Types of Choices You Like

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EternalDream
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Types of Choices You Like

#1 Post by EternalDream » Wed Jan 05, 2011 7:09 pm

So I'm rather curious to know what type of choices you like in a GxB/BxG game. Do you like choices where as soon as you choose it, you will know which character it leads to, or do you like the ones where who the choice leads to remains anonymous 'till some time after? And also, do you like a lot of choices or less but more important choices and how much you would say is a good number of choices (assuming playtime is around 2-3 hours) Also would you like the game to be easy and straightforward or hard and will probably need some kind of walkthrough?

... Sorry for all the questions loll

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Re: Types of Choices You Like

#2 Post by gekiganwing » Wed Jan 05, 2011 7:57 pm

This is a complex topic, and worth discussing...

First, it's good to think about whether or not a visual novel should have choices. One of the advantages of the medium is that it can be non-linear, allowing for branching paths, multiple endings, etc. But at the same time, there are some solid visual novels which don't use decisions or statistics. "Kinetic novels" and "sound novels" are simply stories told through words and pictures.

If your visual novel includes choices, it's wise to think about what options you are presenting the player. Perhaps there should be some blatantly obvious choices. It can be good to let the player know when his/her choice will trigger an event flag. (Think "Confess love to Lucy" versus "Confess love to Eileen" in a romance story, or "Kill the mad scientist" versus "Salute the mad scientist" in an adventure story.) But at the same time, too many obvious choices can be bad. They may make the game seem too simple, or too much a battle of pure evil versus pure good (assuming that's not your theme).

Perhaps there should be some obtuse choices. It's probably not wise to make the player choose between two trivial things which lead to very different outcomes (one of the poor design aspects of Tokimeki Check-in was trivial decisions like "sweep or mop" or "sleep or sleep later" leading to different scenes). But at the same time, it's good to have some ambiguity. If you want the player to role-playing the main character and shape him/her through actions, then it can be a good idea to present tough choices. If you present the player some situations which are not black/white or obvious, then the player may enjoy weighing out the possible outcomes.

You might want to think about deceptive decisions. This can be a nasty trick if done wrong. But if you feel it's appropriate, present a situation where a decision that seems good leads to unexpected problems, and vice versa.

Overall, I think it's wise to have a mix of the first two types, and maybe a few of the third type if it fits your story.

As for how many choices... think about the scope of your story/game. How much complexity do you want to create? Do you want to make a challenging game/story? (Is the player expected to get thirty "character points" to get their good ending?)

Challenge can be a good thing. Make it fair. I don't feel a person should need a walkthrough in order to succeed...
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Re: Types of Choices You Like

#3 Post by Greeny » Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:47 pm

If the results of each choice is too obvious, you might as well just have two different kinetic games; one where the protagonist chooses Lucy and one where they choose Eileen...

Choices have no value if the player can already make up their mind about each and every choice before they even happen.
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Re: Types of Choices You Like

#4 Post by Aleema » Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:57 am

I don't like mystery choices personally. I like results to be immediate so I can rollback if I screwed up, or for at least something to tell me that my choice will help my selected path along the line (like a happy sound effect). If my choices are for selecting the path itself, you BETTER make it damn clear which one I'm taking, unless it's not a romance game.

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Re: Types of Choices You Like

#5 Post by salis » Fri Jan 07, 2011 1:22 pm

Good questions, EternalDream! I’m rather looking forward to everyone's answers.

As for myself, I need to know what path I chose directly after I choose it. Playing through a visual novel where I won’t learn until later in the game if I’ve made the right decision or not gets frustrating REALLY fast. If your game focuses that heavily on choices, try to make sure the result of those choices are clear to the player after they've made them.

However, you don't want to make it painfully apparent as to which choice leads to which path. Choosing between good and evil can be fun initially, but an entire game of questions so blatantly obvious isn’t much fun either. The balance between not making the choices too obvious and too obscure is a little tricky, but if you put in a bit of both types, it’ll at least make your game more interesting and diverse.

