Claiming that old school CRPGs "warped his brain", Tales of the Rampant Coyote's Jay Barnson has proceeded to summarize some of the design lessons he learned from playing some of the very same games I grew up on. Fond memories ahead:
Wizardry I (The Most Influential RPG I Never Played) I never played this game very much, as it didn't become available for the Commodore 64 until very late. But I read a great deal about it, and eventually got the chance to play this masterpiece on other systems. I don't think I ever got past level four or five of the dungeon. But while the title of the game was (Wizardry: The Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord(, the name of the game was Exploration and Resource Management. It was a true old-school D&D-style experience. It was the opposite of today's Diablo-style action RPG hack-and-slashers. There was no rushing down through the levels half-cocked. You planned. You mapped. You measured. You turned back while the getting was good to return to town, knowing you'd have to fight your way back. You had to take your dungeon delving seriously in this game. And for many players, that was more compelling and immersive than any cool modern 3D graphics.If my parents had never worked out a deal to acquire an Apple ][ back in the early 80's, Sir-tech's original masterpiece might have escaped my reach. Fortunately, that wasn't the case.