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[Talking about CYOAs] Now with scripts to automate the boring bits

2

Posts

  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    The Ender wrote: »
    What kind of stuff could asset tokens have been used for?

    Were we as completely fucked as it seemed?

    Orbital bombardment, instant unit reinforcement, brokering alliances with KaTs, engaging in my elaborate diplomatic model which you guys never made any use of because you never visited other KaTs. :P
    So my big question to ender is how did we do? Did we make any really bad decisions?

    You didn't form a convoy with other KaTs, which is something you were supposed to do before triggering the war. I think the American fleet was going to smash your shit in, to be honest: You didn't have the air force or AAA you were supposed to have.
    Man, I think if we had formed up with another KaT (or multiple KaTs) the game would have ended even sooner. Look at all the crap you tracked for just our lone KaT. Trying to track all that for multiple KaTs... my brain hurts just thinking about it.
    I think we may have also jumped the gun on revealing ourselves with the abduction disk raid. Could have used a bit more time to build up an airforce or research some AA tanks or something.

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo When life gives you lemons... ...eat your delicious lemonsRegistered User regular
    The other day I decided to sit down and sketch out some mechanics for the dungeon crawling CYOA I had in mind. I got as far as labelling three different gameplay phases and then realised that what I was doing was subject to really odd limitations that I just wasn't happy with for this type of game, but which might work for something more board game-y.

    So, rather than do that (I mentioned the general concept before. A cursed city sending heroes into a dungeon. So it starts with a town phase which is a 4x type affair. Then the hero goes dungeoneering until he dies/escapes. Then there's a meta-game phase set in some kind of bureaucratic heaven/hell thing which reshapes the dungeons and gamerules slightly), I was thinking about other types of game.

    My real intention is to avoid doing another 4x. I don't want to run a reskinned Space Australia. I want to do something different.

    To that end, I was thinking about how lots of people said it was the narrative that was the best part of Space Australia. I got to wondering about doing some kind of single hero RPG. This way, I don't have to dick around too much with mechanics (I can just use D&D, or whatever) and focus on a story, stopping every time there is a significant decision to be made. Does this sound interesting at all?

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • TipharethTiphareth Registered User regular
    It sounds interesting! I'll play it for one.

    Also, making CYOAs is hard. I'm totally stuck, I could rip off Enders mechanics, but that feels cheap as hell.

  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    It sounds interesting to me, but I'm easily amused most of the time.
    I think keeping it with just one hero as an adventurer may limit the community input though, which is (in my opinion) the main draw of CYOA posts. It's hard to do the whole self-insertion thing in a CYOA when there's only one character. You might run into a few NPCs or something, but it'd be hard to add to a narrative using the occasional NPC encounter.

    Maybe as a compromise, instead of a single hero doing the dungeon thing, maybe it could be an undefined group of adventurers? So, if a reader wanted to write, say, a journal entry from the party cleric bitching about having to heal the idiot with the sword one more time they could do so without getting reminded that our hero isn't a cleric, but a bog-standard fighter. Sounds like it might be fun, I'd think about running it myself, but I have the attention span of an ADD magpie on crack when it comes to these things...so yeah, not likely to happen from me.

    It'd be a bit more complex then just a single character though, which may be a problem. It seems that complexity tends to kill games.

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    I wouldn't say that complexity kills games; bookkeeping kills games. So the trick is to try and add complexity without adding a lot of bookkeeping.

    TOG Solid wrote:
    If that guy wasn't white he would have gotten popped by so many tasers simultaneously that Marvel could use that as the new origin for Electro.
  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo When life gives you lemons... ...eat your delicious lemonsRegistered User regular
    edited April 2012
    The Ender wrote: »
    I wouldn't say that complexity kills games; bookkeeping kills games. So the trick is to try and add complexity without adding a lot of bookkeeping.
    That is pretty much it in a nutshell.

