How to design an ideal computer role playing game?

Posted by Jari Komppa.
First posted on 15 September 1999. Last updated on 25 February 2006.
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While doing some background research in preparation for a project to create a new role-playing game (RPG), I have compiled some points on what constitutes a computer RPG (CRPG) and what makes a great CRPG. I have a long history with playing both RPGs and CRPGs as well as a long history with computer programming. After reading the article "What is an ideal adventure game?", I become interested in…

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Previous Comments


Thank you! It helped me!

France By Someone • On 01 September 2014 • From Somewhere


it helped me

United States By jake • On 20 September 2008 • From brea california


That was an interesting article. Breaking down the engines (or views) helped to see the differences. You'd almost think big game developers don't think of these things. I mean a game like Oblivion was short on deep NPC personalities or it just seemed plain to me. Also I agree that dice rolling does not create the same feel in a RPG (there can be too much randomness), but I would not rule it out completely as some creates unpredicted challeges that when barely overcome by your character makes you that much more interested. A mix of both is good for depth and surprises! Overall an excellent look at CRPGS!

Canada By Clay • On 13 June 2008 • From Canada

its a good idea

Netherlands By ronald • On 04 October 2006 • From almere,netherlands


I dont get it what do you do do you allow people to make there own online multiplayer game

United States By Katlyn • On 03 August 2006 • From dallas

You guys never heard of Ultima?
tsk tsk..............

United States By James • On 26 February 2004 • From Somewhere

Thank you! You are indeed correct in saying the GURPS engine is far better than the AD&D engine. TSR's engine showed it's wear in the late eighties and I think almost every single recent engine, especially those that allow skills to increase with repetition, are far superior. Slow progression, limited skills, and, what I feel to be, relatively shallow mathmatics make AD&D much more suited to playing around a table with pencils and paper. Why not benefit from a computers ability to compute hundreds of different equations and track a myriad of stats instantly, something that would be too cumbersome for a pen and paper derived system like AD&D. A great modern example of an RPG that illustrates this is Wizardy 8. Compare it with any of the Baldur's Gate games and it should be clear to any true RPG fan which is better. Progression in W8 is frequent, noticeable and rewarding. Progression in BG is slow, intangible at times, and far too dependent on finding better and better equipment (one of Morrowind's fatal flaws I might add).

Kudos on your infomative article.

By Jon • On 21 June 2002 • From Somewhere

kool web page i love role playing games
my fav is any type of midevil game. the reason ifound this page was becuse i was looking for gabriel knight down loads. but i was allways interested in making the ultimate game. i would like to see an rpg or a crpg with the
X-MEN where a person could be one of any of the characters especialy wolverine or gambit but make the game as real as possible not like
a kids game when the figures are more real or human the game is much better to get involved in well thats all i half to say thanks.- merlin

By larry w rush • On 27 February 2000 • From columbus, ohio