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Forums > MobyGames > The Weekly Whale - MobyGames News, Dec. 29th

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Simon Carless (1836) on 12/29/2013 10:56 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

[INTRODUCTION]

Welcome to the Weekly Whale - a brand new, regular news post from MobyGames owners Blue Flame Labs about what's going on in the world of the leading user-created video game info database.

In this first post, we'll touch on what's going on after the acquisition, our plans for the medium-term, and highlight some of the valiant efforts to get caught up on submission approvals!

Firstly, for anyone who isn't clued in, MobyGames - originally founded by Jim Leonard, Brian Hirt, and David Berk in 1999, was acquired by GameFly in 2010. But as of December 18, 2013, San Francisco-based Blue Flame Labs has acquired the site - and reverted it to its previous design (following a couple of months of an attempted website update which didn't go so well).

The key folks involved in the site now (besides the admins, approvers and contributors who continue to be key!) is Blue Flame Labs owner Reed - who is a designer/coder who's created sites like Drawception, VGBoxArt and GameTab (back in the day), and help from investor/advisor Simon Carless (me!), who has a day job overseeing GDC and Gamasutra and is committed to preserving video game history in a major way.

For more info and comments from the community, please see Reed's initial post - http://www.mobygames.com/forums/dga,2/dgb,4/dgm,182637/ - and take it from there!

[CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE WEEK]

Since the design was rolled back, we've had a MASSIVE increase in approvals thanks to people flowing back to the site. But we still have almost 10,000 items (!) needing to be approved, so approvers, please help us get back to near-zero - and if you're interested in helping, PM me (SimonCarless) with your expertise and we'll see what can be done.

In the meantime, here's a few highlights for the week:

[FORUM POSTS OF THE WEEK]

[CONCLUSION - WHAT'S NEXT?]

In the short-term, Blue Flame Labs is concentrating on transitioning the site from Gamefly's servers to its own servers, which needs to happen by March at the latest.

We're also looking at a whole range of improvements and changed to the site - and have 70+ bug reports and feature suggestions already from the community. But the codebase is quite complex at this point, and Perl-based as opposed to something a bit more frequently used like PHP.

So a big question for the future will be how much we can edit the existing codebase versus making new elements. We'll keep you updated - Brian Hirt (who still works at Gamefly) is being kind to us and answering questions, but we'll need to stand on our own two feet in due course. Expect more on this in upcoming updates.

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Sciere (831723) on 12/30/2013 1:22 AM · Reply · Permalink · Report

Nice idea!

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Indra was here (20775) on 12/30/2013 8:11 AM · Reply · Permalink · Report

We wholly support this new PR approach and will continue to view it with suspicion (hey, if I started being all positive-like, you guys would start having heart attacks). :p

The list of bugs being worked on and its progress report would be nice, but that may be too much of hassle.

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SGruber (3849) on 12/30/2013 8:23 AM · Reply · Permalink · Report

I must say, I approve our new corporate overlords.

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is_that_rain_or_tears (662) on 12/30/2013 8:55 AM · Reply · Permalink · Report

«like»

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Parf (7781) on 12/30/2013 5:46 PM · edited · Reply · Permalink · Report

I'm really liking this!

Suggestion; put a short news item in that part of the forum linking here. That way it shows up on the front page as well, making more people see it. :)

Edit: silly me... Saw you did that already!

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Daniel Saner (3423) on 12/30/2013 10:06 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

Just what MG needs! One of the major things, anyway. Some transparency, and indication that something is happening, and what. Good idea and good job!

The possibility of getting officially acknowledged for a notable contribution should also be a nice motivation for special and high-quality submissions, beyond just the points.

With this and maybe a dash of social media, who knows, we might still become cool! :D

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Opipeuter (17189) on 12/31/2013 3:25 AM · Reply · Permalink · Report

I really like this idea!

Thanks vastly for the shout out for my submission!

But... could someone approve the corrections I have in for Long Live the Queen? I wrote it on a mobile phone, so there are some grammatical errors I didn't pick up on...

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Indra was here (20775) on 12/31/2013 3:28 AM · Reply · Permalink · Report

Genre's are a bit curious. Few games I downloaded from Steam that stated they were simulation or RPGs weren't simulations or RPGs.

