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RPG Codex - Articles On Video Game Design

chrisd posted more than 11 years ago | from the writing-about-games dept.

Games 309

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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309 comments

FRIST PRISS (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4865048)

Linux sucks

Thats why noone designs games for it.

Re:FRIST PRISS (1)

Mendax Veritas (100454) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865176)

You're kidding. When did Peter Noone (lead singer of Herman's Hermits) start designing video games? Or maybe you meant "no one" but don't have a strong enough grasp of English to know how to write it?

Re:FRIST PRISS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4865201)

Or maybe I splattered jizz on my spacebar when your mama jerked her head back?

Don't be jealous. You can get first post too, if you train and eat your veggies.

And don't forget, linux does suck.

hrmph (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4865049)

I don't even care about this post.

well, it's interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4865070)

but I feel like the best games have already been done. nothing new in the RPG world in a long time, and I *still* like diceless the best.

oh yeah, and first post. :)

Re:well, it's interesting (1)

KingBuggo (590186) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865177)

I am with the coward on this one. my favorite RPG was Lunar: The Silver Star. I like the top down view with the people still standing like they are in a side scroller and leveling up by looking for a fight between the same to squares of movement. It seems lately that all efforts to make an RPG have just been to make an RPG become a FPS. I feel that we are really missing something in the translation.

FYFI IN THA HOUZE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4865326)

Boullion! First you fail it all up in this bitch, fellows.

The answer is ... (2)

airrage (514164) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865071)

Blood.

Re:The answer is ... (3, Funny)

FFCecil (623749) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865111)

. . . and don't forget the Big Breasted Protagonist (preferably female).

Wrong. The key ingredient is: (2)

EggplantMan (549708) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865132)

Interplay. Fallout, Fallout II. Those pansies at Square couldn't even hold a candle to the makers of Fallout.

I'm not even going to dignify that with response (2, Insightful)

SweetAndSourJesus (555410) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865204)

Ah, I guess I am.

Yes, Fallout was a neat game, but it's bordering on sacrilege to compare it to classics that Square has produced. Is anyone going to notice Fallout's impact on the gaming scene five years from now? Are they even noticing it now?

well duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4865264)

you're still talking about it, aren't you?

Yes and Yes (1)

jw32767 (58363) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865267)

Frankly, I haven't noticed the impact that any of the FFs have made on RPGs, mainly because they haven't made much of an impact at all on PC RPGs. Fallout on the other hand has.

Personally, I think that most console RPGs suck because of the very limited freedom the player has. You have to be this character, who has this backstory, who is enemies with this person. PC games (like fallout) allow a degree of freedom that I've yet to see matched in console games.

Re:Yes and Yes (1)

DaBunny (56964) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865386)

Try Morrowind, which is on XBox as well as PC. It's a huge game with an immense amount of freedom.

Re:Wrong. The key ingredient is: (1)

chadeo (106270) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865205)

Timothy Cain and Leon Boyarsky, two of the four authors listed, were behind the original Fallout game and are co-founders of Trokia games.

So if you like Fallout, go check out what some of the main people behind it have to say about RPG design.

Re:The answer is ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4865181)

You replyed three minutes after the article was posted. Then you can't have read the articles...

RTFA!

Re:The answer is ... (2)

airrage (514164) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865372)

...Or because I don't just sit on slashdot all day I had already read one of the articles in particular (ever think of that?), so yes I didn't read all three -- but I think one is sufficient enough to post an intelligent comment.

The author clearly was attempting to elicit a response to "What do you think is the key to a great RPG?", to which I answered correctly.

So there! Now go to your room for a time-out.

JESUS IS THE ANSWER (-1, Offtopic)

Wesley Willis (631779) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865421)

Number one, I'm gonna do this sucka again.
Number two, I'm gonna do this sucka again all the way up your ass.
Number three, I'm gonna fuck your ass up like in a car crash.
Number four, I'm gonna fuck you up like a goddamn accident.
And number five, JESUS IS THE ANSWER!

Another great tool (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4865089)

Fazigu Industries makes ODK [fazigu.org], a great game development environment. You can even use it to modify existing games with it's decompiler, you can takedown almost any barrier on the fly. Open Source and the silver version is free.

thank you

gj mods (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4865182)

Mods, click the links before you mod up, ok?

Re:Another great troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4865275)

This is a very tasteful and creative troll.

Are you kidding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4865381)

This is a classic. Looks like the Don Knotts guy has returned!

Common sense (3, Insightful)

anarchima (585853) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865091)

Most of the things these authors wrote about is common sense. Anyone who has played a few RPGs over the years will know this stuff. Not worth the read. Sorry to sound like such a pessimist/cynic/whatever...

Re:Common sense (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865117)

I agree..

There was nothing technical, no secrets, insight, or anything useful that a budding coder staying up all night with a case of Mountain Dew might put to use.

Re:Common sense (2, Insightful)

kin_korn_karn (466864) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865292)

Coders don't write games. They just implement the rules in a PC format. (that may be the only implementation - whatever) The true writers of games are the guys that wrote the articles. Being a coder ain't shit.

