Torment: Tides of Numenera - Community Q&A Video
Torment: Tides of Numenera has a new Q&A video. The video provides some insight into how the team is going to approach dialogue trees.
Though ultimately a variation of the previous method, Hub-and-Spokes Dialogue creates a very different conversation flow compared to basic Branching Dialogue. The player listens to the NPC's lines and then chooses their response from the main "hub" of the conversation.
After hearing the NPC's response, the player either returns to the main hub, from which they can ask the same question again or inquire about another topic, or enters a deeper hub with more options to choose from.
The player can typically always find their way back to any hub by navigating through their responses, and thus can explore the dialogue in any order they wish. In this manner, a player can exhaust a conversation by trying every possible option at their disposal (with no penalty), and the interaction only ends when the player chooses the "goodbye" option.
Most conversations in Mass Effect and other BioWare titles take this form, with occasional basic Branching Dialogue implemented when the player has to make an important decision that may affect quest outcomes or the NPC's disposition towards the player.
Hub-and-Spokes Dialogue gives the player more freedom and control over conversation and often allows them to interrogate NPCs to find out every last piece of information about them. However, this method of dialogue tends to create conversations strongly divorced from reality.
The NPC usually has infinite patience for the player's strange inquisitions, and every dialogue plays out like an interrogation as the player keeps pressing the NPC for info. Furthermore, the player hears a lot of the same lines over and over as he navigates between hubs, potentially breaking immersion.