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<  The Path - discussion  ~  To score or not to score?

Do you like the score screen?

Yes. Keep it.  
64%
  [ 59 ]  64%
 
No. Remove it.  
35%
  [ 33 ]  35%
 

Total Votes : 92
Michael
Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:29 am Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
The actual figures in the score were never really meant as an evaluation of your performance. We don't care how many items you picked up or if you have met the wolf, etc. It really is just a (sick) joke. But it does serve the purpose of telling players that they should be more inquisitive, that simply obeying orders does not work in The Path. And it also informs you about the existence of secret rooms and locators.
So basically, the Score Screen is there for "normal" gamers, to inform them that The Path is not a normal game.

To actually judge somebody's performance in the game, we would need to know about the effort they did to role play, the patience they had with the girls, whether not not they were shy around the wolf, etc. Those are things you'll need to evaluate for yourself as a computer can't tell.

But the fact that the evaluation and grading is unfair and careless is part of the design. It's meant to frustrate people who are playing the game for points. So "fixing" the math so you could actually play The Path for points is out of the question.
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Wildbluesun
Posted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:13 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 12 Dec 2006 Posts: 4266 Location: London, Land of Tea and Top Hats
Perhaps the score screen should appear if you don't leave the Path, but not appear if you do. So the "failed!" thing still has its impact, and so that people who are already playing the game the way it's intended to be played aren't bewildered.
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Snatcher42
Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:16 am Reply with quote
Joined: 01 Apr 2009 Posts: 14
Wildbluesun wrote:
Perhaps the score screen should appear if you don't leave the Path, but not appear if you do. So the "failed!" thing still has its impact, and so that people who are already playing the game the way it's intended to be played aren't bewildered.

One of the better suggestions I've heard...
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Michael
Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 9:44 am Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
Snatcher42 wrote:
Wildbluesun wrote:
Perhaps the score screen should appear if you don't leave the Path, but not appear if you do. So the "failed!" thing still has its impact, and so that people who are already playing the game the way it's intended to be played aren't bewildered.

One of the better suggestions I've heard...


Indeed...
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Xastabus
Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 4:52 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 Apr 2009 Posts: 19
I think I understand now what the score screen is intended to do. Although I think the joke is lost on most traditional gamers, as I and others who have posted here might prove.

I think maybe the line that reads "Success" or "Failure" may be too general and literal. Perhaps instead of just saying "Success" or "Failure" the line could read like this...

"You met the wolf."

"You did not meet the wolf."


Phrasing it that way might play on the user's curiosity better and draw them into the forest more than "Failure." After all, if it is intended for users to play as they will, then there isn't exactly a true condition for Failure... although the story full story won't be told unless the player meets the wolf.


Slightly off topic, another way to entice players into the forest could be to show the wolf and/or the girl in white walking into the forest during the opening scene as a lure to draw players into the forest.

Or perhaps have a chain of coin flowers spawn just off the path and into the forest so they are visible while running down the path and have only the coin flowers closest to the path (within running camera sight) visible while running. That could draw players off the path in search of more flower coins until they get lost in the forest.
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Michael
Posted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:20 am Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
Haha, Xastabus, you're so funny! Laughing Laughing Laughing

We won't implement any of those things. We don't even want to entice players to go into the forest. The whole point of the game is that it is your responsibility as a player to make this choice. You can't blame the design of the game. It is your doing that causes the events to happen. This is very important to the emotional effect.

If that scares away "traditional gamers", so be it. They shouldn't be pampered so much. Teaches them bad habbits.
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Xastabus
Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2009 7:56 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 Apr 2009 Posts: 19
Laughing I guess I've been programmed to use those bad habits from many years of "traditional gaming". However, I'm certainly not scared away by The Path. I love games that challenge me in new and unexpected ways.

Thank you, I think I've learned something valuable from this.
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Whimsy
Posted: Sat May 16, 2009 12:11 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 16 May 2009 Posts: 5 Location: NH, USA
Michael wrote:
The actual figures in the score were never really meant as an evaluation of your performance. We don't care how many items you picked up or if you have met the wolf, etc. It really is just a (sick) joke. But it does serve the purpose of telling players that they should be more inquisitive, that simply obeying orders does not work in The Path. And it also informs you about the existence of secret rooms and locators.
So basically, the Score Screen is there for "normal" gamers, to inform them that The Path is not a normal game.

To actually judge somebody's performance in the game, we would need to know about the effort they did to role play, the patience they had with the girls, whether not not they were shy around the wolf, etc. Those are things you'll need to evaluate for yourself as a computer can't tell.

But the fact that the evaluation and grading is unfair and careless is part of the design. It's meant to frustrate people who are playing the game for points. So "fixing" the math so you could actually play The Path for points is out of the question.


