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Game Design: Theory & Practice Second Edition: "Interview with Jordan Mechner" (24 Dec 2004)
There are a couple of game models which I wanted to steer away from, one of which is where you have to do a certain thing to get to the next cut-scene or the story doesn't progress. Another is the kind of branching-tree, "Choose Your Own Adventure" style, where there's ten ways the story can end, and if you try all ten options you get to all ten of them. One of the puzzle sequences that I think worked best in Last Express is one of the first ones, where you encounter Tyler's body and you have to figure out what to do to get rid of it. There are several equally valid solutions, and each one has its own drawbacks, ripple effects down the line. For example, if you hide the body in the bed, you risk that when the conductor comes to make the bed he will discover the body there, so you have to deal with that somehow. You can avoid that problem by throwing the body out the window, but if you do that, then the body is discovered by the police. And they board the train at the next stop and you have to figure out how to hide from the police when they're going compartment to compartment checking passports. Either way, your actions have consequences on the people around you. As another example, if you throw the body out the window, you may overhear Francois, the little boy, saying to his mom, "Hey, I saw a man being thrown out the window." And she'll say to him, "Shut up, you little brat, don't tell lies!"
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