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Thread: Mini-games?

  1. #1

    Mini-games?

    I think it would be cool if there were mini-games based on old viking games to increase the immersion. Something like Hnefatafl. Basically their version of chess (which also pre-dates it). Any other ideas/chance of this kind of thing?

  2. #2
    Backer Mudfly's Avatar
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    Hmmm, it think it might be cool, but i don’t know if it goes very well with the whole "the world is coming to an end" theme of the game. I would guess people won’t have much spare time in the end days...

  3. #3
    Superbacker LoliSauce's Avatar
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    No thanks. Something like that would detract from the serious mood of the story, and ultimately hinder my immersion.

  4. #4
    I dunno...I think it sounds pretty rad. I'd never heard of tafl games until this thread and now I'm pretty intrigued!

    I could see it being integrated pretty easily. (Though I'm not suggesting it be made a priority, really.) It's known that in order to speed up healing for damaged units, the caravan will have to camp and pass time. I don't know what all the Stoic team has planned for those camps, but it wouldn't be too outrageous to add a character into "camp mode" with whom the caravan leader could play various tafl games.

    Perhaps an old man with hidden wisdom? He might even provide hints of what's to come if the player is successful in defeating him. Not a necessary part of the game, but a little more meat for people that really want to explore life in the caravan. It could also be an interesting thing to tie in to the battles against the dredge.

    There are a lot of possibilities, there. Thanks for the idea, Minion135!

  5. #5
    Backer Aaron's Avatar
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    We should be able to play the persuasion wheel game from The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion in dialogs. </troll>

  6. #6
    Junior Member Tsuga C's Avatar
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by LoliSauce View Post
    No thanks. Something like that would detract from the serious mood of the story, and ultimately hinder my immersion.
    One person's immersion-breaker is another's touch of authenticity. This sort of detail would add to my sense of immersion no less than runecasting, knotwork animals, and enjoying a horn of mead. Cheers!
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  7. #7
    I tend to agree with Tsuga C in principle and then hate the mini-games in practise. Think Fable or the Witcher: smithing, cards and brawling sound like immersion adds but the execution feels far too much like a discrete experience: a bolt on- not content that's woven in.

  8. #8
    Conversely, think Triple Triad in FFVIII. That was the best part of the game, to me.

    And again, what Minion135 recommended were setting-appropriate abstract strategy games which could be played or skipped as the player prefers.

    My main concern would be that programming a computer AI for a throw-away feature like this may be prohibitive. But I still like the idea!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Oktober View Post
    Conversely, think Triple Triad in FFVIII. That was the best part of the game, to me.
    I'd completely forgotten about that and you're completely right!

  10. #10
    Superbacker LoliSauce's Avatar
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    You realize that if a mini game is the best part of a game as a whole, you're really just saying the game itself was a poor experience, right?

    One of the simultaneously best and worst examples of mini games that I can think of was Breath of Fire 3. It had a fishing mini game that was both simple and rewarding for the player, and was genuinely fun to do for bursts throughout the entire game. The game was fun without it, but it was only made more fun with it. Most other mini games were absolute shit though, both tedious and pointless. There were even two of which that were impossible to win if you were deaf. I remember this in a big way because I talked with a person online who was deaf and actually got stopped from being able to progress through the game due to the second of the two sound-based mini games (how he was able to persevere through the first is mind boggling to me).

    Anyway, the moral of the story is that mini games require a difficult balance of simplicity and reward to make them both fun to play in short bursts and worth playing. You don't want them to come across tedious, but at the same time you don't want the reward to be so great as to make them a necessity, or even worse, for them to supersede the entire experience of the game.

    In Banner Saga's case, time is of the essence, so why would you want to give a player a mini game that they can only play for x amount of time before you are required to move again? Is it really a reward to be limited on how long you can enjoy something? You have to think about the setting and the philosophy going into making the game here. Progression will happen and you're just along for the ride. That's my main gripe with what's being suggested.
    Last edited by LoliSauce; 06-03-2012 at 11:39 AM.

  11. #11
    Backer gaelvin's Avatar
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    A game-within-a-game in the context of The Banner Saga could be a decision-point, just like whether or not to enter a combat... You meet someone who will deal with you (for supplies, information, whatever), but only if you'll sit down with them for a game. Do you take the time, knowing it will take up valuable travel time? Do you try to win the game, or lose on purpose hoping to illicit a more positive outcome?

    I think the key is, like anything else, is to tie it into the Story in an interesting and meaningful way.
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  12. #12
    I agree- the travelling caravan is a perfect thematic venue to introduce a variety of story relevant mini-games if Stoic so desired. I completely disagree with the assertion that a very good mini game means the rest of the game was poor though- take (to steal Oktober's perfect example) triple triad: incredibly addictive, more fun to me than any other single element of the game- but by no means making FF8 a 'poor experience'.

  13. #13
    Backer lamaz's Avatar
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    I have only enjoyd two minigames that I have played. One was pazaak in KOTOR and the other was taking pictures of animals in Beyond Good & Evil. So basically if you get to collect something I might enjoy it. Stoic if you want to make a minigame, make it something collectible, otherwise please don't bother. Just my two cents

  14. #14
    Superbacker Skitnik's Avatar
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    I'm not exactly against mini games, I liked the card game in Might & Magic 7. And I agree that some little details, like in Gothic and Ultima games, can make the world more "believable". But in the case of The Banner Saga, I doubt that it would be a good adition.

  15. #15
    Superbacker LoliSauce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JokerAR View Post
    I agree- the travelling caravan is a perfect thematic venue to introduce a variety of story relevant mini-games if Stoic so desired. I completely disagree with the assertion that a very good mini game means the rest of the game was poor though- take (to steal Oktober's perfect example) triple triad: incredibly addictive, more fun to me than any other single element of the game- but by no means making FF8 a 'poor experience'.
    Please don't misunderstand. The mini game didn't make FF8 a poor experience. Triple Triad was it's own separate element. Ignoring the fact that you could break the early game with card mod, it barely affected anything else in the game. I was just pointing out that when an irrelevant mini game like that ends up being widely seen as the most fun aspect of the entire game, that's not a good sign for the game itself. (in other words: the game's probably ass)

    Get mad if you want at me insulting the game, but this is real talk. A mini game should not supersede the game itself.

  16. #16
    As far as the time-crunch aspect of TBS, y'know, the caravan is going to have to break for camp occasionally anyway. I don't see why a quick game of whatever-tafl would really need to impact that part of the game. I mean, I wouldn't expect the game to force the player to halt the entire caravan for no other reason than to play some Stratego or whatever.

    (I do like gaelvin's take on that possibility, though.)

    The mini-game(s) could just be an option which pops up whenever you're breaking for camp anyway.

  17. #17
    Backer Aaron's Avatar
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    Of course, another issue is how much development time could be lost for the main game if time was spent implementing any kind of mini-game.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Oktober View Post
    My main concern would be that programming a computer AI for a throw-away feature like this may be prohibitive. But I still like the idea!
    I concur.

  19. #19
    Community Management Sean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skitnik View Post
    I'm not exactly against mini games, I liked the card game in Might & Magic 7. And I agree that some little details, like in Gothic and Ultima games, can make the world more "believable". But in the case of The Banner Saga, I doubt that it would be a good adition.
    Arcomage! I loved that (mini) game. 3DO eventually did a stand-alone version of it.
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  20. #20
    Superbacker Ratatoskr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    Arcomage! I loved that (mini) game. 3DO eventually did a stand-alone version of it.
    Really? Is that still available somewhere, if you know?

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