Discussion: The importance of Player Influence

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

*
Small Bat Dev
Rep:
Level 76
2012 Best Artistf*ck u >:(2011 Best Artist2010 Best NewbieParticipant - GIAW 11Bronze - GIAW 92011 Most Attractive Female MemberBronze - Game In A Week VII
Hello friends!

I thought it might be fun to have a lil game devvy discussion about games and the important role that the players of our games have within the games themselves. If that doesn't make sense then bear with me.

Games are unique from films and books in that we have an ability as game developers to allow our players, the people that consume our media, to have a direct influence in the story our games tell. Games can tell a story that evolves, that becomes something unique to each player. While it is possible to tell a set story, one that the player has no influence in, I am of the belief that those kinds of story are better suited for other mediums. If the player makes no difference in how the game pans out, isn't that basically the same as watching a film?

But what do you think?

Should players influence the storyline + outcome of a game, a la Oddworld and Bioshock?

Or do you prefer a game be set in its story and outcome, without allowing the player to influence it?

Lemme know what you think, I'm genuinely interested to see what y'all got to say about this.


*
i am satin die lol
Rep:
Level 96
welcom to hel
GIAW 14: 2nd Place (Hard Mode)2013 Biggest Drama Whore2013 Zero to HeroParticipant - GIAW 11Secret Santa 2013 ParticipantFor taking arms in the name of your breakfast.
I don't think it's a necessity, just look at Super Mario Bros. One ending, no story. Great game.
If we're talking RPG, then I feel that RPGs of the past where the player had little to no influence on the story still told great tales. They were fun because the story was interesting and the gameplay was fun.

That worked then, but I agree that player choice is a big step forward.
Giving the player choice, giving them a chance to change or influence the story in some way is great. It give them a much deeper connection to the world, the events and the characters.

An example.
 - Scifi game. Your ship is damaged and about to crash. One of the main characters wants to try to save the ship. You are given a choice, let him try or tell him he's coming with you.
   If you let him stay, he dies. The story continues without him, but every time you are reminded of him, you remember that he died because of YOUR CHOICE YOU MONSTER. ;-;7
   The player has a connection, their choices influence the world.

\(  ;-;)/ sorry for the crap babby's first plot twist example, couldn't think of anything better

***
Rep:
Level 84
puking up frothing vitriolic sarcastic spittle
Quote
While it is possible to tell a set story, one that the player has no influence in, I am of the belief that those kinds of story are better suited for other mediums. If the player makes no difference in how the game pans out, isn't that basically the same as watching a film?

No, it's not. Gameplay makes something a game. How you interact with the universe you find yourself in makes something a game. Battles, puzzles, platforming, shooting, exploring or whatever; these are the things that make something into a game. So whether you influence the path the storyline takes is irrelevant, because you still have to interact with the universe to get the story to progress. This interaction is generally much more important than the story itself, and especially whether or not that story is branched.
My amateur game-development blog is over at this address: http://sorelosersgaming.blogspot.com
Information on my personal game development projects can be found here!
A list of games that I've reviewed can be found here!

My Twitter is here: @Sated86

*
Small Bat Dev
Rep:
Level 76
2012 Best Artistf*ck u >:(2011 Best Artist2010 Best NewbieParticipant - GIAW 11Bronze - GIAW 92011 Most Attractive Female MemberBronze - Game In A Week VII
I don't think it's a necessity, just look at Super Mario Bros. One ending, no story. Great game.
If we're talking RPG, then I feel that RPGs of the past where the player had little to no influence on the story still told great tales. They were fun because the story was interesting and the gameplay was fun.

That worked then, but I agree that player choice is a big step forward.
Giving the player choice, giving them a chance to change or influence the story in some way is great. It give them a much deeper connection to the world, the events and the characters.

An example.
 - Scifi game. Your ship is damaged and about to crash. One of the main characters wants to try to save the ship. You are given a choice, let him try or tell him he's coming with you.
   If you let him stay, he dies. The story continues without him, but every time you are reminded of him, you remember that he died because of YOUR CHOICE YOU MONSTER. ;-;7
   The player has a connection, their choices influence the world.

\(  ;-;)/ sorry for the crap babby's first plot twist example, couldn't think of anything better



Quote
While it is possible to tell a set story, one that the player has no influence in, I am of the belief that those kinds of story are better suited for other mediums. If the player makes no difference in how the game pans out, isn't that basically the same as watching a film?

