November 22, 2017
Archives  News  Third Installment Of RPG History Released  


Tuesday, April 17, 2007
 

Click to enlarge
Third Installment Of RPG History Released
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Last week Gamasutra posted the third part of The History Of Computer Role-Playing Games. Titled The Platinum and Modern Ages, this third installment offers an extensive look at the successes and failures in the RPG genre between 1994 and 2004. Games discussed include Baldur's Gate, Diablo, and Neverwinter Nights.

To my mind, the games that really represent the best of the genre appeared during the period I've termed the "Platinum Age," which begins in 1996 with the publication of three very important games, Origin's Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss (1992), Blizzard's Diablo, and Bethesda's Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall (both 1996) .Other high points of the age include Interplay's Fallout (1997), Black Isle’s Planescape: Torment (1999), BioWare's Baldur's Gate (1998) and Baldur's Gate II (2000), Troika's Arcanum (2001) and Sir-Tech's Wizardy 8 (2001). The single-player, standalone CRPG reached its zenith during this period, and I've begun to doubt if Baldur's Gate II will ever be surpassed. Even in many of these games, though, the presence of online, multi-player options signaled the impending doom of the old CRPG we knew and loved. At the end of the platinum age, the Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game, or the MMORPG, dominated the scene, and, at least to this critic, the future of the CRPG is grimmer than anything ever dreamed up by Lord British.

Not all that glitters is platinum, however. It’s during the early 1990s that we really begin to see games marred by sloppy code, particularly on the DOS and Windows platforms. Many otherwise impressive games were doomed at the start by hundreds of game-crashing glitches, which infuriated gamers and united critics against them. The likeliest explanation for the preponderance of bugs during this era is an industry-wide shift in development methods. Instead of just a handful or even a single person in charge of the coding, games were being built by increasingly large teams of specialized programmers, who would work on individual parts and then jam everything together. While this process occasionally went smoothly, more often that not bits of the code were incompatible, and finding bugs in such massive piles of code was like finding the proverbial unassigned pointer in the memory stack. Another key issue was the lack of industry standards among early graphic and sound card manufacturers; developers had to slap together code to support dozens of different standards—or risk alienating hordes of money-waving gamers. While it's now relatively easy to download and install a patch to address such issues, most people weren't online until well after many of these bug-infested games had passed out of circulation.
To read the rest of the history, including the first two installments for those who may have missed them, follow the links listed below.

Gamasutra: RPGs, The Platinum and Modern Ages


Other Mac Games News for Tuesday, April 17, 2007

IMG Reviews Tetris Zone11:20 AM
An Unreal Future For Epic Games6:00 AM
Apple Games Features iPod Sudoku6:00 AM
id Software's Todd Hollenshead Interviewed6:00 AM
Planewalker Games' Jason Compton On The Broken Hourglass6:00 AM
• Third Installment Of RPG History Released6:00 AM
Ćon's Secrets of Prey FAQ Available6:00 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, April 17, 2007 on one page

Mac Games News for Monday, April 16, 2007

Barefeats: 3D Gaming On The 8 Core Mac Pro6:00 AM
Discussing Civilization IV: Beyond The Sword6:00 AM
Runes Of Avalon Released6:00 AM
StarCraft 2 Rumors Resurface6:00 AM
The Broken Hourglass: Level Paths6:00 AM
The Late Call Teaser6:00 AM
The Sims 2: Pets Updated6:00 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Monday, April 16, 2007 on one page


Recent Mac Games News

Friday, April 13, 2007
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Monday, April 9, 2007


Search for other Mac games news stories or browse our Mac Games News Archive.



Archives  News  Third Installment Of RPG History Released