((*o*)) Who cares about RPG Codex (Sc0re:5.5) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4865482)

Who cares about RPG Codex . Now this is news...(but Rob won't post it cause he is busy honeymooning)...
U.S. firms move IT overseas [com.com]
U.S. firms move IT overseas
By Ed Frauenheim Special to ZDNet News December 11, 2002, 5:07 AM PT
Under pressure from overseas rivals, U.S. companies selling information technology services have a new mantra: If you can't beat them, join them.
IT services companies are jostling to promise customers cheaper, flexible services using technology professionals in low-wage countries such as India, China and Mexico. Hewlett-Packard is the latest U.S.-based company to announce its overseas intentions. At a meeting with financial analysts last week, Ann Livermore, HP's services chief, said the company plans to relocate a major portion of its IT services work to India.
"We think customers are going to put a lot of pricing pressure on the consulting and integration market," Livermore said. "We are going to aggressively move everything we can offshore."
HP already has several thousand services employees in India. The company said it will give a more detailed version of its offshore consulting plan in January.
Last month, computer services giant Electronic Data Services announced its "Best Shore" program, promising a 40 percent increase in personnel and resources devoted to low-cost applications services centers around the world. EDS currently has 4,500 employees working out of 13 Best Shore facilities, which are located in cities such as Chennai, India; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Wellington, New Zealand.
In addition, IBM's services wing says that for more than a year it's had what it too calls a "Best Shore" strategy. Big Blue has services centers in the low-cost countries of India, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Canada and China.
Frances Karamouzis, an analyst with market research firm Gartner, said U.S.-based IT service providers are going abroad as a response to competition from Indian technology services companies such as Infosys and Wipro. "These are ways to position their competitive offering to the Indian firms," Karamouzis said.
Those Indian businesses are faring much better than their U.S. counterparts amid the tech downturn. In the most recent two quarters, Infosys saw sales rise 26 percent, and Wipro's revenue jumped 26 percent. In contrast, EDS's revenue for the past three quarters edged up only 4 percent, and IT services provider Computer Science's sales for the past two quarters increased less than 1 percent.
Even so, Indian-based companies are siphoning off just a few drops from the U.S. IT bucket. Karamouzis estimates they take in about $6 billion per year, or less than 5 percent of U.S. IT spending. But the offshore model has gained a foothold and will grow, she predicted.
Indian companies began to take on low-profile tasks like legacy software maintenance in the early 1990s, Karamouzis said. By focusing on quality, they gained the confidence of U.S. corporations, and now they are working on more important applications, she said.
IT's passage to India
Already, more than 300 of the Fortune 500 firms do business with Indian IT services companies, according to Gartner. The research firm predicts that by 2004, more than 80 percent of U.S companies will have considered using offshore IT services. In addition, more than 40 percent of U.S. corporations will have completed some type of offshore IT pilot program or will be using IT services with an overseas component by that time.
"That IT work is headed offshore is confirmed by a November report from Forrester Reseach. It estimated that the number of computer jobs moving overseas will grow from 27,171 in 2000 to 472,632 five years after that. Forrester researchers predict that other services--including call center services and back-office accounting--will follow IT operations in moving abroad."
By 2015, a total of 3.3 million U.S. jobs and $136 billion in wages will transfer offshore to countries such as India, Russia, China and the Philippines, according to Forrester.
Reasons for the shift start with lower wages. HP pegs the cost of a talented programmer in India at about $20,000 a year, a fraction of the cost of a top U.S. tech worker.
Other factors fueling the shift offshore, according to Forrester, include the emergence of low-cost high-bandwidth telecommunications links, standardized business applications and Internet-based collaborative tools.
Greater flexibility also may entice customers to prefer an offshore model or a combination of offshore and onshore services. With operations in both the United States and Asia, an IT services company can offer clients around-the-clock support--or what EDS calls a "follow the sun" capability.
Not everyone believes the U.S. IT industry is on the verge of withering away. Norm Matloff, a computer science professor at the University of California at Davis, argues that the need for face-to-face interaction remains vital for programming projects. "Most U.S. firms will find that it is just not worth it to outsource software development overseas on a large scale," he said.
Gartner's Karamouzis agreed Matloff has a point, especially when it comes to software companies' core products and to applications that require a great deal of expertise in a particular industry, such as banking.
However, Indian firms typically can accomplish IT projects for U.S. clients with 90 percent to 95 percent of the work done in India, she said. She estimated that as much as 40 percent to 50 percent of U.S. IT services work could be done overseas in the next five to 10 years--raising serious concerns about the prospects for U.S. IT workers.

Recipe for a great RPG (2, Insightful)

Mendax Veritas (100454) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865095)

Lots of blood, babes with big tits wearing skimpy leather outfits, and lot of stuff stolen from Tolkien. Just the thing for the adolescent male with no imagination and even less knowledge of world literature.

Re:Recipe for a great RPG (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#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".

IN SOVIET RUSSIA.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4865122)

The videogames design YOU!

Turn based combat! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4865124)

I think I speak for everyone here when I say that "realtime" combat systems belong in action games, not RPGs. Turn based combat all the way, man!

Re:Turn based combat! (3, Insightful)

zapfie (560589) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865504)

Who says you have to walk the genre line? Trying to create a game (RPG, in this instance) by just re-hashing everything typical about the genre is sure to get you a boring game. Some of the best games take things from all genres. Deus Ex, for example. Personally, I like to see people design games without trying to fit them into a certain predefined genre... why artificially hold your creativity back?

Good computer RPG design... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4865126)


Example of good RPG design? Has to be Dark Age of Camelot [ign.com]. This game is the only reason I have my home machine set up to dual-boot into Windows. They've just come out with an expansion pack that adds new races and "quests" to the game.

Re:Good computer RPG design... (1)

chickenmonger (614989) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865303)

That's a good one. First time I've seen a Goatse post be moderated positively.

Re:Good computer RPG design... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4865328)

Thank you...I had a good chuckle when I saw it get modded up +1 Interesting so quickly. The game is good, though, if you've never had the chance to play it and you're interested.

Re:Good computer RPG design... (1)

Lt Razak (631189) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865414)

In the midst of worthless trolls, there are a few who hone their skills still...

