Jump to content
Silent Winter

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

Dialogue Action Descriptions  

58 members have voted

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

    • I prefer actions in parantheses (pushes the button and votes in poll)
      15
    • I prefer actions in asterisks *pushes the button and votes in poll*
      5
    • "I prefer traditional novel-style" pushes the button and votes in poll
      28
    • I prefer different colours of text for this purpose
      5
    • Other, please specify in post
      2
    • I didn't read the first post before voting
      3


Recommended Posts

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?


_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

*Casts Nature's Terror* :aiee: , *Casts Firebug* :fdevil: , *Casts Rot-Skulls* :skull: , *Casts Garden of Life* :luck: *Spirit-shifts to cat form* :cat:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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 * *

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.


K is for Kid, a guy or gal just like you. Don't be in such a hurry to grow up, since there's nothin' a kid can't do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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) 


I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

village_idiot.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

  • Like 2

knightofchaoss.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.


"Show me a man who "plays fair" and I'll show you a very talented cheater."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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


Squeak!


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.


“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.


_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

*Casts Nature's Terror* :aiee: , *Casts Firebug* :fdevil: , *Casts Rot-Skulls* :skull: , *Casts Garden of Life* :luck: *Spirit-shifts to cat form* :cat:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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


The words freedom and liberty, are diminishing the true meaning of the abstract concept they try to explain. The true nature of freedom is such, that the human mind is unable to comprehend it, so we make a cage and name it freedom in order to give a tangible meaning to what we dont understand, just as our ancestors made gods like Thor or Zeus to explain thunder.

 

-Teknoman2-

What? You thought it was a quote from some well known wise guy from the past?

 

Stupidity leads to willful ignorance - willful ignorance leads to hope - hope leads to sex - and that is how a new generation of fools is born!


We are hardcore role players... When we go to bed with a girl, we roll a D20 to see if we hit the target and a D6 to see how much penetration damage we did.

 

Modern democracy is: the sheep voting for which dog will be the shepherd's right hand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

  • Like 1

“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

This.


"Take your child murderin' god and shove his him up his own ass."-Volorun

 

"...the vote of a black redhead disabled homosexual transsexual Jew should probably be worth the same as at least a hundred white heterosexual Christians."-Rostere

 

"i can think of many women i would gladly sleep with, but not a single one that i would want as a girlfriend/wife... neither real nor fictional."-teknoman2

 

"I'm all for killing dogs in film." - algroth

 

"Iselmyr is the one who did GOMAD... Aloth is lactose intolerant" -ShadySands

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"As an aside, how do you feel about dialogue trees making explicit the skills or stats being checked?" