Hi all, While I was working on the script for my upcoming game (unapologetic plug; link in my signature), I came across an interesting problem which I think would make for good discussion: Is there any way to let the player move the narrative forward on their own terms while also making sure they've done everything they need to in the section of the game? Of course, the immediate problem is that characters may have to reference an event that just happened, and in a mystery game like the one I'm writing, that means that it's possible that certain clues will be lost to the player. Should the player risk losing certain clues by moving the narrative along then? My only solution is to make sure that all the mandatory clues are basically given to the player, but I hate feeling like I'm railroading them to even give them the basics. On the other hand, I could provide the player with a roadblock. A character could not give you a key until you've found all the things in the area, but I feel like that would be a bit demeaning to the player outside of a tutorial. To further elaborate for any who are lost on my meaning, take this example: Our hero gets locked in a room by the murderer, and when he escapes, a number of people have changed location, but in changing their location, some characters would be inaccessible to talk to. Now the player cannot get the clues he could before the locking incident. I'd love to know your thoughts; if you've encountered this problem before; how you solved it; if you had a case of this outside the mystery genre.