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  1. Hello! I've read recent Jeff's interview ( http://venturebeat.com/2015/02/17/the-original-indie-dev-how-one-man-made-22-games-in-22-years-mostly-from-his-basement/ ) and I do have suggestions for the next game title. I think Jeff overestimates the gradual combat power growing in RPG. I think that there is very much joy in other critical aspects of true RPG. For now, the gradual power growing of a character (what if a next fight won't be tough?) takes too much attention, a genious game can fail that aspect and do not worry about it. I want to point out the next games: Fallout 2 (made in 1998), Vampire: the Masquerade Bloodlines, Space Rangers and tbs game Dominions 4. Fallout 2 is the best RPG ever made. The character is free to go anywhere (in Jeff's games on higher difficulties it is actually not quite so, I personally sometimes do look where is the area which is not too hard for my current combat skill). The world in Fallout 2 is well interconnected both in quests (yes, you may well fail one quest by killing some character through the course of another, it affects the balance in power growing but it fails to affect the quality of the game) and in lore (for example, first you can help some gang in buisness on getting and protecting some chemicals, and closer to the end (if you do still remember that episode) you understand that this chemicals were supposed to use in genocide against most of mankind, those gangs including). In the Fallout 2 you can make do what you want on your responsibility (including attacking any characters you can see, if you'll make the game impossible for finishing initial goals it's your problem). So, the mechanics of the game in Fallout 2 generally allows gamers to make things which were not predicted by it' creators or somewhat unbalanced. For example, with high pickpocketing your can arm dynamite and put it in the inventory of some guy, and he would take great damage without armor protection. It is not some individually specialized action, it's possibility defined by engine: armed dynamite does explodes, items can be placed with pickpocketing. The other example: at first playing, I wanted to free Vic from Merzger immidiately, to go in future cities with hin now and not later after I'll get more powerfull. I didn't have enough money to buy him; I do not remember clearly but perhaps my girl protagonist could made some sevice for Metzger but I didn't want her to do that; I also didn't want to join Metzgers slavering band to accumulate more money and I was not strong enough to do what I want with force. I've found another way: I used drugs on Metzger and his people (drugs increased combat abilities right after their usage but decreased signifficantly them later, and some time after the abilities were restoring to normal but character become addicted), waited for some time when they would be weaken by drugs, and then killed them. VtM is a linear RPG, with great world and storytelling, which failed to achieve combat difficulties at late game, still having a great fan community. The worls is in well-known setting made by White Wolf company. According to that setting, different vampire clans and individuals oppose each other in some sort of political-guerilla struggle. The plot of VtM is the next. The camarilla prince (powerfull "official" vampire) moves in Los-Angeles. Even more powerfull, but "unofficial" and working as an individual vampire Jack create a plot which would mostly ineventably (just ineventably in the game) lead to death of the prince. Our protagonist becomes a laborer of the prince from the start and mostly work for that prince on his orders, helping him to achive his ineventable death orchestrated by Jack. So, generally we are a fighting supernumerary which "do what he shpold to do". The game is quite good, of course the next great step would be if the develpoers one day would manage to make a a game where persons like Jack or prince our protagonist, so that player would be able actually plot and\or avoid plots against him. What, as I think, can be taken from Fallout 2 and VtM (it is possible to find out other thing, so as the games are an art)? 1) VtM has an execellent XP system, which does not rewards for killing, it rewards for completing the tasks (but I would remove rewarding for finding cunning ways for completing the tasks or subtasks). Often you are not obliged to kill, you can sneak, steal, bluff, bribe - if you achieve a task witg 0 or 1 corpse your XP is the same as if you killed 100 subjects completting the quest. 2) Money. I don't say that money systen is extra good at that games, perhaps there are games where it is better, But now in Jeff's games, as I see, there are no money at all, money is just another XP type. I think that 90% and more players do spent 99% money on skills in Jeff's games. Potions are stockpiling by themselfs if you choose where you should go now rightly, and spending a signifficant some of money on a sword which would increase the effectivness of one of four characters on 3% for 3%-10% of game duration (before you'll find equal or better sword) is just silly. In should be more valid options for spending money on equipment, perhaps on buying temporery mercenaries, in quests and so on. 3) Choices. I like the choices in Fallout 2 (in VtM the situatin is somewhat not so good) because you can make them according to your own life experience and understanding. For example, if in New Reno you do decide to refuse to become a member of Salvatore gang (if and when you achieved the offer), the result would be in the Salvatore's order to kill you immidiately. This can be predicted if we understand the motives of mafia in reality. That's better then the situation even in Fallout: New Vegas where we can refuse to Caesar, and he just threatens in response, and better then in Witcher where there are consequences on different choices but they, as well as their usefullness, is unpredictable. 4) Engine and freedom, like in Fallout 2. The player can do what he wants and can be whom he want to be, he even just kill anyone he sees throw the game as long as he have enough strength. Space Rangers. The game is somewhat of another type. It can be played at different settings, it is somewhat unbalanced in possibilities of power growing. I've seen a guide, where there were a suggestion (for a free owner of spasecraft) to get at a jail as soon as possible (by smuggling) and get initial capital in a jail as a crime authority. The concept of the game is intresting because it is possible to loose if the global situation becomes harder with time (if enemies are slowly advancing) and you do develop not fast enough to stop it. So, it is possible to implement such methods where player should calculate his resources to get tasks to be made in a reasonable time (what is better - spent more scrolls and potions in this dungeon or go to another not so dangerous or with more proper benefits for now?). Dominions 4 is a strategy game, so only general concepts can be looked there. Dominions 4 is totally unbalanced (for example, quite few nations can fight against middle-age Ermor on their own). It doesn't have some defined scenarious. Thing is, events in dominions 4 do have a very detailed enviroment. For example, there is (not an epic) fight of an army of 500 soldiers and monsters against an army of 543 creatures and monsters. Looking at some time at one soldier, we can tell, for example, that he has 7 hit points out of 10, he is fatiqued at 52% (due to different reasons like actually fighting in heave armor, spells, fatiquing damage). He has crippled arm and so he fights with a sword without a shield he initially had. His armor could be broken, his morale can be altered. He has an age of, for example, 30, and if he is unlucky he could be affected by a spell which makes him 5 years older per combat turn (also there are nations and monsters with a long lifespan). So, general concept of dominions 4 is like that I've heard about Dwarf fortress. The fun game can be made with sheer complexity, where creators are clearly beyond to balance game because there are too many possibilities which can vary very unpredictably from game to game.
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