Per-character plot trees

Hey folks!

Been thinking about my earlier experiments in game design, and I was wondering if anyone would be interested to see this one. I originally designed it as a turn-based strategy game, with plot segments (cut scenes) in between each stage. But now I'm wondering if the battles could be cut down to a kind of rock-paper-scissors game, a minimal system, and have the interesting bit be the plot.

The structure of this game would be based around a closed group of 36 characters, moving around a 'board' of 60 locations. Each character has their own 'progress tree'. For example, Kira's 'romance' tree has these states on it:

  • Has a crush on Baise; too nervous to admit it
    • Given up
    • Friends psyche him up to ask Baise out
      • Dating Baise

He will also have a separate tree for his state with respect to a grudge against another character, and a debt of honour. He can move through the three 'stories' separately. They might also have some stats ranking from happy to sad; active to passive; and so on.

After every 'battle', every character moves to an adjacent space on the map, and any who meet each other have a conversation or a battle. There's a set of conversations to choose from. A conversation that's like "Kira and Archon" takes priority over a generic one like "Kira and a member of the Dragon Clan" or "Kira and someone who is depressed". And a conversation that depends on a character being in a particular part of their tree will take priority over anything else those character could say to each other. Some conversations will change the people's social stats; and some move one character or the other onto a different part of one of their trees.

The idea is that some conversations, the player only sees if they're present. Some are more important, and you get the cut scene even if you're not there. And the ones that involve the playable character(s) may have choices of what to say for different results. But all of your friends/enemies can have the choice of a good or bad ending on their own personal stories. A game like this, there should be a lot of replayability because it plays out differently each time, so there's always a chance of coming across a storyline you've not seen before.

Do you think that would be an interesting way to run the background for an RPG type game? The stuff that doesn't interfere with the "main" plot would be different each time, because of randomly moving characters. And yes, I know how much dialogue would need to be scripted for something like that.


It sounds very interesting.

I'd definitely play it.

Definitely love such discussions, being a total noob to game design (and authoring/writing story/plot/character-interactions-dynamics/etc), and the game sounds fun, though not sure why combat needs to be reduced... combat is often what's fun about a game, and gives a feeling of progression within the game as well.

I've never played the 'Persona' games, so I don't know what they're actually like, so I was wondering if this game of yours is based on the 'Persona' games (if this is indeed what the 'Persona' games are like, lol)


I'd recommend taking a look at Jay's (jaynabonne, unfortunately he left with Alex, sighs) 'Spondre' (re-spelling of 'respond') game (the/his source code is publically available as well), as he and it are very good programmer and really good dynamic dialogue game, just like you're trying to do with this game:

(he has a thread for it in the 'published games section' on the forum, but too lazy to try to find it, as well as looking for where his source code is found at, as well. You can probably find it, or if not, someone can probably help you, including me... if I have to, lol)

err... found it already, lol, here you go:

really amazing game...

This topic is now closed. Topics are closed after 60 days of inactivity.