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Written by Matt "snorkle256" Nolan   
Wednesday, 02 April 2008


Instead of having the group talk for “MMORPGs Dead or Alive” (the moderator was probably caught up with the crazy flight stuff this weekend) we were treated to the originally planned round table "XP vs RP".

Jonathon Stevens was present, and expressed he was happy because he believed it to be an even better discussion.  Craig Huber started us off by introducing the three topics he wanted to cover.  First, we were to discuss the definition of role playing, then move on to implementation, and finally talk about “sell-ability”.  I'm not sure how much of this we actually covered, but it sure turned out to be an interesting discussion.

Everyone in attendance had their own definition of "Role Playing".  The first suggestion was role playing is simply playing out character concepts.  Someone else suggested that it is making people see you as who you are trying to be.  But when somebody described role playing as the transformation of reality into a shared, interactive hallucination, I nodded to myself in agreement.

This is where the group talk went off on a tangent, albeit in a good way.  Eventually, we moved on to the topic of implementation, although everyone kept revisiting the definition of role playing.  Finally, it was agreed that we all know what it is, but that it is difficult to define. 

Some of the suggestions for implementation were insightful.  One participant voiced the opinion that if there were core role players they might induce conducive behavior from other gamers.  He also suggested that social spaces would help encourage gamers to start role playing.  The involvement of a DM could help produce role-playing as well.  It was agreed that nobody could be forced to role-play and that this is where the real challenge lies.  "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."  Sadly, this breaks the illusion for RP players.  With that said I feel that the indie developers should not move towards creating a role playing game for the masses, but one designed to fill a niche.  After all, if you plan on only having role players playing your game, despite the possible alienation of others, you are doomed to fail.  It is possible to create a better system of interaction for those role players.

The discussion nearly went on until the next session was ready to begin and I feel that it could have continued all day.


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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 02 April 2008 )

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