No, it's not. Gameplay makes something a game. How you interact with the universe you find yourself in makes something a game. Battles, puzzles, platforming, shooting, exploring or whatever; these are the things that make something into a game. So whether you influence the path the storyline takes is irrelevant, because you still have to interact with the universe to get the story to progress. This interaction is generally much more important than the story itself, and especially whether or not that story is branched.

Thats another thing to consider :D I've played plenty of great games that had no story at all. I've played plenty of games that had horribly written stories that were still fun too.

I suppose what I meant is, do you prefer to let the player have an influence on the story, or make a game where the player is led along by the story?


***
Rep:
Level 84
puking up frothing vitriolic sarcastic spittle
I don't think I prefer either, to be honest. I think that both systems have plenty of merit to them. I think the interesting thing about this is that the system you choose to use doesn't actually have that much to do with the storyline itself; it instead has a lot more to do with how you choose to write your main character.

What I mean is that if you want the main protagonist to be a fully-developed character, with individual personality traits and a strong sense of self, then it's probably better to have the storyline be linear. This is because it will be jarring to have the character doing things that go against their personality simply because the player wants to be different. Examples of this include the type of characterisation popularised in the PS1-era Final Fantasy games; can you imagine Squall letting Rinoa float off into space just because the player wanted to be a douche? It wouldn't make any sense!

At the other end of the scale, games like Bioshock and Fallout and Skyrim give you a completely blank slate to work with. Any choice is okay because the main character has no characterisation other than that the player wants to impose on them. This allows for lots of branched storyline and/or quest options because the player has free reign to be anywhere between holier-than-thou and the devil's favourite advocate.
My amateur game-development blog is over at this address: http://sorelosersgaming.blogspot.com
Information on my personal game development projects can be found here!
A list of games that I've reviewed can be found here!

My Twitter is here: @Sated86

*
A-pow 2015
Rep:
Level 81
2014 Best RPG Maker User - GraphicsFor frequently finding and reporting spam and spam bots2013 Most Unsung MemberSecret Santa 2013 ParticipantFor taking arms in the name of your breakfast.a^2 + b^2 = c^2How can I help you? :DSecret Santa 2012 ParticipantSilver - GIAW 10Silver - GIAW 9Bronze - GIAW HalloweenGold - Game In A Week VII
Quote
While it is possible to tell a set story, one that the player has no influence in, I am of the belief that those kinds of story are better suited for other mediums. If the player makes no difference in how the game pans out, isn't that basically the same as watching a film?

No, it's not. Gameplay makes something a game. How you interact with the universe you find yourself in makes something a game. Battles, puzzles, platforming, shooting, exploring or whatever; these are the things that make something into a game. So whether you influence the path the storyline takes is irrelevant, because you still have to interact with the universe to get the story to progress. This interaction is generally much more important than the story itself, and especially whether or not that story is branched.

I believe interacting with the universe on any meaningful level that isn't forced upon you is a choice within itself. Even a simple game like mario is all about choice when you boil it down. Do you kill all the goombas, or focus on running through as fast as possible?

I think it's possible to allow these sorts of choices in a more linear RPG. If you compare Final Fantasy 10 with Final Fantasy 13, they were both very linear titles. The difference lies in the amount of freedom the player was given within the confines of this linear path. Something as simple as backtracking made 10's world way more cohesive than 13's. In the end, 13's downfall was the complete unwillingness to give the player *any* sort of choice outside the battle system, but even the battle system was laughably limited.

*
Rep:
Level 97
2010 Best Veteran2014 King of RMRK2014 Favorite Staff Member2014 Best Counsel2014 Best Writer2014 Most Mature Member2014 Best IRC Chatterbox2014 Best Use of Avatar and Signature Space2013 Favorite Staff MemberSecret Santa 2013 ParticipantFor the great victory in the Breakfast War.Secret Santa 2012 Participant2011 Best Counsel2011 Best Writer2010 Best IRC Chatterbox2010 Best Writer
I think it relies on whether the character is you, or whether the character is their own being with standards, thoughts, and independent emotions.

In Fallout 3, it's ok to blow up the city, because everything you do, say, or think, is your own thoughts and it isn't considered out of line. Players have to be given tons of dialogue options, and an excessive amount of freedom of choice for the choices that they make in a game to feel like they matter, and end up changing the overall outcome. Even in Bioshock, your character is silent. The choices you make are of your own thoughts, and this stems from the more RPG like predecessor, System Shock. Something like this stands in the way in say, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, in which Jensen is his own character who vocalizes his own thoughts, but certain choices in dialogue change this and add a little personality. It comes to a conclusion in the ending that the choices you make feel blank, cut and dry, and not a accumulation of the story as a whole. Option A, B, or B (Alternate). A lot of times in games, choices put upon you just feel like an extension of your own choice, and the story works around it.

