Codexian CRPG Book Released

Discussion in 'NMA News and Information' started by TorontRayne, Feb 7, 2018.

  1. Atomkilla

    Atomkilla Hazel Hegemon oTO Orderite

    Dec 26, 2010
    Although I can assume how most of the people on 'dex would react to that comment, I wonder what felipepe would say.
  2. Arnust

    Arnust Maybe you've seen it, maybe, in a dream...

    Feb 2, 2016
    Have I read, seen or heard wrong or was "defining RPG" literally never the mission statement?
    • [Like] [Like] x 1
  3. felipepepe

    felipepepe First time out of the vault

    Feb 2, 2007
    And yet I spent 4 years making a book on CRPGs which doesn't feature Pokémon... sounds legit.


    First of all, the book is out - for free - including the project files if you want to print it yourself. There's no "donate" button. And all the profits from the hardcover version (if I manage to make one) will go to charity. How the hell does this looks like something I did only to make money?

    Second, the book opens with an article on how "TRUE RPGS" never really existed. It's a genre that represents a lot of things to lot of people. To some (like you) it means stats-driven gameplay, but to more modern players it means choices. Josh Sawyer once wrote how Wizardry probably wouldn't be an RPG by today's standards. Stats barely matter in Mass Effect 3, but good luck convincing anyone that it isn't a RPG.

    FFS, I even wrote a massive article on Gamasutra just talking about why RPGs are so hard to define because of the various sources from which it evolved.

    Finally, if I were afraid of "peer pressure", then I would make a book with only "TRUE RPGS", because that's what a lot of people like you keep complaining. Without actually reading the book I guess, since it doesn't even mention Sid Meier's Pirates nor Crusader Kings 2...
    • [Like] [Like] x 7
  4. Arnust

    Arnust Maybe you've seen it, maybe, in a dream...

    Feb 2, 2016
    >the guy being talked shit about shows up out of nowhere

    I'd say it's somewhere closer to the in-between point, really. Role-Playing influences is more inherent to gaming than some'd think (like 95% of the western game developer pioneers being D&D nerds). It's the abstraction of some of the facets of gameplay, systems and mechanics to a passively (part actively) built chart/sheet/card/ whatever that will dictate you, the player, as well as your player character's set of verbs, actions or just plain performance. That can mean your weapons not dealing enough damage in Borderlands, your empire having a specific avaleible course of action respective to an event in Stellaris, being able to talk away a thug in Fallout, getting laid with a blue alien in Mass Effect, a red lizard or a skeleton in DOS or with your #bestboi in Enderal. Nowadays, and arguably as it always has been, there's hardly a "pure" RPG because unless the devs are homunculi or aliens foreign of human emotion, it's something you'll probably never come up with. That's why the X-RPG list is so damn long. Sorry for ranting, what do you think yourself?

    I'd see basically nothing wrong if you could get just about anything in exchange of your time spent besides the assumed sense of fulfillment, really. Was kind of surprising that you didn't have a Patron set up as the project went seeing how popular that modus operandi is, for good and bad. The press part wouldn't be a bad idea if it wasn't bloody 550+ pages long haha

    TFW a vast selection of 4X are RPGs (at leat imo) especially if you abstract your "civ" to a single super organism.
  5. felipepepe

    felipepepe First time out of the vault

    Feb 2, 2007
    Indeed, what a lot of people forget is that tabletop RPGs aren't all identical either. You can be dungeon-crawling and rolling dies at monsters or just LARPing vampires in a party. Some people don't even use dice-rolls. And of course this leads to different CRPG designs as well.

    I think no one will deny that Richard Garriott is THE most important figure in CRPG history and here's his take on stats-heavy RPGs:
    Similarly, Tim Cain wrote in the book explaining why Star Control 2 is an RPG. So yeah, I don't care about random posters on the internet going "Game X isn't an RPG!". Much wiser and experienced people follow a broader, more interesting definition.

    I already have a job, I didn't want to have a second one, with people giving me money in exchange for updates and all that. During these 4 years of work I sometimes paused the book for months to deal with RL stuff (like moving to Japan). I only finished the book because it was a hobby, something fun to do in my spare time.
    • [Like] [Like] x 4
  6. Arnust

    Arnust Maybe you've seen it, maybe, in a dream...

