The Escapist On The Road: PAX East 2013 - Future of RPGs Panel

PAX East 2013 - Future of RPGs Panel

This discussion between developers of today's RPGs and MMOs will reveal what the next generation of computer role-playing games has in store.

Panelists:
Greg Tito, Senior Editor, The Escapist
Dave Georgeson, Sony Online Entertainment
Mike Laidlaw, BioWare
Ryan Dancey, Pathfinder Online

Watch Video

Kind of you to edit out the last guy (Who I'm not outing since he was mentioned in the Podcat), though I did sort of want to watch him again just for "that actually happened, right?" purposes.

Tisiphone1:
Kind of you to edit out the last guy (Who I'm not outing since he was mentioned in the Podcat), though I did sort of want to watch him again just for "that actually happened, right?" purposes.

Well that would explain why it felt like the video ended kinda abruptly... What happened?

Um, to make it much less involved and awkward than it actually was, the last questioner wanted to know why they don't make RPGs that you can finish in a single weekend. The panelists and other audience members then struggled to wrap their heads around this strange concept.

Tisiphone1:
Um, to make it much less involved and awkward than it actually was, the last questioner wanted to know why they don't make RPGs that you can finish in a single weekend. The panelists and other audience members then struggled to wrap their heads around this strange concept.

A stunning sequel to "You Have To Burn The Rope".... "You Have To Roll 2d6!"

Tisiphone1:
Um, to make it much less involved and awkward than it actually was, the last questioner wanted to know why they don't make RPGs that you can finish in a single weekend. The panelists and other audience members then struggled to wrap their heads around this strange concept.

Dragon Age: Origins can't be beaten in a single weekend?

Devoneaux:

Tisiphone1:
Um, to make it much less involved and awkward than it actually was, the last questioner wanted to know why they don't make RPGs that you can finish in a single weekend. The panelists and other audience members then struggled to wrap their heads around this strange concept.

Dragon Age: Origins can't be beaten in a single weekend?

Dragon Age took me 40 hours on a reasonably completionist playthrough. Friday night to Sunday is 54 hours. That leaves you with 14 hours to sleep, eat, and do anything other that kill the same 3 enemy types over and over and over.

StashAugustine:

Devoneaux:

Tisiphone1:
Um, to make it much less involved and awkward than it actually was, the last questioner wanted to know why they don't make RPGs that you can finish in a single weekend. The panelists and other audience members then struggled to wrap their heads around this strange concept.

Dragon Age: Origins can't be beaten in a single weekend?

Dragon Age took me 40 hours on a reasonably completionist playthrough. Friday night to Sunday is 54 hours. That leaves you with 14 hours to sleep, eat, and do anything other that kill the same 3 enemy types over and over and over.

Aha! But it can still be done! >:D

Devoneaux:
Dragon Age: Origins can't be beaten in a single weekend?

I believe at some point he clarified a weekend of playtime to be somewhere in the vicinity of 12 hours.

Tisiphone1:

Devoneaux:
Dragon Age: Origins can't be beaten in a single weekend?

I believe at some point he clarified a weekend of playtime to be somewhere in the vicinity of 12 hours.

Oh...Well fuck me then...I dunno, do crappy flash based RPGs you find on Newgrounds count then?

When they were talking about having your character learn some behaviors I suddenly had the image of spending a bit of time gambling in game then checking back with my character three days later to find her penniless being hunted by debt collectors....

TakeyB0y2:

Tisiphone1:
Kind of you to edit out the last guy (Who I'm not outing since he was mentioned in the Podcat), though I did sort of want to watch him again just for "that actually happened, right?" purposes.

Well that would explain why it felt like the video ended kinda abruptly... What happened?

It was sort of a two-fold issue; the last person to ask a question ended up taking a lot of time AND the battery on my camera died half-way through that discussion.

Really like these kind of panels, especially when talking about RPG's which is my favorite genre.

Great panel. Its really nice to see that devs are moving towards sandboxes for MMOs as it feels like the themepark model is getting too stale to go much further. I'll have to pay more attention to Pathfinder though I'm kinda done with fantasy MMOs for years to come, too many years playing WoW.

Devoneaux:

Tisiphone1:

Devoneaux:
Dragon Age: Origins can't be beaten in a single weekend?

I believe at some point he clarified a weekend of playtime to be somewhere in the vicinity of 12 hours.

Oh...Well fuck me then...I dunno, do crappy flash based RPGs you find on Newgrounds count then?

Alpha Protocol is 10-15 hours. Good length for it, since the combat sucks and it's all about replaying it to figure out all the different ways to screw everybody else over.

This is making me sick.

Eventually we'll "progress" to the point where characters can ignore players.
I die a little inside every time I here an audience clap for a developer express their disdain for players.

Mikeyfell:
This is making me sick.

Eventually we'll "progress" to the point where characters can ignore players.
I die a little inside every time I here an audience clap for a developer express their disdain for players.

It is a little strange, isn't it. I think, often, the audiences confuse developers complaining about fans in general who want certain things as opposed to just the unhelpful wrongfully entitled hate ridden Trolls. Those who applaud often think the developers are just talking about the later as opposed to, well, everyone. As for progressing to characters ignoring players, I think you're reaching a bit. I doubt it will ever get that bad where we're, basically, just watching a movie even when cut-scene's aren't playing.

roguewriter:

Mikeyfell:
This is making me sick.

Eventually we'll "progress" to the point where characters can ignore players.
I die a little inside every time I here an audience clap for a developer express their disdain for players.

