Most hated thing or mechanic in choice games (and other games)

No, I knew what you meant. Relationship stats track the small decisions you make over the course of the game so they can mean something bad later.

It’s a good thing to track small variations in how people respond to you agreeing and disagreeing with them. And it can reflect personalities. Perhaps some people don’t care if you agree with them. Perhaps some people like to be challenged and will like you better if you disagree with them. Perhaps some people significantly react to it. And perhaps some people swing wildly, relationship-stat-wise. Only stats can do this unless you are willing to write hundreds of branches.

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This would be the author playing God. For instance, protagonist runs a race for like ten pages, a very thrilling and exciting race, the current leader of which is determined by the choices you make, plus stat modifications. At the end of it you are almost about to win, then someone trips you. And you fall and everyone passes you - no stat check allowed.

You can easily see here that the entire race seems rigged… no matter what the actual outcome is, you will trip and fall and lose. Isn’t it a ridiculous waste of effort then? why did you spend ages consulting the stats and considering the possibilities, and then finally choosing the right ones and coming out ahead, only for the author to say “doesn’t matter, you lose anyway” ?

If you’re going to railroad it, why write a game at all? a railroaded game isn’t a game, it’s a story. Why make someone make a choice that affects nothing? why does the choice exist then? I mean if you want to tell a story, tell a story. If you want to make a game, make a game. Why would you write a game, that is actually a story, and fill it full of fake choices that mean nothing? you’re just going to make the reader feel like he’s wasted his time and all his effort counted for nothing :slight_smile:

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Are you arguing that there’s no overlap between “game” and “story?” You seem to treat them as different creatures. The reason I like HGs and CoGs so much as that many of them blend both “game” AND “story” together so well.

Unless you’re designing a pure sandbox type of game where characters can just run around at their leisure (nothing against those!), you need a narrative. You need a plot.

Plots usually have specific events like exposition/inciting incident, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution. Plots, especially in stories like thrillers, adventures, action, generally have a series of “yes, but” scenes where even if the protagonist does well, it’s only temporary, as the stakes continue to rise.

So yes, if an author is focusing on writing an engaging plot, the author will likely include some scenes that occur no matter what, just to act as tent poles for the narrative structure. And yes, that might include some “forced fails.” In your example, let’s suppose the race scene introduces the antagonist to the MC/reader. Maybe it’s vital that the antagonist win the race, and maybe it creates even stronger emotions from the reader if the reader feels “they were screwed.” Perhaps that would explain a scene being written that way.

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True enough but if I that was the case I’d rather have him being tripped in a hallway or something (and even then there should be a check) - there doesn’t necessarily need to be a fail, I think the bad blood is established whether the act fails or not. There was a lot of bad blood going on already, so it wasn’t an introduction.

But yeah, maybe the author was trying to make you feel screwed. I guess some people might enjoy that, but personally I don’t enjoy feeling screwed so I’d rather not have that in a game.

Even a 10 pages story about you racing to the end only to get tripped would feel cheap, no matter if it’s in a book or a game.

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Totally agree. IMO this brand of storytelling heavily relies on the reader being immersed. As soon as the author or narrator— or whoever talks to me, commenting on something I just did like they phased through the 5th demension just to boo at me, immersion dead, I almost immediately want to stop reading lolol (I remember this happened once in Psy High when I tried doing something nice for my mom and the mysterious 3rd voice that wasn’t me or my mom said something like “well that’s very nice of you isn’t it?” :face_with_raised_eyebrow: thanks?)

Unless it’s done for the purpose of comedy (that involves the characters rather than the author) or is in some way relevant to the plot, I think breaking the 4th wall would then be appropriate

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I feel it’s dependent. I don’t think a finished release should have the author making on comments on decisions themselves in finished releases.

However, in W.I.P.'s there are reasons to why an author might want to point something out. If I’m making an incredibly branching game, with a multitude of options that do different things, then I feel it’s justified to give players some indication which routes aren’t fleshed out. That way they know in current versions which options work and if they see a particular one that isn’t completely fleshed out, they know not to waste their time on it. Ideally, you WOULD wait until you have everything as mapped out as you can, yet, sometimes it’s possible that authors just get excited at what they’ve worked on and want to show off to the audience(I have a bad habit of this myself.) It just seems like it would be more bothersome as far as WIP’s go to let players take routes that end much more abruptly than others.

In the sense of finished projects, there are probably times where it works, though I’m not totally sure of good examples.

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Of course, but in the context of an author having to give information to the reader outside the main body of the story (in a WIP or otherwise) it’s not really 4th wall breaking and acts more as an authors note(?). Honestly, I find no issue with the author needing to tell the reader how their stat system works or that some parts are still under construction nor do I find it immersion breaking. It’s a necessary thing and I appreciate it. It’s just when the author or an unestablished voice passes judgment on something I just said or did for no particular purpose.

