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RPGWatch Forums » Games » Indie RPG » Tactica: Maiden of Faith » Choices & Consequences or Game Length? which is most important?

View Poll Results - What is most important? replayability or game length?

Replayability! 4 22.22%
Game length! 12 66.67%
Other, please write below. 2 11.11%
Voters: 18. You may not vote on this poll

Default Choices & Consequences or Game Length? which is most important?

January 8th, 2010, 18:19
Thanks for the explanation !

In the demo of Drakensang 2, for example, there is a shop which appears when you play some classes, and it is not there, when you play others.

There is also a choice between two companions - a quite drastic one. (I won't spoil too much for those who haven't played the demo or the full game yet).

"Choices & Consequences" are imho not easy to implement … And they might perhaps even leave the people with reloading, because they had the impression as if the consequence wasn't clear enough for them.

To me, I'd personally prefer a mixture of both (choices & consequences & length). On the other hand I must admit that I'm a fan of "happy endings" and I don't like tragical outcomes in choices at all (Div1: the cure of the plague in the town, for example).

What I'd find interesting, personally, would be for example to have a different ally depending on my choice. Or in another part of the land things dvelop differently because of a decision (the hero decided, for example, to go to a certain, distant battlefield to fight against enemies, whereas on a different battlefield the hero decided NOT to visit, (probably other) enemies win because of the hero's group not being there. Or even so that the hero's group can be splitted between both battlefields: In both, then, the enemy's troops have become "lighter" because of the hero's groups' effort, but they haven't been completely eradicated).

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January 8th, 2010, 18:44
"Sell" might have been a poor choice of words. I'm talking about appeal and interest more than the financial angle.

I get the whole "build it and they will come" attitude, but maybe I don't really get it. I guess my point is mostly this: think about whose advice/opinions you take. You've got an artistic vision of your game. Moving away from that vision will weaken your game. If your vision is Morrowind (I know it's not, but Morrowind is a well-known game that I hatedhatedhated but still played 30+ hours trying very hard to like it, so I feel fair using it as an example), you shouldn't listen to the advice/opinions I offer no matter how wise, brilliant, and wickedly handsome I might be—I will pull you away from your vision, even if it's not intentional. That's not to say you want an echo chamber, but people nudging your vision a little to the side isn't the same as people dragging you back the opposite direction.

OK, the horse is completely pulped. Hopefully I didn't derail your thread too badly.

So, to slightly revise my on-topic first response and get us back on track: this here spreadsheet gamer doesn't put much value on C&C, so gimme game length.

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January 8th, 2010, 23:41
From Alrik:
"What I'd find interesting, personally, would be for example to have a different ally depending on my choice. Or in another part of the land things dvelop differently because of a decision (the hero decided, for example, to go to a certain, distant battlefield to fight against enemies, whereas on a different battlefield the hero decided NOT to visit, (probably other) enemies win because of the hero's group not being there. Or even so that the hero's group can be splitted between both battlefields: In both, then, the enemy's troops have become "lighter" because of the hero's groups' effort, but they haven't been completely eradicated)."

Interestingly, I've written a convo scene for the game which does precisely that; make you decide whether to go to one area, another, or split your forces. This can affect not only the outcome of a battle, but your party relationships.

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January 9th, 2010, 05:39
I'm not voting, because I'm not entirely sure what the choices entails. But I'll chime in to the best of my ability (and lack of sleep curse you Reed Richards!)

Length you need to find a good balance for. Too short, and it'll be like Eschalon Book 1; ending some 15 hours before I was ready for it to end. Too long, and I'll be getting bored with the game and wandering to other frontiers.

Baldur's Gate has the perfect balance, IMO, of length. Long enough to provide a satisfying experience, while not so long as to cause me to grow bored with that style of gameplay, and go wander off to play Bard's Tale again. Whats more, is I can easily move forward into the TotSC expansion if I wish, or whatever, if I still want to play that style of game.

C&C, means I take it that you'll be having many (or just a few) major plot points that split the story, correct? Depending on where they are, they can add a lot of dev time. Using my own project, most of mine are either luck-based (a few NPC's affect the story, and if dead/not with the party the story has to change, obviously) or occur later, past the half-way point in the main arc. Or occurs anywhere, depending on where you go. There's 3 major plot lines (and endings), with more subtle variants, there. But I digress and plug.

Again, too many branches in the plot tree, and I'll likely never bother taking them. Plus, eventually you'll want a sequel, so instead of creating 15-20 full games' worth of plot, make one, and keep the rest for later. I've branched out before myself, and eventually cut some elements, and set them aside for later if I get to them. Part of it was just plain over-ambition (I had originally planned on around 1500 dungeons and cities and such to visit. WAY too much for a solo coder/art/design/music/marketing person to handle.)

So I say two or three major branches, set where-ever, with minor variations which only affect smallish portions of the plot adding depth and substance. Major would be choosing a faction which completely alters the outlook of the game from the character(s) perspective, while minor would be something like a certain resolution for a quest leading to repercussions later (new/lost quests, NPCs, etc…) but that doesn't fundamentally alter the outlook.

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January 9th, 2010, 06:01
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
after all I think very few here will consider branching stories and choices a huge negative in such a game/ as long as the strategy and stats part is solid?
I know this is common sense, but I have to say it. If you're going for a branching storyline then get ready for a ton of work. Everything I've read about making them is that they are a pain in the behind to make.

