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[Problem] The game is being 'fed' to the player


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#1 Mifelos-XXI   Members   -  Reputation: 138

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 06:33 AM

Midway through the creation of our text-based game script, we began to realize that the story is being fed to the player, this means that the game-play is really linear - only one direction for everything, the story-line is just like a movie, the player doesn't really do anything in the game except walk around a bit and pick-up stuff to finish the game.

How can we avoid making the game like this? are there any tips to help us?
I do realize that when talking about text-based game there really isn't much to do, but we just feel that the game will be dull and boring if we keep doing it like this.
So again I ask, are there any ways we can avoid this? any tips or guidelines to avoid this?



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#2 Sporniket   Members   -  Reputation: 346

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 06:43 AM

I think that you must consider some key event in your story, that propose pivotal choices to the player.

 

The choice made by the player drastically change the outcome of the story.

 

Basically, your linear story (for now) is just your prefered path of the game, but what if ... ?


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#3 Woland   Members   -  Reputation: 372

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 06:46 AM

The only thing you can do, if text is the only way to communicate with the player, is think of alternative storylines and where can they interconnect. Look for ways they can be triggered and what the choices/triggers will do to the storyline.

 

Heavy Rain tried to do something like that and I think that - despite its many flaws - it's still a good reference. Check out how they lead the storyline based on not only player's choices, but also actions and performance.

 

In the meantime, look out for the thing Heavy Rain failed at - try not to use elements of the story that don't work with all your storylines. You don't want the player to reach the end and think "ok, but what happened to the kid I saved in chapter 3 and I was supposed to meet, but then got in jail?" or even worse  - "what happened to some hints or  characteristics that were clearly relevant, but then seem to be forgotten?"


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#4 Mifelos-XXI   Members   -  Reputation: 138

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 06:50 AM

I think that you must consider some key event in your story, that propose pivotal choices to the player.

 

The choice made by the player drastically change the outcome of the story.

 

Basically, your linear story (for now) is just your prefered path of the game, but what if ... ?

 

 

Ok, I will try and apply that to my story, thank you.

 

The only thing you can do, if text is the only way to communicate with the player, is think of alternative storylines and where can they interconnect. Look for ways they can be triggered and what the choices/triggers will do to the storyline.

 

Heavy Rain tried to do something like that and I think that - despite its many flaws - it's still a good reference. Check out how they lead the storyline based on not only player's choices, but also actions and performance.

 

In the meantime, look out for the thing Heavy Rain failed at - try not to use elements of the story that don't work with all your storylines. You don't want the player to reach the end and think "ok, but what happened to the kid I saved in chapter 3 and I was supposed to meet, but then got in jail?" or even worse  - "what happened to some hints or  characteristics that were clearly relevant, but then seem to be forgotten?"

 

I have seen game-play of heavy-rain and I think I can understand what you mean, thank you. 



#5 PyroDragn   Members   -  Reputation: 404

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 07:02 AM

As Sporniket said above, one possibility is to have multiple outcomes - ie, the choices of the player affect the outcome.

 

This would increase the workload quite a bit in determining plot. Multiple outcomes/choices means multiple paths and more writing. This does also have the benefit of increasing replayability however, since the player can play again and make a different choice.

 

Alternative to this is to consider multiple paths to the same outcome. This would mean less writing in terms of storyline, but still a greater portrayed freedom to the player. As a very basic example; In order to progress the player needs to cross a river, get through a locked door, and past a troll. He has a rope, a golden key, and an axe.

 

1. He uses the rope to cross the river, unlocks the door with the key, kills the troll with the axe

2. He uses the rope to cross the river, smashes his way through the door with the axe, bribes his way past the troll with the key

3. He fells a tree across the river with the axe, unlocks the door with the key, sets up a snare to trap the troll with the rope

4. He fells a tree across the river, ties the rope to the door - and a boulder - then pushes the boulder off a cliff to yank the door open, he bribes his way past the troll with the golden key.

5. He uses the key to pay for a ferry to take him across the river, smashes his way through the door with the axe, sets up a snare to trap the troll with the rope

6. He uses the key to pay for a ferry to take him across the river, ties the rope to the door - and a boulder - then pushes the boulder off a cliff to yank the door open, kills the troll with the axe.

 

This shows the same three items, in the same three scenes, used in a multitude of options. The key to not feeding the player the story is to allow the player the essence of choice, even if those choices prove essentially meaningless. If the player has a choice between climbing a wall, or going through a gate, then it seems better to the player even if they both (eventually) lead to the same point inside the castle.



#6 Mifelos-XXI   Members   -  Reputation: 138

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 07:08 AM

As Sporniket said above, one possibility is to have multiple outcomes - ie, the choices of the player affect the outcome.

 

This would increase the workload quite a bit in determining plot. Multiple outcomes/choices means multiple paths and more writing. This does also have the benefit of increasing replayability however, since the player can play again and make a different choice.

 

Alternative to this is to consider multiple paths to the same outcome. This would mean less writing in terms of storyline, but still a greater portrayed freedom to the player. As a very basic example; In order to progress the player needs to cross a river, get through a locked door, and past a troll. He has a rope, a golden key, and an axe.

 

1. He uses the rope to cross the river, unlocks the door with the key, kills the troll with the axe

2. He uses the rope to cross the river, smashes his way through the door with the axe, bribes his way past the troll with the key

3. He fells a tree across the river with the axe, unlocks the door with the key, sets up a snare to trap the troll with the rope

4. He fells a tree across the river, ties the rope to the door - and a boulder - then pushes the boulder off a cliff to yank the door open, he bribes his way past the troll with the golden key.

5. He uses the key to pay for a ferry to take him across the river, smashes his way through the door with the axe, sets up a snare to trap the troll with the rope

6. He uses the key to pay for a ferry to take him across the river, ties the rope to the door - and a boulder - then pushes the boulder off a cliff to yank the door open, kills the troll with the axe.

 

This shows the same three items, in the same three scenes, used in a multitude of options. The key to not feeding the player the story is to allow the player the essence of choice, even if those choices prove essentially meaningless. If the player has a choice between climbing a wall, or going through a gate, then it seems better to the player even if they both (eventually) lead to the same point inside the castle.

 

Ok, i think your way is a bit better, since it will reduce the workload.



#7 menyo   Members   -  Reputation: 494

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:02 PM

Randomize more. Not sure how you fight monsters but randomize as much as possible like the dice rolls in D&D. Think about randomizing opponents health, attack power, etc with certain constraints, it will take some time tweaking so the player does not end up with a invincable enemy. Also make the equipment that drops or can be found semi random. Put a item level or area level to the item and let it be possible to drop in certain area's or once a player reached a certain level. This is how Diablo does it, they have 100's of suffixes and prefixes and those get better when the item and area level increases. This way you have a unlimited supply of gear and makes it fun for the player to hunt for gear and see what works better for there character.


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