Fallout New Vegas Dev Thinks RPGs Are Getting Too Advanced To Be Fun
Obsidian’s Chris Avellone, who has worked on tons of RPgs including Fallout: New Vegas, had some interesting comments on the state of RPGs while speaking to IndustryGamers recently. It seems that he’s kind of down on many of the advances in RPG gamers during the past decade. “I’ll say the ‘advances’ have been more for player convenience, sometimes good, sometimes bad, in my opinion. Journals, quest compasses that point directly to the goal and show you the route, auto-maps, etc. are helpful,” he said. “At the same time, I think it undermines the thrill of victory and discovery and a lot of what makes an RPG an RPG (exploration, notably).”
So what would he like to see? “In terms of non-interface elements, I feel the idea of morally grey choices and more focus on actions and consequences has been great for RPGs across the board.” He also noted improved acting in games. “[F]ully voice-acted characters has been something to adapt to since Knights of the Old Republic 1, and the amount of localization, recording and audio work required is substantial, but I feel it’s a net positive for the player.”
So it sounds like he’s pro making fun, playable games that are challenging and anti making crummy games. I kid, I kid. Personally, I don’t have a problem with compases and the like. Huge environments can be maddening to navigate, particularly when you’re attempting to locate items or clues that simply do not easily present themselves. Additionally, many games have a plethora of side quests, hidden items and so forth that keep the thrill of exploration while sparing players the agony of tediously looking for obscure clues that are absolutely immaterial to solving the damn quest.
So I guess you could say I’m team “Journals, quest compasses that point directly to the goal and show you the route, auto-maps, etc”. What about you? Let us know in comments.