Should i make One or Two routes?

Which one should i make?

  • One Route (Gender Ambigous Protagonist)

    Votes: 6 100.0%
  • Two Routes (Male/Female Protagonist Choice)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    6

GuipenguinTheMaster

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I'm making my first game, and i want it to be acessible to people not that familiar with games, as it is meant as sort of a board game-like coop family game.
I'm thinking about making two routes: one with a Male protagonist and one with a Female protagonist, each one having different content, but i think that might be too complex or have bad synergy with the whole pick up and play coop thing the game has going on, so i thought about making just one gender ambigous protagonist (Like Frisk from Undertale or Kris from Deltarune) and having that be the only route.
What do you guys think?
 

KawaiiKid

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Keep in mind that doing 2 routes could double the amount of work in making your game. If this is your first game, I'd suggest keeping it simple and stick to 1 route. You might not realize how much work actually goes into creating a game, and this way you can get a good baseline before delving into more taxing endeavours.
 

GodCiunas

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Star Ocean 2 a playstation game had two variable routes using female and male character viewpoints. Each with similar in game story. Really it just showed to express the two main characters views beliefs and emotions on the events with a few tweaks like recruitable characters. Personally I don't believe that it matters either way. And I wouldn't get lost in the context. An engaging game is just that, whether ur a male, female, unisex, or a walking pencil. But some ppl do like choice. Really what it come to is whether you think it will improve your game or offer contextual value.
 

Milennin

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I can't think of reasons as to why gender would make much, if any gameplay difference at all, unless you're making a dating simulator.
 

GuipenguinTheMaster

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I can't think of reasons as to why gender would make much, if any gameplay difference at all, unless you're making a dating simulator.
Yeah, there wouldn't be any gameplay differences directly related to the characters gender, but other things would change (like some exclusive skills you can get), and also, the both protagonists are straight in both routes, so their love interest would change, story-wise.
 

sugarcr4sh

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I'm personally a fan of gender ambiguous protagonists, plus it's less work for you! From an artistic standpoint I think it's really fun to make neutral designs, another option is to give them an ambiguous design + let the player pick which pronouns to use (she/her, they/them, his/him).
 

Tai_MT

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Here's some old advice from a game vet.

If the choice doesn't offer anything MEANINGFUL, then there shouldn't be a choice. Don't ask your players to pick up their dice and roll for something to happen if the dice roll is useless.

Is the choice between being a male or a female meaningful, or is it just "cosmetic"? Does the story change in any meaningful way? Does it offer something new enough for players to play BOTH routes?

If it doesn't offer enough for players to play BOTH routes, then the players who only play a single route aren't even going to know what was different on the other... if anything at all.

From the perspective of a dev trying to create a "True Choice" game in which every choice asked of you changes the game and the story in meaningful ways. So meaningful, that you would have to compare your gameplay to someone else's to see all the changes and how the story unfolded for them.

With the first choice in my game, you are given 3 options. This is three branches. Three MEANINGFUL choices.

So, I have to track each choice, track where along the path they are, keep referencing the correct variable, and "diverge" the story among NPC's and Events and everything else as I go.

It is an INSANE amount of work. I've been at this a while and am not yet into "demo" status with such a game.

Even with just a binary choice, there are a LOT of things for me to account for (and I have a few binary choices at points). I have to account for how the main character is going to act/react, how each party member is going to act/react, how NPC's might act/react, how the story might change based upon that choice, and how the context of a given future quest might change.

From a binary choice.

It turns a 2 hour programming session into something like 3 spreadsheets and 7 hours minimum programming. To account for everything.

Before engaging in "choices matter", I suggest you find out how much you need to account for in a game where no choices matter. Then, multiply the time you took there by 2.7x for each "choice" point. That's about how much extra work is involved (rough estimate).

If your binary choice of whether someone wants to play as a male or female avatar is just that, then hey, it's just an avatar. Doesn't really matter and can be included just for funzies. But, if it's meant to "change the game", you're going to start having some issues with workload.
 

GuipenguinTheMaster

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After a while of this thread being open, it seems most people think the "One Route" approach is better, at least for my first game.
I'm inclined to agree, but i'm still open to further votes and suggestions.
 

GuipenguinTheMaster

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I also think having one route only will simplify the game and make it more acessible.
And that's not even counting the fact that it fixes the whole "who picks which route to play first in this coop focused game" thing.
 

Vati

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Just going to echo what Tai_MT already said - offering meaningful choices is a lot more work than one might first imagine, if it relates to the story and gameplay content that the player comes across. In that case, for a first game project, I'd keep it simple and one route only until you have more experience.

Being able to choose gender alone without it affecting story is a nice touch if you want to add it, though it still adds some stuff to keep in mind where the script might have to change via variable once in a while when words related to the gender come up. Otherwise, go ahead!
 

gstv87

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gender choice: open-ended RPG.
fixed protagonist: semi-open adventure.

one is a world of lore that the player explores on their own, and the other is a written story with specific characters that the player plays *as*.

a middle point would be a rotating point of view as seen in Until Dawn: the characters go in and out of the picture as required by the plot.
 

Basileus

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Making a video game is a lot of work. Writing a single coherent story with satisfying development and conclusion is a lot of work. Making a video game with a single narrative path that is satisfying and developed is an immense amount of work, and most attempts to do so will fail.

So you have to ask yourself: "Do I have enough experience completing games and completing stories to do it twice with both versions making sense as a complete package?"

Personally, I can't think of any examples of a dual narrative that don't have problems. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 is decently popular, but suffers a lot because of how hard it is to write the story when two party members are exclusive to either the male or female player. Tales of Xillia tells the same story from the perspective of either the male or female lead, but gets a lot of criticism for both routes not receiving the same level of focus. It seems like a massive headache and isn't really worth it since most players would prefer a single "canon" route instead that covers everything important.
 

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