Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Tabletop RPG’s Online (part 2)

However, though Neverwinter Nights was robust and offered many options, it still had it’s limitations because players could only operate in the pre-programmed game environments I’d built beforehand. Improvisation is really at the heart of role-playing games, and a video game is somewhat restricted by the need to pre-build everything. For instance, I had once built a large town with immense detail, and in one particular spot at the port, there was a ship with pirates walking around on deck. If the players talked with them, or even tried to steal something from the crates the pirates were unloading to the dock, the pirates would react. I did not anticipate, though, that the players would try to sneak into the lower decks of the ship, and when they tried, I realized there was nothing I could do—I had not yet built and programmed in a lower deck for the ship. The pirate ship was, after all, just a peripheral thing I’d added in for overall flavor. If this had been a tabletop game, however, I could have improvised and described the lower decks in great detail, drawing out an impromptu deck design on a fold-out battle map with a marker.

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