Of Three In One
Interactive story quest for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim ◦ 8 weeks ◦ 2014
Subtle and Impactful Choices
The quest is by nature story-driven, unfolding with new information and decision points as it progresses. There is a unique twist in that the player's choices define the histories of the two men, and these choices converge at the end of the quest to determine the future of the couple's relationship.
A small cast of characters assists in making the story compact and straightforward
Each major beat of the story forces the player to make a choice, which then affects the flow and outcome of the narrative. These choices are always binary, but each considers a more nuanced view of the story events at hand—nothing is as simple as “good vs. evil” in Of Three In One.
Each of the choices that the quest offers have reasonable dramatic weight
For example, when faced with the order to execute a deserter, the player can make David follow commands (as a loyal soldier should) or walk away (out of sympathy to the prisoner). NPCs in the quest immediately acknowledge each choice, but each also has more long-term ramifications.
Action-driven choices are necessary to seal a sense of immersion
At the end of the quest, the player is asked by the couple to reflect on their earlier choices (those that reveal the histories of David and Charles), and the player is able to put a positive or negative spin on any of them. These concluding remarks also have weight on the outcome.
All of the player's choices throughout the quest have logical pros and cons
The branches of the story are subtle and interwoven, with no major dramatic changes occurring until the end, but they remain compelling regardless. Creation Kit’s fantastic dialog tree editor combined with its quest tree editor was a robust tool for creating this interactive story.
Planning diagrams were necessary to keep the quest's structure effectively communicated