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     40 Years of Undead Goodness   June 27, 2005

The construction which I was hoping would be finished on Friday is not yet halfway done. So live, from a laptop amidst strewn debris and swiss cheese looking walls and ceiling, it's today's Q&A column.

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The exact point at which we draw the line.

Hey Google,

Castlevania 2 is my favorite one.

Onswah

Googleshng:
So... what was your question exactly? I suppose I'll work on the assumption that you're asking why we cover all the 2D Castlevanias starting with SotN, but not 2. Well, in a nutshell, the rest are borderline, and while 2 technically features experience levels, the emphasis is on the word technically there.

 
Here's an interesting one.

is there anything out there that

would help a fellow make a economy

for his rpg world...some formula

or specific examples?

thanks

sid

Googleshng:
This really depends on whether you're talking about a MMORPG or one of the single player variety. Offline, all you have to do is make sure the father you get in the game, the more EXP and cash monsters give goes up on a nice smooth scale, and set up prices in shops based on how many things you want the players to kill before they can afford them.

If we're talking about online, player driven economy though, it gets trickier. You want a system where the higher a player's level gets, the more money they have, but where the total money in the system stays constant. One way of doing this is to make it a closed system, where money can neither be created (i.e. get dropped by monsters, given to new characters, etc.) or destroyed (deleted with characters, given to NPCs who just eat it, etc.), and keep in mind that items dropped by monsters or created by players are money too. This is a pain though, so you're probably better off with a balanced open system. Money and items can be created out of thin air, but there's also things which pull money out of the system. Equipment repairs, forcing players to periodically buy and eat food, things like that. Ideally set up so that the wealthier you are, the higher your upkeep costs (but the more easily you can make the cash to pay those costs, thanks to your high level and cool stuff).

 
Who wants fish?

Google,

You mentioned that your personal favorite secondary character in an RPG is Myau. I have to disgaree. Nall is far superior. Not only is he quite humourous, but he's a talking, FLYING housecat (baby dragon, really, but he LOOKS like a cat, so a cat he is). That makes him automatically 50%better than Myau right there.

Googleshng:
First, I didn't say that. Second, I consider Myau to be cooler than Nall precisely BECAUSE he's a plain ol' ordinary housecat. I'd make another observation here, but it'd be a decent sized spoiler for a game most people still haven't played.

 
Dungeons

Hey google,

   I read your most recent collum and your response about filler dongeons.  I agree that exploring dongeons is just fun in itself and most recently, unless games had super awesome stories i have been playing my games more for the super awesome dongeons.  Digital Devil Saga had a ton of awesome super long dongeons and a great story to boot.  Do you get excited when you get to a new dongeon or just drudge through them to get to the next bit of story?  I hear that the new dragon quest VIII will have a ton of awesome dongeons and that makes me want it badly after how awesomely DDS did their 2 hour dongeons.

Thanks,
Sirusjr

Googleshng:
It depends on the quality of them really. If by "dungeon" we mean "a big straight line of a path with a lot of random encounters that happens to have cave looking walls" I'll pass. If we're talking about some huge sprawling maze though, or some spiffy puzzle filled affair a la Zelda or Lufia, I want as many as I can get. Having a good system of combat helps too.

 
Differing Markets

Hi,

my question is this, now that Dragon Quest 8 is coming to america why is it that there's not a web page for the american site at square-enix?  And also those who were doing the reviews for Dragon Quest 8 at E3 said they played a demo of the game in english yet all new pics from that show have all been in japanese.  When Dragon Quest (the japanese version) was in the making there was all kinds of media.  I think this is why this game does not do well in america because the coverage of the game is always so scarce and pretty much no advertising.  People can't buy a game they don't know about!!!  After E3 anounced Dragon Quest 8 I've come everyday to Rpgamer to check for updates or new english pics for this game and nothing.  A release date has been scheduled for Nov 15 and thats not even under the game title in Rpgamer only the japanese release date.  Which means that another Dragon Quest game even though coming to america is being pushed to the side for us american gamers.  Why???

Googleshng:
It's a funny thing about videogame marketting really. The more people you know are going to buy a game no questions asked, the more money you spend marketting it. I suppose the logic is, when you have mass market appeal, you need to reach out to make sure that whole market knows you have a new game coming out, but when you're targetting the core RPG audience, you're expecting the people who are going to buy your game to, well, come to sites like this and hunt around for tidbits of info on their own. I have a few problems with this sort of logic, but there you have it.

How this applies here though has a lot to do with the difference in popularity we're dealing with. In Japan, the DQ series is It. The be-all, end-all of RPGs, which pretty much everyone in the entire country has played. Here though, they're honestly more of a cult favorite sort of thing. 1-4 came out when the U.S. RPG market was much smaller than it is now, and at that the reception wasn't all that great. So 5 and 6 we didn't even get, 7 took so long getting over here that the dated look drove off most potential newcomers... so the people likely to grab 8 don't really need the extra push into it. All that said though, I'd expect the media exposure to start climbing when it's closer to release.




The Last Laugh:

Between my own issues, and some DNS wackiness, things are rather hectic around here. Hopefully the stars will be aligned again this time tomorrow too.



Googleshng "Wave'o'babies..." @rpgamer.com

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