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This balance is tricky. I can't allow people to skip jokes, patterns, revelations. But viewers aren't my puppets, they want to have their own experiences within this fictional worlds.
I'm doing that even while writing this. I'm tempted to be very specific but that way I won't receive replies. I'm betting on you figuring out what I mean. If more information is needed I'll edit.
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For me choices should only be used when they mean something. When I as a player have to think to pick my option. Because I'm aware that it will change a lot. Or if it's a customization option. That's the cheapest way to make players identify with the character, let them choose the option they'd like, like picking what food to eat or what clothes to wear. Not because it affects the game, I know it won't change anything, there's no planning and no strategy to choosing one option over another, it's just that I as a player prefer one over the other.
~My extremely radical 2 cents!
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I got into VNs because I played the Cinderella Phenomenon, a game where I played as a specific person with her own personality that was different from mine. I'm no tsundere, but I made choices based on how I interpreted the character.
That's why VNs interest me as RPGs, because I see so many that wave the banner of "You can customize your character, act how you want, you'll just be you." I like playing a character that has shoes for me to step into, not one where I just bring my own (There's another thread on the forum somewhere about this). I see it every time I play Dungeons and Dragons as well, everyone does this whole song and dance of coming up with a character personality and backstory and then don't adhere to that during a game. They play a role the same way an elevator operator plays a role, by performing a function but otherwise being themselves.
I'm not saying we should all go to Kinetic Novels, Visual Novels have choices for a reason, but if you have content for different branches then good. The choices are there so that a player can earn that content and feel like they were responsible for where they got. How many branching VNs have you just played once and then dropped? People go back for multiple rounds to earn the other storylines anyway. No, viewers aren't your puppets, but you can train them like a dog to be obedient if the story is directing enough and rewarding enough.
I myself have a project where certain revelations don't happen unless the player has met certain requirements; it's not that uncommon.
I agree with that sentiment exactly. I find replays to be a lot more valuable when I discover that there were things that I missed (e.g. jokes, patterns, revelations) based on the choices I made. For me, that's what gives my choices value. It makes them feel like they mean something.Rarykos wrote:I think it's okay to let players miss jokes and other content unique to that one branch that you didn't choose.
If every route has the same brush strokes, it makes replays more of a grind than their worth - at least in my opinion. It's especially cool when major world events change because of your choices, but that's a harder trade-off, considering you'd basically be re-writing a separate story that a lot of your players won't see.
I suppose at the end of it all I value fewer choices that have big impacts (i.e. lots of different content) rather than having a lot of choices that only affect a few lines in a scene, or a minor event.
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