Questions of a beginner (long post)

nonbinary-inclusive
gender-choice

#1

Hello again, i am sort of new here, and i want to write a game but i have several questions. So i just thought i’d bundle them up in one thread, if that’s okay. This is likely going to be a long post, i am not a native English speaker, so there will probably be grammar or typing errors. I am Brazilian btw, nice to meet you all.

My questions are mostly of a writing nature, i have not yet tried to program in Choice Script, but i used to be a programmer so i’m confident i can deal with that later. First i’m focusing on writing the story itself. I have no writing experience however.

I am going to describe my plans here, and what i intend to do. As i described in another thread, the game is going to be about you working for a mercenary organization, missions range from assassination, rescue, investigation, protection and maybe others. The game would be set in the real world, likely starting in 2015. There would be several references to real world events and missions would be set in several countries in the world. Some real life organizations, particularly those involved in shady things would sometimes be the focus of some missions.

For character creation, i was planning to provide option of Nationality (unsure if all, or just some of them), inclusive gender options as much as possible, religion, race, body type, previous profession.

I am planning for a few companions you meet in missions to be recruitable and accompany you in future missions, at max 2 can go with you in any given mission. The characters would have agreements or disagreements based on the actions you take to complete the mission. I plan all of these characters to be romanceable. They will be of fixed gender, and quite possibly of fixed orientation. I want to try to make an option for everyone. I also plan to other non-companion characters to be romanceable.

Outside of the mission you can interact with your companions, some of these could have their sidestories composed of several minor missions that reach a conclusion later in the game.

First of all, i read that some, or even many here like to play these games as a sort of escapism, I plan to include some themes that could be unconfortable, or characters that could be bigoted, depending on general view of the area they are from or the mission takes place.


I would like to ask the following questions:

  1. Foreign languages

People at these locations would speak the languages of their respective countries and may speak broken/poor or no English at all. These people would sometimes speak to others or try to speak to you in another language. If your character understands the language (based on your selected nationality), the dialog would be in perfect translation to English (as if you two were talking in that language and can understand each other perfectly, but is displayed in English because the game is written in English).

Since your character has selectable nationality i was planning of dealing with this in two of the following ways:

a. Display what the person said in their native language.

b. Describe that they are speaking something in a foreign language.

An example of a scene in this type in proposition A, considering your character does not speak Russian (keep in mind this is a google translation, i do not speak Russian either). In brackets is what will show if you know the language.

===========================

"You hear the engines rumbling, the pilots are ready to take off. Masaev may have lost the other hostages, but he has you to bargain with the Russians. You look outside the window and see the security forces are still busy fighting the other terrorists, they will not be able to stop the plane from taking off.

As your hope of rescue dwindles, the pilot screams to Masaev:

“Сэр, кто-то на взлетно-посадочной полосе!” [Sir! There is someone on the runway!]

Masaev rushes to the cockpit. You take a look at the runway through the cockpit window and see Ivan standing in the distance. He is carrying a normally vehicle-mounted heavy machine gun, the one you saw on the truck before. He starts to deploy it on the ground, and transmits to the walkie-talkie that is still attached to your hip:

“Don’t worry friend! I am coming for you!”

Masaev sees the lone man on the runway and chuckles, replying to the pilots:

“Бегите по его туше.” [Run over his carcass.]

The pilots put the engines on full throttle, and soon bullets start to litter the cockpit, you and Masaev hit the deck to avoid them. The pilots don’t have the same space as to maneuver as you do, and are shattered to pieces. With no one on the controls, the aircraft starts to veer off to the right and off the runway.

“Оставил! Оставил!” [Left! Left!] Says the Chechen in panic.

Noisy alarms from the cockpit begin and the whole plane starts to shake as it steps on the grass. From the cockpit window you can see a hangar getting bigger and bigger. The other terrorists inside the plane are struggling to keep their balance. What will you do?"

===========================

In the proposition B, the Russian dialogue would be replaced by simply saying a vague emotion. In the first case of the pilots, “The pilots say something urgent to him.”. In the second case “He says something confidently, not taking him seriously.”. And in the third case “He utters something in panic.”

I like the proposition A better, as it may show that the player can try to create a russian speaking character later, maybe improving replayability, it also adds some immersion of you being in a foreign location. I know you wouldn’t understand
it perfectly, but there is no way to convey the foreign language as audio. For bigger statements i would just add some of it, not all of it.

For companions that you bring that speak the foreign language, they would “translate” for you in the similar manner as if you understood it (replacing with the translation in brackets), as long as they are in the vicinity and what is said is relevant. This should simplify things instead of having them translate to you after.

The player could throw the line into a web translator if he wants to, but his character will only act on the information in this if he understood it.

I prefer proposition A, but if its not a good idea, i could do with B. What do you guys think?


  1. Discrimination

(Sorry me if i use wrong gender terms here, i am not very knowledgeable in correct terms to use, feel free to correct me).

I’ve been reading some forum posts about this, but they are somewhat old so i didn’t know if i should post there, so i’ll include them here. I played several games and i like that there are very diverse choices for your character, and i wanted these to have a consequence. For example, the character Ivan can be a companion if you want to recruit him after his mission. He is a Russian/Ex-Soviet veteran of the Soviet-Afghan War, Chechen War and Second Chechen War. He also lost his wife to a terrorist attack (2002 Moscow Theather) perpetrated by Chechen Muslims. So needless to say, he hates Muslims and Chechens.

There is more however, Ivan shares the current homophobic view of the majority of Russia, personally so because of his daughter whom he is estranged (she is a lesbian). Even then you have a choice to part ways with him after the mission he is involved with. If your character is LGBT/Chechen/Muslim and he finds out, he could disrespect you. This hate of others and grief for the loss of his wife has made him a miserable, hateful bigoted man.

However, if you keep taking him in and completing missions in a manner he is satisfied with, he will start to respect you and his side story eventually starts to have him trying to meet his daughter again. You have the chance of making him respect and even friendly again with his daughter and her girlfriend. All culminating in him being there for their marriage, or his sacrifice to save his daughter’s wife from a bullet. He can also be convinced to respect Muslims and Chechens. Most importantly, he can be romanced by cis women, and, if fully convinced to respect others, trans women. Essentially, him becoming a better person would have him be a more happy individual, who enjoys life better than before.

I feel like the discrimination and overcome of it is a major focus of the character, however from what i read this may not be good because some people may get offended to be mistreated (as it might mimic situations in real life), but it does have the option to make him change. I plan to have this relate to other companions and characters as well, on the base of religion, and maybe race.

And how would having an evil aligned LGBT character be received? I have an idea for a trans woman companion, but she is not a good person. She is a chemist who experiments with chemical weapons on people without remorse. The trans aspect is a small part of her character, but i feel like it may seem like its portraying LGBT characters as evil. I am still creating her side story so i don’t have anything to say further about her yet.

So is having this sort of thing allowed or nope?


  1. Real locations

I have seen a lot of the games in here are of a fantasy setting. Is having real world events, locations or organizations a problem? Like for example a mission involving Boko Haram or going to a holy place like Mecca for a Muslim companion’s (and possible the player character if Muslim) Hajj.

I also plan to create 2 fictional islands in the pacific, would this be too out of place/constrasting with the real world focus of the game? One is an undiscovered island, and the other has a fictional authoritarian government, there are missions set on them.


I have other things to ask, but the post is getting too big already. I will focus on these for now, thanks for the help!


#2

Welcome to the forum! Just let me know if you need me to explain any terms or use different words to make my answers easier to understand, I tend to use a lot of slang without thinking about it

In short, no, don’t include this content. Some discussion about a similar issue can be found here and in the following posts:

And the general consensus is that it’s not good to ask victims of discrimination to spend time with bigots, even with the goal of helping them change. If you’re going to portray a bigoted character, it should not be up to the main character to get them past their issues.

