Trihan

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Yay!


Telltale games is absolutely one of my great inspiration here. The big difference when it comes to gameplay, is that you don't move around and explore yourself in my game. You simply choose "Look at that object" and then "interact with that object" and the characters will move by itself.


For me, yanfly's messagecore and moveroutecore make the golden combo for this game.

With the messagecore you can enable and disable choices or even hide them, easily enough.
Oh it's not a plugin John, it's a program designed to help writers but you can set up your characters, items, locations etc. in it and it has functions for creating links and branching narrative paths and it arranges them on a timeline and in a tree structure so it's super easy to keep track of what needs to go where; it pairs well with your development tools to prevent getting lost when you're implementing a branch, and you can prototype/iterate super quickly without having to event anything.
 

Sword_of_Dusk

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For me, yanfly's messagecore and moveroutecore make the golden combo for this game.
I took a quick look at what @Trihan recommended, and I'm pretty sure he did so as a way to better organize and keep track of your branching paths and options rather than a plugin for active development of the mechanics.
 

Trihan

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I took a quick look at what @Trihan recommended, and I'm pretty sure he did so as a way to better organize and keep track of your branching paths and options rather than a plugin for active development of the mechanics.
One thing I love about articy is that it allows you to onion skin a path through your branches for testing, so you can record all the steps required to get to point A and then run it with that enabled and it'll do all the choices automatically for you so you can make sure it all flows properly with no input needed on your end.
 

Sword_of_Dusk

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One thing I love about articy is that it allows you to onion skin a path through your branches for testing, so you can record all the steps required to get to point A and then run it with that enabled and it'll do all the choices automatically for you so you can make sure it all flows properly with no input needed on your end.
That sounds mad useful even for simpler branches. I might look into this for myself, just in case.
 

Eternidade_1

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Yay!


Telltale games is absolutely one of my great inspiration here. The big difference when it comes to gameplay, is that you don't move around and explore yourself in my game. You simply choose "Look at that object" and then "interact with that object" and the characters will move by itself.


For me, yanfly's messagecore and moveroutecore make the golden combo for this game.

With the messagecore you can enable and disable choices or even hide them, easily enough.
I understand, I wanted to say that a very animated look helps to relax. Avoid repeating the characters, for example seeing the hero walk. Add animated events.
 

TheLastYuriSamurai

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What do you mean by scope? Like, the amount of work it is to make it? Well, that is also my main worry. That is why I wanted to see if people would like the idea before I spend so much time on making the actual RPG.



I am planning on ripping my game in 2. My main game now is a RPG with a card game as battle system. I want to split those up, making a card game and an RPG.

I just found this old treasure by accident yesterday and thought this would be an awesome system to make the RPG in.

In fact, by now I already decided this is how I am going to do it. :)
It's been mentioned, but basically branching paths can make a waayyyyy too large story VERY FAST
 
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I guess it is the interface that you need help with then? I mean, the choice based scenery is pretty basic. That simply is a combination of choices, text, move routes and conditional branches.
Mhm! From the looks of it, I assume you created a message window using a tileset instead of a systems graphic? Or perhaps even a picture overlay? I feel either could give that effect without much effort, although maybe there's a better way to go about it.

I'm most curious how you got the text layout to look the way it does, with the choices aligned at the bottom and the text at the top. It's a very neatly designed UI! Looks much better than having the choices popping up at the side.
 

JohnDoeNews

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Well... I want to explain something about branching... In the complete full game, there will be many, many choices that have inpact on the upcoming scenes, but only a hand full of choices will affect the alternative ending of the game.

Example 1: Medium decisions
You have 3 parts of 1 apple, but there is 6 people to feed. You have to choose which of the 6 characters get food today. Who you feed, will have impact on who will like you in the following scenes. Do you feed kids, the parents will be thankful, even if they get nothing. They might give you a little reward to show their appreciation later. Or you might feed the adults who need to do heavy work improving the camp, and you get a bit better defense in the camp.

Who you feed that scene will not have a any impact on the long term what so ever.

Example 2: Important decisions
2 characters are both in a life threatening situation. You can only save 1 of the 2, because you can't be in 2 places at once, and there is no time to save both.

When you save one, the other dies. This means that, for the rest of the game, this choice will greatly inpact the game. Either person A is alive, or person B is. And the close family members of the person you save will be thankful, while the family members of the other person might be angry that you didn't choose to save the other person.

