I spent a little while playing DLC Quest over the last few days. I bought it on sale for a pittance and had a lot of fun with it.2013-07-03_00002

Sure, the mechanics are simple and as a game it’s not all that special, but on the other hand it made me laugh and smile. It makes fun of many things we’ve come to consider fairly normal (like day one patches for games) and weird quirks of game design.2013-07-03_00001

To date we haven’t had much luck solving the NPC problem. After their dialogue is exhausted they tend to revert to saying the same thing over and over again, never reacting to how the world has changed.

It makes me think about what I was saying about Scarface – sometimes dialogue should exist just to colour in the world. An NPC who stands there saying the same thing regardless of changing circumstances actively detracts from the believability of the game world. Once the world falls apart one might as well be playing poker or putting together a jigsaw puzzle as the game loses its narrative elements.

Of course, not all videogames need narrative elements but as there are NPCs I’m going to go ahead and assume it’s a game that has a setting and therefore some sense of story.

On another note believability doesn’t mean realism – it simply refers to the idea that a game world immerses the player. Psychonauts isn’t realistic at all but its world is enchanting.

DLC Quest’s world is fairly simplistic but it definitely amused and entertained me. I was also pleased to see that it used Creative Commons content in its creation. Very cool.

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