Dark Side of the RPG (1)

Gimpin (595657) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865128)

Start playing Floyd soundtracks during Acid trip stereo-vision intro movies, that is what ever good RPG needs.

((*o*)) Who cares about RPG Codex (Sc0re:5.5) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4865507)

Who cares about RPG Codex... Now this is news...(but Rob won't post it cause he is busy honeymooning)...
U.S. firms move IT overseas [com.com]
U.S. firms move IT overseas
By Ed Frauenheim Special to ZDNet News December 11, 2002, 5:07 AM PT
Under pressure from overseas rivals, U.S. companies selling information technology services have a new mantra: If you can't beat them, join them.
IT services companies are jostling to promise customers cheaper, flexible services using technology professionals in low-wage countries such as India, China and Mexico. Hewlett-Packard is the latest U.S.-based company to announce its overseas intentions. At a meeting with financial analysts last week, Ann Livermore, HP's services chief, said the company plans to relocate a major portion of its IT services work to India.
"We think customers are going to put a lot of pricing pressure on the consulting and integration market," Livermore said. "We are going to aggressively move everything we can offshore."
HP already has several thousand services employees in India. The company said it will give a more detailed version of its offshore consulting plan in January.
Last month, computer services giant Electronic Data Services announced its "Best Shore" program, promising a 40 percent increase in personnel and resources devoted to low-cost applications services centers around the world. EDS currently has 4,500 employees working out of 13 Best Shore facilities, which are located in cities such as Chennai, India; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Wellington, New Zealand.
In addition, IBM's services wing says that for more than a year it's had what it too calls a "Best Shore" strategy. Big Blue has services centers in the low-cost countries of India, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Canada and China.
Frances Karamouzis, an analyst with market research firm Gartner, said U.S.-based IT service providers are going abroad as a response to competition from Indian technology services companies such as Infosys and Wipro. "These are ways to position their competitive offering to the Indian firms," Karamouzis said.
Those Indian businesses are faring much better than their U.S. counterparts amid the tech downturn. In the most recent two quarters, Infosys saw sales rise 26 percent, and Wipro's revenue jumped 26 percent. In contrast, EDS's revenue for the past three quarters edged up only 4 percent, and IT services provider Computer Science's sales for the past two quarters increased less than 1 percent.
Even so, Indian-based companies are siphoning off just a few drops from the U.S. IT bucket. Karamouzis estimates they take in about $6 billion per year, or less than 5 percent of U.S. IT spending. But the offshore model has gained a foothold and will grow, she predicted.
Indian companies began to take on low-profile tasks like legacy software maintenance in the early 1990s, Karamouzis said. By focusing on quality, they gained the confidence of U.S. corporations, and now they are working on more important applications, she said.
IT's passage to India Already, more than 300 of the Fortune 500 firms do business with Indian IT services companies, according to Gartner. The research firm predicts that by 2004, more than 80 percent of U.S companies will have considered using offshore IT services. In addition, more than 40 percent of U.S. corporations will have completed some type of offshore IT pilot program or will be using IT services with an overseas component by that time.
"That IT work is headed offshore is confirmed by a November report from Forrester Reseach. It estimated that the number of computer jobs moving overseas will grow from 27,171 in 2000 to 472,632 five years after that. Forrester researchers predict that other services--including call center services and back-office accounting--will follow IT operations in moving abroad."
By 2015, a total of 3.3 million U.S. jobs and $136 billion in wages will transfer offshore to countries such as India, Russia, China and the Philippines, according to Forrester.
Reasons for the shift start with lower wages. HP pegs the cost of a talented programmer in India at about $20,000 a year, a fraction of the cost of a top U.S. tech worker.
Other factors fueling the shift offshore, according to Forrester, include the emergence of low-cost high-bandwidth telecommunications links, standardized business applications and Internet-based collaborative tools.
Greater flexibility also may entice customers to prefer an offshore model or a combination of offshore and onshore services. With operations in both the United States and Asia, an IT services company can offer clients around-the-clock support--or what EDS calls a "follow the sun" capability.
Not everyone believes the U.S. IT industry is on the verge of withering away. Norm Matloff, a computer science professor at the University of California at Davis, argues that the need for face-to-face interaction remains vital for programming projects. "Most U.S. firms will find that it is just not worth it to outsource software development overseas on a large scale," he said.
Gartner's Karamouzis agreed Matloff has a point, especially when it comes to software companies' core products and to applications that require a great deal of expertise in a particular industry, such as banking.
However, Indian firms typically can accomplish IT projects for U.S. clients with 90 percent to 95 percent of the work done in India, she said. She estimated that as much as 40 percent to 50 percent of U.S. IT services work could be done overseas in the next five to 10 years--raising serious concerns about the prospects for U.S. IT workers.

solid engine (5, Insightful)

mao che minh (611166) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865139)

I don't think that visual offerings mean much in a RPG. You also don't have to rely on truly open ended gameplay if the story line is strong and the basic gameplay offers a variety of styles and characters. Just look at Black Isle's "Baldur's Gate" game engine. Ice Wind Dale 2, which uses this engine, is about as linear as they come and looks like it came from 1997, yet, you are able to play an extremely wide variety of characters in numerous combinations successfully. You don't have to rely on the classic "fighter, cleric, thief, wizard" team.

And of course, multiplayer options immediately add a needed dimension in today's broadband world.

Re:solid engine (2)

outsider007 (115534) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865499)

You don't have to rely on the classic "fighter, cleric, thief, wizard" team.

I always thought it would be cool to play the guy who runs the inn. Or the guy who sells weapons and armor, he makes a good living.

