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Default Rampant Games - Choice in Character Development #3

December 16th, 2011, 11:50
Colter Cookson wraps up his series of posts on character development with discussion of the player "tools" required to make detailed character development work:
For a game to provide all of the benefits of a character development system, the consequences of different choices need to be clear so players can go after the mechanical bonuses, fantasy, and gameplay style they prefer. The amount of information necessary can range from the formulas behind the game’s mechanics to short descriptions of different classes at the start of the game. For example, a game with both a sorcerer and an alchemist might describe the former as “a natural spellcaster that eradicates foes with fire and lightning” and the latter as “a wandering herbalist who brews potions to give allies the strength and speed they need to overcome the toughest foe.” Despite their brevity, these descriptions convey the classes’ theme and gameplay effect (direct damage versus buffing). Armed with this information, players should be able to tell which character-the powerful destroyer or the scholarly buffer–will appeal to them.
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December 16th, 2011, 11:50
If the game almost requires a specific class, let the player know before they start. For example, if a player tries to create a party without a cleric in a game where endurance matters, warn them with a dialogue box that provides an explanation. If you don’t, they might come up against a roadblock their party can’t overcome and walk away from the game rather than restarting.
I think the chance of fail must always be there , if failure isn't an issue then why play the game at all ? yes your current party setup cannot proceed pass this level , make different choices in your next play through or chose a different path .
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December 16th, 2011, 11:54
No, you don't necessarily want everything transparent. There's a lot to be said for discovery and experimentation. If you follow that "should be clear" line of thinking, you end up with no choice at all - because you just pick something predetermined by your playstyle with no actual thought or effort involved. No surprises - pleasant or otherwise.

You might as well let the game choose for you.
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December 16th, 2011, 14:38
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
No, you don't necessarily want everything transparent. There's a lot to be said for discovery and experimentation.
I stopped too many games because I indeed came to a "roadblock" and did not how to overcome it.

It depends if a person really WANTS to experiment;
in my opinion it is unfair to FORCE people to experiment if they do NOT want to !

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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