Polls about COG, HG, and IF games (More Polls #16)

Uh, what’s that about the MC/MC part of the poll? Is that about games where there are two MCs and the PoV switches between them?
Also is it on purpose that the MC/RO vote doesn’s include young MC, someone in their 20s?

I don’t think you can boil it down to a number. And putting it in a poll like this…I think the discussion on the Age Gap thread is better. There are so many reasons why people look at age gaps differently, and this poll doesn’t account for that.

2 Likes

The poll is misleading. I feel different What I find interesting and what I feel perfectly okay but I don’t want play should be two different polls

5 Likes

Kinda wish there was an abstain (for data points/proportions–it’s bad to just leave out “givens”). I really do only play characters around my age (20s-30s when the profession expects it), dating similarly aged or older folks (20s-30s). Rarely am I romancing a younger party, regardless.

1 Like

Same here. Since I’m 26 I prefer to play MCs who are 20+, early 30s. As for ROs I prefer for them to be older than my MC or if younger they should have a certain presence to them. (Tho there are always exceptions.) Given the options of the poll I’ll just assume I’m not it’s target audience and pass up on voting.

Also I’m still confused about the MC/MC part?

1 Like

A typo. Don’t read too much into it.

1 Like

Angst scale here, how do you like your endings?

  • Sunny side up (gtfo angst)
  • Over easy (some angst but, don’t kill my OC, yeah?)
  • Poached (Bring on the angst so long as it’s valid)
  • Scrambled (THE MORE ANGST THE BETTER!

0 voters

Old poll I know, but I’m surprised so many people picked cats.
Dogs would be like: Hey you’re part of the pack so if you’re good we can go to the park and play games and have as much food as you want (hope you like kibble!) If you’re naughty, you’ll get told off, but then we can all be friends again right?

Cat’s would be like: Keep out of my way unless I send for you slave or feel the wrath of my claws!

6 Likes

Very true! Dogs would be the best overlords in terms of fairness? Niceness? Cats are just more believable since they pretty much have us at their beck and call as it is :joy:

2 Likes

Isn’t that basically how cats already are now?

3 Likes

On the flip side, canine overlords would keep you chained to them 24/7 just to give them a constant stream of affection and positive affirmation. Feline overlords would allow you to live your own independent life most of the time.

2 Likes

Dogs would take you out for walks and play with you, while cats keep you locked inside a cell for the rest of your life.:joy:

But it’s just too much of a bother to release you when it’s time to serve. Besides they’re secure in the knowledge that nothing else you do could possibly compete with the honor of serving them or the pleasure of basking in their divine presence. So they are not particularly inclined to micromanage the lives of the lesser beings who serve them.

3 Likes

This conversation reminded me of this:

10 Likes

Hello forum! I’m working on a few mystery/investigation games and I’m struggling a bit with how I want to approach things from a design perspective. If you have a moment to vote in a poll or two, that’d be incredibly helpful.


Question 1: General Design

All other things held equal, would you rather play a mystery that’s approached like a puzzle for the player to solve, or like a story for the player to experience?

Puzzle Approach

The test-your-wits approach.

You get to/have to gather clues and solve the mystery yourself with lots of control over the investigation and not much narrative hand-holding. You choose who you want to interrogate, what you want to ask, and what locations you want to search. As you collect clues, you use them to figure out which suspects are guilty or innocent.

Failure is entirely possible; the narrative will point you towards key clues, but it’s ultimately up to you to find the clues, interpret the clues correctly, and catch the culprit.

In short, the key question is: Can you solve the case?

Story Approach

The sit-back-and-enjoy-the-narrative approach.

The focus would be on roleplaying as a clever detective rather than being a clever detective. You’ll still direct their clue-finding efforts, but the PC/MC will piece the clues together themself and (as long as you do a halfway decent job investigating) be able to solve the case. Failure is deemphasized; it’s about how you solve the case, rather than if you solve the case. There will still be a lot of choices of course, but they’ll deal more with process and motivation. Are you going to charm the suspect into giving you information? Or trick them? Or beat it out of them? Why have you chosen this profession? etc.

