Codexian CRPG Book Released

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

  1. TorontoReign

    TorontoReign Gonk 0 Staff Member Moderator

    Apr 1, 2005

    So check it out. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears were shed by numerous contributors (possibly other fluids), so I wager it warrants a passing glance, or perhaps a nod of solemn approval. Whatever you can muster.

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  2. PlanHex

    PlanHex Legislative Senator oTO Staff Member Admin Orderite Board Cop oTO

    Nov 4, 2007
    Many brofists to Felipepepepepepepe
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  3. CaptJ

    CaptJ The Rival of Roquefort Hall

    Jan 19, 2016
    I wish my tablet still worked. I feel like a tablet is the best way to get a lot of reading done.
  4. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Nov 26, 2007
    An awesome work! 8-) Read it cover to cover, last night.

    *I was slightly miffed that the mod I and twenty-two others spent over a year on, wasn't among the suggested mods listed for Grimrock.
  5. Risewild

    Risewild Carbon Dated and Proud
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    While it talks about many cRPGs, I can't really endorse a cRPG "encyclopedia" that includes games like Borderlands, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Sid Meier's Pirates, Crusader Kings 2, etc.

    The whole point of the project was to talk about specifically cRPGs. But including games that are not even RPGs in it just helps dilute even more the definition of what a RPG is. It just propagates the stuff that makes people think games that have quests or exp are RPGs.

    Since RPGs are my favorite game genre for decades, it makes me sad when people just forget what RPG means... I had hoped that project would help showing what that genre is, but it helps dilute the definition more.

    Makes me sad.
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  6. I'm not sure they would even have made it to 50 if they only did PURE ARPEGEES, nevermimd of they'd actually be any good.
  7. PlanHex

    PlanHex Legislative Senator oTO Staff Member Admin Orderite Board Cop oTO

    Nov 4, 2007
    Also first they'd have to define what even is an rpg
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  8. Risewild

    Risewild Carbon Dated and Proud
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    Which they should, since it's supposed to be a computer RPG "encyclopedia". So a definition of the genre should be in order, right at the start of this work.
  9. 0wing

    0wing Все умрут, а я волномут

    Mar 23, 2015
    Felipepe didn't name himself a "Codex heretic" for nothing.
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  10. Risewild

    Risewild Carbon Dated and Proud
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    He even said he doesn't like cRPGs and that the best RPG ever made (for him) is pokemon or something like that (at least that is what someone wrote in the codex, I don't know if it is true or not because I don0t know felipepepe that well).

    But this project has good things in it. I don't deny this. But my problem with it is that includes games that are not RPGs and doesn't define what is or not a RPG. I would tone down my criticism if it at least had a definition of what was considered a computer RPG, even if I didn't agreed with that definition.
    Also I have the feeling that the author is gonna try to monetize this product (which makes me think that there was ulterior motives for the making of this. Money money money).

    As it stands, it has games there just for the sake of having them and IIRC in the past about a discussion I had with felipepepe about it, they are only there so people don't come asking why aren't they there. It basically doesn't matter if they are or not RPGs. Fear of peer pressure or something.
  11. Paradox strategy games do offer systems that allow deeper role-playing than most RPGs, so I guess they could be considered RPGs.
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  12. Risewild

    Risewild Carbon Dated and Proud
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    They are grand strategy. Those systems are part of the grand strategy genre since the first GS game ("Nobunaga's Ambition" from the early 80's IIRC).

    Game genres can have similar systems, but it's how those systems are implemented that counts.

    One way of understanding what I mean is looking at Platformers. Platformer games have a very prominent use of the "jump" system. Your character can jump and that will be one of the most used systems in that genre, making it an essential part of that genre. But many FPS and TPS have a jump function and the character jumps when the player presses the button (just like in a Platformer), does that make the genre of those shooters suddenly change to be a Platformer? It might offer even better jumping mechanics than many Platformers, but it doesn't change the game genre.

    You're making the old mistake of confusing Roleplaying games with "role-playing". Most games allow role-playing, specially if the player has an active imagination. But most games are not Roleplaying games.

    Role-playing is a mental act. A person pretending to be someone they are not is role-playing. So a player can pretend to be Mario in Super Mario Bros., but that doesn't change the fact that game is a platformer and not an RPG.
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  13. So what makes an RPG an RPG if it isnt role-playing?
  14. Risewild

    Risewild Carbon Dated and Proud
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    That is a question I have answered around here many times :falloutonline:. So I apologize to everyone else that already read this before (you can skip reading this post since you already know what I am gonna write).

