The History of CRPGs

I can relate to that. That’s why I never viewed the last episode of The OA, and I still love the show as a result. And the anime “Erased”, where I didn’t watch the last 3 episodes, which people review poorly, because the episode I watched it to had a pretty perfect ending already.

But yeah, as far as Mass Effect 3, you should finish it. They fixed the most glaring things that bothered me about the ending with their fix to the ending, which gets rid of inconsistencies that made it feel sloppy on top of the other objections that people had. And it was that sloppiness that really bothered me personally. The rest can be viewed positively or negatively based on whether you agree with the designer’s vision for the story, but the sloppiness could not be excused. So I was really happy to see that cleaned up.

Eh, I think the fix made ME3’s ending worse but that’s a discussion we can have after somebody finishes the damn game.

Mass Effect 3 is fine and the ending is fine. People wanted a fly off into the sunset happy bullshit ending and they got a dose of Real. They couldn’t handle it.

Going back and watching the Mass Effect videos on YouTube remind me what an utter piece of shit Andromeda is.

You know what were good CRPGs? Gold Box games.

Yeah they were pretty good. Thirty years ago, grandpa!

Every CRPG after Telengard is a footnote.


It can still be procedural and static though, they just use the one seed for everyone. Like No Man’s Sky, where everyone (initially) plays in the same galaxy.

I guess, if they mean “This planet doesn’t render until you get there” type of thing. Maybe.

I think the surface terrain of planets was procedural at least. Done like a rogue-like.

If you think about it, 800 planets, and the amount of RAM the thing had to run in… 128k or something.

Wow, thank you for sharing! Huge labor of love by these folks!

Yeah, but the planets were static, same stuff at the same places each time.

Same with No Man’s Sky. But they were generated with that same stuff at the same places using procedural generation.

See this post


So basically no-one went through and manually made terrain for 800 planets and stored that data in the 128K.

It’s done using an algorithm, that gives the same results each time it’s run.

This is from wiki:

The group designed what they called a “fractal generator”, which took six man-years to develop and allowed them to increase the number of planets in the game from 50 to 800.
The game was one of the earliest to use procedurally generated content for planets and everything on them.
The techniques used created a type of roguelike environment on each planet, with the contents randomly distributed.

God dammit, I’ve never been happier to be so wrong.

It’s a proper noun, and has been capitalized in most style guides until recently. I think at this point either usage is acceptable, though the trend is slowly tilting toward lower-case.

Are they talking about the fractal generator stuff for the planet surfaces?

There’s more about the Elite universe generation here:

Here’s the source code for a text prototype of the proc gen model for Elite:

And then proc gen for Frontier: Elite 2

Thanks for the links, Clay! The CRPG Book brought back many happy memories.

Just noticed he mentions my mod in the key mods for Gothic section. I am so proud :)

Which of these was you Alistair?

The Trial was mine. I remember I leveraged the way NPC schedules were designed to change between chapters etc to let the PC assign tasks to buddies they could recruit. Then the quite nice AI handled everything else. So you rescued some bowmen and you could order them to ‘hold the bridge’ say, and they would troop off to the bridge and take up positions there as if scripted. It was a pretty powerful mod system but not trivial to use.