Games Workshop, Dawn of War, and What Wizards Can Learn From It.

Games Workshop is a company that makes tabletop wargames, which is a very comparable business to WotC's. Their best-selling product is Warhammer 40000, and several popular video games have been made based on it: the Dawn of War series of Real Time Strategy games, and the first person shooter Space Marine. I play WH40k sometimes, and one thing I noted was that a lot of new players got into the wargame because of the video games. Wizards of the Coast could do the same thing with their own IP.

That's not anything new, of course. There have been a lot of video games based on D&D in the past. However, one thing that can be noted is that while the video games based on D&D have had mechanics similar to D&D's, Dawn of War and Space Marine share no mechanics with the tabletop game. They only share the setting. Yet they still brought people to the tabletop by exposing it to the mainstream video game audience, and WotC could take advantage of this. They could liscense their settings to one or two game studios right now, so that when the games are finished, so will 5th edition. It could prove a more effective way to get publicity than simple advertising ever could be.

For example, wouldn't it be awesome to have an RTS of the Blood War? There has been a lull in good new RTS games recently, and over the years the Hordes of the Abyss and the Legions of Hell have gotten a lot of setting and character development and artwork which would give the game its own unique feel. It would sell on its own merit, and also have the D&D logo printed on it to get people to look into the game.

Another idea would be a dungeon delving Action-Adventure, kind of like Diablo but with the aesthetic of Eberron, and having you control a whole party of adventurers working together rather than a single character. Eberron's look has often been chided as "video gamey", which in this case is perfect: the magitech and the exotic look would be very eye-catching on the computer screen.

What do you think? Is it a good idea? Are there any video games you'd like to see in D&D's settings? Also, if you have any other ideas for getting D&D to the wider world, feel free to suggest them also.
Reacqiure the rights to those two Capcom arcade games.
Make a 4E translation/remake of Curse of the Azure Bonds
...whatever
Games Workshop is a company that makes tabletop wargames, which is a very comparable business to WotC's. Their best-selling product is Warhammer 40000, and several popular video games have been made based on it: the Dawn of War series of Real Time Strategy games, and the first person shooter Space Marine. I play WH40k sometimes, and one thing I noted was that a lot of new players got into the wargame because of the video games. Wizards of the Coast could do the same thing with their own IP.

That's not anything new, of course. There have been a lot of video games based on D&D in the past. However, one thing that can be noted is that while the video games based on D&D have had mechanics similar to D&D's, Dawn of War and Space Marine share no mechanics with the tabletop game. They only share the setting. Yet they still brought people to the tabletop by exposing it to the mainstream video game audience, and WotC could take advantage of this. They could liscense their settings to one or two game studios right now, so that when the games are finished, so will 5th edition. It could prove a more effective way to get publicity than simple advertising ever could be.

For example, wouldn't it be awesome to have an RTS of the Blood War? There has been a lull in good new RTS games recently, and over the years the Hordes of the Abyss and the Legions of Hell have gotten a lot of setting and character development and artwork which would give the game its own unique feel. It would sell on its own merit, and also have the D&D logo printed on it to get people to look into the game.

Another idea would be a dungeon delving Action-Adventure, kind of like Diablo but with the aesthetic of Eberron, and having you control a whole party of adventurers working together rather than a single character. Eberron's look has often been chided as "video gamey", which in this case is perfect: the magitech and the exotic look would be very eye-catching on the computer screen.

What do you think? Is it a good idea? Are there any video games you'd like to see in D&D's settings? Also, if you have any other ideas for getting D&D to the wider world, feel free to suggest them also.



