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how 'bout create encounters and opportunities in game wherein the protagonist won't win.

 

There has been a long standing discussion in the MMO world about how many players just don't like to be held accountable for "bad" in game decisions. Conversly, almost, many players seem to want to play evil characters without suffering any consequences for doing so. Keep in mind here taht these players are probably not RPG players.

 

You see the result of this in FO3. Destroy Megaton and you can still complete the Survival Guide quests. Don't like being totally evil? There are ways to fix that in game.

 

The trick then, is to challenge RPG players and still have the game remain approachable to non RPG players.

 

Gromnir got the company line from bioware regarding no-win scenarios. biggest problem they had were that the game testers would not accept a no-win situation... would try over and over until frustration mounted. is ways 'round that though.

 

as for what players want... is not a good idea to base all game development choices based on what players ask for. give the player a game that has everything that the Average Gamer wants, and you will hear endless complaints o' cliche and boredom n' such.

 

HA! Good Fun!

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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Yeah, you have to make it a river rapids sort of situation where it's happening whether the player likes it or not and it happens quickly. You might have to have a character flat-out say "There's nothing we could have done" afterwards. Like Ame in the beginning of NWN2, but not totally a joke.

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Gromnir got the company line from bioware regarding no-win scenarios. biggest problem they had were that the game testers would not accept a no-win situation... would try over and over until frustration mounted. is ways 'round that though.

 

as for what players want... is not a good idea to base all game development choices based on what players ask for. give the player a game that has everything that the Average Gamer wants, and you will hear endless complaints o' cliche and boredom n' such.

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

 

part of the problem with no-win scenarios is the expectation of the player. TO some degree crpgs have trained us that there will always be a "trick" or a "hidden" catch that makes a scenario winnable.

 

If we could be retrained a bit to not try so hard to make every scenario winnable maybe it wouldn;t be so frustrating for people?

Notice how I can belittle your beliefs without calling you names. It's a useful skill to have particularly where you aren't allowed to call people names. It's a mistake to get too drawn in/worked up. I mean it's not life or death, it's just two guys posting their thoughts on a message board. If it were personal or face to face all the usual restraints would be in place, and we would never have reached this place in the first place. Try to remember that.
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Gromnir got the company line from bioware regarding no-win scenarios. biggest problem they had were that the game testers would not accept a no-win situation... would try over and over until frustration mounted. is ways 'round that though.

 

as for what players want... is not a good idea to base all game development choices based on what players ask for. give the player a game that has everything that the Average Gamer wants, and you will hear endless complaints o' cliche and boredom n' such.

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

 

part of the problem with no-win scenarios is the expectation of the player. TO some degree crpgs have trained us that there will always be a "trick" or a "hidden" catch that makes a scenario winnable.

 

If we could be retrained a bit to not try so hard to make every scenario winnable maybe it wouldn;t be so frustrating for people?

 

I understand the argument, but the purpose of a product is to meet and satisfy the expectations of the customer, not vice versa.

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I understand the argument, but the purpose of a product is to meet and satisfy the expectations of the customer, not vice versa.

 

 

I don't really agree with that, but its pretty subjective, so not worth arguing.

Notice how I can belittle your beliefs without calling you names. It's a useful skill to have particularly where you aren't allowed to call people names. It's a mistake to get too drawn in/worked up. I mean it's not life or death, it's just two guys posting their thoughts on a message board. If it were personal or face to face all the usual restraints would be in place, and we would never have reached this place in the first place. Try to remember that.
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Gromnir got the company line from bioware regarding no-win scenarios. biggest problem they had were that the game testers would not accept a no-win situation... would try over and over until frustration mounted. is ways 'round that though.

 

as for what players want... is not a good idea to base all game development choices based on what players ask for. give the player a game that has everything that the Average Gamer wants, and you will hear endless complaints o' cliche and boredom n' such.

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

 

part of the problem with no-win scenarios is the expectation of the player. TO some degree crpgs have trained us that there will always be a "trick" or a "hidden" catch that makes a scenario winnable.

 

If we could be retrained a bit to not try so hard to make every scenario winnable maybe it wouldn;t be so frustrating for people?

 

I understand the argument, but the purpose of a product is to meet and satisfy the expectations of the customer, not vice versa.

 

am gonna disagree. the purpose o' the product is to satisfy the customer (well, it is actually to be making money for X, but let us not quibble,)... not necessarily to meet his expectations. most o' the great books and movies were not ones that simply met expectations. you gotta change or exceed expectations if you wanna be memorable. sure, is far safer to simply give folks what they ask for, but am telling, based on no little experience, if you give folks exactly what they ask for, chances are they will eventually hate you for doing so.

