CRPG Analyzer: A checklist for computer role-playing games

Just noticed this and to say the least...pretty amazing. Well done and very precise!
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2014
Messages
6
Thanks, Baxander, much appreciated.

A few bugs: (..)
Fixed, I think. I moved SP/MP/MassiveMP to a new group "Play Style". If the check marks in the games overview aren't green anymore, you may have to de-select the "Single-Player" tag, re-select it and save ...

Aside from that, the generated BBCode should look correct now.
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2006
Messages
3,488
New feature: Fun with triangles. :)

Here's an example from VtM: Bloodlines



These are automatically calculated from the NtH list. Should make it easier to see the relative weight in each category. I could add such a chart to the MH and SH lists, too.


As a bonus we now have a new bbcode, although its application is probably rather limited …

[ trianglechart="Name1=0.5, Name2=1, Name3=0.67" ]Example Chart[ /trianglechart ]

 
Joined
Aug 30, 2006
Messages
3,488
HiddenX, I got some questions regarding combat in KB: Dark Side. As I have only played KB: The Legend and a bit of Armored Princess, I was wondering about some points:

Combat can be avoided due to stats (➙ e.g. enemies flee) No
In KB:AP enemies used to run away when your character was much more powerful.
You can control at least six characters. No — you command troops
Maybe the term "units" instead of "character" would be better in this case. The point is that due to the amount of different units/characters/troops the tactical depth is increased. So this should be a "yes", I would say.
Combat can start at variable distances. No
In previous KB games, there was a talent called "tactics" or so, which allowed you to position your troops on the grid before combat started. Not sure if that's enough.
Directional facing plays a role (➙ e.g. more damage from behind, flanking.) No
This would be a yes in KB:AP at least for some unit types like Assassins (a talent that only works if there's a free spot behind a character), so you had to be careful to face in the right direction. Also, counter-attacks normally could be executed only once, so flanking was important in how you positioned your troops.
Terrain is variable (➙ e.g. natural choke points, cover, combat bonuses.) No
In previous KB games, there were often trunks and rocks standing around that I could use to great effect (choke points).
Terrain can be manipulated (➙ e.g. you can create barriers.) No
In KB:L, your flame companion (?) and in KB:AP your dragon could raise walls on the battlefield for blocking purposes.
Characters don't die immediately but can be revived during combat. No
Reaper in KB:L and Paladins in KB:AP could revive lost troops, IIRC, and druids could revive animals.
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2006
Messages
3,488
@Arhu - all your comments are right, if you factor the battle-map tactics into the checklist (-> I should have done that :) ). You can do these things only in battle.

I have not seen anyone fleeing yet, maybe because I kill everyone on each map on sight, and don't backtrack much.
 
Joined
Oct 18, 2006
Messages
20,364
Location
Germany

Icewind Dale


game-185.gif
Classification: CRPG Subgenre
Subgenre: Linear

Design: High Fantasy, W-RPG
Theme: Good vs. Evil
Setting: Alternate World, Winter / Snow, Medieval
Combat Style: Pauseable Real-time
Reward System: Experience
Play Style: Single-player, Multi-player
Multiplayer: Online Co-Op, Co-Op Campaign, LAN/System Link
Point of View: Isometric
Camera: Interactive
Color Palette: Realistic
Control: Full Control
Voice Acting: Partially Voiced
Character Backstory: Free-form
Playtime: 40-60 hours
Funding model: Publisher





I. Defining Features


The three core categories Character Development, Exploration and Story that need to be applied and quantified to determine if an interactive computerized game can be labeled as a Computer Role Playing Game (hereafter referred to as CRPG) are listed to show the necessary component elements and qualifying factors.

Any proposed or purported CRPG must contain all three core categories and their essential necessary Must Have conditions fulfilled to achieve the (minimal) CRPG status.

These core categories must maintain some form of progressive nature that will improve from when the game starts and leads to a conclusive game ending.

1. Character Development
Describes ways to create, change or enhance your characters in order to increase their effectiveness in the game.
  • MC1: You can control and role-play one or more unique characters (➙ avatar or party, not only uniform units.) Yes
  • MC2: You can progressively develop character stats or abilities (➙ e.g. through an in game value (usually exp. points) gained by quests, exploration, conversation, combat, ...) Yes
  • MC3: You can equip items to enhance character stats or abilities Yes
  • MC4: Stat checks are required (➙ you need to develop your character in order to progress and finish the game) Yes
2. Exploration
Includes how you can move through the game world, as well as everything you can find, see, manipulate or interact with, like locations, items and other objects.
  • ME1: You can find new locations Yes
  • ME2: You can find and collect items (➙ There is an inventory. There must be more item types than quest items, weapons, ammunition or consumable stat boosters) Yes
  • ME3: You can find information sources (➙ e.g. NPCs, entities, objects that provide info) Yes
3. Story
Concerns all narrative elements like setting, lore, plot, characters, dialogue, quests, descriptions, storyline(s) and similar, including how you can interact with them.
  • MS1: You can get information from information sources (➙ e.g. hints, goals, quests, skills, spells, training, ...) Yes
  • MS2: You can follow quests (➙ there is at least one main quest) Yes
  • MS3: You can progress through connected events while playing your character's role. Yes
Each core category and the auxiliary category Combat also have related Should Have conditions; the reviewer should make a comment if a sub list item is not fulfilled. Should one or more (SH) not be fulfilled the game is most likely a special CRPG (see Tags) or a CRPG light.

If all (SH) are fulfilled too there's no further discussion necessary -- the game is a true CRPG.

1. Character Development
Describes ways to create, change or enhance your characters in order to increase their effectiveness in the game.
  • SC1: You can create your characters. Yes -- A party of up to six characters.
  • SC2: Pre-planning is required for character development Yes
  • SC3: Tactical use of abilities is required (➙ primary means of problem solving, gameworld interaction and overcoming challenges. The player's physical coordination skills are secondary.) Yes
2. Exploration
Includes how you can move through the game world, as well as everything you can find, see, manipulate or interact with, like locations, items and other objects.
  • SE1: You can find NPCs (➙ non-player characters who you can interact with.) Yes
  • SE2: You can choose a path (➙ there is at least some branching.) Yes -- At least within the boundaries of each area you can explore freely.
  • SE3: You can interact with the game world (➙ e.g. you can pull levers, push buttons, open chests, hack computers, ... appropriate to the game's setting) Yes -- Chests and closets to browse through, sometimes keys are required.
  • SE4: The gameworld can affect your characters' conditions or circumstances such that you have to learn and adapt to overcome these challenges (➙ e.g. weather, traps, closed doors, poisoned areas, ...) Yes -- There are closed doors and traps...
  • SE5: Inaccessible areas can be reached due to character enhancements or by solving quests or puzzles (➙ e.g. unlock locked areas, overcome obstacles, repair bridges, dispel barriers, ...) Yes
3. Story
Concerns all narrative elements like setting, lore, plot, characters, dialogue, quests, descriptions, storyline(s) and similar, including how you can interact with them.
  • SS1: You can interact with information sources (➙ e.g. NPC conversations, riddle statue questions, ...) Yes
  • SS2: You can make choices in those interactions. Yes
  • SS3: Some of those choices have consequences. Yes -- Rarely.
  • SS4: Thinking is required in order to progress (➙ e.g. irreversible choices, moral dilemma, riddles, ...) No -- Not really necessary for story progression. Quests are 'fedex' or 'kill'.
  • SS5: The story is influenced by your decisions and your characters' actions and stats or abilities. No -- Not really.
4. Combat (Meta)
Describes how combat (or more general: conflict resolving) corresponds to elements of Character Development, Exploration and Story.
  • SF1: Combat is influenced by character stats or abilities (➙ e.g. amount of damage, chance to hit, weapon access, ...) Yes
  • SF2: Combat involves random elements (➙ e.g. game internal dice rolls.) Yes
  • SF3: Combat provides some challenge (➙ e.g. requires preparation, use of tactics or environment.) Yes
Icewind Dale belongs to a CRPG Subgenre. See tags below.


II. CRPG Elements


Optional elements are listed in the Nice to Have (NtH) list. With it you get precise information which optional CRPG elements are implemented in the game. A general game info questionnaire is added too, to do some rating.

