Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Guido Henkel on a New / Old Way To Design RPGs

Posted by Rampant Coyote on February 20, 2017

Guido Henkel, designer of the original Realms of Arkania CRPG series and producer of the critically acclaimed cult favorite Planescape: Torment, has put together a list of things modern RPGs are getting wrong… and how they ought to be able to get things right.

The thing is… not a whole lot of what he’s saying is new. However, it deserves taking a hard look at it again, as he has done here. In some cases, he’s zeroing in on the problems that have left a lot of old-school RPG fans feeling dissatisfied. We enjoy the games, sure, but they still feel kinda… meh. Like something is missing. Henkel reiterates some of the things that we’ve been complaining about for years, and helps define and clarify issues that may have been a little vague in the past.

In my view, the core problem comes down to the cost of content. RPGs are content-rich, and they have been from the beginning. While other game types can get away with creating variations of the same content for multiple encounters, RPGs that attempt to do it right are faced with creating all those variations for a single encounter, of which a player will actually experience only one in a single play-through. So the modern RPG, particularly mainstream games, have tried to optimize the content to limit those variations… which strips an RPG of its own nature and uniqueness among the genres by degrees.

A New Recipe for the Roleplaying Game Formula


Filed Under: Design - Comments: Read the First Comment

  • Wallcat said,

    Very interesting, thanks for sharing!