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Jeff Vogel's rants at RPG Vault

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Jeff Vogel's rants at RPG Vault

Editorial - posted by Vault Dweller on Sat 10 February 2007, 00:51:08

Tags: Spiderweb Software

Jeff Vogel decided to turn RPG Vault into his blog. Today's rant is dedicated to fantasy RPGs and Jeff's failure to understand what they are about.

The first horrible thing. Fantasy role-playing games are unique among computer games in one thing: they are fundamentally about starting out weak and learning to be strong. And that learning process generally involves a lot of tedium.

Consider other sorts of games. In Doom or Quake, you start out weak. How do you get strong? You pick up a big gun, and suddenly, you're hardcore. Sure. In Madden, you start out a good football team, and you play some football for an hour, and then you get on with your life. When you play Tetris, you don't have to rotate the L-shaped pieces for three hours before you're good enough to handle the straight ones.

But the fundamental, unifying quality of pretty much all fantasy RPGs is that you start out as a puny loser, barely able to flush a toilet with both hands, and then you train and practice and work until you are a certifiable badass. And how does the game simulate this learning process? By reaching out and grabbing a gigantic, triple helping of your time.
...
And the games I write are no better. They do exactly the same thing. Sure, it might be cool to make a game where your character starts out a level 50 badass and then just trashes bozos. But it just wouldn't sell as well. The addictive, statistic-increasing, time-eating quality isn't the problem with these games. It's the point.

I'm tired of starting a new game and being a loser. I'm tired of running the same errands to prove myself. The next time I enter my fantasy world, I want it to not assume that I'm a jackass.
Then why don't you make a different game instead of churning out "more of the same" sequels? Just a thought.

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