Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I don't think it helps immersion if there is a 'NEW' or 'UNREAD' glowy tag next to a Table of Contents in the Journal. And it also doesn't help immersion that the journal just automatically grows, like some idiot savant item-based NPC who loves to collect data.

 

So instead of those mechanisms, picture a guy sitting around a campfire with a candle, book and pen/charcoal, adding to his journal. You could actually see a map in the journal grow as he filled in the details since the last update. Or see him choose to commit to page all he's learned so far about the Mystical Mushrooms of Midlothia.

 

You as the player would decide which nuggets to write down, and the act of writing them down is what actually gives you your first view of the details. This allows you to have an effective "Unread" tag for the new or unread entries without having it show up explicitly in the world. It would be implied by whether or not your character had written it down.

 

Managing the unwritten entries would be via the interface, representing the fact that it is information and choices made by the player. It's happening inside the character's head. At any particular point in time you might have 5, 10, maybe even 20+ things to add to your journal. But until your character takes the 'time' to organize your thoughts and put them to paper the details aren't accessible to the player, just the summary that the player remembers when the information was first found.

 

Getting a little long here, but I just wanted to add that journal entries describing recent events or discoveries is a great way for game designers to draw attention to connections that a player somehow missed. I had a P&P DM who provided a written summary of the previous session for the start of the next session. It was correct (he didn't add anything) but he could draw our attention to overlooked threads in the tapestry just by how he phrased things.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think it helps immersion if there is a 'NEW' or 'UNREAD' glowy tag next to a Table of Contents in the Journal. And it also doesn't help immersion that the journal just automatically grows, like some idiot savant item-based NPC who loves to collect data.

 

KILL DA:O CODEX WITH FIRE.

 

 

So instead of those mechanisms, picture a guy sitting around a campfire with a candle, book and pen/charcoal, adding to his journal. You could actually see a map in the journal grow as he filled in the details since the last update. Or see him choose to commit to page all he's learned so far about the Mystical Mushrooms of Midlothia.

 

You as the player would decide which nuggets to write down, and the act of writing them down is what actually gives you your first view of the details. This allows you to have an effective "Unread" tag for the new or unread entries without having it show up explicitly in the world. It would be implied by whether or not your character had written it down.

 

A lore recording option would be nice and can be immersive (well, less meta-gamey) if attached to the quest/notes journal appropriately, so I'm in favor of that. Your idea for a better "unread" flag is a lot less annoying than DA:O's codex icons, certainly, and a filling-out map would be great, perhaps as a ToC of some kind.

 

For an in-game chronicle of discovered lore attached to the journal, I'm in favor of something that matches the style of the setting... The problem besides UI in the DA:O codex was that you had no option to simply read in-game information before storing it in the codex for later study--the UI pop was automatic. A combination of access in BG (e.g. reading a book in someone's library) with an in-game option to record the information (maybe a little quill icon) into the notes section of your stylish journal would be better, I think...

 

There's another idea, though. I'm not averse to finding a bunch of books and scrolls and keep notes on lore without a journaling mechanism--we're going to have a stronghold. One of those rooms should be a library!

  • Like 1

The KS Collector's Edition does not include the Collector's Book.

Which game hook brought you to Project Eternity and interests you the most?

PE will not have co-op/multiplayer, console, or tablet support (sources): [0] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Write your own romance mods because there won't be any in PE.

"But what is an evil? Is it like water or like a hedgehog or night or lumpy?" -(Digger)

"Most o' you wanderers are but a quarter moon away from lunacy at the best o' times." -Alvanhendar (Baldur's Gate 1)

Link to post
Share on other sites

The thing with the journal system as it stands is it's really convenient - it's easy for stuff to get lost, or to be filed under a name you're not familiar with, so it's hard to find later. Your system while realistic adds a lot of busywork that just makes things less convinient for everyone - you can't simply check your journal for the directions to somewhere you were supposed to go without resting first. Which makes no sense if they were given to you in writing, and means you have to have a "directions to _____" item in your inventory. Which isn't inherently bad, but it's typically harder to find something in the inventory (especially if it's sorted by icons, not names) than it is to simply check your journal. It also dilutes the functionality of the different menus, so you have to learn multiple procedures for a single task depending on whether you've rested or not.

 

It's perhaps best to think of the journal as already including that feature - stuff marked "new" has yet to be inscribed, then as you read it, that's when your character is writing it.

