Impact of choices
Just finished GoT s1, 3rd game I play after walking dead 1 and 2. Think I had enough with this kind of games and made an account on these forums just to share some thoughts. Was hoping to be more constructive initially but the more I thought about it, the more it became evident that it's hopeless, the limitations are too severe. If they can find a way to turn it around, great. Can't think of any myself tho.
The fact of the matter is that the moment the option to kill off a character becomes available, that character is as good as dead. It's pointless trying to save them. Their involvement in the story is over. They'll either end up dead somehow a couple scenes later or stop being involved in the story and quietly die off in the background. And that's a limitation of budget obviously. They can't afford to account for every possible branch. Everything has to fall in line and get homogenized without major deviations.
Once you realize that, all illusion of choice is gone. Given a choice to save one of two characters, it doesn't matter which char you saved. They're both done. They won't be having long and prosperous lives, they won't be playing any major part in the episodes to come. Given a dangerous decision that could get a character killed also not hard at all. The moment the script allows for a certain char to die it's over. Better kill him off right there and then so you know not to count on him anymore rather than have him die from a bus or something on the opening scene of the next episode, or even worse just die anyway regardless of whatever painful choice you had to make to prevent said death.
Ramsey Snow comes and provokes you? Lovely, provoke back. Cersei acting scary? Naaah, tell her a blonde joke or something, who cares. And exactly because of how comical it would look the moment you started saying all the wrong things on puprose, the actual given choice is ridiculously limited. I can only imagine how their hands are as tied as the players' hands. Can't keep creating content involving characters who may or may not be dead. And can't allow you to do or say anything that would lead to a character dying before the script says he should. Can't have the rest of the characters get out of character and disregard comments or actions that should provoke certain reactions. So more often that not you are presented with 3 different ways to say yes or 3 ways to say no.
Anyway, that's a problem inherent in pretty much all games. Mass Effect series comes to mind as a game that painfully tried to defy these limitations and had a moderate degree of success at a pretty high development cost. The episodic nature of these series makes the problem more pronounced I suppose. Can't effectively handle the illusion of choice when you're not certain beforehand where you're going and what's your available budget, both in time and money. Combined with the fact that these so-called choices are all the gameplay they have to offer, makes it look pretty bad.
Still, some very cool stories, great artwork, direction, voice overs and such. Can't say they're not putting a solid amount of effort into these series. I do however believe that the concept is fundamentaly flawed and I'd urge them to find a more exciting way to present their stories that makes a bit more sense. And I hope they do. Was really digging them for a while.
Just my 2 cents, merry Xmas all!