It is a little strange, isn't it. I think, often, the audiences confuse developers complaining about fans in general who want certain things as opposed to just the unhelpful wrongfully entitled hate ridden Trolls. Those who applaud often think the developers are just talking about the later as opposed to, well, everyone. As for progressing to characters ignoring players, I think you're reaching a bit. I doubt it will ever get that bad where we're, basically, just watching a movie even when cut-scene's aren't playing.

Isn't that the route Final Fantasy XIII et al. is taking...? ;)

Modern RPGs don't disappoint with interactiveness because we have to fill in the gaps ... it has gone down because the number of branches in dialogue and quests has gone down, because of voice acting and the cost of content in general.

Until we get human level AI the only solution to making a world feel alive is lots and lots of branching dialogue and lots of dev thought into creating little vignets which are pre-planned and pre-written but don't feel as such ... this includes night/day/job routines, which can be lumped under AI ... but nothing which hasn't been done before. Sandbox doesn't help at all, humanoid NPCs aren't ants, you can't pre-program them with some simple routines let em lose in a sandbox and hope for realistic results.

Of course the devs don't want to hear this, they hate creating a ton of content which won't be seen in any single play through ... especially Bioware doesn't want to hear this, because it's everything their higher ups want to disavow ever since DAO.

Mikeyfell:
This is making me sick.

Eventually we'll "progress" to the point where characters can ignore players.
I die a little inside every time I here an audience clap for a developer express their disdain for players.

That would be the end of a static universe and the beginning of a dynamic one. If that is how you interact in that world, the immersion would be higher. Wouldn't that be an ideal?

You push the game it then pushes back. Right?

The concept of a player character that plays against my decisions and plays the game his own way is really abhorrent to me. I don't wanna raise an AI. I just wanna play video games.

Why's that simple goal being pushed away so frequently in recent times with integrated social networking and all other sorts of stuff leaving the impression they were demanded by some suit with no idea on how to actually improve the game/are so involved in everything surrounding games they think more surrounding elements will increase the core value.

I certainly wish them good luck with MMOs. Seeing how huge these projects are, they tend to involve little innovation and novelties that matter to me, which is why I personally am starting to pay greater and greater attention to the indie arm of the industry that's actually becoming a thing now and not only *can* take more risks in focused small titles, but actually *needs* either that or a good gimmick since they rely on word of mouth instead of multi-million-dollar marketing campaigns. Which is also why I hope we'll be getting more organic gameplay out of that sector, as stuff like Minecraft got so much popularity because of the "watercooler stories" as Yahtzee calls them.

aelreth:

Mikeyfell:
This is making me sick.

Eventually we'll "progress" to the point where characters can ignore players.
I die a little inside every time I here an audience clap for a developer express their disdain for players.

That would be the end of a static universe and the beginning of a dynamic one. If that is how you interact in that world, the immersion would be higher. Wouldn't that be an ideal?

You push the game it then pushes back. Right?

Ideal? No, not even close.
A character that didn't do what you wanted it to would completely kill immersion for 99% of roll playing games
Because you wouldn't be in the roll of the player.

I could see it working for a specific type of game,
A more transient meta RPG where you as the player were controlling your character's conscience.
or like some sort of ghost from the future that knew something bad would happen to the character if it continued behaving the way it had been, and you have to nudge it onto a different moral path.
It would work well for that, but that's an entirely different genera from RPG's

It would be like in Mass Effect 2 if Shepard didn't 'want' to give Cerberus the Collector Base, it's making player choices moot, and you might as well just play a strictly liner game if you don't "actually" have any control over the main character.

Mikeyfell:

aelreth:

Mikeyfell:
This is making me sick.

Eventually we'll "progress" to the point where characters can ignore players.
I die a little inside every time I here an audience clap for a developer express their disdain for players.

That would be the end of a static universe and the beginning of a dynamic one. If that is how you interact in that world, the immersion would be higher. Wouldn't that be an ideal?

You push the game it then pushes back. Right?

Ideal? No, not even close.
A character that didn't do what you wanted it to would completely kill immersion for 99% of roll playing games
Because you wouldn't be in the roll of the player.

I could see it working for a specific type of game,
A more transient meta RPG where you as the player were controlling your character's conscience.
or like some sort of ghost from the future that knew something bad would happen to the character if it continued behaving the way it had been, and you have to nudge it onto a different moral path.
It would work well for that, but that's an entirely different genera from RPG's

It would be like in Mass Effect 2 if Shepard didn't 'want' to give Cerberus the Collector Base, it's making player choices moot, and you might as well just play a strictly liner game if you don't "actually" have any control over the main character.

In that context I agree with you.

I just see synergy between AI and a procedural universe generation system. AI would control and manage the town. They could create their own problems by interacting with nearby objects.

aelreth:

Mikeyfell:

aelreth:

That would be the end of a static universe and the beginning of a dynamic one. If that is how you interact in that world, the immersion would be higher. Wouldn't that be an ideal?

You push the game it then pushes back. Right?

Ideal? No, not even close.
A character that didn't do what you wanted it to would completely kill immersion for 99% of roll playing games
Because you wouldn't be in the roll of the player.

I could see it working for a specific type of game,
A more transient meta RPG where you as the player were controlling your character's conscience.
or like some sort of ghost from the future that knew something bad would happen to the character if it continued behaving the way it had been, and you have to nudge it onto a different moral path.
It would work well for that, but that's an entirely different genera from RPG's

It would be like in Mass Effect 2 if Shepard didn't 'want' to give Cerberus the Collector Base, it's making player choices moot, and you might as well just play a strictly liner game if you don't "actually" have any control over the main character.

In that context I agree with you.

I just see synergy between AI and a procedural universe generation system. AI would control and manage the town. They could create their own problems by interacting with nearby objects.

I could also see it working if they applied to other characters in the game
but the Player character seems like a terrible idea.

 

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