I hope I am explaining this clearly. Apologies if my phrasing is confusing.
I am planning out a game that has heavy exploration and RPG elements, where the player will find new locations but very often have to backtrack through old ones or revisit shops or NPC homes etc.
COG games are very much geared toward scenes or moments, and all the ones I have played have a progression that is focused through time/experiences more than through space/locations; that is to say even when a character revisits a location, it is treated like a new scene rather than revisiting a place that might not have changed since the last visit.
Players don’t usually walk down a hall, go into a library, exit and go outside then walk down the street, then enter a shop as if passing through five distinct locations “scenes” of their own) with each one allowing a choice of direction to go.
In a COG game a player would simply be given choices like “Visit the library to do some research.” or “Go to the shop and buy some gum.” and those scenes would play out.
Now, that’s great, and I really do want to emphasize story in my game and focus on the big moments, but as the game depends upon those moments happening dependent on locations and current variable values, it makes sense for me to plan the game as if it were a traditional old school text adventure, building the moments/choices on the foundation of world map of connected locations.
Since this seems a little different than how I perceive most COG games to work, I am worried that this will cause problems, and was wondering if anyone has done something that felt more like an “open world” in text rather than a series of moments that progress a story?
One thing that worries me is that in testing my game there are bound to be places that can loop back many times and I know that is a no-no for released games because (if I understand correctly) COG does not want the player to ever get stuck unable to make progress toward an ending.
Is this something I should worry about?
One thing that I think would prevent an infinite loop is that I have a time ticker in my game that will cause major world changes and force the player into new choices (or end the story in death) if they wander in circles for too long.
So I am also wondering, if I a player decides they wand to run in circles through locations and make the same choices for MANY times and THEN they eventually die, or after dozens of cycles a new event happens, will my game still not pass the tests for COG?
Now I am over-simplifying things, and I seriously even doubt any human player would wander the same locations that many times and keep making the same exact choices, but I know the automated test does this --and human beings HAVE been known to do weird things no one planned on.
Please keep in mind that I am very much simplifying elements of my game to a worst case scenario of very improbable occurrences…but they WILL be possible. The game has a very strong multi layered story, and things n the world will change (as will the player character) and there will be a story progression, but there will also be wandering and experimenting along the way.
So, am I setting myself for a big fail here? I really would like COG to host or publish my game when finished. It has a rich world and I think an interesting story…but can things work out for me by creating the game strongly emphasizing locations in space FIRST, then real scenes with character moments as possibilities in those locations?
Any help would be much appreciated!