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Anonymous
May 22, 2005 9:36:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

I just finished a _very_ long coding session, and, to avoid burnout,
decided to take a couple days off from all coding altogether.
Anyways, this has prompted me to spend more time thinking about game
design than I normally do, and I've had a couple thoughts pertaining
to RPGs and RLs.

Now, I've been playing games for a long time now, and have gone
through countless RPGs and RLs. One detail that I'm aware of, but
rarely think about consciously, is that computer "role-playing" games
never seem to actually feature anything remotely like role-playing.
They typically end up being nothing more than detailed combat
simulations with a back-story and dialogue. Now, traditionally, RLs
were *supposed* to be dungeon-crawling combat simulations, but the
bridge between RPGs and RLs is gradually being closed. More and more
RLs devote focus to plot, NPC interaction, and other RPG features.

So why not get some real "role-playing" features put in? I was trying
to think of how this could be done, and sadly, had some trouble with
it. Perhaps my mind has been warped from countless hours
hacking-and-slashing. Maybe I just don't have enough experience with
real "role-playing". Or maybe a computer game just can't really have
role-playing. I don't know.

So my question to everyone here is, how could role-playing be
implemented in a game? What features would you need? More
importantly, how can players have fun without a strong focus on
combat? In my opinion, real fantasy stories have very little focus on
combat, and the heroes rarely slay thousands of rats and goblins in
their epic quests. All combat is kept to a relative minimum, and the
few battles are much more dramatic and moving because of that.

Well, any suggestions as to how a real "role-playing" game could be
made? I probably have much less experience with P&P role-playing than
most of the regulars here, so you guys are probably much more capable
of tackling this problem.


--
Read more about my three projects, SoulEaterRL,
Necropolis, and a little toy RL.

http://www.freewebs.com/timsrl/index.htm

--

More about : role playing games

Anonymous
May 23, 2005 12:11:34 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Timothy Pruett <drakalor.tourist@gmail.com> wrote:
> Now, I've been playing games for a long time now, and have gone
> through countless RPGs and RLs. One detail that I'm aware of, but
> rarely think about consciously, is that computer "role-playing" games
> never seem to actually feature anything remotely like role-playing.

Have you ever played pen and paper RPG's? I find the different between
real RPG's and computer RPG's to be quite astounding (in that computer
RPG's aren't role playing games at all.) When I was younger I would
listen in on people who would play diceless RPG's and the skill and fun
they had is what I base my expectations on.

The one thing I'd like to see in cRPG's (which roguelikes have handeled
pretty well) is more randomness. There's no reason that Baldur's Gate
couldn't have been the same game with random maps and quests to make it
replayable.

It seems that in the commercial game world, people are afraid to take
real innovative steps forward, instead staying with what has been done
before. Once you make random towns and random maps, the questions can
become truly random. Kill this random guy. Retrieve this random artifact
from this random place before this random bad guy gets it.

Why do games bleed themselves dry to have the latest graphics, and yet
they can't seem to code simple AI? I'd like to see NPC's that behave
like a real character. Go to work, sleep, go to down, buy important
items, get lost in the old mine and need rescued.

With all that said, I'd also like to say that I've never really felt
like I was role playing while playing a computer RPG. I'd actually have
to say that Nethack comes the closest just because it is so complex. But
other games the only difference between the roles is just what attack
bonuses you get and what magic you can use, which seems like a shame
when you look at the hundreds of specialized classes that D&D pops out.

--
Jim Strathmeyer
Anonymous
May 23, 2005 2:43:23 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Timothy Pruett wrote:
> So my question to everyone here is, how could role-playing be
> implemented in a game? What features would you need? More importantly,
> how can players have fun without a strong focus on combat? In my
> opinion, real fantasy stories have very little focus on combat, and the
> heroes rarely slay thousands of rats and goblins in their epic quests.
> All combat is kept to a relative minimum, and the few battles are much
> more dramatic and moving because of that.

Maybe book authors just don't consider all the details of rat slaying
and leveling up to be worth devoting time to? Much as the characters'
taking of leaks, turning over in their sleep, and so on tend not to have
much space devoted to them in a novel, or much time in a movie.

:) 

> Well, any suggestions as to how a real "role-playing" game could be
> made? I probably have much less experience with P&P role-playing than
> most of the regulars here, so you guys are probably much more capable of
> tackling this problem.

Seriously: for that, you'll need a very generic and flexible game world,
with simple and highly orthogonalized mechanics governing everything,
including the mental states of the NPCs. It would be closer to a physics
simulation than a typical dungeon crawl, code-wise. It might also come
close to some fairly strong weak-AI in the NPC-mental-state area.

--
http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/right-to-read.html
Palladium? Trusted Computing? DRM? Microsoft? Sauron.
"One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them
One ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them."
Related resources
Anonymous
May 23, 2005 2:47:13 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Jim Strathmeyer wrote:
> Why do games bleed themselves dry to have the latest graphics, and yet
> they can't seem to code simple AI? I'd like to see NPC's that behave
> like a real character. Go to work, sleep, go to down, buy important
> items, get lost in the old mine and need rescued.

Well, Zelda: Majora's Mask is a console RPG with NPCs that go to work,
sleep, and otherwise have sensible day to day schedules. Except that
it's all predefined with only a few branch points influencable by the PC...

But NPCs with something vaguely resembling actual lives of their own has
in fact been done.

Aside from that, much as I hate to suggest it, there's the Sims for
something with this sort of "real-people" aspect to NPC behavior.

--
http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/right-to-read.html
Palladium? Trusted Computing? DRM? Microsoft? Sauron.
"One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them
One ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them."
Anonymous
May 23, 2005 4:16:26 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Timothy Pruett wrote:

I don't feel I have too much to offer here. However, it looks like at
one point, you partially answered your own question:

> So my question to everyone here is, how could role-playing be
> implemented in a game? What features would you need? More importantly,
> how can players have fun without a strong focus on combat? In my
> opinion, real fantasy stories have very little focus on combat, and the
> heroes rarely slay thousands of rats and goblins in their epic quests.
> All combat is kept to a relative minimum, and the few battles are much
> more dramatic and moving because of that.

Just because roguelikes have traditionally featured seas of minor
monsters to satisfy the player's need to "feel powerful," I don't think
having fewer battles with a strong need for strategy and feeling of
heroicism in most of the battles is incompatible with roguelikes --
rather, that it just hasn't been done. Incidentally, the roguelike
generally considered to be most RPG-like, ADOM, also has the most
"bosses"/guaranteed uniques per square mile of any roguelike I know of.

Consider the Mortal Kombat series of action games -- you only fight a
few enemies, yet each combat is fun, engaging, and has "personality";
you don't feel like you're being deprived just because the enemies count
is so low.

That's one thing that can bring a roguelike from roll to role. Another
is to have the sort of *moral* choices that typically open up during any
but the most gamist of PnP sessions. That means a branching storyline,
and for that kind of stuff, my hunch is that Joseph Hewitt's past posts
and current (likely) presence on r.g.r.d. will be your best resource.
There's a lot to learn in this area, for better or worse, from ADOM,
though you could go a lot further than ADOM does, and above all, you
could cut out the long hack-and-slash phases.

>
> Well, any suggestions as to how a real "role-playing" game could be
> made? I probably have much less experience with P&P role-playing than
> most of the regulars here, so you guys are probably much more capable of
> tackling this problem.
>
>
Anonymous
May 23, 2005 8:19:33 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

If you haven't played them, the Elder Scrolls series (most recently
including Morrowind) is excellent. I think Daggerfall is the best of
the series, personally. Not graphically, but as far as gameplay.

They are completely open-ended, combat isn't strictly necessary, and up
until Morrowind, they were very random. They also have a *very* deep
and complex setting with a long history and some pretty unique settings.
There are books you can read, most of which don't have any effect on
the game, but detail the world quite well.
Anonymous
May 23, 2005 8:38:05 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Well, it's all up to the player as to whether or not he will play a role
in a game. I try to roleplay (as in, imagining that I'm a player and
behaving how I think that player would behave, not necessarily what
leads to the best chance of "winning") in many games, even if they're
not really role-playing games. Some people have no interest in
role-playing and must "win" at all costs, and do whatever manipulations
of the rules or mechanics it takes to win.