It isn’t that it’s a bad thing to show that people can get past these viewpoints, far from it, but making this man have a better life should not be the task of people he hates. I think it would work just as well for the viewer for him to have had these beliefs before the game started, and then have already moved past them before he comes into the game. That allows you to still let him vocalize how his life is better and richer now that he’s more accepting, without making the player have to talk him out of those beliefs.

A good rule of thumb is that you should have multiple types of representation–if you’re going to include a trans person that you view as an evil character, include another that is a good character. People can’t read it and say “this author views trans people as evil” when you have good ones too!

I think I would still recommend adjusting the character, though, either making her kinder or not making her trans. Transness has been equated with villainy a lot throughout media history, since being trans or queer is often equated with being “unnatural” or “deviant,” in a bad way. When oftentimes our identities are used as shorthand for “wrong,” it’s not unlikely that another portrayal of a bad trans person will make some of us bristle. But I have also not seen this character in writing yet, it’s possible that it wouldn’t bother me once I know her better. And a lot of stuff like this is pretty subjective, so other trans people might have different opinions than mine


#3

Thanks for the reply, i think can understand stuff just fine, i just have a harder time writing myself, since i mostly do more reading in English than talking or writing.


Well i haven’t thought of like that. I sort of want to try to give a “goal” for all companions on their side stories, i liked this one but i see what you mean about it.

I don’t intend to “force” him on the player, he can be refused to be recruited, or recruited but not taken on missions at all (i’ll write so that characters you didn’t take in your mission went on their own missions), so interaction with some companions could be limited to mostly the between missions time.

About the character, i may have exaggerated somewhat, he isn’t an evil character. He is affected by the attack that killed his wife, and he was revolted by the lack of care of the police in the incident, which ended up with a lot of hostages dead (you can read on 2002 Moscow attack if you want, i won’t get into details here). So in the missions he wants to avoid death of innocents at all costs. He also hates the Russian police and government for this, so he kind of has few friends left.

His issue with LGBT, Muslims and Chechens is not all he talks about, or talks constantly, he is more sort of a loner drunkard now. However now that you mention it i can tone down on the mistreatment to not be that abusive or offensive, and have him explain about his daughter sooner rather than later, showing the player that he can change his views. I’m not gonna have him throw insults all the time, he would be more like “i don’t want to talk about this”. Do you think this way would be better? I also want to be able to have you to cut ties with any of the companions at any time (any between missions time), in case you don’t want to interact with them anymore.

Also taking the companions to missions is optional, i plan to have the total payment reduced on the mission, because you have to share some with the companions, this should make those who prefer to go alone have some advantage to think about.

Since you mentioned about that it shouldn’t be the player the one to change him, there is a Muslim companion that comes on the third mission, since it is another group he dislikes, she would also be affected by the guy, and would also try to change his views to be more positive (of all, not just Muslims, she is very liberal and faces discrimination too). Do you think this could be an improvement? This other companion helping to change his views, and maybe trying to convince the players that disliked Ivan to try to change his views as well?


That’s perfectly okay, i’m still thinking of the story beyond the second mission (this character is from the third mission), so there is still a lot of room to change (it did a few times) for this character. Either as a trans person or being evil or not, so i will try to show a trans character in a more positive way, however it is somewhat difficult to have positive or good companions when they are all mercenaries, but i’ll try. I’m trying to write at least most assassination missions to have a way to persuade the client to forgive the target, so maybe you can be a good mercenary :slight_smile:


Another story i thought for this character was that instead of an evil chemist, she would be a better person. I plan to involve chemical weapons later as a part of the story (an overarching plot), and i thought of her using it for her gains, but she can also be one who tries to destroy the chemical weapons using her chemistry skills to save others. It’s not always easy though, what if i did her trans and that due to discrimination she could not get a job to pay for her chemistry university.

