Gunfire Reborn

GWJ Conference Call Episode 751

Curse of the Dead Gods (Switch), Persona 5 (PS5), Urtuk: The Desolation (PC), Bowser’s Fury (Switch), Gunfire Reborn (PC), Outriders Demo (PC, PS5), dialogue trees in video games!

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Amanda, Aaron, and Rich have an introspective chat about dialogue trees in video games.

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00:01:05 Curse of the Dead Gods
00:06:24 Persona 5
00:08:35 Urtuk: The Desolation
00:11:50 Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury
00:17:08 Gunfire Reborn
00:23:17 Outriders
00:41:30 Dialogue Trees

"Once you have the special pants on, it lasts for two magazines" is such a good line out of context.

I've had my eyes on Gunfire Reborn for a while so I think I'm finally gonna grab it. If anybody else is interested in co-op, come find me on Discord!

Gunfire Reborn is another super solid Early Access game. LOT of game here for 12$

I found the discussion on dialogue trees fascinating, and it got me thinking about how systems that appear similar structurally can branch off into different mechanical outcomes.

In Mass Effect, it was less about role playing each scenario in a nuanced way and more about picking your alignment and sticking with it, wherever it went -- there was no benefit to being a Neutral mix of Paragon and Renegade; in fact for many story beats, not having a Paragon/Renegade option unlocked meant you got the 'worst' outcome.

Fallout: New Vegas had a more nuanced take on dialogue and skills, that reflected a more complex and varied character build system -- rather than having extra dialogue options locked behind your alignment, or a single "speech" stat, various skills could present dialogue options in their proper context during, eg if you have a high medicine skill and walk into an infirmary, you've got more dialogue options when talking to the doctor there. These would occur organically and quite regularly throughout the various questlines. It would be hard to min/max your character to access them all, so it was kind of a RP reward for building your character a certain way, presenting options that seemed to fit a particular situation.

The Witcher 3 had its "Jedi mind trick/persuasion" sign, Axii, that you could use to boost contract prices and otherwise influence dialogues, but there were a few notable moments when it backfires, and people notice you're trying to use magic to sway them, and they fight you instead of agreeing with you.

I thought it was a discussion that could have gone on for another hour or so -- dialogue trees have been a key component in my fave game genres: RPGs, adventure games, etc and it's fun to parse the differences between different games.

I really liked the way that Pillars of Eternity handled this. Rather than an alignment system, you had various personality traits that went with a particular dialogue choice: stoic, or clever, or honest, etc. Over time, choosing those options would give you a reputation for stoicism, cleverness, or honesty. Both the choices and reputations mattered in different situations. Near the end of the game, I loved when I threatened somebody, and because I had a reputation for being cruel (or whatever), the mooks said, "um, boss, I think he's serious. We shouldn't mess with him." And then they didn't.

LastSurprise wrote:

I really liked the way that Pillars of Eternity handled this. Rather than an alignment system, you had various personality traits that went with a particular dialogue choice: stoic, or clever, or honest, etc. Over time, choosing those options would give you a reputation for stoicism, cleverness, or honesty. Both the choices and reputations mattered in different situations. Near the end of the game, I loved when I threatened somebody, and because I had a reputation for being cruel (or whatever), the mooks said, "um, boss, I think he's serious. We shouldn't mess with him." And then they didn't.

I remember that now & like it when games do that by way of remembering your choices, rather than being something you min/max for ... Pathfinder: Kingmaker had a similar thing, but more strictly mapped to the D&D alignment mechanics. You could make dialogue choices & decisions outside your set alignment, and they would shift your alignment one way or the other, to the point where your alignment could change. Also your alignment would dictate the types of buildings you could have in your towns, just because.