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SimonG: I don't see it happening, because the work is way to big.
It is huge, which is why the games with emergent narrative always ends up like the sims... .

Fallout 3 did have some features, the radio, megaton and few others where the players actions did impact on the game world(though only through a polarity and without real impact on the ending, I laso felt F:NV had a bit less of this), but just take some of the lessons from there (it has been 4 years now, time enough to analyse and learn from it) and build on this instead of trying to reinvent the same wheel. Skyrim was good as a sandbox, but in terms of narrative design it did feel a step backwards.

One of the barriers for emergent narratives before was asset storage, and this is not longer such as big issue (with the 10+ GB games becoming a standard...), I do see it now becoming more and more of a design issue then a practical issue, but it is also easy to get stuck in the old ways ("It will not work, we have always done it like this"), which is just as much part human nature as innovation.

Will require more work? most possibly. Will it result in shorter games? maybe, but I wondering if I would not enjoy more a truly emergent game of 20+ then a linear games of 100+, emergent narrative also do have more replay value. The extra work may have impact on price, but I feel the price of games lately have been decreasing anyway, so there might be a balance.

Artistically, there may be another issue, just imagine spending days creating assets for a branch which then no player discovers or chooses... which is why gamedesigners spend more time on "good" choices then "bad", as player tends to go for this when playing properly (they tend to go for "bad" for a laugh or curiosity)

anyway, wall of text...
Post edited December 05, 2012 by amok
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amok: Open world RPG, with real consequences - that is one dream game.
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SimonG: I don't see it happening, because the work is way to big. With linear storytelling (think The Witcher) you can guide the player on "narrative roads". With open world there are way to many eventualities to think of. Not to mention that a bad implementation is killing immersion faster than no implementation. Eg. it bothered me in Skyrim a lot more than in Morrowind.

The only game I can think of that did both properly was Alpha Protocol. Which was rather short and received a lot of criticism for, surprise, bugs caused by the non-linearity.
There is always modders though, I have a dislike for vanilla skyrim for been so bland after playing it for a while, but my modded version? Now that feels like a complete game and then some.
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amok: Will require more work? most possibly. Will it result in shorter games? maybe, but I wondering if I would not enjoy more a truly emergent game of 20+ then a linear games of 100+, emergent narrative also do have more replay value. The extra work may have impact on price, but I feel the price of games lately have been decreasing anyway, so there might be a balance.
You and me both, bro.

But you know todays gamers.

"OMG only 30 hours of gameplay. WHAT A RIPOFF!"

As stupid as it sounds, one of my pet peeve enemies of modern RPGs is also an issue:

Voice Acting.

If you have a game with text based dialogues, it is very easy to change stuff. With VA every change isn't only a matter of money, but it also "rails you in" creatively very early in production.


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Nroug7: There is always modders though, I have a dislike for vanilla skyrim for been so bland after playing it for a while, but my modded version? Now that feels like a complete game and then some.
That is true!
Post edited December 05, 2012 by SimonG
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amok: Will require more work? most possibly. Will it result in shorter games? maybe, but I wondering if I would not enjoy more a truly emergent game of 20+ then a linear games of 100+, emergent narrative also do have more replay value. The extra work may have impact on price, but I feel the price of games lately have been decreasing anyway, so there might be a balance.
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SimonG: You and me both, bro.

But you know todays gamers.

"OMG only 30 hours of gameplay. WHAT A RIPOFF!"

As stupid as it sounds, one of my pet peeve enemies of modern RPGs is also an issue:

Voice Acting.

If you have a game with text based dialogues, it is very easy to change stuff. With VA every change isn't only a matter of money, but it also "rails you in" creatively very early in production.
I tend to disagree here, I like my RPG's long, but not if it impacts on quality of content. One of my favorite RPG's this year (Dragon's Dogma) Was as long or as short as you decided to make it, you could complain it was short, I'd tell you you didn't do the side content, You can complain it's long, I'll tell you that you could finish it quicker if you really wanted to.