That being said, certain games encourage role-playing over powergaming,
or at least help those who *want* to roleplay.

To me, some features that are conducive to roleplaying are:

1) Immersiveness. This includes having a very believable setting.
Whenever something ruins your immersiveness, you remember that you're
sitting in front of a computer playing a game, which is not usually
desired. It's easier to imagine being a real person (er, someone
else...I assume that everyone reading this is, indeed, a real person)
when it's easy to imagine being in a real world.

2) Open-endedness. You should be able to do whatever you want within a
game. If you want to be a theif and make a living robbing and stealing,
you should be able to. If you want to help people, you should be able
to to do that. If you want to discover lost secrets and explore ruins
of ancient civilizations, you should be able to. If you want to run a
trade empire, that should be doable too. Or if you just want to loot
dungeons, that should be available too. Being forced into a certain
path ruins the suspension of disbelief and once again reminds us that
we're playing a game. I realize that being completely open-ended is
very difficult if not impossible, but it's definately a goal to work
towards.

3) Combat shouldn't be necessary to advance. This is a problem with
the vast majority of roleplaying games. You have to get experience to
advance. To get experience, you usually have to kill stuff. This makes
sense for warriors, but why should thieves have to kill stuff to be a
better thief? See the Elder Scrolls series, which has levels, but is
skill-based. The more you use skills, the more your skills improve.
The more your skills improve, the higher level you become. Thus if
you're a thief, you can sneak, pick locks, climb things, etc and you'll
become a better thief without having to enter a dungeon and kill things.
Killing monsters does nothing except give you a chance to use your
offensive skills and maybe give you treasure. You don't get "experience
points". There's nothing wrong with lots of combat as long as it serves
a goal other than "leveling up".

If you provide a setting in which people can roleplay and which helps to
support the belief that they're in another world, then the players who
want to will role-play. If a game is just a hack-n-slash fest, then
even those who like roleplaying will probably resort to powergaming,
which, to me, is the opposite of role-playing. Games like that can be
fun (I've been playing Diablo2 a lot recently, which is pretty much
centered around power-gaming), but they do get old after a while,
especially when so many games are the same.
Anonymous
May 23, 2005 9:32:54 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Timothy Pruett wrote:

> So my question to everyone here is, how could role-playing be
> implemented in a game? What features would you need? More importantly,
> how can players have fun without a strong focus on combat? In my
> opinion, real fantasy stories have very little focus on combat, and the
> heroes rarely slay thousands of rats and goblins in their epic quests.
> All combat is kept to a relative minimum, and the few battles are much
> more dramatic and moving because of that.
>
> Well, any suggestions as to how a real "role-playing" game could be
> made? I probably have much less experience with P&P role-playing than
> most of the regulars here, so you guys are probably much more capable of
> tackling this problem.

Quit awarding score (or character power) for monsters slain, and
give the characters access to useful "stealth" skills and powers.

Instead of awarding score for slain monsters, award score for
exploring previously unseen areas, finding nifty stuff, and
consistent play of selected ethos.

Bear
Anonymous
May 23, 2005 12:36:50 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Timothy Pruett wrote:

> And by the way, I must be one of the lucky ones. I still get to run
> around with wooden swords and have fun, thanks to the fact that I
have
> a 7 year old brother. I guess that's the benefit of getting a new
> sibling *way* late in life. ;-) I get to warriors and wizards, and
> the like, every time I visit.

Thanks to my father, I'm stuck with doll houses :( 
Anonymous
May 23, 2005 12:44:57 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Ray Dillinger <bear@sonic.net> wrote in message news:<aWdke.1698$W51.12145@typhoon.sonic.net>...
> Timothy Pruett wrote:
>
> > Well, any suggestions as to how a real "role-playing" game could be
> > made? I probably have much less experience with P&P role-playing than
> > most of the regulars here, so you guys are probably much more capable of
> > tackling this problem.
>
> Quit awarding score (or character power) for monsters slain, and
> give the characters access to useful "stealth" skills and powers.
>
> Instead of awarding score for slain monsters, award score for
> exploring previously unseen areas, finding nifty stuff, and
> consistent play of selected ethos.
>

I would like to mention that in this case, "awarding score for"
couldn't really be experience. Exploring unseen areas might teach you
something, or maybe of anything, and reward traditional experience,
but following one's ethos should make your deity happy, not dish out
experience. Similarly, getting good stuff should give you the power of
those items or the money they are worth, not experience.

If skills increased with use, thieves would have a real incentive to
steal. Getting past few sentries, an alarm trap, snatching that
bejeweled tiara and getting out of there without being seen would be
very rewarding experience.

I wonder what kind of a stealth skill would be useful AND intuitive in
a roguelike? Walking unburdened, without armor other than those soft
leather shoes and dark cloak, should make it easier, but how could the
game make some spots have more cover than others?

1) partial LoS-blocking
some wall-materials should just hamper, not block, seeing. Seeing
through them would be easier the closer you were to it, but it should
be possible to catch a glimpse of movement even from long distance. It
shouldn't affect anything if the thief stops moving. I quess shadows
could work as partial walls like this, being much weaker but more
common that e.g. gardens, trees or corners.

2) disguises
You could wear guard's equipment, and unless they got too close to
you, they would just think you are one of them. Shouldn't work at
close distances, except possibly for most gullible guards. E.g. at a
palace you should wear something exquisite, even if it is just a black
cloak with silver lining. With it, you could be mistaked for a noble.
Alternatively, you could try out getting through as a servant.

3) situational bonuses
Guards should be able to get distracted (get sleepy, hungry,
thirsty..., start discussing with someone), and you should be able to
both cause and utilize these. As an example, in hot weather, you could
offer a guard some nauseating beer, or add some slightly toxic powder
to their drink.

4) terrain bonuses
Walking on a carpet on the other side of the big hall should be easier
than sneaking past sleeping guard on well-lit, stone-floor tunnel.
However, I don't know how light could be presented on screen.


Endoperez,
Janne Joensuu
I have no experience from making games, but I am happy to write some
ideas of mine for whoever might do some new game for me to enjoy... :D 
Anonymous
May 23, 2005 1:49:05 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

J. W. McCall wrote:
> Well, it's all up to the player as to whether or not he will play a role
> in a game. I try to roleplay (as in, imagining that I'm a player and
> behaving how I think that player would behave, not necessarily what
> leads to the best chance of "winning") in many games, even if they're
> not really role-playing games. Some people have no interest in
> role-playing and must "win" at all costs, and do whatever manipulations
> of the rules or mechanics it takes to win.
>
> That being said, certain games encourage role-playing over powergaming,
> or at least help those who *want* to roleplay.

Good point.

> To me, some features that are conducive to roleplaying are:
>
> 1) Immersiveness. This includes having a very believable setting.
> Whenever something ruins your immersiveness, you remember that you're
> sitting in front of a computer playing a game, which is not usually
> desired. It's easier to imagine being a real person (er, someone
> else...I assume that everyone reading this is, indeed, a real person)
> when it's easy to imagine being in a real world.

Definitely. This applies to all games, yet so many games get it
wrong. In fact, this is one of the reasons I was hesitant to make the
shift from ASCII to tiled graphics. But eventually I decided that, as
long as the game world was consistant, there was no way
average-looking graphics could break immersiveness.

> 2) Open-endedness. You should be able to do whatever you want within a
> game. If you want to be a theif and make a living robbing and stealing,
> you should be able to. If you want to help people, you should be able
> to to do that. If you want to discover lost secrets and explore ruins
> of ancient civilizations, you should be able to. If you want to run a
> trade empire, that should be doable too. Or if you just want to loot
> dungeons, that should be available too. Being forced into a certain
> path ruins the suspension of disbelief and once again reminds us that
> we're playing a game. I realize that being completely open-ended is
> very difficult if not impossible, but it's definately a goal to work
> towards.

Having it being completely open-ended would indeed be impossible, but
as long as it's open-ended enough, you can trick the player into
believing anything was possible. I like your suggestions above, as to
possibilities the player should have, and they all sound fun. I'd
love to play a game where I could play a thief (who was actually a
thief, and not just a weaker warrior with lock-picking skills), or an
explorer, like Lara Croft or Indiana Jones, or a greedy politician who
seizes control over the local trade. Very cool.

