I don’t really have a better title, so here’s my explanation of what I wanna know.
I’m really drawn to elimination-style reality shows like The Challenge, Drag Race, Survivor, Total Drama Island, etc., and I’ve always wanted to see a game that does something like this or exactly this. Love Island the Game sort of did this, but on multiple replays you could tell that the characters that could
be eliminated had mostly-interchangeable personalities, and that many elimination choices were pre-determined.
I’ve not seen many other games in any medium that choose to go with this style of game design for obvious reasons. I’ve especially not seen a Choicescript game like this appear. It made me wonder what the difficulties of writing this game would be, and what an audience wants/expects from a game like this.
So here are some polls asking about elimination-style game mechanics. Please feel free to elaborate in the replies if your responses to the polls don’t summarize your thoughts fully.
All characters should have the potential to be eliminated, and the characters up for elimination should be randomly determined based on the MC’s performance.
Important characters, like ROs and antagonists, should survive as long as possible. Others can be eliminated whenever and should be determined by the MC’s performance.
Characters up for elimination should be pre-determined to maintain story structure. The player’s performance shouldn’t determine who is up for elimination unless they are the ones up for elimination.
Other (explain in reply)
The MC should be able to be up for elimination, but they shouldn’t ever be eliminated. Winning at the finale isn’t guaranteed.
The MC should be able to be up for elimination, but they shouldn’t ever be eliminated. Winning at the finale is guaranteed.
The MC should be able to be up for elimination and eliminated, but only towards the end.
The MC should be able to be up for elimination and eliminated from the very beginning.
Other (explain in post)
The MC should determine which character is eliminated every time.
The MC should only have a few chances to determine which character is eliminated.
The MC should be able to influence who is eliminated, but their choice shouldn’t be guaranteed.
I’m working on something like that for CuCu at the moment:
The other contestants will always be set, but their order of elimination (and who wins if the MC has to leave before the finale) will be randomly determined (oh, i dread the coding).
There’s also DragStar in the making, though I don’t know how that will handle it.
But I am all in favor of random elimination (with according text) as big a hell as that is to code. As for the MC, I think it depends on the kind of story. If the whole game is about such contest, getting eliminated early would either be an early end that might frustrate more than motivate.
On the other hand, getting plot armor might have the same effect.
All things considered, I’d ay it depends how things are handled.
Zach Sergi’s body of work pretty often has an elimination game plotline–the second and fourth Heroes Rise games and the Versus series’ concepts are pretty solidly based around it. How much those conform to your tastes might vary–Versus doesn’t really remind me of reality TV all that much, and there’s generally a lot of other things happening alongside the competition in HR, but the idea of elimination competition is something that’s been explored in Choicescript
But how far is it explored?
HR 2 and THP have set eliminations. There isn’t a random factor and no significant changes to the flow of the story, with the exception of whether the Mc or Jenny will be in the finale in HR2.
Similar with THP, where the only difference is whether Transfer or Fake-Griffin will proceed. Every other elimination is preset, down to the MC getting kicked out
I’m not one to be all afeared of fail states, and I think if you can’t make a large cast with interesting characteristics, you should just do a smaller group. Make it possible to eliminate everyone, including the MC.
I think completely random elimination (something like a procedurally-generated game) can diminish the coherency of a strong narrative or the solidity of good, defined characters who always act consistently and aren’t interchangeable. I think having a small group of characters and being able to influence–through your actions–the order in which they’re eliminated is great and probably more doable! The main character being up for elimination at any time does raise the stakes, but if they’re only able to be eliminated towards the end, I feel you’ll have to code/write lots of arbitrary “save the days” to prevent them from actually being eliminated if they fail at any point before the end.
It’s a little bit different from shows like Survivor, but have you ever seen The Mole? Now, while something like that can’t exactly fit into a game like Survivor where others choose who is going home, I figured I’d bring this up because it both allows important characters to stay without removing the MC’s influence on who will be eliminated.
The idea is that among the contestants there is a mole chosen to purposely ruin the other contestant’s chances of winning the money. Furthermore, the way the contestants are eliminated each week is by trying to guess who the Mole is – the person with the lowest score is eliminated. This means that the Mole – the most important character – can never be eliminated because they, obviously, know who the Mole is and they know all the answers.
If you haven’t seen the Mole by the way, and you like mysteries, don’t spoil it for yourself and watch the first season. They give the watcher clues from the beginning, but you’ll never guess who the Mole is.