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GAMERS POLL - Main Character's Death

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Ok, gotta quick poll I need you all to answer for me. If you were playing an RPG, and suddenly the story took a turn for the worse. Your chacter is faced with a life or death situation. For the sake of clarity, the story is linear and the only way to beat the game is for your character to sacrifice him/herself for the planet, world, cause he/she is fighting for, WOULD YOU STILL PLAY? Please answer the poll without flaming and without inputting too much more than your own 2 cents. question: Would you continue playing a game if you found out that the only way to save the world and beat the game was for your character to sacrifice their life? Neo-Toshi Software

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You bet. Anyone ever play Chrono Trigger? The main character dies in that, although he can be brought back later. But who knows that when they first play the game?


"If people are good only because they fear punishment and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed." - Albert Einstein

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Absolutely. I love non-predictability in games, where people need to make different decisions than normal.

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Planescape Torment. My fav. way to finish the game was by committing harakiri.

Then again, the entire *purpose* of the game was to die... ^_^

-Maarten Leeuwrik


Follower of the NLS
(New Lounge Standards)

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What''re you asking? If someone will stop playing a game once it''s done? Obviously the player is going to stop playing when the game is over and the story shows that the main character has died. What does this have to do with his liking how the game ends though?
Sorry, I guess I don''t understand.

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no, if you find out along the course of the story that the only way to save the world is by giving up your life. that is all

Neo-Toshi Software

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You mean, would my desire to keep my character alive outweigh my desire to save the virtual world (therefore causing me to not kill myself and stop progressing through the game)?

I dunno. I guess it would depend on the emotional attachment I make to the world - which would be affected by how detailed / involved it was. In other words, if it were worth saving. A badly rendered, static, uncolonised and uncharacterised environment is a lot harder to feel guilty about.

Or, if I were to die in a really cool way - like, skydiving into an erupting volcano (to appease the volcano god, of course), or like near the end of the film Tron (I know he doesn''t actually die, but you get the idea).

Superpig
- saving pigs from untimely fates
- sleeps in a ham-mock at www.thebinaryrefinery.cjb.net

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I look at this on a more practical level.

I''d probably be annoyed at the plot direction.
But I''d keep playing cos I bought the game.

If I got the game for free, I might abandon it if the event happened early on. Otherwise, I''d probably stick it out to see how it finished.

[ MSVC Fixes | STL | SDL | Game AI | Sockets | C++ Faq Lite | Boost | Asking Questions ]

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Kylotan, you are the only one so far that has hit the mark on what I was afraid of. But, Kylotan and whoever might also want to say something along those lines, what if it happened towards the end, on the verge of the story''s climax?

I think, as long as the emotional connection between the player is strong enough, it will be wonderous in its effects, but will it make other people shy away, or not want to finish? Even if it happens towards the very end?

Neo-Toshi Software

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Guest Anonymous Poster
You mean something like Bruce Willis did in "Armageddon"? I''d say: If your virtual world is worth living in, it sure is worth dying for.
That reminds me of the final battle in LoTR: Return of the King:
They have little, if any hope that a single man survives, let alone that they win. But they hope to fool Sauron, who longs for the One Ring, unable to guess the true mission of the Fellowship.

That makes me thinking about a new mission type for almost ever computer game genre:
"Soldier, I don''t expect you to win that one. I don''t even ecpect you to survive. I just ecpect you to survive long enough that [fill in big picture here]."
"SIR, YES, SIR!"

That''s why I almost never give up a StarCraft game: Sure, they''ll get a cheap win ''cause I''m a lousy player, but hell, only death is for free, and it costs life !


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Sometimes, I would be happy! =D Especially if the main character is really cheesy, I go "YESSS! FINALLY" =D I know, I''m weird. But yeah I''d play that game if there was sacrifice to save the world. Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain (1) has an ending like that.

-=Lohrno

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Generally speaking, I''ve got no problem with it. Of course, that''s also under the assumption I see something else worth fighting for in the game. Although she wasn''t the main character, it was hard to play after the first disc of FFVII ''cause Aeris was the only character I didn''t hate. As long as the world is appealing, as well as the characters, I''m all for it. As previously mentioned, Chrono Trigger did this incredibly well.

-Arek the Absolute

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As long as you''ve done good enough story/character development that the player will want to sacrifice themselves. But, if it''s not done well it''ll tick people off because they will have struggled to get through the game only to have to give up in the end.

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extremely true. THe world will be complex, of course, but the story and the characters motivation is what I am putting a lot of emphasis on.

I like the reference to Lord of the Rings. Tee outcome to that book, has got to be one of the most memorable parts of my literature reading career. Not until the very end do you realize what has happend. THAT is what I want to do with my game.



