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Zegano
30th Jan 2008, 00:20
The Deus Ex games were all about choices, and no doubt the developers are working hard to give weight to the decisions that the player makes. But if they decide to give the player a choice between good and evil, I'm wondering if they'll give it the proper emotional impact.

Take for example Bioshock. I haven't played it, but from what I have been told you're given a choice when it comes to these good/evil decisions. Whenever you find a little sister you're given the choice of saving her from her tormented fate or killing the child for more power. But when you do this the screen just fades to black and then when you come back you've got a power up sitting there on the ground for you. The only person who ever hates for it is some lady at the very end of the game. You don't have the child's mother pleading with you not to do it.

If you want your decision to carry some weight then I think that players should be given hints of the results of there actions before they carry them out, so that they know just how good or evil they will be. So there you go Eidos: Either play it safe or work your butts off if you intend to borrow from bioshock.

Gary_Savage
30th Jan 2008, 03:46
Zegano, I am wondering if, by talking about other peoples' reactions to your actions, you are referring to certain things in Deus Ex (the first one) like:
1) Paul's being happy or admonishing, based on whether or not you killed anyone on Liberty Island,
2) The UNATCO trooper's reaction to your methods against the NSF
3) Anna Navarre's being angry, or gratified, based on how you dealt with the NSF in Castle Clinton

If so, then yes, this is the kind of thing that I would definitely LOVE to see more of in DX3 (I don't know if people miss it from DX2, since I never got the play it). I really liked it how some of the NPCs could get you emotionally involved, and you feel frustrations, attachments (to particular NPCs, like Paul, in my case), all thanks to the good story, your place in that story, and the reactions of NPCs to you.

_____________________________________________________________

I admit that I did not find all of the NPCs' reactions convincing: some parts, like where a UNATCO tooper mentions about Anna's grinding gears over my actions with Lebedev were a bit lacking. Overall, however, I liked how the NPCs reacted not just to my actions, but also talked about other things, like ina living, breathing world: I was quite delighted with ION Storm when one of the troopers in Hell's Kitchen started complaining about the kind of ammunition issued by Paul.

RedFeather1975
30th Jan 2008, 06:04
The game Mass Effect did this element of storytelling okay.
But it used the characters you bring along to comment mostly on your actions and scoldings from superiors to back up the drama.
Unfortunately it never really felt like there were any long lasting repercussions to your decisions. :(
If there were supporting characters that appeared throughout the game, and their relationships with the main character changed depending on how you make choices in the story, it would be cool.

BTW, my favourite character in Mass Effect is Kaiden. His personality is pretty clear. He's the character that grounds the main character in morale truths throughout the story. Regardless of what you do, he's got a little comment to throw in that makes you think about whether or not you did the right thing. To bad they didn't go a step further and make him turn into a potential obstacle depending on how extreme your choices appear to him throughout the game.
One thing I really did not like in DX games is that regardless of how you choose to do things in the game you are always given the same paths at the end. It never felt like my choices were opening or closing doors in the story.

rhalibus
30th Jan 2008, 07:51
One thing I really did not like in DX games is that regardless of how you choose to do things in the game you are always given the same paths at the end. It never felt like my choices were opening or closing doors in the story.

It's true, they usually weren't--Warren Spector once said that his goal was to have a structured story by a professional writer, but with multiple paths through it; The developer would provide the "what" and the player would provide the "how". Changing the actual story would be cool, but it would also involve another magnitude of complexity for the developer.

What would changing the story entail? Specific levels unique to the particular story branch? New characters? I believe the developers should start out with a basic working Deus Ex structure and then add story branching only when the fundamentals of an immersive world are met.

Xcom
30th Jan 2008, 10:56
If you want your decision to carry some weight then I think that players should be given hints of the results of there actions before they carry them out, so that they know just how good or evil they will be.

In my opinion, good and evil is pretty much always self-evident. It can become a moral dilemma when it's about right vs. wrong. Sacrificing single person for the benefit of the many may not be "evil", but is it right/wrong?

I also think "not knowing" how things will unfold is what gives your decisions weight (in the aftermath). I remember the first time I played DX, I left Paul when he told JC to take a hike through the window. He died, of course, but then I learned I could save him. Seriously, this haunted me till the end of my first run through the game. Obviously, had I known from the beginning that I should just ignore Paul's command to escape, the experience would have been completely different (much less emotional).

Zegano
30th Jan 2008, 21:16
Zegano, I am wondering if, by talking about other peoples' reactions to your actions,


Yes, that is what I was talking about, although I guess I a little vague. In DX the only difference between killing and not killing was at the start with Paul's reaction to you and the op bonus. I actually stunned Lebedev, carried him all the way back to UNATCO, and left him alive in the infirmary. The game still thought I had killed him.


In my opinion, good and evil is pretty much always self-evident. It can become a moral dilemma when it's about right vs. wrong. Sacrificing single person for the benefit of the many may not be "evil", but is it right/wrong?

What I meant was that decisions should carry some emotional weight. Its easy to sacrifice a single person for the greater good if they're just some statistic, but what if you care about them? What if you sacrifice someone to a pack of dogs, then turn around to see their fear and agony? It makes decisions so much harder, and engages the player at a deeper level, even if the game level result is you saving ammo.


I also think "not knowing" how things will unfold is what gives your decisions weight (in the aftermath).

Thats why I said "players should be given hints" instead of shown what their actions will do. If a player does something for someone which seems bad but which will have good consequences, only to find out that they were completely used I think it would be a great plot twist.


What would changing the story entail? Specific levels unique to the particular story branch? New characters? I believe the developers should start out with a basic working Deus Ex structure and then add story branching only when the fundamentals of an immersive world are met.

