Screen Savers and RPGs

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Even if Next Gen gaming is rampant, old school RPGs still have their space. Rock Paper Shotgun has a terrific interview with Vince D. Weller (nice pseudonym), indie developer of the Fallout inspired old school RPG Age of Decadence:

RPS: Okay – Influences then. What influenced your thinking about the game – and I mean, in specifics rather than generalities. In what ways did other games open your eyes, make you realise this is what games could be and why were they wonderful?Vince: Fallout – a masterpiece that redefined role-playing and set a new standard.
Planescape – reading in a game has NEVER been so much fun, and according to Avellone, never will be.
Darklands – it’s easier to list what you couldn’t do in that game than what you could do. It saddens me that a game of that caliber won’t be made again, but hey, who needs gameplay when you can look at shiny next-generation graphics? m i rite?
XCOM – The king of turn-based gameplay. If you haven’t played it, stop reading this crap and go play it right now.
And finally, Prelude to Darkness, a brilliant indie game that nobody played:

Prelude to Darkness featured an original, very detailed setting, great TB combat system, multi-solution quests, branching main quest, and many innovative design elements. That was the game that inspired me the most. It has shown me that indie projects can easily compete with and even beat “commercial” games in the gameplay and design departments.

RPS: Of the list, Fallout was the one I was sure of. Not just because of the game’s mechanics, but because what the setting brings to mind is the post-apocalypse model applied to the fantasy/medieval RPG. That is, a society that is collapsing, and has been for some time – and the player is thrown into it. Is that the impression you were aiming at? Why was this interesting to you?

Vince: Yes, I’m a Fallout fan. *waves at Bethesda* As for the other questions, yes, that is the impression we were aiming at. Why is it interesting to us? It adds another layer to the story and overall atmosphere. It makes a setting more alive as the past in post-apocalyptic games is more than a dry background. It gains shape and become an ever-present ghost of what once was. Besides, when societies collapse, it strips people from artificial restrictions of civilization and reverts them to their natural state, which is always fun to explore.[…]

Vince: I’m a big fan of the “honest and blunt” approach. An internet reader has a right to visit a game site and read “Did Oblivion really suck or what?” or “Molyneux has gotta be on drugs!”, don’t you think? Instead every journalist pretends that Oblivion was a 10/10 brilliant masterpiece, that Molyneux isn’t a lying old kook, and that Dungeon Siege wasn’t a screensaver. Then Chris Taylor says that he’s making Space Siege even simpler and everyone nods in agreement: Right on, man! It’s about time someone makes a game for the amputees. BRA-VO!And no, I don’t really care who’d think what and how my comments would affect sales. I’m making this game on a bold assumption that there are some people out there who are interested in complex games that aren’t made for retards. Btw, did I mention that I was the editor of RPG Codex for 4 years? Perhaps you’ve read my Oblivion review and other critically acclaimed articles/interviews? Now you probably understand where I’m coming from a bit better.

Check the comments at RPS and Kotaku, very interesting reading.

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