If we go this route we can have everything already in the journal, which is convenient, but new stuff can be in a different colour or font, so it's noticable but not overt. You can still include an animation of your character writing, or even just a typewriter effect as the new entry darkens into permanent ink letter by letter (I reckon this would be nice). This could also inform finished quests - as you look at them they cross themselves out one by one and vanish from your "to complete" list. I say cross themselves out then vanish because it frees up space (you don't want to clutter up the quest log so the main quest is buried under several new sidequests you just finished), but it's obvious what's occuring, you're not just "forgetting" a quest or something equally confusing.

 

I mean, if you really want to see them all chronologically there can be filters, but UI elements need to serve gameplay first, immersion second.

Edited by Pyradox
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree with Pyro.

While the idea sounds good, I see it making the journal kinda, you know, not doing it's intended function.

I rather have (as I mentioned before);

 

Auto-scribe updates. Sorted in story and individual quests (there is also a tab to review the entire conversation with the questgiver).

New "unread" quests could be marked with an icon (star, cross, take your pick), just not words. Would be a massive immersion increasement with just a small tweak.

  • Like 1

^

 

 

I agree that that is such a stupid idiotic pathetic garbage hateful retarded scumbag evil satanic nazi like term ever created. At least top 5.

 

TSLRCM Official Forum || TSLRCM Moddb || My other KOTOR2 mods || TSLRCM (English version) on Steam || [M4-78EP on Steam

Formerly known as BattleWookiee/BattleCookiee

Link to post
Share on other sites

The most important thing about 'books' you find lying around in RPGs is that they get to the point quickly. What kind of book is it, quest related, background, entertainment ?

 

Oblivian had you turn pages for less than a hundred characters which didn't help navigation at all. As a rule these CRPG book parsers just aren't very good. Maybe it's just not something developers spend very much energy on.

 

One button to open, same button to close, keep the layout simple and easy to navigate. My preference would be that they only go in your yournal if they are directly quest related. If it's your favorite section of The Lusty Argonian Maid you can leave it, read it then and there, or drag it around in your regular inventory.

  • Like 1

Na na  na na  na na  ...

greg358 from Darksouls 3 PVP is a CHEATER.

That is all.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

The key I see here is immersion, which can mean different things to different people. Someone who wants to play and rack up experience will not want to spend half an hour playing journalist. Traditionally the journal purpose is to make gameplay convenient, information is close at hand, displayed clearly and in an easy to understand manner. A journal is a tool to make it easier, simpler for the player to play the game. That is what I will want.

Link to post
Share on other sites
UI elements need to serve gameplay first, immersion second.

How could anything be more important than immersion in a role-playing game ?

Pretty easily. People don't actually have numerical statistics representing their ability to dodge or predefined inventory slots. When I pick up an apple I don't cause it to vanish into a menu for easy retrieval later. All of these sacrifice immersion for the benefit of gameplay.

 

RPGs tend to operate on very complex systems with a lot of variability - in order to make things clear for gameplay purposes you often have to sacrifice realism in order to keep things understandable for everyone. Obviously there are certain parts where you can be more or less immersive - typically you want the player to spend as much time in those and as little time in the menus as possible, but it's a tradeoff. The really immersive parts exist because the unimmersive parts gave you that background information in the first place.

 

Take the journal for example - if you get a quest and come back a week later, should your character have forgotten in the space of five in-game minutes that someone asked him to kill some boars? Of course not. These mechanics allow you easy access to what your character knows so you can play them properly. I would say the abilty to do so is far more important to an RPG than allowing you to play out your character's thought process. It just keeps things running smoothly - no "but my character should know that!" or "but it makes no sense for me to have ane extended rest in the middle of the day just so I can check my quest inbox!" - it cuts out the middleman to deliver a better gameplay experience, so then you can get back to doing stuff that's actually fun, and then you can feel immersed in a fantasy, not a fancy email client.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great feedback.

 

In response, I would tweak my suggestion in the following ways.

 

1) Quest maps or other written lore would just be added to the book, but written in a different hand so you know it's not yours. Heck, you could use the Table of Contents to list other books/topics at your disposal so it can be used as an index into your entire knowledge base. Other books discovered whole aren't going to come with the "write to read" mechanism.

 

2) Instead of having a player 'memory' show up on screen, do it all in the journal. At the first non-combat opportunity you hear the sound of charcoal on paper for a few seconds and then a book closing. If you check your journal it would have an entry in the ToC and a page that says "Mushroom Mines of Midlothia - write more later".