Rather than having a ton of questions on everything, I’d like to make less choices that are more important and have more influence on the story. As for how many there should be, it depends on how complex you want to make your visual novel. Having a large number of choices does allow for great replay value, given that the questions actually have an effect on the story, but I say quality is definitely better than quantity everytime.

And I like my games hard. I love a good challenge! But again, a mix of easy and difficult can make for a better game overall.
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Re: Types of Choices You Like

#6 Post by Elenakiara » Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:14 pm

Hmmm... I think that the choices I like are when they're not too obvious, but they aren't completely random or difficult. I remember one game where you had to go to one certain place to just open up the possibilities in the game... And that was really hard to guess in the beginning. ^_^;

Pretty much what Gekiganwing said. :lol:
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Re: Types of Choices You Like

#7 Post by Poketto Kunoichi » Sat Jan 08, 2011 1:21 pm

I think variety would be good. Even though my inner fangirl gets frustrated when I can't pick the correct choices to lead to my favorite guy, it's worth it in the end. The choices are like aren't trivial (use ketchup or hotsauce) or obvious (Punch him in the face or hold his hands). Perhaps you can have an obvious choice near the beginning to help people start on the path they want, then start to get increasingly difficult. Like a choice where you hang out with one character or another, then after that, a scene cuts to where they start crying, and you have to choose between the way you comfort him and such.

I don't mind the amount of choices, really, as long as they have some sort of significance. It doesn't have to be plot changing, it can just be revealing something amusing about another character. So, I'm on the less but more important side. I naturally fail at visual novels and dating sims, so either way, I would probably need a walkthrough. XD

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Re: Types of Choices You Like

#8 Post by musical74 » Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:29 pm

Myself, I like this idea of *OK you picked choice A...you won't immediately know which path that will lead...but you will get hints*...I like a fair amount of choices, where if I mess up once it doesn't really affect the path I'm going on. I don't like it if I'm going for girl A, but because of one choice, girl A is no longer available. So...more choices, but not so many as in *OK I just made a choice, and you want me to make 5 more?!*

I tend to make choices initally on *which sounds the best to me* - which once in a while means, getting the bad ending :? I think a walkthough is a nice idea, but it isn't NEEDED for me unless I seem to always get the bad ending...I more or less needed a walkthrough for Ori, Ochi, Onoe because I kept getting the *bad ending*.

So long as the choices are (somewhat) logical and one choice doesn't make-or-break a path I'm trying for...I'll give the game a go!
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Re: Types of Choices You Like

#9 Post by SusanTheCat » Sat Jan 08, 2011 8:02 pm

I like obvious choices that affect the plot line. e.g. "Go to dance with Eric" vs "Go to dance with Joe" directly affects the storyline.
I like "delayed" choices that affect bonuses. e.g. Wear pink dress to dance with Eric affects whether you get the cute kissing scene at the dance.
I REALLY like it when there are hints that help you with the choice. e.g. Eric comments that girls always look good in pink.

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Re: Types of Choices You Like

#10 Post by El Presidente » Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:22 am

The best choices are the mystery ones that are not obvious - until you make them, see the results and get the feeling of "ah, of course, I should have known that". Give hints, but not too obvious ones.

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Re: Types of Choices You Like

#11 Post by azureXtwilight » Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:28 pm

I agree, we should give hints before making the choices so it will be more challenging and also entertaining~ (still, making a walkthrough also helps a lot :P)
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Re: Types of Choices You Like

#12 Post by otomegirl24 » Thu Feb 03, 2011 5:45 pm

Hm, I never thought of this, this is an interesting topic. Knowing how indecisive I am, I would most likely prefer to know what my choices lead to earlier on instead of waiting to find out because it makes me extremely anxious to know if I screwed up the ending or not. I wouldn't be very happy if I make a choice in a game and have to wait to find out if it leads to something bad or good and ultimately change my outcome of the story, but that's just me personally. And I guess another factor would depend on what kind of GxB/BxG game it was.