    To answer that I will have to type a wall of text:

    Roleplaying games exist in many subgenres (cRPG, Action RPG, Tactical/Strategy RPG, jRPG, Pen and Paper/Tabletop RPG, etc). And to understand what makes the games in each subgere still be a RPG is to analyze what they all have in common and how that is implemented.
    There is one feature/system that is present in every and that is used in the same way in all RPG genres. That is that everything in the game "world/universe", everything and everyone in the game uses the same stats, skills and rules to interact with anything/anyone else.

    RPGs do not use player skill to do character's skill related things. The player only uses mental skill and decides what the playable characters do, but the characters skills and abilities are the ones that will be used to see if the characters can do what the players decided.
    -I am controlling Gnarl, the Wombat Barbarian. I decide to punch someone in a tavern, so I do the appropriate steps for my character to do that (it all depends on the game: select the target and assign the attack action, get close and press the attack button, etc). I decided that Gnarl should hit that target, but that was all I did. The game then uses the Gnarl stats, abilities, strengths and weaknesses and also uses the target stats, abilities, strengths and weaknesses to see if the action happens or not. Gnarl might land the punch, or it might miss, or the target might dodge, or their armor might deflect the blow, etc.
    I gave the instructions and that is all I have control, the rest is all about the game rules and systems to work how they do and see if my instructions work the way I want to or not.

    For example, in a shooter, as long as the target was in the cross-hairs, it would be hit. So the action of hitting or missing the target is dependent of player skill (the player has to decide to attack the target and also has to aim the cross-hairs).

    This use of character skills, abilities, stats, strengths and weaknesses apply to pretty much everything in the game. Not just combat, but climbing, jumping, swimming, convincing others, repair, craft something, run, and pretty much everything else (this depends on each RPG).
    That is the main feature of a RPG game. Every RPG genre shares this similarity and that is why they are considered RPGs
    There is also variance in each genre that are significant enough to give birth to new subgenres.
    • RPGs with real time combat are called Action RPGs (Diablo, Titan Quest, Torchlight, Grim Dawn, etc).
    • Tactical/Strategy RPGs have a prominent use of a large amount of characters that are used as soldiers in combat and involve large battles. It also involve control, move and positioning troops around in a map (Final Fantasy Tactics, Disgaea, Jagged Alliance, etc.)
    • jRPGs are RPGs that are usually more streamlined with their story and use anime style characters. Usually use Turn-based combat or ATB (active time bar, which means your character only acts when it is it's "turn", but the game doesn't pause, the other characters and enemies still move and act without waiting for your character to do anything), usually also use a window with commands for the player to choose what commands to use in combat for each character (Final Fantasy, Pokemon, Suikoden, Chrono Trigger, etc).
    • P&P/Tabletop RPGs are the pure RPG experience. No computer game can come close to the freedom to actually role-play in a Roleplaying game that a good P&P game can. They usually involve creating a character from scratch, deciding everything about that character, allows the players to do anything as if they were the characters they control. The world is reactive and can be unforgiving. Usually played with figurines or tokens using grid maps, they are also very social oriented. They require players and a different kind of player called GM (Game Master is a general name, this person can be called different things depending on the game). The GM is the person who controls and provides the world for the players to play in. GM's are like creators and referees. They can create anything in a game and also make sure the players and everything else in the game follows the rules of that game. They can also change some game rules if that is beneficial for the players and GM.
    • cRPGs are RPGs that try to follow a more P&P style of RPG (and usually use actual P&P systems like D&D, Shadowrun, etc). They usually are turn-based or use a "automatic turn actions" and might provide a pause system where you can assign and/or cue actions that will be put into practice once that automatic turn is supposed to happen (Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura, Fallout, etc).
    In all of these genres, the main feature of the player only deciding what the character will do, but the result is dependent on the situation, the world and the playable and not playable characters skills, strengths, abilities, weaknesses. That is the main feature that defines a RPG.
    Many people say that RPGs are games with choice and consequence, with character customization, with good story and good writing, with experience and leveling, with inventory, quests, etc. But those are not what makes RPGs, but what enriches them. For example, many RPGs and even entire RPG subgenres do not have choice and consequences or good writing (many action RPGs and jRPGs are devoid of choices and have basic and cliche stories), many do not offer character customization (many Action RPGs, jRPGs, Tactical RPGs have no customization), some have no level ups (World of Darkness for example does not have characters level up), etc.
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  15. What. If there was any time to monetize it it would be the release, when it's hot, but there isn't even a donation option. All the collaborators did it for completely free, too.

