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Today, I'm offering a different take on the choice system. I'm sure we've all played the game that prompts us for an input when an important decision is required. For example, in Fable III you are required to hold down either A for a good action or X for a bad action. In Mass Effect 2 your actions are preceded by good or bad dialogue choices. I want to get rid of that. I don't want a game to be intrusive anymore, it's time to get rid of the multiple choice options.
In place of having to read six + dialogue responses, or having to hold down a button, you take action. The options available to you are obvious, make a move and continue on. What's really cool is that depending on the choices you make, they can change a cut-scene later in the game. If choices A, B, and C are all tied to a good action, and choices D, E, and F are all linked to bad choices offered throughout the game, you may come to a cut-scene in the end where your character will automatically take the course of action you most align with. It would of course all be weighted and come down to percentages, because who always does the good thing all the time?
It can literally be broken down like so:
Option 1 – Kill innocent people
Option 2 – Kill bad people
Option 3 – Do nothing and continue on
Option 1 – Harm innocent people
Option 2 – Harm bad people
Option 3 – Do nothing and continue on
You get the idea, and these situations will obviously all vary and can be used as many times as need be. Keep in mind that the game no longer stops in these moments and waits on you. Everything goes on as normal, whether you choose to intervene or not. If you run right on by, people could die and you may pay for it later in the game. If you constantly choose option 1 in each encounter your character will act different in later cut-scenes than he would had you chosen option 2 in each encounter.
I ran this idea by a few people today and it raised some questions. One of which was “How does the game know what decisions you've made?” Each innocent person is tagged as option 1, if they die by your hand, the game makes note of that. When it comes time for a cut-scene the system does some math and whichever option is the most prominent, that cut-scene is played.
Which raises another question, how many cut-scenes do you plan on having? If we use the example above, you could have a minimum of 3 different cut-scenes. You could have as many as you like, making slight or large alterations depending on the frequency of the choices made. If you do nothing but good, you might see a cut-scene where your character preforms a different heroic deed than if you were somewhat good.
I hope that all makes some sense. I really can't wait for the day when I can play through a game and not have to read something during conversations. It doesn't feel natural at all. If I'm thrown into a situation that requires me to choose an action, the last thing I want is for the game to stop and wait on me. I want the process to be fluid and continuous.
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