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(Wall of design text crits YOU for obscene amounts of damage.)

 

In essence, do you want something more like multiple occurring plot lines, where choosing to involve yourself in one can prevent you from meddling in the other plot lines at that same point?

 

For example, let's take a city -- you're probably going to have various guilds and factions in the city all having their own agendas to do. For the sake of the example, let's say on week two, day three in the game, the factions that have something going on are a church, the local merchant's guild, Stereotypical-Wizard-In-A-Tower and the local authorities.

  • The church is hosting some sort of event and needs errands done throughout the day, some a bit shadier than others.
  • The merchant guild is trying to get a hold of an incoming shipment of ... unusual ... goods.
  • The Wizard happens to want something hidden in the church.
  • The local authorities want to confiscate the unusual shipment.

You could just flat out ignore everything, or you could choose to support one or more of the factions. You might even choose to double-cross a faction in some cases.

 

Using the merchant guild/local authorities conflict point, the shipment that the local authorities and the merchant guild are in odds over is a shipment of communication devices that are set to communicate with an outside party at odds with the local authorities. If you start investigating (regardless of who it is for), it shifts the delivery to a more hazardous route because the deliverer is alerted through divinations to your poking around (but not who you are or who you work for) and attempts a riskier route to avoid detection. If/When you located the delivery, you can work with the deliverer to take it to the merchants or take the shipment to the local authorities. If you were working for the authorities, you can also pocket one of the devices, take the rest to the authorities, and give the merchants the remaining one. Alternatively, if you were there at the merchants' behest and found out what the devices were for, you could take it to the authorities first, let them add tracking or spying magic on them, and THEN take it to the merchants.

 

If the merchant guild is successful, they offer you a black market option as a thank you and are able to progress in any plot to destabilize the current ruling class of the city. If the local authorities are successful, guards for the area you were working in will take your side in any public disputes/fights that get out of control provided you're not in a lot of them. But it took so long that you're not able to help the church with its events, though you might be able to help out the Wizard...but it would be harder since you're not sneaking in during the church's event, so anyone who sees you knows you're not supposed to be there.

 

Of course, for anything like this to work, time has to become a relevant factor (i.e. no rest-spamming or you miss out on stuff).

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In essence, do you want something more like multiple occurring plot lines, where choosing to involve yourself in one can prevent you from meddling in the other plot lines at that same point?

 

For example, let's take a city -- you're probably going to have various guilds and factions in the city all having their own agendas to do. For the sake of the example, let's say on week two, day three in the game, the factions that have something going on are a church, the local merchant's guild, Stereotypical-Wizard-In-A-Tower and the local authorities.

  • The church is hosting some sort of event and needs errands done throughout the day, some a bit shadier than others.
  • The merchant guild is trying to get a hold of an incoming shipment of ... unusual ... goods.
  • The Wizard happens to want something hidden in the church.
  • The local authorities want to confiscate the unusual shipment.

You could just flat out ignore everything, or you could choose to support one or more of the factions. You might even choose to double-cross a faction in some cases.

 

Using the merchant guild/local authorities conflict point, the shipment that the local authorities and the merchant guild are in odds over is a shipment of communication devices that are set to communicate with an outside party at odds with the local authorities. If you start investigating (regardless of who it is for), it shifts the delivery to a more hazardous route because the deliverer is alerted through divinations to your poking around (but not who you are or who you work for) and attempts a riskier route to avoid detection. If/When you located the delivery, you can work with the deliverer to take it to the merchants or take the shipment to the local authorities. If you were working for the authorities, you can also pocket one of the devices, take the rest to the authorities, and give the merchants the remaining one. Alternatively, if you were there at the merchants' behest and found out what the devices were for, you could take it to the authorities first, let them add tracking or spying magic on them, and THEN take it to the merchants.

 

If the merchant guild is successful, they offer you a black market option as a thank you and are able to progress in any plot to destabilize the current ruling class of the city. If the local authorities are successful, guards for the area you were working in will take your side in any public disputes/fights that get out of control provided you're not in a lot of them. But it took so long that you're not able to help the church with its events, though you might be able to help out the Wizard...but it would be harder since you're not sneaking in during the church's event, so anyone who sees you knows you're not supposed to be there.

 

Of course, for anything like this to work, time has to become a relevant factor (i.e. no rest-spamming or you miss out on stuff).

 

 

Also known as branching plot and choice/consequences.

 

Yes I want branching plotlines and choices resulting in consequences plus much more in other areas, aspects, elements or mechanics of the game ideally.

 

Selfish to want so much, maybe. But If don't ask, then less likely to get.

Edited by Dragoonlordz
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Also known as branching plot and choice/consequences.

 

Yes I want branching plotlines and choices resulting in consequences plus much more in other areas, aspects, elements or mechanics of the game ideally.

 

Selfish to want so much, maybe. But If don't ask, then less likely to get.

 

We're all selfish for wanting a new game, so that's not really a bad thing. And hey, there you go -- you fit it in a better sentence too.

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Also known as branching plot and choice/consequences.

 

Yes I want branching plotlines and choices resulting in consequences plus much more in other areas, aspects, elements or mechanics of the game ideally.

 

Selfish to want so much, maybe. But If don't ask, then less likely to get.

 

We're all selfish for wanting a new game, so that's not really a bad thing. And hey, there you go -- you fit it in a better sentence too.

 

I fit any of the things I want in a sentence (per gameplay elements), it does however require many sentences to cover them all. Each of those sentences plays a part in reduction of linearity, but it requires many parts to reduce it enough to be adequate for the player during the entire game at least for myself.