> 3) Combat shouldn't be necessary to advance. This is a problem with
> the vast majority of roleplaying games. You have to get experience to
> advance. To get experience, you usually have to kill stuff. This makes
> sense for warriors, but why should thieves have to kill stuff to be a
> better thief? See the Elder Scrolls series, which has levels, but is
> skill-based. The more you use skills, the more your skills improve. The
> more your skills improve, the higher level you become. Thus if you're a
> thief, you can sneak, pick locks, climb things, etc and you'll become a
> better thief without having to enter a dungeon and kill things. Killing
> monsters does nothing except give you a chance to use your offensive
> skills and maybe give you treasure. You don't get "experience points".
> There's nothing wrong with lots of combat as long as it serves a goal
> other than "leveling up".

Definitely. I'd actually like to see a game that was completely
stats-free, and all numbers are hidden behind the scenes. That'd be
ideal for role-playing, IMO. The player has to rely on his given
perception of how powerful he is, rather than getting a precise
figure. So then the player becomes a thief, and sneaks around, picks
locks, and climb things, etc, and becomes better, but the player
wouldn't know for sure how much so.

> If you provide a setting in which people can roleplay and which helps to
> support the belief that they're in another world, then the players who
> want to will role-play. If a game is just a hack-n-slash fest, then
> even those who like roleplaying will probably resort to powergaming,
> which, to me, is the opposite of role-playing. Games like that can be
> fun (I've been playing Diablo2 a lot recently, which is pretty much
> centered around power-gaming), but they do get old after a while,
> especially when so many games are the same.

I agree. Everyone enjoys a bit of powergaming now and again, but it
quickly becomes stale. Setting seems to be the key to role-playing,
as you said.

Thanks for the post. Lots of good ideas, and very informative. :-)


--
Read more about my three projects, SoulEaterRL,
Necropolis, and a little toy RL.

http://www.freewebs.com/timsrl/index.htm

--
Anonymous
May 23, 2005 1:50:48 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Ray Dillinger wrote:
> Timothy Pruett wrote:
>
>> So my question to everyone here is, how could role-playing be
>> implemented in a game? What features would you need? More
>> importantly, how can players have fun without a strong focus on
>> combat? In my opinion, real fantasy stories have very little focus on
>> combat, and the heroes rarely slay thousands of rats and goblins in
>> their epic quests. All combat is kept to a relative minimum, and the
>> few battles are much more dramatic and moving because of that.
>>
>> Well, any suggestions as to how a real "role-playing" game could be
>> made? I probably have much less experience with P&P role-playing than
>> most of the regulars here, so you guys are probably much more capable
>> of tackling this problem.
>
>
> Quit awarding score (or character power) for monsters slain, and
> give the characters access to useful "stealth" skills and powers.
>
> Instead of awarding score for slain monsters, award score for
> exploring previously unseen areas, finding nifty stuff, and
> consistent play of selected ethos.

Good point. That's much the same way I got awarded experience in the
few brief sessions of GURPS I played a few years back.


--
Read more about my three projects, SoulEaterRL,
Necropolis, and a little toy RL.

http://www.freewebs.com/timsrl/index.htm

--
Anonymous
May 23, 2005 1:54:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Uzytkownik "Timothy Pruett" <drakalor.tourist@gmail.com> napisal w
wiadomosci news:T5adnQEZ0rTVYA3fRVn-tA@adelphia.com...
> So why not get some real "role-playing" features put in? I was
> trying to think of how this could be done, and sadly, had some
> trouble with it. Perhaps my mind has been warped from countless
> hours hacking-and-slashing. Maybe I just don't have enough
> experience with real "role-playing". Or maybe a computer game just
> can't really have role-playing. I don't know.

Role-playing is what happens in your head, not on the screen. I have
seen people playing pen&paper RPGs and experiencing only a detailed
hack-and-slash simulation.
On the other hand I have succesfuly (altough 20 years ago) role-played
through Moon Cresta
(http://tips.retrogames.com/gamepage/mooncrst.html), shouting commands
into imaginary radio, waiting for imaginary back-up from imaginary
base (that never came, because the base was taken over by aliens :-),
and even having direct radio contact with the evil bosses. I believe a
kid of 8 can role-play through any computer game, and probably
anything at all (any Calvin&Hobbes fans around?). Playing a role is
the primal kind of play (little animals do it all the time, playing
hunting).
Sometimes I think all the complicated rulebooks are simply an alibi
for people considering themselves too old for simply running around
with a stick, shouting "I am a mighty hero with a magical sword, I
will kil you, you evil incarnate".
Come to think of it, I wouldn't want anybody to see me during an RL
session :-) I usually hum an epic soundtrack, talk to the monsters and
make Clinteastwoodish faces as I kill Rehetep.

regards,
Filip
Anonymous
May 23, 2005 1:58:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Filip Dreger wrote:
> Uzytkownik "Timothy Pruett" <drakalor.tourist@gmail.com> napisal w
> wiadomosci news:T5adnQEZ0rTVYA3fRVn-tA@adelphia.com...
>
>>So why not get some real "role-playing" features put in? I was
>>trying to think of how this could be done, and sadly, had some
>>trouble with it. Perhaps my mind has been warped from countless
>>hours hacking-and-slashing. Maybe I just don't have enough
>>experience with real "role-playing". Or maybe a computer game just
>>can't really have role-playing. I don't know.
>
>
> Role-playing is what happens in your head, not on the screen. I have
> seen people playing pen&paper RPGs and experiencing only a detailed
> hack-and-slash simulation.
> On the other hand I have succesfuly (altough 20 years ago) role-played
> through Moon Cresta
> (http://tips.retrogames.com/gamepage/mooncrst.html), shouting commands
> into imaginary radio, waiting for imaginary back-up from imaginary
> base (that never came, because the base was taken over by aliens :-),
> and even having direct radio contact with the evil bosses. I believe a
> kid of 8 can role-play through any computer game, and probably
> anything at all (any Calvin&Hobbes fans around?). Playing a role is
> the primal kind of play (little animals do it all the time, playing
> hunting).
> Sometimes I think all the complicated rulebooks are simply an alibi
> for people considering themselves too old for simply running around
> with a stick, shouting "I am a mighty hero with a magical sword, I
> will kil you, you evil incarnate".
> Come to think of it, I wouldn't want anybody to see me during an RL
> session :-) I usually hum an epic soundtrack, talk to the monsters and
> make Clinteastwoodish faces as I kill Rehetep.

I sometimes got *way* too involved in my ADOM sessions. :-)

ADOM is, IMO, one of the few RLs most conducive to role-playing, even
if it doesn't allow it that much. I once tried to role-play a
low-life thief, and had a blast. Granted, he didn't make it very far,
but it was still fun. I also loved occasionally role-playing big,
stupid trolls, who would march straight to Terinyo and attempt to
slaughter the whole bunch of them. I once actually managed to get my
level 1 trollish barbarian to kill everyone but Guth'Alak, Blups, and
the shopkeeper. Got that sheriff bastard! Hurrah!

So, yeah, I agree with you that it's all in the mind of the player,
but some games definitely encourage it more than others.

And by the way, I must be one of the lucky ones. I still get to run
around with wooden swords and have fun, thanks to the fact that I have
a 7 year old brother. I guess that's the benefit of getting a new
sibling *way* late in life. ;-) I get to warriors and wizards, and
the like, every time I visit.


--
Read more about my three projects, SoulEaterRL,
Necropolis, and a little toy RL.

http://www.freewebs.com/timsrl/index.htm

--
Anonymous
May 23, 2005 6:05:44 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Jim Strathmeyer a écrit :
> Why do games bleed themselves dry to have the latest graphics, and yet
> they can't seem to code simple AI? I'd like to see NPC's that behave
> like a real character. Go to work, sleep, go to down, buy important
> items, get lost in the old mine and need rescued.

