Opinions on Perspective Shifting?

I’m not sure as to how many choice games implement the idea of perspective changing and swapping between different characters, but I am curious to know your opinions on it. Would you prefer mid-game switching, whether it be voluntary or involuntary? Or do you feel like it would be more ideal to play through a whole character to the end, then revert back and play through another story?

The reason I ask is because I am stumped on which would be more beneficial.

I actually think the perspective switching is a good idea, I don’t mind it being involuntary…

I’d say that a chapter by chapter switch (Character A in Chapter 1, B in 2, A in 3 again etc) would probably be the most interesting for a choice game, because then you would (hopefully) be able to see the effects of character A’s actions in B’s storyline, and vice versa. Having the whole game be A, only to switch over to B halfway through just wouldn’t really do anything interesting, I think, unless B was A’s child or something.

A couple years ago, I suggested that one interesting way of exploring gender in a historical game would be to have two protagonists, one male, one female, whose stories intertwined. E.g. a brother-sister pair who rose to power using all of the avenues available to both sexes in a given historical context. As far as I know, no WiPs have tried this yet.

Many people will probably prefer a single-character storyline, but having two protagonists opens up lots of interesting possibilities. And I agree that chapter-by-chapter POV switches seem like a good way to organize it.

I actually prefer this to a single character

I prefer to stay gender in a playthrough and a single character i could find mine more characters make me feel totally out of the game like modern final fantasy games that i found boring and bad.

I think it could expand the scope of most stories by breaking the shackles of a single perspective and the inherent limitations associated with that approach.

Instead of having to use exposition or plot devices like letters, videos or television broadcasts, you could actually show the other side of a confict.

There was an extremely similar thread about this posted just a day or two ago, here:

I also posted one myself quite some time ago:

(Just linked for additional reading)

It’s an interesting topic and it’s one I’m still very unsure on. It works in books but does it work as well in COAs? Bearing in mind that COG games in-particular have a strong tradition of being in the 2nd person, which wouldn’t (really) work for a game with multiple perspectives/viewpoint characters.

I’d love to do a cyoa similar in layout to resident evil 2.

I.e have a male and female protagonist who has different paths that intersect at certain points.

I see where a chapter by chapter switch would work, as @SpaceLesbian said, with a few characters. But I think this may become a slight problem when there is a large amount of character switching, say 18 characters for example. Chapter by chapter would be far too annoying to play through, especially if the player isn’t to fond of a few characters.

So given the circumstances, what would you prefer then? If there was a large variety of set characters, all at which intersect accordingly into the plot and story of others, how would you go along with that? Would it still be viable to continue switching throughout the story, or would changing the perspective be a good idea at all?

Initially, I thought about choosing a starting character and playing through their complete side of the story. You would then return afterwards and choose another, seeing the world and people from another perspective and find that your previously chosen character is acting according to your previous actions. This would continue to go on, until all of the characters have been played through and the final story is set.

But then this would bring about numerous problems. Wouldn’t it be strange if a character you met in your (Ill call it Playthrough A) is now doing completely different things in Playthrough C because you played that character in B? (That confused me slightly xD)

Would the story be constantly changing if you continued to replay characters again and again? This would fit into a mystery, crime styled game well I suppose, if you followed different suspects stories to work out who commited the crime.

Its just really bugging me that I have a story that will only work with a large amount of main characters, but I just can’t figure out a suitable way to change the perspective…

You could group this large cast into say, five groups based on alliance or opinion or whatever, and then have the player choose which of the group to play, that way you still have all the options, but on the player’s end, it’s far less tedious and annoying.

OR, and here’s a good idea, have scenes march along linearly, but at the beginning of each, let the player choose which involved character to play as. The scene is a noblewoman, her bodyguard, her servant, and the assassin who’s come to kill her. The player is then given the choice to play any of the four, making things interesting, while still advancing the plot and keeping the pace up without issue.

As far as I can imagine, the latter suggestion would be fantastic to play and murder to write/code. :slight_smile:

@BlazedStorm, I think a change of MC for every new chapter is a good idea. I’d love it if the player could influence the order by the decisions s/he makes.

Your original idea would be great for a sci-fy game but confusing in other settings.

Of courses would require much more writing.