You guys might know by now, be it via my multiple choice fan fictions or my love for dialogue options in RPGs, that I am a sucker for player choice.
More recently I have been turning the idea over and over in my head that this could be applied to mapping. Using triggers and trigger conditions, you could create a short map that could be replayed a number of times and each player might have a different experience. What's more, you can have minor choices within these choices to expand on the idea even more so. Here's a quick example I had in my head one evening while walking to the car.
The player and their allies need to power up a teleportation system using a unique power module. This module is common, used by a number of nearby systems, so there are a number of options available to the player.
Option 1 - The Cargo Area
The cargo area uses a power module to power its heavier equipment. This is not being used currently. as the cargo area is being used as an outpost by the marines. You can go in guns blazing and take them out, or you can use a ventilation system to sneak into the area and take the module with minimal amount of fuss from the grunts. This might depend on a choice the player made much earlier which determines which weapons they currently have available. In the end, whether you take out the grunts or not, you have a power module
Options 2 - Help the marines
Prior to heading into the cargo area, there is a service window with a call button. Using this causes one of the grunts to come to the window. After speaking with one of your allies, (the player is mute after all) the grunt says they will hand over the module if you go into the basement and deal with a rogue scientist who is causing them problems (hacking into the security system and activating various defenses to keep the grunts from progressing).
The player heads into the basement, dealing with automated security systems like turrets, laser grids, tripmines, etc. Once they reach the scientist, they can kill them outright, prompting a message from the grunts and they provide the module via some automated delivery system or a cargo elevator or something.
Option 3 - Help the scientist
Alternatively, the scientist will offer the player a unique weapon and a power module stored in the basement if they escort them to a locked door. The player can have the scientist follow them, but doing this will trigger a hostile response from the grunts. A squad of grunts pour into the basement after the scientist unlocks the door and the player gets the module.
Option 4 - Security systems
Finally, the player can go to a new area entirely and take a power module from a security station. Taking this will cause hostile aliens to flood into the area as the countermeasures are taken offline, but the player might get plenty of ammo and medical supplies from the area.
On top of all of these choices, you could trigger different responses from your allies when you return to them, depending on how you handled the situation. This can all be done within one map, or a series of maps, and while it might result in a lot of work for an ultimately shorter gameplay experience, it would greatly improve the replay value. Or maybe it would be a huge waste of time. What do you guys think?