Ultima 7 got NPC schedules and activities and it was very good. I've
spent hours ( of game time ) just staying in place and watching the
various NPCs interact as they did their work. The only thing that really
bothered me was that I couldn't just sit at a table at the inn and be
served like the other NPCs did :'( 

Also, Bethesda software said they would do that for the next "the Elder
Scrolls" and even more with in fact the dynamic NPC reactions ( Ultima 7
was all static and hard coded ). Let's hope they deliver that :) 

They also said that most of Oblivion would be "automaticaly generated"
because it would take too much time for their game designers else.
Anonymous
May 23, 2005 8:10:32 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Just to throw my two cents in:

See if you can get a copy of the Call Of Cthulhu PnP rules from
Chaosium. I don't mean the D20 version, but the "old" fifth edition.

One nice thing there is that, although characters pick "jobs" (read
"character classes") these jobs are not about how many hit points or
attack bonusses you get, but instead, which skills you are especially
good with. And the beauty of the system is that you have a
(theoretically) unlimited number of classes, depending on skill
selection. To quote the whole character creation would be a bit much,
let it be suffice to say that after establishing the attributes
(Strength, Dexterity blah blah) the rest of character creation is just
about picking skills. The newly made character has a couple of
"occupation"-related skills, stuff that is useful for his job
..Archaeologists (sp) for example have Library Use, History, Research et
cetera, while Private Investigators are more along the lines of
Stealth, Lockpicking, Driving, Interrogation, just as an example, don't
have my books with me right now. Then they choose some "personal"
skills, stuff they picked up before "starting their adventuring".
And they don't collect experience points, they just tick off the skills
they use (at the GM's discretion) for a given time period, which
usually is an adventure or a game session, depending on the GM. That
would translate into a fixed time frame in a cRPG, I guess. When this
time has elapsed (say, at the end of the adventure) each skill improves
by a randomly determined number of points. So if a character does much
talikng, his Bluff, Interrogation and other social skills will go up,
while the book-worm will power his Library Use or Research skills. The
problem with a cRPG implementation though would be the abuse problem.
If a powergamer would play, he certainly would try to do many
activities that power a certain skill, to max that skill quickly
(Morrowind anyone?). Maybe that can be lessened by ruling that higher
skill levels require either more uses to level up or that, at a certain
point, you can only progress with that skill when properly educated -
there's only so much you can learn on your own before retreading your
steps...

Ugh, Game Mechanics :-)
Anyway, just some thoughts

Cheers
Christian "BlackFurredBeast" Pohl
Anonymous
May 23, 2005 8:25:55 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

hehe, to rip a page out of "Designing Splinter Cell"...

_IF_ you could assign specific terrain values to floor/walls etc (like
in ADOM - water = drowning unless you can swin) why not implement a
"lighting" status to a square of floor/wall?

Just for argument's sake:
Say, a torch has a "bright" radius of 3 spaces and a "dim" radius of an
additional 2 spaces, we can have three zones of illumination (bright,
dim, darkness) in a room, each of which would impose either a
situational bonus or a malus on the thief's chance to hide and/or on
the guard's chance to spot him. Couple that with a noise index (Plate
Amor vs. soft, oiled leathers) and you have a pretty good set of tools
to design a stealth-friendly enviroment. I've been playing D&D 3.5 PnP
lately, and although it's badmouthed as a glorified hack'n'slash
system, it does have some nifty mechanics. Every piece of armor, for
example, has a so-called "Armor Check Penalty", which is slapped onto
certain skills, chief among them Move SIlently and Hide In Shadows. For
example, a set of padded armor (basically just a thickly padded set of
clothes) has an armor check penalty of 0, it's not very hindering
movement wise and cloth doesn't clank, but the trusty old platemail has
a hefty -8 ACP, which comes from it's weight and the clanking noise
that it produces. To see more details, check out the free D&D System
Reference Document (which contains nearly all D&D rules) at

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=d20/article/srd35

Hope that helped - or at least made some heads implode *eg*
Christian "BlackFurredBeast" Pohl
Anonymous
May 23, 2005 9:04:04 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Timothy Pruett wrote:
> I'd love
> to play a game where I could play a thief (who was actually a thief, and
> not just a weaker warrior with lock-picking skills), or an explorer,
> like Lara Croft or Indiana Jones, or a greedy politician who seizes
> control over the local trade. Very cool.

How about a game where you can play *with* Lara Croft? ;) 

--
http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/right-to-read.html
Palladium? Trusted Computing? DRM? Microsoft? Sauron.
"One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them
One ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them."
Anonymous
May 23, 2005 9:51:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Timothy Pruett wrote:
> Jim Strathmeyer wrote:

>> It seems that in the commercial game world, people are afraid to take
>> real innovative steps forward, instead staying with what has been done
>> before. Once you make random towns and random maps, the questions can
>> become truly random. Kill this random guy. Retrieve this random artifact
>> from this random place before this random bad guy gets it.
>
> I wouldn't call randomness "innovative". After all, Rogue did it
> decades ago, and it's been used numerous times over the years. I think
> it has less to do with companies being afraid of the risk, as opposed to
> being too lazy to do it, and too cheap to expand the budget to allow for
> it.

For any reasonable standards of graphics and playability (as in that
someone will want to buy the end-product), I can imagine why commercial
game developers are lazy and cheap.

If you have glorified tile graphics and simplistic random hitman jobs,
you have another Diablo, which already took significant resources to
develop. Since we seem to want a coherent environment and quests that
actually go beyond "fetch me a nail" and "deliver this twig" - with
dialog to boot - we're talking in budgets that few development houses
can afford at all, nevermind under risk of commercial failure.

Not that there haven't been randomised commercial CRPG games before, but
infinite adventures of self-repetition have somehow failed to entice the
crowd so far.
Anonymous
May 23, 2005 10:04:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Twisted One wrote:

> How about a game where you can play *with* Lara Croft? ;) 

Dennis Miller said it best:

"Folks, when we have virtual reality that allows Joe Sixpack to get it
on with Claudia Schiffer for $25 bucks a pop, that's when we'll see a
level of addiction that make crack look like Sanka."

sherm--

--
Cocoa programming in Perl: http://camelbones.sourceforge.net
Hire me! My resume: http://www.dot-app.org
Anonymous
May 23, 2005 10:07:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Filip Dreger wrote:

> I usually hum an epic soundtrack, talk to the monsters and
> make Clinteastwoodish faces as I kill Rehetep.

So, what you're saying is that you squint your eyes just enough to
barely be noticable...

sherm--

--
Cocoa programming in Perl: http://camelbones.sourceforge.net
Hire me! My resume: http://www.dot-app.org
Anonymous
May 23, 2005 10:16:48 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Sherm Pendley wrote:
> Twisted One wrote:
>
>> How about a game where you can play *with* Lara Croft? ;) 
>
> Dennis Miller said it best:
>
> "Folks, when we have virtual reality that allows Joe Sixpack to get it
> on with Claudia Schiffer for $25 bucks a pop, that's when we'll see a
> level of addiction that make crack look like Sanka."

It wouldn't actually matter if it were Leeann Tweeden even -- sexual
satiation is self-limiting, unlike crack and the like. ;) 

Anyways, when it's $25 bucks a pop, instead of something you can
download and run on home hardware for at most a one-time fee for your
copy of the software, I'll know someone is getting greedy. It would
probably fail anyway -- remember DivX? Imagine if right now some
enterprising pornographer released an adult movie only to pay-per-view,
without any DVDs or other "own a copy forever" one-time-cost options --
they'd be laughed out of the market by consumers who'd just get whatever
*was* available on DVD. Seen one adult movie, seen em all anyway...

--
http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/right-to-read.html
Palladium? Trusted Computing? DRM? Microsoft? Sauron.
"One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them
One ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them."
Anonymous
May 24, 2005 1:02:45 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

BFBeast <chris5975@web.de> wrote:
> Just for argument's sake: Say, a torch has a "bright" radius of 3
> spaces and a "dim" radius of an additional 2 spaces, we can have three
> zones of illumination (bright, dim, darkness) in a room, each of which
> would impose either a situational bonus or a malus on the thief's
> chance to hide and/or on the guard's chance to spot him. Couple that
> with a noise index (Plate Amor vs. soft, oiled leathers) and you have
> a pretty good set of tools to design a stealth-friendly enviroment.

There's no reason why you can't use real numbers here. The brighness is
a value that decays exponentially with distance from the sources; same
with 'sound'.

D&D was made to be used with dice, and thus uses whole numbers, but
you've got a computer here. Nethack was modeled directly off of D&D.

