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jordan_a
7th Feb 2008, 09:40
Hi,

I don't know about you guys but there was something I didn't quite like on the two previous games.

In fact, the multiple endings all occurred in the last moments of the game but I'd like to be able to choose much sooner.

From my point of view, the game would simply be better (and perhaps more realistic and credible) if our choices had a stonger and decisive impact on the story telling.

To conclude, I would not like to see that last stage of multiple choices. Sure it does bring some drama to it, but if the events could completely alter sooner, that would be great.

Boiny Bunny
7th Feb 2008, 10:22
I think I know what you mean. I'd like to see your choices through the ENTIRE game matter.

Not be able to 'instantly' swap factions and thus unlock a new ending at the last moment.

Each different ending should require a new playthrough - well IF it's like DX2 where it's pick a faction.

DX1 was cool because you had to make a moral decision on the spot - it had nothing to do with your previous choices except who was there to give you advice.

jordan_a
7th Feb 2008, 10:46
I'd like to see your choices through the ENTIRE game matter. Not be able to 'instantly' swap factions and thus unlock a new ending at the last moment.That's my point.

Xcom
7th Feb 2008, 15:21
I have thought about this many times, and to be honest, I am kind of undecided about it.

I know that the devs made this decision on purpose because they felt that a player shouldn't be "punished" in the end for some decision he might have made in the beginning. I think they had a point.

"Why didn't I kill that damn Lebedev... Only now, in the end, I realize that I have sent the world into Dark Age, and I don't want that at all." See, this sort of scenarios won't provide you with the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment, but rather make you feel like a fool. And games should never, never make you feel like a fool. :p

jordan_a
7th Feb 2008, 16:03
I know that the devs made this decision on purpose because they felt that a player shouldn't be "punished" in the end for some decision he might have made in the beginning.It slipped my mind but now that you mention it, it has to be considered.

Draco1979
7th Feb 2008, 19:14
My two cents. Ok for something that is in the middle. lets take DX2 lets say you wanted to be part of the knight templares you can play the part and when you get to the island they knight templars will not attack you till you change side with an anther fraction.

Papy
7th Feb 2008, 20:27
In fact, the multiple endings all occurred in the last moments of the game but I'd like to be able to choose much sooner.

From my point of view, the game would simply be better (and perhaps more realistic and credible) if our choices had a stonger and decisive impact on the story telling.
I strongly disagree. One of the feeling I had when playing Deus Ex was I was caught in something greater than me. I was not the center of the universe. If I play a game where I notice that my decisions change the story significantly, then I begin to view myself as the center of the universe. I begin to feel I'm playing a pointless game made for my own entertainment, rather than exploring a world.

Small changes (like Deus Ex) are great, decisive impact will only give the game this Disneyland I hate so much.



"Why didn't I kill that damn Lebedev... Only now, in the end, I realize that I have sent the world into Dark Age, and I don't want that at all." See, this sort of scenarios won't provide you with the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment, but rather make you feel like a fool. And games should never, never make you feel like a fool. :p
Having the player make a blind choice is a bad idea, but if the player plays like a fool, the game MUST make him feel he his a fool. A game should about winning and losing, not about letting the player feel good about himself no matter what he does. Otherwise, what is the incentive of trying to do our best?



Ok for something that is in the middle. lets take DX2 lets say you wanted to be part of the knight templares you can play the part and when you get to the island they knight templars will not attack you till you change side with an anther fraction.
Personally, I would be very wary of a traitor, even if he is now on my side. I will simply not trust him. What about you?

Xcom
7th Feb 2008, 20:48
Having the player make a blind choice is a bad idea, but if the player plays like a fool, the game MUST make him feel he his a fool. A game should about winning and losing, not about letting the player feel good about himself no matter what he does. Otherwise, what is the incentive of trying to do our best?

I agree, but I was referring to story-related decisions rather than some strategic/tactical choices.

Boiny Bunny
7th Feb 2008, 21:41
I think you guys are taking this out of context.

If you are playing IW say, you will hear alot about the Order and the WTO or whatever they're called. You will then most likely, based on their different philosophies pick one and start doing all their missions and harming the opposing faction wherever you can.

Then Apostlecorp is thrown into the mix. From this point, you must again decide who you are working for.

Then you find out the Order and WTO don't really exist and are just fronts for the Illuminati and AGAIN are forced to pick.

Now for the whole game to this point, you've been stuck with the templars as enemies.

So from here on, now that you know what each faction is and who is really behind them all, you should be able to pick one and stick to it.

It makes no sense to butcher Templar for the whole game and ramble on about how they are evil etc., then in the last five minutes have the option to join forces with them!

Has anybody here played 'The Witcher'? The way your selection of a faction affected the 5th Chapter was implemented quite well.

The game could quite easily work off a 'points system' where every time you do something good for a faction you are awarded 'trust' or some such thing with them, and vice versa for doing bad things.

Yes frankly gamers *should* be punished for their decisions at the start of the game. Why?

Because they made that decision with all of the knowledge that the game character had at the time. It's stupid that a player should be able to undo everything bad they might have done once they find out the truth - not to mention very unrealistic.

YOU as the player should be making all of your decisions at the time you make them, based upon all of the info the main character has at the time and nothing more. If you make a mistake - too bad. That's how it would work in the real world. You make a decision that you think will be good - and it pans out bad.

It makes the entire start of the game, with all of it's faction-specific quests and choosing sides feel totally irrelvent - because no matter which side you pick at the start, or what you do, you can *always* take it ALL back and change sides again!

jordan_a
7th Feb 2008, 22:07
when playing Deus Ex was I was caught in something greater than me. I was not the center of the universe. I begin to feel I'm playing a pointless game made for my own entertainment

Having the player make a blind choice is a bad idea
You contradict yourself here


It's stupid that a player should be able to undo everything bad they might have done once they find out the truth - not to mention very unrealistic.
YOU as the player should be making all of your decisions at the time you make them, based upon all of the info the main character has at the time and nothing more.
It makes the entire start of the game, with all of it's faction-specific quests and choosing sides feel totally irrelvent - because no matter which side you pick at the start, or what you do, you can *always* take it ALL back and change sides again!
AB-SO-LU-TELY :thumbsup:

Papy
8th Feb 2008, 23:35
You contradict yourself here
No I don't.

Oh, and don't removed words in my paragraphs. If you want, I can play this funny game with what you said too and make you look like a fool.

jordan_a
9th Feb 2008, 00:20
That was not my intent. If you are caught in something greater than yourself in the game, you have to admit there's nothing wrong with allowing the player to choose blindly; it's part of the story.

Papy
9th Feb 2008, 17:39
I had the feeling of being caught in something greater with Deus Ex because I didn't have any significant choices. If I had choices, for example if I could join a faction over another, I would then feel in control and it would completely change the way I view and play the game.

Also, I had a strong feeling of accomplishment with Deus Ex because, at the end, I was finally able to get free from other people control and do my own choice. This was my accomplishment. If the whole gameplay is about making choices, one after another, where is the accomplishment? Where is the reward? I only desire what I don't have, not what I already have and take for granted.


As for blind choices, the problem with them is that if they do have consequences, you end up punishing the player based on luck alone. Several games use this "learn by making mistakes" as a basis for their gameplay, but I'm not a big fan of those.

On the other end, if they don't have consequences, you end up with something meaningless and superficial. You end up playing with a Barbie doll in her Barbie house, instead of facing problems you have to solve. But like the "try, die, reload and try the other choice" gameplay, playing Barbie is not something appealing to me.

I guess you can use meaningless blind choices to give a feeling of being caught in a conspiracy, like IW tried to do, but obviously this is something that could fail miserably.

PD182
20th Feb 2008, 13:23
I would definately be with the sooner rather than later approach for maing a player take sides, i have played dx1 so many time and every time i regret the first time i just loaded back to Pauls little speech aout Helios and finished all the games endings straight away. It wont have the longevity that it could have, no more last minute side switching. early choices having permanent effects

rhalibus
21st Feb 2008, 23:46
One of the problems DX2 had by allowing the player to take sides was that it seemed to be a "choose your own adventure" story rather than an immersive world. Warren Spector himself stated that QA testers were complaining that when given the choice of allegiances, they didn't want to choose any of the options.

I think the original DX style--which was to choose the "how" and let the story take care of the "what"--seemed to provide more immersion; considering you could actually choose any option you wanted. Spector seems to support this idea in many of his interviews.

Eidos should concentrate on the philosophies that made DX great, instead of biting off more than they can chew, forcing them to release an unfinished product.

IcarusIsLookingForYou
3rd Mar 2008, 07:28
I think gamers are ready for games with long term consequences, both in story and gameplay. There have been a few games that have dabbled in this concept (Mass Effect, Bioshock), but I think they've only scratched the surface because the line between good and evil is still too well defined in those games. I like how Bioware talked up how you'd have to make "difficult" choices and walk moral tightropes throughout Mass Effect, but in the end it was quite obvious which path was the path of the hero and which one was the path of the jerk. If there's any game series that has done ambiguity well, it's DX. DX's universe certainly has the potential to push the limits of the "consequences" concept, the devs just need to understand that. Hell, if anything it will increase the games replayability.

Falkenherz
3rd Mar 2008, 11:11
(...)
Now for the whole game to this point, you've been stuck with the templars as enemies.

So from here on, now that you know what each faction is and who is really behind them all, you should be able to pick one and stick to it.

It makes no sense to butcher Templar for the whole game and ramble on about how they are evil etc., then in the last five minutes have the option to join forces with them!

Has anybody here played 'The Witcher'? The way your selection of a faction affected the 5th Chapter was implemented quite well.

The game could quite easily work off a 'points system' where every time you do something good for a faction you are awarded 'trust' or some such thing with them, and vice versa for doing bad things.

Yes frankly gamers *should* be punished for their decisions at the start of the game. Why?

Because they made that decision with all of the knowledge that the game character had at the time. It's stupid that a player should be able to undo everything bad they might have done once they find out the truth - not to mention very unrealistic.

YOU as the player should be making all of your decisions at the time you make them, based upon all of the info the main character has at the time and nothing more. If you make a mistake - too bad. That's how it would work in the real world. You make a decision that you think will be good - and it pans out bad.

It makes the entire start of the game, with all of it's faction-specific quests and choosing sides feel totally irrelvent - because no matter which side you pick at the start, or what you do, you can *always* take it ALL back and change sides again!


That is EXACTLY what I liked about the game, that you could change your mind at every point of the game, and the turning points were all logical and thus believable. Remember when the Illuminati Leader captures your former classmate; it made me turn against the WTO the first time. It would have been a shame if I couldn´t have done it because of a stupid light-side/dark-side-point-system.

And the possibility to change allegiances in the final stage was a great thing which kept the game in tension up until the very end. And it was believable; all faction members knew in the final stage that YOU could turn the table, so they all made some last effort to convinve you, INCLUDING forgiveness of your past actions, logically. I liked this very much; "Here I am, I kicked your arse in the past and yet you have to ask me to join your cause... mahahaha"

Please do not change that, it was a GREAT feature!

MiB
5th Mar 2008, 16:01
Plot stuff!

hey, here´s my point of view with all this about...

When played DX1 i liked a lot the sensation of having to make choices to go with one faction or another or to do missions for some people or others and see that my decisions made changes in the long run.

specially i remember in the last stages of the game, the sensation of hurry to decide the ending, everybody telling you their point of view. that was cool.


But i agree to the idea of making the ending move since the beginning.

even with small things like killing everybody on sight or not. giving food to someone a beggar for example, just to find that later in the game this gets back to you someway.

This is how life works. ( real life). all you do, comes back to you sooner or later.