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Opipeuter (17189) on 12/31/2013 4:02 AM · Reply · Permalink · Report

I went with what we have on file for Princess Maker, this seems to be something of a simple form of that game model.

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Indra was here (20775) on 12/31/2013 4:09 AM · Reply · Permalink · Report

No worries, I've been meaning to check out this game as it does remind me of Princess Maker. I'll fix any mistakes if any.

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Opipeuter (17189) on 1/1/2014 4:47 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

I agree with your correction, Indra. Adventure is more appropriate than simulation.

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Indra was here (20775) on 1/1/2014 4:52 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

It was a painful process of research, let me tell you. I've died more times in that game than in rogue games. I'm going to play with my teddy bear now and dream of the ballet. sniff

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SGruber (3849) on 12/31/2013 8:58 AM · Reply · Permalink · Report

I think with genres like "RPG" there simply isn't any clear cut definition. I remember endless discussions with my friends (IRL, back when I had those) what makes an RPG. And that was before every shooter or action game added character progression elements....

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Indra was here (20775) on 12/31/2013 12:42 PM · edited · Reply · Permalink · Report

[Q --start SGruber wrote--]I think with genres like "RPG" there simply isn't any clear cut definition. I remember endless discussions with my friends (IRL, back when I had those) what makes an RPG. [/Q --end SGruber wrote--]I already have my personal definition, though it took me decades to narrow it down. You won't find descriptions anywhere on the net where they identify the separate characteristics of most genre, simply because gamers don't know what they're talking about (i.e. identifying genres based on the games they've personally played...and their definition always gets screwed each time a new hybrid or a predecessor of their favorite template game is disclosed to them).

Meine characteristic analysis of an RPG:
1. Character Development
Preferably statistical character development, represented in a character sheet. The character(s) must grow stronger in at least one presented attribute. This alone is not enough to make a game an RPG, as many games have character development. Character development via story progression only - doesn't qualify either.

2. Inventory + Monetary System
Preferably an inventory system where its items/equipment are not fixed, may be dropped. bought/sold from/to a merchant/shopkeeper. Games where all the items are fixed and cannot be manipulated/relies on story progression to change, does not qualify.

3. Combat
Combat is solely for the purposes to establish character development. Games where combat has no affect towards character development e.g. winning against enemies does not come with an exp or similar reward, does not qualify.

These three are mandatory. Every other characteristic are proposed by gamers confused with other genres, namely the adventure genre which in itself is a mess.

<hr />

What happens when you have a game with 100 character statistics but no inventory or combat? Not an RPG. It just has character development.

What happens when you have a character with stats but its stats doesn't develop? Not an RPG. It just has stats.

What about games with developable stats and an inventory? Still not an RPG. Nerds who like the game will still say it is though.

What about JRPGs? The three above+anime. That's a no brainer.

What about games where you role-play as a wizard, with items and combat, but no stats? Not an RPG. The definition RPG has nothing to do with role-playing? Why, because the gamer who keeps coming up with these gaming definitions is notoriously stupid, that's why.

In mathematical terms Genre/Game Variant = [Game group or tag] (n). Er, I think.

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Cavalary (11432) on 12/31/2013 12:49 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

So Bloodlines is not an RPG?

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Indra was here (20775) on 12/31/2013 1:06 PM · edited · Reply · Permalink · Report

[removed]

Depends on which characteristic you're talking about it doesn't have. Stupid entry here doesn't have a character sheet screenshot. Lovely.

What's the bloody point of 30+ screenshots if fails to include this one? -_-

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Cavalary (11432) on 12/31/2013 1:16 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

I'm referring to the fact that you don't get exp for combat (well, unless a fight completes a quest, but then it's still the quest giving the exp).

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Indra was here (20775) on 12/31/2013 1:21 PM · edited · Reply · Permalink · Report

[Q --start Cavalary wrote--]I'm referring to the fact that you don't get exp for combat (well, unless a fight completes a quest, but then it's still the quest giving the exp). [/Q --end Cavalary wrote--]Yeah, hybrids are annoying in this regard. Especially since the game still has combat...which probably still makes it an RPG though barely.

