Jump to content

  • Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account

FREE SOFTWARE GIVEAWAY

We have 4 x Pro Licences (valued at $59 each) for 2d modular animation software Spriter to give away in this Thursday's GDNet Direct email newsletter.


Read more in this forum topic or make sure you're signed up (from the right-hand sidebar on the homepage) and read Thursday's newsletter to get in the running!


Character Growth and Stories


Old topic!
Guest, the last post of this topic is over 60 days old and at this point you may not reply in this topic. If you wish to continue this conversation start a new topic.

  • You cannot reply to this topic
44 replies to this topic

#21 dwarfsoft   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1217

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 26 October 2000 - 02:26 AM

Hmmm, or in a game that remarkably looks like diablo the NPC walks past the player and quickly moves next to the player and shuffles around before running off faster than the player can follow. This also causes the inventory box to open with a piece of parchment taking up the foreground... Isn''t really difficult, so I wonder why they haven''t used it yet ... I guess they are still stuck on linear with massive slaughter without choice

-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft - Site:"The Philosophers' Stone of Programming Alchemy" - IOL
The future of RPGs - Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          


Sponsor:

#22 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 26 October 2000 - 03:09 AM

I''ll admit that that method is a little forced. Although, I assure you that Daggerfall is the absolute antithesis of linear.


"All you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be --Pink Floyd

"Though the course may change sometimes, the rivers always reach the sea" --Led Zeppelin

Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.


#23 Forneiq   Members   -  Reputation: 122

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 29 October 2000 - 02:22 PM

I would like to say, that AP was genius. However, how do you prevent the player from being protagonist? Just because he (or she) is a lowly kitchen servant does not mean he is not the protagonist. The problem is, if the player is doing anything, then he is going to affect the plot. I mean, just because Sam was not the protagonist doesn''t mean he had no effect on the plot. And as soon as the player has an effect on the plot, he can mess it up. If he can''t mess it up, then you have a linear game. The genius of AP''s idea is that, it takes the pressure off of the player/player-character. Basically how this works is, even if the player is protagonist, at any time you allow certain actions (attack or defend, assassinate the king or not, help the old witch or not . . .) always allow a null action. The player does nothing. That way if the player is off doing something you didn''t expect, something would still happen.

mildly pleased witch . . . LOL

Think outside the dodecahedron


#24 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 29 October 2000 - 02:38 PM

Yeah, I suppose the basis of it is that the plot doesn''t strictly depend upon the player''s intervention. The plot goes on with or without the player, but the player can still affect the plot. It''s just that the plot does not depend on the player''s actions to continue and grow.

APs come up w/ the best ideas


"All you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be --Pink Floyd

"Though the course may change sometimes, the rivers always reach the sea" --Led Zeppelin

Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.


#25 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 29 October 2000 - 02:50 PM

quote:
Original post by MadKeithV


Actually, that leads me to a VERY simple solution to the problem!

Always have TWO places that can lead to a certain outcome/story twist. Then, if the player happens to be in one place, let it happen in the other, and the player will feel as if he/she has influenced the story, while your carefully crafted series of events is not compromised.

( works in single player only of course )


People might not remember what you said, or what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.
~ (V)^|) |<é!t|-| ~


This sounds like a nice idea, but I am not sure I understand completely. Are you suggesting to do this just to increase the chances of the player intervening since the player can't be everywhere?

I'm trying to make sure I understand what you're saying.


"All you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be --Pink Floyd

"Though the course may change sometimes, the rivers always reach the sea" --Led Zeppelin

Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.


Edited by - Nazrix on October 29, 2000 10:05:39 PM

#26 Landfish   Members   -  Reputation: 288

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 29 October 2000 - 04:09 PM

I don''t have much time, I''ll get into this a little deeper tomorrow...

Naz, I think you are making a classic mistake by downplaying the division between player and character. Most story based games give the player exceedingly little control over personality traits, favoring instead concrete right/wrong decisions or tactics.

This is neither bad nor good. A lot of great games have characters who ARE the player, and a lot of my personal favorites draw a very thick line between the two... More later.

#27 Anonymous Poster.   Members   -  Reputation: 122

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 29 October 2000 - 05:41 PM

quote:
Original post by Nazrix

Yeah, I suppose the basis of it is that the plot doesn''t strictly depend upon the player''s intervention. The plot goes on with or without the player, but the player can still affect the plot. It''s just that the plot does not depend on the player''s actions to continue and grow.

APs come up w/ the best ideas




thx. . .heh. . .actually I didn''t notice that I posted anonymously at the time, but I''ll have to do that more often. . .usually I''m just long-winded. . .

MadKeith, I''m having some problems understanding your idea as well. The way I''m seeing it, this would be just frustrating/comical, and I''m sure that''s not what you had in mind.

The big question is how to ensure that the player still feels that their actions w/in the game still carry meaning. But I''ll have to wait until tomorrow, since I have class in approx. 5 hrs. (damn daylight savings time. . .)

If you see the Buddha on the road, Kill Him. -apocryphal

#28 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 29 October 2000 - 07:10 PM

Ah...so it wasn''t an AP, it was the AP.

