PC personalities

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AuthorTopic: PC personalities
Warrior
Member # 4665
Profile #0
I'm sure that a lot of us have one party that we've used the most and spent the longest time with, and I'm pretty sure that by now some of us have decided on personalities, or at least 'courses of behavior' that each of our PCs have.

Do your characters have set personalities? Even vaguely defined ones? How do they like to handle a scenario?

Example(my party):

1. Male Nephil fighter -- "Do not leave the dungeon until you're sure that EVERYTHING is dead, and you've searched EVERY wall for a secret treasure room(get Mycroft to use Far Sight for this. It saves time.)"
2. Male Slith fighter -- "Do not leave town until you have searched all the houses, taking anything of value that isn't NYed(and a few things that are), get side-quests, slaughter and loot town immediately after getting rewards from side-quests"
3. Female human preistess -- "Get in, kill the monster, take monster's stuff, go back to town to collect reward, then get out as soon as physically possible"
4. Male Nephil mage -- "explore map thoroughly for special encounters and secret passageways"

Traits that apply to the party as a whole -- Loyal to no-one but themselves and each other; like treasure; like finding hidden passageways using Far Sight; hate laser puzzles; dislike the Empire but not to the point of fanaticism; like stat-raising armor and weapons; like nigh-obsessively collecting food and potion ingredients, most of which they never intend to use(but you can never have too much graymold, right?); dislike having to pay for things; dislike useful NYed items that are directly in the line of sight of a friendly, non-moving NPC; dislike fish; hate moster generators

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Soy sauce makes everything better. Except for Giant Intelligent Friendly Talking Spiders. Soy sauce makes Giant Intelligent Friendly Talking Spiders all sticky. And it makes them smell funny. But soy sauce makes everything else better. Just not Giant Intelligent Friendly Talking Spiders.
Posts: 129 | Registered: Sunday, July 4 2004 07:00
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Member # 869
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I'm only one person; having my characters be four well-defined individuals with separate personalities and differing opinions is just a little too pathological for my tastes.

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
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Having players define personalities is equivalent to having players who still haven't realized that they're playing D&D. When I go into a scenario, I either assume that I won't play an important role (or at least my personality won't), or my personality will be provided by the designer.

Blades is an artform. Why people are so hell-bent on stating that at least half of the canvas should be empty is beyond me- unless, of course, they're all philistines who want to live out their Conan the Barbarian wet dreams.

(Did I just answer my own question here, people?)

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Posts: 6936 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Agent
Member # 2210
Profile #3
Blades of Avernum is a game. Like chess, it is a complex game. Sometimes, it is fun to assign a personality to a chess piece to better understand how to use the piece. Personalizing your avatar helps you understand how better to focus the character to win the scenario. Plus it can be amusing. Setting dumb limitations or styles makes the game more challenging and interesting. For example, one of my characters, will never have an intelligence more than 2 or use spells or alchemy.

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Wasting your time and mine looking for a good laugh.

Star Bright, Star Light, Oh I Wish I May, I Wish Might, Wish For One Star Tonight.
Posts: 1084 | Registered: Thursday, November 7 2002 08:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #4
quote:
Originally written by I'll Steal Your Toast:

Sometimes, it is fun to assign a personality to a chess piece to better understand how to use the piece.
Unless you're, you know, playing to win.

Towards the topic: no. I make new parties for every scenario (because I'm trying to figure out the right blend of statistics, which ones are useful and which ones aren't, and in what combinations), and since each scenario is set in a totally different place and few of them have any possibility of having any sort of continuity from a role-playing stand-point, I don't determine the personality of my characters until I'm in the scenario.

Generally my characters distrust authority but keep their oaths, and generally they don't like the Empire much. The only scenario in which this has mattered so far is ASR.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
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(...but what about a scenario where your party is a group of soldiers?)

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Posts: 6936 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
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Member # 869
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TM, please revise your understanding of the meaning and common usage of the word "generally".

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
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"Not all of the time" can still overlap "some of the time". For instance, if Kel's pre-defined party unknowingly becomes privates, then what?

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Posts: 6936 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
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I think we'd all appreciate it if you stayed away from Kel's privates.

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
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What privates?

