Search

Description

A search quest, in it's simplest form, can be seen as a one way Fetch Quest. The player is required to search an area for a particular item or NPC.

It can push the player to explore an area in closer detail than normal.

Variables and Affordances

  • Objective - what you are searching for, can be a person, an item or a location.
  • Environmental Directedness- Elements in the environment that direct your search while you are searching. Can include signs, linear passages, sound etc.
  • Initial Directedness- Clues given at the start of the quest by the quest giver.
  • Search Area- how large is the initial area to search (dictated by clues or physical walls), a house,a town, a forest, a region?

Examples

  • Fallout 3- The entire game is framed in a search for your father. In fact, if you look in the right place, you can find your father even at first or second level. Fallout 3 does an excellent job of slowly giving you more clues towards your fathers location by completing other quests in the game
  • Two Worlds 2 - One of the initial missions is to find a blacksmith in an underground compound. The game does not tell you how to find him, so you have to search the compound for his blacksmith shop. Even with almost no direction from the enviroment or the quest giver, by limiting the search area so tightly, Two Worlds 2 reduces the potential for frustration of the quest, and makes you study the layout of the underground compound before you move on to more advanced quests.
  • Elders Scrolls IV Oblivion- “Find the heir” initially gives you the town the heir is in, but it's up to the player (early in the game) to travel through the wilderness to find the town and then find the heir.

In Worked Examples

  • Fetch Objective - Very similar to the search pattern, involves an extra step of returning to the quest giver with the found item.

Quest-Level Relationship

  • Item - A search quest often focuses around an item, although it can focus on an NPC instead (Fallout 3, Two Worlds 2)
  • Residence - Commonly used as a search area.
  • City - Also commonly used for a search area
  • Overworld - can be used as a search area, but requires far more directedness from the game to give the player clues in a large overworld.
patterns/search.txt · Last modified: 2011/07/09 00:02 by Gillian Smith
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