After reading that, I want to change my vote, lol! Yup, I voted to keep it, I was playing for a grade. "Go back & do it right this time", I sez to me. But after I finished, I felt that every outcome was a failure. If I managed to keep the girl alive, I "failed". If I "won", I got her murdered.
So now I'll restart, & just play a second time for relaxed, slow fun...but still try to get every item, cause I'm curious to see them.
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Donnerberg
Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:45 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 09 Jun 2009 Posts: 9 Location: Norway
I didn't get the joke with the scoreboard. Also it leaves you with an impression that your experience in The Path isn't canon because you didn't score an A. So I'd prefer if the ranking system wasn't there.

Seeing the item and secret rooms count is helpful though.
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sagesource
Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:25 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 08 Jun 2009 Posts: 22 Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Leave the "scoring" system just as it is. It tells you a lot about yourself if you begin to take it too seriously.
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Tower43
Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 7:48 am Reply with quote
Joined: 11 Jun 2009 Posts: 21 Location: Canada
I think you should take it off, the whole idea of "the path" wasn't just a game right? I mean scoreboards tend to be a illusion for users to be keep themselves intact with the game, and try to focus more on the numbers instead of the story,

Shocked

with the score-board, it defeats the whole purpose of an independent and self-realizing game. degrading it into a general industry product where everyone will soon pick up and left alone of because of the trend of society. E.g. Pong

not even with a option of a on/off score-board should help, since if the scoreboards was made true, everyone would want to focus only on competing towards the top vertical box in the scoreboard that is seen online and throughout the world by each-other. People will begin to say, "hey, so I got more points on picking up all the flowers" ,than they would say, "hey, so I got the idea behind the flowers that I picked up"

I mean alternatively there is a source call the forums, that can always help to explain things, it all depends on the motivation of the user and how lazy they are to look up something they don't understand.
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Michael
Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 10:05 am Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
Tower43 wrote:
I think you should take it off, the whole idea of "the path" wasn't just a game right?

Well, yes and no. The Path was an attempt at making a commercial game (as opposed to everything else we had done before -and may do in the future). So we did add traditional game-like things to the game in the hope of making it easier for gamers to play. Even if these things are ironic or voluntary, I still think it is comforting for gamers to find something they recognize.

On the other hand, you could say that this comfort creates false expectations and may lead to disappointment. Perhaps this could be avoided by removing all game-like elements. (though I do think that game elements can sometimes be very useful artistically)
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Tower43
Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 2:53 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 11 Jun 2009 Posts: 21 Location: Canada
Yes, perhaps, some. Maybe there should be something on both sides to equal them out =p
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Riesiel
Posted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 5:33 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 29 Dec 2008 Posts: 2
I think you should leave the scorecard on the game. I remember the first time I played my girl chased a crow into the forest, and I got scared and led her back. I thought about going off the path as I knew this was what I was supposed to do, but it was late at night and I was getting frightened (I am easily frightened) and so I ran her down to Grandmother’s house. And I have to say that GMH was really creepy that first night. I moved through the house and curled up next to Grandmother and then the scorecard came up and as it moved through the list:
Items collected = 0 of 14 (or whatever)
Secret rooms unlocked = 0 of 3
Wolf encountered = No
Failure
Your grade = D

I found myself thinking, hmm now this is interesting. I did not meet the wolf, I did not stray from the path, and by doing so I failed. I went to bed that night and in the morning with bright sunshine coming through the window I played another girl. She met her wolf, and met the Girl in White. When she arrived at GMH after meeting the wolf she looked quite different. I tried to take her back out into the forest as there was more I wanted to explore with her, but she was not budging. So I took her into GMH, and watched the whole strange ending happen for her. At the end when I got the scorecard I saw that I had indeed met the wolf, and thus succeeded. I found that interesting. It got me to thinking about whether the GIW was the wolf or if the event that happened was the wolf. So with the next girl I went out and played with the GIW for awhile, and then, though I wanted to find her wolf, I went instead to GMH and ended up next to Grandmother. This led to me failing, but it answered the question about the GIW. However, at the bottom of the scorecard it said, “You know where the wolf is” as if almost telling me what I should be doing.

Overall I liked/like the scorecard, it shows me that I have or have not experienced all that I want to, and it gives me clues on how the story might move. The truth is that “The Path” is not a game that everyone will like, but this is true of most games. For some the scorecard adds something, for others it takes away.
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Terabetha
Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 4:49 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 21 Apr 2009 Posts: 320
Late to the party, hope this is still relevant!

I say keep the scoreboard, for the simple reason that when I played it was perhaps the only reason I went back and replayed certain girls. It peeked my interest and had me thinking "What could I have missed?".

However I do like the idea of rewording it slightly, to be less of a tradition scoring system.
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