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Why are there no "western" games?

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Westerns (the movies) used to be the big thing back in the day, and now they''re still around, but much more rare. But why haven''t there been any recent games that take place in the Old West? It seems like the setting would give plenty of opportunities for good gameplay. Gunfights, horses, stagecoaches, wide open spaces. Seems like the perfect setting to me. Why no games?

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You want the Wild Arms series for PS1 and PS2. Guns and deserts and bleu jeans and rpg combat. Yummy.

Actually, the Wild Arms series seems to be more of a Trigun meets Final Fantasy thing. For instance, the third incarnation is set on a desert planet. There are trains crisscrossing the world, and there are boats that can cross the sand oceans. But at the same time, theres a magic and monster-summoning related story. Seems like a weird combination and they manage to pull it off for the most point, just the game might leave you a little disappointed.

I was personally more fond of the second game. Its not as western as the third, but it has a certain charm about it.

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right now for your question to be some what answered is that i am currently have been working on a western, romance,shoot outs and the norm. but for pc goes check out LUCASARTS.COM then go to the PC ICON click on classics for pc software. then download a 1 level demo called OUTLAWS that is one heck of a great game. But in the full version you get a whole lot more for 9 bucks.check itout and its a very addictive game.if you want some more information about writing video games, board games , trading card games let me know i will help out all i can. and plus i am looking for some help in my new business.

BullDogRacing76

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I think I saw somewhere that the pen and paper RPG Deadlands (humerous dark fantasy western) is being transformed into a MMORPG. Dunno how they''re doing though.

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There was a Western themed level in TimeSplitters 2 that was really good, it had tonnes of atmosphere. The Western does lend itself really well to games, but there are surprisingly few games that use it though.


pan narrans | My Website | Study + Hard Work + Loud Profanity = Good Code

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quote:
Original post by BradDaBug
Westerns (the movies) used to be the big thing back in the day, and now they''re still around, but much more rare. But why haven''t there been any recent games that take place in the Old West? It seems like the setting would give plenty of opportunities for good gameplay. Gunfights, horses, stagecoaches, wide open spaces. Seems like the perfect setting to me. Why no games?


I think it has to do with some number of factors. Most people I know who watch western films are generally over the age of 35, which is out of the target demographics for most games. But with more and more people using computers/game consoles over the age of 35, this might open a whole new market of games to a very large demographic.

Most of today''s big studio games are a copy cat of another game. Many game studios are afraid of producing something diffrent because it might not sell. They stick to patterns. They watch other media to see how that concept is doing. If Hollywood isn''t producing Westerns, the game companies won''t produce them either.

One final factor may be today''s politically correct society. People often associate Westerns(incorrectly) to be negative due to some of the stereotypes of the genre: Bank robberies, gun fights, political corruption, outlaws, the "white man" taking the land from the indians, the "savage indians" cleansing the land of the "white man", etc. Very touchy subject.

Desipe these factors, I do think creating a Western game, especially an RPG or RTS, could be a great success. It might be the new "Gold Rush" of the game industry, if done properly.

Bob

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quote:
Original post by BradDaBug

Desipe these factors, I do think creating a Western game, especially an RPG or RTS, could be a great success. It might be the new "Gold Rush" of the game industry, if done properly.




Wow... That just gave me an idea... A western RTS. If that could be done correctly, then it would be awesome. I''m not entirely sure how it would work though. The only factions I could think of would be Union Soldiers, Confederate Soldiers, Outlaws, and Indians. I''m gonna work on that one...


Uberness...

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quote:
Original post by Inmate2993
You want the Wild Arms series for PS1 and PS2. Guns and deserts and bleu jeans and rpg combat. Yummy.

Actually, the Wild Arms series seems to be more of a Trigun meets Final Fantasy thing. For instance, the third incarnation is set on a desert planet. There are trains crisscrossing the world, and there are boats that can cross the sand oceans. But at the same time, theres a magic and monster-summoning related story. Seems like a weird combination and they manage to pull it off for the most point, just the game might leave you a little disappointed.