 

3) If you want to read a new entry you don't need to rest, click on the "write more later" and watch as your character smudges out the "write ..." and starts filling the page with what he's learned. If you're interrupted you might stop mid sentence but could go back later and click on the last word to continue. More opportunities for immersion.

Edited by RTWAP
Link to post
Share on other sites

And it also doesn't help immersion that the journal just automatically grows, like some idiot savant item-based NPC who loves to collect data.

I think I read somewhere that you actually have Soul or Spirit acting as your journal?

This reminds me of the WH40k: The Inquistion novellas. Inquisitors tend to have, as you word it, some "idiot savant" data-addict attached to their group. They come with a photographic memory and a craving for knowledge of any kind, lore-wise caused by a virus. It's a cool concept and might offer you all the immersion you seem so keen to get, while also allowing for a journal that still has remarks on anything. Since it's in your savant's photographic memory, there's not even a reason to take a rest in order to write it down.

 

Example: http://wh40k.lexican...wiki/Uber_Aemos

 

oh, and as they tend to get unbelievably ancient, their limbs would be replaced by augmentic (cyborg) body parts, eventually enabling them some serious combat prowess :)

Edited by devstar
Link to post
Share on other sites

I always just imagine that I've hired a scribe to record my every deed and compile every bit of lore I learn in a huge epic novelization of my adventure so that we can cash in - assuming we can survive.

 

In all seriousness, the journal mechanic serves to help the player keep things straight. I would totally be in favor of allowing me to choose which things get put into the journal, and a system within the UI to allow me to organize said data however I want. Furthermore, it'd be really nice if I could write my own entries and organize them as I wished. It'd be really handy to write down notes in-game as to where a character is exactly and things like that or attach notes to markers I've put on the map, etc. But it'd be really difficult to play the game without the journal - take a 2 week break from playing, be utterly hopeless it needs to be loaded up with stuff with convenient markers.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I say maintain a factor of having to read between the lines while staying organized enough that it doesn't become tedious. I.e. journal might mention bandits in the country side so speaking with multiple farmers provides more clues that are reflected in the journal. However it works, I just don't want it to be like "go talk to farmer maggot, here's his house on the map and a golden trail of magical bread crumbs to show you the way, but be careful there's a monster on the way there, but not to worry here are his weaknesses and other stats. He'll also have an important note on how to get through the mysterious waterfall. Good luck P.s. wanna make out?"

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good journal can make a huge difference in playability and immersion. I really hate it when journal automatically picks up important quest details too obviously and thus underlines what is important. On the other hand, if important details are not recorded or too hard to find, it can be really difficult to continue playing after a longer break.

 

One way to balance this, which I don't remember having seen before, would be a possibility to highlight interesting parts of dialogs or books and then transcribe those to the player's journal (after the discussion). That way one could have a comprehensive journal in-game without the game making all the choices between important and superfluous information. If the personal journal would be easy to organize and allowed annotations and perhaps linking different quotes, it would feel personal and be useful at the same time. Of course, this system wouldn't be practical on a console and demands that players actually read the dialog and text carefully, but if there ever is a project where this kind of system would be feasible and serve the gameplay, I think P:E could be it.

 

I'll be perfectly fine with a more traditional journal system too, but I can just imagine how nice it would be to find a ring of obelisks or a dungeon door in the wilderness and think: "Hey, that one guy told me about something like this. I knew it would be worth writing down!" That way just being able to pick up on important details would became part of the gameplay. Even a version where one could mark a sentence/paragraph important in a dialog/book, would let the journal have gameplay possibilities. And it should go without saying, that one should be able to make notes on the map too.

 

EDIT: I would still like to see a collection of lore in my journal, like in PS:T, with pictures.

Edited by Arhiippa

And yes, I know my profile picture is blasphemy on this forum, but I didn't have the audacity to use The Nameless One.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I liked The Witcher's journal system :)

This. The first Witcher game journal was not just useful, but interesting to read too.

And made easy to get back into the game, even after a 2 months pause.

I've come to burn your kingdom down

Link to post
Share on other sites

I liked The Witcher's journal system :)

This. The first Witcher game journal was not just useful, but interesting to read too.

And made easy to get back into the game, even after a 2 months pause.

 

That's a great point. Life happens and we can't always play a game straight through. A well designed journal system can really help you pick up the threads of the story.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...