Game Analysis: Knights of Pen and Paper 2


  • I chose Knights of Pen and Paper 2 because it is a different genre and type of game from my previous ones. Also because multiple different types of characters and character combinations you can do and play with.

Game Play Analysis

Formal Elements
The Basics
Name of the gameKnights of Pen and Paper 2
The platformPlayed on Xbox One and Android, but it is also on Ps4, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Windows, Mac OS, and Linux
Time played (should be at least 30 minutes)8+ hours
If you could work on this game (change it), what would you change and why?I would add more classes, races, and players to add more variability to the game and more customization.
How many players are supported?1
Does it need to be an exact number?Yes
How does this affect play?It makes it more self strategy and story driven than if there were more players supported. You are the player but you have multiple characters that you control.
Some types of player frameworks:Single Player – like Solitare.Head-to-head – 1 vs. 1, Chess.PvE – Player vs. Environment, or multiple players vs. the game. Common in MMOs like World of Warcraft.One against Many – Single-player vs. multiple (obvy).Free-for-all – Every man for himself (1 vs. 1 vs. 1 vs. 1..). Most common for multiplayer games, from Monopoly to Modern Warfare.Individuals Against the System – Like Blackjack, where the Dealer is playing against multiple players, but those players have no effect on each other.Team Competition – Multiple vs. multiple, i.e. sports.Predator-prey – Players form a circle and everyone’s goal is to attack the player on their left and defend themselves from the player on their right.Five-pointed Star – Eliminate both players who are not on either side of you.Single Player
What are the players trying to do?Level up, gain gear, complete missions, gain more party members/characters.
Some common objectives include:Capture/Destroy – Eliminate all your opponents pieces (Chess).Territorial Acquisition – Control as much territory as you can, not necessarily harming other players (RISK).Collection – Collect a certain number of objects throughout the game (Pokemon).Solve – Solve a puzzle or crime (Clue).Chase/race/escape – Anything where you are running towards or away from something (playground game Tag).Spatial Alignment – Anything involving the positioning of elements (Tetris or Tic-Tac-Toe or that game at Cracker Barrel).Build – Advance your characters or build your resources to a certain point (The Sims).Negation of another goal – The game ends if you perform an act that is forbidden by the rules (Jenga or Twister).Capture/Destroy, Collection, Solve, and Build from the common objectives listed.
There are three categories of (what the book Rules of Play calls) operational rules:Setup – the things you do at the beginning of a game.Progression of Play – what happens during the game.Resolution – How an outcome is determined based on the game state.Setup: You create two characters that you will use to complete objectives and kill enemies. There are 8 player types, 3 race options, and 6 class options at the beginning of the game if you haven’t bought add-ons early. Progression: You level up your characters upgrade their skills and gear, complete missions and kill enemies. Resolution: Enemies come in waves, once you kill the wave you have won and can move on unless you need to kill more, missions complete once you finish the specific objective like collecting 8 red apples, and you have beat the game once you complete the final mission and kill the final boss. But there are add-on dlc’s that add their own campaign and things to do.
What controls are used?It is mainly point and click the buttons are clearly labeled as what they do, like the attack button, the block button, the item button, the magic/skill button, the inventory button and so on.
Was there a clear introductory tutorial?Yes, there was and it was quiet funny too.
Were they easy to understand or did you find yourself spamming the controller?It was easy to understand they were simple controls with not much behind them in terms of complexity.
Resources & Resource ManagementNOTES
What kinds of resources do players control?Health, Mana, Money, consumables, gear, and skill points.
How are they maintained during play?Health is maintained by a damage and healing system, you get attacked they have a chance of hitting you and if they do they do a predetermined amount of damage based on their level, your level, your active and passive skills, and your gear, you can heal your self with skills and consumables which of a set amount of health that they give back, Mana is slightly different where using skills and spells use up Mana and you regenerate with skills or consumables, these two also get restored whenever you successfully rest the night away. You gain money by completing missions and killing enemies and then you spend it on items that you buy from stores. Gear is obtained from enemies, missions, and stores. Skill points are gained by leveling up each level you gain a skill point and you can raise your characters skills up to a max of 20.
What is their role?Healths role is to determine whether that character is alive or dead, Manas role is to determine if you can use a skill or spell, Money’s role is to determine if you can buy an item from a shop, Gears role is to determine what effects your character will have ranging from damage, to damage reduction, threat, critical, and initiative, while skill points role is to determine how strong or potent a skill/spell is.
A resource is everything under the control of a single player. Could be the money in Monopoly or health in WoW. Other examples are:Territory in RISK The number of questions remaining in 20 Questions Objects picked up during videogames (guns, health packs, etc.)Time (game time, real-time, or both)Known information (like suspects in Clue)
