Alternate Ending: We let the characters stay.

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Alternate Ending: We let the characters stay.

Postby Pixelmage on Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:49 pm

Say that we did actually go with the Cabal on the "it's wrong to send them back", then we get an earlier start on the path to sealing the wall, before having to send anyone back as the only task given. Namely: Ok, Mr. A you're cute, but no. We don't bow to you and will do our own thing.

How would you guys have handled the "Meta: They can't stay because they're not really here and in the end it's not believable to keep them here." Did you have plans for that, or you didn't actually get to that point because you saw we were not going towards that path?

On a related note, how did you react to the "Risk Analysis" approach that was keeping most of the sympathy to the Cabal in check just because it might destroy the world.
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Re: Alternate Ending: We let the characters stay.

Postby Dana on Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:51 pm

Pixelmage wrote:How would you guys have handled the "Meta: They can't stay because they're not really here and in the end it's not believable to keep them here." Did you have plans for that, or you didn't actually get to that point because you saw we were not going towards that path?


We did have plans for that, but because you didn't get that ending, we can never tell. O_O

Pixelmage wrote:On a related note, how did you react to the "Risk Analysis" approach that was keeping most of the sympathy to the Cabal in check just because it might destroy the world.


I think Connor and I rolled our eyes a little, sighed, and said, "Well obviously we just need to make them love the Cabal more...right?"
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Re: Alternate Ending: We let the characters stay.

Postby Connor Fallon on Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:20 pm

Dana wrote:
Pixelmage wrote:How would you guys have handled the "Meta: They can't stay because they're not really here and in the end it's not believable to keep them here." Did you have plans for that, or you didn't actually get to that point because you saw we were not going towards that path?


We did have plans for that, but because you didn't get that ending, we can never tell. O_O

Pixelmage wrote:On a related note, how did you react to the "Risk Analysis" approach that was keeping most of the sympathy to the Cabal in check just because it might destroy the world.


I think Connor and I rolled our eyes a little, sighed, and said, "Well obviously we just need to make them love the Cabal more...right?"


Pretty much. You guys were giving a lot of wieght to Mr. A

The "Sacrifice some to save more/the more deserving" is a common philosophical conundrum. It was even used in the Dark Knight.
It was interesting to see you guys come down on the opposite side of every moral philosopher I have liked, ever. And, on that note, Christopher Nolan. That doesn't mean your answer was wrong, it was just... surprising?
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Re: Alternate Ending: We let the characters stay.

Postby BlackWolfe on Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:21 pm

Connor Fallon wrote:The "Sacrifice some to save more/the more deserving" is a common philosophical conundrum. It was even used in the Dark Knight.
It was interesting to see you guys come down on the opposite side of every moral philosopher I have liked, ever. =P And Christopher Nolan.


Well, there's a difference between killing and deportation.
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Re: Alternate Ending: We let the characters stay.

Postby Tom on Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:23 pm

Pixelmage wrote:How did you react to the "Risk Analysis" approach that was keeping most of the sympathy to the Cabal in check just because it might destroy the world.


This is 100% how I saw the situation.

Clearly, "the right thing to do" divides us as well as it divides you. The morally gray landscape means that you could take a variety of positions.
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Re: Alternate Ending: We let the characters stay.

Postby Connor Fallon on Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:26 pm

As Tom said, we don't even agree over this. Mainly because Dana and I have souls and Tom does not.

<3 you Tom. In all seriousness, I think the fact that WE are not able to agree shows that this was an actual tough moral choice. I think often in "choice" games developers have a consistent idea of what is the right thing to do, which is not the case here. I think that is good =)

EDIT: Also, my snarky response to Blackwolfe was that Deportation was sometimes worse. =P turns out, snark is very helpful in civil disagreements.
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Re: Alternate Ending: We let the characters stay.

Postby Pixelmage on Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:31 pm

BlackWolfe wrote:
Connor Fallon wrote:The "Sacrifice some to save more/the more deserving" is a common philosophical conundrum. It was even used in the Dark Knight.
It was interesting to see you guys come down on the opposite side of every moral philosopher I have liked, ever. =P And Christopher Nolan.


Well, there's a difference between killing and deportation.

There's a valid point.
If the "refic" process wasn't about sending them to a world where they would still be alive and possibly better off than they were here and instead was a choice between actually making the instance here disappear completely (killing it) or letting them stay and risking dooming reality, I believe a lot of us would lean a lot more towards letting them stay.

I for one wouldn't have dared side with Mr. A and would risk all so that the characters would stay. But as it was? Yeah, I can be an ass for sending them off against their will, but that's equivalent to deportation: They're ok and we're ok.
If we had to kill them to save the world? "They died so we could live."? Hell I would't make that choice.
Last edited by Pixelmage on Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Alternate Ending: We let the characters stay.

Postby Connor Fallon on Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:33 pm

My snarky response to Blackwolfe was that Deportation was sometimes worse. =P There is a whole trope for Fate Worse Than Death, after all, and I think the question is whether you believe having all free will taken away is one. The Cabal did.

Anyway, as I said, the way you guys approached it made sense. It's what some of us would have done. But not all of us =)
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Re: Alternate Ending: We let the characters stay.

