Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
that are used throughout the game: shooting and walking. But here, these
actions are used to drive a predefined plot branch instead of a normal piece
of gameplay.
Such interactions are fundamentally the same as dialogue trees since
the player's options and the world's responses are all predefined. The only
difference is that they express their choice with normal game actions
instead of a special dialogue tree interface. This can help preserve flow
because it doesn't break the player's natural control rhythm. It also avoids
the interface complexity of real dialogue trees.
Multiplayer games can use real players to fill the roles of game
In Dungeons & Dragons , the Dungeon Master plays the role of every
nonplayer character in the game. He speaks for them and decides how
they'll respond to any action the players take. There doesn't need to be a
limit on what the players can do because, being a real person, the Dungeon
Master can understand and respond to anything.
Real people can create remarkable stories together when they're moti-
vated to do so. The trouble with this method is aligning player motivation
with character motivation. It means motivating every player to properly
play their role in the game narrative, which is exceptionally difficult. It
works in face-to-face games played among friends because social pressure
motivates people to participate in good faith. In video games, with anony-
mous strangers, or in competitive games, it's difficult to impossible to ar-
range players' motivations so that sustained, rich role playing can happen.
Case Study: Fallout 3
Let's examine a game-driven narrative experience and break down the
narrative tools used to generate it. First, I'll tell you a story that happened
to me when I played Bethesda Game Studios' 2008 post-apocalyptic RPG
Fallout 3 . After that, I'll break it down.
The game begins with the player character's birth in Vault 101. Built
underground centuries ago, the Vault's purpose is to protect its inhabit-
ants from nuclear holocaust. This story picks up as the player character
leaves the Vault for the first time at age 19.
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