In Defense of CETERPGs

Irineu

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Hey!

I know that you who are reading have no idea what a CETERPG is, so I will start this topic by defining the meaning of this newly created term.

CETERPG: It comes from the junction of the Greek word Ceterum, which means hydra, and the acronym RPG, which means Role-Playing Game. It is a type of RPG that differs from the style of the current Indies RPGs, having influences from the RPGs of the 80s and 90s, but that is not closed to topics or ideas of the time. CETERPGs subtly present philosophies, thoughts, worldview and/or criticism from the creator. It is not just an RPG about philosophy, politics or anything like that, CETERPG is a kind of revival of RPG in its essence. At the time when we had great examples like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Chrono Trigger, Breath of Fire and others, we had several types of limitations. CETERPG is a type of RPG that does not try to be something deconstructive, nor just more of the same. It is something that is different, but that preserves the essence of RPG.

First of all, I would like to clarify that I do not hate or think it is a bad game because it follows the current formula of Indies RPGs, but think it's somewhat bad how much they are dominating the Fanbase of current RPGs. What do I mean by current Indies RPGs? Examples that I would give of RPGs that are following the that formula (it doesn't have to be an Indie game) are Undertale, Hearthbound, Yume Nikki, Mogeko Castle, Omori and (perhaps) the Mario & Luigi series. What do these games (with the exception of Mario & Luigi) have in common? They all seek to be a deconstruction of their genre and, probably, have Mother 3 inspirations. Why do I include Mario & Luigi among those mentioned? Why Mario & Luigi is too different from the classic JRPGs and CETERPGs, but at the time it doesn't try to be a RPG deconstruction, so I can't really define what it is, despite being my favorite Mario spin-off. Returning to the subject, why is the popularity of this style a bad thing? When we have the popularization of a certain product on the market, the offer of that product will become more and more common, that is, it will be usual to see anyone producing, which will generate saturation. This means that both the most talented producers and the least will produce. This means that, with the popularization of the current RPG style, both great games and bad games would be made. What's the problem? Taking into account that there are good and bad games of all topics and genres. The saturation of a style decreases the critical capacity of the one who loves it, so the individual will make less or no criticism. What happens when a game gets no critics? The creator's next games tend to be at the same level or worse than the previous one, with the aim of criticism is being to make the creator better. In addition, with the extreme saturation of RPGs in the current molds and possible decay of the style, players who prefer classic JRPGs would deprive themselves of any current RPG and players who prefer the current style would not be able to play an oldschool JRPG because of the big difference gameplay, topics, among others.

Why would CETERPG be a good answer to this situation? CETERPG, in a super brief form, is a "halfway point" between the old JRPGs and the current RPGs. It, while not try to be a desconstruction of the genre like Undertale, does not limit itself to topics and ideas of JRPGs like the SNES games. But if CETERPGs became popular, wouldn't it end up like the example given before? No, because unlike the old JRPGs and deconstructed RPGs, CETERPGs have as one of the main characteristics the individualism of the creator.
Even if someone makes a CETERPG and a fan of the game tries to base the style of their game entirely on it, the likelihood of becoming a "copy" is less, because a CETERPG is based on the creator's philosophies, views, and criticisms of the contemporary world, which is practically impossible to copy, taking into account that each human being thinks differently. As CETERPG is a "halfway point" between the old RPGs and the current ones, the chances of someone who prefers oldschool RPGs and someone who prefers current ones to like it are the same.

I may be boring about this, but I will use Earthbound as an example again. I consider Earthbound a CETERPG, despite having been the source of inspiration for the vast majority of today RPGs. Shigesato Itoi didn't completely escape from the RPGs' 90s formula and, at the same time, left his worldview marked in the game in such an implicit way that even today people make theories about what is the game actually represents.

Do you have something to say about it? Do you have any agreement, disagreement or just want to add something from what was written?

That's All!
 
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MushroomCake28

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After reading all of that is that still don't get what a CETERRPG is. A game that includes philosophy and criticism of the modern world from the creator? Isn't that the case like many many artistic work out there (not talking about only games)? More like it used to be the norm, and every artist aimed to criticize the world (Beethoven 5th piano concerto, Shostakovitch 10th symphony, Fontaine from Marcel Duchamp, most of Victor Hugo's work, most of Molière's work, etc.).
 

gstv87

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a CETERPG is based on the creator's philosophies, views, and criticisms of the contemporary world
so,.... could GTA be considered a CETERPG?
I mean, it's a game about crime, in a world where crime is being praised by multiple artists as the actual way to go against an oppressive system.

