Raise your hand if you LOVE Linear RPG's!

Pages

AuthorTopic: Raise your hand if you LOVE Linear RPG's!
Apprentice
Member # 5246
Profile #0
Let's make it clear from the start... I'm referring to KOTOR I & II.

I abosuletly positevily HATE those two titles. So much potential, so much oppurtunity, and it's wasted. Sure the graphics were nice, and the effects cool. The combat system was pretty good as well, and the way you could advance your characters was also nice, but what about being able to actually RP with them!?

The game worlds in both games were so small, you literally walked in a straight line in some places to complete tasks and advance the storyline!

Why OH WHY!? Hasn't anyone taken the large expansive worlds of Oblivion or Elder Scrolls III and made a isometric based version of it?

This little problem is my biggest complaint with the game industry right now.

The only games that I know of doing this are Oblivion, Stalker, etc. and they are all 1st person shooters!?

Why do games like KOTOR get such high praise?

What do you all think? Are the majority of gamers out there simply interested in graphics? Or is this just a result of clever marketing and lots of money?

[ Wednesday, September 19, 2007 08:34: Message edited by: 2disbetter ]
Posts: 24 | Registered: Friday, December 3 2004 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #1
I don't mind linear plots. Sure, choices are nice, but they often come at the price of plot focus. Limiting choices arbitrarily and providing impetus to keep moving in one direction are not the same thing at all.

—Alorael, who doesn't like wide open games where you don't know how to continue the plot. Avernum doesn't fall into this pitfall, but many so-called non-linear plots simply mean wandering around lost for long periods of time.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Warrior
Member # 8131
Profile Homepage #2
I hated KOTAR with a passion. I love Linear RPG's. When they have a story I can get into of course, many do. To me it's almost like an interactive novel. I like it. I'm a livid reader sooooooo YMMV, but toss me into the good ol fashioned J-RPG linear crowd. In that vein I'm liking Blue Dragon.

--------------------
http://www.goozex.com/trading/asp/join.asp?idr=412684821
Posts: 145 | Registered: Sunday, February 18 2007 08:00
Warrior
Member # 10234
Profile #3
I really dislike the "hit button A to continue" type of RPG experience, chock full of pre-determined cut scenes. Final Fantasy, and most Japanese RPG's come to mind.

When I lived in Japan there was a so-so game called "Blue" that sold itself on the fact that it was NOT linear.

It's interesting because there were some old Dragon Quest (Dragon Warrior in the US) games that were almost identical to Richard Garriot's early Ultimas, except that they were more linear and didn't let you explore outside of a given area.

That's what I hated, the idea that if you stepped into another part of the land that you'd suddenly had to fight level 10 creatures. This was a cheap way to keep you "on the tracks" if the land itself didn't lead you along.
Posts: 102 | Registered: Monday, September 3 2007 07:00
Shaper
Member # 32
Profile #4
I prefer linear games; they give me a sense of direction. In most non-linear games I've played quest objectives are few and far apart, this leaves me bored...

--------------------
Lt. Sullust
Quaere verum
Posts: 2462 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Warrior
Member # 6714
Profile Homepage #5
Both game styles have their merits, and both can have wonderful plots. It all depends on the writer and the quality of the game.

I can enjoy Final Fantasy style games when the game and the story is fun...that's why I enjoyed Final Fantasy IX, as well as Kingdom Hearts (I and II) Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, and a few other Square-Enix titles.

Non-linear games are good too, but they do need to be put together well, with a general overall solid focus. Exile/Avernum I lacked this focus a bit in the beginning and suffered for it...your party just becomes adventurers with no real reason. Once it got going into the major quests it regained itself, but it still suffered somewhat for that lack of a solid beginning.

Exile/Avernum II is how you truly make a non-linear game with a solid plot. It gives ample reasons to start up, a good reason to become full adventurers and reasons to keep going again and again throughout it. Exile/Avernum III duplicated this and kept it going solidly as well.

Other game series can be swing and hit or swing and miss depending. The Might and Magic games, for instance, tended to be more swing and miss because you never truly knew what you had to do...this is especially true of the later ones, such as VI and VII, where you barely had a reason to do anything at all.

