Hi Dark,
Well, interesting enough there was a gaming article I read the other day, written by a sighted gamer, which said just about the same things you have been saying. Like many of us on the list he started out playing classic computer text adventures, gaming consoles, and did some paper and pen roll playing gaming with his friends back in the 1980's and early 1990's. To make a long story short now he is older, has a family of his own, and decided to purchase an XBox 360 for his family. Well, one reason he did so is because of the high ratings on the superior graphics technology of the XBox 360, the great sound effects, and of course there were several games with great reviews in various gaming magazines. In the article he goes on to pick a few titles that were on the 2008 best seller list and two of them were supposed to be really awesome RPG adventures. As you read on you clearly can tell the author of the article is far from impressed by these totally cool games that the gaming mags are raving about. He raises a lot of good points you and i both can agree whole heartedly with. His biggest complaint with both RPG games he reviews in the article is the lack of plot. Neither game had much of a plot, and mostly he was wandering around the game world just killing monsters for experience points and bonus items. Even when there was a plot/story for the adventure he was on all of the quests were quite similar with the same enemies just dressed up different or located in different places. Not at all really creative. Another point he really hammered home was both games allowed you to pick your alignment at the beginning of the game. He thought, as I do, that if you pick a good alignment the games story line and adventures would be different than if you picked an evil alignment. No such luck. He picked an evil alignment and the game played exactly the same as if he was good. Which really means that it didn't matter what alignment you were as the game always turned out the same anyway. To ice the cake, so to speak, when he completed the games he expected some titanic battle between the hero and the boss. Again no dice. If you completed all of the available adventures you were more than a match for the boss. he basically beat the boss in no time, and the game was a huge let down. He basically said the disappointing boss battles alone were a waist of cash for the game let alone everything else that was wrong with the games. The point he wanted to make was simply this. Back in the day when text was the only means for transfering information to a gamer game developers worked hard to come up with a creative story line and a setting to interest the gamer. The more technology has advanced the less interested game companies are in creating good story lines, developing the game's plot, less character development, etc. They all seam focused on getting the best graphics, the best sounds, a lot of internet based pvp play, and to heck with anything else close to an interesting story or characters. It is as though big game corperations are hell bent on pushing the limits of gaming technology while forgetting the most important element of gaming which is the creative writing that holds the game together. Without the creative writing people like you and I become disgusted and board pretty quickly with the lack of creativity in this or that new game. As far as your point about making an original Sci-Fi RPG game I find myself agreeing. It is easier to use an off the shelf sci-fi universe like Star Wars, but then it's story will be largely driven by the books, movies, and radio dramas I have read/heard/seen. It is not at all original, and for long time Star wars fans there isn't anything extremely new there. That is hardly better than writing a copy of Sryth with renamed characters and places. In the end what we really need is something new, something original, something a bit different from the mainstream. I'm not sure exactly what that might bbe at this point, but it is better than sitting around When it comes to science fiction there is a lot of possabilities a game developer such as myself could follow. We have the big SStar Trek thing with a giant galaxy to explore, or something more simple like a time traveling game. I don't know about you, but a game were you can visit the future, passed, present, etc might be an interesting idea. then, of course, there is all of the end of the world type stories. After World War II billions died as the result of a nuclear war. Some humans are mutated, monsters, and a few of the real humans are left fighting for there life. In the Terminator version the Terminators turned to the idea of whiping out there human creators. Some interesting stories right there. We haven't even talked much about the science fiction/horror type stories that could be interesting stories. The World War Z concept of the world getting infected by a biological agent that turns the majority of the human race into zombies. It is both horrifying and a pretty neat sci-fi plot as well. Though, on the other hand how many zombies can you kill before it turns into another one of those slice and dice games? Grin.

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