Morality systems in games don't need meters and points

A gamer doesn't need meters to show what kind of person they are. They just need strong character and a fleshed out world.

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NagaSotuva2925d ago

I would implement such a feature in first-person shooters. It worked for light-gun games. "Don't shoot!"

THR1LLHOUSE2925d ago

I'm so sick of morality systems in general. The first time I broke into somebody's apartment and stole their candy bars in Human Revolution, I was extremely happy to not see something pop up and tell me that I had acquired X amount of bad guy points or something.

It was a cool idea, but it's been completely run into the ground.

malol2925d ago

i HATE that skyrim don't have any kind of Morality system like fallout 3 had
i know that this is a different game and such
but still its a nice thing to have in RPG games and it actually makes your choices MATTER and feel more engaging

The Matrix2925d ago

Just like when you steal a candy bar from Wal-mart and lose a bunch of karma points for doing it? Keep your morality inside yourself.

Xof2925d ago

Except that Fallout's morality system (and morality systems in general) do NOT matter and do NOT make the experience more engaging.

In general, a morality system accomplishes the opposite of its intended function.

What is the point of a morality system? To make game worlds feel more realistic, as if your actions--good or ill--matter.

And what makes our actions matter? In games, or in reality?


Getting +1 points in a meter is not a consequence. Gaining access to certain in-game abilities or sidequesets with X number of points, too, is not a consequence.

Actual consequences MUST effect the narrative. And most games--even those like Bioware's latest entries, that highly emphasize the aspect of player choice--completely forget that for player actions/decisions/morality to have ANY meaning there must be actual narrative consequences involved.

Part of that means not knowing the repercussions of a given choice. The only modern game that really does this well (that even TRIES to do this) is the Witcher, where you are constantly presented with CHOICES. There's no morality system to tell you if what you did was right our wrong, and often the immediate consequences of an action are different from the long-term consequences.

Good actions can lead to bad events, and bad actions can lead to good events--the point is that, from the perspective of the player, moral choices are made with both immediate and long-term consequences. This is how to make choice matter.

Simply slapping on a meter and giving players bounties or random NPC comments based on set good/evil variables is the laziest possible way to attempt to mold the gaming experience into one resembling the real world.

And, sadly, things will likely not change until developers stop building games around the "cinematic experience" (and other purely aesthetic values) and start devoting more time, effort and energy into crafting the narrative mechanics which, history has shown us time and time again, matter far more than the transient visual appeal of any game.

gaden_malak2925d ago

I agree. I would love a game where your choices actually affect not only who you are but where your journey takes you (ie. branching off into different areas).

While I like the idea of being good/bad and having that choice it really only affects how people talk to you, nothing more.

SybaRat2925d ago

Agreed. Morality isn't a matter of numbers and filled bars, and it takes away from the immersion to do it that way.

Sharingan_no_Kakashi2925d ago

Yea... most of them are completely unrealistic. And not challenging at all. I've yet to see a game where I actually didn't know what the right and wrong thing to do was.

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