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Game Design writer Ernest Adams takes a long look at interactive storytelling in videogames for Next Generation and points to Wing Commander 3's branching storyline as a good example. Readers with an interest in game design or storytelling can find the lengthy article here.

Branching stories. In these, the player's decisions, or sometimes his skill at overcoming challenges, determines how the plot line branches. The more frequently this occurs, and the more options he has at each branch point, the more material the designer has to create. The story can have multiple endings. The classic example was Wing Commander III, a large-granularity game whose plot lines branched depending on how well you did at the combat missions you flew.

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Now that we present video using the game engine rather than filmed actors, dialog is inexpensive to create. If we continue to research things like facial expression animation and body language, we’ll be able to do this kind of thing quite well.

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