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Posts: 6936 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Shaper
Member # 247
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Bam! Burned. LOL

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The Knight Between Posts.
Posts: 2395 | Registered: Friday, November 2 2001 08:00
Infiltrator
Member # 5410
Profile #11
Blades is not just an artfrom. Blades graphics, coding and plotlines all have artistic elements to them but the primary purpose for the majority of users is to create an interactive, entertaining environment and to share that environment with others. Perhaps this is why I don't play certain scenarios, because the "art" alone is not sufficient merit for me to spend time in that environment.

Control freaks who need to force their view of merit on others, well they lack maturity and/or self-confidence. I note this also comes through in the quality of writing in their posts. If you cannot defend yourself, make infantile barbs at others to deflect the argument away from one's own inadequacy.

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"Dikiyoba ... is demon ... drives people mad and ... do all sorts of strange things."

"You Spiderwebbians are mad, mad, mad as March hares."
Posts: 687 | Registered: Wednesday, January 19 2005 08:00
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"the primary purpose for the majority of users is to create an interactive, entertaining environment and to share that environment with others."

Explain to me why it should be interactive.

"Control freaks who need to force their view of merit on others, well they lack maturity and/or self-confidence."

God, I totally agree! That whole literature thing is for little kids and should totally be ignored.

"I note this also comes through in the quality of writing in their posts. If you cannot defend yourself, make infantile barbs at others to deflect the argument away from one's own inadequacy."

And ad hominem is totally a valid argument.

(I challenge you, though- find me a single instance where I have just attacked someone. Usually, I only do so whilst being flat-out ignored in the points made previously. Sometimes, I'll do it because of the points' repugnancy. But never unto itself. So go ahead- find one time when I've done this.)

...

I don't think you people understand. I don't opt to saying that very often since it is 99% of the time very egotistical, but you honestly do not understand.

The "interactive world for you to play in" ideal is all well and good- but I and most other experienced players/designers have well and truly supplied our own adventures many times over. It becomes incredibly boring to have to provide one's own reactions to things, because as the player remains the same, so do all other emotional, intellectual and/or literary stimuli.

The reason why "control freaks" exist is to provide the player with a different take on things- a different human being, different reactions, different ideologies. People get used to fantasizing without a proactive designer; open-endedness becomes stagnant unto itself and this stagnancy makes a controlling plot the mechanism of escape.

Or, put another way, you can write your own books and stories for eternity, until that too becomes a chore. Active designing is a breath of fresh air.

And I honestly think you people don't understand this.

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Posts: 6936 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #13
quote:
Originally written by Dervish Malachai:

And ad hominem is totally a valid argument.
I am thoroughly astonished that you of all people in this of all threads could manage indignancy at an unnecessary barb.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
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Member # 5410
Profile #14
I can accept that a designer is compelled to create something new, as an author is driven to write new stories. As an author who works well within a genre is forced to push boundaries or to change elements of his/her writing (shyle, characters, plot elements…) a good designer will also push the boundaries of the tools he/she works with (game engine, plot devices, dialogue). This is why I appreciate elements of Canopy such as the new spells (horribly named though they be) that allows oneself to explore new modes of strategy.

What I think certain designers fail to understand is that when a game player is compelled to follow game play only as specifically directed by the designer at very rigid times and in a very specific manner the environment fails the player.

Designers who preach creativity for themselves and limit creativity for players code stagnancy directly into their “artwork”. As a player, to try an unintended (by the designer) strategy and fail is far better then to be compelled to follow the directions of the controlling “artist”. This gives the gameplay meaning and richness, and repeatability. It becomes a struggle to find the winning strategy, or to beat the design with a unique strategy.

Inasmuch as one compares himself/herself to an artist then one must also look at an artists response to created art – it is put on display and is allowed for others to determine its meaning. Rarely does an artist create a work and then tell the public exactly how that art is to be interpreted, where it is to be displayed, the audience that should view it, conditions of display etc.

In an open gaming community such design could be, and should be, interpreted as intolerant, heavy handed and filled with self-importance.

Designing for oneself is very different from designing for others. Design scenarios that meet your needs, expose them to others if you wish, but don’t be pissed off if they don’t come to the same conclusions/accept your interpretations.

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"Dikiyoba ... is demon ... drives people mad and ... do all sorts of strange things."

