@Eiwynn A romance game set in a horror/mystery story. So there would be some sort of mysterious danger that needs to be figured out, and I’m wondering if it’s best to always have this bad thing turn out to be the same, ie. it’s a cult no matter which RO you chose, or depending on RO, ie. in RO a’s route it’s a cult, in RO b’s route it’s a vampire, or randomly determined by a rand roll when you start the game, so you won’t know wich bad guy you got until late in each playthrough.
The “otome style” is what I think is throwing me off. In my experience the otome depends on the ro you decide to pursue, so while the overarching story may be separated, the details are reliant on who you are pursuing for romance.
Perhaps it is just me, so I’ll stop here.
I picked “horror/mystery changes depending on the romance route,” but more along the lines of: the main story is the same (say, it’s always a cult) but the details of the horror/mystery change depending on your RO.
So like, maybe one RO is actually a cult member, so if you choose their route, you learn more about the inner workings of the cult. But if you choose the, I dunno, detective RO, you would be doing more investigating with them, but never get the ‘insider edition’ on the cult. Basically the main mystery/culprit is the same, but maybe how you discover/learn/interact with the culprit is different depending on the RO because each RO would have something different to contribute to the story.
I hope that made sense? I tried to put examples to help clarify, but it was difficult to elaborate in words haha. I also really like games like this because then your understanding of the story evolves with each character, and encourages replayability without making each route wildly different (e.g. different culprits for each route)
edit: I realized it’s just what Eiwynn said; she was very succinct where I ended up rambling haha
Thank you for elaborating, @Aerin!
I would put that under the “stays the same” option, as the bad guy stays the same, what changes is the content of the route, which was kinda what I meant by otome style routes.
Unfortunately, I’m not very good at explaining my (non-specific) ideas, so that they are clearly understandable to others.
Yeah, no problem! I totally understand, given that I wrote in multiple paragraphs what could be expressed in a few sentences haha. Gotta work on concision…
But, would this happen to be for the Halloween game jam?
If it is (or isn’t), I’d be interested to see if/what you create with this–mystery/horror otome sounds pretty cool. Good luck! ^^
Yeah, I was brainstorming, then remembered an idea I had sometime last year and never developed beyond a short premise.
If I do end up making it for the jam, it’ll probably start with a few routes, and then I can always add more later, if I want.
Okay, that last one had interesting results.
Random started out very strong, but was quickly overtaken, and the other two then kept fighting for supremacy, and ended up being fairly equal.
Here’s another poll:
How do you feel about a game having unlockable content / content hidden behind achievements?
It’s not something I see a lot in CS games, but fairly common in Visual Novels. I’ve definitely played games where you have to play multiple times, finish multiple routes, before you unlock the best endings / a special ending / the one romance route you really want.
So, what are your feelings on something like that in a CS game?
- I love unlocking content!
- I like it.
- It’s fine.
- I dislike it.
- I won’t play games with that feature.
- It’s only okay, if it’s very minor content.
It’s a bit a case by case basis for me so here are my thoughts - sorta I just woke up so disclaimer:
Unlocking the best ending: depends how you define best mainly. Your ‘best’ may not be my ‘best’. Hmm… I’d say as long as the other routes aren’t a slog to replay through then I wouldn’t mind having the best ending be locked in this manner provided that I found it to be satisfying.
Unlocking the special ending: same thoughts as unlocking the best ending.
Unlocking the romance route you want: I think my verdict of whether or not the proverbial wait was worth the romance depends on how well the romance is executed/how well I like the romance. If it’s done well, I’ll undoubtedly think it was worth the lock, if it’s not I’ll probably be disappointed in it.
Overall, I think - tentatively - my feelings are this kind of stuff is okay if it’s minor content. Such as in Breach you have NewGame+ which unlocks a different prologue and different epilogue for you.
If it’s an entire character/romance/route then I’m not a fan of it because my expectations for that route will be quite high. Usually if someone locks something behind a pay wall or something there comes the expectation that it’s ‘better’ than what you could have in the vanilla game. Like if you bought a unique weapon/armor set for 2.99 for a triple A game, it’s going to be for the aesthetic, unique stats (making it OP early game), or maybe for lore purposes.
In an IF, you’ve already paid for the route and all that’s left is to unlock it. So it could go either way, it depends - I think - on whether or not the locked route is enjoyable to the reader and meets their expectations.
As someone who plays a lot of otome and VNs. I hate when the true route/“best” ending is locked behind playing the other, only a few game has pulled that out in a way I didn´t find irritating and stopped me from quitting the game.
Now for minor things. Like little nod to the other routes/acheivement. Eh, it´s okay.
“I like it,” but I’d agree with Black Reaper in that the ‘true’ or ‘best’ ending would have to be worth the wait. Also, I personally think the situation for IF vs. otome games/visual novels is distinctly different.
VN multiple route e.g.