I think you left out the biggest Videogame influenced by Gamesworkshop- if I'm not mistaken Warcraft was originally meant to be a takeoff from warhammer but something happened during development and Blizz decided to take the mechanics they'd been working on and work on their own IP (azeroth).  So All of you who hate inclusion of WoW concepts in DnD blame Games Workshop:P

(don't have a link to this and can't remember where I saw it - even if i'm completely wrong it's a good rumour:P)
 


I think you left out the biggest Videogame influenced by Gamesworkshop- if I'm not mistaken Warcraft was originally meant to be a takeoff from warhammer but something happened during development and Blizz decided to take the mechanics they'd been working on and work on their own IP (azeroth).  So All of you who hate inclusion of WoW concepts in DnD blame Games Workshop:P

(don't have a link to this and can't remember where I saw it - even if i'm completely wrong it's a good rumour:P



That rumour was debunked plenty of times, but even if it were true it would be beside the point: the big thing is to actually share the IP and spread the brand, not just to be influenced by it. Tongue Out
The Birthright settin is perfect to do a kindgom simulation videogame, economic strategy +RPG.

 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 



I think you left out the biggest Videogame influenced by Gamesworkshop- if I'm not mistaken Warcraft was originally meant to be a takeoff from warhammer but something happened during development and Blizz decided to take the mechanics they'd been working on and work on their own IP (azeroth).  So All of you who hate inclusion of WoW concepts in DnD blame Games Workshop:P

(don't have a link to this and can't remember where I saw it - even if i'm completely wrong it's a good rumour:P



That rumour was debunked plenty of times, but even if it were true it would be beside the point: the big thing is to actually share the IP and spread the brand, not just to be influenced by it.



That rumour should never go away - even if it's false it sounds so good it should be true (and I've always thought the warcraft orcs were straight rips from wrahammer I mean comeone they look exactly the same

I see what you are saying and don't disagree with you - much as I think many would decry it I've thought wotc should have tried pulling in fans of their other IP's into DnD as well (this was discussed a while back in a thread about the firewall between dnd and mtg)
 
You forgot Space Hulk from 1993.

Blizzard has admitted that GW's Orcs were an inspiration for theirs.  They've admitted it so many times it is considered homage as opposed to IP theft.
There have been many, many D&D video games and few have brought substantial people into the hobby. And with video game budgets being in the muti-million dollar range, they're a bit cost ineffective to serve as an advertising vehicle. 
At the end of the day it's not WotC that makes the games or has anything but a superficial say in the end product. They need a company willing to make the assorted different styles if game. And typically they can't sell the license to multiple companies: they would need a company willing to make multiple incompatible games of radically different styles.
D&D doesn't have that clout anymore. Heck, the best they can do now us Cryptic, a company that makes subpar MMOs and pretty much released the same game twice only the second time was worse. 

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Make a 4E translation/remake of Curse of the Azure Bonds


I would love to see this done. I played that game so many times. Even ripped it off for one of my one D&D games. Just changed a few of the groups and made the bonds crimson instead of azure. My favorite part was when the players finished making their characters, couple of hours to do so, and I had them drowned in a hurricane. The expressions were great. There was even sputtering. Then the PCs woke up with these Crimson Bonds. 
Anyway....
Also, I would completely love an Eberron set Baldur's Gate style game. Especially with the release of the Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition coming out. Oooo, a Minsc-like Warforged complete with miniture giant space hamster. hehehe
Warhammer 40K has a big advantage over D&D:  it has a single, extremely well-developed setting that is, for lack of a better word, charismatic.  The atmosphere of the 40K universe, that absurd over-the-top grimdarkness and steadfast refusal to let common sense stand in the way of what's awesome, is immediately distinctive, and appealing to many players.  So if they encounter it in one game, and like it, they're likely to try out other games from the same brand.

D&D doesn't have this.  Its flagship settings are Greyhawk and the Forgotten Realms, both of which - let's be honest - are pretty paint-by-numbers as far as fantasy worlds go.  They don't have a unique attitude the way the 40K universe does.  Very few players are going to play through Baldur's Gate and then think to themselves, "I must have more of this setting!"  If they like Baldur's Gate, they'll look for more fantasy RPGs in general, not D&D games in particular.
If only it were that simple. I believe bioware's dragon age: origins was supposed to be based off od DnD but that fell through and they created their own world. But a game by bioware is what WotC would need, as they are masters of introducing a world (galaxy) people want to get to know. If Ed Greenwood could sit down with Bioware and co-design the game to be true to the realms a trilogy would be a massive hit and bring a number of people to DnD. Not to mention it would be an amazing way to introduce the sundering.
I wonder Cryptic/Perfect World could create a Kara-Tur videogame.

