Good Intentions (WIP -- Updated 08-December-2018)

low-fantasy
gender-choice

#121

I’m not too well versed in ChoiceScript so I might be misunderstanding (or I might be misunderstanding in general), but why are you using opposed pairs instead of singular stat displays if you feel they’re not that good at conveying what you want them to convey?

With singular stats (idk what the term for that would be, I hope you understand what I mean) you could have them start at 50% (or 30% or whatever if you want to give the MC more room to grow), which I think would give the player the idea that the MC is already quite proficient in these areas, even before the player makes a decision what they want to specialise in.

I think this would also work quite well for players who want to improve two stats that would otherwise be opposed, magic and physical for example.

Because with opposed pairs the stats would remain at around 50%,giving the feeling you’re still where you started, whereas with singular stats the player could watch both stats grow seperately.

Similarly, opposing pairs could also give the player the wrong idea of the MC’s proficiency if they choose to focus on one stat more than the other. Because if (let’s take magic/physical as an example) the player focuses on magic over physical, they see the magic side of the opposed stat increase while seeing the physical side decrease (even if there are no numbers involved), maybe making them think they’re sacrificing one stat for the other.

What I had in mind would look something like this (with stats starting at 30% and each stat having it’s own separate bar and value):

Stealthy 36% (player chose maybe one or two stealthy options)
Direct 62% (player favored the direct approach)
Magic 68% (player chose magical options quite a bit)
Physical 74% (player also chose physical options quite a bit, a bit more so than magical option)
…etc


#122

This is actually the system that’s in place now. Single stats that can be modified (typically increasing as players select choices associated with them).

This is precisely why I dislike traditional opposed pairs. I’m trying to create a system that removes the percentage based stats completely and substitutes a sort of collaborative storytelling instead. The idea is the game will ask “So are you the sort of person who would rather sneak in the shadows or kick in doors?” I then take that info and give the player flavor text based on their concept of their character. It avoids the hard pass/fail of a numeric system, which in my opinion seems to frequently devolve into picking the most “consistent” choice so you don’t enter a fail state, rather than picking what you think might actually be the more satisfying choice. A sneaky character can still throw an effective (key distinction) punch into a bad guy’s face without fretting that all those previous stealth choices left their brawling score sitting at 50%.

Maybe reinventing the wheel is a bad idea for my first game, which is why I’m soliciting opinions. Hopefully that clarified a little what I’m proposing.


#123

I hope you do stick with the idea you have of having the stats be preferences not proficiencies . Maybe if you labeled that section of the stats “Preferred methods” or something similar and under it could be a note simply stating “these are preferences not proficiencies” that would be enough.

Is it slightly immersion breaking to have that note explaining the stats? Maybe, but I’d rather have slightly confusing stats explained then no explanation given for the sake of immersion or something


#124

Ah, I think I understand!

How about, when using single stats, you check for which one is bigger?

Something like:

*if strenght > magic
        ~flavor text for strenght-preferring MC~

*elseif magic > strength
        ~flavor text for magic-preferring MC~

elseif magic = strength //if that is possible
        ~neutral flavor text~

So if you use single stats with this, the player would see them as such in the stat screen (and consequentely probably not make the mistake to think they need to sacrifice one stat for another), while when checking for the variables in-game, you’re not asking for an exact value, only for which variable is greater than the other. This should allow you to adjust the falvor text accordingly and without the need for traditional fail/pass checks. I think.

And I have to say I really like this system of yours.


#125

That’s actually an interesting approach that I hadn’t considered. I’ve been trying to eliminate the traditional stats as a way to remove the “gamey” aspects of the story. I’m the person game developers put “story mode” into their RPGs for. Give me the story, hard pass on tweaking my character stats.

This is an approach I’ll definitely have to consider, since it gives people who like stats something to watch on the stat screen, at least while still providing a measure of narrative freedom to folks who don’t enjoy mindlessly clicking the stealth choice fifteen times in a row.


#126

I do like this route you’re taking. My MCs in some games have been screwed because of a stat check I didn’t pass, so I think writing it this way will both stay true to the player, and avoid min maxing.


#127

Quick poll because I waffled on a decision.

During some rewrites I added a skin tone choice in the character defining bit of Chapter 1, then deleted it because it seemed superfluous. I already let players define gender, hair color, hair length, and eye color, which – brutal honesty here – will be referenced barely, if at all, later on. I enjoy about that level of definition when I’m playing a game. More than that tends to annoy me, but I’m a sample size of one. So! Behold, a poll!

  • Add skin tone choice.
  • Add height choice.
  • Add skin tone and height choices.
  • No further appearance choices are necessary.

0 voters


#128

Skin tone or height would be fine, and of the two I’d prefer skin tone, but both might be pushing it and you’re fine without either really.


#129

I think adding more of these choices, especially height, might mean more flavor text to write. This is because height seems to be something that comes more into play than the other appearance settings.

Example:
A short MC may simply ‘stroll past the door’ while a tall MC may have to ‘duck their head as they enter the room’.

Judging by the poll, mine’s an unpopular choice but I’d say it anyway: if they’d be barely referenced, I won’t mind it at all if it isn’t included.
For my own WiP, I’m actually adding a skin colour option, but not height. :slight_smile:


#130

Welp, I worked in a skin tone choice. I think the method was pretty slick, although I have some minor trepidation about the color choices themselves. I don’t think anyone will be offended, but there’s always that lingering doubt.

Also had fun spicing up the initial conversation with Jimmy for female MCs. Female MCs who also have blonde hair actually got a small choice of reactions, given Jimmy’s fetish for the color. All in all, I’m rather pleased with it.