    Also, I think you fail to see the definition of "encyclopedia". It's not a novel, it's not supposed to really be read linearly nor holistically and It's hardly biased (you know, because having a single branch of it would totally be very objective) as it is a documentative work. Obviously there's more than one mind with their own definition behind it and there was better things to do than arguing about muh pure RPG.

    It's a rabbit hole because guess what, you could count the true RPGs with your both hands but another person's would contain wholly different titles. Seems like there's a bit more to game design than its genre, huh.

    So moving the mouse and clicking? Pressing buttons at the correct timing and/or order, applying skills, actives, passives or just moving the character, don't seem to be completely foreign to RPG combat. Depending on the design there might not be hit chance, damage range or neither.
    It's natural that in a first person shooter there is a guaranteed hot chance to avoid suspending the sense of disbelief, unless they feature Armor Class or ridiculous spread, or again, both or neither. It's a bit more understandable in first person Melee considering that different slashes might deal considerably different amounts of damage based in many factors, even if it can get really silly.

    Off the top of my head, I can name some different damage systems. Fire Emblem's "weapon triangle" added to its more traditional hit chance/damage-defense/crits, pokemon's Type interplays, the more classic D&D damage types as seen for instance in Dark Souls' Thrust/Slash/Strike/Elements, or just DOS2's Armor system rather working like rechargeable shields.

    Different games handle it differently and I don't see how they are any less of an RPG just because a fraction of them is less or more abstract.

    Also, I think there only really would be a problem if all that many "actual" RPGs had been left out, not if there is too much "chaff" like that.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2018
  16. Risewild

    Risewild Carbon Dated and Proud
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    The author said he was looking into how to make a hardcopy that could be sold.
    Also he said he still hopes he can increase the number of games and make it a larger work (he mentions how he wants to include Spellforce 3 for example).
    Encyclopedia is just that, a "scientific accurate" work that usually follows a rigorous and specific theme (in this case if follows computer RPGs). Encyclopedias are not biased and are to be read linearly. I don't think you know what an encyclopedia is, if you think anyone can just write an encyclopedia about a specific topic and write whatever they want about that topic even if it is not true.
    And that is where this computer RPG encyclopedia should shine, offering the actual definition of what is a RPG and why. Not just include games that are famous in their own genres and then say they are RPGs too. Like I mentioned, Grand Strategy games have stats since the first was made. Saying that a specific Grand Strategy game is a RPG because the characters have stats is pure nonsense (just like my previous example of shooters with jumping being platformers). Stats are also a part of Grand Strategy games and just because they have those, doesn't make them RPGs. Not only does it dilute the RPG genre, it also diminish the Grand Strategy genre, because it is using the stupid assumption that things with stats are RPG only... Which is ridiculous.
    Also what the hell do you mean about game design? If you design a game to be a shooter it will be a shooter unless you're an incompetent game developer... If you design it to be a platformer, it will be a platformer, if you design it to be a RPG it will be a RPG and so on. And yes, what is most important to define a game it's that game genre... That is why people make lists about the best *insert game genre here*, why when a new game is being made it is usually advertised as "new *game genre* from the people/studio who made *game title*" and "new *insert game genre* inspired by/spiritual successor of the great *insert game genre* *insert popular/famous game titles of that genre*" and why games are categorized in genres when purchasing through online stores like GOG and Steam.
    The genre (like it or not) defines the game design.
    You are trolling on purpose? Are you saying that moving the mouse in a FPS so your character can hit the enemy is using the same player skill as using the mouse to click on an enemy for the character to know it's that enemy that he needs to attack is the same? Next you're gonna tell me using my finger to click a mouse button and my character shoots a pistol in a game is the same as using my finger to press the trigger and shoot a real pistol.
    You definitely know what I meant and the best defense you can come up with is "you press the mouse in both instances"?
    Where did I ever said that RPGs have to have hit chance or damage range? I said that the result of the character's actions are not dependent of player skill but the character "skill". It all depends on the RPG system. Is D&D a lesser P&P RPG because the weapons use dice rolls for damage than BattleDragons where the attacks cause static damage? No. Because they still use the damn character skills for everything.
    Let's say there is a RPG where the characters always hit when they attack (I don't know any that are like that. but who knows, there might be some obscure one I never heard about), does it make it so it is not a RPG anymore? No, because I bet the interaction with enemies and the world will still be dependent of the characters skills. Even if there is a game where the playable character only has 3 skills is still a RPG if those skills are the ones used to interact with the world or with enemies (Fighting Fantasy books are exactly like that and they are pretty much a single player storybook RPG).