Choice
  • You can name your characters. Yes
  • You can choose a gender. Yes
  • You can choose looks or voice. Yes
  • You can choose or create through play your own class, profession or race. Yes -- 8 different classes from the D&D 2nd edition ruleset.
  • You can choose traits, alignment or disposition. Yes
  • You can choose abilities. Yes
  • You can choose spells. Yes
  • You can modify primary stats. Yes
  • Lots of different equipment is available. Yes
  • Lots of different spells or abilities are available. Yes
  • Abilities can unlock or block others or branch. No
  • Character classes or development paths can be changed during the game. Yes -- There's multi- and dual classing.
  • You can have pets as party members. No
Interdependence
  • (Story) Character stats can change NPC disposition towards the PC. Yes
  • (Story) Stats, abilities or spells can affect available dialogue options. Yes
  • (Story) Different classes and alignments offer noticeably different experiences (➙ high replayability.) Yes
  • (Story) Unique items are in the game or can be made. Yes
  • (Exploration) Stats, abilities or spells can affect available paths through the game world. No -- Not really. Locked doors generally require a key and can't be lock-picked.
  • (Exploration) Stats, abilities or spells can affect the amount of things you can see, find or know in the world. Yes -- Thieves can see traps.
Interactivity
  • You can create combos with spells or abilities. No
  • Your character's stats can be modified by using spells or abilities. Yes
  • Your character's afflictions can be cured by using spells or abilities. Yes
  • You can rest or sleep. Yes
  • Stats can limit in some way what you can equip or carry. Yes
  • You can control party members or pets like your main character. Yes
Immersion
  • You need to specialize (➙ can't have everything.) Yes
  • You can create or choose a background story for your character. Yes -- There's a predefined character background, but you can write one up yourself.
  • You can tweak your character lots of times over the whole game. Yes
  • You can wear normal clothes, not only armor. No
  • Factions provide prizes for your deeds (➙ e.g. houses, medals, ranks, ...) No -- No factions.
  • Magic is in the game in some form. Yes
  • Your characters can be afflicted with negative status effects (➙ e.g. diseases, fatigue, etc.) Yes
  • Your characters can eat or drink. No
  • You understand how your character and quest fit within the overall game world. Yes
Choice
  • You can follow different paths to reach a goal. No -- Exploration is basically 'fight and move on.'
  • You can reasonably go where you want. No -- You mostly follow predefined paths.
  • You can return to previously visited locations. Yes -- One main town you return to regularly.
  • There are few artificial borders, rare level loading. No -- Each area is it's own little level.
  • There are interesting and helpful things to buy with your money (➙ e.g. trade for better equipment.) Yes
Interdependence
  • (Character) Char development choices can affect available paths through the game world. No -- Not really. Locked doors generally require a key and can't be lock-picked.
  • (Character) Char development choices can affect the amount of things you can see, find or know in the world. Yes -- Thieves can see traps.
  • (Story) You can find and recruit new party members or tame pets. No
  • (Story) Exploring off the beaten path yields rewards, e.g. optional quests, secrets or interesting locations. No
  • (Story) You can visit and make use of social locations (➙ e.g. taverns, inns, marketplaces.) No -- There's one token tavern, but nothing else.
Interactivity
  • You can gain money. Yes
  • You can interact with items. No
  • You can break or destroy items. No
  • You can repair items. No
  • You can move items. No
  • You can combine or disaggregate items. No
  • You can gather pieces of flora or fauna for later use. No
  • You can craft or customize equipment, spells or items (➙ e.g. alchemy.) No
  • Inventory size is limited. Yes
Immersion
  • There is a place you can call home. No
  • You can explore lots of unique, beautiful and interesting locations. Yes -- Maybe not beautiful, but the locations you visit are diverse.
  • Locations can evolve or change (➙ e.g. town / destroyed town.) Yes
  • There are non-hostile creatures (➙ e.g. wildlife.) Yes
  • Types of creatures make sense in the area they are encountered in. Yes
  • Creatures are wandering persistently (➙ generally they don't randomly pop up) Yes
  • At least some encounters are random (➙ you don't always know what's coming.) Yes
  • Looting makes sense (➙ no shield on a dead wolf.) Yes
  • Items are thoroughly and interestingly described. Yes
  • Time is measured (➙ e.g. there is a day/night cycle.) Yes
  • Time affects the game world (➙ e.g. some things are only available at night.) No
  • The economy is balanced (➙ collecting money never becomes pointless.) No -- At the end of the game you have more gold than you'd ever need.
  • There are realistic gameplay sound effects (➙ e.g. combat sounds) Yes
  • There are interesting and immersive background sound effects. Yes
Choice
  • You can reasonably do what you want when you want to do it (➙ quest order doesn't matter much.) No -- Story progression is very linear.
  • Some quests depend on each other. No -- Not really, all dependency is going from one part of the story to the next.
  • Some quests rule others out. No
  • Quests can be solved in more than one way. No -- It's a fighting game.
  • You can join factions, though not all at the same time. No
  • You can make moral choices (or romance choices.) No
Interdependence
  • (Character) Character stats can change NPC disposition towards the PC. Yes
  • (Character) Char development choices can affect available dialogue options. Yes
  • (Character) Different classes and alignments offer noticeably different experiences (➙ high replayability.) Yes
  • (Character) Unique items are in the game or can be made. Yes
  • (Exploration) You can find and recruit new party members or tame pets. No
  • (Exploration) Exploring off the beaten path yields rewards, e.g. optional quests, secrets or interesting locations. No
  • (Exploration) You can visit and make use of social locations (➙ e.g. taverns, inns, marketplaces.) No -- There's one token tavern, but nothing else.
Interactivity
  • Dialogue is fleshed out (➙ there are multiple options in one conversation.) Yes
  • There is more than one game ending. No
  • You can have conversations with party members or take care of pets. No
  • There are many side quests. No
  • State of the game changes in accordance with the player's actions. No -- I can remember a single instance (restoring the Arboretum), but that's it...
  • You can solve or create conflicts between factions. No
Immersion
  • Lore is provided (➙ context, faction rules, laws, history, ...) Yes
  • There are different factions (➙ races, groups, guilds.) No
  • NPCs or party members are well developed (➙ expansive background stories, etc.) No
  • NPCs or party members interact with each other. No
  • NPCs have schedules. No
  • There are surprises and twists. Yes -- One twist.
  • The storyline is character-driven (➙ character development within the narrative.) No
  • There is a proper ending or sense of closure. Yes
  • There are memorable antagonists. No -- Not really memorable.
  • Your main character is defined. No
  • The game features fitting music (➙ atmosphere is enhanced.) Yes
Units
  • Combat can be avoided due to stats (➙ e.g. enemies flee) No
  • You can control at least six characters. Yes
  • Your characters are specialized (➙ different battlefield roles.) Yes
  • Enemies are specialized (➙ require different tactics.) Yes
  • Resource management is necessary. Yes
  • Units have multiple attack options. Yes
  • Delayed attacks are possible (➙ e.g. counterattacks, attacks of opportunity, etc.) No -- Not in D&D 2nd edition or the Infinity engine.
  • Movement-focused special abilities are available. Yes
  • Units have multiple resistance options (➙ e.g. armor, elemental resistance, etc.) Yes
Environment
  • Combat can be avoided through sneaking or gameworld manipulation. Yes -- Sneaking and invisibility can be used for scouting.
  • You can get a good sense of space (➙ e.g. there is a grid.) No -- I always need to guess the radius of my fire ball spells.
  • Combat can start at variable distances. Yes
  • Directional facing plays a role (➙ e.g. more damage from behind, flanking.) Yes -- Thieves can backstab.
  • Terrain is variable (➙ e.g. natural choke points, cover, combat bonuses.) Yes
  • Terrain can be manipulated (➙ e.g. you can create barriers.) No
  • There are elevation effects (➙ e.g. combat bonuses from higher grounds.) No
  • There can be zones or items on the battlefield that reward units who get there in time. No
  • There can be Zones of Danger on the battlefield (➙ e.g. environmental damage.) Yes -- Nothing purely environmental, but there's Web, poison clouds etc.
Scenarios
  • Combat can be avoided through dialogue. No -- Not really.
  • Combat can have different win scenarios (➙ e.g. keep NPC alive, defend town.) No
  • Combat can have side objectives aside from "win/loss". No
  • Characters don't die immediately but can be revived during combat. No
  • Decisions on the battlefield have character development consequences. No
  • There are memorable bosses. Yes -- Almost not really memorable.
Roleplay Focus: Character : Exploration : Story = 0.83 : 0.59 : 0.39
Gameplay Focus: Choice : Interactivity : Immersion = 0.60 : 0.55 : 0.68
Combat Focus: Units : Environment : Scenarios = 0.80 : 0.60 : 0.29


III. Fun Features


1. Character Development
Describes ways to create, change or enhance your characters in order to increase their effectiveness in the game.
  • FC1: Are there useless skills? Yes
  • FC2: How would you rate character progression? Balanced
  • FC3: Is there auto-leveling of some sort? Yes -- Some classes like fighters feel like they are auto-leveling much of the time.
  • FC4: Is the character advancement process satisfying and rewarding? Yes
  • FC5: Is the magic system (if included) well-balanced? Yes
2. Exploration
Includes how you can move through the game world, as well as everything you can find, see, manipulate or interact with, like locations, items and other objects.
  • FE1: Is Auto-Mapping available? Yes
  • FE2: Is Fast Travelling available? Yes
  • FE3: Are there quest markers? No
  • FE4: Is there a quest compass? No
  • FE5: How much realism is there? Balanced
  • FE6: How much looting is in the game? Some
3. Story
Concerns all narrative elements like setting, lore, plot, characters, dialogue, quests, descriptions, storyline(s) and similar, including how you can interact with them.
  • FS1: Does the story follow cliched paths? Yes
  • FS2: How linear is the game? Linear
  • FS3: How would you rate the suspense? Boring
  • FS4: Are there pre-selected options? (➙ Choice is reduced.) No
4. Combat (Meta)
Describes how combat (or more general: conflict resolving) corresponds to elements of Character Development, Exploration and Story.
  • FF1: How much fighting is in the game? Much
  • FF2: Grinding: Is filler combat necessary to develop your character? Yes
5. Interface

  • FX1: How often is gameplay interrupted with loading? Often
  • FX2: How would you rate the game's interface? Ok
  • FX3: Is it easy to understand and evaluate how items compare to each other? (➙ e.g. which weapon does the most damage?) Yes
6. Difficulty

  • FD1: How difficult is the game? (➙ normal = challenging without being exasperating) Normal
  • FD2: Can difficulty be adjusted? Yes
  • FD3: How balanced is trading? Good
  • FD4: How much reloading is necessary to beat the game? Some
  • FD5: How good is the AI? Medium -- Fights are mostly scripted.
  • FD6: How much handholding is there? Little
7. Gameplay Features

  • FG1: Are there Easter Eggs? Yes -- Very few.
  • FG2: Are there minigames? No
  • FG3: How is the overall pacing? (➙ good: game is not over too quickly, neither does it drag) Good
This fact sheet was created using CRPG Analyzer 1.02 Beta.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 30, 2006
Messages
3,488
Well, this was the first game I really analyzed from start to finish and it wasn't so bad.

