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Character's behaviour that pleases the player

Character's behaviour that pleases the player
« on: March 07, 2010, 03:04:53 pm »

Something interesting just happened with me in Heavy Rain. After a discussion, the friend of my avatar ran out in the rain. I made him follow her and after she explained why she was upset, I got three choices, called "sorry", "shelter" and something else. I chose "shelter" and my avatar silently took off his coat and put it on her shoulders.

I was surprised by how good I felt about this. It wasn't much of a decision, it wasn't much of an interaction. But it really felt like I had done something. Something I was very pleased about.

So it made me wonder if the idea of choice for the sake of choice, of pure interactivity, is actually meaningless if none of the choices represent what you as a player would find pleasing (morally, aesthetically, emotionally, etc). And this makes me wonder if that is why other people seem to enjoy all those other games so much more than I do: that the behaviour of the characters they play in those games is much better aligned with behaviour that pleases them.

Maybe this is a sort of pattern recognition: when you recognize a pattern, it pleases you aesthetically. And most games just don't have patterns that my brain recognizes. Meaning, I don't understand the logic of, e.g., shooting at a monster just because it attacks me. It's not what I would do.

Mind you, there's plenty of moments in Heavy Rain where my avatar does things that I wouldn't do either. The "shelter" thing was really an exception.
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Re: Character's behaviour that pleases the player
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2010, 07:57:36 am »

I suspect that you are on to something here.

I've not played Heavy Rain, but I can think of similar situations where I felt good about a player character's action being congruent with my own intention or values. And I do not experience this when I try to play games about killing things, which is most games.

So yes. I'll think about this, thanks. Smiley
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Re: Character's behaviour that pleases the player
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2010, 08:24:42 pm »

i haven't played the game yet. but i'm curious if other players felt something similar in other parts of the game.

what if the action on "shelter" was just a product of masterful characterization and it wasn't the act that was pleasing, but rather the fact that it was the one that made perfect sense.









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Re: Character's behaviour that pleases the player
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2010, 09:39:14 pm »

Indeed, that's what I was thinking too. That it was just good storytelling. Because books can achieve the same effect. You enjoy "following" a character probably more when their behaviour "makes sense".

Yet in the game, it really felt like I had done something. It would not have felt the same at all if I hadn't pressed that button to make it happen. I was feeling good about myself. I didn't just empathise with the character or approve of his actions. It was me because I pressed the button.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2010, 09:40:45 pm by Michaël Samyn »
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Re: Character's behaviour that pleases the player
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2011, 06:34:44 am »

It was me because I pressed the button.

That's the power of interactive media genres, I believe  :-)
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