Interactive Storytelling

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that game idea, fork, sounds really cool.

pyrus7:

Dulkal:
I don't agree with the whole "killer changes depending on actions" angle. I'd play a detective story to find out who the killer was. Knowing that there was no truth to be found except for my actions would kind of spoil it for me. It lends itself to a certain linearity, but that's allright with me because the whole point of the genre is to work towards the reveal.

I think what should have happened is that, not only did the killer changed based on your actions, but that the clues revealed during the story also changed depending on your actions.

And for the space game, why not just let the player fly away from the big enemy? If he has a reason to salvage the stuff while avoiding the enemy, he will; if he doesn't want to salvage, then he'll just fly away.

But clues in a detective story are passive, not active, things. They are always there for the detective to see or ignore. The killer identity is also a constant thing and should not be changed according to the player's actions.

What might be nice, is to give the player the option to be a good detective and follow the leads to the kiiler. Be a bad detective that follow the leads but finds the wrong killer.... Or be a corrupt detective and "find" evidence, that will help you put the blame on certain characters for certain personal reasons (and you can even fail doing that, and end up in prison yourself).

Regarding the space game: Maybe the containers should contain some weapon or cloaking device that you need to destroy the boss.. You will always have the option to just run away, but eventually you will have to face him this way or the other.

Insta-kill when you leave the debris field? Could your "Big ship" not deploy several small ships (Drones, salvage vessels, whatever) that could stop the player fleeing?

Not sure what's been suggested so far about the space game, but here's my two cents. You could make it take a few seconds to switch speeds when in battle, some mumbo jumbo about it taking longer to power because of shields or whatever. But this leaves you stationary and vulnerable for a chunk of time, and unless you're in great cover the enemy will most likely be able to get a shot off and disrupt you from escaping.

Took the idea from world of warcraft's hearthstone feature, the item that lets you teleport to your home inn from anywhere but takes 5-10 seconds to cast and any hits you take forces you to start over.

For the first mission you could just say the ship is badly damaged. Confine them to 1/3 and 2/3 speed and explain the insta kill that way. This aproach also gives you a hook into the next objective, get repaired. At the repair station there's people, and you can go from there.

Why not just use the simplest option: If the big ship sees you, it will blow you into a cloud of free-floating carbon atoms? Keep the player from running by the simple fact that you cannot get away.

geldonyetich:

A1:
This is about what Yahtzee thinks, and not what you think Yahtzee thinks. And it would seem that until Yahtzee draws a definitive and unyielding final conclusion about the game as a whole this issue is going to remain unresolved.

Well, I thought it was pretty clear what he thought, but I guess that it doesn't matter. I'm not going to hold what he thinks as being at all important to my world view. Why should I? Frankly, I've been gaming at least as long as he has. That's probably why I can understand what he's saying without ambiguity while you're still uncertain.

You're only seeing what you want to see.

And besides, you seem to be bordering on self-contradiction here. To say "I thought" strongly implies some degree of uncertainty, as opposed to something like "I know" or "I understand". But then you outright use the word "understand".

With regards to FSG:TG, I'd like to offer a humble solution.

Let them go in any direction forever, but give your sensors a finite range (because any sensor has a maximum resolution, and going beyond that point would put things beyond your draw distance). Once you have reached that point, have them hit an invisible wall, but because there is nothing out there, they dont know it. Space is a very empty place, so just make the particle effects fade to nothing the farther you get from the objective.

The player would always be able to get back to the objectives, even when they were beyond his scan range, because the enemy ships all have IFF transponders, and their broadcast power is many orders of magnitude beyond your own.

Your objectives are within the sphere of the enemy ships scan range, so leaving that range serves no real purpose, beyond simply curiosity. Once players realize that there really is nothing interesting in open space, they will return.

As another overall game-flow idea; why not allow the players access to maybe half of the objectives, with the options to do them in any order you want.

I.E. - A single area has maybe 3 tier 1 objectives, 3 tier 2, and 3 tier 3. Each offers a different method of achieving it (Pure stealth, decoys, distraction followed by snatch&grab)

Some are dead ends, others offer multiple subsequent options upon completion, others offer only one path forward. So you would end up with 2 successful outcomes, all with different rewards, which would then help you on later missions. Maybe they would reflect the manner in which you completed the objectives? i.e. using decoys would reward you with better/more varied decoy methods.