I particularly liked picking tags and think they provide quite useful information about a game. The MH/SH list was pretty good, if a little abstract at times. Maybe we can make it a bit more focused... the NtH list was pretty big, of course, but mostly easy to answer. Some points may need clarification.

And I found a few minor bugs again.
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2006
Messages
3,488
I think meanwhile the Checklist is pretty easy to fill out (at least if you played the game recently).

Abstract <-> Concrete
If you get too concrete a condition doesn't fit for all games.
If you get too abstract it is harder to evaluate the condition for one game.

Would be nice if someone could test it, not named Arhu, Wulf or HiddenX :)
 
Joined
Oct 18, 2006
Messages
20,364
Location
Germany
Hehe, yeah.

I did let Myrthos "alpha test" the analyzer a day before the beta release and he was completely bored by the time he reached the end of step 2. :D
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2006
Messages
3,488
Well, I didn't necessarily mean "less concrete". They need to be abstract for the reasons you mentioned. But maybe a little more structured and less wordy …

Thus I tried to slim down and streamline the MH/SH list in order to make it easier to read and scan through. I hope I managed to keep the original meaning. I re-ordered some individual elements (interdependent ones, see below). The important bits are in black, the explanations and additional conditions in grey.

—————————

Must-Have

Character Development
C1. You can role-play one or more characters (-> you control a unique avatar or party, not only uniform units)
C2. You can progressively develop character stats or abilities (-> e.g. through an in game value (usually exp. points) gained by quests, exploration, conversation, combat, ...)
C3. You can equip items to enhance character stats or abilities
C4. Stat checks are required (-> you need to develop your character in order to progress and finish the game)

Exploration
E1. You can find new locations
E2. You can find and collect items (-> There is an inventory. There must be more item types than quest items, weapons, ammunition or consumable stat boosters)
E3. You can find information sources (-> e.g. NPCs, entities, objects that provide info)

Story
S1. You can get information from information sources (-> e.g. hints, goals, quests, skills, spells, training, …)
S2. You can follow quests (-> there is at least one main quest)
S3. You can progress through connected events (-> you play your characters' role)


Should-Have

Chardev
C5. You can create your characters
C6. Pre-planning is required for character development
C7. Tactical use of abilities is required (-> Primary means of problem solving, gameworld interaction and overcoming challenges. The player's physical coordination skills are secondary.)

Exploration
E4. You can find NPCs (-> Non-player characters who you can interact with)
E5. You can choose a path (-> there is at least some branching)
E6. You can interact with the game world (-> e.g. you can pull levers, push buttons, open chests, hack computers … appropriate to the game's setting)
E7. The game world can affect your characters (-> you must learn and adapt to overcome these challenges, e.g. weather, traps, closed doors, poisoned areas, …)
E8. Inaccessible areas can be reached due to character enhancements or by solving quests or puzzles (-> e.g. unlock locked areas, overcome obstacles, repair bridges, dispel barriers, …)

Story
S4. You can interact with information sources (-> e.g. NPC conversations, riddle statue questions, …)
S5. You can make choices in those interactions
S6. Some of those choices have consequences
S7. Thinking is required in order to progress (-> e.g. irreversible choices, moral dilemma, riddles, …)
S8. The story is influenced by your decisions and your characters' actions and stats or abilities

Combat
F1. Combat is influenced by character stats or abilities (-> e.g. amount of damage, chance to hit, weapon access, …)
F2. Combat involves random elements (-> e.g. game internal dice rolls)
F3. Combat provides some challenge (-> e.g. requires preparation, use of tactics or environment)

————————-

How's this? Anything amiss?


By the way, the following three points are "interdependent" and would, strictly speaking, belong in all three categories (Chardev / Exploration / Story):

(MH)
C4. Stat checks are required (-> you need to develop your character in order to progress and finish the game)

(SH)
E8. Inaccessible areas can be reached due to character enhancements or by solving quests or puzzles (-> e.g. unlock locked areas, overcome obstacles, repair bridges, dispel barriers, …)
S8. The story is influenced by your decisions and your characters' actions and stats or abilities
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2006
Messages
3,488
C4/E8/S8/F1 check all for the most characteristic feature of roleplaying games: Stats!
It is good to check this feature with respect to each major category.
It is a MH in character development, because it must be in the game somewhere.

I like the grey sub clauses except for S3 and E7. In S3 and E7 the sub clauses demand more than the main clause.
 
Joined
Oct 18, 2006
Messages
20,364
Location
Germany
C4/E8/S8/F1 check all for the most characteristic feature of roleplaying games: Stats!
It is good to check this feature with respect to each major category.
It is a MH in character development, because it must be in the game somewhere.
I agree. Just wanted to point them out. ;) In the NtH list I isolated interdependent points but I guess it's not necessary here.

I like the grey sub clauses except for S3 and E7. In S3 and E7 the sub clauses demand more than the main clause.
What if the S3 one was switched? Also mind that the role-play part is already in C1. Isn't that redundant? We could remove "role-play" from C1 and keep only "control". Then we could include role-play as the main point in S3… Like this, perhaps:

C1. You can control one or more characters (-> a unique avatar or party, not only uniform units)
S3. You can progress through connected events while playing your character's role.


About E7.. is this better?

E7. The game world can affect your characters such that you must learn and adapt (-> e.g. to overcome weather, traps, closed doors, poisoned areas, …)
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2006
Messages
3,488
I think this is best:

C1: You can control and role-play one or more unique characters (➙ avatar or party, not only uniform units.)

E7: The gameworld can affect your character(s) conditions or circumstances in a way that you have to learn and adapt to overcome these challenges (➙ e.g. weather, traps, closed doors, poisoned areas, …)

S3: You can progress through connected events while playing your character's role.

In C1 only controlling is not enough for CRPGs.
In S3 only progressing is not enough for CRPGs.
-> they need the roleplaying side condition.

E7 is very long but I want to make clear that many things can affect your party:
Condition: poisoned, wet, deaf,slowed down...
Circumstances: closed doors, mud, traps, snow...
 
Joined
Oct 18, 2006
Messages
20,364
Location
Germany
Done.

—————————-

I. Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny


game-364.gif



II. Defining Features


The three core categories Character Development, Exploration and Story that need to be applied and quantified to determine if an interactive computerized game can be labeled as a Computer Role Playing Game (hereafter referred to as CRPG) are listed to show the necessary component elements and qualifying factors.

Any proposed or purported CRPG must contain all three core categories and their essential necessary Must Have conditions fulfilled to achieve the (minimal) CRPG status.

These core categories must maintain some form of progressive nature that will improve from when the game starts and leads to a conclusive game ending.

1. Character Development
Describes ways to create, change or enhance your characters in order to increase their effectiveness in the game.
  • MC1: You can control and role-play one or more unique characters (➙ avatar or party, not only uniform units.) Yes — Party of up to six charachters.
  • MC2: You can progressively develop character stats or abilities (➙ e.g. through an in game value (usually exp. points) gained by quests, exploration, conversation, combat, …) Yes
  • MC3: You can equip items to enhance character stats or abilities Yes
  • MC4: Stat checks are required (➙ you need to develop your character in order to progress and finish the game) Yes
2. Exploration
Includes how you can move through the game world, as well as everything you can find, see, manipulate or interact with, like locations, items and other objects.
  • ME1: You can find new locations Yes
  • ME2: You can find and collect items (➙ There is an inventory. There must be more item types than quest items, weapons, ammunition or consumable stat boosters) Yes
  • ME3: You can find information sources (➙ e.g. NPCs, entities, objects that provide info) Yes
3. Story
Concerns all narrative elements like setting, lore, plot, characters, dialogue, quests, descriptions, storyline(s) and similar, including how you can interact with them.
  • MS1: You can get information from information sources (➙ e.g. hints, goals, quests, skills, spells, training, …) Yes
  • MS2: You can follow quests (➙ there is at least one main quest) Yes
  • MS3: You can progress through connected events while playing your character's role. Yes
Each core category and the auxiliary category Combat also have related Should Have conditions; the reviewer should make a comment if a sub list item is not fulfilled. Should one or more (SH) not be fulfilled the game is most likely a special CRPG (see Tags) or a CRPG light.

