Amount of control

Now I’ve run across this many times but I’ve finally decided to ask the forum. How much amount of control should the player posses? For example in my story, the player see’s a weapon far away, now i am wondering whether i should give the player the choice of picking it up or not. But if they do not pick it up they will be at a huge disadvantage while if they do pick it up nothing else would happen. So it is obviously a much wiser choice to pick up the weapon and it will be easier for me to progress the game that way because a large amount of the game is dependent on picking up the weapon. So I would like to know what you guys think I should do.

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It’s up to you, really!

If you really want them to pick up the weapon, you can still give a different choice that gives the player a sense of control. Example: do they bash someone in the face with the weapon, or wield it defensively? It’s ok to force some events into happening, I find, as long as you find another way to give the player agency.


If you can give someone an enjoyable experience with the alternative option (not picking up the weapon), then you can do it, but you don’t have to. I think you really just have to make sure the “choices” you make for the player automatically need to be logical. For example, I always hate in games when the player is cornered by the bad guy, and the bad guy is like “surrender and you will not be harmed”, and then you can’t? How is continuing to fight someone who has nearly killed you a good idea??? But your example is one that most players would not think twice about. It might be INTERESTING to play the game without the weapon, but nobody is going to actively get pissed off that they don’t have the option. Another example of something that the player should have control over is NPC interaction. Have you ever played a game that introduced you to a character and told you “you hate this person” without even establishing why? Doesn’t that annoy you? Don’t do that. Either make it clear that this person is your enemy, or give the player the option to be nice.

I guess just make sure you give control when the decision is one with many logical solutions that players might reach.


Ok thanks everyone, got past that point now. I’ll be giving them a choice of what type of weapon it is, i guess that would work. Like @SwanMaiden said that i should give them alternate choices.

And @SpaceLesbian there really aren’t any NPC enemies unless you really really want there to be, even the main evil guy has his own reasons which are respectable. So shouldn’t have to worry about that but i guess it could go the other way too. I shouldn’t just say that “Hey meet bob, he is your friend and you like him.” I should let the player choose whether he actually likes the person or at least explain why. So i’ll keep your tip in mind.

I would recommend against building your choices this way. Whenever you offer the player a choice, there should be a reason to choose either side. If the player is just automatically screwed on path B, that’s a bad way to go.

Here are some ways this choice could be balanced.

  • The weapon belongs to somebody else, who will be upset if you take it.
  • The weapon is cursed, and you’ll have to deal with the curse if you take it.
  • The weapon is very far out of your way, and you’ll fail to get somewhere in time if you detour to go take it.
  • If you don’t take the weapon, you might be able to talk your way out of trouble, but being armed is a clear threat, and so you can’t talk your way out of trouble while armed.
  • It’s possible to play the game as a pacifist, in which case you wouldn’t want to take the weapon.
  • Rather than “take the weapon/don’t take the weapon”, the choice could be “which weapon do you want to take?” which sounds like it might be more in keeping with your game.

Holy crap, thanks for the recommendation, first i thought it would be too hard to fit but now i realize how perfectly it could go with the plot if you pick up the weapon or leave it. Thanks, you just helped make the game ten times better. :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:


Guns are weak.
Knives are way better.
Its the only honorable way to kill.
Excluding bare handed of course.
But I am fine with being forced to use a gun
But I would put myself at the disadvantage because thats me when I game. (A handicap can make a game fun)

Or something you could do is make an even better weapon available by not taking the first. Sort of like that scene from ‘Pulp Fiction’. “A chainsaw would work…but hey look it’s a KATANA.”

Well i sort of have that, you can take either your own sword if you search the certain are or you can take another sword if you search another area. And both will trigger different memories which will help you make sense of different things.

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I like when a game gives me the ability to replay with different characters and act according to different strategies. Am I clever and manipulative? Compassionate? Ridiculously cool and badass? So I like different ways to solve the same problem.

That said, especially if a game lets me save pretty often, I love to do a playthrough as what I call “Quest, Can I Eat It?” I pick all the wrong dialogue options, make everyone hate me, dive off cliffs, and generally do whatever stupid things the game’s creators let me do. If I’ve already seen all of the “right” answers it’s a ton of fun to keep choosing what is obviously the wrong thing. It becomes a game of close-reading, skill and luck akin to picking all of the best paths on a playthrough.

Or give them a penalty before making them do it. Choosing to pick up the sword, after being given clues it could be helpful, raises Clever. Refusing to pick up the sword lowers Clever and raises Stubborn, then you are forced to pick it up anyway when it becomes apparent that you cannot defeat your enemy with a spoon.

Long Live the Queen is a game that did a wonderful job of allowing you to react in many ways, and seeing how it turned out. Surrendering at a certain point in the game was one of them.

Oh, absolutely. I hate it when that happens. “No! I don’t have a best friend! I don’t have a crush!” is my contrary first reaction, even if I might have befriended or dated that character if given the chance.


Anyone can defeat someone with a spoon.
As long as that someone is a delicious stew.

And what I wish for is more games that operate on the Rule of Cool.

I don’t neccasarily understand what the rule of cool really is but i am guessing it means that you can do ridiculous thing? Like beat someone up with a spoon as sort of a joke?

Also just wondering in general is there still a way to setup a checkpoint in a WIP? And if so then can someone please tell me the command

This was taken directly from the TV Tropes page.

Rule of Cool

The limit of the Willing Suspension of Disbelief for a given element is directly proportional to the element's awesomeness.

Stated another way, all but the most pedantic of viewers will forgive liberties with reality as long as the result is wicked sweet or awesome. This applies to the audience in general; there will naturally be a different threshold for each individual.

Edit: Sorry @faewkless, looks like I ninja’d you :stuck_out_tongue:


The limit of a crowds willing suspension of disbelief is directly proportional to how cool whatever your suspending your disbelief for.
Example rambo firing 74027205 billets from a single ak47’s magazine even though thats impossible. Its so cool no one cares…

DANGIT @ballmot


Bad mod; I am giving myself a wrist slap. We changed subjects mid-thread without starting a new topic. I just did so, and will answer any questions about it there.

It would be AMAZING, if the weapon was a temporary tool.

“Getting the weapon [to destroy the 7 mean looking robots in the other room] could greatly help, but they might see you trying to get it. Maybe staying out of sight is a more viable option. What do you do?”

I know you found your answer, but I thought throwing this out there could help.

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