Heh… I’ve even gone through the turncoat chronicles a bajillion times already…I realised it after I’d posted…
Would anyone be interested in reading a story in which you don’t create a character, but instead make choices for a rotating group of 6 people? Small amounts of customization regarding their gender, names, etc., might be available, but the story would be more focused on achieving their joint goal (solving the mystery of their missing childhood friend). I would still include as much choice as possible, but the reader wouldn’t be able to build the character from the ground up. I wanted to check in early as I would change the story to add a separate completely player controlled character instead, if playing for a group of characters was not something people would be interested in.
Imo I like it when I can control 1 main character controlling a group of people would not allow me to customize my mc like I can in most games
again this is only my opinion
While I typical like to play games where I can customize my character from the ground up I wouldn’t mind playing something like this especially since it involves mystery & I love a good mystery game
I appreciate it-thanks for letting me know!
Ok gotcha, so it would be preferred that you can control one character + do full customization but it wouldn’t be a dealbreaker if you liked the plot enough, is that correct?
I would personally enjoy a game like that; Divided We Fall has you play as a group of 4 people and it’s one of my favorite titles.
However, I don’t think it was a huge seller—having a single highly customizable player character is a lot more popular around here.
It’s hard for me to get into playing multiple characters in one game personally but I wish you luck with your game and if a demo comes out I will at least try it.
Ok I’ve been tossing around a few ideas that would still fit the basic main plot, but that would (hopefully) appeal to more readers. Please vote if any of these sound of interest to you (if none do, I’d love to hear why). Again, I’m very much still in the idea stage, so I’m open to any feedback.
The basic plot idea is this: an estranged group of childhood friends, now in their late teens, comes together to try to solve the mystery of their “missing” (I’m putting missing in parenthesis because as you can see, them being dead is an option) friend. Each has a secret. Each has their own motivation for finding said friend. Your choices determine where the investigation goes, what they discover, and who lives to tell the tale.
I have most of the main characters mapped out already so if knowing the details of them would affect your choice, please let me know.
Would you play from any of the following perspectives?
- You play as the “missing” friend, who is actually deceased, and is now stuck in their hometown. Choose to help your old friends, go solo, or haunt them just for shits and giggles (because you’re a dead anyway, so who cares if they avenge you?)
- You take turns playing from the perspective of each friend. Some customization of them would be available, but not as much as a normal single player game. The perspectives, relationships, and secrets of each character would be revealed as you play. Use this information to either help or hurt the investigation, and determine the fate of your missing friend.
- You play as your own unique character with your own chosen motivation for joining the group. Same as the others, you would be making choices to help/hurt the investigation, but favorable outcomes for the friend would be much more difficult to achieve (given your lack of ghostly powers and ability to act as the others on the team)
I appreciate it-and thanks for the feedback! It’s helpful
Honestly, all three ideas sound interesting to me.
The “make your own character” version is definitely the closest to a “normal” IF game, so it would probably have the broadest appeal, but the others seem more novel, in a good way IMO. I think I would give all three a try, at the very least.
A few questions that I think would help me narrow down which appeals to me the most:
- Can you elaborate on how much control we would have over characters in the “switch between perspectives” version? It’s clear that we wouldn’t be able to customize the characters’ backstories and basic personalities too much, but how much choice do we have in how each character develops? Would we be able to affect their relationships with each other, for example? Would there be romance, either between player characters or with NPCs? Romance is a big draw in IF, so this would probably have a big effect on your target audience.
- In the version where we essentially play as a ghost, how much interaction would we be able to have with the physical world? Would we be able to find ways to directly communicate with the other characters? Develop our relationships with them? Or would it be more like giving them vague signs that they have to interpret on their own? The latter might be a harder sell for people who play these games for the characters and relationships (which is a lot, I think).
Well, in being a ghost, you could interact with people who are perceptive to this type of thing, as in Beetlejuice, The sixth sense or ParaNorman
Or with being a ghost you have a bond with your friends that could allow in depth interaction, and only normal ghost interactions with others.
The ghost idea could be interesting depending on how much we can interact with world. We could explore the type of ghost we want to be. A helpful ghost or a mischievous ghost or somewhere in the middle. Having a character that has their own motivation for joining the group could also be interesting as we the player could explore why we either want to help the group or hinder them. Taking on the perspective of each person in the group can be tricky & depends on how many people are in the group as if we have too many it can get confusing or jumbled up too easily but each idea would be interesting to play
I appreciate the feedback, thank you!