As for finished releases, If I remember correctly, Choice of the Deathless and Fatehaven both used 4th wall breaking as a (brief) plot device. I didn’t find that immersion breaking and I enjoyed it but hey that’s just me.

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The miss click is a big one on larger stories. A miss click at the end of taley ho is very frustrating. A miss click at the end of part one of ZE:SH is despair worthy.

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As someone who tends to get really obssessive with their stats, I dont mind a little “x has increased/decreased” like how Samurai of Hyuga does it, it keeps me from having to check my stat page every time i make a choice and i dont find it immersion breaking, rather the opposite. It gives you more detail on the action you just took.

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Most hated thing in CoG’s?
Playing as a pre-established/non-customizable character.
Detective/police/military stories. Really sick of seeing these everywhere.
Management games, chose your own adventure games really aren’t the medium for those. If I wanted to play them I would just play Civilization or Stelaris.

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I found myself that speed reading is prone for misclicking. While this rarely happens, it’s likely to be the case when it comes to the typical “choice hub.”

Swiping gesture is actually works great for me when it comes to “are you sure you pick this?”, since the option would be highlighted in dark blue.

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Regrettably I’m a frequently relied upon person in my household, and often find myself interrupted to complete some benign task. This leads to some impatience on my part upon returning.

I’ve also been something of a speed reader from the age of 12 and the hecticness of adult life has only encouraged my frenzied reading.

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In the fog knows your name during the flashback your character can be so aloof that the term “friends” seems relative. You can be full on antisocial goth. But the modern day all options are “Friends friends friends god i love my friends have i mentioned how much i love my friends?” And it’s rather jarring

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I hate exuse plots! Where basically everything is pointless has there is no story, no driving force. It just angers me and I don’t know why it just dose!

Another thing I hate is stangent character development- again I don’t know why I just hate it!

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‘Fake’ choices. Where no matter what you do you achieve the same scripted outcome. Especially if it is negative in some way. Probably the one aspect of any choice game that I dislike.

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I don’t like the “four point trap” where I feel like I have to specialise in a skill at the beginning of the game and I’m punished for deviating from that choice.

But going off piste I have to bring up the most boneheaded game mechanic of all time. The original Traveller table top roleplaying game had a weird character generation system. You could die during character generation. For some reason no other game has decided to copy this mechanic but it’s hilarious if a little frustrating.

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My Romance Gripes:

My Character Lizzy Lesbian meets Brian Buff. " Brian’s pecs are oiled and chiseled and you could wash clothes on them he has dreamy blue eyes like a lake he’s the most handsome man you’ve ever seen" Fk you story . and Fk if you do it for female characters too. You can describe them as normal people. Implying my character wants to bang someone is a great way to make me hate them. In fact in moonrise due to vague descriptions of Alice the “bond” we feel with her made me instantly hate her until the game clarified she is a child not a love interest. I still don’t enjoy being forced into things but i adopted her but my immediate instinct was " they are forcing me to this character i must run the opposite direction. Hilariously in heroes rise this worked The opposite way. " Look heres a huge list of reasons you SHOULDN’T date prodigal look in her head she’s a f**king Yandere!" And i was like “Game is telling me not to date crazy girl …Must date crazy girl!” Redemption project lead me to my second big problem with romance.

Do not make things serious. In Redemption season our sister is dying /suffering and we need her cure. The only character i felt a connection with in that game was JK and we aren’t Lannisters after all. So i just went the Asexual route. But there are other games from other companies like Choices with its greys anatomy ripoff and the roman courtesan stories which have a protagonist who’s mind should be on work or revenge. And as such i feel no compulsion to romance as them. It happens again in The fog knows your name. I’m an amtisocial goth who the whole town hates why bother with romance? And if I’m going to romance a character …

I’m only going after the most interesting one.

Steampunk Tarzan in the flying game
Non binary maid in the haunted house game
Prodigal in heroes rise
Masami in samurai of hyuga
And others similarly. I think my two preferred types are Cinnamon Rolls i need to protect or Badass Queens i need protection from. But generally i choose the unique option over the boring ones.

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When it’s too “gamish” as opposed to “storyish”. Obviously, some challenge and difficulty is necessary but ultimately, I like to make my choices according to what the MC would do, rather than what’s the best option stats-wise.

Especially if the backstory of the character would logically provide the MC with a certain skill, but gameplay-wise doesn’t.

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Yeah that sometimes ruffles my feathers. But I do understand why at times.

The only situation where I am okay with a linear game is if it is for a series because let’s face it, if you have 38 distinct endings and so much more due to your game’s interactivity, then you won’t have that much fun writing a sequel.

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