Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 22, 2014, 10:08:00 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
RPGFan Community Quiz!
Persona 3 FES Quiz is now OVER!
Winner was user: Monsoon!
334652 Posts in 13706 Topics by 2200 Members
Latest Member: Rgeneb1
* Home Help Search Login Register
+  RPGFan Message Boards
|-+  The Rest
| |-+  General Discussions
| | |-+  'Story Choice' in Video Games
« previous next »
Pages: 1 2 [3] Print
Author Topic: 'Story Choice' in Video Games  (Read 6849 times)
Hidoshi
RPGFan's Open Source Field Agent
Posts: 2901


Built This House

Member
*

clothothespinner@hotmail.com BrandingRune
View Profile WWW

Ignore
« Reply #30 on: March 16, 2010, 04:31:54 PM »

I was referring to the main Megaman series. Legends was fine, as was MMX by and large.
Logged
Gen Eric Gui
Posts: 2302


Member
*


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #31 on: March 16, 2010, 04:57:31 PM »

Well, something to note here is that I'm not saying that all games should just focus on a single point and leave it at that.  That can get screwed up as easily as anything else(Although the Atari/NES/Indie scene has proven time and time again that KISS generally holds true).  I'm saying that including irrelevant sidequests and minigames to spruce up your dull game isn't making the game any better.  The post I quoted seemed to be saying "I didn't like FFXIII because it didn't have the useless bells and whistles to distract me from the main game", and I'm very against that kind of design philosophy.  Instead of making a sub-par game and distracting you away from the fact with silly mini-games and useless fluff side areas, they should strive to make a strong core experience and only add side additions that matter.

It's the difference between FF6 where you had expertly blended linear and open-world progression systems, and FF8 where you had the Triple Triad mini-game that was far more engaging and fun then the main quest.
Logged
Alisha
Posts: 2737


Member
*

Z0eila@hotmail.com Z0eila
View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #32 on: March 16, 2010, 07:30:06 PM »

when i was elementry school i used to read lots of choose your own adventure books. an rpg in a similar style would be pretty sweet.
Logged


“Normal is not something to aspire to, it's something to get away from.”
Keiya
Ore, Sanjou!
Posts: 9


Member
*

Keiya+Taiko keiyataiko
View Profile Email

Ignore
« Reply #33 on: March 16, 2010, 07:56:12 PM »

Hidoshi, I think that you are missing the point I made. I am talking about nearly all games having a nearly precise and linear plot that alters very little, regardless of what kind of mechanics they are placing within the game. Your main argument has to do with 'gameplay choice', which is allowing the player to do the little town explorations and FedEx fetch quests before progressing with the (still very linear) story. It's a good argument, but this is the 'story choice' thread, not the 'FFXIII didn't have the thing I wanted it to have so it sucks' thread. 

The problem is that the gaming community has confused a linear plot with a pseudo-open world mechanic as some sort of revolutionary concept of non-linearity. I think that it's a step in the right direction, but in the end, Ezio (Assassin's Creed 2) still has to travel to a specific sequence of locales, assassinate the exact people in the exact same order (although in one chapter you can pick which one of the four conspirators you can assassinate first), and progress through the exact same story with no break except maybe the occassional trip to Montergionni (which really does little to alter the story aside from better armor and nicer clothing dye). Indeed, very few games that aren't visual novels do allow you to alter the story in extreme ways without getting a Game Over, or a Nonstandard Game Over Screen. That's why games like Heavy Rain are so interesting; they allow the player to literally write the story, rather than have a story written for them.

If you will present to me a game with 'story choice', then I want something where I can alter a game with such dynamism, with such audacity, that every choice you make will shape the game you are playing radically. For example, MeshGearFox touched upon it when he asked, "What if your class actually alters the story?" And not just the beginning of the story, like in Dragon Age; what if the entire actual experience completely changed with just one choice? That's the interesting concept I'm looking for.

Also, to answer Leyviur's question with how linear games can be better than non-linear games, let's take a look at two of the more recent games on the PS3, God of War 3 and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. Sure, there are some games with impressive open-world mechanics like Assassin's Creed 2 and Grand Theft Auto 4, and those are enjoyable in their own right. However, what they cannot do that God of War and Uncharted can do is to create impressive and dynamic set pieces for the character to romp on. Open-world games tend to rely on the stability and static nature of their worlds in order to allow for a sort of 'finish all objectives in any way you want' sort of setup (which, in the end, still follows a roughly linear plot). Games with design linearity don't need to adhere to that stable open-world mechanic, and that means they can pretty much tear apart their scenery with the same gusto that they built it up with. Combat atop tumbling giants the size of mountains, a lost citadel that pretty much collapses all around you, and a high-tension fight atop a speeding train cluttered with explosions and gunfire; very few games have taken the dynamics of presentation and gameplay further UC2 and GoW3 during their single-player experiences, yet it's not really an innovation, but a way to immerse the player in the experience. It's not what you NEED to have, but what you do with what you've got that matters. And that, my friend, is how LESS freedom of choice can actually translate to a BETTER gaming experience.