The only problem i see in this system is:

1- sometimes you might do things without noticing and this crush you in the future. there must be ways to warn or to inform the player of the consecuences or at least, let him know that some actions will have consequences.

2- assure that the story is filled with these things. not only changes that might change the whole plot in a significant way. these have to be fewer.

to not hamper the original plot, but add the sense of being in a real world that changes depending on your actions ( and the fact that your actions take consequences), add lots of non altering plot choices. ( or at least non altering too much the plot!).

i hate a game that doesnt matter if you kill everybody or not. ( for example).

jordan_a
5th Mar 2008, 22:14
As for blind choices, the problem with them is that if they do have consequences, you end up punishing the player based on luck alone.I don't agree because from my point of view it makes the game more surprising and immersive.

Let me explain.

When you see a good movie or read a good book, you never know what is going to happen next to the main character. Why would it be any different with video games? I'd love to make blind choices because this is what the character we are playing is supposed to be confronted to "every day". It's not punishing the player to give him a harder next level if he made the second choice instead of the first or taking 2/3 of his inventory if he walked down the wrong street and got trapped while he was warned by a bum.

It can be unfair at times I agree, but hey, destiny, fate is part of every story, fictional or authentic. We make good and bad choices and get rewards or penalties, there's no denying that.

----------------------------------------

On the other hand I still want to claim that decisive and sooner choices are much better that the DX 1 and 2's last stage.

IcarusIsLookingForYou
6th Mar 2008, 01:13
I will agree with you twice on that note, Jordan. If anything, blind choices reward the player with new experiences. The more there is to discover in a game, the more you will return to that game. The best games are the ones you play 5 years after you first got it and say, "Hey, that's never happened before!"

Papy
6th Mar 2008, 01:13
When played DX1 i liked a lot the sensation of having to make choices to go with one faction or another
Actually, you never had that choice with Deus Ex. The story was linear. There was a few branches here and there, but you could never actually decide on which side you were. With Deus Ex, you were not choosing your faction, factions were choosing you! (Thank God this is not Slashdot and I can't be moderated down)


When you see a good movie or read a good book, you never know what is going to happen next to the main character. Why would it be any different with video games?
Because with a video game I am the main character and not a mere spectator like with a book or a movie. You never have to choose anything while reading a book or watching a movie, but you do have to choose while playing a game. That's why it must be different.

Having said that, automatically knowing what will happen next is obviously not interesting, but being unable to find any clue about what could happen next can only be frustrating. It turns the game into a simply game of chance. It's like playing head or tail. This is a bad game design because while being unlucky is frustrating, being lucky is not really rewarding.

BTW, your example is not a blind choice because you were warned by a bum. Even if you missed the info because you didn't care to speak to the bum, it would still not be a blind choice from the game point of view. Even if it was some kind of cryptic clue you could have found 2 hours before, it would still not be a blind choice from the game point of view. It would obviously be a very difficult game, but not a game with blind choices.

MiB
6th Mar 2008, 15:06
Papy, its true, the plot was closed down, but i discovered it later on when i tried to replay the game and stick to what unatco wanted me to do.


so the first time i played DX1 i got the sense that i was really choosing.

^_^

Romeo
28th Mar 2008, 06:59
There was alot of freedom in the end of Deus Ex (Personally, I chose the flaming penguin faction. They had the strongest moral fibre) but I agree with those that said it was a little too... Rushed. I was slightly despressed to find out that all my previous choices accounted for absolutely nothing. I would like consequences to my actions. And you cannot claim this is unfair to the player. The whole BioMod system was based upon blind choices (One mod may help out in the situation you are in, but deny you other things later).

m72
28th Mar 2008, 07:19
I agree with the TC, i think every decision should have a bigger impact toward the world. There should be some decision where say it completely locked an ending out. Anyone here play The Witcher?, that's how i want DX 3, decision making wise. anyone who finished it should know that at some point of the game you will be doomed to join one of the faction or being neutral and you can no longer join the other faction. for example in IW i killed dozens of templar and Saman still wants my help how is that possible, it's obvious that i don't like his faction much, so why is he even bother to ask my help. so i hope DX 3 decision making will be more like the Witcher and less like KotOR

Romeo
29th Mar 2008, 03:03
Yes, I found the Witcher was supreme in terms of decision making and consequences. If Eidos manages to pull that off in Deus Ex 3, I will be very, very impressed.

IceBallz
29th Mar 2008, 03:25
I agree with the TC, i think every decision should have a bigger impact toward the world. There should be some decision where say it completely locked an ending out. Anyone here play The Witcher?, that's how i want DX 3, decision making wise. anyone who finished it should know that at some point of the game you will be doomed to join one of the faction or being neutral and you can no longer join the other faction. for example in IW i killed dozens of templar and Saman still wants my help how is that possible, it's obvious that i don't like his faction much, so why is he even bother to ask my help. so i hope DX 3 decision making will be more like the Witcher and less like KotOR

So true. Why should they care about you, if you have been killing their men for fun and in the open ?!? There should be some kind of system that reads of your kills and how open those are for the specific faction. So if you kill a "we say a Templar" and a security camera or other Templar sees this kill. You have been given some procents of minus to the Templar order and if you reach a 25% status of open kills of Templars, you will be banned to join them.
Like you can always kill a boss of one faction, but get a 100% loyality fall, a dead warrent on your head and be banned from that specific faction. This may even give back some loyalty points to some other factions or all, that are against this bosses faction. In this way you can always mix with your loyality to all factions in game. You could even kill a boss in one other faction and slowly gain back your loyality points in that leaderless faction from before to a 24% limit. By killing a boss in other faction, take freelance missions from faction and kill members in their enemy faction(s). This would make you to the second leader for this faction, more later on in game. There is much to it. Living faction choosement and even that you could make you self to a leader of one faction, with your diplomacy of who to kill and who to spare.

Romeo
29th Mar 2008, 07:23
"Choosement"? I'm sorry, but your english is terri-bad. =)

dimaf1985
29th Mar 2008, 22:49
The problem with affecting the story eraly on, by allowing you to make choices that affect it the rest of the way through, is that its a slippery slope. How early do you make this choice? And how much does it affect the rest of the game?

There have already been discussions on how to approach the story in DX3 and there seems to be a one camp of people that favour allowing the player to make a choice early on, and have the game progress through a radically different story arc than if you had made a different choice. That's a nice fantasy, but the devs of ANY GAME wouldnt have the time or budget for that.

Furhtermore, everyone seems to be a big fan of the way DX1 did things in terms of plot, but then contradict themselves by suggesting some sort of completely different system, with alternative pathways based on choice, and factions, blah blah blah. The immersion of the plot in DX came from the fact that it was very believable and well-written. But never did you actually make any sort of choice as to how it all proceeded. Whether or now you killed Lebedev you still went back to UNATCO and then on to Hell's Kitchen. In Hell's Kitchen you HAD TO establish the uplink, and switch sides over to the NSF, rather than making a choice between believing your brother, or giving him up to UNATCO. In Hong Kong, once you found Tracer Tong, you couldnt just kill him to rejoin forces with UNATCO. The game still had a definitive plotline that had to be followed and there is absolutely no reason to screw with that formula.

I agree with the person that said you can let your choices affect the HOW of the player character's progession, and let the plot take care of the WHAT. Thats what made the plot so great, because you were just part of it. You werent sitting there making it up as you go along by switching allegiances and then discovering your consequences. Thats what they tried to do in DX2, remember? How great did that turn out? The story became unhinged and difficult to follow. The key in DX3 to the story telling is to hire professional writers to do the job and that will be good enough.

rhalibus
29th Mar 2008, 23:57
The problem with affecting the story eraly on, by allowing you to make choices that affect it the rest of the way through, is that its a slippery slope. How early do you make this choice? And how much does it affect the rest of the game?

There have already been discussions on how to approach the story in DX3 and there seems to be a one camp of people that favour allowing the player to make a choice early on, and have the game progress through a radically different story arc than if you had made a different choice. That's a nice fantasy, but the devs of ANY GAME wouldnt have the time or budget for that.

Furhtermore, everyone seems to be a big fan of the way DX1 did things in terms of plot, but then contradict themselves by suggesting some sort of completely different system, with alternative pathways based on choice, and factions, blah blah blah. The immersion of the plot in DX came from the fact that it was very believable and well-written. But never did you actually make any sort of choice as to how it all proceeded. Whether or now you killed Lebedev you still went back to UNATCO and then on to Hell's Kitchen. In Hell's Kitchen you HAD TO establish the uplink, and switch sides over to the NSF, rather than making a choice between believing your brother, or giving him up to UNATCO. In Hong Kong, once you found Tracer Tong, you couldnt just kill him to rejoin forces with UNATCO. The game still had a definitive plotline that had to be followed and there is absolutely no reason to screw with that formula.

I agree with the person that said you can let your choices affect the HOW of the player character's progession, and let the plot take care of the WHAT. Thats what made the plot so great, because you were just part of it. You werent sitting there making it up as you go along by switching allegiances and then discovering your consequences. Thats what they tried to do in DX2, remember? How great did that turn out? The story became unhinged and difficult to follow. The key in DX3 to the story telling is to hire professional writers to do the job and that will be good enough.

This all just re-inforces the merit of an "infinite" number of methods to accomplish a goal vs. a finite number of goal choices. The first (DX1) method proves to be more immersive, while the second (DX2) method--despite any theoretical good intentions--seems to limit immersion.

Make DX3 follow the philosophy of DX1, not DX2! :)

Draco1979
30th Mar 2008, 00:03
Well dima I agree with you that good writting goes a long way and that what made the first one better. Some of the other people do want a different system. Others want to make a choice on what to do earlier in the game other then at the last minute. One thing that struck me a lil odd about IW was the last level you had your family and the other three fractions there, but the only one not trying to kill you was your family and the OMAR. With that being said the other bosses wanted you to side with them at the last minute but they are not going to give you a free pass and not attack you once you get to the Island.


I am in favor of picking a side in the middle of the game and having that story played out and play it again to pick anther side to see how that story is played out. I know this may make the game take longer to make but if it is well written should not matter. I mean we are going to pay almost 50 bucks for the game that is like 2 movies and half if you just go by your self and not eat anything.

On both games all I did was just reload the last map to see how it would turn out with what i suggest you would get more replay out of it and get to see more of the alternative end story plot.

Dead-Eye
30th Mar 2008, 01:45
To me one of the big problems with DX:IW was that there were too many Fractions. In Deus Ex it felt like there were two fractions MJ12 and the Resistance. Not until they vary end did the Resistance show any sign of diversity.

This is one of the things that made Deus Ex so good. You had a natural Enemy in the game, MJ12. You were fighting to stop MJ12 form archiving their goals, it was just the "what comes next part" that the Resistance wasn't in agreement about. This added a feeling of reality to the game, no matter what you did at the end you ended MJ12 achieving what everyone in the resistance wanted. But as in almost every rebel group there is no plan or course of action after the fighting ends. The Rebel's only had power to motivate people into overthrowing there government, they didn't have the power or organization to rebuild a nation after the fighting ended. There are vary few exceptions to this.

Deus Ex 3 should refine this system, mostly because it worked. Some points that should have been flushed out more is the character interactions. I would also like to see rewards in this area. For Example on my first play through of Deus Ex Paul Died. There were no real consequences for Paul's death, and rightfully so because in the real world people don't scold people (I.E. players) for what could have happened in these types of situations. Finding out that you could save Paul made me think there would be some kind of reward, and although there was a small conversation in Hong Kong, A data link at the end, and a conversation just before talking to Bob Page, there was not as much as I had hoped for. Adding a bigger reward for saving, Paul, Smuggler, Jock, etc. would increases the games experience.

