Saturday, February 15, 2020

Tenth Anniversary!

Today, the Ides of February, is the 10th anniversary of the CRPG Addict.

I have no long screed for you today. The value that I get from this project, my gratitude toward my readers and commenters, my hopes for the future, have mostly been encapsulated already in my recent 10th-anniversary entries:
             
             
I had originally planned to do a lot more of these, but most of my ideas required going through my blog from the beginning. I thought I was going to have time for that during the winter, but it turned out not to be the case. I might still get to a few more.

Today, I'd like to simply announce three things:

1. If you haven't already noticed, we have a new banner! Sebastian from Switzerland, who previously made my GIMLET logo, put this together. (That's part of my map of Fate: Gates of Dawn in the background.) I just love the shield.

2. I just posted a couple of helpful new pages. Both were created by longtime commenter Abacos, and the first organizes many of the games I've played into their series, both in a macro sense (e.g., "Forgotten Realms") and a micro sense (e.g., "Infinity Engine"). Yes, he has places for those yet-to-come, too.

The second page is a long-awaited index of special topics entries over the years. Both are accessible from the right-hand navigation bar on desktop and from the top navigation menu on mobile.

3. Finally: You're going to be seeing a fairly significant change on "The CRPG Addict": a relaxing of my rules to allow me, slowly and cautiously, to move forward without necessarily finishing every game from the previous year.

I know this move will not be popular with everyone, but I feel it is necessary. After more than two years of work, I still have 23 games remaining in 1992. There are 80 for 1993. I've managed to cover 350 games in 10 years; that many again will barely get us through 1997. I want to play Baldur's Gate and Morrowind again before I die, not to mention some classics that I've never played, like the first two Fallout games, Planescape: Torment, and Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates.

However, I'm going to put some strict rules on the endeavor, one of which is that at least one-third of the games that make up my "upcoming" list will be the earliest games that I have not yet played. I will thus still keep sweeping up the past, still finishing years, still designating "games of the year," and so on.

Beyond that, I don't really want to explain my rules just yet. I floated some ideas with my Patreon subscribers and received some great comments. I'm going to experiment with a few methods of selecting games from my long list. However, there is one rule that is very important for me, to ensure that my blog still remains chronologically relevant: I can play no game before its antecedents. I mean this in several ways:
            
  • Direct antecedents: Icewind Dale must come before Icewind Dale II.
  • Spiritual antecedents: Dark Souls must come before Lords of the Fallen because the latter is clearly designed to evoke the former.
  • Technical antecedents: Neverwinter Nights must come before Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic because they both use the Aurora Engine.
  • Cultural antecedents: Abandoned Places: A Time for Heroes, the first Hungarian RPG, should come before any other RPGs from Hungary.
  • Source antecedents: Even though they're not part of the same specific series, Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny must come before The Dark Eye: Drakensang because they're both based on The Dark Eye tabletop setting.
  • Major thematic antecedents: The first game to do something significant should be played before other games that include the same element. For instance, Ultima Underworld should be played before any other dungeon crawler with continuous movement.
  • Personnel antecedents: As the first BioWare game, Baldur's Gate should come before any others from that developer.
           
You can see how this rule ensures that I won't be jumping to Mass Effect 3 any time in the near future. Indeed, the "central tendency" of my blog will likely remain in the early 1990s for quite some time. Trust me for now, watch what happens over the next year, and we'll do an evaluation on my next anniversary. In the meantime, help me by telling me if I've missed any clear antecedents. Thematic and technical ones are particularly difficult to look up. If you see a game on my "upcoming" list that shouldn't be there, let me know and I'll replace it with its antecedent, if I agree.

Thanks as always for your readership and participation. I have no intention of quitting or slowing down, and I look forward to the next 10 years!

176 comments:

  1. First, congrats on the 10 years!

    Second, that series page is extremely awesome!

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    1. Abacos did a good job. I debated rearranging it by series title, but you can always CTRL-F.

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    2. Köszönöm, Laszlo. Thank you. It is the first time that my addiction to lists is defined "extremely awesome".

      I am against alphabetical order since the invention of CTRL+F, and I look for more creative sorting orders. The series are sorted by length, then chronological by starting year, then chronological by last game.

      I admit that some "lineages" in the series index can be debated. I expected Chester to publish the "special topics index" only. This is too much honor!

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    3. Thanks Abacos! I was just thinking about tracking down more of the special topics pages the other day!

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  2. Congratulations! I love your new banner!

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  3. At first I thought my screen had an add for a mobile game on it... then I got a big smile on my face when I recognized it as your (new) logo. I love it. Here's to many more years!

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  4. I love the banner! At first I thought the map might be a gem view from Ultima, but then I quickly decided it was probably from the longest RPG in history... good ole Fate!

    I like the new direction as we discussed on Patreon. Continuing to sweep up the old but making way to see the new as well. It will take decades to reach today if you continue to try and complete every single game.

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  5. Congrats on the 10 years!, here's to at least another 10 more.

    Now, regarding your new rules, and just to yank your chain a bit: What about antecedents on non-pc platforms like Demon's Souls (or even the King's Field series)? :P

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    1. Not to distract from your point, but King's Field, at least the first one, is on the PC in the form of Sword of Moonlight.
      Although looking at the series thing, it appears that he's taken that in mind with at least Baldur's Gate and Eye of the Beholder.

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    2. Oh for sure, after all, the only reason console games appear on the blog is when they are antecedents!

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    3. I haven't played the King's Field I remake that comes with Sword of Moonlight, so this might be wrong, but I've read that it's not quite the same (for worse) as playing the psx original, being a rushed sample project for the editor.

      You're correct about it being available for PC and it's worth documenting for sure, though.

