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Storyline divergence, significance of choice, and effect on future games.

choice lore world building expansions sequels

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#21
C2B

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MoTB was one however, that had just one singular path, but your choice defined what that path was, if they did that again, I would be very very happy.


Yup. I also have nothing against them if they are smaller ones. Roche/Ivoreth is the example I mentioned before (which you probably saw) where I'm not too fond of it.

To clarify my point about *details* from an NPC side. Alpha Protocol. Specifically how many ways the Marburg/Parker convo could end up depending on how I influenced them.

#22
Wombat

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Considering even what we could glance at, TBH/Jefferson's reputation system was quite complex one - so complex that I wondered if it is even possible to fill it with the content. In fact, according to Sawyer, it made Avellone, who has been more than happy with writing dialogues, "burnt out." Since the last attempt, we haven't seen any dialogue-heavy games on the IE format. I wonder how much Obsidian will be able to do with the new setting and the matured reputation system. Of course, the higher the expectation, the harder it could fall and yet I think it's quite reasonable to expect the game to have much more text-based content compared with their "modern" games.

PS The sequels are just hypothetical thinking...too early since the game itself hasn't been released, IMO.

#23
C2B

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PS The sequels are just hypothetical thinking...too early since the game itself hasn't been released, IMO.


It's not really. You HAVE to think now about it to carry choices or plotlines over. Otherwise it feels tacked on or presents too much work.

Edited by C2B, 09 October 2012 - 07:05 AM.

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#24
DocDoomII

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PS The sequels are just hypothetical thinking...too early since the game itself hasn't been released, IMO.


It's not really. You HAVE to think now about it to carry choices or plotlines over. Otherwise it feels tacked on or presents too much work.

Otherwise you'll end up with Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age II. Bug aside, the imports impact were minimal, at most cosmetic 99% of the times.

#25
Wombat

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PS The sequels are just hypothetical thinking...too early since the game itself hasn't been released, IMO.


It's not really. You HAVE to think now about it to carry choices or plotlines over. Otherwise it feels tacked on or presents too much work.

Otherwise you'll end up with Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age II. Bug aside, the imports impact were minimal, at most cosmetic 99% of the times.

Yeah, I guess the devs were warned - which should be enough for the time being... :lol:

#26
DocDoomII

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Otherwise you'll end up with Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age II. Bug aside, the imports impact were minimal, at most cosmetic 99% of the times.

Yeah, I guess the devs were warned - which should be enough for the time being... :lol:

I dunno, it was such a let down to me, that I'm gonna repeat myself like a broken record.
Forever.

#27
Pope

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Personally I’d like to see something along this way:

Have sequels take place mostly in different regions, but not too far off (sort of like how BG2’s map was the area south of BG1’s, or how both IWD1 and IWD2 were set in, well, Icewind Dale).
Have most regions be brand new, but also include some from the previous game to revisit (like IWD2 did with Kuldahar, Dragon’s Eye and the Severed Hand). Yet unlike IWD2, make these returning areas differ (not just in appearance but also storywise) according to the player’s actions in the previous game. If this were to complicate integrating these branching plots into the main story, a solution could be to have these areas simply be sidequests.

Of course, the third game would then require branching stories for branching stories (assuming it would be the same areas to make another comeback), which would undoubtedly be a pain to design and program, but doesn’t it sound bloody awesome?!


(I'll try to write a concrete example for this but I don't have the time atm)

#28
nikolokolus

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Reactivity is great, but it can become a real mess when massive branching events get carried across multiple games.

This is why I tend to favor storylines that terminate at the conclusion of a game + xpac, and then make a true sequel in another part of the timeline, in another part of the world.

For all of The Elder Scrolls' failings as an RPG system, they get this part correct when it comes to keeping their lore tidy.

#29
J.E. Sawyer

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Considering even what we could glance at, TBH/Jefferson's reputation system was quite complex one - so complex that I wondered if it is even possible to fill it with the content.

It was relatively complex, but not tremendously more complex than the reputation system in Fallout: New Vegas. When designers starting using the F:NV reputation system, it was initially confusing (mostly because it has positive and negative scales), but they adapted to it quickly.

#30
sollus

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In terms of reputation it would be great if every faction / group didnt behave as if you had a live camera feed with you broadcasting onto the internet giving everyone complete awareness of your actions.

If you do some good dead people will not always talk about it, likewise sometimes you do something insignificant and it gets blown out of proportion, I would like to see some of these complexities represented if possible.

Also chances are that people in a major city arent that interested in how many hillbillies/farmers you helped out on the way into their city. Likewise if you do something good or wrong and no one is around to see you, it shouldnt affect your reputation, unless you go off and brag about it. It would be cool if going incognito could be a choice.

#31
Wombat

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Considering even what we could glance at, TBH/Jefferson's reputation system was quite complex one - so complex that I wondered if it is even possible to fill it with the content.

