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I hate to admit I've gotten a bit confused about the discussion.

I cannot read into it to much but I think J.E. Sawyer's comment is talking of balance. It would be easier for them to make a linear main plot but it won't feel like Fallout. It's oversimplification by Gromnir, who makes the question appear to be an extreme sides between linearity vs non-linearity. Personally, I'd like to have a story which emphasizes on non-linearity compared with your usual CRPG.

 

is because we were again confronted by the Chorus' refrain:

It's your fiction. I clearly stated that it is because I had already fed up with more or less similar story-telling scheme. FO is good its own way but it is never perfect.

 

As for in-party NPCs, as I wrote before, I think, in Fallout setting, it is important for the players to feel like a lone wanderer and, if he/she is surrounded by fellow party members, it would be tough for the players to feel like that. I think FO in-party NPCs are consciously designed in that way. However, probably, quite many people felt it was lacking since they compared the in-party NPCs with other party-based role-playing game. In -party romance option won't fit the core setting.

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"It's oversimplification by Gromnir"

 

am thinking that you not know definition of "oversimplification." Gromnir point out just how complex crpg writing is compared to other media. we then observe that it is axiomatic that the more you attempts to achieve teh Illusion of "non-linearity" the more difficult it is to achieve a coherent and compelling critical path story... an obvious point that has been conceded by the developers more than once. the oversimplification in the present debate is the suggestion that the word "balance" is some kinda magical incantation that makes easy to achieve desirable storytelling depth and player freedom.

 

and is amusing to note wombat's suggestion that what made fo characters great were fact that they were gimped... which thus reinforced "lone wanderer" something or other. anybody wanna point out the logic flaws in that one?

 

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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am thinking that you not know definition of "oversimplification." Gromnir point out just how complex crpg writing is compared to other media.

By simplification, I didn't mean your discussion but your conclusion. I think you have a tendency of making the discussion of opponent look simpler. Might you happen to be a lawyer of something like that?

 

we then observe that it is axiomatic that the more you attempts to achieve teh Illusion of "non-linearity" the more difficult it is to achieve a coherent and compelling critical path story... an obvious point that has been conceded by the developers more than once. the oversimplification in the present debate is the suggestion that the word "balance" is some kinda magical incantation that makes easy to achieve desirable storytelling depth and player freedom.

Unfortunately, it's not magic and it is tough part for the designers, of course. Also, if I'm right, you are not one of the designers.

 

and is amusing to note wombat's suggestion that what made fo characters great were fact that they were gimped... which thus reinforced "lone wanderer" something or other. anybody wanna point out the logic flaws in that one?

Again,, it's your word. I didn't say in-party NPCs are great but there is a good reason for me to believe the design is intentional. Seriously, do you really believe it would be convincing in FO setting, where PC and in-party NPC talk a lot, even having romances?

 

However, I guess I spent too much time on internet today.

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I, for one, wish we didn't have joinable NPCs in any of the Fallout games and I pray to heaven that I'm not forced to have one in New Vegas. In fact, unless there is tactical reason to have a party, such as for a DnD based game, I don't want them at all.

 

However, there will be joinable NPCs in New Vegas. We can be almost certain. For my part, I don't really care if they're included as long as I don't have to join with them. Failing that, I want them unobtrusive as possible.

 

As for the linearity of the ultimate design, I believe all CRPGs are linear. Sure, they might include a bunch of side quests and areas. They might pull the ol' bait and switch. Still, there will be a main story and it will be linear.

 

I'm demanding the illusion of non-linearity. I think they can escape non-linearity in the early game, but I just don't see how they can escape it in the late game. The balance, as I see it, is finding creative ways to hide linearity. Moreover, I thought Sawyer was talking about the difficulty of keeping the dialogue trees as compact as possible while still reflecting in-game events. That's tricky. I wonder what they'll do.

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looks like THIS thread got pruned. am not sure why.

 

"By simplification, I didn't mean your discussion but your conclusion"

 

conclusions should always be simple. am not sure you understand "oversimplification." is Gromnir that observed just how complex the tasks is that you presuppose. noted that game writing is cooperative and multi-tiered. has technical, economic and artistic concerns. we further noted that in spite o' your use o' the "balancing" language that there not seem to be any observable black isle/obsidian games that would prove your point. if is so simple to achieve balance, then why has obsidian forgone in the past? why has virtual every developer forgone? furthermore, in spite o' fact that we ain't a developer, we did note that actual developers has conceded the point that the balancing is hardly easy to achieve... and you can review this and other threads for examples o' such developer input. etc.

