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Say it and it is so! (Text-only events in games)

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by Abelabumba, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. Abelabumba

    Abelabumba

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2015
    Posts:
    45
    One thing I love about Europa Universalis IV is the use of text-only, multiple-choice events. In case you don't know what I'm talking about, EUIV is a strategy game (think Civilization) where you play as a nation, it has the expected interface showing provinces, armies etc. Every now and then though, a "random" event happens that is beyond the scope of its graphical representation, so it just appears as a text box with multiple choices to react, in text too, like this:



    I want to use a system like this, but I'm unsure if others like it as much as I do, there are easy arguments to be made for and against it. Obviously it would only work in slow paced / turn based games. I love that it basically enables me to have anything imaginable happen within my game, without having to build a framework, interface and so on around it. The biggest counter argument is probably that for many players it's boring, and certainly more boring than having the specific even fully fleshed out in the game. I still think it's great though, because while admittedly boring in itself, it allows so much creative freedom that I feel I can make up for that. I also think people that are drawn to games where it would be possible to use this in the first place might be more inclined to like this abstract system, anyway.

    This event system would be a big, but not the main part of my game, the main parts will all be represented "normally" as one would expect. What do you think about it?
     
  2. Schneider21

    Schneider21

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2014
    Posts:
    2,886
    I think you already touched on the right answer: it's definitely a good fit for certain kinds of games, but not others.

    I'm a HUGE grand strategy fan myself (omg, if you haven't played Crusader Kings 2, go buy it right now), so I'm not opposed to the plain text popup system by itself. But if something like this were to pop up in, say, an adventure game, it may feel a bit cheap and draw me away from the experience.
     
  3. Teila

    Teila

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    Posts:
    6,674
    I think this fits in well with a strategy game but not so well in most 3d first or third person games. For example, when they added these sort of pop-ups to the Sims, people complained. They hated them. I didn't mind them a great deal but I must admit after a while, I turned them off. The same pop-ups over and over again were annoying. The Sims was not a game that benefited from such things and it felt as though the AAA game developers were too lazy to really incorporate this into the game.

    In strategy games, top down, where I am watching the world evolve and my input changes the outcome, these are great and they give me a way to influence what happens.
     
  4. DanSuperGP

    DanSuperGP

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2013
    Posts:
    383
    I think they make plenty of sense in the context of a strategy game like Civ or EU (which are games I really enjoy). I just want the choice to be meaningful, and to have some idea what the repercussions might be.
     
  5. Makaveli702

    Makaveli702

    Joined:
    May 7, 2013
    Posts:
    7
    I love CK2 and EU4 for there pop up Text Events. I'm a fan of games that focus more on the Strategy aspect as to the Graphic aspect. So i love text based and GUI based stuff in general.
     
    Teila likes this.