"You Spiderwebbians are mad, mad, mad as March hares."
Posts: 687 | Registered: Wednesday, January 19 2005 08:00
Post Navel Trauma ^_^
Member # 67
Profile Homepage #15
quote:
Originally written by Dervish Malachai:

Explain to me why it should be interactive.
Because it's a game, perhaps.

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Barcoorah: I even did it to a big dorset ram.

New Mac BoE
Posts: 1798 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
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"Designers who preach creativity for themselves and limit creativity for players code stagnancy directly into their “artwork”."

Do you write books and then praise the author of the paper you wrote upon? When you yourself are the only source of stimulus in an environment for the sake of "openness," then you begin to become redundant.

The inclusion of anything in anything is because you react to it- But the greater your reaction, the more precognizance is involved. A game is entertaining due to its unexpected happenings. A dragon is exciting when it is new, and Canopy's spells are nice. But eventually, you will know your own reaction to these things and they will cease to be entertaining.

"As a player, to try an unintended (by the designer) strategy and fail is far better then to be compelled to follow the directions of the controlling “artist”."

This is totally not what was said (I was talking about plots, not gameplay), but I still have to ask- "why?" In art, would you like it if all paintings were mandated to have half of the space be empty for you to fill it in? But then, it's your taste that is reflected back at you.

"This gives the gameplay meaning and richness, and repeatability. It becomes a struggle to find the winning strategy, or to beat the design with a unique strategy."

Again, this is off-topic. But as for repeatability- you still have the same reaction when you read the words and look at it from a different angle. I assure you, I have played to my heart's content and then some- "Repeatability" is not something I value. The experience has been had, and I have absorbed its nouveau nuances.

"Inasmuch as one compares himself/herself to an artist then one must also look at an artists response to created art – it is put on display and is allowed for others to determine its meaning."

But it is the artist's vision. Perhaps the viewer can identify with the vision- and maybe rightfully so. Maybe by design. But above all else, it should be evocative.

Art is worthwhile only insomuch as one responds to it- and obviously, art should be interpretable in many different ways. But it should be the artist's vision. No artist, when painting, will actively consider the viewer's desire to interpret whilst painting. Similarly, no designer should consider the player's desire to retroactively slay goblins or have unmitigated freedom.

"Rarely does an artist create a work and then tell the public exactly how that art is to be interpreted, where it is to be displayed, the audience that should view it, conditions of display etc."

You're wrong on the last count- artists will determine the conditions of display very often. Some art deserves to be viewed on a rainy day or with red lighting or in a white room, and who is the viewer to disagree?

But your main point has no bearing on BoA design. For instance, Canopy has lots of crap crammed in. Doesn't mean that it explains itself. (Roses of Reckoning was me being incredibly pissed off. Nobody seems to have picked that up either.) NTH especially evidences the fact that despite my best efforts, I can't explain myself even when I try.

"In an open gaming community such design could be, and should be, interpreted as intolerant, heavy handed and filled with self-importance."

I am incredibly intolerant to players who want the generic D&D fantasy. That is why I stuck around. That is why I'm here. Stop reminding me of everything that has gone so drastically awry here.

But moreover, of course it should be self-important. I am the designer, and the impetus for the work. If I am not the source of inspiration and motivation, than it is not art, it is fanservice. Vogel designs for the masses, and more money to him for it. I do this for free, I do this as volunteer work, and I do this for enjoyment. (Or I did do it for enjoyment, although limited returns is sinking in rapidly...) I do this for myself, as damned well I aught to. If a person does not design for one's self, then it is an exercise in futility.

"Designing for oneself is very different from designing for others. Design scenarios that meet your needs, expose them to others if you wish, but don’t be pissed off if they don’t come to the same conclusions/accept your interpretations."

Don't be pissed? Don't be pissed when a community comes to a crux, stops providing unique experiences, and reverts to infantile works where Kill Ogre, Win Prize becomes a tenet of design rather than an ill-fated parody?

[ Monday, May 30, 2005 12:59: Message edited by: Dervish Malachai ]

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Posts: 6936 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
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Member # 869
Profile Homepage #17
quote:
What I think certain designers fail to understand is that when a game player is compelled to follow game play only as specifically directed by the designer at very rigid times and in a very specific manner the environment fails the player.

