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How do you prefer writers to handle action descriptions / narrative in dialogue mode?

dialogue dialog action narrative

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Poll: Dialogue Action Descriptions (58 member(s) have cast votes)

How do you prefer writers to handle actions or other narrative in dialogues?

  1. I prefer actions in parantheses (pushes the button and votes in poll) (15 votes [25.86%])

    Percentage of vote: 25.86%

  2. I prefer actions in asterisks *pushes the button and votes in poll* (5 votes [8.62%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.62%

  3. "I prefer traditional novel-style" pushes the button and votes in poll (28 votes [48.28%])

    Percentage of vote: 48.28%

  4. I prefer different colours of text for this purpose (5 votes [8.62%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.62%

  5. Other, please specify in post (2 votes [3.45%])

    Percentage of vote: 3.45%

  6. I didn't read the first post before voting (3 votes [5.17%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.17%

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#1
Silent Winter

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Just musing over a point that I've noticed while playing PST recently.

 

I've played a lot of IE games and installed various mods as well.  Different writers use a different style to accomodate describing actions / other narrative as part of the dialogue.

Some use (parentheses), some use *asterisks*, some use traditional "speech in quotes".

Just wondering how you prefer it to be handled.

 

Examples:

 

You'll have to pay for that! (her eyes dart between your party members, trying to keep you all in sight)

1. Ok, we'll pay

2. (Attack her)

3. (Run away)

 

You'll have to pay for that! *her eyes dart between your party members, trying to keep you all in sight*

1. Ok, we'll pay

2. *Attack her*

3. *Run away*

 

"You'll have to pay for that!" her eyes dart between your party members, trying to keep you all in sight.

1. "Ok, we'll pay"

2. Attack her

3. Run away

 

You'll have to pay for that! her eyes dart between your party members, trying to keep you all in sight

1. Ok, we'll pay

2. Attack her

3. Run away

 

Or is there a better way?



#2
Malekith

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The last is an abomination. Kill it NOW!

The rest i have no problem with, even if my personal preference is the novel approach or maybe the * *


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#3
Karkarov

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The quotes make the most sense.  There is no reason to highly "run away / attack her" in any way in game though.  It is fairly obvious those aren't dialog options and what they are going to result in.



#4
Pshaw

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I prefer the novel style in the body text. For the choices themselves I think *'s or ()'s work better to delinate between an action and converstation pieces. Italics also work.



#5
Orogun01

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I don't mind either style as long as there is a logic to the presentation of the choices, meaning that I get what I choose not a different line of dialog (e.g: ME, DA2) 



#6
Remmirath

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I definitely prefer the traditional novel style, but the only example there that would actually bother me is the different colors. 


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#7
Tale

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Personal preference is irrelevant to me. As long as they are consistent and play to their strengths.

Though I have a particular aversion to asterisks.

#8
Tsuga C

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Novel style, please.



#9
mcmanusaur

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Quotes for character speech, and parentheses for character actions, methinks, with meta-game text (like interface tooltips or description of mechanics) using neither.


Edited by mcmanusaur, 10 August 2013 - 01:13 PM.

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#10
kjrubberducky

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I like the novel style the best, but the descriptive/action text should have something unique, too, like maybe italics or something.



#11
LadyCrimson

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I like asterisks. :p

 

...but in a game environment, I don't really care much, as long as the grammar use or an overuse of tortured slang/cliched sayings/colloquialisms don't make my eyes bleed.



#12
Silent Winter

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The last is an abomination. Kill it NOW!

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought that (but I had to include it in the poll anyway)

 

I'm torn between liking novel-style and liking parantheses (perhaps because many BG-mods used parentheses).

 

I guess I don't really mind as long as it's consistent.



#13
teknoman2

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im fine with anything... but you forgot these [ ]



#14
mcmanusaur

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The issue with pure narrative style for me is that it doesn't feel like a character's actions should be narrated in first person or third person, unless that narration is present through the whole game.



