The Quarry’s Branching Narrative Has 186 Endings & a Huge Script

While some play video games for multiplayer battles or a high score chases, others want a movie-quality experience with the added benefit of player interaction. While games haven’t quite mastered that mode as of yet, developers like Supermassive Games are trying to get closer with every game. Its upcoming multiplatform title The Quarry is another interactive horror movie in the style of Until Dawn, featuring a branching narrative that can go off in hundreds of different directions and end, in this case, in 186 different ways.

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Game Director Will Byles spoke with IGN about the game’s script and the process of getting actors up to speed with filming this style of storytelling. Writing a game like The Quarry starts with a full movie screenplay. The writers start there and then expand with player choices and consequences that take things from a two-hour passive experience to a 10-hour video game. That can mean that the scripts full of permutations can get pretty big.

“Actors are used to, on a feature film, a 100-page script,” said Byles. “The script for [The Quarry] is over a thousand pages. So they get very alarmed.”

In addition to the sheer length of one of Supermassive’s scripts, actors also initially balk at the shooting schedule.

“We have to shoot, and this is very shocking for them, about 50 pages a day,” said Byles. “It’s unheard of, a mad amount of footage.”

Despite that, actors with no game experience eventually learn that most of the scenes are similar enough. One scene will have their character spout their lines as normal, and another will have them interrupted mid-soliloquy by an axe to the face. It’s typical horror game stuff for Supermassive.

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While Supermassive doesn’t seem to be outright bragging about the script size, some studios have used a page or word count as a way to boast about their game’s branching narrative or length. The script for Quantic Dream’s Detroit: Become Human was 2,000 pages long. The team even sent out blank scripts to the press for its previous game, Beyond: Two Souls, to notify them of the game’s script size. Bethesda also spoke about how Starfield will have significantly more dialogue than Fallout 4 or Skyrim.

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