Postby Sicon112 on Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:35 pm

I'm just going to point out that a decent fiction will always follow the character's choices, otherwise you would not be maintaining the character's personalities.
Normal people are the easiest to manipulate. Too smart and they have an annoying tendency to catch wind of your plans, too dumb and, in the words of a certain pirate, "You can never tell when they are about to do something incredibly...stupid."
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Re: Alternate Ending: We let the characters stay.

Postby Tom on Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:38 pm

This thread was intended to ask how we would have handled keeping them here... which I suppose isn't going to get answered. Instead of rehashing a rather academic debate that was frequently had on both sides of the divide, let's refocus on the questions we're willing to address. :)
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Re: Alternate Ending: We let the characters stay.

Postby Rick Healey on Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:38 pm

I watched the whole debate with interest because I was dealing with it purely in game design terms - namely, if the players choose X, what do we do? If the players choose Y, what do we do instead?

Our goal, as I saw it, was not to come down on one side or the other in the debate, but merely enforce the consequences of the decision.

So like Dana said, we had plans for that alternative. We even had plans for each variation of that alternative (for example, what happens if Juliet was sent back but Romeo stayed). But to steal a quote, nobody gets told what could have happened.
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Re: Alternate Ending: We let the characters stay.

Postby Connor Fallon on Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:40 pm

Good call, Tom.

Pixelmage wrote:How would you guys have handled the "Meta: They can't stay because they're not really here and in the end it's not believable to keep them here." Did you have plans for that, or you didn't actually get to that point because you saw we were not going towards that path?


The question about the incorrect Meta is an interesting ones, as it's one that's very hard to address without breaking down the fifth wall. Most of the stuff we said in-game about the Cabal wanting to stay would come from the Cabal, and there was no way Mr. A would ever say "Well actually, maybe a couple could."

I wish meta reasons like 'they can't maintain the blogs' hadn't entered into it, cause clearly, we could have maintained the blogs.

EDIT: And derp. Tom locked the thread.
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Re: Alternate Ending: We let the characters stay.

Postby Connor Fallon on Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:49 pm

I'm unlocking this on the condition that it doesn't "devolve" into a morality debate again. =) I can't protect this thread from Tom if it does.
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Re: Alternate Ending: We let the characters stay.

Postby BlackWolfe on Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:51 pm

Connor Fallon wrote:I'm unlocking this on the condition that it doesn't "devolve" into a morality debate again. =) I can't protect this thread from Tom if it does.


Eh, as you are no doubt now aware, I've taken it to PM now. :P The drawback of revealing yourselves as puppetmasters.
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Re: Alternate Ending: We let the characters stay.

Postby Connor Fallon on Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:53 pm

Yes, yes. I do enjoy moral debates. Val and I are actually working on a Pheonix Wright-alike all about moral philosophy. We may wind up poking some of you for playtesting (may post about it in Off Topic or on my Twitter).

I'm curious though, about the issue of Meta decision making, as it is something that came up time and time again. How much of a factor were things like that for you, and how do you think we could have addressed it? If we do something like this again, its something I'd like to handle better.
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Re: Alternate Ending: We let the characters stay.

Postby BlackWolfe on Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:01 pm

Connor Fallon wrote:Yes, yes. I do enjoy moral debates. Val and I are actually working on a Pheonix Wright-alike all about moral philosophy. We may wind up poking some of you for playtesting (may post about it in Off Topic or on my Twitter).

I'm curious though, about the issue of Meta decision making, as it is something that came up time and time again. How much of a factor were things like that for you, and how do you think we could have addressed it? If we do something like this again, its something I'd like to handle better.


Well, I'll tell you right now that meta-decision making was a factor for me. If I had known about the requirement for as many Cthulhu fics as possible, I would have gone from my first fic straight into another, and another, and another. In fact, if I had known before the big rush to send as many microfics as possible that sending multiple fics was allowed, I would have done so. The microfic thing was just because (a) it seemed like fun and (2) Eli had demonstrated that it was okay to do so by, well, doing so.
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Re: Alternate Ending: We let the characters stay.

Postby Rick Healey on Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:06 pm

Well, keep in mind that we wanted quantity *and* quality. Spamming us with 'docs wouldn't have done any good if they weren't good.
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Re: Alternate Ending: We let the characters stay.

Postby Connor Fallon on Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:07 pm

If that Meta become too prevalent, we could have addressed it, with a What the Hell, Player from Mr. A. =)
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Re: Alternate Ending: We let the characters stay.

Postby Pixelmage on Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:08 pm

For me it was about a 50/50 split.
Like I said elsewhere, I enjoyed trying to see everything from a design perspective: Which choices would work best, what was viable and what wasn't.

Clearly my vision on that level wasn't accurate, but it was part of the fun for me. Hopefully I managed to keep most of my meta-reasoning private and avoid pulling people off their desired level of immersion.
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Re: Alternate Ending: We let the characters stay.

Postby eli_gone_crazy on Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:08 pm

Rick Healey wrote:Well, keep in mind that we wanted quantity *and* quality. Spamming us with 'docs wouldn't have done any good if they weren't good.