that term lends itself to many wrong interpretations


EDIT
having influences from the RPGs of the 80s and 90s, but that is not closed to topics or ideas of the time. CETERPGs subtly present philosophies, thoughts, worldview and/or criticism from the creator.
OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH :dumb look:
I get it.
it's exactly that: not-the-RPG-kind of the 80's and 90's that were about saving the princess, or killing the bad guy, and is instead the opposite, *being* the bad guy, because the world the protagonist lives in is influenced by the world the author lives in, and that world is not ideal.
ohhhhhhh..... *nods*
AHM ZTOOPEED (º ) . ( º)
 

Irineu

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After reading all of that is that still don't get what a CETERRPG is. A game that includes philosophy and criticism of the modern world from the creator? Isn't that the case like many many artistic work out there (not talking about only games)? More like it used to be the norm, and every artist aimed to criticize the world (Beethoven 5th piano concerto, Shostakovitch 10th symphony, Fontaine from Marcel Duchamp, most of Victor Hugo's work, most of Molière's work, etc.).
CETERPG is not just an RPG about philosophy, politics or anything like that, CETERPG is a kind of revival of RPG in its essence. At the time when we had great examples like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Chrono Trigger, Breath of Fire and others, we had several types of limitations. Currently, we don't have all these limitations, but I see that people are trying so hard to revolutionize and deconstruct the genre that the essence of RPG is being lost. CETERPG is a type of RPG that does not try to be something deconstructive, nor just more of the same. It is something that is different, but that preserves the essence of RPG.
 

MushroomCake28

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Shouldn't it simply be called a traditional RPG or something? I don't think the name CETERPG is going to stick to be honest.

As for the older final fantasy games, I think there are many indie games that try to stay close to them. I mean, by default the RPG Maker engine isn't far from the old Final Fantasy games (F1-F6).
 

MushroomCake28

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@trouble time From my understanding a CETERRPG is a term OP invented to refer to traditional RPGs of the 80-90s such as the first Final Fantasy games (F1-F6). It seems to me OP finds that modern RPGs are breaking away from the model of those games. That is my understanding from the post, but like I said I think many RPGs today are trying to imitate those old RPGs.
 

trouble time

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@trouble time From my understanding a CETERRPG is a term OP invented to refer to traditional RPGs of the 80-90s such as the first Final Fantasy games (F1-F6). It seems to me OP finds that modern RPGs are breaking away from the model of those games. That is my understanding from the post, but like I said I think many RPGs today are trying to imitate those old RPGs.
I know you cant answer for OP but i wanted to use this information for a follow up. What does philosophy or world view uniquely from other games
 

Irineu

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Shouldn't it simply be called a traditional RPG or something? I don't think the name CETERPG is going to stick to be honest.
No, because CETERPG has differences compared to classic RPGs. CETERPGs, in general, are more ideological, however are deeper and more subtle about hidden messages and meanings. Besides that, CETERPGs have more freedom to talk about unusual topics in old JRPGs. So what would be the difference between a CETERPG and an RPG in the current mold? The first is not so radical as to break things that make an RPG be an RPG. It is a reaction to saturation of deconstructed RPGs and the possible forgetfulness of the bases of classic RPGs.

What are you defending CETERPGS from
Isn't a defense in the literal sense. CETERPG, basically, is a reaction against the saturation of deconstructed RPGs, so its a defense against the forgetfulness of the bases of RPGs.
what do hyrdas have to do with anything
Again, it isn't the literal meaning of the word. Hydra, in Greek mythology, was a monster with multiple heads that, as one of its heads were cut off, others were born. The name of that term is a analogy to the fact of the essence of the hydra (its heads) cannot be destroyed.
 

trouble time

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A hydra's heads can be destroied, via fire as Heracles did, but more importantly what do you mean by ideological.

I do agree that deconstruction is overdone, but i dont really think that we need a term like Cider RPG
 

Countyoungblood

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Wouldnt this just be parables in regular rpgs? Rpg is already a very broad definition in which lots of things fit.
 

Irineu

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A hydra's heads can be destroied, via fire as Heracles did
I meant destroyed via cuts.

but more importantly what do you mean by ideological.
Mother 3, for example, is ideological. During the game, there is a subtle criticism of consumerism and the effects of money (Some people go further and say that it is a criticism of capitalism, but that is another matter).

Wouldnt this just be parables in regular rpgs?
No, because, at least for me, this has a meaning bigger than being a just parable, cuz CETERPGs have a context out of the game.
 

HawkZombie

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Put me in with he group that isn't getting this. Where did you first hear the term CETERPG? What does CETE stand for? If it's nothing, then you should call it Cete RPGs or Ceterum RPGs

But even then...I don't understand how it ties in to a hydra? A hyrda is a multi-headed beast, but you then talk about decostruction of traditional RPGs rather than a game that has multiple facets/ideologies all in one. A mishmash of (often) contradictory ideologies.

Honestly, it feels like this sub-genre isn't really that defined or clear, as any game, even traditional ones, could fall under the umbrella if they 'subtly present philosophies, thoughts, worldview and/or criticism from the creator.'
 

