You said there are some meaningful choices, but so far the choices were basically, "Save this guy, or don't save this guy" or "look for this, or don't look for it"; it was more like, "Do you want to have a mission, or do you not want to have a mission?"
TH: Well the choice on that stuff is something like, "Pardon me. Is this something you want to do at this point, or do you want to come back to it later?" Or is it necessary? Some of this stuff has to be accomplished to be able to open up the game; for example, you're never going to get your car if you don't go get the buggy parts. So it's just, "Okay, you don't have to do it," but then you're not going to get any parts, and you're going to be stuck.
But the choices are more directed, I guess, at what players want to do. Do you want to collect stuff, or do you want to sell it?
Do you want to sell it to get the gun, or do you want to spend your money on getting the better gun now, or do you want to hoard it and wait and get it later, or see if the game doesn't present it to you in some different way? Do you want to buy the fat boy bullets, or do you want to buy the steel rounds for your assault rifle?
These things do impact how the game reacts to what you're doing in the game and will impact your experience.
And the game is flexible enough that we're still learning things about what happened. Literally last week in testing, we weren't even aware that you can do the fat boys out of order. You can, because you can go and do a little side quest where a guy gives you fat boys. Well once you get those, you don't get a lot of them, but then that actually opens up the vendor to sell them.
So when you get them, the intent or the idea behind the game is, "I'm going to take these, and I'm going to go, and I'm going to use these, and I'm going to go in this area, and battle these bandits." But the clever player says, "Oh, maybe I can go buy more of these," and then loads up on them. And then it really does change things, because now you're getting a much more powerful bullet. Those are one shot-kill bullets, and so it does change, tactically. That, to me, is an excellent example of a meaningful dynamic game decision that a player can make or not make.
You give the player some freedom. You can leave a dialogue any time you want, if you don't want to hear what the guy's saying anymore, which is interesting. Whenever you want to go to a shop, you've got to wait for the guy to finish talking before you can hit A and get in there. Do you have a hierarchy of what dialogue people must hear?
TH: There are some things that you can click through, and then some things that we feel are important enough that we preclude you from doing that. How you experience it throughout the game is just a design decision. When I played through it, the vendor is like, "Okay, here's what I have for sale," or whatever, it's pretty short. If that's the stuff you're talking about. Especially when you first meet him, he's going to tell you, "Here's the deal," and all of that.
You've got some Southern dialects, and some British dialects, and others. Within the mythology of the world, what's that all about?
TH: The bandit clans tend to be culturally homogeneous, so the Wasted Clan's thing, for example is that they're kind of punk rockish -- you've got the Union Jack and all that sort of stuff. We just really tried to create different types of enemies that were distinct enough in all sorts of different ways, so that they sound different, they act different, they have different weapons, they're in different locations, they do different things, they represent different challenges to the player, so that you really get a sense of, these guys are not just bandits generically. It's this, and they do that, kind of a thing.