Video Game Origins >> Tabletop Games That Became Commercial Video Games
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As an assistant teacher for a game design class, I am making a list of board games or role-playing games that inspired or became video games.

Each entry has the board game or RPG associated with it. Each entry also has the video game title, year released and developer (not the publisher).

We use this list as a proof how one can learn how to design video games by learning about game design through board games and (pen-and-paper) role-playing games (RPG).

Board games and role-playing games have all the rules spelled out, being an open system. Meanwhile video game rule systems are a black box, where the user is given only an output of an equation. For instance, say you shoot a weapon in a computer role-playing game and the game tells you you it 5 points damage. That is all you get, it does not tell what equation it used to reach the number 5.

I want to learn how design a computer RPG, where I write the equations for combat--what will 5 points damage, from a black box show me?

Something I learned as I did my research:
There are over 100 computer role-playing games on this. RPG is a big part of electronic and analog gaming. Yet most game design curriculum completely ignore RPGs.

If you count semi RPGS like Battletech/Mechwarrior and Warhammer/Warhammer 40K you can add at least 20 more titles.
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Another list of video games that became board games--the opposite of the list you are reading now, 'Video Game Origins >> Analog Games That Became Commercial Video Games'

0 Frames per second: Video Games to Board Games list shows how video and board games are similar and somewhat interchangeable.

http://geekdo.com/geeklist/43403
 
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2. Board Game: 1830: Railways & Robber Barons [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:167] [Average Rating:7.83 Unranked]
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Avalon Hill -- 1830 > MicroProse -- Sid Meier's Rail Road Tycoon.

Rail Road Tycoon was inspired by 1830, and read somewhere on the web that the development team played lots of 1830. Bruce Shelley the assistant developer was also a contributor of 1830 board game.


Bruce Shelley ... worked for Avalon Hill ... contributed to 1830, Titan, and others. He later credited board game design with teaching him the value of prototyping and "designing by playing".
...

At MicroProse, he was Sid Meier's assistant designer for Railroad Tycoon (1990), Covert Action (1990), and Civilization (1991). Meier taught Shelley to think about game design more scientifically, that there are fundamental ideas that can carry over from game to game, and also confirmed his beliefs in prototyping and designing by playing.

Bruce Shelley became an influential designer himself contributing board game classics from Avalon Hill like 1830 and Titan, however he is best known for creating Age of Empires PC game.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Shelley

Railroad Tycoon 1990 Microprose
Railroad Tycoon Deluxe 1993 Microprose
Railroad Tycoon II 1998 PopTop Software
Railroad Tycoon III 2003 PopTop Software
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3. Board Game: 1830: Railways & Robber Barons [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:167] [Average Rating:7.83 Unranked]
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1830: Railroads & Robber Barons 1993 SimTex
 
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4. Board Game: Advanced Civilization [Average Rating:8.02 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.02 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.02 Unranked]
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Advanced Civilization 1996 Avalon Hill
 
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5. Board Game: Advanced Squad Leader [Average Rating:7.96 Overall Rank:206] [Average Rating:7.96 Unranked]
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Squad level war game

Close Combat from Atomic Games and other publishers
CClose Combat 1996
Close Combat: A Bridge Too Far 1997
Close Combat III: The Russian Front 1998
Close Combat IV: The Battle of the Bulge 1999
Close Combat V: Invasion Normandy 2000
Close Combat: Marines 2004
Close Combat: RAF Regiment 2006
Close Combat: Cross of Iron 2007
Close Combat: Modern Tactics 2007
Close Combat: Wacht am Rhein 2008
Close Combat: The Longest Day 2009



A 3D interpretation of ASL like game

Combat Missions from Battlefront.com
Combat Mission: Beyond Overlord (CMBO) 2000
Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin (CMBB) 2002
Combat Mission: Afrika Korps (CMAK) 2004
Combat Mission: Shock Force (CMSF) 2007
 
