Editorial - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Fri 6 December 2002, 23:22:41Tags: Black Label Games; Chris Taylor
Chris Taylor, one of the main designers of Fallout and Stonekeep for Interplay, as well as Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring for the GameBoy Advance provides his unique spin on the design of CRPGs.
On my ring finger, you have story itself. RPGs without story are tactical combat and level treadmill games. Those can be interesting games, but not really conducive to creating a great role-playing game. The quality of the story can help determine the quality of the game, especially for RPGs. Planescape Torment would have been a good game without it's wonderful story, but was elevated to a great game by the quality of it's writing, story and dialogue.
Kudos to you, Chris Taylor! Thanks for the time.
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Editorial - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Tue 3 December 2002, 19:02:09Tags: Leonard Boyarsky; Troika Games
Leon Boyarski, Troika Games, offers up an editorial on CRPG development, and how making money is important. Also, why marketting people suck.
When I sat down to write about RPG development, I went through the list of things I like to see in an RPG. Depth of characterization and plot. Reactivity of the world. Believable NPCs. Feeling like you?re playing a ?role?. Then I tried to decide which is the most important in RPG development ? and the answer is none of them.
Ah, reality. Such a harsh mistress.
Review - posted by Exitium on Sun 1 December 2002, 19:28:17Tags: Divine Divinity; Larian Studios
With the recent flooding of CRPG releases in the market, Divine Divinity finds itself in steep competition against many other games of the same genre, some of which that have been more received wider press coverage and have garnered a larger fan-base than Divine Divinity, Larian Studios' second effort into the already saturated CRPG market. Divine Divinity, a game with a tautological name as any others you would have noticed was a game plagued by constant delays ever since it was first put into full production in the year 2000 after the cancellation of Larian Studios' previous effort, "The Lady, the Mage & the Knight". How does it compare with all the others? Read the full article: [URL='http://www.rpgcodex.net/content.php?id=17']Divine Divinity Review[/URL]
Interview - posted by Mistress on Fri 29 November 2002, 20:21:25Tags: Prelude to Darkness; Zero Sum
Interview with Travis Williams, lead artist on Prelude to Darkness.
"1. Could you tell us a little about yourself, your role at Zero-Sum, and your involvement in the development of Prelude to Darkness?
Travis Williams: My background is pretty diverse: I?ve spent a lot of my professional life in academic research (cognitive psychology), freelance graphic design and illustration, and playing music. My work at Zero Sum represents my first serious foray into the world of video game creation."
Editorial - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Mon 25 November 2002, 22:21:41Tags: Tim Cain; Troika Games
Our first developer editorial on game design, and who better to start it with than Tim Cain, the man who helped usher in Fallout and Arcanum. Some of this words:
Another lesson that should be obvious: turn-based games are still fun. Despite the plethora of real-time computer games on the market, there is still satisfaction in playing a game in the old-fashioned turn-based method we all grew up with. Some newer games seem to be real-time for no other reason than because real-time is more modern. Why make a real-time D&D computer game, which requires you to ignore or change all of the rules having to do with D&D?s inherently turn-based nature? I am surprised no one has made a real-time chess game. I?ll even give you a good name for it: ?Xtreme Chess? And don?t forget the sticker: ?Now With Phat Lewt?.
Thank you, Tim Cain.
Review - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Fri 22 November 2002, 21:12:39Tags: Avernum 3; Spiderweb Software
My review of Avernum 3. Here's a snippet:
Probably the first thing you'll notice when you fire up Avernum 3 is that it's not the most modern CRPG out there. It doesn't have a lot of automation about it. It doesn't have the latest graphics to push your several hundred dollar graphics card. It doesn't have fast paced, passive combat that you spend most of your time watching. It doesn't make the claim that there are 300+ spells. It, frankly, doesn't have a lot of the hooks that modern CRPGs use to sucker you in to buying them.
That's not a bad thing at all, because what it does offer is a challenging and rewarding experience in the tradition of the older CRPGs. If you're looking for an old school CRPG fix, similar to Ultima, Wasteland, or the old Gold Box games, that's what Avernum 3 offers. It's a straight shooting, party based CRPG that involves a lot of quests, a lot of locations to save, or not save, interesting combat, and more.
Mmmm.. surface-y goodness.