So she has to resort to creating drugs for a drug dealer and/or deploying sleeping gas into other people’s houses to steal some of their belongings to make money. Either one of these two ways so she can raise money without going for the other, more painful alternative. She dislikes that she has to do it, and if you offer her a place in the mercenary organization, she will accept as having a means to get money without resorting to such things. She will not go on assassination missions and dislikes hurting people. She could be a character with high INT stat to take along, since she doesn’t have combat skills. I am still thinking about her side story.

The characters i’m creating i’m trying to make them have something good and something bad if possible, to avoid them being too black and white (something i dislike), this Muslim character i talked about for example, is a very devout person who used to be a special forces soldier. People went after her and killed most of her family, only her brother survived, but his body was burned badly. He requires constant expensive treatment, which is why she is interested in joining, to get enough money for her brother. She lives a simple life and doesn’t want the money for herself. She hates herself for doing it, and for being so good at it. She doesn’t want to kill anyone, especially innocents, but she will do it relentlessly because she is afraid to fail the mission or upset the client, meaning she doesn’t get the money for her brother.

Her side story isn’t totally thought of yet, but it will involve she wanting to go to Hajj pilgrimage bringing her brother along (would require a lot of money because of his condition), and later in the game, the brother says he is in too much pain, and requests euthanasia, which you can grant or not. The other part of her side story involves fighing islamic extremists in the middle east, who she dislikes because they give a bad image for her religion, but i’m still thinking of it, i was maybe thinking of showing a hypocrisy that she hates the extremists in an extreme fashion, being the only people she want to kill, and maybe that you can make her realize that (might not be this, but i’ll see).

Also, she is a very accepting (of all gender variances and religions) and peaceful person, i think this should balance that there will be some radical extremists on the game, but also a good Muslim will be represented, just like you said of the trans character.


Thanks for the opinions, it makes me have to consider and think more, and have more ideas to develop the story, i’m sorry if it feels like i’m exposing or completely telling the story here or something, but it helps me to have a grasp of the character if i write them. It also helps in being pointed out if something is inappropriate. And sorry for the giga post again.

EDIT: Thanks, that was the problem with the spoiler tags, they should appear now.


#4

I’ll address the rest of your post but real quick–each paragraph needs its own spoiler marks, it doesn’t continue over paragraph breaks. Just add them to the end/beginning of the paragraphs and that should fix it!

Edited for the rest:

Well, that’s some of the issue. Characters that tell the reader “they’re a good person, just with some prejudices” isn’t a good thing, especially if they aren’t willing to examine and change these beliefs.

More context on the character helps, but I still think it would help if he weren’t actively bigoted when you’re dealing with him. I think more having him be questioning would be better? Like, he comes to the MC asking their opinion on his prejudices and then the MC can either tell him to figure it out for himself/blow him off (letting them agree with him would be bad, this publisher doesn’t condone those types of viewpoints) or tell him that he needs to get over it?

It isn’t just that it would be the player’s job to change him, it would be that it would be the victims of his bigotry, if that makes sense? I’m willing to argue and discuss these issues on this forum because I feel safe here, but in real life when I hear people expressing views like that my thought isn’t that I should help change them, my thought is that I don’t want to be around them, and I’m definitely not the only person like that. It shouldn’t be the job of the victims to reach out, regardless of whether or not we’re playing as said victim. Having him reach out wanting to learn would be more effective, and not send as bad of a message. Helping people learn is something a lot of people are willing to do, much less so than attempt to change the minds of people who might not even want their minds changed.

And re, the trans character–it sounds like stuff that could go either way. Mostly just watch out for what I said above–dehumanizing or purely evil portrayals of trans people. A lot of this sounds like stuff that should be seen in context, so while I definitely want to encourage you asking whether or not certain situations feel like they’d be discriminatory, it seems like you ought to just start writing and then ask people how stuff within the story seems once it comes up


#5

That’s a good idea, having him insult the player is not the important thing, the important thing would be at least to show the player that either he doesn’t understand, doesn’t accept, or something like that. It doesn’t need to require a bigoted act.