    Although I'd say complexity limits how welcoming the game is to new players. That is more of a choice though, do you want anybody to be able to stroll in and take part or would you prefer a smaller, more focused group of players.
    see317 wrote: »
    It sounds interesting to me, but I'm easily amused most of the time.
    I think keeping it with just one hero as an adventurer may limit the community input though, which is (in my opinion) the main draw of CYOA posts. It's hard to do the whole self-insertion thing in a CYOA when there's only one character. You might run into a few NPCs or something, but it'd be hard to add to a narrative using the occasional NPC encounter.

    Hmmm. This is a good point which I'd not considered at all. I suppose that was the advantage of a game about a colony, the individuals were just fluff so it was fine for you lot to make them up on the fly. Running a full party doesn't interest me though, it's too much like trying to reinvent the wheel.

    Mojo_Jojo on
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  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    Although I'd say complexity limits how welcoming the game is to new players. That is more of a choice though, do you want anybody to be able to stroll in and take part or would you prefer a smaller, more focused group of players.

    Yes, although you can sort-of fix this by just having the complexity 'ramp up' as the game progresses. Space Australia did this really well, I thought.

    TOG Solid wrote:
    If that guy wasn't white he would have gotten popped by so many tasers simultaneously that Marvel could use that as the new origin for Electro.
  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo When life gives you lemons... ...eat your delicious lemonsRegistered User regular
    While I said that I was interested in heading for something more fantastic if I was to run another CYOA, I have been caught up in Xcom related hubub.

    I think I could commit to three updates a week. That is less than half what Space Australia ran at, but I think it might be enough to a) Stop me burning out and b) Keep the game alive

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo When life gives you lemons... ...eat your delicious lemonsRegistered User regular
    I decided to take a punt.

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • TheRoadVirusTheRoadVirus ASK ME ABOUT MY PODCASTRegistered User regular
    I think I'm going to let my CYOA stay dead for the time being. I dont have the time to devote to it that I thought I did. It was really fun to work on my writing and I loved seeing people enthusiastic about it. Gotta work on my long game for a while! Seems my things that run longer than usual die out early.

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  • zekebeauzekebeau Registered User regular
    @TheRoadVirus, we loved the game and had some great times. I understand how work gets you down though, so just wanted to say thanks for all the effort you put in. Maybe we can start back after you get some more time. If not, would love to see some of the ideas you had kicking around.

  • TheRoadVirusTheRoadVirus ASK ME ABOUT MY PODCASTRegistered User regular
    I still have the map in my desk! Hopefully once life settles down and job is a bit less demanding on time I can start it back up or something.

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  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo When life gives you lemons... ...eat your delicious lemonsRegistered User regular
    I am a interested to know how much planning you did. Was it wholly off the cuff or were there certain bits that you had planned out more fully?

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
    Cayrus
  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo When life gives you lemons... ...eat your delicious lemonsRegistered User regular
    I was hoping @TheRoadVirus might have had a little more to say about his grand plans. Ah well.

    Anyhow, I was doing some thinking today and realised that I missed a trick with the way I do things in my games. I'm not going to use this in Space Invaders, it's too late. But I am curious whether it's a terrible idea: Achievements. Little bonuses (extra cash, RP, EP, whatever is suitable) when the players hit goals. It kind of comes from somebody (I can't remember who exactly) talking about this being how they dealt with levelling up in their own games (those games possibly being D&D and using this rather than xp points)

    The way I'd structure this would be to use the second post in the thread as a tracker for achievements. I wouldn't want to nail them all down from the off, everybody likes the unexpected, but I you'd have things like "Snappy Title: Shoot down an alien craft", "Other Snappy Title: Earn more than 25 RP in a single turn" and so on.

    Giving out bonuses is good fun. In Space Australia these were always extra actions in a turn, where somebody who had won some kind of contest got to effectively have their way parallel to the vote. In Space Invaders I spiced it up by offering other prizes in the sole contest I ran. The winner got to choose from a few special bonuses and every participant got what was effectively an action card allowing them to triple the value of their vote at some point in the future. Both of these worked well and were far more entertaining than how I'd done things previously.