In the game Cinderella Phenomenon, one of the characters was locked until you finished the other characters’ routes (unless I’m remembering wrong, it’s been a while). I found the last character’s route to be pretty fulfilling, because it essentially sheds more light on the MC’s situation and ties the whole underlying plot together with a nice bow. In this case I enjoyed playing multiple routes and “unlocking the content,” but I’d acknowledge that each route was distinct and felt new, since each focused on a different RO.
Ultimately, I think the mechanic of locking significant content (“true/special ending”, specific romance route) behind multiple playthroughs is not (as) feasible in CS games. This is because, unless each route or playthrough is very unique, completing multiple playthroughs in a CS game can be a slog. Visual novels (at least those I’ve played through ren’py) have a wonderful “skip text you’ve already read” function; the same is not true for CS games, and because CS games often make use of repeated text, running through multiple routes and mindlessly tapping “Next” to get to the unique text and finally a certain ending could get tiring.
For a multiple route content lock, I think each route would need to be somewhat distinct, so in multiple playthroughs the reader doesn’t get bored running through text they’ve already seen, and the special content is satisfying given the effort put in to reach it. Con: this requires a lot of writing. Minor content behind achievements would be okay, I think, though no CS game immediately comes to mind where this has been implemented. If you hide content behind achieves, how/when does the reader get to see the hidden content?
Not to mention, they also have some truly beautiful character potraits and background sceneries to look at. That makes it a bit more bearable, IMO.
I hate it. I’m not a drone, I hate repetetive task like doing daily, and when I bother to do them…they better be worth the trouble .
I also don’t care for achievement, so hidden romance ? hidden best route? whatever…next!
I think what annoy me is the game assume alot of thing for you.
At least achievement don’t bother you, they just pop up randomly when you do stuff .
I remember seeing this for the 1st time in Mortal Kombat when it came out, hidden character you can play as …no idea who it was…since I never cared to do it still don’t care to do it…and if someone lock good stuff behind a crummy system like that…I’ll be miffed like hell…
Yeah, as much as I try to state these questions as neutral as possible, to avoid skewing the results, I can definitely say this is not something I personally favour, either.
As much as I think Red Embrace: Hollywood is in many ways a masterpiece of a VN, having to play through the entire game so. many. times. to get that last ending, was very frustrating. And everytime a game has locked RO’s those are always the ones I like the best, and I get annoyed about having to romance someone else first.
I don’t care about achievements, and I don’t get any satisfaction from managing something difficult (I tend to play all games on the easiest difficulty, so I can get to the interesting parts quicker).
But I know other people aren’t me, so I wanted to see if there was a majority of people who gets satisfaction from unlocking content and feeling like they earned it, so it would be worth incorporating. So far, it doesn’t seem like it.
EDIT: I could definitely add beautiful artwork to a WIP, if that makes the replay value higher, @moonfungus
EDIT: It was exactly BREACH that made me add the ‘minor content’ option to the poll, @AChubbyBlackCat
@The_Lady_Luck Honestly, as long as you don’t go full Ever17 (as in see your favourite characters die in front of you in each route, only for the “best” ending to play it off as a Groundhog Day loop), you’ll be fine in my eyes.
That sounds absolutely horrible!
It was. It was simultaneously one of the best and one of the worst VNs I’ve ever read.
I voted dislike, but I actually like the idea of achievements unlocking content—in theory. In practice, I don’t think CSGs support that kind of unlock mechanic well.
Replaying content solely to unlock more content is not super fun, so games that use NewGame+ type mechanics typically have ways to minimize the replaying bit. Visual novels have multiple at-will save slots and fast forward buttons. Video games have cloud saves and ways to restart without the game acting like it’s the first time you’ve installed it.
In contrast, CS games generally don’t even have saves at all, let alone hard ones. Every time the player switches devices, wipes their cookies, or accidentally hits the Restart button, that content they worked hard to unlock is just gone. That’s not fun, even if you like unlocking stuff.
I think it can work, but unless the author specifically wants their game to be frustrating, they’ll need to build in some extra features to support it. That could be as simple as making the content unlockable by entering a code into the main menu or as complicated as a system that lets the player jump through/fast forward chapters. But you need to build something, IMO.
One way I have considered using unlocked content/new game+, and I find more okay, is if the hidden content is spoilery. Like, if the game has a big twist fairly late, and then in a new game+ you get extra scenes, that would have spoiled the twist the first time you played, and perhaps the character can even figure things out, and get another ending.
But yes, CS in it’s current form is not optimal for that sort of thing.
If you replay a story multiple times, at least more than 3 times, over a period of time, at least two weeks or more, why do you replay the story?
Sorry if this was done before, I can’t remember for the life of me.
- I like rereading the story because I enjoy playing the route(s) I previously took.
- I like rereading the story because I enjoy playing route(s) I haven’t explored yet.
- I like to reread to see all the different variations in the text based on my choices.
- I like to have completed all the achievements for the story.
- I do not revisit/replay the game more than three times.
- I do not revisit/replay the game after two weeks of purchase.
- Other/Please specify!
I often replay games to learn from them.
Whenever I want to look closer at how an author made their game, I usually replay it.