After the first mission, he can be impressed with your actions, and sees that even if you are LGBT (and if you are not, i can find a way to steer the discussion to this) you can do good things just like any other person, it can make him talk about the matter in an open manner? Like just curious questions of trying to understand it, saying that not trying to understand it made him get estranged with his daughter, so there is no reason for him to be disrespectful about it and getting estranged with the player. I think this would work better.

I hadn’t considered that an aggressive act like that might put people off the character and not recruit him, that would be a waste, i want to try to find the best compromise between having this reuniting with his daughter as his side story and not put people off of him.

Yeah, i got it, i want to try to include non-binary characters because i want to see some of them represented as well. I just don’t want to have characters, non-binary or not, being totally good or totally evil. The first target for example, i want to try to make the player have a hard time having to come to terms with killing him, but he ain’t no saint either.

I’m already writing the first chapter (which contains nothing that was mentioned here), and i’m having a good progress so far. Once i finish i will try to place it in Choice Script to familiarize myself with it.


#6

I don’t have much to say that @HomingPidgeon hasn’t already said, but I’ll try to add a little more.

There’s nothing wrong with writing a story about a bigot realising the error of their ways, at least as a piece of static fiction (book, film, play, etc.). The problem comes when it’s interactive fiction (like a CS game). Now it’s no longer the author’s responsibility to give the bigot his epiphany; the onus is on the player. For example, if I choose to leave the bigot behind on all missions, and he’s still a hateful bigot at the end, is it my fault? Am I in the wrong for not helping him out of his bigotry?


#7

For nationality, you should include a type your nationality here choice, so a player can define their character more.

Don’t use Google translate to write in a npc’s native language, if a player who actually speaks that language sees that the sentence is filled with grammatical errors and doesn’t make sense, it makes your work look sloppy. Don’t force the player to get out of the game and use Google translate and then return to the game. Go with B and different levels of detail of what they said based on if you or one of your team mates speaks the language. The Gladiator does this, but it can be kind of buggy, [WIP] The Gladiator: Road to the Colosseum [updated 11/11 - Chapter 4 Done!] .

On discrimination, it would make sense that a group of people who kill people for money wouldn’t be the most ethical people in the world. I don’t like in game discrimination that just annoyes the player and nothing can be done about it. If team cohesiveness suffers if I take Ivan with me, there’s not a good reason for the character to join the team. Ivan must be extremely skilled and also put his work first, so he doesn’t purposely get people killed on missions and ultimately doom the whole team, in order for a lot of people to want him on the team. Since this is a choice game, it would make sense to have at least one other choice than make him a good person. He hates his people and the only family he had left and is suffering from extreme trauma, I don’t reasonable see how MC can change him if his only remaining family couldn’t, but I’m skeptical of dynamic characters in general. The best

On real word topics/discrimination, you really need to research everything and have things somewhat accurate. I don’t know much about Muslims, but if I was mean,racist character named Ivan, it would make sense to discuss the compatability of being a Muslim, killing innocent people for money, and Muslim terrorist (especially if my family was killed by terrorist). You would have to go through all the stuff non-religious people say to religious people and have somewhat good answers for a devout Muslim/ MC. It seems like it would be easier to just not include biggeted characters, but if you believe in your writting ability, it may be able to be pulled off well. The Kite Runner book handled bigotry in a believable way (I thought it was nonfiction), but it’s not for kids.

This sounds like an edgier version of team zero.


#8

That could be a little complicated because i would like to sometimes reference the nationality of the player in some moments. So maybe picking from a few in a list could also be a possibility. If i choose the type a nationality its still possible to reference it, as long as the player types it perfectly.

I didn’t mean they should use translator to understand it, i meant they could do that if they wanted. But yeah the thing about being wrong is the problem. I can work with B. Different understanding levels is something i wanted to do, like some characters may have poor english skills.

Well the companions could complement for skills the player lacks in some cases. But they would have their opinions if you did specific actions. For example he would dislike if you had to sacrifice hostages to make sure the bad guy doesn’t escape. Other members could react differently. Well his side quest could be ignored by the player, and he would not reconnect with his daughter.