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • TheRoadVirusTheRoadVirus ASK ME ABOUT MY PODCASTRegistered User regular
    Cheevos are awesome, and encourage people to try unorthodox methods on occasion. Would you have an achievement list or have them hidden until they were earned?

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  • TheRoadVirusTheRoadVirus ASK ME ABOUT MY PODCASTRegistered User regular
    Also sorry for the lack of discussion haha. I was a bit bummed out about letting the cyoa die. I liked where things were going, but I think I would change a few things. If/when I do another I may make it a bit more free-form I guess? Have one thing that must be chosen from a list and one that people can just brainstorm stuff to do. I have tons of ideas kicking around in my head but have trouble translating them to sensible mechanics. Something I wanna improve

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  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo When life gives you lemons... ...eat your delicious lemonsRegistered User regular
    I'm not sure really. Maybe having a list of their snappy names rather than the conditions and rewards would be the most entertaining.

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
    TheRoadVirus
  • TheRoadVirusTheRoadVirus ASK ME ABOUT MY PODCASTRegistered User regular
    That's a good idea. Maybe have the name be a vague allusion to the achievement.
    "Flyswatter" for shooting down a ship

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  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo When life gives you lemons... ...eat your delicious lemonsRegistered User regular
    Exactly. Oh well, if Space Invaders doesn't kill me I'll do for the next one. It may be set on a submarine with a shocking amount of Scotsmen aboard.
    Also sorry for the lack of discussion haha. I was a bit bummed out about letting the cyoa die. I liked where things were going, but I think I would change a few things. If/when I do another I may make it a bit more free-form I guess? Have one thing that must be chosen from a list and one that people can just brainstorm stuff to do. I have tons of ideas kicking around in my head but have trouble translating them to sensible mechanics. Something I wanna improve
    I worry too much about mechanics. This is possibly one of the reasons why I end up having to deal with awful, clunky mechanics in my games.

    Feel free to share any ramblings here and I'm sure will people will do their best to make your ideas work.

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo When life gives you lemons... ...eat your delicious lemonsRegistered User regular
    Space Invaders Retrospective : Or flogging a dead horse

    A week or so ago I killed off Space Invaders. I think it's worthwhile for me to post my thoughts on the various mistakes I made and how I believe they contributed ultimately the game not becoming fun (for me).

    You need the players to engage with the game
    This is pretty obvious, but players that don't really buy-in will wander off. You want them to do more than just vote (although having people that just post A(7) every update is A-OK), you want them to argue and speculate.

    The way I screwed this up was with my lack of character focus which made it harder for the players to engage and start creating their own tales.

    Telling a tale should be about the people involved
    Too much of the game was a general "amorphous good-guys versus amorphous badguys". Really, I should have nailed it right down to a few characters from the off. That was why Space Australia did so well. It had several characters and factions who were loved by all, and crucially who appeared to have their own agendas and lives outside of the game.

    I only really noticed this a good way in, which was a complete cock-up on my part. And it trickled down into the players struggling to have anything to grab hold of. I think the Generalmajor (Or Majorgeneral) was the only character supplied by the players in this one. Or the only one that I used.

    I've never really managed to strike the levels of engagement that the SE++ CYOAs have seen, which is a shame. But that is the goal. You want players telling their own stories, producing art and so on.

    Don't allow the middle road
    CYOAs are about making decisions. Something that really came to light in Space Invaders was that when confronted with A or B, players wanted to choose A and B. This means that decision is worthless and there was no point voting.

    I allowed the middle road too often, and it made things a bit pedestrian. I think the best approach though is to make it clear that choosing A and B is less efficient so there's an attached cost as you try to do everything at once. Let the players choose "both" if they like but have it have its own cost. Or have it carry all of the risks as well as all of the reward.

    It just boils down to more carefully choosing what the options are when you're writing up a post.

