The Importance of Dialogue

Rayner’s article: Kentucky Route Zero

Games like Kentucky Route Zero rely on dialogue to create a compelling atmosphere to immerse the player. Thoughtful dialogue has the ability to carry a narrative that may be very lacking in gameplay. (Learningames, 2012) The lack of in-game consequence for the player’s dialogue choices serves to create a kind of emergent storytelling in the player’s own head of the protagonist’s character. (Buck, 2015) The dialogue in Kentucky Route Zero effectively immerses the player into the game’s atmospheric world with its effective dialogue and leave a powerful impression on the player. “[Kentucky Route Zero] tells a story which balances the bizarre with the everyday, it communicates so much with so few words.” (Wiltshire, 2016)

Figure 1: (Fourm, 2013)

Kentucky Route Zero allows the player the rare opportunity to decide whom the major characters are, ingeniously mixing emergent character stories with embedded storytelling. (Buck, 2015) Players can enjoy the game without the impending fear of getting a “bad ending”, allowing themselves to immerse with the narrative and their own method of play. (Wiltshire, 2016) Good dialogue is the reason why visual novel games can still compete with action games in popularity, (Cubbison, 2014) and shouldn’t be overlooked.


Buck, I. (2015). Kentucky Route Zero Acts I & II Review. [online] Medium. Available at: [Accessed 4 Jul. 2016].

Cubbison, C. (2014). Is Dialogue Really That Important? – ScreenCraft. [online] ScreenCraft. Available at: [Accessed 4 Jul. 2016].

FOURM, (2013). The Good in Gaming- A report from the Game Developer Conference 2013. [online] design bridger. Available at: [Accessed 4 Jul. 2016].

Learnigames, (2012). The Importance of Dialogue in Gaming. [online] Videogames & Learning (222). Available at: [Accessed 4 Jul. 2016].

Wiltshire, A. (2016). What Makes Kentucky Route Zero’s Dialogue So Good?. [online] Rock Paper Shotgun. Available at: [Accessed 4 Jul. 2016].


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