On the other hand, a set story that is going to play out without change usually ends up being the more appreciated one. The high example is the Last of Us, in which the ending is now famously obtuse against what most players would have done. In the end it was Joel's choice, not the players, as a result of his own experiences as a character in the story. He had independent thought and reactions, and because of this and the way they played out the story in a whole, giving the players time to empathize deeply with both characters and understand the result of the final choice through their eyes and how it got there, it made for the stronger story in the end. Players weren't given a choice just about anywhere in the game, but the excellent writing came together to make something great.

I feel like Sated pretty much hit the hammer on the head, but I thought i'd expose it a little further.
you awoke in a burning paperhouse
from the infinite fields of dreamless sleep

*
The Hero of Rhyme
Rep:
Level 82
( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
2014 Best RPG Maker User - StoryProject of the Year 20142014 Queen of RMRK2011 Best Newbie2014 Best RPG Maker User - Creativity2014 Kindest Member2013 Queen of RMRKBronze SS AuthorBronze Writing ReviewerSecret Santa 2013 ParticipantFor taking arms in the name of your breakfast.GOOD!For frequently finding and reporting spam and spam bots2012 Best Yuyubabe Smiley2012 Best RPG Maker User (Creativity);o
I'd say it all depends on the game. :)

What I mean is that if you want the main protagonist to be a fully-developed character, with individual personality traits and a strong sense of self, then it's probably better to have the storyline be linear. This is because it will be jarring to have the character doing things that go against their personality simply because the player wants to be different. Examples of this include the type of characterisation popularised in the PS1-era Final Fantasy games; can you imagine Squall letting Rinoa float off into space just because the player wanted to be a douche? It wouldn't make any sense!

^This x10000

Some of my favorite games allow me absolutely no control and I'm a-ok with that. I want to experience the world the creator set up and follow along with the plot like a book. It feels more in-depth and natural. Rather than, say, me playing Fable and suddenly turning evil and still having people cheer for me until I kill 100 civilians and outweigh my good points or something. .-. (Note: I was always a good guy in fable 0:3)

Overall, I can enjoy a game of either type. It's just gotta feel right, ya know? Sometimes I want to play some epic in-depth story game. Other times, I want to goof around and see what will happen if I kill Vivec. B)

(I know what happens. I get that dum warning message that I should reload or continue in the doomed world I have created ;_;)
Spoiler for My Games and Art:
ℒℴѵℯ❤


My Artwork Thread

The Lhuvia Tales [Current]

Ambassador [Complete]

The Postman [Complete]

The Wyvern [Complete]

Phoenix Wright: Haunted Turnabout [Complete]

Major Arcana [Cancelled]


*
Rep:
Level 102
2014 Best Non-RM Creator2014 Biggest Forum Potato2014 Biggest Narcissist Award2013 Best IRC Chatterbox2013 Best Game Creator (Non-RM)Participant - GIAW 112012 Best Use Of Avatar and Signature space2012 Funniest Member2012 Most Successful Troll2012 Best IRC ChatterboxSecret Santa 2012 ParticipantProject of the Month winner for November 2009For being a noted contributor to the RMRK Wiki2010 Best IRC Chatterbox2010 Biggest Forum Couch Potato2010 Most Successful Troll
A linear, traditional narrative is almost always stronger than something the player has influence over. The author can build their story around a rigid arc, literary devices such as foreshadowing can be employed, elements and mysteries can be introduced that are guaranteed to be relevant or be illuminated later, et cetera. The more influence you afford the player, the worse your story is going to be, in and of itself.

However, we're talking about video games here. The strength of video games is that they're not fictional narratives. If ten million people play your game, your game doesn't have a story: it has ten million works of non-fiction that belong to your players. I think that we as video game designers should be less focused on what sort of story we want to tell and rather, what sort of environments and scenarios do we want to create in which our players can proactively write their own biographies?

Most of the impactful memories I have from playing video games aren't of cutscenes or text. I remember running a restaurant in Runescape, building a settlement with my friends in Minecraft, exploring the world in The Legend of Zelda, having Boomhauer throw dank hibachi parties at the house I built in The Sims, and so on and so forth.

