Thank you Ayvah, this was very good.
I also think that "the witcher" was the best game in this regard. (I have only played part 1, I would need a new computer for part 3)
Thanks. I'm glad my effort paid off.
As you have said, the witcher has a pre defined char. Gerald is a monster hunter who fights with swords and magic. He has a fixed personality and his own personal goals.
When I think about this further, this really seems like this would only be a limitation from a story-telling perspective. Fully linear RPGs like Final Fantasy allow you to have a lot of great banter within your own party. Also, you get to watch your protagonist proceed through a clear character arc.
From the perspective of choice and consequences, I don't think it's a limitation at all.
Dragon Age: Origins handled this relatively well (for one character). You could play through an origin story, and then after that your origin would continue to influence the rest of the game in various ways. The following instalments diluted the range of choices, and I think the simplification of choice in newer games has a lot to do with the expense of voice acting. So I think that D:OS2 will have an advantage now that they've decided to abandon voice acting for the most part. (The protagonist in DA:O was unvoiced.)
D:OS2 is promising to take this to a whole new level. But at no point in Dragon Age: Origins did I feel that these different origins hindered their ability to provide interesting choices throughout the game.
something to watch for you:
I like his ideas, but I completely disagree with his formula:
1. Manage the scale / Realism in video games
1. Manage the scale
2. Failure is a consequence
3. Make me paranoid
4. Don't get carried away
The problem I have with many games is that they rely too much on the "save the world or die" narrative, and have to keep trying to raise the stakes to keep you invested.
I can't say I agree that Geralt is not "heroic"/large scale in the way he means it. In the Witcher 2, he has decisions that affects whether or not Temeria remains an independent country. The stakes in The Witcher 3 are even bigger (save the world stuff). The strength of the Witcher 3 is that whatever the stakes, he has his own personal motivations which you invest in.
This is harder to achieve when your protagonist is a blank slate. However, you can still use your side characters to provide investment. The Witcher 3 does this a lot in side quests. Geralt is just there for the money, and so the game uses some great writing and relies on the characters in the side quest to get you invested.
If you don't mind having a minor Witcher 3 sidequest spoiled: https://youtu.be/cQ6-1ts2aCg?t=4m49s2. Failure as a consequence / 3. Make me paranoid / Uncomfort
I don't agree that failure is necessary. I believe that negative consequences are necessary.
In the above video, you are given choices and you can make your own decision as to which outcome is a "failure".
As far as paranoia, I think it's fine for a game to broadcast "This is a choice" (as the Witcher 3 usually did). At the same time, I think it'd be kind of cool to turn a few RPG tropes on their head.
For example, in D:OS (and other RPGs like Skyrim) I can make all the good choices
, but as soon as the NPCs turn their back, I'm stealing absolutely everything that isn't nailed down. As long as no one sees me, I'm still considered good
However, imagine what would happen in reality. People in the town would start to get suspicious after seeing their possessions disappear when you're left alone in a room. Or maybe the opposite happens and everyone completely trusts you. Maybe you would get a new quest to retrieve someone's wedding ring -- except it's the same wedding ring you stole from him earlier!
You go to the shop you pawned it off to, buy back the ring, then give it back to him and ask for a large reward. Maybe you even blame someone innocent for the crime. Does it get much more evil than that? (Of course, there should also be some form of "good" option for you to take responsibility.)
Traditionally, consequences for theft have just been "go to jail" or "the entire town tries to kill you". There are much more interesting and nuanced ways to play with this.4. Don't get carried away
I'm not sure what his point is here. Yes, story & gameplay mechanics are the most important things and the focus should be on these above all. However, it certainly seems that in this thread, people are very passionate about having choices. When done well, it has the potential to enrich both the story and gameplay.