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Character Development and Storytelling for Games, Second Edition by Lee Sheldon

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Return Visits

Many games succumb to what some designers consider a necessary evil: the repetition of repeat visits. Players don’t always know they have exhausted an NPC of whatever primary use it had in the game, and that revisiting the NPC will not further the plot or provide additional gameplay. Most writers will be asked to provide a single generic line an NPC can say in response to a return visit. One thing that destroys the illusion that the game is anything other than a game is when NPCs repeat the same old stock phrases over and over when you return to them. Simply because their utility is over doesn’t mean we can abandon them, acknowledge they were simply tools, and move on. Their responses during return visits should make as much sense ...

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