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Freedom...?

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Hi, i am designing a game with a mate, and it is going 2 be a FPS/RPG game set in the future. Many RPGs that i have played offer the player tonnes of freedom which you can explore. I suppose my question is, how much freedom should we give the player in order to keep it in the same style as an FPS? I know this question is qutie vague, but i would very interested in viewing other peoples opinions on the matter. Thanks

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There are many times of "Freedom" these are porbably the main 3 when it comes to games:

1)Freedom to roam as in a vast play area where almost all areas are accesable at one point or another

2) Freedom of interaction scaling from Final Fantasy games where the enviroment is totaly bereft of any thing intresting to interact with to Deus EX,Ultima, Morrowind where you can knock bins over, throw office chairs, play basket ball, beak break, smash furniture, pick flowers, etc.

3) Freedom of choice scaling from Final Fantasy and Zelda type affairs where you have didly-squat choice in the direction of your character alginment or role to Morrowind, Ultima, Deus Ex where you can be evil or good, a thieving toe-rag or honest paladin type, you can lie or tell the truth, etc.

Personaly i'll always go for freedom set to MAX.
Any game that claims to be an RPG but just rolls the story out infront of you with no choice as to weather your evil, good, honest, dishonest, etc. and the only choice it offers the choice of what sword to swing and what armour to wear shoulld be stripped of its RPG status and be labled and action adventure game.

Though high levels of freedom are VERY time consuming.

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Any game that claims to be an RPG but just rolls the story out infront of you with no choice as to weather your evil, good, honest, dishonest, etc. and the only choice it offers the choice of what sword to swing and what armour to wear shoulld be stripped of its RPG status and be labled and action adventure game.


I disagree. A story-driven game is sometimes appropriate (especially if the story is the selling point), and it's still most definitely a role-playing game. Many people play these games specifically for the storyline. A game can evoke a greater feeling than can a movie, and that still makes it an RPG.

Something like Phantasy Star is not, no matter what your protestations to the latter may say, an action-adventure game. It is an RPG by the definition held by the common gamer and designers throughout the history of gaming.

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The trick with freedom is that it's hard to design. It's much easier to just force the player to always be at a certain point in the world, and thus to keep the world to litte discretized chunks, than it is to try to account for every place the player might be able to reach at any given point. More freedom generally equates to more fun, so long as the player doesn't feel lost (in other words, every once in a while you should give them a prod in the direction of the plot). So go for as much as you can manage to design in. "Railroad" games (Final Fantasy, according to JDUK) tend to have less replayability than games where you have lots of freedom and can do things "out of order".

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Original post by Edward Ropple
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Any game that claims to be an RPG but just rolls the story out infront of you with no choice as to weather your evil, good, honest, dishonest, etc. and the only choice it offers the choice of what sword to swing and what armour to wear shoulld be stripped of its RPG status and be labled and action adventure game.


I disagree. A story-driven game is sometimes appropriate (especially if the story is the selling point), and it's still most definitely a role-playing game. Many people play these games specifically for the storyline. A game can evoke a greater feeling than can a movie, and that still makes it an RPG.

Something like Phantasy Star is not, no matter what your protestations to the latter may say, an action-adventure game. It is an RPG by the definition held by the common gamer and designers throughout the history of gaming.


"Story-driven" is a term that does not implicitly make for a role-playing game. Look at the words: role and playing. So we have a game where you assume another character's position, and behave as you will in playing through their life. This has NOTHING to do with whether or not it's story driven. In fact, a good RP session drives the story more than the story should drive the character's actions.
Role-playing has nothing to do with levels, equipment, skills, or anything of the like. Role-playing has to do with a character's (or player's) actions, regardless of other material elements around them. An RPG gives you the option of working for the bad guys, if you want, and later betraying them because you didn't feel like you got paid enough, and not seeing a "Game Over" screen.

Re-rez your words before applying them. Please. Too many adventure or action games are labeled as RPGs without having a shread of role-playing involved.

(Or, "classes and levels do not an RPG make", and "story-driven != role-playing")

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Preach it brother! Preach it.

WAY to many people have their view of the terms role playing eschewed by the labelling of what can be termed as "JapRPGs" or "Console RPG's" as actually being true "Role playing" games,
when they allow no more role-playing than a point and click adventure with a tacked on item management system that amounts to little more than playing a mini game of digital dolly dress-up, combined with real time or turn based strategy combat… but absolutely no shred of Role playing apart from sharing a loose association because of the common fantasy themes.

I’m not in any way saying these action-adventures in the guise of RPG’s are bad (though not to my personal tastes), just that they are in no way RPG’s by the very definition of the term Role Playing Game.

On the topic of story driven = roleplaying....
Max Payne is story driven, monkey island is story driven, Chronicles of Riddick is story driven... heck super mario bros. is story driven albiet by a lame and shallow story (plumber wants to save princess from turtle/dinosuar)

So the fact somthing is driven forward by a story (any game made after 1982 is pretty much garunteed to have some back story tacked on some where)in no way implies its an RPG.

[Edited by - JDUK on December 17, 2004 4:41:19 PM]

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Original post by JDUK
Any game that claims to be an RPG but just rolls the story out infront of you with no choice as to weather your evil, good, honest, dishonest, etc. and the only choice it offers the choice of what sword to swing and what armour to wear shoulld be stripped of its RPG status and be labled and action adventure game.


