Thursday, 3 June 2010

Dev Quote: Daniel Erickson on Dialog Options

I decided to add a new kind of post to the blog: dev quotes. This will mostly be game related quotes from the official forums (as noted through Dev Tracker), though I can imagine quotes from other places as well. We'll see how it goes. In the past such quotes generally fell under the "news" label, but since it's not always news though it might still be interesting this seems a better approach.

To kick things off we'll start with a quote from Daniel Erickson on the dialog options in the game:
The Mass Effect dialogue system worked exceptionally well for keeping the game fast and action-oriented, which is always that team's target. On Dragon Age we went for a more classic RPG approach with more options and the ability to dig into all the little details. The first option in dialogue was usually the most sensible one for a reasonable person in the situation. SWTOR is somewhere in the middle. We keep the story moving (nobody wants to sit there in a multiplayer game while their party member begs an NPC for more backstory) but we present the options based on the situation and the class or faction.

So in the Flashpoint that Altyrell mentioned, the kill option was on the top because it was an Imperial quest and being darkside is the default for their big faction choices. In the same manner the top option for Smugglers tends to be funny or flirty, Bounty Hunters tend to be all business, Consulars tend to be questioning and wise, etc. Then, of course, the rest of the options enable players to do something totally different with their characters. Want to be a hardcase Smuggler? A wry action hero Bounty Hunter? A charming Inquisitor? Choices are much broader than just good and evil.

Hope that helps!
I must admit that I personally prefer Dragon Age's dialog system over Mass Effect's dialog system, but I can definitely see why they'd go with the latter. Though I've no problem sitting there in a multiplayer game begging an NPC for more backstory.

[UPDATE] I've gone back through the old news posts and tagged those as "dev quotes" that I felt should be. I've also edited the older posts to make the forum quotes dev orange (which I was already using for the newer posts) and will endeavor to keep using it in the future more dev quotes from the forums.

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