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David Gaider of BioWare on multiple paths, choices in CRPGs
Editorial - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Sat 8 February 2003, 16:07:58Tags: David Gaider; Neverwinter Nights
Ibbz informed me that over at NW Vault, there's a news post which is a highlight of something BioWare's David Gaider, design guy, said about why it's not worth it to make multiple plot choices in CRPGs. Here's a taste:
Don't believe me? I speak from personal experience. The main reason why this is true is the following: when you start adding radically different plot paths into a story, the complexity of that story increases exponentially. So there too does the probability of bugs cropping up in said story increase exponentially. Thus you spend more time to do less. As an example: in an average day of work here at Bioware, I average about 3,000 to 5,000 words of dialogue written. If, however, I am working on a complex character (a major NPC like, say, Aribeth or Aarin Gend in Chapter 2 of the OC), that speed slows down to 2,000 words or less in a day due to the time spent on arranging the structure.
But then again, if you have five years and a peak work force for the project of seventy five people, Dave... After all, Fallout 2 didn't even take a year to make, and it offered what you're talking about with less people working on it!
PS. Someone needs to look up the definition of exponentially.
Thanks for the heads up, Ibbz!