Number of choices...again I'm indecisive so personally for me it would probably be better if there were only a few choices but have more importance.

Easy or difficult mode, it would depend on my mood. I would probably say normal mode, not too easy, but not too hard. I actually have quite a few games I never finished that I hope to. *cough* Persona 4 *cough*

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Re: Types of Choices You Like

#13 Post by Avaible » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:03 pm

A good topic.

Like it was previously said, it depends on the VN you're aiming for. If it's romance without any twists to it it's a good idea to keep the traditional way and have the outcome of most choices obvious to the player.
Either like "Visit Girl/Boy A, or visit Girl/Boy B" or with giving strong hints like "Girl/Boy A likes fishing, so when the choice between fishing and skiing comes you will know what to choose".
For each kind of game there are some basics that are used often.

As for me, personally, I prefer games with 'good' choices. I mean choices that make sense.
I don't want to decide wether the protagonist is going to eat flowers or nails if it's not connected to the actual story. But with that I don't rule out choices where one doesn't immediately see the results of the choice - it's nice to have some unknown factors, but only as long as they have influence on future development or details.
--> if I choose at the beginning of the game that the protagonist does not listen to what his little sister has to say, then that could have a negative influence on him at the end of the game because he needs that information and thus has to guess it.

There has to be a good balance between choices the player can imagine the outcome of, and those where it may just depend on luck or some not obvious hunch.

And on a side note, I really enjoy choices that have an obvious outcome but don't work when chosen.
Like "Jump off that cliff" and you expect the protagonist to do it, then he reminds himself that he's afraid of heights and clumsely falls down.

So yeah, all in all, a novel should have choices that are relevant to the story, some obvious ones for critical story-branchings and some fun ones where you simply enjoy the show.

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Re: Types of Choices You Like

#14 Post by EternalDream » Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:40 pm

Wow, your responses are interesting. ^^ I've never really thought that the type of VN can change the types of choices people like. O_O To be honest, I was tormented on what kind of choices to give (easier, or harder ones, etc) lol Major thanks from me to the people who answered so far~ :)

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Re: Types of Choices You Like

#15 Post by Loveli » Sat Jun 18, 2011 11:18 pm

Aleema wrote:I don't like mystery choices personally. I like results to be immediate so I can rollback if I screwed up, or for at least something to tell me that my choice will help my selected path along the line (like a happy sound effect). If my choices are for selecting the path itself, you BETTER make it damn clear which one I'm taking, unless it's not a romance game.
What if you don't get a certain path? Sorry maybe it has nothing to do whit the main topic but... You see this one post of yours made me curious. In my current VN you do have romance but when you open a path and let's say "start romancing" a character it doesn't mean that the rest of the possible paths will close up. That been said you could be in two or even three paths at the same time and having more point on one than the other won't affect which path you go whit at the very end. For example:

Let's say you have 3 love interests: Alex, Zack and Max.
For opening Alex's path you have to give him a hug during a scene, if you don't then you won't open his path.
For opening Zack's path you have to go to the park whit him where a special scene will trigger, again if you don't you won't open his path.
For opening Max's path you have to accompany him when you meet him at the mall, and once again if you don't you won't open his path.

Now let's say you opened Alex's path AND you opened Zack's path, but you didn't open Max's path.
During the rest of the game you will have scenes from both Alex's path and Zack's path available and depending on your choices you will obtain points on each path, then at a key point in the story, really near the end, your character will express liking both of them or maybe they will both tell you they like you and you will have to chose.

Now let's say you got more points in Alex's path, but you liked Zack's path better and therefore want to end the game whit Zack's path. You chose Zack and you got the normal ending for him. If in this same situation you chose Alex, which is the one whit more points then you would probably get his good ending.

I don't know if I made my point come across... Hope I did. And sorry for the long talk :oops: ...
But the question is... What about a game that is done like this?
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