But none of my examples are of decisions that greatly impact main story. I struggle to think of examples of that (granted, I haven't played a ton of video games). Like, when you blow up Megaton in Fallout 3, the main storyline continues as normal and the only changes within that context that I remember were occasional lines of dialog that told me I did a bad thing. It's just the norm for games to have stories that feel detached from everything you do in the game, and it's understandable, because it's a lot of work to make them truly dynamic.

There are also issues with the way a lot of games handle multiple endings. More often than not, you have one "true" ending and some other endings that you're not supposed to end up with. If I ask you what the ending to Cave Story is, you're not going to tell me that it's Quote flying away on a dragon. I think optimally you should have satisfying endings that are truly reflections of the player.

Also, are video games even a good outlet for a writer to tell a story? We've all played games with good stories, but would they not have been better as movies or television? One of my favorite games is Mother 3, because of the story, but I can't help but think that I might have enjoyed said story better if it were told in a proper linear medium. Is it possible for a linear story to be better because of the gameplay that surrounds it? I think these are important questions to ask.

Yuyu used a shallow karma system in Fable as an example of a game that gives the player authorship over the events that play out, but I don't think that's indicative of influence not being as immersive as linear fiction, but rather a failing on part of the designers. We still have a lot to discover in how to create responsive narratives. Video games are relatively new and we, today's video game designers, have the privilege of being the explorers and the architects of the medium's future. Of course, it's more difficult and more risky than sticking to the eon-old art of linear storytelling, but it's certainly more exciting and meaningful.

Something else worth considering also that's sort of related is that games can take advantage of certain feelings that other mediums either can't do or can't do nearly as well: guilt/remorse, pride, camaraderie. The first one is totally unique to games, I think. I don't recall ever feeling guilty or remorseful for something a character in film, television or literature has done. When a character I feel connected to does something I strongly disagree with, my connection with that character is usually broken and I start judging them more as a viewer than from their point of view. But if I harm a character in a game or burn down my friend's house in Minecraft, I can definitely feel those emotions.

*
The Hero of Rhyme
Rep:
Level 82
( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
2014 Best RPG Maker User - StoryProject of the Year 20142014 Queen of RMRK2011 Best Newbie2014 Best RPG Maker User - Creativity2014 Kindest Member2013 Queen of RMRKBronze SS AuthorBronze Writing ReviewerSecret Santa 2013 ParticipantFor taking arms in the name of your breakfast.GOOD!For frequently finding and reporting spam and spam bots2012 Best Yuyubabe Smiley2012 Best RPG Maker User (Creativity);o
Yuyu used a shallow karma system in Fable as an example of a game that gives the player authorship over the events that play out, but I don't think that's indicative of influence not being as immersive as linear fiction, but rather a failing on part of the designers.

That was on purpose. :B I picked the most ridiculous "example" I could think of, because Fable seemed to be so heavily marketed on their "choice system".
Note: I still love [the first] Fable.

Regarding choice vs. linear gameplay, I think it's fair to say that both sides of the coin are filled with equal potential (when executed properly in a game).
Spoiler for My Games and Art:
ℒℴѵℯ❤


My Artwork Thread

The Lhuvia Tales [Current]

Ambassador [Complete]

The Postman [Complete]

The Wyvern [Complete]

Phoenix Wright: Haunted Turnabout [Complete]

Major Arcana [Cancelled]


*
Rep:
Level 102
2014 Best Non-RM Creator2014 Biggest Forum Potato2014 Biggest Narcissist Award2013 Best IRC Chatterbox2013 Best Game Creator (Non-RM)Participant - GIAW 112012 Best Use Of Avatar and Signature space2012 Funniest Member2012 Most Successful Troll2012 Best IRC ChatterboxSecret Santa 2012 ParticipantProject of the Month winner for November 2009For being a noted contributor to the RMRK Wiki2010 Best IRC Chatterbox2010 Biggest Forum Couch Potato2010 Most Successful Troll
I'm not so sure they do have equal potential in games. I think you're inherently making sacrifices with your story by having it be in the format of a video game. All of the best linear stories are in literature, theater, film and television. I've thought about this a lot and I can't think of any instances where a linear story would be better suited for a video game.

