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Re: Global game design (Was: Re: [Adonthell-devel] Battle

From: Ricardo Colon
Subject: Re: Global game design (Was: Re: [Adonthell-devel] Battle
Date: Wed, 30 Jan 2002 15:49:37 -0500 (EST)

On Wed, 30 Jan 2002, Kai Sterker wrote:

> > The best part about Shenmue is that you don't have to necessarily stick to
> > the plot. All of the NPCs work on their own schedule. Some NPCs like to
> > hangout at the park. Others walk around the shopping. Others stay home.
> > It really feels like you're living in a town with normal people that have
> > their own things to do.
> >
> > Your character can also do more than just talking. You can go to the local
> > convenience store and buy some soda,potato chips,fried squid..whatever.
> > You can also call people to see what's up.

> Well, I guess this is quite impressive being great 3D graphics, but it sorta
> reminds me on Ultima 7, which had quite a lot of this done back in 1992 ;).
> In 2D.

I must be the only person on this list whose played any Dreamcast games.

I don't think I explained everything thoroughly. Having day/night cycles,
weather and NPCs with their own lives is a very old idea. But what's
amazing about Shenmue is how it's executed. The environment is set up to
look like an average town in Japan. You really do feel like you're in a

What can't be translated into 2D is Shenmue's environment. Having a 3D
enviroment feels more authentic since it's closer to real life. The weirdest
part is that sometimes real life can also feel like Shenmue. 2D sprite-based
RPGs could never have environment as immersive as Shenmue. The world is
not flat. When you play a 2D sprite-based RPG you have to accept that fact
and be willing to suspend disbelief if you want to immersive yourself in
the environment.

Even people who don't play the game(or even play video games) can immerse
themselves in the story, which I think is a huge achievment. RPGs are
difficult to enjoy unless you're playing.

Well really, it's hard to describe this game without playing it. The fact
the story could happen in real-life and that your environment looks like a
town that you might visit lends adds a certain kind of credibility that
doesn't exist in fantasy RPGs. But that doesn't make fantasy RPGs any
better or worse. Whether or not you want your world to seem believable is
a design choice. But given that Shenmue is the only game of its find, I
was very impressed.

Ok. Talk to you later.

                                                -- R:

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