The Wizardry games were more swing and hit, especially the three final games, VI, VII, and VIII, which were all tied together in a trilogy involving the Dark Savant.

There are other game series along this line--Ultima, Elder Scrolls--but I think you get the point.

In other words, don't presume that a certain feature--linearity or nonlinearity--will automatically make the game a hit or a miss. A game is what a game is.

I hope Jeff keeps up the non-linearity in the Avernum series though. It's part of it like anything else, and with the way Jeff makes games, non-linearity is certainly better than linearity.

--------------------
Well that signature was out of date, since I've not been here in forever.
Posts: 91 | Registered: Thursday, January 19 2006 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 4153
Profile Homepage #6
I'm so sick of people harping on about how nobody should even try to make RPGs anymore if they're not Oblivion clones. I mean seriously... not only do most companies have deadlines to meet, but they don't have the extensive staff to create such massive games. And even without putting that element into the equation, there's still the old idea of quality v/ quantity: do you want a million plotlines where all of them are so-so, or do you want one well-written epic quest?

I'll admit, I tend to dislike those games with extensive cutscenes and little or no actual input from the player. And of course there are linear RPGs with bad plots, but that appears across all genres.

Anyway, stop complaining. :P

--------------------
TM: "I want BoA to grow. Evolve where the food ladder has rungs to be reached."

Gamble with Gaea, and she eats your dice.
Posts: 4130 | Registered: Friday, March 26 2004 08:00
Nuke and Pave
Member # 24
Profile Homepage #7
*raises hand* :P

Actually, I haven't played KOTOR, but I generally prefer games with a strong story to games where you wonder aimlessly, hoping to stumble upon next part of the storyline. I think Avernum II and Geneforge II have handled the balance between choice and plot quite well: There are a lot of things to do and decisions to make, but there is still a clear progression of plot, with the story unfolding around you.

As for Oblivion, I got bored with it after less than a week. (Although that could be due to my dislike for FPS games.)

--------------------
Be careful with a word, as you would with a sword,
For it too has the power to kill.
However well placed word, unlike a well placed sword,
Can also have the power to heal.
Posts: 2649 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
By Committee
Member # 4233
Profile #8
What matters most to me is a fun system. A game can have an excellent story, linear or no, but if the system sucks, I'm out. For example, I found Chrono Cross to be a ridiculous slog, and a combination of drawn out pointless combats and slow load times in Legend of Dragoon made that game unplayable for me. Final Fantasy VIII's system was pretty broken as well.

By contrast, I really enjoyed KOTOR and KOTOR II.

[ Wednesday, September 19, 2007 14:57: Message edited by: Drew ]
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
BANNED
Member # 10021
Profile #9
I have OCD so games like Oblivion make my brain pop trying to do every single little ****ing thing in the game.

--------------------
When I close my eyes at night I see David Bowie.
Posts: 157 | Registered: Saturday, August 25 2007 07:00
Infiltrator
Member # 3441
Profile Homepage #10
I'm not exactly sure what you mean. KOTOR I and II had many optional quests and even side games like pazaak (or whatever the card game was called) and swoop racing. The stories were engaging and they had a neat game engine. While they were not exactly non-linear games, they certainly allowed for enough variation to make replay worthwhile.

--------------------
"As our circle of knowledge expands, so does the circumference of darkness surrounding it." --Albert Einstein
--------------------
BoaEdit
Posts: 536 | Registered: Sunday, September 7 2003 07:00
Apprentice
Member # 5246
Profile #11
Perhaps I wasn't clear enough.

KOTOR did have several "other" side quests you could do, I'm referring to the actual game worlds. I don't want to just have to walk 10 feet to complete a quest or find someone new. Those game worlds where tiny.

I don't like qaunity over quality. There are several ways to keep the main plot in focus in larger games.

The point of a RPG is to role play, not to have someone else determine your actions and course of following through.

Lack of depth to me is a killer in a RPG.

Most RPGs smack of being designed for a console, and are catered to young kids with ADD.

It's a good thing the indie scene can focus more on the niche some prefer.

