Grid vs free movement

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Grid vs free movement

Post by Gizmo » May 7th, 2015, 8:04 pm

IHaveHugeNick wrote:
Crosmando wrote: cRPG is building a party, killing monsters and looting them, and leveling up.
Yeah no. Definitions change as the genres continue to expand and evolve. By the 80s definition, nearly everything that comes out nowadays would be an RPG, because nearly everything has companions, character progression, loot and so on. GTA would be an RPG, for instance.

Using examples from the 80s to define RPGs in 2015 is pure and utter nonsense. People used to define length with the size of their feet, but we have metric system now that explains things much more precisely. Imagine that.
Unfortunately it's still a little bit that way even now.

These days I think that even N.O.L.F. 2 would qualify to most as an RPG in this age of franken-shooters. :(

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Re: Grid vs free movement

Post by IHaveHugeNick » May 8th, 2015, 7:45 am

Yup. Mainstream games in recent years have expanded their toolset greatly. This is particularity the case with all the open-world AAA blockbusters, which probably needed to add more things for a player to do. And so they've borrowed heavily from classic RPGs.

The core features from the 80s aren't distinctive enough anymore to determine what is and what isn't a proper cRPG.
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Re: Grid vs free movement

Post by Crosmando » May 8th, 2015, 9:51 am

Modern trends don't change anything, what is a cRPG has been defined since ages now - a computerization of a pen & paper RPG. And seeing as we're dealing with the SEQUEL to a 80's dungeon crawler series, all that matters is the original games. It isn't the time or the place for "innovation" or change, it's about making a loyal sequel to the classics. The 80's dungeon crawler is itself it's own genre with it's own rules. The problem is that you don't seem to have any respect for the original BT series as games in their own right. What AAA blockbusters are doing nowadays? Who cares, I haven't played one of those in years and I don't intend to do so now.
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Re: Grid vs free movement

Post by Gizmo » May 8th, 2015, 10:04 am

Crosmando wrote:...And seeing as we're dealing with the SEQUEL to a 80's dungeon crawler series, all that matters is the original games. It isn't the time or the place for "innovation" or change, it's about making a loyal sequel to the classics. The 80's dungeon crawler is itself it's own genre with it's own rules.
I'd like to think so (and do, to a great extent), but any sequel is the time and place for innovation... just... that it's not the place for radical mutation. A sequel should retain the core elements and build upon them; it should not be an effectively unrelated title that uses the name & assets like a fake ID to get access to the established audience. (This is what FO3 did.)

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Re: Grid vs free movement

Post by IHaveHugeNick » May 8th, 2015, 3:11 pm

Crosmando wrote:Modern trends don't change anything, what is a cRPG has been defined since ages now
Modern trends don't change anything, Earth has been defined as flat since ages ago. <==== this is literally the level of nonsense in your reasoning.

Gaming has changed, your definition isn't accurate anymore, therefore its useless and we need a new one.
Crosmando wrote: And seeing as we're dealing with the SEQUEL to a 80's dungeon crawler series, all that matters is the original games.
And seeing as we're dealing with a sequel to Fellowship Of The Ring, all that matters is original book, and author should under no circumstanses attempt to improve his writing.
Crosmando wrote: It isn't the time or the place for "innovation" or change, it's about making a loyal sequel to the classics.
Innovation and loyality to the classics aren't mutually exclusive.
Crosmando wrote: The 80's dungeon crawler is itself it's own genre with it's own rules.
They're not making 80s dungeon crawler. They're making 2015 dungeon crawler.
Crosmando wrote: The problem is that you don't seem to have any respect for the original BT series as games in their own right.
Right, I have no respect to original series, that's why I'm considering giving my money to production of the sequel to the originals series.

Master of logic, you are not.
Crosmando wrote: What AAA blockbusters are doing nowadays? Who cares, I haven't played one of those in years and I don't intend to do so now.
What AAA blockbusters are doing is being a part of gaming medium. You can't define subgernes in gaming, while ignoring the larger context of distinctive features of other games. That'd be like defining trash metal without knowing what makes it different from speed-metal, black metal, folk metal and power-metal , or defining impressionist painting without knowing what makes it different from baroque painting.