Edited by Dragoonlordz
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Simply focusing on the entry is not all there is to making a game non-linear. If that was all there was to it I could say Dragon Age Origins was one of the most non-linear game ever. It has what? 5 ways to enter the “game”?

 

Dragon Age Origins has more than five ways to enter the game, though, I would agree it's about five 'main' ways.

 

Sorry, but you used Dragon Age Origins as a positive example, I will now precisely tell you why you are wrong, and how wrong you are. (very)

That game had HORRIBLE game design when it came to encounters.

 

I played that game once, as a human noble rogue.

 

1. there was a town which needed defending, when I got there it was pretty apparent that it was going to be attacked at night. this was told to you in so many words.

I as a rogue, thought I would better wisely prepare. So I built a ****load of traps, and then I laid them all the way on the approach. to say it was a minefield is to do a disservice to the killing fields I had laid. it cost me quite a bit to craft, those resources were utterly wasted however. since when I signal my readiness, I got teleported to a different "nighttime" map where non of my traps were located.

 

That's bad game design. that's the game punishing creativity.

 

2. I'm off to kill morrigans mother. Now she's known to be quite a dangerous woman. when I get there I drop into stealth, and I decide to lay a ****load of traps around that woman... just in case. I talk to that woman, she HOLY **** turns into a fricking DRAGON! now, my traps should have been enough to at least weaken the dragon to a manageable chunk. Except that the Dragon spawns in a different location thus never crossing my traps.

 

Again the game ****s me hard.

 

3. I told you, I'm a rogue. I'm incredibly stealthy. I find myself in an elven camp. in that camp I see a delicious locked chest.

I do what I do. I approach the chest, stealth on. I touch the chest and... "BOOM" I drop out of stealth and someone walks up to me and talks about how I betrayed the trust of the elves.

 

that's again the game punishing me for being smart.

 

4. It's pretty late in game, there is a mission where I have to rescue the princess from an estate. I get notified beforehand that some people might see through my disguise. so, partway down the map, I see a room, and like I told you, I'm a rogue, so I have to see if there is stuff to steal. I drop into stealth, walk into the room and BOOM! I drop out of stealth AGAIN, a mini-cutscene plays where the man who I would easily have been able to ignore alerts the whole base.

 

Again, the game takes control away from me to force something that shouldn't have happened by following the logic of the game mechanics.

 

5.A. Same mission, I've reloaded, ignored the room, gone down into the cellars killed my nemesis in a rather anticlimactic battle. I open the door the the princess's room. And I I proceed to walk her out of there. when, just before I enter the hallway, I see a bunch of dudes. and my spidey sense is telling me that it is best to avoid that trouble.

the game designers had a different idea though. they loved their set piece so much that I couldn't avoid it. you see, I scouted it out with stealth first. except

you guessed it. I dropped out of stealth and a cutscene plays.

 

5.B.**** that, I reload. I noticed on the map that if I go through the cellars, I will be able to bypass the trap laid for me. So I walk the princess and her dumb ass aide back to the cellars, I get a message from the aide "now is not the time to do that, blah blah" and I CAN"T ****ING ENTER THE CELLARS.

 

again the game took control away from the player to do what IT wanted rather than allow me to do what *I* wanted.

 

THAT is linearity per sang and you cannot ever ****ing tell me that DA:O was good. because it wasn't. it was crap. desperately trying and failing to be a baldurs gate spiritual successor. The plot was contrived, the characters one dimensional, many locations only relevant once, lots of bugs(though that is forgiveable, on its own) and it's godawful level design.

 

Sure you had maps that allowed you to approach something from more than one location, but you had to pass the set pieces everytime, regardless.

Hell, in the elvish area there was a map you couldn't access if they found you hadn't completed a quest yet. it was the only approach to the werewolves den. (so I guess that's 6.)

Edited by JFSOCC
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Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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@JFSOCC

 

I actually greatly like DAO, it is one of the better RPGs of recent years but it is not perfect. No game ever is. It tried to do many of the things I mentioned on page one of this thread, some things did well, others did not but it did enough to be a enjoyable game. It like many others needed to make as many parts as non-linear as possible which brings me back to my main point, no one sentence or one elements can defeat linearity. The more elements that tackle it through many gameplay aspects not just one then the better the game, I feel it is better to try and fail than not try at all. DAO tried and succeded in some areas and not others. After over 30 years I am still waiting to play that perfect RPG which has yet to be created.

Edited by Dragoonlordz
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All* areas** in Project Eternity should have more than*** one entrance****.

 

* = Obviously, we can tolerate a minority of areas having only one entrance

** = City, castle, forest, building, level, room. From macro to micro.

*** = Two is minimum. Three or more is even better.

**** = Entrance can be literal or figurative. An entrance can be a second door, or a sewer you can crawl through to get underneath a building, or using a roof, or using magic to teleport into an area, or using dialogue or a disguise or other unique thing to gain access into an area.

 

Sure, having 100 entrances to one room would cease to make that room a room (maybe swiss cheese), so perhaps not all entrances should be "literal" holes in a wall, and perhaps we should limit the number of ways into an area, so that strategy is required. But having multiple ways to approach entering a part of the game, the more complex that game is by nature.

 

Of course, this can extent to exits as well, but I think "how you got there" is slightly more important than "how you left".

 

Last time I checked, Final Fantasy 13 and Skyrim weren't Infinity Engine cRPGs, why would you have any expectation of literal linear geometry?

 

What's even the point of your hyperbolic reaction to a non-issue? Just adding doors willy-nilly to every room is pointless excess. Unless you have a reason and a believable justification for something, why put it there?

 

Did you just play Dishonored while doing cocaine or something?

Edited by AGX-17
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