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Default CRPG Analyzer: A checklist for computer role-playing games

May 24th, 2013, 16:03
Originally Posted by Nameless one View Post
No leveling system doesn't mean no character progression later on.
Ah, but we don't have leveling as a requirement, just character progression. Should be OK then.

Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Any newer GTA would score roughly the following:

Character Development
(..)
C2) you can develop (Stats, Skills,…) your party by questing (= using your skills )
(..)No.
No in one element means no for the whole category. Story + Exploration - Character Development = Adventure

However, the model breaks once you pop in GTA, Saints Row and so on. (..) GTA is every bit as RPGish as Oblivion except skills that increase when you use them.
I don't think it breaks. It merely means that we still need to determine where exactly in the CRPG sphere a given game fits in, provided that all main requirements are met. Assuming that Saints Row has stats and skills to use, it could indeed be a CRPG in the broadest sense, just like Oblivion (and why not?). Only, Oblivion is probably far more fleshed out in all areas. (Theorizing here, haven't played any of those games myself).

Does Saints Row have a main goal / story or is it basically a pure sandbox game?

"Mystery is important. To know everything, to know the whole truth, is dull. There is no magic in that. Magic is not knowing, magic is wondering about what and how and where." ~ Cortez, from The Longest Journey
Last edited by Arhu; May 24th, 2013 at 16:21.
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May 24th, 2013, 16:40
Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
No in one element means no for the whole category. Story + Exploration - Character Development = Adventure
Diablo got the CRPG verdict despite not having an interactive story, so a single no doesn't seem to rule a game or category out.

Originally Posted by Arhu View Post
Does Saints Row have a main goal / story or is it basically a pure sandbox game?
Yes, both GTA and Saints Row has stories. They're not particularly interactive, but then again - neither is Oblivion or Diablo.
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May 24th, 2013, 18:56
No stats progression is a big negative for character, a non-RPG for sure
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May 24th, 2013, 19:22
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
We need some borderline games, outsiders … any suggestions ?
Age Of Wonders 1
Aztaka

Black & White ?

SIM's Medieval

Maybe even Cultures ? I mean the Settlers-like game.

The very last King's Quest game.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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May 24th, 2013, 19:36
Thank you for all the input - I use a new trick - Elder Spies do that
I introduce Must Have / Should Have / Nice to Have

Definition of a CRPG (V0.5)


A CRPG is a computer game that fulfills these criterions:

(MH) = Must Have: these criterions have to be fulfilled, if not the game is no CRPG
(SH) = Should Have: these criterions have to be fulfilled too, if not you have to qualify the CRPG. Example: CRPG, no interactive story (=Sandbox CRPG)
(NtH) = Nice to Have: omitted here, still in discussion, just for further info (see Arhu's list)

Character Development
C1) (MH) you can create or chose and control one or more characters
C2) (MH) you can develop your party (stats and/or skills,…) by questing
C3) (MH) you can equip and enhance your characters with items you acquire


Exploration
E1) (MH) by exploring the gameworld you can find new loacations
E2) (MH) you can find items
E3) (MH) you can find NPCs

E4) (SH) you can manipulate the gameworld in some way (levers, buttons,…)
E5) (SH) the gameworld can affect your party (weather, traps, closed doors, …)

Story
S1) (MH) you can progress through a story
S2) (MH) you can interact with NPCs
S3) (MH) you can follow quests (at least one main quest)

S5) (SH) the story is interactive
S6) (SH) you can make choices
S7) (SH) your choices have consequences

I think this solves most of our problems.

@Alrik - please test one of these games with V0.5

PS:
Just for CRPG scientists:
a Venn-diagram with CRPG-Gameworld objects
Attached Images
File Type: png Gameworld.png (38.5 KB, 134 views)

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
Last edited by HiddenX; May 25th, 2013 at 01:23.
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May 24th, 2013, 20:20
Nice, Hidden X. That was along my thoughts as well. Player character skills / traits / feats / attributes that increase with gameplay duration (aka PC development) is a low bar, must have criterion. And interactive story with choices and consequences is a big plus but not necessary (since we want to include games like Diablo in the CPRG category).
Last edited by Thrasher; May 25th, 2013 at 00:17.
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May 24th, 2013, 22:02
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
(NTH) = Nice to Have: omitted here, still in discussion, just for further info (see Arhu's list)
Just for easier reference, here are the points in question:

Character Development
C4) (NtH) gain ranks, achievements, society status
C5) (NtH) character can be customized during character creation
C6) (NtH) choose profession, race
C7) (NtH) build equipment, alchemy
C8) (NtH) freedom in character development, i.e. no fixed classes
C9) (NtH) character development choices have an impact on gameplay

Exploration
E6) (NtH) you can find and recruit new party members
E7) (NtH) you can interact with items (combine or use for more than one purpose)
E8) (NtH) there are few artificial borders, you can reasonably go where you want
E9) (NtH) you can follow different paths to reach a goal

Story
S8) (NtH) Riddles are implemented
S9) (NtH) you can choose allies, enemies
S10) (NtH) predefined context, faction rules, laws, history… is written
S11) (NtH) you can reasonably do what you want when you want to do it (quest order doesn't matter much)
S12) (NtH) you can talk with NPCs about different topics

"Mystery is important. To know everything, to know the whole truth, is dull. There is no magic in that. Magic is not knowing, magic is wondering about what and how and where." ~ Cortez, from The Longest Journey
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May 25th, 2013, 00:08
We have shifted from the intended "what we must have" to define a RPG to "what i would like to see" in a RPG - a completly different standpoint to the project intention.

