Saturday, May 4, 2013

Essential Ideas for the New Roleplaying Renaissance

Alongside tens of thousands of fellow gamers, I have participated in the recent surge of crowdfunding that, I believe, will lead to a very real gaming renaissance. Two of the most exciting of these games are Obsidian's Project Eternity and InXile Entertainment's Torment: Tides of Numenera.

Both of these titles are being constructed along the lines of the greatest classic cRPGs of the "golden era" of PC gaming. Not only are these games being developed in the same mold as Baldur's Gate and Planescape Torment and Arcanum, they are being developed by the same hugely talented people responsible for those classic games. It's all extremely exciting, and perhaps most exciting of all is the new dialogues opening up between developers and consumers--gamers, that's us!--which involve openly asking for gamers' input in the pre-production stages of game development. InXile's forum for Torment has a very nice set of mechanics in place for contributing game ideas--a mechanic I have made full use of in the past several days. My mind has been devoured with thoughts like: What are the things that annoy the hell out of me in isometric RPGs? What are the things that I always want to see an RPGs but never do?

This train of thought led me to propose several ideas both mechanical and aesthetic. Because both Torment: Tides of Numenera and Project Eternity are very much being developed in the vein of classic, Infinity Engine cRPGs, I feel that these ideas are applicable--and, to a certain degree, vital--to both titles. Or, rather, these are things that belong in every RPG of merit. While some may read these notions of mine and think, "that's obvious," or, "that's too simple of a thing to bother proposing,"--and while I may agree with those sentiments--I still believe that some things simply need to be said. Because of that universality, I am incorporating these ideas into a blog post to provide me (and anyone else who feels like it) with an easy resource to point out and say, "I want that."

I will do my best to fully articulate these ideas as best I can--which means I'll be writing as much as I feel necessary to clearly convey both my ideas in specific, as well as their emotional impetus. If you don't have the time or inclination to properly hear me out, please just avoid this essay entirely. Like I said, this is mainly a compilation of different ideas I have that I want to place in a single place, easy for me to access whenever, wherever, for my own personal use. As I conceive of new ideas--and/or find the time to fully articulate them--I will add them to this posting.