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If you were playing a game that gave you tasks/quests, would you like to see a list of all the tasks/quests and where you would get them when you loaded the game and throughout playing or only as you got each task/quest?  

Yes
- 3 (37.5%)
No
- 3 (37.5%)
Wouldn't care
- 2 (25%)

Total Members Voted: 8

Voting closed: December 24, 2008, 07:55:02 AM


Author Topic: Displaying tasks/quests on beginning a new game  (Read 11121 times)

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Catacomber

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Displaying tasks/quests on beginning a new game
« on: December 14, 2008, 07:55:02 AM »

A little poll.  : )
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Spellbreaker

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Re: Displaying tasks/quests on beginning a new game
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2008, 10:08:15 PM »

Question:     If you were playing a game that gave you tasks/quests, would you like to see a list of all the tasks/quests and where you would get them when you loaded the game and throughout playing or only as you got each task/quest?    (Voting closes: December 24, 2008, 07:55:02 AM)



Uhm sorry, but how should I answer this question with yes or no? This is not a yes/no question....  ??? ??? ???
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Catacomber

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Re: Displaying tasks/quests on beginning a new game
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2008, 03:46:48 AM »

You can elaborate on an answer if you like, but for my purposes it's a yes/no/don't care question.  :  )  I'd just like to know people's preferences whether they prefer to have a complete list when they begin a game so they can see all the available tasks/quests and where to get them or would they like their quest log to be filled in as they get a task/quest -- in that case they don't know all the possibilities without going to a hintsite or forum. 

My last two games I put up questlists -- itemizing each quest and where you can get them.  But in those games your quest list fills with new quests only as you encounter them so you never know whether you've missed something.  I put the quest lists up because people wanted to make sure they didn't miss a quest.  With 38-42 quests and some depending on different things, it would be easy to miss one.

It seems from experience people would prefer to see all the possibilities so they know what they've missed and where they missed it so they can go back and get that quest.  :  )   I would like to make their life easier and also it would make mine easier.  :  )  But if people did not want to know everything up front, I would do it the same old way--harder to code though.  : )

So basically, how I code the quest log depends on people's preferences of those, really only two, choices--I am not going to get more elaborate in making a quest log.  :  ) 

You could ask or answer it in your own way.  :  )
« Last Edit: December 15, 2008, 05:46:46 AM by Catacomber »
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Mnemonic

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Re: Displaying tasks/quests on beginning a new game
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2008, 09:50:52 AM »

I voted No, because IMO discovering the quests is part of the exploration. I'm playing Fallout 3 now, and it's kind of cool (and part of the fun) to "accidentally" discover more and more sidequests.
But I guess it depends on the actual game.
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sychron

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Re: Displaying tasks/quests on beginning a new game
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2008, 01:37:17 PM »

I'm playing Dreamfall ATM, and it features an "pending quests list". This is a nice feature, always remembering the player what to do (which can be helpful when loading the game after a pause), but on the other side it reminds me on playing an ego shooter, for this is common style from Quake to S.T.A.L.K.E.R. or other action titles like Space fighting simulations.

I think reducing the bookkeeping the player has to do is a great thing, but in this particular case it could also break the game acceptance. Adventure players should be used to writing down stuff while playing, while action players are used to keep their hands on the controls. Doing too much is helpful, but reduces the "writing load" of the player.

I personally dislike features as the "dialog log", "what i've heard"-notebook, etc, and tend to write down everything my own style (and connect it with wild colored lines to solve the story arc ...), but that's personal taste. And I'm used to playing adventures since the days of text adventures.

Nowadays, the "reduce the bookkeeping" maxime is cruical to gain customers in the "next generation". Who is USED to theese automatic lists likes them in adventures as well.

But always remember: DooM featured an automap, which was seen "Stand of the Art" for Ego Shooters long time. Quake made the step to drop the automap, and nearly no shooter following it had one, only tactical shooters introduced one here and there. So "Stand of the Art" may vary if you dare to be a trend setter AND it fits the game.