The worlds best rpg already exists (2, Funny)

anonymous coword (615639) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865142)

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?)

MMORPG (4, Interesting)

Nevermore-Spoon (610798) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865149)

Since I am a long time die hard RPGer (Ultima series, Drangon warrior series, Elder Scrolls, kings quest) I've found that standard play-by-yourself RPG's no longer hold my interest the way MMORPG. Adding the element oe experiences and relationships with other people make RPG's Incredible

Re:MMORPG (1)

IndependentVik (582582) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865410)

A lot of people feel the same way you do, I'm sure. But does anyone else here feel that the kind of people you meet in places like Everquest aren't really worth interacting with? Quite frankly, I'd take a Suikoden over an Everquest any day and just leave my socializing to meatspace.

Re:MMORPG (1)

Nevermore-Spoon (610798) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865484)

I played everquest for a year, I played with 5 RL friends and also met many normal, responsible people like myself, but I must admit they were few and far between.

keys for a good RPG (2, Funny)

mr. mulder (204001) | more than 11 years ago | (#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!

Re:keys for a good RPG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4865251)

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!

Serious storyline and Final Fantasy haven't been used in the same sentence in quite a long time I'm afraid.

Re:keys for a good RPG (4, Funny)

rmadmin (532701) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865307)

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:keys for a good RPG (2)

jgerman (106518) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865396)

Personally I love them all, old console rpg's (replaying Chrono Trigger now) and the new stuff. I view them all as equals, though I will admit that the storyliens and dialogue are becoming more sophisticated over time.

Re:keys for a good RPG (2)

Cap'n Canuck (622106) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865358)

I play D&D with a good DM, who
- makes us think
- does not litter his landscape with magical trinkets
- awards XPs on puzzle solving and battle avoidance
- gives us well drawn maps, diagrams, and pictures to enhance the experience.
- is funny.
Above all, the quests are engaging. It's like I'm writing and living a book.

The KEY! (4, Insightful)

russianspy (523929) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865154)

How about a detailed world that is actually interesting? A story that allows you to explore that world. And massive amounts of background info for people who enjoy that stuff.

(*o*) Who cares about RPG Codex (Sc0re:5.5) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4865449)

Who cares about RPG Codex....
Now this is news...(but Rob won't post it cause he is busy honeymooning)...
U.S. firms move IT overseas [com.com]
U.S. firms move IT overseas
By Ed Frauenheim Special to ZDNet News December 11, 2002, 5:07 AM PT
Under pressure from overseas rivals, U.S. companies selling information technology services have a new mantra: If you can't beat them, join them.
IT services companies are jostling to promise customers cheaper, flexible services using technology professionals in low-wage countries such as India, China and Mexico. Hewlett-Packard is the latest U.S.-based company to announce its overseas intentions. At a meeting with financial analysts last week, Ann Livermore, HP's services chief, said the company plans to relocate a major portion of its IT services work to India.
"We think customers are going to put a lot of pricing pressure on the consulting and integration market," Livermore said. "We are going to aggressively move everything we can offshore."
HP already has several thousand services employees in India. The company said it will give a more detailed version of its offshore consulting plan in January.
Last month, computer services giant Electronic Data Services announced its "Best Shore" program, promising a 40 percent increase in personnel and resources devoted to low-cost applications services centers around the world. EDS currently has 4,500 employees working out of 13 Best Shore facilities, which are located in cities such as Chennai, India; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Wellington, New Zealand.
In addition, IBM's services wing says that for more than a year it's had what it too calls a "Best Shore" strategy. Big Blue has services centers in the low-cost countries of India, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Canada and China.
Frances Karamouzis, an analyst with market research firm Gartner, said U.S.-based IT service providers are going abroad as a response to competition from Indian technology services companies such as Infosys and Wipro. "These are ways to position their competitive offering to the Indian firms," Karamouzis said.
Those Indian businesses are faring much better than their U.S. counterparts amid the tech downturn. In the most recent two quarters, Infosys saw sales rise 26 percent, and Wipro's revenue jumped 26 percent. In contrast, EDS's revenue for the past three quarters edged up only 4 percent, and IT services provider Computer Science's sales for the past two quarters increased less than 1 percent.
Even so, Indian-based companies are siphoning off just a few drops from the U.S. IT bucket. Karamouzis estimates they take in about $6 billion per year, or less than 5 percent of U.S. IT spending. But the offshore model has gained a foothold and will grow, she predicted.
Indian companies began to take on low-profile tasks like legacy software maintenance in the early 1990s, Karamouzis said. By focusing on quality, they gained the confidence of U.S. corporations, and now they are working on more important applications, she said.
IT's passage to India Already, more than 300 of the Fortune 500 firms do business with Indian IT services companies, according to Gartner. The research firm predicts that by 2004, more than 80 percent of U.S companies will have considered using offshore IT services. In addition, more than 40 percent of U.S. corporations will have completed some type of offshore IT pilot program or will be using IT services with an overseas component by that time.
"That IT work is headed offshore is confirmed by a November report from Forrester Reseach. It estimated that the number of computer jobs moving overseas will grow from 27,171 in 2000 to 472,632 five years after that. Forrester researchers predict that other services--including call center services and back-office accounting--will follow IT operations in moving abroad."
By 2015, a total of 3.3 million U.S. jobs and $136 billion in wages will transfer offshore to countries such as India, Russia, China and the Philippines, according to Forrester.
Reasons for the shift start with lower wages. HP pegs the cost of a talented programmer in India at about $20,000 a year, a fraction of the cost of a top U.S. tech worker.
Other factors fueling the shift offshore, according to Forrester, include the emergence of low-cost high-bandwidth telecommunications links, standardized business applications and Internet-based collaborative tools.
Greater flexibility also may entice customers to prefer an offshore model or a combination of offshore and onshore services. With operations in both the United States and Asia, an IT services company can offer clients around-the-clock support--or what EDS calls a "follow the sun" capability.
Not everyone believes the U.S. IT industry is on the verge of withering away. Norm Matloff, a computer science professor at the University of California at Davis, argues that the need for face-to-face interaction remains vital for programming projects. "Most U.S. firms will find that it is just not worth it to outsource software development overseas on a large scale," he said.
Gartner's Karamouzis agreed Matloff has a point, especially when it comes to software companies' core products and to applications that require a great deal of expertise in a particular industry, such as banking.
However, Indian firms typically can accomplish IT projects for U.S. clients with 90 percent to 95 percent of the work done in India, she said. She estimated that as much as 40 percent to 50 percent of U.S. IT services work could be done overseas in the next five to 10 years--raising serious concerns about the prospects for U.S. IT workers.