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    4. @Tristan Gall the problem I see with that is that with console exclusives becoming less and less common as time passes, it opens the floodgates for all the Final Fantasy games, the Dragon Quest ones, quite a few Megami Tensei ones, etc...

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    5. As explained in this post, the rule is "no game will be played before the antecedents that will be played anyway", not "I must play every previous game even if I would normally skip them entirely!".

      A rule such as "Should a game have antecedents not otherwise on the list, a representative sample shall be played" would be reasonable, but it isn't the one being presented, nor is it an obvious necessity.

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    6. I am open to continuing to play console games occasionally, but the official rule about antecedents only applies to PC games.

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    7. Yeah, if Zelda: Wind Waker contained some critical development in RPGs for instance (not saying it does!), it may be an antecedent to some particular action-RPG on the list, but as it isn't part of the blog's scope, there's no requirement to play Wind Waker's antecedents (all the prior Zelda games).

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    8. Wait, is Demon's Souls something Chet's planning on playing? With his disinterest (and difficulty) with overly action-based gameplay, I can't see that going well...

      ... nor would I have really considered it an RPG in any sense, but I suppose technically...

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    9. @GregT: He mentions Dark Souls in one of his antecedent examples, and well, given that he did manage to (after some complaining) power through something like Moonstone, I reckon he'll do alright.

      I'm a bit more concerned about the upcoming coin-op D&D games, though.

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    10. I think it'd be a stretch to call the arcade beat-em-ups RPGs. They might have levels, but if they do I think it's just extra health. Any inventory is more along the lines of bonus items than RPG-style, too.

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    11. Yeah, they're definitely beat-em-ups with a thin RPG veneer. Still, I'd say they are RPG-adjacent enough (for the setting, if not so much for the gameplay) for it to be worth Chet's while to at least check them out.

      BTW, Chet, I think that the entry of "Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara" in the master list has the year wrong. "Tower of Doom" (The first of the two) was released in 1994 according to wikipedia and the various regional romset titles in MAME (the earliest versions being from 13th Jan 1994).

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    12. I'm not sure it even belongs on my list. Is the 2013 re-release for Windows REALLY the same game as the 1994 arcade games?

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    13. I was wrong to use Dark Souls as an example. I had played it on the console and I thought it had a Windows release.

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    14. The PC version of Dark Souls was released the year after the first console release. The only games in the "series" that didn't have a contemporary (or, for that matter, any) PC release are the Playstation exclusives Demon's Souls and Bloodborne, although the Playstation-exclusive King's Field games are somewhat a spiritual predecessor.

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    15. The "Chronicles of Mystara" Windows release is a standalone CPS-2 emulator running the "Tower of Doom" (the 1994 game) and "Shadow over Mystara" (the 1996 game) roms with the addition of modern amenities such as online play, achievements and leaderboards.

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    16. My experience with Dark Souls was the PC version. It's such a sloppy port of the XBox version that they didn't change the icons telling you what keys to press.

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    17. While there was a lot of sloppiness, the keys were not one of them. The designers expected the game to be played with controller only (they only ported to PC because of unexpectedly high demand, which is why it was a bit of a rushed mess), and the only really common controller on PC was the 360 pad.

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    18. That's weird. For some reason, MobyGames doesn't list the Windows release of Dark Souls. Sounds like Mystara shouldn't be on the list at all, then.

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    19. If you can't adapt a simple action RPG to work with mouse and keyboard, that's still very bad. Phrases like "it's meant to be played with a controller" are just excuses for rushed development and lack of polish. It's not Dance Dance Revolution, there's nothing a PS3 or Xbox controller has that can't be done with keyboard and mouse.

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    20. The game was finished, designed for console only because there's still very little market for PC games in Japan. The devs only created the PC port because of sudden demanding from the Western (particularly US) market - it was very much a rushed development because they wanted to get it out while the game was still relevant.

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    22. Regarding the Mystara removal: Does it really matter whether a PC port is simply recompiled, reimplemented or emulated when it's something that's irrelevant for the end user?

      After all the discussions on what constitutes an RPG are we going to start having philosophical debates about what makes a PC game a PC game? :P

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    23. "For some reason, MobyGames doesn't list the Windows release of Dark Souls."

      Try Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition, which is essentially a 2012 re-release with the DLC included. The original 2011 version was not ported to PC.

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    24. And there's also the 2018 "Dark Souls: Remastered" edition.

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    25. "Regarding the Mystara removal: Does it really matter whether a PC port is simply recompiled, reimplemented or emulated when it's something that's irrelevant for the end user?" Yes, it matters. Every console game can eventually be emulated. There's no point making the distinction if emulation counts as a "PC version."

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    26. If you are going to release a game on steam, you have to assume that the vast majority of the players will use a keyboard and mouse, regardless of what the developers "intended". I absolutely loved playing Dark Souls on my PC and would rate it in my top 10 games of all time, but for a game renowned for tough boss battles, some of the hardest fights I had were with the game's menus.

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    27. The D&D games shouldn't be included. Tossing them into the mix would mean also subjecting the Addict to The King of Dragons, their obvious antecedent, as well as Cadash, the first arcade game I know of with an RPG-style leveling system.

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  6. The new banner is great! I also look forward to seeing what slightly newer games you'll be playing soon. I do like the antecedent rules, hopefully they won't get in the way of doing what you'd like (although I'm sure you can tweak the rules as you go).

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  7. Congratulations!