Designers who preach creativity for themselves and limit creativity for players code stagnancy directly into their “artwork”. As a player, to try an unintended (by the designer) strategy and fail is far better then to be compelled to follow the directions of the controlling “artist”.
I fail to see a credible alternative being spelled out. The ultimate viewer-defined environment is a pencil and a blank sheet of paper -- in terms of player interactivity, nothing's going to beat that. The very existence of a specific game engine limits the player's options -- limiting options is a good thing, because it creates focus.

Without external input, the human mind is incapable of creating anything new. People suffering from total anterograde amnesia, the inability to form new memories, use exactly the same patterns of speech and action all the time. Ask one to improvise on a musical instrument and he'll always improvise the exact same piece, unaware he's composed it a hundred times before.

quote:
This gives the gameplay meaning and richness, and repeatability.
For people who don't have far too much time on their hands, replay value is basically just annoying, because it means we're missing out on things on the first playthrough and probably won't have time to go through a second time to see what we've missed.

quote:
Inasmuch as one compares himself/herself to an artist then one must also look at an artists response to created art – it is put on display and is allowed for others to determine its meaning. Rarely does an artist create a work and then tell the public exactly how that art is to be interpreted, where it is to be displayed, the audience that should view it, conditions of display etc.
Depends on the artist and the artform. Somehow I wouldn't be surprised if TM took after Bertolt Brecht a little.

quote:
In an open gaming community such design could be, and should be, interpreted as intolerant, heavy handed and filled with self-importance.
The player exercises choice by choosing which scenarios to play. If you know from past experience of a style of scenario design that you won't enjoy a scenario, then don't play it. But recognise that if you don't play it, you have nothing to complain about -- and if you do, is the designer really responsible for the time you wasted playing a scenario you didn't enjoy?

quote:
Designing for oneself is very different from designing for others. Design scenarios that meet your needs, expose them to others if you wish, but don’t be pissed off if they don’t come to the same conclusions/accept your interpretations.
Attempting to design what I think others want is patronising at best. Far better to say "This is what I've made; take it or leave it".

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #18
quote:
Originally written by Dervish Malachai:

Don't be pissed? Don't be pissed when a community comes to a crux, stops providing unique experiences, and reverts to infantile works where Kill Ogre, Win Prize becomes a tenet of design rather than an ill-fated parody?
I find this the-designing-community-is-a-disaster mentality quite strange. There are eighteen scenarios on CSR. Four are by Jeff and can't be attributed to the community at all. Three are by you, and I doubt you're calling your own works "infantile." Of the rest, Nine Vars, BS, and X'd should probably not be considered serious scenarios — they're not large or involved enouh. Six of the rest were by first-time designers, and if they're amateurish, well, your first effort was probably a tad more amateurish.

That leaves APF and LP, neither of which seem infantile to me.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
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Profile Homepage #19
Kel, you're not familiar with the story? Streila is the first thing I ever did with the editor- at all. You're also not a first-time designer. And you're half-right with your last comment. But that ain't it either.

This community is rapidly gaining a penchant to put out scenarios that, put bluntly, are failing to amuse me. Maybe I'm pampered- I hit all of the BoE greats, ones which hit on all cylinders. Now, there ain't nothing flowing out of the faucets. Maybe the future will have better works. I sure as hell hope so.

EDIT: And Thuryl is dead-on with his Bertold Brecht interpolation.

[ Tuesday, May 31, 2005 09:56: Message edited by: Dervish Malachai ]

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Posts: 6936 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #20
quote:
Originally written by Dervish Malachai:

This community is rapidly gaining a penchant to put out scenarios that, put bluntly, are failing to amuse me.
But I'm asking you on what basis you say this. I've said that putting aside Jeff's scenarios, first-time designers' scenarios, and tiny or joke scenarios, there's not a heck of a lot of evidence to say that the community is gaining a penchant to do anything!

[ Tuesday, May 31, 2005 10:34: Message edited by: Thurylandon ]

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
BANNED
Member # 4
Profile Homepage #21
You, personally, have played some of the greats. I expected more.

And I don't fault newer designers for making what they can.