If all (SH) are fulfilled too there's no further discussion necessary — the game is a true CRPG.

1. Character Development
Describes ways to create, change or enhance your characters in order to increase their effectiveness in the game.
  • SC1: You can create your characters. Yes — Character creation feels like a game in itself.
  • SC2: Pre-planning is required for character development Yes — Huge amount of talents to choose from.
  • SC3: Tactical use of abilities is required (➙ primary means of problem solving, gameworld interaction and overcoming challenges. The player's physical coordination skills are secondary.) Yes
2. Exploration
Includes how you can move through the game world, as well as everything you can find, see, manipulate or interact with, like locations, items and other objects.
  • SE1: You can find NPCs (➙ non-player characters who you can interact with.) Yes
  • SE2: You can choose a path (➙ there is at least some branching.) Yes
  • SE3: You can interact with the game world (➙ e.g. you can pull levers, push buttons, open chests, hack computers, … appropriate to the game's setting) Yes
  • SE4: The gameworld can affect your characters' conditions or circumstances such that you have to learn and adapt to overcome these challenges (➙ e.g. weather, traps, closed doors, poisoned areas, …) Yes
  • SE5: Inaccessible areas can be reached due to character enhancements or by solving quests or puzzles (➙ e.g. unlock locked areas, overcome obstacles, repair bridges, dispel barriers, …) Yes
3. Story
Concerns all narrative elements like setting, lore, plot, characters, dialogue, quests, descriptions, storyline(s) and similar, including how you can interact with them.
  • SS1: You can interact with information sources (➙ e.g. NPC conversations, riddle statue questions, …) Yes
  • SS2: You can make choices in those interactions. Yes
  • SS3: Some of those choices have consequences. Yes
  • SS4: Thinking is required in order to progress (➙ e.g. irreversible choices, moral dilemma, riddles, …) Yes
  • SS5: The story is influenced by your decisions and your characters' actions and stats or abilities. Yes
4. Combat (Meta)
Describes how combat (or more general: conflict resolving) corresponds to elements of Character Development, Exploration and Story.
  • SF1: Combat is influenced by character stats or abilities (➙ e.g. amount of damage, chance to hit, weapon access, …) Yes
  • SF2: Combat involves random elements (➙ e.g. game internal dice rolls.) Yes
  • SF3: Combat provides some challenge (➙ e.g. requires preparation, use of tactics or environment.) Yes
Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny is a CRPG.


III. Tags


Tags are computer game tags that qualify the CRPG label even further.

Classification: CRPG
Subgenre: Open World
Design: Low Fantasy
Theme: Good vs. Evil
Setting: Medieval, Alternate World
Combat Style: Turn-based
Reward System: Experience
Play Style: Single-player
Multiplayer:
Point of View: 1st-person, Isometric
Color Palette: Realistic
Control: Full Control
Voice Acting: Partially Voiced
Character Backstory: Free-form
Playtime: 40-60 hours
Funding model: Publisher



IV. Elements


Optional elements are listed in the Nice to Have (NtH) list. With it you get precise information which optional CRPG elements are implemented in the game. A general game info questionnaire is added too, to do some rating.

Choice
  • You can name your characters. Yes
  • You can choose a gender. Yes
  • You can choose looks or voice. Yes
  • You can choose or create through play your own class, profession or race. Yes
  • You can choose traits, alignment or disposition. Yes — Characters have negative stats like superstition or arachnophobia that work a bit similar to traits.
  • You can choose abilities. Yes
  • You can choose spells. Yes
  • You can modify primary stats. Yes — Only during character creation.
  • Lots of different equipment is available. Yes
  • Lots of different spells or abilities are available. Yes — Lots and lots!
  • Abilities can unlock or block others or branch. No
  • Character classes or development paths can be changed during the game. No
  • You can have pets as party members. No — Well, there are spells that can transform a character into an animal, but that doesn't count.
Interdependence
  • (Story) Character stats can change NPC disposition towards the PC. Yes — High charisma is useful for haggling.
  • (Story) Stats, abilities or spells can affect available dialogue options. No
  • (Story) Unique items are in the game or can be made. Yes
  • (Exploration) Stats, abilities or spells can affect available paths through the game world. Yes
  • (Exploration) Stats, abilities or spells can affect the amount of things you can see, find or know in the world. Yes
Interactivity
  • You can create combos with spells or abilities. No
  • Your character's stats can be modified by using spells or abilities. Yes
  • Your character's afflictions can be cured by using spells or abilities. Yes
  • You can rest or sleep. Yes
  • Stats can limit in some way what you can equip or carry. Yes
  • You can control party members or pets like your main character. Yes
Immersion
  • You need to specialize (➙ can't have everything.) Yes
  • You can create or choose a background story for your character. Yes
  • You can tweak your character lots of times over the whole game. Yes
  • You can wear normal clothes, not only armor. Yes
  • Factions provide prizes for your deeds (➙ e.g. houses, medals, ranks, …) No
  • Magic is in the game in some form. Yes
  • Your characters can be afflicted with negative status effects (➙ e.g. diseases, fatigue, etc.) Yes
  • Your characters can eat or drink. Yes
Choice
  • You can follow different paths to reach a goal. Yes
  • You can reasonably go where you want. Yes
  • You can return to previously visited locations. Yes
  • There are few artificial borders, rare level loading. Yes
Interdependence
  • (Character) Char development choices can affect available paths through the game world. Yes
  • (Character) Char development choices can affect the amount of things you can see, find or know in the world. Yes
  • (Story) You can find and recruit new party members or tame pets. Yes
  • (Story) Exploring off the beaten path yields rewards, e.g. optional quests, secrets or interesting locations. Yes
  • (Story) You can visit and make use of social locations (➙ e.g. taverns, inns, marketplaces.) Yes
Interactivity
  • You can collect items (➙ there is an inventory.) Yes
  • You can trade items for currency and better equipment. Yes
  • You can interact with items. Yes
  • You can break or destroy items. Yes
  • You can repair items. Yes
  • You can move items. No
  • You can combine or disaggregate items. No
  • You can gather pieces of flora or fauna for later use. Yes
  • You can craft equipment, spells or items (➙ e.g. alchemy.) Yes
  • Inventory size is limited. Yes
Immersion
  • There is a place you can call home. No
  • You can explore lots of unique, beautiful and interesting locations. Yes
  • Locations can evolve or change (➙ e.g. town / destroyed town.) No
  • There are non-hostile creatures (➙ e.g. wildlife.) Yes
  • Types of creatures make sense in the area they are encountered in. Yes
  • Creatures are wandering persistently (➙ no random encounters.) Yes — Yes and no. They do pop up suddenly but aren't random, except for possible encounters at night.
  • Looting makes sense (➙ no shield on a dead wolf.) Yes
  • Time is measured (➙ e.g. there is a day/night cycle.) Yes
  • Time affects the game world (➙ e.g. some things are only available at night.) Yes
Choice
  • You can reasonably do what you want when you want to do it (➙ quest order doesn't matter much.) Yes
  • Some quests depend on each other. Yes
  • Some quests rule others out. No
  • Quests can be solved in more than one way. No
  • You can join factions, though not all at the same time. No
  • You can make moral choices (or romance choices.) No
Interdependence
  • (Character) Character stats can change NPC disposition towards the PC. Yes — High charisma is useful for haggling.
  • (Character) Char development choices can affect available dialogue options. No
  • (Character) Unique items are in the game or can be made. Yes
  • (Exploration) You can find and recruit new party members or tame pets. Yes
  • (Exploration) Exploring off the beaten path yields rewards, e.g. optional quests, secrets or interesting locations. Yes
  • (Exploration) You can visit and make use of social locations (➙ e.g. taverns, inns, marketplaces.) Yes
Interactivity
  • Dialogue is fleshed out (➙ there are multiple options in one conversation.) No
  • There is more than one game ending. No
  • You can have conversations with party members or take care of pets. No
  • There are many side quests. No
  • State of the game changes in accordance with the player's actions. No
  • You can solve or create conflicts between factions. No
Immersion
  • Lore is provided (➙ context, faction rules, laws, history, …) Yes
  • There are different factions (➙ races, groups, guilds.) Yes
  • NPCs or party members are well developed (➙ expansive background stories, etc.) No
  • NPCs or party members interact with each other. No
  • NPCs have schedules. No
  • There are surprises and twists. No
  • The storyline is character-driven (➙ character development within the narrative.) No
  • There is a proper ending or sense of closure. Yes
  • There are memorable antagonists. No
  • Your main character is defined. No
Units
  • Combat can be avoided due to stats (➙ e.g. enemies flee) No
  • You can control at least six characters. Yes
  • Your characters are specialized (➙ different battlefield roles.) Yes
  • Enemies are specialized (➙ require different tactics.) Yes
  • Resource management is necessary. Yes
  • Units have multiple attack options. Yes
  • Delayed attacks are possible (➙ e.g. counterattacks, attacks of opportunity, etc.) No
  • Movement-focused special abilities are available. Yes
  • Units have multiple resistance options (➙ e.g. armor, elemental resistance, etc.) Yes
Environment
  • Combat can be avoided through sneaking or gameworld manipulation. No
  • You can get a good sense of space (➙ e.g. there is a grid.) Yes
  • Combat can start at variable distances. Yes
  • Directional facing plays a role (➙ e.g. more damage from behind, flanking.) Yes — Units can usually only defend once per round, so flanking plays a role.
  • Terrain is variable (➙ e.g. natural choke points, cover, combat bonuses.) Yes
  • Terrain can be manipulated (➙ e.g. you can create barriers.) No
  • There are elevation effects (➙ e.g. combat bonuses from higher grounds.) No
  • There can be zones or items on the battlefield that reward units who get there in time. No
  • There can be Zones of Danger on the battlefield (➙ e.g. environmental damage.) No
Scenarios
  • Combat can be avoided through dialogue. No
  • Combat can have different win scenarios (➙ e.g. keep NPC alive, defend town.) No
  • Combat can have side objectives aside from "win/loss". No
  • Characters don't die immediately but can be revived during combat. No
  • Decisions on the battlefield have character development consequences. No
  • There are memorable bosses. No