    I don't need to tell you this, but as much as the journey is about the games, it's also about you, and about us. Your blogging talent, both in terms of your literary skill and your archival efforts, has come a long way since Akalabeth, and so has your community - "don't read the comments" is a popular online refrain, but it sure as hell doesn't apply here :)

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    1. Also, while the old banner had a certain uh, rustic charm to it, this new one is great. I love that it includes what I consider to be both your most ridiculous endeavour and also one of your greatest gaming achievements, at the same time.

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  8. Woohoo, I love the new banner! Although I will miss the Dragonborn falling off a cliff, and I think a goofy portrait from Pool of Radiance was in the old banner. The new one is a lot more awesome though, especially as a monument to your Fate playthrough.

    I'm excited for the new era of the blog, and the new "series" pages will make it easier to revisit favorites. I hope that if you do ever get to Mass Effect, I won't make myself too insufferable.

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    1. When he gets to Mass Effect I'll have to finish the bloody thing.

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    2. I'm pretty sure the Skyrim guy wasn't falling, but feeling the effect of a giant's attack.

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    3. I thought he was fus-ro-dah'd? I've not played much Skyrim though.

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    4. For what it's worth, most of the NPCs and enemies that can use fus-ro-dah are found indoors AFAIK. My only support for him falling off a cliff is there being a mountainside in the background of the image.

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  9. I feel like you hit on a good compromise with at least a third being the oldest unplayed titles. While in an ideal world you would continue to do as you do; In the real world, I'm you'd like to have been done with Baldur's Gate by now. Just try not to wring out too many of the good games before you reach a year, or you'll likely burn out.
    Where would you like the suggestions for antecedents placed?

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    1. I'll announce each new game as I wrap up the previous one. That comments section will be fine.

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  10. I like the new banner. The new RPG organizations are really interesting. At the end of the day, this is your blog, and whatever changes keep you passionately playing and blogging about these old games, they're well worth it.

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  11. Congrats for doing this 10 years now dear Chet. I promise I will continue to read this fantastic blog for the next 10.

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  12. Using the Fate map as the new banner is an inspired choice.

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  13. When you started the blog, you had a rule that you can drop any game after playing six hours. I always thought that you should invoke that clause more often. There's only so many hours in a year, and most games in this genre, no matter how insignificant, take dozens of hours to beat.

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    1. True, but it disappoints a lot of people when I do it, and I do think it's important to document the endings of games. I'll probably continue to use that rule very sparingly, for those cases when continuing with a game for as long as it's going to take me to win fill me with utter despair.

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  14. Congratulations on the first ten years! Here's hoping the next ten will bring more enjoyment and less angst. Also, love the new banner, and the page with games grouped in series is nifty too.

    Just for the fun of it, I decided to test the new rules, how strict they are in not allowing newer games to be played because they have some sort of antecedents that need to be experienced first. Rock Paper Shotgun released their updated "50 best CRPGs" (you can find the list via the "Bestest Bests" link in the header of their site) a while ago, so I used that list for this experiment.

    - 19 of them are sequels to PC RPGs, so they are out.
    - 10 are not the first RPGs by the company that developed them, so they are out too. For example Fallout is by Interplay, so Stonekeep should be played before that one. I'm also counting Arcanum into this category because Cain & Boyarsky.
    - 5 belong to certain lineages of games with numerous games before them. I think it's clear that no Diablo-clone (Titan Quest, Path of Exile) should be played before Diablo itself. Roguelikes are less clear though. RPS put Brogue on their list (and I'm also labeling Dwarf Fortress here as a Roguelike), is it OK to play that, with Nethack's later versions, Angband and many others yet to be played?

    With those out, we are left with 11 games that seem to get a free pass: Chrono Trigger, Darkest Dungeon, Deus Ex, Disco Elysium, Kenshi, NEO Scavenger, Star Traders: Frontiers, Stardew Valley, Sunless Skies, Ultima VII and Undertale. Also, 5 games that are direct or indirect sequels, but first ones on Windows: Dark Souls, Dragon Quest 11, Monster Hunter World, Nier: Automata and Yakuza 0.

    With the significantly more strict rules that were proposed in the Patreon post, only Ultima VII would have qualified.

    In light of this little non-serious experiment, it seems that the new rules will probably work nicely.

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    1. I just want to make it clear, in case it isn’t, that there’s no rule that says I have to reach the antecedent the long way. If I really wanted to play Fallout soon, I could just play Stonekeep first.

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    2. I had to look for "nifty" on WordReference.com , but thank you for appreciating my "work" ("addiction to lists" would be more appropriate).

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    3. True, many of the now-disqualified games in that experiment are only one game away from being qualified. Some would require a lot more, Pillars of Eternity being probably the most difficult case: six Obsidian games, seven games by other companies that the Obsidian games were sequels to, earlier games by *those* companies, and all Infinity Engine games as well, I guess. And Stonekeep.

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    4. Considering Disco Elysium was to a large part stylistically inspired by Planescape Torment, PST should be played before it.

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    5. It's up to Chet how he calculates the antecedents to Pillars - but let's say he wanted to get there ASAP.

      I would say it has six antecedents:

      Bard's tale (tick!): Antecedent to Wasteland
      Wasteland (tick!): Spiritual antecedent to Baldur's Gate according to the devs.
      Dark Sun: Shattered Lands: The step between Gold Box and Infinity Engine titles in the D&D lineage.
      Baldur's Gate: First modern era rtw/p
      Planescape: Torment: The benchmark story-heavy rtw/p
      Icewind Dale: Josh Sawyer's first game.

      I think at that point you have covered the main stops on the road.

      But Chet may well want to do the entirety of Interplay/Bioware and all their offspring in order :)

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    6. (Missed Pool of Radiance, Wizardry, Dungeon '75 etc that would also be antecedents but have all been played)

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    7. I've set some other rules so that I can't just jump immediately to a year with no thread connecting it to past years. I'm not going to elaborate on this rule because I might change it and because I don't want a lot of argument about it.