Game StateNOTES
How much information in the game state is visible to the player?Just about all information besides a few things like attack patterns which you learn as you play.
A snapshot of the game at a single point is the game state. The resources you have, the un-owned properties in Monopoly, your opponent’s Archery skill all count towards the game state. Some example information structures are:Total Information – Nothing is hidden, like Chess.Info per player – Your hand of cards is only visible to you.One player has privileged info – Like a Dungeon Master.The game hides info from all players – Like Clue, where no one knows the victory condition.Fog of War – In video games, where certain sections of the map are concealed if you do not have a unit in sight range of that area. You also cannot see other players’ screens, so each player is unaware of the other’s information.
In what order do players take their actions?Turn based, each character and enemy has an initiative score with this score and a random generated number from 1-20 added together you get that entities initiative and the higher your initiative the closer to first you start if you have the highest initiative you start first.
How does play flow from one action to another?It flows pretty well since it is turn based so one thing happens then something else happens there is a clear stack of things that happen and things don’t happen all at the same time.
Some structures include:Turn-based – Standard board game technique.Turn-based with simultaneous play – where everyone takes their turn at the same time (like writing something down or putting a card down in War).Real-time – Actions happen as fast as players can make them. Action-based video games.Turn-based and time limits – You have this long to take your turn.
Player InteractionYou fight enemies, trade money for items or items for money, and you complete missions.
Some examples:Direct Conflict – I attack you.Negotiation – If you support me here, I’ll help you there.Trading – I’ll give you this for that.Information Sharing – If you go there, I’m warning you, a trap will go off.Direct Conflict, Trading
Theme & NarrativeNOTES
Does it have an actual story structure?Yes it does. You are a group of friends of the Dungeon Master/Game Master (DM/GM) and you are playing the story of them and fight your way across the lands that he has created.
Is it based on a historical event (or similar)?No, it is a fantasy game loosely based around adventures from the paper and dice games like DnD and the like.
Does the theme or narrative help you know how to play?Yes, the DM tells you through NPC’s (Non-Player Characters) and other things what your objective is at the time or what objectives you can take one.
Does it have emotional impacts?Yes, though it is funny emotional impacts nothing that really should make you sad or angry unless you get upset at the game because you messed up or failed.
Also, look for en media res (does it start in the middle of the game)?No, it does not, you start at the beginning of the campaign.
The Elements in MotionNOTES
How do the different elements interact?They interact with each other pretty well and other things clearly impact other aspects or things of the game.
What is the gameplay like?It’s fun and simple, it keeps you playing without being to confusing or complex, there are some hard fights that you have to get around but enough strategics or grinding to increase your level should do it.
Is it effective?For the type of game it is yeah it’s effective.
Are there any points where the design choices break down?Not really at least not that I could find.
Design CritiqueNOTES
Why did the designer make these particular choices?To make a fun and lighthearted game that people still found interesting enough to play.
Why this set of resources?It went along with the theme, setting, and feel of the game giving it more of a cartoonist look.
What if they made different decisions?It would have a different feel.
Does the design break down at any point?Not that I could find or see no.
Graphics & SoundNOTES
Does the game art pair well with the mechanics?Yes it does, it gives it more of a cartoony look which fits its funny lighthearted feel it has.
Did you find any bugs or glitches?Not that I could find or see besides the ones that are programmed in the game, to specify the class of editions, you are playing first edition and you sometimes run into second edition characters or things that end up having adverse affects in the game.
What about sound?The sound was nice and evoked the kind of feelings you would expect for the areas you traveled to.
Can you spot any technical shortcuts?I couldn’t spot any no, but I just might not have noticed them.
Various Stages of the GameNOTES
To wrap up, some things to keep in mind (as if there aren’t enough already) as you play:
What challenges do you face, and how do you overcome them?Enemies, a few easy puzzles, and mission objectives. You kill enemies, and use clues to solve the puzzles, and you use the information given to you and your objective description to try and complete said objective the best you can.
Is the game fair?In my eyes and opinion I think it is fair.
Is it replayable? Are there multiple paths to victory or optional rules that can change the experience?Yes it is replayable, as I said earlier there are multiple character options and combinations that you could always play through with different characters multiple times.
What is the intended audience?Young teenagers to young adults I would say.
What is the core, the one thing you do over and over, and is it fun?Press buttons to do actions, and I would say it is fun enough, since those buttons facilitate the rest of the entire game and everything else that you do.

This analysis form was adapted from

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