I was personally more fond of the second game. Its not as western as the third, but it has a certain charm about it.
Hmmm, I''ve only ever played the first Wild Arms. I didn''t really notice the western theming in there when I played it, but now that you mention it, there were definitely some strong hints of it.

One thing that did jump out at me is the opening music; it sounds incredibly like one of Ennio Morricone''s spaghetti western themes! I love that tune, and the animation that goes with it.

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Voice Of Tango,
Yeah, in Wild Arms 2, the western themes get stronger. For instance, in the first prolouge scenario, the main character Ashley Winchester is a member of a small military force (that owns two alcohol-combustion trucks) and he carries a big Bayonet Rifle. In the other prolouge scenario, Brad Evans is an outlaw being tracked down by "The Posse". Everyone wears bleu jeans and leather jackets and stuff. Actually, Ashley looks more like a boyscout. Its definately a better game, though the game still retains some pretty strong RPG traditional things going, like the 14 year old magician girl Lilka.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by modonnell
becuase western people who like bluegrass, etc. dont play games.


Yeah, just like people who like hunting don''t play games. Ever hear of a little game called Deer Hunter? Sold a million copies it''s first year and spawned a host of imitations.

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There was a huge nice post about western games a couple months ago... may have been a year. i''ll try and find it later when im free if noone else has yet.

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quote:
Original post by modonnell
becuase western people who like bluegrass, etc. dont play games.

I''m a fan of nature and the free feeling in general that Westerns (among many other mostly-untapped genres) cater to. It''s foolish to think that another high-fantasy medieval or cyber-punk theme is the way to go because its so popular at present.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I for one enjoy bluegrass, country, and western ballads (as well as a number of other genres), and play the fiddle and the banjo. I''ve recently begun watching older western movies and series. It''s strange to think that Trigun is what got me watching series like Gunsmoke and The Rifleman again.

I also enjoy gaming (adventure games, platformers, MMOG, and CTF-style first person shooters mainly), and enjoy writing games as well. I do have to agree, though, I do not seem to be a particularly common breed.

--Ferrik Bromyde

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The first problem with developing an Old West themed game is the people who would likely create it. Where would they get their information? How would they approach it?

If you take a look, you''ll see that a lot, if not many, think an Old West game should look and feel like an old Western movie, which, of course, perpetuates cliches, is shallow, certainly lacking the finer nuances of the real Old West.

My Old West game, if and when it is developed, will be developed by a team that has access to a different (and more diverse) set of resources for inspiration.

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quote:
Original post by bishop_pass
My Old West game, if and when it is developed, will be developed by a team that has access to a different (and more diverse) set of resources for inspiration.

Which (type of) resources, that is if you don''t mind me asking?

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kordova: check out some of his past topics started, he has written a whole lot about this on these forums before.

eh, he''ll probably be glad to give you a hand-picked list when he reads this though (i am assuming).

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From an RPG stand point, not a lot of people like old west games in regards to the sheer number of bullets one needs to expend to hit anything. Not to mention the most desirable weapons are well out of the price range of the common Joe Cowboy. At most they can afford cloths, a hat, and a knife. Forget getting a horse as they too are well out of the price range of most Joes.

From an action-adventure stand-point, a western done well (ala Outlaws) is a lot of fun, but the weapons selection is limited to knives, bows-n-arrows, swords, spears, axes, clubs, dynamite, six-shooters, rifles (repeating and non-repeating), and fixed artillery (it looks funny to see Joe Cowboy walking down the road with a gatling gun).

A realisitic game of either RPG or action would be a bit more complicated as it took the west a few dozen years to opt on a common size ammo/calibre of weapon.

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I was waiting for you to weigh in on this one, bishop_pass. I see that the old Black Hat site is dead and gone, but you seem to still have an angle on a similar project. How''s it going? Do you have anything tangible? I always figured you''d be the one to take it further.