    What are you going about once again? What does damage systems have to do if a genre is a RPG or not? Again you're missing the point of my post entirely. Where did I say that RPGs rely on damage systems? They can have the damage system they well want. If they still follow the damn golden rule of RPGs... Which I keep mentioning over and over.
    That's the same as saying a hard rock song stops being hard rock if it has some piano in it... As long as the rest of the song that envelops the piano is hard rock, then the song is also hard rock. One instrument doesn't change the entirety of the song genre.
    You are so off the mark, that you don't even know what you're arguing about. Your arguments are basically pointing out stuff and using examples that not only are not related to what I mentioned, but are also not disproving anything I said at all, so it is confusing for me trying to debate this with you :confused:.
    The problem is that I can't consider it a serious work. Would you consider an encyclopedia about fish that would declare whales and dolphins as fish just because those also swim and have a tail, a serious work?
    I certainly wouldn't.
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  17. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Venerable Relic of the Wastes

    Nov 26, 2007
    In the Fallout series, and the Infinity engine games, and the SSI Gold Box games before them... and many, many others, the player decides what the PC will attempt to do; and the PC enacts that attempt. They succeed or fail on their own ability, fluke, or misfortune. This is as it should be when roleplaying a character—it's them in the situation. The player is influencing the game world through the PC. If the PC cannot achieve a thing, it doesn't get done by them.

    The Witcher (1) was somewhat like this as well—at least in the isometric mode. Unfortunately the active-slash mode of the sequels makes Geralt into a marionette; one wholly dependent upon the player's skill with the combat system. No skill, and Geralt—a master swordsman, flails about with the blade, like a child. This is out of character for Geralt. Games that do this can actually handicap the PC by the players ineptness.

    Players with disabilities who are roleplaying Geralt, for instance, might not get to play a master swordsman/ witcher from the books (except in W1), because the game expects the player to do all of the melee action for him. Imagine role-playing a superbly skilled martial artist... and wonder at the notion of telling them how to behave; like telling Bruce Lee how to defend himself. This is why RPGs... like Fallout, do such a good job as role-playing games; it is the PC who picks the lock, the PC who aims the rifle, the PC who drops his gun and breaks it; the PC who sets the detonator for too little time to escape it; the PC who shoots the deathclaw in the eye.

    This detachment is part of why Fallout can be such a depressing environment and be funny as hell... and why it doesn't work in FO3... because the FO3 player is effectively walking around in that ruined world...personally; doing the quests personally; failing on their own mistakes—when the character shouldn't have, and succeeding at shots that character shouldn't be able to make with their moderate level of skill—or complete lack of skill.

    In RPGs the PC does their best effort, without the player's help, or the player's interference.
    In a shooter, the player points a gun; the purpose of the game is to aim and hit targets.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
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  18. Atomkilla

    Atomkilla Hazel Hegemon oTO Orderite

    Dec 26, 2010
    I see @Risewild's point about RPGs here, and I have to agree with it. It's a huge widespread genre with dozens of variations, but I think he defined the core of the genre pretty well.

    That being said, I look forward to the RPG book, if only because most of the articles I've seen that will be featured in it are well-written. I consider it an underground fan work, not a work that will set and finally define boundaries within a video game genre that is known for its murkiness and overlapping elements. Risewild might have a point that this is a sort of missed opportunity, but I don't think there's anything wrong with it anyway.

    As for this being written just for monetary gain, I doubt that's the case. It was a huge work written by many people over the course of years, none of which went into this looking for a monetary compensation (AFAIK). That felipepe is looking to make a physical copy doesn't sound as anything wrong or, to be honest, feasible at the moment.
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  19. A self-published physical version such a thing as this probably would be a matter of a small batch with not all that much profit to be made, really. The most sensible thing I can think of is, in a limited batch anyway, is having a deal with any physical (ideally gaming of corse) press editor but there's not all that money to be made either. There's a pretty clear signal of if a work is commercial or not and this doesn't really strike like it, if I'm honest.
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  20. Risewild

    Risewild Carbon Dated and Proud
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    But I don't have a problem with it being sold, I have a problem with it being sold (although I do wonder if any of the 150 or more volunteers that helped making the project a reality will see any money from it) so it includes games that aren't RPG because the author can't be arsed to answer to people why some games are not there (the answer is because they are not RPGs).

    Basically he includes some games (like the ones I mentioned and others) because he doesn't want people to not like that games they enjoy are not there, even when they are not RPGs. He is doing the thing of appeasing to the lower denominator even if it is wrong. A basic product selling and merchandise technique.

    Now, this might not be because of wanting to sell it in the future, but it is still the wrong thing to do.