Prison Break was a short quest created as an assignment for Larian Studios. It was created using their in-house modding kit, Divinity Engine 2. The whole quest was created from conceptualization to final implementation during the span of two weeks (Including the feedback from the studio between phases)

The general feedback for the quest was positive. With both my general quest design and implementation being praised. The main downside ended up being me not being able to implement all extra paths of the quest due to time constraints.

 

My tasks


  • Iterating on a very basic quest concept
  • Implementing the said quest in the engine
  • Adding basic set dressing to the environment

Tools used


  • Divinity Engine 2
  • Osiris scripting language

 

Quest Design


The initial concept that I was given was very bare bones. The player is to meet a lizard, who needs help with breaking his friend out of prison. Upon freeing the dwarf, the player discovers that the dwarf actually does not want to go with the lizard.

Using that base concept, I devised a short story where due to being indebted to the lizard, the dwarf is forced to be a servant to the lizard. This change adds conflict to the overall story and  gives the player a basic moral choice.

When writing dialogue for the characters, I chose to make the dwarf overtly emotional and the lizard calm and controlling. I didn’t want to portray either of these characters as either “good” or “bad”. It was up to the player which side of the argument he would end up siding with. In the end there are multiple outcomes for the quest.

  1. Lizard is killed, dwarf is freed
  2. Lizard is spared, dwarf is freed due to debt being paid off
  3. Lizard is spared, dwarf is freed due to being convinced to let her go
  4. Lizard is spared, dwarf is with lizard
  5. Both lizard and dwarf are killed (failed state)

I have also attached two examples of the quest flowchart to the right

Quest Implementation


When starting with the implementation of the quest, I had no prior experience with using The Divinity Engine 2, but thanks to my prior experience with Skyrim’s Creation Kit I was able to pick up the basics quite quickly and start working on the quest.

For the quest implementation, these were the main tasks I was concerned with.

Making the quest react to the players actions

I wanted to make sure that the players would not be able to break the quest in anyway and the player would have a way to reach the end state no matter the approach he ends up choosing to make. This includes reacting to various player actions within the quest. This includes.

  • The guard attacking the player after trying to open the door after numerous tries
  • Dialogue changing when the player kills the lizard before meeting the dwarf
  • Player being able to free the dwarf without talking with the lizard

The lever puzzle

It was required for the door to the cell to be locked with a lever combination. Scripting the lever puzzle was to be one of the ways to test out scripting knowledge of the applicant. If it wasn’t for that, I wouldn’t have included the levers in the quest, since I feel it breaks immersion.

The combination is defined at the start of the script and it can be changed easily just by modifying the script. In order to use the levers, the player has to get permission from the guard first. There are multiple ways to do so.

  1. Convince the guard to let her go
  2. Bribe the guard
  3. Forge transfer documents
  4. Kill the guard

If the player ends up killing the guard, he can loot a note from the guard which contains the correct combination. The player can attempt to guess the combination without permission, but if he is detected by the guard he gets warned and after the second warning the guard turns hostile.