#15
LadyCrimson

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The issue with pure narrative style for me is that it doesn't feel like a character's actions should be narrated in first person or third person, unless that narration is present through the whole game.

I kinda feel that way sometimes. That weird in-between world of novel and film, fitting neither. Or something.

 

I'd probably prefer a method more like:

 

The woman approaches, glancing aggressively around at you and your party as she speaks:

"You'll have to pay for that!"

 

1. Ok, we'll pay

2. (Attack her)

3. (Run away)

 

....mostly because it feels like a more natural reading rhythm than a dialogue-line followed by separated [ action ] text. (edit) I refer to the set up line - the 1,2,3 choices don't matter to me since I consider them the given player options.


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#16
Malekith

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The issue with pure narrative style for me is that it doesn't feel like a character's actions should be narrated in first person or third person, unless that narration is present through the whole game.

Worked for me in Torment.



#17
mcmanusaur

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The issue with pure narrative style for me is that it doesn't feel like a character's actions should be narrated in first person or third person, unless that narration is present through the whole game.

I kinda feel that way sometimes. That weird in-between world of novel and film, fitting neither. Or something.

 

I'd probably prefer a method more like:

 

The woman approaches, glancing aggressively around at you and your party as she speaks:

"You'll have to pay for that!"

 

1. Ok, we'll pay

2. (Attack her)

3. (Run away)

 

....mostly because it feels like a more natural reading rhythm than a dialogue-line followed by separated [ action ] text. (edit) I refer to the set up line - the 1,2,3 choices don't matter to me since I consider them the given player options.

 

 

 

The issue with pure narrative style for me is that it doesn't feel like a character's actions should be narrated in first person or third person, unless that narration is present through the whole game.

Worked for me in Torment.

 

Yeah, I was actually specifically referring to the dialogue options, rather than the narration of other characters' speech and action, which I do believe can be handled with third person in the manner that LadyCrimson suggests. I guess that actually shares some similarities with scripts:

 

Conventional prose method

The man casually waves to his acquaintance. "Yo dawg."

 

Script method

[The man casually waves to his acquaintance.]

Man: "Yo dawg."

 

1. [wave back] "Holla!"

2. [nod once] "Sup!"

 

Re: brackets to parentheses I'm not decided, but I think presenting dialogue in script format is acceptable.


Edited by mcmanusaur, 11 August 2013 - 08:02 AM.


#18
KaineParker

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Quotes for character speech, and parentheses for character actions, methinks, with meta-game text (like interface tooltips or description of mechanics) using neither.


This.

#19
smithereen

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Smithereen peruses the thread. "Interesting," he states, "I never really have given much thought to this subject. I find prose-style to be the most natural, but that's probably just what I am used to, since I encourage speaking that way in my tabletop roleplaying group."

 

1. [Nod]

2. (Diplomacy) "Let me rid you of a few misconceptions..."

3. [Ignite Flamethrower] "You'll pay for that!"


Edited by smithereen, 11 August 2013 - 03:08 PM.

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#20
Lephys

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The quotes make the most sense.  There is no reason to highly "run away / attack her" in any way in game though.  It is fairly obvious those aren't dialog options and what they are going to result in.


So... what happens when you're discussing some female person with a female person, and she asks "What do you think we should do about this?", and one of your options is "Attack her."?

Are you telling her that you think this being-discussed female person should be attacked, or are you telling the game that you wish for your character to attack the female with whom you're currently speaking?

Riddle me that, Batman.


Also, for what it's worth, I feel that the literal "do this" listings of actions aren't out of place in a list of dialogue options, since the options from which you're choosing are actually just actions that happen to all be dialogue. In other words, the dialogue UI is basically telling you "Here's what was just said. How do you react?", and each line of text with quotes around it is the same thing as "Say:" followed by the line your character will be saying.

That doesn't mean there aren't alternative methods that are also viable, but I don't have any problem with the way that kind of... syntax, for lack of a better word.

Edited by Lephys, 12 August 2013 - 02:54 PM.






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