Take a look at the color picture on page 5.
In this game, you play Terrence Sloan, a special-forces operative. As your best friend, James, dies in battle, he asks that you look after his 16-year-old daughter Corrina.
When you meet her, she's distraught over her father's death, but also alienated and unhappy in life. She's a withdrawn misfit.
She's kidnapped by the creatures of Shadowland, a world that can only be entered between twilight and night. The inhabitants there are fairies and other mythical creatures. They didn't always live in Shadowland; they fled there as the ranks of mankind swelled and forced them out of our realm.
When you come upon Corrina, she doesn't remember you, her father, or her prior existence. Though she was a gloomy misfit in her former life, here she fits right in. In fact, her mind and soul are now threaded into this world and have brought it new life. She's a sort of empress here.
Of course, because she doesn't remember anyone or anything from her past, she doesn't want to come with you back to your world.
You have a tough choice:
There may not be a right or wrong choice, but wrestling with it will make the player face some potentially deep issues.
Although giving a player Emotionally and/or Morally Difficult Decisions is just one of many First-Person Deepening Techniques, it's among the most difficult to achieve. That's because it implies a splitting of the path the player is taking, and that, in turn, means building assets that at least some of the players won't see (unless they play the game again and take the alternative path).
So while it might be easy to theoretically design and build tough decisions for the player to make, it's very difficult to build in meaningful choices like this that result in First-Person Deepening and still do it cost-effectively.
As pointed out earlier in this chapter, one solution is to have the player's choice result in meaningful short-term consequences, combined with some long-term consequences that don't cost much to implement.
The obvious question is: Is it worth it? Of course it depends on the game, but if this technique is employed in a cost-effective way, then I feel it certainly enhances the emotional depth of the game.