Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Moral Choice Systems and Multiple Endings

I'll start this rant off (since its my first rant) by introducing myself. I am DrSpoy, as obvious as that is.

I decided to watch a Catherine lets play the other day, and through out I saw that the game had a moral system bar for almost everything. Near the end the LPer I watch only got the "normal" ending, as it turned out there were 3 variations of the same ending. Which made me beg the question of why? We don't need 3 variations of the same ending. I later saw there's basically 3 endings, each with variations. He later released videos with some of the other endings. Hes still releasing them, but here is the basic gist of what I got.

Good and bad endings have 3 variations, and neutral has 2 variations, each for how good/neutral/evil you were. However if you got 2 of the endings in repetition, you'd assume you'd have gotten the same ending, for one ending they really only removed an animation near the end.

Now the problem with this is that it forces replayability, in my opinion. Which is why moral systems in general suck. Now moral systems when done well can be good for a game. I don't often play games with moral systems, but I do enjoy them. Bioshock had a moral system that fit well, but then it gave you those silly endings. Silly in my opinion, because in one ending you pretty much chose your survival over some of Frankenstein's daughters, and because of that you apparently (SPOILER ALERT) decide to take over the world. (SPOILER ALERT)

I think the way to easily fix moral choice systems is not make them insanely drastic or give them multiple minor variation endings. For example, in one situation you could say you have the choice of helping an old lady across the street. Now lets say you're in this situation. Just plain you. Now you're "evil" option would be just to leave her there because you're in a hurry going to the place you're going to. Now a game characters evil option would be basically to push her in front of an oncoming vehicle for no apparent reason, which would make her body fling awesomely, but its so out of touch of reality.

Now multiple endings aren't a bad thing, mainly because usually they tend to only go hand in hand with moral choice systems or adventure genre mixes. So I think that the endings just shouldn't be as extreme, is all. Don't make my character suddenly have butterflies flying around him because hes a good guy, no else seems to have it.

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