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  #1  
Old 03-14-2012, 01:13 PM
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Default Decision Endings Hurting Games?

Decision making in Video games have been around since the dawn of time. In games, you have always made a choice on how you play your game. Do you want to play as a warrior, or as a Mage? Or even perhaps a rouge. Even in sports games, you choose your team, who is your starting Running back or your Pitcher. In First Person Shooters you often find yourself debating on which Shotgun or Assault Rifle you want to use. Fact of the matter is, decisions have always played some sort of impact in video games.

However, Bioware took it a step further and allowed you to make major decisions on how the story plays out. Knights of the Old Republic allowed you take control of your own Jedi and flesh out your own tale. The game was so successful because you felt the dynamic choices you made in the game impact the story. You were living out your own Star Wars destiny. It was just so fucking cool! And in 2007, Bioware releases Mass Effect for the new, Xbox 360.

Mass Effect put you in the shoes of a Space solider named Commander Shepard. Almost as soon as you pressed the start button you were thrown the choices on what class you wanted to play, your background story, your characters psych background. You built your Shepard to tailor who you wished. Mass Effect followed the K.O.T.O.R formula and allowed your choices to hugely impact the game. But Bioware took it a step forward and had your choices impact your game in the sequels. It immersed the player into the story and made you feel you were actually Commander Shepard. It actually made you emotionally touched when you saved an alien race...Or bring them into extinction.

But throughout the buckets of awesome decision games bring gamers, game designers decide to give the player the choice on how you end the game. How to end the legacy of your mighty knight, or Commander Shepard. Many gamers criticize the choices you were given.

My questions for you.

Do you enjoy Decision games like Fable, Mass Effect, Deus Ex, Etc.

Do you feel that Decision Endings hurt the overall product of a game?
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  #2  
Old 03-14-2012, 10:39 PM
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I think its one of the best things to ever happen to games. You can play the game over and over. The more choices the better the experience of the game each time you play it.
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Old 03-15-2012, 06:25 PM
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I like to play decision games, I think they're awesome. The fact that your game turns out to be your game, no one else's. You and your best friends can all play the same game, and all have unique experiences and storylines within that game. My friends and I often compare our different decisions and various paths in games like that when we all play them.

Also, as WWEvsJosh said, it helps the games replayability. You can play the game several times if you wish, amking different choices and having different outcomes each time. It keeps the game fresh and exciting. You really get your money's worth out of the game when you can play it multiple times and have it always turn out differently.

So yeah, I think the concept is great.
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:33 PM
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If someone stated that the decision making style of gameplay in games lately has been hurting the overall product, they could not possibly be further from the truth. Decision making such as what is seen in games like Dragon Age or Mass Effect is one of the best things to ever happen to video games because the replay value for those types of games is through the roof. A game might have dozens of different paths you may take, creating a completely different quest each time you play.

Look at Dragon Age for example. Are you a boy or a girl? A warrior, mage, or rogue? An elf, dwarf, or human? There are 6 different origin storylines, each that can be played as either gender, that you can begin with, and that's without taking into account all of the various choices you can make during the game itself. Which ally will you fall in love with? Which side will you take in the battles? Are you good or evil? There are countless different playthroughs that you can have and it is never the same twice. I do not see the harm whatsoever and the fact that it produces different endings only furthers my statement that this is a trend in gaming that should never go away due to the replay value it has created.
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:59 AM
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I think it makes for a better game since not every playthough is going to be exactly the same as the last time. Plus being able to customize your characters and choose the way their story goes gives you more of an emotional investment in the story. Some games though the good choice evil choice part starts to seem more like the creator is trying to push their own beliefs.
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:58 PM
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It truly depends on the game. There are video games like Heavy Rain that are completely based on the player's decisions and have almost 20 unique endings. A lot of the emotion coming off Heavy Rain stemmed from that every choice, every dark and twisted decision you were forced to make is truly YOURS. For better or for worse your actions result in the story-line "success" or failure of the characters.

There are other games that I almost prefer have a straight-forward story. I like that the Halo series is a complete story being told, and that you don't have to beat it four times to get every possible perspective the creators were trying to throw at you. To me have 4 different endings can be unnecessary fan service - gamers are consumers, and on the whole are not story tellers themselves. I'd rather leave the whole vision of a game up to the publishers, writers, and producers rather than decide the fate of the story. The Mass Effect series was truly unique in that your choices from two other games carried over to the final installment and effected the way it all came together...sort of...kind of...not really. To that extent it's cool, since the story being told was excellent AND we got to be a part of it. When there's a morality system in place to lead to a "good" or "bad" ending, ala Infamous, that's also a lot of fun. But at most you get two playthroughs, meaning you can actually grasp what the artists were going for.