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    8. But the result is that Pillars of Eternity is considerably more than 4 antecedents away--but not so far away that I might not get to it in, say, 3 years.

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    9. Personally, while I consider Pillars to be a fine game, it's not a great one (defined by me as a memorable, seminal experience that has me wanting to replay it). Don't bust your butt trying to get there!

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    10. I didn't really feel Pillars. It was fine, but yeah, not memorable. I hear Pillars 2 is one of the RPGs of this era though.

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    11. Stardew Valley is arguably in your "indirect sequels, but first ones on Windows" category, as it's very heavily influenced by Harvest Moon/Rune Factory.

      Sunless Skies is a sequel to Sunless Sea (and to Fallen London, but that isn't an RPG except under the broadest definition).

      I noticed the list had Six Ages: Ride Like The Wind on it. I don't know how you'd categorize it. I'd categorize it as "not an RPG, but potentially enjoyable for RPG fans anyway". I also noticed an odd error: they describe King of Dragon Pass as "a similar game in a different fantasy world". The developers do (inexplicably, to me) refer to it as a "spiritual successor", but it's set in the same world (Glorantha), uses an updated version of the same engine, is made by a bunch of the same people, etc.

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    12. Hmm, I think Fallen London is within the scope of this blog. It's RPGish and certainly needs to be viewed prior to Sunless Seas.

      Blogging about it would be a bit of a slow burn. He'd probably play for half an hour every few days for about 3 months before he had enough material for a few entries.

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    13. It's not clear to me whether "single-player RPG released for a personal computer" applies to Fallen London. You can play it without the social features, but you can also play some MMOs that way.

      Of course, even with the new rules, the chances of "should Fallen London be played before Sunless Sea" ever being a matter for debate here is pretty low. There are literally thousands of games on the list between then and now. (Actually, none of the Failbetter games are even on the master list.)

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    14. No it doesn't really apply - you'd only play it to observe Failbetter's narrative style/world-building as the antecedent to the Sunless games

      I think we will see Chet play Sunless Seas at some point, but 2015 has some tough competition, so it'll be a while for sure.

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    15. I would say Deus Ex is in line with Looking Glass (especially System Shock). Ion Storm (Austin) is essentially the same team. Tracking that kind of antecedent in general though is tricky.

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  15. Congratulations on the 10 years, but also damn you for making me google "Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates"!

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    1. I don’t even know what it is. I just scanned my list for a game that sounded ridiculous.

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    2. It's a puzzle-based MMO. It's got no RPG elements whatsoever, if the couple of hours I spent on it in the early 2000s is correct. Essentially, all of the puzzles are versions of other puzzles which have existed previously (Bejeweled, Tetris Attack, Dr. Mario) themed around pirate-y things (sailing, firing cannons, swordfights). I think you might grind for gear possibly which might be how it ended up being noted as an 'rpg'?

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    3. I think it got tagged as RPG on Mobygames because it's an MMO. Lots and lots of MMOs on there.

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    4. Egh... do non-cancelled MMOs (i.e. unlike Neverwinter Nights) count? If it was bad enough for games that were intended to be played by teenagers or college students across a whole summer or YEARS at college that they extended their length, Chet is REALLY going to rack up those hours on games where you had to pay monthly... not to mention Chet won't get any meta-game experiences such as interaction with players, devs, holidays/events, posting on the chats and forums, or waiting for new content. One of the saddest things about MMO preservation is that all that stuff can be lost without EXCESSIVE chronicling at the time that no player who's busy just having fun would want to do.

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    5. I played quite a lot of Puzzle Pirates and got fairly good at it. There are no RPG elements whatsoever. (The "level" you have at various pirate tasks is based purely on your puzzling ability. I maxed out everything but swordfighting, which is a Puzzle Fighter clone and the only one-vs-one part of the game.)

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    6. I'd rather have Chet skip MMOs considering how much of a timesink they are and how different they are from single player RPGs.

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    7. MMOs shouldn't be on there at all. I must have missed that YHHPP was one when I compiled the list.

      One less!

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    8. Hmm...From what game did the idea of different length real-time cooldowns for different abilities come from? Was it an MMO?

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    9. Wow, memories. I played a ton of Puzzle Pirates during a very difficult time at college. I remember screwing up would pop up "Arr! You've booched it!".

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  16. Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates seems like it wouldn't score high on the GIMLET. But hey - I've been surprised before.

    Great work as always Chet!

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  17. Congratulations on 10 years of insightful commentary and great entertainment. I still believe you should disclose whatever personal time-dilation tech you're using to cram work, travel, family and all those gaming hours into one human lifetime. :-)

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  18. Happy anniversary! Your blog has been one of my favorite readings since I discovered it, and by far my favorite non-paper reading ever. Thank you for being there!

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  19. I am not sure its necessary to play every nethack release. Its just a small new version. Why is each 3.1,3.2, etc... in there?

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    1. I think it's laid out the way Chet originally planned to deal with Nethack. There are major differences from 3.0 to later versions such as 3.4.3 (in terms of quests, dungeon layout, etc) but I don't think every point release is logical or will be rewarding. However, maybe he wants to revisit it every so often?

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    2. Yeah the evolution of NetHack is, along with the evolution of Moria/Angband, a significant fraction of the early and middle ages of roguelikes.

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    3. I'm not playing every release; I'm playing the final release in every major "series" as defined by this page:

      https://nethackwiki.com/wiki/Game_history

      Enough changes between each series that I wanted to keep up on the developments. Playing each major change was the best compromise I could come up with for a game that is constantly under development.

