Story vs. Game

@Sam_Ursu I’m pretty sure there are actually several choice games that have permadeath. I’m not a fan personally, but clearly some people are. Some have combat systems where if you lose it’s game over, whereas others have certain choices that’ll just kill you instantly and cause a game over. All of which is doubly annoying in games that use randomization, so you could be completely stacked and playing smart, but the game just decides you should die and there’s nothing you can do. I feel like the lack of a dedicated save system has prevented these from being more prevalent, but they are out there.

The Great Tournament is an example: if you die in the combat (hard to do), game over. There’s a certain choice later on where you can explore something, 50/50 chance of killing you, game over.

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Thank you one and all for your comments and opinions both here on this thread as well as in PM to me about this topic.

I really appreciate your feedback!

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I think there are games where you can lose? Also some that are definitely not safe space. It feels like we played very different text games.
As for a question: I’m all for a bad end situation like it was for example in Fate Stay Night, where they were in narrative

So, keep in mind this is personal opinion and should be taken with a grain of salt, I enjoy challenging games. I love games like Dark Souls, Bloodborne, etc but those games, even with limited options, have saves. Yeah sure I might have to redo like an hour of gameplay, but that gameplay changes, that gameplay is slightly different, ultimately that gameplay is unique even if I’ve replayed the last hour up to the boss several times.

Thats where an issue with CoG by its very nature has its biggest flaw. The lack of save options and the unchanging nature of the narrative. Even choosing different choices will get old, unless each choice has very different outcomes, games like Wayhaven do this, and the risk of losing what could be hours of progress because of the lack of saves is just devastating. I don’t miss the days of Castlevania on NES. If I had to restart an hours long game because a string of choices were the absolutely worse outcome in the mind of the author, I think I would legitimately just not pick it up again out of frustration unless it had a Choice of Rebels chapter save option.


It is a popular opinion.

I difference between a return button to a save system. A save system can be useful for return to play in each chapter. But, still not allowing to player spamming choices to the point where they break the variables (with that gating many scenes out of the playthrough. And then they complain about that game has no content)

What I don’t like is the return button. That will destroy Cog scenes as damage continuity of variables and damage the story. Causing unintended errors.


That’s an interesting topic and it’s funny that I came across it right after a small fight in one of the communities I’m in. Originally I’m from the CIS region and our history was never really bright. If you ever heard of Dostoevsky or Tolstoy or any other great Russian authors you might know one of the main topics they usually put in their novels is ‘a small man against the cruel world order’.
So basically people from my part of the world are used to suffering and tragic or dramatic story endings. I never really expect to win the game without losing it a couple of times. I never really expect myself to become a hero and save everyone. Both in real life and in the game. Funny enough it’s not just me, I think I can say that about most of my fellow Russian-speaking players.
On the other hand, I see a lot of negative comments about some tough games from English-speaking players and I can’t help but wonder if it’s a sort of a cultural difference. When you grew up reading comic books about superheroes doesn’t it really affect how you see yourself in video games (and maybe even in real life)?


As a russian, totally agree with everything. We love our suffering lol


Clearly we need some stern Germanic or Northern sagas where you are certain to lose, and the only question is what you will make of yourself before the inevitable and bitter end. “Fighting the long defeat,” to take a phrase from Galadriel.


Well, and they are coming! I see more and more games based on nordic folklore (not just Valheim, but others). Also, I love that Polish-based studios and Russian games studios are making some hits like Werewolf and The Life and Suffering of Sir Brante and actively use their local folktales in a core storyline. It’s dark, even depressing, but I absolutely adore it.
Sadly, most of these games are not mobile-friendly (or at least yet) and obviously, language is one of the biggest barriers to effectively promote such games, but fingers crossed world will see more tragic/dark text-based games soon.

There’s another thing that I think affects most of the players and their preferences nowadays - media buzz. When you turn on your TV or open your FB feed all you see is pain, suffering, wars, pandemics, deaths, etc. Because it makes money. So you’re sick and tired of it and just want to experience ‘fast and positive’ emotions when playing games. That’s the games industry standard, sadly everything is like Netflix now.


This game is one of the few modern RPG text-based games which follow many old-school development processes and implementation of core systems that challenge the players.

It is one of the few recent releases that has surprised me greatly and (not coincidently) one of the few recent releases I felt was under promised while over delivering.


That game was fantastic. I felt like I got shafted a bit at the end during a key moment because a choice that I was expecting to be there was nonexistent. It kinda ruined the ending for me, but still, it’s a great game.

That one definitely felt more like a game than a story, but I mostly attribute that to how meticulously you have to manage your stats. That’s often how I determine if a choice game is more game or story. “How often do I have to take myself out of the story to manage something that affects the story?”


On the other hand, I see a lot of negative comments about some tough games from English-speaking players and I can’t help but wonder if it’s a sort of a cultural difference.

Funny you mention this because an American business partner of mine sent me this link to an article about an American company (called Peloton- not to be confused with the European term for group bike riding) that turns fitness (working out) into a type of interactive game.

Here’s one quote from their marketing materials:

As the third slide says, Peloton is not a “party on a bike.” The brand isn’t for everyone. The effort isn’t for everyone.

It’s hard.

That messaging taps into two key points. One, it creates a sense of community: that if you’re on a Peloton, you’re among people who do – who enjoy doing – hard things.

Two, it taps into the seven magic words of goal achievement: “This will be really hard for you.”

A 2018 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that clearly describing the difficulties a person will face can actually increase their perseverance and resolve.

The company is doing quite well, so clearly Americans do like things to be difficult in some categories (see One Tough Mudder and many other similar ideas). But playing games (without physical activity)? Not so much, at least not anymore.

Back in the 1980s, all of the top computer games (including Interactive Fiction) were virtually impossible to beat. In fact, it was practically mandatory to include a super difficult puzzle (skill test) that would cause a riot if they were to appear in a CS game these days.

But in 2021? People want cheat codes, walk-throughs, pointers, tips, and a virtually zero chance of losing/dying in their video games.

3 posts were split to a new topic: Were Games of the 1980’s Impossible to Beat?