Same for Dark Souls, In fact, These japanese developers having their cracks at western RPG's get my seal of approval, Because I feel Dark Souls and Dragon's dogma don't fit into the classic WRPG or JRPG or CRPG or European RPG genres. (I actually find European RPGs slightly different from WRPGs)
Bioware doing open world? After chains of locations, where stuff happens, connected only via map screen, which they did for BG, NWN, KotOR, ME and DA?
I don't really think Bioware is good at making exploration type of RPG......(I still remember how bad the exploration in ME was and they just removed it altogether in ME2)
Post edited December 05, 2012 by PandaLiang
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PandaLiang: I don't really think Bioware is good at making exploration type of RPG......(I still remember how bad the exploration in ME was and they just removed it altogether in ME2)
The exploration was alright, but the problem was they designed the exploration areas like they did the main game - They had areas where stuff happens, and that was it.
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Nroug7: The exploration was alright, but the problem was they designed the exploration areas like they did the main game - They had areas where stuff happens, and that was it.
The "dungeon" was mostly the same on every planet. That really turned me off. The driving part was okay. Overall, there were not many interesting stuff to explore. The interesting stuff I meant is not necessarily reward. I can also be interesting characters, beautiful view, funny stuff.......Didn't really see any......
Post edited December 05, 2012 by PandaLiang
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Nroug7: The exploration was alright, but the problem was they designed the exploration areas like they did the main game - They had areas where stuff happens, and that was it.
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PandaLiang: The "dungeon" was mostly the same on every planet. That really turned me off. The driving part was okay. Overall, there were not many interesting stuff to explore. The interesting stuff I meant is not necessarily reward. I can also be interesting characters, beautiful view, funny stuff.......Didn't really see any......
I didn't say it had to be reward :D There were a few interesting moments but mostly it was dull.
I liked DAII but it did feel rushed. Just glad they're taking their time on this one, no matter what direction they go in.
Post edited December 05, 2012 by Ric1987
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Nroug7: I didn't say it had to be reward :D There were a few interesting moments but mostly it was dull.
I didn't mean you said it to be reward. I was just clarifying my own world. Sorry, should've made it more clear :)
Post edited December 05, 2012 by PandaLiang
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SimonG: For me it was the other way around. I liked that DA 2 finally broke with the same old RPG mechanics and actually pushed forward an interesting and engaging story and not the same old stuff we've been playing for fifteen years.

Imo, Skyrim is the best example of a RPG where my choices didn't matter. "Hey, I just ended a civil war!" "Who cares?", nothing changed in game progression.

But that is what you get nowadays, if you want to change something.
While Skyrim is certainly not a choice and consequence game Fallout New Vegas certainly was. Risen was. Gothic 3 was. It is perfectly doable with the right dev team and focus.

I agree that with a large open world massive changes are hard, versus a linear game where you can say "oh that last area is FUCKED now" because you never see it again. Still, when handled right, like in New Vegas, the choices and can still feel meaningful. At least to me they did.
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StingingVelvet: While Skyrim is certainly not a choice and consequence game Fallout New Vegas certainly was. Risen was. Gothic 3 was. It is perfectly doable with the right dev team and focus.

I agree that with a large open world massive changes are hard, versus a linear game where you can say "oh that last area is FUCKED now" because you never see it again. Still, when handled right, like in New Vegas, the choices and can still feel meaningful. At least to me they did.
I have only played NV, so I can comment only on this. But New Vegas also cheated somewhat. They made some really great endings. And they actually made some changes on the map. But it also had very bad gaffs. It's great and I love that game, and it solves this dilemma really, really good. But most of the game is the old formula of "separated instances" which have no connection to each other.

For a lack of better terms, as in most open world games, the world feels "static". It tries a lot on succeeds in some, but in the large, it still fails.
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SimonG: I have only played NV, so I can comment only on this. But New Vegas also cheated somewhat. They made some really great endings. And they actually made some changes on the map. But it also had very bad gaffs. It's great and I love that game, and it solves this dilemma really, really good. But most of the game is the old formula of "separated instances" which have no connection to each other.

For a lack of better terms, as in most open world games, the world feels "static". It tries a lot on succeeds in some, but in the large, it still fails.
Yeah like I said there is a limit to how much they can do because of the open world. Still I thought they made my choices FEEL important, which is all 95% of games do anyway. Witcher 2's with their large unique areas and characters are not a typical thing for linear RPGs either.

It would be awesome to have a Skyrim style game with real changes in the world though. More than just the color of the guard uniforms or certain NPCs being gone. I keep my expectations realistic though as long as the game makes me FEEL like those changes are happening, which New Vegas did.

Even Skyrim did for me to some extent, because I was roleplaying characters. The effects of the civil war might have been minor in gameplay but I could roleplay their impact. This all boils down to something I think is core with RPGs: the better imagination you have the more enjoyable they are.
I'm only 3 hours into Skyrim and I've already made more choices that affect my character than I did on a complete playthrough of Dragon Age 2. And I've still got 50+ hours left of Skyrim gameplay.

It's astounding. These two games should not even be mentioned in the same breath.

Not to mention that DA2 is a plot-centric game and yet the plot blows just as much as Skyrim, which at least has an open world... and a hell of a lot more going for it.
Post edited December 06, 2012 by stoicsentry