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  20. Congratulations and THANK YOU for these 10 years!

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  21. I can only echo the FATE sentiments above. I'd fallen out of reading your blog for a long while, but fell back into it in the middle of your Fate coverage. Still my favorite.

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    1. I started reading the blog around the time of the FATE coverage. It's been quite a while now, hasn't it?

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  22. Congrats on a great achievement of 10 years! The banner is fantastic! The old still has a lot of charm, so it would be nice if could still be incorporated somehow... maybe a page for retired banners;)

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  23. Congrats for a great first 10 years!! Here is to the many more to follow.

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  24. Hip, hip hooray
    Have nothing more to say except I´ve followed your blog since quite early and has no desire to stop and it´s the only one I follow
    I trust in you and whatever rules you use it will probably turn out well
    Congrats, Mprod

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  25. I just hope there is more male nudity in the games to come.

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  26. How come nobody has commented about Ultima VII appearing on the "Recent, Current, & Upcoming" list?
    Now I will need to find some time to finish it! (I know...)

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    1. I gave the choice to my top Patreon contributor from the past year, and that's what he selected. Later, I'll experiment with ways of voting and such to select upcoming games.

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    2. I am glad that U7 comes before Amberstar, since the original is basically the benchmark for the clone. Really curios how they compare, since I never played any Ultima by myself for whatever reason.

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    3. @sucinum I don't think that Amberstar compares much to Ultima VII. In my opinion it's more alike to Ultima VI

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    4. Good point, since U7 wasn't released during the development, it couldn't serve as inspiration. "Clone" is maybe a bit too harsh anyways, Thalion had another RPG before (https://crpgaddict.blogspot.com/2014/06/game-147-dragonflight-1990.html). But I'm sure that Ultima was known.

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  27. Congratulations, and may you continue as long as you enjoy it.

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  28. You really should play Fallout2. Like, really really.

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    1. Unfortunately, it doesn't meet my criteria for an "RPG."

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    2. Wait, what? Is that just humor as dry as the irradiated wastelands?

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    3. Okay, I blinked when I read this. Then I reread, "the first two Fallout games" in the blog post.

      Is Fallout2 something significantly different from Fallout 2, or am I missing a joke?

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    4. Really? It has equipment, turn based combat, levels, skills, hit points, NPC'S, quests, a party, RNG; what does it lack? Genuinely curious.

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    5. Chet's just messing with the guy who said 'he should really play Fallout 2' after he explicitly called out the first two fallout games in the post as games he wanted to play.

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    6. This is the best comment thread.

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  29. Seems like you need to graduate from a spreadsheet to a database. Then you could tag each game along the various axes that you want to consider antecedents.

    Hurray for 10 years! It's a hell of a long time to be doing anything. Keep on trucking!

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    1. I've had the same thought a number of times. Already, the list suffers with certain fields that ought to be related tables rather than part of a flat-file system. But at some point, I'm just duplicating (with fewer resources) what MobyGames and other online sites already offer.

      I'll think about it if it becomes a problem to track all the antecedents.

      Delete
    2. You have absolutely the best data, though, for the intersection of the PC RPG vertical with the games you have played. Also, I imagine that you would want to track things that Mobygames doesn't, like RPG features, links to your articles, etc...

      Would be cool to see a list of Real-Time with Pause or Choose Actions then Execute games.

      Delete
  30. What a great aniversary! I could dream you will play Baldur's Gate or sth that is important to you as a 10th aniversary game.

    And about the rules. You will play games by relase date not inner series chronology? Because it could sometimes complicate everything quite a bit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. After second thought it shouldn't be an issue. I had in mind Might and Magic universe. Where spin off games narrate stories that predate the titles relesed earlier (to the point that some of them happens propably even befor Might and Magic 1). And to prove when exactly those games have take place is quite difficult and complex. To today opinions among fans are divided.

      But those games are not even CRPG games (they have only some elements of that genre). And I've tried to thought about other serries with such a time travel narrative and I hadn't found one.

      So probably it shouldn't matter.

      Delete
    2. People constantly wanting to read things in "internal story order" rather than release order makes me slap my forehead.

      If a game is a prequel to something that was released prior to it, it's informed by that prior release, and the audience should be too.

      Watching the Star Wars prequels before the original trilogy makes for an interesting viewing experiment, but George Lucas intended people to have seen the original trilogy first and know where Anakin's story was going, and to have seen the original series scenes that he's trying to "rhyme" with.

      Just because Y is set chronologically before X, it doesn't mean it's intended to be experienced that way. It's like trying to rearrange a movie that has flashbacks so that you watch all the flashbacks at the start. Non-linear chronology is a deliberate tool of art, not an invitation for you to second-guess the author and undo it.

      And from Chet's perspective, I don't know that he gets a lot out of having a fundamentally different experience with these games from the original audience who had no choice but to play in release order.

      (Feel free to replace the Star Wars example with prequels that have more inherent artistic merit if that's the aspect that bothers you.)

      Delete
    3. @GregT

      I'm guilty of watching the Star Wars Clone Wars series chronologically in-universe instead of broadcast order. I figured it would be easier for me to keep track of all the plot threads. I'm not very far into it though.

      Delete
    4. I agree 100% with GregT. I had to quit the Brandon Sanderson subreddit because 50% of the questions were "what book should I read next?" and the sensible answer was always "the next one you haven't read, in chronological order of publication." I honestly don't understand the value people think they get by suggesting all kinds of complex ways to watch Star Wars.

      That said, I think there might have been some network screwery with Clone Wars that makes the chronological order the most sensible.

      Delete
    5. "Just because Y is set chronologically before X, it doesn't mean it's intended to be experienced that way."

