Social, Ethical, and Political Statements of CoR

I disagree. :slight_smile:

But then again, you did come here to trash talk Choice of Games on their own forums, now didn’t you?
Turnabout isn’t fair play, then?

I’m actually not trolling you.
One of the things you’ve suggested, more than once, is the implementation of puzzles.
That idea was discussed here; started around July 2013:

One of the problems with the “points” that you’ve been making is that you’ve been stating your opinions as if they were facts.

Another is that you are trying to disguise negative criticism as neutral, scientific observation.

You’ve been trying to “wall of text” the wrong person, my friend.
I’ve read and understood every little detail of what you were saying. :wink:

Now, here’s an example of what constructive criticism looks like (in case you’ve forgotten):

  • Person A: “I can’t find a way to translate backend mathematical equations into meaningful player interactions.”
  • Person B: “Well, that’s interesting. Maybe you could approach the problem by reconsidering why you want to make the player interact with heavy math?”
  • Person A: “Well, my initial idea was because then the player would be able to (fill in the blank here).”

Now, all you have to do is fill in the blanks and reconsider why you are trying to push the limitations of technology instead of trying to work within them.

If the technology (or its inherent limitations) don’t work for you, that doesn’t mean the that it doesn’t work for the vast majority of other people.

I invite you to find inspiration in your original purpose.
If you consider why it doesn’t work for you, then carefully examine what kinds of things you would want to experience.

If what you want to experience isn’t plausible in a given system (at least in your opinion), then what purpose is there in trying to convince the world that it’s not possible to punch through a solid concrete wall with your bare fist?

Read the above carefully, because that’s what you’re doing.
Of course it’s not possible.
You’re using the wrong tool for the job.
Try installing a door.
Doors work much better for bypassing concrete walls.

Allowing the player to interact with heavy backend math meaningfully is a problem that takes real work, effort, and creativity to solve.

Again, you won’t get free answers by pretending that what you’re talking about is an unsolvable problem and that we should therefore move on to “better” systems.

You have to do the work on your own.

1 Like

Ok guys -

Please keep the conversation focused on the story-game in question and family-friendly orientated.

Discussion is encouraged but turning an argument personal does no one good. It puts the other person on the defensive and the purpose of the thread becomes overwhelmed by such attacks.

Please be considerate of the community, each other and the administrative staff that runs this community.

I left this thread open because the recent posts seemed to be a continuation of a 2 year old discussion. However, the last couple of posts are making me reconsider that decision. . :disappointed: :woman_artist:


If anything, I hope you could keep it open, if only so Darkner might have a chance to read and respond (if they are still around). In any event, I’ll try to keep this to the actual arguments made, since there actually IS substance in this post, rather than to the person making them.

However, I do have to note first that this:

is pretty much straight-up declaration that they are intending to troll, for as far as moderation is concerned.

I was not trying to “wall of text” someone (And I cannot help but comment upon the EXTREME irony in claiming TL;DR after telling someone to go make their own text game, trying to argue text games are capable of anything ‘with enough creativity’, and saying that you’d read everything…) I was trying to have a conversation about the creative latitudes of games and different game engines in particular, which is not possible to have when the other party simply responds with a No True Scotsman argument. Simply responding with “try harder” or “I disagree” to everything someone says is no grounds for having any further discussion, would only be used when one wants to stop all conversation, and is functionally indistinguishable from trolling.

Also untrue. I’ll cover how I’ve already brought evidence against the other arguments you put forth in subsequent quoted sections, but for now, I’ll simply point out that only now, AFTER all this, has even one of the links I provided as a crucial piece of supporting argument actually been followed. You likewise make arguments that show you don’t entirely grasp the concepts I am talking about, and even make arguments you seem to think are refuting what I said when they are actually my own argument.

