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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
Razalhague
Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 2:13 am Reply with quote
Joined: 29 Jun 2009 Posts: 3 Location: Finland
I think the problem with the scorecard is that it feels like the games is laughing at the player. YOU DIDN'T UNDERSTAND HOW THE GAME'S SUPPOSED TO BE PLAYED HA HA.

I think I'd invert the success/failure message and the grading so that you'd get a SUCCESS and grade A if you just went straight to grandmother's house. This would make it seem more like the game is laughing at the scoring, not the player. The dissonance between the high grade and SUCCESS, and all the "0 out of N" could get people to investigate more than just FAILURE. On the other hand people might just think that all the other stuff is optional, though in a way it is optional?
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Michael
Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:28 am Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
Everything is optional. Includiing playing a game in the first place. Laughing

Good point, though, about reversing the score message. The thing is, though, that mocking the player is sort of part of the experience. I know it's not nice and it's not smart, commercially. But it's part of the emotional impact of the game to show how the goals of the character might be different from the goals of the player. Or even, how, in a perverse way, perhaps, they might be the same. The ambiguity of desire is an important part of the story: What exactly do I want? Do I even know?
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Razalhague
Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:43 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 29 Jun 2009 Posts: 3 Location: Finland
I just think that the emotional impact could be achieved without mocking the player. In fact, I think it could be achieved better by not mocking the player, and that's not just because most people aren't very receptive when they're being mocked. I think I'd define the goals a bit differently. The goal of the player (for any game) is simply to complete the game. The goal of the game is to meet the wolf, as everything else is regarded as failure. Just walking to grandmother's house is both a failure for the game and the player as it neither advances the game and results in a failure even though you did what you were told. The important bit here is that both the player's and the game's goals are contrary to the character's goal. The character's goal gets trampled and ignored, and the emotional impact is lost.

Reversing the scoring would make the goal of the game agree with the goal of the character. I think this would better highlight the need to go against the goal of the character if you want to complete the game.
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Emriss
Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 3:36 am Reply with quote
Joined: 23 Sep 2007 Posts: 612
I agree with Razalhague here. While those who haven't been told much about the game before playing might get the impact of the failure message, I've seen many who know about meeting the wolf and all that, so they ignore the 'Stay on the path' message, go waltzing off to the wolf, then see the success score and say they just think it's there to encourage the player to go to the wolf encounter. I talked to those I pointed towards this game at length after they play, and few of them seemed to get much emotional impact out of the scorecard, except those who didn't know ahead of time, followed directions, and went to the house.

It seems like it would be more impactful the other way around. Good job, you stayed on the path! An A for your efforts! Even though you got no items and unlocked no rooms. And wouldn't that help break people out of the mold? As much as you'd seem to like people to figure out defiance of convention on their own, I think it would add an extra layer. For every memory you collect, for every new room you open, the score goes down.

Did that make sense? My dog won't shut up, and my argument might've become a bit jumbled. Confused
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Michael
Posted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:05 am Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
I disagree, Razalhague. I think the conflict between what the player wants and what the character wants is crucial to the story and its emotional impact. Also, who says the goal of the game should be success? Maybe the goal of The Path is to fail.
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Michael
Posted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:07 am Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
Emriss wrote:
It seems like it would be more impactful the other way around. Good job, you stayed on the path! An A for your efforts! Even though you got no items and unlocked no rooms. And wouldn't that help break people out of the mold? As much as you'd seem to like people to figure out defiance of convention on their own, I think it would add an extra layer. For every memory you collect, for every new room you open, the score goes down.


Haha. That sounds like fun! Smile
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Razalhague
Posted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 3:28 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 29 Jun 2009 Posts: 3 Location: Finland
Michael wrote:
I disagree, Razalhague. I think the conflict between what the player wants and what the character wants is crucial to the story and its emotional impact.

It seems you misunderstood me. None of what I said would remove the conflict from between what the player wants and what the character wants (at least I can't see how it would). In fact, I believe it would make the conflict more noticeable.

Michael wrote:
Also, who says the goal of the game should be success? Maybe the goal of The Path is to fail.

The game itself says that, mainly through the fact that it's the only way to advance the game.
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Acronychal
Posted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:17 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 23 Mar 2009 Posts: 7
Perhaps I am a little late into the game for this discussion, but I wanted to give my input, however much it's worth (about two cents in most circles).

I don't like the scoring screen because it makes the numbers and mechanics behind the game frighteningly obvious. For me, it ruined the sense that The Path is its own world with its own characters, and completely broke down the imaginary walls like a flashing billboard explaining to me how its inner design worked. It reveals the concept of secret rooms, reminds you that there is a limit on the items you are collecting, and that meeting the wolf is exactly the thing that changes the scenario. We know that games are limited; it's impossible for them to be infinite, but when a game's narrative draws you in, you forget about that. You don't worry about it. Then poof, there's the score screen, reminding you that it's still a world made with programming and numbers. For me it hindered the otherworldly mysticism I initially went into the game with, and made the experience with the rest of the red girls a little more stale than the first very intriguing exploration experience.

