Interactive Storytelling

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Interactive Storytelling

Why Heavy Rain was not the interactive storytelling game it promised to be.

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Doesn't shattered memories have PS2 and PSP versions?

I cant wait for the space game. X-wing vs Tie fighter was awesome and i would def play a game similar.

I find the idea for Fork very interesting.

That's really what interactive storytelling should be; starting with a bare minimum of details and allowing the player to fill in some of the blanks. I think it's stupid that Heavy Rain doesn't change any of the major plot points based on your actions.

Shame, I was hoping he would address Michael Atkinson in this issue.

Oh well, maybe he'll comment on it later

I still disagree with your "the killer never changes complaint". A murder mystery where the killer is always different can never have the wonderful things such as "foreshadowing" and "subtle nods". Yes, you might not see a point to replaying it (I did see one, though) because it's practically always the same but changing the killer would mean screwing up the story.'

Hubilub:
Shame, I was hoping he would address Michael Atkinson in this issue.

Oh well, maybe he'll comment on it later

He apathetically adressed that one in Twitter.

How about using the speed device you were considering earlier? You can only outrun the bad guy on full speed, but on full speed you're easier to detect, so the the bad guy follows you endlessly?

Hey with the space game what about flying into the garbage, from the ig baddy and getting the player to dodge or whatever for backup to arrive, then they can use a system like, he's looking at me, hide, ally shoots, he's looking at ally he hides, i shoot.

Journeythroughhell:
I still disagree with your "the killer never changes complaint". A murder mystery where the killer is always different can never have the wonderful things such as "foreshadowing" and "subtle nods". Yes, you might not see a point to replaying it (I did see one, though) because it's practically always the same but changing the killer would mean screwing up the story.'

Yay, I have a reason to quote you!

Yes, I too agree that there should only be one murdered. Although I didn't care much for the reveal

The DVD extras analogy was pretty good. And the advanced hitscan weaponry could be a pretty good upgrade choice, if a plausible way to get your hands on one could be devised.

Hubilub:

Journeythroughhell:
I still disagree with your "the killer never changes complaint". A murder mystery where the killer is always different can never have the wonderful things such as "foreshadowing" and "subtle nods". Yes, you might not see a point to replaying it (I did see one, though) because it's practically always the same but changing the killer would mean screwing up the story.'

Yay, I have a reason to quote you!

Yes, I too agree that there should only be one murdered. Although I didn't care much for the reveal

Well, than you, sir, have NO SOUL!!!
Just joking, it absolutely crushed me, though.

Good to hear you are still trudging through the space game. If you are willing to take a suggestion, the problem with letting the player run into the infinite void of space could be solved by making the player gather oxygen that it is only found close to game objects. That way the player can choose to run off into the void and die from lack of air. I would designate areas where oxygen can be gathered by placing a particle system emitter.

Currently the thought is to just insta-kill the player if they move too far away from the cover, and mumble something about advanced hitscan weaponry. It's not a terrible solution, all it'll take is a bit of dialogue to explain away, but it may create an impression in the player's mind that these ships are always to be steered well clear of, which isn't my intention. I'll have to think on it. That may take some time.

You can't stay away from the ship, for the ship is a Star Class Cruiser.... you know, it carries stars!.

I dunno... I can see both points. The way Heavy Rain is, getting the other endings was a bit bleh. Felt like I could have just saved myself the time of replaying and watched them all on YouTube instead.

But Journeythroughhell has a point as well... Constantly changing the killer based on what you do would ruin any kind of build up they would have had otherwise. Well, unless they did a really fine job of changing the story based on your choices. I guess it really comes down to how much effort the developers want to put into it, and I guess the developers of Heavy Rain went with "not a whole lot."

Am I the only one that didn't got the structure of this article? I can't put my finger on it, but the concept of the "Fork" paragraph is quite interesting indeed.

I disagree about not wanting to change the killer's identity based on your actions. There are always false hints about the identity of the killer in a murder mystery. Why couldn't the game treat a change in the killer like that?

The next job is to add the first big enemy from which the player must hide from among the garbage. The problem I'm foreseeing is the same thing that attracts me to space games: freedom. In most games, a player escaping the level terrain and falling into the sandbox is complete disaster, but in a space game, the player's pretty much already in the skybox. If they want to fly in one direction for ten hours then let them. They're not going to find shit, but at least they're free to discover that for themselves. But if there's a big enemy around, what, exactly, is keeping the player from just fleeing to a safe distance?