What about copyright of other WotC IPs like Star*Drive? Star*Drive could a new Mass Efect. 

Was Atari creating the videogame "Gamma World: Alpha Mutation"? If Fallout can be rpg videogame why not..?

Could other videogame companies made official D&D videogame about other settins like Ravenloft, Dragonlance, Mystara (Red Steel), Dark Sun, Seplljammer, Planescape, Greyhawk?

What if Hasbro buys a videogame studio?


 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

You forgot Space Hulk from 1993.

Blizzard has admitted that GW's Orcs were an inspiration for theirs.  They've admitted it so many times it is considered homage as opposed to IP theft.



They have also admitted that much of the inspiration to the "world" has come from D&D play and love, as well as LotR.  Its all cyclic.

"The turning of the tide always begins with one soldier's decision to head back into the fray"

If only it were that simple. I believe bioware's dragon age: origins was supposed to be based off od DnD but that fell through and they created their own world. But a game by bioware is what WotC would need, as they are masters of introducing a world (galaxy) people want to get to know. If Ed Greenwood could sit down with Bioware and co-design the game to be true to the realms a trilogy would be a massive hit and bring a number of people to DnD. Not to mention it would be an amazing way to introduce the sundering.



Funny you say this, and it may very well be true, but...

I have 3 kids that play 11-15, and have over the course of 4 years got many of their friends to play.  Now, I have a handful of kids I can call to run game sessions, and more keep poping up.  But, I will tell you flat out, I lose twice as many as I gain that come to me thinking D&D is like some video game they played only to walk away saying is "boring", there's no "visual", it's not like (insert game).

I agree that yes, a video game may help, but D&D players are a different group.  I'm not saying smarter, I'm simply saying they need a mindset that can "see the game" and "see the action" in their minds.  Most everyone in my groups is also an avid reader surprisingly.  There's a definite connection there.

I love Dragon Age, Skyrim, WoW, (EQ of old), Halo, etc... but I'd play D&D over them all with a table-full of real people.

"The turning of the tide always begins with one soldier's decision to head back into the fray"

You forgot Space Hulk from 1993.

Blizzard has admitted that GW's Orcs were an inspiration for theirs.  They've admitted it so many times it is considered homage as opposed to IP theft.



Well, considering that GW rarely has an original idea of their own.... 
With the right IP, a D&D VG could get players into the tabletop realms.

My choice would be to develop a detailed VGRPG based on the original Dragonlance Chronicles, in a similar vein to some of the Final Fantasy or Dragonquest games. Lush visuals, a dense history, and a gripping story will bring people to Krynn for more. 

Just roll some dice.

 

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I love Dragon Age, Skyrim, WoW, (EQ of old), Halo, etc... but I'd play D&D over them all with a table-full of real people.


I think that's what WotC has to sell:  the unique experience of tabletop roleplaying where you're face-to-face with friends and anything you imagine can happen.  That's how they can differentiate their product from the scripted and impersonal fare found in computer RPGs.  To that end, I'm convinced that the Acquisitions Inc. games are the best advertising D&D has gotten in a long time.  But the take home point of this is that WotC can't take a page out of the Warhammer 40K playbook, because their product has a very different appeal than 40K.  Games Workshop can use video games to show people that Warhammer 40K is a fun universe to play in, but WotC can't use video games to show people that the kitchen table is a fun place to play on.
My choice would be to develop a detailed VGRPG based on the original Dragonlance Chronicles, in a similar vein to some of the Final Fantasy or Dragonquest games. Lush visuals, a dense history, and a gripping story will bring people to Krynn for more. 


I have to disagree.  I don't think the D&D tabletop rules should be used in the brand's computer games, but they should still stay far, far away from JRPG conventions.  They have fundamentally different playstyles and appeals, and selling a D&D-branded JRPG would be a completely misleading pitch for how the tabletop game plays.

