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evil and good choices in singleplayer rpg


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#1 glhf   Banned   -  Reputation: -585

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 03:07 PM

Personally I can't stand playing an rpg where I have to be some nice guy and help everyone.. it's a bit disgusting imo.. and I rarely buy rpg's like that.
Some games make a super lazy fix to that where u get a more neutral choice where u can demand payment for doing helpful things... still meh.. because your still doing nice things and its so apparant they put in no effort at all for evil gameplay.
and then the good rpg's let u do evil choices that are really fun :D
and some go really far with that and make quests that dont even have a good choice... but then theres quests where u dont have evil choice..
this is super annoying because i wanna do all quests in the game... i hate passing on a quest but i also hate doing a hero quest.
so i think all quests must have a good+nuetral+evil choice. and they cant be lazy effort quests too.. make each choice really big difference.

but.. easier said than done... making a good and evil path to every quest.. and the game... is like making 2 different games with the same engine.
its like double work... well not relly.. but like.. a lot of more work.

so..
how small or big is my niche?
how many players is my market of players that want evil options in rpgs?
is it worth the time and moneyand work u put in making evil path in the game or is my niche too small?

maybe its best to not do evil choices AT ALL so small my niche is?

what about making a evil game where thers no heroish actions at all..?

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#2 Bluefirehawk   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1232

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 04:16 PM

Personally I can't stand playing an rpg where I have to be some nice guy and help everyone.. it's a bit disgusting imo.. and I rarely buy rpg's like that.


Then why the hell are you doing one? Don't take it personally, but from your wording, you are not a professional game developer.

I detest hanna montana, there is no good reason to put me anywhere near a hanna montana game project.


but.. easier said than done... making a good and evil path to every quest.. and the game... is like making 2 different games with the same engine.
its like double work... well not relly.. but like.. a lot of more work.

Look, yes if you want a choice between good or bad, you do about twice the work. But then your game is probably bad too. Generally, decisions are interesting, if you face a dilemma. So making a good storyline is probably more work than you think.

so..
how small or big is my niche?
how many players is my market of players that want evil options in rpgs?
is it worth the time and moneyand work u put in making evil path in the game or is my niche too small?

|---------------| <--- this size is your niche.
What answer do you expect? You gave no real info about the game, project team, budget, knowledge level, experience or anything, you posted some questions.
If you have a fun game, there will be gamers. If they pay for it is a different question.

maybe its best to not do evil choices AT ALL so small my niche is?
...
what about making a evil game where thers no heroish actions at all..?

Are you here for the money? You don't seem to care much about the game, you want to sell it... I can't start to write how bad this is. If you would finish the game, it would most likely be bad, you don't seem to care, as long as you can make money.

Edited by Bluefirehawk, 25 September 2012 - 04:18 PM.

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#3 slicksk8te   Members   -  Reputation: 191

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 04:28 PM

I don't think this is a niche. This is still catering to the rpg market which is small traditionally speaking.

I do think rpg players like choice. Whether this choice is evil, good, or neutral.

The difference in most games is how much choice they give and how much impact it has on the game. This is all designer choice based on what type of story/gameplay they want to convey.

What you should be thinking about instead of market size and fulfilling a niche is whether adding an evil path and choice in general helps your game and whether it fits with your vision of the game.

What this means is you should make your decision on this based on whether you would like to see it in your game and how well it fits.

#4 glhf   Banned   -  Reputation: -585

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 04:30 PM


Personally I can't stand playing an rpg where I have to be some nice guy and help everyone.. it's a bit disgusting imo.. and I rarely buy rpg's like that.


Then why the hell are you doing one? Don't take it personally, but from your wording, you are not a professional game developer.

I detest hanna montana, there is no good reason to put me anywhere near a hanna montana game project.


but.. easier said than done... making a good and evil path to every quest.. and the game... is like making 2 different games with the same engine.
its like double work... well not relly.. but like.. a lot of more work.

Look, yes if you want a choice between good or bad, you do about twice the work. But then your game is probably bad too. Generally, decisions are interesting, if you face a dilemma. So making a good storyline is probably more work than you think.

so..
how small or big is my niche?
how many players is my market of players that want evil options in rpgs?
is it worth the time and moneyand work u put in making evil path in the game or is my niche too small?

|---------------| <--- this size is your niche.
What answer do you expect? You gave no real info about the game, project team, budget, knowledge level, experience or anything, you posted some questions.
If you have a fun game, there will be gamers. If they pay for it is a different question.

maybe its best to not do evil choices AT ALL so small my niche is?
...
what about making a evil game where thers no heroish actions at all..?

Are you here for the money? You don't seem to care much about the game, you want to sell it... I can't start to write how bad this is. If you would finish the game, it would most likely be bad, you don't seem to care, as long as you can make money.


where have i ever said anythign about that im making a game?
im not.

#5 slicksk8te   Members   -  Reputation: 191

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 04:33 PM

Everything you are saying implies that you are or are planning on making a game. If you are just ranting/complaining about games in a genre, this is not the place.

#6 glhf   Banned   -  Reputation: -585

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 04:38 PM

Everything you are saying implies that you are or are planning on making a game. If you are just ranting/complaining about games in a genre, this is not the place.


its a game design question... not a rant.
i dont have to be making the game in question to be able to discuss the design of it.

are you making a single player rpg right now? if your not then your not allowed to rant in my thread.
(using ur logic)

#7 glhf   Banned   -  Reputation: -585

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 04:56 PM


Personally I can't stand playing an rpg where I have to be some nice guy and help everyone.. it's a bit disgusting imo.. and I rarely buy rpg's like that.


Then why the hell are you doing one? Don't take it personally, but from your wording, you are not a professional game developer.

I detest hanna montana, there is no good reason to put me anywhere near a hanna montana game project.


but.. easier said than done... making a good and evil path to every quest.. and the game... is like making 2 different games with the same engine.
its like double work... well not relly.. but like.. a lot of more work.

Look, yes if you want a choice between good or bad, you do about twice the work. But then your game is probably bad too. Generally, decisions are interesting, if you face a dilemma. So making a good storyline is probably more work than you think.


If you mean "not professional" as in I'm not an employed game dev then sure.
And I see ur point that if im evil i shouldnt make heroic quests.
But if ur just one guy doing everything then u dont got a choice..
if ur more than 1 guy then u can have someone who isnt evil do the heroic quests.
I could make some really awesome evil quests that im sure no one that is more of a goodhearted player could.
So I can imagine that even tho i think I could do heroic quests that im sure someone more goodhearted would do a better job at it.
so yeah.. its better if ur 2 guys but if ur 1 then u dont got a choice


maybe its best to not do evil choices AT ALL so small my niche is?
...
what about making a evil game where thers no heroish actions at all..?

Are you here for the money? You don't seem to care much about the game, you want to sell it... I can't start to write how bad this is. If you would finish the game, it would most likely be bad, you don't seem to care, as long as you can make money.


all studios have to thikn about costs.
just an extreme example so u can understand..

lets pretend u could give a nicer more professional feel to ur game by making a cool effect when u hover mouse over buttons.
that would make ur game more enoyable.. but lets pretend it takes 10 years more work to do this to all buttons.
then its not worth doing it which im hoping u can understand.

#8 slicksk8te   Members   -  Reputation: 191

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 05:14 PM

What do you mean when you say "2 guys"?
Do you mean a party system where you have a group of characters?
Or are you thinking of multiple story lines that interweave each other?

Also, what type of choice are you giving to the player?

#9 kseh   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2205

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 05:16 PM

It is a good design question actually and I don't think it's been asked in awhile. There probably are a few old threads somewhere worth searching for. Personally, I don't think I've seen "evil" done all that well in games.

For the how many people question, it'd be pretty tough to say. But I would point out that as we age we tend to start to understand the grey areas of morality better and better. when you're young your sense of what's right and wrong is pretty much absolute based on how you're brought up and whatever bits of your own logic you're able to piece together. Hopefully, as you get older you start to see how two people can have opposing views on something but both think they're doing the right thing by opposing each other. Or how your own actions to make something better has an unforeseen price of some kind and someone else ends up paying for it in some way. I believe this is why glhf stated in another post he's a fan of the Fallout series.

I would argue that it is in the writing of the game. A good vs evil conflict is nice and simple, usually with a conclusive end that makes the player feel like the time he's spent had a positive (though virtual) outcome. Making players feel positive about themselves I think would seem to have an obvious plus side. Or consider the opposite... if a game consistently makes a player feel bad about the choices he's making he's probably going to stop playing the game.

I think you have to take it a step further than thinking, "if I save this guy then I get money but if I hand him over to someone else, they'll kill him and I get a bunch more money (or some other form of reward)". I would typically expect that choosing the first option (the theoretical "good" option) will probably open up more opportunities for me than the second. In my experience, letting the guy die will also probably close more options than it will create. The second option needs to open up more possibilities than just money and ultimately build to something.

It may be that it can't really be done effectively and that's actually a good thing. If the solution to the poor representation of evil within a game is in the writing and the best writing is when people write about what they know, it seems unlikely that you'll have such experienced writers that holding jobs within a game studio.

#10 glhf   Banned   -  Reputation: -585

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 05:23 PM

What do you mean when you say "2 guys"?
Do you mean a party system where you have a group of characters?
Or are you thinking of multiple story lines that interweave each other?

Also, what type of choice are you giving to the player?


I mean developers Posted Image
Party system isn't part of topic exactly really.. sure you have evil and good party members but it kinda.
Game can be equally good with or without a party system.. depends on the game.

Edited by glhf, 25 September 2012 - 05:25 PM.


#11 slicksk8te   Members   -  Reputation: 191

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 05:27 PM

@kseh
I do think you are right on the grey area of good and evil. I think that the play between the two can be explored more in video games but there is a conundrum that is associated with story and choice. If you give the player more choice you have less control over story. And if you want to tailor an experience it is hard to give the player meaningful choice.
What most video games lack in my opinion when it comes to good and evil is subtlety. There is always an obvious good and obvious bad.

@glhf
Ok, that makes sense now. It is a very good idea to have multiple developers on story because each has a very different perspective. This is true in any game.

#12 glhf   Banned   -  Reputation: -585

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 05:38 PM

I think you have to take it a step further than thinking, "if I save this guy then I get money but if I hand him over to someone else, they'll kill him and I get a bunch more money (or some other form of reward)". I would typically expect that choosing the first option (the theoretical "good" option) will probably open up more opportunities for me than the second. In my experience, letting the guy die will also probably close more options than it will create. The second option needs to open up more possibilities than just money and ultimately build to something.


I really agree with your post specially this.
Which actually is what I've said in OP.. that I don't like how they put in no effort at all in some rpg's to add in goodvsevilvsneutral choices.
All they do to give neutral choices is adding demand for money.. pretty boring and doesn't make much of a difference imo.

going to bed now but ill read any new replies in morning and maybe respond if i think i should :P

Edited by glhf, 25 September 2012 - 05:40 PM.


#13 slicksk8te   Members   -  Reputation: 191

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 06:05 PM

I guess the big question is how you convey characters. If you have characters saying everything they are doing its bad and having a player choose between obvious good vs evil vs neutral choices is basically the same thing.
If you have the characters act out actions it would be much more interesting. That is based on the players actions and having just 3 choices rather than good, bad and evil.

#14 Casey Hardman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2250

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 06:43 PM

I don't like it when I'm given a list of things to say to an NPC, but I don't have a clear recognition on just how each choice will affect me. If I'm going to have the choice to be evil, neutral, or good, I'd like to know clearly what I get from each choice. If I'm a mage and I choose an evil path, then I'm given a knife and a thief hoody as a reward, I'm going to wish I'd chosen a different path that would hopefully have given me something I can actually use.


This applies to responses to NPCs as well. I'd like to know how they're going to react. Sometimes, the tough army veteran dude will get angry at me if I say something too soft, so I should say something badass and rude to get his respect. Other times, he'll just get angry if I try to be badass. There's really no way of me knowing for sure how the NPC is going to react...and if saying the wrong thing permanently makes that character hate me, I'm going to be pretty irritated if I make the wrong choice.

When I played Fallout 3, I would take so long just to make a choice on which quest path to take, or which conversation path to take, because I was constantly quick-saving and loading to try different things and see what happened...

Edited by Sir Mac Jefferson, 26 September 2012 - 02:24 PM.


#15 aattss   Members   -  Reputation: 387

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 07:22 PM

The problem is that there are some quests people of different alignments shouldn't take. What's the point of letting you be evil in a quest to save bunny rabbits?