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6. Board Game: Axis & Allies [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:1054]
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Axis & Allies 1994 CapDisc
Axis & Allies 1998 Hasbro Interactive
Axis & Allies: Iron Blitz 1998 Microprose
Axis & Allies 2004 TimeGate Studios
Axis & Allies online 2008 Game Table Online

Unlicensed
Dogs of War 1997 Software Engineering
 
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7. Board Game: Battleship [Average Rating:4.57 Overall Rank:15446]
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Battleship 1993 Mindscape
Super Battleship 1994 Sega
Battleship 1996 NMS Software
Battleship: Surface Thunder 2000 Hasbro Interactive
 
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8. Board Game: BattleTech [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:848]
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BattleTech: The Crescent Hawk's Revenge 1991 Westwood Studios
BattleTech: A Game of Armored Combat 1994 Extreme Entertainment Group

MechAssault 2002 Day 1 Studios
MechAssault 2: Lone Wolf 2004 Day 1 Studios
MechAssault: Phantom War 2006 Backbone Entertainment

MechCommander 1998 FASA Interactive
MechCommander 2 2001 FASA Interactive

Multiplayer BattleTech: EGA [online] around 1996-2001
Multiplayer BattleTech: Solaris [online] around 1996-2001
Multiplayer BattleTech 3025 unrelased Kesmai

MechWarrior 1989 Dynamix
MechWarrior 3050 1995 Tiburon Entertainment
MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat 1995 Activision
MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries 1996 Activision
MechWarrior 3 1999 Zipper Interactive
MechWarrior 4: Vengeance 2000 FASA Interactive
MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries 2002 Cyberlore Studios




Arcade machines with fully enclosed cockpits with multiple screens, joysticks, and rudder pedals:

BattleTech VR 1990 Virtual World Entertainment
BattleTech: Firestorm date? Virtual World Entertainment
MechWarrior 4 2002? Tsunami Visual Technologies

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BattleTech_Centers
 
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9. Board Game: Blood Bowl (Third Edition) [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:250]
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Bloodbowl -- Games Workshop > Official Blood Bowl games and many clones

Official Games Workshop licensed games:
Blood Bowl -- MicroLeague 1995
Blood Bowl -- Electronic Arts 2009

Bloodbowl like games:
Pigskin 621 A.D. -- Bally Midway 1990
M.U.D.S. - Mean Ugly Dirty Sport -- Golden Goblins 1990
Mutant League Football -- Electronic Arts 1993
Brutal Sports Football Millennium Interactive Ltd.1993
Chaos League -- Cyanide 2004
 
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10. Board Game: Borderlands [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:3805]
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Lords of Conquest 1986 Electronic Arts
 
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11. RPG: Bureau 13: Stalking the Night Fantastic (3rd-5th Editions) [Average Rating:5.80 Overall Rank:732]
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Bureau 13 1995 Take-Two Interactive Software,
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12. Board Game: Car Wars [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:2046]
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Steve Jackson Games sold Car Wars as a vehicular combat system with several expansions. Car Wars had simple RPG elements.

One of the earliest RPG & board game hybrid.

* Autoduel 1985 Origin Systems
* Interstate '76 1997 Activision -- a spiritual successor
* Interstate '76: Nitro Riders 1998 --

Autoduel started a new genre of vehicular combat games:

massively multiplayer online game:
* Auto Assault MMOG 2006 NetDevil
* Darkwind: War on Wheels 2007 Sam Redfern

Games that focused on racing with combat
* Deathtrack 1989 Dynamix
* Death Track: Resurrection 2008 Skyfallen Entertainment

Simplistic arcade vehicular combat
* Vigilante 8 1998 Luxoflux
* Interstate '82 1999 Activision
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13. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:139] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
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Carcassonne Online circa 2003 Meridian '93
Carcassonne 2007 Sierra Online
 
