In most games conversations between the main character and other characters happens in one of two ways. Either it is a line-by-line conversation with the player picking each response from a list (or equivalent choice) or the interaction plays out in a pre-rendered cutscene that the player has no control over at all. Either one of these can work well for specific situations, but both also have their downsides. The fact that these are the only two options to be used tweaks my desire to see video games try different things and explore variety. First I want to take a slightly more in-depth look at both currently used common options for this. I will be using the term designer to indicate the people who make the game. I am fully aware that it is an entire team of people that is influenced and pressured by outside forces, but I want to keep it simple for the vague outlines I am working with.
Monthly Archives: October 2011
I know I wrote my thoughts about this somewhere, but a quick check of the site shows I didn’t write or copy it here. Also don’t know where I wrote it down originally, so time to put down my thoughts on the matter again. This is what I normally think about when I use the term Sandbox when talking about tabletop RPGs.
A realization hit me while I was in idle thought. There is a pretty clear resemblance between a certain type of semi-episodic television show and the tabletop RPG sandbox type campaign. The show my brain leaped to was Stargate SG-1, but numerous other shows are very similar. Stargate starts off as fairly episodic. Having a basic premise, that the stargate allows people to travel to other planets instantly, and from that point unfolds over the seasons of the show into a sprawling space opera like epic science fiction tale of galaxy spanning evil, ancient races, world-shattering disasters, and powerful artifacts. All developing as things happen with bits and pieces are added in here and there that build on each other and develop into plots and stories. Much like the typical sandbox campaign.