Though I do think Dragonlance is a more promising flagship setting than Grayhawk or FR.  It's still very generic fantasy in terms of content, but it's got more of a character to it.  More romanticism, almost an Arthurian feel.  But I have a vague impression that there's some sort of snarl in the rights to the setting...?
Whe should make a difference, the RPG and the IP (Intellectual Property). The second, the "copyright" has got a great future. 

About the RPG...the industry has changed by internet and videogames, and it is good and it is bad. Today buying a videogame is better that a expensive book, for example here in my land the franchise Drakensang/the Dark Eye was totally unknown until the videogame.


A option could be a virtual tabletop like D&D Insider but I suggest it were added to canon D&D videogame like a extra. I have tried Heroes of Newerwinter, the facebook game and...when quest started to be too dificoult and always the identical dungeons..it was boring for me.

 OK, There are some GW videogames with good sales, but there was failed attepts in the past. Fogorten Realms videogames haven´t been only Newerwinter. The label "D&D" isn´t enough, the game must be fun.

And forget the vacian system!! It doesn´t work very good when it used by videogame adaptations.
 

 



 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

And forget the vacian system!! It doesn´t work very good when it used by videogame adaptations.


It could work if the game is presented more as a strategy/RPG hybrid.  Something like Mount & Blade, where the bad guys actually run around and do stuff as the days go by.  But yeah, in the typical video game RPG where they just sit in their dungeons and wait for you to come kill them, it's a poor system.
The Baldur's Gate Enhanced Edition came out this year.  The buzz has been that if it's successful, we will probably see similarly updated remakes of Baldur's Gate II, Planescape: Torment and perhaps the Icewind Dale series.