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14. Board Game: Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:391]
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Carcassonne JuS circa 2004 Meridian'93
 
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15. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:282] [Average Rating:7.22 Unranked]
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Catan: Die erste Insel 2002 Romeo
Catan World Online 2002
Catan 2005 Capcom
Catan 2005 Oberon Media
Catan 2007 Big Huge Games
Catan - Städte & Ritter 2008
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16. Board Game: Catan Card Game [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:740]
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Catan Das Katenspiel 2003 Romeo
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17. Board Game: Chess [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:420] [Average Rating:7.09 Unranked]
 
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From Fritz to Chessmaster ... the most implemented board game in computer history ;-)
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18. Board Game: Civilization [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:227] [Average Rating:7.52 Unranked]
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Avalon Hill -- Civilization > MicroProse -- Sid Meier's Civilization

Civilization franchise has sold over 8 million copies according to Take-Two Interactive.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civilization_%28series%29

Meier admits to "borrowing" many of the technology tree ideas from a board game also called Civilization (published in the United Kingdom in 1980 by Hartland Trefoil (later by Gibson Games), and in the United States in 1981 by Avalon Hill). The early versions of the game even included a flier of information and ordering materials for the board game. There is now a board game based on the computer game version of Civilization.

Meier was the third major designer to plan a computer version of Civilization, but the first to actually carry out that plan. Danielle Bunten Berry planned to start work on the game after completing M.U.L.E. in 1983, and again in 1985, after completing The Seven Cities of Gold at Electronic Arts. ... Bunten never returned to the idea of Civilization. ... Don Daglow, designer of Utopia, the first simulation game, began work programming a version of Civilization in 1987. He dropped the project, ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civilization_%28computer_game%2...

* Civilization (1991)
* Civilization II (1996)
* Civilization III (2001)
* Civilization IV (2005)
* Civilization IV: Colonization (2008)
* Civilization Revolution (2008)
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19. RPG: Classic Battletech Role Playing Game [Average Rating:5.76 Overall Rank:576]
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Part of the Infocom RPG line
* BattleTech: The Crescent Hawk's Inception 1988 Westwood Studios
 
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20. Board Game: Clue [Average Rating:5.65 Overall Rank:7714]
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Clue is known as Cludo out side of the US.

Clue 1984 Leisure Genius
Clue Master Detective Game: 1989 Leisure Genius
Clue 1992 Sculptured Software
Cluedo CDi 1994 3T Productions
Clue: Murder at Boddy Mansion 1998 Engineering Animation, Inc.
Clue SFX 2003 iFone Limited
Clue Classic 2008 Encore

Clue [1998 version] has enjoyed an unusually long shelf life for a video game. It went on sale late in 1998 and, as of this writing, 2007, is still on sale, available at many retail stores and via the Internet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clue_%28video_game%29

Description of Clue video games: http://www.cluedofan.com/cmerch/computer.html
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21. Board Game: Cosmic Encounter [Average Rating:7.58 Overall Rank:101]
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Monthly subscription site

www.cosmicencounter.com 2003 Future Pastimes
 
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22. Board Game: Crimson Skies [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:2871]
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Two panzer jocks in the South Seas hoping that soon they'll get lei'd--
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Zipper Interactive, 2000
 
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23. RPG: d20 System / OGL Product (D&D 3.5 Compatible) [Average Rating:5.70 Overall Rank:653]
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The d20 a free, open system based on Dungeons and Dragons, can be used for any setting...such as the Star Wars universe.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2003 BioWare
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II The Sith Lords 2004 Obsidian Entertainment


 
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24. Board Game: Diplomacy [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:503]
Sebastian Sohn
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Diplomacy 1984 Avalon Hill
Diplomacy 1995 Hasbro Interactive
Diplomacy 2005 Paradox Interactive
 
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25. Board Game: Domaine [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:655]
Sebastian Sohn
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Lowenherz 2003 Dartmoor Softworks
 
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