So either a diluted linear story in a game is as good as a game that embraces the pure essence of the medium (choice), or a linear story in a video game can be as good as the crèam de la crème of the aforementioned linear formats. I find both of those notions hard to accept. I feel that video games that give the player co-authorship have the potential of being as good as linear storytelling that's in a linear format, but that the best non-linearly structured game will trump the best linearly structured game.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2015, 10:40:35 PM by Irock »

*
The Hero of Rhyme
Rep:
Level 82
( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
2014 Best RPG Maker User - StoryProject of the Year 20142014 Queen of RMRK2011 Best Newbie2014 Best RPG Maker User - Creativity2014 Kindest Member2013 Queen of RMRKBronze SS AuthorBronze Writing ReviewerSecret Santa 2013 ParticipantFor taking arms in the name of your breakfast.GOOD!For frequently finding and reporting spam and spam bots2012 Best Yuyubabe Smiley2012 Best RPG Maker User (Creativity);o
I didn't mean just story potential, but the combination of gameplay and story working together (or even lack thereof for games like Smash Bros). It really would be better to read a book or watch a movie for an entire focus on story. The reason I like to play games is to take part in the experience, with some combination of reading/watching it unfold. My favorite games series' are Fire Emblem and Phoenix Wright - both very linear games. Sure, I play them for what I consider to be good stories, but a lot of it also has to do with gameplay. I also play and enjoy plenty of non-linear games that have less focus on story. It depends on the combination and how well it works with the specific game, as well as the preference of who's playing it.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2015, 12:41:01 AM by yuyu! »
Spoiler for My Games and Art:
ℒℴѵℯ❤


My Artwork Thread

The Lhuvia Tales [Current]

Ambassador [Complete]

The Postman [Complete]

The Wyvern [Complete]

Phoenix Wright: Haunted Turnabout [Complete]

Major Arcana [Cancelled]


*
A-pow 2015
Rep:
Level 81
2014 Best RPG Maker User - GraphicsFor frequently finding and reporting spam and spam bots2013 Most Unsung MemberSecret Santa 2013 ParticipantFor taking arms in the name of your breakfast.a^2 + b^2 = c^2How can I help you? :DSecret Santa 2012 ParticipantSilver - GIAW 10Silver - GIAW 9Bronze - GIAW HalloweenGold - Game In A Week VII
Also, are video games even a good outlet for a writer to tell a story? We've all played games with good stories, but would they not have been better as movies or television? One of my favorite games is Mother 3, because of the story, but I can't help but think that I might have enjoyed said story better if it were told in a proper linear medium. Is it possible for a linear story to be better because of the gameplay that surrounds it? I think these are important questions to ask.


I'm not so sure they do have equal potential in games. I think you're inherently making sacrifices with your story by having it be in the format of a video game. All of the best linear stories are in literature, theater, film and television. I've thought about this a lot and I can't think of any instances where a linear story would be better suited for a video game.

So either a diluted linear story in a game is as good as a game that embraces the pure essence of the medium (choice), or a linear story in a video game can be as good as the crèam de la crème of the aforementioned linear formats. I find both of those notions hard to accept. I feel that video games that give the player co-authorship have the potential of being as good as linear storytelling that's in a linear format, but that the best non-linearly structured game will trump the best linearly structured game.

I feel like you're not grasping the full potential that interactivity can have on a narrative.

Something else worth considering also that's sort of related is that games can take advantage of certain feelings that other mediums either can't do or can't do nearly as well: guilt/remorse, pride, camaraderie. The first one is totally unique to games, I think. I don't recall ever feeling guilty or remorseful for something a character in film, television or literature has done. When a character I feel connected to does something I strongly disagree with, my connection with that character is usually broken and I start judging them more as a viewer than from their point of view. But if I harm a character in a game or burn down my friend's house in Minecraft, I can definitely feel those emotions.

You're starting to hit upon it here. Let's talk about Metal Gear Solid 3. In case you haven't played it (You better have played it  :mad:), the ending involves shooting someone close to you. You literally can't continue until you shoot them, and the game makes you pull the trigger. It's the saddest fucking thing I've ever done in a video game. It could've easily been a cutscene, but it wouldn't have the same punch to it at all.

This is what video games can do that movies and novels can't. They make you participate. They make you feel responsible for your actions. You can watch a movie about someone losing a loved one and feel sad about it, but a video game makes it your loved one, regardless of whether or not your protagonist is a blank slate or cloud strife. You put yourself in the character's shoes. Do you have to micromanage every single story decision to feel like you have any affect on the world? No, of course not. Even in real life, our stories aren't entirely of our own design. We don't get to pick our gender or skin color, or where we live. We can't choose to end world hunger or blow up the white house. Well, you could I suppose, but you probably wouldn't get very far in either endeavor.

My point is, everyone so far is talking about all of this as if it's such a clear cut black and white divide between linearity and freedom. It isn't, and it shouldn't be.




