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How I define an RPG game

Posted By: dwelfusius

How I define an RPG game - 19/05/14 02:04 PM

*WARNING* this is not my opinion but rather one I found on the IMDB board.. I found it that I wanted to know what you thought

first the OP's post
This is simply how I define it.

It's a game where your player or players improve in stats (gain experience) by performing a repetitive task. Examples of a repetitive task include slaying enemies and crafting.

Since stories aren't in all video game RPGs, I don't consider it an integral part of what a video game RPG is.

This definition would exclude all Zelda games (except Zelda II) because Link doesn't improve in stats/gain experience from slaying monsters (although he does get money and sometimes health from enemies).

MY REPLY, brief since i could still barely believe this post existed
erm..what..Role Playing -> story,lore,character building,exploration,impact on the world around you..and oh yess if needed some fighting..

His "reply" -> sorry but you defining an rpg on a different way, does not mean that it is a correct way nor that some core rpg values are up for debate..or am i too fanatic..don't know :s
I don't subscribe to the normal definition.

Story, I guess is kind of a part of it. It's definitely an element of video game RPGs these days, but when the video game RPG genre began, they didn't really have anything you would call a story. Same with lore. Exploration is probably in every RPG to a degree, but it's an element of other genres as well. Fighting? I'd say most, if not all RPGs, have fighting, but again, it's not unique to RPGs.

Define character building. I'm not sure if you mean character developing or grinding/improving characters.
Posted By: Lotrotk

Re: How I define an RPG game - 19/05/14 05:24 PM

I searched for an RPG definition on Wikipedia once ... with that definition one could label any action game RPG as well. But surely this debate has taken place in the past already? Can anyone provide a link?
Posted By: Elliot_Kane

Re: How I define an RPG game - 20/05/14 06:17 AM

Yeah, the guy you are quoting has no clue, Dwel.

But to be fair, the label RPG gets tagged onto an awful lot of things that aren't remotely RPGs, and that's without the ubiquitous 'RPG Elements' - a definition so broad as to be essentially meaningless.

I do have a proper definition (Well, set of definitions :D) somewhere. I'll see if I can find them...
Posted By: Elliot_Kane

Re: How I define an RPG game - 20/05/14 06:25 AM

Found it. I really should make a note of this, somewhere. These are MY definitions, obviously. Some people may quibble.

RPGs: main focus: player choice, characterisation and freedom of action. The player usually has a large amount of choice in what type of character to play, including race, sex, attitudes ('Alignment'), choices in dialogue trees, how the character develops skills and interacts with others, which companions to take along and which to leave behind, romantic choices, etc. The player is rarely straitjacketed in his movements, even from the start of the game, and will have a wide area to roam over. Decisions will often (Though not always) affect the plot (At least in some minor way) and there are often multiple methods to solve quests. EXP is given for quest completion and achieving goals as well as for killing enemies. The world is designed to be as real as possible to draw the player in and allow more choice of action. Combat is most often real time.

JRPGs: main focus: story and plot. The player usually has no choice of which character to play and very limited choice in dialogue or characterisation. No choice of companion or possible romances exists, no or very limited choices in interaction with others. The player will mostly be straitjacketed in their movements to start with, though the map will tend to open out with the acquisition of special vehicles. If you ever get to make decisions, they will be cosmetic only and have no bearing at all on the plot or story in any way. Solving quests invariably involves killing things. EXP is given for killing monsters only. The world exists wholly as a vehicle for the specific characters in the story and no attempt is made to make it look real, though mostly it does look incredibly beautiful. Combat is most often turn based.

Action-RPGs: main focus: combat: the player usually has a large amount of choice in how to configure their character for combat and how to upgrade their fighting skills. Any companions that may exist are combat support only and have nothing to say. Romance is certainly not on the agenda. The player can generally wander wherever they like in their quest to kill stuff. There are no real decisions to make and no plot to speak of as the entire emphasis of the game is on making the combat as fluid, interesting and exciting as possible. Solving quests involves killing things. EXP is given for killing things. The world is designed to be brutal, unforgiving and to generate vast hordes of opponents. It's possibly even less realistic than JRPGs in that every settlement should be overrun in seconds (As opposed to minutes for most JRPG settlements ;D). Combat is always real time, as the entire point of the game is to create a fast, furious and exciting combat simulation.

