How do you design a game with characters that respond to a player's decisions in their words and deeds, while simultaneously making those responses feel authentic and not robotic?
At GDC 2017, Hangar 13's Remy Boicherot explained how the studio worked to do just that for its 2016 open-world revenge story Mafia III.
Boicherot outlined key principles used for the relationship system with crime lieutenants, world-persistent characters, radio news and shows; he also took a deep dive into "Sit Downs", Mafia III's semi-interactive cinematics with high-tension procedural dialogue sequences that put the player into tough choice situations.
His talk was both intriguing and practical, with lots of details on the tools and techniques Hangar 13 used during production on Mafia III. Now you can watch it yourself (completely free!) over on the official GDC YouTube channel.
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