以前，《洛克人》这类游戏会阻止你的进程。目前仍有些游戏存在类似情况，比如《Super Meat Boy》或是更具受挫感的《I Wanna Be The Guy》（游戏邦注：这是一款免费游戏）。
The problem of moral choices in RPGs
by Vaizard 27
Also a topic I think a lot about lately.
What comes to my mind first are the AAA titles of the last few years. Namely Dragon Age and the Witcher. Mass Effect should be mentioned too, but i still have to play through it.
So what is worth writing about concerning those games?
I think the storylines in both titles are great. It really is fun to play through them. But I do not understand the hype on the “real decisions and consequences” those games feature.
Yeah there certainly are decisions in those games, but to call them moral decisions is a bit too far fetched in my opinion. Of course you decide who to help and who to fight, but this is just a pro and con list in the players mind. No decision in the game has consequences that make you fail the game.
For a game to really feature moral choices the consequences must be able to crush the player.
Because of this fact we will get choices in games but they wont be determining the success we have while playing.
Imagine you would be asked to do something in the first two minutes of the game and if you decline to help 20 hours later that very same NPC you did not help will deny you to fight the final boss.
Hell that would be frustrating.
But the real life sometimes is that frustrating. So why not use it in a game?
Well, mostly because a publisher won’t allow you too. And it’s also a question of design conventions. Remember a game you could not win because you made a wrong decision at a point far in the past? There are none. Consequences in games must always be something the player can forecast himself.
If that’s not the case the player will feel betrayed by the game.
But why is that?
In the older days there were games like Mega Man that literally made you fail to proceed. Some games nowadays do the same, like Super Meat Boy or the even more frustrating I Wanna Be The Guy (this one is free, try it if you don’t believe me).
But those are jump and runs. Players are used to dying in a jump and run. You die sometimes, it is normal for the genre. But you always know why you died.
That is not the case for the long term consequences I mentioned above.
Of course you can argue that there really are guys out there (I’m one of them) that would feel even more emerged into the world of an RPG if the consequences of your actions were more credible. They would just start over and play the game again not making the same mistake.
But the normal gamer only spends 3-5 hours with a game. A flow-breaker in that short period basicly kills the game for the player. He won’t touch it ever again.
It’s a convention you mustn’t break. An RPG must remain playable no matter what you do.
So what does this mean for the “moral choices” the future RPGs will offer us.
Basicly not much. Everything will remain as it is, the graphics will get better and at some point of time leap over the uncanny valley. The gameplay will be enhanced in many ways. The stories told will stay as epic as ever . But the consequences of our choices will never hunt us down later in the game. The characters will be made even more human and credible and will fight for the world they life in as they always did.
Maybe the linear RPG will return, but I dont really believe that myself. Even tough I would love to see it come back.
But we will never be denied the end of the game, just because we didn’t help the beggar in act one.
I think it’s sad because failure is a experience we often have in life.
But here lies the main differnce between life and a game. A game just cannot cope for all the possibilities and choices the real world offers. So the RPGs focus on delivering a great experience of victory, with some smaller controlled failures.
Thats better than having no failure at all in games.
And let’s be honest, who would like to play a game about failing? (take a look at karoshi!)
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