If there was a Bloodlines that had no combat but you still get exp from quests, would it still be an RPG?

[edit] Traditionally, I'd say no. Character development via story progression isn't an RPG characteristic. It's an action adventure characteristic.

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Cavalary (11432) on 12/31/2013 2:30 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

I'd think that an action adventure would be far more necessarily reliant on combat than an RPG, by definition.

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Indra was here (20775) on 12/31/2013 3:00 PM · edited · Reply · Permalink · Report

Well, the thing is CRPGs evolved from turn-based combat.

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Donatello (463) on 12/31/2013 7:00 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

[Q --start Indra is awakening... wrote--] [Q2 --start Cavalary wrote--]I'm referring to the fact that you don't get exp for combat (well, unless a fight completes a quest, but then it's still the quest giving the exp). [/Q2 --end Cavalary wrote--]Yeah, hybrids are annoying in this regard. Especially since the game still has combat...which probably still makes it an RPG though barely.

If there was a Bloodlines that had no combat but you still get exp from quests, would it still be an RPG?

[edit] Traditionally, I'd say no. Character development via story progression isn't an RPG characteristic. It's an action adventure characteristic. [/Q --end Indra is awakening... wrote--]

Questing isn't always a story progression, though. There are quite a lot of sidequests in Bloodlines, which is not generally the case in action-adventure games.

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Indra was here (20775) on 12/31/2013 8:11 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

[Q --start Donatello wrote--] Questing isn't always a story progression, though. There are quite a lot of sidequests in Bloodlines, which is not generally the case in action-adventure games. [/Q --end Donatello wrote--]True, but side-quests in this regard is really no different from hidden levels in platform games (or other action-adventure games) with text directions.

You don't have to finish the side-quest, but traditionally in RPGs, it's going to be extremely annoying if you don't get that extra leveling up plus items before meeting a level boss.

Unlike platform games and action adventure games, where you can just ignore those 'side quests' and just focus on the main quest for the sake of story progression. You'd probably notice that kind of focus for those Action-Adventure/RPGs where the adventure elements are more dominant than the RPG elements.

Anyway, quests are more of a medieval fantasy adaptation thingy than a CRPG thing.

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Patrick Bregger (284106) on 12/31/2013 1:11 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

3) is dead wrong. "Games where combat do not affect character development (...)" needs to be "Games where character development does not directly affect combat (...)".

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Indra was here (20775) on 12/31/2013 1:19 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

I think we're talking about to separate things here.

What's I'm talking about is that combat must have a character development reward. At least, experience.

What you're talking about is. I have no idea what you're talking about. :p

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Patrick Bregger (284106) on 12/31/2013 2:03 PM · edited · Reply · Permalink · Report

It is unimportant if combat has direct influence on character development. The important distinction between a RPG and a non-RPG regarding combat is that the character statistics directly influences the outcome of the combat. In non-RPGs the outcome of combat relies entirely on player skills.

So, let's use a hybrid example in which both point 1) and 2) are fulfilled: You point a gun on a guy and shoot him. Does only your timing, i.e. player skill, influence if you hit him? You play a shooter. Do your character's statistics influence if you hit him? You play a RPG.

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Cavalary (11432) on 12/31/2013 2:32 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

^^ That, mostly.

Though I'll say there could definitely be RPGs without combat too. Not to mention those where, depending on the way the character is developed and player choices, combat may be entirely avoided.

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Indra was here (20775) on 12/31/2013 3:02 PM · edited · Reply · Permalink · Report

[Q --start Patrick Bregger wrote--]In non-RPGs the outcome of combat relies entirely on player skills. [/Q --end Patrick Bregger wrote--]That pretty much convinced me right there.

[edit] Well, it almost convinced me. Player choices still take precedence over combat stats.

e.g. Run away from combat.

Though if you keep running away from combat, you don't get exp. You don't get exp, you don't level up. You don't level up, your stats mean squat in combat. Your stats mean squat in combat, you don't get to fight that boss and continue the adventure.

So, I'm still saying that character development support is more important than character development effect.

All I'm saying is that stat-based combat is not mandatory requirement vs. killing random monsters and get nothing.

Though under either criteria, Bloodlines still isn't an RPG. :p

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Cavalary (11432) on 12/31/2013 3:12 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

What if the exp is not from combat? What if you can avoid combat and still successfully advance with high enough diplomacy/sneaking/illusion magic/whatever skills?

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Indra was here (20775) on 12/31/2013 3:14 PM · edited · Reply · Permalink · Report

[Q --start Cavalary wrote--]What if the exp is not from combat? What if you can avoid combat and still successfully advance with high enough diplomacy/sneaking/illusion magic/whatever skills? [/Q --end Cavalary wrote--]Championship Manager has that. Character development via non-combat opportunities. Player also have stats that affect their playing ability. Based on Patrick's definition, Championship Manager is an RPG. :p

(well, if it had an inventory)

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Indra was here (20775) on 12/31/2013 3:31 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

Told you, I thought about this for decades. Should turn this into an article. I feel giddy just thinking about the hate mail. :p

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Cavalary (11432) on 12/31/2013 3:36 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

In Championship Manager, the PLAYER character's stats don't affect gameplay. They're sort of tacked on there as a result of player actions, if I remember correctly, the better the player does, the better those stats get (if you find them to check them at all).

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Indra was here (20775) on 12/31/2013 3:42 PM · edited · Reply · Permalink · Report

Whaddya mean they don't affect gameplay? The whole point of that game is to scout for players with a particular set of stats. There's no way in hell a goalies with Goalkeeping stat of 4 will do a good job catching balls.

It wouldn't be Championship Manager (the old version series, not the new action type one) if those stats didn't mean anything.

Nice try.

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Cavalary (11432) on 12/31/2013 3:46 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

I said the player's stats. As in, the stats of the manager you're playing as.

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Indra was here (20775) on 12/31/2013 3:57 PM · edited · Reply · Permalink · Report

Manager doesn't have stats. Just the team players/crew. Only 'stats' about the manager is his salary and team history.

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Kabushi (256949) on 12/31/2013 4:27 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

No, managers have stats too.

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Indra was here (20775) on 12/31/2013 4:33 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

[Q --start Kabushi wrote--]No, managers have stats too. [/Q --end Kabushi wrote--]Don't recall. At least not for CM 2 & 3.

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Kabushi (256949) on 12/31/2013 4:39 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

Newer versions have, older ones at least had a reputation ranking.

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Patrick Bregger (284106) on 12/31/2013 4:28 PM · edited · Reply · Permalink · Report

Athletes in a soccer manager are not RPG character. They are like the gun of a player character - they have their advantages and disadvantages, they have their stats. The player's job is only to choose the correct tool for the correct job.

Also soccer managers have no inventory, so I don't know why we are even discussing this.

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Indra was here (20775) on 12/31/2013 4:52 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

[Q --start Patrick Bregger wrote--]They are like the gun of a player character - they have their advantages and disadvantages, they have their stats. The player's job is only to choose the correct tool for the correct job.

<hr />

Also soccer managers have no inventory, so I don't know why we are even discussing this. [/Q --end Patrick Bregger wrote--] Oh, you mean tactical RPG squads? :p

<hr />

Because we're not discussing RPGs as a whole right now. Where discussing a particular proposed characteristic of an RPG: my idea that combat must have character development related rewards is more fundamental requirement vs. your combat is primary affected character stats not player skill.

Or if you would prefer I just name Elder Scrolls where player skill in combat is more important than the actual stats. Hell, any action-RPG for that matter.

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Patrick Bregger (284106) on 12/31/2013 5:41 PM · edited · Reply · Permalink · Report

It is not about what is more important - player skill always directly influences combat, it just depends on the combat mechanics which skill it asks for. It matters that the character's skills have an influence at all.

I think the most important distinction one has to make is the difference between the character and the character's tools. The player character is the person/team the player directly controls. In Wizardry it is the whole party, in Baldur's Gate it is the main character and every member which joins the party, in Fallout it is the main character and in Command & Conquer it is the unseen general. You need to look at this characters to decide if a game is a RPG or not. This entity needs to have character skills which directly influence combat.

A tool is everything the player character(s) use to do their job. In RPGs the tools are, for example, the equipped weapons and in Command & Conquer the tools are the soldiers and tanks. These tools all have their stats and may even have a stat progression of their own. But the tools are unimportant. Those don't make a RPG; every game with combat has tools. Character development does.

If we come back to the soccer manager example, here the character is obviously the team manager. Do his stats directly influence "combat"? No, only the tools (the athletes) do. And therefore a soccer manager is no RPG.

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Indra was here (20775) on 12/31/2013 6:04 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

I understand the point you're making. All I'm saying is that it's not a mandatory requirement. It's a requirement for basically any game that has a combat algorithm. May it be in the form of an +18 Strength or a mushroom power-up in Mario or a permanent weapon upgrade in any action-adventure game. That stat (hidden or otherwise) affects combat is not essentially unique to RPGs. Only how it's displayed seems different.

I'm trying to narrow down these characteristics that are unique only to, if not mostly to RPGs, for the purposes of limiting possible future hybrids.

<hr />

Ignore the Championship Manager analogy. It's getting confusing. Besides, older CM games (before they changed development teams - see game group description), the manager doesn't have stats. So it's a basically a tactical RPG without an inventory. Hence, not an RPG, but that's beside the point.:p

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Игги Друге (46300) on 12/31/2013 5:53 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

Hey, why isn't UFO: Enemy Unknown classed as an RPG?

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Indra was here (20775) on 12/31/2013 6:07 PM · edited · Reply · Permalink · Report

I do hope it wasn't me that requested the RPG tag be removed. :p

No adding or removing RPG tags until we finish this stupid discussion once and far all, so we can finally annoy everyone else at those RPG gaming websites.

So based on my proposal, is Zelda an RPG? I can't even remember how it's played anymore.

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Patrick Bregger (284106) on 12/31/2013 6:17 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

Zelda is neither with your or my definition a RPG. At least something we can agree on!

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Indra was here (20775) on 12/31/2013 6:20 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

Eh? Which characteristic did it not have? I can't remember squat.

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Patrick Bregger (284106) on 12/31/2013 6:37 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

Character development (=more health) only occurs after certain plot-points (=defeating a boss). Since the only stat is health, it only has passive influence on combat.

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chirinea (46950) on 12/31/2013 4:47 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

[Q --start Indra is awakening... wrote--]Though under either criteria, Bloodlines still isn't an RPG. :p [/Q --end Indra is awakening... wrote--]Any criteria for an RPG that excludes games based on Vampire: The Masquerade (or any White Wolf pen-and-paper RPG) should be wrong by default.

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Patrick Bregger (284106) on 12/31/2013 4:56 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

I remember the one time he proposed to count Neverwinter Nights as Diablo variant.

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Indra was here (20775) on 12/31/2013 5:08 PM · edited · Reply · Permalink · Report

Only as an experimental example. I hear people call it brainstorming.

Which resulted in the Diablo variant game group description, mind you. Would you like me to point out your game group descriptions? No? Any more cheap shots or is that the best you can do?

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Patrick Bregger (284106) on 12/31/2013 6:10 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

This was not meant as cheap shot. It just shows that I disagree with your statements that you can't use single games to discuss a genre definition. If a game does not fit the criteria (in this case Bloodlines), it may indicate that the definition is flawed.

Because, let's be honest, all genre definitions for video games are just something somebody pulled out of their ass.

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Игги Друге (46300) on 12/31/2013 6:13 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

[Q --start Patrick Bregger wrote--]Because, let's be honest, all genre definitions for video games are just something somebody pulled out of their ass. [/Q --end Patrick Bregger wrote--]

Dixit.

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Indra was here (20775) on 12/31/2013 6:23 PM · edited · Reply · Permalink · Report

[Q --start Игги Друге wrote--] [Q2 --start Patrick Bregger wrote--]Because, let's be honest, all genre definitions for video games are just something somebody pulled out of their ass. [/Q2 --end Patrick Bregger wrote--] Dixit. [/Q --end Игги Друге wrote--] Hence the (perhaps futile) attempt to no longer do it. We're the only gaming database that discusses it seriously and only because we have a fakked up category system where all the terms are pulled out from prehistoric marketing asses.

Good lord, make it stop.

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Indra was here (20775) on 12/31/2013 5:03 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

You can't make an argument based on examples you like. I thought we already agreed that behavioral science is bullshieed.

It's either Bloodlines isn't an RPG or every action-adventure in existence (with an inventory) that offers a health/weapon/magic upgrade via non-combat is an RPG.

That's what happens when adventure fanbois define what an RPG is. Their argument begins and ends with 'story'.

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chirinea (46950) on 12/31/2013 5:13 PM · edited · Reply · Permalink · Report

It's not about what I like, but rather about what people call RPGs outside the videogame world. RPGs appeared as pen-and-paper games because of games such as D&D (and later GURPS and Vampire). CRPGs are derived from those, and usually what the designers try to achieve is the most perfect translation of the system to a computer environment. So Neverwinter Nights is based on the 3rd edition of D&D, so it's an RPG; Fallout uses a system called SPECIAL which is inspired by GURPS, so it's an RPG; Bloodlines is based on Vampire's system, so it is an RPG also. Of course you can have games based on the lore of a given RPG, like D&D's Tower of Doom (which is a beat'em-up, not an RPG), but as I said, it's because it is based on D&D's lore, not on its system. If the game is a translation of an RPG system, then it is an RPG, period.

As for action-adventures, I care less about Zelda being called an RPG than about Bloodlines not being called an RPG.

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Indra was here (20775) on 12/31/2013 5:39 PM · edited · Reply · Permalink · Report

There a doctrine called 'correlation does not imply causation.' By that example, you're suggesting that physical anthropology is more reliable than genetics in explaining the evolutionary process.

The 'missing link' in this case, would be a game is popularly identified not to be an RPG:

  1. Has a character development system.
  2. Has an inventory.
  3. Introduces any form of character development rewards not via combat.

Any games come to mind? If none comes to mind, then I admit defeat. Fair enough?

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Игги Друге (46300) on 12/31/2013 6:11 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

[Q --start Indra is awakening... wrote--]There a doctrine called 'correlation does not imply causation.' By that example, you're suggesting that physical anthropology is more reliable than genetics in explaining the evolutionary process.[/Q --end Indra is awakening... wrote--]

No, it is Chirinea that is making the genetical argument, which is something entirely different than your classification based on physical traits.

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Indra was here (20775) on 12/31/2013 6:20 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

It's can't be a genetics argument, because it's based on fossil records not deconstruction of the fossil material. Yeah, should've used paleontology instead of physical anthropology. Paleontology just sucks when it comes to supporting evolution.

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chirinea (46950) on 12/31/2013 6:51 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

[Q --start Indra is awakening... wrote--]It's can't be a genetics argument, because it's based on fossil records not deconstruction of the fossil material. Yeah, should've used paleontology instead of physical anthropology. Paleontology just sucks when it comes to supporting evolution. [/Q --end Indra is awakening... wrote--]It's not based on fossil records, but rather in DNA: if I'm talking about systems, I'm talking about the instructions to construct an RPG; you're the one talking about taxonomic classification, Indra.

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Indra was here (20775) on 12/31/2013 7:51 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

Fak. I think I am actually talking about taxonomic classifications: identifying patterns based on similar physical features. -_-

Your DNA sample is contaminated! I win! :p

Then again, I'm not really talking about physical features here. I'm talking about game mechanics. Fak, that's means I'm talking about behavioral science. No, you're not helping yourself, Indra. :p

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Игги Друге (46300) on 1/1/2014 4:10 AM · Reply · Permalink · Report

I prefer to see this as a question of lingustics.

"It's a flective language!"

"No! It's a Germanic language!"

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Indra was here (20775) on 12/31/2013 6:16 PM · edited · Reply · Permalink · Report

I'd be willing to offer a consensus (only because I'd have to play action-adventure games to prove my point...yeech). Which is:

Character development-related rewards via combat or non-combat situations. A combat option must still be optional. A game that offers no combat whatsoever does not qualify as an RPG.

Unless this game is an RPG then you're all screwed. To the Moon (no combat RPG?)

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Patrick Bregger (284106) on 12/31/2013 6:33 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

In principle I could agree to that. But I feel it is still off. It may include Bloodlines and Pillars of Eternity (good) but it also includes Zelda-style games (bad). It needs some sort of qualifier that character-development is still primarily player-driven instead of plot-driven.