TheoAllen

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I don't like the new term. You make it up, you make the world confused, and instead of actually engaging with the topic, they're wondering what the heck is the new term even means. The meaning may be bigger for you, but it means nothing for others so that it is hard to relate. This is not how you communicate.

But let's put that aside, I will call your definition by "Personal RPG". Or you can scratch the RPG part so it applies to any genre of a game. Let me rephrase the definition to be easier to understand, or at least this is what I've thought (do note that I don't care about the label, as long as we have a the same definition/understanding).

CETERPGs subtly present philosophies, thoughts, worldview and/or criticism from the creator.
"It is a sub-genre(?) where it is influenced largely by the dev's point of view."

No, because unlike the old JRPGs and deconstructed RPGs, CETERPGs have as one of the main characteristics the individualism of the creator.
Even if someone makes a CETERPG and a fan of the game tries to base the style of their game entirely on it, the likelihood of becoming a "copy" is less, because a CETERPG is based on the creator's philosophies, views, and criticisms of the contemporary world, which is practically impossible to copy, taking into account that each human being thinks differently.
"Because it is largely influenced by the dev's point of view, it is unlikely that even the clone of the game may not be the same."

I still don't understand the "deconstruction of their genre" part? Can you give an example with tangible parameters on what counts as "deconstruction of their genre"?
 

Irineu

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Where did you first hear the term CETERPG?
The term, in itself, I created, but what I call CETERPG has been around for a while.

What does CETE stand for?
CETE is not an acronym, but an abbreviation.

I don't understand how it ties in to a hydra? A hyrda is a multi-headed beast, but you then talk about decostruction of traditional RPGs rather than a game that has multiple facets/ideologies all in one. A mishmash of (often) contradictory ideologies.
Again, it isn't the literal meaning of the word. Hydra, in Greek mythology, was a monster with multiple heads that, as one of its heads were cut off, others were born. The name of that term is a analogy to the fact of the essence of the hydra (its heads) cannot be destroyed.
Honestly, it feels like this sub-genre isn't really that defined or clear, as any game, even traditional ones, could fall under the umbrella if they 'subtly present philosophies, thoughts, worldview and/or criticism from the creator.'
To tell you the truth, I somewhat agree that this sub-genre is not so clear, but it is not exclusively about philosophies or ideologies.
CETERPGs, in general, are more ideological, however are deeper and more subtle about hidden messages and meanings. Besides that, CETERPGs have more freedom to talk about unusual topics in old JRPGs. So what would be the difference between a CETERPG and an RPG in the current mold? The first is not so radical as to break things that make an RPG be an RPG. It is a reaction to saturation of deconstructed RPGs and the possible forgetfulness of the bases of classic RPGs.
I don't like the new term. You make it up, you make the world confused, and instead of actually engaging with the topic, they're wondering what the heck is the new term even means. The meaning may be bigger for you, but it means nothing for others so that it is hard to relate. This is not how you communicate.
So... Is the problem, in general, the name of or as I explained in the thread? I posted this thread on a different forum and there was not so much confusion.

I still don't understand the "deconstruction of their genre" part? Can you give an example with tangible parameters on what counts as "deconstruction of their genre"?
Basically, every genre has bases in its structure. Turn battles, spells (or special abilities) and leveling up are the basis of a classic RPG. Undertale, is not a purely battle-based RPG, has no spells or any special abilities, and does not depend on leveling up for game progression. The breakdown of bases is what I call deconstruction, which is why games like Undertale are deconstruction of genre.

Note: The edits made on this reply happened because I accidentally posted before finish.
 
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WaywardMartian

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... 'Hydra' is the Greek word for hydra and 'ceterum' is Latin for 'furthermore'.

I prefer RPGs with basic oldschool gameplay and complex stories too, but there doesn't need to be a new word for that.

Deconstruction isn't a bad thing - it's criticism as art. Taking things apart shows us how they work. Deconstructive RPGs aren't "cutting away" at traditional RPGs - there's no Deconstructive Hercules trying to kill the Traditional RPG Hydra. The existence or even oversaturation of deconstructive RPGs is not a problem that needs to be solved by 'people should make more of the kind of RPG I personally prefer'.
 

HawkZombie

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I agree with Wayward. Even if this term were to take off (and I pray it does not) there isn't really anything to 'fight'...RPGs have been traditional and untraditional since their inception, pretty much. I would argue that most we consider traditional actually, technically, aren't. Or that there are far more of the 'quirky' than people realize.
 

MushroomCake28

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Yeah, basically what is nontraditional now may well become traditional in a couple of years.
 

HumanNinjaToo

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I would appreciate some example of these 'cete' RPGs, and maybe an example of what makes them different or sets them into their own category. So far all I am reading in this thread is a bunch of esoteric mumbo-jumbo...
 

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