GURPS- New RPG Games System

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DLRapp

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Apr 8, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/8/96
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The following is a FAQ from Tim Cain of Interplay's GURPS. It looks to
me as a very positive sign for the direction of RPGs. I'm posting the
FAQ after receiving a few emails from those interested in starting a
discussion on the subject. This seemed like the best place to start.

GURPS Computer Game FAQ
----------------------------------------------------------------------


(Frequently Asked Questions) List
Last updated 07/27/95

----------------------------------------------------------------------

What's this about Interplay and GURPS?

Interplay Productions has signed with Steve Jackson Games to convert GURPS
to a computer role-playing game. We, an in-house group of GURPS fanatics
who call ourselves Team GURPS, are hard at work on the first game now.

Who the hell are you?

Hello, I'm Tim Cain. I'm the producer and lead programmer of the project
at Interplay. I've been playing GURPS for over 7 years, and I hope to
translate it faithfully from paper-and-pencil to computer.


What kind of computer game is it?

GURPS will be a turn-based CRPG, with a third-person (isometric) view.
This means you (the player) will view the characters from above, looking
down at an angle (similar to X-Com, Ultima 7, or Syndicate). You will make
one character to represent you, and you can pick up other characters along
the way. All of the characters (you, your allies and the NPC's) will move
on a hex-based grid according to their Move score. All movement, combat
and other actions take place on a turn-by-turn basis.

What genres are covered?

The first game will take place in the near future. We're including most of
the skills in the Basic Set as well as many Hi-Tech weapons, some
Ultra-Tech gadgets, and a few robots.

When will the first game be available?

We're currently aiming for a Christmas '96 release, but as with all
computer game release dates, this is tentative. We'll have more firm
estimates as the year progresses.

May I beta-test it?

Sorry, Interplay has its own well-qualified in-house quality assurance
department. Plus, we can torture them if they let a bug slip by.

What kind of system are you targeting?

The base machine will be a PC 486DX/33 running Windows 95 with 8MB of RAM,
a double-speed CD-ROM drive and an SVGA card (640x480x256 colors). An
ideal machine will have 16 MB of RAM, local-bus video, and a sound card
capable of digital sound output.

Will there be GURPS game for other platforms?


Interplay has a Macintosh division called MacPlay, who may port the game
if there's sufficient interest.

Will there be more GURPS games?

Yes. We are planning on several more, which is why our computer engine is
generic (hmm, just like GURPS). We know you want a Fantasy CRPG, and a
Space and Time Travel version would be fun too.

Will this game be affected by Interplay's TSR Licenses?

No. In fact, GURPS has been improved by those TSR licenses. We are freely
sharing design ideas with the Interplay AD&D producers, and some code may
even be exchanged (mainly interface and graphics stuff). I even convinced
one of the AD&D producers to type in all 800+ spells from GURPS Magic and
Grimoire (he's a big GURPS fan)! How's that for cooperation?

What editions and sourcebooks will Interplay be using?

We are basing the rules on the GURPS Basic Set, Third Edition Revised with
additional info from Ultratech and Robots.

Will characters be interchangeable between games?

We are planning on it. You should be able to take characters from one
GURPS CRPG to any other, with all skills, traits and equipment intact.

How true to real GURPS will the computer version be?

Very close. We'd like to think the computer version will be as close as
you can get to playing GURPS, short of playing GURPS. We're playing close
attention to combat and injury rules, and we plan to make an entire suite
of functions to handle reaction rules (in case anyone makes a Charismatic,
Very Beautiful character with Voice and Sex Appeal).

Are all the skills in GURPS Basic Set used?

No. We are only including those skills that can be used in the game. But
that includes an awful lot of them. Similarly, we are only including the
advantages and disadvantages that make a difference in the game. For
example, if getting 5 points for being a Eunuch doesn't really hurt you
in the game, we're not going to put it in. And we can't really implement
Blindness unless we turn off the screen, so we're leaving that out. But
most of Basic Set is being implemented, if only because we plan to use
those skills extensively in future genres.

Will the game include digitized speech?

Yes. After our internet survey of RPG players and their game preferences
we decided to add digitized speech... it's what most of them wanted. Of
course, you can still have text if you want it, and you can turn the
digitized speech off.