Who you save that scene will have great impact on the long term all the way to the end.

Unimportant decisions
The game will also have tons of choices that really doesn't matter. They are just there for the sake of giving the player a sense of control while following the story. Either all choices need to be taken once before you go to the next scene, or all choices will have a similar outcome.

The thing is: During the first playtrough, the player will not know which choice is important and which is not. So for the player it feels like every choice is important. Only when the player goes trough a second or third play-trough, they will notice that many choices get a similar result.

So I will only end up with a hand full (maybe 10, or less) actual splittings that are relevant till the very last scene. I won't have a web with 120 alternative endings.

This balance and even examples 1 and 2 are taken straight from the telltale games. (Examples are from The Walking Dead season 1.) The way choices are made and everything else in the game is not like telltale games though. Only the balance as explained above is like telltale games.

Some games (like Until Dawn on PS4) promise that every choice you make cause a butterfly effect. But none of those games I tried (and I played many, since I love this genre) actually have more endings than a hand full.,

I really love this genre, and my choice based system is not based on, but heavily inspired by the choice based games I've played. Each of the following choice based games I have played multiple times and unlocked all rewards:
  • Telltale: The Walking Dead (all seasons)
  • Telltale: Game of Thrones (all seasons)
  • Telltale: Tales of the Borderlands (all seasons)
  • Telltale: The Wolf Among Us
  • Telltale: Batman
  • Untill Dawn
  • Heavy Rain
  • Beyond: Two Souls
  • Life is Strange (both series)
Probably more which I can't remember.

I've also played L.A. Noire, but I don't think I completed that one 100%. Also, the choices are way different than all the other games my system is inspired by.
 
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lotsa text
Seems like you have a pretty good balancing methodology!
Balancing is really key to creating a good choice-based game, I feel. Too many 'unimportant' choices, and the player may feel cheated. Too many 'major' choices, and it'll quickly become a nightmare of a game to develop for. I think that's why it's really important to consider the scope of a game like this.
Some games (like Until Dawn on PS4) promise that every choice you make cause a butterfly effect. But none of those games I tried (and I played many, since I love this genre) actually have more endings than a hand full.,
For example I think Until Dawn actually does a really good job at what it tries to do. Until Dawn essentially only has one ending (you survived the night) with small permutations in dialogue depending on who is alive by the end (and if everyone is dead, basically skips the ending). Its 'ending' serves more as a reward/punishment for how well the player played the game. It sort of just makes sense that the outcomes would all be similar given how small of a location/scope the game is set in (an isolated winter cabin).

Meanwhile, games like The Walking Dead can feel a bit fake or disingenuous in their choices at times, especially on subsequent playthroughs, as no matter how wildly different your choices are that you make, no matter who is with you, the player somehow always ends up in the same locations, meets the same people, and everyone you choose to "save" ends up dying later by some other means regardless (presumably to avoid complicating development of sequels).

I think, despite its flaws, Detroit: Become Human has so far (to me) felt the most like "my choices matter" while also having a large scope, although even Detroit ends up feeling a bit stretched thin towards the end just due to how massive it is (some endings definitely feel more rushed than others).


tl;dr Simple/small settings are easier to make choices feel like they matter, while the bigger the scope of your game, the more you run the risk of making the player feel like they're stuck on a straight path that can't be strayed from (or, at most, can temporarily stray off, but always return to later).
 

JohnDoeNews

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Until dawn has alternative endings. One where everyone is alive, one where a few character are alive, one where only you are alive.

The walking dead has choices that influence the game the exact same way: Some characters survive, some characters do not. You do indeed go trough the same steps no matter what, but who do you take those steps with? With the walking dead, the choices you make, even carry over in future seasons. You saying that those you save will die anyway, that is not true.

Only if you are thinking of the little bit boy, then you are right. Here it didn't matter if you saved him or not. However, the choice you make does affect how the family of the boy treats you: Will they be thankful or angry towards you? If your choice was to not save him, his family will hate you for a long time. If you choose to save him, your kicked off of the farm.

Choices might not always unwrap the way we expect, but they still matter in other ways.

I did not play Detroit: Become Human yet. Maybe I should. Sounds like an amazing game.
 

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