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 Post subject: The Order Of Choices
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:43 pm 
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I am writing a game that has the player able to make choices that are on a spectrum.

Obvious Example:
You see someone steal a fruit:
1 - Try to stop the thief yourself (Only available if you are "Good")
2 - Yell "Stop Thief!
3 - Hey, it's not your problem
4 - Distract the fruit vendor
5 - Tip over the fruit stand (Only available if you are "Evil")

The choice you make will change your alignment and determine the available choices later on.

While writing, it is much easier for me toe write them in "order" from one extreme to the other. For the game, I can randomize them or keep them in order.

As a player, would you want them to show up in order, or be randomized?

Susan

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Last edited by SusanTheCat on Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The Order Of Choices
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:47 pm 
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I think putting them in order makes them seem a bit too obvious, so personally, I would prefer random.

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 Post subject: Re: The Order Of Choices
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:01 pm 
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I'd say it's fine not to randomise them if the choices are obviously different shades of morality. In your example, even if you randomised it people would understand what is generally "good" and "evil", assuming black and white morality.

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 Post subject: Re: The Order Of Choices
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:19 pm 
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I prefer a randomized order, even when the choices are as obvious as the ones you've written. It makes me consider the choices a lot more, so that I'm not picking choices according to a pattern. It's more fun without the safety net of "choice #1 is always the good guy answer." Randomized is even better when the choices aren't obvious, because then I have to be even more careful with my choices.

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 Post subject: Re: The Order Of Choices
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:24 pm 
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Being a methodological player, I would prefer to know in advance which choices belong to an alignment or another, so ordered would be ideal. That's because I would try all the possibilities anyway. Maybe the right question is whether or not you are willing to let the player assume control of the situation. By randomizing the choices, the player is put in a moral dilemma and must figure out how to act in order to go to one alignment or other; perhaps something he believes to be selfish is actually beneficial. Of course, there is no use in randomizing choices if they are obvious anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: The Order Of Choices
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:31 pm 
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Randomized definitely. I think it engages the player more. If #1 is always the super-good answer people might start going on autopilot.


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 Post subject: Re: The Order Of Choices
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:42 pm 
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Hm... that's right. If you randomize, the reader will have a reason to read all the possible actions instead of clicking one with little thought.

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 Post subject: Re: The Order Of Choices
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:16 pm 
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If the purpose of this game is to be good people (being good is rewarded and being evil is punishable) then I want the choices to be randomized. But if this is a game where you could be good or evil without any punishment (outside the story), then I want the game to make it clear if my option is good or evil (unless it's something that morally gray without clear/direct/immediate consequences).

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 Post subject: Re: The Order Of Choices
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:42 am 
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LVUER wrote:
If the purpose of this game is to be good people (being good is rewarded and being evil is punishable) then I want the choices to be randomized. But if this is a game where you could be good or evil without any punishment (outside the story), then I want the game to make it clear if my option is good or evil (unless it's something that morally gray without clear/direct/immediate consequences).


In the game I'm making the split is Order vs Chaos. So there are "good" endings for either of the extremes. I did Good vs Evil in the example since I figured it would be a more dramatic portrayal.

Susan

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 Post subject: Re: The Order Of Choices
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:59 am 
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If that's the case then yeah, I want to choices to be clear whether it's good or evil. It's even better if you could customize the choice screen so there's an arrow that show which point that leans to the way of force... cough... I mean good and which is the evil (with the more center the choice, the more "vague"/neutral are the choices)

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 Post subject: Re: The Order Of Choices
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:28 am 
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I'm all for randomised. The problem with making it appear in the same order every time is that you might as well just put a single choice in the beginning that goes:
"Which ending would you like?"
- Good ending
- Sort of good ending
- Neutral ending
- Mischievous ending
- Evil ending

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 Post subject: Re: The Order Of Choices
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:46 am 
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I think it depends on how complex the story is. If you simply have an "Order" ending, a "Chaos" ending, and a few in between, I would rather have them randomised. However, if, for example, choosing "Order, Chaos, Order, Chaos" gives you a different ending than "Order, Order, Chaos, Chaos", I would rather know which option is which alignment.

Another way to say it is that if the game is stat based, I would want the choices randomised. If it's path based, I would want them in order.


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 Post subject: Re: The Order Of Choices
PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:36 pm 
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For me, personally, it would depend on how 'gamey' your morality system is. Is it like in a WRPG such as Mass Effect where you have a linear morality scale, ranging from 'goody-two-shoes'-to-'drowns puppies for fun', and every action moves you along the scale in either direction, with your position on the scale determining future available options?

Or is it something more complex, like a series of variables and switches, where the player isn't defined soley by a morality number, the future options being reliant on past choices themselves rather than the effect past choices had on their morality number?

The former example is something I'd call game-y. Players will be meta-gaming it, thinking "well I know to see this scene I need to be at least 75% good" and thus will pick options according to that requirement. In this scenario, I think having an ordered list of options so the player always knows how they're going to affect their morality scale is best.

However, if it's a case of not having a singular scale but a long, complicated series of branching points/variables then there isn't really any real room for meta-gaming. It's the answers themselves that are much more important, so the player will want to agonise over their choices more. In this scenario, it is much more preferable to not have the "good" option etc. clearly visible - you should randomise.


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 Post subject: Re: The Order Of Choices
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:20 am 
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I used to play an RPG tabletop game called "Pendragon" http://www.gspendragon.com/. Your stats were split into pairs of stats: Chaste/Lustful, Prudent/Reckless, Trusting/Suspicious.

My plan is to let the player mold the character themselves. If they acted more "Chastely" the story would become more "chaste". If you make too many Reckless decisions, the prudent options are no longer available. I am trying to reward consistent role playing.

Susan

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 Post subject: Re: The Order Of Choices
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:54 pm 
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If it's genuine roleplaying you want to present to the player, than consistent good-to-bad ordering isn't what you want. In life, we rarely know what the "right" or "good" option is - we agonise over our choices because there are no stats. Sometimes we can be really lustful, but play it chaste so not to scare off the person we're pursuing, for example.

You want that true thinking about decisions? Randomise. Make the player think about the words themselves, not the stats.


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