      I'm about to start the Iain M Banks novel, Use of Weapons. Which chapter should I read first?

      Delete
    6. Maybe you should read the rest of Greg's post first. ;-)

      Delete
    7. Maybe I was agreeing with Greg...

      Delete
  31. Congratulations!

    I'm totally OK with the new rules. I was actually concerned for you being mired with mediocre and uninspired games and loosing interest in writing. Less chance of that now, I hope.

    The banner is quite fine. And I immediately recognized the map from the Fate. The only small thing - this banner does not represent the sci-fi part of the CRPGs. The old one had the screenshot from Starflight, at least.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Could use an arquebus, a brotherhood helmet and a bolter for sure :)

      Delete
    2. Well, if someone wants to make me a sci-fi themed one, I'll rotate them depending what game I happen to be playing.

      Delete
  32. 10 years of perseverance and thoughtful research that continues to improve and surprise! What a legacy you've already left for the CRPG community!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Well done on the blog. It´s enjoyable to find through you games that I haven´t heard of or never had the time for.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I share the same birthday with your blog!

    I wish I also had the same age and be as interesting :)

    Congrats for the huge milestone and thanks for the countless hours of entertainment.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Congratulations on ten years! I've been reading you for a long time and hope to be reading for many years more.

    I can't help but be happy that you are willing to "jump forward" a bit. One of the best parts about this blog is watching you discover new games that you love (in particular, I read your coverage of Starflight with unabashed joy). It's going to be a while before you find another one like that if you're going to be stuck covering type-in ZX Spectrum games.

    But I am glad that you're sticking with the "historical chronicling" aspect of the blog as well.

    In general, you're doing a great job! Keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Congratulations on your milestone! And the lovely new additions!

    Yeah, the rule change will be fine. I think we are all secretly waiting for your opinions on our personal favourite games of later years. Even if you skip the odd game here and there, there is no more qualified voice to judge a game's merit on this planet.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Congratulations on 10 years of the blog! It's been a while since I've commented but I still read your reviews and articles most days and find myself going back and re-reading older posts.

    The blog is an invaluable CRPG resource and the only place to go for coverage of some of the more obscure but interesting titles. I think your new approach should work well and makes a lot of sense.

    I've greatly enjoyed reading the blog since its early days and I look forward to the next 10 years. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Congratulations on ten years of blogging!

    I first heard about your blog from the spiegel online article and followed it ever since (but started commenting only recently).

    Funnily, a few years before that, I played the first two Might and Magic parts. The reason was that I wanted to know how it all started and also that I wanted to overcome all the obstacles such an old game would throw at me. Back then I thought it was a rather strange thing to do with my free time, playing those outdated games when having all the new stuff available. I was then surprised a lot, when I heard about your blog and realized that there are people, who are doing this, too.

    What I like about the blog as a medium is how every week or two weeks or so, a new game is presented. A CRPG discussion board, which is about all and no games at the same time, never would have made me stay for such a long time.

    I also want to mention that the new banner is a great piece of work!

    Looking forward for the next ten years with the new rules for choosing games!

    ReplyDelete
  39. I am hoping you play World Of Xeen as soon as possible... Congratulations for the first ten years.
    Now I am playing Might and Magic 6. My god, what a huuge game, with laughable huge dungeons. I started playing the Might and Magic games after reading your blog. I was already a fan of the Heroes series. I like that the MM6 is a direct continuation of the Heroes 2, my favorite of the franchise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. MM6 used to be one of my favorite games; now I think my tastes may have changed, and I'm going to find the mobs of enemies a little too much. I guess we'll see.

      Delete
  40. Love the breakdown by series. Given the discussion about the greatest RPGs, maybe it would be a good idea to have some dedicated people work with Chet to identify and publish the "shortest path" according to the rules for each of the greatest RPGs so that Chet (or his patrons, by vote) could pick future additions with those destinations in mind. I'm pleased to see Ultima VII show up but I want more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for appreciating the index by series. It is my anniversary present for the ComputerRolePlayingGamesAddict blog.

      Delete
  41. Allowing yourself to jump ahead sometimes is a great way to keep the project fresh and interesting for everyone. I read every post, but even so, it's hard to maintain enthusiasm for the little type-in games. I'm impressed that you continue to say insightful things about each game, no matter how simple. And the banner change is also a good way to mark the anniversary. Here's to another ten years!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Not to be that guy...but the Ides of February is on the 13th. It only falls on the 15th for March, May, July, and October.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Congratulations Chet and all of us readers! I too am avid reader and crpg player (since Ultima V) and longtime reader :)
    Wish you well and good health for the next ten years!

    -Miikka

    ReplyDelete
  44. Congrats to your ten years! Here's to ten years more!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Congratulations on your anniversary from a frequent lurker!

    I have one small correction to your great new series page. You or Abacos says that out of 30 and more video games based on Tolkien's books, two are the only computer role-playing games. This is surely not correct. At least 2011's The Lord of the Rings: War in the North (https://www.mobygames.com/game/lord-of-the-rings-war-in-the-north) is a single player CRPG. It may have been developed primarily for concoles but it had a PC release during (I think) its original release schedule. It is indeed basically just a Diablo clone, but a pretty good one. Should you not play it if you get that far? It is indeed still a long way ahead...

    I suppose 2007's The Lord of the Rings Online is disqualified due to being a MMORPG?

    Mika

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mika. I knew that the index I made was highly debatable.

      I read somewhere that War in the North was an action/adventure game. I propose an easy solution: remove that note, and add the new games the day Chester will play them.

