Ren'Py specific questions should be posted in the Ren'Py Questions and Annoucements forum, not here.
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I'll elaborate on my post. There is something to be said for mystery games that let you explore life's little choices and the butterfly effect and so on (where "go left" leads to a pot of gold and "go right" means you die in an acid trap), but I *personally* would hate it if "go left" and "go right" did not have those consequences and I only found out I made a wrong turn an hour later when the game says "maybe you should've gone left an hour ago." That would really make me mad, if it were a long game. Short games are exempt from this since replaying them should be little effort. But take a Choose Your Own Adventure book for example, when you choose a branch you can look at the page in advance and see if there's a big black "THE END" at the bottom, meaning you died or something. And you wouldn't chose that route. But if the next page lead you around but there was no hope to un-bad-choice yourself, that would frustrate me. Because I don't even remember the page I jumped from. Not to mention, these types of mystery choices usually are not accompanied by "maybe you should have gone left" when you get the bad ending. No, instead you're left wondering why you got a bad ending at all, and it's not going to be at all obvious that going left or right was the reason, unless that's the only choice in your game. It's just frustrating, since it just seems completely random. It's just by chance I got a good/bad ending, and that's kinda not fun. To me.
In regards to your post, I don't see anything wrong with concurrent storylines. The way you executed them is pretty obvious: hugging Alex means I like him. If I hugged him and I start getting romantic scenes and I'm like BUH WUT NO, I'll know to go back and not lead him on. It's fairly obvious in your example, especially if all the characters work the same way. The consequences of your actions should be understood here. I would raise issues if I hugged Alex and activated Zack's path. Or worse, I turned left instead of right and got Max's path. Which direction I turned doesn't really tell me I'm making a romantic decision between partners. It's only something the developer knows.
Which is fine, I just don't like it personally and I choose not to do it in my game. Mostly because people ask for walkthroughs even if the options that come up are "I want to date Alex", etc. In a dating game, people kinda want to know who they're dating. Surprises are good, too. Being able to change your mind is good, too. But if it's a long game, people may not like their intended ending being interrupted for something they didn't really realize they had control of.
Wow! Thanks for your opinion! Actually I think you are right, you want to know what you are doing. I get that same feeling when I play I want to know what character I'm getting and all that. I really appreciate your answer, it was great! Now I will have all this in mind wile making my script Thanks a lot.
Imagine that the player is only going to play the game once. No matter what choices the player makes, the overall story must be satisfying. If a certain choice would lead to unsatisfactory end, then don't give the player that choice.
Examples of good choices:
- Ask either Lucy or Eileen out.
- Ask the girl out or don't.
- Go on a date either on the beach or in the park.
- Ask either Lucy or Eileen out, but Lucy will reject you.
- Ask the girl out or don't, but this is a get-the-girl game where staying single is an automatic bad end.
- Go on a date either on the beach or in the park, but your partner doesn't like going to the beach, and choosing the beach will somehow ruin your relationship.
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For example, let's say there's a part of the story where you can give one of the pursue-able characters a gift. Depending on the knowledge you have of your chosen character you can pick a better gift. You have a choice of a few things and some things the characters might like more or less. Or, how about if you're trying to find a character who's run away from home; remembering places he/she liked before will help you make a better choice of where to look for them.
Challenging the player to think of the character's feelings is also a good way to make good choices. "What will Eileen think later on if I do this?", ect.
I also think it would be a good idea if you got negative points against a character if you "cheat" on them trying to get another path. I'm planning to make this part of my "bad end" system; if you go against what you've already built up you will get negative points and have a bad ending. (However there should be some extra scenes thrown in so it's worth it to follow bad endings)
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However, I do like it when some hints are dropped as to how each choice will affect the MC or storyline.
When it comes to choosing which character's path I'll be getting into, I like it when you have multiple choices that have a culminative effect and lead to a certain path (I find it quite silly when, for example, the single choice of going to the beach leads to XX's path ^^;)
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*and still hasn't finished worrying about when it's okay for a character to find a pot of gold or fall into an acid trap*
*has plenty of acid-trap-like settings but has prevented the protagonist and allies from falling in SO FAR*
*is serious about keeping characters alive, she swears!*
*even though it's sometimes difficult to do within the bounds of logic o_0*
Salt -- the heartwarming story of brain-eating space worms
Tangent -- an epic poem and/or novel about a borderline-autistic Martian imp and her relationship with God
Kittens of the Darned -- a grimdark soap opera about sexy catgirls (Indefinitely postponed until I learn to draw and color realistically)
The Other Mary -- the most perfect fic about the most perfect Mary Sue EVER
Rockheart -- a short story about a monster who kills everyone
Corrupted -- a completely different short story about a monster who kills everyone (late Worst Visual Novel Ever)
Checkpoint 36a -- the transcription of a short multi-ending dream about time travel and undead schoolgirls
In Which the Princess is Kidnapped -- an entry in the "ordinary girl ends up in an alien universe and tries to save it" genre
Pictogram Scramble: Magical Friendship Bunny Ivy -- a Flash game about a magical girl making friends (Indefinitely postponed until I learn how friendship works)
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I can see this being important to people who only read paths they're interested in and try to avoid bad endings, but in my experience, bad endings are often quite enjoyable. Maybe that's only because I tend to avoid games where the worst possible outcome is "you're lonely because you're a douche". Yume Miru Kusuri at least had that auditory hallucination thing going for it.
I only have one thing to say about choices: "left or right" is a failure. You don't have to tell me the outcome, but I don't want to pick based on eeny-meeny-miny-moe. I'm just fine with a question like, "shout to him or run to catch up with him," which has no obvious difference in outcome, but I don't want to pick randomly. I want to pick based on either what I would do or what I think the character would do.
Here you made a little mistake! I'm also like you thought I like to get ALL endings but I prefer to see the nice ones first, also on my first play I want to make the choices I would in real life or as close as possible to that. THEN I go on ending hunting.pondrthis wrote: I can see this being important to people who only read paths they're interested in and try to avoid bad endings, but in my experience, bad endings are often quite enjoyable. Maybe that's only because I tend to avoid games where the worst possible outcome is "you're lonely because you're a douche". Yume Miru Kusuri at least had that auditory hallucination thing going for it.
But that is not the point! The point it's that some people are not as hardcore about games and will probably only play once! It would feel unfair if they got a bad end whit out even knowing why. Also since they play just once the maker would prefer for them to get a good impression of the game. No one wants to play a game just to have their characters die... So maybe it all depends on what type of game it is!
So yeah it all depends.
Meanwhile, choices like "Go to the library" or "Go to the bar", in a certain context, might be cool (for example, if you go to the library, you might look for clues or what you're searching for in the books, and if you go to the bar, you might ask people around, and whatever you find is different, this kind of thing). In the same way, they're obscure enough about the findings, ad the player has to deduce what kind of things he'll find (say, in the library, he thinks he might find a clipping of a newspaper about the accident that happened years ago and is a key to the mystery, while in the bar he'll find a close friend of the victim, who drinks every night to forget his death).
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