Hmmm (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4865159)

What do you think is the key to a great RPG?

Umm, one that I can beat?

The key to a Good rpg is (2, Funny)

r_arr (613036) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865173)

The word fantasy. Final Fantasy, Phantasy Star, Phantasy Star Online.

What RPGs really need (5, Insightful)

wondafucka (621502) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865186)

RPG's need something that has very rarely been done: Role Playing. Less focus should be spent on combat, aquiring weapons and armor, and hit point management. Recent developments in user moded rpgs should start to let the plot, dialog, and interactivity of games shine over the same old same old. Big game houses are currently focu$ed on making a product ship with success. Small, part-time mod creators just want to make someone happy. www.mygeekdom.com [mygeekdom.com] A little corner of the net I call home.

My favourite recipe.... (3, Interesting)

DrJAKing (94556) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865199)

72hr rental on a 14th century scottish castle
24 crates beer
3 day's worth of pizza and junk food
7 guys who should know better
no mobiles
plenty coffee

(oh, and some dice, books, figures, mats and shit).

My point being, it's all about the people, the social dynamics,the fact that you're out-of-time. The system, and the way it's played are secondary, and arguing about that is part of the fun.

Good Weapons and Leveling System (2, Insightful)

Hamlet D'Arcy (316713) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865209)

WHat make's an RPG for me is a large variety of cool weapons and a good leveling and advancement system.


A variety of weapons doesn't mean 12 different types of swords (a la Neverwinter), but different weapons with different ranges and specialities (more like Fallout).


As for leveling... after I hit level 20 in Neverwinter I quit playing. It wasn't the story that drove me to play, but the possibility of becoming more powerful and getting new spells.


Anyway, both NWN and Fallout were great games in their own respects.

Re:Good Weapons and Leveling System (1)

wondafucka (621502) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865340)

I wish that we could spontaneously agree upon what to call our two different kinds of games. There are two totally different design ideals when creating a game with leveling and weapons, and when creating a game that has more interactivity and dialog. Granted most games shouldn't be all one or the other, but most games are.
I absolutely hate Diablo, NWN, Eversmack, FF6+ but I want the industry to keep creating games like that for people that want games like that. I absolutely love games that focus more on story and intricate conversation, and the ability to do very many different things in very many different ways (i.e. completely divergent plotlines). I don't like to bring in the double edged sword of the english language to further subdivide the RPG market, but perhaps it is time.
Any suggestions?
www.mygeekdom.com [mygeekdom.com] My favorite place on the net to bitch about Bush.

Re:Good Weapons and Leveling System (2)

jgerman (106518) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865436)

It's kinda both isn't it. Different things for different people. And the ability for different styles of play to focus on the aspects of the game that they enjoy most. I've been thinking a lot about this lately, for all games, not just rpg's. There's obviously no formula. Personally, it's the combination story and leveling up that drives me. The story a little more, but there is a tremendous amount of satisfaction is seeing your character(s) get to be bad asses along the way.

Plot (4, Insightful)

Apreche (239272) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865211)

An RPG is just like a movie, only there is player interaction. A lot of people play RPGs to level up, get the best items, big spells, etc. I just play to advance the plot.

Basically RPGs don't have to do much to be good, they just have to have an interesting involving story that keeps me interested. However, there are a lot of things an RPG has to NOT do in order to not suck.

First it has to not every make it incredibly difficult and stupidly annoying to advance the plot. Imagine watching a movie and halfway through you have to jump through hoops to see the rest. That's torture, not fun. Not to say that the whole game has to be a piece of cake. But if it is difficult to the point of frustration something is wrong.

Second, it can't be incredibly short. I mean longer doesn't necessarily equal better. But on average RPGs that you can beat in a couple days often suck and RPGs that take a while are often much better.

Probably the most important thing to an RPG is direction. I want to be told where the next plot is. Sure making decisions is good, and multiple endings a la chrono trigger is even better. But I don't ever want to be in a situation where I don't know where to go or what to do in order to advance the plot.

The most important thing for an RPG to have (this is a pet peeve of mine) is short sweet and rare combat. I can't stand those games where you walk two steps and then are forced to fight horrible monsters in a 10 minute battle. And then repeat the process 100 times before getting to the next town. Combat should be rare and quick. It doesn't have to be easy, but I want to either win or lose in about 30-45 seconds tops.

Candidates for best RPG ever?

Chrono Trigger
FF6
Golden Sun
Dragon Quest (Warrior)
Secret of Mana
Any Zelda Game
Ack! Too many to name!

