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This discussion between developers of today's RPGs and MMOs will reveal what the next generation of computer role-playing games has in store.
Greg Tito, Senior Editor, The Escapist
Dave Georgeson, Sony Online Entertainment
Mike Laidlaw, BioWare
Ryan Dancey, Pathfinder Online
At the dawn of the computer age, roleplaying games used text as the only way for a player to inhabit fantastic worlds. Players could fill in the gaps with their imagination, and this allowed early CRPGs to create a greater illusion of player choice by acting in the world. As computer graphics technology increased, developers could show more visuals to the player, and achievements in voice acting allowed for characters to truly come to life. But somehow, all the technical doodads restricted the player's input because there are only so many permutations a game designer can cover. Now that technology has progressed even further, characters in games like Skyrim or the many MMOs out there should feel open to all kinds of player interactions, but NPC responses still come out bland and repetitive. Why can't present games allow us to feel like we are playing in a vibrant, living world where our input has real impact on the story? When will games let us choose more than two or three options when talking to an NPC?