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How the Blade Runner game ensured players never knew who to trust

"The dice would pick whether characters were replicants or not," recalls Playful's David Leary in a new chat with Eurogamer about his work on Westwood Studios' 1997 Blade Runner adventure game.
"Every time a player started a new game, the dice would pick whether characters were replicants or not."

- Playful's David Leary, reminiscing with Eurogamer about his work on Westwood Studios' Blade Runner adventure game.

There's a new movie out this week bearing the name Blade Runner, and that seems to have at least partially inspired Eurogamer to revisit Westwood Studios' 1997 PC adventure game of the same name.

Released more than a decade after the original film, Blade Runner is a game devs should know about because it did something very rare in the '90s: it presented players with a detective story that changed every time you played.

"Every time a player started a new game, the dice would pick whether characters were replicants or not," Leary told Eurogamer, recalling how he helped out on the game and coded a script that would (presumably semi-)randomly dictate which characters were secretly robots. 

"Creating the code was not that technically difficult," he continued. "The challenge was to make sure the pieces wouldn't fall apart."

He goes on to talk about those challenges in a bit more detail in the full article, which is well worth reading over on Eurogamer.

For a bit more historical insight into Westwood's often-overlooked Blade Runner game, check out Gamasutra's own 1998 interview with Westwood cofounder Louis Castle, in which he discusses everything from the intricacies of fitting the game on 4 CD-ROMs to the challenges of simulating cool 24-bit smoke and mist effects on 16-bit graphics cards.

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