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What works and what doesn't? - More questions!

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Postby Duncan_B » Sat Jun 27, 2009 9:33 pm

What does everone else think?

I think you should write it.
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Postby djchallis » Sat Jun 27, 2009 9:37 pm

Duncan_B wrote:
What does everone else think?

I think you should write it.

I am, don't worry. I'm not here procrastinating. I'm here learning in my spare time.
Game in the works - Project Clocks - on hold for a bit.
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Postby djchallis » Sat Jun 27, 2009 9:40 pm

ralphmerridew wrote:The tracking list might work fine if the player retains free mobility, but could be tricky if regions of the map may be cut off from time to time.

That's a good point actually, I plan on often sealing/unsealing certain areas of the map, which could ruin that plan.
Game in the works - Project Clocks - on hold for a bit.
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Postby alsnpk » Sat Jun 27, 2009 11:28 pm

djchallis wrote:
ralphmerridew wrote:The tracking list might work fine if the player retains free mobility, but could be tricky if regions of the map may be cut off from time to time.

That's a good point actually, I plan on often sealing/unsealing certain areas of the map, which could ruin that plan.

Hmm. True. Maybe you could make sure the necessary objects would still be available in places you could access (and instead of saying where you get them from just say "you grab a knife and [use it]"...). That could work, and would probably be better than saying where you get the object from in most cases, regardless.

I agree with the point of just writing it, too, though I definitely understand wanting to get everything figured out! :)
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Postby djchallis » Sat Jun 27, 2009 11:40 pm

You're probably right. Much as I fuss about it, Clocks isn't going to be my final game. It almost certainly isn't going to be my best. So I don't need to fuss until it's 100% perfect. It's probably true that the fastest way to answer all the questions in this thread are to make Clocks and see what the feedback is.

Ok, I'm gonna stop asking questions and go back to my notes and work on Clocks. I've got a long summer to get lots of it done. Feel free to keep adding your own opinions to this thread or start your own questions. You've all been extremely helpful, thank you!! :-)
Game in the works - Project Clocks - on hold for a bit.
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Postby Ren » Sun Jun 28, 2009 10:55 am

djchallis wrote:Btw, what's different about using Gargoyle?
And do you think we skip cut-scenes because it's on a computer or because we have the impression that we're here to do things instead of to read a story?


Forgot to respond that bit: Gargoyle has a nice font and
layout which make reading more pleasant. Consequently, when I'm using it, I'm less likely to start skim reading.

And I skim to get to the bit where I get to do something faster.
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Postby djchallis » Sun Jun 28, 2009 11:13 am

Can't the game designer specify the font and layout for their game when played in the runner?
Do you recommend I use a particular style to make it easier to read in the runner?
Game in the works - Project Clocks - on hold for a bit.
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Postby Sprite » Sun Jun 28, 2009 12:47 pm

So, you want the PC to develop a relationship with NPCs without it feeling intrusive or forced? Why not write it in 3rd? That would solve that problem. What are your reasons for choosing 1st?
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Postby djchallis » Sun Jun 28, 2009 12:55 pm

I chose 1st mostly out of habit. It's what I write in when I write static fiction.
You think 3rd would work better though?
Game in the works - Project Clocks - on hold for a bit.
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Postby alsnpk » Sun Jun 28, 2009 6:51 pm

f you're considering third person, you might want to take a look at this thread from when I asked about it awhile back...
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Postby djchallis » Sun Jun 28, 2009 8:29 pm

Thanks for the link Abbi, that was quite helpful.
I'm currently looking forward to playing I-0, since ralphmerridew says they did good characterisation in second-person. It may be I can do what I want in second-person and avoid all the fuss.
Game in the works - Project Clocks - on hold for a bit.
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Postby ralphmerridew » Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:51 pm

Did you look at the thread on RAIF?
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Postby djchallis » Fri Jul 24, 2009 11:28 pm

Sorry ralphmerridew, I kinda drifted away from the forum before I got round to checking out the links you sent me. I've now read the RAIF threads on my questions and the one on Magnetic Scrolls. I've also read Emily's blog post and I've played I-0 (a bit).
All of them were extremely interesting, thank you!

So I've read all that and had some time to think about things, but I'm still not entirely sure what to do about some of these questions I raised last time. I'm specifically thinking about the first-person vs second-person question and the "house full of objects" question. If people don't mind exploring these a bit more, I've got some (refined) questions I'd like to ask.