Use real numbers.

--
Jim Strathmeyer
Anonymous
May 24, 2005 3:53:32 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

I'm coming late to this discussion, but here's my two cents...

Pen and paper role playing is largely about character concept. You
create a character, you know what he likes and dislikes, then you act
out his reactions in situations presented by the game master. That's
kind of a mechanical way to describe role playing but I think it's
sufficient for this discussion.

Role-playing in a computer game really comes down to choice. It's not
possible to build a CRPG in which the player has complete freedom of
choice, merely because it's not possible for a designer to anticipate
everything that the players might want to do. However, it is possible
to provide sufficient choices so that the player is free to express his
character concept within the game.

Problems should have more than one solution; some solutions should be
easier or better than others, but there shouldn't generally be a single
"correct" solution. The player should not be railroaded into following
a specific course through the game. The game should react to the
player's actions appropriately. Choices should have consequences that
are more than just cosmetic.

I think the importance of choice applies to the rules of the game as
well as to the adventure. In many RLs, most characters who finish the
game resemble each other. They've all got maximum stats, maximum
skills, and the same set of artifacts. This is to be avoided.

This is just my opinion; feel free to disagree with some or all of it.

- Joseph Hewitt
Anonymous
May 24, 2005 6:03:26 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Timothy Pruett schrieb:
<snip>
> Definitely. I'd actually like to see a game that was completely
> stats-free, and all numbers are hidden behind the scenes. That'd be
> ideal for role-playing, IMO. The player has to rely on his given
> perception of how powerful he is, rather than getting a precise
> figure. So then the player becomes a thief, and sneaks around, picks

> locks, and climb things, etc, and becomes better, but the player
> wouldn't know for sure how much so.

Stat-free would be very nice, but you'll need to provide _some_
feedback on what the player is capable of. Have the game world act as a
"mirror" in which the player see how his character is precieved by
others. Does he carry lots of weaons and armor? Have people ask him for
help cleaning out monsters - or the local guards ask him where he wants
to go with all the hardware :-).
Same with sneaky people - if the character wears dark stuff, sneaky
boots and a hooded cloak, he might draw attention from the local
baddies (unwanted competition, anyone?) or the law. And depending on
the "open-mindedness" of the game world, an obvious spellcaster might
have to dodge witch-hunters.
Have a charismatic person generate other responses/greetings than a
non-charismatic one. Allow for different ways of persuading people
(bribing, charming, intimidating, fast-talking or a mix of those). Give
the player feedback, even if it's number-free. Encourage risk-taking
and reward that.
As a Pen&Paper GM, I found it very important to have the enviroment
react to the player. For example, in one D&D session I GM'ed, I had one
dark elven player enter a small shop in a backwater village. General
belief in these parts was that dark elves are flesh-eating
monstrosities, and the shopkeeper nearly lost his wits when suddenly a
battle-ready dark-elf entered his shop and wanted to buy some rations.
My player played a "good" dark elf, and she spent some very amusing
time persuading the shop keeper that she didn't want to kidnap his
family or rob his shop. Hilarious. Oh yeah, and the game system should
be flexible enough to allow some "unusual" ways of dealing with fights.
In ADOM, for example, as soon as a monster is flagged as "hostile",
there's no way to stop it except for killing/disabling it. But how cool
would it be if a charismatic character would walk through town, get
ambushed by a thief ("Give me all yer stuff!") but instead of having to
kill the thief he talks his way out of the situation? If he's good
enough, he may get the thief to repent his evil ways and surrender
himself to the local authorities? In a PnP session, these are the best
moments for me as GM (or the worst, if you totally _want_ the party to
fight, but the characters instead try to negotiate and talk their way
out of trouble).

Cheers
Christian "BlackFurredBeast" Pohl
Anonymous
May 24, 2005 7:27:43 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

BFBeast wrote:
> Just to throw my two cents in:
>
> See if you can get a copy of the Call Of Cthulhu PnP rules from
> Chaosium. I don't mean the D20 version, but the "old" fifth edition.

There is also a new sixth edition of the traditional system, more
recent than the d20 deviation.
They seem to be parallel product lines. See http://www.chaosium.com for
their catalogue.

Lorenzo Gatti
Anonymous
May 24, 2005 11:01:04 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Bear wrote:

> I recall at least one table RPG game that worked similarly; I
> think it was based on Michael Moorcock's Elric books. You
> kept track of the skills you exercised during the session,
> and at the end of the session you rolled percentiles; if you
> got a roll higher than your skill, your skill went up by a
> point. Thus, the max was 100%, and progress got slower the
> higher your skill went.
>
> Bear

Incidentially, that Elric of Melniboné game was made by Chaosium, the
same company behind CoC, and they used a similar game system :-)

The PnP geek
Christian "BlackFurredBeast" Pohl
May 24, 2005 12:58:43 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

On 2005-05-23 16:51:45, Aki Rossi <aki.rossi@iki.fi> wrote:

>
> Not that there haven't been randomised commercial CRPG games before, but
> infinite adventures of self-repetition have somehow failed to entice the
> crowd so far.
>

I know one - Daggerfall, and despite innumerable bugs, horrible dungeons, not
enough different random quests, (same aplies to various countless cities, and
citizens - too many, but not that much differentiated) that game was/is great.
Actually part of Morrowind's success was becouse of Daggerfall.

Actually, one fixed plot, but slightly different for different races/classes
etc. of player char, affected by his/her choices, add random quests and
dungeons, add fixed and random NPCs, make them affected by random quests (that
one most important quest-giver was kidnapped...etc.), make it a
roguelike....whoa...you got a game many pepole dream of...
Anonymous
May 24, 2005 1:13:50 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

BFBeast wrote:

> And they don't collect experience points, they just tick off the skills
> they use (at the GM's discretion) for a given time period, which
> usually is an adventure or a game session, depending on the GM. That
> would translate into a fixed time frame in a cRPG, I guess. When this
> time has elapsed (say, at the end of the adventure) each skill improves
> by a randomly determined number of points. So if a character does much
> talikng, his Bluff, Interrogation and other social skills will go up,
> while the book-worm will power his Library Use or Research skills. The
> problem with a cRPG implementation though would be the abuse problem.
> If a powergamer would play, he certainly would try to do many
> activities that power a certain skill, to max that skill quickly


Actually, it's a nice self-limiting mechanic. Once you've
exercised a given skill, there's no point in doing so again
until the next time period. And if I were coding it, I just
wouldn't let the player know when the time periods started
and ended. Make 'em random intervals of 12-36 game hours,
and award skill increases 1-24 hours after the period ends.

I recall at least one table RPG game that worked similarly; I
think it was based on Michael Moorcock's Elric books. You
kept track of the skills you exercised during the session,
and at the end of the session you rolled percentiles; if you
got a roll higher than your skill, your skill went up by a
point. Thus, the max was 100%, and progress got slower the
higher your skill went.

Bear
Anonymous
May 24, 2005 5:44:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Timothy Pruett <drakalor.tourist@gmail.com> wrote:
> Any company that produced a game like that would have a potential
> goldmine on their hands. You seem to neglect the fact that great
> games produce rabid fan-bases, who will typically buy anything their
> favorite company releases. Plus, for even more money making

You guys have played Galactic Civilizations, right? Random, replayable,
game is constantly changed/updated by the creators in response to the
players (ala Nethack et al.) (after you finish a game, you can upload
your score to the central highscores database, which also tracks
everything about your game, so that they can detect scumming and tune
game balance).

> Look at the Sims. It features relatively bland and out-dated
> graphics, but _still_ keeps selling like crazy. The Civilization
> series still sports graphics which can't compare to the latest shooter
> or RPG, but they still sell like crazy too.

Don't get me started on the Sims. Worst game ever. The fact that is
sells embodies everything that is wrong with mankind.

