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I am developing a Windows game engine that will let you create Ace Attorney games (Phoenix Wright style, not Investigations).

I have finished developing the data entry parts (Evidence, Profiles, Animations...), and now I am going to create the Scene Editor.

With this editor, you can create Courtroom scenes.

I am having a particular game-flow design problem here: "choice branches". Basically, the player can select an option from many, and something will happen depending on the choice.

How would you design such thing? I have no problems creating a linear flow (action,action,action...), but things like cross-examination or chatting involve branching from your choices (action, IF did something, do this, IF did something else, do that...)

What would be the most efficient mechanism to organize such branches for my design in the simplest way for the user to understand - I don't want to make it too complex for the user to make a game with the engine.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

A Finite State Machine would seem to fit this type of flow. Users can easily understand a FSM with very little explanation. You might organize individual states such that they have entry and exit events. For instance when you enter the state, graphics/text xyz are displayed.

The exit conditions for each state are simply the choices that the user can choose from. Based on the choice made, you enter a new state or possibly loop back to the existing state. Basic Finite State Machine

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So this is like, say, making a text-based game with Flash keyframes (as in, if choice A, go to keyframe 30, if choice B, go to keyframe 31)? –  Omega Feb 21 '12 at 16:58
    
I'm not sure what question you are asking exactly. Yes, you could let the states be specific keyframes. –  Error 454 Feb 21 '12 at 22:16
    
Thanks. I guess I'll go for this model. –  Omega Feb 23 '12 at 21:01
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