To flush out this game concept I'm trying to get at more there are a few examples of what I'm getting at. The Player in DX:IW was given too much freedom for it too be fun. Deus Ex didn't give you any freedom but that was the point in a way.

*You had to fallow your orders.
*You had to betray UNATCO
*You had to stop MJ12

But at the same time the game gave you no choice. The realistic alternative to these choices was in a way death.

*If you had not fallowed your orders you would get fired, The equivalent of turning of the game.
*You ether had to betray UNATCO, or UNATCO would betray you. (although turning Paul in would have been an option)
*MJ12 wonted you dead it was you or them.

The game however did give you a choice were there was a logical or non-insane alternative.

*You didn't need to fallow Navarre's orders.
*You didn't need to kill Lebedev
*You could kill Navarre
*You could jump out the window when the cops raided Paul apartment
*You could stay and fight the cops when the cops raided Paul's apartment

Things of this nature were added although the non-freedom part of the game.
(Parts were it was unrealistic to do anything else then what was asked of you, I.E working for UNATCO, stopping your kill switch, etc) When the player finaly got to the freedom part of the game. (Just after the kill switch is deactivated) The player should have been so pissed at what MJ12 had done to them that any other alternative then fighting back would be boring, and out of character for both JC and the player.

The major choice that was not added to the game was the ability to stay with UNATCO, witch in my view was the only point were JC's Character was in control and not the players. I could be said that the moment that you step foot on Jocks helicopter to go to New York instead of Hong Kong was the point were MJ12 decided you had defected and was going to kill you. Although this should have been included in the game.

As we can see Deus Ex was popular because the player was fighting ageist something all the time, first terrorist then MJ12. There was allot of resign to drought why you were fighting. But you at lest you were fighting. This system should be the foundation of Deus Ex 3 plot because it was the system that Deus Ex's plot was built on.

Draco1979
30th Mar 2008, 02:02
mhmm I cant speak for anyone else but I always knew why I was fighting a person in the game. At the time they were the bad guys and in all games bad guys always shot at you meaning they need to be dead........

dimaf1985
30th Mar 2008, 05:57
OK. To ME, one of the biggest problems in DXIW was the fact that there were factions AT ALL. I am not sure how this "factions" idea worked its way into some of these fps games, but i am getting really fed up with it. Its become less of a plot-based journey, and more of a systematic process of marking certain NPCs with friendly flags, and completing a series of objectives. If you look carefully, you will notice that it seems as though they used the exact same SDK for DXIW as they did with Oblivion. Both games had a "factions" system, where you joined, did missions and rose in rank. There are a couple of dozen other subtle and not-so-subtle similarities in terms of engine and game design, but i won't go into those.

The point is that with this system, plot now becomes a function of gameplay. Rather than being engrossed in the experience of having a role to play in a plot that has already been pre-determined, you get to direct the course of the action. The result of this, of course, is that the plot becomes unhinged. There is no sense of urgency to keep going and find out what is next, because you already know what is next. You pick a side, you do a mission, and you get one reward or the other. Over and over and over again.

It's like those books i used to read as a kid. You read the first couple of pages and then the main character comes to a crossroads. If you make choice A, go to page X, if you make choice B, go to page Y. Eventually, you get bored reading this thing, either because you grow up, or because you develop ADHD by switching plotlines every two seconds. In DX1 there were no FACTIONS just a defined, but complicated and engrossing plot. The whole factions thing was an idea was cooked up by the devs of DXIW to provide a way of streamlining game development, which cuts costs.

Now, I dont want to catch any flak for knocking the IDEA of factions, which is NOT what i'm doing. Games like KOTOR and STALKER had faction systems, but they were unique and developed specifically for those games. Im talking about the streamlined version that was cooked up for DXIW and then overused with Oblivion, Bioshock and others that im just not aware of at the moment.

Again, DX1 did not have a "factions" system, per se. It had a plot that involved the main character switching allegiances a third of the way through and every subsequent map had NPCs flagged based on that plot, rather than some choice you made. The organizations invovled were a plot element, not a gameplay element, the latter being one of THE fundamental flaws in DXIW.

m72
30th Mar 2008, 06:21
Maybe, the factions system on IW are not done that well. But i started to wonder what if in DX i say, screw Paul and Tong i'm doing UNATCO's order, and starts doing MJ12's dirty work, what if i become the guy who crushed the resistance? I think DX 3 should have that kind of system, we can have two opposing factions then, we decide what which faction we gonna fight for at some point and create 2 different storyline.

dimaf1985
30th Mar 2008, 06:46
Maybe, the factions system on IW are not done that well. But i started to wonder what if in DX i say, screw Paul and Tong i'm doing UNATCO's order, and starts doing MJ12's dirty work, what if i become the guy who crushed the resistance? I think DX 3 should have that kind of system, we can have two opposing factions then, we decide what which faction we gonna fight for at some point and create 2 different storyline.

Right, right. I wondered the same thing myself the 2nd or 3rd time i went through the game. However, part of the immersion of the plot was the mystery behind WONDERING what if... In fact, a couple of times i wondered how long i could stall for before getting caught in Battery Park (one time i actually made it out of the station and over to the chopper, but Jock wasnt there:D). Or what if in NY you kill Paul instead of sending out the transmission to Silhouette. I understand what youre getting at, but again, thats a budget and time problem that the devs would have, i think. But also, like i mentioned, its the mystery that was more exciting than actually having the choice to switch sides. It made the world that much more believable because you WONDERED how it would affect thier lives and the events of the world. Obviously they dont have lives and there is no world because its just a computer game. But the fact that this game was able to evoke those feelings speaks volumes about how successful the devs approach was to the storytelling. I just think they should take that same approach with DX3.

Mr. Poppalopolis
31st Mar 2008, 03:58
This probably means 4 times as many maps, unless they have you go through the maps in the same order and have different scripts.

Or they could make it an open-ended RPG/FPS.

m72
31st Mar 2008, 09:46
Well, that remains to be seen about the time and budget, since i'm not sure they gonna make DX 3 on DX's style of minimal budget. But wouldn't it be more realistic if you actually have the ability to choose the lesser evil? instead of going with just three guys from the same side ordering you to do things that very likely benefited their agenda the most?

dimaf1985
31st Mar 2008, 11:34
Well, that remains to be seen about the time and budget, since i'm not sure they gonna make DX 3 on DX's style of minimal budget. But wouldn't it be more realistic if you actually have the ability to choose the lesser evil? instead of going with just three guys from the same side ordering you to do things that very likely benefited their agenda the most?

Well, thats the kind of choice you got in DXIW, and i remember that game sucking. HARD.

IceBallz
31st Mar 2008, 17:48
There are no need for a diplomatic choice of factions. There could only be different ranks into faction quests, so you earn difficult amount of loyality points to the factions in difficult quests, like betwin -10% and -25%. All factions should have ranks on their characters, like bosses have a -100% loyality fall, if you kill that boss. One faction soldier or bandit should have loyality points of -10% and even get -5% more fall into your loyality to faction if some other of that factions sees that kill made by you. Even if a camera linked to that faction captures that kill make a loyality fall on -15% to specific faction. So there is no need to write under a paper, to join a factions. It could simply been handled by loyality bars to every faction. Ofcurse there could be some diplomacy, but only if you still have atleast +75% left in loyality bar to that faction. If not, they wont even ask you the question of being in their faction. But just to make it too simple, like all been handled with diplomacy is not good. This should be more organic and living system.

mad_red
23rd Apr 2008, 19:41
Seems like most people view the story as either a tree or a thread.

The tree variation offers you a choice (usually at the beginning), where you go off to play the game either on one branch or the other. Either there's no way back, because then there would be no point in making that choice, or there is a way to undo your choice or switch sides/branches, but that would be unrealistic or something.

The thread variation basically offers you the illusion of choice, but in fact the plot is quite linear, except at the very end when you have the big picture right in front of you.


My suggestion: make the story like a woven fabric. Even if you're just a thread in that fabric, changing your color will still change the whole picture.

I think most of us want both a real story (thread), plus multiple endings (tree). So how do we factor freedom of choice into that? I really don't think it's that hard...



Every story has plot points in the middle. What if here you can see the results of your choices so far, but also got the chance to change the ending slightly? This way, there could be four different endings, each of which has four slight variations. You don't even need animated cutscenes to get the message across.

So how about the freedom to change sides? If you find out the group you're supporting isn't all it seems to be, you start working for another group, just like that? Maybe, but the more often you do this, the less predictable and dependable you are as a character. If you really pissed off one group that you now desperately want to join, you might not be able to walk into their HQ, but you could still approach a middleman first and regain their trust. In the end, as long as you get the job done, what have they to lose by giving you a chance? On the other hand, the reward of sticking with one group longer could be free handouts (weapons, mods, etc.)


Just imagine: What if due to your choices, Tracer Tong got hunted down by MJ12, but Paul survived to guide you in blowing up the reactors, or Maggie Chow is also rogue Illuminati, but secretly using Page to get the position that Everett covets - the secret hand. In the thread about DX3 expansions, someone mentioned it would be cool if you could stick with Unatco all the way (edit: in this thread too!). You could still go to all the same places, defend against resistance attacks and hunt Paul in Hong Kong, X51, and stop their staged attack on Area 51 after they get the nuke through, but in the end learn about your origin and decide to face Bob Page by yourself. Even then, you could still have a choice between the three endings so long as your boss, or MJ12, Helios, or even a newspaper or email mentions the possibility of each of the endings.

You'll some creative thinking and writing, a lot of event triggers and extra dialogs/email messages/etc., but you don't need extra levels or characters, weird explanations, etc. Methinks you could have endless variations, and they could all be so cool even if the endings are predetermined to an extent.

I heard that the developers often check these forums? Because I really think the basic idea could work. I just hope there's still time to implement a little variation and freedom (if they haven't done so already!)

This + DX(FPS+RPG) = Ultimate replayability!

PS: Planescape Torment really inspired me. The protagonist could be a goody-two-shoes, or completely chaotic.

Voltaire
23rd Apr 2008, 20:36
I have thought about this many times, and to be honest, I am kind of undecided about it.

I know that the devs made this decision on purpose because they felt that a player shouldn't be "punished" in the end for some decision he might have made in the beginning. I think they had a point.

"Why didn't I kill that damn Lebedev... Only now, in the end, I realize that I have sent the world into Dark Age, and I don't want that at all." See, this sort of scenarios won't provide you with the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment, but rather make you feel like a fool. And games should never, never make you feel like a fool. :p

This is an excellent point. I believe the game would have had a better mood, though, if the choice remained at the end of the game, but there had been numerous callbacks to those "flashpoints" in the game. Like, nobody really cares what happened in NY once I got to Hong Kong and beyond (apart from some obscure Gunther Hermann dialogue that changes if you manage not to kill agent Navarre).

The choice should stay at the end, but the impact of your decisions should be felt all the way through. Gamers shouldn't be shown to be fools, but they shouldn't be treated like babies either...

Fen
24th Apr 2008, 11:57
Its been said before, but I totally agree.

The play should be able to make any choice he wants to at any point in the game and not have it force him down a certain story path. Otherwise you get people playing for a certain outcome rather than doing what they think is right in every situation.

jcp28
28th Apr 2008, 20:35
I joined here, because I read the developers, Eidos Montreal, read these forums, and I felt like there was something really important they ought to know about the direction of the story.

First of all, please don't do anything like Deus Ex 2. The factions were horribly don, andthe story there wasn't bad, but it felt somewhat hacked together, especially where it came to most of the endings. It should be a little more like DEus Ex 1.