Information - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Thu 21 November 2002, 01:46:46Tags: Mat Williams; Prelude to Darkness; Zero Sum
This article covers the Flame set of spells used in Prelude to Darkness. It covers how they work, what equations determine their effects, and so on. Here's a brief section from Mat Williams.
The general principal is that each spell is a specific pattern of thought which allows the caster to channel the Eternal Flame in some useful manner. By varying the amount of Chaos and Control within the pattern the caster can vary the spell somewhat to different effects. This generaly leads to three possible levels of the spell, the first is the balanced level, the second a more controlled version and the third a more chaotic version. Generally control improves range or duration or allows the avoidance of friend characters at a cost of damage or power and chaos does the opposite, i.e. greater power shorter range, etc... The forth level or blood level is based on using the casters own blood rather than just their energy and is the ultimate in power. -Mat WilliamsHappy casting!
Interview - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Wed 20 November 2002, 00:25:49Tags: Mat Williams; Prelude to Darkness; Zero Sum
The first interview with Mat Williams, one of the lead designers on Prelude to Darkness.
11.) Skills, particularly combat ones, offer more benefits when they get to certain levels. Can you give us an example of what types of rewards players can expect to see by reaching high skill levels in a combat skill? How about a non-combat skill?
Mat Williams: Non-combat skills primarily give attribute bonuses as they get better. We had a lot of other, more active, bonuses in place for them, but it got to be too much of a testing and balancing headache for us. I'd like to get more bonuses in for them, right now I don't think there's any non-combat bonus which compares to the advanced sword-spin attack. All the advanced combat moves are very useful, even key in the late game, and they're different enough to warrant playing with more than just swords.
Information - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Sat 16 November 2002, 02:54:12Tags: Prelude to Darkness; Zero Sum
A listing of the backgrounds in Prelude of Darkness, what they require, what they give you.
Interview - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Mon 11 November 2002, 21:42:39Tags: Avernum 3; Spiderweb Software
Just a little more loving of Spiderweb Software. Here's a bit of it:
11.) Timed events play a big part in Avernum 3, such as the razing of towns by monsters if you don't get to their nests in time, and quest situations that only occur after certain dates. Can you explain why Avernum 3 does this? Is making a dynamically changing world more difficult versus the added benefit of demonstrating urgency of situations? Do you feel this worked well for Avernum 3?
It's the thing I love most about the game. I love the size, the depth, the amount of stuff in it. And I love the way you can return to a town and find half of it smashed in.
It was a lot of work. But I think it was just cool.
And the link to the interview itself.
Review - posted by Exitium on Sat 9 November 2002, 17:53:41Tags: Black Isle Studios; Icewind Dale 2
Does it succeed as a strong title or does it falter like its predecessor? Read Exitium's unbiased and well-balanced review to find out if Icewind Dale II makes the cut. Read the full article: [URL='http://www.rpgcodex.net/content.php?id=10']Icewind Dale II Review[/URL]
Review - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Fri 1 November 2002, 22:26:30Tags: BioWare; Neverwinter Nights
Saint Proverbius's NWN uncut and scary review, brutal honesty at it's peak. Nothing says fun like telling it as it is about one of the most overrated and overhyped games ever made.
Interview - posted by Exitium on Wed 30 October 2002, 05:15:24Tags: Black Isle Studios; Icewind Dale 2
Ian "Exitium" Cheong talks with the man behind the music of Icewind Dale 2, and Baldur's Gate: Throne of Bhaal, Inon Zur.
Editorial - posted by Deathy on Tue 29 October 2002, 06:34:06Tags: Microsoft Game Studios
In this editorial, Deathy discusses whether Freelancer should be labelled as an RPG or not.
Review - posted by Xerophyte on Wed 23 October 2002, 19:12:45Tags: Game Arts; Grandia II
Undaunted by Calis' screwy code replacing the previous version with another instance of Deathy's Great Quest Article, Xerophyte re-uploads his review. Will the upload be a success? Or will the article once again fall prey to the foul bugs roaming the system? Stay tuned to find out!
Review - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Sun 20 October 2002, 04:28:40Tags: Avernum 3; Spiderweb Software
A first look at Spiderweb's third installment of the Avernum series, Avernum 3.
Review - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Sat 19 October 2002, 05:33:22Tags: Geneforge; Spiderweb Software
Read the full article: [URL='http://www.rpgcodex.net/content.php?id=6']Geneforge Review[/URL]