RPG Retrospectives: A Mini Docuseries from Zen Studios

Classic Games

Check out this guest article by Chris Baker, Writer & Creative Director of Operencia: The Stolen Sun

Computer roleplaying games (or CRPGs) have a long and storied history, which is both a blessing and a challenge for modern RPG designers. On one hand, we have decades of innovative games to draw inspiration from, but on the other hand, the legacies of the legendary titles in this space shape player expectations in big ways.

When you design an RPG, you can stand on the shoulders of giants, or those same giants can trample you. With that in mind, our team at Zen Studios starts our design process by taking a deep look at the RPGs we grew up playing. Part of this is passion. These are games we love, after all, but we also seek to more deeply understand the design choices that made these games legendary.

Then, those insights turn into starting points for our own inspiration.

To pay tribute to the RPGs that inspired us, we invited veteran CRPG writer, Patrick Holleman, to articulate the design choices that made classic games like The Bard’s Tale and Eye of the Beholder iconic. It is our hope that this RPG retrospective series inspires new players to try these games and that it brings a fresh appreciation from longtime fans.

Episode 1: The Power of Limitations in The Bard’s Tale

Early computers didn’t have the processing power to capture the sprawling, open worlds that we explored in our tabletop Dungeons & Dragons adventures, so designers had to be very deliberate about what parts of the experience captured their focus. In practice, the limitations of PC hardware quickly turned into catalysts for innovation.

Episode 2: Injecting Action into RPGs with Eye of the Beholder and Dragon Slayer II

As …read more

Source:: GOG – Good Old Games


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