To answer your questions:
I would like to add as much choice as possible if I went this route. Character relationships would be already established, but would be heavily impacted by the choices you make as each character. I’d like the story to be more character focused than goal focused, so relationships would have variation. There would be one established romance, and I’d like to incorporate other optional romances, but I would have to think a bit about how to do that, as it would involve a lot of variation. If you were playing, what would you find preferable? Would being able to control both sides of a romance option be appealing, or would you rather pursue an NPC?
I was thinking to do something similar to Ghost Simulator if I went this route. The MC would be able to choose from a few ghostly powers (apparition, poltergeist, possession, etc) that would affect the physical world and the investigation. I was thinking to have those interactions contribute to an “Investigation” stat that would determine the success of the group investigating. You would be able to decrease that stat if you wanted to play a sabotaging MC.
I actually find the idea of playing both sides of a romance very intriguing, personally, but this would definitely be more difficult coding-wise. There are a lot of ways this could get complicated; one obvious question is what happens if the player portrays one character as very interested but the other less so (and whether or not the player gets to later change either character’s mind, etc.) NPCs romances would definitely be simpler for both you and the player. Still, if you pulled it off, I think two-sided romance could have the potential to be really interesting and novel.
As an aside, would the pre-existing romance be locked in, or does the player get some say in how that relationship develops as well? Could those characters break up over the course of the game, or even eventually end up with different people?
I think I would have to see how this played out in practice, but to be honest, I’m not 100% sold on this take. What appeals to me about Ghost Simulator is that the premise is baked around the idea of playing a classic manor-haunting spirit; the character relationships are inherently secondary and largely reactive to your shenanigans, and that’s okay because the game is ultimately about the ghost MC’s presence in their daily lives (and how that affects them), and the driving mystery behind their existence.
Here, though, I feel like a big hook of the premise is the different perspectives of, and relationships between, the main characters, and I worry that this is going to take a back seat to the investigation if the MC is in the background all the time nudging them toward (or away from) the right answers. Even if the MC does get some say in how the characters develop personally or interpersonally, those elements are always going to feel a little out of the player’s control as long as the MC doesn’t get to directly interact with anyone. Maybe that’s the point, to an extent, watching your friends process grief and not being able to just step in and talk to them like before, and that does sound compelling, but I feel like it could also eventually get a bit old.
I’m willing to be proven wrong, though? I do still think the idea has potential. But like I said, it’s gonna be a harder sell for people like me who really like the character interaction aspect of IF.
Personally, I think right now I’m leaning most toward the multiple POV version and least toward the ghost version (a bit ironic, I’m aware), but this is also the opposite of how the poll is currently going, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.
I think it would be nice to see a breath of fresh air and have a game from 4 perspectives too.
People are very resistent to change so I do not think you will find the poll going the other way any time soon unfortunately.
As Corvus pointed out trying to do something similar to Ghost Simulator would be tricky & has the potential to get old fast since in that game ur stuck in one environment trying to interact w/ the family that has moved into ur home & figuring out why ur there but we could be proven wrong. Seeing a romance from both sides could be interesting since we could explore how the two people feel in love of if they’re still in love.
Personally I like the idea of being the new person in the group & discovering our reasoning behind why we’re helping or hindering the group. I feel like it just adds more to the mystery aspect. Not that the others can’t do this too. Take the game Duskwood for example. A group of friends get in contact with u (the player) after one of their friends goes missing because she gave them ur number. At first they think u might have something to do with her disappearance but it’s up to u to decide ur character’s motives & discover if ur truly innocent or if perhaps u may have something to do with her disappearance. The one I think will have the least mystery to it is ironically us being the dead friend. Not saying it can’t be pulled off but more that it will be trickier to pull off than the multiple perspective or the newcomer to the group since u as a ghost can only do so much & u could easily end up being in the background of the story since this isn’t a visual medium were we the player are see ourselves play as ghost like in Murdered Soul Suspect or Ghost Trick.
In terms of customization of characters or the MC do what u feel like doing & don’t worry so much about every tiny detail of it since the more u add to the customization the more coding u have to do for that section. Most customization is name (predetermined and/or inserted), color of hair & eyes, skin color, style of hair, & gender identity. Anything extra is generally just added details & some games just have the name, hair color, & gender identity. So it depends on what u as the author want to put into the game
Would anyone be interested in an otome game? Is gender-locked Romantic Options popular in CoG?