However, there's also room for improvement there, as well. For example, there was the time where the game forced you to betray UNATCO by flying you to New York, whether you said anything or not. Now I've read enough of this thread to know that people who've played the DX games before don't like being forced down a certain path. So then, you should only be forced to make a final decision once you get to the point where your character discovers what's really going down, hopefully more than halfway through the game. But even if you make a final choice, the ending should still leave a player wondering "What if?"

And your choices shoudl definitely have an impact in terms of your relations with various groups. It shouldn't be like DX2, at all in that respect.

Chemix
29th Apr 2008, 02:22
Choices should have impacts, positive and negative, though there should always be "redemption" and "betrayal" mini quests for the major decisions in the game. If you realize that you've screwed up and things aren't going to way you'd like them to, you should be able to try and fix what you've done, whether that be to turn on your allies or help someone that you're not supposed to. It however, should not be easy, changing the way the ball rolls is never easy, but I'd rather work hard to push it in a new direction than restart from the beginning.

If Enoch could come from Cain, then good can most certainly come from darkness.

FYI: Enoch was a man mentioned in the Bible as righteous enough to enter ascend to heaven without dying, whereas Cain, son of Adam (the first man), was the murderer of his brother and the first murderer at that. Cain was Enoch's father.

Fen
29th Apr 2008, 13:07
Look, choice is nice. But too much choice is bad. The game developers couldnt let you stay working for unatco. It would require soo much more work to create an entirely different path of the story, they would be making 2 games in one. There has to be some linearity to the story, or you'll get a really shallow experience.

Choice of how to complete your goals is important. Choice of where the story goes is less important.

Voltaire
29th Apr 2008, 15:05
Look, choice is nice. But too much choice is bad. The game developers couldnt let you stay working for unatco. It would require soo much more work to create an entirely different path of the story, they would be making 2 games in one. There has to be some linearity to the story, or you'll get a really shallow experience.

Choice of how to complete your goals is important. Choice of where the story goes is less important.

It wouldn't have been that difficult. Manderley could have just told you that you were going undercover in HK once you proved you were UNATCO through and through, then alter a few of JC's speech cues later on. Remember, UNATCO was always just a puppet organisation, and Manderley was a puppet too Simons and co. It could easily be explained that you stayed loyal to UNATCO but then got betrayed by MJ12 and therefore UNATCO. And that closing statement kinda makes out that we can make do with just believing we're making a difference to the plot when we aren't (something that happened in DX1, highlighted here).


Choices should have impacts, positive and negative, though there should always be "redemption" and "betrayal" mini quests for the major decisions in the game. If you realize that you've screwed up and things aren't going to way you'd like them to, you should be able to try and fix what you've done...

You mean like in real life? :p

No, here I think that DX1 got it right. Like if you don't feed that kid at Battery Park, he immediately takes a dislike to you, and you can't redeem that. In life, there aren't second chances for all your screw-ups, especially on a global scale... what will be will be.

You can't fight bullets with ideas ;)

jamhaw
29th Apr 2008, 17:45
I think that they should just develop booster packs and expansion packs to make it so you can follow different story arcs yet have it seemlessly placed into the game.

mad_red
29th Apr 2008, 18:17
It wouldn't have been that difficult. Manderley could have just told you that you were going undercover in HK once you proved you were UNATCO through and through, then alter a few of JC's speech cues later on. Remember, UNATCO was always just a puppet organisation, and Manderley was a puppet too Simons and co. It could easily be explained that you stayed loyal to UNATCO but then got betrayed by MJ12 and therefore UNATCO. And that closing statement kinda makes out that we can make do with just believing we're making a difference to the plot when we aren't (something that happened in DX1, highlighted here).

Exactly! The beauty of Deus Ex is that you're already offered a lot of choice. The expanded scenario above doesn't require any new maps and models or anything. Just added dialogue and some triggers.


I understand there are time and budget restraints for game companies. The other side of the coin is that companies are constantly pushing the envelope. Just compare crysis graphics with DX1 graphics. The same can be done with story-telling. Take a few (mis)steps, and then the scope of possibilities comes into focus.



About choices, maybe some can be reversible, and some cannot. All I ask is that the minor ones be interesting and realistic, and that the important ones be very, very distinct.
Handing out some candy is one thing. Killing Lebedev is another.

InGroove2
29th Apr 2008, 18:41
i think this notion of giving the players the most plot control as possible is quite ludicrous.

first: DXI is genius because of the writing. because of the dialogue and the philosophy which so closely mirrored moder conspiracy theorist thought that it seemd almost plausible. it seemed like the extreme fantasy of what conspiracy theorists think. it had very real connections to the world around us etc.

IW totally lost that, well, not totally, but the story was WAY more contrived and convoluded.

DXI didn't really let you choose plot points, which is important. it merely offerd you choices as to how to pass each section of the game, each choice would make certain other parts of the game more or less difficult to play through. it affected if certain people were angry at you or not etc.

but i think people forget that a major component to DXI is that JC, at that point, wasn't really known, he wasn't supposed to be part of a faction. he was rogue guy, working in cahoots with some factions but really, he was on his own, the chosen one, in a way. so the idea of comparing the two games in this way is crazy...

DXIW was set up similarly, but kind of forced into a game device used by Teif Deadly shadows, the faction thing, faction rating... which only really made certain aspects harder and other aspects more difficult, respectively. DXIW failed to capture the... kind of X files quality. the lone guy fighting this huge conspiracy, out in the dessert, or down in the ocean... in clandestine places, secretive meetings... paranoia. that's what i missed in DXIW... the paranoia... that was so great

the factions thing was never really a plot thing. if people want that movie quality it seems to me that the only great way to tell a story is to actually TELL a story. It's not realiztic to think that letting the player totally dictate a good number of elements will allow for good story telling. it just wont, it defies the principle OF story telling.

they're just 2 different types of gaming. i prefer DXI. I prefer to be subjected to a story and simply be able o decide what path i will take (even though i HAD to take every path i could, just to see)

Chemix
29th Apr 2008, 20:05
You mean like in real life? :p

No, here I think that DX1 got it right. Like if you don't feed that kid at Battery Park, he immediately takes a dislike to you, and you can't redeem that. In life, there aren't second chances for all your screw-ups, especially on a global scale... what will be will be.

You can't fight bullets with ideas ;)

While they're are few second chances in real life, there is usually the opportunity to try. Also, I think when facing a major revelation, like that you're being used or something, there should be the choice to fight that, or use it to your advantage. Of course not all choices can be undone, but some indeed can. Pissing someone off once should not damn you for the rest of a game. People forgive... sometimes.... rarely... if ever

Deadelus
30th Apr 2008, 10:40
I see what you mean, but then again, if you were to remain loyal to UNATCO then realize the truth, Then what? Or if you were siding with JC and Paul and realized that's probably not what the world wants, then you're screwed. It's also interesting that stuff like killing a mechanic can save a pilot. But then again, I think I might just be insane.

Voltaire
30th Apr 2008, 14:12
The path choice issue is out of hand here. I will now (for the second time) unleash why I think that the storytelling of DX1 was to riveting.

Voltaire's Shoddy Sequel Theorem: DX1 was a more satisfying game than it's successor for one reason. JC Denton. .
The first game had a protagonist that was to the gamer as a blank canvas is to an artist. JC was impossible not to relate to because there was very little we knew about him. His political leanings were mouldable, his opinions were mostly player controlled, he was asexual, he had customizable race, he had no name. The game let you believe that you were JC Denton because there was nothing about him that was averse to what you are. If anything, we are led to relate very strongly to JC: it's his first day on the job as a nano-augmented super agent and it's [I]our first day on the job as a nano-augmented super agent.
Alex D on the other hand, was already set with a personality of his own, no room for the gamer there.

If the gamer can't let themselves into the head of the hero, the game can't be immersive.

In terms of freedom of choice, the story will not be sacrificed if a balance is struck between keeping the essential structure the same, and letting the gamer believe they are in control all the way through.

mad_red
30th Apr 2008, 18:40
InGroove2, you're spot-on about the atmosphere in DX1.

I don't like the idea of belonging having to choose between factions either. You always make your own decisions, and it either benefits some groups, or it doesn't.

But I do think between the beginning and the end, a lot of what happens can be based on your actions. The major plot points can remain the same, but in DX1 you had control over some things, and in deciding over those kind of things I envision DX3 could broaden your options.

Taking DX1 as an example again, in the end it's about getting to Bob Page followed by one of the three endings. I just think there's multiple ways to get there, and a lot more could have happened in between stepping of that Dockyard and getting to decide about Helios, than is currently possible in the DX1 script.

If you push it to the extreme, after realizing about Unatco and MJ12, you could be selfish and stick with them to the end. While in their service, some of the infiltration missions could become defensive missions or assassinations all taking place on the same old maps. And while you're working for them, you'll still be exposed to the viewpoints of the Illuminati and Tracer Tong. But you don't really need them to choose for their endings, so to let them live is up to you.

You could even stick with Bob Page all the way. I also think teaming up with Maggie Chow against Page would be extremely cool. Meanwhile you could fight Tong, Savage's daughter, even that timeless Unatco retired general dude (name?), and finally Paul who can escape on his own. And in the end you (or at least Helios) decide Page has to be stopped. You'll probably not be able to buy yourself back into some people's graces though, and that's another reason why I don't like faction membership.

I know I totalled everything that is good and pure about DX1 in the previous two paragraphs. I admit it's quite possible some of the indefinable magic of DX1 gets lost just allowing for the above scenarios, and it might not be worth it. Maybe you need to have 6th sense about what to keep and what to let go. BUT, the idea, the main plot line remains the same. Even DX2 had interesting ideas.
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Either way, whatever DX3 decides to do, there will invariably be plenty of "what if's" in that story too.

InGroove2
30th Apr 2008, 19:13
yes, yes, that too... i felt nothing for Alex Denton, i coudn't identify with playing what is supposed to be a sequel, but having to BE another person... and then you see JC Denton and you think "I used to be that guy... i kind of want to be him again! Look, he's like some sort of God... i wanted to be a GOD in this game!" it really lost it for me to have taken on that spikey haired look and the voice acting.... he was a little too pretty for me.

Voltaire
6th May 2008, 14:24
...that timeless Unatco retired general dude (name?), and finally Paul who can escape on his own.

Sam Carter the name of the quartermaster you were looking for. I have already expressed my fondness for Paul on these pages, and General Carter was pretty hardcore too, even if he believed a little too much in the whole UNATCO shtick. I'm gutted we never saw Carter fight.

IDEA!!! Who wants to meet a young, fightin' fit Sam Carter if (woe of woes) DX3 happens to be a prequel? Would that not rock?!

gamer0004
6th May 2008, 15:23
Great idea! Oh, and wouldn't it be cool if we could be in, I think, Washington DC during the NSF attack (they came in with thermoptic camo and we never picked 'em up on any of the sensors), the attack the guy in the Free clinic talks about in the first Hell's Kitchen mission.

mad_red
6th May 2008, 17:25
Sam Carter the name of the quartermaster you were looking for. I have already expressed my fondness for Paul on these pages, and General Carter was pretty hardcore too, even if he believed a little too much in the whole UNATCO shtick. I'm gutted we never saw Carter fight.

IDEA!!! Who wants to meet a young, fightin' fit Sam Carter if (woe of woes) DX3 happens to be a prequel? Would that not rock?!

Oooh oooh oooh, Yeah! The light is starting to shine through and something may yet blossom!

At the risk of completely hijacking the topic...

Who wants to see Joe Greene in prequel?

