Originally Posted by 8Bit_System
The biggest problem about choices in video games is pretty easily shown with a little math.
In episode 1 and 2:
Say there were 10 choices with 2 possible outcomes(PO) that had a full game impact (i.e. safe Carley/Doug), 4 choices with 3 possible outcomes and 2 choices with even 4 possible outcomes just so we make sure pretty much everyone has a total unique experience.
Telltale would now already have to deal with 1.024 impact choices just from 2 PO choices (10^2).
Now come the 3 PO choices and these already have a real impact. They will rise the possible outcomes to 82.944, and adding the 4 PO choices will give Telltale the final number of 1.327.104 possible outcomes and game scenes to deal with, while still staying on track to keep the story together.
Even keeping it really civil, say we choose 4 choices with 2 PO and 2 with 3 PO, we still end up with 144 outcomes, game scenes, conversations and what not.
For now, this is an impossible task as most people should be able to understand.
I think Telltale closely watches what most players do and tailors the story around these choices, and that is how their statement should be understood.
You'd be right if these consequences rippled throughout the whole game, but that's not what people are disappointed by.
Here's an example of something that wouldn't require a lot of change, but would add that extra touch that's currently missing. At the beginning of episode 2, you're faced with the decision to cut off the foot of the band director, David. If you don't, Travis, the other student, freaks out and winds up getting shot. He dies on the operating table, so to speak, and serves as a lesson to the group about the reality of infection.
If you do save David, Travis is rather clumsily dispatched from a writing perspective by inexplicably tripping and being devoured. This immediately synchronizes the outcomes of your choice, creating a symmetrical gameplay experience that's easier to write, but less meaningful to the players.
A nice touch that probably wouldn't have added a ton to development time or cost would have been to have Travis survive if you cut David free, and join you on the trip to the farm with Ben. At that point, he would join you and Mark as you clear off the zombies from the fence, but is killed by the first volley of arrows from the bandits. He then becomes one of the zombies chasing you during the tractor escape scene.
In this scenario, there doesn't have to much more in the way of dialogue added to the game, and though there's a bit more character modeling, the asymmetry of experience does add quite a bit of variety to my playthrough compared with someone else. And there's no fundamental change in the story.
TTG does this in minor ways throughout the game, but usually the effects of a decision are immediately played out and then synchronized within the same scene. Many of us would like to see a bit more. You want us to wind up with the same end state for a particular decision? Okay, but let our choices dictate a more varied route to arrive there. Right now, there just aren't enough routes.