In short, the key questions are: What kind of detective are you? and What kind of story are we going to tell?

  • Puzzle Approach
  • Story Approach
  • A specific in-between approach (please comment)
  • No preference
  • Other preference (please comment)

0 voters

Question 2: Solutions

For a game with one murder mystery to solve, what two solutions sound the most fun to play?

  • Static: the killer is always the same person.
  • Random: the killer is chosen randomly each game, and the clues change accordingly.
  • Player-Influenced: your actions in the past or during the investigation set off a chain of events which determine which NPC is ultimately willing and able to kill the victim.
  • Open-Ended: there is compelling evidence pointing in more than one direction. Ultimately, it’s up to the player to decide if they got the right person.
  • Other (please comment)

0 voters

For a game with multiple, unrelated murder mysteries to solve (say, around six), what two solutions sound the most fun to play?

  • Static: the killer is always the same person.
  • Random: the killer is chosen randomly each game, and the clues change accordingly.
  • Player-Influenced: your actions in the past or during the investigation set off a chain of events which determine which NPC is ultimately willing and able to kill the victim.
  • Open-Ended: there is compelling evidence pointing in more than one direction. Ultimately, it’s up to the player to decide if they got the right person.
  • A Mix: have some mysteries use one solution type, other mysteries use another.
  • Other (please comment)

0 voters

1 Like

Q1: In-Between Approach Warning Text Dump:

One of the limits of Choicescript as a system, I feel, is that doing a more open-world-based mechanic can be very clunky. It’s endemic of text-based games, really. The main question is how important is the investigation aspect. The reason I focus on that over mystery is that “investigation” has different connotations from “mystery”.

Investigation vs Mystery

In the Orwell series on Steam, if you look at the tags, “Mystery” is at the bottom. “Detective” (which I take as a synonym for “Investigation” is up at the top. Furthermore, the devs a selling point as investigat[ing] stuff, not as a mystery. And yes, Orwell involves hunting for clues, making connections (or not). Obra Dinn, which I understand requires you to assess culprits, has “Detective” before “Mystery”.

If you look at “Mystery”, Alan Wake is the only title I’m vaguely familiar with and as far as I understand there’s less of a focus in player involvement (short of the action mechanics) to reveal the plot.

This is a narrow sample, I admit, and Steam is not the most robust adjudicator of what people categorise games as. However, I do think that there is a distinction to be made between mystery and investigation, atleast in how the terms are perceived in terms of gaming. While these can overlap it can also lead to very separate audiences.

If you advertise the game as an investigation game, I think that a substantial enough amount of people would go into it with the expectation that they themselves will be doing some deductive work of their own. I suspect that’s the sort of people you’d attract with the premise. Thus, a degree of independent investigation available to the player (as opposed to forced by narrative or choice) would seem to be a good idea. Having failure conditions can also more intensity(?) than if there aren’t.

I think this approach falls down when it comes to the limit of text-based games and the knowledge a player has. Having the entire investigation available to the player makes it possible for them to end up lost, having either dead-ended or gotten sufficiently confused that they don’t know what to do (if you lock out options after all the evidence has been collected there, it’s no longer so investigation-based, as there’s an interface spoiler).

Alternatively, it can end up with something which is very broad but can be quite shallow. While a lack of player agency is a criticism, usually a lack of player agency is made up with a tight plot (which may have caused said lack of agency). Broad-but-shallow can fall into the trap where neither the options nor the plot are substantial which is arguably worse.

This is where a more narrative-approach can assist things. The MC, that is not the player, presumably knows things that the player does not. Stat checks can offer information that would advance the case, lower stats checks note things which would be somewhat commonly-known but help out those who don’t (e.g. mercury fulminate was used as a primer compound, the victim has been killed by a makeshift gun, a suspect happens to have some nitric acid and broken mercury lamps).

