Fractal Softworks Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Starsector 0.97a is out! (02/02/24); New blog post: Codex Overhaul (05/11/24)

Author Topic: Player Choice  (Read 2113 times)

TheDTYP

  • Commander
  • ***
  • Posts: 136
    • View Profile
Player Choice
« on: December 14, 2020, 10:48:43 AM »

Hello all,

I have a question, specifically for Alex and/or David (or anyone else, if this question has been asked before).

The aspect I am looking forward to the most about the new update is by far the story and lore stuff. I don't know how much of it you are comfortable talking about, but would anyone be able to comment on just how much agency the player has in these upcoming missions? Are they generally going to be straightforward like the Red Planet mission, in which you follow the breadcrumb trail and overcome the challenges for a reward while learning about the game world, or will they be more dynamic? As in, can certain elements of the mission or the outcomes be influenced by the players in some way? Like, "I stole this McGuffin, do I give it to the Hegemony or the League to turn in the mission?" kind of stuff?

There's a ton of room for potential here, and I hope that there are at least rudimentary things we as the player can do to change the course of certain parts of the story. Its absence would be a lost opportunity, considering the highly open-ended nature of the rest of the game/its events/its economy.

Thanks!
Logged

Megas

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 12198
    • View Profile
Re: Player Choice
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2020, 02:15:57 PM »

I would like the game to properly handle total core kill scenarios for the megalomaniacs who want no competition and want to rule or destroy the sector.  It can be as simple as Atari Missile Command's "THE END" as the ultimate game over (telling the player he broke the game because he is not supposed to kill everyone), or something where player does more things after wiping out the core worlds and becomes space emperor of the entire sector if he pulls it off.
Logged

Alex

  • Administrator
  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 24265
    • View Profile
Re: Player Choice
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2020, 07:40:55 PM »

(With the caveat that David is doing the vast majority of the writing, and that these are just my thoughts on this.)

The thing about choices like that is 1) either they don't actually matter very much (i.e. you end up with "you made a big choice, and are now funneled back into the main narrative regardless" kind of thing), or 2) you end up with an exponentially exploding number of combinations that's entirely unmanageable. I'm not really a fan of the former (presenting something as a major decision, and then mostly ignoring it), and the latter is just non-viable.

To your example, stealing a macguffin and deciding who to give it to feels like it'd be a clean fit for a single mission. But put that into the beginning of a story, and... I'm just not sure how you get away from either essentially ignoring the choice, or writing a bazillion variants of everything further down the line from when that choice is made. And I don't think you can really have a compelling narrative that also allows for a lot of major choices like that, what you'd likely end up with would be more akin to madlibs.

I mean, there'll be choices! Options for dealing with various situations in different ways, ways of expressing how the player character feels about things at various points, and so on. Just, within what actually feels reasonable while actually still having a story arc.
Logged

intrinsic_parity

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 3071
    • View Profile
Re: Player Choice
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2020, 10:41:33 PM »

The escape velocity games had a really nice system where each faction had a main story associated with it, and on each campaign you would choose one faction to work with (it was a bit more natural than just choose your faction but that's the general idea). Then there were some critical decisions you could make that would jump you between the different story lines. It created the sense of significant decisions without having too many possible outcomes. Still obviously a lot more work than a single linear story though. 
Logged

TheDTYP

  • Commander
  • ***
  • Posts: 136
    • View Profile
Re: Player Choice
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2020, 06:20:05 AM »

To your example, stealing a macguffin and deciding who to give it to feels like it'd be a clean fit for a single mission. But put that into the beginning of a story, and... I'm just not sure how you get away from either essentially ignoring the choice, or writing a bazillion variants of everything further down the line from when that choice is made. And I don't think you can really have a compelling narrative that also allows for a lot of major choices like that, what you'd likely end up with would be more akin to madlibs.

I gotcha. I think I was a little unclear; I didn't mean a huge, overarching arc throughout the whole game i.e. Mass Effect, I meant player choice on the basis of individual missions. But regardless, you answered my question. I trust you one way or the other, you and the rest of the crew haven't let me down yet.

Thanks a bunch, good luck with everything!
Logged

Zelnik

  • Commander
  • ***
  • Posts: 167
    • View Profile
Re: Player Choice
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2020, 08:58:04 AM »

gotta love Escape Velocity

IF there will be faction specific quests, I would -really- want a quest line when you make your own quest as the other factions try to suppress or ally with you against others.
Logged