Non-traditional stat screen opinions


#1

For this particular game I’m working on, it starts out kind of interview with a vampire style, and a report is being written about the playable character.

Because of that, I was thinking of writing out the report as the stat screen, where choices by the player are outlined, to give an idea where you stand at certain points in the game (i.e. “We already knew that _____ was an ally of [MC], but it seems at this point that they were also close friends”).

However, this does take more effort with writing and coding than the stat screens I’ve made before, so I’d like to hear whether you think this is worth the effort. It might be creative-ish for a moment and then be frustrating because it’s difficult to see how things are going without clear numbers, but that’s definitely a matter of preference. I’m just trying to figure out what the popular opinion is.

ALSO- do you bother reading additional screens that give more information about characters? Like an index.


#2

I pretty much read everything offered, but some people won’t, so it’s best not to make stat screen info crucial, but rather supplemental.

If you haven’t already, you might check out the Choice of Robots running summary of the story so far.


#3

I like it. More immersive. Also I hate numbers and want to ban math.


#4

I agree; I played Choice of Robots five or six times before even quite realizing that the summaries were there at all!


#5

I like the idea and I would be fine with it. But I am also one of those players that rarely ever go to the stat screen unless something devastatingly wrong happens and I need clarification.

I have to agree on the clarity part, if your reader wants to check on one specific thing, it might be frustrating since they can’t easily find it.


#6

Just make sure you let the reader know it’s there and it should be fine. (Have a “how to play the game page” near the start or if you want to make it more organic you could reference that the MC has a diary or that there is a file being created on them by they company they work for etc that you can access via the stat screen.


#7

I’ve both written and used helpful stat screens. It’s definitely worth having it there for the readers that want it.

I hadn’t realised “Choice of Robots” has a “story so far” thing. I’ll definitely give it a look next time I play! Maybe it should have had a note on the first stat screen to say clicking Next led to more info… or maybe that would have been too mechanical.

Personality-wise, if you’re not sure you have the follow-through to do something complicated, don’t do it. Better to have a simple, finished game than a half-finished thing with a super unusual feature that barely anyone would appreciate anyway.


#8

I often don’t even look at the stat screen. I never read glossaries or codexes or things like that. I generally won’t read a summary of the choices I’ve previously made either.