While it can be argued that a stint on Google and compulsive note-taking can deal with these problems, one could argue that getting the readership to spend extensive amounts of time outside of the game is a bad idea since they’d lose engagement with the game.

One example, I think, of the hybrid method would be LA Noire. Finding evidence results in Phelps and/or his partner making comments, but it’s up to the player to patch it together. That being said, LA Noire has its faults, such as options not entirely being clear and can be a bit narrow for some people’s liking.

If I recall correctly, in LA Noire you can miss some clues and still solve the case due to the existing evidence by going down another route of investigation. That kind of thing would happen naturally in a more open-ended game if the player catches on, but might be missed a more narrative-styled game.

Of course, there are other ways to do a hybrid system, and I think that would have to depend on the plot. Other things to be considered are how important the MC’s character is, the complexity of the plot, whether they have any romance options or companions. For ROs and companions, I think a more linear approach would be better otherwise you end up with a dating sim on top of your investigation mechanic which can lead to feature bloat.


Q2: Player-Influenced or Random

General comments since I’ve already written the above.

While random seems good in practice for replay value, not sure about the clues “changing accordingly”. While replay value is good, it should still be internally consistent. So that would probably leave a limited pool of candidates.

In the case of player-influenced, having an option to outright choose the guilty suspect from the start (i.e. via an option menu, perhaps as a new game thing) might be something to consider.

Open-Ended can end up being unsatisfying, if not done well enough.


Q3: A Mix (Static and any of the others) or Player-Influenced

A mix would be the most refreshing option, I think. For the static ones you could have greater development of plot and characters, the less-predictable ones adding a sense of uncertainty.

Player-Influenced has a leg up here over random on its own since there are other cases in play, which while unrelated can determine the player’s play-style more easily.

3 Likes

A quick poll to throw at you folks.


In a fairly linear game (think the Witcher series or Assassin’s Creed) where tons of side-quest are available, how likely are you going to skip most, if not all, side-quest?

  • I will explore all side quests available before continuing the main quest
  • I am most likely to skip all side quests or just focus on the main quest

0 voters

I’m taking the assumptions that the side quests affect your ending minor-ly or flavor-ly.

I’m curious what is your preference. If you have different opinions or want to tell your experiences in details, feel free to comment.

1 Like

depand on the game .

In the witcher 3 I did a few side quest and they were memorable, but eventually I wanted the story over with .

In Assassin Creed I did the main story quest, and alot of side quest area by area…I still have to finish the whole thing…and I will…one day lol .

It really depand on the content and the kind of side quest too! like in ACO there were some side quest that were funny! But I also did them cose I don’t like dots on my map :stuck_out_tongue: and I needed the reward (since I hate grinding) .

In the witcher 3, save for a few quest…I enjoyed the ones that were long and memorables like that Quest with the wraith and the fisherman . It make it feel almost a whole story on its own .

Then there are games that just burn you out with boring side quest (DAI, Radiant Quest…etc) . And those…I split them by characters . This X character gonna do this 1, 2,3 map cose it fit them more . That Y character will do 4,5 and Z character will do the remaining ones (did that in DAI since I found the map soo boooring).

2 Likes

RPGs are my genre of video games and the ones that I’ve played were the ones published during the golden age of Bioware i.e. Dragon Age Origins, Mass Effect 1, etc.

I found the side quests in the Bioware games to be quite enjoyable - wrangling the Nugs in Orzammar or assembling the drake armor and witnessing the interactions between Master Wade and Herren are two of the top ones on my list - so I always do them when an RPG offers them.

But if this was a side quest in a FPS, I’d probably wouldn’t jump at it with all the eagerness I would have in an RPG because the side quests are almost always repetitive.

In the context of an IF, I would definitely explore any side quests because an IF is very similar to an RPG so I would expect there isn’t any repetitiveness.

3 Likes

I like slow burn RO that concludes at around the middle of the game, to leave space for the truly climatic events at the end of the game.