Bit of a controversial topic, sure, but the intend is to look at which factors spoil someone’s experience with a game.
Have you ever played a game (from the CoG/HG library, no need to name the title) that made you (aka the MC) feel out of place? In the sense that you felt more like a spectator to the events unfolding?
Did you ever feel like the story would do just as well, if not better, without the plot shoehorning the MC’s present in?
If you ever felt like the MC was out of place in a story, what where other factors?
Rent-a-Vice. The newest on the CoG line was quick and the MC did not matter. The end result of the big political vote is found out in the epilogue only, the whole case is pointless since the missing person is alive and well the whole time. In fact, the MC didn’t even find her, she was being kept hidden and safe, and the MC doesn’t even bring her out.
Essentially, I felt it would have been a better story without the MC.
yes . Two stories actually…and I won’t name them , cose I still enjoyed them very much .
The 1st one was my 1st purchase ever of choiceofgame story . So even though there were points in the story , and even with dialogues…I still felt like…‘Ok…I asked…and now…you just sit there and listen to these peoples talk about the subject’ . And kinda felt…like you are a noob . So just listen…don’t say anything .
It’s not bad , this isn’t what I,m saying . There are far worse games outta there I can name (and won’t) that do it in a way that leave you a bit bitter .
The 2nd one , the story was so very good . But it should’ve been a book not a Play a game in a book format .
So guess…not completely pointless but some moments were written with a disconnection I guess you could call it .
Making you completely pointless , I have yet to feel that . As in the MC directly feeling like that . There are scene that could be…but not that wasn’t the actual question .
Well since saying things that not everyone agrees with hasn’t ever really stopped me before…
I’ve already said on other threads that there is quite a few games where it seems the only real point of the MC is to witness how cool and awesome the Creator’s Pet is.(I’m going to try to be careful of that myself, because I can see how it happens.)
If an example must be given? The Best Of Us. I did like the game as much as I can care for superhero stuff, but objectively? Most of the MC’s actions are completely irrelevant and there’s no real role they play until pretty much the last five pages of the story, and it’s arguable that they even do all that much.
The last person the MC contends with is…a guy. Just…a guy. Kill him or don’t, the bottom line is people are just “Yeah. That’s a thing, you did. What now?” And life goes on.
I did enjoy the first community college heroes and I know people will probably give me a lot of shit for saying it but…while I did like Stoic a bit, I feel like I WOULD’VE liked Stoic a lot more if there wasn’t just about every character talking about how much everyone likes Stoic and how great Stoic is and how Stoic is the strongest and dreamiest and…
I sincerely never played a game from the catalogue which made me feel that way, and im glad I didn’t.
Also, I think that is something no one can accuse any game of mine of. I put so much focus on player choice, branching and consequences that I end up neglecting all else.
Well I believe in constructive feedback so,here is goes.
The great tournament 2 was for me a major let down. I felt my choices from the first game were pointless, and that any choices I made in 2 really just filled the narratice. Everything my character did felt hollow and had no affect on the world around him.
Ok, now I’ll cause a shitstorm on myself: I abandoned Hero Rises because of this.
First the “Legend Score” wich basically force you to play/read the story as the author wants you to play/read;
Second: too many forced choice: why should I have sex with Black Magic in the first book or be trapped in a love triangle in the second one?
Third: sometimes you are forced even to think and feel as the author wants you to think or feel; I abandoned the story after have been expelled by the reality show beacuse I took the bullet for my friend. I had something like 97% morale and I sacrified myself with proud for her to continue the investigation, why should I be sad because of it?
HR would be my definite pick for this too (anyone surprised?)
Especially since in addition to the game telling you how you feel about this and what you think about that, belittling you when you stray from the author’s vision, the story… if there actually is one that goes beyond a scene idea, does NOT require the MC to exist.
Yet the author bends over backwards to make it seem as if the MC is the most important person on whom THE FATE OF THE WORLD ™ hinges.
But from start to finish… the staged trial that started things off required a situation that made staging the trial superfluous, AND required the bad guy to know what powers the MC would get AND what kind of person the MC would be BEFORE the MC even gets their powers. The big thing in the second game feels absurd cause are we really to believe Rebellion would NOT sell out the Diva or anyone else? What is the MC needed for? At all? And the third game takes the cake in the original trilogy with having PG jump througj all these hoops to force the MC to work with her, only to then go and be better off without the MC.
Not to mention how much the game forces us again into playing one way. And then there’s the sequel… which doesn’t even have story, but forces us to agree to the author’s misinformed, delusional, ignorant and outright harmful ideas about sociopolitical issues and representation. I know this last sentence is harsh and rude, but since sergi recently threw a whining tantrum about how despicable mentally ill peeps are for hindering his ‘vision’ of how they are and how to cure things by telling him his idea genuinely triggered them and is ableist… i can’t bring up any good will for the guy anymore.
Ok this is my first time commenting after years of forum lurking so I’m gonna try my best here.