    I think I really dislike writing combat posts
    I broke Space Invaders down into Combat and Overworld updates to try and make each update smaller and reduce my workload. The problem is that I really loathed writing those combat updates, so I put it off.

    This is more of a personal thing, but I think in future I'd have just abstracted this a lot more so I didn't have to dwell on it.

    A 4X is an excellent thing to ape, whatever genre you'd call XCOM was less suitable
    Essentially, I tied my own hands by wanting to replicate XCOM. I just don't think it suits the format.

    A 4X has discrete turns which mean it's very easy to run. XCOM has turn-based combat which you enter into as you like (pretty much) on a real-time overworld. So managing resources to intercept aliens and so on started to feel forced (aliens always struck simultaneously so there was a question about which ones you were going to shoot down - this really felt artificial)

    You need to be posting at least 3 times a week
    When I ran Space Australia I was a gentleman of leisure (unemployed bum) and so could merrily post pretty much everyday. This is the ideal.

    When I ran Space Invaders I was gainfully employed. So I went to work a bit early to try and post, but found that I inevitably didn't have enough time (i.e. I was distracted by work). Posting at home on a regular basis also wasn't possible due to being generally too tired to think and then at the weekends I'd usually be trying to have fun out and about.

    So, essentially, you need time. At least, three regular uninterrupted hours a week. That sounds like nothing, but finding three creative hours is hard.

    What I did better than in Space Australia
    Giving out triple votes to players who engaged was something I was unsure about. Only one was used (or the two given) but it worked very nicely. I was a little concerned that rewarding older players might put off the new. This didn't seem to happen. Maybe.

    Passive research. By that I mean choosing projects and earning RP each turn rather than choosing "Research" as an action. I quite liked this. I don't think active research is bad ,but I think passive can very easily work.


    That's all that springs to mind. Maybe I'm wrong and made vast mistakes that people would care to point out. Please, do be critical. I hope that these rambles do help people when they come to run their own games.

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • zekebeauzekebeau Registered User regular
    As a longtime player in Space Invaders, just wanted to repeat how much your work was appreciated, it was certainly a fun game.

    I'd agree with the focus on characters, but I wonder what you could have done to incentivize player provided content. In SA, you had people supplying weird history and backgrounds, but we kinda dropped the ball for Space Invaders. You definatly tried hard, with Fish and Chia and the scientists. I think Rook was the one you breathed the most life into.

    Also, seeing quite a few CYOAs, it seems the combat is always what kills the poster in the end. It almost always gets too long and/or complicated. I think keeping the number of units artifically low and having a straightforward system ahead of time could really help. Maybe even keep it as simple as Risk style fights, after all these usually revolve around the tech tree, not the combat.

    Finally, I'd say I loved when you let us take a middle road. Almost always, it lead to us arguing about how it would be set up and trying to figure out a way to accomplish the task. Like having the Chinese use regular artillary to slow the Cube, we talked for many posts on low yield nukes and defense. It was fun.

    Snicketysnickjakobagger
  • SnicketysnickSnicketysnick Why is there a G in night? Registered User regular
    Passive research was a great idea I think, not only did it let the story keep moving by allowing us to take actions, it also added an interesting opportunity cost : do we research this quick, short term project, or go for a much larger upgrade and lock ourselves out for several turns. That element of risk is a real asset, but I can see that it can interrupt certain plot points if players do not pick the "correct" tasks. Perhaps something like adding in a sliding research bonus would help with that problem, letting players clear up very early techs quickly if they need to go back? I know this is something that should be corrected by better research resources, but a sort of "eureka bonus" that would clear a low level tech and get things moving might be a useful tool to have behind the DM screen.

    I was probably the worst person to get a triple vote :P I'm the sort of guy who will finish something like resident evil with a suitcase full of magnum ammo because what if there's something horrible around the corner and this pistol is working out ok so far. I'm sure it would have got used eventually though, at a suitably dramatic moment.

