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jwoff25

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  1. For anyone interested, here's the link to our IndieGoGo Project:   http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/project-domini/x/3134891
  2. I've been quite busy these days and have not been able to respond to every response but I'd like to think everyone for posting and offering their two cents on this.  We are taking all your opinions and ideas into consideration.  Thanks to you guys we were able to build up more confidence to take on this challenge.  If you are interested in this project, please support us when we upload our website sometime this month at projectdomini.com.  Also we are attempting to set up a kickstarter page.  Donations are not necessary, but it would be great if you can spread the word if you like our ideas.   Again, THANK YOU SO MUCH for all the responses:)
  3.   It depends on what you actually call the 'Game'.   Let's take Starcraft 2 as an example. The 'Game' is an archetypal RTS with resource mining, army building etc. The 'Story' is the single player campaign, which is essentially a string of 'Games' with a bit of extra scripting, with a bit of exposition in the form of cutscenes holding it altogether. There are also some minor interactive components here, like the ability to choose which map to do next, or which research upgrades to buy or whatever, but nothing that really makes any difference to anything.    Playing through this kind of 'Story' is a bit like watching a short and slightly disjointed movie which pauses every so often and requires you to win a game to continue. If you're lucky, some chapters of the story you can choose to watch in a different order. Or to look at it another way, it's like playing a sequence of scripted single player maps, except between each one you have to sit through a bunch of cut scenes.    The success of this formula depends on a lot of factors. The 'Story' will have to make some concessions to justify the sequence of games within it, and to avoid annoying the player with over long cut scenes and exposition. These concessions can render the narrative irrelevant. The 'Game' will have to make some concessions (usually via the scripting) to the story, often in the form of scripted events, limitations, and special victory conditions. These concessions can sometimes lead to some really enjoyable scenarios. However, they can also utterly destroy the gameplay, paring the options back to such a degree that you're just clicking your way through a linear script.    In short, I don't think this is a particularly great way to incorporate story into games. It often suffers from exactly the problem I originally spoke about, where both the story and the gameplay can suffer as a result of their combination. For me, this model only works if the gameplay remains intact - as a general rule, if the gameplay is there, I couldn't care less if the story is rubbish, so long as it's skippable. Sacrificing gameplay for story on the other hand, is a big no-no.       This sounds like the right direction for story in games, in my opinion. Instead of imposing your (the designer's) story on everyone, you create a framework for the player to develop their own narrative as they follow their own path through the game. Each playthrough tells a slightly different story.    I think you made a LOT of good points in this one post.  I shared this response with my team.  I'm glad you like the way we're going with our game.  We're trying to set up a kickstarter page next week, maybe if you're interested you can check it out and see exactly what we're trying to do (no need to donate though).   Thanks so much for the insightful response:)
  4. It depends. To me, the idea of a 'story based game' is a bit of an oxymoron. A game may have a background story that provides some context and theme for a game, but if you try to shoehorn a linear concept such as a pre-written story into medium which is fundamentally non-linear, something is going to suffer. Sometimes it's the story - the author is forced to try and think of every eventuality, and/or accept the fact that sometimes things will happen that don't make a whole lot of sense. In either case, the effort involved in writing the story balloons as you try and cover all the possible branches, often with the result that overall quality suffers. Sometimes it's the game. In order to retain the sense of the story, the player is forced onto rails, with limited choice. The player can't even fail - there's no 'win' or 'lose', its more 'finish the story' or 'don't finish the story', usually with boredom or frustration being the cause of the latter. Or perhaps the game is interspersed with an excess of non-game fluffery, long text sequences or cutscenes with no TL:DR option. And once I've sat through the whole thing, what motivation is there to play it again? Often, it's both, to some degree. On the other hand, all games have a story - the meta-story the player experiences during his own path through the game. This to me is a far more dynamic and interesting area to explore than a fixed, handwritten plot. If you can establish engaging lore and backstory, and provide the players with the gameplay tools to do so, they will tell their own stories. And those stories will be unique for every player, on every playthrough. So to answer your question: If you can make an engaging'meta-story' experience, I will definitely play it and enjoy it. Otherwise, I might have a quick play of your story based campaign, but the chances are, unless you can avoid committing any of the Strategy Game Story Deadly Sins, I probably won't finish it, and head off to multiplayer/skirmish instead.   