On second thought... I'm starting a new thread!

jcp28
9th May 2008, 19:21
Great idea! Oh, and wouldn't it be cool if we could be in, I think, Washington DC during the NSF attack (they came in with thermoptic camo and we never picked 'em up on any of the sensors), the attack the guy in the Free clinic talks about in the first Hell's Kitchen mission.

No, it was Washington State. I don't think Squalnomie is exactly a word used by the Powhatan Indians, or whoever lived in the DC area.
It's also mentioned they used to be called the Northwest Secessionist Forces by the same people who mentioned the attack. Honestly, I think fighting in rugged moutains would be more interesting than being in a city, but that's my opinion, since DX isn't really known for such environments.

gamer0004
9th May 2008, 20:24
No, it was Washington State. I don't think Squalnomie is exactly a word used by the Powhatan Indians, or whoever lived in the DC area.
It's also mentioned they used to be called the Northwest Secessionist Forces by the same people who mentioned the attack. Honestly, I think fighting in rugged moutains would be more interesting than being in a city, but that's my opinion, since DX isn't really known for such environments.

Washington DC is a place where indians live :scratch: I thought it was the capital of the USA.

jcp28
9th May 2008, 21:24
Washington DC is a place where indians live :scratch: I thought it was the capital of the USA.



As in back in the old days. I kind of inferred it, but I wasn't very clear.

FrankCSIS
15th May 2008, 23:34
It seems to me that the only time we were all annoyed about the lack of choice and consequences in DX was the possibility to continue to work for UNATCO, at least for a while. On hindsight though, the real problem with that particular episode is quite simply the way it was presented to us. Up to that point in the game, at least story-wise, we are left with the impression that an important choice has to be made, while in reality we don't have a choice at all.

The only other occasion where we are confronted with a life-altering choice is the ending, where suddenly what we decide, or which side we pick, gives us an entirely different ending. Of course our reflex, after playing the different endings, is to go back to the beginning and see if we can get different paths, only to realise once and for all that it was in fact impossible.

All of this could have been avoided, and many of you in favor of early choices wouldn't be worrying about this if the episode where you betray UNATCO had been handled better story-wise. In other words, don't give me an illusion of great possible choice if in fact it turns out that I didn't have any.

The great thing about DX were all the little choices that you had. They didn't really alter the plot, but they gave you an illusion of being partly in control, while overwhelmed at the same time. I'm very much in favor of small choices with effects either direct or later in the game, but I'm not very big on picking sides right away with completely different plots or paths, at least unless it makes sense. Small choices like Fallout 2 that affect a part of the world where the decision is made, but not the entire plot and the way it plays. After all, I don't want to make up the story, I want to live it and find out what happens next and what is really going on.

A bit off topic but I just want to mention that Voltaire (cool SN btw) makes an excellent point about bonding with JC Denton vs Alex. The immersion and the choices made sense, because they weren't forced by the predetermined personality of the character we play. It also made the story much more compelling, because we didn't spend half the game finding out the back story of our character, but rather try to understand just what the hell was going on.

Nathan2000
16th May 2008, 10:49
Alex D on the other hand, was already set with a personality of his own, no room for the gamer there.

I think it is different. JC certainly had a personality, it was only plain and possible to identify with. His opinions about terrorism and democracy were common to everybody in our civilization circle and we could choose his attitude to other topics.

Alex was probably designed to be even more customizable, but he ended up with completely no world outlook. JC defends democracy in a philosophical debate, Alex only says "Go on" or "You sound certain". Even to a man, who murdered his foster parents. His neutrality feels forced. JC is a tough guy with a sharp tongue and Alex is a no-man.

Seva
21st May 2008, 18:09
Every story has plot points in the middle. What if here you can see the results of your choices so far, but also got the chance to change the ending slightly? This way, there could be four different endings, each of which has four slight variations. You don't even need animated cutscenes to get the message across.

So how about the freedom to change sides? If you find out the group you're supporting isn't all it seems to be, you start working for another group, just like that? Maybe, but the more often you do this, the less predictable and dependable you are as a character. If you really pissed off one group that you now desperately want to join, you might not be able to walk into their HQ, but you could still approach a middleman first and regain their trust. In the end, as long as you get the job done, what have they to lose by giving you a chance? On the other hand, the reward of sticking with one group longer could be free handouts (weapons, mods, etc.)


Just imagine: What if due to your choices, Tracer Tong got hunted down by MJ12, but Paul survived to guide you in blowing up the reactors, or Maggie Chow is also rogue Illuminati, but secretly using Page to get the position that Everett covets - the secret hand. In the thread about DX3 expansions, someone mentioned it would be cool if you could stick with Unatco all the way (edit: in this thread too!). You could still go to all the same places, defend against resistance attacks and hunt Paul in Hong Kong, X51, and stop their staged attack on Area 51 after they get the nuke through, but in the end learn about your origin and decide to face Bob Page by yourself. Even then, you could still have a choice between the three endings so long as your boss, or MJ12, Helios, or even a newspaper or email mentions the possibility of each of the endings.

You'll some creative thinking and writing, a lot of event triggers and extra dialogs/email messages/etc., but you don't need extra levels or characters, weird explanations, etc. Methinks you could have endless variations, and they could all be so cool even if the endings are predetermined to an extent.

I heard that the developers often check these forums? Because I really think the basic idea could work. I just hope there's still time to implement a little variation and freedom (if they haven't done so already!)

This + DX(FPS+RPG) = Ultimate replayability!

PS: Planescape Torment really inspired me. The protagonist could be a goody-two-shoes, or completely chaotic.

I agree with this. The thing that has bothered me with games like this is that you go around with very little choice about what you do in the game and then suddenly at the very end you have the power to save/destroy humanity. It just seems like kind of a cheap cop-out to me.

Like madred suggested you should be able to make a decision about who you want to side with a little earlier in the game rather than at the very end. For example, when you go to new york to see paul after he defected from UNATCO, you should have the option of killing him and thus working for the MJ-12 and finally allowing bob page to fuse himself daedalus with icarus, making him supreme ruler of humanity.

A good example of a game that implements this idea is Vampire - The Masquerade: Bloodlines. I'll spare you the details of the plot, but basically you play as a newly created vampire in los angeles who has the option to do missions for a variety of different vampire factions (along with just continuing along the main storyline), one of these factions are the asian "kuei-jin" vampires who are not truly vampires but vampire-like creatures. If you decide to side with them in the end (and you can only side with them if you have been friendly to their leader) the end cutscene is a scene outside of the bay with them tying you to a big heavy coffin and tossing you into the ocean, all the while mocking you for being stupid enough to trust them.

Another good example of this is fallout 1 and 2. At the last cutscene it shows what happened to the world after the end of the game and according to your decisions some cities flourished, some would die out, some people became free and others remained as slaves. Yes, the story is very open ended, but I never hear ANYONE complaining about how the storyline in fallout wasn't "immersive" enough.

Basically, what I'm getting at with all of this is that you should be "punished" if you make certain decisions; and instead of simply reloading your last save and spending three minutes to find out what happens if you made the "right" choice, you should have to play the entire game over again. I think by doing that you make it so your decisions have a lot more weight in the game rather than just playing through the game and then choosing "meeny meeny meiny mo" at the end.

FrankCSIS
21st May 2008, 19:17
Fallout, like I said, was a pretty good compromise because the actions you took affected the people locally where they were taken, but did not affect the main storyline. I think the only bad decision you could make in Fallout 2 that would follow you to other cities is siding with the slavers early in the game for some good easy money. It's only much later in the bigger cities that you'd start paying for it, but I guess you should've known from the start they'd be repercussions to slavery.

This kind of semi open-ended branching is something I would most certainly enjoy in Deus Ex, and to me it's only the logical evolution of the choices system established in DX1.

sea
22nd May 2008, 13:02
Deus Ex's strength comes from its narrative. Something too open-ended is not good at all. In a game so complex already, giving the player the ability to make constantly plot-significant, plot-meaningful choices is just not feasible. Furthermore, one of Invisible War's biggest problems is that choice is too prevalent in the game world; the player feels like he or she is the centre of the universe, with everything revolving around him or her; while the attempts at forming a moral grey area are admirable, it becomes meaningless without distinctly good or bad sides to contrast things with. In Deus Ex, grey areas exist and are compelling, but are not the focus of the game; rightly so, because they don't create a strong narrative structure.

As has been proposed previously, the best way to go about designing Deus Ex 3's plot, with regards to choices, it is to give the player the ability to determine the outcome of key emotionally-significant but not plot-significant events. This is the absolute best you can do, I think, because it makes the player feel like he or she has control on an individual level (determining the fates of other characters, etc.), while at the same time allowing the player to feel like he or she is caught up in a massive conspiracy, always being guided by an invisible hand. Naturally, finding out who or what this invisible hand is, should be key to the plot. Deus Ex is, despite its combat and viewpoint, a role-playing game, and I think that a role-playing game should have a strong story element. A story that is entirely up to the player is not a strong one.

A problem that has been cited with Deus Ex is that, in a couple of places, the player is made to feel like he or she should have a choice even when none is available (such as joining UNATCO). This, however, can be remedied with the foresight to create a plot where this sort of issue never appears, or a plot where this issue is ultimately inconsequential. I don't think too much effort should be applied to creating a million "what-if" scenarios, because then any flaws in those will stand out all the more strongly.

mad_red
22nd May 2008, 14:30
Sea, you almost touch upon that golden middle ground that I'm hoping for. But putting emotion versus plot just doesn't sound right. I've never played Vampire: Bloodlines and, god spare my soul until I do, Fallout. They seem to have the right idea.

Sure: We need a narrative. We love multiple endings. And a lot would like to influence those endings a little more dynamically, instead of in just one key event.

And then there's the people who wonder "what-if?" What if JC chose a different path (or as I would have it, any path he damn well pleased). The question we should ask: does that leave the ending intact? Could you still get to Bob Page and Helios eventually? If yes -> plot preserved!

Even if you decided to kill everyone you meet... Ok, well, that's going too far. What I mean is: You can have a dark age without Tracer Tong. You could have an Illuminati ending without Everett. You could even have them with other characters in their place. You could even have a New World Order ending if you joined MJ-12.

I'm fine with emotion in a game. In fact, Nathan2000 was right in saying that Alex Denton had no personality and opinions. But I also want to work with means to an end, not just with feelings. Personally, the last thing I want DX to be is some sort of Japanese "RPG". No offense, but I would prefer role-playing over a combination of combat plus interactive fiction or story-telling.


EDIT: Here's an interesting formula:
With freedom comes responsibility (or plot and endings). Therefore the more freedom, the more possble plot-lines. Too much freedom and the plot will become too convoluted and/or too random.

In the game-plot, knowledge determines freedom. Too little knowledge, all your choices are random and meaningless. Too much knowledge, and you can predict everything.

That's the basic formula. What does it tell us? It's not about how many or few factions you can join/people you can kill/endings you can have. It's about the golden ration between creativity and intelligent design. There is no such thing as too much of anything. There is either too little freedom, or too little excellence. :thumbsup:

sea
22nd May 2008, 15:45
Sea, you almost touch upon that golden middle ground that I'm hoping for. But putting emotion versus plot just doesn't sound right. I've never played Vampire: Bloodlines and, god spare my soul until I do, Fallout. They seem to have the right idea.When I say that the player choices don't impact the plot, I mean they don't impact it significantly. When you're given the chance to kill Lebedev, if you turn away, Anna kills him anyway. Even if you kill Anna, which has a significant effect on how other characters treat the player, it doesn't really mean much later on in the game except you don't have to kill her at another point. Lebedev just kind of disappears. It's really a beautiful aspect of the game, design-wise, because that decision holds such emotional significance for the player, but ultimately it just changes a few lines of dialogue and one or two encounters later in the game. It's about as good as you can get when it comes to a tradeoff in development time vs. impact. Deus Ex 3 absolutely needs moments like this. Frankly, in order to stop the player from killing everyone crucial to the plot progression, you have to have some artificial barriers, whether it means removing the player's weapons, communicating information from critical characters only over comlink, bulletproof glass in the way, etc.