    Feb 2, 2016
    Well, to my stance I forgot to add that while some things are unquestionably an RPG, there is a range of the RPG element's application. I wouldn't say Breath Of The Wild has its any more strongly present than say, The Witcher or, dare I say, The Elder Scrolls, while all of them being open world action (w)*RPG's anyway. Not to make more comparisons because you probably get the idea.

    *BotW isn't western developed of course but design wise it might as well be.

    As for the "funding", I see. If you were to give it to charity even if you did have pledges or donations, you might as well cut the middleman.

    To be fair, I'd be A OK with Rise's attitude if being some kind of reference sheet for a more specific RPG design, but... It's not, at least by the looks of it. I wouldn't say that being freely avaleible and made without lucrative purpose relieves it from criticism but I'm not really seeing any. And well, I've only started to read the thing so who knows, maybe you'll have me banging at your door with an angry mob soon enough :-P
  7. felipepepe

    felipepepe First time out of the vault

    Feb 2, 2007
    Of course people can criticize the book and have a different opinion, I'm just showing the logic behind my choices.

    The book is under creative commons, you can even cut out all the "non-RPGs" and make the "TR00 RPG BOOK" if you wish (as long as you credit the authors and don't sell it, obviously).
  8. Arnust

    Arnust Maybe you've seen it, maybe, in a dream...

    Feb 2, 2016
    Or collect all the apocryph RPGs and call THAT the true RPG book! :mrgreen:
    • [Like] [Like] x 1
  9. Pax the Sectoid

    Pax the Sectoid Still Mildly Glowing

    Jan 3, 2018
    What will you consider as an RPG?
  10. felipepepe

    felipepepe First time out of the vault

    Feb 2, 2007
    There's so many exceptions, I think it's a case-by-case thing.

    In the context of the book, I added a few games based on their historical importance or because they helped show what was happening at the time. King's Quest 8, for example, is a crappy game and have few RPG elements, but it is a fascinating portrait of the confusion that was the end of the 90s for PC gamers.
  11. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Nov 26, 2007
    The expurgated version of the Codexian CRPG Book? :smug:

    *I liked the book. Did you have a criteria when selecting mod suggestions—for those games that had them?
    If you took votes for them, then I wish I had seen it at the time. I have a Grimrock mod that two dozen of us spent over a year on, that I would have voted for. The author of the Master Quest mod, did a full let's play of it.
  12. Risewild

    Risewild Venerable Relic of the Wastes
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    If you included a console RPG in a work exclusive for computer RPGs, that would be a real achievement. :P
    I never said you're doing this for the money, I said it is a technique usually used as a marketing strategy (which I see as a negative). I even started what you quoted by saying I have no problem if you sell the book :confused:.
    And how did I reached the conclusion you wanted to make a hardcopy and sell it? From the Codex thread. I am not part of the Codex so I am not involved in the community, I just read the link on the OP here that leads there:
    And you mention that your objective is keep working on fixing it until you can get a printed work. Since there was no mention about donating to charity when I read that Codex thread and there was quite a few talk of a hardback book...
    If true RPGs never existed, then it wouldn't be a genre.
    You had linked me to that article on Gamasutra a couple of years ago already. And as most people, it commits the same mistake. It takes elements from games to describe RPGs instead of taking the whole package. Like I mentioned before in this thread, RPGs use elements that are also found in many other genres but it is how those elements work in the full package (entirety of the game) that defines a genre. If we starts saying that a game genre is defined by each element it uses, we wouldn't have game genres anymore... Like the example I also mentioned before, platformers use the jump element, does any game with a jump element becomes a Plaformer? No, it doesn't. Does a Shooter without the jumping element stops being a shooter (because other shooters have jumping)? No, it doesn't. That is what people are trying to do with RPGs. (Simplification example ensues) Some RPGs allow role-playing, so RPGs have to allow roleplaying... But wait, some don't allow role-playing :confused: oh no, what is a RPG is complicated... Which is always missing the point.

