…how do you do it? My game has a few permanent variables like fatigue, and a few personality stats. They aren’t game changers, but they will affect some options available to the player i.e. the fatigue stat means the player has to be a bit more reserved about some decisions they make… The problem I’m finding though is actually being able to track them. Fatigue is tricky because it’s going to increase every time the player does something strenuous. But if I’m putting restrictions on certain events, I’m just wondering what’s the best way of tracking a stat through a play through to find out what type of scores I’m getting. I know I could have a summary at the end of each chapter with the totals tallied for each stat, but that’d mean a lot of individual playthrough. Or I could go through each branch and tot up the scores, but again, it’s a bit laborious. I guess what I’m wondering is what are other game writers doing if they’re using stats?
I suppose the best way is the *if commands
*if fatigue > 90 etc
Yes, but it’s deciding what those thresholds are that I’m wondering about i.e. at X stage of game what are realistic . Maybe I just need to be more organised when I’m setting a variable increase!
If you’re looking for a way to find the min/max of a stat at a certain place in the game, there’s no real way to do it effectively. At least, not that I’ve been able to find. Mostly, it’s just tedious playthroughs through all of the various routes. =(
Ah I’m trying to do that in my game now, the only way is to go through the game focusing on raising each stat.
my game has three main ones physical, mental, and spirit, I’ve gone through the game picking the choices that increase physical the most and made notes of the highest point in between each episode then use that info to set the thresholds for the checks. Still need to go through mental to find the max of that, spirit isn’t much of a rush as it won’t increase dramatically so will be easier to code.
Thanks - I guess that’s what I’ll do. I’ve set up a spreadsheet to do it in, though it can get tricky monitoring the scores of some stats when there’s multiple branches.
I believe someone had a clever idea to create a deliberate error at the end of their game, if a player clicks send report, it’ll email you their stats at the point of the crash. You could get a few beta testers to do this for you a few times. That’ll give you a rough idea.
Well in the end I’ve come across a net application called lovely charts (http://www.lovelycharts.com/). I need something visual to understand and track various things in my game like relationships, and this seems up to the task. The problem with a lot of flow charting software is that it doesn’t let you go from one choice to three choices and back to one again, but lovely charts is cool with that. Here’s an example of part of my startup chapter: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/11379019/COG/WIP/Heal/web/mygame/Maps/Startup.png
Using these maps, I can trace a route fairly quickly and get an idea of what is a realistic stat check later on. Of course, translating my current code into these charts is time consuming, but I think if I start to produce them in tandem with my coding, it shouldn’t be too hard for me to keep on track of whilst keeping a visual representation of the different routes a player could take to point X.
The downside to lovelycharts is that if you want to create more than one project you either have to buy a years subscription, or the full version. However, the project space itself is fairly large and it’s easy to export the project to an image file. I don’t mind paying the subscription fee as it’s fairly reasonable (29 euro) but there’s not a whole lot of info on what happens to your projects once the subscription ends. I’m going to contact them to find out. If I can still access them without paying a fee after a year then that’s cool I guess.
Just thought I’d mention this in case it was helpful for others, I’ve been looking for a good way to keep track of things, and I think this way will work for me.