Actually by not giving you choive to be evil, good, honest or whatever, they are forcing you to play a role, which as you know is the R in RPG. While freedom is usually good in an RPG, its not required by definition. The other games are only allowing to make up your own role (or pick one from many).

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So the fact somthing is driven forward by a story (any game made after 1982 is pretty much garunteed to have some back story tacked on some where)in no way implies its an RPG.

note that tacking a story on something doesn't make it story driven.
would you say Mortal Kombat is story driven?

the rpg genre in computers is kind of vague, since you cannot "act" your role out. So its easy to label any computer game where there's a backstory to your character as an RPG. I wouldn't say thats a misuse of the term, i'd just say that the term is very vague. Example, if i tell you my game is an RPG, can you guess what you will be doing most of the time?

RPGs are usually considered to be something like Final Fantasy (which i could argue is adventure with turn-based combat, and not RPG at all) or morrowind (which i could argue doesn't have a role to play at all since you can pretty much do whatever you like) or Diablo (which again i could argue is action with inventory management)

i can't argue with some, like Vampire. =) but still, RPG is very vague and probably anachronic, since you assume a role in every other game out there.

just my thoughts ;)

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Original post by Madster
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Original post by JDUK
Any game that claims to be an RPG but just rolls the story out infront of you with no choice as to weather your evil, good, honest, dishonest, etc. and the only choice it offers the choice of what sword to swing and what armour to wear shoulld be stripped of its RPG status and be labled and action adventure game.


Actually by not giving you choive to be evil, good, honest or whatever, they are forcing you to play a role, which as you know is the R in RPG. While freedom is usually good in an RPG, its not required by definition. The other games are only allowing to make up your own role (or pick one from many).


By your logic Mario and Sonic are role playing games as you are either forced into the role of a plumber rescuing a princess form some mushroom inhabited bizzaro world or a blue hegdhog out to save his fury friends from a mad scientist.
Both are roles you have no choice in and are forced to play.... though niether, by any contortion of the tearms RPG you can imagine would convince any one thier RPG's.

You may be forced into a ROLE in FF, giving you your "R" in RPG but the very meaning of the P(playing) in RPG means to play WITH the role not play OUT the role.
Thats the difference between reading a book, acting, follwing dicretion and actualy role playing it the playing with the role not the playing of the role.
example:
Guybrush Threepwood: you play out his story with no deviation from the plot.Monkey Island is not an RPG
The Avatar: You define his role, you play evil or good , honest or dishonest. you are playing with his role with each desicion you make that is roleplaying.

Cloud in FF7: See Guybrush Threepwood.
Dude from Morrowind: See The Avatar.

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Original post by JDUK
By your logic Mario and Sonic are role playing games as you are either forced into the role of a plumber rescuing a princess form some mushroom inhabited bizzaro world or a blue hegdhog out to save his fury friends from a mad scientist.

...

Cloud in FF7: See Guybrush Threepwood.
Dude from Morrowind: See The Avatar.


Yes. I did say that the term is vague. Also i see that you feel that FF7 is not an RPG.

the RPG name exists because in non-computer games one rarely assumes the role of a character. I still say its an anachronism, and it doesn't really say anything about a computer game, other than that you play a character in it. (in tetris you don't play a character)

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This all boils down to levels of interactivity. Some games are little more than Interactive Movies, whereas most people who've really RP'd know RPGing as a free form system where the player assumes the form of a character, and produces completely random events and outcomes based on his actions within the story.

The problem is the level of classification between these styles of play besides the all encompassing RPG. What the industry needs is new stanards to differentiate between an Interactive Story with combat/puzzles lightly sprinkled in, to games like Morrowind where you can go and kill everyone in town and damn the storyline if you want.

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I cant see any reclassification happening any time soon.
The term RPG is not just a Genre(its not even the genre of a lot of games thusly labeled) its a marketing label.

Association of the very popular games like FF, Zelda, Tales of Synphonia with the term RPG have made it a very marketable label to put on games.

RPG's where popular with gamers back in the 80's, pull out any of your early to mid 80's comic books and look at the amount of adverts for Dungeons and Dragons, TSR products or "Fantasty" computer games.
Back then RPG was marketable as well, games like Zelda and the FF series came out bearing the popular "RPG" label and sold very well.

Interest in RPG's died down as computer games became seen as more and more of a geekier past time(and RPG's even more so).
Until the advent of Playstation and 3D home consoles when popularity soared to unthinkable heights and FF7 And the N64 Zelda games are released and are sell incredibly well.
Hurrraa! the RPG was insaneley popular again..... well actually it wasn't just the new craze for adventures and action adventures that bear the faux RPG title carried over from market sensitive labels thought up many years previously.

People seem to assume that all players and developers believe these games are true RPG's and in the assumption of some that all pro games devs are earth-walking demi gods who bestow gaming goodness on us all with their benevolent powers, they bow to their infinate wisdom.
But its not the Devs who classify these titles its a bunch of suits labelling them for the best possibly market penetration.

So no one should be a total muppet and just go "Well it says it on the label so its gotta be the gods honest truth" ... didn't Driv3r have a load of bullshit about its greatness printed on its cover? did you belive that?

So in summary their not true RPG's but genre assignment wont change because the RPG title sells games and no ones going to want to sacrifice that.

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