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Editorial CD Projekt Blog on Implementing Pen and Paper Mechanics in Computer Game

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by Crooked Bee, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. Crooked Bee (no longer) a wide-wandering bee Patron

    Crooked Bee
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    Tags: CD Projekt; Cyberpunk 2077

    In other CD Projekt RED news, the company's blog has a new entry related to the newly announced Cyberpunk 2027 RPG, based on the Cyberpunk PnP system. The entry is entitled "Implementing Pen & Paper Mechanisms Into a Computer Game." It's pretty short so I'll quote it in full here:

    At first glance it may seem that there’s nothing easier than creating a video game based on an existing RPG system like Cyberpunk® 2020. After all, we already have all the mechanics prepared and ready to use in the game. As simple as it sounds, there’s more to it than meets the eye.

    The pen & paper game rules are designed to give players as much flexibility as possible. They are more like a set of guidelines which players are at liberty to bend to their liking. Improvisation, dropping rules or adding new ones is a common practice for pen & paper games. This principle applies not only to gameplay rules, like combat or skill tests, but also to character customization. Players are limited only by common sense, the agreement of the group and their imagination.

    Video games, on the other hand, do not have that much flexibility. Every element has to be accounted for and carefully designed. Of course, modern AAA RPG games, like The Witcher 2 or the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077, can give the Player lots of freedom. But the underlying mechanics are adhering to very strict rules and if an action or option wasn’t implemented in the code, then the player will not be able to do it. The same principle applies to character customization – the player can do only as much as game allows him to. So if game designers decide that it is not possible to play as an ugly midget you will not be able to play one. Sorry Tyrion Lannister fans.

    This is why adapting pen & paper rules to video game is not as easy as it can appear at first glance. The flexibility of an in-person RPG has to be replaced with a strict set of rules. Every skill, attribute and game mechanic has to have a clear definition and place in the game. For example, the Cyberpunk® 2020 “Wardrobe & Style” skill governs the knowledge about the right clothes to wear, when to wear them and how to look cool even in a spacesuit. As you can see, this skill covers quite a big area of lore and can be interpreted differently, depending on the situation and the players. In Cyberpunk 2077 this skill has to be tied to a specific gameplay mechanic. And all of these mechanics have to be clearly defined so they can work well with other elements of the game and, at the same time, be easy to understand for the player. After all, we don’t have a referee or game master to explain or interpret the rules as you go. And, to accommodate your curiosity, yes, we have some really cool ideas on how to present aforementioned skill in the game. Regrettably, we’re not quite yet ready to spill the beans.

    For hardcore Cyberpunk 2020 fans out there, twiddling with rules in such a way may seem like blasphemy. But rest assured that we are working very closely with Mike Pondsmith to ensure that the unique feel of the original, paper game is preserved intact. Of course we may need to change some things, add new elements or even drop the ones that simply do not work in a video game (“Geology” skill anyone?).

    Of course, the topic raised today is only the tip of an iceberg and you probably have tons of questions. Unfortunately, we are not ready to reveal more details at the moment. Nevertheless, we’ll be more than happy to read your comments so feel free to drop them below and stay tuned. When we’re ready, we will surely share more information with you. Be patient and remember: Attitude is Everything!​

    In short, just like The Witcher 2, Cyberpunk 2077 will give the player a lot of freedom. CD Projekt: setting players free since 2007.
     
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  2. Excidium P. banal

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    This game will be p. cool. Will probably rape my old PC too.
     
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  3. Jaesun Fabulous Moderator

    Jaesun
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    So.... basically...... adapting PnP ruleset to a cRPG is HARD! So screw that shit! We will give you Witcher with Guns! Yet another AAA Action Game #875652354273 labeled as a RPG that has little or no cRPG elements, BUT LOT'S OF ACTION FOR THE KIDDIES!

    I still have very little interest in this. Maybe when they provide more specifics. But I won't hold my breath.
     
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  4. wormix Augur

    wormix
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    So all we know is blocking will be even less useful?
     
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  5. DraQ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    On one hand it's spot on about the difference between cRPG and PnP RPG:
    In PnP ruleset is basically only a bunch of impartial conflict/situation resolution rules to assist the players and GM, while in cRPG it defines everything that is and can be.

    On the other - Witcher 2, a lot of freedom? :lol:
    [​IMG]
    Come on, it's a typical rail game, even if it has branching rails.

    Not to diss it, because it gave me fair amount of storyfag goodness for my buck (and fair amount of facepalms with broken interface, derpy QTEs and useless elixirs), but you can only do so much with the general concept of pre-writing an interesting story, even in mutually exclusive segments (CYOA style C&C).
     
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  6. Mrowak Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    Jaesun I hoped never to read such a strawman authored by you. It's the fact of life that PnP rules do not translate well into cRPGs, exactly for the reason they mention on the blog. In PnP rules are just guidlines which can be bent in the service of gameplay and always offer some flexibility. In contrast in cRPGs you get loads of nonsense...

    You have numerous examples of abusing PnP gameplay mechanic in a way no sane GM would allow. Not so long ago we had that huge shitstorm about Vancian system and resting. Realms of Arkania series has square fucktonnes of abilities which are useless, or useful for a single event in an whole 3 games, which are there just to be faithful to PnP roots. On the other hand, look at how KotC bended the rules of D&D - it didn't hurt it in the least.
     
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  7. Jaesun Fabulous Moderator

    Jaesun
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    I was just joking ;) As someone who actually HAS played many PnP session (of D&D, Shadowrun and Cyberpunk) I am well aware of the difficulty of translating them directly into a video game. Many things just do NOT translate well. My main point was I am just expecting yet another ACTION! game labeled as a RPG from CDProjekt. Based on the only 2 games they have made so far. Because that's what sells. I feel more they they are looking at the skill system in what makes it FUN and ACTION PACKED! Instead of skills not translating well. I will say this though, they do a FAR better job of adding RPG elements to video games than the entire catalog of games from Bethesda (since Morrowind).

    I'm just a bit pissed off because I FUCKING LOVE CYBERPUNK (the PnP game). Then I heard CDProjekt was doing it. D:
     
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  8. Morkar Left Guest

    Morkar Left
    I disagree. Most rules are pretty good to implement gameplaywise (technically it's a different matter) because they have simple rules. Next to every oldschool p&p system is deterministic and not open. It's only the creativity of the players that allow an open playstyle. The rulesystm has nothing to with this.

    (Just for the brotocol Mrowak; I'm not nagging at you. It just happens we have different opinions in more matters than one I guess)
     
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  9. Wintermute Augur Patron

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    Never played the PnP, but why not a geology skill in a CRPG?

    Possibilities:
    - knows where the treasures (gold/platinum/diamonds) are.
    - avoids earthquakes/dungeon cave-ins/radioactive areas.
    - water finder
    - silicon-based lifeform expert (bonus to-hit/dmg)
    - Geologists get all the girls :smug:

    How is it used in the Cyberpunk PnP?
     
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  10. OldSkoolKamikaze Arcane Patron

    OldSkoolKamikaze
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    Don't forget the boobs! AAA RPG indeed.
     
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  11. Major_Blackhart Codexia Lord Sodom Patron

    Major_Blackhart
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    Interesting. Might check this one out.
    Have they got anything to show for it yet or are they only just in the planning stage?
     
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  12. Brayko Self-Ejected

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    Def. Interested, thought that the Witcher games had potential but fell a bit short so maybe Cyberpunk, I setting I dig, will square off a decent CDPR game.

    Maybe.
     
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