--
Jim Strathmeyer
Anonymous
May 24, 2005 7:37:19 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Twisted One wrote:

> Maybe book authors just don't consider all the details of rat slaying
> and leveling up to be worth devoting time to?

indeed, i don't recall a single dramatic event where a lone rat
attacked a protagonist;
hordes of rats, on the other hand...
Anonymous
May 24, 2005 8:13:53 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Jim Strathmeyer wrote:
> Timothy Pruett <drakalor.tourist@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>>Any company that produced a game like that would have a potential
>>goldmine on their hands. You seem to neglect the fact that great
>>games produce rabid fan-bases, who will typically buy anything their
>>favorite company releases. Plus, for even more money making
>
>
> You guys have played Galactic Civilizations, right? Random, replayable,
> game is constantly changed/updated by the creators in response to the
> players (ala Nethack et al.) (after you finish a game, you can upload
> your score to the central highscores database, which also tracks
> everything about your game, so that they can detect scumming and tune
> game balance).

No, I actually haven't had a chance to try it. But they seem to have
the right idea.

>>Look at the Sims. It features relatively bland and out-dated
>>graphics, but _still_ keeps selling like crazy. The Civilization
>>series still sports graphics which can't compare to the latest shooter
>>or RPG, but they still sell like crazy too.
>
>
> Don't get me started on the Sims. Worst game ever. The fact that is
> sells embodies everything that is wrong with mankind.

I never said it was a good game, just that it proves that cutting edge
graphics aren't necessary to sell games these days.

I personally can't stand the Sims, and think a team of monkeys could
code up a better game. The Sims is an unholy mockery of all that is
good and sacred. But it still proves my point.


--
Read more about my three projects, SoulEaterRL,
Necropolis, and a little toy RL.

http://www.freewebs.com/timsrl/index.htm

--
Anonymous
May 24, 2005 10:19:44 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Timothy Pruett wrote:
> I just finished a _very_ long coding session, and, to avoid burnout,
> decided to take a couple days off from all coding altogether. Anyways,
> this has prompted me to spend more time thinking about game design than
> I normally do, and I've had a couple thoughts pertaining to RPGs and RLs.

Aaaaah. My favourite subject :-D (next to Random Quests...)

> Now, I've been playing games for a long time now, and have gone through
> countless RPGs and RLs. One detail that I'm aware of, but rarely think
> about consciously, is that computer "role-playing" games never seem to
> actually feature anything remotely like role-playing. They typically end
> up being nothing more than detailed combat simulations with a back-story
> and dialogue. Now, traditionally, RLs were *supposed* to be
> dungeon-crawling combat simulations, but the bridge between RPGs and RLs
> is gradually being closed. More and more RLs devote focus to plot, NPC
> interaction, and other RPG features.

There are attempts. But the only role-playing in most cRPGs is the
choice between "Yay! I'm Good!" and "Boo! I'm Evil!". Alas, this is the
*only* Role-plaing element in cRPGs :-(. One. One stupid choice.

> So why not get some real "role-playing" features put in? I was trying
> to think of how this could be done, and sadly, had some trouble with
> it. Perhaps my mind has been warped from countless hours
> hacking-and-slashing. Maybe I just don't have enough experience with
> real "role-playing". Or maybe a computer game just can't really have
> role-playing. I don't know.

"GenRogue will feature a behind the scenes Game Master entity that will
control the world" -- I wrote that once in a Design Doc (and on a
newsgroup). I recently stumbled upon it, and though for about an hour
what did I mean by that... Guess I'm getting old.

> So my question to everyone here is, how could role-playing be
> implemented in a game? What features would you need? More importantly,
> how can players have fun without a strong focus on combat?

The best role-playing system I far so found (although still very little
evolved, and with a much too small impact) was in GearHead. What I love
about GearHead is that there is no "Good" and "Evil" -- there's
personality. I'm sure to be inspired by that in my work on GR.

> opinion, real fantasy stories have very little focus on combat, and the
> heroes rarely slay thousands of rats and goblins in their epic quests.
> All combat is kept to a relative minimum, and the few battles are much
> more dramatic and moving because of that.

True. But can you imagine a cRPG that doesn't focus on combat and
DOESN'T railroad you to fixed an cliche plots?

> Well, any suggestions as to how a real "role-playing" game could be
> made?

Yes. Let me kill that damn king, and give me a chance to get away with
it -- and more importantly make the world react accordingly. Never
railroad the player into anything. Try to make the plot adapt to
anything that might happen. Impossible? GenRogue. Yup, for me it starts
to sound as a synonym :-(.

> I probably have much less experience with P&P role-playing than
> most of the regulars here, so you guys are probably much more capable of
> tackling this problem.

I'm a Game Master since I was 10. I played with many, many RPG systems.
But I almost never was a player. Does that count?
--
At your service,
Kornel Kisielewicz (charonATmagma-net.pl) [http://chaos.magma-net.pl]
"The name of GenRogue, has become a warning against excessively
complex design." -- RGRD FAQ
Anonymous
May 24, 2005 10:34:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Timothy Pruett wrote:
> Definitely. This applies to all games, yet so many games get it wrong.
> In fact, this is one of the reasons I was hesitant to make the shift
> from ASCII to tiled graphics. But eventually I decided that, as long as
> the game world was consistant, there was no way average-looking graphics
> could break immersiveness.

Average-looking is a defferent term depending on taste. I never saw any
roguelike tileset I would consider at least average looking (that I
would prefer over ASCII). I'm a wierd person -- it's either has to be at
least Diablo-level (with animations) or ASCII.

> Definitely. I'd actually like to see a game that was completely
> stats-free, and all numbers are hidden behind the scenes. That'd be
> ideal for role-playing, IMO.

I considered that for GenRogue, but with a little different approach --
all the stats would be descriptive (generated based oon underlying
numbers).

>> powergaming, which, to me, is the opposite of role-playing. Games
>> like that can be fun (I've been playing Diablo2 a lot recently, which
>> is pretty much centered around power-gaming), but they do get old
>> after a while, especially when so many games are the same.

I stopped playing Diablo after Act III. It stopped being appealing to
me, and to repettetive...
--
At your service,
Kornel Kisielewicz (charonATmagma-net.pl) [http://chaos.magma-net.pl]
"Gott weiss, Ich will kein Engel sein..." -- Rammstein /Engel/
Anonymous
May 24, 2005 10:38:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Filip Dreger wrote:
> On the other hand I have succesfuly (altough 20 years ago) role-played
> through Moon Cresta
> (http://tips.retrogames.com/gamepage/mooncrst.html), shouting commands
> into imaginary radio, waiting for imaginary back-up from imaginary
> base (that never came, because the base was taken over by aliens :-),

It may sound stupid, but the game I role-played the most in was... Dune
I. I haven't seen the movie nor read the book before, and that night I
played it for the first time was... like magic.
--
At your service,
Kornel Kisielewicz (charonATmagma-net.pl) [http://chaos.magma-net.pl]
"From what I've read, a lot of people believe that GenRogue
exists and will be released some day" -- Arxenia Xentrophore
Anonymous
May 24, 2005 10:41:54 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Timothy Pruett wrote:
> Filip Dreger wrote:
> I sometimes got *way* too involved in my ADOM sessions. :-)
>
> ADOM is, IMO, one of the few RLs most conducive to role-playing, even if
> it doesn't allow it that much.

Well, I always play a Good Female Dark Elf Assassin, and it never works
the way it should :-/

> And by the way, I must be one of the lucky ones. I still get to run
> around with wooden swords and have fun, thanks to the fact that I have a
> 7 year old brother. I guess that's the benefit of getting a new sibling
> *way* late in life. ;-) I get to warriors and wizards, and the like,
> every time I visit.

