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In a talk at GDC Europe J.E. Sawyer, project director at Obsidian Entertainment (Fallout New Vegas) discussed the "challenges that the RPG industry has faced in adapting from its pen and paper roots."

3.)' Strategic failures feel really bad -- In an extreme example, he mentioned that The Bard's Tale, a 1980s classic, required you to have a bard in your party to progress past a certain point -- something that was not telegraphed by anything but the game's title.

More relevantly, Icewind Dale and Temple of Elemental Evil required the player to create entire parties at the adventure's outset. "The games were tuned for D&D veterans. There are tons of ways you can make strategic errors. There are tons of ways you can make bad parties. What happens is 20 to 30 hours into the game, you can't go any further."

"Yes, the player made the error but we placed a high demand on them," Sawyer said.

In Fallout 1 and 3, specializing in "big guns" was not that useful, as there were few such weapons and they didn't show up early in the game -- neither of which the player could know at the point of character creation. "In Fallout New Vegas, we got rid of the big guns skill and pushed those guns into other gun categories."

"We kept the idea, we wanted the experience, but we didn't want them to have to deal with the weird system," he said.

"I don't see a compelling reason to not" let players re-spec characters that aren't suited to the gameplay design in an RPG, he also added.
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