Re:Plot (Combat) (5, Interesting)

Kintanon (65528) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865369)

One annoying and disturbing trend I noticed recently is the "actionifying" of RPG combat. It started with FF7 in my opinion, where you had to hit the button at the right time for Cloud's sword to fire. IT was worse with Legend of Legaia (Which I liked, and I enjoyed the combat, but my wife HATED It because she plays for the storyline) and then I've seen recent games where you have to hit multiple buttons in a row during combat as dials and boxes move around and occasionally sync up. It means that instead of pressing one button a few dozen times per combat you have to dedicated a lot of though to the combat itself. This is REALLY annoying when you like to just level up and go to the next story. If you want to make a fighting game, make a fighting game. If you want to make an RPG make an RPG. There should never be a human reflex based combat portion. I'm playing the role of my character, not myself. If I have only one hand, and that hand only has one finger, I should still be able to play the game.

Kintanon

Re:Plot (Combat) (2)

Kragg (300602) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865469)

One annoying and disturbing trend I noticed recently is the "actionifying" of RPG combat.

Adding action to the game just changes it slightly. It makes it RTS + RPG instead of plain RPG. Nothing wrong with that in and of itself.

Of course, if the story is strong enough there's no reason not to allow players to turn off the rts (or at least the rt) part of the combat, like some square games do.

If I have only one hand, and that hand only has one finger, I should still be able to play the game.

But surely you still could play the game..?
Oh, you mean the computer game... sorry.

Re:Plot (Combat) (1)

Steveftoth (78419) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865480)

In some games, the action elements are completly optional. I agree that the games that FORCE you to use the action elements and then procede to call these hoops features are crappy, but all the FF games have had the action elements be optional. You can go through the entire game without using the overdrives that require you to push the buttons, or line up reels, etc.. (In FFX for example).

Most console RPGs are more action oriented then the computer counterparts. Personally, I don't find the computer games that much fun because they are too stat oriented. But that's exactly why so many people like CRPGs as opposed to console games where the primary reason for playing is plot and graphics.

Re:Plot (1)

jwilloug (6402) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865460)

Best RPG in recent memory is Planescape: Torment, no contest. An unconventional setting, incredible storyline, intriguing characters... Even bearable combat, the Baldur's Gate engire was at least good for that.

I was hooked from the moment the bartender gave me back my eye. Fantastic game.

Re:Plot (4, Insightful)

AT (21754) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865474)

Advancing the plot is nice, as long as the game doesn't force you into a linear, predermined path. Open-endedness makes games so much more immersive.

You forgot to include Ultima 7, clearly a candidate for the best ever. Or any of the Ultimas, except maybe 8 & 9.

"What do you think is the key to a great RPG?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4865224)

"What do you think is the key to a great RPG?"

Borderline faggotry between long-haired men with swords.

Re:"What do you think is the key to a great RPG?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4865277)

Actually, pointless leveling up is what makes a great RPG.

Look at Final Fantasy. There's no story. You just run around fighting shit and gaining levels and looking for +4 swords with which to whack monsters around and gain more levels. Pure pointless fun, the best.

Urban leveling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4865378)

I wander around my neighborhood with a big stick (which I refer to as my Crystal Sword of Belzar) and a ghetto blaster. When I encounter an animal, I make this kind of alarm noise and start the action music going on the ghetto blaster. I beat the animal senseless with my sword. Then I check its body for gold, but I never find any. Then I take out the notebook I carry with me and add some random number between 1 and 15 to my total. I'm up to 4582.

Rules. (2)

dasmegabyte (267018) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865246)

As many as possible. I'm a math fiend and I don't get enough of it in my job as a software developer ;). I love lookup tables and obscure rules and love working flawed characters in a strict world.

Which is why I loved AD&D, v2, and why with the advent of _D&D v3 I have moved on to gurps. Yes, there are cool classes. Yes, it is nice that ability scores go to 500 or whatever. But that doesn't help my gimpy thief with the 9 dexterity -- and that's his highest score. When I play D&D3, i have to mince around like a pansy as even a pinprick does 2 HP damage nowadays.

Gurps has a chart for anything you can think of and a rule that tells exactly how to do it. There's no penalty for being a clever player (as the DM says "roll against your intelligence, dummy"), and therefore no defense for hack & slash.

Re:Rules. (1)

Lt Razak (631189) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865492)

Try out RoleMaster. Lots of rules, charts.

Using a whip, against a creature with chainmail? Chart.

What makes a good RPG ... (2)

Monkelectric (546685) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865250)

Is the same thing that makes a good album, a good movie, a good tv series and a good book. AN INTERESTING STORY.

I do not want to run around smacking monsters to level and collect gems.

Re:What makes a good RPG ... (2, Interesting)

tigertigr (610853) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865409)

No kidding. If we want to just level up, we have Progress Quest [progressquest.com] for that.

However, because games and gamers have become more sophisticated, it's going to take an even better story to impress people nowadays. I mean, I remember when I first played Phantasy Star on the SMS years ago, I was gripped by the environment and the characters and it seemed like such a cool story at the time. But now when I fire it up in an emulator, the story seems kind of weak. Don't get me wrong, I still love the PS series, though.

If I see another game using the tired old cliche of collecting gems/crystals/whatever and combining them to defeat some evil dude, I'm going to scream.

Get rid of random battles. (5, Interesting)

steesefactor (563098) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865263)

The evolution of console rpg's would take a huge leap forward if they once and for all decided to eliminate random battles. A lot of times you just want to explore, not slog through 20 battles with same monsters every 5 steps. This is an artificial extension of game length that seriously hurts the gameplay of most console rpg's these days.