Well for the first mission i am writing i did research quite a lot on the location it takes place, that is something i will do for sure if i include a real world location or mention a real world event.

For the compatibility with being a killer, that Muslim character doesn’t want to do it but she doesn’t have much choice. I plan to be able to talk to her and others about the reasons they are doing so. The anwsers for devout characters would be something to research, yes, but i want to have options that would show up only for specific religions your character may adhere to.

Also not all missions will involve assassinations, some you are the good guy, like rescuing people, so some companions would be happier to undertake these kinds of missions.

What if it should be easier to have him understand it, like something he would do naturally without involving the player, but reconnecting with his daughter would be more difficult? Like he can get over the bigotry on his own, but making peace with his daughter will require player help. Due to how he treated her before and abandoned her?

The player could fail to do so or ignore it, it’s not really blaming the player for not doing it, it would just be one of the ways his story can go.


#9

This sounds very similar to what I see in a lot of RPGs, where there will be several recruitable NPCs and the player can take two or three of them on missions with them. Honestly, I think you’re selling yourself short with this idea. I imagine the reason that this is done in RPG style games is that having all the NPCs follow the main character at all times would involve a lot of graphics, fill up the screen so that it’s really hard to see what’s going on and make the game extremely laggy.

In a game with no graphics, there’s no need to limit yourself to having a minimum of two companions on each mission. You could have as many as you want. :blush:

The only problem with option A, is that the player might be able to speak more than one language, and then they’d be able to understand what some other characters are saying, even if the MC isn’t supposed to. (That or they could just put it into google translate themselves) :yum:

Honestly, so long as the MC themselves doesn’t discriminate, I don’t think anyone will mind. Games shouldn’t just be filled with nice, agreeable characters, they should also include characters that it might be difficult for the MC to get along with. Just so long as sexism/racism/homophobia is presented as a character flaw rather than a positive trait, I don’t think it’ll be a problem.

I don’t think that’d be a problem either. There are good and bad LGBT people, just like there are good and bad straight people. So long as you don’t insinuate that all transgender people are evil, I doubt many people would be offended.

It does seem a little out of place having the majority of the game set in the real world and then creating 2 fictional islands. Having an undiscovered island makes sense, but I don’t think I understand the concept of the second one.


#10

First off, welcome to the forum :slight_smile: Always nice to see new writers.

This is probably your best compromise. Have a wide variety of recognized races/nationalities, and an “Other” option. Even if you can’t work as much flavor text in for the “other” setup, you’ll still give people an option.


Option B is the better option here. It keeps people from “Cheating” using Google Translate or their own knowledge of the language; your character will always be out of the loop if they don’t have the right knowledge.

Also, you run into lots of problems here:

Do not put any language into the game unless it’s translated by a human who knows the language. Preferrably you, so you know every word that goes into your game. Do not use Google Translate. You can make a mess of the language if you try going off of Google translate. Even if somehow you get perfect vocabulary out of the translate, you really won’t get the right grammatical structure, you won’t get the nuances or connotations.


This absolutely. I’m cisgendered, so I ran the concept by my brother and our friend (both genderqueer) to get an actual productive response. The consensus is: neither one of them would want to deal with this guy, but the idea that the player has to in order for his bigotry to change puts pressure on the player. Friend wants to see him burn; brother is less violent but not comfortable being on the same team as that character.

Not altogether sure the alternative option

really fixes that. You’re still “requiring” the player to change his attitude here (or hers). Because the “good”/reconciliation option still puts the onus on the player.


#11

Fabulously so, if you’re Malinda Reese:

But yes, unless you’re writing comedy, don’t rely on Google Translate.


#12

Yeah, i did not thought of the bad impression the character would give to others. I was thinking a lot earlier today and i thought that the important part here would be him reuniting with his daughter. Maybe i can make him already respectful, but he regrets how he treated his daughter before and never had the courage to talk to her again, and then the player can help them come together.

Still on the same point however, how would people feel if the enemies were bigoted sometimes? Like i was thinking of a mission involving the KKK as targets.

