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Narrative games need to ditch short and vague dialogue prompts

July 08, 2018 1 min read

More and more games want to be interactive stories (even if only kinda sorta interactive) more than they want to be games. Provided they’re written well, that’s fine. If you’re looking for something unusual out of games like I often am, that can even be great! I get attached to the characters and stories in games more easily than any book or movie because the controller in my hand becomes a bridge that pulls me deeper into its world. And as production values continue to rise, games get better at pulling us in… or, they should. Yet I keep seeing games build poor dialogue systems that needlessly risk shattering everything they stand for.

Even if you’re not into 100% cinematic games like Until Dawn, if you’ve played any recent AAA WRPG, you might have chosen a dialogue option you regretted the instant your character opened their mouth. This is so annoying that I want to explore why it’s become prevalent purely so I can deconstruct it further. Because nothing pulls me out of a story-based game more easily than short and vague prompts for dialogue choices.

Narrative games need to ditch short and vague dialogue prompts screenshot

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