Not exactly what the OP is looking for though, as those games (And some others, like Tempel of Elemental Evil) are straight adaptions of the PnP RPG to the computer.

~~~

Of course, there's a small problem with using D&D's IP alone, say to create a RTS game or a 4X game or an Action-Adventure... and that's that so much of what makes D&D... D&D is the fact that the end-user also creates content.

D&D Has tried to do a non-RPG at least once -- Dragonshard, an Eberron RTS.  Frankly, it was actually pretty good mechanically, but I think it failed to go anywhere or get the same sort of attention as the Black Isle games because its story mode was painfully short and a little dull.

The other problem with trying to create a D&D Video Game is that it's been done by plenty of people who aren't D&D.  D&D is, after all, really strongly at the root of "modern" fantasy, especially in the arena of gaming.  D&D would, for instance, struggle to make a first-person real-time RPG because it will struggle to be distinct from the Elder Scrolls series.  It finds its avenues choked in the MMO and Hack-and-slash/Roguelike market by Blizzard with WoW and Diablo.  To a lesser extent, RTS is also difficult thanks to warcraft itself, but it has been quite some time since Warcraft III.

A third person fantasy non-RPG action-adventure with the D&D brand might do a little better, since the biggest name it's competing with there is The Legend of Zelda, and somethign coming from D&D's IP would likely be quite different.  They could also move in on the more traditional RPG market (turn-based combat, real-time exploration, party of characters most or all of whom aren't blanks for the end-user to 'write' - think Final Fantasy 7 or Golden Sun.  The style is sometimes called "JRPG" but frankly that implies a lot more conventions.  Perhaps Arcanum would be a better example?), but that strays into the "I know, let's adapt the PnP rules" region.

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About the RPG...the industry has changed by internet and videogames, and it is good and it is bad. Today buying a videogame is better that a expensive book, for example here in my land the franchise Drakensang/the Dark Eye was totally unknown until the videogame.

And now it's really different for the P&P version? AFAIK they don't even produce any foreign language versions anymore after the englisch and french both bombed they retreated to their home market.
Drakensang has been one of most sold videogames published by FX Interactive in Spain. Today there is a Drakensagn online videogame, and we are talking about a German rpg. I say videogame industry can open new doors to some IP from rpg that now they would "dead". Think about "Bloodbowl" by Game Workshop, or Mechwarrior.

But about Vacian magic in videogame I remeber I was in a cyber-café, and somebody was playing Newerinter. He used all spells and rested, the casted all magic and rested again. I think 4th Ed wanted tried it.

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

But about Vacian magic in videogame I remeber I was in a cyber-café, and somebody was playing Newerinter. He used all spells and rested, the casted all magic and rested again. I think 4th Ed wanted tried it.


Yeah, like I said, that's what will happen if the monsters just wait around for you.  The key to solving this problem is to give enemies a dynamic AI so that they do stuff in the eight hours you've given them.  In fact, the old random encounter tables were a primitive first attempt at doing exactly this on the tabletop.  After all, exactly the same thing happens on the tabletop when the DM doesn't run the monsters dynamically as happens on the computer when the AI doesn't run the monsters dynamically.

Drakensang has been one of most sold videogames published by FX Interactive in Spain.

But is there now a spanish version of the RPG? Did it help them to bring their game to Spain?

 

Today there is a Drakensagn online videogame, and we are talking about a German rpg.

However the online game has nothing to do anymore with the RPG. The company doing the game went bankrupt (a shame, since the game and it's successor River of Time both were very nice), were bought by another company who didn't get the right to the RPG anymore and simply slapped the Drakensang name on their online game. It's not set in the RPG's setting anymore.


So while a good D&D game would certainly bring some royalties for WotC, whether it would truly advace the tabletop RPG is less given. In fact, Hasbor could decide that's no longer worth bothering with the week margins of the RPG and milk the D&D brand solely with licensed videogames and similiar branded non-tabletop-RPG products


But about Vacian magic in videogame I remeber I was in a cyber-café, and somebody was playing Newerinter. He used all spells and rested, the casted all magic and rested again. I think 4th Ed wanted tried it.


Yeah, like I said, that's what will happen if the monsters just wait around for you.  The key to solving this problem is to give enemies a dynamic AI so that they do stuff in the eight hours you've given them.  In fact, the old random encounter tables were a primitive first attempt at doing exactly this on the tabletop.  After all, exactly the same thing happens on the tabletop when the DM doesn't run the monsters dynamically as happens on the computer when the AI doesn't run the monsters dynamically.