Yeah, you guys are all correct, i should use version B. I’ll try to at least explain the emotion the character has when he says that language, so that at least the player can understand what is going on.

Yeah, i’ll pick from some countries for the selectable ones, but leave a Other option, as there are too many. Not all of the countries would have be referenced so i think this will turn out alright, also not all languages would be either. I want this to be possible so that the player can customize his character as much as possible, but the MC will always speak english at least.

Don’t be so quick to dismiss google translate! You just gave me an idea for characters with poor english skills. I was just gonna write their sentences incorrectly myself, but i can translate them several times in google translate and see how they turn out, which gives me more ideas.

Yeah i know that in text it would be easier to have all, but i made this limit to make things easier for myself, because if there are too many companions you bring along, one could say something, then another could agree or disagree, then another and so on. Limiting to 2 makes things easier so that the doesn’t have too many ifs to set and reactions from them all the time, filling too much of the screen with dialogue. With more than 1 it means they could react to each other as well, like with banters and stuff too, so i think its a good compromise.

That’s okay, i changed things around, i thought of a good / neutral character who i think should work.

Yeah, i’m still thinking about it, the deserted island is a certainty, but the other one i’m not so sure, i’ll think more on this one, it was because i wanted to have an eccentric dictator as a client.


Also, are curse words allowed?


#13

That actually sounds like it might make things a lot more complicated. For instance, if there are ten NPCs you recruit and there’s a scenario where they’re all together, there will probably be a lot of dialogue involving agreements and disagreements, ect, but you’d only have to write the scene once. If it’s possible to recruit 2 of any of these 10 characters in a mission, you’d have to write all possible dialogue options for characters 1 and 2, then 1 and 3, then 1 and 4 and so on, until you have a grand total of 45 different dialogue options. When you look at it that way, it’s probably quicker to just write one long one. :yum:

Yes :blush:


#14

That’s a fair point, i don’t know how many companions i’m adding but i don’t think i’ll reach 10, so maybe it’s not as painful to write everything.

I know in Mass Effect the characters usually have 2 possibilities in some scenes, where they talk first or the other were they respond, i think some combinations of characters have some priorities to always be first when compared to another, but what they say is similar so it’s not like they are responding to each other. This is another method i can make if there are too many combinations.

Having too many companions in one mission would also complicate having stealth possibilities as well, and a long string of replies that could make the text too big, taking different companions could also increase replayability in future playthrougs too. I’ll still have to see how i’ll work these out, but thanks for the suggestions!


#15

Hello again everyone, in the past few days i’ve been coding the start of the game, and i come to realize i’m having a big trouble with deciding the stats and attributes. I wanted to see if you guys had any ideas for help.

From a coding perspective i think i’m doing okay, like i managed to make what i said before, things like nationality, religion, gender choices, race/ethnicity i got to work so far.

However i noticed most games have several combat stats, like say magic, melee, or persuading not to fight for example. But there are some moments where combat would be unavoidable for the player. Like the prologue has you going to a bank, and then while you are there, the bank is robbed. However if you are of a class that is mostly in persuasion, i don’t see a way to make persuasion fit in this scenario at the beginning.

It can fit later however that if you do not try to fight the robbers, the robbery eventually becomes a hostage situation, where you can persuade the robbers to give themselves up, use medical to heal those injured, or use technical to open other doors for police to get in.

If you have higher combat skills, then you can kill all robbers before it gets to this point, but if you try fighting them, you could die if your skills are too low, or get injured (i also added a health bar).

Would this be a good way to make things go? I think it would give chances for all stats to be used, but it may seem like the combat option is “better”.


I decided on the following stats:

Strenght - Dexterity - Intelligence - Charisma - Perception

and the following skills:

Firearms - Melee/Unarmed - Persuasion - Medical - Sneaking - Technical - Driving (maybe)

For example, the first mission, the target is a faith healer, i thought of the following possibilities to finish the mission:

A - Get him in his mansion
B - Get him during his congregation
C - Get him while he watches his son play soccer
D - Get him while he is driving
E - Persuade the client to forgive the target

There isn’t like a clear option for every stat, but these affect the scenario that you will try the kill. In them there could be options for specific stats to be used.

