Discussion in 'All Things LitRPG' started by Matthew Sylvester, Jul 3, 2017.
I am attempting to ignore this comment and the shiny thing being discussed.
I must say, it has been a bit of a struggle to get this far into this thread but I think the effort has been worth it. The arguments have been well propounded and the rants have been suitably ranty.
I am a great believer in the"get it off your chest" school of psychology and I am mostly glad that you all have done your best in this regard. However, I would point out that LitRPG is a fun thing, the lightest of light, light fiction in the vast realm of fantasy..........not a thing to wax lyrical about, nor to philosophise at depth, nor even to take seriously.
So I would say to you all, relax, have another beer and in the words of the prophet Isaiah "chill the shit out of your life"
So it is, so it is.
I think the best thing about litRPG is the breadth of stories it can be trusted to tell. Not all of them are going to be fun or light. (At least, that's my hope.)
I'm a better ranter than a story writer, and I don't want to be a ranter and I do want to be a writer! So if I ever do the public personality path it will be because I've rededicated myself to personal grooming and want to get some attention... for my writing.
You are a good ranter but tell me, what is wrong with a good story written around a good rant. Most great books let you feel the fire in the author's belly. To my mind you are well on the way.
Keep on keeping on!
"No" is not an option, brother. That's a good statement.
No, you really don't. That was awesome to read
I'll lead the charge
of the Light Brigade
You mean the "Lit" brigade, right?
Another good conversation with some of the same threads as the definition of LitRPG conversation.
Regarding the definition and the lack of consequences:
As a table top gamer and a dabbler in dungeon mastery I prefer this definition:
1) A LitRPG shall, involve a story or character, that exists in a game world or world with obviously stated game mechanics. Ie: damage notifications, status screens, stats, health/mana bars, etc.
2) A LitRPG shall, the character must progress in some obviously stated way. Ie: levels, skills, abilities, notifications, ranks, etc.
I do see on the internet it being defined as as the below.
LitRPG is a subgenre of science fiction and fantasy which describes the hero's adventures within an online computer game. LitRPGbooks merge traditional book-style narration with elements of a gaming experience, describing various quests, achievements and other events typical of a video game.
I like to think of it as the author choosing to set their world either online or in a 'real' world guided by game mechanics.
No real consequences:
What would the consequences be if you arrived in a world evolving game mechanics? You would want your characters to advance in level. If they are able to level faster than the normal peasant, how is that accomplished? What is their motivation to level rather than sit back, craft a little, and open a pub? How have they managed a transition from a world governed by law and civility to a world where in order to earn the best loot they may have to go slay a dragon. Fun stuff. Resurrection may be over-used, but perhaps it helps to first ease that transition?
What if everyone is forced to "sit back, craft a little, and open a pub?" because outside the safety of the city talented players PK everyone? If random encounters (procedurally created events) arise from leaving the town, every single time, could leaving the city as an unskilled person and refusing to intervene on behalf of a NPC destroy your faction with the nations denizens and your starting village? Resulting in the same expulsion? If the player that starts out crafting a little reaches a skill plateau and has to travel to a frontier or to an artisan school to further improve, and the first time they leave the city they encounter the guaranteed lose lose event that requires they sacrifice their characters inventory, their travel progress, and in the process lose some pre-set arbitrary amount of skills as a death penalty (that as a crafter took them time, money, and effort to focus on compared to combat skills leveled through the means that other players derive their enjoyment), are they required than to become a warrior as well or should their be guaranteed ways of securing loyal guards for the journey?
Emergent gameplay as a result of game realities has always occurred, but in a totally open ended world people (once aware of the realities spread by word of mouth) aren't just going to give up. They'll arrange escorts, make allies of a group of adventurers who also became their drinking buddies, and maybe even become willing to engage in that combat side of things they don't enjoy at all because sitting on their wagon caravan is everything they've spent weeks or months earning. It doesn't mean they are going to be bad ass ninja warriors performing splits in their underwear like Jean Claud Van Damme from Time Cop, at least not right out of the gate, but allowing players a taste of everything a game has to offer, even if its only receiving the boons of another group of adventurers "Triumph" that culminates in a Dragon Head being placed in the city square, is probably a more "successful" game design plan than unrelenting misery.