Without knowing what sets these things appart you'd end up with "its a bunch of guys playing guitar". Which is a useless definition, and so is yours.
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Re: Grid vs free movement

Post by Priest4hire » May 9th, 2015, 12:27 am

Damn, stay away too long and the thread explodes. That "80's" definition of a CRPG isn't. Not all 80's CRPGs were party based, or focused on killing monsters. Some very important CRPGs of the era don't fall into that category and thus the definition fails. So right off the bat, we have some bad history. Oh, and for this post I will try and strictly use CRPG for computer and console games and RPG to refer to paper & pencil RPGs.

CRPGs and RPGs are not the same genre. They are intimately related, yes, but not the same. This is important because the core of CRPGs as a genre is that they attempt to imitate RPGs. That's why they are called role playing games. Not because role playing is involved, but because that's the genre they're trying to be like. In the early days, it was all about imitating RPGs which lead to some interestingly unconventional solutions. But over time, CRPGs developed their own gameplay structures and later CRPGs are so because they exist within a continuum of CRPGs. For example, Diablo is a CRPG because Rogue is a CRPG and you can draw a line from one to the other.

Keep in mind that role playing isn't the only feature of RPGs. It certainly isn't the only feature of D&D. Dungeon crawling has always been an RPG staple, and it's the easiest to replicate in CRPGs. So no surprise that the first CRPGs, released less than a year after D&D hit, were dungeon crawlers. Mechanics are another element of RPGs that translate more easily to CRPGs. As is hack & slash. The first CRPG I know of to implement the choose your own adventure style choices was Forest of Doom from 1984. It was an adaptation of the Fighting Fantasy book of the same name, itself an attempt to emulate RPGs. It's a good approach, but it's not role playing.

The base minimum requirement for role playing is that you can create the expression of your character. In a context of a game, you need to be able to create that expression, and the game needs to be able to react to it (and vice versa). This has been true since before RPGs existed, let alone CRPGs. What this means is that not even Planescape: Torment can be called an CRPG on the basis of having role playing. Now sure, you can argue that P:T does a better job of imitation RPGs than some dungeon crawler from the 80's. I certainly think it does. But that doesn't make said 80's CRPG any less of an attempt to emulate RPGs, and thus no less of a CRPG.

And for the record, creating a CRPG only version of role playing and then attempting to use it to redefine the genre is historical revisionism. To then go on and claim the very games that created the CRPG genre aren't real CRPGs because they don't fit in that new definition is the height of arrogance. A good definition needs to encompass all the games, especially the ones forming the very foundation and creation of the genre. It also needs to avoid ad hoc additions.

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Re: Grid vs free movement

Post by thebruce » May 11th, 2015, 7:39 am

IHaveHugeNick wrote:
Crosmando wrote: And seeing as we're dealing with the SEQUEL to a 80's dungeon crawler series, all that matters is the original games.
And seeing as we're dealing with a sequel to Fellowship Of The Ring, all that matters is original book, and author should under no circumstanses attempt to improve his writing.
False dichotomy.
Fellowship of the Ring was book 1 of a trilogy, already written (and also might I add surrounded by many other written narratives in the greater mythology). The movie was an adaption of the book. That has nothing to do with creating an original 4th sequel to a classic trilogy of games.
IHaveHugeNick wrote:
Crosmando wrote:It isn't the time or the place for "innovation" or change, it's about making a loyal sequel to the classics.
Innovation and loyality to the classics aren't mutually exclusive.
Of course they aren't. But is inXile out to innovate? Or are they out to create a faithful sequel to the classics? That is a valid question. The problem is, what defines "faithful"? That's what this thread is discussing; or trying to. At least one aspect of that question.
IHaveHugeNick wrote:
Crosmando wrote:The 80's dungeon crawler is itself it's own genre with it's own rules.
They're not making 80s dungeon crawler. They're making 2015 dungeon crawler.
They're making a sequel to a classic trilogy of games. That's as much as we know, with perhaps a couple of hints as to what they might be thinking. We have no details and we do not know what their end-result goal truly is.
IHaveHugeNick wrote:
Crosmando wrote:The problem is that you don't seem to have any respect for the original BT series as games in their own right.
Right, I have no respect to original series, that's why I'm considering giving my money to production of the sequel to the originals series.
And that's why attempting to discuss the value of nostalgia and desired 'faithful' aspects of the classics to implement in a game that's a followup to an original series that we absolutely love is probably not the best place for you to be a productive contributor.
Might I suggest creating a thread that aims to discuss what you (and the rest of the community) would love to see in the 4th installment, without specifically focusing on nostalgic elements from the classics. A thread where those who wish to have a "2015 dungeon crawler" can present ideas and suggestions towards innovating and creating a brand new game, which would to a much greater degree be its own style of game, even with connections to the original trilogy to whatever degree.
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Re: Grid vs free movement

