Making More Challenging Contradictions

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Re: Guide: Making More Challenging Contradictions 

Message par SuperGanondorf » Ven Jan 07, 2011 5:09 am

Might want to also add a section on the phrasing of statements. I've written one here, if you want to include it.

The games show that whenever someone makes a sweeping or authoritative statement ("There's no way he could have done it!" or "There's no way that car could have been used!"), it's usually a contradiction. There is rarely any challenge in testimonies with those types of statements because they almost always have flaws. The problem is that it can be hard to break out of this mold of beating the player over the head with "THIS IS THE STATMENT! THIS IS THE STATEMENT!" There is a delicate balance between subtlety and leaving out important facts. There are a few ways to make the contradiction statement more subtle:

1. Avoid all-encompassing statements. These generally point the player straight to them since there is rarely any case where something is ALWAYS true. Instead of having a statement like, "He definitely did it. That's the only explanation," try combining it with other statements. "He probably didn't do it. After all, the evidence..." and so on. I am well aware that I am horrible at examples, but I think you see where I'm going here. Combining statements logically can up the difficulty.

2. Disguise the contradiction with personality. Many characters are... odd. Yes, let's leave it at that. Several times in the games, the statements are obscured by odd phrasing and other character-specific quirks, like Redd White's vocabulation or Luke Atmey's arrogance. These quirks, if used effectively, can disguise a contradiction by making it look like flamboyancy or personality. Just don't go overboard and make the contradiction invisible because the statement can't be made sense of.

3. Revealing statements is a killer for making tricky contradictions. AA veterans will by now know that whenever a statement is revealed, it is the end-all be-all. ALWAYS. One way you can break this mold is to have the revealed statement subtly contradict a previous statement in the testimony, like Phoenix's tripping up of Shelley during 2-4. This can, like any mechanic, boost the difficulty if used right. However, this one is a difficult line to tread, since it wouldn't make sense to have completely opposite statements on the record for a testimony ("I found the body at 4" and "I found the body at 2" would be just dumb). Instead, maybe have the revealed statement's implications contradict the original statement, rather than the fact itself. "The killer parked the car in the driveway and went inside" and later in the testimony the statement is revealed, "He came out of the door and ran away", for instance, would raise questions. Why didn't he use the car?


Well, my examples suck and it was obvious I was tiptoeing around 2-4 spoilers for point 3, but I still think this makes sense.
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Re: Guide: Making More Challenging Contradictions 

Message par Bad Player » Ven Jan 07, 2011 5:23 am

Good guidelines. Also:

4. Hide a needle in a stack of needles. That is, put in a ton of broad, sweeping statements. For instance, if your testimony is... "It's so obvious the defendant is guilty, I don't know why I need to keep saying this. First of all motive; I'm not saying he was the only one with a motive, just the only one with a good motive. His fingerprints were found on the gun. I hardly think there's a better explanation for them being on there than he's guilty. That witness clearly saw the defendant leaving the crime scene... Do you think he saw someone else? Lastly, the fact that the murderer went right for the key hidden in the victim's suit implies they knew the victim well... which the defendant did and I didn't!" Every single statement is one of those broad, sweeping, obviously-contradictory statements. If any one of these was in an 'ordinary' testimony, it would probably be obvious that it's contradictory. But when they're all grouped together like this, being broad and general doesn't make it automatically contradictory because they're all like that. The player needs to consider each statement, think about what the witness is really arguing, whether it really contradicts the court record, how he can present the contradiction, and if it really matters. And once the player has done this for every single statement, they need to think about which contradiction is the best one to present. So... yeah.



Oh, and since it was just brought up, for catching the killer... using a "He knew this when he shouldn't have!" contradiction is laaaaaame. Especially if it's a "Present-evidence-at-the-last-second-and-bluff-it-causing-the-killer-to-be-lulled-into-a-false-sense-of-security-which-causes-the-killer-to-taunt-the-attorney-and-say-some-revealing-piece-of-information-that-then-allows-the-attorney-to-turn-the-entire-case-around-and-prove-that-the-killer-is-guilty" contradiction. The general case was done to death in T&T (literally every case, and huge turning points in a majority) and that specific example of it (you know which case I'm talking about; it was fine that one time but c'mon you can do better in your fancase) is really just a copout when you can't really prove the killer is guilty. Please try to avoid it if you can; if the killer would have gotten away with the crime except for a stupid slip-of-the-tongue, it does not actually feel like you've done anything and caught the criminal yourself.
(Please note that this is not the same as "He knew this... but he knew it wrong!" contradictions, which are kind of the exact opposite of this. Those contradictions are fine.)
Dernière édition par Bad Player le Ven Jan 07, 2011 5:33 am, édité 2 fois.
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Re: Guide: Making More Challenging Contradictions 

Message par Mimi » Ven Jan 07, 2011 5:27 am

Or...

