WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR A GAME TO BE AN RPG?

Posts

author=LockeZ
You can hardly find commercial games that are pure RPGs in the past five years.


No. All of those games I listed were RPG's, even MMO's. More so in MMO's because like D&D, people end up playing even more of a role and can have personality + interaction.

If the basic presumption is that RPG's play like D&D then Baulders Gate or Neverwinter Nights are like the few games that hold true.

RPG's are not necessarily like FF or DQ.
kentona
Your mom is a hero
20851
Blasphemy!
lol, DQ/DW was the first rpg made I think.
Marrend
Guardian of the Description Thread
20932
I dunno about anybody else, but when somebody says "RPG" I think "Stats! Experience! Gold! Levels!" Something along those lines. So, like Kentona said earlier, it's about the virtual number crunching.
I still think my definition is the one that works best. I can't think of one game that isn't an RPG that fills those two criteria.
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
6138
Yeah, your point of "Player skill vs Character Skill" is essentially the same as my point of "the ability for characters to become more powerful through combat experience or through repetition of already-mastered tasks." UPRC and Kentona mentioned this idea also, as did Wikipedia's short paragraph of basic characteristics. That is without a doubt the single most important feature that is synonymous with the term RPG. It doesn't make something a pure RPG, but it makes it at the very least a hybrid, like Secret of Mana.

Regarding the people who keep talking about roleplaying or characters or whatever, I don't really like the idea of using story elements to define the genre, since no other game genre is defined by story elements. All other game genres are defined solely by gameplay elements - that's how video game genres work.
However RPGs aren't really defined by their mechanics. There are games that are obviously RPGs that have very little to do with each other except the fact that they're RPGs.

Take a game like Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines. It has character skill over player skill. There are a number of things you simply cannot do if your character doesn't have enough skill points (picking certain locks, hacking certain computers as well as being able to aim certain guns). It also has choice and consequence. In the game you can choose sides to side with and that will cut you off from certain questlines (sure the game is fairly linear in its main questline. And sure some of the fighting is about as twitch based as any other action-RPG). So according to my criteria it would pretty much fit into the RPG genre.

Then take a game like Eschalon: Book 1. It has character skill over player skill. Dice are being rolled when you attack and skills affect what you can and cannot do. It also has choice and consequence. Dead people will stay dead. And cut you out of certain questlines. I actually don't remember how open the main questline is but what I played of it the game seemed fairly open. So according to my criteria it would pretty much fit into the RPG genre too.

Looking at the actual gameplay (apart from C&C and PvC) these two games have very little in common. Gameplaywise they have more in common with "other genres". But they're both clearly RPGs.
well I think what makes an rpg is if it's fun cause everything sucks ass

I pretty agree with Lockes. But, still, pure RPGs just about don't exist anymore. That's fine, though, I suppose. The only RPGs I've played recently were the two new Fallout games.

The only thing I miss about RPGs nowadays is strategy without having to quickly decide what you want to do. That's why I still liked turn-based combat. Heh, too bad turn-based combat is "obsolete" huh. 8|
Yellow Magic
Could I BE any more Chandler Bing from Friends (TM)?
3154
What in the world is a "pure" RPG?
author=Yellow Magic
What in the world is a "pure" RPG?

I guess that's what this topic is trying to answer.

RPGs dried up pretty badly a couple of years ago. But they're sort of making a comeback these days. You used to have to play whatever crap Bioware spewed out and now... Well I guess you still have to play whatever crap Bioware spew out. But at least there are a couple of viable alternatives now. (The Witcher 2 for example. And Deus Ex 3 is coming. As well as a number of indie games that seem to be able to rival the bigger ones... If only they'd come out... I'm looking at you Age of Decadence)
Yellow Magic
Could I BE any more Chandler Bing from Friends (TM)?
3154
author=Shinan
I guess that's what this topic is trying to answer.
All I can see is people saying "Man they don't make 'pure' RPGs anymore" when in reality it's just nostalgia kicking in. I'm pretty sure there is no such thing as a "pure" RPG: shoehorning your favourite aspects of old videogames into a single snobbish adjective is just silly IMO.
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
6138
I don't see how it's snobbish to suggest that a certain type of game has stopped being created. And I never said they were my favorite aspects, either! I don't think anyone said anything about whether these aspects were bad or good - just that they were the proper definition of a certain term that we all misuse a lot.