How exactly did we start a RPG argument in this thread?

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Indra was here (20775) on 12/31/2013 6:37 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

[Q --start Patrick Bregger wrote--]How exactly did we start a RPG argument in this thread? [/Q --end Patrick Bregger wrote--]Never underestimate my ability to start a flamewar anytime, anywhere.

Or would you prefer we go back to the good old'days of tentacle porn popping out of nowhere? :p

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Игги Друге (46300) on 12/31/2013 5:42 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

Well, a typical scrolling shmup has stats (your weapon pickups and upgrades) which affect outcome of combat (bigger bullets make more damage), and killing enemies makes them drop new upgrades to your "stats".

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Pseudo_Intellectual (64872) on 1/1/2014 4:21 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

While I'm OK with lumping in football management sims as RPGs I think this example demonstrates the folly of going overboard with genre abstraction based on gameplay mechanics. Eventually, following Zelda's lead, we start using the mushroom and power pill to cast Super Mario Bros. and Pac-Man as RPGs. Arkanoid! Depending on the choices of power-ups to collect, your "character" gets different abilities and accumulates "experience" (in the form of score). Yes, but obviously no.

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Indra was here (20775) on 1/6/2014 6:00 PM · edited · Reply · Permalink · Report

Finally remembered an example game. Craft the World. Dwarves have an inventory system, have combat skills e.g. swordsmanship. Skills have an active effect towards monsters in combat, as do non-combat skills doing non-combat stuff. Not an RPG.

Experience gained from combat is diverted towards the player, not the dwarves. Character development of the dwarves is training-based only, using books to increase skills (from 0 to 100).

Yeah, hybrids.

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Indra was here (20775) on 12/31/2013 6:25 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

Defining RPGs during New Years. Total Nerd 2014 achievement unlocked. -_-
Good lord, I need a life.

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SGruber (3849) on 12/31/2013 6:35 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

Told you this would get out if hand...

More interesting is the question why isn't a bazooka a rpg?

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Indra was here (20775) on 12/31/2013 6:36 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

Gawd, first lame joke of 2014 right here boys and girls. :p

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SGruber (3849) on 1/1/2014 6:30 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

[Q --start Indra is awakening... wrote--]Gawd, first lame joke of 2014 right here boys and girls. :p [/Q --end Indra is awakening... wrote--]

I live to serve ;-P

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Cavalary (11432) on 12/31/2013 6:56 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

takes another look at thread Damn! wanders off again

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Cavalary (11432) on 12/31/2013 7:51 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

Alrighty, now that I finished submitting 2008 too (and sent another right back (a 2nd time) to a certain asshole), let me add the criteria I can come up with here...

  1. The player directly controls the characters through the actions of which the game progresses. (This would rule out strategy titles, sports management ones, etc.)
  2. The player-controlled characters have a character sheet with statistics that, possibly in combination with player skill, determine their chance of successfully completing actions. (So may be just a virtual roll, click (or whatever) and the stats alone determine the outcome, or may be stats+skill, but not just skill.)
  3. The player-controlled characters' statistics improve over the course of the game as a result of the player's actions. (May be simply exp gain from grinding, may be completing entirely optional side-quests, may be finding "secrets", may be many things, but the point is that they must develop and not only as a result of advancing the main plot.)

Just quickly now, may be missing something. Anyway, definitely don't consider combat as in any way necessary, as for the inventory/monetary system, while I can't quite imagine an RPG without it, I don't see why it'd be an actual core trait of the genre. The role-playing aspect has to do with the characters whose role the player plays and their development.

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Indra was here (20775) on 12/31/2013 8:17 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

Anyone know an RPG that doesn't have combat? Personally, I wouldn't care less if didn't have combat as long as it has character development.

Just wait until the future Sim characters have an inventory system. :p

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Игги Друге (46300) on 1/1/2014 1:31 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

Don't typical Japanese dating sims have non-combat encounters?

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Indra was here (20775) on 1/1/2014 3:56 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

Yeah, but they also don't have an inventory system, even if they do have stats. Even calling it a sim would be pushing it for many examples. Why visual novels are deemed to be under the adventure games is beyond me.