Re:Get rid of random battles. (2, Interesting)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865349)

The other problem is that the games generally rewarded you for spending a month in the field next to your hometown killing imps, then trucking through the game at level 1 zillion.

Final Fantasy 8 is probably my favorite in the series, as it was the first to *punish* you for doing this. The more you level up, the more the monsters around you level up. If you dawdled around killing imps for too long, it'd bite you in the ass when you run into a white dragon at the same level as you.

You were much better off to find the thingymajoo that makes you avoid monsters altogether, and proceed through the story.

Re:Get rid of random battles. (2)

jgerman (106518) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865500)

I disagree, random combat is part of the genre for a reason. Certain games, such as Chrono Trigger pull it off without random combat, psuedo random sort of very well. But the random combat is part of the challenge. I've been just as irritated as everyone else when fighting random battles, until I realize that that's what makes the game difficult. OTOH some games go overboard, for instance Skiew of Arcadia goes too far.


I also like the idiom of the genre where it's usually possible to find an item that stops random battles at some point in the game.


OTOH Exploration is becoming more and more viable with the state of game graphics. Certainly you didn't have much to gain by exploring the world of Dragon Warrior.


It all goes back to what each person likes.

FFS (0, Troll)

r0xah (625882) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865269)

The key to a great RPG is to be part of the Final Fantasy Series

Re:FFS (4, Funny)

tmhsiao (47750) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865321)

Can someone explain to me why something called Final Fantasy has like 10+ sequels?

Re:FFS (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865389)

They aren't sequels, each has its own unique storyline, with its own unique characters, in its own unique universe.

The next one, though, will be a true sequel of FFX. Apparently they feel they need to franchise the characters.. The wind must be out of the sails.

But to more directly answer your question:

Neverending Story: Part II

best line... (1)

bje2 (533276) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865272)

great excerpt taken from the fourth article (for those of you who don't read the articles)...note, RT is referring to Real Time (as apposed to turn based RPG)...

Myths
"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.

sorry, just had to post that, it cracked me up...especially the "+10 Bag of Conforming to the Social Norm" line...how bout that, a RPG developer with a sense of humor...

A good escape... (3, Insightful)

kakos (610660) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865301)

The key to a good RPG is that it is a good escape. I play RPGs to escape the boring monotony of real life and get a glimpse into some other world. This is one reason why MMORPGs are so addictive. From a story point of view, they suck. You sit around and kill things all day. What is so attractive about them is that you have real people to talk with. It makes it a sort of world outside of this world. And that is what a lot of people are ultimately looking for. They are looking for a world to escape to when the real world seems too burdensome.

duke nukem (0, Offtopic)

matt4077 (581118) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865308)

the most important thing for an rpg is ammunition.
you know, when 6 aliens are coming at you from all sides, you dont wanna run out of it.

Re:duke nukem (1)

Lt Razak (631189) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865441)

That would definately count out Resident Evil. Finding bullets in that game was kind of like finding leprechans on 4 leaf clovers.

A great story (3, Insightful)

Palshife (60519) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865333)

I think I enjoyed Final Fantasy VII mostly because the story was the most emphasized part. A good story offers emotional connection to the characters and the situations. In the end, it makes you more prone to play your character with actual zeal, not just go through the motions to trigger the cutscenes.

A great RPG should have me saying "I'm gonna kill that bastard," after he offs one of the main characters. My mood should be affected by the plot.

feature of a great RPG (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4865339)

One of the biggest features all great RPG's have is the lack of skills required to get good. The ability of your character has to be directly proportionate to the amount of time you've played the game, that way, all the obsessive players can feel good about all the time they waisted playing the game.

The only way to win is not to play (2)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865354)

This [spookylibrarians.com] is what happens when you fail to make a saving throw against Tom Hanks.

Highly recommended.

Successful for who? (2)

craenor (623901) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865375)

The greatest of the RPG's are not the ones that make the most money always. The ones that rake in the funds are the most addictive of RPG's. Especially when you talk things like EverQuest and the other mmorpg's.

As the market becomes more flooded in the next few years, people will burn out on the addicted games and finally the demand for the better games may improve more.

Suggestion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4865376)

After playing RPGs for a lifetime like there's no tomorrow, I have a suggestion that I believe could spice RPGs somewhat. I have even eMailed companies, but I get not even an automated response. :(

Many RPGs, especially "traditional RPGs", have you combat groups of monsters over and over. However, if you check it out, battles are small and many. You have to be strong on the long run, and you normally do not need to be very strong for any particular battle, except special ones. (Bosses, etc.)

My suggestion is to have RPGs with less battles but more complex. It just shouldn't be done by using the same routine over and over. Make me really think my strategies. Also, I prefer "realtime" battles over static ones -- if I take to long to make a choice on the menu, the enemies attack.

My two cents.