But if you want to talk about whether a game *should* be a pure RPG, then sure, let's do so. In some ways I'm glad that almost all RPGs require some coordination and timing now. It makes me a lot worse at them, but definitely makes them feel more exciting. And being worse at them isn't a bad thing, since I've mastered traditional RPGs to the point where they're just not engaging to me any more. (Though I'm going the opposite route in my own game, because I'll end up with a way better game if I make the type of game I'm best at.)
RPG is a flavor, not a genre. The primary elements of an RPG can be seen in any genre. The classic console 'RPG', such as Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy had two or three key areas of gameplay.

Combat, which was a form of Turn Based Strategy (and later to become Real Time Strategy or Action Style.)

Out of Combat, which in the earliest genres were highly based on exploration and puzzles, and later added dialogue simulation and mini-games.

and Character Management, which is the defining feature of an RPG because it wasn't something really seen in video gaming yet. Inventory management, party management, character advancement, etc. The Menu Stuff.

RPG has never really been a genre, but a hybrid of genres. Yet the common element, which was drawn from Table Top RPGs (the purest form of RPG) was consistent enough to be able to label games that were hard to label.

The reason the discussion of "What is an RPG?" comes up so often in recent years, as opposed to "What is an adventure game?" or "What is a simulation game?" is because of this. Developers realized that the element of RPGs that was common throughout, was easily applied to any genre. Racing games with car improvement and customization. Shooters with leveling up and customizable load-outs. It is a flavor, much like Ketchup or Maple Syrup. It's not really a meal on its own (unless you are Canadian) but can be added to almost any meal to make it even more delicious.

The other key feature that RPGs had that not many other games did when it was first released was a Story. But that doesn't make it a defining feature. Story itself is a flavor. Mario had a story, not a good one, but a story. Pac-man didn't. Mario isn't any more an RPG than Pac-man is (that is to say, neither of them are) but one had a story and one didn't. It is a common element through-out most RPGs, but not an element of RPGs.
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
6138
Ness put the Ketchup on the Peanut Cheese Bar and ate it. It didn't taste very good.
author=prexus
The reason the discussion of "What is an RPG?" comes up so often in recent years, as opposed to "What is an adventure game?" or "What is a simulation game?" is because of this. Developers realized that the element of RPGs that was common throughout, was easily applied to any genre. Racing games with car improvement and customization. Shooters with leveling up and customizable load-outs. It is a flavor, much like Ketchup or Maple Syrup. It's not really a meal on its own (unless you are Canadian) but can be added to almost any meal to make it even more delicious.

Also, the other genres actually have names that tells you what they are about. Platform games have you jump on platforms, First Person Shooters have you shoot things in first person mode and so on. RPGs however, don't have you roleplay, or at least most don't.
i like rpg game that can be saved anytime, anywhere..that helps a lot
Thiamor
I assure you I'm no where NEAR as STUPID as one might think.
63
An RPG is solely any game that gives you some sort of Role to play out.

This is why there are things such as 'Fantasy RPG' and the like.

An RPG needn't any fantasy elements, magic, or really any actual story to follow, to be considered an RPG; for an example, you're, say, just on a game that places you right in the middle of a fight, or race, or anything with no story as to why you're doing it, it still is an RPG as your role is to play this character, thing, or what-have-you, through the game.

Many people think too hard on the matter, and try to just place very specific elements on the genre of the RPG's as if that is the only thing that it is.

Really, any game is an RPG. They just try to recycle and chance that name on many games to give it a new genre to work with as most people think of RPG games as some fantasy type of game. Such as Final Fantasy. Which then could lower sales if those people who hate those types of games saw that it was an RPG.
author=Thiamor
An RPG is solely any game that gives you some sort of Role to play out.


I couldn't read the rest of your post, this blew my mind. This is the most ignorant statement anyone could make about an RPG. -Any- game forces you to take control of a role. Mario in Super Mario Brothers, God in Black&White, The guy stacking the tetrads in Tetris. This is not the defining feature of the genre.
An RPG is defined by the removal of human skill in overcoming opposition in favor of the role you're playing's skill (represented numerically by stats). It could be argued that managing stats is a skill in itself, yes. But contrast it to player-skill based games in which your proficiency is bound to human input. You can improve at performing head-shots in an fps or driving a course in a driving game.. But don't for a second try to tell me you can "press 'attack' in a menu better than before".

In RPGs, progress is defined by your ROLE improving in "skill" (getting stronger, faster, whatever) whereas non-rpgs generally expect the player to get better at the tasks required in order to advance.

Master Chief doesn't get a better shooting stat, making him able to hit enemies better.
(all above is generalization, blah blah)