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.

Via Eurogamer.

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5 Comments on Fallout New Vegas Dev Thinks RPGs Are Getting Too Advanced To Be Fun


On December 12, 2011 at 5:57 pm

To complicated? Bull. If anything they keep DUMBING down. Lazy ers, play some damn Baldur’s Gate 2 or Planescape: Torment. Not every damn RPG needs fully voice acting. Stop deep throating over hyped crap.


On December 13, 2011 at 1:22 am

well those quotes could be read as being about positives and negatives in regards to making the game; coding a waypoint system and map i assume costs less in development than full voice acting. I liked the comment because he gave credit to kotor 1 (which i assume was produced by a different company). the moral choices have been overplayed. It’s probably suicide for an AAA title but playing new vegas with mods that introduce hunger, not using a map, no crosshairs…..change the way the game is played. even gta iv (not an rpg i know), turn off the minimap….it changes the way you play the game (mainly making gps relevant and the player actually paying attention to the surroundings instead of a line on the minimap). introduce a choice for EVERY player to somehow avoid combat….and you have a decent rpg for my vote, because it makes stomping through the game killing everyone allot more fun.


On December 13, 2011 at 1:55 am

Have to agree with Aids 100%


On December 13, 2011 at 7:16 am

I don’t agree with being pointed directly at something, I just need a heading. I’m all in favor of voiced quest and conversation delivery as it enhances the immersion, but I didn’t even discover fast traveling in Fallout 3 till near end of game, I walked everywhere. It might have taken time but there was always some random encounter to keep me scavenging to stay alive. I also don’t buy any guides as you loose the entire point of an RPG.


On December 15, 2011 at 10:50 pm

As an avid RPG player, I don’t agree that being able to access your objective location is being lazy. I find that having the option to be able to explore or go directly to the objective is an improvement in gameplay.