 

HA! Good Fun!

Edited by Gromnir

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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antagonist individual v. antagonistic party? not really a profound or significant change. traditional reason for the lone bad guy is to show that evil is untrusting, unloved and ultimately self-defeating. sure, the UBG (ultimate bad guy) has subordinates and flunkies, but not friends and comrades. 'course, is more than a few examples whereby such an approach is turned on its head... one brave and noble soul who stands up 'gainst the villainy o' The Man/society. couldn't have a classic western without such a hero.

 

you could argue that tob were a variation on the evil party notion, but is all just semantics anyways... in the game you is gonna overcome various obstacles o' increasing difficulty before you at last confront the UBG... 'cause with a game like fo you has to be given the option to Fight the UBG.

 

"We have met the enemy and he is us." ok. use party makes paralells easier to spot, but am not seeing anything particular intriguing 'bout the approach.

It's the same thing to KotORII, Star Wars' core is a classic knight story told in a different world setting. So, why do you need to break the scheme? Death system works in traditional RPG, so, why do you need to make an RPG, where the main character cannot die? I think Chris Avellone did his best in Planescape:Torment, in terms of breaking the scheme and introducing new themes in the fixated genre. In KotORII, as he himself admits, his interpretation of force was less convincing. However, immorality is not a leaned question and has more universality than Star Wars' "force." How about Van Buren, then? We don't know since it has never been completed.

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Gromnir, the reason I'd be intrigued with a 'rival' party is that it has the opportunity to produce some interesting and unusual (in CRPGs) situations, like being robbed of the loot, quest, info and/or glory by those who found the place before you, as opposed to them sitting there waiting to kill you (then, IWD2-style, teleporting away). It's certainly not 'omg new innovashun' but especially in the context of the FO setting, it would have been refreshing (and a lot more sensible compared to some massive Enclave-style organisation).

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Gromnir, the reason I'd be intrigued with a 'rival' party is that it has the opportunity to produce some interesting and unusual (in CRPGs) situations, like being robbed of the loot, quest, info and/or glory by those who found the place before you, as opposed to them sitting there waiting to kill you (then, IWD2-style, teleporting away). It's certainly not 'omg new innovashun' but especially in the context of the FO setting, it would have been refreshing (and a lot more sensible compared to some massive Enclave-style organisation).

 

how is any of that stuff only possible 'cause of having a party as the antagonist?

 

HA! Good Fun!

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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how is any of that stuff only possible 'cause of having a party as the antagonist?

Hmmm...the party is not necessarily to be an antagonist.

Over the course of the game you will encounter this other party and experience how their actions have influenced the world. Along the way you
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not really change nothing if party is antagonist or is eventual some group you cooperate with. if is antagonist, then refer to our post above. if is otherwise,, then you still have an antagonist and the other party becomes allay or support cast or whatever.

 

...

 

am thinking that some folks could hear chrisA say "I like pie," and their response would be "brilliant!" exaggeration perhaps, but not by much.

 

HA! Good Fun!

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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not really change nothing if party is antagonist or is eventual some group you cooperate with. if is antagonist, then refer to our post above. if is otherwise,, then you still have an antagonist and the other party becomes allay or support cast or whatever.

I'm not sure of it since we haven't gotten the final product. You may be right or maybe wrong.

 

am thinking that some folks could hear chrisA say "I like pie," and their response would be "brilliant!" exaggeration perhaps, but not by much.

Somehow, I feel Chris Avellone himself would hate it. :sweat:

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as we is on the topic o' chrisA, Gromnir has some suggestions.

 

1) profound

 

if you wanna make profound story or characters, then has characters do profound rather than speak profound. read young adult/children books for guidance.

 

2) antagonist

 

motb were an ok game, but the ubg... sucked. you wanna do antagonist different than same-old stuff? fine, then do different, but recognize that you is gonna have entire game building up to final confrontation with the ubg whether you like it or not. fallout, like all other past obsidian crgs, is a game that has players build characters wit combat abilities. you pretty much gotta make possible for the combat folks to get a combat resolution. last battle o' game pretty much gotta be the biggest and toughest, and if you not likewise make the encounter emotional satisfying then you is getting fail.

 

3) sacrifice

 

most character sacrifice means little in a game with reload. is the Player that has gotta feel loss for the sacrifice to have genuine impact. take away a beloved party member. reduce stat/skill points. destroy a favored weapon. whatever. is a crpg, so the sacrifice gotta be real for player as well as character to have impact.