Be aware that "what i would like" (nice to have) is not a defining methodology, i see (V.05) as near to the max definition before getting over enlarged, i wouldn't like to see a (V.06) that might turn out to be an oversized *undefining* monster.

What is the goal of this project? - what are the terms of reference? - should it be 'what i would like to have in an ideal RPG' ?
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May 25th, 2013, 00:52
@Wulf
Like you said: (V0.5) = Maximum definition to identify if a given game is a CRPG or not. For this goal we could stop here.

We should test V0.5 a bit more

***

Nice to Have (NtH) elements are not defining elements.
They are simply checklist-elements (maybe for a reviewer?) that can be checked for a game. For reasons of clarity and comprehensibility they should be collected in a second checklist.

No limits here - what do you want to see in a perfect CRPG ?
or
what good optional elements have you seen in the CRPGs you played in the past ?

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
Last edited by HiddenX; May 25th, 2013 at 09:31.
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May 25th, 2013, 07:33
As someone currently writing a review, I can confirm that both the definition and the NTH list are useful points of reference.
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May 25th, 2013, 08:23
We could go a more a destructive way too and supplement the optional
Nice to Have (NtH) elements with some optional Bad to Have (BtH) elements

Character
(BtH) Auto-Leveling

Exploration
(BtH) Quest Markers
(BtH) Hand Holding

Story
(BtH) pre-selected choice options

Could be fun …

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
Last edited by HiddenX; May 25th, 2013 at 09:35.
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May 25th, 2013, 12:17
@HiddenX

Thanks for that clarification, sounds good, certainly, if "NtH's" are listed as separate suplimentary, extra elements that do not interfere with main defining elements then the sky is the limit so long as they are seen as functional more than over wishful desirables. ?

Definitely yes, there are some evil advancing elements 'bad character' progression can lead to an evil goal (positive to the gamer) it would be both a shame and wrong to omit these BtH game elements types.

The progress is building and so far well on track.
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May 25th, 2013, 13:53
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
(..) some optional Bad to Have (BtH) elements

Character
(BtH) Auto-Leveling

Exploration
(BtH) Quest Markers
(BtH) Hand Holding

Story
(BtH) pre-selected choice options
The reverse of some of them could potentially be seen as "Should Have" (or at least NtH), actually. Auto-leveling for Characters for example counteracts "choice in character development." (although that seems to be part of C2 already…?) Most of them are detriment to "freedom", certainly. That said, they do give nice info as to the nature of the detriment.

"Mystery is important. To know everything, to know the whole truth, is dull. There is no magic in that. Magic is not knowing, magic is wondering about what and how and where." ~ Cortez, from The Longest Journey
Last edited by Arhu; May 25th, 2013 at 14:07.
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May 25th, 2013, 14:25
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
@Alrik - please test one of these games with V0.5
I'll try to. Might take a few days, though.

Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
@Wulf
Like you said: (V0.5) = Maximum definition to identify if a given game is a CRPG or not. For this goal we could stop here.
We could perhaps make 2 definitions :

One "plain vanilla"
and one "luxury".

It shouldn't be a fork, though, because that's dangerous. It would lead into too much confuusion.

We should imho more clearly define what is an "must have" and what not.

Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
We could go a more a destructive way too and supplement the optional
Nice to Have (NtH) elements with some optional Bad to Have (BtH) elements
Good idea.

Regarding "auto-levelling" : "ProgressQuest" is the most prominent example here.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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May 25th, 2013, 15:19
Some more Nice to Have (NtH) elements:

Character
- (NtH) unique items are in the game or can be made
- (NtH) you have to choose traits
- (NtH) you can choose an alignment (good, evil …)

Exploration
- (NtH) trading is balanced
- (NtH) looting makes sense (no shield on a dead wolf)
- (NtH) it is rewarding to explore the last inch of the gameworld
- (NtH) you can disaggregate items in raw materials
- (NtH) combat is balanced
- (NtH) combat works with multiple resistances (fire, ice, poison,…)
- (NtH) many different enemies with different tactics are in the gameworld
- (NtH) tactical combat options are available
- (NtH) enemy AI is good

Story
- (NtH) quests can be solved in more than one way
- (NtH) quests depend on each other
- (NtH) some quests rule others out (=> more than one walktrough is necessary to see all)
- (NtH) more than one game ending
- (NtH) dialog options are depending on stats, skills, reputation, alignment…
- (NtH) dialog is fleshed out
- (NtH) NPCs have schedules

Some more Bad to Have (BtH) elements:

Exploring
- (BtH) to progress your characters repetitive grinding battles/actions are necessary
- (BtH) Loot overload -> every battle leads to tons of loot (unrealistic)

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
Last edited by HiddenX; May 25th, 2013 at 16:41.
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May 25th, 2013, 17:36
After completion of that task, will the definition apply uniformly or will it be restricted to some higher whimsical acception?

When a game fulfills the definition, is it automatically a RPG or does it require more approval by a higher authority?
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May 25th, 2013, 17:52
@ChienAboyeur

???

We test the current definition (Version 0.5) some more, and if it works for our testers then we give it free for use (-> Version 1.0). If it fails too often we have to work on it some more.

I'm confident that the current version is very close to our goal to identify CRPGs.

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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May 25th, 2013, 17:53
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
It would be nice to see more non combat CRPGs - could be interesting.
I don't know how will it shape up when when it's released but in Age of decadence you can play without ever using weapon.I completed demo 5 times and in 3 of those playthrough I never drawn a weapon(nor could I classes like merchant can easily be killed 1 on 1 by pretty much any attacker).
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May 25th, 2013, 17:59
Age of Decadence - I'm waiting for this game!

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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May 25th, 2013, 18:15
BTW non-combat solution could be added in NtH list.
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