Post by paultakeda » May 11th, 2015, 12:02 pm

thebruce wrote: False dichotomy.
Fellowship of the Ring was book 1 of a trilogy, already written (and also might I add surrounded by many other written narratives in the greater mythology). The movie was an adaption of the book. That has nothing to do with creating an original 4th sequel to a classic trilogy of games.
Actually, it was just one story, The Lord of the Rings, which was split into six books. The publisher broke the story up into three publications, each consisting of two of the books. FOTR has Book I and II (older books have actual titles for these; I think it was The Ring Sets Out and The Ring Goes South), TT is Book III and IV, and ROTK is Book V and VI. I have an old set, maybe I'll see what the book titles were later.

Regardless, as you note LOTR is a terrible comparison to the Bard's Tale sequels, particularly since LOTR was initially written as one massive book and only broken up by the publisher.

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Re: Grid vs free movement

Post by thebruce » May 11th, 2015, 12:26 pm

paultakeda wrote:
thebruce wrote: False dichotomy.
Fellowship of the Ring was book 1 of a trilogy, already written (and also might I add surrounded by many other written narratives in the greater mythology). The movie was an adaption of the book. That has nothing to do with creating an original 4th sequel to a classic trilogy of games.
Actually, it was just one story, The Lord of the Rings, which was split into six books. The publisher broke the story up into three publications, each consisting of two of the books. FOTR has Book I and II (older books have actual titles for these; I think it was The Ring Sets Out and The Ring Goes South), TT is Book III and IV, and ROTK is Book V and VI. I have an old set, maybe I'll see what the book titles were later.
Well, if you're going to be that specific, then yes. :P
"Fellowship of the Ring", however (in response to the analogy), was just one published book of three even if it was composed of two parts of the whole story. The analogy would have been completely different had he named "The First Journey" or "The Ring Sets Out" (original book 1 title), or "The Journey of the Nine Companions" or "The Ring Goes South" (original book 2 title).
:lol:
But anyway.......
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Re: Grid vs free movement

Post by Gizmo » May 11th, 2015, 1:07 pm

paultakeda wrote:Actually, it was just one story, The Lord of the Rings, which was split into six books. The publisher broke the story up into three publications, each consisting of two of the books. FOTR has Book I and II (older books have actual titles for these; I think it was The Ring Sets Out and The Ring Goes South), TT is Book III and IV, and ROTK is Book V and VI. I have an old set, maybe I'll see what the book titles were later.
Had to cancel my [almost identical] post mid-typed once I saw yours. :D

Funny thing about LOTR... It exists in summary on the last page of the Silmarillion. :geek:
(I have two of those in Hardback.)

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Re: Grid vs free movement

Post by paultakeda » May 11th, 2015, 1:19 pm

Yes, anyway, we're definitely getting away from the question at hand: grid versus free movement. So let's recap:

Bard's Tale had cardinal, grid based map movement in real-time. You could walk in cardinal directions but if you stayed put on one square time still ticked and random encounters still hit. Visually this was represented by a first-person POV where each move to an adjacent square (or turning 90 degrees to face a different cardinal direction) is a sudden switch in view.