[ Thursday, September 20, 2007 05:25: Message edited by: 2disbetter ]
Posts: 24 | Registered: Friday, December 3 2004 08:00
By Committee
Member # 4233
Profile #12
I think it's pretty much impossible to have "true roleplaying" in a cRPG as you would define it. By their nature, games are limited in scope, owing to limitations in budget, time, and technology. This leaves the developers a spectrum between having a very compelling story on the one hand or an enormous open-ended game world on the other. Final Fantasy vs. Daggerfall. I prefer the former, because I like stories. I think to the extent you can "roleplay" in any of these games is pretty illusory; no matter what, you are either deciding to follow the plot laid out for you by the designer, or just beating around the bush powering up your characters. cRPGs pretty much will always lack the flexibility of PnP RPGs. Why expect this of them?
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #13
One way I can see to put more RP into CRPG is by having many endings, most of which could be good or bad endings depending on the character's values. This forces the player to think about adopting a particular viewpoint, in order to know which ending they want, or even just to decide how they feel about the endings they get. 'You liberate the galaxy' versus 'you conquer the galaxy' doesn't leave much room for manoeuvre.

Which is just to say that if you want RP in CRPG, you can't try to just tack it on. You need to weave it into the medium, and the medium is about powering up your character and achieving goals. If you make the possible goals and powers multi-valued, as opposed to just having many ways of trashing monsters, then you make role-playing part of winning.

--------------------
We're not doing cool. We're doing pretty.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #14
Geneforge is is the most plot-open game (or series) I know of. Otherwise, games like KotOR, which allows you to play either good or evil with minimal plot differences are pretty much it.

—Alorael, who can see why most console RPGs are labeled interactive movies. On the other hand, he doesn't mind it. The stories of games that don't have premade characters with premade personalities tend to ignore the characters and their choices. At the very least they have to be one dimensional characters.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Infiltrator
Member # 3441
Profile Homepage #15
While KOTOR II only had two endings, it had endless variation in choices of which characters to befriend and what actions to make in order to influence those characters. I will admit that the worlds themselves were small, and I would have loved larger worlds to explore, but that has nothing to do with linearity vs. non-linearity.

--------------------
"As our circle of knowledge expands, so does the circumference of darkness surrounding it." --Albert Einstein
--------------------
BoaEdit
Posts: 536 | Registered: Sunday, September 7 2003 07:00
Warrior
Member # 10234
Profile #16
I don't see it as a Final Fantasy vs. Morrowind type of comparison. And its not "complaining" its just a matter of what I like, growing up on pen & paper RPG's and C64 Ultimas and not a Game Boy or Zelda on the NES.

MMORPG's have changed the rules about what a CRPG can be and will continue to change them. I fully expect the pen & paper experience to be transcended by online RPGs. A battle that could take 15 minutes to roll the dice on could take less than a minute when using something like a shared server that runs Neverwinter Nights and has a "DM" in control.

For the single player (not online) experience, its all about what you want from your experience.

If I want a "good story" I'll read a book or watch a movie rather than "press A to continue".

I'd gladly watch a Final Fantasy DVD rather than fight 200 swarms of giant Chocobos in a very linear quest where I am forced to play a 13-year old boy with giant anime eyes and spikey blond hair half of his body height.

That said, there are some linear RPG-like games that I really enjoy, like the Fire Emblem strategy series or, to go back to the Final Fantasy thing again, I enjoyed Final Fantasy Tactics a lot.

And I know people weaned on Zelda instead of Ultima are going to like that thing a lot. I'm not trying to change any minds here.

Strategy "RPG"s really require a more linear story to provide you with truly challenging and interesting maps to conquer since computer AI is often so bad (they need the advantage of terrain and pre-positioned characters).

I think I got off track of the main question which seems to go to good and evil character optional endings and storylines. Fable is one of the obvious ones.

I guess you could call Spiderweb Software games "linear" if your definition of linear is good vs. evil characters instead of quest order and optional side quests.

But games that try to allow you some freedom, like Neverwinter Nights 2, do a not so great job of it. You can play an evil female Svirfneblin cleric, but no one in the game will notice. And evil or not the story will move along eventually in the same way.

