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TheKrust

Emotion Promotion!

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Ok, I saw a post earlier that made me think of something.... emotions in video games. First off, I do belive it's possible for players to be "sucked" into the emotional game world if the illusion is pulled off well enough. With that said, I thought about how to arise emotions in games, and using them to drive the player forward. Whether it be for revenge, love, or longing. So, I created a list in my head of the most inspiring emotions and actions when seen on a screen. 1. Being Framed - so I was watching Face-Off last night, and while I thought it was kind of a dumb movie, it did pull my strings a little. Why? Because the good guy was being framed for something he didn't do while the bad guy was laughing in his face (like litteraly in his face :D ). Just think of a movie where this happened and tell me that didn't eat at you a little. 2. Revenge - As with the first one, this could be slightly different circumstances. If a heavy injustice has happened, you must seek revenge of some one or something.Now the challenge is making the PLAYER care about what has happened to the protaganist. 3. Love - I put this at the bottom of the list because I've never seen a game that was able to invoke more than an "awww that's cute"... or projectile vomit. But killing hordes of aliens, demonds, and henchmen just is too much effort for a "that's cute" moment. So with all this, what do you guys think and what are good ways to suck the player into these scenarios. Also, do you agree with the above said, or should it be altered?

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Original post by Iron Chef CarnageThat said, I fly into a murderous rage when Dogmeat dies in Fallout, and many of my friends were genuinely upset about the whole Aeris thing. But the ones who trained Aeris got angrier than the ones who didn't, and it's worth noting that people got upset in FFV when that old guy died, but almost immediately got over their grief when his skills were transferred to the girl who joined your party shortly thereafter.


This is a quote from the thread that I assume you're referring to.

Iron Chef Carnage makes a good point that I had noticed myself, and I think that we can learn a lot from it.

The common threads throughout those examples are Choice and Effort. He chose to use Dogmeat. His friends that either put forth effort leveling Aeris or chose the dialogue options to flirt with her were more upset. People were upset about Galuf's death until they realized that their effort raising his skills wasn't lost.

People grow attached to the things that they work for and the things they that they choose.

To deal with your list inspiring emotions:

1) Being Framed - I consider this a subset of Revenge. It has some subtle differences, but much of the motivation remains the same.

2) Revenge - Creating a sense of loss in a player works well for this emotion. Whether they lose something they worked for or something they chose, they'll want to get it back. I also feel that its important to not try and provoke this emotion too early. Killing Aeris worked because it happened so far into the game. If she had died in Midgar, the majority of people wouldn't have even cared.

3) Love - You have to give the player a choice. But most importantly, you have to give him the choice to not care about something. For example, Galuf's death in FFV is undermined by the fact that you have can't choose not to use him. You never made a commitment to him, so you never really care that much.

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hmmmmm... if my intuition serves me right.. love and loss/revenge could be powerful.

So how's this. In the game I'm designing/programming, the government is highly oppresive and you are, in a way fugitives of the state. The terrain is somewhat forest based 3rd world. Certain parts of the world are highly dangerous to travel alone in.

You have a friend Robbie who you know from the beginning. He (throughout the game) guides you, shows you skills, defends you, and helps you anyway he can. There are also ways I am implementing to make robbie and you have dialouge that isn't essential but gives you "virtural companionship". So by the middle of the game, I think most players will have an attachment to this character and his help and guidence that you recive, in a way you were before-hand dependant on him.

So what if half way through the game, he is captured and excecuted by some government guards. No big fancy excecution, just kneeling down and they shoot him in the head and laugh about it.

After that, you might have to navigate and fight by yourself for a little while and really realise just how much he helped you before.

Would this be a good angle?

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In response to the last post, I think it'd be awesome to have a really difficult side-quest type thing to try to save him, but I don't know how the rest of your story goes, so you can ignore this if that's stupid.

To the original poster:

Make them travel with a character, or let them choose a character to travel with for a long period of time, then have that character leave/die/be captured. I don't like a player being angry because they lose all the time leveling or raising skills, I've quit games because they did that to me. Having a beloved character be captured, and being able to rescue them (especially if it's not mandatory) is a great idea, in my opinion. But an optional rescue ruins the chance that you now hate this group/government because they killed your friend. Maybe if they were tortured, then you could still have the revenge if they were still alive.

