RPGs... removal discussion & log

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Strident
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RPGs... removal discussion & log

#1 Post by Strident » Mon Oct 17, 2022 7:53 pm

A thread, perhaps, to discuss non-adventure games and possible removal/deletion from the database; before doing so and to act as a log of what changes have been made?

This game... "Revenge of Castle Dread"... currently entered in the database in its Spanish form...
http://solutionarchive.com/game/id%2C71 ... 2C+La.html

Was originally an English game, later published, in various languages, in the Tim Hartnell book "Dynamic Games for the ZX Spectrum"...
https://spectrumcomputing.co.uk/entry/2 ... X_Spectrum

From the English listing and description it doesn't really qualify as a classic text adventure, featuring only combat, no puzzles, no inventory system, and only "single word" commands, restricted to movement and fight/flee combat.

One for deletion, maybe? I didn't think it was worth creating new entries for the English and Dutch versions anyway.
Last edited by Strident on Mon Oct 17, 2022 10:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Exemptus
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Re: RPGs... removal discussion & log

#2 Post by Exemptus » Mon Oct 17, 2022 10:18 pm

In my book, a classic text adventure needs to have:

(1) puzzles solvable with minimal influence of chance;
(2) carriable objects; and
(3) a text input interface, with or without proper parsing.

Anything not matching these three items does not qualify. However, I'm not judging whether non-qualifying games should be removed or not from the site, just offering a view on what defines a "classic text adventure". There are many adventure-like games not using a text interface (e.g. Cobra's Arc) that I think should perhaps be kept. But any game mechanic predicated only on random combat feels too far off the genre boundaries.

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Garry
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Re: RPGs... removal discussion & log

#3 Post by Garry » Tue Oct 18, 2022 4:10 pm

Agreed. I don't think RPGs have any place on a site devoted to solutions for classic text adventures. When it's a game of pure chance (you versus a random number generator), you can't write a solution. The best you can do is to come up with some general strategies. There are very few RPGs on CASA and very few of those have solutions. The RPG community has never shown any interest, so why include them? If we do include them, who's going to do all the research and updates for the thousands of RPGs out there?

Alastair
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Re: RPGs... removal discussion & log

#4 Post by Alastair » Tue Oct 18, 2022 10:33 pm

CASA is not a site for all RPGs, but some RPGs may warrant inclusion on this site.

There have been a couple of threads - What games should we include? and MicroMUD for the C64 - where we have wrestled with the question of what criteria games should fulfil for us to accept the game. Needless to say no hard-and-fast rule has arisen from those discussions, aside from what definitely does not qualify [1], but the threads do give some guidance as to the qualities an RPG must have before it can be considered suitable for CASA.


[1] Regarding RPGs. No text parser? Forget it. No, or very simple (the level of complexity is still up for debate), puzzles? Again, forget it.

Denk
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Re: RPGs... removal discussion & log

#5 Post by Denk » Wed Oct 19, 2022 12:57 am

There have been rpg elements in many text adventures since the beginning (The thief in Zork I, Mountains of Ket etc). But I agree that in the general case, CASA is not for rpgs. If the game is a hybrid rpg/text adventure, especially with a parser, I think we should be open to it and trust that the person entering it regards it as an adventure. If it is a new user, you could contact them and tell that they should make sure it is clearly an adventure game. Of course, if the person starts flooding the database with rpgs we should take a deeper look.

I personally enjoyed playing many Eamon games (270+ exists) but I only entered a few(7) which I both found of good quality and clearly adventure games (I did not add my own which started out as an ADRIFT game), though some of them also have lots of randomized combat. Eamon is a parser engine with rpg elements and can be used to make a pure text adventure (no rpg elements such as "The Heart of Gold") and the opposite (pure rpg) but many are a mixture of both types. The most famous Eamon game in IF circles is Leadlight which has lots of puzzles and lots of combat. In my opinion It definitely deserves a spot and a solution though it currently only has a clue sheet - probably because the official game download comes with a walkthrough.

So if it ends up being a question of the complexity of the puzzles in a parser game with many rpg elements, I think we should trust that the person entering the game regard it as an adventure. Perhaps ask them.

Regarding removal of SOME* rpgs and any other genre (Maniac Mansion clones etc?) we could flag games in a visible place for a period (1 year? no hurry) and if no one objects, it could be removed. *: Note that games with the genre "rpg" can easily have lots of puzzles. There just isn't a corresponding "puzzle game" genre. Similarly, many games should probably have added rpg as an extra genre but currently we can't see that they are partly rpgs.

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Alex
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Re: RPGs... removal discussion & log

#6 Post by Alex » Wed Oct 19, 2022 11:51 am

As Alastair mentions we did discuss this several times before. Most things have been said there I think. During the years some games have entered which are not 100% a classic text adventure. Not only games with a lot of rpg elements but also multiple choice games and joystick controlled games (eg Spellbound or Elvira). Personally I’m against removing them all from the database (especially if they have a solution or map on our site).

Garry, concerning your comment “who's going to do all the research and updates for the thousands of RPGs out there?”. As far as I know the site was never meant to be a definite guide to all existing game available. I would like to paraphrase the information on the about page:

What is CASA not?
- An all-encompassing encyclopaedia with every game under the sun.

So there is no problem at all if a few are added to the database and a lot of them are not.

I agree with Denk that a lot of adventures have rpg elements and it is hard to make an exact division. For instance the comment about a classic textadventure needs carryable object, there are a few games in the database that are definitely a classic text adventure but you can't carry objects ("The Yawn" for instance).

