Friday, June 10, 2016

Search for a current fantasy main system Part 3: Organizing "Battles"

Prior posts in the series
Search for a current fantasy main system Part 1: suggested games and evaluating their samples
Search for a current fantasy main system Part 2: First look at downloaded samples
Search for a current fantasy main system Part 3: Organizing "Battles"
Search for a current fantasy main system Part 4: Organizing Losers Battles
Search for a current fantasy main system Part 4: Evaluating the game systems

In this part, I will show how I set these initial observations up into a competitive battle round series, aimed at decreasing the number of similar games and overall selection down to a manageable number to actually test out. Reading can only go so far.

I was watching TV and saw a music competition. It seemed like a nice way to narrow down the games to a manageable set of playable systems. 

First I tried to find similarities between the systems. I grouped each head-to-head against another game based on a common theme. The following is the text I created for this battle round

Phase II

I'll be beginning a phase 2 - Reviews and gameplay research.
I mentioned Godbound can be bought in a future time. Ars Magica and Fantasy Age are not for me. Neither three will be considered anymore. Burning Wheel Gold was moved down to the insufficient gameplay section.

For the next phase I will try pairing up somewhat similar games into battles where I will try to pick the system that fits my criteria, which I'll try to list more formally later. A game in this phase just has to beat one competitor to make it to the next phase. I'll consider the opinions of others. So, input is welcome!

Battle Phase - Reviews & Gameplay
d100 Battle = Open Quest v Runequest
d20 Spinoff Battle = Radiance v Unchained Heroes
Different dice Battle = Earthdawn v What's O.L.D. is N.E.W.
Minimized Battle = 13th Age v Dungeon World
Fantasy Crunch Battle = Rolemaster Unified v Hackmaster

After creating a battle structure, I tried to write up formally my criteria, many of which I had already state and clarified. Some that I wrote down for the first time. Here is my 10 criteria and the main question I would try to answer for each.

10 Major Criteria & 10 Sub-criteria
1. Depth - how meaningful and utilized are the data & functions are used?
a. Meaningful - does data recorded makes a difference in the game?
b. Utilized Functions - are there multiple uses for data recorded?
2. Flexible/Adaptable - how usable is it with other custom settings?
3. Consistency - how many different systems are there within the game?
4. Understandable - are concepts defined before they are presented, Or is it just a rule dump without explanation?
5. Character - how is behavior explained and can characters be unique?
a. Behavior tied to character - how well does the data determine how a character behaves?
b. Unique Character - can the characters stand out from other characters of similar nature?
6. Combat System - are the mechanics interesting and innovative?
a. Turn/move/action - does the game use the same boring turn based mechanics?
b. Attack speed/ hastened/quicker - will having higher quickness make the attacks go faster and multiple times?
7. Spell System - does the game use the boring overused spell set?
a. Spell Regulatory - how does the game use data to limit magical powers?
b. Spell Breadth - is there a wide variety, yet coherently grouped collection of spells?
8. Creatures - how many provided creatures are available?
a. Standard Fantasy - does the game provide the expected common monsters and creatures?
b. Creation - are there creature creation rules so that I can add my own creatures?
9. Content - is the overall content presented in the core detail depth and have variety. Do elements differ in sufficient degree among other data?
10. Aesthetic - does the game have a subjective coolness factor?

I then needed a grading scale, which I reused the same one as I did to score the available playable material and rules. Here is that text.

I plan on using the A, B, C, D, and E again, this time tying them to points so I can convert it into a total value for the game.

For each criteria
A = 4 - beyond my expectation
B = 3 - great
C = 2 - sufficient
D = 1 - below my expectation
E = 0 - horrible, unusable

Total evaluation = sum of criteria/20

I wanted to to also keep a score of other information which is helpful.

In addition to the criteria I will grade availability of reviews and gameplay. All game makers can at least do their own gameplay. If they choose not to, or if no one else does any, I don't know what to say. Or at least an interview.

Reading or watching reviews & gameplay helps me to subjectively fill in the criteria.

Next Post
In the next post, I will show my losers bracket

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