V. Fun Features


1. Character Development
Describes ways to create, change or enhance your characters in order to increase their effectiveness in the game.
  • FC1: Are there useless skills? Yes — Lots of useful spells, lots of useless spells.
  • FC2: How would you rate character progression? Slow
  • FC3: Is there auto-leveling of some sort? No — Yes if you play in beginner's mode.
2. Exploration
Includes how you can move through the game world, as well as everything you can find, see, manipulate or interact with, like locations, items and other objects.
  • FE1: Is Auto-Mapping available? Yes
  • FE2: Is Fast Travelling available? No
  • FE3: Are there quest markers? No
  • FE4: Is there a quest compass? No
  • FE5: How much realism is there? Much
  • FE6: How much looting is in the game? Some
3. Story
Concerns all narrative elements like setting, lore, plot, characters, dialogue, quests, descriptions, storyline(s) and similar, including how you can interact with them.
  • FS1: Does the story follow cliched paths? Yes
  • FS2: How linear is the game? Non-linear
  • FS3: How would you rate the suspense? Boring
  • FS4: Are there pre-selected options? (➙ Choice is reduced.) No
4. Combat (Meta)
Describes how combat (or more general: conflict resolving) corresponds to elements of Character Development, Exploration and Story.
  • FF1: How much fighting is in the game? Some
  • FF2: Grinding: Is filler combat necessary to develop your character? No
5. Interface

  • FX1: How often is gameplay interrupted with loading? Rarely
  • FX2: How would you rate the game's interface? Clunky
6. Difficulty

  • FD1: How difficult is the game? Hard
  • FD2: Can difficulty be adjusted? Yes — There's a beginner's mode and an advanced mode.
  • FD3: How balanced is trading? Good
  • FD4: How much reloading is necessary to beat the game? Little
  • FD5: How good is the AI? Medium
  • FD6: How much handholding is there? Little
7. Gameplay Features

  • FG1: Are there Easter Eggs? No
  • FG2: Are there minigames? No

Conclusion: Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny is a classic party-based Open World CRPG with an overwhelming amount of exploration and character development options, but with very few story elements, as was common at the time.

————————-

Well, this was a fun exercise.. it's sort of relaxing filling out these check lists before going to bed, as it lets you intimately remember past gaming experiences. Was very easy to do this time.


I also reordered some of the tags in Theme and Design, with the result that there may not always be a fitting theme. Need to think about those some more.
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2006
Messages
3,488
Experimenting with a dossier view. Not implemented in the analyzer tool yet.

I like this format better as it doesn't overwhelm you with a wall of text. As a side note, I re-read the first few pages of the original thread that started the whole thing and it has come a long, long way. :)




Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny


game-364.gif
Classification: CRPG
Subgenre: Open World

Design: Gritty, Low Fantasy
Theme: Good vs. Evil
Setting: Alternate World, Medieval
Combat Style: Turn-based
Reward System: Experience
Play Style: Single-player
Point of View: 1st-person, Isometric
Camera: Fixed
Color Palette: Realistic
Control: Full Control
Voice Acting: Partially Voiced
Character Backstory: Free-form
Playtime: 40-60 hours
Funding model: Publisher





I. Defining Features


The three core categories Character Development, Exploration and Story that need to be applied and quantified to determine if an interactive computerized game can be labeled as a Computer Role Playing Game (hereafter referred to as CRPG) are listed to show the necessary component elements and qualifying factors.

Any proposed or purported CRPG must contain all three core categories and their essential necessary Must Have conditions fulfilled to achieve the (minimal) CRPG status.

These core categories must maintain some form of progressive nature that will improve from when the game starts and leads to a conclusive game ending.

1. Character Development
Describes ways to create, change or enhance your characters in order to increase their effectiveness in the game.
  • MC1: You can control and role-play one or more unique characters (➙ avatar or party, not only uniform units.) Yes -- Party of up to six charachters.
  • MC2: You can progressively develop character stats or abilities (➙ e.g. through an in game value (usually exp. points) gained by quests, exploration, conversation, combat, ...) Yes
  • MC3: You can equip items to enhance character stats or abilities Yes
  • MC4: Stat checks are required (➙ you need to develop your character in order to progress and finish the game) Yes
2. Exploration
Includes how you can move through the game world, as well as everything you can find, see, manipulate or interact with, like locations, items and other objects.
  • ME1: You can find new locations Yes
  • ME2: You can find and collect items (➙ There is an inventory. There must be more item types than quest items, weapons, ammunition or consumable stat boosters) Yes
  • ME3: You can find information sources (➙ e.g. NPCs, entities, objects that provide info) Yes
3. Story
Concerns all narrative elements like setting, lore, plot, characters, dialogue, quests, descriptions, storyline(s) and similar, including how you can interact with them.
  • MS1: You can get information from information sources (➙ e.g. hints, goals, quests, skills, spells, training, ...) Yes
  • MS2: You can follow quests (➙ there is at least one main quest) Yes
  • MS3: You can progress through connected events while playing your character's role. Yes
Each core category and the auxiliary category Combat also have related Should Have conditions; the reviewer should make a comment if a sub list item is not fulfilled. Should one or more (SH) not be fulfilled the game is most likely a special CRPG (see Tags) or a CRPG light.

If all (SH) are fulfilled too there's no further discussion necessary -- the game is a true CRPG.

1. Character Development
Describes ways to create, change or enhance your characters in order to increase their effectiveness in the game.
  • SC1: You can create your characters. Yes -- Character creation feels like a game in itself.
  • SC2: Pre-planning is required for character development Yes -- Huge amount of talents to choose from.
  • SC3: Tactical use of abilities is required (➙ primary means of problem solving, gameworld interaction and overcoming challenges. The player's physical coordination skills are secondary.) Yes
2. Exploration
Includes how you can move through the game world, as well as everything you can find, see, manipulate or interact with, like locations, items and other objects.
  • SE1: You can find NPCs (➙ non-player characters who you can interact with.) Yes
  • SE2: You can choose a path (➙ there is at least some branching.) Yes
  • SE3: You can interact with the game world (➙ e.g. you can pull levers, push buttons, open chests, hack computers, ... appropriate to the game's setting) Yes
  • SE4: The gameworld can affect your characters' conditions or circumstances such that you have to learn and adapt to overcome these challenges (➙ e.g. weather, traps, closed doors, poisoned areas, ...) Yes
  • SE5: Inaccessible areas can be reached due to character enhancements or by solving quests or puzzles (➙ e.g. unlock locked areas, overcome obstacles, repair bridges, dispel barriers, ...) Yes
3. Story
Concerns all narrative elements like setting, lore, plot, characters, dialogue, quests, descriptions, storyline(s) and similar, including how you can interact with them.
  • SS1: You can interact with information sources (➙ e.g. NPC conversations, riddle statue questions, ...) Yes
  • SS2: You can make choices in those interactions. Yes
  • SS3: Some of those choices have consequences. Yes
  • SS4: Thinking is required in order to progress (➙ e.g. irreversible choices, moral dilemma, riddles, ...) Yes
  • SS5: The story is influenced by your decisions and your characters' actions and stats or abilities. Yes
4. Combat (Meta)
Describes how combat (or more general: conflict resolving) corresponds to elements of Character Development, Exploration and Story.
  • SF1: Combat is influenced by character stats or abilities (➙ e.g. amount of damage, chance to hit, weapon access, ...) Yes
  • SF2: Combat involves random elements (➙ e.g. game internal dice rolls.) Yes
  • SF3: Combat provides some challenge (➙ e.g. requires preparation, use of tactics or environment.) Yes
Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny is a CRPG.


II. CRPG Elements


Optional elements are listed in the Nice to Have (NtH) list. With it you get precise information which optional CRPG elements are implemented in the game. A general game info questionnaire is added too, to do some rating.