Well, first of all I''d like to note that few story-based games have made me feel much like my actions had a lot of impact on the plot when the main character is the protagonist.

I think this is the beauty of your idea, AP. It finally allows the player to look at the occurances going on and act on his/her own initiative. The characters would seem to have their own agendas and the player could decide what role he wants to play in this story.

The story could be made to mold around the different possible decisions the player could make. If the player does not intervene, the plot would be set up to account for that too.

I''m not sure how this would work in practice however...


"All you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be --Pink Floyd

"Though the course may change sometimes, the rivers always reach the sea" --Led Zeppelin

Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.


#29 dwarfsoft   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1217

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 29 October 2000 - 09:12 PM

Well, the story for my game is coming along. I nearly have the design doc done. I might upload it so that you can all give me feedback on the subject. At each major point in the game there are at least 2 choices and often 3 choices that the player can make. It depends much on the biases of previous games, ie, I wish to see what path the gamer takes through the game. It is going to be a little experiment to see if people will try to blindly hack anything that moves or not...

The player character will grow through the game based on the decisions that the player makes for their character. I think that it has merit, though there are still some holes in the story that I need to fix up

-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft - Site:"The Philosophers' Stone of Programming Alchemy" - IOL
The future of RPGs - Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          


#30 Anonymous Poster.   Members   -  Reputation: 122

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 30 October 2000 - 04:42 AM

dwarfsoft-

I like the basis for your idea. Any way that the game can be reactive to the player''s moral/ethical choices, rather than just strategic/tactical choices is a major plus. Fallout''s the only game I''ve played that handled this at all and I think it could have been done even better. (not a slight on Fallout, BTW, its just the choices were too apparant)

I don''t know how you''re planning on handling this in your game, but my $.02 on that is: Have you thought about the way these choices would be presented to the player. Have you thought of ways you could make these decision points transparent to the player? You may have already considered this, but I''ve seen it handled poorly in games too many times to not bring it up. W/ the major junctures in the plot tree transparent, the game feels almost non-linear the first time through, which is a great effect.

You know, I''ve been thinking of this lately, as I am at present limited in every possible resource. (cash, personnel, time, you name it) Many of the best games do not achieve their effects through killer algorithms, or any advanced programming at all. Good ol'' fashioned sleight-of-hand goes a long way towards immersing and involving the player. For example: Making these decision nodes transparent, but their effects readily apparent, tossing the player some interesting choices that have little or no effect on the game, (perhaps just cosmetic changes) along w/ the major plot branches, stacking the deck against the player in a particular scene, so that even though the segment appears interactive, the outcome is in effect pre-destined. . .the list goes on and on, all low-tech solutions based upon existing technology.

As a player, I don''t feel cheated when the game designer plays me like this. In fact, I admire his skill if it is done well, and if it is done poorly. . .well I appreciate the effort, I guess.

If you see the Buddha on the road, Kill Him. -apocryphal

#31 dwarfsoft   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1217

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 30 October 2000 - 04:11 PM

Well, how I am handling the first few decisions are along the lines of battle. The first major affect is when the player comes across the marauding goblins who are attacking farms (they are really just human bandits, but the player can see goblins due to his/her insanity ). The player then is just left to do what they think is right. They could go back to town and inform the local guards, who would then arrest the bandits and everything would be fine. They could also choose to slaughter every last one of them. If they choose to kill, then they grow more insane. When they go back to the town to collect their prize, the town guard will appear like goblins when they come to meet the character.

This is the next decision... Seeing as the player has already slaughtered goblins I would guess that they would try it again. They would then be chased from the town and have to go into hiding... With the REAL goblins . That is all that I am telling for the moment, though there already is an alternate route that I have not stepped along yet. I just wanted irony in the game, so hence the player must hide with the goblins

-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft - Site:"The Philosophers' Stone of Programming Alchemy" - IOL
The future of RPGs - Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          


#32 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 30 October 2000 - 04:15 PM

dwarf, hehe...that sounds so interesting, but now it won''t be much of a suprise when we all play your game for the 1st time


"All you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be --Pink Floyd
Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.


#33 dwarfsoft   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1217

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 30 October 2000 - 04:44 PM

Don''t worry naz. I am thinking of implementing a random beginning sequence. Your setup is defined by your actions in the setup. But really, who was ever going to trust killing the goblins in this game anyway? MKV already said that... Though, the story is a little more interesting if you kill them at the start and give up killing from then on (hint hint )

-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft - Site:"The Philosophers' Stone of Programming Alchemy" - IOL
The future of RPGs - Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          


#34 dwarfsoft   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1217

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 01 November 2000 - 06:41 PM

quote:
Original post by MadKeithV
Always have TWO places that can lead to a certain outcome/story twist. Then, if the player happens to be in one place, let it happen in the other, and the player will feel as if he/she has influenced the story, while your carefully crafted series of events is not compromised.

( works in single player only of course )


People might not remember what you said, or what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.
~ (V)^|) |<é!t|-| ~


OK MKV, I am still waiting (as is Naz I guess) on a more detailed explanation of what you were saying. Are we talking about places in the physical (or game) world sense or are we talking about places as points in the story? I am still a little confused as to what you were refering to... details?