I would love to see more of them, but I would hate for you to get discouraged as well. They always say, start small and work your way up from there. That was the advice given when I looked into modding.

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January 9th, 2010, 06:40
Originally Posted by skavenhorde View Post
I know this is common sense, but I have to say it. If you're going for a branching storyline then get ready for a ton of work. Everything I've read about making them is that they are a pain in the behind to make.

I would love to see more of them, but I would hate for you to get discouraged as well. They always say, start small and work your way up from there. That was the advice given when I looked into modding.
Yeah, they are a ton of work. Then again, so is making an entire game from scratch. Or making a mod of a game. Basically, anything worth doing is a ton of work.

Is this worth doing? Not for me to say, not my project. To me, the design aspect is enjoyable enough that I'd do it even with no hope of getting anywhere with it (as opposed to minimal hope).

So don't compromise, and do the game you want. Do your best, and let the finished product speak for itself. (cue "The Touch").

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January 9th, 2010, 08:27
Originally Posted by azraelck View Post
Yeah, they are a ton of work. Then again, so is making an entire game from scratch. Or making a mod of a game. Basically, anything worth doing is a ton of work.
It's not exactly the same thing as making an entire game from scratch. It's more like making 5 games entirely from scratch.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for a branching storyline. I'm 110% behind it, but I won't be doing the heavy lifting. From the enthusiasm that GG has shown, I'm already sold on the fact that she can make a great game. The difference here is how long it will take to make it and how many headaches she is willing to put up with.

Like I said, it's common sense, but someone had to say something about just how long and difficult that it is going to be.

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January 9th, 2010, 12:37
I tend to get a bit carried away so your comments to bring me down to earth a bit is also really good! But for example the scene Coriwn mentioned earlier is not costing me that much extra work. Basically this game is like Ogre Tactics which I think few people here have played. That means that occurences are split into scenes. So what'll happen is there are different versions of different scenes, but I don't have to create a bunch of new assets / art / areas etc everytime I branch.

This has a cost in that there is not a huge open world to explore freely ( which I would loved to have, but it is not realistic with the amount of resources, I mean a studio with 50 people who work full-time for 3 years cannot do that ). It'll be like Baldur's gate, you move on a map, and choose where you want to go, for some scenes you'll be allowed to move around and explore the area freely, for others you'll simple have a story encounter.
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January 9th, 2010, 14:12
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
Interestingly, I've written a convo scene for the game which does precisely that; make you decide whether to go to one area, another, or split your forces. This can affect not only the outcome of a battle, but your party relationships.
lol, do you still need idea-givers ?

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Default Game Length but no end game boss battle please

January 12th, 2010, 15:48
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
I am thinking of what to be the main focus. As already stated this game has a lot of C&C but each time you add a choice with real consequence your developemnt time is multiplied by 2 ( Assuming the two paths are completely different ).

I am wondering which people think is most important replayability and C&C or game length? Almost every game I know of except Japanese games focus on game length.
I have played a great many games that had different types of character to play or different paths to follow. However I have a preferred style of play and even though I have tried other ideas (e.g. playing as the evel guy) I always come back to that style. That does not mean I always play e.g. a "good" warrior, but a character that feels right in the context of the game. I have tried to replay games with a different character e.g. mage instead of paladin, but just get bored knowing what comes next; so multiple paths would have to be so different that the game was fundametaly altered for me. As an aside I hate the end game resulting in spending ages running around a big boss shooting of all my ammo just to get the end credits (or something similar). I would rather see a tangible reward in character, and the option to continue with quests I have not completed, if that is relevant.
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January 22nd, 2010, 17:43
I personally can't see replayability as a result of c&c. The difference of the sequence of events when replaying a game, following an alternative path, is usually limited to details - all events critical to the 'skeleton' that supports the story will remain unaltered anyway. That causes any consequences to be expected and extremely predictable (at best - at worst there will be no changes at all!). This makes sense if you consider that in order for any decision-making to be satisfying all potential consequences have to be expected by the time you're called to make your choice - ie. choosing between box 'a' or curtain '2' is the same as not being involved in any decision-making as the one and only deciding factor is chance.

It seems to me that getting around that, in order to provide true surprises the second time, effectively requires including a second plot for a second playthrough that should be completely unrelated to the first one. It might be a nice feature but I don't think it's worth the trouble.

As such I find that the games that really have replayability for me are the ones where I really enjoy their non-story related elements… such as combat for example - if I like the combat enough I'll play the game again even if it's a complete railroad… and since combat is rarely soooo good in RPGs I rarely replay RPGs

So between the two I'd go for size. Nevertheless I'd also like to point out that the comparatively short Fallout is more 'precious' to me than any hundred+ hour epic. As such (and even though it is what first drawn me to RPGs) size shouldn't be a goal - As I see it a game should be as long as it needs to shine and c&c should exist to enrich any single playthrough and not for replayability's sake.
Last edited by holeraw; January 22nd, 2010 at 17:53.
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January 22nd, 2010, 19:52
Take a look at Geneforge 5. There were very significant C&C effects on story and quests. Still not enough to make me want to replay. The effects were widespread, but the general gameplay mechanics (like combat, which was 90% of the game)wouldn't change. The effects made me REALLY pay atttention to what I decided to do on my playthrough, though.
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