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December 3rd, 2012, 12:38
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
However, one should also be aware that designing branched, multi-solution-multi-resolution quests is hard. I see this very well in the development of my favorite indie RPG project, Age of Decadence: That game is basically nothing but branched narrative (and a TB combat system) - and they learned the hard way how much work that is. And in a fully open large world with very open character development, like TES it must be even worse.
Exactly! That kind of gameplay works best on a smaller scale, with a tighter design, while the trademark of TES is sprawl. Daggerfall was the game that hooked me on TES, and even though each game in the series has improved certain aspects, particularly production values, the general direction of development has not been what I hoped for.

More procedurally created content, more automated systems and more random elements is the way to go here, I think. (Fingers crossed for Sui Generis!)

In particular, I have an idea that I'd like to see explored. (Actually, I'd like to help explore it myself, if some developer would hire me, but since I'm older than almost everybody in the business and have no track record, that's not going to happen.)

I'm talking about creating story elements like Lego blocks, story elements that could fit together in several different ways. Instead of branching quests, where the player chooses direction at each turn, which necessitates lots of content that the player will never see (at least not in one playthrough) the game makes choices too (procedurally, with some ammount of randomness).

Just like with real Lego blocks, you have a finite number of blocks. You can't create an infinite ammount of original content for a game, after all. But you could create a game with potentially infinete variation.

Amongst other things, this involves taking advantage of the "filler" NPCs populating the game world. Instead of just being extras on the set, each could potentially get a more prominent role in some quest at some point in the game, as the procedural "story engine" would be able to assign roles on the fly.
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