Alisha brought up another point I'd like to bring up: a video game as an adventure book versus a novel. That's pretty much the entire premise of this discussion: it's not about how many quests you can do before progressing a story, or how many bonus timesinks you can throw into a game, but whether a video game can really, substantially emulate a game book in terms of ability to affect the entire game itself. One of my favorite series of Game Books baack when I was a tween was the 'Give Yourself Goosebumps' series. I got addicted to the books because each book just had so many branching paths to follow, and a good host of them had very satisfying conclusions, whether ending in really twisted or good ways. Aside from visual novels, not too many games have really captured this experience, and that what I'd like to see in the future.
Logged

The biggest flaw of a Final Fantasy game is the fact that it's a Final Fantasy game.
MeshGearFox
Posts: 8613


HERE ON RUM ISLAND WE DO NOT BELIEVE IN RUM!

Member
*


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #34 on: March 16, 2010, 10:59:22 PM »

Quote
And that, my friend, is how LESS freedom of choice can actually translate to a BETTER gaming experience.

HOLY SHIT IT'S JOHN MCCAIN.

Quote
Open-world games tend to rely on the stability and static nature of their worlds...

Stop right there. You hit on something salient.

Open-world games don't NEED a static world. In fact, by definition, they shouldn't. But they often do. Why?

Because in an open-ended game, you need to try and predict what the player is doing to handle that stuff, and it's INTENSELY hard to do that.

Now, there HAVE been some games to deal with this. STALKER, for instance, does a great job of having a dynamic world, because the game is set up to cope with IMPORTANT PLOT NPCs dying off in horrible, random ways. Morrowind, by comparison, gives you a message telling you to reload. Space Rangers 2 has a war, filled with major battles and invasions and shifting lines, that happens entirely based on the game's mechanics. Nothing about it is scripted or static.

Nothing like this has ever really been done in a traditional open-ended RPG, though. Nothing like this in a game like Daggerfall.

The thing is, to really do that, you need to emulate the world in a sense, which is a VERY tricky thing to do. you don't want a RNG. You want something simulating the weather so you can see when Town X has a drought so you start getting quests and events that say deal with crop raids against people that ARE growing things.

Or, as you mentioned, you could incorporate big fancy set pieces into your world. Scripted changes are still preferable to nothing ever changing.

Open-ended games need to get rid of their fear of locking stuff out. They also need to be shorter. Seriously, which has more replay? A 100 hour game where you can do everything in one run, or a 10 hour game where you can't do NEARLY everything in a single run?

I think the worst thing about open-ended RPGs like Daggerfall, though, is that the game never reacts to you. If you do something big, the game should respond. If yo do something SMALL, the game should still respond. Gothic's actually pretty good about this. Ultima 4-7 were entirely *built* on this.

Of course, this is where story choice comes in, I guess.
Logged

o/` I do not feel joy o/`
o/` I do not dream o/`
o/` I only stare at the door and smoke o/`

Prime Mover
Posts: 2798


All's fair in love, war, and the recording studio

Member
*

Shattre
View Profile WWW Email

Ignore
« Reply #35 on: March 18, 2010, 08:19:27 PM »

Just had a thought about dialog trees. First off, I'm not really keen on dialog trees. I don't dislike them, and if they're done seemlessly enough, they're kind of neutral in my book, but done badly and they can be very offputting. But one idea would be to have a number of different dialog options ranging from different character persona's, but only a handfull of them are open to a particular character at one time. If a player has been playing Potagonist as a total arrogant prick, then options only somewhat logical for an arrogant prick will appear, but with varying degrees. If, after time, the character becomes more and more sympathetic to others, than it opens up different dialog options, and kills some of the more assholic ones. So, instead of a paragon commander shepart having the option to go kill his own mother with a broken lawn chair, he is given the option to go rescue bunnies in the forest, save mother theresa from alien invasion, or go croon for the ladies. That way, you could see some sort of character progression, and at midgame, if you think that you're character has been too much of a hardass, you can soften him up over time.
Logged


eelhouse.net
- order the new album

Currently Playing: Metroid Prime 2, Trails in the Sky, Bioshock: Infinite
Currently Listening to: Devin Townsend, Dream Theater
Watching: Star Trek: TOS, Slayers, Doctor Who (as usual)
daschrier
Posts: 1389

Member
*


View Profile

Ignore
« Reply #36 on: March 19, 2010, 09:26:35 AM »

when i was elementry school i used to read lots of choose your own adventure books. an rpg in a similar style would be pretty sweet.

There was one series I had that was an RPG. You would buy new equipment, level up, etc. It was like a pen and paper RPG mixed in with a choose your own adventure. Don't remember what it was called though.
Logged
Dincrest
Spectrum
RPGFan Editor
Posts: 11880


Stumpy McGunder- thumps

Member
*


View Profile WWW
« Reply #37 on: March 19, 2010, 12:00:51 PM »

FIghting Fantasy is the gamebook series where it's like CYOA with a turn-based battle engine using stats, dice, everything.  Of course, any attempt to make those into games always fell flat.  Too bad, because Rebel Planet was a fantastic book. 
Logged

Next bike-a-thon: Diabetes Tour-de-Cure 2015
Pages: 1 2 [3] Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  



Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!