I thought of several ways that some skills can go in use in each, for example let’s see option A.

If you go to his house, you have to use sneak to avoid private security, if you alert the private security, him and his family go into a panic room.

If you manage to avoid the private security with good sneaking skill, you can kill him silently, and should be easy with any skill with firearm or melee, as long as you have a gun or a knife.

If you do not manage to avoid the private security, you will have to use your firearm or melee skills to defeat them. And since the target flees to the panic room, you have to find a way to break in. Technical you can go in by using explosives or hacking the door, persuasion you can persuade him to come out so you can get him but leave his family safe.

If you have none of these skills, then you have to escape. I thought of making possible for example in this scenario you can find one of his sons (that didn’t make to the panic room) hiding in the house, or that you can point that fact to him, that you know his son is not in the panic room, and he would come out, without requiring skill checks. Would this still be acceptable or feel like a “cheap” non-fail thing?

Generally, It would be mostly a combination of skills you would need to make sure you complete the mission.

Would it be a problem if there are some situation where the skill cannot be used? For example you are taken as a hostage, and there is no way to persuade them to release you, you can only escape (easier though). Using A as an example again, there is no sniper shot for scenario A, so the scenario A wouldn’t be very Firearms based besides for fending off the security. Players should try another method instead.

Your nationality and profession may also provide additional ways to do it. For example if you are Argentinian (like him) or an Athlete that knows Soccer, then if you choose option C and go talk to the target in the stands, you can befriend him and he invites you to his house to watch a game. This provides easier opportunities to kill him, and it wouldn’t require any skill point. Could this also be a bad thing? Like being able to complete a mission without relying in just your skills, but in other means like these.


The stats would be used for some things besides raising skills, Intelligence and Perception could reveal hints about the mission. For example if we pick option B. During the congregation you have the option to go for a sniper shot, or a close shot.

First you have to visit his congregation to “scout it”, and the game shows you that he has a moment in the show that he does the healing, and another moment its music playing around. If you have high intelligence, you get this additional section:

[INT] You notice that the congregation alternates between healing sessions and cheering musical sections. While the music is playing, the congregation would not hear the sniper shot, and this could give you some additional time for follow up shots if you miss, so this would be the best moment to take the shot.

With lower intelligence, this part is not displayed but could be inferred by the player (by explaining the music is loud and everyone is dancing and singing). When the player comes later for the sniper shot, he can shoot either during the faith healing or during the musical session. If he shoots during the musical session he has 2 additional shots before everyone notices what is going on, making so that lower skill firearms can still take him down that way, after missing a few shots.

Perception would have the same thing, but would be mostly related to things you can observe while you are scouting the locations, or maybe i just could merge Perception and Int altogether.


The problem i’m having also is linking stats with skills. Like what would be a good way to have the stats improve the skills. For example, i decided at least what stat would influence what skill, like this:

Firearms - Dex
Melee/Unarmed - Str/Dex
Persuasion - Cha
Medical - Int
Sneaking - Dex
Technical - Int
Driving (maybe) - ?

Not sure where perception would fit in there.

Any ideas for calculations here? Like for example, i thought of the following calculation:

The stats would improve the current skill by: (Dex * 5)%

Like say your Dex was 7 and your current firearms skill is 30.

Firearms = 30 + (30*35%)
Firearms = 30 + 10,5
Firearms = 40

I’m not sure if its balanced or not, or not raising enough, i’m really having trouble with this part of the game, i would appreciate the help. I’m also open to simplifying stats, as it will make dealing with these things easier, because i’m afraid of not being able to balance all these well.

As for skill raises, i thought that getting an amount of XP after the end of the mission, you can then use to upgrade your skills, this could make sure that you are still rewarded if you complete the mission in ways that don’t require the stat checks.