Interactive Annotated Bibliography : Researching How People Make Choices

Wax, D , How to Make the Right Choice, (Blog)[ONLINE] Available from http://www.lifehack.org/articles/featured/how-to-make-the-right-choice.html) [Accessed 7/4/2015]

The moment we decided that we would make a short game where the player will be able to choose their own choices in-game, which will change the endings, I began to do some research on how exactly a person make their choices. I believe that this is vital for our game, as we have to ensure that it fits the mentality, which is stated in the referenced post as “analysing outcomes”, something similar to risk-and-reward. Humans’ mind are fixed on this rule of thought when making a decision on just about anything. Often, what makes us decide on a decision is when it seems to benefit more, and it can be either in short term or long term.

According to the post, some people just use a point or list system, writing down both pros and cons on each choice, and simply choose the one with the most pros point. Weirdly, sometimes people just follow their instinct and it turns out after some research, that these people are more satisfied with their choices than those who use their logic. This is attributed to the “lower level of stress the decision created”, where they just trust their unconscious mind and not “relying on their conscious mind’s much more limited ability to deal with complex situations.

This made me think that our games choices have to be kept simple, or people will actually stress out from choosing two difficult choices. Though, I may still add in one or two of such choices in order to facilitate the risk-and-reward mindset that is so engraved in each of our mind.The game should be filled with 80% easy choices, with the other 20% consisting of difficult choices. This is where I hope the player can have the chance to “go with their gut”, instead of pondering over the choices logically. I believe this occasional changes in choices will make the game more varied and fun. The genre of our game is similar to visual novel, a genre that is not supposed to give stress to the player unlike fighting games or shooting games etc. But, an appropriate tense moment does make it more memorable and thought provoking.

As the player is guiding the main character’s destiny in the game, I wish that they can connect to her and imagining themselves as her. Making decisions for her should provoke the same feeling as making choices for yourself. There are certain risk and reward involved, especially with the addition of magic beans which acts as the currency in game versus the backfire of choices which leads to other characters behaving differently towards you. Ultimately, the ending will change depending on the choices you have made. I just want the players to choose them with their own feelings, as “your satisfaction with your decision will depend largely on whether you claim ownership of your choices”. It is to let them understand that “taking full responsibility for your choices can make even failure feel like a success”. Sometimes you may choose bad decisions, but you know it’s what you want and go with it.  This is the kind of thought I want to place into the game.

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