Some people had great responses to my earlier post on railroading, although a lot of the controversy arose from different interpretations of my hypothetical situations. I think many people were not seeing the heart of the difficulty I was trying to present, perhaps because my examples was too poorly defined. So let’s try to tighten up the definition and see how that changes things.
Then the players go to see him as part of their investigation. A fight breaks out for whatever reason, initiated by the players. They have no idea this is the bad guy, they just know they’re dealing with a bit of a jerk and the conversation gets out of hand. Perhaps they try to threaten information out of him, and he calls what he thinks is a bluff. Perhaps he catches them doing something illegal while conducting their investigation, like spying or swiping documents. Whatever the reason, a fight ensues.
There are only three outcomes I can see:
- If I stick to the plan, they will kill the main bad guy and only after the fight would they discover who he was, and that the adventure was over. They accidently won, there was no climax, and all of my plot twists go to waste.
- I can brute-force railroad them, by making my bad guy escape, overpower them, or otherwise prevail in a situation where he should have been outmatched. This is “cheating” to most people, and it will not result in happy players.
- I can do as I said before: Create a new bad guy, and have this guy be a servant of that greater power. They get the satisfaction of defeating one of his lieutenants, gaining some loot, and moving the plot forward. Tension builds in the story, instead of the whole thing fizzling out.
For those who dislike my style of railroading: How would you approach the given situation? Would you let things fizzle or would you make changes to keep the game going? Is there another option I’m missing?
Charging More for a Worse Product
No, game prices don't "need" to go up. That's not how supply and demand works. Instead, the publishers need to be smarter about where they spend their money.
Quakecon Keynote 2013 Annotated
An interesting but technically dense talk about gaming technology. I translate it for the non-coders.
The Disappointment Engine
No Man's Sky is a game seemingly engineered to create a cycle of anticipation and disappointment.
What is this silly word, why did some people get so irritated by it, and why did it fall out of use?
Raytracing is coming. Slowly. Eventually. What is it and what will it mean for game development?