It was relatively complex, but not tremendously more complex than the reputation system in Fallout: New Vegas. When designers starting using the F:NV reputation system, it was initially confusing (mostly because it has positive and negative scales), but they adapted to it quickly.

Thanks for the replay and, yes, I reckon some of the old ideas in FONV but I wonder if your answer is assuring or not. :ermm:

A. The reactiveness of PE world will be most likely to be as many as those in FONV.
B. Even if Obsidian make things more complex, their writers will be able to deal with it.

In a nutshell, what I would like to know is how reactive PE world would be. :lol:

#32
rjshae

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A novel approach to a CRPG might be to put a major decision point at the last third of the plot, follow both through to a stopping point, then release two entirely different sequels based on which choice you want. They would both use the same software with many of the same elements, but their plots would diverge radically to different locations and characters. Not sure if that is economically viable though.

Edited by rjshae, 09 October 2012 - 10:54 AM.


#33
Umberlin

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I just hope that they will be able to integrate choices well in the sequels.

I don't want it to be like importing from DA:O to DAII, or ME+ME2 into ME3.
Teh Horror.


Especially with DA:O to DA2 completely ignoring some choices. Or am I supposed to believe Leliana grew a new head between DA:O and DA2? Bleh.
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#34
nikolokolus

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A novel approach to a CRPG might be to put a major decision point at the last third of the plot, follow both through to a stopping point, then release two entirely different sequels based on which choice you want. They would both use the same software with many of the same elements, but their plots would diverge radically to different locations and characters. Not sure if that is economically viable though.


Interesting, but no chance.

#35
Moirnelithe

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I think there should be some effects to the world around you as you progress in the game but I like having those effects on a smaller, more personal scale. A personal journey of your character and the effects that has on people you meet is fine. But like the ripples in a pond if you throw a stone in the water, the effects should be more subtle the further away you get from the event and the person that caused it. As such, the effects to the world in a future game should be limited unless it has directly to do with your character.
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#36
Giantevilhead

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Having big choices carry over to future games would make things more epic and more realistic in certain situation.

If a society has been oppressing a certain group of people for hundreds of years, it wouldn't really make any sense for you to be able to liberate the oppressed group in just a few weeks or months. It would make much more sense for the change to take place over several games.

If two nations are at war, it wouldn't make much sense for you to help win a few battles and suddenly have one nation achieve complete victory over the other. It would make more sense for the war to be fought over a period of years over several games.

#37
happyelf

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You don't need full branching plots to make choices matter. There are a lot of ways a game system can support those choices in an evocative way.

Consider just one example- wandering monsters. Who are those jerks who keep attacking you in the forest in game 2?

Well obviously, they're the remnants of whatever faction you anihilated in game 1. Whatever side you took in game 1, they're what's left of the other side.

They're bitter survivors of your rise to power, with no place in the new status quo- and so they've fled to the deep woods, to wage a resistance. You could get a lot of mileage out of this idea for a managable resource outlay:

*Each of the potential factions filling this role would be comparable in art assets- humanoid, standard combat animations, relativly common voice set.

*Distinctions would be great within that set of resources. Their uniforms and race could be different. Their party composition would be distinct, but well within the existing content- elves might have archers and a pet wolf. Magical foes would have a wizard and some conjured bodyguards.

*Minor plot events could mention the diferences. When you're given bounty hunting side missions, these guys get you extra gold. A wounded soldier you meet in a house of healing has a (one line) story to tell about those vicious renegade wizards/elven snipers/dwarvern sabotuers.

*Assuming there are wandering monsters, and regions, the region encounter likelyhood could be tweaked. If you pissed off the dwarves in game 1, you're more likely to cop a dwarf attack in the mountains, in game 2.

*You could toss in a unique npc for each faction, and place them based on game 1 outcomes. Is that young wizard an ally of yours, or the leader of the arcane resistance? Do you meet that dwarf warrior in a friendly training bout, or is he part of one of the late game party battles with the forces of your new opponent?

These represent relatively minor outlays of resources, within the versatility that an rpg has to have, anyway. And this is just one way a new game could be tweaked, to reflect what happened in the games before it.
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#38
Brockololly

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I would guess having meaningful consequences to choices spanning sequels will be made much more manageable given the minimal voice acting and the likely lack of many modern cinematics. I'm guessing most conversations and "cutscenes" such as they are, will play out from the fixed POV like the Infinity Engine games, which probably makes that sort of content way easier to create.

As far as what sort of things I'd like to transfer over, it depends. If its the same player character going across games and if the same companions are coming along, then whatever relationship or reputation the player character builds with the companions should definitely carry over. People being alive or dead. I don't need to see every little consequence to every little choice, but if there are some dangling plot threads from the first game based on a player choice, I'd like it if those could be dealt with via meaningful consequences either from the sequel or maybe even the expansion pack.





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