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Interview But Thou Must: Choice in Games

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by VentilatorOfDoom, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. VentilatorOfDoom RPG Codex Staff

    VentilatorOfDoom
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    Tags: Alpha Protocol; Chris Avellone; Obsidian Entertainment

    View this <a href="http://blip.tv/file/3491456/">1 hour video interview</a> with MCA - the man who made the choice to never play Arcanum and sticks to it - and his minions explaining the subject of <i>Choice</i> in games by example of Alpha Protocol.
    <br>
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    I preordered this game and will let you know just HOW MUCH it sucks as soon as I played it.
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    Spotted at: <A HREF="http://www.rpgwatch.com/#14811">RPGWatch</A>
     
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  2. denizsi Arcane

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    Call me naive, but all of a sudden, I have this fuzzy warm feeling about Alpha Brotocol.

    I still think that most of the game (ie. combat and stealth bombing) will be shit, though.
     
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  3. Fat Dragon Arbiter

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    Is this worth watching? Good to know before wasting an hour.
     
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  4. Clockwork Knight Arcane

    Clockwork Knight
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    It's MCA - I'm surprised you people aren't lubing each other's cocks already
     
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  5. Jaedar Arcane Patron

    Jaedar
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    The first 5 minutes are pretty indicative of the full hour. Worth watching in my opinion.
     
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  6. Sceptic Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

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    Pff you're so out of touch with the 'dex. Praising MCA/Obsidian is so passé. KKKs are now earned by bashing Alpha Protocol while making sure you avoid reading/listening about it as much as possible.
     
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  7. Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis

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    and don't forget that MCA never actually did anything good, and PS:T was barely acceptable.
     
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  8. Fat Dragon Arbiter

    Fat Dragon
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    MCA-sama never played Arcanum, he has forsaken us. :cry:
     
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  9. denizsi Arcane

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    Summary: there are no good vs. evil choices; no one choice nets you more advantages than the other; there are many significant segments of the game you may not even get to see depending on your choices; the way "choice intersections", eg. the cinematics, play out depend on past choices so not everyone gets the same slam-dunk cinematic + flavour choices; <<this is in line with whether you get to experience certain game events also based on past choices; there are 180 of such intersections. And that one such intersection takes an insane amount of time to do.
     
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  10. HanoverF Arcane Patron

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    They say all the right things. I'm still dubious of the dialogue mostly because the timer looks like you have to decide what your response will be before the person you're talking to is done speaking.
     
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  11. Texas Red Whiner

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    If one choice is not better than the other one, what's the point of choosing :?
     
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  12. Ogg Prophet Patron

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    Actually, that's not exactly what they're saying. They tried to have visible consequences for as many decision as possible. That may be cosmetic of course, but who knows... They also point out how they didn't want the "right choice" to be as obvious as it was in Bloodlines (seduction, coercion or persuasion answers). That should mean that one choice is better than another, I guess. Besides your decisions can actually lead to different stories and that mean you can miss an encounter with a pink-loving russian mercenary. Yeah, I know, that's not what I expect from an RPG either. But I haven't seen any good interactive story for long time.

    That being said, the video was quite entertaining (though not very informative). I really feel like I'm one of MCA's chums now I've drunk some beers with him.
     
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  13. Clockwork Knight Arcane

    Clockwork Knight
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    So you pick the one you prefer, not the one you "should" pick because it's clearly the best one.
     
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  14. Sannom Savant

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    That's kind of the point, actually. The point is not (only) to make the player stress over what to say but enable for flowing conversation with no "breaks".
     
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  15. Texas Red Whiner

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    If you don't have to actually think on what would be the better option, you could just have an option to "always choose the renegade response". On the next play through, you tick "always choose the paragon response" and see the remaining content. Instead, you should act intelligently and choose the "correct" option on both play throughs, since the "wrong" option makes the game more difficult.

    That's the definition of a game. You have to overcome challenges using your head. If all of the options are "right", then there is no challenge and consequently no sense of reward. The only way such games challenge you is by isolated enemy attacks that are scaled to your level and that you're meant to defeat. This is why FO has better combat than ME or DA. You have to complete quests in a variety of ways, choose to kill or steal or to barter and THEN you'll get that awesome machine gun and an interesting conversation. You're not meant to kill that raider the moment you arrive in the town.

