Apr 04

New Idea: The Story So Far

After yesterday’s post about GearHead-2, I started thinking about how the game reminds the player of the story so far. Instead of listing the history items as above, I wonder if it would be possible to generate a single paragraph describing the current state of the story? Something like:

The space colonies of the Free Commerce States have been attacked by the Red Mask Raider pirates. Led by Yecemk, they destroyed the Silver Knight garrison in Athera Spinner. Your victory against Yecemk earned her respect. Now, you plan to seek training in Wagner Spinner.

I don’t think I’ll be adding this feature to GH1 or GH2, but it’s something I plan to keep in mind for GHC.

1 comment

  1. Random commenter

    It may work but I don’t think it’s necessary. It’s nice but for paragraph to be a really an useful thing, you’d need to add more details and elements. For example, your paragraph goes straight from attack by pirates led by Yecemk to victory against Yecemk, with no mention of under what circumstances and for what reason the player joined the battle (or that they did at all and weren’t say, around just to take the credit).

    At the same time if you add too much stuff you risk making somewhat interesting, but less practical, rather long recaps of the story. Not a great issue on its own but may be potentially bothersome if someone looks for one particular event (provided there would be many events that should be in the history).

    In all honesty, I’d be more concerned about fleshing out characters and relationships mentioned in your previous entry to which current considerations are connected. Some of that “characters aren’t really memorable and fade into background” was already an issue in GH1 for me, as sometimes I was contacted and given missions by people I didn’t really recall or had anything to do with (usually it turned out later they were some random shopkeeper or other NPC I tried to get maximum of a favor from to get cheap services etc). I’d be great is relationships would be expanded in this regard first.

    I don’t expect or ask for some sort of great dialogues of romance and friendship, but being able to mark somewhat for a game in context of what relationship NPC disposition should be regarded – whether it’s high renown on purely professional grounds and PC being highly effective quest-solver who likes the jobs offered by this NPC, some regular friendship caused by common visits and nice chats or maybe even some romantic thing which all could affect availability of different quests and dialogues as well as potential role an NPC could take in a story without game needing to generate some “long-lost” lovers, relatives etc

    That may be a kind of tall order but probably would help with some issues and flesh out the story far more than bazillion of randomly generated phrases and history recaps.

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