 

4) humor

 

the fo universe is funny. would never get that from reading nma and codex posts, but fo gots loads of funny. do not abandon the funny. sure, you can go overboard with pop culture references, but don't give up the ha-ha without fight.

 

5) protagonist

 

your protagonist is gonna suck. in ps:t you were able to create a more definite protagonist than is typical for a crpg--won't be so lucky with fo. your protagonist is gonna be a dizzying combination o' attributes and motives. start with recognition that the fo:nv protagonist is gonna be fail; you is gonna be way ahead of the game.

 

6) religion

 

josh mentioned something 'bout games not being taken serious til they tackle serious issues. am not gonna hold our breath. a serious look at religion in fo:nv seems 'bout as likely as our post-apoc abortion clinic idea. even so, am gonna recommenced A Canticle for Leibowitz, if you has not already read it.

 

7) dinosaurs

 

am curious why fo got no dinosaurs. were pretty much a staple o' the pulpy 1950's stories... has some accident o' tech that resurrects a prehistoric monster. you got the giant insects, but not the dinos. were a size issue, or were it just too much?

 

8 )

 

9)

 

10)

 

...

 

gotta leave some options open, eh?

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

edit: damnable emoticons

Edited by Gromnir

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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I have nothing to worry about when it comes to the story of FO:NV. Obsidian's working on it = quality guaranteed.

 

:x:ermm:

 

Volourns alter ego?

 

Personally I want to see some interesting companions, but if they do that, they'll most likely make them unkillable, which in turn will cause huge amounts of bitching and create balancing issues. Or second to worst case scenario (first case being none) we could get killable SOZ like cohorts. :sweat:

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Just replayed Fo3 to refresh my memory. I hope FNV includes a main quest that actually makes sense, rather than Fo3's drivel, where the only justification for attacking the purifier is "it doesn't feel right".

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My, that's a whole lot of wikis!


Why, thank you, I love them.

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how is any of that stuff only possible 'cause of having a party as the antagonist?

 

It's not. But it's still an interesting reason to have a 'rival party' in the works. :sweat:

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I have nothing to worry about when it comes to the story of FO:NV. Obsidian's working on it = quality guaranteed.

 

:x:lol:

Mad? 8)

 

Volourns alter ego?

Not sure who are you talking about but if he praises Obsidian's storytelling capabilities as much as I do, I wanna get to know him!

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Gromnir, the reason I'd be intrigued with a 'rival' party is that it has the opportunity to produce some interesting and unusual (in CRPGs) situations, like being robbed of the loot, quest, info and/or glory by those who found the place before you, as opposed to them sitting there waiting to kill you (then, IWD2-style, teleporting away). It's certainly not 'omg new innovashun' but especially in the context of the FO setting, it would have been refreshing (and a lot more sensible compared to some massive Enclave-style organisation).

It's not a "rival NPC party" setup, but I do recall that the later Wizardry games (the 7th one, and possibly the 8th as well) had something similar. There was a series of McGuffins your party was trying to collect, but if you got to them late, one of the game's rival factions would have beaten you to them and you'd find the treasure chest empty.

 

I agree with Gromnir's point that it's more important to define a strong antagonist in a CRPG than it is to define a protagonist (unless you're willing to greatly restrain player choices in character creation/development).

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I think it's possible to provide a choice of protagonists and let the PC decide. However, It's impossible to let the PC choices drive the antagonist at this point. Maybe with better technology, but even then it would be tricky. The antagonist requires a certain level of dramatic development that is probably not attainable through Player choice. In my example, to which I cling out of lack of any better choice, the PC can decide to work for all the factions, be friendly with some, and actively ally with one. The PC might also decide to throw in entirely with one or actively strive hardest against another. He might also decide to be 'neutral,' for which he certainly deserves to be pilloried. Anyone one of the factions or a combination of them could serve to be the protagonist because the PC can create his own drama by investing himself in their continued success. However, because none of these factions is either dangerous or overtly evil enough to warrant strong antagonistic feelings in the player, the design team still needs to dish out some big and ugly.

 

On the other hand, the exact nature of the final boss didn't become clear in FO 1-3 early. With the emphasis on exploration, the team can start with simple hints of a bad guy and let the PC discover more as the game progresses. Sadly, the player will still be funnelled down a set path to the final boss. Sure, there might be choices, but the PC must resolve the conflict with the antagonist in one way or another in order to create the ultimate climactic ending. I, for one, didn't think the ending of FO3 was bad because the final boss was weak. I'm tired of games where the value of the final boss in only measured by how irritated I am by the end of the final battle. What I found frustrating about the ending in FO3 was the choice at the very end, which I won't spoil here just in case.

