Chris Avellone, lead creative designer for Alpha Protocol, feels that story is important in an RPS, but not so much that it interferes with the game.
“It’s important. I don’t think it’s as important as systems design or level design, but the story is an important piece that gives systems and level a reason to exist, and helps to compel the player to move forward,” Avellone told Destructoid. “Don’t get me wrong, I love narrative and character design, but I prefer to create story and character mechanics that are game systems rather than divorced from the systems or levels — when the story is a mechanic, in terms of reactivity, perks, mission changes, and open/closing of hubs and endgame choices, I think that’s the purpose of a game story.
“When a story paralyzes a player (watch this cut scene, stop and read this book) or has to work to force itself onto the player with exposition, I think you start traveling down the dark road of cutting off immersion and turning a game into a passive experience, rather than an active one. Also, and to cue off a lecture from Ken Levine, I think much of a story or character can be told in a game level or in the environment itself, without a bunch of text or books littered around the game world.”
As far as sex scenes in videogames, Avellone feels that not including real-world actions such as this in an RPG is doing the genre a disservice.
“I think it’s an important step, and it’s not sex for sex’s sake, but it’s part of human interaction that makes you more involved in the game world and your characters,” he added. “Just like in the real world, sex runs the range from entertainment to a symbol of the depth of feeling between two people, and not having that reflected in a role-playing experience feels does RPGs an injustice.”
Alpha Protocol and its love making scenes will land on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 October 6.