LOL! Don't worry -- I get to duel with lightsabers with my little 8-year
old brother :-D

But the tragic fact is that I study in the city where I live, so I get
bashed by my brother every day :-/
--
At your service,
Kornel Kisielewicz (charonATmagma-net.pl) [http://chaos.magma-net.pl]
"Come on, Kornel. 11 years and no binary? And it's not
vapourware?" -- Mike Blackney
Anonymous
May 24, 2005 10:41:55 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Kornel Kisielewicz wrote:
> Timothy Pruett wrote:
>
>> Filip Dreger wrote:
>> I sometimes got *way* too involved in my ADOM sessions. :-)
>>
>> ADOM is, IMO, one of the few RLs most conducive to role-playing, even
>> if it doesn't allow it that much.
>
>
> Well, I always play a Good Female Dark Elf Assassin, and it never works
> the way it should :-/

That's why you gotta play it like it should. ;-)

I role-played a Chaotic Dark Elven Warrior. Died when I tried to
clear out Dwarftown of all that Dwarven scum, though. :-)

>> And by the way, I must be one of the lucky ones. I still get to run
>> around with wooden swords and have fun, thanks to the fact that I have
>> a 7 year old brother. I guess that's the benefit of getting a new
>> sibling *way* late in life. ;-) I get to warriors and wizards, and
>> the like, every time I visit.
>
>
> LOL! Don't worry -- I get to duel with lightsabers with my little 8-year
> old brother :-D

Ah, good fun. :-)

> But the tragic fact is that I study in the city where I live, so I get
> bashed by my brother every day :-/


--
Read more about my three projects, SoulEaterRL,
Necropolis, and a little toy RL.

http://www.freewebs.com/timsrl/index.htm

--
Anonymous
May 24, 2005 10:53:07 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

On 2005-05-24, Kornel Kisielewicz <kisielewicz@gazeta.pl> wrote:
> It never occured to you, that the companies might actually be afraid to
> make a too *good* game? Just look at it -- imagine ADoM with Diablo II
> graphics (or even 3D) -- it would be a hit, people would buy it a lot
> and... play it. And play it over and over again. And... don't feel the
> need to buy another game for some time... The major reason people buy

It seems to me that this has happened with the actual Diablo II. Not to
mention Starcraft. Both were released in the 90s, but they still seem to
have an active player base.

Not making too good a game makes sense for a game publisher, but not for
a game development team. The development team is looking for reputation
that will get them new publishing deals, and having made a game that
people keep playing for years will certainly make the developers more
attractive to game publishers. After all it's a lot easier to take a
really good game and dumb it down a bit so that it will still sell but
will get boring after a few months than to make a bad game sell. And
many games are still done by independent teams and bought by the
publishers, not made by the publishers themselves.

--
Risto Saarelma
Anonymous
May 24, 2005 11:14:01 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Kornel Kisielewicz wrote:
[ about StarCraft and Diablo II ]
> But they don't generate much income for Blizzard anymore.

Maybe not in Europe, but here in Korea they sure do. Starcraft has
changed from being just a computer game to being something more akin to
sporting goods. Every game store in the country keeps StarCraft and
Diablo II in stock. There's even a StarCraft gaming league which has
its own TV channel.

- Joseph Hewitt
Anonymous
May 25, 2005 12:00:47 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Timothy Pruett wrote:
> J. W. McCall wrote:
> > Well, it's all up to the player as to whether or not he will play a role
> > in a game. I try to roleplay (as in, imagining that I'm a player and
> > behaving how I think that player would behave, not necessarily what
> > leads to the best chance of "winning") in many games, even if they're
> > not really role-playing games. Some people have no interest in
> > role-playing and must "win" at all costs, and do whatever manipulations
> > of the rules or mechanics it takes to win.
> >
> > That being said, certain games encourage role-playing over powergaming,
> > or at least help those who *want* to roleplay.
>
> Good point.
>
> > To me, some features that are conducive to roleplaying are:
> >
> > 1) Immersiveness. This includes having a very believable setting.
> > Whenever something ruins your immersiveness, you remember that you're
> > sitting in front of a computer playing a game, which is not usually
> > desired. It's easier to imagine being a real person (er, someone
> > else...I assume that everyone reading this is, indeed, a real person)
> > when it's easy to imagine being in a real world.
>
> Definitely. This applies to all games, yet so many games get it
> wrong. In fact, this is one of the reasons I was hesitant to make the
> shift from ASCII to tiled graphics. But eventually I decided that, as
> long as the game world was consistant, there was no way
> average-looking graphics could break immersiveness.

Agree. OTOH, graphics that are downright bad will ruin the immersion,
but so will graphics that are exceptionally good. I played the Doom3
demo, and spent the whole time marveling at the graphics, and never
truly becoming immersed. a given grapical leevel has to be adapted to
by the player, and only when the shock of exceptional(good or bad)
graphics wears off can immersion occour.

Something else that will ruin immersion is doing something halfway: if
a feature is included, it had better be included all the way. In
Metroid prime, the first hour of play(for me) was filled with details
for the scanner to pick up. you caould scan almost anything and it
would return a potentially interesting blurb. By theend of the game,
the only things that could be scanned at all were plot devices and
monsters.

> > 2) Open-endedness. You should be able to do whatever you want within a
> > game. If you want to be a theif and make a living robbing and stealing,
> > you should be able to. If you want to help people, you should be able
> > to to do that. If you want to discover lost secrets and explore ruins
> > of ancient civilizations, you should be able to. If you want to run a
> > trade empire, that should be doable too. Or if you just want to loot
> > dungeons, that should be available too. Being forced into a certain
> > path ruins the suspension of disbelief and once again reminds us that
> > we're playing a game. I realize that being completely open-ended is
> > very difficult if not impossible, but it's definately a goal to work
> > towards.
>
> Having it being completely open-ended would indeed be impossible, but
> as long as it's open-ended enough, you can trick the player into
> believing anything was possible. I like your suggestions above, as to
> possibilities the player should have, and they all sound fun. I'd
> love to play a game where I could play a thief (who was actually a
> thief, and not just a weaker warrior with lock-picking skills), or an
> explorer, like Lara Croft or Indiana Jones, or a greedy politician who
> seizes control over the local trade. Very cool.

Open endedness is good, and I think the key to it is including a strong
set of basic rules, and including only minimal plot modifiers above
that basic level. mmorpgs try to realize this, but I think that they
fail in a profoundly lame way.

> > 3) Combat shouldn't be necessary to advance. This is a problem with
> > the vast majority of roleplaying games. You have to get experience to
> > advance. To get experience, you usually have to kill stuff. This makes
> > sense for warriors, but why should thieves have to kill stuff to be a
> > better thief? See the Elder Scrolls series, which has levels, but is
> > skill-based. The more you use skills, the more your skills improve. The
> > more your skills improve, the higher level you become. Thus if you're a
> > thief, you can sneak, pick locks, climb things, etc and you'll become a
> > better thief without having to enter a dungeon and kill things. Killing
> > monsters does nothing except give you a chance to use your offensive
> > skills and maybe give you treasure. You don't get "experience points".
> > There's nothing wrong with lots of combat as long as it serves a goal
> > other than "leveling up".
>
> Definitely. I'd actually like to see a game that was completely
> stats-free, and all numbers are hidden behind the scenes. That'd be
> ideal for role-playing, IMO. The player has to rely on his given
> perception of how powerful he is, rather than getting a precise
> figure. So then the player becomes a thief, and sneaks around, picks
> locks, and climb things, etc, and becomes better, but the player
> wouldn't know for sure how much so.

I percieve that leveling up, experience, etc could be done away with
altogether, so that skills or sets of skills can have thier own level.
for example: if you attack some monster, your cambat and sword skills
go up, slightly, but nothing happens besides that. if you rob a house,
your sneakiness and lock picking goes up(if the door was locked:-P) you
could even represent numbers as words(excellant, good, bad, terrible)

> > If you provide a setting in which people can roleplay and which helps to
> > support the belief that they're in another world, then the players who
> > want to will role-play. If a game is just a hack-n-slash fest, then
> > even those who like roleplaying will probably resort to powergaming,
> > which, to me, is the opposite of role-playing. Games like that can be
> > fun (I've been playing Diablo2 a lot recently, which is pretty much
> > centered around power-gaming), but they do get old after a while,
> > especially when so many games are the same.
>
> I agree. Everyone enjoys a bit of powergaming now and again, but it
> quickly becomes stale. Setting seems to be the key to role-playing,
> as you said.

Roleplaying is something that is done by the player, not the
game.Although some games are more conductive to roleplaying than
others, it is still the players job to hum epic music and talk to the
characters onsceen:)  As you make the game more and more of a
roleplaying game, it becomes harder and harder to make it more
roleplaying: you hit a point of diminishing returns.

