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Mandrake
elementry school minded asshole


Joined: 28 May 2002
Posts: 1341
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2004 12:52 am    Post subject: [quote]

You are completely missing my point though. I never said it was impossible.

I said that there are two types of immersion in a game: one where the player dictates the story being told, and one where the game does. Either type restricts the other, and both have different ways of keeping immersion that you can't use with the other.
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Rainer Deyke
Demon Hunter


Joined: 05 Jun 2002
Posts: 672

PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2004 3:10 am    Post subject: [quote]

Another game that got it right, IMO, was Quest for Glory. On the surface it was completely free form. However, most of the things you could do eventually tied into the main plot. For example, if you visited Zauberberg and spoke to Erasmus, you could learn about the curse on the valley which was the main focus of the game. However, you could visit Zauberberg at just about any point in the game, or you could skip Zauberberg entirely.

Mandrake wrote:
You are completely missing my point though. I never said it was impossible.


I thought you said that story-based immersion and exploration-based immersion were polar opposites, implying that one type of immersion is merely the absence of the other type of immersion, just like cold is the absence of heat and heat is the absence of cold. I (and appearantly other people in this thread) must have misunderstood what you meant.
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Mandrake
elementry school minded asshole


Joined: 28 May 2002
Posts: 1341
Location: GNARR!

PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2004 3:40 am    Post subject: [quote]

Quote:
thought you said that story-based immersion and exploration-based immersion were polar opposites, implying that one type of immersion is merely the absence of the other type of immersion, just like cold is the absence of heat and heat is the absence of cold. I (and appearantly other people in this thread) must have misunderstood what you meant.


What I meant was that they were polar oppisate forms of immersion and gameplay. A game can contain both elements, but both *styles* are oppisate in how the immerse the player into a make beleive world.

A story-centric style of immersion does so by restricting the player to tell a good story. The story is what immerses the player, and as such has it's own ways of keeping the player in suspension of disbelief. OTOH, when exploration is important and the player is the on who *creates* the story, the immersion is based on the oppisate- freeing the player and using as little restrictions as possible.
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Hajo
Demon Hunter


Joined: 30 Sep 2003
Posts: 779
Location: Between chair and keyboard.

PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2004 12:42 pm    Post subject: [quote]

Mandrake wrote:

A story-centric style of immersion does so by restricting the player to tell a good story. The story is what immerses the player, and as such has it's own ways of keeping the player in suspension of disbelief. OTOH, when exploration is important and the player is the on who *creates* the story, the immersion is based on the oppisate- freeing the player and using as little restrictions as possible.


Good to know! I've been trying to bring both together and always got stuck. Now that I know I don't need to bring them together, a few obstacles just vanished from my path :)
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white_door
Icemonkey


Joined: 30 May 2002
Posts: 243
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2004 8:12 pm    Post subject: [quote]

I think the chief problem I have with your point is the fact that you are attaching linear to good story. Although the example I cited earlier may have included some almost linear gameplay elements, there are other RPGs that have included good stories that didn't include any form of linear gameplay.

If a game uses linear gameplay to tell its story, it can allow the developer to tell a good story with lots of depth. However if a developer want to give a game a good deep story, it doesn't mean they have to use any linear gameplay features to it.
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Mandrake
elementry school minded asshole


Joined: 28 May 2002
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2004 8:39 pm    Post subject: [quote]

Ok. I can agree to that point.
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Nephilim
Mage


Joined: 20 Jun 2002
Posts: 414

PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2004 5:00 am    Post subject: [quote]

white_door wrote:
However if a developer want to give a game a good deep story, it doesn't mean they have to use any linear gameplay features to it.


What's an example of a good deep story in an RPG that doesn't have any linear gameplay features? The only ones I can think of are multiplayer games (MMORPG's, MUD's, etc.), where you have other humans to react to the vagaries of the player's behavior.
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Mandrake
elementry school minded asshole


Joined: 28 May 2002
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Location: GNARR!

PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2004 1:00 pm    Post subject: [quote]

Quote:

What's an example of a good deep story in an RPG that doesn't have any linear gameplay features? The only ones I can think of are multiplayer games (MMORPG's, MUD's, etc.), where you have other humans to react to the vagaries of the player's behavior.


Well, I wouldn't go so far though as to say MMORPG's and MUD's do that. Stories work differently than real human interaction. Anyway, games that do both well are Ultima Underworld, Ultima 7, and Planescape: Torment.

