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Avellone: Thrill of today's RPGs 'undermined by certain advances'
Posted: 05.03.2013 15:42 by Simon Priest Comments: 2
Obsidian Entertainment's Chris Avellone feels some advancements in the RPG genre are greatly better than others, as some are robbing us of the thrill we should get out of exploration and triumph.

The big offenders are the likes of journals and quest compasses planning our routes for us. These have been more for "player convenience," he says, but it waters down the RPG experience.

However he's got some real good things to say about consequence of choices and fully voiced characters, with have risen in prominence since Knights of the Old Republic.

"I'll say the "advances" have been more for player convenience, sometimes good, sometimes bad, in my opinion," replied Obsidian's Chris Avellone when asked about the most important advances in RPG.

"Journals, quest compasses that point directly to the goal and show you the route, auto-maps, etc. are helpful; at the same time, I think it undermines the thrill of victory and discovery and a lot of what makes an RPG an RPG (exploration, notably). In terms of non-interface elements, I feel the idea of morally gray choices and more focus on actions and consequences has been great for RPGs across the board."

"Lastly, fully voice-acted characters has been something to adapt to since Knights of the Old Republic 1, and the amount of localization, recording and audio work that requires is substantial, but I feel it's a net positive for the player."

Obsidian Entertainment developed Knights of the Old Republic 2, a direct sequel to BioWare's RPG. Avellone likes that the defining characteristics of an RPG have spread out to other genres.

"I enjoy the fact that role-playing game mechanics are bleeding into other genres, and the "genres" aren't as clear-cut anymore developers are seeing the worth in customization, leveling, dialogue, choice and reactivity and other elements that would normally be considered RPG mechanics and introducing them into multiple titles," he explained.

Right now Obsidian is working on their hugely funded Project Eternity, an iso-metric party-based RPG.
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Comments

By FoolWolf (SI Elite) on Mar 05, 2013
FoolWolf
Perhaps the compasses and such feels like player conveniences because the games are designed as a trainee course for Fedex or UPS...

In Morrowind I had a blast stumbling into a cave and exploring it until I found a monster that I couldn't kill or if I killed it - the story later couldn't be finished because that monster/character is vital to the story. Guess what I learned from that?
That's right - always put your money on iso-metric RPG's because they kick ass!
By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on Mar 05, 2013
herodotus
Advances or pathetic graphics engines? As when it comes to Bethesda they take the cake. Ugly, ugly and vomit-worthy. I actually feel quite ill whenever I see a "Fallout 3" poster or image.

Questing is good, as are journals (that I never read) and to be honest if the game was completely open world and sandbox, with no narrative or goals, it would be tiring and boring.
Playing "Krater", another isometric RPG, it is a bit annoying that you must follow a path set by the game in 98% of the game, however they have little cash behind the developers. So they can't build a big sandbox, which I am grateful for. I just want the action, and pass the wandering and looking at clouds onto someone else.