Choice
  • You can name your characters. Yes
  • You can choose a gender. Yes
  • You can choose looks or voice. Yes
  • You can choose or create through play your own class, profession or race. Yes
  • You can choose traits, alignment or disposition. Yes -- Characters have negative stats like superstition or arachnophobia that work a bit similar to traits.
  • You can choose abilities. Yes
  • You can choose spells. Yes
  • You can modify primary stats. Yes -- Only during character creation.
  • Lots of different equipment is available. Yes
  • Lots of different spells or abilities are available. Yes -- Lots and lots!
  • Abilities can unlock or block others or branch. No
  • Character classes or development paths can be changed during the game. No
  • You can have pets as party members. No -- Well, there are spells that can transform a character into an animal, but that doesn't count.
Interdependence
  • (Story) Character stats can change NPC disposition towards the PC. Yes -- High charisma is useful for haggling.
  • (Story) Stats, abilities or spells can affect available dialogue options. No
  • (Story) Different classes and alignments offer noticeably different experiences (➙ high replayability.) Yes
  • (Story) Unique items are in the game or can be made. Yes
  • (Exploration) Stats, abilities or spells can affect available paths through the game world. Yes
  • (Exploration) Stats, abilities or spells can affect the amount of things you can see, find or know in the world. Yes
Interactivity
  • You can create combos with spells or abilities. No
  • Your character's stats can be modified by using spells or abilities. Yes
  • Your character's afflictions can be cured by using spells or abilities. Yes
  • You can rest or sleep. Yes
  • Stats can limit in some way what you can equip or carry. Yes
  • You can control party members or pets like your main character. Yes
Immersion
  • You need to specialize (➙ can't have everything.) Yes
  • You can create or choose a background story for your character. Yes
  • You can tweak your character lots of times over the whole game. Yes
  • You can wear normal clothes, not only armor. Yes
  • Factions provide prizes for your deeds (➙ e.g. houses, medals, ranks, ...) No
  • Magic is in the game in some form. Yes
  • Your characters can be afflicted with negative status effects (➙ e.g. diseases, fatigue, etc.) Yes
  • Your characters can eat or drink. Yes
  • You understand how your character and quest fit within the overall game world. Yes
Choice
  • You can follow different paths to reach a goal. Yes
  • You can reasonably go where you want. Yes
  • You can return to previously visited locations. Yes
  • There are few artificial borders, rare level loading. Yes
  • There are interesting and helpful things to buy with your money (➙ e.g. trade for better equipment.) Yes
Interdependence
  • (Character) Char development choices can affect available paths through the game world. Yes
  • (Character) Char development choices can affect the amount of things you can see, find or know in the world. Yes
  • (Story) You can find and recruit new party members or tame pets. Yes
  • (Story) Exploring off the beaten path yields rewards, e.g. optional quests, secrets or interesting locations. Yes
  • (Story) You can visit and make use of social locations (➙ e.g. taverns, inns, marketplaces.) Yes
Interactivity
  • You can gain money. Yes
  • You can interact with items. Yes
  • You can break or destroy items. Yes
  • You can repair items. Yes
  • You can move items. No
  • You can combine or disaggregate items. No
  • You can gather pieces of flora or fauna for later use. Yes
  • You can craft or customize equipment, spells or items (➙ e.g. alchemy.) Yes
  • Inventory size is limited. Yes
Immersion
  • There is a place you can call home. No
  • You can explore lots of unique, beautiful and interesting locations. Yes
  • Locations can evolve or change (➙ e.g. town / destroyed town.) No
  • There are non-hostile creatures (➙ e.g. wildlife.) Yes
  • Types of creatures make sense in the area they are encountered in. Yes
  • Creatures are wandering persistently (➙ generally they don't randomly pop up) Yes -- Yes and no. They do pop up suddenly but aren't random, except for possible encounters at night.
  • At least some encounters are random (➙ you don't always know what's coming.) Yes
  • Looting makes sense (➙ no shield on a dead wolf.) Yes
  • Items are thoroughly and interestingly described. No
  • Time is measured (➙ e.g. there is a day/night cycle.) Yes
  • Time affects the game world (➙ e.g. some things are only available at night.) Yes
  • The economy is balanced (➙ collecting money never becomes pointless.) Yes
  • There are realistic gameplay sound effects (➙ e.g. combat sounds) Yes
  • There are interesting and immersive background sound effects. Yes
Choice
  • You can reasonably do what you want when you want to do it (➙ quest order doesn't matter much.) Yes
  • Some quests depend on each other. Yes
  • Some quests rule others out. No
  • Quests can be solved in more than one way. No
  • You can join factions, though not all at the same time. No
  • You can make moral choices (or romance choices.) No
Interdependence
  • (Character) Character stats can change NPC disposition towards the PC. Yes -- High charisma is useful for haggling.
  • (Character) Char development choices can affect available dialogue options. No
  • (Character) Different classes and alignments offer noticeably different experiences (➙ high replayability.) Yes
  • (Character) Unique items are in the game or can be made. Yes
  • (Exploration) You can find and recruit new party members or tame pets. Yes
  • (Exploration) Exploring off the beaten path yields rewards, e.g. optional quests, secrets or interesting locations. Yes
  • (Exploration) You can visit and make use of social locations (➙ e.g. taverns, inns, marketplaces.) Yes
Interactivity
  • Dialogue is fleshed out (➙ there are multiple options in one conversation.) No
  • There is more than one game ending. No
  • You can have conversations with party members or take care of pets. No
  • There are many side quests. No
  • State of the game changes in accordance with the player's actions. No
  • You can solve or create conflicts between factions. No
Immersion
  • Lore is provided (➙ context, faction rules, laws, history, ...) Yes
  • There are different factions (➙ races, groups, guilds.) Yes
  • NPCs or party members are well developed (➙ expansive background stories, etc.) No
  • NPCs or party members interact with each other. No
  • NPCs have schedules. No
  • There are surprises and twists. No
  • The storyline is character-driven (➙ character development within the narrative.) No
  • There is a proper ending or sense of closure. Yes
  • There are memorable antagonists. No
  • Your main character is defined. No
  • The game features fitting music (➙ atmosphere is enhanced.) Yes
Units
  • Combat can be avoided due to stats (➙ e.g. enemies flee) No
  • You can control at least six characters. Yes
  • Your characters are specialized (➙ different battlefield roles.) Yes
  • Enemies are specialized (➙ require different tactics.) Yes
  • Resource management is necessary. Yes
  • Units have multiple attack options. Yes
  • Delayed attacks are possible (➙ e.g. counterattacks, attacks of opportunity, etc.) No
  • Movement-focused special abilities are available. Yes
  • Units have multiple resistance options (➙ e.g. armor, elemental resistance, etc.) Yes
Environment
  • Combat can be avoided through sneaking or gameworld manipulation. No
  • You can get a good sense of space (➙ e.g. there is a grid.) Yes
  • Combat can start at variable distances. Yes
  • Directional facing plays a role (➙ e.g. more damage from behind, flanking.) Yes -- Units can usually only defend once per round, so flanking plays a role.
  • Terrain is variable (➙ e.g. natural choke points, cover, combat bonuses.) Yes
  • Terrain can be manipulated (➙ e.g. you can create barriers.) No
  • There are elevation effects (➙ e.g. combat bonuses from higher grounds.) No
  • There can be zones or items on the battlefield that reward units who get there in time. No
  • There can be Zones of Danger on the battlefield (➙ e.g. environmental damage.) No
Scenarios
  • Combat can be avoided through dialogue. No
  • Combat can have different win scenarios (➙ e.g. keep NPC alive, defend town.) No
  • Combat can have side objectives aside from "win/loss". No
  • Characters don't die immediately but can be revived during combat. No
  • Decisions on the battlefield have character development consequences. No
  • There are memorable bosses. No
Roleplay Focus: Character : Exploration : Story = 0.85 : 0.88 : 0.53
Gameplay Focus: Choice : Interactivity : Immersion = 0.77 : 0.78 : 0.73
Combat Focus: Units : Environment : Scenarios = 0.80 : 0.50 : 0.14


III. Fun Features


1. Character Development
Describes ways to create, change or enhance your characters in order to increase their effectiveness in the game.
  • FC1: Are there useless skills? Yes -- Lots of useful spells, lots of useless spells.
  • FC2: How would you rate character progression? Slow
  • FC3: Is there auto-leveling of some sort? No -- Yes if you play in beginner's mode.
  • FC4: Is the character advancement process satisfying and rewarding? Yes
  • FC5: Is the magic system (if included) well-balanced? Yes
2. Exploration
Includes how you can move through the game world, as well as everything you can find, see, manipulate or interact with, like locations, items and other objects.
  • FE1: Is Auto-Mapping available? Yes
  • FE2: Is Fast Travelling available? No
  • FE3: Are there quest markers? No
  • FE4: Is there a quest compass? No
  • FE5: How much realism is there? Much
  • FE6: How much looting is in the game? Some
3. Story
Concerns all narrative elements like setting, lore, plot, characters, dialogue, quests, descriptions, storyline(s) and similar, including how you can interact with them.
  • FS1: Does the story follow cliched paths? Yes
  • FS2: How linear is the game? Non-linear
  • FS3: How would you rate the suspense? Boring
  • FS4: Are there pre-selected options? (➙ Choice is reduced.) No
4. Combat (Meta)
Describes how combat (or more general: conflict resolving) corresponds to elements of Character Development, Exploration and Story.
  • FF1: How much fighting is in the game? Some
  • FF2: Grinding: Is filler combat necessary to develop your character? No
5. Interface

