Advertisement Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
jsj795

Multiple starts for RPG

This topic is 1880 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

What do you guys think of different starting points for a single-player RPG? The different starting points will be based on the decisions you've made within the first 5~10 minutes of the game.

 

I would say very similar to how pokemon lets you choose your starting pokemon and that decision is basically irreversible since you can't get the other two starting pokemons (unless you decide to trade or use cheats). However for my case it would affect your storyline a lot more since your starting country will be completely different. Also, the players who are playing the game for the first time won't know the consequences of the decisions they're making. I think the closest example of this would be "The Walking Dead", where each decision you make affect your storyline later on.

 

My questions are:

1. How early is too early for your decisions to actually affect your storyline?

2. Would this make you as a player frustrated that the consequences of your decisions aren't so apparent?

3. Would this make you want to replay the game to see the alternate storyline you could've taken? (especially if each playthrough is only about 10~15 hours)

 

If any part of this post is unclear, I will try to explain it better. English is not my first language so bear with me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement


1. How early is too early for your decisions to actually affect your storyline?

Ultima asks you a number of questions, and this determines your class and starting location. There's hardly more than a minute involved before these choices are 'locked in', and its very interesting.

This was also neat in that, players that let you choose your class have to deal with your assumptions of what you think a class should feel like. In Ultima, the questions ultimately taylor the game experience to your actual personality.

 

 


2. Would this make you as a player frustrated that the consequences of your decisions aren't so apparent?

Yes

 


3. Would this make you want to replay the game to see the alternate storyline you could've taken? (especially if each playthrough is only about 10~15 hours)

I did, in Ultima :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What do you guys think of different starting points for a single-player RPG? The different starting points will be based on the decisions you've made within the first 5~10 minutes of the game.

 

I would say very similar to how pokemon lets you choose your starting pokemon and that decision is basically irreversible since you can't get the other two starting pokemons (unless you decide to trade or use cheats). However for my case it would affect your storyline a lot more since your starting country will be completely different. Also, the players who are playing the game for the first time won't know the consequences of the decisions they're making. I think the closest example of this would be "The Walking Dead", where each decision you make affect your storyline later on.

 

My questions are:

1. How early is too early for your decisions to actually affect your storyline?

2. Would this make you as a player frustrated that the consequences of your decisions aren't so apparent?

3. Would this make you want to replay the game to see the alternate storyline you could've taken? (especially if each playthrough is only about 10~15 hours)

 

If any part of this post is unclear, I will try to explain it better. English is not my first language so bear with me.

 

 

1) I'm personally a fan of character creation affecting the story line. I'm also a fan of character creation happening before the game truly starts. To get a perfect example of what I'm trying to convey, if you have Skyrim, give Quickstart and Character Creation Overhaul a look at; they work together quite well in representing what I feel is a 'solid' game-start.

 

2) As a player, I don't mind if I don't get to see every consequence of every action I do on the first run through. It gives incentive to explore alternate options on subsequent playthroughs. For example, if you kill the 'tour guide' at the start of the game, does it do anything later? In some games, the family sends assassins after you. In some games, they don't. Whatever happens, the consequences should make sense - the player should be able to find out what actions are triggered by him, and which are just randomly generated, if he's paying attention.

 

3) Heck yes - exploring options is great game candy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. How early is too early for your decisions to actually affect your storyline?


If I don't yet have the information I need to inform my decision, it's too early.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

1. How early is too early for your decisions to actually affect your storyline?


If I don't yet have the information I need to inform my decision, it's too early.

 

Agreed, unless you aren't supposed to have the information.

 

You should never have to choose between two pieces of equipment, one with +5 to Yellow and one to +3 to Blue until you know what Yellow and Blue do, and have played with Yellow and Blue enough to actually be able to understand the pros and cons of your choice.

 

On the other hand, it's fine to make a choice between sending your ally Bob in alone through the front door of the Evil Wizard's castle as a distraction while you sneak in the back, or Bob and you sneaking in the back together. You don't know what the results of your choice will be, but you wouldn't know it in real life either, and there is anticipation and anxiety in seeing the results. Making the decision with a lack of full information is part of the challenge and gameplay there.

 

There needs to be enough information to actually make some educated guesses, though, even if those guesses are proved wrong.

"Okay, Bob is a sneaky thief, so he could slip in silently... but he's going in through the front door, which is probably heavily guarded. The Evil Wizard might catch him and use him as a hostage against me... but Bob is a really good thief, so maybe he'll get in unnoticed and attack the Evil Wizard from behind when I'm battling the wizard."

