Lore Heavy Games


#1

How much lore do you like when it comes to CoG games?

One of my WIP’s is specficially lore heavy, but there’s always that ability to cut down on it. What I was thinking was just adding every new thing you learn to the stat page, and your choices effect what you learn and so on and so forth. But does the majority really even care about lore? And how do you normally like it presented to you? Do you like knowledge stats or just lore that doesn’t effect your stats at all?


#2

If your game is history orientated - even if it is a fantastical history then your fans will Geek out the deeper they can delve into it. As an example - see the Infinity series by @Cataphrak. The related thread has 6 or 7 thousand posts in it I think?

If your game is more a “current event” type of game then it is nice for history nerds like me but anyone else thinks its meh. “Current event” games are anything from animal stories like @Cecilia_Rosewood’s cat story to @JimD zombie stories.


#3

@ToxicDreams

It actually varies from person to person. How much lore is too much is hard to define. But if it is one which is fueled by the right plot and the right circumstance, it will work out in an awesome way.

As for my opinion on stats, I prefer lore to have an impact on the MC’s stats. It will add to the depth of the plot


#4

I personally quite like lore heavy games cuz it makes the game world feel more alive. Although on that note I feel like when it’s non-optional (by that I mean when the game forces you to know the lore to actually be successful in the game) it becomes a problem. Not like there’s anything wrong with those kind of games but it’s something you actually have to invest time into. Time not everyone has.

Basically to sum up my extremely long winded opinion. It’s good to have lore but I like it better when it’s optional rather than mandatory.


#5

So more of the, your person is adventurous and curious and they come across this one piece of information. Or more of, you learn this piece of information and it increases your survivability?


#6

Don’t force lore on people but make it available. And if you must present monster blocks of it try to make the delivery more conversational as opposed to lecture like. Cause no one likes school but most like learning cool stuff;)


#7

@ToxicDreams

I lean slightly towards the first one ( adventurous ). But I don’t mind the second one too ( increases survivability).


#8

The most important thing is the pacing of the exposition. Introduce me to concepts as they become relevant; don’t frontload all of your exposition. If I start a game and see a whole bunch of dry backstory and terms to memorize, I stop reading.

Also, I personally dislike having lore in the stats screen. It feels like the writer gave up on conveying everything through the text.


#9

Even if it’s kinda clear in the text? My thoughts were just going a bit more into detail with the lore in the stats. So if you do want to know more, you can just go to the stats page.


#10

I will not read lore sections in stat screens. I will probably not read glossaries. I like stories that are accessible. Less is more for me. I don’t like paragraphs upon paragraphs of info-dumped setting and lore info either. The lore’s only important to me as far as it concerns the story.

But some people like lore in stat screens. It doesn’t hurt me having it there as long as the game doesn’t assume I’ve read it all and start asking me questions.


#11

I’ve done the ‘codex in stat screen’ thing. I’m trying not to have it as a replacement for explaining important lore in text, more just to have there as a reference in case people forget stuff or want more detail.


#12

I personally subscribe to the iceberg theory. I only give people what they need to know, and if they want more they can ask me.

Sometimes this means that there is still a lot of lore being shown because politics and history are relevant, like I did with Carhalow. Or with my current game I veeeeery carefully drip drop the lore into the game because it’s only important in how it pertains to the characters.

So if it’s important, keeping it interesting in the text and adding a codex in the stats because you live your lore should be fine!


#13

The lore in Unnatural can show up in different ways near the start you can read it in books, you also can find out lore looking at the stat screen and even get additional things from characters themselves.


#14

I like lore. The players don’t have to, but if they don’t, they’ll miss some things. If you’re writing something that has anything to do with magic, mythology, or history, the more solid the foundation of lore, the richer the details of your world become. It’s like culture - you don’t have to explain it all, but you as an author ought to know it, so your characters can express it in subtle ways at a glance.

It becomes a sort of meritocracy where the more you know, the more you’re rewarded. The most knowledgeable readers will spot symbolism and insights that others won’t get. Interested readers will have the opportunity to explore the legends and learn something new. Readers who don’t care about the background can still play the game, but there’s a layer of information they won’t experience.