(*o*) Who cares about RPG Codex (Sc0re:5.5) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4865429)

Who cares about RPG Codex . Now this is news...(but Rob won't post it cause he is busy honeymooning)...
U.S. firms move IT overseas [com.com]
U.S. firms move IT overseas
By Ed Frauenheim Special to ZDNet News December 11, 2002, 5:07 AM PT
Under pressure from overseas rivals, U.S. companies selling information technology services have a new mantra: If you can't beat them, join them.
IT services companies are jostling to promise customers cheaper, flexible services using technology professionals in low-wage countries such as India, China and Mexico. Hewlett-Packard is the latest U.S.-based company to announce its overseas intentions. At a meeting with financial analysts last week, Ann Livermore, HP's services chief, said the company plans to relocate a major portion of its IT services work to India.
"We think customers are going to put a lot of pricing pressure on the consulting and integration market," Livermore said. "We are going to aggressively move everything we can offshore."
HP already has several thousand services employees in India. The company said it will give a more detailed version of its offshore consulting plan in January.
Last month, computer services giant Electronic Data Services announced its "Best Shore" program, promising a 40 percent increase in personnel and resources devoted to low-cost applications services centers around the world. EDS currently has 4,500 employees working out of 13 Best Shore facilities, which are located in cities such as Chennai, India; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Wellington, New Zealand.
In addition, IBM's services wing says that for more than a year it's had what it too calls a "Best Shore" strategy. Big Blue has services centers in the low-cost countries of India, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Canada and China.
Frances Karamouzis, an analyst with market research firm Gartner, said U.S.-based IT service providers are going abroad as a response to competition from Indian technology services companies such as Infosys and Wipro. "These are ways to position their competitive offering to the Indian firms," Karamouzis said.
Those Indian businesses are faring much better than their U.S. counterparts amid the tech downturn. In the most recent two quarters, Infosys saw sales rise 26 percent, and Wipro's revenue jumped 26 percent. In contrast, EDS's revenue for the past three quarters edged up only 4 percent, and IT services provider Computer Science's sales for the past two quarters increased less than 1 percent.
Even so, Indian-based companies are siphoning off just a few drops from the U.S. IT bucket. Karamouzis estimates they take in about $6 billion per year, or less than 5 percent of U.S. IT spending. But the offshore model has gained a foothold and will grow, she predicted.
Indian companies began to take on low-profile tasks like legacy software maintenance in the early 1990s, Karamouzis said. By focusing on quality, they gained the confidence of U.S. corporations, and now they are working on more important applications, she said.
IT's passage to India Already, more than 300 of the Fortune 500 firms do business with Indian IT services companies, according to Gartner. The research firm predicts that by 2004, more than 80 percent of U.S companies will have considered using offshore IT services. In addition, more than 40 percent of U.S. corporations will have completed some type of offshore IT pilot program or will be using IT services with an overseas component by that time.
"That IT work is headed offshore is confirmed by a November report from Forrester Reseach. It estimated that the number of computer jobs moving overseas will grow from 27,171 in 2000 to 472,632 five years after that. Forrester researchers predict that other services--including call center services and back-office accounting--will follow IT operations in moving abroad."
By 2015, a total of 3.3 million U.S. jobs and $136 billion in wages will transfer offshore to countries such as India, Russia, China and the Philippines, according to Forrester.
Reasons for the shift start with lower wages. HP pegs the cost of a talented programmer in India at about $20,000 a year, a fraction of the cost of a top U.S. tech worker.
Other factors fueling the shift offshore, according to Forrester, include the emergence of low-cost high-bandwidth telecommunications links, standardized business applications and Internet-based collaborative tools.
Greater flexibility also may entice customers to prefer an offshore model or a combination of offshore and onshore services. With operations in both the United States and Asia, an IT services company can offer clients around-the-clock support--or what EDS calls a "follow the sun" capability.
Not everyone believes the U.S. IT industry is on the verge of withering away. Norm Matloff, a computer science professor at the University of California at Davis, argues that the need for face-to-face interaction remains vital for programming projects. "Most U.S. firms will find that it is just not worth it to outsource software development overseas on a large scale," he said.
Gartner's Karamouzis agreed Matloff has a point, especially when it comes to software companies' core products and to applications that require a great deal of expertise in a particular industry, such as banking.
However, Indian firms typically can accomplish IT projects for U.S. clients with 90 percent to 95 percent of the work done in India, she said. She estimated that as much as 40 percent to 50 percent of U.S. IT services work could be done overseas in the next five to 10 years--raising serious concerns about the prospects for U.S. IT workers.

Its the music (1)

RobPiano (471698) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865439)

The music is the most important part!

On a completely unrelated note... Young, talented musician (piano), working on a master's in music tech, with degrees in music and computer science needs a job :)

best quote from the articles (5, Funny)

MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) | more than 11 years ago | (#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".

It's all about Freedom of Action (5, Interesting)

sckienle (588934) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865464)

OK, there are two. The personal interaction was always important to me. But the main aspect of any RPG which managed to keep my interests was the flexibility to allow for real freedom of action.

For example, you run into a locked door. How about removing the hinges? Chopping the wood? Going through the transom? Digging out the mortar out around it? Way back when I was DMing the original D&D, my friends would come up with this sort of thing all the time. Of course, it meant I had to constantly be thinking. But that was the whole fun on it. It wasn't "follow the line and use the objects exactly the way we intended" play.

Of course, that's why I didn't use the canned scenarios then, and why I don't play much RPG on the computer today.

the key (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4865498)

What do you think is the key to a great RPG?

pretty much the same key to real life: bitches and benjamins

The Key is.. (2)

docbrown42 (535974) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865508)

What do you think is the key to a great RPG?

The key is to not be on a computer. No computer can match the flexibility and resourcefulness of a real, live, flesh-and-blood person. CRPGs and face-to-face RPGs are 2 very different things.

Atmosphere (2, Insightful)

name_already_in_use (604991) | more than 11 years ago | (#4865509)

Of all the RPGs I have played there is one outstanding feature that sticks in my mind and which all good RPGs MUST have, IMHO, to be enjoyable: atmosphere.

Obviously factors such as story, reasonable graphics, etc are all important but that is the case for any of type of game. What matters is how these elements interact with each other to product the overall atmosphere of teh game. ake the Bladerunner rpg for example and Nintendo's Zelda series - both are really immersive games due to the continuity and great sense of escapism produced by the games' ambience.
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