I think you are right so far as you can't really have it both ways - you can't have an interactive story where the player has complete freedom to do whatever, and think you can have a cohesive, unified, engaging narrative. But I think you are wrong when you say that games are fundamentally non-linear. Most games have one beginning, one ending/conclusion and progress in a linear fashion from the beginning to the end (with bubbles of freedom of action along the way).   I believe the reason story and games don't seem to mix well is because of 1. bad writing (such as too much exposition, back-story and red herrings), 2. trying to incorporate branching story-lines and multiple endings (mass effect 3 anyone?), 3. story is an after-thought slapped upon the game-play. I'm going to have to disagree.  I think you can have both an engaging narrative and a non-linear gameplay.  Basically, by throwing out bits of lore and story around in the game world, the player can put the pieces of the puzzle together.  Every action will have consequences, and will have an impact on the story.  By no means will the story be simple; it will be complicated at some points, but that's why it can be so intriguing.     But thanks a lot for your opinion:) Constructive criticism really helps get the brain moving, so it's greatly appreciated.   An example of this would be Dark Souls, a lacking narrative on the surface, but full of in-depth lore and side knowledge if you actually play the game. To the max. I spent too much time on that game.   And story's and games DO mix well, it's just quite a lot of time people are viewing it as two separate entity's when, in fact, they are actually one. I've wasted SO MUCH of my time on that game.  But it's so addicting...must...keep...playing.  Though I view story and games as 2 different entities, I think they go hand in hand.   Thanks for the response:)
  5.   Both are made by Intelligent Systems. Advance Wars is a bit less RPG strategy and more just a strategy game, but you do get a story along the way. Just checked it out.  Though it's not exactly what we were going for, we believe that it would be good inspiration for our combat system.   Thanks again for the response:)
  6. Fire Emblem.  Yes.  Advance Wars?  Not so sure.  Will check it out.   Thanks for the response:)
  7. It depends. To me, the idea of a 'story based game' is a bit of an oxymoron. A game may have a background story that provides some context and theme for a game, but if you try to shoehorn a linear concept such as a pre-written story into medium which is fundamentally non-linear, something is going to suffer. Sometimes it's the story - the author is forced to try and think of every eventuality, and/or accept the fact that sometimes things will happen that don't make a whole lot of sense. In either case, the effort involved in writing the story balloons as you try and cover all the possible branches, often with the result that overall quality suffers. Sometimes it's the game. In order to retain the sense of the story, the player is forced onto rails, with limited choice. The player can't even fail - there's no 'win' or 'lose', its more 'finish the story' or 'don't finish the story', usually with boredom or frustration being the cause of the latter. Or perhaps the game is interspersed with an excess of non-game fluffery, long text sequences or cutscenes with no TL:DR option. And once I've sat through the whole thing, what motivation is there to play it again? Often, it's both, to some degree. On the other hand, all games have a story - the meta-story the player experiences during his own path through the game. This to me is a far more dynamic and interesting area to explore than a fixed, handwritten plot. If you can establish engaging lore and backstory, and provide the players with the gameplay tools to do so, they will tell their own stories. And those stories will be unique for every player, on every playthrough. So to answer your question: If you can make an engaging'meta-story' experience, I will definitely play it and enjoy it. Otherwise, I might have a quick play of your story based campaign, but the chances are, unless you can avoid committing any of the Strategy Game Story Deadly Sins, I probably won't finish it, and head off to multiplayer/skirmish instead.   I think you are right so far as you can't really have it both ways - you can't have an interactive story where the player has complete freedom to do whatever, and think you can have a cohesive, unified, engaging narrative. But I think you are wrong when you say that games are fundamentally non-linear. Most games have one beginning, one ending/conclusion and progress in a linear fashion from the beginning to the end (with bubbles of freedom of action along the way).   I believe the reason story and games don't seem to mix well is because of 1. bad writing (such as too much exposition, back-story and red herrings), 2. trying to incorporate branching story-lines and multiple endings (mass effect 3 anyone?), 3. story is an after-thought slapped upon the game-play. I'm going to have to disagree.  I think you can have both an engaging narrative and a non-linear gameplay.  Basically, by throwing out bits of lore and story around in the game world, the player can put the pieces of the puzzle together.  Every action will have consequences, and will have an impact on the story.  By no means will the story be simple; it will be complicated at some points, but that's why it can be so intriguing.     But thanks a lot for your opinion:) Constructive criticism really helps get the brain moving, so it's greatly appreciated.