On the other hand, it may break the game. Having an automatic Dialog log in Dreamfalls science fiction world in form of a modern handheld makes sense. Replacing the handheld with a diary for fantasy worlds is arguable. It has to be there by design, for it is there in the SF world, but in the fantary world, it does not really fit in, for there is no reason for it to be there: The fantasy characters are portraied eiter lazy oder action oriented, I don't believe any of them to keep a diary. That's the point: believability. Having a written notebook in Investigator Adventures like Sherlock Holmes makes perfect sence, for Sherlock Holmes and his kind are widely known to note down every litttle detail.

So, the honest answer is "I'm not shure, it has to fit your style."
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Catacomber

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Re: Displaying tasks/quests on beginning a new game
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2008, 04:14:34 PM »

I agree that anything in the game should work into the design and feel natural.  But I also realize that there are many people now who play games on small pcs (like the Acer and the Eee) that are portable--and powerful enough (I think-haven't tried it yet) to run high end graphics and to run a Wintermute-powered game. 

In my experience, people who play on trains, subway, etc., don't like to have to write things down (they complain bitterly about having to make charts and graphs and such, and for that reason like in-game logs. So I'm tending toward a log for quests that will fill in the log as you get the quest and fit into the gameplay. 

These portable pcs are becoming more and more popular.   :  )   I think it's a great market for adventure/rpg games as pocketpcs become outmoded and to put a really long, intricate game on a phone currently works against present technology.  These computers are so small you can put them in a backpack or shoulder bag and they aren't any more expensive than a pocket pc or phone pda.  So you have to consider that someone might be using one--scrunched in between 2 other commuters on a train and might not be able to get hand into pocket to make notes, so they can't keep track that way.  :  )  Anyway, these comments are very helpful.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2008, 05:24:13 PM by Catacomber »
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sychron

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Re: Displaying tasks/quests on beginning a new game
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2008, 06:02:26 PM »

Good point.

As I said: It totally depends on whom you design your game for. For example, I tried playing some games on the train, too. While for games like Quake, Call Of Duty and most Adventures, this works well, S.T.A.K.E.R. and Unreal for example are to complex to play in a train, as they require a much higher immersion.

On the adventure side of life, ok, you CAN play on a train, and adventures like f.e. Monkey Island or So Blonde won't suffer from that. But if you try to play The Moment Of Silence or Grim Fanfango on a train, you will notice the immense loss of athmosphere.

So if you are going to make a game to be played on a train, design it in "non exclusive mode" and avoid every avoidable workload for the player. If you want to make the adventure more immersive and athmospheric, on the other hand, leave the thinking and noticing things to the player.

About noticing: Snoop Keys are great for new players and as a hint for "drive by playing", for example, but if your story depends on noticing strange things, snoop keys can ruin a lot of puzzles in your game. This is true for every "hint facility" in your game, and a dialog log or mission reminder are "hint facilities", making you clearly see what to do next instead of you having to figure it out.

Remember the famous "hand-number-code-puzzle" from fat island in monkey island. You try to figure out the code, looking at what you've learned so far. If your hint book sais "find out code", that would be ok, BUT even this few words contain a hint that you have to "find out", rather than "look for" the code.
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Jyujinkai

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Re: Displaying tasks/quests on beginning a new game
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2008, 06:33:05 PM »

funny this thread should pop up... my game in fact is planned to have a quest log type thing, that lists your current quest and side quests. In fact I was loggin onto fourm to ask about a method t oachive this heh heh.... I'll keep you posted....

But I agree with the others in here. The game design tell you if this is needed or not. I would say that a list of everything you need to do at start isn't to bad as long as the list is "discovered" as in you do not want to see the end of game objective at start, but say the first scene it says "Get of of room and contact Billy".. then why not?
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Catacomber

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Re: Displaying tasks/quests on beginning a new game
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2008, 08:47:24 PM »

I really think a quest log, at least for me, where you bump into someone or something and get a quest and it then and only then shows up in your log is best---and when you get it done, it gets checked off or removed--removed would be better.  You can always put a quest list up somewhere as I've been doing and if people want to play that way they can---.