Well, that was tried in the NWN2 addon were resting was bad for the condition your main-char suffered from through most of the game and people just disliked it and all non-spelllcaster classes simply became so much easier to complete the game as class for your main character.
Yeah, like I said, that's what will happen if the monsters just wait around for you.  The key to solving this problem is to give enemies a dynamic AI so that they do stuff in the eight hours you've given them.  In fact, the old random encounter tables were a primitive first attempt at doing exactly this on the tabletop.  After all, exactly the same thing happens on the tabletop when the DM doesn't run the monsters dynamically as happens on the computer when the AI doesn't run the monsters dynamically.

Well, that was tried in the NWN2 addon were resting was bad for the condition your main-char suffered from through most of the game and people just disliked it and all non-spelllcaster classes simply became so much easier to complete the game as class for your main character.


I played NWN2, but I don't really remember much of it, so I'll take your word on how it worked.  It sounds to me like what you're describing is an avoidable balance problem between the classes rather than a fundamental problem with the idea.

I'm not really talking about a hard-and-fast timer on the main character, anyway.  Imagine that the orc camp out in the hills had an AI that was actually playing what amounted to a little game of Warcraft:  recruiting, expanding, and  raiding all in a dynamic and unscripted fashion.  If you give these orcs time, they will use it to do stuff you probably won't like.  They will have called in reinforcements, and/or repaired the damage you did yesterday, and/or gone off to burn down a town you're supposed to protect, and/or dispatched trackers to hunt you down.
There have been a quite a lot of D&D games produced by many different game studios throughout the years. The Neverwinter Nights games were by far the best.

The last one to come out was Daggersdale which was... not so great. Well, not as terrible as it could have been, but it had some serious drawbacks.

The next one is a MMORPG that is in beta. Doesn't look particularly promising though. Nothing on the webpage suggests there will be anything new or interesting about it.

The Drakensang videogames has been sold here in Spain, but the classic RPG, the paper books, were totally unknown. Videogames open doors, they are like the D&D cartoon show was for the 80´s to promote the fantasy frachise, or the marvel and DC movies to give publicity to some superheroe characters .

And about the future Newerwinter Online...I trust Cryptic because I like Champions Online.






 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

Hasbro has a television channel. Make a show! Worked for ponies.
Hasbro has a television channel. Make a show! Worked for ponies.



I agree, why not a new D&D cartoon show? or other franchise/ I.P. like star*drive or Urban Arcana. 

Or action figures, or star*drive Kre-o boxes.  

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

The ratio of quality vs IP usage has dramatically decreased with time to the point I have stopped hoping for anything good to come out (movie, video game or anything) with the D&D licence. I just get together with old pen and paper friends and play DDO to rememeber the good days (they refuse to get on a NWN server).

I am trully hoping that Next will also give them a boost there. Their boardgame releases do show promise. So maybe they will try to get some quality in the video game world.

What I feel they miss is investment and passion. A game lost in corporate politics and too many middle men usually shows. Whereas a video game that is done out of passion will shine more.

I am seeing this now with the XCOM video game. Purists can blame it (to be honest I call it XCOM junior or dumped down) but at the end of the day there was passion involved in making it and it shows. Tactical turn based combat with new age graphics and soldier permadeath...I don;t care fo rthe name of the game ... Sign me up! Also people are out there yearning for old school turn based games. Look at what Wasteland 2 and Project Infinity did with Kickstarter.

That's all there is to it...I don't care if it is Eberron or Greyhawk, or Forgotten Realms or bloody Red Steel. If they do it with passion and then sparkle it with modern graphics it will work. (and hopefully it will be in Greyhawk ;) )
Another great example is Dishonored. If there were to be a game made, I would love to see it take influences from it. 
Most of the developers that created those old cRPG are on either Obsidian and Bioware.  Bioware won't do anything outside of Electronic Arts now, they basically belong to EA.  Obsidian is more interested on creating games based on their own IP (hence the creation of Project Eternity, wish i am looking forward, i want a knight with a rifle!).

The reason for Obsidian not wanting to make D&D games were mostly things against Atari and WotC, if anybody know Obsidian, they are very riske in things about their games, and alot of the times, the franchise holder and the publisher doesn't like that.  They also shine the most when they have the freedom to make the system it's based on, Fallout 1&2 and Arcanum are my favorite isometrical old school computer RPG, neither of them are based on D&D system, they even stated that using D&D rules on a non-turn based videogame (real time with pause, or pseudo real time like baldur's gate and Neverwinter Nights) was very problematic and brought alot of problem when the system in question is designed for turn based.  I will say this, if Neverwinter Nights 2 wasn't a D&D game and being hindered by D&D 3.5 ruleset and have it's own system build for the game ,as well as having a better story...not attached to generic fantasy such as forgotten realms and having a identiy by itself (or even based on Arcanum's world, wish has this cool technology vs magic thing on a very realistic steampunkish fantasy settings), it could have been so much better.  Modding tools, multiplayer where a player is a DM, the world map on storm of zehir is pretty cool, etc...

