Evolution of Western RPGs
The World of Western RPGs is a new article exploring the evolution of the Western RPG. The piece is a companion to a previous article on Asian RPGs.
The author starts off by talking about how broad a term RPG is and how practically worthless it is for describing a game. He uses Bioware and Bethesda to make his point in that these developers are both know for their RPGs, but have very different styles. He then goes on at length defining what different concepts associated to the RPG mean to him personally so that the reader can be on the same page when he gets down to the meat of the piece.
Western RPGs were born from “numbers and dungeons” games inspired by pen and paper RPGs. Over the year they have added art and split into two basic types; world focused and story focused RPGs. The article will take from the infancy of the form to todays modern vastly differentiated RPGs. You find references to Wizardry, Ultima, Might and Magic and the Elder Scrolls as well as Fallout, Diablo, Gold Box and Mass Effect along the way. Just remember this one important piece of advice as you explore RPGs:
Keep in mind that the word “classic” is not a synonym for “good”.
I heartily recommend this work for gamers who are interested in game design or die hard RPG fans.
via Moby Games