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?
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?
Yes—and a conflict like that works so much better in IF than novels because you can play both ways on different days.
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.
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.
I would much rather BE the dragon
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.
I’m just going to say it…
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.
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.