Combat-wise, Bard's Tale had turn-based, serially-phased actions with 1D movement represented only in text, where distance between groups limited melee and range attacks accordingly (for the player party half were in the melee/front line and the other half behind them where only ranged abilities were allowed, and should a front line part member fall another party member automatically move up to the front line). During combat, the front line antagonist group out of a possible four groups is represented by a portrait. The portrait represents nothing else in combat except to identify the melee-capable antagonist group.

The modern trend that Bard's Tale IV will no doubt include is visualized combat. Moving through the map on a cardinal grid can certainly remain a valid way to navigate the map with the simple change of making it smooth rather than sudden movement. That's it. There are many modern CRPGs that use this perspective and were one to want to keep Bard's Tale traditional you could certainly make a valid argument for having first-person POV navigation.

The problem starts when you consider combat. There is no way Bard's Tale IV will have 1D combat with a picture of the front line enemy. It will most likely be visually represented. My problem is how do you visually represented 99 barbarians, 99 barbarians, 99 barbarians and 1 evil sorcerer? And with movement now on a 2D map, be it grid, hex or free?

And if you have such a map for combat, why don't you integrate the world map? This is what Wasteland 2 did for COPS and combat and you could argue the overworld/travel map is the same, only simplified into a single icon for the party but still freely moving across a 2D map.

You do that and you lose the first person POV navigation and the 1D combat movement. And to me, that's okay... as long as you can do combat with 396 or so enemies.

The other way to go is to make it all first person POV, but this makes combat a 1D affair again: whatever is in front of you. Even worse, in first person POV how can you see the enemy groups behind the front line? How do you target them? This makes combat very similar to the classic Bard's Tale, which could be found to be too restrictive/old-fashioned. Moreover, we know Fargo wants combat to be turn-based, simultaneously-phased. I don't see first person POV making this work unless it stays text, and I don't see text as viable in a modern gaming world that expects visualized combat. Of course, it could be totally free and active by making the first person POV combat some sort of weird FPS... but yeah, that's not gonna happen.

So we're back to it being a 2D representation, be it grid or free, only I don't know how you can represent 404 combatants all attacking each other at once unless the 2D representation is abstracted into stacked tiles or what-have-you. Whatever the case, I see no difference between grid versus free movement having any real significance; it's all the stuff I just barfed out above that has me interested.

TLDR; Grid versus free is irrelevant to me. I want to know 1) will navigation and combat have the same integrated perspective like Wasteland 2, where the only difference was the hex overlay for combat movement and 2) If it was first-person POV, how would you accomplish turn-based, simultaneously-phased combat with melee and ranged groups? If it was 2D, how would you accomplish having so many enemies on the combat map all acting at once?

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Re: Grid vs free movement

Post by Gizmo » May 11th, 2015, 1:38 pm

paultakeda wrote: Bard's Tale had cardinal, grid based map movement in real-time. You could walk in cardinal directions but if you stayed put on one square time still ticked and random encounters still hit. Visually this was represented by a first-person POV where each move to an adjacent square (or turning 90 degrees to face a different cardinal direction) is a sudden switch in view.
This is also very well represented in Grimrock.
Combat-wise, Bard's Tale had turn-based, serially-phased actions ...

The modern trend that Bard's Tale IV will no doubt include is visualized combat.
This was reasonably done with FPP in Thunderscape; complete with [StoneKeep Style] animated party weapon and spell attacks.

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Re: Grid vs free movement

Post by paultakeda » May 11th, 2015, 1:45 pm

Gizmo wrote:
paultakeda wrote: Bard's Tale had cardinal, grid based map movement in real-time. You could walk in cardinal directions but if you stayed put on one square time still ticked and random encounters still hit. Visually this was represented by a first-person POV where each move to an adjacent square (or turning 90 degrees to face a different cardinal direction) is a sudden switch in view.
This is also very well represented in Grimrock.
Yep. There's nothing wrong with this camera and yep, it's classic BT to boot.
Gizmo wrote:
Combat-wise, Bard's Tale had turn-based, serially-phased actions ...