 

But if the choice is between three identically-looking chests, there's no information there, therefore I'd just be guessing (instead of "deciding" based off of a known lack of info), so regardless of the outcome, if I choose the wrong and empty chest, losing a potential item, I'd feel ripped off... because the game could've changed what chest had the item in it to force me to choose the wrong one... it could've cheated me, and thus I decide subconsciously that it must've cheated me. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the replies.

 


On the other hand, it's fine to make a choice between sending your ally Bob in alone through the front door of the Evil Wizard's castle as a distraction while you sneak in the back, or Bob and you sneaking in the back together. You don't know what the results of your choice will be, but you wouldn't know it in real life either, and there is anticipation and anxiety in seeing the results. Making the decision with a lack of full information is part of the challenge and gameplay there.

 

I think this is the main path that I'm going for. For example, I'm thinking of a story where you and your older brother are attacked by "assassins" and you have a choice to:

1. stand and fight with your brother and risk both dying (in actual gameplay you both will end up getting captured and separated and sold as slaves at city A)

2. run away to safety while your brother is trying to buy time and ultimately dies (in which case you start your game close to your home)

3. you persuade your brother to run away too, so you and your brother to run in separate directions, and the assassins split up, and you luckily get helped by passerby travelers who are able to defeat the assassins because they split up (here you follow the travelers and start your game at city B)

 

The choice affects your character's personality which will change up the dialogues and some of the storyline later in the game to match with the personality. The thing is, the player would not have known these outcomes, at least not on their first playthrough.

 

Are there any good examples out there that does similar thing? I can only think of the games where the choices are more obvious: I choose to start in this city, with this personality (race/class), with this stats.

 


Ultima asks you a number of questions, and this determines your class and starting location. There's hardly more than a minute involved before these choices are 'locked in', and its very interesting.

This was also neat in that, players that let you choose your class have to deal with your assumptions of what you think a class should feel like. In Ultima, the questions ultimately taylor the game experience to your actual personality.

 

I really like this system, and I will definitely look more into it. Thanks for the info!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm thinking of a story where you and your older brother are attacked by "assassins" and you have a choice to:

1. stand and fight with your brother and risk both dying (in actual gameplay you both will end up getting captured and separated and sold as slaves at city A)

2. run away to safety while your brother is trying to buy time and ultimately dies (in which case you start your game close to your home)

3. you persuade your brother to run away too, so you and your brother to run in separate directions, and the assassins split up, and you luckily get helped by passerby travelers who are able to defeat the assassins because they split up (here you follow the travelers and start your game at city B)

 

The choice affects your character's personality which will change up the dialogues and some of the storyline later in the game to match with the personality. The thing is, the player would not have known these outcomes, at least not on their first playthrough.

 

Are there any good examples out there that does similar thing? I can only think of the games where the choices are more obvious: I choose to start in this city, with this personality (race/class), with this stats.

 

The ten-year old KOTOR games sorta had stuff like that. The newer Dragon Age and Mass Effect games (same company as KOTOR) might've refined and polished that more - I haven't played those two franchises, though.

 

Usually it's not such an extreme result: It takes alot of work to make a game, and games are very expensive, so have such extreme splits basically require you to make almost two seperate games worth of content. Usually, games try to give real choices with real, but small, results, or fake choices with the illusion of real results. E.g. your choices seem to cause major split paths, but really both paths end up meeting again fairly shortly and continue on the only existing path. This is much less satisfying than real enduring changes, but unless you can churn out huge amounts of content with real multi-branching plots that stay interesting, it's almost impossible to do.

 

You should watch: The Illusion of Choice (Extra Credits)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Usually it's not such an extreme result: It takes alot of work to make a game, and games are very expensive, so have such extreme splits basically require you to make almost two seperate games worth of content. Usually, games try to give real choices with real, but small, results, or fake choices with the illusion of real results. E.g. your choices seem to cause major split paths, but really both paths end up meeting again fairly shortly and continue on the only existing path. This is much less satisfying than real enduring changes, but unless you can churn out huge amounts of content with real multi-branching plots that stay interesting, it's almost impossible to do.

 

Yes, I know there are a lot of games that do this. What I was thinking though, is that instead of making one playthrough 30 hours long, break each playthrough into ~10 hours long and have actual multiple different storylines. I feel like this would reinforce the replayability and combined with multiple classes and customizable skillsets and good endgame contents (such as pvp/coop multiplayer) would make the game feel like it has a lot of contents to offer even though the playthrough would be pretty short.

 


You should watch: The Illusion of Choice (Extra Credits)

 

I've already watched it :) I've managed to watch about half of all their episodes, and working my way to finish all of them. They make really great videos.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

GameDev.net is your game development community. Create an account for your GameDev Portfolio and participate in the largest developer community in the games industry.

Sign me up!