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quote:
Original post by kordova
quote:
Original post by bishop_pass
My Old West game, if and when it is developed, will be developed by a team that has access to a different (and more diverse) set of resources for inspiration.

Which (type of) resources, that is if you don't mind me asking?

My growing library, which among other items, is comprised of:
  • Two classic bibliographic works by Ramon Adams entitled Six-Guns and Saddle Leather and The Rampaging Herd .
  • Tom Lea's illustrations and books.
  • J. Frank Dobie's classics, including The Mustangs .
  • Other titles by Ramon Adams, including The Cowman Says It Salty .
  • Other titles referenced in Ramon Adams' bibliographis, including Williams' The Mysterious West .
  • Over sixty titles on horsemanship, horse breeds, history, etc.


Also, development would be augmented by field trips to the major ghost towns in the Southwest and California, including Bodie, Cerro Gordo, Vulture City, Tombstone, etc. Other trips would include stops to museums, notably the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma. And speaking of art, numerous time would be spent studying Western American art depicting the Old West, including deceased artists such as Frank Tenney Johnson, Olaf Wieghorst, Edward Borein, Frederic Remington and Charles Russell and contemprary artists such as Howard Terpning, James Reynolds, etc.

Outdoor studies and excursions designed to help the artists and developers in general learn the lay and feel of the land in the West (and how the light plays across the land) with an emphasis on photography and perhaps a little bit of adventure involved would include a descent into the Buckskin Gulch, a trek across the Owens Valley and Death Valley (we can't forget the twenty mule teams of the Borax Mining Company), excursions into the High Sierra, and Southern Arizona, land of the saguaro.

Old firearms would be studied by visiting shops dealing in old firearms of the Old West. For example, I know of one in San Jan Capistrano that I am fond of.

A study of the railroads would be necessary. We would visit some of the sites of the more famous ones, and investigate closely the locomotives and learn about them, in particular, the 4-4-0s.

And lastly, every damned member of the team would have to become proficient at handling horses, plain and simple. A cowboy without a horse was not half a man, so to speak.

[edited by - bishop_pass on November 13, 2003 12:35:17 AM]

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quote:
Original post by Whirlwind
...


All of these concerns suggest that the game has to fit within one of the generic systems most games fall into. Even as an outlaw, accurate or otherwise, I can''t see the need for more than ever handling a few weapons. Sure, it would be fun to have a backpack with a health potion and twenty-six weapons but I don''t think that system does/has to fit here. Also, why does a game even have to revolve around the use of weapons? Certainly the "Old West" has more to offer than gun fights.

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Oh, yeah, one other thing on my list: Since I have access to horses, the artists, animators and AI/behavior coders would be spending a good deal of time observing their behavior, studying their movements and their gaits, in an attempt to portray the finer nuances of their behavior, appearance and movement, as well as their social tendencies for the richest portrayal of them to date in any computer game. Combine that with my study into the "Game Mechanics of Riding a Horse" for something a bit more than you might get from another team.

The historian Ramon Adams'' The Rampaging Herd is a classic bibliographic reference of more than 2,000 works pertaining to the cattle industry. Studying many of the works which it lists would help someone become more familiar with the real West. Likewise, his Six-Guns and Saddle Leather is a tome like reference to books about outlaws, debunking many of the myths.

Gambling was big business then. The devices and techniques for gambling and cheating were phenomenal and fascinating. Aside from studying texts and stories about the subject, some of the old gambling devices such as pocket roulette can be found at specialty antique dealers. Also, another form of gambling was streetside wagering, whether on fights or horse races. Horse races were often spontaneous affairs, and it was a quarter mile sprint down mainstreet, hence the birth of the Quarter horse. Steeldust provides inspiration here, and Wayne Gard''s research on the subject.

The Wells Fargo strongbox, which can be found at certain specialty antique stores provides interesting material and inspiration for that whole industry, and the crimes which arose out of it.

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