The two problematic assumptions you are making here:

First, the aforementioned assumption that I “came here to trash talk Choice of Games”. I already covered how discussion of something, even critical discussion, is not “trash talk” in the first post, but more importantly, I’m not talking about Choice of Games in particular, and I spent plenty of time talking about the shortcomings of gaming as an entire medium. (I could also talk about the strengths of gaming as an entire medium and shortcomings of books or movies or whathaveyou, but when you only want to talk about one game engine, that isn’t anything that will come up in the line of conversation.)

I never said that Choice of Games are incapable of making any kind of meaningful interactions with players or having engaging narratives (the copious amount of text I have in this thread specifically about the themes of this game is all the evidence I should need to the contrary of that), but that it isn’t the best tool to accomplish the objective I want to accomplish, something you even agree with, so why are you so mad?

Second, what I am stating are combinations of informed opinions and actual objective facts, as supported by the evidence I supplied. If you disagree with the factuality of those claims, you are free to actually attack the supporting evidence and arguments, which in debate is how you actually refute a claim. Simply declaring things are opinion without any evidence to back it up against evidence to the contrary is a weak argument to the point of essentially being ad hominem.

I have to point out that the notion of backend equations is both something that is discussed at length in the video I still hope people will actually watch, and also what you expressly suggested:

Spending several paragraphs explaining why backend mechanics about mathematics and trying to have chatbot-style string manipulation are both going to be inherently inferior game mechanics in engaging the player was done in direct response to that earlier statement.

Further, any more than cursory reading of my statements would show how I was expressly arguing why avoiding forcing the player to do heavy math was one of my primary focuses, and I then went into detail as to how to accomplish those goals, showing I really did put some thought into that topic rather than just declare it “an unsolvable problem”.

OK… and what argument are you trying to make, here?

It’s not like “nobody ever thinks about putting puzzles in these games” is a statement that was made for this to refute. The linked thread also really doesn’t touch on “puzzles” for any of the reasons that I was talking about them. I used abstract spacial puzzles as a solution to the “unsolvable” problems I had spent a large portion of time discussing, as a way of stretching past the limitations of a text-only game to allow resolutions to be based upon anything other than raw stats, alone, that was also in a way that didn’t involve giving the player math homework. The puzzles discussed in that thread are primarily ones meant to be “within the limits” as it were, so it doesn’t really address my primary reason for mentioning puzzles, which was using them as a way to stretch those limits. (Honestly, I get the sense you tried to search for some sort of proof of something you couldn’t find, so you linked the closest thing to the topic at hand just as some sort of sunk cost fallacy to have some kind of link at all…)

And because I apparently need to be more explicit about these things, that’s not to say that a text puzzle or a mystery in a novel-like game isn’t fine as a way to engage players generally, but that it’s not a solution to the problems I’m discussing about making the most use of the tools we have within the limitations of computers as hardware.

Again, this is a fundamental misunderstanding of the entire nature of the argument I am making.

It’s not that I couldn’t make a ChoiceScript game, but that it wouldn’t be the best tool to accomplish the idea I most want to put into a game.

I am not saying “it doesn’t work for me”, I am explaining how the limitations of the machine and the engine limit the types of stories that can be told. Consider that one of the major reasons I’ll hear people say they want to play a Choice of Game in the first place is that they feel limited by the extremely narrow focus of games, especially into the nonstop barrage of brown-haired white guys with guns blasting aliens or zombies games to the exclusion of all else. I’m trying to say that isn’t done just because that’s the only game the mass market wants, but because it’s what the hardware pushes people to make.

Likewise, the ChoiceScript is highly optimized for providing tightly linear narratives based around stat checks from earlier multiple choices made. But that is, in itself, a straightjacket into which all subsequent choices are now forced to conform, especially when you need to actually match player expectations for this ‘genre’ of game. There will be backlash if you let people have a choice between a strong or fast character, then make being fast mandatory while all strong characters are killed. How much of a choice is it, then, when the author declares only one choice valid?

That’s even before I get into the limitations of a traditional 3-act narrative structure in and of itself. This “The Shandification of Fallout” video gets pretty discursive about the nature of discursive narrative, and what it means to break down the entire notion of trying to force a narrative to have a particular meaning through the use of a linear narrative that creates the false sense of “fate” in what could otherwise just be random happenstance. Non-linear narrative structure allow there to actually be at least different Aesops to be drawn from the same narrative, even if the mechanics themselves generate a narrative of sorts and state the implicit biases of the creator.