It's interesting to note that the worst RPG I've ever seen, Temple Of Elemental Evil is turn based (An utterly absurd choice as it's obviously designed to be hugely combat focused), whilst the best JRPG system I've seen is the one used by FF12, which is real time. In fact, the FF12 combat system is the best I've seen in any RPG of any type. The only real hard and fast rule for combat systems seems to be that Action-RPGs cannot be turn based. The rest is just habitual use by the programmers.

Please note the use of 'usually' throughout, as there are exceptions in all cases smile
Posted By: Lotrotk

Re: How I define an RPG game - 20/05/14 06:39 AM

So by this definition The Witcher is nót an action RPG. I've allways doubted that. Thanks!
Posted By: Elliot_Kane

Re: How I define an RPG game - 20/05/14 06:50 AM

It's not, no. The Witcher is most definitely a full-on RPG, and so is Witcher 2.


Also found this in an old discussion of mine. Looks relevant smile Once again, my opinion, though if exceptions exist I do not know of them:

I think one interesting point with the different types of RPGs is their approach to world building. In each case, it's totally different:

RPG: the world is built as a place where adventures can happen. This means that building the world is the first step in creating the game. You may have an overall story in mind, but the characters will be created to fit into the world rather than the other way around. RPG worlds tend to have a well developed history, complete with societies, politics and a fairly feasible ecology. They feel real as long as you don't look TOO closely. Best examples: PS:T or The Witcher.

JRPG: the world is built around the characters. The story has clear primacy and the world is an afterthought, being clearly the last thing created and having importance only as something the characters move around on. If there is a history, you can be sure it will have importance to the characters and any societies or politics only matter as far as they involve the characters. Best examples: Final Fantasy games.

Action-RPGs: the world exists to spew out endless hordes of monsters for the characters to hit. Everything revolves around hitting things, so ecology, history & politics are barely if ever touched on, except as a way to generate new things to hit. World building is unimportant, so it's rare that it even gets a look in. Best examples: Diablo or Titan Quest.

All three game types can be fantastic playing experiences, don't get me wrong, but the emphasis on priorities reflects what each type of game does best:

RPG: interactive world, to allow characterisation.

JRPG: story/plot.

Action-RPG: combat.

Posted By: AlrikFassbauer

Re: How I define an RPG game - 30/06/14 07:50 PM

There has been one really interesting attempt here :
Posted By: Elliot_Kane

Re: How I define an RPG game - 01/07/14 06:09 AM

Extremely immodest as it may be, I think my definition is the best.

But then, if I didn't, I would change it wink
Posted By: AlrikFassbauer

Re: How I define an RPG game - 01/07/14 05:40 PM

Humble as always ! wink laugh
Posted By: Elliot_Kane

Re: How I define an RPG game - 01/07/14 11:29 PM

Well, who would recognise me if not for my godlike humility, Alrik? laugh
Posted By: AlrikFassbauer

Re: How I define an RPG game - 02/07/14 09:42 PM

Rather more for your DOS play time ? wink
Posted By: virumor

Re: How I define an RPG game - 04/07/14 06:28 AM

Hi Alrik, did you play Blackguards?
Posted By: AlrikFassbauer

Re: How I define an RPG game - 04/07/14 03:03 PM

No, too dark & gritty for my taste.
I'll buy it eventually (because it's an TDE game), butI cannot say, when.
Posted By: Elliot_Kane

Re: How I define an RPG game - 06/07/14 09:09 AM

I've not played Blackguards, but the reviews I've seen are universally horrible, be warned...
Posted By: virumor

Re: How I define an RPG game - 07/07/14 06:28 PM

I wasn't aware of universally horrible reviews, then again it is a hardcore turn-based RPG so only for a niche to enjoy.
Posted By: Elliot_Kane

Re: How I define an RPG game - 08/07/14 08:20 AM

It's not the turn based that got the bad reviews. Still, if you're curious, read for yourself smile

(There are even a few quite positive reviews on there, which I obviously missed)
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