For "Fun space game : the game", have it so that you need to scavenge the wreck for fuel or spare parts in order to escape, the "WHEEL" can still be an ominous and interesting presence but without the overkill it would create if it destroyed you whenever you attempt to leave.

A1:
You're only seeing what you want to see.

And besides, you seem to be bordering on self-contradiction here. To say "I thought" strongly implies some degree of uncertainty, as opposed to something like "I know" or "I understand". But then you outright use the word "understand".

That you are the type of fellow to nitpick in such a way as to readily believe a person can know or understand something without thinking it goes far to explaining why you cannot reach an inner consensus on what Yahtzee has said.

The first part of this write-up, before Yahtzee tangentalizes off on his game idea for Metal Gear Solid in Space, just makes me think that Yahtzee has never played, nor read about Chrono Trigger.

Hey Yahtzee, in your conundrum of why your protagonist in Space Game would have to not steer clear of the bad guys, why not something along the lines of what Bioshock did with Big Daddies. I mean, there you *could* just cruise past or avoid if you wanted, but the benefit in not doing so was worth the risk. Everyone does risk/benefit differently in their mind, but it shouldn't be too hard to find a common-enough ground for people to want to take risk (xp advancement, trophies/achievements, collection of an item that 'improves' game experience, your mum. . .)

Thanks as always for the quality free entertainment. . .

See, I'd like Heavy Rain if it was on the DS or PSP. The reason is that one of my favorite games of all time is Hotel Dusk: Room 215, which is more like a book then anything else (you even hold the DS sideways). The game is very linear, the puzzles are meh, but the story, dialogue, and characters are so well written that I play it over and over again, just like reading a favorite book of mine. And since the game is on a portable console, I can read it on planes or cars or other places where I need to kill an hour or so.

But Heavy Rain is a console game, which means you can only play it sitting at home. And that doesn't sound like fun to me. It's like having a book that's chained to a wall. You can't take it with you anywhere. And, as much as I love reading, I don't sit around my house reading books when there is TV and the internet to explore.

Anyways, good luck on the space game. And I can sympathize with you on Fork. I tried to write a "choose your own adventure" type novel once, and I abandoned it for the same reason as you.

geldonyetich:

A1:
You're only seeing what you want to see.

And besides, you seem to be bordering on self-contradiction here. To say "I thought" strongly implies some degree of uncertainty, as opposed to something like "I know" or "I understand". But then you outright use the word "understand".

That you are the type of fellow to nitpick in such a way as to readily believe a person can know or understand something without thinking it goes far to explaining why you cannot reach an inner consensus on what Yahtzee has said.

Exactly what you're talking about is not immediately apparent to me. Although I could probably figure it out by thinking it over for at least a little while. However I'm not going to because it doesn't sound particularly relevant.

SavingPrincess:
The first part of this write-up, before Yahtzee tangentalizes off on his game idea for Metal Gear Solid in Space, just makes me think that Yahtzee has never played, nor read about Chrono Trigger.

Yeah, Yahtzee's not too big on the JRPGs. So I can't imagine he's played Chrono Trigger.

Yahtzee, if you missed out on Chrono Trigger, I might suggest you find it and play it. Well worth it - no tedious random battles, and hey - what other game gives you the option of taking on Main Bad Guy right from the get go?

I suppose it is *not* non-linear but it is still well written to me.
Your DVD analogy is apt, but like a DVD if I love the story I want to see the special features, if I love the film I want to see it over and over again, even if the same person is still the killer.

I fully agree with you though I still love "Heavy Rain".

A1:
Exactly what you're talking about is not immediately apparent to me. Although I could probably figure it out by thinking it over for at least a little while. However I'm not going to because it doesn't sound particularly relevant.

So how would this be different from any other one of your replies to me so far? ;)

J-Alfred:
Yeah, Yahtzee's not too big on the JRPGs. So I can't imagine he's played Chrono Trigger.