    I did like Rook, probably because he felt so helpless, the ultimate wrong-place-wrong-time situation for him, but it was his whole life. Poor guy :(

    I'm not sure what you can do about engagement though, it seems that these games live and die in their first few weeks, where you hope to get a critical mass of players who will feed on themselves. At least, that is what seemed to happen with Space Australia, I joined that after the first week or so I think and there were (or it felt like) about twice the players there, which lends itself to arguments/debates. The Invaders game seemed to have a handful of players, but didn't really grow for some reason, which is a shame because it was fun! It makes me wonder if in that situation, transitioning people to be almost department heads would promote debate as you wouldn't be reliant of consensus for voting. (ie one player is in charge of research, has to talk to the guy in charge of troops and accommodate her, as well as keeping the budget guy happy). The overhead on that is most likely insane though, so not the best idea.

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  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    I'm not sure what you can do about engagement though, it seems that these games live and die in their first few weeks, where you hope to get a critical mass of players who will feed on themselves. At least, that is what seemed to happen with Space Australia, I joined that after the first week or so I think and there were (or it felt like) about twice the players there, which lends itself to arguments/debates. The Invaders game seemed to have a handful of players, but didn't really grow for some reason, which is a shame because it was fun! It makes me wonder if in that situation, transitioning people to be almost department heads would promote debate as you wouldn't be reliant of consensus for voting. (ie one player is in charge of research, has to talk to the guy in charge of troops and accommodate her, as well as keeping the budget guy happy). The overhead on that is most likely insane though, so not the best idea.

    Yeah, engagement is tough, especially when you're comparing it to SE++, just due to the population difference.
    If 1 percent of SE++ joins in a CYOA and gets deeply engaged, that's going to be a considerable core of players.
    If a game in CF get's 1 percent of the population to deep engagement (I mean beyond just voting), that's only 1 or 2 people. Enough to keep a game going for a while, but if they get busy at work, or distracted by another game or something...

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo When life gives you lemons... ...eat your delicious lemonsRegistered User regular
    I think you guys have hit it on the head with engagement being a function of the number of players. That said, I think it's something that a game has to maximise, although possibly it's more about getting that initial large draw than anything else. That said, from playing in CYOAs I've found that I'm not a very engaged player. I am the faceless mass who just pops in every few turns and votes with little to no commentary.

    The comments of how you found trying to come up with a rationale for taking a middle road option is also eye-opening.

    Rook was actually born from my initial realisation that my characters were all a bit flat. So I needed one who had a bit of a different voice. It sounds like I kind of managed that, which is really good to hear.

    As I mentioned previously, running a CYOA is pretty time consuming (although so much less than a PBP). Annoyingly it's actually too time consuming for me at the moment. That said, I've got shitloads of ideas for similar games. Most do keep some kind of management/4X elements, but I think that I would like to move away from "remake Game X in CYOA format". Not that that is bad at all, I just fancy something different.

    @electricitylikesme suggested he want to do some kind of Space Australia follow up (which you may remember must be called 2 Space 2 Australia)

    Or maybe I'd be able to do something in tandem with somebody else. Or maybe not. I'm not really sure if that would work out very nicely.

    Still, I'm keen for other people to try and run their own games. There's not actually one going on in this forum at the moment.

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • Iron WeaselIron Weasel Dillon! You son of a bitch!Registered User regular
    I really like the idea of running a CYOA, but I don’t think I could commit the time required on my own.

    Like Mojo, I don’t know if this is a format that lends itself well to co-hosting, but it would be interesting to talk it out with someone.

    At any rate, I do appreciate the work that goes into keeping a CYOA going for any length of time and salute the hosts for their efforts.

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  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo When life gives you lemons... ...eat your delicious lemonsRegistered User regular
    I think off loading combat posts to the second DM (or Runner or whatever you want to call the deluded idiots who start these games) could be a viable structure.

    I keep pondering something like Necromunda or Mordheim. A take of one gang's rise to power in some kind of apocalyptic scenario.

