★ TouchArcade needs your help. Click here to support us on Patreon.

Why is there such a dearth of sci-fi RPGs?

03-01-2013, 06:08 PM
#1
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 5
Why is there such a dearth of sci-fi RPGs?

While I'm waiting (and waiting) for Star Command to be released, I'm searching for a sci fi based RPG to play. However, my search has been fairly fruitless (I'm talking true RPGs - I'll give Knights of The Old Republic as an example - and not just a game that builds stats as you play). Back in the infancy of computer gaming, it seemed there were many science fiction oriented RPGs (and many other genres as well). Now you would be hard pressed to find many on ANY platform; PC, iOS, or otherwise.

Why do you think that is? Shouldn't a genre as lush as Sci Fi be well represented throughout the RPG gaming community? Is it because devs stick to the tried and true genre of fantasy, because it's what's profitable right now? The Mass Effect games are certainly successful. Are there certain conventions of sci fi which devs find difficult to translate to RPG systems? Why is a fireball any different than a phaser blast?

I'm curious what everyone thinks (especially devs), and if anyone has a current Sci Fi RPG they can point me to (regardless of platform), please do.

Edit: Just as an aside, I also contributed to the Shadowrun, and Wasteland 2 kickstarters - these are exactly the type of game I'm discussing. I'm also hoping that their (anticipated) success will translate into more publishers taking a chance on the sci fi genre for RPGs.

Last edited by joaquin_ondamoon; 03-01-2013 at 06:17 PM.
03-01-2013, 06:50 PM
#2
Joined: May 2012
Location: In the Chatroom
Posts: 15,759
How about a game like Starcraft? We need something like that bad.

03-02-2013, 12:49 PM
#3
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,176
I would buy 'Mission Europa Collectors Edition' if you like a massive western FPS style sc-fi RPG with incredible customisation. It will always have a place on my iPhone.
03-02-2013, 01:23 PM
#4
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Germany
Posts: 8,722
What I am also missing is a full 3-D 4X with space battles.
Something like Homeworld or Sword of the Stars.
iPhones / iPads, the later generations, should handle this easily.
See Galaxy on Fire 2.

Hi, you seemed to be lost on the Internets.
This is TouchArcade, where 2$ for a game is too much, 5$ is an outrage, and 10$ or more is putting sugar in their car tanks whilst killing puppies.
03-02-2013, 01:40 PM
#5
Joined: May 2012
Location: Narnia
Posts: 2,715
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vovin View Post
What I am also missing is a full 3-D 4X with space battles.
Something like Homeworld or Sword of the Stars.
iPhones / iPads, the later generations, should handle this easily.
See Galaxy on Fire 2.
That game is so fun :3 but once you have the Bloodstar and stuff, I think the only thing left to do is buy every ship in the game. I do hope they come out with more ships in the future
03-02-2013, 01:59 PM
#6
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 747
As far as sci-fi RPGs go, there's more of them than medieval RPGs in the vein of Skyrim (lately at least). I mean, there's:
-Borderlands (FPS RPG hybrid)
-Final Fantasy (older games tend to go more true fantasy, while most new games go more sci-fi, like FFVII, FFXIII, etc.)
-Mass Effect (RPG TPS hybrid with emphasis on dialouge)
-Fallout (kind-of-FPS RPG hybrid with heavy emphasis on dialouge)
-Deus Ex (action stealth RPG)
-SWtOR (plays like KotOR, except is an MMO- free to play)
-Phantasy Star (newer games are all action RPGs, most recent game is out in Japan, releases soon in the US- it's a free to play MMO)
-Shin Megami Tensei and the spin-off Persona (JRPGs, gameplay differs between them- most recent release P4G has heavy emphasis on social sim aspects)

Those are all the sci-fi RPGs I can think of off the top of my head. The biggest platform for sci-fi RPGs is probably PC, with several small/obscure indie titles etc. you can find through Steam.
03-03-2013, 10:53 PM
#7
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by tygamr View Post
As far as sci-fi RPGs go, there's more of them than medieval RPGs in the vein of Skyrim (lately at least). I mean, there's:
-Borderlands (FPS RPG hybrid)
-Final Fantasy (older games tend to go more true fantasy, while most new games go more sci-fi, like FFVII, FFXIII, etc.)
-Mass Effect (RPG TPS hybrid with emphasis on dialouge)
-Fallout (kind-of-FPS RPG hybrid with heavy emphasis on dialouge)
-Deus Ex (action stealth RPG)
-SWtOR (plays like KotOR, except is an MMO- free to play)
-Phantasy Star (newer games are all action RPGs, most recent game is out in Japan, releases soon in the US- it's a free to play MMO)
-Shin Megami Tensei and the spin-off Persona (JRPGs, gameplay differs between them- most recent release P4G has heavy emphasis on social sim aspects)

Those are all the sci-fi RPGs I can think of off the top of my head. The biggest platform for sci-fi RPGs is probably PC, with several small/obscure indie titles etc. you can find through Steam.
Thanks everyone for the suggestions. Being an old school gamer (with the emphasis on OLD), I have played many of the games above (Although I will admit to not being a big fan if J-RPGs). Fallout 1 & 2 and Deus Ex were great, and I haven't given the Mass Effects games a go yet. I am mainly a PC gamer, although I enjoy gaming on all platforms. And I can't wait for the release of both Shadowrun Returns, and Wasteland 2. Both earlier iterations of those games were mainstays of my youth, and I urge those of you with an interest in RPG gaming to seek out both the old and new (soon to be released) versions of those games.

I'm curious though why we don't see more Sci Fi based role playing, and what opinions anyone may have why that seems to be so lately. I'm hoping one big breakthru will kickstart that genre.

Thanks, and feel free to discuss.