However, I do absolutely agree that the player's decisions need to have a bit more impact on the final part of the game. When we decide an ending, don't just make us go up to a particular computer console and press a button to play the outro. Have a different environment to explore for each option, or one with vastly different circumstances surrounding it. The campaign in Supreme Commander is actually a good example here; depending on who you play as, your objectives are completely different, even though the map itself is the same. Being forced to choose in the final stages of the game, but not the final stage, would be a wise decision. Having other emotionally-significant but non-plot-significant events leading up to that decision would be a good idea too, in order to justify playing through the whole game (murdering certain non-crucial characters, etc.).

FistOFun
23rd May 2008, 06:50
Ok I've been thinking about choice and the problem is alot of the time we are either presented with too much or ultimatly the decisions we make too not have too much of an effect. I was wondering what people thought of the following solution.


Rather than having a single choice near the end you have 2 earlier on. Each of these two lead to another set of 2 completly different which finally end with a final set of 2 decisions.
This ultimatly would leave you with 8 different endings, but more than that you would effectively play through 8 different games as each decision drastically effect your perspective of events, the side you are on (or at least who can actually obtain missions off), the information you obtain about different groups etc.
Then if they want to take it to the next step, each ending could provide you with information on little hidden triggers and choices to make that will lead you to a 9th canon ending.
E.g.
3 of the endings signify that were were "correct" in the decision tree
3 of the endings could tell you to make sure to befriend person x/y/z or to make sure to perform (or not) a specific mission.
The last 2 could be completly mundane and just be a perfect example of the snowball effect. A simple decision, a simple act ultimatly leading to a large difference.

If this is two complicated and too much work it can always be set to two sets of 2 choices. Leaving 4 different stories to play through instead. (which is still plenty)

sea
23rd May 2008, 12:56
Ok I've been thinking about choice and the problem is alot of the time we are either presented with too much or ultimatly the decisions we make too not have too much of an effect. I was wondering what people thought of the following solution.


Rather than having a single choice near the end you have 2 earlier on. Each of these two lead to another set of 2 completly different which finally end with a final set of 2 decisions.
This ultimatly would leave you with 8 different endings, but more than that you would effectively play through 8 different games as each decision drastically effect your perspective of events, the side you are on (or at least who can actually obtain missions off), the information you obtain about different groups etc.
Then if they want to take it to the next step, each ending could provide you with information on little hidden triggers and choices to make that will lead you to a 9th canon ending.
E.g.
3 of the endings signify that were were "correct" in the decision tree
3 of the endings could tell you to make sure to befriend person x/y/z or to make sure to perform (or not) a specific mission.
The last 2 could be completly mundane and just be a perfect example of the snowball effect. A simple decision, a simple act ultimatly leading to a large difference.

If this is two complicated and too much work it can always be set to two sets of 2 choices. Leaving 4 different stories to play through instead. (which is still plenty)I can see this working, so long as it results in two "main" endings with several "sub" endings each, with different characters present and whatnot; one step above Fallout's little "where are they now" montage at the end of the game, in otherwords. Otherwise I'd say it's just too much work for the developers. I'd much rather see them deliver two or three really good endings branching from one excellent but mostly-linear campaign, than nine possible endings, none of which are particularly good.

gamer0004
23rd May 2008, 14:02
Please :( Do you honestly think EIGHT sperate endings could work? That's the same as making four games at once, which means that instead you get one great game you get like four crappy games. No way that's going to work.

mad_red
23rd May 2008, 14:17
When I say that the player choices don't impact the plot, I mean they don't impact it significantly.

I figured as much really! Just not taking any chances.

I'd love to see the DX and PS:torment endings combined! (My 2 fav games):

Torment ends with a different dialogue with each of the characters you chose to accompany you.

The final cutscene is the same for every conclusion, but depending on the way you reach that conclusion, you get a different penultimate (or simply no penultimate) cutscene.

Kinda like FistofFun's suggestion. If the cutscenes are in-engine, then you have a lot of possibilities.

Fen
24th May 2008, 06:47
I love the imagination shown by everyone here with all the different endings and pathways to go through the game. But what works in theory does not always work in practice.

DXIW is an example of this. Throughout that game you are constantly given choices who to work for etc. Does it help? No. It makes the game a mess of choice and breaks a lot of immersion.

DX was possibly the most immersive game I have ever played. However the game is entirely linear. Immersion comes by having events that the player will react to emotionally. And when the player does have that emotional reaction, the game facilitates it.

This can be seen in the famous lebedev scene. The entire game built up to this moment. Characters were fleshed out to the point that you could predict what their reactions were going to be. And an incredible, yet totally insignificant, choice was placed on the player.

Everyone here still marvels at that scene. You look back on it and say, thats how I delt with a really difficult problem. First time I played, Ana shot Lebedev. While I expected it to happen, she did it right in front of me. And then justified it by saying that the man was trying to escape. She REALLY tested my morals. I said OMG you *****, pulled out my GEP gun and blew her into tommorow. Then when Alex reacted the way he did it just totally blew my mind. I had made a choice that had huge conatations in the game, and the game was handling it perfectly, as though it was reacting to MY decision.

Now, an analysis of that scene shows that no, the game didnt react to my decision at all. It merely suggested that decision soo subtley that I was totally unaware that I had just done exactly what the game developers wanted me to do.

I reacted emotionally to an event. I had been totally setup by the game devs. I made a choice that was purely dictated by emotion and the game then jumped all over it and facilitated that choice as though it was adapting to me. THAT was immersion. That was the event that sealed myself in the game as JC denton. Im thinking of writing out a full writeup of that scene and all the factors influencing you because when you sit down and analyse it, its truely amazing.

TL:DR - Immersion comes from emotional choices. It doesnt matter if the game is linear or multipathed. As long as it can generate strong emotional responses from the player, it is immersive. Linear storylines are much easier to make and are much better at creating these emotional choices, therefore DX3 should stay linear and give the illusion of choice.

Chemix
24th May 2008, 11:20
I disagree with that statement: the problem of Deus Ex: IW in the choices regard was that they are essentially meaningless and had no effects on the people around you in terms of conversations other than the odd dialog piece here or there. It wasn't so much another plot line, it was just a different area to level load, to the same next level as any other choice would have given. You could backstab everyone a dozen times and they would still be buddy buddy with you, no one felt that angry or disallowed you anything, and you never had to work to undo something you did.

If the choices were to have relevance, it might have worked out much better

jordan_a
24th May 2008, 12:02
I disagree with that statement: the problem of Deus Ex: IW in the choices regard was that they are essentially meaningless and had no effects on the people around you in terms of conversations
I do agree. It was like "okay you've betrayed us but we trust you with this mission". :D

Mactypetim
25th May 2008, 02:00
That Lebedev part was one of the best parts in DX 1. Each outcome to that had outcomes later in game, and they even effected how some people treated you. One of the coolest things about DX 1 to me was trying to get Sam Carter in unatco to give me cudos near the end of your time working there. Basically, that meant a higher challenge of more sneaking around while using the prod and the crossbow only when I had to. And of course, I was still able to bust a few caps when MJ-12 came into the picture :P

I've gone through DX 1 more times then I can count just to find all the different results (rewards) from playing. As a contrast, IW was very disappointing...

As soon as I started playing, I encountered that asinine omni-ammo thing, and still kept playing (I don't think I've played IW all the way through more then twice). Funny thing is, all the ammo thing did was make me afraid to shoot anything for fear of running out, because then I was really screwed. And, in reference to previous comments, I never did really like the main character. IW was never more then a FPS to me, even with all the choices I had to play with; and finding JC Denton at the end was painful to see because he was just a robot compared to the no-nonsense smart-ass I knew from the first game.

In short, I agree with giving players emotional choices but not giving them total control of the story. That, and the wonderful job writing, is what causes me to pull out DX 1 from time to time even now.

sea
25th May 2008, 11:47
That Lebedev part was one of the best parts in DX 1. Each outcome to that had outcomes later in game, and they even effected how some people treated you. One of the coolest things about DX 1 to me was trying to get Sam Carter in unatco to give me cudos near the end of your time working there. Basically, that meant a higher challenge of more sneaking around while using the prod and the crossbow only when I had to. And of course, I was still able to bust a few caps when MJ-12 came into the picture :PMan, I always try to be stealthy, but I always run into bugs because of it. Yesterday I was playing a new game and had got to Battery Park. Snuck through the back, no alerts, same old, same old... when I get out and go talk to Anna, though, it turns out she's suddenly decided to go on a shooting spree and kill everyone in Castle Clinton. Better yet, she decides to congratulate me for killing everyone! Not exactly the first time that's happened, either...

Chemix
25th May 2008, 12:41
Sneak out the back way and wait at the memorial area with the eagle, she'll run up to you. Trying to exit the front way triggers a script where they come in shooting. Also, you have a 2 person kill/tranquilize limit to not be labeled as a shooting spree guy.

mad_red
25th May 2008, 19:32
If DX3 will be anything like DX1, God knows I'll be perfectly happy with a linear plot and just one ending.

But for Pete's sake, please stop trying to prove that this or that cannot be done. DX1 is great, but that doesn't mean that DX3 couldn't have plot control, lots of endings, moving moments, immersiveness, etc. etc. and still be better than DX1.

I know that there are time and budget limitations, but we're not the one calling the shots so it's not our problem. We just want the best game ever!

If you really think that it's impossible to improve over how the conclusions are handled, that's fine. But otherwise, please stop selling yourselves short! Don't worry be happy! :)

FrankCSIS
26th May 2008, 18:06
Regarding the emotional vs plot choices, an old game that demonstrated this extremely effectively was Tex Murphy: Pandora Directive. The game had both multiple endings and emotional choices that were balanced extremely well into the story-telling without actually affecting the storyline that was completely linear.

The multiple ending system worked on a rather primitive system of Good Guy/Bad Guy points that were being accounted for in the console, mainly through small moral choices along the way. To have the absolutely "best" ending, you had to have all the good guys point, as well as some key emotional decisions that were part of another system, and vice-versa for the absolute worse ending. So far nothing out of the ordinary, but it shows that the multiple ending thing can work while remaining simple and not affecting the rest of the plot. All of the endings made sense with the outcome of the story as well as the choices you made.

To balance this point system another much more subtle compilation was put in place, one very similar to DX1 that dealt with emotional choices but also slightly affected the plot without you even realising it. One example of this was convincing your girlfriend to accompany you to a club without telling her it was for the purpose of your investigation. When she eventually understands this it leads to a big fight between the two of you in the middle of the evening, but the plot still continues to unveil naturally and you finish your purpose at the club. This fight was so well implanted into the plot that much later when she informs you that she wants to split for a while and is going on a trip to see her family, it all makes perfect sense and the ending much later in the game follows the same logic. It's all so well implanted in fact that it took me a few years and replays to realise exactly what I had done wrong and where, and the different outcome made perfect sense. Whether or not the two of you split for a while, there was also an occasion on which you can cheat on her either for your own personal pleasure or for the purpose of the investigation, and your decision slightly affected the outcome of the plot, but rather the HOW instead of the WHAT. Putting your complete trust into this new girl led to a logical outcome that didn't change anything to the main story.