    Alternatively. If I throw away mechanics I wouldn't need to worry about combat. I am concerned that writing little pieces that end with an open question might be unsatisfying for the players but it would be far less in the way of overheads

    Homogeneous distribution of your varieties of amuse-gueule
  • InvictusInvictus Registered User regular
    Mojo_Jojo wrote: »
    I think off loading combat posts to the second DM (or Runner or whatever you want to call the deluded idiots who start these games) could be a viable structure.

    I keep pondering something like Necromunda or Mordheim. A take of one gang's rise to power in some kind of apocalyptic scenario.

    Alternatively. If I throw away mechanics I wouldn't need to worry about combat. I am concerned that writing little pieces that end with an open question might be unsatisfying for the players but it would be far less in the way of overheads

    You seem to have already figured this out, but while I really appreciate the narratives you were writing for that last game, it was the mechanics that caught my attention and were the major driving force for my participation, and I am sure both that I am not the only one and also that others have different responses.

  • KaplarKaplar Registered User regular
    I think that a CYOA based off of a real-world game release has a limited shelf life. With SA, its merit was based largely off of itself. With Invaders, it had more to do with the game's release. Large following at the beginning, but a steady decline in participation.

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  • zekebeauzekebeau Registered User regular
    I really did sign up for the narratives. But in a way, that puts too much weight on the CYOA preparer, I think in would be nice to give you some options to make things easier and less narrative intensive for you. Like, so you didn't need to put a massive wall of text for each update. Wonder if ending with open questions might make that reality, and add more to the communal response.

  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo When life gives you lemons... ...eat your delicious lemonsRegistered User regular
    Pony is doing a Mass Effect thing. It's coming at it from a more traditional CYOA angle, which is good to see.

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  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    I didn't even know this thread existed! Hello, people!

  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    So, here's some musings on my Mass Effect CYOA, Freelancer, which is nearing its completion today.

    I had never done anything like Freelancer before. I'd done traditional tabletop RPGs for years, and I've done forum-based RPGs before, but I've never done this style of shared narrative before. It was a new experience for me, so I kind of learned as I went.

    One thing I learned early on was that "Investigate" was a tedious mechanic. People didn't want to have to ask for info, they wanted to be given the most amount of info possible for the current scene they were in. Spoonfeeding people info in the style of the video games the CYOA was based on didn't really work. So, I dropped that.

    I waffled back and forth a lot on combat. Narrative, mechanical? Narrative, mechanical? I eventually went somewhere in-between, but for my next game I'm pretty much going all narrative. Doing "rounds" of combat was beyond tedious and boring and led to me having to make many, many repetitive combat scenes instead of making a handful of more dynamic ones.

    I felt the protagonist lacked dialogue. This was out of an urge to make the players more in control of the protagonist's actions combined with the necessity of not constantly offering new dialogue choices. Something I am doing for my next game is instead having more dialogue for the protagonist, but that incidental (rather than story-deciding) dialogue being influenced by the players' previous decisions (ie, Renegade/Paragon scores). A Renegade Operative in Dark Matter is going to sound very different than a Paragon one.

    Freelancer suffered from having a complex plot with many twists and turns that was not sufficiently explained to the players, which led to an unfortunate need for a late-game bit of outright explanation of the plot and what the hell is going on. That's bad writing on my part. I felt pretty bad about that. I needed to foreshadow, explain, imply, hint, and in general keep the players more in the loop on what was going on and why. It's always a delicate balance, and I erred on the side of being too mysterious, and my plot suffered for it.

    I think Dark Matter will be greatly improved from the things I learned from Freelancer.

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  • wiltingwilting Registered User regular
    All very interesting, thanks for the info and the game Pony.

  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited August 2013
    Also, if you are considering doing a CYOA, consider doing a visual-style one if you can draw or you can deal with the learning cliff of Source Filmmaker or Garry's Mod (SFM isn't bad for still images).

    It can be more visually appealing to a lot of people, it can save you a lot of time describing scenes/characters, and in some ways might challenge you to work within the limitations of the resources you have.

