Topic: I Always Wanted to be a Battle Bureaucrat When I Grew Up

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  • #15774
    Avatar photofshoes

    The game refers to me, the player, as “you”, describes “you” being a part of the company. When the company arrives in the first village, the count of mercenaries is described as four—though only three are in the roster or the field. “I” am clearly a member of the company, yet I do not ever fight, do not even bother to show up on the battlefield now that I’m the hoity-toity in charge. I must a be a Battle Bureaucrat. Some sort of cowardly leader poncing about far in the rear, shouting commands, or perhaps having them delivered by a lovely speckly pigeon.

    Alas, I no longer want to be a Battle Bureaucrat, especially not a yellow a rear-echelon m… Perhaps change the way game communicates and describes the world to the players, so it doesn’t make us feel we’re represented by in-game sad sacks. Ideally, I think, we could “claim” an in-game character to represent us. Perhaps make the selection optional or allow us to change the selection on character death, so those who would be overcome by the urge to ruin their own fun by “babysitt this dude or its over” style play wouldn’t be irresistibly tempted to play the wrong way.

    Avatar photoMarsdreamer

    In the opening event you took an arrow in the torso and nearly died. Throughout the game there are events which discuss or surround the topic of your slow recovery. You run the company and direct the tactics / decisions from the sidelines. I don’t think there really needs to be a physical representation of “you” in the game, especially considering permadeath.

    Avatar photofshoes

    Let me try saying that again, a different way.

    I recognize that there’s story about a player-as-protagonist; that is the problem. The narrative copy and the characters actually in the roster and appearing in the field creates a continuity problem for the reader/player that can only be resolved by assuming “I” am not a warrior, but rather a lead-from-behind sort of manager. Or as you say, lead from the sidelines. That is, the game restricts us to a view of ourselves that–in the context of a story about warriors–is fairly unappealing, the protagonist-cum-football manager, or the Battle Bureaucrat.

    Most of the games in Battle Brothers’ genre avoided this the cheap way, i.e., by not describing the player as a part of the group at all. The player as an invisible guiding hand with the characters in the game as the protagonists. We’re then free to weave any story we like about the intra-group hierarchy and relationships. Given the extreme control over each character, that often makes sense and would make sense in Battle Brothers. I think that would a reasonable and cheap change only affecting the already written copy, which would completely resolve problem.

    I think a better solution for the player, but with a more costly implementation for the developer, would be to allow us to chose one character to represent us. To make this palatable for people who aren’t into permadeath games, I suggested the selection could be optional and possibly upon death the player could choose a successor. I would welcome a game where the death of the protagonist was the end of the game, even though such a thing has never been done before.

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