Also, I sort of find it meaningless when both good and evil are equally easy. In real life, people generally be evil because it's easier to rob a bank than it is to invent the lightbulb or otherwise earn that money through ethical means. Being good should require commitment.

#16 Rybo5001   Members   -  Reputation: 490

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 10:50 PM

Then why the hell are you doing one? Don't take it personally, but from your wording, you are not a professional game developer.


Nothing he said every implied he was making a game, he was discussing design for games in general.

#17 glhf   Banned   -  Reputation: -585

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 05:08 AM

I guess the big question is how you convey characters. If you have characters saying everything they are doing its bad and having a player choose between obvious good vs evil vs neutral choices is basically the same thing.
If you have the characters act out actions it would be much more interesting. That is based on the players actions and having just 3 choices rather than good, bad and evil.


Could you give an example perhaps of what yo mean?


Another thing is thoughts and motives..
The only way I've seen it done in rpg's before is by potting them inside ().
like for example:
Sure, I'll help you with that (So he shows me the way and then I can kill him and take it all for myself)
Some games don't help us understand the thoughts and motives though..
So they give us that same option "sure ill help" and I assume it's a heroic choice then..
But on 2nd playthru i learn that if I did that it lead me to a later choice that I could do something evil lol.

But at same time I'm not a fan of this way of saying thoughts and motives... because it's kinda a spoiler of what is going to happen later.
Oh well.

#18 SimonForsman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6318

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 06:55 AM

Personally i would just strip out good/evil choices from dialogs and have it all be action and reputation based, (Treat someone badly and his friends/faction will like you less), in a sandbox RPG you could then have reputation spread as npcs interact with eachother and you could track multiple values per npc. (a NPC might for example consider you to be a good guy to have around in a fight while he wouldn't let you enter his home unsupervised since valuable items often "go missing" when you're around)
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#19 Bluefirehawk   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1232

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 07:10 AM

I thought about not writing a response, you responded to two minor points while ignoring most of the other text. I guess I am wasting my time here, but I still try.

First thing first:

Nothing he said every implied he was making a game, he was discussing design for games in general.

how small or big is my niche?

If he is asking about his niche, he wants to sell a game, then he has to make one. If he only wanted to talk about the design in general, his whole last section would be missing. For a discussion thread, it asks the wrong questions. Did you see any questions in his post about game design?

Now to you, glhf

where have i ever said anythign about that im making a game?

Then why are you asking about niches? You even talk about you writing the story in your next post and about presumably "your game studio". So what are you doing now?

And I see ur point that if im evil i shouldnt make heroic quests.
...But if ur just one guy doing everything then u dont got a choice...

What?! NO! Where did you get that one from?
I meant that good and evil questline first seem dangerously simple. And if you go for the simple way, it most likely will be bad.
What is the fun of making good or bad decisions? Like you said, most of them are very boring, the evil part is funny, but like in the first fable, it didn't matter what you did.
Generally, decisions that involve a dilemma are interesting, but you have to have a storyline that sets is up, that leaves the player with questions to think about.

Either way, if you want a good game with meaningful choices, you have to put a LOT of work in it. But work isn't the only thing, the story also needs to set up the choices. The player has to care about it, and work doesn't make that happen. It starts with you caring about the story itself. If even you don't care about it, why should anybody else?

Which brings me to the last point, which you did responded to, with this:

all studios have to thikn about costs
just an extreme example so u can understand...

you completely missed the point. You are here, asking what story you should make, so your income is higher than your cost. You didn't ask how you make it fun, what the difference is between fun and boring choices. You'd like to be a business man. Making money from your work is not a bad thing. The bad thing about what you seem to do is, you ONLY care about the business side.

If you are not passionate about what your game, your game is going to suck. I haven't seen you care even one bit about what you do.
Imagine a teacher. The best teachers are passionate about what they teach and about teaching itself. I've never had a teacher who didn't care and who was good in what he was doing.
Passion doesn't make you good, it is your driving force to get good.

I saw many opening posts here, this is the first one that didn't ask a real question about the actual game design. You talk about the storyline like you could sit down and make it in a few days. And you seem to think that making a sellable game is that easy.
So my suggestion is that you don't think about selling it, start to have fun with what you are doing and start asking questions about how you could design a good rpg game that incorporates choices.