And yes, I have a codex. It’s completely optional, but whenever you hear about a new mythological creature, you can go read more about it (a mix of traditional lore, and the twist put on it in this fictional setting.)


#15

I’m kind of a lore fiend. I’m someone who gets into worldbuilding details even if they’re not associated with a story at all.

I’m most interested in it when it’s unusual, I guess. Like if the setting is pretty closely associated with a particular genre, or is a general Medieval Fantasy Europe, I’m more happy going along with the flow. Where it comes to Choice of Games, I got superbly entranced by Choice of the Petal Throne, because it evokes such a well-fleshed culture. So this got me looking into more about the world Tekumel in general.

Codices can be a nice reference given that you can’t flip back and forth in a Choice of Games like you can in a book.

That said, I really like the fact that being choice-based makes it possible to show more or less based on the players’ choices. If the material’s available, you can always have check it out or skip it options, yes?

(The WIP idea I have churning in the back of my head is going to have a lot of setting background, so I’ll see how well I can balance that once I whip up the wip :smiley: )


#16

There’s a game that recently came out called Tyranny which has the best implemented lore system I’ve ever seen. Text boxes and dialogues occasionally have words in different colors. If you decide to hover over the word, or right click on it, another little box of writing will pop up explaining the lore of that word or phrase. Of course, there’s no way to do that with CS- but I love the way Tyranny implements lore into the game.

Working on a game currently m’self with a high level of gameworld lore to explain, I’m right now opting for a mix of explanation within the gameplay, and the player either knowing or not knowing real-world comparisons. Though I’m aided in that the MC is ‘discovering’ the game world as much as the player is, though at the same time much more knowledgeable about it and can guide the player with a lot of explanations. I think that the less like -our- world a given game world is, the more exciting it is to have lore about that world. Or, at least, the more exciting it -would- be to have lore about that world. Like China Meivielle’s world where his stories take place- I’d love to have a full on world guide for that awesome place filled with art and explanations. Like… ‘Dinotopia’ - the book, is really nothing more than a lot of lore with a connecting story, and is incredibly fun to read/look at.

I suppose it’s fair to say that it isn’t fair to expect a reader to know something that isn’t explained as part of the story. Even if there’s a codex involved. It might, -might- be fair to expect a reader to look something up, if they need to, but not to understand without being explained in a way that can be understood. Though some level of techno-babble and magic-joo-joo is possible, if written well.

Heey… something just occurred to me. Something weird but interesting. You know those optional dialogues you can have with companions in RPG games? The ones where you generally ask about their past and how they ended up where they are? It would be possible to do those in the stats screen the way a codex could be done- an optional conversation tree. I was just thinking about how I’m one of those people who always talks about everything with a new companion before getting more than a few feet. : )


#17

Good idea - I might implement this or something very much like it in one of my WiPs. The more I think about this, the more I like it.


#18

I’m kind of bored at this point by lore. If it isn’t at the level of Tolkien, I’d say keep it to the minimum necessary to advance the story.

There’s nothing wrong with fleshing out your universe in your own notes to make sure you’re staying consistent (and Emerson be damned, consistency is vital if you’re crafting a fantasy universe.) But the worst thing ever would be to have a choice tree that looks like this:

Oh noes! A slavering Smeerp jumps out of the darkness at you!

You…

  • Cast an Izyuk spell
  • Draw SpellSword and attack
  • Draw my sword and attack
  • Run like hell!

Which leaves me thinking: “Um…Smeerp…that’s the troll-like thing, right? Or is it the giant rabbit-looking thing? SpellSword is better than regular sword, right? And what does Izyuk do again?” Enough of that early on and then I say to myself: "No, I probably won’t pay the $3.99 to unlock the rest of the game.)

Of course, your mileage may vary; everything I say is wrong in the right context.


#19

I mostly agree I like it when games introduce lore through text but I think having lore in the stats screen is a great way to go into greater detail without bias than what you would hear in natural conversation


#20

I have a question that relates to this topic.

How many people like or can appreciate delayed lore? Essentially, wondering what the heck something is or what’s going on for a while, and having it explained later on/having it come together in bits and pieces to make sense.