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Please don't ban exposition from dialouge


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J.E Sawyer made this comment on Something Awful yesterday:

 

Putting mundane exposition into dialogue is, IMO, often a huge waste of the designers' and players' time. If conversation is not furthering player or NPC characterization and conflict, I think it's being ill-used. If straight exposition needs to be part of a "proper" conversation, I think it should be split off from whatever the main conflict of the character(s) is. But really, in that case, you've essentially just turned an NPC into an encyclopedia (especially if it's literally something like asking an unnamed character how to get to a location).

 

Here's the thing. I loved asking people in Planescape: Torment about random things. I loved hearing their view of Sigil, the Lady of Pain, Pharod and whatnot. It gave the world and the charachters depth to me.

 

I don't need every bit of dialouge to further my charachter or the NPC. It's not necessary. Sometimes I just want to do small-talk. Sometimes I want to hear about the world through an NPC.

 

Please, Sawyer. Don't take this away. Especially if this game is a spiritual successor to the IE games.

 

Also please, don't make me feel like the world only exists as a videogame world. Incidental details and thing that go beyond the central conflict and the player quests do a great deal making me feel *~immersed~*, in a way that the first-person perspective, full voice-acting, etc. simply don't really manage.

 

I'm in agreement completely with both of these. Just putting that out there in case the devs pass through this thread. :yes:

 

Edit: I should probably read more than just the first few posts in a thread. I see Josh has posted and made my second statement above unneccesary. :facepalm:

Edited by GhostofAnakin

"Console exclusive is such a harsh word." - Darque

"Console exclusive is two words Darque." - Nartwak (in response to Darque's observation)

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I want to follow up on this because I think it's important. If you've played Icewind Dale II, consider Targos. There are virtually no unnamed characters in that town and a bunch of named characters with specific personalities and issues. I like that community and the way we wrote the dialogue in it. I liked it then and I like it now. Important information is easy to get to, characters talk about things they care about, and lore/information is (typically) presented from their perspective. I'd like dialogue to be structured and presented in a similar way.

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I want to follow up on this because I think it's important. If you've played Icewind Dale II, consider Targos. There are virtually no unnamed characters in that town and a bunch of named characters with specific personalities and issues. I like that community and the way we wrote the dialogue in it. I liked it then and I like it now. Important information is easy to get to, characters talk about things they care about, and lore/information is (typically) presented from their perspective. I'd like dialogue to be structured and presented in a similar way.

 

If you take that as a model for what to do in Project Eternity, then you can't go wrong.

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A small aside: maybe JES is subtly suggesting that they're going to avoid abstract humor that has no place in the personality of the NPC. Perhaps they'll avoid NPCs that have no place in the world they're describing simply because it's their own license and own world. You see, when you make your own world you don't to need write in paratrooping clowns to save your own sanity as a writer, you can just write what you feel belongs there.

"This is what most people do not understand about Colbert and Silverman. They only mock fictional celebrities, celebrities who destroy their selfhood to unify with the wants of the people, celebrities who are transfixed by the evil hungers of the public. Feed us a Gomorrah built up of luminous dreams, we beg. Here it is, they say, and it looks like your steaming brains."

 

" If you've read Hart's Hope, Neveryona, Infinity Concerto, Tales of the Flat Earth, you've pretty much played Dragon Age."

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