 

...

 

of course the conclusions is simple. a good conclusion Should be simple, and ideally it should seem self-evident in retrospect.

 

 

"Seriously, do you really believe it would be convincing in FO setting, where PC and in-party NPC talk a lot,"

 

yes. duh. is a crpg. the pc need not be taciturn if player don't wish. and even if you got the silent type, without substantial narration or use o' real expensive cinematographic cut scenes you is significantly crippling self if you not avail self of the opportunity to use dialogue. but of course, there is a right way to do fo, eh>

 

bah. am having to rewrite the same stuff.

 

"Moreover, I thought Sawyer was talking about the difficulty of keeping the dialogue trees as compact as possible while still reflecting in-game events. That's tricky. I wonder what they'll do."

 

eh, where is the confusion? much o' this gets tied together. illusion o' non-linearity is achieved multiple ways. one way is the tangential side-quest. side quest resolutions can be kept insular and discreet or can be used to further illusion o' non-linearity and player freedom by incorporating critical path dialogue options. meaningful bifurcation o' critical path & main plot point dialogues has a tendency to become complicated no? etc.

 

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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Bhlaab: I don't begrudge other folks enjoying the NPCs. I just think of them as a distraction in the worst sort of way. They get killed far too easily. Either you invest the time in keeping them alive or they get killed off. Investing time isn't so bad, I guess, but it makes combat irritating. The have never added significantly to my combat because, while they might help kill something, usually combat resolves fairly quickly in my favor anyhow. Joinable NPCs without some means of controlling them are almost always irritating to me. In something as simple as Left4Dead, NWNx, or just about any game in between.

 

I also favor the idea of the Lone Wanderer over the idea of some yutz leading his tribe of misfits across the desert. Well, add the fact that I think I really did overstate my case and I don't really care about the NPCs as long as they leave me alone.

 

Gromnir: I think there will always be some sort of give and take as regards resources, technical ability, and player desires. If the design team could create a viable world in which decisions had a meaningful effect and this effect was reflected in dialogue and NPC reactions, they would love to do it. If they could anticipate every possible choice and provide for it in descriptions, dialogue, and narrative, they'd be happy to do so. If they could offer a world in which there was no set story because they could count on the player to be happy with whatever his imagination could supply with an honest to goodness sandbox, both the player and the designer would jump for joy.

 

You see, I don't really disagree with you. At least I don't think so. What I'm getting from you is that it is a choice between linearity and non-linearity. Subsequent choices, such as resources and skill, feed into that. Almost like classical rhetoric if you ask me. The question boils down to two sides.

 

I've been lurking long enough to have some idea of where you stand as regards linear v non-linear. I don't presume that folks really care about my preferences at this point and I don't have strong enough opinion to argue much about it anyhow.

 

Mostly, I like the idea of impacting the world, but I think impact can be achieved either through a 'linear' or 'non-linear' game. In that sense, I'm happy either to decide things about myself or decide things about the story.

 

However, assuming that the design team wants to go the 'non-linear' route, which is almost certain, I think it's useful to find some ways to mitigate the demands on the writers as much as possible. That's where I see floating text, in game consequences outside of dialogue, and scenic vignettes as helpful. Nevertheless, it's a CRPG. You can help lighten the load on the writers, but dialogue is the vehicle of story telling.

 

The big thing for me is that I read everyone's post and I try to think about what they say. So my opinions evolve from time to time. You might even say I occasionally 'change my mind.' *gasp* I don't want folks kicking sand in my face for being wishy washy or anything, but I'm mostly interested in a good game and, fortunately, I can find some good in a lot of games, from buggy ol' Vamp games like Bloodlines to silly little sandbox romps like Fallout 3. So, I'm arguing for non-linearity and ways that I think might help the process, but I'll play and enjoy a linear story quite cheerfully.

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As for the linearity of the ultimate design, I believe all CRPGs are linear. Sure, they might include a bunch of side quests and areas. They might pull the ol' bait and switch. Still, there will be a main story and it will be linear.

 

I'm demanding the illusion of non-linearity. I think they can escape non-linearity in the early game, but I just don't see how they can escape it in the late game. The balance, as I see it, is finding creative ways to hide linearity. Moreover, I thought Sawyer was talking about the difficulty of keeping the dialogue trees as compact as possible while still reflecting in-game events. That's tricky. I wonder what they'll do.