Interesting bits of tid

Nearly all of the art is being rendered on Silicon Graphics workstations.
We also utilize the talents of our 2D and clay modelling departments.
The soundtrack will be 100% digital music.
No animals will be harmed in the making of this product.
This product will have no (detectable) organic pesticide residue.
We own the orbital mind control lasers. Buy more GURPS products

What does fnord mean?

You are not authorized to know.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Send problems, suggestions or questions regarding this page to
tc...@io.com (Tim Cain)


Mikko Vuorinen

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Apr 8, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/8/96
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dan....@stpete.honeywell.com (DLRapp) writes:

>What kind of system are you targeting?

>The base machine will be a PC 486DX/33 running Windows 95 with 8MB of RAM,

!!!!!!!!!!

Oh dear. I hope it will not be Win95-only, because I'm never going to
install that to my machine. Erm, never say never but anyway.

--
)))) (((( ********************************
)) OO `oo'((( * E-mail: vuor...@lut.fi * "Yes."
6 (_) ( ((( * IRC: Dilbon * - William Shakespeare
`____c 8__/((( ********************************

Eric Glenn

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Apr 8, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/8/96
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The GURPS idea sounds alright, but what are some details on the rpg game GURPS that this
computer game will originate from. I've never seen or heard anything about this game.
Does anyone know some details?

Also, the only complaint I have is the turn-based very orderly and precisely calculated
game play. I like to stress the fact that RPG's are made to wrap you in a fantasy
environment and the goal is to make that environment as real as possible. Others may
have their own ideas as to what they're for, but I consider the 'role playing' term to
mean just that. My point is, that it is not realistic to walk around on a hexagonal
grid and a turn based combat isn't either. Paper rpg's needed to have turn based
combat, but now we've got the technology to make it more realistic. Lets face it, you
wouldn't hit someone and wait to see if they'll hit you back or not. Although, there
may be no other way since there is a full party to take care of. I hope that's what the
over the modem/network games will take care of. Where everyone is one person and they
can interact cooperatively or competitively (hmmmm... sounds like Ultima Online, from
what I've heard).

I wonder how this will compare to the games Interplay will be marketing with TSR rights.
Hmmm... Almost like competition within a company, since they have seperate teams.

--
--Eric Glenn--
/ http://www.ecn.uoknor.edu/~esglenn/dagger.html \
"What a long, strange trip its been..." -Grateful Dead
\ http://www.ecn.uoknor.edu/~esglenn/eric.html /

Brian Rauchfuss - PCD

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Apr 10, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/10/96
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In article <3169A6...@mailhost.ecn.uoknor.edu>,

Eric Glenn <esg...@mailhost.ecn.uoknor.edu> wrote:
>The GURPS idea sounds alright, but what are some details on the rpg game GURPS that this
>computer game will originate from. I've never seen or heard anything about this game.
>Does anyone know some details?

Sure, I've played it a number of times and was even a GM for awhile. GURPS
is a very flexible system which has fantasy, high-tech, modern and horror
variants. Even some popular books have GURPs supplements written for them
(I would love to run some games in the Uplift War series).

For character creation, GURPS uses a skill based system. You start with a
certain number of points and can spend them on Advantages or get more with
disadvantages. One of the things I loved about GURPS was the way characters
tended to be very distinct and individual - I had a midget mage who
specialized in combat magic, and one of the other people had a were-tiger
with a fear/hatred of weapons.

Brian

Eric Glenn

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Apr 10, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/10/96
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Brian Rauchfuss - PCD wrote:
>
> In article <3169A6...@mailhost.ecn.uoknor.edu>,
> Eric Glenn <esg...@mailhost.ecn.uoknor.edu> wrote:

<snip>

> >Does anyone know some details?
>
> Sure, I've played it a number of times and was even a GM for awhile. GURPS
> is a very flexible system which has fantasy, high-tech, modern and horror
> variants. Even some popular books have GURPs supplements written for them
> (I would love to run some games in the Uplift War series).
>
> For character creation, GURPS uses a skill based system. You start with a
> certain number of points and can spend them on Advantages or get more with
> disadvantages. One of the things I loved about GURPS was the way characters
> tended to be very distinct and individual - I had a midget mage who
> specialized in combat magic, and one of the other people had a were-tiger
> with a fear/hatred of weapons.
>
> Brian

Well, that clears some things up. Sounds like a pretty good idea for a video game(in
case you didn't see the original post - it's going to be done by Interplay). Statistics
aren't bad for getting down the basics. I think this will work good. I was afraid it
might get to statistical. As long as stats take up a lesser part of the game than role
playing, I'm happy. Sure sounds promissing, but there doesn't seem to be that many
details on it. Of course that, I'm sure, is because they haven't been working on it
very long. Perhaps, we'll hear more soon.

