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Creating An Digital RPG To Be Started Like Boardgames? Prototype for Feedback

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Niklas
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Joined: 04/17/2018

Hey everyone, we are a group of design and IT-students AND rpg players for about 3 years AND board gamers. We started with common rpg titles/systems like D&D and DSA. This was quite hard at the beginning. To be honest, for rookies or beginners it is a bit work preparing their first round. But knowing the joy and fun it is worth it, for sure! We want to make rpgs more accessible to rpg interested board gamers or friends who are not familiar with rpgs! There is nothing we found that suits to guarantee an easy access. Finally everything boils down to a 5 hour preparation, 4 hour char creation, 2 hour rule explanation... very exhausting (for newbies).

This is why we have started with our mission: Making rpgs more accessible like boardgames! Rpg to play in a different way with simple rules, easy preparation and get started similar to an classic boardgames.
We think a digital device (like a smartphone or tablet) could help people to dive in a world a rpg story describes! So our first web app prototype is designed to help to dive in their universe they created by playing. What do you think? Is this a way addressing board gamers to play rpgs more like board games?

Link to our prototype: https://yora-adventures.com/app/

Have fun testing it!

Jay103
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Joined: 01/23/2018
Niklas wrote:Hey everyone, we

Niklas wrote:
Hey everyone, we are a group of design and IT-students AND rpg players for about 3 years AND board gamers. We started with common rpg titles/systems like D&D and DSA. This was quite hard at the beginning. To be honest, for rookies or beginners it is a bit work preparing their first round. But knowing the joy and fun it is worth it, for sure! We want to make rpgs more accessible to rpg interested board gamers or friends who are not familiar with rpgs! There is nothing we found that suits to guarantee an easy access. Finally everything boils down to a 5 hour preparation, 4 hour char creation, 2 hour rule explanation... very exhausting (for newbies).

This is why we have started with our mission: Making rpgs more accessible like boardgames! Rpg to play in a different way with simple rules, easy preparation and get started similar to an classic boardgames.

Well, you should definitely pick up a copy of my game, then :)

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/727578181/heroes-and-treasure-rpg-b...

10 minutes DM prep, and about 10 minutes first-time-player prep.

Jay103
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Joined: 01/23/2018
The "damage" button for the

The "damage" button for the DM (e.g. for Martha") is doing a check, not damage. For some reason there are additional Check and Damage buttons at the bottom of each screen; those Damage buttons work, except they're all range 0..10. I doubt Martha and the Bully have the same damage output.

As DM, I'd probably want an overview of what the people needed to do (not just the final goal).

How can the players gain (or lose) an item? (in their interface, I mean)

Need a button to return to the map from the subscreens. (just found it.. making it a bit more obvious might be better)

Bea the Tailor apparently speaks Deutsch.

Does the game/prototype end when you exit the city gates?

Niklas
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Joined: 04/17/2018
Reply Questions

thanks for the bug report. I want to answer add. your questions:

How can the players gain (or lose) an item? (in their interface, I mean)
Not possible now, but in dev ;)

Need a button to return to the map from the subscreens. (just found it.. making it a bit more obvious might be better)
-> We will thanks

Bea the Tailor apparently speaks Deutsch
Yes thanks. The prototype is available in EN and DE, depending on your Language settings you set on your computer/cell etc., guess we have to bugfix this !

Does the game/prototype end when you exit the city gates?
Yes, Next chapters are in dev. but so far this is the end. Maybe of course we have to make this more obvious to!

kos
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Joined: 01/17/2011
Good beginning

Comments on the app:

I like the concept of having an app to simplify gameplay, rolling dice, tracking HP, etc.

I like that the players can roll whatever skill/check they want whenever they want. This gives the players/GM flexibility in how they use the app and how they want to play the game.

The location image at the top of the GM's screen stretches horizontally, which makes it look strange on a wider screen.

I like the simple interface and big buttons.

Suggest the hit/missed responses be colour coded to make them stand out more.

On my tablet the minus sign next to the hitpoints is overlapping with an elipsis which my browser superimposes on the screen. This makes it hard to press the minus sign. Consider moving the plus and minus in a bit from the edges and make them a bit bigger.

I like the use of the 3-word descriptions of places/people. It gives the GM a starting point for flavour without making him/her read a whole bunch of text.

I like the simple character creation. Consider adding some kind of personality selection. It need not have any in-game effect, but just picking a word ("spend-thrift" "loyal" "cheeky") helps to put the player in the mood for roleplaying.

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Comments on the adventure:

The construction of the adventure is rather trite, with only a single solution for each problem. The problems and solutions are non-intuitive, so it reminds me of old-school point-and-click adventure games where you just wander around randomly interacting with everything until something works.

E.g. Once I know I need a ring to convince the lady of her admirer's true intentions, I'd be unlikely to instinctively go searching for a donkey so I can pull an ingot from its mouth.

E.g. If I needed to collect gold coins from a wishing well, I'd be unlikely to go looking for a way to make a magnet.

There are a lot of resources on the internet about puzzle design for adventure games, and also about crafting adventures for RPGs. This game looks to be a mix of the two, so both sets of hints and tips may be useful.

One thing to consider is for each location to describe for the GM a problem / challenge for the players to overcome, but leave the solution up to their creativity.

E.g. At the gate, the guard tells the PCs that they should really get a map and an official insignia before they leave. Overconfident PCs may just decide to leave anyway, e.g. by sneaking past the guard, climbing over the wall, etc. Let them do it, but add extra challenges later if they don't have the map and the insignia.

E.g. To get the insignia, the PCs currently have no way of knowing what to do next. It's back to clicking randomly. More creative players, however, may try going back to the Mayor to ask for one (and it seems rather strange that he would refuse to help), or they might offer to do a favour for the guard so that he will give them an insignia as a reward. Maybe they find some guards, challenge them to a drinking contest, and steal their insignia when they are passed out on the floor.

The point is that getting the insignia is the challenge, but the method of getting it doesn't really matter as long as the players are having fun. I think this kind of pre-canned adventure would work best when it is fairly open. Encourage the GM and PCs to be creative, rather than forcing them to search every location for the donkey that they didn't even know had the ingot.

Regards,
kos

Jay103
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Joined: 01/23/2018
I didn't read the whole plot

I didn't read the whole plot because it's a pretty disjointed read, but yeah. Doesn't make a huge amount of sense, e.g. to find a copper ingot in a donkey's mouth.

Also, gold is not magnetic, nor is silver. So the boy at the fountain presumably will be disappointed, but hey, free coloring book!

pelle
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Joined: 08/11/2008
GUI looks very nice. But if

GUI looks very nice. But if playing locally, is it not better to draw attention away from phones rather than have players focus on them? For remote play how does it compare to remote rpg systems that seem very popular?

The system looks like it might be more advanced than what you need for a introductory game, or for a proof of concept. Did you consider something more like Freeform Universal, which abstracts out things like inventories (mostly) and resolve actions with some very simple d6 rolls? There are many other simple systems. Especially if you are railroading players through an adventure you could just as well keep the mechanics to the bare minimum to support the events that will happen. Hero Kids is a nice example of that (and looking quickly at your Master UI it reminded me a bit of when I have game mastered Hero Kids with PDF adventures on a tablet in front of me scrolling through the events).

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