    RPGs just like all the other genres are the sum of all it's parts, but the key thing is that the character skills and stats are always more important than the player skills.

    Your article talks about what different people think RPGs are, but I mentioned in the past that what people consider a RPG is different from what a RPG actually is. Because people are using their own preferences to say what a RPG should be for them. They are using elements that enrich the RPG genre to define that genre. But again, if we strip it down to the bare bones, those elements are not present on many RPGs.
    The thing about character skills matter more than player skill is present in every RPG subgenre since the first. There are RPGs that don't have story, there are RPGs without choices, there are RPGs without level up, there are RPGs without role-playing. No matter what one prefers in their RPGs, this does not change.

    Also you mention in your article that Action RPGs are dependent of player skill more than character skill, but this is false. Grab the most influential Action RPGs from history and you will see that they depend more on character skill than player skill. Diablo, Titan Quest, Daggerfall, Ultima Underworld, etc. depend on the character skills to hit and deal damage to the enemies. The player presses the attack button and the characters have to be able to do it themselves.
    You also mention that Zelda games are not RPGs and that is true, at least for the older games (I don't know about recent Zelda games, since i haven't played them and don't know much about them to be honest).

    The thing about saying that RPGs are games that allow the player to play a role, is totally silly. Probably 90% of every computer game has the player playing the role of the character. Doom has the player playing the role of a marine, Duke Nukem the player plays as Duke, Mario games have the player playing the role of Mario or Luigi (or even more characters), etc. If the capability of playing a role would be a defining element of RPGs, then most genres of games would be considered RPGs. Again, it's the full package that defines a genre, not each element. For example, Metal Gear games have the player playing a stealthy special forces agent Solid Snake, the games do a pretty good job of simulating that role, but they are not RPGs.
    You quote Richard Garriott in your article:
    Even he is differentiating between RPG and role-playing games. Just like I have been saying. There are RPGs but those do not need to have role-playing, and there are role-playing games (allow role-playing) without being RPGs. And that is what confuses people, they confuse role-playing in a game with RPGs. Like I said before, one can role-play in some Grand Strategy games, but that doesn't change the fact that they are Grand Strategy games and not RPGs, it also doesn't change the fact one can role-play in Metal Gear games, but they are not RPGs.
    RPGs are games that follow the RPG genre/formula. It is the full package (just like any genre of pretty much any creative work) as I keep mentioning. Role-playing can be achieved in most games you control a character, and even in games you don't control a character, like Uplink: Hacker Elite (where you don't control any character, but it still allows one to play the role of a hacker).

    There are indeed several games that hybridize game genres. Spellforce, Warlords Battlecry and even Fallout New Vegas for example. These games offer the elements and wrap those elements in a full package that can both be RTS and RPG (first two game series mentioned), while Fallout New Vegas does the same with Shooter and RPG.

    I must apologize for that then, apparently I was lead astray by the cprbook's album on Flickr, since those games I mentioned have picture albums in there. I can't download any files for a month or so now, since my ISP is being stupid (probably because the NBN is being implemented in my area, messing up internet for everyone around here). I had to take a look at the album because I can't download the book. Those games are featured there, so confusion ensued.

    By the way, is there a way of checking the book online without having to download? That would allow me to not commit this same error once again :wall:.

    Although I notice you didn't dismiss the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and Borderlands games from being in the book :confused:.

    Which I mention over and over :P . Also LARPing is different from RPG. LARPing uses the role-playing above the rules while RPG uses the rules above role-playing. Again there is a big distinction.
    I also never mentioned RPGs need dice rolls (I even said a RPG can still have combat where the characters always hit, so no dice rolls needed for example). Again this is focusing on individual elements and missing the full picture.
    I already mentioned this in this post, but will do it again. Richard Garriott is actually saying the same thing I keep saying. RPGs are stats games and some allow role-playing, while there are other games that are not RPGs that also allow role-playing. Role-playing can happen in many game genres, not just in RPGs while there can be RPGs that do not allow role-playing. This is actually supporting what I have been saying since the beginning. It's right there, black on white :lol: .
    And yet, what Tim Cain said doesn't conflict at all with what I say. It actually once again confirms what I keep saying... Skills are important for a game to be a RPG. Tim Cain is saying that RPGs need character skills (in this case something that works like skills in classic RPGs). So in his opinion if a game has those skills (even if they are not called skills, but work in a similar way as in RPGs) he considers it a RPG.

