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One thing I'd like to see in a game like this is a more personal quest journal for tracking quests as opposed to the rather impersonal ones that are usually received in these games that tend to outline quests in a very sedate and to-the-point kind of way. I know there's often the ability to make notes yourself, but I still feel it would be nice if the quest journal actually felt more like an actual journal or diary that your hero is writing themselves and less like an emotionless listing of what you've done and what you need to do. By incorporating the dialogue choices you made into the journal instead of just the outcome, I imagine it could a good job of reflecting this.

 

However, there is a possible downside to this I realise, and that's the fact that players could feel that their journal is telling their character who they are instead of actually expressing their character. I know I'm not a fan personally of a game taking too much control over my character in an RPG and telling me why I did something or forcing me to do it when I don't feel it would suit the character. So I suppose for it to work the dialogue choices and nature of resolving issues would have to be clear and defined with next to no room for error.

 

I'm curious as to how other people feel about this. Would you guys like a more personal journal too, or would you feel it would overtly step on your toes, or would you simply prefer a less dynamic journal that gets to the point more like a quest log with perhaps the option of additional notes?

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No, this is one of the better original (at least to me) ideas I've seen in a long time.

 

I like this.

 

If, after events happen, you had a way of chosing how your journal recorded events... imagine how personalized your game experience would feel!

 

I love this!

 

I can imagine a myriad of ways this could be implemented - from somehow the game gleaning from your choices and dialog options a specific style to fill out your journal entry, to after events happen the journal pops open and you select some options that shape how the entry is written, to simply having the normal bullet points but under the bullet points are text boxes for you to fill in your in-character description of the bullet point.

 

Thanks for the idea! I hope Obsidian sees it and considers it!

 

This could be really big - and I think it would be fairly simple, depending on the way they could go with it, to implement. Unless they wanted it very complex - which I'm all for!

Edited by Merin
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I'd like to see a first person journal like in PS:T or Arcanum, combined with the ability to write your own stuff. So basically what you said.

 

 

No, this is one of the better original (at least to me) ideas I've seen in a long time.

 

I like this.

 

If, after events happen, you had a way of chosing how your journal recorded events... imagine how personalized your game experience would feel!

 

I love this!

 

I can imagine a myriad of ways this could be implemented - from someone the game gleaning from your choices and dialog options a specific style to fill out your journal entry, to after events happen the journal pops open and you select some options that shape how the entry is written, to simply having the normal bullet points but under the bullet points are text boxes for you to fill in your in-character description of the bullet point.

 

Thanks for the idea! I hope Obsidian sees it and considers it!

 

This could be really big - and I think it would be fairly simple, depending on the way they could go with it, to implement. Unless they wanted it very complex - which I'm all for!

Ooh, I like this even more.

:)

Edited by Gazoinks

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Interesting idea, but I also agree with this:

 

So I suppose for it to work the dialogue choices and nature of resolving issues would have to be clear and defined with next to no room for error.

 

Actions do not always correlate to a character's motivation (as perceived by the player), there would likely be a fine line here somewhere.

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I liked the journal in Arcanum. I would like to be able to add personal comments to quest.


 I have but one enemy: myself  - Drow saying


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What if you have a low Intelligence and your journal becomes a mess of misspelled words, with crossing out over everything and little pictures in all the borders relating to what happened in that particular quest.

 

Maybe you could even start off with just basic stick figures, but the more quests you do, the better the drawings get until you're pretty much doing murals in the borders.

 

If you're pursuing a romance (if they're included) there could even be a page full of "PC + Love Interest" hearts.

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I would also prefer the journal system in Arcanum that is editable with personal comments, with log of the most recent conversation available to draw more information from if your perception rating is high enough.

 

Maybe you are not the only one who keeps a journal, a companion or two can keep a journal, comprised of simple entries, that you can perhaps spy on.

 

Also ability to add a coordinate system to the entries that corresponds to markers you can denote and view on map would be nice.