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Well, I would say that the option of rescuing him is a good idea except for the fact that that would cancel out a key part of the story (not to mention I would have to write all the game script twice) :(

So, yes, I belive it should be manditory to have him die. I do however belive that you should try and rescue him, but it will be impossible. It would give the appearance of a simple rescue mission and be almost an unexpected death.

Btw, in no way would you loose your experience, skills, or health. You would only loose your best friend and his companionship. You would have to fight more on your own, but you could team up with others later. Also, perhaps with loosing an old friend, you learned a new skill that would help you fight without him (stealth for instance)

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In terms of driving a player forward, fear can be pretty powerful. You want the player to move forward quickly at some part of the game? Chase him down with something that scares the hell out of him, this doesn't have the be in the form of a monster. An unsettling, scary environment can be enough for the player to want to get the hell out of the quickly. This assumes that you manage the scare them.

And the whole motivation of the game could be centered around wanting to get the hell out of a scary town or whatever. In my case though, fear worked the opposite...I couldn't play Silent Hill 2 cause I was too chicken. ;)

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I think the best thing to do is remember that, when the going gets tough, the gamers quit roleplaying. If they start feeling sincere emotions, they'll be feeling them as a guy with a gamepad in their hands, not as a shining paladin of justice and piety. Come at them by challenging their knowledge of gaming conventions, not by writing fan fiction and expecting them to play along.

RE4 has a scene with a long, dark hallway and a treasure chest at the end. No reason for the hallway to be there architecturally; it's clearly a map design gimmick and it screams "trap" in an Admiral Ackbar voice, but the chest might have phat lewt in it, so you load up the shotty and go check it out. About halfway there you hear the unmistakable sound of novistadores, the new invisible ninjabug enemy that was introduced for this level. Sounds like about three of them, coming up behind you. You whirl and aim the boomstick, but the hallway is empty. You gather your (crappy) treasure, walk out of the hallway with your heart pounding and your finger on the "murder" button, get out into the well-lit area of the level, take a deep breath and get jumped by three novistadores. That got an emotional reaction from me.

If you want gamers to get into a story, don't tell it with dialogue and custon animations and swelling background music. Tell it with map design, enemy placement, ammunition starvation and puzzles. If you want them to get attached to the princess, give the princess the ability to freeze zombies for a few seconds, and then give them a choice between going out of their way to defend/rescue her or just going on without her and dealing with the zombies the old-fashioned way.

I, for one am wholly resistant to cutscene drama in video games, even more than in movies. I suspect that I'm not the only one.

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Quote:
Original post by Iron Chef Carnage
I, for one am wholly resistant to cutscene drama in video games, even more than in movies. I suspect that I'm not the only one.


You got that right! Why do you think the first half life was so successful?
I hate game cutscenes.

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Original post by therin
In terms of driving a player forward, fear can be pretty powerful. You want the player to move forward quickly at some part of the game? Chase him down with something that scares the hell out of him, this doesn't have the be in the form of a monster. An unsettling, scary environment can be enough for the player to want to get the hell out of the quickly. This assumes that you manage the scare them.

I can imagine something like that working well on me, but it's probably hard to set it up and time it correctly. Done right, the effect can be pretty great.

I remember playing the HL2 Demo 2nd level (going through an old town with enemies all over and trying to find your way to the exit). I was walking slowly and being very careful, using the gravity gun to pick up a circular saw and be ready to use it. As I was exiting a building, for the first time a monster completely surprised me by coming at me out of nowhere (probably from the above, either way I wasn't expecting it), I got so scared that I dropped the saw and frantically ran back in the building in panic, desparately trying to select a damn shotgun or something, and kept running into corners while the creature(s) were right behind me... It was great. I'm sure something like that can work to push the player forward, if the back-way behind them is cut off or something.

Also, there were quite a few times I fell off the roof-tops when the monsters surprised me with their attacks...

Quote:
You got that right! Why do you think the first half life was so successful?
I hate game cutscenes.

I hate everything else but the cutscenes. They're usually my main motivational force that keeps me playing through to see what happens next. And it's a good way to relax knowing nothing can happen now, from all the stress while going through places and having to defend against the enemies.

I think I'm probably the only one like that lol.

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No, I definitley know what you're saying. It serves as a little break in the action. However, either way I hate loosing control of my character. That's why I'm such a fan of cutscenes that are integrated into the gameplay itslef. The only disadvantage to that is if the player looks away, he might miss something really cool. But then again, that's life isn't it?

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