It should be noted that i know more people that got into the PnP tabletop D&D because of the D&D videogames, than people that got into D&D videogames because of the PnP Tabletop game.  I am pretty sure a big chunk of 3rd edition and pathfinder players came from playing Neverwinter Nights 1 & 2

Btw, whoever have the rights to the cyberpunk 2020 PnP TabletopRPG, i recommend them to start develope a new edition of the game to released along with the videogame Cyberpunk from CDProjekt
I can kinda agree with the OP's premise, but ultimately Dawn of War and Space Marine worked because they were simply great, well-made games with great mechanics and great design(okay, Space Marine was merely good, but the point still stands), and not because they were different from their tabletop origins.

Finding great mechanics may mean that developers should ignore the tabletop mechanics, but that doesn't mean they should always abandon the source material mechanics.  Look at Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale.  I haven't made an exhaustive look at the mechanics, but a cursory glance shows that those game do have lots of similarities to D&D.

Beyond Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale, there have been other great D&D games.  Planescape Torment is probably the best D&D game ever, and Demon Stone was pretty good (and had no direct relation to D&D mechanics at all).  And Neverwinter Nights was excellent, and was great partially because of its direct similarity to tabletop rules.

So, while I get the OP's point, what is most important is making a good game, whether that means the mechanics are similar or radically different from the original tabletop experience. 
Essentials zigged, when I wanted to continue zagging. Roll dice, not cars.
I will say this, if Neverwinter Nights 2 wasn't a D&D game and being hindered by D&D 3.5 ruleset and have it's own system build for the game ,as well as having a better story...not attached to generic fantasy such as forgotten realms and having a identiy by itself (or even based on Arcanum's world, wish has this cool technology vs magic thing on a very realistic steampunkish fantasy settings), it could have been so much better.  Modding tools, multiplayer where a player is a DM, the world map on storm of zehir is pretty cool, etc...



Well, if this is your opinion then there is a fundamental problem about making any game based on the D&D system... it is fundamentally far too generic and the system is unreasonably constraining, so any game based on it is kind of doomed to be terrible. It might also contribute to why every D&D movie is terrible.

WarHammer, Final Fantasy, WarCraft, EverQuest and countless others already swiped all the best innovations that were made by D&D, dropped the worst elements from it and then added their own uniques twists and much stronger thematic elements when creating their own franchises. The direct result of this is that it is pretty inevitable that D&D would come off as the dull, generic fantasy world.
 
Granted, there are D&D campaign worlds that seem far less vanilla than Greyhawk and Forgotten Realms... Dragonlance and Eberron have stronger thematic and story elements. 

Dark Sun and Eberron would be the less generic, but Eberron may feel very generic jRPGish without the anime tropes.  That's one of the reasons i want a new campaing settings that feel fresh and new, not re-releasing old campaing settings who by now are so generic to the point of not having an identity at all.

That was my problem with Dragon Age's videogame, the setting still felt very generic, and while it was meant to be very dark and mature, it paled in comparison to the very dark, gritty, mature and realistic The Witcher 2 that was released around the time Dragon Age 2 was released... I don't know about The Witcher novels, but in the games, the settings looks more like a deconstruction of the medieval fantasy.
Well, if this is your opinion then there is a fundamental problem about making any game based on the D&D system... it is fundamentally far too generic and the system is unreasonably constraining, so any game based on it is kind of doomed to be terrible.


Yes, that is a fundamental problem.  It doesn't doom a game.  Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights garnered great acclaim on the strength of their characters and storytelling.  But I will say that the fact that they were D&D games contributed nothing to their critical success.  They were just great games that happened to use D&D IP.  (Though Planescape:  Torment probably benefited from the unique setting of Planescape.)

The D&D brand has nothing to offer video games except name recognition.  It's obviously inspired countless fantasy game designers, but they haven't needed to use the brand to design and sell their games.  Even the parts of D&D that ostensibly are a part of its unique brand identity - like beholders and mind flayers - are mimicked in other games with laughable regularity.