*
Rep:
Level 102
2014 Best Non-RM Creator2014 Biggest Forum Potato2014 Biggest Narcissist Award2013 Best IRC Chatterbox2013 Best Game Creator (Non-RM)Participant - GIAW 112012 Best Use Of Avatar and Signature space2012 Funniest Member2012 Most Successful Troll2012 Best IRC ChatterboxSecret Santa 2012 ParticipantProject of the Month winner for November 2009For being a noted contributor to the RMRK Wiki2010 Best IRC Chatterbox2010 Biggest Forum Couch Potato2010 Most Successful Troll
I didn't mean just story potential, but the combination of gameplay and story working together (or even lack thereof for games like Smash Bros). It really would be better to read a book or watch a movie for an entire focus on story. The reason I like to play games is to take part in the experience, with some combination of reading/watching it unfold. My favorite games series' are Fire Emblem and Phoenix Wright - both very linear games. Sure, I play them for what I consider to be good stories, but a lot of it also has to do with gameplay. I also play and enjoy plenty of non-linear games that have less focus on story. It depends on the combination and how well it works with the specific game, as well as the preference of who's playing it.
Do you think Phoenix Wright and Fire Emblem would be worse if their stories were more dynamic? (I haven't played either, for the record). I assume you don't think their stories and the way they're presented are on par with a good movie, so wouldn't having influence over how things play out help give these stories an edge over movies? Suddenly, we wouldn't be comparing apples to apples, because a story in which you take part in is clearly distinguished from linear media.

You're starting to hit upon it here. Let's talk about Metal Gear Solid 3. In case you haven't played it (You better have played it  :mad:), the ending involves shooting someone close to you. You literally can't continue until you shoot them, and the game makes you pull the trigger. It's the saddest fucking thing I've ever done in a video game. It could've easily been a cutscene, but it wouldn't have the same punch to it at all.

This is what video games can do that movies and novels can't. They make you participate. They make you feel responsible for your actions. You can watch a movie about someone losing a loved one and feel sad about it, but a video game makes it your loved one, regardless of whether or not your protagonist is a blank slate or cloud strife. You put yourself in the character's shoes. Do you have to micromanage every single story decision to feel like you have any affect on the world? No, of course not. Even in real life, our stories aren't entirely of our own design. We don't get to pick our gender or skin color, or where we live. We can't choose to end world hunger or blow up the white house. Well, you could I suppose, but you probably wouldn't get very far in either endeavor.

My point is, everyone so far is talking about all of this as if it's such a clear cut black and white divide between linearity and freedom. It isn't, and it shouldn't be.
I think you've misunderstood me. I'm not suggesting that all, or even most games, should let you do whatever you want. As I said, the job of a game designer is to decide what environments and scenarios we want to create in which the player can express themselves through their actions. That implies constraining the player. But I find that most video games are too constraining when it comes to their narrative.

Also maybe you don't become immersed the way I do in movies, because I usually find myself in the character's shoes. If a friend of the protagonist dies in a film, it's as if my friend died (provided they did a good enough job). I don't think playing as someone necessarily makes you more attached to said character, as in, controlling them during gameplay. I do, however, think that playing as a character you helped mold through your choices can give you greater attachment.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2015, 03:07:14 AM by Irock »

*
The Hero of Rhyme
Rep:
Level 82
( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
2014 Best RPG Maker User - StoryProject of the Year 20142014 Queen of RMRK2011 Best Newbie2014 Best RPG Maker User - Creativity2014 Kindest Member2013 Queen of RMRKBronze SS AuthorBronze Writing ReviewerSecret Santa 2013 ParticipantFor taking arms in the name of your breakfast.GOOD!For frequently finding and reporting spam and spam bots2012 Best Yuyubabe Smiley2012 Best RPG Maker User (Creativity);o
Do you think Phoenix Wright and Fire Emblem would be worse if their stories were more dynamic? (I haven't played either, for the record). I assume you don't think their stories and the way they're presented are on par with a good movie, so wouldn't having influence over how things play out help give these stories an edge over movies? Suddenly, we wouldn't be comparing apples to apples, because a story in which you take part in is clearly distinguished from linear media.