I tend to feel this way whenever the MC seems like too much of a character without me. It ends up making me drop some games I really loved the idea of like Hyuga. I stopped playing the second many times because of the character doing whatever they wanted at times and also the fact that somethings never change…until the author is ready for them to I guess like the relationships between the MC and the other characters. Why can’t I be besties with Masami from the start? Why do I have to sit through my character being standoffish the whole time even though I chose to be protective? I finally forced myself through it but when the third one came out I bought it and played till about the village and just couldn’t bother anymore. Felt like there was no point to me being there and might as well just be a book instead of a game.
Another one would be The Hero Trilogy. Why as a hero with the meter leaning all the way over to justice rather than fame, should I care at all about something like a legend score? Yet I remember my MC getting all giddy when they had a chance to look at the scores. Tons of other things in that series as well as Redemption season. (my gosh) Someone should have showed the author the original run of the X-Men as a good example of how to do a good political superhero story because while I am not a writer myself nor am I an expert on political/social topic addressing, I do know that being as heavy handed as he was in that series about things was a terrible way to go for any story, let alone a choice of game.
Sorry for the jumbled mess of thoughts but it’s a topic that always bothered me but it always felt like I was the only one who played games that made me feel this way.
The thing HR (and others too, unfortunately) does is it’s a novella with a couple of alternate scenes tacked on.
There is one path that the author will railroad the player back unto.
Some stories do this unwittingly, some do it at least smoothly.
There is, YMMV though, as such nothing wrong with nudging the player unto a path when you genuinely have nothing for a different one. But do it smoothly.
HR however earned a special place of nope because the author is fully capable of making choiceoptions that sound like a different path, but then belittles, mocks and punishes the reader for ‘playing wrong’.
So, nope, what happens here is making the MC superfluous by telling the reader outright they are just a spectator to the author’s adventure.
And thus back on topic.
@MeltingPenguins @Elseguard I thought I was the only one who has never liked HR. I’m glad it’s not a so “unpolular” opinion
Coming back to Rent-a-vice from above:
I did betatesting for it, and I’d say the issue there was (as noted then) that it feels… compressed. A lot is happening too fast to a rather small cast, often seemingly skipping events that could/should have occurred in between.
It’s not a bad game or a bad story, however, just feeling very hastened.
Rent a Vice is actually another, albeit different, type of situations where though I didn’t feel totally unneeded it felt like the author really just wanted to write a book and already had what the character was supposed to be in mind rather than having different ways they could be.
For instance, it felt like the MC was supposed to be kind of a deadbeat parent, had engaged in self harm at a point in their life, and also indulged in drugs or drinking after a hard divorce…but it lets you choose stuff like why the marriage ended which could have actually been on your own terms…but apparently the divorce made you spiral out of control? Same with the self harm bit, you can choose that a case went bad and criminals did it to you but it still is taken as it was self harm it seems.
Overall, it just seemed like the author was trying to make the whole story and MC depressing/gritty…even though there is a optimist/cynic stat and you can be optimistic from start to end yet you still get self depreciating dialogue like when you encounter the spouses father.
The one thing that ruins any CYOA game is preconceptions. Preconceptions about what you write, preconceptions about how the player will feel, preconceptions about how the flow of events should go. Slice off branches and tighten the narrative here and there, but if you do it with thoughts like “this is how the story should go” or “obviously players will pick these options” you need to step back.
There’s also simply writing yourself into a corner. I still really like Empyreal, but it seems like the writer didn’t introduce enough variables to the plot to keep it going without forcing the player to unmask themselves, thus causing all of their earlier attempts to keep themselves secret, frankly, to be pointless. But even then, it was framed as an inevitability outside your control, and not a choice with only one right answer – which is where things go from “let-down” to “actively frustrating.”
For me, “Heart of the House” made my MC feel pretty pointless. Spent a lot of the time being led around and just witnessing events. It seemed like my job was less solving mysteries and more making the other characters feel good about themselves and their choices.
i have two game that made me like that : Grand Academy for Future Villains, the MC is basicaly involved in everything but he always seems like more of a spectator, he has no great schtick, no real custom option, no special skills, particular feature and what you chose basicaly has little to not impact on what actualy happen since most of the movement happen out of your influence, he seems more like a camera through which i look a movie than anything
the other : is Saga of the North Wind, for basicaly the same reason as above
talking about Academy, it took me a while to lay my finger on it.
whil I enjoyed it, something irked me. and I think it’s cause it feels like a, well, bootleg of CCH looking back.
I have to admit, it even sound based on that one movie you can watch in the game, even the name is the same / similar
i personaly didn’t enjoyed it, it really wasn’t what it was saying it was and the whole ‘dorm’ thing was useless, i mean there is an horror dorm and i can’t even take a slasher archetype ? (archetype that affect nothing) in the end you have no reason to not pick science fiction except to piss off your mom
I liked it fairly well.
But you spend the majority of it as a patsy even in the best endings. You’re basically a peon that if your character was removed from the story, everything would function about the same. Maybe slightly more time consuming for a few people, but would be mostly unchanged.
And yeah. The dorm thing seemed like a cool concept…until it affects next to nothing afterwards.