Later.

Timothy Cain

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Apr 11, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/11/96
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First off, I'm glad to see interest in the GURPS CRPG. I promise to
update that Web page soon (July 95 was a long time ago). I lost Web
access for a while, and now I'm quite wrapped up in the making of the
game that updating the page always seems to be pushed down the list of
things to do. I'm going to sit down with a good HTML editor this
weekend and see what I can do. I'll try to explain the game as we've
designed it so far.

However, I won't be putting up any screen shots yet. We did an
interview for a game mag a few weeks back, and their June issue (due
out in May) will have screen shots of the game. I'll gather the info
on that and put it in the FAQ. Once that magazine publishes, it should
be alright to put up screen shots on the Web page.

One thing I'd like to mention here concerns the Win95
platform. Support for Win95 was an Interplay decision (ie. whether or
not I agree with it, I support it) for ALL new releases. However, the
GURPS CRPG isn't written for Win95, it's written for GNW, an in-house
windowing system I programmed _before_ starting GURPS. BTW, for you
programmers out there, GNW stands for GNW's Not Windows. Anyway, GNW
was originally a DOS library, but we've since ported it to Win95 and
the Mac. What this means is that we code the GURPS CRPG for GNW, not
any specific hardware. We can, simply by using a different compiler
and linking with a different GNW library, produce a version of GURPS
for DOS, Win95 or the Mac. I'm trying to get GURPS released on all
three platforms, preferably on the same CD. You just plop it in your
drive, and the correct executable is installed. However, the only
platform that we will definitely release for, at this date, is
Win95. Hopefully, this will change soon.

Tim.
--
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Timothy Cain | Programmer
ca...@netcom.com | Philosopher
------------------------------------------------------------------------
All opinions expressed here are solely my own. Please do not misconstrue
anything written above as official Interplay policy.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nils Jeppe

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Apr 11, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/11/96
to

>The GURPS idea sounds alright, but what are some details on the rpg game GURPS that this
>computer game will originate from. I've never seen or heard anything about this game.

>Does anyone know some details?

Check out http://www.io.com/
There should be links to Steve Jackson games and GURPS there.

uglm...@cc.memphis.edu

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Apr 18, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/18/96
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In article <3169A6...@mailhost.ecn.uoknor.edu>, Eric Glenn <esg...@mailhost.ecn.uoknor.edu> writes:
> The GURPS idea sounds alright, but what are some details on the rpg game GURPS that this
> computer game will originate from. I've never seen or heard anything about this game.
> Does anyone know some details?
>
> Also, the only complaint I have is the turn-based very orderly and precisely calculated
> game play. I like to stress the fact that RPG's are made to wrap you in a fantasy
> environment and the goal is to make that environment as real as possible. Others may
> have their own ideas as to what they're for, but I consider the 'role playing' term to
> mean just that. My point is, that it is not realistic to walk around on a hexagonal
> grid and a turn based combat isn't either. Paper rpg's needed to have turn based
> combat, but now we've got the technology to make it more realistic. Lets face it, you
> wouldn't hit someone and wait to see if they'll hit you back or not. Although, there
> may be no other way since there is a full party to take care of. I hope that's what the
> over the modem/network games will take care of. Where everyone is one person and they
> can interact cooperatively or competitively (hmmmm... sounds like Ultima Online, from
> what I've heard).
>
> I wonder how this will compare to the games Interplay will be marketing with TSR rights.
> Hmmm... Almost like competition within a company, since they have seperate teams.
>
> --
> --Eric Glenn--
> / http://www.ecn.uoknor.edu/~esglenn/dagger.html \
> "What a long, strange trip its been..." -Grateful Dead
> \ http://www.ecn.uoknor.edu/~esglenn/eric.html /

Yeah, GURPS is one of the major-league non-computer RPG systems... It stands
for "Generic universal Role-Playing System" There's a simple core system, and
ad-ons for fantasy, SF, etc. You can mix-and-match genres, too.
--
If Superman can fly, why can't super models?