Currently the thought is to just insta-kill the player if they move too far away from the cover, and mumble something about advanced hitscan weaponry. It's not a terrible solution, all it'll take is a bit of dialogue to explain away, but it may create an impression in the player's mind that these ships are always to be steered well clear of, which isn't my intention. I'll have to think on it. That may take some time.

Well, my suggestion might not help much, but if you want to avoid the impression that the ships are to be steered well clear of, you could explain their weapons systems in dialogue and reveal that trying to get distance between them is the worst thing to do.

Like... the long-range weaponry (perhaps very fast missiles) might have a minimum effective range that is fairly reasonable and a ludicrous maximum range. Then you could explain that their tracking systems are flawed in that, due to the speed of their flight, are very bad at tracking fairly small targets that are moving towards the point they were launched from, requiring little or no evasive maneuvers.

To avoid the issue where they could be fired directly, you could say that for some safety reason, they need to be fired at an angle and then move on a somewhat parabolic flight path to engage their targets. This parabolic flight path, coupled with their speed, could also explain the minimum effective range as they wouldn't be able to turn sharply enough for close-by targets. Again, you could also introduce the fact that their tracking systems can't

After the explanation of why the player most definitely not try and simply fly in the opposite direction really fast, the mid/close-range weaponry for these enemy ships could be fairly easily implemented and shown to be much easier to deal with, but still needs to be avoided entirely at that early point in the game by hiding in the debris.

As I've said you probably wouldn't care about my ideas for how it could work, but I figured I'd share my thoughts anyway in the off-chance that I could prove to be somewhat helpful.

In my failed team attempts to make a space game I just came up with the decision to let the player travel a bit out and then have a wall of damaging nebulae. Makes the level boundries clear without feeling like an arbitary limit.

Zombie Nixon:
Doesn't shattered memories have PS2 and PSP versions?

Yes but it's best played on the Wii. It has the best graphics (as it damn well better considering the competition) and the Wii Remote as a flashlight really adds to the immersion factor. The game was SUPPOSED to come out on like March 5th, but for some reason it was delayed.

Why don't you make it so that the large enemy can teleport if you're too far away.
(Maybe the onscreen computer will give you a warning that the enemy is preparing to teleport, or is acting oddly)

Either that, or make the enemy release loads of minions that get stronger the longer they are left alive! XD

Its a shame you can't make it a sandbox space shooter, where loads of pre-scripted events (many more that can fit onto the map, and that can be jumbled up and scaled to the player in difficulty) are arranged onto a map when you start a new game, it might make the game really fun, and re-playable, (as the experience will vary each time!).

EDIT: Please stop talking about the mana bar also, it is really too cool for my meagre british brain to handle! XD

geez I gotta get myself over to Australia to visit the Mana Bar! maybe next summer...

With the topic of this storytelling in mind, I would like to suggest Choice of the Dragon as an interesting foray into this type of gameplay. It in fact sounds a lot like Fork. It's fast, which means multiple playthroughs are easily viable, and it is at least competently written. I got a big kick out of it, and if you liked the idea of Fork, you should give it a try.

I would generally agree. I think Heavy Rain was flawed in a simple way of that it was too linear. Everything is linear to a point, it has to be...even boiled down to basics all everything is, is a corridor. Something more pretty than other but a corridor none the less.

I would love to see more of a criss-cross of them though, different elements/decision/actions lead down alternate routes.

Is Fun Space Game first person or third? If it's third, you could take a similar approach to the Scarecrow levels from Arkham Asylum and produce a player death whenever the avatar enters the scan range.

Heavy rain sounds like it tries to pull off what Westwood studios did with Bladerunner. I think it was released back in 97 or 98 (thereabouts at least). It followed another blade runner than the movies, but was in many respects similar. The interesting thing was that wether or not many of the main suspects were replicants or not changed from playthrough to playthrough, forcing the player down different paths and endings. From blowing up the replicants and heading off with the other bladerunner as a partner, to your dog being shot and fleeing to the moon with replicant dna. I think there were somewhere between 10 and 13 endings, not all of which being available in every playthrough.

Yahtzee:
Currently the thought is to just insta-kill the player if they move too far away from the cover, and mumble something about advanced hitscan weaponry. It's not a terrible solution, all it'll take is a bit of dialogue to explain away, but it may create an impression in the player's mind that these ships are always to be steered well clear of, which isn't my intention. I'll have to think on it. That may take some time.

