Treasure Island: Other RPG Research

The Quest

According to the brief for this project, I have to create an RPG based on the children’s book “Treasure island”.

The main theme of the book is pirates and treasure hunting. So, whilst I don’t want to follow the original plotline of the book (as the linear plot of the book doesn’t allow for much decision-making or personality customisation, which is the point of an RPG), I think this is the main element that I want to capture with the narrative and gameplay.


A Brief History of RPGs

Role Playing Games, (commonly abbreviated to RPGs) are games where the player takes on the role of another character and plays through their adventures. By their nature, most games could be classed as role-playing games, as the player takes on the role of another character person/creature than themselves, but this definition is too broad to be of much use. In general, a game defined as an RPG, tends to focus of story more than other types of games, and allows the character to make important decisions that cause the non-linear storyline to diverge or change in places, and allows the player to customise almost everything about their character, from their appearance, to their skills and abilities.

RPGs have been around a lot longer than digital games have. Games like “Dungeons and Dragons” and Play-by-mail games existed long before modern computers did. Multi User Dungeons (MUDs) were the first kind of digital RPGs, allowing users to create objects and limits for that object’s interactivity. Other users on the network could then join that “Dungeon” and interact with the objects in that room. The first MUDs were run from Universities large computer servers, as they were to only ones powerful enough to run the code, and were extremely simple text-based interfaces.

RPGs have only advanced from their, through early games like…, through to the massive open-world games that exist today, like “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” and “The Witcher II: Assassins of Kings”.


Traits of Modern RPGs

Most modern RPGs are extremely complicated, which is a side effect of giving players a large amount of options for their character’s appearance and skills. RPGs tend to contain a lot more mechanics than other kinds of games, as they tend to include a variety mechanics usually included in other genres of games, such as adventure, puzzle, and action games. The range of skills and abilities that a player can choose from often means that the game’s menus and controls can also become more complicated.

Conversely, many other genre’s of games can include RPG elements. For example, “Deus Ex: Human Revolution” contains a mehcanic that allows the player to upgrade the protagonist, Adam Jensen’s, aurgmentations to allow him to use different abilities, and to customise the main character to the users style of play, either combative or stealth.

Another trait of modern RPGs is having an Open-world. A game having an open world means that the player can wander the games world at will, without having to stick to the path the game gives them. Some areas of the world could still only become accessible after the player has completed certain prerequisits, such as having attained a certain item like a key, or until they have joined a certain clan or group.


RPG Examples

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

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This is the fifth game in “The Elder Scrolls” game series. The game takes place in the massive open-world of Tamriel, where dragons have returned and the king has been assassinated. The player plays as the “Dragonborn”, a prophesied hero with the power of “The Voice”, who is the only person able to defeat the dragons and save Tamriel. The Player must travel through the game competing quests in an attempt to defeat Alduin, the leader of the Dragons.

Star Wars KOTOR
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The game is set in the time of “The Old Republic”, around 2000 years before the battle of Yavin. It follows the adventures of the protagonist (Which the player chooses the name of) as they travel though the galaxy attempting to find the star maps, and figure out how the antagonist, Darth Malak, is amassing such a large fleet. The game features several planets that the protagonists can travel to using their ship.

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings
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The game begins with the protagonist, Geralt of Rivia, being imprisoned for the assassination of the king. Geralt is one of a dying race of humans called “Witchers”, which are a breed of mutated humans that serve as monster hunters. Once Geralt has escaped from his imprisonment, he spends the game attempting to rescue his companion Triss, Who has been captured by the people of Nilfgaard. The story takes the player on two distinct paths, depending on the decisions that the player makes early on, but both conclude in roughly the same place.

Diablo 3
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The Story of Diablo 3 revolves around the Hero and his party helping the former Angel of Justice, Tyrael, to escape capture, and then to use the Black Soulstone to capture the last two ‘Evils’. Once this is complete, however, one of their allies betrays them by waking Diablo using the Black Soulstone, and channelling them into a new host (one of the Heroes party members). Tyrael and the Heroes follow Diablo into High Heaven. After several encounters with Imperius, who is unhappy with humans being allowed into high heaven, the heroes finally encounter Diablo, and defeat him.


Semi-RPG Research

Deus Ex: Human Revolution
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This Deus Ex game takes place several years before the original game.The game follows Adam Jensen, Cheif of Security at a leading Augmentation company “Sarif Industries”.  Jensen is  grievously injured in an attack on the headquarters of the firm. In order to save his life, Sarif has him implanted with extensive augmentations, which also enhances his abilities in combat. The game follows him as he investigates a conspiracy theory surrounding the attack.

– Fantasy Life
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Fantasy life is a game for the Nintendo 3Ds. It follows the story of the Protagonist, who is created and named by the player, as they investigate the appearance of Doom Stones, which turn the local wildlife savage. The player is assisted by a host of characters across the world, when they explore the three main cities of the land in their quest to unravel the mystery of the Doom Stones. The player chooses one of twelve lives which allow them to perform different tasks within the world (though the players life can be changed at the players leisure), though the main story is linear whichever life the player chooses.


References

IMDB (2016) The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim [Online] Available from: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1814884/plotsummary [Accessed: 11th April 2016]

Elder-Greek (2015) The Witcher – Complete Story Recap [Online] Available from: https://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments/36dr46/the_witcher_complete_story_recap/ [Accessed: 11th April 2016]

Rhytlocke (2012) DIablo 3 Plot Summary and Analysis [Online] Available from: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5271784504 [Accessed: 11th April 2016]

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