The modern trend that Bard's Tale IV will no doubt include is visualized combat.
This was reasonably done with FPP in Thunderscape; complete with [StoneKeep Style] animated party weapon and spell attacks.
Now how do you do 396 combatants? :D

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Re: Grid vs free movement

Post by Drool » May 11th, 2015, 2:20 pm

paultakeda wrote:Bard's Tale had cardinal, grid based map movement in real-time. You could walk in cardinal directions but if you stayed put on one square time still ticked and random encounters still hit.
Perhaps in 1. By BT3, time would pass, but no encounters would happen until you moved.
During combat, the front line antagonist group out of a possible four groups is represented by a portrait. The portrait represents nothing else in combat except to identify the melee-capable antagonist group.
Again, by BT3, you could have more than four groups, and melee was determined solely by the range they appeared at (10' was melee, anything else was ranged.
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Re: Grid vs free movement

Post by Gizmo » May 11th, 2015, 3:15 pm

In BT2, you could get random encounters for loitering.

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Re: Grid vs free movement

Post by ZiN » May 11th, 2015, 3:29 pm

paultakeda wrote:The problem starts when you consider combat. There is no way Bard's Tale IV will have 1D combat with a picture of the front line enemy. It will most likely be visually represented. My problem is how do you visually represented 99 barbarians, 99 barbarians, 99 barbarians and 1 evil sorcerer? And with movement now on a 2D map, be it grid, hex or free?
Wizardry 7
Image

or

Fate Gates of Dawn
Image

These were fine, although still nowhere near BT's amount of opponents. Another question would be, how would they handle spinners, secret teleports and things like that with a non-grid map?
Also running through levels with ultra-speed (10 steps per second or more) was pretty fun, so i think in this case being conservative would be the best choice. Maybe add a nice motion blur effect if you move with such speed.

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Re: Grid vs free movement

Post by Lord_Darkmoon » May 13th, 2015, 10:57 am

A good example for how well a grid-based movement can work is Legend of Grimrock and Might & Magic X.
A good example for how bad free movement can be is Might & Magic IX.
I think it is somewhat awkward if you can move around like in a shooter or a first-person RPG but you do not see the party members walking besides you. I think with a grid-based system this is not as apparent.

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Re: Grid vs free movement

Post by Gizmo » May 13th, 2015, 12:52 pm

Lord_Darkmoon wrote: I think it is somewhat awkward if you can move around like in a shooter or a first-person RPG but you do not see the party members walking besides you. I think with a grid-based system this is not as apparent.
Agreed.

Stonekeep actually had a mirror in the UI, that allowed the player to see the party.

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Re: Grid vs free movement

Post by Zombra » May 18th, 2015, 11:42 am

I've been gone, so I missed the last 3-4 pages of the thread, but I wanted to share this pertinent quote from today's RPS interview:
Brian Fargo wrote:You’ll be wandering around in this first person mode, and you can either be snapped to a grid, moving ten feet at a time, or click off the grid and wander around more freely. We really get the best of both worlds there.
Image

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Re: Grid vs free movement

Post by paultakeda » May 18th, 2015, 1:57 pm

Zombra wrote:I've been gone, so I missed the last 3-4 pages of the thread, but I wanted to share this pertinent quote from today's RPS interview:
Brian Fargo wrote:You’ll be wandering around in this first person mode, and you can either be snapped to a grid, moving ten feet at a time, or click off the grid and wander around more freely. We really get the best of both worlds there.
So for movement it's settled: you get both. Yay, cake for everyone.

But for combat there's this tidbit:
Brian Fargo wrote:When combat starts, the camera will then pull back and your group will be represented on screen or with portraits…
So moving in the world will be the same as Bard's Tale, only it won't be a 1/4 of your screen in the upper left but rather the entire space. Combat appears to remain an unknown: "represented on screen or with portraits" can suggest a lot of ways to visualize combat.

I just want 396 combatants or an approximation of that scale. :P

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