Ironic that exactly what he's talking about storytelling wise was done to perfection in his least favorite genre. :)

Yahtzee, about your opening confrontation. There's a couple of ways to play it:

1) someone mentioned drones earlier, and that was my initial idea. basically, you're looking at a Wheel Carrier, and it will deploy an unbeatable force of fighters if it detects you. The obvious problem here is that a carrier ship would be difficult to code and design, so it's not the easiest solution.

2) you want to make sure players recognize it as an immense threat without thinking it is unkillable. a death beam would enforce the wrong idea I think. if you were going to go with a death beam, the simple answer is to go the freelancer route of having cruising engines take a second to charge before they fire, and making it so that charging cruise engines makes you a glowing, white hot bullet on sensors. this would be a good cop-out, as the player can believe that suddenly generating a huge amount of heat would make the wheel ship simply switch to a weapons system with heat-based tracking and blast you into nothing.

3) you like the idea of divergent plots, so how about making it so that the player can potentially screw up and still live? let's say you've got a hold full of cargo in addition to the salvage you've just retrieved. If the wheel ship spots you, it tractors you in and they do a search and seizure of contraband. this means that you start with no resources instead of the meager ones you would've had had you not been caught. whether this makes sense largely depends on what sort of image you want Wheel to have; this will make them more of a group that polices technology, where the previous two suggestions make them someone who hoards it. perhaps they're trying to prevent the use of alien tech in terran vessels, and the reason they are capable of this is that they use alien tech in their own ships. perhaps they are called "Wheel" because alien tech is so advanced that it brands old terran tech as useless and obsolete. maybe the reason you're willing to risk your life in a salvage op is because their tech is so valuable, that even a basic alien engine or alien ship-to-ship weapon is light-years ahead of the most advanced tech available to anyone outside of wheel. just some ways to expand the plot.

4) I think a really interesting way to go about it would be to have whatever destroyed the wheel ship that you're salvaging come back to attack the new wheel ship. it would give you a sort of "small player in a bigger world" feel right off the bat, and would give you an excuse to escape, since concievably, wheel wouldn't leave without salvaging the equipment off the destroyed ship and finding you in the process. It would also explain why they didn't kill you or capture you; they suddenly have bigger problems than a lone pissant salvaging their tech. I'm also a fan of any way of presenting the politics of a setting to a player without doing it in a boring text wall or droning speeches. This delivers the politics with a quick punch: Wheel bad. Guys killing Wheel, also likely bad. Both groups dislike you, and you'll want to avoid them, but you may be able to play the groups against each other.

I think my ideas are good. Perhaps you will too.

Bah, hiding schmiding! How about this: The big evil ship has stuff you need, and can detect your engine emissions. So you have to shut down, drift with the trash and when it comes close, shoot it with your grappling hook and reel yourself in so you can grab the McGuffin from it!

Feel free to steal this idea, as long as I get a free copy :).

Make the enemy inescapable? You can fly for miles away, but the enemy ship catches up and annihilates you. You can run but you can't hide.

I think Yahtzee just answered his own question as to why Heavy Rain didn't have everything non-liniar - who can realistically say that they can write 60 dozen alternate paths and stories? He himself said that his project was never finished because it was too much work.

Not sure about Silent Hill 2 though... more or less all the endings remain the same since the killer is always the same person, just like in Heavy Rain. I do agree though that they did other stuff more subtle, which is exactly why I love SH2.

I dunno.. I liked it in Indiana Jones Fate of Atlantis where you got to choose whether you were going to strictly puzzle-it-up or use your fists on Nazis, and also whether you worked with the woman or not, it didn't change the ending but it changed the path through the game (I remember watching someone else playing it and was like "Hey, how come you're on a submarine?! That doesn't happen in the game!") and that for me was great. I prefer that to the end level of Streets of Rage where you get to choose whether to work for the boss or not, and if you both disagree you have to kill each other, or go back to level 5 with those ridiculous conveyor belts or something. Summary: Indiana Jones FOA was awesome. Why can't there be more games like that? :D

twm1709:
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.

I couldn't agree more. These are becoming articles are more opinionated than anything when he starts criticizing a game like Heavy Rain, saying its flawed in concept. Then goes on to say he's making nearly the same type of interactive experience but it will be better (mostly just because he says so)... Yet, I cannot some how stop feeling that these will never actually be complete, and when/if they are ever complete and he releases them out onto the internet; how do we know its not flash game or something that we could just find on Newgrounds?

... I expected like five more pages... WTF?

I dont' think, "It's not hte game I would have made" is good enough an explanation.

And continuing on on a completely different tangent(your own work) made it feel like you were going to come back to heavy rain. But you didn't.

Short, lazy piece.

Yahtzee, you may be able to give the player character's ship a certain stealth mechanic. They can be discovered by one of your big-bads in events and such which makes their stealth mechanic worthless, so they must hide in more traditional ways.

This would make it so players wouldn't avoid your enemies, but would also allow you to use the idea you mentioned in the article.

I hate the idea that the identity of the Origami Killer would change depending on your actions, I really hate it. For me with stories and games I want the choices of other people to remain constant and consistent with their character. The only way something they do should change would be if you do something to influence them.

If the identity of the OK changed in Heavy Rain, that may have made more interesting game play, but it would have been awful storytelling. The kind that would cause Annie Wilkes to go white with rage.

geldonyetich:

A1:
Exactly what you're talking about is not immediately apparent to me. Although I could probably figure it out by thinking it over for at least a little while. However I'm not going to because it doesn't sound particularly relevant.

So how would this be different from any other one of your replies to me so far? ;)

Upon closer inspection of your previous post I think you may simply be starting to project now.

A1:

geldonyetich:

A1:
Exactly what you're talking about is not immediately apparent to me. Although I could probably figure it out by thinking it over for at least a little while. However I'm not going to because it doesn't sound particularly relevant.

So how would this be different from any other one of your replies to me so far? ;)

Upon closer inspection of your previous post I think you may simply be starting to project now.

At all times, I try to stick to the issue and not the people involved. However, there reaches a certain point of any discussion where the depth of the issue is exhausted and there's no place left for progress to go but over the limitations of the participants.

However, to hold an aspirations that anyone on the Internet would change their mind about anything seems to be a naive hope. I just find this particular instance with Yahtzee flat out calling Heavy Rain a bad, non-interactive game in direct words and your refusing to believe that he meant what he said to be an incredulous example.

The conclusion that you've just been bad at exerting the necessary effort for comprehension all this time, as you inadvertently admitted to doing in the topmost quote, is the more feasible explanation. Bad luck you stumbled across a tireless rebutter.

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.

Easy. It's long-range scanners aren't affected by the field, it's short-range are. Moving outside the field means you'd get detected instantly, and taken out just as quickly.

This basically means that you have to play cat-and-mouse with it in the field, evade it's sensors for long enough to make it think there's no-one there. When it leaves, you can go.

geldonyetich:

A1:

geldonyetich:

A1:
Exactly what you're talking about is not immediately apparent to me. Although I could probably figure it out by thinking it over for at least a little while. However I'm not going to because it doesn't sound particularly relevant.

So how would this be different from any other one of your replies to me so far? ;)

Upon closer inspection of your previous post I think you may simply be starting to project now.

At all times, I try to stick to the issue and not the people involved. However, there reaches a certain point of any discussion where the depth of the issue is exhausted and there's no place left for progress to go but over the limitations of the participants.

However, to hold an aspirations that anyone on the Internet would change their mind about anything seems to be a naive hope. I just find this particular instance with Yahtzee flat out calling Heavy Rain a bad, non-interactive game in direct words and your refusing to believe that he meant what he said to be an incredulous example.

The conclusion that you've just been bad at exerting the necessary effort for comprehension all this time, as you inadvertently admitted to doing in the topmost quote, is the more feasible explanation. Bad luck you stumbled across a tireless rebutter.

That's exactly the point. "Yahtzee flat out calling Heavy Rain a bad, non-interactive game"? He hasn't done any such thing. And that's exactly the problem. If he had, we wouldn't be having this debate.

What you've described is actually your opinion, not Yahtzee's. It MIGHT be Yahtzee's opinion but there is no way to know for sure without Yahtzee's own verification, which we may never get.

