I began to replay Dragon Age II. I say that I really like Hawke. So many player characters, especially Bioware characters, feel bland. Even Renegade-Shephard felt like a robot. But Hawke has a distinct personality: A smartass. You can be a diplomatic and easygoing smartass, a vindicative and judgemental smartass, or my favourite, the extreme smartass. And the npc influence system is so very good.
But onto my main point. I discussed Dragon Age II with my friend and wondered about the next game in the series. It was interesting that DA II left the Hero of Ferelden behind and concentrated on a completely different person in a completely different place. I wonder if the trend continues and the next game would have another new protagonist, and the previous games’ choices affect the background. It would be extremely interesting if the games introduce a bunch of characters, who join forces in the final title where the epic showdown with… something happens.
We joked that the since all the characters would be player-created, then all dialogue would be controlled by the player. Thus, in effect, the player would have conversations with himself. In dialogue with non-party npc’s, the player can press quick time events to make comment with another character. Funny aside, that would be an interesting aspect.
Imagine a scenario where two dashing smartasses are walking into a castle, but a guard stops them at the gate, saying that the king is seeing no-one. The player can then select which smartass will answer. He selects the dandy one and chooses the vindicative choice. ”Don’t you know who I am? By gods, I should get you chained up and thrown in to the dungeons!” The guard gets bamboozled. The player then shifts perspective to the non-dandy smartass and chooses the placative choice: ”Good sir, the Archduke of Heimburg has been on the road for a week. Surely the King will not tarnish his hospitality by refusing one of the most powerful nobles of the North?” The guard agrees, alarmed, and opens the gates.
It would be very interesting to control two people at the same time. To have conversations where identifying who should say what is the key. I can almost imagine how a typical Bioware chat with a partymember would go: The other character asking questions, and the other one choosing how to tell his story. I could imagine how such a dialogue tree would be incredibly huge and complex, and voice acting the whole system would be nigh-impossible. But the dual-dialoguing would be an interesting thing for some indie developer to try out. If I didn’t hate coding so much, I would try something like that.