"He lost." is perfectly acceptable! :P
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Re: Alternate Ending: We let the characters stay.

Postby narrativedilettante on Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:10 pm

Connor Fallon wrote:I'm curious though, about the issue of Meta decision making, as it is something that came up time and time again. How much of a factor were things like that for you, and how do you think we could have addressed it? If we do something like this again, its something I'd like to handle better.


I think people took their Meta assumptions too seriously. A lot of those assumptions were important considerations in decision making, and while I don't know that we would have made different decisions if we'd assumed different things, we'll never know how we might have acted if we'd realized those assumptions weren't reliable.

Personally I didn't like to take Meta considerations into too much account, because the worst that could happen if we tried something and it couldn't happen for Meta reasons would have been a casual dismissal of it. (Actually the only time I really took Meta thinking seriously was when I picked up the wall piece, because I figured I wouldn't be getting so much encouragement to do it if it was definitely the wrong thing to do.) It's still been surprising to hear you all say pretty much any of the things we could have chosen to do would have worked within the context of the game.

I don't know how you could have addressed it. Without breaking the fourth wall (heh) and flat-out telling us, I can't think of a reasonable way to get across the message of "You really can try anything and it might work. Don't be afraid that we're not going to be capable of or willing to go with what you do." I mean, the whole schism with Joe and Edward was a pretty clear indication that there were a lot of valid options, and we still didn't get it.
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Re: Alternate Ending: We let the characters stay.

Postby BlackWolfe on Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:12 pm

Rick Healey wrote:Well, keep in mind that we wanted quantity *and* quality. Spamming us with 'docs wouldn't have done any good if they weren't good.


-_- Yeah, I think you missed my point. Either that or you are deliberately insulting me. There was much in my story I was pretty sure wouldn't be liked by GMs, but I wanted to write that story with the deliberate invokation of death tropes as a (failed) attempt to game the "some of us might die" message from Gurt. Having written it, I knew that it was pretty much doomed to not win by the inclusion of a character to hang those tropes on, but I had already sent it and felt it would be disingenuous to replace it with a different story. If I had known that I could write more, while I still had a couple of days to do so, I would have written more, not just to bang out as many as possible, but because I wanted to try other avenues of attack, so to speak.
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Re: Alternate Ending: We let the characters stay.

Postby Adell on Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:21 pm

narrativedilettante wrote:
Connor Fallon wrote:I'm curious though, about the issue of Meta decision making, as it is something that came up time and time again. How much of a factor were things like that for you, and how do you think we could have addressed it? If we do something like this again, its something I'd like to handle better.


I think people took their Meta assumptions too seriously. A lot of those assumptions were important considerations in decision making, and while I don't know that we would have made different decisions if we'd assumed different things, we'll never know how we might have acted if we'd realized those assumptions weren't reliable.

Personally I didn't like to take Meta considerations into too much account, because the worst that could happen if we tried something and it couldn't happen for Meta reasons would have been a casual dismissal of it. (Actually the only time I really took Meta thinking seriously was when I picked up the wall piece, because I figured I wouldn't be getting so much encouragement to do it if it was definitely the wrong thing to do.) It's still been surprising to hear you all say pretty much any of the things we could have chosen to do would have worked within the context of the game.

I don't know how you could have addressed it. Without breaking the fourth wall (heh) and flat-out telling us, I can't think of a reasonable way to get across the message of "You really can try anything and it might work. Don't be afraid that we're not going to be capable of or willing to go with what you do." I mean, the whole schism with Joe and Edward was a pretty clear indication that there were a lot of valid options, and we still didn't get it.


'Ahem' some of us got the hint...
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Re: Alternate Ending: We let the characters stay.

Postby Tom on Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:22 pm

BlackWolfe wrote:
-_- Yeah, I think you missed my point. Either that or you are deliberately insulting me. ... If I had known that I could write more, while I still had a couple of days to do so, I would have written more, not just to bang out as many as possible, but because I wanted to try other avenues of attack, so to speak.


I don't think he's trying to do either of those things, if it makes you feel better. Rick is responding, I believe, to the flood of silly fics we got in the last 10 minutes of the deadline. Many of them were lots of fun to read, so we're not complaining.

We did make it clear, over Twitter I believe, that multiple fics per writer would be accepted on the final assignment, but nobody sees everything. *shrug* It happens.
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Re: Alternate Ending: We let the characters stay.

Postby Qara-Xuan Zenith on Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:30 pm

About the meta...
I like to think that my decisions were backed primarily in my own morals, though it's impossible to say for sure what I would have done with different information... I know that a lot of us were tied up with the conviction that meta, the characters couldn't stay, so not-sending them back would equal losing. Still, I can't think how Mr. A could contradict that belief without going straight out of character, and short of Mr. A saying so, most of us probably wouldn't have believed another character's affirmation that it would be possible-- didn't believe other characters' affirmations that it would be possible.
So I guess I'm not really saying much here, other than, man, we're stubborn. I am impressed with all your patience at dealing with us. :)
Why are we even arguing about a dead fictional dude and hypothetical ninjas?

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