Carrie Patel

Narrative Designer for Obsidian Entertainment

Carrie Patel is a narrative designer and writer at Obsidian Entertainment, where she has written for the Pillars of Eternity franchise. Her game credits include the Writers Guild of America-nominated Pillars of Eternity, the White March expansions, and Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, on which she serves as narrative co-lead.

She is also a novelist and the author of the science fantasy Recoletta trilogy, which includes The Buried Life, Cities and Thrones, and The Song of the Dead. Her short fiction has appeared in PodCastle and Beneath Ceaseless Skies.

Talk Description:

Fundamentals of Branching Dialogue

Branching dialogue is a staple of many RPGS, and one that allows designers to present players with gameplay choices, offer options for players’ personal expression, and create a stronger sense of a player-driven story.

But authoring dialogue trees is complicated. Writers and designers must balance player freedom against the limits of scope, and they must present a consistent through-line even while offering players multiple avenues for navigating a dialogue.

This presentation will cover the basics of branching dialogue: why it’s a useful design feature, how to implement it well, and what to look out for.

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