and substatueting something else instead...you may wind up with a much more interesting game (the ''hard core'' RPG fans would hate you for it though)...but this substatute must be capable of sustaining a seemingly complex series of high quality gameplay decisions...effectively the substatute must be capable of modeling itself into a game.

For example lets substatute combat with auto raceing...instead of new weapons, spells, and armor as rewards for success...you have new parts to modify your car...instead of combat baised skill sets...you have skill sets that qualify a characters ability to effectively operate vehicals (the ability for man and machine to interface as if one entity?).

In effect RPGs could be given a new lease on life useing such a design structure...they could quickly evolve from the D&D basied hack-n-slash cliches that limit thier appeal, and into more mature mirrors for thier Pen&Paper brothers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree with this.

What would people think to a role play game where the substitute for combat would be diplomacy... for example what if the aim of a campaign was to prevent war between two cities at any cost?

Would this be interesting?

Spectre Software - RPGs, strategy, puzzle games, programming

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Kingy - you beat it would be interesting :D

Altho "hard core" RPG fans may not like it...no matter how well it''s done...but that would be thier loss...not yours

If a RPG is about haveing the player take on a three dimentional ''role'' of a character...Why limit the ability of such ''roles'' to resolve conflict only through combat?



How about a RPG that takes place in the present, where the player takes on the role of a negotiator...in effect the player''s character would be a "conflict resolver".

Instead of combat the characters "arena" is hostage negotiation, contract labor negotiation, peace negotiation, etc...Instead of weapons and armor...the player attains skills and contacts that can be improved allowing him/her to make better use of this "arena".

There is even so much story potential there that has yet to be even attempted in RPGs (let alone video games in general). :D



Another example of a type of conflict in RPGs that hasn''t been addressed is "internal conflict". Purhapse for the character to voyage on the big huge epic quest, meens that he/she must give up thier enjoyment of a personnel life. So the player must decide on "whats best for my character?"...the needs of the many (big quest)...or the needs of the few (character and his friends/loved ones)...Most RPGS cheat at this by makeing both the big quest and smaller personnal story reach the same goal...but what if (as is often the case in real life) the big quest and personnel quest worked against each other?..the old saying "You can''t have your cake (big quest) and eat it too (personnel quest)" applies here.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by kingy
Ive been thinking about the "role" in rpg.

Most rpgs, mine included, are mostly battle simulations where the player must figure out the best strategy to not end up dead.

A true RPG, Im beginning to believe, would not revolve around combat, instead an engrossing story that the character had to progress through with some combat thrown in; more like 80% story and 20% combat.



Basically a non-roleplaying game is a game where the mail character stays the same. To avoid the game getting boring the environment has to change, often in a level structure. The player feels no connection, just sees the world, but ignores his character. In Half-Life you played Gordon Freeman, but he never said a word, and was never visible, so you would just forget him and concentrate on yourself.

In a roleplaying game, the player starts as a wimp but improves. This makes it possible to stay longer in the same surroundings, or have a world where you can go everywhere, and return to your favorite players often. This for me is one of the attractions.

Also roleplaying games feature more things than just walking, jumping and shooting. Stuff like shops, buying and selling, getting more money for more stuff, that''s also an attraction in RPG''s. The feedback of first having your butt kicked by a group of goblins, returning to that place a week later after other adventures and being able to beat them, that should not be underestimated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree that in many modern RPGs the player''s main role is to manage combat, and that control of the character''s attitudes and actions are limited.

If you are looking for games with a greater focus on puzzle-solving, exploration, and character interaction, look into the so called "adventure games" such as those made by LucasArts. The focus in these is generally using tools, conversation, and lateral thinking to remove obstacles. Still, as in CRPGs control of the character''s disposition is limited. One gives the character suggestions, but his responses are created by the programmer not the player.

To really play a role it helps to have other human beings to react to. Hence the MMORPG. Complex and well-developed characters exist in such games as Everquest and its ilk. However, the roleplaying aspect is hampered by the continuing focus on combat and combat-based advancement. You may want to play an artist, craftsman, or farmer... but if the only way to earn money, fame, and power is to stomp rats, then stomp rats you will.

The solution I''ve developed, which may not be the best but is definitely my best work, is to widen the focus of RPGs. The ideas mentioned here, of using car racing or negotiations as the basis of conflict resolution, seem to be good examples I''d love to see implemented. The best thing, of course, is to create a world where the PC can do anything he sees anyone else doing, and have a well-realized and complete game waiting for him no matter what he chooses. But this would require prohibitive amounts of code, unless one were to implement it in a modular system with a basic "operating system" module loading modules created by the player community to provide them with the game they want to play... but now I''m just rambling.

At any rate, good stuff and good luck.

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

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

GameDev.net is your game development community. Create an account for your GameDev Portfolio and participate in the largest developer community in the games industry.

Sign me up!