Game Design – If we offer the player a dialogue option that

If we offer the player a dialogue option that allows them to use their athletic skills, it could mean that we say, “Hey behind this option is a great reward for players who have invested in athletics,” or we could say, “You better be a decent athlete or the game will punish you. On the one hand, it shows players what they might be looking for, but on the other hand, it may seem like an invitation to try to “play” their character towards certain solutions. Until now, the player may have played “his” character as a charming and witty bard, but now you force “him” to choose between using “his” favorite skill or acting out of “his” character. Random tests, on the other hand, can cause players to save and reload before each test until they pass. If they pass: Good! But if they fail, instead of forcing players to kill each other all over the castle now, the guards could allow players to surrender and players could end up in a cell they must now escape from by fomenting a prisoner revolt. Note that script-based attribute testing does not need to be dialog-based! They can just as easily be short sections like a playbook, in which the player interacts with the environment. Does your game have 8 skills that are used in the attribute test? Make sure that everyone has enough screen time during the game, otherwise you can feel trapped if you invest in one of them. Failure could still provide the relevant information, while if the informant is successful, “he” or “she” will also have to tell the player an interesting rumour that will lead to a hidden reward. When it comes to the attribute test, the answer is usually that players don’t like being punished and hate being taken away or kept. If you put great content behind some skill tests, players will speculate when they “play” that skill. What follows may sound pedantic, but there are a surprising number of variables that must be adjusted when successfully implementing scripted attribution tests. On the other hand, it clearly indicates what is expected of the player and allows them to make informed decisions about how to handle the situation and develop their character. However, this is also the disadvantage of this approach: it deprives the player of the opportunity to make informed decisions about how to develop their character, as they can never be sure how the game mechanics will work.