Wishful coding: moral baggage

Wishful coding is a series of posts, where I talk about all the grand ideas that I would like to code one day, but which will take a long time still before I’m getting them done (if I’m getting them done ever). It’s a sort of like public notebook, where I write down things.

Moral baggage is something I have been thinking on and off for quite a while already. Core idea is that player actions would have a long term effect, in addition to short term ones. If they choose to solve all problems with brute violence, that is bound to change how they see and experience the world. It would also affect how others see them and what kind of reactions player might expect to encounter.

One example is decision of using violence or cunning to get past enemies. Player who uses violence, might grow physically stronger, but they would find it difficult to run away from combat because of the bloodlust. Character who likes to sneak past their enemies instead of fighting wouldn’t develop physically strong body, but might small details in their surrounding others wouldn’t spot.

In later stages of game a character with tendency to solve problems with violence might be asked to help raiding a nomad camp. Character who likes to sneak past enemies might on the other hand be asked to retrieve a stolen necklace without being spotted. Or people in some village might refuse to interact with bloodlust maniac, but player who solves problems peacefully, they would welcome.

So possibilities are endless. System should be written in a way that is transparent to player, so that they can make informed decisions along the way. Whenever they acquire a trait, it should be clearly stated and some of the possible outcomes hinted. Nothing is more frustrating than opaque system that leaves too much for guessing.

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2 thoughts on “Wishful coding: moral baggage

  1. Pingback: Wishful coding: emergent story telling | Engineer's Journey

  2. Pingback: Wishful coding: evolving language | Engineer's Journey

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