    Pony on
  • wiltingwilting Registered User regular
    edited August 2013
    Pony wrote: »
    Freelancer suffered from having a complex plot with many twists and turns that was not sufficiently explained to the players, which led to an unfortunate need for a late-game bit of outright explanation of the plot and what the hell is going on. That's bad writing on my part. I felt pretty bad about that. I needed to foreshadow, explain, imply, hint, and in general keep the players more in the loop on what was going on and why. It's always a delicate balance, and I erred on the side of being too mysterious, and my plot suffered for it.

    Just thought of something I want to say about this. The problem isn't necessarily with the complexity of the plot or the lack of explanation, as much as the accumulation of meta knowledge by the players by the use of non player character scenes. Some things were obvious to the players, but nothing could be said or done about it because although they knew, the player character didn't.

    Those scenes were actually really good, so I don't want to disparage them, but it created a build up of player character actions (all the questions) that might have been more evenly distributed.

    wilting on
  • Iron WeaselIron Weasel Dillon! You son of a bitch!Registered User regular
    edited August 2013
    I would also add that the side stories were a great touch and I hope you keep them for Dark Matter. Maybe even include the protagonist in some of them, in order to give them more of a voice?

    Iron Weasel on
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  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    I would also add that the side stories were a great touch and I hope you keep them for Dark Matter. Maybe even include the protagonist in some of them, in order to give them more of a voice?

    Definitely.

    Iron WeaselRear Admiral ChocoGonmunKaplar
  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    And Freelancer is now finished.

  • Mojo_JojoMojo_Jojo When life gives you lemons... ...eat your delicious lemonsRegistered User regular
    edited August 2013
    Pony wrote: »
    Also, if you are considering doing a CYOA, consider doing a visual-style one if you can draw or you can deal with the learning cliff of Source Filmmaker or Garry's Mod (SFM isn't bad for still images).

    It can be more visually appealing to a lot of people, it can save you a lot of time describing scenes/characters, and in some ways might challenge you to work within the limitations of the resources you have.
    I think that having some graphics in a game is pretty key. Players get put off by walls of text, so you definitely played to your strengths with Garry's Mod.

    The momentum of your updates also helped. This wasn't something where updates came every 2-3 days. You were pushing along every few hours. I might have thought players would get lost and put off but that didn't happen.

    And you've already dived in with a sequel. You crazy madman.

    I do have another question: Are there any underlying mechanics in these things, Pony? Or are you just freeforming the whole shabang? I'm curious about whether you're deliberately shielding the players from the inner workings or if you're just doing what seems reasonable.

    Mojo_Jojo on
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  • PonyPony Registered User regular
    Mojo_Jojo wrote: »
    Pony wrote: »
    Also, if you are considering doing a CYOA, consider doing a visual-style one if you can draw or you can deal with the learning cliff of Source Filmmaker or Garry's Mod (SFM isn't bad for still images).

    It can be more visually appealing to a lot of people, it can save you a lot of time describing scenes/characters, and in some ways might challenge you to work within the limitations of the resources you have.
    I think that having some graphics in a game is pretty key. Players get put off by walls of text, so you definitely played to your strengths with Garry's Mod.

    The momentum of your updates also helped. This wasn't something where updates came every 2-3 days. You were pushing along every few hours. I might have thought players would get lost and put off but that didn't happen.

    And you've already dived in with a sequel. You crazy madman.

    I do have another question: Are there any underlying mechanics in these things, Pony? Or are you just freeforming the whole shabang? I'm curious about whether you're deliberately shielding the players from the inner workings or if you're just doing what seems reasonable.

    in freelancer i was sort of tryyyying to have an underlying mechanics to it but i was mostly pulling it out of my ass and testing stuff as i went and it wasn't working so it became freeform

    with Dark Matter, there's an underlying mechanic to social checks (specifically Charm and Intimidate), but they're invisible to the players for the most part. It's pretty bare-bones and straightforward and mostly factors in Respect/Animosity versus bonuses/penalties the player might have

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