The current plan is to finish tweaking stats/personality variables (not final numbers, but enough to be functional and test a thing or two out), clean up and do minor rewrites on Chapters 1 (mostly done) and 2 and then put out an updated demo.

You’ll be able to venture into parts of Chapter 3, but only the bits that are written, obviously. I’ll post more details about that when the time comes, but it’s been so long since the demo updated that I really wanted to get something out there. I intend for that to be done within the next week.

As always, thanks for reading!


#131

Heck with it. I’ve been sitting on this for over two months and I’m posting it. :sunglasses:

Demo is updated on Dashingdon. Some important facts:

SAVES will ALMOST CERTAINLY be broken due to the addition of new variables. Use old saves at your own risk.

DO MAKE a save in Chapter Two, as once you transition into Chapter 3 the game MAY END ABRUPTLY. Much is not written yet and ends in a very unsatisfying *finish statement with no fanfare. Since I don’t have chapter headers up yet, Chapter Two begins immediately after escaping from Lori’s apartment after discovering her murder.

Even if you make it into Chapter Three (via Losing a fight in the Nastrond Club or being arrested by Unit Nine there are STILL UNWRITTEN PATHS that WILL END THE GAME ABRUPTLY. This is a rough alpha, so again, read at your own risk.

I’m happy to provide hints to anyone who wants to read the Chapter Three stuff but is having a hard time reaching it. Other than that…I hope you enjoy!


#132

Aieeee! You’ve made my day :heart_eyes: I’m gonna play the heck out of this when I’m done with errands.
And I’m not sure if you’ve seen this yet but you can refer to this when making chapter headers! :slight_smile:


#133

Ah! What a wonderful update. I hope you don’t mind me leaving my convoluted thoughts down below.

Under details because spoilers
  1. First off, I really like the character customization scene. I also think the skin option was smoothly integrated, and even if it doesn’t get mentioned again, I personally liked picking it. I like to imagine different MCs with different personalities, and of course, with different appearances. Also, “gray eyes, the color of the sky over a stormy sea” is such a great description!

  2. Are the scars descriptions new? I don’t remember reading them before and I thought they were a really nice touch. They emphasized what kind of person our MC is. What they’ve been through.

  3. Loved to put Jimmy in his place! Especially the line “if you ever take that thing out of your pants in my presence, I’ll burn it to ash”. :laughing:

  4. Quick question, and sorry if it has already been answered, but who or what is this “Savior” the characters keep “praying” to. What kind of religion is it?

  5. Absolutely loved Vhal. She’s mysterious and enticing. Kept calling me lover, however, so I’m curious as to what is the context there.

  6. Also really liked Detective Hancock! Can’t wait to push more of his buttons :wink:

Keep up the good work!


#134

Let’s see if I can take this by the numbers:

(1) Thank you! I thought the skin choice thing went pretty well, but I’m never sure until it’s out there in the wild how it will be received.

(2) The scars are a new thing – I like to break up long sequences of descriptor choices with a little text. Helps me focus on actually reading what’s going on.

(3) Jimmy’s gonna Jimmy.

(4) The “Savior” is the deity of one of the larger religions in this world. He/She/It roughly takes the role of the Christian God from our world, with a slightly different background story. It’s one of the FMSA’s major religions, but far from the only one.

(5) This…should not have been reachable, so I’ve got something weird going on with my code. It relates to some super deep spoiler territory that hasn’t been addressed yet. I’ll have to look into it.

Freudian slip? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


#135

OH my God :laughing: I meant buttons. Buttons!

Alright. I thought the transition between that scene and the interrogation one was a little abrupt, but I thought it was done on purpose. Like the MC was confused and so were we.

But no, it was an error lol. But still, I REALLY liked Vhal. I want to see more of her. She’s delightful. And the things she said… intriguing. But I’ll stop here since it’s obvious I was not meant to see it.


#136

I finally started playing and YOU RULE! This is Great! Are Carlyle and Macey RO’s? They are the most interesting to me so just wondering
…thanks for your stories!!!


#137

Speculation is always welcome. I’m really bad at keeping secrets so I’m very tempted to spill the details, but in this instance I’ll stay quiet unless someone actually guesses it. :shushing_face:

(Edit: figured out what I did re: the code. The label above the Vhal scene is just a *comment reminding me to PUT TEXT HERE. Since there’s not a *finish the code merrily skipped on to the next label. Easy fix but man, I have so much freaking messy stuff to clean. Was kinda cringing when I did a playthrough. Ugh)


#138

It’s entirely possible I’m just having some early-onset dementia, but I don’t think I remember writing those characters (although me doing so and then forgetting wouldn’t even be the most boneheaded thing I’ve done this week, and it’s still only Monday :blush:)


#139

Your story is great. Very immersive.

I look forward for reading next part of chapter 3 !


#140

I just love this story; your writing is absolutely fantastic! Glad we got to meet Hancock in this update, too. Looking forward to seeing more of him and the rest of Unit Nine!

Bugs and stuff are in the summary because of length.

Summary


The *if statements in *label goodbye (where you ask for Miranda’s photo) don’t trigger correctly (unless you fulfill *if (attraction = “women”)) because *goto dream_2 isn’t indented correctly, so it goes directly to *label dream_2


*set scrapper and the *goto commands aren’t indented correctly

GI_bug3
“mob_contact” and “police_contact” are both set to true in the startup and neither is set to false during the gameplay, so they both appear here.
Also, they both have the same text, so the *if statement is a bit redundant?


Similar to above. This choice is always available because it’s defined as true in the startup and never set to false.
If it’s meant to always be true, isn’t *selectable_if unecessary?


*goto is indented incorrectly

GI_typo
Schattenschrift