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I see two options here that I'd really like:

 

1st, there's the TW2 option, where the journal is actually being written by someone else, who has their own personality and perspective that spices things up, or

 

2nd, whenever you get a journal entry, there's a indicator that appears on your screen prompting you to, if you so choose, edit that entry yourself. So, Baldur's Gate-style, + a reminder to edit the entry to add your own perspective.

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Interesting idea, but I also agree with this:

 

So I suppose for it to work the dialogue choices and nature of resolving issues would have to be clear and defined with next to no room for error.

 

Actions do not always correlate to a character's motivation (as perceived by the player), there would likely be a fine line here somewhere.

 

That's why Merin's additional concept of additional Journal input and customisation on the part of the player is, IMO, a good idea. That way the Journal can start off with a default entry that's fairly personal, but never goes into direct motives automatically. However, if the player so chooses, they can expand upon it themselves, whether by literally filling it out or via a list of particular personal choices.

 

For example, perhaps the player can go to an Edit Mode and then get the opportunity to click on certain icons within the entry that will bring up the word "because" and then several options from there within the limits and scope of how the quest was done. This could illustrate their motivations and reasons without outright telling the, and if there's nothing listed that fits, then the player can either ignore the option or perhaps just type it in themselves. The player may even be able to add little details, such as "Companion A reacted concerned at my decision to help them, and..." followed by a selection of options for how your character regarded Companion A's reaction (e.g. "I understood their concern" vs. "I thought they were being selfish", etc.). Again, purely optional, because some players may have designed a character to who doesn't care about Companion A's opinion and only has them around because they are a great support healer or something.

 

Overall though, it might just be simpler to be able to let the players edit the entries themselves and add whatever they like in whatever manner they like (with an option to revert to default just in case they edited beyond recognition somehow and forgot what was even going on).

Edited by Terror K
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The player-editable edition would be the easiest implementation, but possibly the least satisfying for the majority of players.

 

I mean, you have people who won't care beyond a quest list. So we can say they are satisfied with any journal really.

 

Then there are the ones that if they type it in but the game never reacts to what they type then they don't care to do it. I kind of understand that sentiment.

 

So if they could create some kind of system where based either on player direct choices (for journal entries as they are written) or on choices the player makes during the game (dialog, story, which way they go in quest orders, etc.), or both, that shapes a prewritten journal entry that feels in a developing voice / style that players can feel is "their own" I think that would be the most exciting prospect.

 

Look to Dragon Age: Origins. On the BSN you could click the story tab for a member's character and read what choices they had made. It was a pretty cool feature. Now ignore the social network function, and add some more player choice into the voice of the journal, and how awesome would that be? A finished journal, maybe outputed as a pdf, that you could read or share post-game.

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I would also prefer the journal system in Arcanum that is editable with personal comments, with log of the most recent conversation available to draw more information from if your perception rating is high enough.

 

Maybe you are not the only one who keeps a journal, a companion or two can keep a journal, comprised of simple entries, that you can perhaps spy on.

 

Also ability to add a coordinate system to the entries that corresponds to markers you can denote and view on map would be nice.

 

That would be so cool if some of the companions had journals and the player accidently finds it at camp and discovers the companion whose been rejecting you is actually interested in you and the reason why is detailed there. That could lead to an interesting way of returning the journal without them knowing you read it or dealing with the consequences if you give it back and they know you've seen it.

 

In any case, this would be a lot of fun. I would love to see something like this.

 

As for the main point of this thread, I'm all for it. I think it would be great to take notes in character and read them later when elements of the story unfolds to see what I thought earlier in the story.

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I'd rather be in favour of a completely "literary" journal: one actually being made seem to being written by the protagonist for himself, not "for the gamer" by the invisible hand of the developers.

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Absolutely yes.

I want the joyrnal to be good reading material, not just technical documentation.


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I liked the Journal system of BG2. Divided into game chapters, sortable by date or quest, complete or incomplete quests. With each section of the quest written down and not lost once the next piece is entered. It allowed you to keep a track of what you were doing, how you got there and why. There's also a section for the player to make their own notes. It was also written as a journal.

 

Compare that to DA2 or ME3. Might as well not had them. If looking through a journal is too much reading, then maybe an RPG is not the genre for you.

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