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Scripted events are any events programmed into a scenario, map, or level by the creator to make any number of things happen. They can be as simple as a player reaching a certain point, at which a monster will jump out and attack them, such as the much-maligned " monster closet
Generally they are used to move a story forward, often because the story would make no sense if the player completed the action in a different manner. They are also often used to frighten the player with a surprise action or event such as monster closets
or the ghosts in System Shock 2
. In older games scripted events were often used to destroy objects in a relatively realistic manner as complex physics processing was too expensive on contemporary processors; this still somewhat exists as the required force to displace physics objects such as an explosion - the explosion is scripted but the objects crumble on their own accord.
Cutscenes can be considered a scripted event, especially if they are rendered in-engine, such as the player attacking Andrew Ryan
. Typical RPG and MMORPG quests and missions can also be considered a long chain of scripted events.
Scripted events are more often seen in single-player or cooperative games as they are used to complement the AI
which would otherwise not be able to complete the relatively complex actions scripted. There is a general trend to letting the AI and physics handle events as freely as they can to provide a more dynamic, and therefore replayable, experience. This is easier in games where the enemies' goals and motives are simpler, such as "kill the player."
|Pick Up That Can |
Half-Life 2 is chock full of of scripted events. At one point, a Combine will knock down an empty soda can and orders Gordon Freeman to pick it up.. Players may choose to pick up the can, whereupon they must proceed to throw it in the trash, or agitate the Combine by throwing the can at him.
|A Falling Wizard |
While heading north out of Seya Neen and up the main road to Balmora,
a scream can be heard and a figure will fall from the sky and die upon impact. The unfortunate is a bosmer enchanter named Tarhiel, who aspired to greater heights by creating a spell scroll that would allow the user to travel great distances... with disasterous results.