The temporary name got to be final, and it took me a while to get the hand of WordPress, but here we are.
This place has regular viewers from such different places as Iran, Cuba, the Pakistan/Afghanistan border, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Maryland, a surprising number of readers using Linux and MacOS, industry veterans mixed with young frat boys, old Fallout fans and new RPG aficionados, teenagers from Iceland and grannies from Alasca, silent readers from Ghana and South Africa to roaring Portuguese and Dutch.
Making this endeavor has been fun, although I don’t have the time needed to make it a better experience. For that I apologize, it is a shame that life isn’t just fun and games.
Let me just thank the WordPress.com crew, the community based artists that made my headers (Wooz, Morbus, Defonten, Amasius), the people that kindly gave me articles to publish (Desslock) and those that allowed me to post their written words.
Thanks for those that sent me tips about the blog, news and comments, or just linked to this place.
You can click bellow to read the first blogpost after this place was officially opened.
The well known gaming commentator for PCGamer Desslock once gave this definition of what is a Role-Playing game:
Role-playing games are about role-playing – that’s the genre that was created by D&D and its tabletop peers – it’s about being given the opportunity to freely role-play a personalized character in a world that feels as “real” as possible…[…]
This is indeed a very good definition of… any game where you control a character in a gaming world. A personalized character in a world that feels as “real” a possible is something that can be said of Half-Life or Quake, since you “personalize” your character with new weapons and armor, adapting it to the surrounding environment , in a world where “realism” can be even better achieved since the graphics take a larger importance.
In his way Desslock tries to defend that there is no need for an interaction between the character and the gameworld, on an abstract level that takes into account a progression based more on the character qualities than player skills, and taking into account statistical variables, that bring the factor luck through the rolls (but isn’t luck a very important factor in real life, that CRPGs try to emulate while fantasizing?) , since a mechanical interaction “player makes this character imitates” is enough to play a role.
Leaving the player’s intellect to try to overcome the limitations of the character and to try to take the best most effective path again in the limitations of the PC skills and lucky/unlucky rolls in this sense is substituted by the player trying to overcome the gamingworld obstacles.
This can be good, but in my days we would call it “Adventure games”.
So in this day and age where Action/Adventure games are the mainstream, we can find other features that are taken from adventure games, like mini-games that crush any importance of character skills like speechcraft in Oblivion or become mandatory to give the impression the game is longer, like in Kotor. In the end we have, in the words of someone that has being trying to adapt himself to the new times like Josh Sawyer:
In summary: tabletop RPGs and most of their CRPG kin were born out of mechanics necessitated by the realities of playing a game with dice, paper, and pencils. Everything was either uncontested expression on behalf of the player or a simulated contest governed by probability. Modern PCs and consoles can now, with a fair amount of accuracy, simulate movement, lighting, perception, and virtually any type of physical activity in the world or through mini-games. It leaves “probability simulation” RPGs, or perhaps all RPGs, in an odd place.
An odd place that he finds that can bring some good to the world of gaming, where he predicts:
I think Oblivion’s general balance of character and player skills is probably the way that most CRPG mechanics are going to work in the future.
So the future doesn’t seem to really have a place for stats based, P&P flavored CRPGs like the Fallout series.
And all I said earlier makes even more interesting to cover the production of this game, and the way the contradictions and surprises it carries affect the Fallout fandom and the gaming world in general. So buckle your seat belt and enjoy the ride, I know I will.
Now let’s go on with the show.