I use the branching dialogue often, but it still eventually leads to a linear story line no matter what happens. Is there any way to branch the storyline like you can with dialogue?
Right now I can offer Neo both the red pill and the blue pill. But ultimately, he must choose the red pill. Even if he selects the blue pill, he will have to repeat the branching dialogue until he selects the red one. Or his next mission objective will be the same regardless of what choice he makes - both pills will lead down the rabbit hole.
I don't see a way to do that - it seems all I can do is go in a straight line from one objective to the next. I can work around it a little bit by using NPC groups or contexts that aren't tied to a mission objective. You could in essence choose to talk to or battle them, but it isn't the same and the players still end up at whatever the next objective in the storyline is.
I don't see a way to mark an objective, or a set of objectives, in a storyline as "optional" or "conditional".
Also, in a lot of cryptic missions there are multiple objectives going on at once. For example in The Cure you have the mission to free the Klingon captives and the mission to collect the genetic samples "live" at the same time. Let's say I had an overall map mission of "investigate a murder" and I wanted the player to gather evidence, talk to witnesses, and analyze objects around the crime scene. While the player is running around the map, can he have all 3 of these objectives "live" at the same time? All I can figure out is gather ALL the evidence, then you can talk to ALL the witnesses, then you can analyze ALL the objects. You can't talk to 1 of 5 witnesses, then find 1 of 3 pieces of evidence, then analyze 1 or 8 objects from the crime scene. Is there a way to do that I'm missing?