Question about stats and storyline


#1

In the game I’m working on, you get to choose your past relationship with a family member (ranging from being very close to bad relationship) based on a question that essentially goes:

How do you feel about not seeing your _____ for so many years?

-I missed him so much. We were attached at the hip, back in high school.

-We haven’t always been super close, but it’s been hard not be there for him all these years.

-I wonder if this time apart has really made him miss me as much as _____ says.

-I don’t think I should have come back. Scratch that, definitely shouldn’t have come back.

This sets your initial relationship with your relative, which effects how much information you have about your environment (and thus the game will make it a bit “easier” to make “good” choices) and how people speak to you.

Is this a bad mechanic? Should I make an advantage to having a bad relationship (such as “you had time to work on (stat) instead”)? The game will have a lot of replay value because it branches a lot very early on, but I don’t know if people will choose to have a bad relationship. Either way, the story will give you chances to improve or ruin your relationship with your relative, but is it kind of pointless to have this monumental choice so early on? (The stat difference is 70% at best compared to 30% at worst)

If it’s a bad mechanic, I’m still going to have the choice, but it won’t make a difference with the stats. It’ll just change the scene directly after and serve as a sort of character building*.

[I just don’t know how important that part is, because character building isn’t a huge part of this game]


#2

I would say that disadvantages are much more interesting when weighted with advantages. I personally prefer game play that encourages me to explore, rather than a game punishing me because I didn’t make the ‘right’ choice, particularly early on like that. (Well, except for the ‘wrong’ choice in the beginning of Star Captain, but that one was hilarious.)

I like your idea of a poorer relationship with Relative X letting you improve one of your other stats. Also, is it possible people later on might think better of you if you’re not too close to RX, people who might not get on with that person terribly well?


#3

“…is it possible people later on might think better of you if you’re not too close to RX, people who might not get on with that person terribly well?”

I was definitely looking into that! I was also considering new options (which would lead to different endings) popping up as a result of a poor relationship with RX. Example, if you have a relationship below 40% at a scene near the end, you have the option to betray RX, but if you have a relationship above that level, the option is unselectable (not entirely blanked out, because I want people to know that the option exists under different conditions)


#4

Since I have no idea what story/game you are talking about, this makes me unbiased.
I feel we shouldn’t be punished for having a bad relationship with a family member’s especially if we don’t even know their personality yet! D: