Intertwining, overlapping and parallel plots, what do you prefer?

(i could have sworn there had been a thread like this, but I can’t find it)

When it comes to plotthreads in games, what kind do you prefer:

Plots hat advance only when the MC interacts with the respective NPCs?
Plots that run their course alongside whichever plot the MC is following?
Plots that influence each other?
Plots that ‘don’t exist’ if the MC doesn’t interact with the respective NPCs?

An example for the first and last comes from Hollywood visionary, where the subplots only advance if the MC interacts with the characters, while the others don’t seem to take place at all or just marginally.

IIRC (haven’t played in a while) some plothreads in Tally Ho go forward even if the MC isn’t present to witness them.


I prefer for things to progress even if you’re not a part of it. Makes it more of a living, breathing world.


A mixture of the first three is my preference; Stardust nailed the interweaving plot and is probably my go-to example/ideal for interweaving plot stories.


My opinion depends.

Will the game allow me to complete all plotlines at some point? If so, I want them to sort of stagnate until I do them. EG: In Explosion, I have a ton of side plots for each of the NPCs - various friend/romantic events. Until you get to a certain point in the game, all of these events can transpire still, regardless of how much of the game is completed. Same with romances in Bioware games.

However, if I have to pick only one, I would prefer the game treat the other plotlines as moving forward without me.


I like for plots to be allowed to sit on the back burner for awhile, but then eventually move on without the player. For example if a game gives me the option to hang out with Ben or Jerry, and I choose Jerry, I’d like a chance to choose Ben next time a chance for hanging out with people comes around and start his plot, but if I don’t pick it again it’d be fine if it went on without me, maybe even end subultimately to make me feel the consequence of choosing other people.