Hero-U - Adventure and Role-playing - They're better Together
Corey Cole has penned a Hero-U guest post for German site Adventure Treff (although I feel I've seen this heading before - it's hard to keep up with their updates):
390K with 10 hours to go, it's looking pretty good on the final stretch. I'm still not sure though. It'll be a last minute toss-up for me.
I haven't played Hero-U but never enjoyed much Quest for Glory series.
Adventure games and RPG had to face a quite similar problem, how merge a good story with elements that constantly break it.
If the story is really good it drags you in and you are in urge to know more about it, that is broken by illogical puzzles in classical adventure games and series of fights or inventory management in classical RPG.
RPG moved to action and reversed the problem, how merge a good action with other elements that break it. To simplify the equation puzzles has been removed, direction cursor to the next action area started appear and notion of exploration evolved to tourism following a guide, linearity has been increased to facilitate the story telling, vocal acting help throw more texts without force players read long texts and to allow build more easily deeper story.
Modern adventure games seem have tried, to makes puzzles more logical and less tricky puzzles, but that was clearly not enough to let tell a story with fluidity, so more simple mechanism like hidden object stuff or very simple puzzles, puzzles with optional hints almost giving instant solution, and even guided puzzles with text hints constantly on screen.
What the article suggest is to multiply the obstacles to the story telling, it's the quadrature of the circle. But the real point, for some players, is to come back to the original problem, how make a game and add story in it, not the reverse… and sell such game.
EDIT: Ha ok was a fund raising, well the article is about game design.
A little off topic I guess but I liked the discussion.
I thought the BG games did a nice job of providing a story without to much pressure - I always felt driven along but also felt like I needed to build up my power/character and hence did that via exploring and training.
Another example that *could have* worked was the story idea of DA2, at least for me. The idea of being this person who has adventures and there are ongoing stories being told both for the character and those around him … helped to keep me interested in the various characters and plots while not making me feel this need to focus just on the quests. However the exploration totally suffered for well known reasons.
Skyrim, for all its sandbox style, does apply pressure as far as the story goes, for me. Once I get going I feel like every time I slack off to explore I am letting Dragons and Vampires run amock killing people. I am holding off on my destiny or letting a war fester. As I spend time building a house, raising orphans, getting married, mining ore and crafting, cooking food, playing tourist to every thing I come across … I feel this little urge about more important things that should be done.
My favorite game was when I created a character and right after Helgen I went to Riften and pretended that was where the game started. I got to level 21 doing all types of things … then I returned to Helgen and re-entered the dungeon beneath it … and then just RP that I had just escaped the dragon. Good Ole Alvor was still waiting to kick everything off for me in Riverwood. I then moved forward with the story with a lot of "history" behind me.
Course I can also just pretend I am training my character, building up my power base, etc. Lucky for the inhabitants I can travel all over Skyrim multiple times and become famous and powerful in a remarkably short amount of in game time :) i.e. made Harbringer in 27 in-game days. Thats just a month from the newbie to their leader!
Ouch I made a post but the site said that I had log in the site since and refused the submit after a session timeout, and with back all the post is lost. I had forget that awful design "feature" of this site (a documented bug becomes a feature).
Thanks no life depend on that post, woo saved! But also I'm not in the mood to answer again. In short, I think it's three different subjects, how merge story and non linearity, how build a world that let (some, not me) players build their own stories in the story, how merge story and gaming elements.
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