-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft - Site:"The Philosophers' Stone of Programming Alchemy" - IOL
The future of RPGs - Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          


#35 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 01 November 2000 - 06:45 PM

Yeah, I'm waiting too for MKV's reply too
Glad to see I'm not the only one that was uncertain as to what he meant....It sounds like an idea that has potential, but I'm not sure if I totally understand...

Furthermore, I was hoping LF would explain more on his last post in here as well...Everyone's too busy arguing to actually discuss things anymore



"All you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be --Pink Floyd
Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.


Edited by - Nazrix on November 2, 2000 1:47:05 AM

#36 dwarfsoft   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1217

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 01 November 2000 - 06:59 PM

quote:
Original post by Landfish

I don''t have much time, I''ll get into this a little deeper tomorrow...

Naz, I think you are making a classic mistake by downplaying the division between player and character. Most story based games give the player exceedingly little control over personality traits, favoring instead concrete right/wrong decisions or tactics.

This is neither bad nor good. A lot of great games have characters who ARE the player, and a lot of my personal favorites draw a very thick line between the two... More later.


OOOh Naz, seeing as you mentioned it, I had to go back to it

Player has exceedingly little control over the character - that is soooo true and is a bad thing IMO. What this kind of game needs (neatly dodges RPG[-ish] issue ) is more connection between player and character. The connection is the immersion. If there is little control then there is little connection and therefore reduced immersion. As such, players need to feel responsible for their characters and become one with their characters... Otherwise they just lose out on the whole experience of playing another role...

I await to hear when you list the great games that draw a thick line between the two... Actually I can think of great games that were good in other aspects, though the connection lacked. I think that they would have been better with a bit more player-character connection...

-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft - Site:"The Philosophers' Stone of Programming Alchemy" - IOL
The future of RPGs - Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          


#37 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 07 November 2000 - 11:31 AM

quote:
Original post by Landfish

I don''t have much time, I''ll get into this a little deeper tomorrow...

Naz, I think you are making a classic mistake by downplaying the division between player and character. Most story based games give the player exceedingly little control over personality traits, favoring instead concrete right/wrong decisions or tactics.

This is neither bad nor good. A lot of great games have characters who ARE the player, and a lot of my personal favorites draw a very thick line between the two... More later.


Darn it, LF. Are you going to expand on this? It was tomorrow about 2 weeks ago




"All you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be --Pink Floyd
Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.
Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.


#38 dwarfsoft   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1217

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 11 November 2000 - 09:23 PM

I''m still waiting for it LF... Just as Naz is

-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft - Site:"The Philosophers'' Stone of Programming Alchemy" - IOL
The future of RPGs - Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          


#39 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 11 November 2000 - 10:34 PM

yeah, dammit...we''re waiting for you too MKV to expand upon that idea about the player being at 2 places at the same time...

You guys can''t leave us hanging like this...it''s immoral.


"All you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be --Pink Floyd
Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.
Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.


#40 Landfish   Members   -  Reputation: 288

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 21 November 2000 - 05:14 AM

Gah! I''ve been too busy firefighting to actually read! BTW, Anonymous Poster., you are my favorite person ever. Once again, you''ve taken words right out of my mouth...

Reduce the goddamn plot span, I say! Not even the great epics of the past spanned places the size of your average RPG. Beowulf happened primarily in TWO locations, the Oddessy only spanned oceans, but certainly not the WORLD. Games like Shen Mue are proving that you can have a whole RPG set in a small part od a small city in Japan in 1986.

Set your RPG in a town, rather than a nation. My brother always says: "God is in the details." My favorite game ever, Panzer Dragoon Saga, had only two towns and a small wandering caravan. But they towns were extremely detailed! No cookie cutter houses or isometric layouts. You got lost in these monsters! But you LEARNED your way around because you weren''t coming to a new town ever five seconds. Plus, you got acquainted with the locals, instead of just stopping for directions.

As for matching interactivity with story, there are so many levels on which you can do this, who is to say which is best? Final Fantasy is certainly interactive! You get to chose the order and time at which you ask the signpost NPCs what to do next. Divergent plots are another issue, but there are as many ways to handle them as there are divergent plots themselves!

---

Okay, back to character growth.

The FF approach, as well as many others, is to use abstract statistics to make absolutely certain that the character (note: character, not player) is better at the end of the story than the beginning. I don''t like this very much. The character grows, while the player sits there pounding on the X button until she wins the game.

I much prefer the Player growth approach. The player either acquires new tools and must learn to use them effectively (a la Zelda) or the player must discover tools that have always existed and must learn to use them effectively (a la spells in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night). A combination can be great.

The way this latter form tends to work is that the character goes through the game learning new tools from people and events. This way, at the end of the game you don''t just have a better character, but a better player.

There''s something else about character growth I want to say, getting back to the original post. I''ll break it up for your convinience.




Old topic!
Guest, the last post of this topic is over 60 days old and at this point you may not reply in this topic. If you wish to continue this conversation start a new topic.



PARTNERS