One other thing to note is the Vanilla vs Unique concept. Here I dissagree with some of the posters above. There ARE great stories to be told in FR and GH. People haven't manage to tell them right or (mor elikeley) got involved in political, corporate and IP hurdles.

To me Temple of Elemental Evil was great as a game (possibly due to the original module's place in my heart) but it was straight up fantasy cheesy and cliche (with some twists). Even the later Pool of Radiance had hope despite its poor implementation.

Don't bash the cliche vanilla setting - there are still amazing thigns to do with it...You just need the right people and the necessary creative license to go crazy and this is where I feel that movies an dgames have failed for WotC/Hasbro.

Dragonage did fine. And no matter the game style preferences the story was great. Why not do such a story in a D&D setting?

Salvatore's work for Amalur? Why not in a D&D game? Why not get mr Greenwood himself to do some design consultancy on the stetting and background. (The addition of Elminster and Lolth in the DDO expansions - even though not directly involved with Ed - was a breath of fresh air - or annoynance depending on the player; but yet it did stir a bit the waters)

Imagine a Greyhawk Wars strategy game (maybe a bit of Risk board game strategy, maybe a bit of Civilisation but with names like Iuz, Belvor, Mordenkainen, etc) - maybe each battle goes into a skirmish mode and you paly a turn based or real time combat...

Maybe a redux on Undermountain - as a decent action RPG dungeoncrawling game (get some random generated loot in there and the diablo crowd will go crazy especially since the third installment didn't do as well as expected)

And if they did a decent NWN installment and get a dedicated team to sprout out original modules and have them up each quarter as competitive ladders who wouldn't join? (Right we did well in winter's competition : Ghost Tower but weeeell maybe we would pass next Spring's dungeon - it's Tomb of Horrors ;)

If you have a trully innovative and  powerfull team you could try something that has not yet worked in previous games - a stealth game if you play a Rogue character, or a God of War (maybe slightly more realistic in combat though) game if you go fighter or an FPS if you go mage....and you have a simple Action RPG.

....big problem, one of the critism of Kingdoms of Amalur was that the story and settings were very "fantasy meh" and uninspired and the only interesting thing about the world was the art style.

Temple of Elemental Evil story being good is not because it's D&D, it's because nostalgia,  hell Obsidian/Trokia/Black Isle had to remove and change alot of the content before release because wotc and hasbro didn't wanted to diverge into more riske things.

While i found Dragon Age very uninspired and dull (personal opinion), it deals with some thematic changes that won't be adopted by wotc because it's can be kinda riske like the chantry vs mages is an analogy to the catholic inquisition for example.

What wotc need at this point it's to develope a new settings/world and promote it like crazy or launch it with big budget videogame RPG by a experienced developer (and also develope that world and settings along with them), alot of the times when you finish a great videogame with story and world, you want more and wish there was a PnP Tabletop RPG of it, that's one of the reasons they made the Dragon Age RPG, some people wanted more of that settings and world,  i was left wanting for more Arcanum and Deus Ex and it's world.
Don't bash the cliche vanilla setting - there are still amazing thigns to do with it...You just need the right people and the necessary creative license to go crazy and this is where I feel that movies an dgames have failed for WotC/Hasbro.


Sure, you can make a fine game with a vanilla fantasy setting.  My point is that when you do, the setting doesn't matter.  When Black Isle made Baldur's Gate, they would have told a great story and made a great game whether they were using the Forgotten Realms or Azeroth or Tamriel or Ferelden or Amalur or anywhere else.  The problem with a vanilla fantasy setting isn't that its games have to be terrible; it's that its games don't sell that particular setting.  When you play Space Marine and like it, you think, "Wow!  I want more of this Warhammer 40K thing!" because the setting plays an integral role in the game's appeal.  But when you play Baldur's Gate and like it, you think, "Wow!  I want more of this fantasy RPG thing!" because the setting is generic and interchangeable.

Also note that building a unique and appealing setting does not require tossing out elves in the woods and dwarves in the mountains and all the other expected fantasy tropes.  After all, if you look at Warhammer 40K, it doesn't exactly bend over backwards to avoid science fiction clichés:  you've got your ravenous bug aliens and your advanced elder aliens and your armored marines and your giant war robots and your space battleships and so on.  All those are just surface elements.  When you dig down to the core of its appeal, 40K is unique because of its aesthetic, its style, its attitude.

....big problem, one of the critism of Kingdoms of Amalur was that the story and settings were very "fantasy meh" and uninspired and the only interesting thing about the world was the art style.


It's why I didn't buy it.  Played the demo, and I felt that the game was trying so hard to be Kingdoms of Azeroth it wasn't even funny.  Combat was solid, though, and I liked the way that its multiclassing worked.