If you say so, isn't it meaningless to say some games are linear and other games are non-linear since every single game is linear. To my eyes, it's just rhetoric. If you call it illusion, isn't every literature illusion, since, physically, they are just inks on papers? We have some judgment by which we decide which game is more linear and which game is less linear. According to that, the original FO is quite non-linear, compared with other computer role-playing games around. The players don't need to visit in-world places in a certain order although the players may have time limit I think this "clear-cut" linear or non-linear argument won't lead anywhere. In any case, I'm not interested in arguments for arguments' shake.

You see, I don't really disagree with you. At least I don't think so. What I'm getting from you is that it is a choice between linearity and non-linearity. Subsequent choices, such as resources and skill, feed into that. Almost like classical rhetoric if you ask me. The question boils down to two sides.

Guess you reached more or less similar conclusion.

 

conclusions should always be simple. am not sure you understand "oversimplification." is Gromnir that observed just how complex the tasks is that you presuppose. noted that game writing is cooperative and multi-tiered. has technical, economic and artistic concerns. we further noted that in spite o' your use o' the "balancing" language that there not seem to be any observable black isle/obsidian games that would prove your point. if is so simple to achieve balance, then why has obsidian forgone in the past? why has virtual every developer forgone?

For the money for making games mainly went for graphic related technologies and fewer attentions are paid to writings. If game industry is continuing to make more or less similar games with this level of content, I guess it's high time for me to stop playing games. In fact, recently, I cannot play games without feeling stupid anymore. I began to think there are fewer games worth playing especially at my age. You may think I have been talking about the past but, in fact, I have been talking of the present. I don't care if Fallout was a good game or bad game in the past but I don't have a single game which doesn't make me feel stupid. I cannot but admit that it is definitely a pathetic hobby for an individual at my age. It may be good for me to spend less time on it. I used to play a game a year but now I play a game in a few years.

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Yeah, I'm happy using linear and non-linear, but I don't want to get stuck on a 'linear' argument, so to speak. I guess you might say I was conceding the linear point. I also despise arguments for only the sake of 'winning.'

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I would chalk up the love for Dogmeat to the general dumbnosity of the Fallout public. Or perhaps it was his tendency to live a bit longer than the other party NPCs.

He's also the only joinable NPC who never ever shoots your character in the back of the head. :brows:

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"The players don't need to visit in-world places in a certain order although the players may have time limit I think this "clear-cut" linear or non-linear argument won't lead anywhere."

 

1) Gromnir weren't the one who brought up non-linear. have already observed many times that non-linear is a fiction-- an illusion.

 

2) show us

 

again, if the illusion o' non-linearity can be effective woven into a game wherein the critical path story is engaging and compelling, then show us. wombat keeps telling us that he ain't holding FO out as some kinda holy grail... but is the game he/she keeps coming back to in spite of the fact that the writing were pretty damned forgettable... and one reason why the writing were forgettable is 'cause o' the fundamental structuring. sure, is no reason why individual npcs can't be given more compelling dialogues in a fo game ('cause wombat suggestion that such stuff is non-fo is clearly ridiculous) , but you still end up with a "story" that is mostly just a random collection o' quasi-related encounters. there is few, if any, "balanced" games such as wombat and others suggest. why you think that is?

 

look at from pov of writer. reduce plot points. makes many encounters tangential and optional. allow for bifurcation somewhere along the way, etc. every option you consider that bolsters illusion o' player freedom and choice is gonna necessarily make it more difficult to write a compelling and coherent story with well-defined characters. go ahead and try for yourselves... try and outline such a story.

 

now, it can be argued that the tangential stuff IS the story in a game similar to structure o' fallout. allow player to makes their own story via the loosely connected tangential and optional quests that exist within a common setting... maybe bolster common themes as player explores world and characters. fine. great. is a valid approach to storytelling... but you not end up with a compelling critical path story.. you not end up balanced.

 

so, show us. show us examples o' success balanced or show us outline or show us something other than faith in obsidian that they can balance... 'cause if you notice, they ain't never actually stated that they could balance a kotor2/motb story approach with fo kinda openness and freedom.

 

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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I just hope I'm the major plot NPC in Vegas... or King of Vegas take your pick.

Victor of the 5 year fan fic competition!

 

Kevin Butler will awesome your face off.

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Like that comedian in Fallout 2.

Oh Jimmy, you were so funny.

Don't let me down.

From habit he lifts his watch; it shows him its blank face.

Zero hour, Snowman thinks. Time to go.

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I just hope I'm the major plot NPC in Vegas... or King of Vegas take your pick.

Or the Noober in Vegas. Be careful for what you ask for.