Make them all sound contradictory. That's what you're saying, right?
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Re: Guide: Making More Challenging Contradictions 

Message par mAc Chaos » Ven Jan 07, 2011 8:05 am

I disagree on the guilty guy slipping up and revealing something. In the case of T&T it was a deliberate move on Phoenix's part, so he WAS outsmarted, and he did get caught by Phoenix.

Throwing a lot of misinformation in the form of contradictory statements is OK, if there is only one TRUE contradiction. If there are multiple real contradictions then it doesn't make sense to just have one be the right answer over others.
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Re: Guide: Making More Challenging Contradictions 

Message par Jean Of mArc » Ven Jan 07, 2011 9:38 am

SuperGanondorf: Thanks for your contribution!! I put the first two in their own section, and then put the last one in another section that talks about a similar topic. You're very right: the wording is very important to the challenge of the game.

Bad Player: I added your paragraph the same section as Super's. And while I agree that using the "you knew that when you shouldn't have" is lame as a final blow, I think that it is perfectly fine if it is done in such a way that they knew something they shouldn't have, but not necessarily that it convicts them of the murder. In fact, there may be a perfectly reasonable way to explain how they knew it, which solves that problem yet opens up more questions. Plus, you might have to really think about what the witness would and wouldn't know, which could be challenging later in the case. So yeah, don't use it to prove someone is the killer, but it is fine to use it as a means of progressing the trial.

mAc Chaos: It seems like you feel about the same as I do on that situation. As for the "lots of contradictions" thing that Bad Player was talking about, I believe he was saying that there is indeed only one true contradiction, and yet the point is that ALL of the statements look suspect to being contradictable, even though if you look at the evidence they really aren't. That's my understanding anyway. :)
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Re: Guide: Making More Challenging Contradictions 

Message par Blackrune » Ven Jan 07, 2011 9:40 am

@BP: You're right about the lameness of the killer just slipping up at the end. Still, depending on how it's done, there might be an acceptable justification. Redd White did only get the direction wrong because he was too confident and just said what he remembered without thinking about it. Not all criminals are calculating masterminds, and it can be fun to watch them get outsmarted.

But that's more about the style and not the difficulty.
I think broad, sweeping statements are one of the most efficient ways. Even better: Reward the player with even more suspicious statements if he dares to press. Everyone will only think about those new, added statements when the contradiction actually was there since the beginning. ^^
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Re: Guide: Making More Challenging Contradictions 

Message par Bad Player » Ven Jan 07, 2011 3:59 pm

Blackrune a écrit :@BP: You're right about the lameness of the killer just slipping up at the end. Still, depending on how it's done, there might be an acceptable justification. Redd White did only get the direction wrong because he was too confident and just said what he remembered without thinking about it. Not all criminals are calculating masterminds, and it can be fun to watch them get outsmarted.

Blackrune... :P
Bad Player a écrit :(Please note that this is not the same as "He knew this... but he knew it wrong!" contradictions, which are kind of the exact opposite of this. Those contradictions are fine.)



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Eeeeeh, it's still pretty lame. Also the fact that it was just an extremely obvious multiple choice question. Plus, Tigre could've easily explained himself out of it: He found out about the bottle when he was posing as a lawyer, during the first trial! (Why was he posing as a lawyer? Well, he just wanted to see what it felt like.)
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Re: Guide: Making More Challenging Contradictions 

Message par Blackrune » Sam Jan 08, 2011 1:32 am

Argh, so that's how you meant that. *facedesks*
Wasn't sure and just went by the definition of "any unecessary mistake the culprit makes".
That's why I was a little confused, since even Substitution does technically have something like that as the final contradiction, and it didn't feel lame or anything.
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Re: Guide: Making More Challenging Contradictions 

Message par mAc Chaos » Sam Jan 08, 2011 2:49 am

Well, also consider that the suspect HAS to make some mistakes... or you'd never catch them.
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Re: Guide: Making More Challenging Contradictions 

Message par Mimi » Sam Jan 08, 2011 2:59 am

Right. No human is perfect. No crime is perfect, unless... you have them shut off from the world.
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Re: Guide: Making More Challenging Contradictions 

Message par Bad Player » Sam Jan 08, 2011 3:09 am

Blackrune a écrit :That's why I was a little confused, since even Substitution does technically have something like that as the final contradiction, and it didn't feel lame or anything.