Other emotional choices with less impact were also put into place. While on surveillance you witness an attempted murder and can decide or not to intervene in time, which really doesn't affect the plot except for a few cutscenes but makes you feel extremely involved. On another occasion there is a very hard cutscene in which a character you can't help but like is being mentally tortured and eventually killed, with no real effect on the plot, but it is hinted that you could have done something about it. It turns out that you can if you replay the game and pay attention to certain clues that you probably missed the first time around.

In short, the mystery itself wasn't affected in any way, but how you got there and with whom was sometimes slightly, sometimes significantly altered depending on your emotional decisions, and the game always responded logically to your choices, as if there had always been only one possible outcome; yours.

jcp28
27th May 2008, 02:09
That 's a very good example of a game that manages to have essentially the same atoryline, but with different ways of discovering it which are based on your morality. That's what Eidos should do for this game, though they can alter it to make it easy to follow if they so choose.

Fen
28th May 2008, 05:01
That 's a very good example of a game that manages to have essentially the same atoryline, but with different ways of discovering it which are based on your morality. That's what Eidos should do for this game, though they can alter it to make it easy to follow if they so choose.

Yeah thats exactly how I would like deus ex 3 to be.

The only thing that I dont want however is a good/bad ending. Its VERY important that players are not pigeonholed into a good character/bad character. Choices should NOT be black or white. All choices should be viable and logical. When I played bioshock, I killed 1 girl throughout the entire game, just to see what happend. That single choice then labeled me as the bad guy for the rest of the game and I got the "Bad" ending. It frustrated me to no end that the game had got it soo wrong.

Chemix
28th May 2008, 09:26
The idea is that if you're willing to kill one little girl for a little more Adam in the short run, then that says something about your moral character. I think redemption should have been an option, but it's not absolutely totally ridiculous as far as plot goes.

Fen
28th May 2008, 12:16
The idea is that if you're willing to kill one little girl for a little more Adam in the short run, then that says something about your moral character. I think redemption should have been an option, but it's not absolutely totally ridiculous as far as plot goes.

I only played through bioshock once.

Through this game experience, it was obvious that there was a moral choice and that they had different pros and cons. The first girl I saved. However I was curious as to what the reward was if I killed a girl as well. So the second girl I killed. The rest of the game was spent saving the girls.

The problem isnt how many girls can one kill before being labelled evil?

The problem is due to the fact that I was punished for experiementing. As a gamer, I'm going to explore multiple options. Given the same choice over and over, you try both alternatives at least once. However that one girl kill that I did because I was experimenting at the start of the game labels me as a bad person and gives me the bad ending. Did they expect me to play through the entire game again just to see the ending that I should have got? In the end, I looked it up on youtube.

Now when given a choice that you dont know the consequences of there are two approaches. First approach is to go with your gut. Do what YOU want to do. Then deal with the results. The other option is to experiement. Save the game, and run through the alternatives and then play the one you like the best. Bioshock encouraged the second option. I wanted to know the rewards. Had I of saved and loaded, I would have got the ending I was aiming for. However I did the option that SHOULD be rewarded in game and was punished for it.

People should want to play through the game multiple times because they want a different experience. What would have happend had I of killed lebedev? Would I still have to kill Anna at one point? etc. These are the questions the players want to have at the end which compells them to go back and play again. No-one wants to finsih the game and then go, ok well ive done one story path, now to go down the other story path and see the ending there.

In a nutshell, there should be no defined path throughout the game. Something deus ex did brilliantly. Something DX2 failed at.

FrankCSIS
28th May 2008, 14:58
I'll have to agree on the good/bad ending problem. I believe this was addressed earlier on in the thread, that a player shouldn't pay an excessive price for curiosity or a small mistake.

What I failed to mention on my Tex Murphy example is that it had in fact 3 different paths that could lead to 7 different endings depending on the choices I've described above. The paths were Mission Street, Lombard Street and Boulevard of Broken Dreams, and all 3 had different possibilities that were responding logically to your decisions. I still think this system could be refined, after all it's over 12 years old, but like I've said in the previous post the balance between the point system and emotional choices was a pretty solid foundation on which to build on for interactivity and immersion.

Chemix
28th May 2008, 18:53
I only played through bioshock once.

Through this game experience, it was obvious that there was a moral choice and that they had different pros and cons. The first girl I saved. However I was curious as to what the reward was if I killed a girl as well. So the second girl I killed. The rest of the game was spent saving the girls.

The problem isnt how many girls can one kill before being labelled evil?

The problem is due to the fact that I was punished for experiementing. As a gamer, I'm going to explore multiple options. Given the same choice over and over, you try both alternatives at least once. However that one girl kill that I did because I was experimenting at the start of the game labels me as a bad person and gives me the bad ending. Did they expect me to play through the entire game again just to see the ending that I should have got? In the end, I looked it up on youtube.

Now when given a choice that you dont know the consequences of there are two approaches. First approach is to go with your gut. Do what YOU want to do. Then deal with the results. The other option is to experiement. Save the game, and run through the alternatives and then play the one you like the best. Bioshock encouraged the second option. I wanted to know the rewards. Had I of saved and loaded, I would have got the ending I was aiming for. However I did the option that SHOULD be rewarded in game and was punished for it.

People should want to play through the game multiple times because they want a different experience. What would have happend had I of killed lebedev? Would I still have to kill Anna at one point? etc. These are the questions the players want to have at the end which compells them to go back and play again. No-one wants to finsih the game and then go, ok well ive done one story path, now to go down the other story path and see the ending there.

In a nutshell, there should be no defined path throughout the game. Something deus ex did brilliantly. Something DX2 failed at.

Actions have permanent consequences, though I do feel that it should have been more shaded and less black and white. Part of the idea is that, if you experiment by killing a child, that is something that isn't morally justifiable, but the problem is, there is no opportunity for change in the character after that point, which destroys choice once one has been made.

Multiple paths can work, so long as they have relevance to everyone and aren't unchangeable (Bioshock) or completely interchangeable at any given time (DX2).

v.dog
30th May 2008, 09:57
I think stalker handled multiple (seven) endings quite well, and some of the paths you could choose were selected relatively early in the game IIRC.

What was nice was that it wasn't an explict choice, but the consequence of your actions throughout the game:

Wish granter endings
If your reputation is above 1000, then you get the good reputation ending where you wish, "I want the zone to disappear".
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8042894143102731016

If your money is above 50,000 RU, then you get the money ending where you wish, "I want to be rich".
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5124234774423517289

If Lukash and Voronin are dead, then you get the I am an ******* ending where you wish, "I want to rule the world".
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5604030143159105079

If your reputation is below -1000, then you get bad reputation ending where you wish, "Humanity is corrupt, mankind must be controlled".
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1778315672999184639

If you don't have any of the above, it defaults to the immortality ending where you wish, "I want to have immortality".
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2747756204380612215

C-Consciousness endings
This is the ending if you refuse to become a part of the C-Consciousness.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1201975400575475458

If you choose to become a part of the C-Consciousness
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2476512680174327846

DX3 should do something similar; you (might) get a choice at the end, but the selections you get to choose from are determined by your actions throughout in the game.

serene_chaos
30th May 2008, 14:34
I only played once, and my only option was the "i want to be rich" ending. what happens if more than one of those conditions are true?

Anxoius FAN
31st May 2008, 17:49
I have thought about this many times, and to be honest, I am kind of undecided about it.

I know that the devs made this decision on purpose because they felt that a player shouldn't be "punished" in the end for some decision he might have made in the beginning. I think they had a point. :p

That doesn't have to the case , lets use Lebedev as an eXample. if you killed him they could just throw in an extra objective to be able to have the same ending. that being if his death or lack their of had any influence on the endings.

J.CDenton
31st May 2008, 19:35
Well in a way deciding about our own ending should not just happen a few time before the game. I think we should start to thing about something more extended: you decide of the ending as you play the game. Like in Silent Hill serie for example where some key acts leads you to an ending or another. But it was just one or two things to do or not to decide about the ending of the game. Instead of relying on "key events" the game should try to analyze how the player play the game but also the way he reacts in a situation: will he be violent, indifferent, compatissant? Hundred of possibilities.

Example (a stupid one I know):

A girl is cornered in a dark alley. Three bad guys try to rape her:
-You decide to interfer and save her. You beat the guys and release the girl. The game will take in account that fact and start to describe you as some kind of guy who will not allow bad peoples to hurt other peoples. Could lead to a "Heroe" ending.
-You decide to know what's happening but in the end you choose not to interfer and just go. You'll be noticed as curious but finally you choose carefully when to act should it be good or not. You'll end the game by being described as selfish and be despised by other just because you can double-cross them if you think it's usefull.
-You decide to ignore it completely. The game will think you're for that case insensitive. You'll be described as a heartles bastard or some kind of guy with no human feelings. That could end to a "coward" ending where you decide that finally what's happening in that world is not your business.
-You decide to interfer. You beat the guys but after that ask for a reward to the girl for your action. The game will say you're the kind of guy who will not help people if they don't pay a good price. Could lead you to be described as some "mercenary. You could end the game by becoming the private mercenary of some head of state.
-You help the guys to screw the girl. You love being badass and the game will notice that fact. Future chief of gang or maybe a dictator in a bigger extend.
-You play dumb: you kill the guys, you kill the girl and grab the cash. The game consider that you can do everything you wish when you wish. You're some kind of guy with bound to no laws on that world and death is not a problem. Could end by making you chief of a gang or mercenaries.
-You still play dumb again but don't take any cash. Computer will say you love to kill just for the pleasure to kill. You do that again and a few days later the papers describe you as some mysterious serial killer. You could end to jail, hunted by cops, feared all around the world, becoming a urban legend.

So we can see that for just one example that could lead to a lot of possibilities. Let's now suppose each act in the game will decide of the endings. And that a lotf of endings could happen. That's why I think we should make a game taking in account EVERY act we do in the game to decide wish ending to show. BEcause it'll make us play the game again and again and again and again just because for the numerous combinations of actions which will change more or less deeply the storyline.

Fen
1st Jun 2008, 07:11
The problem with this is that people will tend to play the game towards a specfic stereotype. Theyll play the game through as the "hero". Then all of their choices are then dictated by that. So when they are faced with a situation like you said, they will act the hero when they may not have if there hadnt been the stereotyping.

What you want, is for the game to allow you to play how you want, without pigeonholing you into a specfic stereyotype.

J.CDenton
1st Jun 2008, 08:55
I don't think they'll play obviously as the "hero", some guys just for the fun would love to play as the "dictator". You're right what I've written is full of stereotypes but it was just a common example to illustrate what I meant. But yes I would like the game not to decide for us but I'd like to act the way I like and not being forced to do something I'd not like. And these actions will be taken into account by the game which will modify the game considering what you've done and finally give you a specific ending which fit the way you've played and how you acted.

mad_red
1st Jun 2008, 14:29
I also like the system where your actions accumulate and end up defining you. PS:Torment again:
Teasing and annoying your friends for ****s and giggles, changing your mind often, being unorthodox, etc. will make you more 'chaotic'.
Keeping your promises, doing things by the book, etc. will make you more 'lawful'
Being selfish -> evil. Being benevolent -> good.

In PS:Torment, this did not affect the ending much at all, but it can be easily done.


ALTHOUGH: I'd prefer your alignment, allegiance, choices, etc. not limit your 'final options'. I'd prefer value-neutral or ambiguous endings, such as in DX1.


BUT: The above can make for small additions and changes in the endings; small stuff, like a diffferent end-quote. In an "evil" Helios ending, you might get a quote on how tyrants present themselves as gods or whatever.
Next to that, you could have value-neutral or ambiguous in-game actions, leading to a slightly different in-engine cutscene just before the ultimate conclusion.

This way you have a wealth of endings that only the most hardcore fan will want to play out, but anyway reflect and involve the RPG-gamer.