    Here is an example of how a choice should work: In FO2 you can choose to become a slaver. Normally, having a tattoo on your head stating that you sell people is a retarded choice. However, it is not because you get major rewards in terms of loot, experience and money. One choice makes your character powerful, the other one gives you a chance to complete other quests. But by being powerful, you can unlock or finish the quests which you couldn't before.
     
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  16. denizsi Arcane

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    On the contrary, if there is always a "better/best" choice available regardless (especially since there are no dialogue skills to dictate those), what's the point of having any other choice at all?

    edit: that^ is a very poor perspective to look at it from. You are describing what is simply an approach, not necessarily a good choice vs. a better or worse one. Otherwise, people would be replaying the game with other choices just for the sake of it, to see everything for completism's sake, not because the game still offers interesting situations with other choices, which also completely negates defining your character through your choices.

    It's really something when you see it voiced on the Codex that some choices must be better where others will be redundant.
     
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  17. Texas Red Whiner

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    The choice needs to have an impact on the actual gameplay instead of just a variation of cut scenes you get. The choice can yield good weapons or armor, experience or reputation in a town, all which should be accompanied by different dialogs and character expositions. These rewards need to be different and uneven and it's up to you to decide what would serve you better. This decision in turn is based on what class or skills you have and whether you prefer selfish or altruistic solutions.
     
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  18. Texas Red Whiner

    Texas Red
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    How about those threads about MotB where practically everyone demanded to have an option to fight Kelemvor? What can be more wrong solution than attempting to best a god in his on domain?
     
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  19. Clockwork Knight Arcane

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    That's what "not having a 'right' choice" means
     
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  20. Texas Red Whiner

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    Except the rewards since KotOR 1 for the quests have had absolutely no impact on actual gameplay and I don't believe AP will be any different. You'll be forced in to dungeon crawling with scaled enemies where, no matter what rewards you chose, you're meant to defeat them. The difficulty isn't based on how intelligently you acted, but by what difficulty option you chose in the options. This is the reason why getting new armour in FO2 gives you a great sense of reward and while it isn't so for any Bio or Obsidian game. In FO you had to you use your head to overcome the challenges, while in Bio games there is no sense of being rewarded since all of the choices are correct and hence there is no challenge.

    Becoming a Slave in FO2 is obviously the wrong choice. But nevertheless it's a viable choice. So is digging up the graves for loot or killing the children. But in all of the instances you can make these choices work for you even if the consequences might be severe.

    By choices I also mean to choose to kill a gun merchant for his weapons. This is gameplay. Not the ones that occur during cut scenes where you have a clear A and B.
     
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  21. denizsi Arcane

    denizsi
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    You are taking the whole "right choice" thing from a moralistic point, and that's ok. I was arguing against meta-gamey approach of having one choice to rule them all (eg. every Bio game). And you are right about Bio games of course. As for MotB, I haven't played it yet.

    However, Obsidian here are talking about whole segments of game content becoming available depending on choices and in theory, that's hardly different than joining or fighting slavers from a gamist pov and arguing over the method of the choice ("gameplay" action vs. cutscene) is quite trivial. There is no one single universal approach to do it for every game. Comparing a loosely narrative sandbox model to a contained theme parks one isn't healthy.

    Note that I'm merely defending what Obsidian wants us to believe, assuming it's as impactful and diversive as they make it out to be. I'm hopeful. I just hope there isn't too much combat to endure to get to those parts; it looks terrible.
     
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  22. DarkUnderlord Bringing that old Raptor magic. Dumbfuck

    DarkUnderlord
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    484 MB video? FFFUUUU-

    God-damned shitty Australian internet. First 5 mins was good, so I'll DL this and watch it later. Like next week sometime when the DL is finished.
     
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  23. Clockwork Knight Arcane

    Clockwork Knight
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    Australia cannot into internet
     
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  24. JrK Cipher

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    That was pretty hilarious.
     
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  25. bozia2012 Arcane Patron

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    Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck, yeah!
     
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