  8.   One of my favorite games "Final Fantasy Tactics" is pretty story-driven, though you don't really affect the story much through choices (besides a few minor things). However, I like the idea of story-driven games in general, although I think there are some caveats. If a game is to be driven by story it needs to feature some good story-telling and writing (too many games make basic story-telling mistakes). Also if you plan on having lots of branching story-lines, freedom of choice etc. I think it becomes harder to create a meaningful narrative - where there are layers of story and things tie together, etc.   I think story-driven games has the potential to be very engaging and I think there are far too few games that feature a strong story that drags you in. I'm a big fan of FF Tactics as well!  Everything you mentioned here is what we're going for; good story telling, branching stories, etc.  Hopefully we can succeed in pulling the audience into the game world.   Thanks for the response:)
  9. No I am not, but it sounds cool.  I'll check it out.   Thanks for the response:)
  10. Fosho.   Thanks for the response:)
  11. This is exactly what we were thinking of doing!  There would be random events going on in the world based on lore and the play can take advantage of these situations.     Thanks for the response:)
  12. True, hopefully we can keep the gameplay entertaining without giving too many players a headache:)  It indeed would be, might I say, kick-ass.   Thanks for the response!
  13. I actually did some research on that game and I think it's perfect as inspiration for our game.  As you said, I doesn't take things very far, which is where my team comes in:)   Thanks for the response!
  14. It depends. To me, the idea of a 'story based game' is a bit of an oxymoron. A game may have a background story that provides some context and theme for a game, but if you try to shoehorn a linear concept such as a pre-written story into medium which is fundamentally non-linear, something is going to suffer. Sometimes it's the story - the author is forced to try and think of every eventuality, and/or accept the fact that sometimes things will happen that don't make a whole lot of sense. In either case, the effort involved in writing the story balloons as you try and cover all the possible branches, often with the result that overall quality suffers. Sometimes it's the game. In order to retain the sense of the story, the player is forced onto rails, with limited choice. The player can't even fail - there's no 'win' or 'lose', its more 'finish the story' or 'don't finish the story', usually with boredom or frustration being the cause of the latter. Or perhaps the game is interspersed with an excess of non-game fluffery, long text sequences or cutscenes with no TL:DR option. And once I've sat through the whole thing, what motivation is there to play it again? Often, it's both, to some degree. On the other hand, all games have a story - the meta-story the player experiences during his own path through the game. This to me is a far more dynamic and interesting area to explore than a fixed, handwritten plot. If you can establish engaging lore and backstory, and provide the players with the gameplay tools to do so, they will tell their own stories. And those stories will be unique for every player, on every playthrough. So to answer your question: If you can make an engaging'meta-story' experience, I will definitely play it and enjoy it. Otherwise, I might have a quick play of your story based campaign, but the chances are, unless you can avoid committing any of the Strategy Game Story Deadly Sins, I probably won't finish it, and head off to multiplayer/skirmish instead. Thanks for your deep insight!   I was thinking of going with a non-linear storyline, where you can go around conquering different cities and through that you trigger different story bits which play major parts in the actual gameplay.  I was thinking of putting a heavy emphasis on human relationships, which can be manipulated for tactical reasons.  And through this the story can be expanded beyond what is given to the player.  
  15. Never heard of that game...will check it out when I have time!   Thanks for the reply:)