Instakills are always hated though unless they're alluded to. If you have a neon-blue/green scanning area that can be seen "somehow", and straying into that is insta-death, then you've got a good way of scaring people - and by turning it off sometimes, then they can beat the fear and attack.
It doesn't need to be instakill either...something like a taser effect that freezes the controls and then throws them back works equally well as a "KEEP OUT" zone.

Rule 42 of DM'ing: Never kill the players, let them beg for death. ;)

That insta-kill idea seems rather bad; it would end up being flow-breakingly annoying as hell to have been exploring the vastness of space suddenly to die and have to go back to the starting position. Other than that the game sounds like it's progressing in the right direction.

Perhaps you should make it so that the boss guy can actually chase at you max speed, or he could go even faster, thus making running both hard and almost definite defeat...

I have to say that I was actually suprised at who the killer was, didn't expect it to be them, because they hint at it being someone else. Though they never do explain that...in fact, there seem to be a good amount of things not explained in the overall scheme of things in the game, like they were part of the Dark Void team epidemic where Chuckles the giant frog's crash on their studio dislodged some of the building and it took out a few of the Heavy Rain team, meaning that there were some plot points not explained

I wonder though, between the Mana Bar and ZP, how much time do you have to make your games now? And who'dve thought that all this would have happened and turned you into the gaming star you've become all thanks to youtube?

Okay, he just said it was "not non-linear," like, a million times. Happy now, A1? ;) If not, I wish I could afford to fund a trip so you could visit the Mana Bar and ask him to write "linear" on a piece of paper. Then draw a line under it to clarify he understands the concept of linearity.

Yahtzee:
Anyway, the build currently consists of a small asteroid cluster littered with the debris of a crashed ship, with five salvage crates scattered around that make a little thing pop up on the GUI when you collect them. The first problem I've run into is that it's as boring as shit. This tends to be the way things go with game design; you can have all the theory in the world but the moment you put anything into practice it sprouts issues like a Chia pet.

A-freaking-men. I must have created over a dozen little projects over the last couple years that I abandoned for this reason. Right now, I'm thinking maybe it's best to go completely freeform, which refutes something I believed earlier: that it's best to have the entire game designed in advance.

Hubilub:
Shame, I was hoping he would address Michael Atkinson in this issue.

Oh well, maybe he'll comment on it later

He probably wrote this ahead of time, so we'll most likely see something about it next week.

As far as FSG:TG goes, letting people interact with their pursuers is generally better than just having to stay hidden. If you could plant/shoot small charges (they wouldn't be able to destroy the enemies) as a distraction, then you have a better scenario. The charges would have to hit an asteroid to work and would provide you with an opportunity to move to another spot. you could also make the players stay in the asteroid field by putting other enemy ships around it so the player can't just run away.

I get what your saying about the DVD extras comment. My experience with the game was still fantastic (best I've had in a year....which is to say, in the past 365 days, not in 2010), but I can definitely see where your coming from there.

As to your game, perhaps the reason to play hide and seek with the freighter can be simple necessity. Say, for instance, the freighter does something that damages your ship. Your scans indicate that the derelict has a macguffin that can stabilize the damage long enough to get to a proper base, but if left unchecked the problem will destroy the ship. Now you have a reason to stick around this piece of debris that Mr. star cruiser clearly objects to you being near.

I think star wars sums it up best: why can't you get away? tractor beams/teleporters/ and faster, tinier minions, minions, minions

Fuel. That's a limitation on flying off into the void. Not so much cruising, if you follow physics, but maneuvering.

There was a game for the Mac that was a space shooter, and in it you could fly forever away from gravity wells, but when you were too far away, the ship wouldn't be able to use it's "ramscoops" very well, and your fuel wouldn't replenish as fast.

It worked well with bad guys, because they always had better scoops, or larger fuel tanks, or something, so they could easily chase you down if you fled too far without hypering out of the system. Initially you could probably outrun them, but then you'd run out of fuel, and by the time your tanks were topped up again, they had caught up to you again. That was, if they were interested in chasing you.

it feels like these XP articles are getting rather lazy lately. Half is dedicated to Yahtzee's own personal project, which feels like something he should put in his blog or twitter rather than here.
anyway there is also a PC version of Shattered memories, why are you clinging to the wii version considering your thoughts of that console?

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