Kevin L. Kitchens

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Apr 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/22/96
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Where can one get more information on GURPS?

In article <1996Apr1...@msuvx2.memphis.edu>, uglm...@cc.memphis.edu
wrote:

Shadrach

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Apr 22, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/22/96
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I was Gneeching the Frothy Wove, when all of a sudden, Kevin L. Kitchens wrote:
: Where can one get more information on GURPS?
:

www.io.com, I believe. This should be steve jackson games, which makes the
paper GURPS.

Shadrach


--

C:\> Bad command or file name! Go stand in the corner.

Bad command. Bad, bad command! Sit! Stay! Staaay..

Why doesn't DOS ever say "EXCELLENT command or filename!"

John A Leppart

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Apr 23, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/23/96
to
DLRapp (dan....@stpete.honeywell.com) wrote:
: The following is a FAQ from Tim Cain of Interplay's GURPS. It looks to
: me as a very positive sign for the direction of RPGs. I'm posting the
: FAQ after receiving a few emails from those interested in starting a
: discussion on the subject. This seemed like the best place to start.

: GURPS Computer Game FAQ
: ----------------------------------------------------------------------


: (Frequently Asked Questions) List
: Last updated 07/27/95

: ----------------------------------------------------------------------

: What's this about Interplay and GURPS?

: Interplay Productions has signed with Steve Jackson Games to convert GURPS
: to a computer role-playing game. We, an in-house group of GURPS fanatics
: who call ourselves Team GURPS, are hard at work on the first game now.

: Who the hell are you?

: Hello, I'm Tim Cain. I'm the producer and lead programmer of the project
: at Interplay. I've been playing GURPS for over 7 years, and I hope to
: translate it faithfully from paper-and-pencil to computer.


: What kind of computer game is it?

: GURPS will be a turn-based CRPG, with a third-person (isometric) view.
: This means you (the player) will view the characters from above, looking
: down at an angle (similar to X-Com, Ultima 7, or Syndicate). You will make

I hate lookdown games. Turn based, too. "Secret of the Silver Gurps".
: one character to represent you, and you can pick up other characters along

Mark Stuart Johnstone

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Apr 23, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/23/96
to
In article <4levqt$a...@tiger.avana.net>,

Kevin L. Kitchens <k...@avana.net> wrote:
>Where can one get more information on GURPS?

Check out:

http://www.io.com/sjgames/ourgames/

GURPS is a really cool RPG system. *Much* better than D&D.

--
--Mark
E-mail: ma...@cs.utexas.edu WWW: http://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/markj
Recent papers on memory allocation and garbage collection are available by
anonymous ftp from ftp.cs.utexas.edu in /pub/garbage (See the README file).

DLRapp

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Apr 24, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/24/96
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In article <4ljral$k...@owl.cs.utexas.edu>, ma...@cs.utexas.edu (Mark Stuart Johnstone) says:

>In article <4levqt$a...@tiger.avana.net>,
>Kevin L. Kitchens <k...@avana.net> wrote:
>>Where can one get more information on GURPS?

>Check out:

>http://www.io.com/sjgames/ourgames/

>GURPS is a really cool RPG system. *Much* better than D&D.

I haven't had any experience with it. I've used the AD&D system for years.
It will be interesting to see how Interplay translates it into a CRPG
scenario. I'll definitely be looking for your reviews of it when they
get the first computer game on the market.

ha...@slctnet.com

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Apr 27, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/27/96
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In <4levqt$a...@tiger.avana.net>, k...@avana.net (Kevin L. Kitchens) writes:
>Where can one get more information on GURPS?
>
http://www.sjgames.com - Home page for Steve Jackson Games, publisher of
GURPS system.

DLRapp

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Apr 29, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/29/96
to

Note that this is the paper/pencil game. Interplay is developing a CRPG
line based on the system. Go to their site to track down a FAQ on the
progress/plans of Interplay in using GURPS.

Leath Muller

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May 2, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/2/96
to

dan....@stpete.honeywell.com (DLRapp) writes:
>>Kevin L. Kitchens <k...@avana.net> wrote:
>>>Where can one get more information on GURPS?
>>Check out:
>>http://www.io.com/sjgames/ourgames/
>>GURPS is a really cool RPG system. *Much* better than D&D.
>I haven't had any experience with it. I've used the AD&D system for years.
>It will be interesting to see how Interplay translates it into a CRPG
>scenario. I'll definitely be looking for your reviews of it when they
>get the first computer game on the market.

