Knights of Pen and Paper

Knights of Pen and Paper is a turn-based retro style pixel-art role-playing game. The player can build his own party, by choosing from multiple classes and characters to control those classes, to take on the loads of quests and monsters littered throughout the game.


Game website:

Gameplay link:


 3 The Lens of Fun

  1. What parts of my game are fun? Why?

    • The game parodies a lot of popular culture, for example, including celebrities like Paris Hilton as a playable character and quoting lines from popular movies like Lord of the Rings. The dialogue between the playable characters and non-playable characters is also very interesting as it breaks the fourth wall at times.Figure 1. Player is able to choose both a character and a class

  2. What parts need to be more fun?

    • Combat system might need to be more dynamic as it is quite simple, making it repetitive after long hours of game play.


 18 The Lens of Flow

  1. Does my game have clear goals? If not, how can I fix that?

    • The game has clear goals in terms of storyline quests that the player has to clear in order to progress in the game.

  2. Are the goals of the player the same goals I intended?

    • The player is able to grasp the goal of the game pretty well with the use of dialogue between the characters in the game.

  3. Are there parts of the game that distract players to the point they forget their goal? If so, can these distractions be reduced, or tied into the game goals?

    • There is a multitude of side quests and optional areas for the player to explore which may distract the player from their goal. However, storyline quests are always tagged with a star icon on the game map, allowing the player to return to the intended goal at any time.

  4. Does my game provide a steady stream of not-too-easy, not-too-hard challenges, taking into account the fact that the player’s skills may be gradually improving?

    • The game provides a steady stream of gradually increasing challenges as the player will encounter a variety of different monsters with different movesets as the player progresses through the game. This calls for the player to be flexible and adaptable to be able to counter the new monsters.

  5. Are the player’s skills improving at the rate I had hoped? If not, how can I change that?

    • As this is a role-playing game, even if the player is less skilled, the player can level up their characters more to make the game easier.


 34 The Lens of Skill vs. Chance

  1. Are my players here to be judged (skill), or to take risks (chance)?

    • The game requires the player to both have skill and take chances. As the combat is turn-based, the player will be judged by their ability to maximise the utility during every single turn. The player can even choose to encounter more monsters at one go if he/she is confident. The chance element comes from the player having to go through a check(20-sided dice roll) when upgrading a piece of equipment or when deciding whether the party encounters a monster ambush when travelling between areas.

Figure 2. Dice roll is used to determine monster encounters while travelling

  1. Skill tends to be more serious than chance: Is my game serious or casual?

    • The game is quite casual as the player is given a lot of room for error. For example, even if the party gets wiped out during a monster encounter, the player is still able to resurrect the party with the use of gold.

  2. Are parts of my game tedious? If so, will adding elements of chance enliven them?

    • As monster encounters while travelling between areas is decided by probability, it can get tedious later in the game when the party keeps encountering low-level monsters that provide marginal benefits when killed.

  3. Do parts of my game feel too random? If so, will replacing elements of chance with elements of skill or strategy make the players feel more in control?

    • Although the success rate of upgrading a piece of equipment is decided by chance, there are items in the game that can increase that success rate, giving the player slightly more control.


 46 The Lens of Economy

  1. How can my players earn money? Should there be other ways?

    • The player earns gold by killing monsters.

  2. What can my players buy? Why?

    • Gold is used to purchase consumable items(potions), accessories, upgrading equipment at the blacksmith, hiring new party members.

  3. Is money too easy to get? Too hard? How can I change this?

    • As gold is not readily available, the player has to make the choice to either make the current party members stronger by purchasing new accessories and upgrading their equipment or to hire new party members that have better skillsets to complement the party setup.

  4. Are choices about earning and spending meaningful ones?

    • Earning gold is very straightforward while care has to be taken while spending else the player would have to spend more time to earn more gold.

  5. Is a universal currency a good idea in my game, or should there be specialized currencies?

    • The game uses a universal currency (gold) for all purposes which is suitable as it simplifies the economy of the game.


 49 The Lens of Visible Progress

  1. What does it mean to make progress in my game or puzzle?

    • Progress is made in the game when the characters in the party levels up and when the player completes the storyline quests.

Figure 3. Characters level up and can put points into several skills

  1. Is there enough progress in my game? Is there a way I can add more interim steps of progressive success?

    • Progress in the game is sufficient as leveling characters is not tedious.

  2. What progress is visible, and what progress is hidden? Can I find a way to reveal what is hidden?

    • Progress in terms of the character levels is explicitly shown on the character screens while progress in terms of the storyline is implicitly reflected as the player explores the various locations in the game world.

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