Yeah, I know it did, and I wasn't too thrilled about it. Although it did do a ton of stuff to break the usual mold, which made it a lot better. I could dissect it and go into details about all the factors in that part that make the final present good/acceptable imo, but I think that'd be getting too spoilery xD
(Also in Frenchy's original idea it was just going to be exactly like the end of THAT T&T case. Good thing it was convoluted up, eh?)
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Re: Guide: Making More Challenging Contradictions 

Message par SwagmaWampyr » Sam Jan 08, 2011 3:13 am

Spoiler : Tsub :
It seemed like more of a kind-of-but-not-really a violation of that rule to me. The logic behind the contradiction is deeper than, say, 3-2 or 3-3, and Polly even has to elaborate on it, it's not like he got a freebie like in 3-2 or 3-3.

I think it can at least pass for an example of a well-done "How'd you know that?", if nothing else.
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Re: Guide: Making More Challenging Contradictions 

Message par Bad Player » Sam Jan 08, 2011 3:53 am

Spoiler : TSub :
I guess I'll try to be brief... In 3-3 (yes I'm being spoilertastic for that too) you just had a 3-choice multiple choice question, and it was super-obvious which answer you were supposed to pick, and then Phoenix just pwns Tigre and proves he's the killer. In TSub, you have to pick the evidence and pick the way to present it, and that combination isn't very subtle. On top of that, you then need to present the contradictory evidence instead of just having the attorney point it out for you... and you go to the present no matter what, which means the player could be stuck in a spot where they've already lost for a long time xD Also the contradiction didn't outright prove that Rhea was the killer; it was just a major screw-up in her testimony, which was enough to get the verdict pushed to Not Guilty. (And it was less "You knew this when you shouldn't" and more "You just admitted this happened, when earlier you said it didn't")

...So much for being brief >_>
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Re: Guide: Making More Challenging Contradictions 

Message par Ping' » Sam Jan 08, 2011 12:45 pm

Spoiler : TSub :
Yeah, I'm glad we made the final present that way.
I wouldn't exactly consider the end of TSub another version of the 3-3 final present, though, even though I see the resemblance. If you had to make a comparison, it would be closer to a combination between the end of 2-4 and 3-3.

In any case, it's much more difficult than any of those examples (I don't think that many players got it right the first time ; I certainly got A LOT of "I'm stuck" posts) in that

1) there's no Mia to lead you through that part, since the Mia happens to be your opponent this time

2) there's a time limit

3) you need to get two non-obvious multiple choices + a present right ; if even one is incorrect, you get a game over

4) the first multiple choice is not related to a contradiction, but requires something that isn't usually expected of the player in AA games, that is, strategic thinking (asking "what evidence is more likely to constitute an effective trap and help prove the one thing I haven't been able to demonstrate so far?" or alternatively, "what pieces of evidence are NOT likely to constitute an effective trap etc." and picking the remaining one)

5) you're trying to set a trap on Rhea, but the game is also trying to set a trap on you (something so unapologetically evil some found it unfair) by leading you to believe you got the first answer right even when you didn't. Therefore the player can't find out the solution by elimination, which would be too easy in PyWright given that the game automatically saves just before the present, making game overs mostly harmless.
What many players didn't get is the possibility that Apollo could be bluffing when saying he's found a contradiction (after all, he IS desperate). In fact if you get the first multiple choice answer wrong, Apollo is not just bluffing the court ; he's bluffing YOU, as well ^^ Despite what some said, I still think it's fair: if you're resorting to luck and trial and error, that means you're trying to outsmart the mechanics of the game without really thinking about the case at all. That's not how you're meant to find the solution, thus the game has a right to outsmart your trying to outsmart it.

As a consequence, the player gets real satisfaction when he eventually finds - and understands, instead of just happening upon it by chance - the right answer. A killer's breakdown is much sweeter when you're the one responsible for it. In contrast, 3-3 basically just gives you the answer, like in 1-2.

By the way, BP, I never intended the end to be like 3-3... I always wanted a more convoluted version, only I wasn't able to come up with something that fully satisfied me until you came along. I must say your idea was particularly sadistic :D

But yeah, TSub is a weird (but interesting) breaks-the-rule-and-may-or-may-not-get-away-with-it-depending-on-who-you-ask example.
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Re: Guide: Making More Challenging Contradictions 

Message par Jean Of mArc » Mer Jan 12, 2011 3:03 pm

Hey all!!

I wrote a complimentary guide to this one that is a collection of different types of cross-examinations.
Check it out here!!

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=4522&p=190397#p190397
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