Of all the "open" games I've played, Morrowind was the most satisfying for me. It had a very loose main quest, but didn't rush you along through cut scenes, and was very entertaining and atmospheric no matter what you were doing - some obscure side quest, rampaging through the countryside, or playing close to the main quest.
Posts: 102 | Registered: Monday, September 3 2007 07:00
Board Administrator
Member # 1
Profile Homepage #17
I would be very happy if, at some point in my life, I designed a game as awesome at KOTOR.

- Jeff Vogel

--------------------
Official Board Admin
spidweb@spiderwebsoftware.com
Posts: 960 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
? Man, ? Amazing
Member # 5755
Profile #18
Can you be happy with the knowledge that I (and likely many of your other supplicants) had no clue what a KOTOR was until I googled it?

--------------------
Synergy, et al - "I don't get it."

Thralni - "a lot of people are ... too weird to be trusted"
Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Apprentice
Member # 5246
Profile #19
Well see that is EXACTLY what I'm trying to say(... I suppose).

KOTOR had so much potential! And they really did put a lot of effort in the story and depth of characters. They just didn't give you a big enough sandbox to experience it in!

I don't want a bunch of Oblivion clones, but what I'm saying is that they (bethesda) have done what I expect from a RPG.

Geneforge 2 did this as well, you weren't really forced to go anywhere, and the game world itself was large. The only thing I don't like is the overview map, how when you go to a different sector or whatever, you move a bunch of space in between, space you never see.

As for creating the ultimate RPG here are my predictions:

- It will be a MMORPG (and I'm pumped about that... It will most certiantly NOT be a WoW clone. WoW has about as much depth as a rock can ponder the meaning of life)
- Instead of scripted events (in the traditional sense), and instanced dugeons there will be live people who are hired to be the DM of certain areas. In this way interaction with NPCs (which wouldn't really be a NPC)would have more than just scripted things to say. Of course there would be a story writer (probably 30 of them), but the DM would be in charge of taking that story and conveying it in the real flowing world.
- Instanced areas will be done away. Everyone will exist in the same area. A rock you found will always be there when you log back in. As soon as technology allows (and it does now), then you should be able to damage the environment you play in (via weapons, etc.) and it should persist.

Think about it... if such a MMORPG exsisted what you not be in line anxiously waiting to play it? I would. (and I would be begging on the inside for it to be Sci-fi based (read not fantasy, or D&D based))

I'm sure a lot of others would as well.

A MMORPG that doesn't have ANY NPCs... that is something to shoot for.
Posts: 24 | Registered: Friday, December 3 2004 08:00
Shaper
Member # 32
Profile #20
If such environmental destruction was allowed then there would be several users who would simple destroy the entire world.

--------------------
Lt. Sullust
Quaere verum
Posts: 2462 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Apprentice
Member # 5246
Profile #21
quote:
Originally written by Lt. Sullust:

If such environmental destruction was allowed then there would be several users who would simply destroy the entire world.
Assuming a weapon with such power existed then yes they could.

Would make for a pretty awesome quest wouldn't it? Stop the pre-teen kids from destroying planet Zeebok.
Posts: 24 | Registered: Friday, December 3 2004 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 6785
Profile #22
Given sufficient time someone would find a way either within the game's rules or a hack to achieve the desired effect.

The problem with a MMORPG is that with too many users in the same area, any monster that pops in is instantly swarmed. They tried to avoid this with online D&D, but then you are required to play as a team and can't just wander around as an individual. Plenty of unique RPG adventures, but it becomes computerized modules.
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
? Man, ? Amazing
Member # 5755
Profile #23
This is the perfect time to plug KoL since it already has a strong contingent of SW friendly players.

--------------------
Synergy, et al - "I don't get it."

Thralni - "a lot of people are ... too weird to be trusted"
Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
By Committee
Member # 4233
Profile #24
The trouble is that it's likely the content won't ever be sufficiently suppliable or scaleable. Consider the problems inherent in a DM-run NWN scenario. Everything is pretty much still pre-planned and routed - nothing can truly be generated on the fly. Also, how many users do you envision in such a game? It would likely take far more than 30 DMs.

It sounds like you just ought to be playing Second Life.
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00

Pages