I'm not arguing that choice isn't fun, but it's really hard to say whether or not its meant for every game. Some games seem like they're better off without choices, whereas others are extremely fun because of choices.
Spoiler for My Games and Art:
ℒℴѵℯ❤


My Artwork Thread

The Lhuvia Tales [Current]

Ambassador [Complete]

The Postman [Complete]

The Wyvern [Complete]

Phoenix Wright: Haunted Turnabout [Complete]

Major Arcana [Cancelled]


*
Rep:
Level 102
2014 Best Non-RM Creator2014 Biggest Forum Potato2014 Biggest Narcissist Award2013 Best IRC Chatterbox2013 Best Game Creator (Non-RM)Participant - GIAW 112012 Best Use Of Avatar and Signature space2012 Funniest Member2012 Most Successful Troll2012 Best IRC ChatterboxSecret Santa 2012 ParticipantProject of the Month winner for November 2009For being a noted contributor to the RMRK Wiki2010 Best IRC Chatterbox2010 Biggest Forum Couch Potato2010 Most Successful Troll
Do you think Phoenix Wright and Fire Emblem would be worse if their stories were more dynamic? (I haven't played either, for the record). I assume you don't think their stories and the way they're presented are on par with a good movie, so wouldn't having influence over how things play out help give these stories an edge over movies? Suddenly, we wouldn't be comparing apples to apples, because a story in which you take part in is clearly distinguished from linear media.

I'm not arguing that choice isn't fun, but it's really hard to say whether or not its meant for every game. Some games seem like they're better off without choices, whereas others are extremely fun because of choices.
Like what?

*
The Hero of Rhyme
Rep:
Level 82
( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
2014 Best RPG Maker User - StoryProject of the Year 20142014 Queen of RMRK2011 Best Newbie2014 Best RPG Maker User - Creativity2014 Kindest Member2013 Queen of RMRKBronze SS AuthorBronze Writing ReviewerSecret Santa 2013 ParticipantFor taking arms in the name of your breakfast.GOOD!For frequently finding and reporting spam and spam bots2012 Best Yuyubabe Smiley2012 Best RPG Maker User (Creativity);o
Phoenix Wright and Profession Layton specifically come to mind, because the entire foundation of those games are based on strictly right/wrong answers. You have to present the right evidence and solve the puzzles correctly to progress with the game. There's not really much room for options.

But now that I think about it, Fire Emblem is a good example of a fairly linear game with some choice elements mixed in. You have the freedom to let your fighters die and continue the game without them. Then any conversations surrounding that character are changed to accommodate that death. You also have the choice to pair characters together, and some of them can even get married at the end of the game.
Spoiler for My Games and Art:
ℒℴѵℯ❤


My Artwork Thread

The Lhuvia Tales [Current]

Ambassador [Complete]

The Postman [Complete]

The Wyvern [Complete]

Phoenix Wright: Haunted Turnabout [Complete]

Major Arcana [Cancelled]


*
A-pow 2015
Rep:
Level 81
2014 Best RPG Maker User - GraphicsFor frequently finding and reporting spam and spam bots2013 Most Unsung MemberSecret Santa 2013 ParticipantFor taking arms in the name of your breakfast.a^2 + b^2 = c^2How can I help you? :DSecret Santa 2012 ParticipantSilver - GIAW 10Silver - GIAW 9Bronze - GIAW HalloweenGold - Game In A Week VII
I think we're getting hung up on what is and isn't a "choice". Phoenix Wright has tons of choices, they just all eventually lead to the same outcome. Even getting things wrong gives you amusing little dialogue snippets you'd miss otherwise. Professor Layton has a bunch of extra puzzles and coins to collect, people to talk to, etc.

Imagine if these games were truly linear. By that I mean full on press A to continue visual novel mode with no deviations whatsoever. They wouldn't have any of the fun surprises to discover. They wouldn't be games.

*
my name is Timothy what's yours
Rep:
Level 79
Hello
2014 Zero to Hero2014 Best IRC Quote2014 Most Missed Member2012 Zero To HeroSecret Santa 2012 ParticipantContestant - GIAW 9For frequently finding and reporting spam and spam bots2011 Zero to Hero
Imagine if these games were truly linear. By that I mean full on press A to continue visual novel mode with no deviations whatsoever. They wouldn't have any of the fun surprises to discover. They wouldn't be games.
as much as i understand (and pretty much agree with) your point, you sound as though you think a surprise can't be delivered or discovered in a film or novel - or any linear artform. i very much disagree with that (if that is what you're saying). consider A Song of Ice and Fire, a series which has had people boiling over mysteries for nigh on 20 years now. there are hints in the subtext strewn throughout five books which point heavily towards certain outcomes. i won't give any examples because geez, spoilers much, but believe me when i say that GRRM manages to follow the same principle of "rewarding exploration" in the sense of paying close attention to details. that would be a surprise delivered neatly through a completely non-participatory medium.

