Giving players agency and choice is one of the bedrocks of game design. Dialogue trees, stripping choices away to show a lack of a character's agency, giving the player complete control over an outcome: these are just a few of the options developers have when deciding when and to what degree players have agency over the narrative of a game. RPGs will often focus on the idea of choice, allowing players to express their opinions through dialogue, and in more complex games, rewarding players with different outcomes that reflect their choices. But when a game is limited in how it can deliver specific plot beats, be it by a lack of resources or development time, are there other ways that games can allow for the player to express their emotional response to a story? We discuss choices in RPGs and more on this episode of Waypoint Radio. You can listen to the full episode and read an excerpt below.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/7kpxny/branching-narrative-gameplay-choice-rpg-waypoint-radio