Gawd, the adventure genre is a mess.

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Игги Друге (46300) on 1/2/2014 2:39 AM · Reply · Permalink · Report

I could have sworn they did have inventories, but then I have only played a few Alicesoft titles (some of which are pure RPGs with sword combat) from the 80s.

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Trypticon (11041) on 1/2/2014 8:55 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

What's your opinion on New Horizons regarding this? There are also some RotK and maybe even Musou titles I could see fitting into the RPG category according to yours and other definitions.

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Indra was here (20775) on 1/2/2014 11:25 PM · edited · Reply · Permalink · Report

KOEI games definitely has many hybrid character development features. For Uncharted Waters and New Horizons, if memory serves correctly, there aren't many personal items that may be freely equipped/sold, if not usually fixed.

It's still an RPG in every other sense, except the lack of a personal inventory system. Which is why these hybrids are annoying. Anyway, it's primary genre is still a strategy game.

That simulation tag probably should be removed though. Wonders why it's called simulation when the original term was flight simulator. Really need to separate these simulations and simulators.

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Pseudo_Intellectual (64872) on 1/3/2014 3:42 AM · Reply · Permalink · Report

It may be worth looking at the CRPG addict (of the eponymous blog) to see why he did or did not categorize certain games as RPGs. (He denouced me roundly for instance for including Braminar and Girlfriend Construction Set.)

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Indra was here (20775) on 1/3/2014 8:04 AM · Reply · Permalink · Report

Unfortunately he has a weakness in his categorization. He doesn't really play other genres, so he probably has little knowledge on the hybrid development of character development features in those genres and how it blurs the lines between those genres and commonly accepted RPGs that may have minimal RPG characteristics.

What RPG community have ultimately failed is to do is, I've noticed is to identify a particular string of games that serve to be the RPG template. I usually use Rogue as the template, as it has practically nothing else in common with most games from other genres and virtually minimalist.

Hell, I'd still be inclined to remove 'combat' as mandatory requirement for an RPG...but the list of games to support that notion is seriously lacking.

<hr />

I'll create a better description later with every RPG element I know of and divide them into mandatory and popular characteristics. Including example hybrid games and their characteristics that blurs line.

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Pseudo_Intellectual (64872) on 1/3/2014 9:54 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

My experience has been that he gives borderline or marginal RPGs the benefit of the doubt, and they tend to rate poorly by the criteria he has determined cRPGs ought to have.

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Pseudo_Intellectual (64872) on 12/31/2013 10:10 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

"Adventure" was the first genre name to become so watered-down as to be useless, and now the others follow in turn.

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Indra was here (20775) on 12/31/2013 10:18 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

[Q --start Pseudo_Intellectual wrote--]"Adventure" was the first genre name to become so watered-down as to be useless, and now the others follow in turn. [/Q --end Pseudo_Intellectual wrote--]The nightmare term that started the whole mess. I will officially throw a brick to the next jargon and its jarhead developer where the term has nothing to do with what the genre is about. 4X my infernal arse.

I'll create my own. 3S. Shoot, stealth, stupid. -_-

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is_that_rain_or_tears (662) on 12/31/2013 8:55 AM · Reply · Permalink · Report

[Q --start Opipeuter wrote--] I wrote it on a mobile phone, so there are some grammatical errors I didn't pick up on... [/Q --end Opipeuter wrote--]

Never expected anyone else besides me was contributing by a smartphone :D.

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Fred VT (25891) on 1/1/2014 6:50 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

I think it would be worth it to mention the game Weltorv Estleia http://www.mobygames.com/game/weltorv-estleia

as one of the games that MG is the only one to fully document, thanks to Yid Yang who was able to complete whatever basic info I could find, and Jotaro Raido who added the credits. :)

Of course it was added pre-redesign, but it is, in my opinion, a fine example of what we can achieve by working together.

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R H (3) on 1/4/2014 9:59 PM · Reply · Permalink · Report

I am super inactive on MG and in the last months i did not even visit the site due to its horrible new design so it was great to see the old one is back.

ILooking forward to see progress here again, being in touch with the community is what was missing here totally i believe. Good move to change that a bit.

Happy new year @ the MG Community