Having Trouble/Need Help With Tricky Game Mechanic for CYOA Civil War Spidey Game?


#1

Hey guys, so I’ve kind of hit a hitch with my Civil War Spidey CYOA project due to me getting stuck on some planning, and I feel like I need a fresh set of perspectives for people who understand choice mechanics? I’ll try to explain.

Basically in the game I want the player to give Peter the option of travelling to six different locales in the Marvel Universe whilst he tries to make his mind up about whose side he’s likely to pick for the upcoming Superhuman Registration Act, of which he can go to two - one in the morning, one in the afternoon, Depending what time he goes he’ll encounter some different characters who all have their own perspectives on the Act - leading towards Anti Reg, Pro Reg and Neutrality - but there’ll always be a specific character in each location who is undecided, these being Thing, Colossus, Vision, Stature, Scarlet Witch and Black Cat. Spidey should be able to influence them to a certain side, which affects the wider game onwards.

The idea gets tricky then on two counts - firstly that I want those two characters to then come into play as allies for the rest of the game, and then I also want the ones you didn’t encounter to as well. Since there are three sides and fifteen possible combos for the six characters, that’s forty five outcomes with just the chosen characters. But what if Peter influences them differently to the final side he picks? And what sides would the characters you didn’t encounter be on? I was making an increasingly complex list of what all the different combos might go and to honest, I’d rather a simpler system without taking away too much character or choice for them. But I feel like I need people who knowledge of how to make choices like this in game books easier to plan.

Any ideas? If something I said needs clarifying let me know and I’ll try to simplify it. :slight_smile:


#2

I’d look on drastically simplifying things. You’ve done the maths, that’s an awful lot of variations. I think it’s so many variations it’s unworkable.


#3

Fair point, I suppose with the selected characters alone it’s a lot of variations. One idea I did have would be to ignore both the option of them being on other teams and the other four characters altogether, and give choices based on who they have in their specific side. The three sides are going to have different missions - some in fact are the same mission but from a different perspective. So there’ll be choice in that already without having to devise ‘Oh snap, is Stature Anti Reg or Pro Reg now, cause if Choice A you’re going to have to deal with her…’ and so forth. The only sad thing is not getting to show the other characters on other teams and showing that choice they made personally.


#4

I think picking one of three sides would be enough. Even that is a huge amount of variations.

Have you played Zombie Exodus? Have you looked at the code? It’s the most similar game as to what you’re trying to achieve, I think. There are a number of characters you can recruit, and at different points some might be dead. They may or may not like you too, and you might be in a romantic relationship. But there’s also a core group you don’t get much choice in changing.

You’ll note that there’s a number of ways that @JimD deals with having such a vast and variable cast. And even then, we’re not speaking anywhere near as much variation as you’re talking of above.

I’d say if you want characters that can be recruited to whatever side you’re on, you’ve a couple of choices. You make them background characters that you don’t interact with much. Or you cut down the number of them drastically. Give a choice of two characters.


#5

Yeah, the three sides are each going to have a fair bit of material, it’s probably like a CYOA version of Fire Emblem Fates at this point in terms of planning. :stuck_out_tongue: Plus since it’s not a Choicescript thing it’s not using the same sort of coding, although I might try writing it out in Inklewriter since that seems fairly suited to it. (I must look at the ZE code though cause that sounds crazy, and I get the impression that the new ZE is about ten times more complex.)

With the initial section I’m working on now there are three ‘core’ choices you make which affect the wider game - which villain you’re fighting at the start, which two characters you speak to and align with, and which side you pick to be on, which is the biggest. Thankfully there’s no romantic issues to think of since you’re set with the lovely Mary Jane Watson and Aunt May, but you will be interacting with a fair number of heroes and villains too.

I think your ideas about the characters makes sense, though I want to have the player go on missions with the ones he selects. Though how important they would be compared to the more constant allies would be debatable. Still weeding out details.


#6

Ok, as per FairyGodFeather’s suggestion, I think I’m going to handle the mechanic this way… whichever 2 characters you talk to end up on the side you pick at the end of the first Act and then will appear in the next one. You’ll be able to take them on missions and they can influence the options you have in them to an extent I shall determine. Other characters you didn’t talk to will pick a specific side, and will either appear in hubs if on your side or in some scene or two is on an opposing side. This is probably the most straight forward way of doing this whilst keeping the choice mechanics intact a little.


#7

This might not help, it’s just a cool problem and I like to solve problems and play with superheroes :slight_smile:

So I’m thinking that you can have your 6 “undecided” characters, right? Whichever ones you DON’T recruit will default to a specific team as chosen by you. So if you are Pro Reg and you DON’T visit Black Cat or Stature, Black Cat will still end up Pro Reg, while Stature will end up Anti Reg if you don’t recruit him.