  • FX1: How often is gameplay interrupted with loading? Rarely
  • FX2: How would you rate the game's interface? Clunky
  • FX3: Is it easy to understand and evaluate how items compare to each other? (➙ e.g. which weapon does the most damage?) No
6. Difficulty

  • FD1: How difficult is the game? (➙ normal = challenging without being exasperating) Hard
  • FD2: Can difficulty be adjusted? Yes -- There's a beginner's mode and an advanced mode.
  • FD3: How balanced is trading? Good
  • FD4: How much reloading is necessary to beat the game? Little
  • FD5: How good is the AI? Medium
  • FD6: How much handholding is there? Little
7. Gameplay Features

  • FG1: Are there Easter Eggs? No
  • FG2: Are there minigames? No
  • FG3: How is the overall pacing? (➙ good: game is not over too quickly, neither does it drag) Not so good
This fact sheet was created using CRPG Analyzer 1.02 Beta.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 30, 2006
Messages
3,488

Planescape: Torment


game-208.gif
Classification: CRPG

Design: Dark, Gritty, Low Fantasy, W-RPG
Theme: Philosophy
Setting: Metaphysical Place, Crossworlds, Mythic
Combat Style: Pauseable Real-time
Reward System: Experience
Play Style: Single-player
Point of View: Isometric
Camera: Interactive
Color Palette: Subdued
Control: Full Control
Voice Acting: Partially Voiced
Character Backstory: Predefined, Free-form
Playtime: 40-60 hours
Funding model: Publisher





I. Defining Features


The three core categories Character Development, Exploration and Story that need to be applied and quantified to determine if an interactive computerized game can be labeled as a Computer Role Playing Game (hereafter referred to as CRPG) are listed to show the necessary component elements and qualifying factors.

Any proposed or purported CRPG must contain all three core categories and their essential necessary Must Have conditions fulfilled to achieve the (minimal) CRPG status.

These core categories must maintain some form of progressive nature that will improve from when the game starts and leads to a conclusive game ending.

1. Character Development
Describes ways to create, change or enhance your characters in order to increase their effectiveness in the game.
  • MC1: You can control and role-play one or more unique characters (➙ avatar or party, not only uniform units.) Yes
  • MC2: You can progressively develop character stats or abilities (➙ e.g. through an in game value (usually exp. points) gained by quests, exploration, conversation, combat, ...) Yes
  • MC3: You can equip items to enhance character stats or abilities Yes
  • MC4: Stat checks are required (➙ you need to develop your character in order to progress and finish the game) Yes
2. Exploration
Includes how you can move through the game world, as well as everything you can find, see, manipulate or interact with, like locations, items and other objects.
  • ME1: You can find new locations Yes
  • ME2: You can find and collect items (➙ There is an inventory. There must be more item types than quest items, weapons, ammunition or consumable stat boosters) Yes
  • ME3: You can find information sources (➙ e.g. NPCs, entities, objects that provide info) Yes
3. Story
Concerns all narrative elements like setting, lore, plot, characters, dialogue, quests, descriptions, storyline(s) and similar, including how you can interact with them.
  • MS1: You can get information from information sources (➙ e.g. hints, goals, quests, skills, spells, training, ...) Yes
  • MS2: You can follow quests (➙ there is at least one main quest) Yes
  • MS3: You can progress through connected events while playing your character's role. Yes
Each core category and the auxiliary category Combat also have related Should Have conditions; the reviewer should make a comment if a sub list item is not fulfilled. Should one or more (SH) not be fulfilled the game is most likely a special CRPG (see Tags) or a CRPG light.

If all (SH) are fulfilled too there's no further discussion necessary -- the game is a true CRPG.

1. Character Development
Describes ways to create, change or enhance your characters in order to increase their effectiveness in the game.
  • SC1: You can create your characters. Yes -- You can distribute some stat points in the game at character creation, but that's it.
  • SC2: Pre-planning is required for character development Yes
  • SC3: Tactical use of abilities is required (➙ primary means of problem solving, gameworld interaction and overcoming challenges. The player's physical coordination skills are secondary.) Yes
2. Exploration
Includes how you can move through the game world, as well as everything you can find, see, manipulate or interact with, like locations, items and other objects.
  • SE1: You can find NPCs (➙ non-player characters who you can interact with.) Yes
  • SE2: You can choose a path (➙ there is at least some branching.) Yes
  • SE3: You can interact with the game world (➙ e.g. you can pull levers, push buttons, open chests, hack computers, ... appropriate to the game's setting) Yes
  • SE4: The gameworld can affect your characters' conditions or circumstances such that you have to learn and adapt to overcome these challenges (➙ e.g. weather, traps, closed doors, poisoned areas, ...) Yes
  • SE5: Inaccessible areas can be reached due to character enhancements or by solving quests or puzzles (➙ e.g. unlock locked areas, overcome obstacles, repair bridges, dispel barriers, ...) Yes
3. Story
Concerns all narrative elements like setting, lore, plot, characters, dialogue, quests, descriptions, storyline(s) and similar, including how you can interact with them.
  • SS1: You can interact with information sources (➙ e.g. NPC conversations, riddle statue questions, ...) Yes
  • SS2: You can make choices in those interactions. Yes
  • SS3: Some of those choices have consequences. Yes
  • SS4: Thinking is required in order to progress (➙ e.g. irreversible choices, moral dilemma, riddles, ...) Yes
  • SS5: The story is influenced by your decisions and your characters' actions and stats or abilities. Yes
4. Combat (Meta)
Describes how combat (or more general: conflict resolving) corresponds to elements of Character Development, Exploration and Story.
  • SF1: Combat is influenced by character stats or abilities (➙ e.g. amount of damage, chance to hit, weapon access, ...) Yes
  • SF2: Combat involves random elements (➙ e.g. game internal dice rolls.) Yes
  • SF3: Combat provides some challenge (➙ e.g. requires preparation, use of tactics or environment.) Yes
Planescape: Torment is a CRPG.


II. CRPG Elements


Optional elements are listed in the Nice to Have (NtH) list. With it you get precise information which optional CRPG elements are implemented in the game. A general game info questionnaire is added too, to do some rating.

