Interactive Dialog 2: Elder Scrolls Oblivion – The Narrative Design Exploratorium

Interactive Dialog 2: Elder Scrolls Oblivion

Game 2: The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

  • Developer: Bethesda Softworks
  • Released: 2006


Visual Structure:

Nonlinear Playable

  • 4:3 ratio (see “A” in Illustration 1 above)
  • Strictly 1st Person Perspective
  • Potential response list (see “B” in Illustration 1 above)
  • Current speakers subtitles (see “C” in Illustration 1 above)

Dialog Structure:

  • Little depth
  • Varied looping branches (see Nodes “A2-E2” in Illustration 2 above)
  • Traditional division of “deep” and “shallow” NPCs


This is exactly the reason players don’t read dialog, this dialog is
sleep-able, and the interactivity is nothing but a click fest.

  • Varying levels of character depth
  • Long winded
  • Confusing
  • Non-responsive
  • Shallow
Potential Methods of improvement:
  • Editing
  • Some indication of PC and NPC interaction via body language
  • Increased use of the cinematic language
  • Make the dialog choices seem more meaningful

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Stephen E. Dinehart published on February 20, 2008 12:20 AM.

What is a narrative designer? was the previous entry in this blog.

Interactive Dialog 3: Knights of the Old Republic is the next entry in this blog.

You can find out more about Stephen Erin Dinehart on his self-titled website .


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