Colleges (potential spoilers?)

Solve mysteries by ordering your Student Council minions into investigations. A schoolgirl noir RPG-style adventure!
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Lazarae
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Colleges (potential spoilers?)

#1 Postby Lazarae » Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:39 pm

Purely out of curiosity, how does the acceptance/denial for colleges work? So far I've managed to get into the ones I wanted to but I've gotten a couple rejections on the others. I'm guessing the Red Masks might have something to do with it and there's the whole Talmage thing, but I haven't played through enough times to figure out the conditions on my own.

dixonm
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Re: Colleges (potential spoilers?)

#2 Postby dixonm » Mon Jul 13, 2015 2:07 am

I'd like to know how this works too. I've won the game quite a few times now. My karma is always high (at least in games that I end up winning). So far, my best game has ended with a reputation in the 80's (82, I think) and my worst game has ended with a reputation of 5. (I'm pretty sure I could have won another game with a reputation of 1, but I was sleepy and didn't feel like replaying the confrontation scene to allow for Althea's bailing out.)

Anyhow, in both those games and in all the games in-between, it never fails; I always get into U. Penn and into Howard. I never get into Yale or Stanford or Grinnell. It doesn't seem to matter whether I say I'm most interested in Yale or Stanford; it doesn't seem to matter who's the traitor or whether I turn her or not.

I never join the Red Mask and I always resign as student council president, and I'm not going to change either of those things. Perhaps one or both of them is debarring me from Yale and Stanford. I don't know why I never get into Grinnell if I can get into U. Penn.

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Bea
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Re: Colleges (potential spoilers?)

#3 Postby Bea » Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:03 pm

This is a very interesting question - for non US players that are not as familiar with the American college system, are there any conditions "known" to get you into the college of your choice?

Does the college that you attend affect the epilogue?

It's just that reaching the ending is so challenging (and long - over two hours playing FAST) that it looks as if your decisions during each playthrough should affect more Elsa's outcome (a bit like Long Live the Queen). However, the choice of college seems to be unrelated to the text in the epilogue, and I agree with other poster that found the screen after the choice of college was made a bit anticlimactic - isn't the whole point of Elsa's life to get ahead of the game by excelling in what she does? Her reactions regarding this are lukewarm at best...

Or maybe I have not been playing it right - in any case, a college guide would be HIGHLY appreciated :-)

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Franka
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Re: Colleges (potential spoilers?)

#4 Postby Franka » Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:18 pm

I'm really not sure. I always seem to get into any college I choose. I always complete all Red Masks cases though, they probably guarantee a spot anywhere I like.

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somestrangecircus
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Re: Colleges (potential spoilers?)

#5 Postby somestrangecircus » Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:19 pm

I seem to recall Hanako once telling me that school/council karma and Red Mask membership are both involved, but I'm not sure on the specifics.

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Lazarae
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Re: Colleges (potential spoilers?)

#6 Postby Lazarae » Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:50 am

Adding anecdata, my first win I had ~80-90 karma and ~90 reputation, joined the red mask, but didn't do the final confrontation. I got accepted into everywhere but Yale. I don't think Yale has ever accepted me, actually.

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somestrangecircus
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Re: Colleges (potential spoilers?)

#7 Postby somestrangecircus » Tue Jul 14, 2015 5:59 am

I love how we're all kind of scrambling to answer this since master Hanako is away...

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Darksilverhawk
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Re: Colleges (potential spoilers?)

#8 Postby Darksilverhawk » Tue Jul 14, 2015 3:56 pm

I agree that it seems to be a combination of reputation and Red Mask influence. I recall Hanako mentioning that the school you pick as your first choice also has baring, but I've never payed enough attention to have any idea how.

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skydragonwings
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Re: Colleges (potential spoilers?)

#9 Postby skydragonwings » Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:24 pm

I can't remember details, but I think I always or almost always get into my first choice. Most of the time that's with the Red Mask.

Is it possible not to get into any schools?

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phoenixgirl
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Re: Colleges (potential spoilers?)

#10 Postby phoenixgirl » Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:34 am

I agree as well that getting into certain colleges depends on what the school's reputation is and your status regarding the Red Mask Society. I've found that if I have a high reputation and become initiated into the Red Mask, I always get accepted into all of the colleges. But if I betray the Red Mask, even with a high reputation, I get rejected into the first two universities. As one of the colleges will explain if I decide to go there, they'll say that someone tried to discredit me. I'm not sure what happens if I reject trying to get into the Red Mask Society, though.
Please help and support me here.

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hanako
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Re: Colleges (potential spoilers?)

#11 Postby hanako » Fri Jul 17, 2015 12:26 pm

The Red Mask Society has closer ties with some schools than others, so there may be some places that they can't affect at all and others that they can affect quite strongly. Which means certain schools might be guaranteed to reject you if you made the Red Mask angry, or guaranteed to accept you if you're a full member.

Picking a university as your first choice tends to make them like you more, so you'll be more likely to get in that way (and if the Red Mask is backing you behind the scenes, they'll pull more strings for the place they think you really want to go).

I really don't want to lay out specific formulae for you guys :)

Bea wrote:Does the college that you attend affect the epilogue?
It's just that reaching the ending is so challenging (and long - over two hours playing FAST) that it looks as if your decisions during each playthrough should affect more Elsa's outcome (a bit like Long Live the Queen).


At this point in time the college you go to is purely cosmetic. That may change if and when I think of a good way to deal with the meta-reasons that are currently affecting this.

The problem is that I've been trying very hard with this game not to force much characterisation detail onto Elsa other than what the player puts there. She does have a basic character underlying her, she's not a total blank slate or anything, but I try to avoid suddenly popping in with "You have always loved strawberries" or details like that. If Elsa's favorite fruit is going to come up in conversation, I'd rather stop and ask the player what Elsa's favorite fruit is.

That is making it hard for me to express much detail about why she applied to the colleges that she did, and what those different colleges mean for her personally. I can't have her sit down and monologue to herself about them at length in order to make the choice sufficiently meaningful to the player, and I can't have a fairly arbitrary choice of schools make a big difference in Elsa's outcome without it feeling unfair and random.

I know why I applied to the schools that I applied to, and why I changed my mind at the very last minute about which acceptance I would actually follow through with. There's a lot of story possibility there - but it's kind of outside the mechanics and player involvement of this actual game. We're not really playing out the agonising detail of college applications and essays and interviews here.

Elsa's epilogues are affected by how she dealt with the Red Mask, how she handled the endgame, how she handled Talmage. Big story decisions that were clearly significant at the time the player made them. And no matter what, these should be more important to her ending than what school she ended up at, because these are the big issues that playing the game was about.

A little more detail relating to colleges may eventually trickle in, though.

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Bea
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Re: Colleges (potential spoilers?)

#12 Postby Bea » Fri Jul 17, 2015 5:44 pm

That's a good enough explanation! I guess we will have to experiment with/without Red Mask and different colleges.

Thanks!

4Dam-Ghost-Nappa
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Re: Colleges (potential spoilers?)

#13 Postby 4Dam-Ghost-Nappa » Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:09 pm

hanako wrote:*snip*
At this point in time the college you go to is purely cosmetic. That may change if and when I think of a good way to deal with the meta-reasons that are currently affecting this.
*snip*


I was only actually half paying attention to the list of colleges when it first happened and I only chose Leland because it's the only school I recognized from real life. I didn't even notice it was her safety school until after I had picked it.


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