      You know, I started reading this blog out of curiosity about Ultima games; then I started reading the entries series by series, because reading all the blog in order seemed too much; eventually, I read 99% of it. Whenever Chester writes that an obscure game is a clear precursor or spiritual sequel to another, a "series" or "lineage" in my index is updated. It is very dynamic and very, very debatable.

      Delete
  46. Ah, I'm really happy that you are going to relax the rules. Finally I can see you play those gems sooner than I expected.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Congrats on ten years! When you make it for another ten I'll be...nearly fifty. Wow. I really need to finish my blog!

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  48. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  49. Congratulations on ten years of chronicling the games that, for better or worse, set the stage for the genre that we all love.

    As for your intended compromise, go for it. When you consider the increasing complexity of the games you're covering now versus your earliest entries, it only stands to reason the time investment will increase as well. And I for one can't wait to read your exploits while tackling more modern titles

    ReplyDelete
  50. As long as you keep covering the obscure, the strange and the forgotten, I'll be happy. It's the in depth coverage of the games I've never played it heard of, that excite me personally. Congrats on the decade mark, and here's to many more.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Congratulations on reaching this point. I heartily agree with you on your new policy. Simply plodding through the years of mostly unheard of games is a great feat in itself, but having excursions to later years based on interest sounds like an excellent approach too.

    I admire your methodological to this approach, but would not find it the least unagreeable if you decided to pursue some lineage on a whim for a longer period of time.

    Do what makes this blog interesting to you too and thank you for all these posts once again!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Baldur`s Gate is not first Bioware game.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is the fist BioWare game that either served as an antecedent to, or was, an RPG.

      Playing Shattered Steel wouldn't really add anything to the blog.

      Delete
    2. Shattered Steel isn't an RPG, right? Maybe I should be clearer, but when I say "game," I'm usually talking about RPGs given the nature of this blog.

      Delete
  53. Congratulations! Came for the Might and Magic, stayed for the rest!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Will the first "New Rules" game appear on the list after Ultima VII, or is it going to "jump in front" as a special topic?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ultima VII is technically the first, in that it was chosen by a reader instead of the random process I'd been using before.

      Delete
    2. It just happened to be a 1992 game, where we left off, but after today, there's nothing special about 1992 anymore.

      Delete
    3. Huh??

      What about Unforgiven??
      Faith No More's Angel Dust??
      The Jaguar XJ220????

      Delete
    4. Congratulations on ten years! I've wondered for awhile now - will Ultima VII mean Serpent Isle right after Black Gate, or possibly with Underworld 2 in between?

      Delete
    5. Definitely UU2 in between, and I won't mind spacing those out a bit. I'm honestly in no rush to get to U7P2. I remember it as a game that goes on way, way, way too long.

      Delete
  55. Congratulations! And thank you very much for your writing! I really enjoy reading your blog - I found it looking for information on Quest for Glory series (some of a few games you wrote about that I have played and even completed), and am coming back ever since mainly because you are a really good writer.
    I've been reading your old posts on series that interest me (Gold box, Ultima...) so the new lists seem to me like a very useful tool.

    ReplyDelete
  56. I don't think I've ever commented, but I've been reading from almost the beginning. Once in a while I might have skipped a post when it was about an obscure game that wasn't up my alley, but I've read most.

    Anyway, congratulations and keep up the good work. I'm looking forward to many more years of your posts. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  57. 10 years already ? Well the sometimes the time does fly past.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Three things.

    1) Congrats on 10 years sir.

    2) Thank you for the shoutout in the "10 years of commenters" post earlier. I missed that a few months back when you first posted it.

    I'd like to say, for the record, that you were extremely easy to work with. You helped motivate me to actually get the thing written, when I was on the fence about it. Our collaborative editing process was seamless.

    3) I'm really glad you've decided to change things up. Despite being a long term fan, and despite being devoted enough to contribute to the blog, I've found myself reading fewer and fewer entires, the past few years.

    I think it makes even more sense when you look at the sheer volume of RPGs that started to come out by the mid 90s.

    It also makes sense when, frankly, the majority of the games that you skipped from earlier eras, and are going through now, aren't (imho) really worth reading about. Which makes me feel like they're probably even more of a waste of time for you to play, more often than not.

    Granted that's just an opinion, but I don't see Morton's Fork or Dungeon of Danger being worth your time. Since I don't even feel they're worth my time to read.

    So, again, I think it's great you're going to just start playing games that are pertinent. Instead of having to play all the things.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're only interesting in a historical sense - a lot of the joy of the blog does come from the vicarious play, and shared experience, and yeah, for the people most interested in those aspects, reading about some extremely limited type in game isnt really gonna be their jam.

      Delete
    2. I'd agree, but in those cases I honestly wonder what the time to "legitimate historical value" ratio is. In a lot of cases these games were skipped initially due to their obscurity.

      A lot of the backlog, and a lot of potential upcoming games, aren't anything more than low quality cash grabs (imo.) By the 90s games were often being developed by large teams, by tightly run corporations. They aren't works of high art, as much as they are products created by committees for profit.

      So in those cases I'd argue the historical value is limited. When the game was a cold product stamped out only for cash.

      Delete
  59. Hooray for the index of special topics! I enjoyed very much your mini-essays about all things CRPGs, and being able to retrieve them without relying on blind search or tedious page scrolling through hundreds of posts is a real treat.