Neo-Toshi Software

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quote:
Original post by Ferinorius
I like the reference to Lord of the Rings. Tee outcome to that book, has got to be one of the most memorable parts of my literature reading career. Not until the very end do you realize what has happend. THAT is what I want to do with my game.


Wait, what?

/me rereads the book

I still don''t... wait...

Oh, my god...

Superpig
- saving pigs from untimely fates
- sleeps in a ham-mock at www.thebinaryrefinery.cjb.net

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Guest Anonymous Poster
It think this is a really silly question.

When the game ends you cannot play anymore. It doesn''t matter if the player dies at the end or not because either way they have to stop playing.

I wouldn''t really see it as a big deal as an ending. I would just think "ok, I''ve got to jump into the lava to win" or something and would just see it as part of the game.

I think a more interesting situation would be to get the player to really like and get to know a NPC and then make them have to kill him/her/it to win.

I never played it, but the old text adventure Planetfall made you do this win with a little robot friend that followed you around all the time. You had to send him into a reactor to do something but you knew he would die when he did.

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Just for clarification, do you mean the main character dies at the end of the game? I took you to mean that at some point midway through the game the main character dies. Like in Chrono Trigger, or something. I tend to agree that it doesn''t really matter as much (as far as playing the game goes) if the main character dies in the ending. The question, as I took it to mean, is that there''s still a significant amount of gameplay after the main character dies. Am I taking that right?

-Arek the Absolute

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To me this is where a game can make itself or break itself. I myself are in favor of games with multiple endings,(like A LOT not just 3 or 4). Star Ocean The Second Story had 81 total configurations of the ending based on how you interact characters with each other and i think thats cool. But itd be even greater to where some character will die and youll end up getting a new person that was related to that person or a friend and make the story turn a whole different way making the story very dynamic and less linear.

But thats just my 2 cents...

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to win the game you must sacrifice yourself for the world.

you do not know this though. or maybe you have a hint of what you must do , but not until the final battle has begun. it is something that you must figure out.

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the really astute players may figure out that the end of the game means the death of the character. We are primarrily asking, "Would it suck if the main character dies? "

Neo-Toshi Software

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Well, if your asking if anybody would play a tragedy, well, yes. FF7 has a tragic scene, FF5, chrono trigger too. But, I think what you should rather be focusing on is how dramatic the scene could be.

--- SPOILER AHEAD, ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO ENTER HERE! ---
Seriously, don''t read it and that whine about it.


In Wild Arms 2, end of the first CD, the main character Ashley gets trapped in the Heimdal Gazzo and as a last effort destroys it to save Filgaia. His last words are something about telling a magic rock to tell his girlfriend that he wont make it back for dinner and then this FMV plays showing the wreckage of the ship in space above the planet and then it focuses in on his body. Some cool music plays during this scene and then the CD ends.

Its a very great scene, dramatic, a great turnover point for the story. So, rather than wondering this, you should be writing up exactly how this character dies, how it affects the rest of the game, and so on.

As a matter of gameplay, since this is a gameplay design forum, be fair to the player, let them keep all of the items he accumulated through the game, and maybe treat them by having another character pick up some of that characters eccentricites and continue on with a sence of justice motivating them.

-> Will Bubel
-> Machine wash cold, tumble dry.

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That depends on two very important factors.
Did I create this character, and does the game end with their death.

If the game ends with the character dying, then it''s ok.
If I didn''t make this character (ie: a FF type game) then it''s ok.

On the other hand, We can look at the situation I''d hate. This is where I painstakingly created the character at level one by slecting the best stats and skills for them and looked through every visual and audio selection until I found the ones that best expressed who my character is. I''d be upset. But if the game ended with my death, it''d be a good sort of upset (though I''d be a little peeved that I didn''t have the option to not sacrifice myself). If I died, and I had to continue playing the game, minus my main character, I''d play for a bit, but generally be pissed. If I didn''t get to go around avenging my death on those responsible and generally being wrathful, and if the game didn''t seem to say that I''d get my character back via time travel or something close, then I''d ditch the game and never look back.

Hope that helps.

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not exactly what I am thinking, but another great idea for another game. Ill have to start something in another thread about that one, or you can, ThoughtBubble.

[b[]off-topic If you character coems back to life, or appears as a ghost with your same power and stats but with different abilities because he is a ghost? oh well




Neo-Toshi Software

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The key assumption that a lot of people have been making is that death of main character == end of game.

So, coming back as a ghost, or perhaps playing through a ''hell'' level trying to bring your soul back to the land of the living, or something - or maybe even trying to assist your friends as they try a spell to bring you back to life, a la BtVS...

Superpig
- saving pigs from untimely fates
- sleeps in a ham-mock at www.thebinaryrefinery.cjb.net

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