So the old adage goes, there are lies, damn lies and statistics. In paper-based Role Playing Games, character sheets adorned with statistics are a common feature. In the process of converting over the Call of Cthulhu game system to a mobile phone, we face a number of challenges. One of them is the size of the screen on your mobile which is in contrast to the size of a character sheet:
We’re in an awkward place with The Wasted Land, in that we are adapting a paper RPG which has extensive stats for each character and somehow need to put this information onto a small screen (here’s an example of one). To display these takes a fair bit of screen-space. Yet trying to presesent that on a small 320×480 standard-res screen is hard; you simply can’t fit it all on and make it legable. To display it all means we’d need with scolling or sub-menus at the very least. This threatens to make the game unwieldy. Mobile games, by definition should be, well mobile.
As part of this we also asked (via our Facebook page) you to tell us what you feel the most important statistics in the game of Call of Cthulhu are. Here are the results from 4th July:
What is interesting about this is that it confirms our thinking that more than anything else Sanity is the core feature that makes Call of Cthulhu, well, Call of Cthulhu. We also had some great feedback from people via email and on the site. This comment is interesting from Graham Plowman:
To comment on the sanity side of things and not stray off-topic, your suggested implementation sounds good. Sanity in a computer game is really hard to balance. Danger being it just becomes a second ‘health’ bar/points and means the end of your character if you lose it all. Through extensive play of CoC pen and paper, insanity was still hard to manage in a meaningful way. Generally had to resort to petty insanity traits that didn’t cripple a character beyond use, otherwise you ended up playing with PC’s who were afraid to do anything for fear of ending up a vegatable.
Once again, thanks for all who took part, emailed us or posted. Its all a huge help (you know who you are!) The Facebook poll is still open and we’re still interested in your feedback!
PS. Here are some tentacles….