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Paul Cunningham

Dynamic Sequals

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"What if" the end of the first game in a line of sequal actually effected the story line of the second game. The end of the first game could have 4 different endings neither of them being bad but just different. The player is told to save this and keep it for the next game. The next game get installed over the first one so it can find the required files. I love Game Design and it loves me back. Our Goal is "Fun"!

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To an extent, in some old RPGs this was possible - the second version would allow you to import characters from the first. Having influence through sequel is very interesting, but brings up the following issues:
1. Is the sequel stand-alone as well?
If it is, you can also start the game with a completely fresh character, for which the previous history is either undefined, or predefined, or you get to choose from the options that are available.
Also, you need to carry over all important data, or simply a single integer that says "which starting condition do we need?".

If it isn''t, it''s just an expansion pack, really. It might make things very interesting, where getting the expansion might mean different things for different people.


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I''ve already designed two games, the second using the first player ending and saved games as input for the beginning of the second.

There''s not major porblem with that.
Players who didn''t play the first will play it as a standalone game and have a set past, while players of the first opus will have the major advantage of continuing their journey in their own ''original'' world

The first game as some different endings, but no makor differences between them.
(you win , but depending on how you did that some characters might have been killed or not)

Dead characters will be replaced with new ones.

None of both game have been programmed sofar, and only interactions from the first to the second are designed for the second (but the story is written and it''ll use about the same game design as the first).



-* So many things to do, so little time to spend. *-

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I think that would be a cool way of extending replay ability. Except wouldn''t it be a pain of making the different endings all go with the same story? I mean, if you finished one ending in both games, would you have to finish the other ones to fill in any missing gaps? Do you know what I mean? I can''t really explain it...

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quote:
Original post by Gaiiden

I think that would be a cool way of extending replay ability. Except wouldn''t it be a pain of making the different endings all go with the same story? I mean, if you finished one ending in both games, would you have to finish the other ones to fill in any missing gaps? Do you know what I mean? I can''t really explain it...


I''m pretty sure i know what you mean but a lot of it would depend on how its structured. If the ending had (lets say) 4 specific details then these 4 details would be the only ones that vary. So the player could guess all of the various combinations of these 4 details. Eg Detail#1: hero solved quest "a" first Detail#2 hero solved quest "b" second.. and so on. So you could have 16 different combination endings none of which are a bad combination. This combination is taken to the second game where the game world is set up appropriately.



I love Game Design and it loves me back.

Our Goal is "Fun"!

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I believe Wizardry was written that way. It''s a pretty cool idea but it has same issues any other non-linear story design. There is a Gamasutra article that talks about it.

Here''s is a similar idea: instead of different endings use karma-like stats that accumulate throughout the game (sort of like Fallout). When the character in imported into a sequel use karma to modify starting conditions and storyline slightly. Say, if you did a lot of stealing in first game then second game begins with you being a member of the Thief''s guild and/or a wanted criminal. Or if you''ve solved a side-quest in first game and saved a maiden from a dragon then in second game she turns out to be innkeeper''s daughter and you get free beer for life (one can dream ).

What do you guys think?

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I have to say that it''s how I manage the whole thing.
Using subquests results to find out what have changed in the world, and add an ally, ennemy or nothing

I understand that a player could want to see all endings, but they aren''t much different from one to another, so it''s maybe not worth it...
Maybe making the first endings available at the end of the second game will make the player happy ?

I don''t think you can do many games that are following each other, not because of the difficulty to write many good stories but rather the dificulty to use previous games actions to change current storyline, this may alter the game too much for the GD or not enough for the player...


-* So many things to do, so little time to spend. *-

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quote:
Original post by Ingenu

I have to say that it's how I manage the whole thing.
Using subquests results to find out what have changed in the world, and add an ally, ennemy or nothing

I understand that a player could want to see all endings, but they aren't much different from one to another, so it's maybe not worth it...


The different endings could be so trivial that the player wouldn't worry so much. I know that a game would have to be extremely complex to make me replay it (speaking personally). This is the advantage on non-lineararity. But if the player knew the different endings and they played the game to get the ending they wanted then would create more satisfaction for the player i think.
quote:

Maybe making the first endings available at the end of the second game will make the player happy ?


You're giving me some very interesting thoughts. Thanks
quote:
By Valdg
Here's is a similar idea: instead of different endings use karma-like stats that accumulate throughout the game (sort of like Fallout). When the character in imported into a sequel use karma to modify starting conditions and storyline slightly.


It didn't occur to me to look for different ways to continue the story like this. You've got me thinking now, what other ways can there be. If a character was a blank sheet in the first game and ended the game as a character configured by the way the player played then the second game could be configure around the character saved at the end of the first game. This would be extremely dynamic. I like it



I love Game Design and it loves me back.

Our Goal is "Fun"!

Edited by - Paul Cunningham on August 31, 2000 5:16:29 AM

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But what if the sequel never comes?
Wouldn't that be a dissapointment for the player?

I think this must be done only when a sequel is already prepared.

The best way is to program your second game to import the previous saves.
I mean there shouldn't be any coding in advance in the first game.The code must be in the sequel only.
Just in case...

Voodoo4


Edited by - Voodoo4 on August 31, 2000 3:48:13 PM

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so are we coming back to the discussion about episodic games ?(RPG precisely)


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