If you respond, please take some time and write it in proper english.
Project: Project
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#20 glhf   Banned   -  Reputation: -585

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 07:33 AM

omg.. i just facepalm..


Nothing he said every implied he was making a game, he was discussing design for games in general.

how small or big is my niche?

If he is asking about his niche, he wants to sell a game, then he has to make one. If he only wanted to talk about the design in general, his whole last section would be missing. For a discussion thread, it asks the wrong questions. Did you see any questions in his post about game design?

Now to you, glhf

where have i ever said anythign about that im making a game?

Then why are you asking about niches? You even talk about you writing the story in your next post and about presumably "your game studio". So what are you doing now?


I am talking about the player audience that are like me that like doing evil stuff and can't stand doing heroic things in games when I talk about my niche.
I haven't said anything about having any studio, Where did you get that impression from? Quote plz.


And I see ur point that if im evil i shouldnt make heroic quests.
...But if ur just one guy doing everything then u dont got a choice...

What?! NO! Where did you get that one from?
I meant that good and evil questline first seem dangerously simple. And if you go for the simple way, it most likely will be bad.
What is the fun of making good or bad decisions? Like you said, most of them are very boring, the evil part is funny, but like in the first fable, it didn't matter what you did.
Generally, decisions that involve a dilemma are interesting, but you have to have a storyline that sets is up, that leaves the player with questions to think about.


Good, We somewhat agree on something at least..
I did say in my op that I don't like when they put in zero effort in giving us moral choices by just adding a demand for money for example.. but you still end up doing the same things anyway.

Either way, if you want a good game with meaningful choices, you have to put a LOT of work in it.


This is what I also said in my OP..
I said that making good evilvsgood choices/dilemmas in a rpg is easier said than done.
That it would take a lot more work.

But work isn't the only thing, the story also needs to set up the choices. The player has to care about it, and work doesn't make that happen. It starts with you caring about the story itself. If even you don't care about it, why should anybody else?

Which brings me to the last point, which you did responded to, with this:


all studios have to thikn about costs
just an extreme example so u can understand...

you completely missed the point. You are here, asking what story you should make, so your income is higher than your cost. You didn't ask how you make it fun, what the difference is between fun and boring choices. You'd like to be a business man. Making money from your work is not a bad thing. The bad thing about what you seem to do is, you ONLY care about the business side.

If you are not passionate about what your game, your game is going to suck. I haven't seen you care even one bit about what you do.
Imagine a teacher. The best teachers are passionate about what they teach and about teaching itself. I've never had a teacher who didn't care and who was good in what he was doing.
Passion doesn't make you good, it is your driving force to get good.

I saw many opening posts here, this is the first one that didn't ask a real question about the actual game design. You talk about the storyline like you could sit down and make it in a few days. And you seem to think that making a sellable game is that easy.
So my suggestion is that you don't think about selling it, start to have fun with what you are doing and start asking questions about how you could design a good rpg game that incorporates choices.

If you respond, please take some time and write it in proper english.


I don't understand where you get the impression I don't care about that a game should fun and good storyline?
Just because I mention the word costs/money? You know you can make a fun game AND do it work/cost efficiently at the same?
That is part of being a good dev.. you can't ONLY think about fun.
If I didn't care about that games should be fun and interesting then I wouldn't of made this thread and saying I am dissapointed in how meaningless and boring morale choices we get in a lot of games. Because making these simple and boring morale choices is the most cost efficient way most probably.
So I'm obviously not only thinking about money.

After reading everything you have said I am assuming that you think blizzard is an amateur studio?
Because they definitly think about money like hell... and they think about player audiences etc... costs.
They don't make fun stuff if there's not enough audience for it to make it worth while.

That's one thing I wanted to find out in this thread.. if my niche of evil players are enough in the singleplayer rpg genre.
To put in all the work to make a meaningful and interesting morale choices... that changes the storys path etc.

One thing I learned from replies is that making evil choices doesn't have to be only fun for the evil players.
It will also be fun for heroic players because..
I'm not sure how to word or explain it exactly but..
Without evil there can't be any good..
It's more "interesting" to do the heroic deed when you were faced with good vs evil dilemmas.

Edited by glhf, 26 September 2012 - 07:43 AM.





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