recently i had an argument with a friend about Proteus - that game where you play as a first-person camera walking through a stylised and mystical world. no information is given to you textually, in fact, there is no pretext given at all. you're simply dropped in the ocean facing a large island. my friend was trying to tell me that Proteus was not a game. while i understand the general gesture of his point and the idea behind it, in my mind there was not a single box Proteus does not tick. it is most certainly not entirely conventional, there aren't any intrinsic obstacles to overcome, there's only movement controls, there's no given context for the events of the game. but there is still interactivity and choice - you choose to walk towards the island, you choose to follow a trail of sparkling dust, you choose to stand still as the world changes around you.

what was my point again i got lost and i'm hungover don't blame me you don't know my story
« Last Edit: August 16, 2015, 01:52:15 AM by paccles »

*
A-pow 2015
Rep:
Level 81
2014 Best RPG Maker User - GraphicsFor frequently finding and reporting spam and spam bots2013 Most Unsung MemberSecret Santa 2013 ParticipantFor taking arms in the name of your breakfast.a^2 + b^2 = c^2How can I help you? :DSecret Santa 2012 ParticipantSilver - GIAW 10Silver - GIAW 9Bronze - GIAW HalloweenGold - Game In A Week VII
Oh, I wasn't saying that novels and movies can't have interesting discoveries or twists. I'm just saying, they're not games. You said it yourself, interactivity and choice are what make a game. Just because a choice doesn't change the overall outcome doesn't make it any less of a choice, and having choices doesn't necessarily lessen the quality of a narrative. In fact, I would say many times it makes the narrative even better.

*
my name is Timothy what's yours
Rep:
Level 79
Hello
2014 Zero to Hero2014 Best IRC Quote2014 Most Missed Member2012 Zero To HeroSecret Santa 2012 ParticipantContestant - GIAW 9For frequently finding and reporting spam and spam bots2011 Zero to Hero
okie :)

i just like going on about proteus because that one friend still disagrees with me and i have trouble seeing why
like is my point not valid or is he just an idiot
one of us is wrong and i need my friends to tell me it's not me

*
A-pow 2015
Rep:
Level 81
2014 Best RPG Maker User - GraphicsFor frequently finding and reporting spam and spam bots2013 Most Unsung MemberSecret Santa 2013 ParticipantFor taking arms in the name of your breakfast.a^2 + b^2 = c^2How can I help you? :DSecret Santa 2012 ParticipantSilver - GIAW 10Silver - GIAW 9Bronze - GIAW HalloweenGold - Game In A Week VII
Your friend is dumb and he should feel dumb.  :)

*
Rep:
Level 102
2014 Best Non-RM Creator2014 Biggest Forum Potato2014 Biggest Narcissist Award2013 Best IRC Chatterbox2013 Best Game Creator (Non-RM)Participant - GIAW 112012 Best Use Of Avatar and Signature space2012 Funniest Member2012 Most Successful Troll2012 Best IRC ChatterboxSecret Santa 2012 ParticipantProject of the Month winner for November 2009For being a noted contributor to the RMRK Wiki2010 Best IRC Chatterbox2010 Biggest Forum Couch Potato2010 Most Successful Troll
Your friend isn't necessarily dumb. The opinions amongst game designers vary on this subject. There are smart, thoughtful people who have very precise definitions on the word. e.g.

*
my name is Timothy what's yours
Rep:
Level 79
Hello
2014 Zero to Hero2014 Best IRC Quote2014 Most Missed Member2012 Zero To HeroSecret Santa 2012 ParticipantContestant - GIAW 9For frequently finding and reporting spam and spam bots2011 Zero to Hero
that is a very refreshing and helpful analysis. i like it when things are broken in to similarly stacked piles where every category has analogous elements to every other category. the only criticism i'd have is it seems to imply that all games are or involve contests or competition. it doesn't explicitly say that, and i doubt that even if that is their point it would be that simple, but i would readily disagree with anyone who tells me that.

considering the game at hand, i can't see how Proteus doesn't tick each of those boxes, and hold all of those values. as noted in the page you linked, games are going to differ greatly in how they weigh each of the aspects listed. Proteus is designed more around the "toy" component, and least around "contest".
i simply can't comprehend why he adamantly insists that Proteus is not a game. is it because you can't shoot things? is it because there's no explicit story? something doesn't need those things to be a game ;9

also you don't know him but there are other things that would tip you off that he's a bit of an idiot