GURPS is better generally for a lot of things, such as say having a horse
riding skill, and then rolling against that skill to attempt to ride a horse,
or if you dont have it, you can default against your dex etc etc...BUT when
it comes to fighting, it can take FOREVER! If you have a large party (say 12
people, and then fight say 20 other people) then game can get really slow.
Eventually, you end up spending more time fighting than you do role playing,
whereas the opposite is generally true for AD&D. (Even working out a defense
skill if your attacked more than once in one round can take forever...you
have your initial block (which can be say your base shield skill, plus 1 for
combat reflexes, plus something for you armour for wherever your being
attacked etc etc etc) for the first attack, and then you may be able to
parry, and then you have passive defense, it just goes on and on...

I hope the computer version of this game isnt this bad!!!

Leathal.


GURPS' Chris

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May 3, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/3/96
to

Leath Muller (lea...@gbrmpa.gov.au) probably wrote:
: GURPS is better generally for a lot of things, such as say having a horse

: riding skill, and then rolling against that skill to attempt to ride a horse,
: or if you dont have it, you can default against your dex etc etc...BUT when
: it comes to fighting, it can take FOREVER! If you have a large party (say 12
: people, and then fight say 20 other people) then game can get really slow.
: Eventually, you end up spending more time fighting than you do role playing,
: whereas the opposite is generally true for AD&D. (Even working out a defense
: skill if your attacked more than once in one round can take forever...you
: have your initial block (which can be say your base shield skill, plus 1 for
: combat reflexes, plus something for you armour for wherever your being
: attacked etc etc etc) for the first attack, and then you may be able to
: parry, and then you have passive defense, it just goes on and on...

: I hope the computer version of this game isnt this bad!!!


We have the core GURPS combat engine up and running
(in fact, we'll be demoing at E3, stop on by and check it out if
your're going to the show). I've been playing with it recently,
and I've come to the following conclusion:

Having the computer make all the combat rolls, definately
speeds things up. ;)

In a medium sized conflict, say 4-6 opponents, it takes
about 5-10 seconds to perform a combat turn. That compares
to 5-10 minutes in our table games. And most of the options
that are present in the paper game are already in the computer
version.

Neat.

pax,

--
The game designer formerly known as "Stonekeep's Chris" is now GURPS' Chris.
Chris Taylor Official Interplay support: sup...@interplay.com
ana...@netcom.com Official Interplay website: http://www.interplay.com
Computer Game Designer I am not doing this on Interplay's time, I swear.


Thane Walkup

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May 3, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/3/96
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lea...@gbrmpa.gov.au (Leath Muller) wrote:

>dan....@stpete.honeywell.com (DLRapp) writes:

>GURPS is better generally for a lot of things, such as say having a horse
>riding skill, and then rolling against that skill to attempt to ride a horse,
>or if you dont have it, you can default against your dex etc etc...BUT when
>it comes to fighting, it can take FOREVER! If you have a large party (say 12
>people, and then fight say 20 other people) then game can get really slow.
>Eventually, you end up spending more time fighting than you do role playing,
>whereas the opposite is generally true for AD&D. (Even working out a defense
>skill if your attacked more than once in one round can take forever...you
>have your initial block (which can be say your base shield skill, plus 1 for
>combat reflexes, plus something for you armour for wherever your being
>attacked etc etc etc) for the first attack, and then you may be able to
>parry, and then you have passive defense, it just goes on and on...

I figure that the combat system will be totally automated, inside the
computer. You'll choose to block/dodge/parry when attacked, and
that's pretty fast. Since all the tables are in the computer, it will
handle all of the weird stuff for you. At least, that's my guess.
Besides, the game only takes forever if you use the Advanced Combat
rules, which are there for purists. Most of the combats I'm in, using
the Basic System with a few of the advanced rules thrown in (Hit
Locations, for one) for flavor, never take more than ten to fifteen
minutes. I think the problem you're having is that you're playing
with too many people. We tend to keep our groups below six people, it
allows us more to focus on individual character development, rather
than the argumentative brawls that get going...
Fnord.

This post has been smiley captioned for the humor impaired.


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