A little bird suggested an array--am going to start working on it.   :  )

It's good to have the input of so many people who have played such a diversity of games.  Sychron, I've never played Monkey Island or Grimm Fandango (which appeals to me a lot).  I've played mostly rpg games including Zelda, Super Mario, and many others.  But I love the old adventure games. I've played a lot of old infocom games like Moonmist and Riddle of the Crown Jewels on an emulator.  I was getting to Zork when I got sidetracked.  While they may be outmoded, the gameplay and story can still be interesting.  I remember in Moonmist I did use the walkthrough.  :  )
« Last Edit: December 15, 2008, 08:56:33 PM by Catacomber »
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sychron

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Re: Displaying tasks/quests on beginning a new game
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2008, 01:15:52 AM »

The main "problem" with task lists is that they can spoil an adventure when they reveal tasks not yet seen as tasks by the player. This happens quite a lot in Freespace II (ok, this is a story driven space shooter, but the problem stays the same). You get a briefing and head off. Your task list gets updated with the story, but every now and then you see some bonus tasks in the task list you don't know anything about, like "destroy all the tankers", when there are no tankers. And than, surprise!, some tankers warp in and you are prepared and have spared your torpedos because you KNEW you will be surprised by something like that.
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Jyujinkai

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Re: Displaying tasks/quests on beginning a new game
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2008, 10:16:34 AM »

well a task list can be handeled a few diffrent ways. Many games use a journal, a book or somthing or pda, or whatever that fills with infomation as you discover it. I think that is the big diffrence... like if you are an escapeing prisoner a task in list saying "escape" isn't giving much away.... but a "history" of actions and discoverys serves a simular function as a quest log type thing.
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sychron

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Re: Displaying tasks/quests on beginning a new game
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2008, 06:27:46 PM »

I agree, this kind of questlog is VERY useful -- except if you try to "hide" side-quests in dialogs which can be completed for bonus points. In this case I would only log the important tasks that need to be acomplished to beat the game and not log any additional tasks.
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IcePoP

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Re: Displaying tasks/quests on beginning a new game
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2009, 11:17:06 PM »

Agree with basically everything here....but just had a thought...

What if someone were to combine the best from both worlds?

Just off the top of my head - some sort of interactive "mind-map/brain-storm/spider-diagram" device. You have basic visual clues or text clues that you have uncovered but instead of the game already associating these things automatically - it is up to the player to associate them and fit them into the puzzle the way that they see fit.

For example you have a few tabs for say a detective story, victim, killer and evidence.

The victim can have his own mind-map - visually linking evidence to his name/image. These in turn are then linkable to any suspect which you see fit.

The tree continues to grow as you find more evidence and more information on each suspect and even more about the victim.

This can also be reversible if you plan to create your mind map around the killer and to see where the victim fits in, or even the evidence to see where victim and killer fit in.

All games like these use this simple method but all the work is done in the players head, and sometimes - especially for me on games such as broken sword - I have no idea where this "handkerchief" should go or what it should do - and it is plainly guess work when i come to a situation where i try every piece of evidence to see if the puzzle is solved - rather randomly and without thought.

I think that a system such as this one removes the rather easy "you picked up a handkerchief with the initials 'J.D' - This must be Jimmy Derry's!" or the sometimes frustrating writing down of "Jimmy Derry - habits include computer programmer - also used to sneeze a lot." but keeps some good things of both. For even though the quests are not that obvious - the clues and the means to link them are still there - and the other way round is that although its not as deeply immersing as writing everything down on a notepad beside your monitor - you still have the option to examine and fit together all the pieces of the puzzle in any particular order and in an order which is peculiar to you as the player.

This went on for more that I thought it would, sorry about the gibberish lol
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