I only think we should be careful with adding new games if they don’t have adventure elements.

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Exemptus
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Re: RPGs... removal discussion & log

#7 Post by Exemptus » Wed Oct 19, 2022 2:56 pm

Alex wrote:
Wed Oct 19, 2022 11:51 am
For instance the comment about a classic textadventure needs carryable object, there are a few games in the database that are definitely a classic text adventure but you can't carry objects ("The Yawn" for instance).
"The Yawn" is not what I'd call "classic" myself, but your point is valid anyway. In every taxonomy with more than a few variables there will always be exceptions, eccentricities, and nuances. Classification efforts according to clear-cut criteria are doomed by design. The only pragmatic thing is to do is exercise a bit of care with new additions and restraint with removals. I'd hate to lose any games that have maps or solutions, even if they are of questionable genre.

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Strident
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Re: RPGs... removal discussion & log

#8 Post by Strident » Wed Oct 19, 2022 5:32 pm

Alex wrote:
Wed Oct 19, 2022 11:51 am
I only think we should be careful with adding new games if they don’t have adventure elements.
It's all individual cases. I tend to just log it in the notes if it's obviously an RPG, especially if there are connected submissions such as screenshots or solutions. I do sometimes spend lots of time researching (or even re-researching) a game that turns out to be an RPG... Sometimes having an entry that says "This game is not an adventure" (...even though it might have adventure in the title and be in a book that's meant to contain adventures...) helps reduce the wasted time! :)

In the instance of this particular game, additional entries would really need to be created to log the original English version of the RPG and other language ports. That doesn't seem worthwhile for something that is obviously an RPG, not an adventure. In this case I would personally suggest deleting the Spanish entry too.

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Alex
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Re: RPGs... removal discussion & log

#9 Post by Alex » Wed Oct 19, 2022 9:21 pm

Exemptus wrote:
Wed Oct 19, 2022 2:56 pm
In every taxonomy with more than a few variables there will always be exceptions, eccentricities, and nuances. Classification efforts according to clear-cut criteria are doomed by design. The only pragmatic thing is to do is exercise a bit of care with new additions and restraint with removals. I'd hate to lose any games that have maps or solutions, even if they are of questionable genre.
Yes, I agree
Strident wrote:
Wed Oct 19, 2022 5:32 pm
I tend to just log it in the notes if it's obviously an RPG
That and giving it the genre rpg is a good solution I think.
Strident wrote:
Wed Oct 19, 2022 5:32 pm
In the instance of this particular game, additional entries would really need to be created to log the original English version of the RPG and other language ports. That doesn't seem worthwhile for something that is obviously an RPG, not an adventure. In this case I would personally suggest deleting the Spanish entry too.
You say "would really need to be created" . I totally apreciate all the effort you make to update information in the database and all the time you put in it, but noone is obliging you to search information about a game you don't like or one you think should not be in the database. Its all volontary what we are doing. You can just skip entries and spent your time on the games which do have more your interest. We are doing it together so it is no problem at all if you leave some games to others.

Alastair
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Re: RPGs... removal discussion & log

#10 Post by Alastair » Wed Oct 19, 2022 10:37 pm

Returning to the original game under consideration.
Strident wrote:
Mon Oct 17, 2022 7:53 pm
From the English listing and description it doesn't really qualify as a classic text adventure, featuring only combat, no puzzles, no inventory system, and only "single word" commands, restricted to movement and fight/flee combat.
Since it seems to have no classic text adventure like attributes there is no reason to retain an entry for it here. I say delete it.

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Alex
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Re: RPGs... removal discussion & log

#11 Post by Alex » Thu Oct 20, 2022 7:22 pm

I've downloaded the book and read the listing. Sure it is more like an rpg, but it does have some objects from the chests you can find. There are a lot more games like this in the database (I've played several of them). It looks to me like a very crappy basic text adventure with a lot of rpg elements. I don't know why remove this particular game from the database when it contains so many others alike.

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Strident
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Re: RPGs... removal discussion & log

#12 Post by Strident » Thu Oct 20, 2022 8:01 pm

They're not objects, really. You don't carry them. They're just "chance" encounters that produce a positive or negative effect on your stats.

I'm never in a rush to delete anything. And I'm not really bothered about deleting this Spanish entry. I'm just logging the reasons why I don't think it's worth adding corresponding entries for the other language versions. So that I don't accidentally end up researching the game a second (or third!) time. As I sometimes do. :)

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Alex
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Re: RPGs... removal discussion & log

#13 Post by Alex » Sat Oct 22, 2022 8:37 pm

Strident wrote:
Thu Oct 20, 2022 8:01 pm
They're not objects, really. You don't carry them. They're just "chance" encounters that produce a positive or negative effect on your stats.
You are right, you don't carry the objects. You use them automaticallly the moment you encounter them. But that is not uncommon to other similar games. To be honest this one seems to be quite a horrible game to play with all the random actions :lol: .
Strident wrote:
Thu Oct 20, 2022 8:01 pm
I'm never in a rush to delete anything. And I'm not really bothered about deleting this Spanish entry. I'm just logging the reasons why I don't think it's worth adding corresponding entries for the other language versions. So that I don't accidentally end up researching the game a second (or third!) time. As I sometimes do. :)
Understood. As I mentioned before I do very much appreciate all the work you are doing. :thumb:

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