Choice
  • You can name your characters. No
  • You can choose a gender. No
  • You can choose looks or voice. No
  • You can choose or create through play your own class, profession or race. Yes -- You can change your class later in the game by talking to certain people.
  • You can choose traits, alignment or disposition. Yes -- Your alignment changes based on your actions during the game.
  • You can choose abilities. Yes
  • You can choose spells. Yes
  • You can modify primary stats. Yes
  • Lots of different equipment is available. Yes
  • Lots of different spells or abilities are available. Yes
  • Abilities can unlock or block others or branch. No
  • Character classes or development paths can be changed during the game. Yes
  • You can have pets as party members. No
Interdependence
  • (Story) Character stats can change NPC disposition towards the PC. Yes
  • (Story) Stats, abilities or spells can affect available dialogue options. Yes
  • (Story) Different classes and alignments offer noticeably different experiences (➙ high replayability.) Yes
  • (Story) Unique items are in the game or can be made. Yes
  • (Exploration) Stats, abilities or spells can affect available paths through the game world. Yes
  • (Exploration) Stats, abilities or spells can affect the amount of things you can see, find or know in the world. Yes
Interactivity
  • You can create combos with spells or abilities. No
  • Your character's stats can be modified by using spells or abilities. Yes
  • Your character's afflictions can be cured by using spells or abilities. Yes
  • You can rest or sleep. Yes
  • Stats can limit in some way what you can equip or carry. Yes
  • You can control party members or pets like your main character. Yes
Immersion
  • You need to specialize (➙ can't have everything.) Yes
  • You can create or choose a background story for your character. Yes -- Yes and no. Quite a unique aspect of this game.
  • You can tweak your character lots of times over the whole game. Yes
  • You can wear normal clothes, not only armor. No -- There are, however, many different, interesting items to wear.
  • Factions provide prizes for your deeds (➙ e.g. houses, medals, ranks, ...) Yes
  • Magic is in the game in some form. Yes
  • Your characters can be afflicted with negative status effects (➙ e.g. diseases, fatigue, etc.) Yes
  • Your characters can eat or drink. Yes -- Can, but don't have to.
  • You understand how your character and quest fit within the overall game world. Yes
Choice
  • You can follow different paths to reach a goal. Yes
  • You can reasonably go where you want. Yes
  • You can return to previously visited locations. Yes
  • There are few artificial borders, rare level loading. No -- The infinity engine is based on individual areas.
  • There are interesting and helpful things to buy with your money (➙ e.g. trade for better equipment.) Yes
Interdependence
  • (Character) Char development choices can affect available paths through the game world. Yes
  • (Character) Char development choices can affect the amount of things you can see, find or know in the world. Yes
  • (Story) You can find and recruit new party members or tame pets. Yes
  • (Story) Exploring off the beaten path yields rewards, e.g. optional quests, secrets or interesting locations. Yes
  • (Story) You can visit and make use of social locations (➙ e.g. taverns, inns, marketplaces.) Yes
Interactivity
  • You can gain money. Yes
  • You can interact with items. Yes
  • You can break or destroy items. Yes -- Weapons can break upon use.
  • You can repair items. No -- ?
  • You can move items. No
  • You can combine or disaggregate items. No
  • You can gather pieces of flora or fauna for later use. No
  • You can craft or customize equipment, spells or items (➙ e.g. alchemy.) No
  • Inventory size is limited. Yes
Immersion
  • There is a place you can call home. No
  • You can explore lots of unique, beautiful and interesting locations. Yes
  • Locations can evolve or change (➙ e.g. town / destroyed town.) Yes
  • There are non-hostile creatures (➙ e.g. wildlife.) No
  • Types of creatures make sense in the area they are encountered in. Yes
  • Creatures are wandering persistently (➙ generally they don't randomly pop up) Yes
  • At least some encounters are random (➙ you don't always know what's coming.) Yes
  • Looting makes sense (➙ no shield on a dead wolf.) Yes
  • Items are thoroughly and interestingly described. Yes
  • Time is measured (➙ e.g. there is a day/night cycle.) Yes
  • Time affects the game world (➙ e.g. some things are only available at night.) No
  • The economy is balanced (➙ collecting money never becomes pointless.) Yes
  • There are realistic gameplay sound effects (➙ e.g. combat sounds) Yes
  • There are interesting and immersive background sound effects. Yes
Choice
  • You can reasonably do what you want when you want to do it (➙ quest order doesn't matter much.) Yes
  • Some quests depend on each other. Yes
  • Some quests rule others out. Yes -- Not sure, but I think so. Perhaps in regard to factions.
  • Quests can be solved in more than one way. Yes
  • You can join factions, though not all at the same time. Yes
  • You can make moral choices (or romance choices.) Yes
Interdependence
  • (Character) Character stats can change NPC disposition towards the PC. Yes
  • (Character) Char development choices can affect available dialogue options. Yes
  • (Character) Different classes and alignments offer noticeably different experiences (➙ high replayability.) Yes
  • (Character) Unique items are in the game or can be made. Yes
  • (Exploration) You can find and recruit new party members or tame pets. Yes
  • (Exploration) Exploring off the beaten path yields rewards, e.g. optional quests, secrets or interesting locations. Yes
  • (Exploration) You can visit and make use of social locations (➙ e.g. taverns, inns, marketplaces.) Yes
Interactivity
  • Dialogue is fleshed out (➙ there are multiple options in one conversation.) Yes
  • There is more than one game ending. Yes
  • You can have conversations with party members or take care of pets. Yes
  • There are many side quests. Yes
  • State of the game changes in accordance with the player's actions. Yes
  • You can solve or create conflicts between factions. Yes
Immersion
  • Lore is provided (➙ context, faction rules, laws, history, ...) Yes
  • There are different factions (➙ races, groups, guilds.) Yes
  • NPCs or party members are well developed (➙ expansive background stories, etc.) Yes
  • NPCs or party members interact with each other. Yes
  • NPCs have schedules. No
  • There are surprises and twists. Yes
  • The storyline is character-driven (➙ character development within the narrative.) Yes
  • There is a proper ending or sense of closure. Yes
  • There are memorable antagonists. Yes
  • Your main character is defined. Yes -- Both yes and no. The game is quite unique in this area.
  • The game features fitting music (➙ atmosphere is enhanced.) Yes
Units
  • Combat can be avoided due to stats (➙ e.g. enemies flee) No
  • You can control at least six characters. Yes
  • Your characters are specialized (➙ different battlefield roles.) Yes
  • Enemies are specialized (➙ require different tactics.) Yes
  • Resource management is necessary. Yes
  • Units have multiple attack options. Yes
  • Delayed attacks are possible (➙ e.g. counterattacks, attacks of opportunity, etc.) No
  • Movement-focused special abilities are available. No
  • Units have multiple resistance options (➙ e.g. armor, elemental resistance, etc.) Yes
Environment
  • Combat can be avoided through sneaking or gameworld manipulation. No
  • You can get a good sense of space (➙ e.g. there is a grid.) No
  • Combat can start at variable distances. Yes
  • Directional facing plays a role (➙ e.g. more damage from behind, flanking.) Yes
  • Terrain is variable (➙ e.g. natural choke points, cover, combat bonuses.) Yes
  • Terrain can be manipulated (➙ e.g. you can create barriers.) No
  • There are elevation effects (➙ e.g. combat bonuses from higher grounds.) No
  • There can be zones or items on the battlefield that reward units who get there in time. No
  • There can be Zones of Danger on the battlefield (➙ e.g. environmental damage.) No
Scenarios
  • Combat can be avoided through dialogue. Yes
  • Combat can have different win scenarios (➙ e.g. keep NPC alive, defend town.) No
  • Combat can have side objectives aside from "win/loss". No
  • Characters don't die immediately but can be revived during combat. No
  • Decisions on the battlefield have character development consequences. No
  • There are memorable bosses. Yes
Roleplay Focus: Character : Exploration : Story = 0.83 : 0.78 : 0.97
Gameplay Focus: Choice : Interactivity : Immersion = 0.80 : 0.88 : 0.88
Combat Focus: Units : Environment : Scenarios = 0.70 : 0.40 : 0.43


III. Fun Features


1. Character Development
Describes ways to create, change or enhance your characters in order to increase their effectiveness in the game.
  • FC1: Are there useless skills? No
  • FC2: How would you rate character progression? Balanced
  • FC3: Is there auto-leveling of some sort? No
  • FC4: Is the character advancement process satisfying and rewarding? Yes
  • FC5: Is the magic system (if included) well-balanced? Yes
2. Exploration
Includes how you can move through the game world, as well as everything you can find, see, manipulate or interact with, like locations, items and other objects.
  • FE1: Is Auto-Mapping available? Yes
  • FE2: Is Fast Travelling available? No
  • FE3: Are there quest markers? No
  • FE4: Is there a quest compass? No
  • FE5: How much realism is there? Balanced
  • FE6: How much looting is in the game? Some
3. Story
Concerns all narrative elements like setting, lore, plot, characters, dialogue, quests, descriptions, storyline(s) and similar, including how you can interact with them.
  • FS1: Does the story follow cliched paths? No
  • FS2: How linear is the game? Network-like
  • FS3: How would you rate the suspense? Ok
  • FS4: Are there pre-selected options? (➙ Choice is reduced.) No
4. Combat (Meta)
Describes how combat (or more general: conflict resolving) corresponds to elements of Character Development, Exploration and Story.
  • FF1: How much fighting is in the game? Some
  • FF2: Grinding: Is filler combat necessary to develop your character? No
5. Interface

  • FX1: How often is gameplay interrupted with loading? Sometimes
  • FX2: How would you rate the game's interface? Ok
  • FX3: Is it easy to understand and evaluate how items compare to each other? (➙ e.g. which weapon does the most damage?) Yes
6. Difficulty

  • FD1: How difficult is the game? (➙ normal = challenging without being exasperating) Normal
  • FD2: Can difficulty be adjusted? Yes
  • FD3: How balanced is trading? Good
  • FD4: How much reloading is necessary to beat the game? Some
  • FD5: How good is the AI? Medium
  • FD6: How much handholding is there? Little
7. Gameplay Features

  • FG1: Are there Easter Eggs? Yes
  • FG2: Are there minigames? No
  • FG3: How is the overall pacing? (➙ good: game is not over too quickly, neither does it drag) Good
This fact sheet was created using CRPG Analyzer 1.02 Beta.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 30, 2006
Messages
3,488
You can distribute some stat points in Planescape Torment at character creation, but that's it. So
SC1: You can create your characters.
is a very weak yes. I would add a comment.
True. Done.

I had to ponder a few questions, having played the game only once a long time ago:

- what's the difference between Floating Camera and Isometric again?
- are there quests in the game that can rule others out? I'm not sure. Even the faction quests you seem to be able to do before actually joining, at least from what I've read…
- are there dark games that are not gritty? Are there bright games that are not clean? Codexers seem to prefer the term "grim" instead of "dark & gritty".

Either way, a true marvel in the CRPG world. I really need to play it again, some time -- something I rarely do, if ever.
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2006
Messages
3,488
Gritty has at least three meanings:

1.) containing or covered with grit.

2.) showing courage and resolve.

3.) harsh, coarse, rough and unrefined, as in film depictions that portray life as it truly is, without false distortions, stylizations, or idealizations. Often, the realism is exaggerated such that the culture or society being portrayed appears more coarse than it really is.
 
Joined
Oct 18, 2006
Messages
20,364
Location
Germany
Yeah, 3 sounds about right.

I'm going to try and analyze Diablo 3 next, since it hasn't been long since I played it, and (maybe not) surprisingly it's nothing like D1 or D2 in that regard. D1 was really gritty and dark in all meanings of the word, D2 less so, but still pretty "dark". D3? Not gritty at all — it even had a clean feel to it. And even though you played in dungeons or at night, most of the time it wasn't dark at all; neither physically nor psychologically.
 
Joined
Aug 30, 2006
Messages
3,488
Back
Top Bottom