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Age of Decadence - Defining RPGs Once Again
Interview - posted by baby arm on Mon 2 March 2009, 17:38:59Tags: Age of Decadence; Iron Tower Studios
Prestigious UK magazine Resolution gave VD an opportunity to ramble on about kids these days with their real-time doodads and fancy cinematics.
R: Last year, you published an article on the Iron Tower forum entitled "What's a role-playing game?" You seem to place an enormous emphasis on freedom of choice - not in a sandbox sense, but in terms of different ways of progressing within the set narrative. Is this what really defines a good RPG for you?
VDW: It is. Maybe it's the age thing. I'm 38. I've played RPGs for more than 20 years. I remember being excited about killing monsters and leveling up. I remember reading "real time combat!" on a Dungeon Master box in 1987 and wondering what the hell that was supposed to mean. I remember being immersed in first person, real time Stonekeep, which had an insane five million dollar budget - back then it was so insane it was mentioned in the game's ads - and greatly enjoying it, although the game revolved around clearing several dozen dungeon levels with extreme prejudice. Being an RPG junkie, I've experienced it all, loved it all at some point, but now I want something more than killing monsters and watching "awesome" cinematics. I want to be able to decide what to do, when to do, and why. I want to decide, not to be told, who my allies and enemies are.
I'd compare it to child's development. A child starts reading kids' books, then teens' books, and then finally progresses to a more serious literature, even if it's sci-fi or fantasy. Well, the problem with the gaming industry is that it keeps producing games that are suitable for the 8-12 age group.
Going back to your question, when the novelty of killing monsters in the most visually spectacular manner wears off, freedom of choice becomes the main attraction.
Read the full interview here.
Thanks to asper for the tip.