Agreed.

O.m.a.r
1st Feb 2008, 13:36
Zegano is right on the money. I've Played a bunch of RPGs Kotor, Elder Scrolls, Fable. But none of these games ever compared to Deus Ex. The reactions of people when you do ANYTHING. The Rentons for example, there’s about five different outcomes all with different reactions. If the daughter dies and you talk to the father you can feel his sorrow and anger; or when he sees how Jojo is treating his daughter and he asks you for a pistol. And when if found out that Paul could be saved i felt so bad for leaving him. I want that sense of emotional reality that you don’t seen in other games (even in movies now in days). That’s what made this game great.

!mphasis
7th Feb 2008, 02:29
Yes, that is what I was talking about, although I guess I a little vague. In DX the only difference between killing and not killing was at the start with Paul's reaction to you and the op bonus. I actually stunned Lebedev, carried him all the way back to UNATCO, and left him alive in the infirmary. The game still thought I had killed him.


Lol, you are a legend, the game should have had that option scripted in.




What I meant was that decisions should carry some emotional weight. Its easy to sacrifice a single person for the greater good if they're just some statistic, but what if you care about them? What if you sacrifice someone to a pack of dogs, then turn around to see their fear and agony? It makes decisions so much harder, and engages the player at a deeper level, even if the game level result is you saving ammo.


I think decisions that carry emotional weight should be moved away from shooting. For example, the player walks around a corner after killing 20 UNATCO soldiers, and one pleads for his life. Nearly every player will shoot him.
BUT
Imagine you are fighting on a bridge, you finish the fight and one soldier has lost his weapon and is just hanging on, about to fall off.
You can leave him to fall, shoot him, or help him. This makes the player think, rather than shoot.




Thats why I said "players should be given hints" instead of shown what their actions will do. If a player does something for someone which seems bad but which will have good consequences, only to find out that they were completely used I think it would be a great plot twist.


Imagine saving the soldier, he thanks you for saving his life, helps you in combat, shows you the way, only to betray you and lead you into another trap.
'Great plot twist"?
I think that'd be incredible!




Agreed.

Agreed.

Zegano
7th Feb 2008, 02:43
I think decisions that carry emotional weight should be moved away from shooting.


Of course.


Imagine saving the soldier, he thanks you for saving his life, helps you in combat, shows you the way, only to betray you and lead you into another trap.
'Great plot twist"?
I think that'd be incredible!


Well, if he helped you fight against mutual enemies, only to deliver you to his own masters at the end, the it would make sense. I was thinking something along the lines of the Dragon Tooth sword, where you steal its technology to bring peace to the triads, only in this case Tracer Tong stabs you in the back and takes the technology for himself, so you have to hunt him down and get it back.

Boiny Bunny
7th Feb 2008, 09:28
While rewarding you morally for dealing with situations in 'better' or 'worse' ways (like shooting the NSF terrorists or stunning them all out), I don't want to see the game full of ridiculous moral decisions in every second conversation like KOTOR.

I mean, if I walk into an alley and some girl is about to get mugged by 2 punks, don't make my only dialogue options:

1) "Step off or die" - they attack you
2) "Can I help?" - you get 33% of her credits
3) "I'll be leaving now" - they attack you

This is what I would have expected to see in DX2: IW. Whereas in DX, you would more likely have a fourth dialogue option where you find out the mugger's wife has some disease and needs money to treat it - so you break into the local med clinic or something and steal her something to help her with it - solving everybody's problems except the doctor you stole from.

The most interesting part of DX was when you were working for UNATCO and felt like you had a civic duty to civilians as well as doing your usual stuff (killing NSF, etc.).

I'd like to see newspapers (much like in DX) following your actions, as well as different characters reacting in different ways to you depending on how you treat them/if you help them or not.

I don't *want* to be able to help everybody and do everything in one playthrough. Make lots of choke point choice sections - but in a DX context - not IW!

Zegano
9th Feb 2008, 00:35
I agree that they shouldn't force feed us too much morality or anything else for that matter, it takes emphasis off of other cool features. I remember reading someone talk about IW; "even the freaking jukebox has a philosophical opinion!"

pauldenton
9th Feb 2008, 03:38
I agree that they shouldn't force feed us too much morality or anything else for that matter, it takes emphasis off of other cool features. I remember reading someone talk about IW; "even the freaking jukebox has a philosophical opinion!"

lol,

one important aspect i feel is to have goading, bating, condescending main enemies, where they talk down to you, mock you, mock your friends mock your action like in DX1

personalised choices goading -
`personalised` goading could add to the immersion, say they are mocking you for a choice you made that was taken from a number of possible choices but they know the choice you made and are making a personal attack on that particular choice, say you went throgh a tunnel instead of a bridge at the end the enemy is mocking you for taking the tunnel, not sure if this effect featured in DX, the only thing i can think of is where you have taken care of all the guards at one stage and he aknoleges that you have done so, but i think that was more as a method of not letting the game caught out that any deliberate element in trying to increase personalised anomosity.

but generally this goading mocking helps to motivate you, angers you and gets an internal conversation going - hes giving it all his bluff and bile and you are saying to yourself while hes talking `yeah yeah whatever, ill get you you bastard`
it helps to keep the game focused and keeps you motivated.

everyone rememers page and simons after the game.

but having all enemies that you are never quite sure about - who is evil?, can just lead you to not really caring what happens.

the games i have enjoyed the most had someone heavily goading you, such as DX and return to castle wolfenstein.

also i just want to add that i loved the lenth of DX, i feel the lenth helps to give more time to flesh out the charactures as well as giving you much better value.

id hate to see a short game that you can complete in less than a weekend.