 

So, assuming someone like a good amount of exploration (not someone who rushes the crit path or meanders for 100 hours before even trying to find it in the first place), the first half of the game could be playing around with the factions, the next quarter could involve some experiences with the antagonist, and the final quarter could more or less be dedicated to resolving the conflict.

 

Finally, maybe the design team could insert the PC in a fairly static environment with different faction, have him spend time there, and then have some dramatic event that completely changes the environment. That could not only screw with the PC world view and force him to reassess everything, but it would probably completely screw up the factions as well.

 

EDIT: So, here I am cleaning up redundancies and correcting typos and I say to myself, "why do I care?" End of edit.

Edited by Aristes
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"the antagonist requires a certain level of dramatic development that is probably not attainable through Player choice. "

 

 

am gonna disagree... somewhat. the antagonist is a known quality with identifiable attributes and motivations. the crpg writer can anticipate how an antagonist should react to a given player's action... 'cause the antagonist is the writer's creation and not the player's. yeah, is a given that an antagonist that is developed without having to consider potential Choice of a player is gonna be easier to develop, but such is the inherent obstacle in all aspects o' crpg development, no? gotta accept player Choice and simply do best. so, does it make more sense to try and develop your story around the protagonist, whose motivations and attributes is necessary indistinct or elastic, or does you focus on the writer-created, static antagonist? am knowing which choice Gromnir would make if somebody asked us to craft a story with some pathos.

 

also, and this is an idea that Gromnir did not come up with so we cannot take credit for it, why not take Dragon Age approach and turn on its head. Dragon Age gives player a half dozen character back story choices. is intended to create a more definite protagonist while still covering most of the typical player choices. instead, have player choice determine the antagonist. perhaps create 3 potential antagonists... early game choices eventual determine the UBG. talk 'bout replay value. imagine the potential replay value. yeah, inevitably you got some major story bifurcation along the way, but the clever developer can keeps all maps and basic quests intact and change dialogues and a few key npcs once the Point of No Return has been exceeded. such an approach allows for genuine meaningful choice and it allows for developer to develop an appropriate and fixed antagonist.

 

HA! Good Fun!

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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wow crap, an idea from gromnir that i really like!

 

it would be fantastic if the big bad was determined based on player choice during the first half of the game.

 

not only would that be fun and good for replay, but it would be fairly novel too.

 

now if only you'll learn to write more coherently...


Killing is kind of like playin' a basketball game. I am there. and the other player is there. and it's just the two of us. and I put the other player's body in my van. and I am the winner. - Nice Pete.

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also, and this is an idea that Gromnir did not come up with so we cannot take credit for it, why not take Dragon Age approach and turn on its head. Dragon Age gives player a half dozen character back story choices. is intended to create a more definite protagonist while still covering most of the typical player choices. instead, have player choice determine the antagonist. perhaps create 3 potential antagonists... early game choices eventual determine the UBG. talk 'bout replay value. imagine the potential replay value. yeah, inevitably you got some major story bifurcation along the way, but the clever developer can keeps all maps and basic quests intact and change dialogues and a few key npcs once the Point of No Return has been exceeded. such an approach allows for genuine meaningful choice and it allows for developer to develop an appropriate and fixed antagonist.

 

That would be massive quantities of WIN.

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The major portions of meaningful choices end game wise are front loaded? I don't mind that at all. Kind of sounds like the vignettes that Troika did for ToEE, only far more reaching. Actually, the idea encourages me to take a second look at Dragon Age. :thumbsup:

 

For my part, I still kind of like the idea of throwing a wrench in the works midgame. Have, oh, I don't know. Evil Santa chose this time to attack the NV area. The PCs choices up to now decide the shape of the factions, and so his meaningful decisions aren't completely tossed out the window. With the slate wiped clean, the PC now has an enemy. The only thing about that is that it doesn't leave a lot of time to develop the antagonist.

 

EDIT: I don't care about the decisions regarding the Ant. being front loaded. I'm sure there will be plenty of other decisions throughout the game as well.

Edited by Aristes
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That is kind of sort of what they did with NWN2 upon first entering Neverwinter. You had two distinct sides and you chose which one you sided with. In a new game your allies could be your enemies. Of course that only covered a small portion of the game.

 

Ostensibly there's some of that in Alpha Protocol. Obsidz has talked about the Moscow mission playing out differently, fighting on different sides of a conflict depending on the choices you make.

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