Many of these games are more game like: having you create a character, written in second person, driven by stats… On the other side a game could be more story like: a set character but deeper, written in first person, no stats but choices that really change the story, and over all more detailed. What interests people more?
I really like a mixture of the two. Game-like ones can be too bland sometimes, but in story-like ones, you often play as a defined character instead of “you” which can get really annoying if it constantly conflicts with your own ideals. I like to see stats have effects on things and I’d like to create my own character, but at the same time, I’d also like to see deep characters and a intricate plot.
yeah what I see is that if there are characters you create, then they simply can’t be as deep… or it would take too long and be too complicated to make it so… because depending on who someone is and what their past is, that affects the choices a person will make… so I guess we can’t have it all. same with having a set gender vs. where you choose… guys and girls would acts differently so either you have a less deep and a less life like person or you have to write a ton to have the choice… as long as people would enjoy a more story like book, that’s what I would want to write. game like ones have their place though as well since stats can be cool. I just wanted other’s thoughts.
Well, I see customization as a necessary sacrifice, then.
And I might add that they can actually be deep…In my new update for Trial of the Demon Hunter, I added about 50 tweaks to dialogue/internal monologues/etc depending on your cunning/stealth/resolve/relationship with Beckham/charisma/altruism/compassion. This way, you can still be your own character while also have a level of depth.
“guys and girls would acts differently so either you have a less deep and a less life like person or you have to write a ton to have the choice”
As a male, this line gave me the idea to partner with a female in writing a choicscript game, where each of us would write the perspective of their gender for each scene. I think it would be an interesting experience/result.
I tried that another writer started tweaking the female side for my game but sadly she was too busy and couldn’t finish it. She did do a good job.
I don’t know what the gender breakdown is on the forums, and I know that some of the folks are nonbinary, but it seems like guys are the majority.
I agree that having another gender’s perspective could result in more authentic dialogue and choices, although I’m very aware that no one person speaks for an entire gender. Thankfully, I have a wife who doesn’t mind sharing her opinion on things.
Personally, I keep most of the text the same for the MC, regarding gender (except for a couple different paragraphs here and there, and the pronouns) because I think it’s unfair to assume that someone is a certain way just because of their gender. I think things should be tweaked depending on the type of personality someone chooses to have within the story, not what gender they are.
I personally like to mix it up with a bunch of both, but a good way to think about it would be to make personality and decisions story based, while actions the character takes could be stat based. This should please everyone, as ‘game’ types tend to favor action over story anyway, and ‘story’ types are the opposite.
So like, have skills or something the player can improve which help them advance through a situation, perhaps sneaking through the evil villains super secret volcano lair, but then once the player reaches the villain, the skills (and gamey elements) are downplayed in favor of more intricate storytelling and decision-making that relies less on skills, but more on the personality the player has already established. Best of both worlds, and then you don’t have to worry about writing sections that don’t really work with one style or the other. Heavy romance scenes become kind of cheap when you have to pass a check vs. Suave or whatever.
Also for the gender discussion going on, I find it really rewarding to straight up make alternate paths based on gender, or at least write vastly different descriptions of the same path depending. It is a lot of work, obviously, but it’s really cool once you start to see how that most basic of choices can end up throwing the entire plot in an exciting new direction, or how certain characters can appear in completely new light. Even though most readers tend to stick to just one gender, I still think it’s worth it for those that don’t.
I don’t mind a truly story driven CoG, considering how many game driven ones we have
" Heavy romance scenes become kind of cheap when you have to pass a check vs. Suave or whatever. " lol xD!
“I think things should be tweaked depending on the type of personality someone chooses to have within the story, not what gender they are.”
I agree with this but I guess I was more thinking about how it would effect romance and relationships because I think it would be treated differently based on gender or feel a little weird if all the text was the same. I played a romance game both as a girl and guy and playing as the girl felt kind of weird and felt they should have changed it more…
I have thought about writing a totally different path depending on gender but then if a guy never chooses to play through the girl’s story (or other way around) then they might miss a lot of exciting paths… but I thought if it was more story like and written in first person, for example, a guy reader might be more interested in following a girl character just like any book with a girl MC. any thoughts on this?
Oh, yeah. It would make sense to change some things during romance sections.
Yeah, that could work. I wouldn’t expect most of the guys to actually play as a girl, but maybe a few more would.
Given the number of guys whose complaint about the standard CoG gender approach is that it reduces replayability, I expect you’d get quite a few playing both/all paths.
@SpaceLesbian "Heavy romance scenes become kind of cheap when you have to pass a check vs. Suave or whatever. "
But what would be the alternative though?
If we just left it up to choices, then there would be maybe 1-2 choices in which you’re successful and a few in which you aren’t, so there would be sort of a right path to take and a wrong one. I definately think that there are times when looks, personality and skills should play a part in how successful you are. It sounds rather crass, but if the mc is a warty troll and communicate by flinging boogers or something then no random thing the mc ever say may help with most npcs.
Breaking down romance into code isn’t the easiest thing after all. The most realistic thing for romance is time spent together, commitment, attraction etc, and we usually don’t have the time unless we skip ahead narratively, and the attraction part we have no control over, which might as well make it so we only have a shot with one RO or something, which to me feels very contrived, I like choices.
Most romances in Choice Of/Hosted Games feel contrived because the characters lack depth. There are few exceptions (Fatehaven, Heroes series).
“It sounds rather crass, but if the mc is a warty troll and communicate by flinging boogers or something then no random thing the mc ever say may help with most npcs.” lololol xD
And Zombie Exodus, Slammed! and Way Walkers, just off the top of my head.
I’m not saying there should be nothing blocking the player from being romantic, but I think it should be based more on previous choices or established player personality rather than STR or CHA or INT or whatever.
Example: in a game I’m working on, there are many, many romance options, but each and every one has their own opinions and morality, so they will either trust or mistrust the player depending on previous choices they made. For example, if earlier in the game, the player killed a bandit instead of letting him go, a pragmatic romance option will admire their dedication to safety, while a more pacifistic type will be horrified that they killed a surrendering person. So, during a potential romance scene, these two characters will remember how they feel and act accordingly. The pragmatist would respond positively while the pacifist would be wary and take a lot more convincing. Bam. The romance is now based on what makes sense within the story and not on the player’s sex appeal stat. Double bonus because it makes the romance characters that much deeper.
Of course, to do this effectively, you’d have to plan the romances very well, balancing them out to make sure no one player will alienate everyone (unless you want that to be an option. I think that would be totally sweet). The coding is a bit more difficult, of course. I have a whole gosub scene that’s set up to repeatedly calculate who likes who and why that took several days to finish. The effect it has on the game is totally worth it though.