I could, in fact, use the entirety of The Stanley Parable as supporting evidence at this point. The entire game’s metanarrative is about how player creativity and freedom is inherently at odds with strictly regulated linear narrative, and that allowances for one mean weakening the other, as expressed by having a narrator in open conflict with the player. At one point, the narrator even concedes that it might be more fun to play an open-world creative game like Minecraft, before quickly taking it back because allowing the player to have as full a creative freedom to make up their own narrative as they want means that the Narrator would no longer be able to dictate the story that they want the player to have.

Likewise, the Extra Credits video on the Geth chioce of Mass Effect 2 goes into the problem of how these mechanical frameworks can actively undermine the impact of choices players make. If I’m playing a BioWare game, I know that I am punished for not consistently picking choices along their morality axis of the week. Hence, I have no reason to think about the moral implications of decisions revolving around the genophage while doing the Mordin loyalty mission, even though it would have otherwise been one of the more compelling moral quandaries the game throws at you, because my actual goal as a player is not to make the best choice for all involved, but to simply maximize my Paragon or Renegade score, which the game helpfully even color-codes my choices for me, so that I never have to think about them at all. This, in turn, meant my character dramatically flip-flopped with every section of the conversation, such that the “consistent” (so far as alignment was concerned) Paragon reaction was apparently to say that the genophage was good and should have happened, but that actually using the genophage was awful and Mordin should feel really, really guilty about it in spite of it being justified and for the greater good of the universe. Yay for games rewarding flagrant hypocrisy!

And this is very much present in the game this thread is about, as well, as I discussed at length with regards to the problems with the humanity system as implemented in this game functionally going against the intent of the author, and undermining some of the message that he intended to send to the readers.

Please take the time to consider that last paragraph in light of the previous paragraphs you wrote, and recognize the mutual exclusivity of the two arguments you just made.

All of that about ‘using the wrong tool for the job’ was a significant portion of the argument I was making (which doesn’t do much for the credibility of statements that you read and comprehended it all) so, well, I’m glad we’re in agreement at least for this hot second.

Then, just after saying that trying to make a system do something it wasn’t designed to do is just like trying to punch through a wall, you say that trying to “install a door” is just “pretending it’s an unsolvable problem” and just being lazy and wanting a “better system” than good old-fashioned wall-punching.

Do you see how this doesn’t really make the argument you seem to think it does?

This also plays directly into the argument I have made regarding the nature of “Reinvention of the Wheel”. Rather than a metaphor about walls and doors, I’d rather make a metaphor about cars and refrigerators; why spend $100,000 trying to remake your refrigerator into a car, when you can just buy a car for less money and spend far less effort to get a product far less likely to have serious structural weaknesses from the conversion compared to a car designed from the start to be a car?

Even if I could make some sort of script that actually runs in Choice Script to make a visual novel out of it, why would I not just use something like RenPy that not only does that out of the box, but also was optimized to do so. (Playing Highands, Deep Waters, the image at the title page seems to lag the game for a second or two even though it’s just a single static image, implying that there is some serious optimization issues with ChoiceScript loading images, at least of that file type, making it an obviously inferior choice for anything with serious graphics, even if it technically can be done. Trying to make Tetris when the screen lags a second for every update of the gamestate would be a terrible gameplay experience.)

@Wraith_Magus, you’re making a number of really interesting points… that deserve their own thread on the limitations of CS as a platform rather than continuing to sit on a Choice of Robots thread, and will probably also read better when not cluttered up with arguments over who is and isn’t trolling who.


The way a companion bot is portrayed in the story/game is not indicative of the writers way of thinking. It’s just the limitation of the way it’s presented. An AI that is programmed to love, COULD love but that wording would probably end up with a Yandere. Don’t program to love, just program Love.