Peasants (NPCs) not doing what players can has always been a trope, the high level NPC sits on his ass and doesn't go out and do what he desperately wishes to do, except usually those guys are standing around at blacksmiths making a living and being a part of their kingdom, or the peasantry required to pay their cruel Nobles by continuing to work their farmland so that their children aren't turned into serfs for life to pay their parents debts. If a player knight or paladin can't intervene in such a miserable world on behalf of the peasant family, taking a child as a squire is an option to save them from just such a fate put into motion by a greedy noble, evolving into a "Revenge" or possible "Rescue" scenario. So the motivations of NPCs are just as likely to run into the same problems that starting players face, "If I don't have the money, balls, or talent, how do I escape this cycle of misery I'm in? Where is my saving Knight or Paladin?"
I think codifying that sort of crap into a story is way over the top, and so I prefer the open ended approach to the arbitrary evolution or "syncing" of a region to the actions of a few. Yes players can raid repeatedly and dominate totally a local dungeon that "refills" with more difficult enemies, that makes sense from a gameplay perspective, but I also think that such a status quo should "devolve" or have a cap that forces players to move on, or provides them with a superior option that doesn't involve upsetting a starting areas game balance. They raid Goblin Fort A, Goblin Fort B and C swarm and attack critical support Outpost Z near Goblin Fort A, creating a retaliatory mission against GF B & C. Allowing the difficulty of GF A (the most natural first stop for a group of adventurers that start in Village A) to have "Decay" take place for the enemies there.
If players eventually establish a kingdom of their own, or take over through force one of the NPC operated fiefdoms (through noble or evil deeds), then the evolution of an area, and the actions of an expedition within their bordres would make the player operated cities, villages, and outposts, all targets of retaliation for besieged monster races. Because they have to earn and then take an alternative player progression path compared to NPC gifted at birth progression, or because NPCs can only rise in power by being attached to players to avoid the same sort of ever increasing "Power" consolidated to new waves of monsters in wiped out dungeons and forts. Power that wouldn't make sense to decay from a lore perspective once an established generation of Kingdom NPCs generated as replacements had become established as part of a fully functioning AI filled world. That wouldn't be evolution, it would be inconsistent, and it wouldn't be open ended because the events caused by players that resulted in the raid that killed the new NPCs weaker predecessors would then again require that they become weaker and not that the conditions of a raid become more difficult to cause.
Its a vicious cycle of a healthy new player gaining game, one that encourages players once able to recreate their characters on a path that is perfectly suited to them. Part of the problem with the VRMMO stories is that it has a self absorbed "protagonist" game world, where game balance overall is ignored in favor of creating epic events for the players taking on the most difficult content. With the results splashing over onto the rest of the game players, but not as part of a huge world altering event that will ultimately improve the options of all players that favors to a massive degree casual players: just an event that is "exciting" or "epic" and "awful" to arbitrarily increase the stakes. It could be all of those things within a certain player kingdom for a group of players, but unless such world wide events caused by game evolution takes into account a companies bottom line, its unrealistic in my opinion.
Death and Resurrection in our current games work because of an Edge of Tommorrow "Era lock" or ground hogs day like quality where people repeat the same quests and perform the same events in exactly the same way. That is very different from an open world where events have conditions, and where past events affect future ones. I had to create a lore system to explain player revival in my world, which I developed to have little in common with modern RPGs. Not on purpose, but just because what others accept as a logical feature of future games, I don't. That said, in worlds with RPG elements, all the same stake increasing short cuts and game features totally work, because why would the most powerful force of Lichs in a gameworld developed from constant conflict with the best guild, stop their rampage after seizing control of the player kingdom that had besieged them?
That's sounds like what I'm doing with killed PC being turned into NPCs in the game UNTIL someone invites them to join a party of PCs again...
Unless the game is based on Silent Hill, which is horror, not sci fi or fan.
Unless the game is based on GTA, which is crime, not sci fi or fan.
Unless the story is based on COD and set in WW2, which is history.
Unless the game is based on any sporting game ever.
Unless the game is based on Tetris.
Unless the game...
I guess they could all be sci fi, because they tend to be set in the future with some kind of immersive gaming tech we don't yet have.
I have to respectfully disagree just because you get a fantasy book that is mostly realistic and takes place in medieval times (rangers apprentice being the best example) its still fantasy it dosent have to fit the exact genre for it to be in that genre.
PS Im assuming your saying unless to the genre part of his quote and not the video game part.