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Old 08-25-2008, 06:43 PM   #1
Kodiak
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Question Making Pen and Paper Digital

This is a question for the designers out there.

When you're looking at a project which involves porting a pre-existing pen and paper game (say the D20 system -- KOTR for Bioware, or any of the Games Workshop series -- Dawn of War for Relic/THQ, for example), do you look at the pre-existing rules and work and think "Yes! a large part of the footwork has been done for the design document" or "Oh !$^#!$%^, how are we going to make THIS work?"...or perhaps something in the middle?

What leads you decide to stay true to the original paper 'engine' as opposed to creating your own?
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Old 08-25-2008, 10:10 PM   #2
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That's quite interesting. When I think about games like Vampire: The Masquerade, the development team did disregard many of the old rules. However, by the same note, the original rules proberbly would not have made as much a fun game.

Personally, I would proberbly try to preserve the fundamental principles behind the game, but redo a lot of the footwork myself; depending on how different I want the game to feel on the PC.
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Old 08-27-2008, 08:51 AM   #3
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I definitely there would be a need for a lot of footwork regardless, but why is it that there is the need to get rid of the underlying principles that give the essence to the game?

I thought at first that the type of game engine (RTS/FPS), especially anything in real time, may not lend itself to the processes that are required from pen and paper, but with today's processing power, the equivalent of a couple dice rolls to figure out anything in game should be pretty easy to deal with.

The clearest example of this which leaps to my mind is why would designers at THQ feel that the Warhammer 40K rule set for table top battles (and this is just an example I am referring to, there are many out there) deem that they needed to devise a new way of running things...which happens to be very similar to many other RTS games out there, minus some neat innovations.

In Warhammer 40K, there are many random factors which liven game play such as the possibility of an apparently weak unit getting lucky and taking out a strong one (Gretchens taking a lucky pot shot that kills a Space Marine). However, in the computer game, it is essentially a process of grinding through hit points at a largely predictable rate.

I am not saying that this is not fun, as the Dawn of War is quite enjoyable to play. However, it does just seem to be a veneer with little personality. It has lost some of the essence of what made it 'Warhammer'. Case in point, it is repackaged to make Company of Heroes by essentially changing the graphics.

My aim here is not to discuss the merits of these games, but rather to try to discover why one would stray from the mechanisms which have already been established for pen and paper.

Adrir, I appreciate your thoughts. Are there any others out there?
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Old 08-27-2008, 06:21 PM   #4
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You should find this interesting:

The Adventurer's Guide to Thievery
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