Jan Beuck von Master Creating äußert sich heute mal zu was anderem als den ewig gleichen Legend-Fragen. Heute gibt's bei RPGVault einen Artikel des Entwickler-Roundtables. Das heutige Diskussionsthema lautet eben "They don't make RPGs like they used to". Die Antwort, die Jan dabei gegeben hat, gefällt mir aus persönlichen Gründen sehr gut, weswegen diese News alles andere als informativ-objektiv ist. Die Antwort gefällt mir aber so gut, daß ich sie Euch nicht vorenthalten will, auf das ihr was zum nachdenken habt. Er befindet sich übrigens in guter Gesellschaft, neben ihm antworten auch D. W. Bradley (Wizardry, Dungeon Lords) und Ferret Baudoin (NWN2, Dragon Age) auf die Frage.
Die vollständige Antwort findet Ihr im erweiterten Newstext, wenn Ihr auf "Weiter" klickt.
Hier die Antwort von Jan auf die Frage "They don't make RPGs like they used to":
First, I think the statement is right. "They", meaning us, RPG developers, don't make RPGs like 10, 15 or even 20 years ago. Is this good or bad? To answer this, we must look at the things that changed. As this is a wide field and many others will do so as well, I will pick out only a single topic, graphics.
So, the graphics are better. Or maybe... not?
Sure, they look more realistic - but do modern graphics also help to support the gameplay? The surprising answer is no. For example, schematic colors and top-down view make things clearer than photo-realistic colors and FPS view, which reduce overview and the feel of exact control. I'm not the first game designer to notice this, but it's usually simply ignored! Check out these lines from an interview with Castlevania-Designer Koji Igarashi, because I couldn't say it any better:
"Question: As a series moves from 2D to 3D, the gameplay often has to change drastically. Do you feel that you can get the same action/platforming experience in 3D that you can get in 2D?
Koji Igarashi: No, it's basically impossible to communicate the same experience. 2D gameplay is precise - it can come down to one pixel of accuracy for attacking, defending, jumping, any sort of platforming element. In the 3D gaming environment, appreciation of distance is much more subtle, and control has to be looser. In 2D, the distance between the player and the enemy is very important, and can be planned carefully. In 3D, distance isn't the important thing, but rather timing. That 2D to 3D transition doesn't really work, and a good example of that is the N64 version. They tried to fully incorporate 2D gameplay in a 3d environment, and it didn't do well.
Question: Do you prefer the 2D style?
Koji Igarashi: I absolutely love it."
Source: Gamasutra interview
Well, what would you prefer, the old gameplay and graphics, or the new gameplay and graphics? It's up to you; if you feel like it, get a program like DOSBOX and play the games from the good old days. :-)
Meanwhile, let's take a look at another topic. It's well known that RPGs are the genre most stolen from; nowadays you can find loot and experience points, character development and dialogues not only in ego shooters (Deus Ex), once the prototype for brainless shooting, but even in skateboard games (Tony Hawk's American Wasteland) that some years ago only focused on... skating. But it's less obvious that RPGs have also taken on aspects from other genres; for example, some (Oblivion) use the first-person view and action combat. This makes them less hardcore than an Ultima VII; some may even say the more they take from other genres, the more they lose their own identity.
As most will argue the main reason for this is that with today's development costs, it's important to appeal to the mass market, I want to take a look at a different aspect. Are people who say "They don't make RPGs like they used to" the same who say "They always make the same games again. Where's the innovation? This is not game design anno 2006."? The truth is I don't know, but this group certainly exists as well.