At its heart CoS is all about the Quests, Missions and other types of personal Stories. Our goal was to create a system where every Quest was interesting, unique, and none of them were simple tasks to complete. A story is more than a task, it involves choices that matter to the player.
Example: You have been tasked with bringing a small Kingdom back under Citadel control. Right now the King of that country is fighting a revolutionary group, who wants to throw down the King. Do you back the king and kill the rebels? Or, do you join the revolution and take down the king? You can’t answer this yet; you will need to go into this story and learn things, so that you can try to make an informed decision on your actions, but whatever you choose there is no going back. Your choice will matter, and it will change everything.
But our quests don’t just have a single choice like this, they have many such moments. Not only that, but behind the scenes the game is making choices. This time the king is a minion of Morphael, and you can uncover that fact, but for another player, the King might be on the Citadel’s side, but the rebels are being duped by a Grim Spirit. The only way to know is to play through the story, make your decisions based on things you witness and discover, and arrive at the grand climax with a purpose you have chosen. This is a real story, not a task.
However there are many types of game play options in CoS, long deep stories, mid length, and short all depending on your mood. But if you don’t want those kinds of play, the game offers other things, like Monster Trapping, or Bounty Hunting, where you can seek a criminal (or that guy that knocked you out and stole your sword!). There are many types of stories in CoS.
Your story is very personal to your character and not the same for every player. We do this by using something we wrote called the TrueQuesting module. It works like this, a writer pens a story. They have NO limitations on their story, we tell them to just write a great tale! Next they must put it through our story system to make sure that it has the variety and changes necessary to allow the game to create multiple paths through. Next, that story is given to a Level Designer, who inputs a lot of data (though this does not take long) into the TrueQuesting module. After that, the LD then goes into the game and hand creates the portions of the story that hand work, about 20%, while letting the Enact Tools add the rest.
Example, the story calls for a possible ambush at some stage of the story, the LD does not have to build this.