Your favorite goals for an MC?

I read once that people will give up their life more easily than their self-image. Eg someone who thinks they are brave has to say yes when called to war, whereas someone who sees themself as a pacifist/defender of the downtrodden people X can’t possibly say yes when called to war against people X. ANd the worst (and thus most interesting) thing is for a person who is both brave and a defender of People X to be called to join that war. What can they do?

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So, the most interesting goal for you would be one that forces MC to choose between two conflicting values? Like, say, family loyalty vs patriotism?

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Yes—and a conflict like that works so much better in IF than novels because you can play both ways on different days.

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Goal wise, I prefer being aimless. My favorite example of this is in Fallen Hero Rebirth. The “All of this just feels inevitable” motivation is iconic in my opinion. I see it as synonymous with saying because I can, I will. It’s freeing.

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That’s interesting. When I played A Study in Steampunk, there were some moments where the MC was numb and somehow for me as the player, it felt liberating.

  • Be horrible…like, as close to Sauron- or Voldemort- or Sith-horrible as possible. If the game’s doesn’t allow you to be evil, it isn’t as dynamic as I would like. That said, it’s not strictly necessary. Being an evil god, a dark lord or Cthulhu’s right-hand man is fun (LOL). Destroying the universe, obtaining forbidden knowledge (and using it!) fall into this category.

  • Seduce/fall in love with sb and actually have the relationship go somewhere. A one-night stand or full matrimony, or anything in between. But nothing-at-all is better than a-mere-kiss. Give me Romance or Nomance, but not Lomance.

  • Collect stuff. This is still a game, and collecting stuff is what makes games fun.

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I would much rather BE the dragon

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For me, ideally, romance is the primary motivator, but it really depends on whether or not there’s a love interest I’m interested in loving.

I do tend to like “perfect” endings, whatever those might happen to be in a given game, but I wouldn’t mind a situation where I had to choose between love and power, love and defeating the big bad, love and [insert option here], provided the narrative didn’t make choosing love feel like the wrong decision (I’m looking at you, Life is Strange.) I’m basically a mushball wrapped up in the mind of an achiever? If there’s a choice between love and anything else in a game, I’m going to make big heart eyes and choose the swoon, but it’d be great if the game made me feel good about that. And also about choosing power, if I made that choice. Or self-sacrifice, if I made that choice. Or-- well, you get the point. I’m really fond of games with different outcomes, rather than bad outcomes.

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I’m just going to say it…

Revenge.

I love a good revenge story. I know they’ve been done to death, and at the best of times they don’t make for the most nuanced of stories, but I think the simplicity is what I love about them.

Real life motivations are complex and bland. I’m not saying its the only kind of story I like, but I definitely see the appeal of escaping into a world where my motivation is simple, and strong.

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I get where you’re coming from, even though it’s harder for me to relate to revenge plots in the long-term. By which I mean, sometimes I’m interested in (fictional) revenge, but the urge tends to dissipate before the revenge plot is complete. Actually, that gives me some interesting ideas about revenge-themed games… Hmm, a lot to chew on.