I have trouble seeing the joke, or understanding how it helps make the narrative more effective. To me it just strikes of "You meet the wolf and you progress*, and you go to grandma's and you don't" which is obvious enough through the gameplay, and seems to explain the mechanics more than explaining a story.
(*Progress, in this case, meaning that you get to see more of the world and the objects in it. More to explore and play with and interpret.)


As someone who does consider herself a traditional gamer, I have to seriously question the idea that so many people stay on the path because the instructions have told them to. Far as I've learned from all my gaming experiences, the opposite is more often true; the second someone tells you not to go somewhere, you immediately do just that because it's an invisible promise that something is going on there. I have been "trained" not to trust games, especially disembodied voices, so it seems odd to me we need to be told we failed to realize maybe we're supposed to leave the path. I didn't even let the game finish when it told me to stay on the path; I made a beeline for the forest.

Or maybe I'm just the painfully disobedient kind of young girl The Path's characters were modeled after. :p

Edited to add:
Emriss wrote:

It seems like it would be more impactful the other way around. Good job, you stayed on the path! An A for your efforts! Even though you got no items and unlocked no rooms. And wouldn't that help break people out of the mold? As much as you'd seem to like people to figure out defiance of convention on their own, I think it would add an extra layer. For every memory you collect, for every new room you open, the score goes down.


I'd have preferred this if there HAD to be a score screen, because it better fits with my interpretation of the narrative. Perhaps that's a bit biased.
But ultimately I would have liked to not have to see any of the numbers involved with the game. The flower collection I tend to forgive because if you get a little lost, the flowers help point you to where you haven't explored yet if you take the time to grab them.
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JackandBlood
Posted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 5:58 am Reply with quote
Joined: 19 Aug 2009 Posts: 51
No I will never allow Robin a "successful" score. But the other gals, well maybe they gained something of it.
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JackandBlood
Posted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 6:06 am Reply with quote
Joined: 19 Aug 2009 Posts: 51
and no I have never even seen the shadow of Robin's wolf. It could be ice cream for all I know.
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Shadow-Jin-Sin
Posted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:40 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 28 Aug 2009 Posts: 4
I think the score screen could be improved but I would still want it.
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Amadeus
Posted: Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:37 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 04 Oct 2009 Posts: 26
I had the "luck" of not knowing very much about the game; when I first saw Ruby go and then got "Success" written on the scoreboard it had me frowning. Then when the same thing happened with Ginger, I couldn't help but laughing at the stats screen. A great joke that goes well with the theme of the whole game, so whatever you do, do not remove it!
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Cytana
Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 7:54 am Reply with quote
Joined: 24 Nov 2009 Posts: 2
First of all i want to excuse my bad English, but even if this discussion is already sleeping for a while, i just have to add some experience i've made, to it.

When i first came to my Scorescreen (wich was a Fail) i didnt get it at all (i didnt know anything about the Path besides i liked the coverart). I mean i did get that i have to leave The Path and stray into the Woods but somehow it felt odd. So I Googeld für Faqs and reviews, that helped me to see it from another PoV.

*folowing Pesonal thoughts*
Its a Game about growing into ourselves. Something that should improve our living with experiences we've never had before. If we see us as this Girls it is clearly a fail for our life to "allways follow the rules". even If the situations we come accross are scary or dangerus its importent to collect them because we are what we've seen and Lived through.

Thats clearly something the Scoreboard shows. "if you just do what other People say you can live well and all, but you will question yourself when you get old "have i overseen something besides the Path?"

I Like the Scorebord ... I see it as thought of a old Woman. In fact when i startet to feel inside the story, startet to think about whats "good" in life and what we Desire the most, the scoretable didn't insult me anymore. Its my choice if i want to live my life to the fullest or i just want to stay safe and in either way i have to deal with the consequences myself.

Thanks for your Patiens
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dartein
Posted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:31 am Reply with quote
Joined: 15 Dec 2009 Posts: 4
I think the score at the end works on a lot of dimensions. It mocks the traditional belief that games are meant to be beat. Additionally, the fact that, even when you fulfill everything, you still get a B always had a big impact on my perspective. It's like it's saying, "This is better, but nothing's perfect".
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shojakka
Posted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:42 am Reply with quote
Joined: 11 Nov 2009 Posts: 148 Location: RI, USA (teehee, acronyms)
well, it can get annoying after you've collected all items and unlocked all rooms and it still says 0 out of 4 rooms unlocked or 0 out of 3 items found. you feel like there's still something you have to go out and find. but it comes in handy when you first get into the game, just lets you know that you can obtain a certain amount of secret rooms and a certain amount of items per character Smile
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