Why not make it so that the enemy ship's speed is determined by an equation wherein the farther away from the enemy you are, the faster the enemy can go. You'll have to put some limiters on the equation, so that it doesn't get too slow when you are close to it, but it should be nothing less advanced than a few Equal To Or Greater Than signs. Also, if you can somehow put a bit of a pause into it, so that the player is able to think that they've escaped for a little bit, before they notice the ship they thought they'd left in the SPAAAACE-dust is right behind them. And you'd need some way to make the equation not cyclical, in that the ship would keep getting closer to you, and then farther away as its speed wears off because of your proximity, because that would not flow well gameplay wise. So, maybe not a simple equation. But I still think that it wouldn't be too hard to do, with the right mathy person help.

A1:

geldonyetich:

A1:

geldonyetich:

A1:
Exactly what you're talking about is not immediately apparent to me. Although I could probably figure it out by thinking it over for at least a little while. However I'm not going to because it doesn't sound particularly relevant.

So how would this be different from any other one of your replies to me so far? ;)

Upon closer inspection of your previous post I think you may simply be starting to project now.

At all times, I try to stick to the issue and not the people involved. However, there reaches a certain point of any discussion where the depth of the issue is exhausted and there's no place left for progress to go but over the limitations of the participants.

However, to hold an aspirations that anyone on the Internet would change their mind about anything seems to be a naive hope. I just find this particular instance with Yahtzee flat out calling Heavy Rain a bad, non-interactive game in direct words and your refusing to believe that he meant what he said to be an incredulous example.

The conclusion that you've just been bad at exerting the necessary effort for comprehension all this time, as you inadvertently admitted to doing in the topmost quote, is the more feasible explanation. Bad luck you stumbled across a tireless rebutter.

That's exactly the point. "Yahtzee flat out calling Heavy Rain a bad, non-interactive game"? He hasn't done any such thing. And that's exactly the problem. If he had, we wouldn't be having this debate.

What you've described is actually your opinion, not Yahtzee's. It MIGHT be Yahtzee's opinion but there is no way to know for sure without Yahtzee's own verification, which we may never get.

Is it really that hard to understand that I'm under the opinion that what Yahtzee expressed was a clear opinion while you're under the opinion that what Yahtzee expressed is an unclear opinion?

I mean, you could keep insisting that Yahtzee wasn't clear ad nauseam, but it's not going to change my opinion to the contrary.

geldonyetich:

A1:

geldonyetich:

A1:

geldonyetich:

A1:
Exactly what you're talking about is not immediately apparent to me. Although I could probably figure it out by thinking it over for at least a little while. However I'm not going to because it doesn't sound particularly relevant.

So how would this be different from any other one of your replies to me so far? ;)

Upon closer inspection of your previous post I think you may simply be starting to project now.

At all times, I try to stick to the issue and not the people involved. However, there reaches a certain point of any discussion where the depth of the issue is exhausted and there's no place left for progress to go but over the limitations of the participants.

However, to hold an aspirations that anyone on the Internet would change their mind about anything seems to be a naive hope. I just find this particular instance with Yahtzee flat out calling Heavy Rain a bad, non-interactive game in direct words and your refusing to believe that he meant what he said to be an incredulous example.

The conclusion that you've just been bad at exerting the necessary effort for comprehension all this time, as you inadvertently admitted to doing in the topmost quote, is the more feasible explanation. Bad luck you stumbled across a tireless rebutter.

That's exactly the point. "Yahtzee flat out calling Heavy Rain a bad, non-interactive game"? He hasn't done any such thing. And that's exactly the problem. If he had, we wouldn't be having this debate.

What you've described is actually your opinion, not Yahtzee's. It MIGHT be Yahtzee's opinion but there is no way to know for sure without Yahtzee's own verification, which we may never get.

Is it really that hard to understand that I'm under the opinion that what Yahtzee expressed was a clear opinion while you're under the opinion that what Yahtzee expressed is an unclear opinion?

I mean, you could keep insisting that Yahtzee wasn't clear ad naseum, but it's not going to change my opinion to the contrary.

It's not my opinion. It's just an observation.

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