Hey all, so I’ve got a question for y’all mostly because of an idea I’ve got for a horror/mystery story I might start up once I wrap up classes for this semester. I’ll likely put up a concept topic later in the week. Anywho, would you, as a player, prefer to be warned if your choices are leading to your character’s death, or would you rather keep the element of suspense? Right now, I was thinking of having a three-strike system where a little message at the top of the page would warn you whether you’re close to getting yourself killed. It’d open up windows for some risk-takers to discover some secrets that otherwise wouldn’t be found. Or, y’know… lead to an untimely death.
My opinion? Warn me at the very begging that my choices can produce my death.
Example: “Welcome to the game X,”
Warning: Be warn that you choices can and will kill you if you are not careful!
I would not like that the game tell me all the time I am doing something risky, I got it clear that this is game a horror game and that there might be a horrible unexpected monster at the other side of the door, a mass murder killer that might be playing with me, or idk… a damn jump-scare inside the closet… (All the clasics, like hide under a bed)
So! at the end? My main suggestion is keep the game / book in silece so player can do whatever it please without a second thought from the game itself…
(UNLESS, you add an off-voice that will belong to the MC saying "Oh-uh, a scary dark voice in that dark room… no lights on, some scary storm… MAYBE I SHOULD NOT check there and GET THE H*CK out of there… Oh! and call the police… why not?))
I prefer to keep the suspense, but have the possibility to make some saves during the game. And I agree with ShadowBroker, warn at the beginning is a good idea.
I vote against the three strikes. Do it in narrative, so it’s generally clear when the reader’s in growing danger – and make sure you occasionally don’t put in a warning, so the reader suddenly finds herself fighting for her life with no warning at all. Just to keep us on our toes.
Fair enough! A warning makes more than enough sense. Kinda feel like using one of those warnings that some games have. “Choose your actions carefully.” and whatnot.
/nods/ I understand. I just wasn’t sure if people would be upset or not if they suddenly found themselves in a life threatening situation without being forewarned. Though, I suppose it should be expected for the genre it’s in.
I agree that the atmosphere should suggest danger within the structure of the game. If you want to cheat a bit, perhaps the PC might have a definite “tell” that you could use to forewarn of danger that the player would eventually learn…such as the fingers go numb, or they feel a headache coming on – if that works in your story.
I don’t want any warnings, since we know there are dangers in a horror game. But, implement save systems, as dying and starting all the way from the beginning is frustrating.
No, I think it is better to make it less clear.
If the game is a horror/mystery story, I expect any player to realize that there will be dangerous situations where the MC might die. A warning for every dangerous scene would only destroy the game’s atmosphere. Warnings would only be useful if the MC has to deal with something that is obviously dangerous to them in-universe but don’t seem to be dangerous to a player from our real world.
a save system would be good that’s the main thing I care about lol
Warning at the start? Sure. Every dangerous choice? No. Danger should be spotted either by the fact that the choice would obviously get you killed or sprinkling in hints that its a bad idea.
Plus you could just have a “Would you like to go to the previous choice?” Then have a goto with the name of the label that the death choice was in. No need for a save system in that case. Although you may need it anyways if its a stat based death and the player put all his points into swimming.
I think that you should be warned of the dangers of using indirect methods, such as music and so on. You should feel it, but it shouldn`t look like the floating button with the message “dangerous!” As it distracts your attention and annoys each time appearing just in the time when you should concentrate your attention on the fight )
Alright, alright. I get what all of y’all are saying. I’ll definitely make sure to put a warning at the start of the game and see if I can work in a save system or something similar.
@WulfyK /nods/ I understand. I just gathered from my lurking on the forums that surprise deaths are something that’s generally frowned upon, but I figure the genre it’s in is probably a big factor in the reaction to those kinds of scenes.
@Malimet I think music would actually be too distracting, but I completely get what you’re saying! Do you think a warding item (i.e. an amulet or charm) that reacts to danger would be too distracting itself? Or would writing out a gut reaction to danger be more fitting?
Just to throw a wrench in everything, you could combine the save system and the strike system…the amulet that glowed when near danger, maybe it glows a different color when you tell it to "save"this moment in time. If you die, you get transported back to the last time-save point. With each death, theamulet starts to crack. No telling how many deaths it can take…
You know, that’s actually not that bad of an idea. I was actually going to have that the protective charm can start to tarnish, eventually becoming nothing more than a dirtied trinket.
Nope, I like the surprise if I choose something bad and my character dies a horrible death. But save points must be present so I don’t get frustrated if my character dies.
I just recommend you to make it more simple, the more simple your game will be - the more chances that the details will not annoy your gamers…) By the way, if you don`t mind, I posted the review of Mad Max Game made by myself…)) Here it is: https://forum.choiceofgames.com/