First-person vs Second-person
I've decided that whilst I'm confident I can write static fiction well in first-person, I'm not so sure I can do the same for IF. I agree with all your points about what can happen in first-person that turns the reader off. I'm leaning towards second-person on the basis that it's a lot harder to get wrong, but I'm still not entirely sure because of my PC.

My PC isn't a deep character himself (though I could change that), but he needs to be able to form relationships with other characters. For the sake of argument, let's assume there are two NPCs and he needs to fall in love with one and hate the other. These relationships are necessary for the plot and cannot be altered. The way I envision the game so far, he needs to be able to hold up his side of a conversation. If he has to fall in love (in this example) and say his own lines, does he need to be first-person? Or can you still do that with second-person?

A house full of objects
Now I've read the RAIF thread about Magnetic Scrolls, I realise that my proposed idea for implementing a house full of objects was noncommittally leaning towards the idea of emergent puzzle solving. It's the principle that the objects are placed realistically in the world and react realistically with each other. Then you are asked to solve a challenge (rather than a puzzle) and you can do it however you like with the tools you have.

Whilst this is (in some ways) exciting from a gameplay perspective, it seems to be unanimous that it detracts from the story. I've realised that I need to have a slightly more linear experience in order to control the story better (yeah, I'm a bit slow). I say slightly though, because I still plan to implement many features that allow the player to do things slightly differently and the game and story should bend slightly to reflect your version without the player realising, to create a better sense of consistency and flow.

So what I'm looking for now is a way to make it feel like you're in a house full of objects and you can examine lots of things (you're in a vaguely detective role) but I don't want the player picking up everything they see or getting too obsessed with red herrings. Most of the ideas I've seen so far have been pretty dull. Most have been variations of the idea that you can examine everything but only pick something up once you've met the puzzle for it (i.e. you can only take the key once you've found the lock). I find this boring and annoying. Is there anything clever anyone can think of to help me here?

I'm well aware I'm largely repeating questions I've already asked, but if my current thought-train gives you any ideas, please share them with me. I'll also be more prompt reading any links you give me.
Thanks for your time.
Game in the works - Project Clocks - on hold for a bit.
Game finished - I am the Law for the OddComp. Looking forward to finishing Clocks so I can show what I can really do!
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Postby Ren » Sat Jul 25, 2009 12:21 am

djchallis wrote:First-person vs Second-person
. . . For the sake of argument, let's assume there are two NPCs and he needs to fall in love with one and hate the other . . . The way I envision the game so far, he needs to be able to hold up his side of a conversation . . . If he has to fall in love (in this example) and say his own lines, does he need to be first-person? Or can you still do that with second-person?

You can always do it with 2nd person. City of Secrets is second person. The pc is a naive fish out of water, which helps, but he interacts with other characters fine.

But then I'd argue that in any fiction you probably want to communicate less through straight dialogue and more through subtext and action. What becomes important then is how your pc reacts to the character around him, and how they react to him.

A house full of objects

Can you just get away with implementing what would be of interest to a detective (more importantly your detective), thereby helping to define your character through the objects around him?

If truly emergent puzzle solving is possible in IF, it is less (IMO) so in ADRIFT, because ADRIFT isn't designed to create classes of objects, meaning that the author needs to think about any solution to a puzzle and deliberately include it.
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Postby djchallis » Sat Jul 25, 2009 10:14 pm

Ren wrote:You can always do it with 2nd person.

Yes, I'm beginning to think you're right there.
I think I'll write Clocks in second-person and see if anyone complains during beta-testing.

But then I'd argue that in any fiction you probably want to communicate less through straight dialogue and more through subtext and action.

This is true, but my detective story is largely about uncovering facts, so there's necessarily going to be a large amount of discussing facts and communicating new information. I'm spending a lot of time thinking about how best to handle these situations.

Can you just get away with implementing what would be of interest to a detective (more importantly your detective), thereby helping to define your character through the objects around him?

My issue is more about objects that work in puzzles. I plan on having an awful lot of the house examinable, but I don't want the player to pick up everything they see, despite the fact that there are lot of objects in the average house that are technically portable.

I don't like the idea of being able to pick up nothing until you've found a puzzle, and then being able to pick up the object that solves it. I also don't like the idea of having puzzle-solving objects obtainable from the start. If you can take the pencil but not the ruler, that implies something about the puzzles yet to come. And if I implement every object in the house it's just going to be a pain, and I let the players wreck the house and carry everything everywhere like a crazed kleptomaniac.
Game in the works - Project Clocks - on hold for a bit.
Game finished - I am the Law for the OddComp. Looking forward to finishing Clocks so I can show what I can really do!
Current focus - Some microIF. Short experiments to test ideas and actually release something!
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