Disco Elysium’s Lead Writer Reveals The Secret Behind The Role-Playing Game’s Excellent Dialogue

Disco Elysium’s Lead Writer Reveals The Secret Behind The Role-Playing Game’s Excellent Dialogue
Credit: Disco Elysium via YouTube

Disco Elysium is a modern role-playing game inspired by the tabletop games of old. In it, the protagonist runs around hunting down clues and trying to solve an in-depth storyline that will not feel too unfamiliar to hardcore fans of deep story role-playing games. But some of those in-game elements really rub off and come into there own in Disco Elysium, and there’s nothing that shows how powerful that is than the dialogue system in the game.

It is–to put it lightly–simply addictive. There is almost nothing quite like it. Well, almost nothing quite like it. In fact, the system seems to resemble modern social media more than anything else. And, as Lead Writer Robert Kurvitz recently noted, that’s because Disco Elysium’s dialogue and story system were designed to emulate today’s social media. That’s absolutely wild.

In a recent interview with Gamespot, Kurvitz laid out how the story was created. They said they thought Twitter would be their main competition in creating a compelling dialogue system, and their hopes were to make something that allowed them to fire off quick, snappy lines of text that everyone was able to enjoy.

It definitely shines through. The dialogue and story system flows downwards from the top, as if there was a constantly updating feed while you play through the game. This feature isn’t revolutionary by any means, but it is probably an exemplar of how best to make this sort of stuff work out.

And that is not all either. The story works in these bite-sized chunks, each one is more compelling than the last. They are designed to pull you in, to really say something, and to say it such a way that every bit can almost stand on its own outside of the game. Basically a story told in a series of aphorisms. Absolutely nuts.

When the player clicks to continue the dialogue, they’ll get a ping or some sort of sounds plus a tactile sensation, which provides a nice dopamine hit to continue rolling through. And there’s all kinds of dialogue checks, rolls, and other things those of us familiar with tabletop games will be happy to see.

Disco Elysium first came out for Windows PC last year in October, but it is expected to have releases on the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One sometime later this year. Be sure to check it out if you happen to be a fan of story-rich video games like this one.