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Alpha Protocol interview at RPG Vault Part 2

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Alpha Protocol interview at RPG Vault Part 2

Interview - posted by Elwro on Fri 14 November 2008, 23:24:41

Tags: Alpha Protocol; Obsidian Entertainment

The second part of RPG Vault's interview with the Obsidian guys making Alpha Protocol is up. Here's a bit on the 'stances' and their role in dialogue:
Jonric: In terms of how we'll interact with the various NPCs, the game is touted as having a significant dialogue stance system. What is this feature?

Chris Avellone: The stance system is a one-way path through dialogues where you choose Thorton's mood and attitude when dealing with others to try and get information, to attempt to find out more about your objective, or else simply to romance the ladies of the world... or anger your enemies.

When speaking to others, you can choose to take a suave-style stance (cocky, confident, witty), aggressive (Jack Bauer style), or professional (if you're of the paladin persuasion or a patriotic fellow obsessed with duty). We also allow the player to perform "actions" that short-circuit dialogues, such as shooting people in the knees or the face, smashing bottles across the heads of smartasses, or anything else that can jump to the core of the conversation without wasting time negotiating with folks.
What does "one way path through dialogue" mean here? That after choosing a stance you don't choose dialogue options? Or that you just can't change it during the conversation?

The main character will have a database containing information about his contacts, which may prove handy during dialogue:
Jonric: Would we be correct to that there are other related systems that also impact the gameplay experience depending on the choices we make?

Chris Avellone
: Similar to the influence system in Knights of the Old Republic II and the Neverwinter Nights 2 series, we have "reputation" in Alpha Protocol. Depending on how the hero treats an NPC or his faction / allies, you can dramatically change how they treat him, and shift their roles in the game... and at times, this will have huge ripple effects on how certain sub-missions and global assignments play out.

In addition, the amount of reputation you gain with someone affects the different game bonuses that will be applied through perks if he or she becomes your handler on a mission. If you treat SIE well (and I do mean "well"), then she has a chance to become ones, and to convey perks and bonuses to you as she helps you through your mission.

You are tracked on your behavior as well, and certain people will react to you depending on how you've been acting elsewhere in the game. If you've primarily been aggressive, enemies will have formed a dossier on you and have a pre-set judgment about you as soon as you meet them.

We also bring the "research" angle into the. When Thorton gains a contact in the game, this opens up a basic dossier on the subject, and the player can gather information on various characters. This can help when entering conversations by giving more facts about their backgrounds, previous missions and faction ties, that you can use as leverage in the conversation to get what you want. As an example, you learn what stances some NPCs respect, as well as which can be used to provoke a reaction that would be advantageous, such as how to piss someone off into doing something stupid, or an attitude that generates more trust for you than for someone's current employer.

Read the whole thing here; the first part is here if you missed it.

Spotted at: RPG Watch

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