Role-playing games are a highly specialized type of game that require much more attention to detail than other less immersive genres. With the computer version of the genre taking off, there were a lot of money-hungry companies that decided to jump into the genre without really trying to understand what the essentials of a role-playing game were. In some cases, these companies have had the audacity to buy smaller companies that actually know the genre and they’ve destroyed a long legacy of great traditional games.
Considering this could impact the future of computer role-playing games, I felt it was important to educate these gaming giants to help them understand the only thing that mattered to them. To sell role-playing games, you need an audience willing to buy your product, and when a company continually puts out quirky shooters under the guise of role-playing games, it will only ruin its reputation and bankrupt them. I know the word bankruptcy is a word recognized by money-hungry companies, so I’ll stress one point. Trying to sell a quirky shooter to RPG fans will break you!
Personally, I’ve been a roleplaying gamer for about 30 years and have only fallen in love with two systems that I can’t possibly name because of the article writing guidelines. All I can say is that very few game production companies have come close to pen-and-paper versions of the best role-playing games on the market, games that people actually enjoy. The computerization of role-playing games meant that you could role-play without having to find people with similar tastes, and while some games have become great role-playing games, sadly few are. Of note, of all the styles of role-playing games that include pen and paper, computer games, and online games, there is only one type that can satisfy a role player’s full immersion needs, and we’ll get to why later.
So what are the elements of a great role-playing game? One piece at Elo boost a time, but the most important piece of advice to keep in mind during this entire discussion is immersion. To be a truly great role-playing game, it needs to hold the player’s attention and not provide a transition that takes the player back to the real world. Players need to be in a fictional world to feel like they’ve experienced a great role-playing game.
One of the most important elements of immersion is the story. A really believable yet engaging storyline. Role players don’t want to load up on the latest game and find it disappointing that the storyline consists of the crude idea of having to kill a lot to get enough experience to kill the obvious villain. Who wants to play a game where bad guys are assigned bad guys for no good reason? Have you ever played a game where you belong to one group of people and are chosen to defeat another group of people, but there is no real evidence to show you why the other group is bad? Worst of these is the latest thug game where one gang wants to take down another and you are the assassin. Who would be really stupid to fall for such a horrific storyline? Definitely not for intelligent role players.
A good story shouldn’t be a vulgar excuse for war, it should be something you want to be a part of. The storyline also needs to be embedded in the gameplay itself and told in a way that doesn’t interfere with the realism of the gameplay. There’s nothing worse than a big cutscene that pops up in the middle of a game and makes you sit still for a minute or two. For role-playing gamers, immersion in a game doesn’t come from watching cutscenes like watching television, it comes from being a character. What’s next…Advertising?
Another part of a great gameplay experience is recognizing that you’ve been a part of the virtual world since birth. This goes along with knowing current events, knowing where things are in the world, and knowing who the current leaders are. This can be done cleverly by providing snippets of information in a natural way while talking to non-player characters. As in the world you are now immersed in, some very important information can turn out to be a pointless joke.