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The beginning of game/story of an rpg that lets you play as evil or good


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#1 glhf   Banned   -  Reputation: -585

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 04:56 PM

I think it's really hard to think of a good story that lets the player roleplay the character anyway he wants in an RPG.
Evil or good or neutral... whatever.

The most overused story start is amnesia of some sorts... it's very easy but sooooo overused and from some reading it seems most players are bored of that overused storyline. They want something new and creative.

I had another way of doing it in my head when i started this thread but I forgot what it was.

I've also got an idea of a storyline that lets you be either evil or good from the start.. but it still needs work because all pieces of the storyline don't fit together yet.

You could also do it somewhat like fallout 3 did where you play a few mins as a kid in school before becoming grown up but I still felt kinda forced to be good in the main storyline. That's just annoying when main storyline wants you to be good but all the sidequests lets you be evil... doesn't make sense.

edit:
oh and another way thats popular in a lot of indy games is not mentioning anything at all about your characters past.
You just spawn as an adult in the middle of no where, you don't know anything if you got amnesia or not you don't know anything they don't mention anything at all in the story about anything.

Edited by glhf, 18 November 2012 - 05:08 PM.


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#2 All Names Taken   Members   -  Reputation: 416

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 06:11 PM

The last option seems the best choice to me, one its a lot less work as you don't have create all that back-story development and secondly allows players to very much make up their own back-story and make the playable character very much their own, being in their shoes.

Perhaps throughout the game the player gets asked questions and can build up back-story via dialogue choices and create back-story progressively, a certain set of answer maybe generates that the player's character is of noble birth and unlocks a quest line based around their lineage, or another set will go with that your an outlaw who might have a bounty hunter turn up after them. Not sure if I'm explaining it right, basically as the story progresses the choices the player chooses to reveal about their past unlocks new story elements/quest-lines.

If you can however make multiple 'good paths' and multiple 'evil paths' ... one thing I hate in morale choice games is when there is only one way to do each according to someone elses philosophy of good and evil (i.e. KOTOR's 'be a sociopathic jerk' to become evil route).

#3 glhf   Banned   -  Reputation: -585

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 06:33 PM

The last option seems the best choice to me, one its a lot less work as you don't have create all that back-story development and secondly allows players to very much make up their own back-story and make the playable character very much their own, being in their shoes.

Perhaps throughout the game the player gets asked questions and can build up back-story via dialogue choices and create back-story progressively, a certain set of answer maybe generates that the player's character is of noble birth and unlocks a quest line based around their lineage, or another set will go with that your an outlaw who might have a bounty hunter turn up after them. Not sure if I'm explaining it right, basically as the story progresses the choices the player chooses to reveal about their past unlocks new story elements/quest-lines.

If you can however make multiple 'good paths' and multiple 'evil paths' ... one thing I hate in morale choice games is when there is only one way to do each according to someone elses philosophy of good and evil (i.e. KOTOR's 'be a sociopathic jerk' to become evil route).


good idea about letting the character create his backstory himself through dialogue throughout the game.
That's really cool.

#4 omegaweapon2   Members   -  Reputation: 130

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 07:17 PM

Why not try the orphan route? the story can go either way and you could add long lost family members as some bad guy or good guy depending on which route you make.

#5 glhf   Banned   -  Reputation: -585

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 07:23 PM

Why not try the orphan route? the story can go either way and you could add long lost family members as some bad guy or good guy depending on which route you make.


explain more?
an adult orphan?
then you are still skipping out on entire child and teenage years that we don't know anything about which doesnt make sense unless this orphan has amnesia.

#6 MrDaaark   Members   -  Reputation: 3555

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 07:36 PM

You've basically described Fable 2.

#7 omegaweapon2   Members   -  Reputation: 130

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 07:57 PM

An adult orphan who grew up doing some average guild quests such as getting stuff and killing lesser beasts. Or a blacksmith and he meets all kinds of people asking for his service.

As the story goes the character can deepen his relation to a faction or person thus he could choose to be either good or bad. Quests ranges from helping thieves raid to rescuing some villagers. As the story goes the quest also more challenging the thieves could become bandits, the rescue operations go to defending forts.

This will give a choice if the character takes if he goes an all out bad guy. Giving him a bland background give it more choices to mold him depending which choice you make.

Sounds like Dragon age 2 where a player goes all sorts of jobs for cash. The story will be the key like battlerealms in the first part whether you help or kill peasants decides your character path.

#8 DonpatchF   Members   -  Reputation: 150

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 05:46 AM

Watch this now!

#9 glhf   Banned   -  Reputation: -585

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:55 AM

Watch this now! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_KU3lUx3u0&feature=related


Thats a cool video but it doesnt really talk about this topic..
they only talk about removing the +evil stat rewards etc.

#10 Randel   Members   -  Reputation: 326

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 12:20 PM

Right now, I'm playing Skyrim with the Live Another Life mod which basically lets you start out in various locations with different equipment. You can use it to start the game as a hunter in the woods, as a Vigilent of Stendar (basically a cleric type that hunts demons and undead), or numerous other options. Since it's a mod, it doesn't do more than just plop you in different parts of the world with equipment relevant to your chosen path but it's really nice for a sandbox game in that I can quickly start out new games in different locations.

I mention this because if you are going for more of a sandbox type game with a maximum of player choice then it might be worth it to have the beginning of the game let you start in various locations with a choice of starter equipment and then let the player build themselves up from there. I'm kind of guilty of starting new games just to test things out with new characters and having to redo the games introduction all those times gets old.

So, maybe the player can quickly start a new game by deciding appearance (as much as the game allows), then starting equipment, then choose one of several starting locations or rough backstories. Something like "homeless thief in Liarsburg" or "Merchants son in Honestown" or something like that. Then as they explore the world they can make choices that give them various perks or background information.


As for making a character distinctly good or evil (or maybe using some other system like "maintains the balance of nature", "kills all non-humans", or "advances SCIENCE!") maybe have something like the moods from Sims 3? Basically, the character has some sort of morale stat which when full gives bonuses to things like XP generation, strength, health or whatever. But if the morale bar is low then it gives negative effects.

The player can then choose to take certain traits which boost the characters morale depending on how they act. Pacifist characters might have a trait that boosts their morale when they heal or disarm conflicts peacefully (like say using healing spells, calming magic, or diplomacy), while a violent character gets boosts whenever they kill someone. That could be split into things like:

Boisterous Bruiser: Bonus to morale when defeating an enemy in fair combat, decrease when forced to flee or win using magic.
Sadist: Bonus to morale when killing an enemy who is begging for mercy, decrease when you suffer critical damage.
Miser: Bonus when you make money, decrease when you spend or lose money.


Things like that. I'm thinking the Morale bar would have a range between -100 and 100 and it gradually moves toward zero as time passes (basically, even if you get a negative morale at some point then you'll gradually get better even if you don't do anything while the same applies to when you fill it up). It could be customized in various ways, like some characters might get increased health regeneration, magic regeneration, or maybe stealth skills depending on how good they feel with a corresponding decrease in effectviness if their morale plummets. Other things like Depression or Egomania could alter the morale meters default value (people suffering from depression have their morale bar naturally move toward -10 instead of zero while egomaniacs have it move to +10).

Actually, this idea reminds me of how things work in the World of Darkness setting. Basically each character has a few defining traits from the Seven Deadly Sins and Seven Heavenly Virtues. The player gets bonuses from excercising either their virtues or their vices (that is, everyone has both virtues and vices), virtues are harder to pull off but restore a persons willpower to the full while excercising a vice gives a smaller bonus.


Basically, every player is going to have their own backstory for their character (or none at all) so trying to reflect every detail in a characters appearance or place in the game world could be difficult. If there is a way to customize how the character reacts to themself and their own actions it could do something to give that person character. If the player gives their character a heroic trait and finds their new character gets morally devastated every time he is forced to go around killing innocents it could do something.

I suppose it could be likened to those survival game where realism is added by having the character need to eat, drink and sleep, except in this case they need to perform actions that reflect their morality and/or worldview.

#11 onfu   Members   -  Reputation: 311

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 02:49 PM

I don't really recommend the idea, because evil is something far too complicated to accommodate in multiple choice dialogue options. games today are only really capable of letting choose to be normal, or inexplicably psychotic.

if you try your hand at this though, what I would do is write a good story with good protagonist. don't worry initially about goodness, just write a really good story. then, with that done (at least a simple draft), rework the story in the way it would unfold if your protagonist was abhorantly selfish/greedy/power hungry. don't worry too much about the why . as has been said, people can fill in their own blanks.

what you need to establish first and foremost is an actual good present-tense (in other words - the current in-game events) story.

#12 ManuelMarino   Members   -  Reputation: 153

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 12:09 PM

The problem of good and evil is an old story... I remember Ultima series and the famous "cards" chosen at the gypsy... I think that some questions at the beginning of the game plus some random elements are the best way to begin the game with some chosen path.

If you have a bastard soul, it's difficult you'll change during the game, except if you want to trick and anyway it would not be a role play anymore.
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