How I would approach this:
You recruit two. Say scarlettwitch and Vision.
*set scarlettwitch_recruited true
*set scarlettwitch_side “pro”
*set vision_recruited true.
*set vision_side “pro”

Hero1,2,3,etc. would all be the heroes names; black cat, stature, colossus, etc. There would be 6 of them since you have six undecided. 
*if hero1_recruited false
 *set hero1_side "pro"
*if hero2_recruited false
 *set hero2_side "pro"
*if hero3_recruited false
 *set hero3_side "anti"
*if vision_recruited false
 *set visioin_side "anti"
*if scarlettwitch_recruited false
 *set scarlettwitch_side "anti"
and so on.

So as you can see, if you DIDN’T visit Scarlett Witch and Vision, they would be “Anti” but since you did, they and hero 1 and 2 are all on your side, “pro.”

Then you can just check *if vision_side = “pro” before any paragraphs where Vision would help the “pro” side!


#8

I don’t think he’s using choicescript. Also, the problem isn’t so much the coding itself, as the complexities that come from having to have all those iterations of every single scene.

OH! I also just remembered, there’s a way the official choice games do it, rather than have personalised statements for each character, instead there’s a whole lot of

{recruit1} says "We should do this!" {recruit2} agrees with you.

Where the text itself isn’t personalised for each and every person. I’m not hugely fond of that, I find it gets generic at times and means there’s problems differentiating between the characters and they get rather bland. But it does take away a number of problems.


#9

The intention is that the 4 non-viewed characters will be defaulted to a particular side like you say, with the total six having two choosing Pro Reg (Vision and Stature), two Anti Reg (Colossus and Scarlet Witch) and two remaining Neutral (Thing and Black Cat) unless you influence them otherwise. Clearly that means that there could be four on one side this way if you say influence both two traditionally Anti Reg characters to be Pro Reg or Neutral, but that’s something I’d have to accept rather than having to give each unviewed character two possible outcomes like I had before - where a nonviewed character would have defaulted to one side but could be on another if the player was on that first side. That got insanely complex to devise.

(Also FYI Stature is a girl. http://static3.comicvine.com/uploads/scale_small/3/30334/1124594-mu6323.jpg She’s Cassie Lang, a grown up version of Scott’s daughter if you remember seeing the Ant Man movie? Like her dad she’s a size changer, and at this point her dad was dead due to previous events, though he came back to life because… comics. :stuck_out_tongue: )


#10

Is this going to be a CoG? Or a Hosted? How the hell are you doing this?


#11

It’s not on either, instead I’m writing it out as a CYOA on places like Fanfiction.net, ArchiveOfOurOwn, possibly Inklewriter and the odd other place, depending what works. So it won’t have the same sort of coding as a Choicescript game but will be more like a gamebook, I guess?

EDIT: Here’s an example of what I mean, it was kind of the inspiration for the project in the first place I think… https://archiveofourown.org/works/391453


#12

Actually, if you wanted to make it more even, you could add a layer of code to one of each of the two hero pairs; to make they switch sides to whatever the hero is NOT. if player side=pro then vision would switch to Anti and Scarlett witch would remain pro, for example.


#13

Thanks, but as I said before, it’s not really using any coding, outside my mind maps I’ve devised to plan the thing out in part back in April/May. Besides the fact it’s based on an established IP like Spider-Man it’s probably the case I find Choicescript a little complicated to do things with right now. :stuck_out_tongue: Maybe when you’re dyslexic like me some formulas look hella complicated.


#14

I understand, sorry! Yeah another friend on here is dyslexic. That’s gotta be rough!


#15

It’s ok, really it’s more of a mild case, but it was a lot worse when I was younger in regards to writing style and grasping complex stuff easily, but it was enough that I got 20% extra time in exams and coursework in school and uni for some things when it became an official thing. The advantage tends to be a great amount of ideas and creativity, but then the transferring it to paper/online is the hard part.


#16

Well, put it up when it’s done, I mean, holy shit. There will be action, right? Can I go Way of The Spider on someone’s sorry ass?


#17

Yah this sounds cool! I don’t generally go for fan fiction but since this is interactive…yes!


#18

Yes, there will be action! Right from the word go you’ll be in a fight against one of three possible and legendary Spider-Man villains and pick out to handle them, but you’ll also get to play missions with your allies and fight heroes like Iron Man, Captain America, Doctor Strange, She Hulk, Spider Woman and Storm. You can end the Civil War more peacefully or make it even worse, the choices you make will ultimately be the decider.


#19

How far you into this again?


#20

Currently the core map of the entire game, all the more specific mapping out and planning for Act 0 - Road to Civil War - and most of Act 0.5 - Doing the Right Thing - has been completed, so I am beginning to write the thing proper now. I don’t precisely wish to put a date on release for Act 0 just yet, but the hope it that it’ll be completed by the end of next month, with Act 0.5 ideally also completed this year (it’s shorter than Act 0, though has more variables). Then comes Act 1, which will definitely be the biggest section of the 7 or so which makes up You Are Spider-Man in Civil War.