    The ship is the character and it has it's own "skills" to deal with the game universe, player skill doesn't matter much because without having good "skills" your ship will not be able to achieve much in the game.

    He also explains how the game contains other elements that can be present on other RPGs, so for him, this full package makes Star Control 2 a RPG. But the skills seem essential, since it is one of the three things what he focus when saying that for him Star Control 2 is a RPG:
    Also notice how the remaining things he points out are things that make a good RPG for him, and not what makes a RPG:
    So indeed, both Tim Cain and Richard Garriott say the same things as I do but in different ways :shrug: .
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
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  13. Arnust

    Arnust Maybe you've seen it, maybe, in a dream...

    Feb 2, 2016
    Comparing jumping and role playing elements is the proverbial apples and oranges. And for instance, Downwell, VVVVV, Dropper custom maps, off the top of my head, don't feature jumping of any description yet are splat formers in the fullest right. What I think is that you ignore the "your chart indicates your interaction with the world" because sure, actually every game does that... Under the hood. Games that feature that in-game explicitly even if it's with hidden or obscure stats (Like TBOI) can very well be called that. Saying that something is an RPG or not isn't a compliment or an insult, it's just what it darn is. Felipe has already said that a selection of games isn't in because of merit but mainly because of relevance.

    Back on the examples, Borderlands (STALKER is a bit of a stretch even if it technically qualifies but eh) and New Vegas, as well as Bethesda's Fallout like it or not, all are action RPGs with FPS combat. Hell, I'd say that Borderlands' combat is WAY more stat dependent than NV's, based off your own level, your picked skills and the subsequent levels of your weapon and your enemy, to not name the coop scaling layer. Enemies do NOT scale up to your level until the final NG+ cycle and the OP levels. NV's just a multiplication of your base damage on your weapon using your associated skill, a weapon wielding req and how long the fight takes depends mostly on the enemy's (invisible) current level and their respective DT if any. In Borderlands you for the most part really need to use the elemental resistances and weaknesses accordingly (corrosive-armored targets (served as slag in 1) fire-organic shock-shields and robots explosive-slightly more effective with everything slag-reduce enemy defense), use further damage reductions and increases from skills, like Zer0's Death Mark which increases damage dealt on top of slag (and a later ability does both at once), Maya's where killing an enemy at her black hole buffs her and increases the hole's duration and range, etcetera etcetera, added to each character's unique active which is subject to a lot of alteration, like a cloak that can be furthered with dash hits or have the berserk last literally forever, all piled on top of the itemization. Anyway, this is the weekly rundown of borderlands mechanics, what I'm trying to say is that I can very comfortably call Fallout 4 an RPG, so what? That's just what it is, it's like calling a duck an animal instead of a bird because "X" and because it swims aside of flying; that you prefer to sieve the term doesn't really detract from what they are, for good and bad.
  14. 0wing

    0wing Все умрут, а я волномут

    Mar 23, 2015
    Game that doesn't have skills can't be named RPG. Fallout 4 can't be named RPG. :smug:
  15. Risewild