All I really care about is the story. The Mass Effect creators were still able to tell their story exceptionally and I applaud them for it. Others haven't been as successful with the concept. I just don't want to get to a point where EVERY video game that comes out allows the players to take control of the story and effect how the end turns out. Choose Your Own Adventure books were fun as a kid, but there's no way I could write a better twist ending for Ender's Game than Orson Scott Card. There's no way I could have put together a more interesting format than the people who made Catherine. I applaud the industry for coming up with ways to get the player more involved in the project, I really do. But there still needs to be original, fully thought-out stories being presented by people who know what they're doing.
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:20 AM
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Player choices like that are often credited to sand box style and RPG games. Not all of them really give you a choice so let's not forget that.

But talking about these games RPGs, simulators, sandbox games (mostly) only really RPGs and Emulators really give you real life choices. Also heavy Rain but that is another chapter.

So ok here we go let's discuss these 2 formats that supposedly gives you most choices:

RPGs: Since the dawn of that era you have been given choices and was able to choose your enlightenment(it's just a guess since I haven't read to much about this). You could chosse your temporary destiny of enlightenment but also the ending of your character.

Let's take game series that I wasted most time on the Fallout series. For starters you had this most amazing interface where you could create your own character. Awesome way to go and once you learn how awesome it is it really picks up. You make it and start the game. Not far in it and you need to start making hard choices.... a successful thief or hard money earner? If chosen the later the path will be more difficult and you are gonna be forced to draw out your quest which is not needed if you use some simple tricks. And after all this is Wasteland so you kinda do what you must.

Later on you stumble on choice to either raise your charisma and talk your way out or simply use the words of the gun. No matter what you choose you know you will have a good time.

Sometimes it's hard not to offend and it all goes down with you going completely crazy and just started executing everyone in all towns and getting that sweet, sweet highest negative karma. Those guys bow beneath your feet or flee.

Game series that can be played for years and yet you truly never feel like you can chose your destiny in the main storyline. Well at least up until New Vegas. Here you finally get a choice.

So in the end in these sort of games what hurts the most? Oh yes that you didn't or couldn't choose other wise. So important? Absolutely.

Do I enjoy decision making? Well of course. That's part of the game. And you always chase the one that got away when you restart the game. That's the whole point.

Would it hurt RPGs to not have decision making? Well we could hardly call them RPG's if we couldn't choose could we?

Simulators: Ahh here are some fun ones. You can't really control them 100% since they are really whiny these folks in simulators like RCT and and Jurassic Parks and Zoo Parks and jails and so on and so forth. What can you do? Well you could either be the nice guy and get everything rolling or set everything in chaos and kill most of them. You choice?

Is it fun to make choices here? Well yes until you get bored of them whining now matter how great you.

Does it hurt? No it adds.

Sand Box: Well the main story line is fixed and you cannot change your fate?

What can you do? Feel free and either help the order of things or create chaos. Awesome way to waste a lot of time doing mostly nothing really important to overall things....but it's fun and you feel like a bad ass. That's all that matters. Do I like to have fun? Hell yeah.

Does it hurt? No it can only add and this has never been a good question if you know the answer.
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Old 04-23-2012, 05:07 AM
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Okay. The idea of decision making hurting games is wrong. Without this decision making you get a linear game of no description whatsoever...

The issue is where should they STOP. The thought behind this for me is; are games now becoming too sandbox in storyline, so much so that they completely lose focus on where they should be? I say this because of things like multiple endings. Without a distinct "THIS IS WHERE WE FINISH" I feel storyline ends up taking a backseat to the choices that you make. In an RPG for instance, I quite like a linear storyline because really; its a large part of the game, to have a finish. Just lately though, especially with the newest edition of Final Fantasy, I feel myself wandering from time to time and not really caring very much because I KNOW there will be more than one ending.

I don't feel a need to replay a title for a new ending, I'll youtube it because ive already put in 20 hours or so into said game. The build up wont be much different just with different choices made in good/bad trees (mass effect/deus ex). So yeah...I dont think theyre hurting games but I think we need to know when to stop with making choices or the game ends up suffering as a result of losing focus.
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