But nevertheless! The degree to which this community remains totally uneducated about BoE is amazing. Maybe you're right (although I can't entirely but it)- if people played BoE's masterpieces, they might not be able to do much better. But the inability for people to even go out and play and be influenced by that stuff is stifling to any sense of hope in this place.

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Posts: 6936 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Infiltrator
Member # 5410
Profile #22
Designer creativity and player creativity are often at two ends of the pole. Where a designer makes virtually all choices for a player, the player is limited in interacting with the game in a compelling manner, neither engaging my intellect or my curiosity. At the other end of the spectrum is where nothing is constrained and one meanders without purpose - again failing to engage strong interest.

Likened to art, an artist does not simply create art and them tell the masses what it must mean. Art is presented and allowed to create responses in people, some intended some unintended. Player creativity in a game engine can be likened to response to art, it is an interpretation of the vision.

Repeatability also has value, such as using different combinations of characters/solo vs. group effort, attempting to win using handicaps (and finding that different scenarios respond to different handicaps). This has as much (or more)value in providing new experiences as playing entirely new scenarios.

I do not have problems with an artist who argues cogently for a specific vison and pushes the envelope to try and attain that within a community. The difficulty I have is with an insistence that a certain path is the only path to walk. Such force strikes me as belligerence and intolerence.

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"Dikiyoba ... is demon ... drives people mad and ... do all sorts of strange things."

"You Spiderwebbians are mad, mad, mad as March hares."
Posts: 687 | Registered: Wednesday, January 19 2005 08:00
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"Where a designer makes virtually all choices for a player, the player is limited in interacting with the game in a compelling manner, neither engaging my intellect or my curiosity."

How does blank space "engage your curiosity"? Curiosity happens within the nuances of creation. Alcritas' Arc is perhaps the scenario with the greatest penchant for curiosity, and it's very controlling. Geneforge is incredibly open, but it's plainer than white bread. You'll have to qualify this point a bit better than that.

"Likened to art, an artist does not simply create art and them tell the masses what it must mean. Art is presented and allowed to create responses in people, some intended some unintended. Player creativity in a game engine can be likened to response to art, it is an interpretation of the vision."

(Already responded to this, but...)

That will happen regardless. Even if I seem to basically explain what's going on "behind the scenes," I can still be deceiving you. (RoR, for instance.) If a controlling scenario happens with EVERYTHING explained, though, you are not preventing from reacting to it- perhaps you will not react in a way that causes pixels to fly, but you will have interaction on a mental level, which is vastly more critical as you grow tired of slaying the same dragons and getting the same reactions.

"Repeatability also has value, such as using different combinations of characters/solo vs. group effort, attempting to win using handicaps (and finding that different scenarios respond to different handicaps). This has as much (or more)value in providing new experiences as playing entirely new scenarios."

Thuryl already said that there are time constraints. Besides, even in Canopy (which is BoA's most restrictive scenario), you can go in and do it different ways.

But then I have another question- what do YOU get from doing that? Is it *fun* to go through the same exact motions in the same exact world, interacting with what is essentially yourself? Art becomes less intellectually engaging proportional to how much of it you have to paint yourself- you'll interact with it either way. Your side of the dialogue between player and designer will never be lacking. Asking the designer to create with a handicap of open-endedness creates a discrepancy between player's dialogue and designer's dialogue.

"The difficulty I have is with an insistence that a certain path is the only path to walk. Such force strikes me as belligerence and intolerence."

The difficulty I have is with an insistence not to acknowledge the better ways of doing things- I don't think you can have this argument both ways. The designer needs to be king of designing, since the player is the king of playing regardless of the situation.

(And really- who have I "forced" to design in this way? Based on the scenarios currently released, nobody.)

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Posts: 6936 | Registered: Tuesday, September 18 2001 07:00
Warrior
Member # 4665
Profile #24
Alright, we've established that I'm a TOTAL IDIOT. If this is just going to turn into a big ol' flamewar, I politely request that a moderator/admin lock this.

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Soy sauce makes everything better. Except for Giant Intelligent Friendly Talking Spiders. Soy sauce makes Giant Intelligent Friendly Talking Spiders all sticky. And it makes them smell funny. But soy sauce makes everything else better. Just not Giant Intelligent Friendly Talking Spiders.
Posts: 129 | Registered: Sunday, July 4 2004 07:00

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