    Risewild Venerable Relic of the Wastes
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    And once again you're not understanding what my posts say. If you can't understand what I mean in those posts then there is nothing I can do to make you understand. I wrote it the best I could several times now. I would make it more clear if I could, but I can't.
    This phrase confuses the hell out of me. I have no idea what you mean there, why you're mentioning this or even what relevance it has to anything I said before. I will try my best to address this anyway.
    First, Downwell has no jumping? Really? Please go and play the game and tell me you can't jump. VVVVVV uses a "gravity" system that achieves the same effect as jumping. Allows the character to reach different platforms and progress the game. I have no idea what a Dropper is. I also have no idea what you mean by a "splat formers" or "in their fullest right" :shrug:
    Stretching my imagination I will assume that you're referring to something like "platformers" do not need a jump feature. Which is again something I mentioned over and over and over, genres can't be defined by each single element, but by the "full package" (how the game is made and how those elements work with each other to give the player the final product). Because a single element does not make a genre. I am repeating myself too much lately. I hate repeating myself so many times.
    How can I ignore that if I keep saying that! I keep saying that many game genres have the same elements "under the hood" and so it is not elements that make a game genre but the "full package". For example, shooters usually have some kind of Health value, Damage values, Armor values and Ammo values (for playable and non playable characters and all of that). But those things exist in other genres too, for example many RPGs also have those values, many strategy games have those values too and the examples just keep pilling up. Are you telling me that those genres that have the same values or similar should all be considered Shooters, RPGs or Strategy games? No, because it is how those values are implemented in the games and how the game is "wrapped" around those values that define the genre. Again, you're arguing a point that totally agrees with the same point I keep making over and over.
    And once again, that is what I keep saying. Just because someone says role-playing is what makes a RPG, it doesn't make it a RPG. Same with quests, level up, items, inventory, etc etc. A genre is much more than each game element. I am getting tired of repeating myself so much and then you come by and argue against me with points that I clearly mentioned myself before :shrug:. A RPG is what it is and no wishful thinking will make games that are not RPGs become them.
    And what merit and relevance has to do with a game being a RPG or not? You were just arguing about RPGs being RPGs and now you say that games that are relevant suddenly become RPGS when they are not? Confusing much? :look:
    No, Borderlands and S.T.A.L.K.E.R. are not RPGs, no matter what you say, they are not RPGs and don't "technically qualifies". I also mentioned FNV as being a real hybrid of shooter and RPG. But anyone who played FNV, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and Borderlands can tell the difference between them all. If you can't see why FNV is a hybrid and why the other two are shooters, then I can't manipulate your brain into realizing why that is, I will put a bit of effort into it on my next point though. Borderlands contain some elements commonly found in RPGs it is wrapped around a shooter and the end result of that is a shooter, it behaves like a shooter and not a RPG, it plays like a shooter and not a RPG it requires player skill for everything which RPGs do not, etc.
    A lot of random banter that doesn't do much to address any of my points.
    I will break it up to you. Answer me this:
    Can you beat FNV without shooting a gun? Can you beat the game without using any player skill for stuff the character should be able to do (using the skills and stats)?
    I will answer that myself. Yes you can. You can beat FNV only using character skills. The only things that make it a Shooter RPG hybrid is that you can beat the game only shooting people using your player skill for that (like a Shooter) and you can beat the game using only the character's skills (get companions and they can do the fighting for you, make a diplomat and you can convince and pass all the mandatory big battles without fighting, make a sneaky character or use stealthboy and you can avoid battles, invest in medicine and/or survival so your healing items heal much more and you can run away from any battle too, etc) and if you really want to actually fight, the game offers the option of using VATS, which relies on the character skills and stats to fight, while also giving a small bonus for those players that are not good at using their skills instead of the character's ones (all damage the character takes while in VATS is reduced) and offers a lot of options for players to make a VATS only character (Max AGL, good weapon skill, plenty of perks to make VATS more effective). Now tell me if you can beat STALKER and Borderlands in these two ways? Hmmm... it's like you can only do it by using player skill of aiming and shoot, you interact with every character in those games without using character skills, you fight in those games without using character skills either, it's all player skills... It's like as if the games are shooters after all... Because they are. :shock:
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
  16. TorontRayne

    TorontRayne This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Moderator Orderite

    Apr 1, 2005
    What is a RPG? A miserable pile of secrets!
    • [Like] [Like] x 4
  17. Risewild

    Risewild Venerable Relic of the Wastes
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    A pile of secrets that is out there in the open for anyone that can actually look to see. :lmao:
  18. CerberusGate

    CerberusGate I should save my game in a whole new slot

    Jun 6, 2016
    *Throws glass across room
  19. 0wing

    0wing Все умрут, а я волномут

    Mar 23, 2015

    I know
  20. Atomkilla

    Atomkilla Hazel Hegemon oTO Orderite

    Dec 26, 2010
    RPG - Retarded People's Game
    • [Like] [Like] x 2