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RPG Codex - Articles On Video Game Design 309

Posted by chrisd
from the writing-about-games dept.
chadeo writes "Ok all you arm chair game developers, listen up. Over at RPG Codex there are currently 4 articles, written by professionals in the industry, on RPG design. There is A Christmas lesson in CRPG design by Timothy Cain, Thoughts on RPG development by Leon Boyarsky, Hand of Gosh Darn Good Design by Chris Taylor, and Treatise on Combat to Pink Floyd by Gareth Davies. All of them are a great read, and you can join in the discussion with the authors and see how your ideas stack up. What do you think is the key to a great RPG?"
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RPG Codex - Articles On Video Game Design

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  • by FFCecil (623749) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @03:25PM (#4865111)
    . . . and don't forget the Big Breasted Protagonist (preferably female).
  • by anonymous coword (615639) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @03:27PM (#4865142) Homepage Journal
    Its called the Universe, its propeirty (but currently being reverse engineered), 6.3 billion people playing, and things are bought with real money! The winner is the person who manages to solve teh final puzzle (why are we here?)
  • by mr. mulder (204001) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @03:28PM (#4865151)
    A "good" RPG needs a serious storyline. Of course, there needs to be blod and guts, the attractive women, a love story (if it's Final Fantasy), a cool beastiary, and sweet weapons, but the most significant aspect that can make-or-break an RPG is the storyline!
  • Hmmm (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @03:29PM (#4865159)
    What do you think is the key to a great RPG?

    Umm, one that I can beat?

  • by r_arr (613036) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @03:30PM (#4865173)
    The word fantasy. Final Fantasy, Phantasy Star, Phantasy Star Online.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @03:32PM (#4865195)
    What idiot modded that one "flamebait"?

    Oh, I get it. "Flamebait", in this context, is just the closest available approximation to "+1 Truth Hurts".

  • by rmadmin (532701) <rmalekNO@SPAMhomecode.org> on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @03:43PM (#4865307) Homepage
    Indeed! I've enjoyed the latest Final Fantasy games sooo much. I never could figure out why I was so drawn to them untill I went back to play the original FF on my nintendo (Yes, I still have them, yes they work). The thing I noticed was that the newer ones didn't per se have a better story line (which they do, heh), but the story line is more convincing due to all the nice graphics and such. You get a much warmer fuzzy when CGI Rinoa and Squall are hooking up than when some little 8 bit blocky guy is like 'Message box: Your hot'. Just my two cents ;-)
  • Re:FFS (Score:4, Funny)

    by tmhsiao (47750) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @03:44PM (#4865321) Homepage Journal
    Can someone explain to me why something called Final Fantasy has like 10+ sequels?

  • by MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @03:57PM (#4865446)
    From the article on game combat, talking about myths related to "real-time" combat systems:


    "RT is cool" - As defined by who? Don't believe the hype kiddies, and besides, as an avid RPGer, I know we have nothing to do with cool. While we're sitting in a basement rolling dice, swilling Mountain Dew and other snacks while pretending to be mighty warriors in an alternate universe, cool people are out doing lines off naked women because they can. It still puzzles me why certain RPG developers seem so intent on following trends, when their consumer base couldn't be trendy, even with a +10 Bag of Conforming to the Social Norm.


    I couldn't have put it any better with a +3 megaphone of "you are a geek".
  • by gowen (141411) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @04:06PM (#4865525) Homepage Journal
    Or the guy who sells weapons and armor, he makes a good living.
    Fuck that, I wanna be the undertaker...
  • Re:FFS (Score:3, Funny)

    by Wraithlyn (133796) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @04:06PM (#4865528)
    <Lionel Hutz>
    This is the worst case of false advertising I've seen since my lawsuit against The Neverending Story!
    </Lionel Hutz>

    Aaarrr... 'tis not a man, but an infernal eating machine!
  • by gcalvin (325380) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @04:12PM (#4865566) Homepage
    ...to realize you were talking about Role-Playing Games and not IBM mainframe programming. I should have known better.
  • I play from time to time but my attempts at being an adventurer had some legal implications I didn't like. What we need to for someone to make a save/load function.
  • by Neon Spiral Injector (21234) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @04:27PM (#4865729)
    It was the other way around for me. I was half way through a semister of an RPG class, when I finally asked when we were going to roll our charaters.
  • by Hubert_Shrump (256081) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (tenarboc)> on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @05:03PM (#4866114) Journal
    Needs to be shoulder mountable and (ideally) under 10lbs.
  • by Master Rux (458819) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @05:35PM (#4866437) Homepage
    A few cheat codes wouldn't hurt either.
  • by Dark Lord Seth (584963) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @06:28PM (#4866955) Journal

    Ah yes, AD&D. I once tried to play it seriously, but my friends were a bit fcked up in the head (like me usually) so it kind of involved vampires with fake teeth, immortal baby seals and naked blonde women. Hey, we were 17 back then, puberty is to blaim for that. (That ought to keep SlashChick away from me with a 45 page rant about sexism on the net. Ahem.)

    Yes well, anyways, things went like this after we gave up on one of our campaigns and started a new one:

    DM: So Seth, made a character yet?
    Me: Yeah, got her stat sheet right here.
    DM: Her? You're not another sicko playing a female character, are you?
    Two other guys playing female characters glare at DM
    DM: Anyways, stats look okay, I'll put her into my storyline.
    Friend with female char: Does his char have bigger boobs then mine?
    Only guy with male char: You people are sick in the head. Very sick.

    Of course, that was even before the game started, at which it became worse.

    DM: You slowly approach the sound of someone playing a lute, the serene sound reverbing throughout the forest...
    Friend with male char: Too quiet and I want to kill something. Do we see anyone or anything yet?
    DM: Lots of trees. Attack one of those.
    Friend with male char: Sure thing! *rolls for initiative* 20!
    DM: You headbutt the tree and knock yourself out.
    Friend with male char: I hate you.

    Or...

    DM: Okay, so you approach the sound of the lute and see a woodsman sitting on the ground, surrounded by various animals...
    Friend with cleric: I cast detect evil, do I sense anything?
    DM: The woodsman is okay, the bird on his right shoulder is more vile then Satan himself.
    Me with cleric: I attack the bird with my mace!
    DM: I was kidding you sick fuck!
    Me: Who cares, I'll attack it anyways.
    DM: Phacia (my char) is now chaotic evil. You got the element of surprise so roll for hitting the damn bird.
    Me: Er... A four?
    DM: You bloody miss the bird by 20 cm to the left.
    Friend with male char: Isn't that where the woodsman's head was at?
    DM: Er, yes, wel... Roll for damage then.
    Me: A six, max damage on the back of his head?
    DM: Damn you all to hell. You kill the woodsman!

    Ah yes, those were the times.. Wish someone around here played some truely serious AD&D. I ran away screaming in agony when they suggested DBZ AD&D crossovers, so I've been without AD&D ever since then. Anyways, to make this post seems even remotely on topic, the worst thing about most RPGs on computers I played is the "toughening" of it all. Really, if you want to make battles harder, make it harder in a realistic way, not just by flinging more grunts/monsters at the main party. Also, avoid gaping plot holes like how on earth some old nearly disabled lady manages to get from town A to town B before you while you had to cross two dungeons, a cavern with really deep pitfalls, molten lava and a name involving a homonym for "doom", "evil" or "horror", fight 30 battles without saving and a boss battle in the end. Seriously, did that old lady know of a shortcut or something?

The sooner all the animals are extinct, the sooner we'll find their money. - Ed Bluestone

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