War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength

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btw, 'cause some folks seems confused, is not as if Gromnir is suggesting that there is some kinda continuum with freedom at one end and cohesive/compelling story at the other end. what Gromnir is recognizing is simple that those features and approaches that helps to create the illusion o' freedom has a tendency to makes the creation o' a comprehensive story more difficult. now, if resources is not a factor, and you got a huge budget, then you can does like bio did with bg2 and create loads o' side quest stuff while still having 'nuff resources to put together a rather complex critical path story. whether you personally liked bg2 or not, the basic approach clearly would be useful in creating a "balanced" game. much o' bg2 were pure tangential and optional side quest, but clearly there were more than enough material for the core story... even if you thinks bio flubbed the core story. and of course, the more you demand meaningful choice (such as weren't really a focus in bg2) the more complex you is making the process, no?

 

furthermore, look at obsidian's most recent attempt to balance. soz were how successful as far as creating player freedom and making a compelling critical path story? the illusion o' freedom were generated via a world map and bunches o' extremely brief encounters. the critical path story followed traditional form as the player is introduced to a handful o' linear plot points that moves story inexorably towards the climax/denouement encounters.

 

recent history is not encouraging for those who says "why not" in regards to balance 'tween core story and freedom.

 

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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I'm generally of the opinion that what works best in fallout is a series of well written and fleshed out sidequests that dont have to be done in any order.

 

a great example is solving the death of the moreno son (i think it was the morenos) who appeared to have died from an overdose of jet. the quest had a story that you uncovered by playing, and eventually led to a satisfying conclusion - but the conclusion could be totally different depending on how well you solved the mystery.

 

so not only do you have lots of C&C, but you meet interesting people (renesco, that crazy drug dealer) and you have an intriguing (albeit short) story. its also somewhat non-linear because you can talk to people in any order you want and get different results

 

but its bite-sized so it doesnt over-complicate the writers jobs. having tons and tons of quests with the same level of attention to detail, interesting characters, good dialogue, and choices&consequences is what I would consider the easiest and best route to take with the new game.

 

the main "plot" can be very simple and short as well

 

step 1,2,3

necropolis for water chip, cathedral, military base done. two of those can be done out of order. simple and bite sized too, just like three sidequests put together

 

it's NOT (as everyone recognizes) as detailed a main plot as KOTOR 2. its fo - the quality and character of the "sidequests" in relation to the main quest were always one of the things that seperated fallout from other rpgs. and I posit generally that even the main quest was just three sidequests (the only real difference is that you had to do them to get the end credits)


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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My vote would be away from a main quest and instead offer more quests that are tailored to different "character sets" or skills.

That way the experience a gunslinger has could dramatically differ from the experience an egghead has or a post-nuclear socialite.

Rather then do quest X again with your new char you do a different quest or approach a different character to see the same basic plot of a quest, but from a unique perspective depending on who you talk to, what that person does and what you do (or can do, skill-wise).

 

Example:

Main quest plot is that a casino is going to be robbed.

 

Sneaky char: is going to be a member of those guys doing the heist - either for personal profit (maybe further spreading into the "honor among thiefs" or the backstabbing "there can only be one" free-for-all-shootout) or as mole for the law? mob?

 

Science guy: while being nosy and hacking various terminals you find some clues that lead you to collect information on the upcoming heist - what will you do? Sell the information for fun? Blackmail the potential robbers? Set up a trap to make it look like a heist gone bad but make off with the spoils?

 

Tech guy: due to your skilled hands and mind and since nobody knows you, you're approached for some specialized equipment - some heavy cutting equipment, a by-pass module for some data-cables etc.

 

Charming socialite: a heist went off and it was a big one. Now people need answers, but no one wants to talk. And along comes you with a smile on your face and silver tongue.

 

etc.

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Personally, I hope you're a killable NPC. Hey, they said you would be in the game. They didn't say what part you'd play! :grin:

well... I just hope I'm not the random NPC that runs out of a burning building saying "Save... my...." and dies.

Victor of the 5 year fan fic competition!

 

Kevin Butler will awesome your face off.

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but its bite-sized so it doesnt over-complicate the writers jobs. having tons and tons of quests with the same level of attention to detail, interesting characters, good dialogue, and choices&consequences is what I would consider the easiest and best route to take with the new game.

 

I'd agree with this, and add that some of these side quests should be placed far away from the quest hubs, so that there is more reason to explore the world. This assumes, of course, that there is a world to explore, and not just hot spots on an overland map.

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