> Thanks for the post. Lots of good ideas, and very informative. :-)
>
>
> --
> Read more about my three projects, SoulEaterRL,
> Necropolis, and a little toy RL.
>
> http://www.freewebs.com/timsrl/index.htm
>
> --
Anonymous
May 25, 2005 1:32:14 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Jim Strathmeyer wrote:
> Timothy Pruett <drakalor.tourist@gmail.com> wrote:
>>Look at the Sims. It features relatively bland and out-dated
>>graphics, but _still_ keeps selling like crazy. The Civilization
>>series still sports graphics which can't compare to the latest shooter
>>or RPG, but they still sell like crazy too.
>
> Don't get me started on the Sims. Worst game ever. The fact that is
> sells embodies everything that is wrong with mankind.

Kheh, I second that. Sims is a cop-out for people who can't handle
reality...
--
At your service,
Kornel Kisielewicz (charonATmagma-net.pl) [http://chaos.magma-net.pl]
"Shadows universe is non-heroic, unfair, cruel and designed to
start playing on your nerves and sanity." -- Anubis
Anonymous
May 25, 2005 1:33:26 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Risto Saarelma wrote:
> On 2005-05-24, Kornel Kisielewicz <kisielewicz@gazeta.pl> wrote:
>
>>It never occured to you, that the companies might actually be afraid to
>>make a too *good* game? Just look at it -- imagine ADoM with Diablo II
>>graphics (or even 3D) -- it would be a hit, people would buy it a lot
>>and... play it. And play it over and over again. And... don't feel the
>>need to buy another game for some time... The major reason people buy
>
> It seems to me that this has happened with the actual Diablo II. Not to
> mention Starcraft. Both were released in the 90s, but they still seem to
> have an active player base.

But they don't generate much income for Blizzard anymore.
--
At your service,
Kornel Kisielewicz (charonATmagma-net.pl) [http://chaos.magma-net.pl]
"Shadows universe is non-heroic, unfair, cruel and designed to
start playing on your nerves and sanity." -- Anubis
Anonymous
May 25, 2005 1:33:27 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Kornel Kisielewicz wrote:
> Risto Saarelma wrote:
>
>> On 2005-05-24, Kornel Kisielewicz <kisielewicz@gazeta.pl> wrote:
>>
>>> It never occured to you, that the companies might actually be afraid
>>> to make a too *good* game? Just look at it -- imagine ADoM with
>>> Diablo II graphics (or even 3D) -- it would be a hit, people would
>>> buy it a lot and... play it. And play it over and over again. And...
>>> don't feel the need to buy another game for some time... The major
>>> reason people buy
>>
>>
>> It seems to me that this has happened with the actual Diablo II. Not to
>> mention Starcraft. Both were released in the 90s, but they still seem to
>> have an active player base.
>
>
> But they don't generate much income for Blizzard anymore.

They still get indirect income from those two games. Large fan-base =
easier sales for future products.


--
Read more about my three projects, SoulEaterRL,
Necropolis, and a little toy RL.

http://www.freewebs.com/timsrl/index.htm

--
Anonymous
May 25, 2005 1:36:34 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

jasonnorthrup@yahoo.com wrote:
>
> Twisted One wrote:
>
>
>>Maybe book authors just don't consider all the details of rat slaying
>>and leveling up to be worth devoting time to?
>
>
> indeed, i don't recall a single dramatic event where a lone rat
> attacked a protagonist;
> hordes of rats, on the other hand...

Come on, there's nothing heroic about slaying rats. That's what
exterminators have to deal with. And I wouldn't call _them_ heroes.
And anything involving giant rats is just plain silly. With a few
exceptions, but only for comedic/satirical purposes. :-)


--
Read more about my three projects, SoulEaterRL,
Necropolis, and a little toy RL.

http://www.freewebs.com/timsrl/index.htm

--
Anonymous
May 25, 2005 3:59:23 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Timothy Pruett wrote:

>> And Doom 3 pissed me off after 3 hours of playing. Out of which 45
>> minutes was spent staring at the "Loading..." screen. I like Doom 1
>> better -- it's got a better pace :-).
>
> I haven't been able to try Doom 3, due to being way too massively
> underpowered to play. Unfortunately, I've heard so many mixed
> opinions on it. Half-Life 2, on the other hand, seems to be pretty
> universally liked.

Not universally. Half-Life 2 has been incredibly overrated. There are so
many gameplay mistakes in the game it isn't even fun. Of course, there are
very good points about the game too :)  In the end, I would place Doom 3 as
a better game than HL2 but only by a little.

Also, I hope I'm not the only one to find HL1 was also overrated :)  Unreal
was soooo much better.
Anonymous
May 25, 2005 3:59:24 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Christophe Cavalaria wrote:
> Also, I hope I'm not the only one to find HL1 was also overrated :)  Unreal
> was soooo much better.

No way :-). HL1 was outstanding. I can't think of any other game in
history that could keep me immersed for so long.


--
Read more about my three projects, SoulEaterRL,
Necropolis, and a little toy RL.

http://www.freewebs.com/timsrl/index.htm

--
Anonymous
May 25, 2005 4:18:16 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

In article <sYGdnfiOBr9mEQ7fRVn-jg@adelphia.com>, Timothy Pruett <drakalor.tourist@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>Look at the Sims. It features relatively bland and out-dated
>>>graphics, but _still_ keeps selling like crazy. The Civilization
>>>series still sports graphics which can't compare to the latest shooter
>>>or RPG, but they still sell like crazy too.
>>
>>
>> Don't get me started on the Sims. Worst game ever. The fact that is
>> sells embodies everything that is wrong with mankind.
>
>I never said it was a good game, just that it proves that cutting edge
>graphics aren't necessary to sell games these days.
>
>I personally can't stand the Sims, and think a team of monkeys could
>code up a better game. The Sims is an unholy mockery of all that is
>good and sacred. But it still proves my point.

The weird thing about this is, most people considered one of its
forerunners, Little Computer People, to be really amazing.

Alan
Anonymous
May 25, 2005 5:12:54 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Timothy Pruett wrote:
> Kornel Kisielewicz wrote:
>
>> Risto Saarelma wrote:
>>
>>> On 2005-05-24, Kornel Kisielewicz <kisielewicz@gazeta.pl> wrote:
>>>
>>>> It never occured to you, that the companies might actually be afraid
>>>> to make a too *good* game? Just look at it -- imagine ADoM with
>>>> Diablo II graphics (or even 3D) -- it would be a hit, people would
>>>> buy it a lot and... play it. And play it over and over again. And...
>>>> don't feel the need to buy another game for some time... The major
>>>> reason people buy
>>>
>>> It seems to me that this has happened with the actual Diablo II. Not to
>>> mention Starcraft. Both were released in the 90s, but they still seem to
>>> have an active player base.
>>
>> But they don't generate much income for Blizzard anymore.
>
> They still get indirect income from those two games. Large fan-base =
> easier sales for future products.

Because Diablo and StarCraft get boring after a time people want new
games. I still play StarCraft from time to time. But I don't like any of
the further products of Blizzard.
--
At your service,
Kornel Kisielewicz (charonATmagma-net.pl) [http://chaos.magma-net.pl]
"Due to Pascal's original purpose as a teaching language it forces one
to learn good habits - and those good habits stay with you, even when
you later migrate to a much more forgiving language." - Sherm Pendley
Anonymous
May 25, 2005 10:13:11 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

On 2005-05-24, Kornel Kisielewicz <kisielewicz@gazeta.pl> wrote:
>> Don't get me started on the Sims. Worst game ever. The fact that is
>> sells embodies everything that is wrong with mankind.
>
> Kheh, I second that. Sims is a cop-out for people who can't handle
> reality...

What are role-playing games then?

--
Risto Saarelma
Anonymous
May 25, 2005 11:14:44 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.roguelike.development (More info?)

Timothy Pruett schrieb:
<chainsaw snippage>
>
> Nah. I had Civ 2 for my Playstation, and used to have a blast. And
> recently I tried a quick game of Civ 3 at my friend's house, and found
> it to be really fun, and not all that different from it's predecessors.
>

I like Civ3 very much too, especially the cultural borders. But I get
_very_ unpleasant as soon as the cheap AI starts border wars because I
"forgot" to go building cities like crazy and there were some "unused"
map squares inside my borders. FreeCiv rectifies this problem a little,
but it's all about "Settle Like Mad" there too. So I've gone over to
"Call To Power II", which is a decent Civ game in disguise :-)

Chris "BlackFurredBeast" Pohl
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