It is possible. Just not very likely. Anyway, what I was talking about was not whole games, but methods to use to implement immersion techniques. A whole game does not need to follow one technique.
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white_door
Icemonkey


Joined: 30 May 2002
Posts: 243
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2004 7:31 pm    Post subject: [quote]

Quote:
What's an example of a good deep story in an RPG that doesn't have any linear gameplay features? The only ones I can think of are multiplayer games (MMORPG's, MUD's, etc.), where you have other humans to react to the vagaries of the player's behavior.


well I guess it depends on what you define as linear gameplay. In my opinion, if the player has only 1 viable option that will lead them to a positive outcome, you have linear gameplay. In some RPGs there are no choices to made beyond the confides of the battle field, and that is okay! I'm just say its possible to do more than that, without destroying the possiblity for a complex and interest plot.

At the end of the day the player can only follow a path in the plot as layed down by the developer... but if there are enough different and interest paths at any given moment (be it in battle or in the plot).. then it will never feature what I think of as linear gameplay.
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Nephilim
Mage


Joined: 20 Jun 2002
Posts: 414

PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2004 1:12 am    Post subject: [quote]

Mandrake wrote:
Well, I wouldn't go so far though as to say MMORPG's and MUD's do that. Stories work differently than real human interaction.


True, and that's kind of my point. The only way to get complex interaction, it seems to me, is to have a human on the other end. Either you have a human scripting the story, or you have humans that you interact with. If you have neither, then the "story" (be it scripted or the emergent history of the virtual society) will tend to get shallower and less compelling.

In terms of "linearity", I think what Mandrake is getting at is not that exclusively linear gameplay is best. The point is that you have a continuum of interaction. At one extreme, you have a truly linear game, where the player is basically taken along for the ride, and cannot influence the plot at all (except perhaps by getting killed). The RPG author can closely control the drama, which makes for a good story, but it can leave the player feeling like he has no control over anything.

On the other extreme, there is no enforced plot, and the player is free to roam and do whatever he wants. This gives the player a great sense of freedom and immersion in the game world, but since there is no human scripting out what happens, there is considerable danger of a rather weak "story" that plays out - it's up to the player to carry that weight.

Most RPG's fall somewhere between the two extremes. For instance, there are often side quests which you can opt to explore or not in an otherwise linear game (like in the FF games). Or in a largely free-form game, there might be little linear (or mostly linear) vignettes that add plot to an otherwise uncontrolled environment (like in Diablo).

Linearity, in my view, is not strict. You can measure it on a scale, say, of how many possible "endings" there are. For instance, if there is one fundamental choice you can make that results in one of two endings, that's still approximately linear, since the vast majority of the time, the player does not have any freedom. In other words, it's linear up to the point of the choice, and it's linear after the choice.

The more plot-influencing choices you have, the less linear the game becomes. But as you give the player more freedom, you also expand the "experience space" that the player can end up selecting out of.

As the "experience space" grows, chances are good that the most enjoyable experience (which might be viewed as the best story) won't be the one the player ends up experiencing, unless you can have most choices have roughly equal enjoyment value (a clever trick if you can achieve it).

But more importantly, as your experience space grows, so too does the effort to create the game tend to rise, because you have more content to define. Given a fixed amount of time, do you want to spend that time on one good story, or half the time on each of two shorter, less detailed stories?

Obviously, the math doesn't work out exactly like that, since you only need one map engine, for instance, but the point is that the more player freedom you provide, the more content and functionality you tend to have to define. Unless you come up with a very clever way to get around that, eventually, you must make a choice where on that continuum your game will fall, and that choice will probably have a profound effect on how much effort it takes to create your game and the quality of the story you end up telling the player.
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DeveloperX
202192397


Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 1624
Location: Decatur, IL, USA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:01 pm    Post subject: [quote]

fuck that is one scary intelligent spambot....and major necroposting holyshit
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tcaudilllg
Dragonmaster


Joined: 20 Jun 2002
Posts: 1731
Location: Cedar Bluff, VA

PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 3:20 pm    Post subject: [quote]

If you want to create a truly responsive AI, keep this in mind: all judgments are relative to an assumed absolute.
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tcaudilllg
Dragonmaster


Joined: 20 Jun 2002
Posts: 1731
Location: Cedar Bluff, VA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:39 am    Post subject: [quote]

A man named Victor Gulenko wrote a paper about two decades ago describing how thought moves from one psychological function to another. Reason begets dreams, begets ambition, begets power, begets reason. The chain also works in reverse.

If you could put that in a game, you'd have a pretty functional analytic actor capable of making judgements and setting its own agenda.
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