Continuous Side Quest


A Continuous Side Quest happens in parallel to the main quest of a game. Usually this is a series of side quests connected to a single story line or character. Continuous side quests expand the apparent depth of the story by providing a group of parallel storylines, rather than a single main story.

Variables and Affordances

  • Quest Dependency: Whether a previous quest in a side story-line requires completion before the next quest.
  • Clock Dependency: Similar to the idea above, describes if a single link in a side quest line can be disabled if the player does not complete it before a certain time, either relative to the main quest line, or relative to a physical clock.


  • Deus Ex: Invisible War. There is a continuous background war between the coffee shops Pequods and QueeQuegs. In every area the player can complete a side mission for one or the other. A small story forms if the player completes these missions, eventually leading to a climax in the form of the revelation that both coffee shops are owned by the same company, rendering the choice of which shop to help void.
  • Dragon Age: Origins. Supporting character side quests. At any time during the adventure, the player can go to the base camp and talk to the members of his/her party. By persisting, the player can eventually open up more side quests, and possible interactions in the main quest. A great example is the Morrigan/Flemeth storyline, in which certain parts only become available if the player has interacted with Morrigan before a certain point, then continue to interact and complete her side quests.
  • Time Elapsed. Continuous side quests can sometimes be time sensitive, like in Dead Rising.
  • Linear Hub Pattern. A common way to implement this pattern it to place one leg of the quest in each of the hubs in a linear hub pattern.

Quest-Level Relationship

  • Base or Residence. If the side quest is character-related, it may originate from interactions in the base or with residents of cities.
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