Pavel Sasco, the author of the Red Baron story arch in The Witcher 3 and the new quest director of Cyberpunk 2077, regularly talks about the process during his own game broadcasts. This happened on the last stream, where he was joined by Philipp Weber, quest designer for CD Projekt Red. The creators of Cyberpunk 2077 started a conversation about how they approached non-linearity in game missions.
As an example, we took a small episode: a trip with Takemura to Wakako Okada. Players are given a choice: to get there on their own or to be a passenger of Takemura.
In addition, they may agree, but not get in the car, or refuse to make a choice altogether. This choice may seem insignificant, but each decision has consequences: individual NPCs interact differently with a friend, perceive the players actions in a different way.
And all this required a lot of design work. According to Weber, this decision was made in vain.
In the narrative plan, the game would have lost little if such moments were made completely linear. And the time spent on them could be used for more important elements.
Unfortunately, many of these aspects of development were learned by the creators of Cyberpunk 2077 only in the process of work. However, now they have gained invaluable experience that will surely serve them in the future.
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