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Catering for your play-style with Fallout 3 dialogue options

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Catering for your play-style with Fallout 3 dialogue options

Interview - posted by DarkUnderlord on Thu 20 November 2008, 02:16:45

Tags: Bethesda Softworks; Fallout 3

The UGO Games Blog has an article / interview with Pete Hines up about Fallout 3 and the challenges in providing gamers with choice "Narrative In Games: Where Interactivity Meets Story - Fallout 3 Edition":
The dialog choices in Fallout 3 manage to define your space in the world. Begrudgingly taking on a quest while demanding a reward, is far different than aiding a forlorn traveler out of the goodness of your heart. The interpersonal relationships in the game ultimately provide much more story than any bits of action that players stumble across. And that’s because oftentimes the action is not actually defined until you close that given quest with a conversation.

Your “two cents” serves as your input to the game world. It’s the final period, or exclamation point (or question mark) at the end of a chapter. It’s how you let that grubby old fool know that you only helped him out with that bottle of water because your bag was getting heavy, not because you cared. The team at Bethesda has designed a game where your actions shape the world, but your voice shapes yourself. “We want the storytelling to be driven by the actual player that plays the game and not by us,” says Hines. “We want to anticipate the kinds of things that you want to do, and anticipate the reactions that you want to see in the game based on what you do. But ultimately we want you to be the one decider.”

The tricky part comes in when you consider the necessary range of choices players need to be provided with. In an adventure that leaves the player’s role up to the player, they need not feel stifled by the dialog options that they’re presented with. In other words, if I’m a snarky bastard, there sure as hell better be some kind of dialog choice that reflects that. And really, it’s nearly impossible to for the developers to create dialog that fits every player’s role. So Bethesda has a tricky problem: how strong can a voice be, without leaving a character pigeon-holed as a contemptuous asshole or a saintly do-gooder?

In the interview part, Pete Hines says "I think what we’re trying to do--all along the way--is monitor as you make those decisions on a quest-by-quest basis, and have that reflect your total experience. As opposed to letting a player that plays 99 percent of the game as a good guy and then gets to the very end and makes one choice and suddenly they’re evil. It doesn’t make any sense". Did they succeed?

Spotted @ Blargle Spit Patooey

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