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Gameplay Effecting Choices vs World Building Choices?

Posted: Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:07 pm
by lockedbox
How do you guys feel about, semi pointless choices in vn’s?

I’m in the process of planning my first renpy project. I like the idea of the player having control over the player characters personality and what things they like. Every now and again a secondary character will ask the player character about something from their past, and the player can decide whether that was something they liked, or didn’t like, with variations based on what personality traits they’ve acquired over the course of the game.

But as I’m planning out these topics, I’m thinking, maybe these could also be used to gate the endings available to the player. Basically, the choice to return and confront their past, or to start a new life someplace else. If they hated more things about their past than they liked, it would make sense that they would not want to go back, but, this would also make these choices less about world building and player agency, and more about unlocking things whether the player is actually interested in the conversations or not. Both have merit I think.

What about you guys, what do you think? Would you prefer to be able to explore likes and dislikes of your character without having any significant effect on the gameplay, or would you like those choices to be more integrated into the game mechanics and endings?

Re: Gameplay Effecting Choices vs World Building Choices?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:00 am
by nerupuff
Hello!

I've decided to also link some previous (last year) threads regarding choices in VNs to also add other opinions from previous discussion.

Re: pointless choices: viewtopic.php?f=47&t=47743
How to write good choices in VNs (discussion what the kinds of choices there are, like player interest, superficial, life or death choices, etc.): viewtopic.php?f=47&t=47538
Categorization of choices (balancing worldbuilding and personal interest of MC choices): viewtopic.php?f=47&t=46305
Would you prefer to be able to explore likes and dislikes of your character without having any significant effect on the gameplay, or would you like those choices to be more integrated into the game mechanics and endings?
I think it also boils down to personal preference. If there is a balance between choices that help me explore the main character without having too much bearing on the story AND choices that gate me from reaching a specific outcome, then it's all good. When done right, it shouldn't feel too restricting, and it'll be fun to explore the different sides of a story (case in point: if I pick choices that say "I hate the things in my past", it will steer me to the ending path that leads to starting a new life, whereas picking opposing choices will lead me to a different story branch).

I agree that both methods that you're suggesting have merits, but the key to making it effective is keeping track of all the choices and making them consistent. Make sure you plan carefully and good luck!

Re: Gameplay Effecting Choices vs World Building Choices?

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:18 pm
by PeterKmiecik
Semi pointless choices do make sense if used with clear reason in mind. Not to add random choise though :)
Maybe to enhance other choice or feeling, or to add to the character - it can work. It may seem pointless from choosing point of view, but from the deeper meaning / epression / world building / character development - it should be done deliberately and carefully. It should do some job is what I am trying to say I guess.

Like In Quentin Tarantinos films. He add some pointless dialogue, it might seem sometimes. BUT they "sound cool" and I guess it is done for that feeling. To make viewer experience some cool stuff. And It is legit then imo.

Re: Gameplay Effecting Choices vs World Building Choices?

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:40 pm
by Mutive
I personally prefer making choices in VNs, mostly because if I wanted to read a story with pictures (and no choices), I'd pick up a comic. :)

So "pointless" choices to me are fine, especially if they aren't truly pointless. (i.e. regularly being asked "do you prefer eggs or bacon?" "Oh, eggs, I'll get them!" "Now would you prefer coffee or tea?" "Oh, coffee? I like that, too!" endlessly would get tedious. But if they're choices that lead to branches that rejoin and have slightly different flavors, that's cool and adds re-playability.) I also think different choices that lead to different endings is pretty awesome, since again - re-playability. :)

Re: Gameplay Effecting Choices vs World Building Choices?

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:33 pm
by talesoutoftown
While VNs are extremely story driven, things added that don't affect the story are more than ok. I'd say they're necessary, even. In Persona 5, they have fully animated transitions between menu items when you pause. It's so extra, and contributes nothing to the story, but it contributes to the game AS A WHOLE.

If it doesn't contribute to the story, but it makes the play session even better, then your game as a whole will be better for it, and your readers will have an even better experience.

Re: Gameplay Effecting Choices vs World Building Choices?

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:07 am
by StarLight_V
If you can add some character or world building to the choices, then they would be pretty interesting to read through even if they have no no importance, such as 999 on DS. Too many useless choices kinda makes me zone out, like most of the Golden Sun games on GBA.