I’m not sure if I’ll end up coding this into a quick game or just keep it as a thought exercise.
I was wondering if rather than including stats and stat tests, it would be possible to provide a player the option to choose failure, as well as success.
I was thinking would it make an interesting, better story to do so, or would it destroy immersion.
Let’s take a typical fantasy story. You’re the nameless hero. There is an evil dark wizard who is a problem.
Now, you can just take the boring path of being the noble Chosen One, gifted with the best gear from the gods, blessed with the skills and talents of a hero. You’re immortal, invulnerable, no challenge is too big for you. The evil wizard attacks your family and you defeat him, driving him back to his castle. You wage a one man war, fighting your way past his armies, easily avoiding his traps, needing help from no one. You break into the castle, and stab the wizard, killing him. All with absolutely no problem at all. That’s the straight way through. The easy way.
It’s not the most interesting story though.
The interesting story comes when you choose to be born the peasant. Are you the chosen one? Maybe, or maybe not? Did the gods bless you or are they a problem in your life? Maybe one of them has a grudge against you and makes things difficult, or maybe it’s just annoying having them telling you what to do. How do you acquire your gear? How do you improve your skills? The dark wizard has kidnapped your dog, and you failed to protect your family from his wrath. Now, you’ve lost something and you’re out for revenge against him. Now, you could choose to fight your way through. Or you could choose those failure options, being aware that failure doesn’t mean death or the end to the story. Failure just means a different path.
Hmm. Anyway I’m thinking about it. Of course the clearest thought exercise would be a game when choosing the success option would immediately take you to the ending, whereas choosing to fail over and over again would provide an interesting story, although perhaps not the most compelling of protagonists and there would need to be balancing complete failure with some degree of success otherwise it ends up with a protagonist who’s just wading through with sheer luck and who’s not in control.