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Old 02 September 2007, 12:34   #64
Marcuz's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2002
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Age: 42
Posts: 5,211
Originally Posted by oneshotdead View Post
Yeah, so the gamers' expectations extend/expand but the industry suffers from retardation. Anyway, this was addressed in another thread...

As good as Dungeon Master and Eye of the Beholder were for their time, a present playthrough of them would knock my sanity for six. They would seem old, ugly and slow. I believe Fallout and Baldur's Gate really evolved RPGs (in their respective settings), but that in turn they were not evolved, shrug.

So... what I'm saying is, the new RPGs might have better graphics, but mechanically they are much less advanced, whereas Baldur's Gate is _in every way_ more advanced than, say, Champions of Krynn. That might be why your attempted replay of that game failed in character creation...

Yet, you could replay Baldur's Gate easily, even after Neverwinter Nights 2, yes? I certainly could (and did), and that gaping gap = one decade in game development.
i believe that the barriers in any game, no matter the age are of 3 kinds: interfaces, game mechanics and "feeling of effective interaction" factor.

1) while the first, interfaces, are the sacred Graal of current designing, and there are exemples of current solutions as different as they can be, with various degree of success, in the days of the gold box serie they were often improvised.

even if sometimes there was the odd great solution, that happened more easily in a different game genre, like arcade: rpg and strategy games struggled in that aspect.

what was in opposition more immediate than now was the computer interface: there was then less obstacle between the user and a session of let's say Death Knights of Krynn in comparison to the curent user and a session of Neverwinter Nights; the amiga was as easier as a console on that aspect.

this is important because it made easier to build up the will and courage to engage an already difficult interface to embrace the goal of a satisfactory game experience.

2) game mechanics instead can be very sophisticated now as they were even 20 years ago, but as part of it stay behind the screen, usually the less interesting mathematical part, and part of it is what charmes the player, that was never a barrier for the person who wanted be introduced in that game: a player interested in rpg will take and enjoy his time browsing through the manual of neverwinter nights or fallout as he was with the manual of eye of teh beholder!

what the designer must do is make the read as enjoyable and comprehensible as possible.
the same game mechanic is an unpassable barrier for the player not interested in the genre!

3) "feeling of interaction" is the most subtle and yet the most important problem to solve.

there are games that, no matter the application of the gamer, simply give little to none feeling of being factual, cause action and receive a reaction during the play. it's mighty frustrating, yet it happens.
also a unnerving difficulty of the overall game, such as being killed by the first monster you encounter almost instantly and everytime falls under this aspect.

i had this feeling in Abandoned Places, due also to a bad (for me) interface, that leaded me to abandon the game, as it suits its name.
Profezia was another game as such: beautiful visually and with an easy interface, but the whole story turns are undifferent one from another, so that most of decisions are based on chance, you could play the game by flip a coin at every turn!

partly also the wonderful game Journey suffers the same wound.
This aspect is more cured in current games, when the budget is so that the company can spend a lot of production time on designer, but that's not needed everytime.
It should be easier to blame bad designin when this important parameter is not meet.
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