Also, I don't think stereotyping is a big problem. I know that in personality-tests and the like (the type that assign you points according to the answers you give, and low points are on one side of the spectrum, while high points on the other), I usually score average. That's not because I have an average personality or whatever; it's because I imagine every situation to be different. As long as the game doesn't put you in HERO VS BAD GUY situations all of the time, it'll be very difficult to stereotype the protagonist any further than the plot already does.

FrankCSIS
2nd Jun 2008, 00:01
Compared to most games with multiple paths and endings generally stereotyped as good/evil, I really liked how they handled it with DX1. There wasn't really any good or bad decision, just different visions or philosophies of how a society should operate. Fallout was much the same, in the sense that your actions and choices simply led to logical outcomes with a very basic but true to life system of action-reaction. As a player, you had moral decisions to take and question yourselves as to what was the best choice for everyone, but the outcomes weren't good vs bad vs chaotic vs order.

Fen
2nd Jun 2008, 13:48
Compared to most games with multiple paths and endings generally stereotyped as good/evil, I really liked how they handled it with DX1. There wasn't really any good or bad decision, just different visions or philosophies of how a society should operate. Fallout was much the same, in the sense that your actions and choices simply led to logical outcomes with a very basic but true to life system of action-reaction. As a player, you had moral decisions to take and question yourselves as to what was the best choice for everyone, but the outcomes weren't good vs bad vs chaotic vs order.

Yes, you speak what I cannot seem to articulate in my posts. There should be no player steryotyping as it ruins the choice.

J.CDenton
5th Jun 2008, 23:44
No stereotypes in DX! DX with stereotypes would kill the saga. In DX we must be facing a hard choice and choose beetween the best solution...of the lesser of several evils.

Chemix
6th Jun 2008, 01:19
Lesser of evils is one thing, but we saw what a focus on that did in Invisible War where the end decision came along and you had to something, that would probably be bad in everybody in some strong way, and be positive in some small amount.

At the end of Deus Ex, we're presented with options that all seem good, just different routes.

Lukewarm Soup
6th Jun 2008, 12:33
I like how Bioware talked up how you'd have to make "difficult" choices and walk moral tightropes throughout Mass Effect, but in the end it was quite obvious which path was the path of the hero and which one was the path of the jerk.
Well, I figured it was pretty obvious- 'are you a babykiller or are you not a babykiller?'
However, most games that offer 'choices' are way too polarizing. As some have said it better than I, 'In one ending, you jump around in rainbows and happiness, and in the other, you're a combination of Hitler and Skeletor whose piss is made of pure malevolence.'

DX was perfect in that there wasn't really a 'good' or 'evil' choice- the choice was morally ambiguous. It was nice to see a real set of options.

While I love these changes, I'm way of putting them farther ahead. I loved how interactive DX was, but the more redundant material Eidos has to program, the less resources they can put into making a polished product.

If they can find a way to make the story arc more without impacting their bottom line, great. I just can't see a way for them to work it out.

exxon_valdez
13th Jun 2008, 17:16
Hi,

I don't know about you guys but there was something I didn't quite like on the two previous games.

In fact, the multiple endings all occurred in the last moments of the game but I'd like to be able to choose much sooner.

i think this is a matter of simple economics. if a game disperses into
separate storylines depending on players actions and choices, you
end up making three or several entire games instead of one. then, the
development is that amount of times longer, more expensive, and so
each of the story-threads is bound to be shorter than if it was a single
one. it's just not feasible. :scratch:

so, imo, keep things as they are. perhaps develop expansions or
sequels playing as another character, or smthg.

Chemix
14th Jun 2008, 02:47
most of the resources go into building re-usable elements, like scripts and set pieces, which can then be adjusted for each use. There is a line to be drawn however, over use can seriously harm the player experience, (see: Oblivion and it's 4 or 5 voice actors for non key characters). So it's not quite as clear cut as 2 storylines half as lone, it's more like 2 paths, 3/4ths of the length of one. 3 paths would be 3/5ths of one, and then at 4 it would get close to half length. The idea is though, that one can then double that time by playing down a different path which makes the game actually live longer for players. I'd just prefer for them to try to alter the set pieces a bit for each use though, whereas in mass effect you see the exact same bunker layout over a dozen times on over a dozen different worlds. I never expected the interior of the moon to be so... red and mars like.

Gyr0
11th Oct 2008, 04:43
I registered to say this:

Personally, I hope that the devs handle the endings in the same way that the endings were handled in the previous two games. This isn't because it's more realistic, or because I don't want to be affected by choices I made in the beginning of the game at the end of the game. It's because I KNOW they'd mess it up if they did it any other way.

I'm pretty convinced that, if they tried some kind of faction-points-define-your-ending thing, it would end up being a Bioshock / KOTOR type thing where you accumulate either 'good points' or 'evil points'. Having more good points than evil points gets you the good ending where you cure cancer and save the world, and having more evil points than good points gets you the ending where you blenderize puppies for fun and worship Cthulhu.

I believe that would be one of the worst possible things that could happen to the DX franchise. In the original game, nobody except Bob Paige was definably evil and absolutely nobody was definably good. It added a very strong sense of realism and subtlety to the whole thing.

Now, you can take the optimistic route and say that they could manage a complex, subtle system for faction standing and multiple endings, but take a look at the industry as it stands now. Also consider how much more effort would go into the development of such a system. I'm not optimistic about such a system at all.


So, to keep the shades of gray around, I think we should keep the spontaneous end-of-game ending choices.

~Psychotic~
11th Oct 2008, 05:34
Hi,

I don't know about you guys but there was something I didn't quite like on the two previous games.

In fact, the multiple endings all occurred in the last moments of the game but I'd like to be able to choose much sooner.

From my point of view, the game would simply be better (and perhaps more realistic and credible) if our choices had a stonger and decisive impact on the story telling.

To conclude, I would not like to see that last stage of multiple choices. Sure it does bring some drama to it, but if the events could completely alter sooner, that would be great.

What you want would make the game more RPG-ish and I would prefer it myself as well In a real-life setting, such a decision would not be made within 10 minutes of the event happening. It would occur much before that, you would know who you believe and were your opinions lie with much before the initial act of doing what they wanted.

CarloGervasi
11th Oct 2008, 05:39
I prefer my decisions early on to have smaller, more localized and immediately recognizable consequences for the most part. I don't want my entire game experience to be determined by something I did while I was still flailing around trying to get a feel for things.

~Psychotic~
11th Oct 2008, 08:16
I prefer my decisions early on to have smaller, more localized and immediately recognizable consequences for the most part. I don't want my entire game experience to be determined by something I did while I was still flailing around trying to get a feel for things.

True, but how many times, in real life, have you made a decision on the spur of the moment and it be a good one? Not many times. Looking at it realistically, having the endings be chosen at the end could have bad repercussions.

Yes, I'm looking too far into this because it is just a game, but if you do look at it realistically it doesn't really make much sence.

3nails4you
11th Oct 2008, 17:38
Speaking of endings, did we ever figure out who was hanging in the Templar ending of IW? The one with the white pants or whatever? (Hey! White pants! A dug up Page?)

Icky6
11th Oct 2008, 19:42
Yeah I've always been of the opinion, especially with DXIW, that there should be more far-reaching choices in the game. I remember while I was playing the last stages of IW (and even before that), "Why on earth is every faction still trying to to sway me to their side?" That option was present throughout the entire game. Was it not good enough the first thousand times I said I wanted to be on this particular side? There should have been a point at which they stopped asking me the same question.

That said, I enjoyed a bit of linearity, such as when SPOILER











you were forced to go over to the NSF side in the original game. It turned everything you knew at that point on its head.

Abram730
26th Oct 2008, 14:40
secret ending.
You are transported to the end of DX1... 1 vat says Alex Denton and there is a very pull able plug on that vat :lol: :eek:

Mindmute
26th Oct 2008, 16:34
secret ending.
You are transported to the end of DX1... 1 vat says Alex Denton and there is a very pull able plug on that vat :lol: :eek:

One could only wish, my friend...

Officer Half
26th Oct 2008, 20:22
I have thought about this many times, and to be honest, I am kind of undecided about it.

I know that the devs made this decision on purpose because they felt that a player shouldn't be "punished" in the end for some decision he might have made in the beginning. I think they had a point.

"Why didn't I kill that damn Lebedev... Only now, in the end, I realize that I have sent the world into Dark Age, and I don't want that at all." See, this sort of scenarios won't provide you with the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment, but rather make you feel like a fool. And games should never, never make you feel like a fool. :p

That would just add to the already immense replay value. :nut:

Tstorm
28th Oct 2008, 19:26
I have thought about this many times, and to be honest, I am kind of undecided about it.

I know that the devs made this decision on purpose because they felt that a player shouldn't be "punished" in the end for some decision he might have made in the beginning. I think they had a point.

"Why didn't I kill that damn Lebedev... Only now, in the end, I realize that I have sent the world into Dark Age, and I don't want that at all." See, this sort of scenarios won't provide you with the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment, but rather make you feel like a fool. And games should never, never make you feel like a fool. :p

That means you have to replay the whole game. Aka replayability = 100 % just like a dx game should be. Maybe the choices would bring you to different locations?

GmanPro
28th Oct 2008, 23:39
This is kinda sorta a slippery slope. I played the Witcher and thought that it was cool because I felt like my choices were effectively altering the way the game played out, it was very well done to be sure. DX was great for choosing how to go about doing a mission but you couldn't choose which mission you wanted to go on.

But it gets complicated when your developing the game and you start adding forks in the road where you can make a choice and from that point on the game goes in a different direction. This sounds awesome on paper but its just not practical. When the devs are spending all this time and energy on making an awesome level, they want their players to actually play it you know? What if the best level in the game is one where you go along path A but almost everyone who plays the game decides to go along path B and consequently never gets to experience the greatness of path A.

Now I'm fairly certain that all of us here are probably going to replay this game several times to experience everything, but not everyone who buys the game will. The Witcher handled it pretty well, because most of the time (not always), they just made you think that your choice was really important and things would have been drastically different if you had chosen differently, and this works just fine too IMO. The first time I played DX I had the illusion of making choices, and it wasn't until I replayed it that I realized that I couldn't actually refuse to join Paul and the NSF.

Spiffmeister
14th Nov 2008, 13:28
Good idea. I agree with Boiny Bunny though about the DX1 making the moral decision on the spot, but if their were more, equally as meaningful moral decisions that needed to be made throughout the game it would make for much more immersive experience.

Not to say that DX1 wasn't one of the most immersive games I've ever played anyway.

But I fully agree, it would be nice to see Edios make us think about EVERY decision we make, making the player consider what they might be setting in motion for the endgame.

Laokin
14th Nov 2008, 17:50
The way I view it is like this, IF there are factions... there should be multiple endings based upon the faction you chose. This would imply there could be little as 9 endings.

Before people say 9!?! Let me iterate that the differences between the endings for one faction would be subtle. The differences for choosing different factions altogether.... should be rather significant. In other words... say there is a building like versalife, one of the options happens to be blowing the F out of it. You could then have an ending where since you blew the F out of it.... they no longer were able to dominate mankind, and actually ended up placed into a situtation where they would have an amazing influence on what happened in the world without being able to actually just "make it so." So if they wanted to enslave man..... they would just be able to influence the open minded, which would result in a split of the world's population. Little things, but ultimately the player knows what should be considered an "evil" deed. Doing such an action is obvious that you would be helping in the overall "Bad" plot of the game.

Therefore... the choices aren't so blind after all.

GmanPro
14th Nov 2008, 18:55
9!?!?!?!?!?!

:D