    I noticed the list is not complete (comparing it against the tag search at https://crpgaddict.blogspot.com/search/label/Special Topics). Were some post omitted by editorial choice or is the page still a work in progress? In the second case I would like to contribute some missing entries:

    2018, Aug : Plot Continuity Across Sequels (ft. Crusaders of the Dark Savant) , Video Summary of the Early Era
    2018, Feb : Mindtrap: A Game That Could Have Been
    2016, Jul : The Best RPG of 2017: Downfall (one of my personal favorites)
    2014, Nov : Lords of Xulima: Made for Me
    2012, Mar : RTFM
    2011, Sep : Ultima IV, Part 2: What Happend in Between (extremely amusing, and I never played Ultima)
    2011, Mar : Game 1257: The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
    2011, Jun : Well, I Don't Know What I Expected

    I did not check the 2010 entries and skipped another one whose omission might very well be a deliberate choice of yours.

    As for your decision to move forward in the list to enjoy the old classics before the Ragnarök (the Doomsday, not the game), I totally support it. On a personal note, I remember I was once playing Gothic II and enjoying it moderately, when suddenly the thought struck me that I was getting older and if I wasted time with OK games I would probably grow old before being able to experience all the greatest classics.

    I was 22 at the time. I guess I worried a little early.

    Congratulations again for your work – I am looking forward to the next 10 years!


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Vauban. I plugged in the missing ones.

      Delete
  60. I'm all for the changes, Chet, but I want to put forward a slightly dissenting opinion about how you effect the changes.

    I don't comment often, but I have been reading you since almost the very start and I think the blog has always been at its best when you're uncovering the obscure and unknown. Even if the games themselves are bad, it's far more interesting to read about the dead-ends and the paths not taken than about some game that everyone has already played. I think it would be greatly to the detriment of the blog (although I'd still read every post) if it became much more about playing the classics - I mean, we've all played Baldur's Gate, for example, and however well you write about it, you won't be telling anyone anything they can't read elsewhere.

    I know that it's good to get feedback on your work, and you want people commenting on your posts, but there might be a lot of loyal readers like me who don't comment much - who are, in fact, put off commenting often by the weirdly intense discussions that develop BTL about the minutiae of awful console JRPGs and suchlike - and who think that things are great as they are.

    However, I'm not arguing against change, just against being too populist about it. More variety is good, and it's good for us all if you don't have to play a succession of bad Ultima clones and can mix it up a bit. But please keep documenting the obscure and unknown games from whatever era and don't bow to the pressure from what I suspect might be a noisy minority, to play the games that they already know all about.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My guess is that half-ish of the titles played will be effectively random (as they have been til now) and half-ish will be a bit more curated. The unexpected gems will still be a feature - but now we'll also be able to compare some of these early games with more modern RPGs (which was originally what this blog set out to do, in some respects).

      Delete
    2. I would, of course, be fine with that, even if I would prefer to see the more curated games be something of a rarity - it's Chet's blog and he can do what he likes, and I don't think he's likely to do anything that will drive readers away anyway.

      However, I thought it was worth making the point that there may be some of us who are not thinking "Woohoo! Baldur's Gate!"

      One thing I would like to see, if I can make a more positive point, is some exploration of the development of roguelikes.

      Delete
    3. Interestingly, roguelike development boomed this decade

      Delete
    4. I think my plan for choosing game strikes a good balance between the well-known and the obscure. See what we all think after a year.

      Delete
    5. I hope I don't seem too negative. I'm looking forward to seeing how things go for the next decade.

      Delete
  61. I'll just add my congratulations to Chet's accomplishment with the really great body of work he has produced over the past decade. I've also been here since almost the beginning, and time really does fly. You could probably make a movie out of all that has gone on over that stretch of time in any one of many long-term reader's lives...

    I also wanted to thank Abacos very very much for compiling the additional directories, particularly the Special Topics listing. I have always enjoyed those immensely but it has usually been by fluke that I would catch one when it was ephemerally near the top of the blog, and didn't even know how many I had missed over the years. I always wanted to read them all but couldn't muster the effort to search them out individually, which must have been quite a task. The new lists are fantastic. Thanks for all the work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are very welcome!

      Now, I thought it would be nice to thank individually everyone who appreciates the new lists, but let us remember that all of this exists thanks to Chester only.

      Delete
  62. First of all, congrats!

    Second, according to your rules you could probably jump all the way to 2013's Shadowrun Returns (and the following Harebrained Schemes Shadowrun games). It's the first non-console Shadowrun RPG, a new developer, and I don't think it does something significantly new mechanics-wise, that hasn't already been there in some primitive form in 1992. You could argure with Unity as an engine, but it's really more of a framework, certainly not an RPG engine.

    I'm not saying you should. I realize you're doing this to play some games you enjoy or would really like to play, and the Shadowrun games are too linear for your tastes. But, if I understand the rules correctly, some fairly new games could be eligible directly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are hidden rules that prevent me from skipping that far ahead. I don't want to explain them because I don't want a big discussion, but suffice to say that I'm not letting myself leap ahead to any year; I have to establish a trail of at least a certain number of games along the way. As I said, it's going to be slow and imperceptible at first.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, please don't make such a big jump suddenly and randomly, as it would feel a bit to anachronistic

      Delete
  63. Honestly I am still against changes in the chronological order of games, even when I get your reasoning. You can try to play all the "antecedents" first, but I believe your blogging experience has taught us one can't always know what game belongs to a lineage beforehand. Playing titles from the future means you cannot be sure if certain element/mechanic/idea is original or adopted. Incorrect games get the praise and there will be wrong information regarding history.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Belated congratulations on 10 years!

    I also like the changes you made to your rules, basically this is a hobby, not a job (yet) and you should be able to do this how you like to do it!

    ReplyDelete
  65. As I'm going into my second year of hiatus, I'm awed at the consistency you've had with this blog. Not just the time, but the quality of work has rarely faltered. Looking forward to reading more, no matter the content.

    ReplyDelete

I welcome all comments about the material in this blog, and I generally do not censor them. However, please follow these rules:

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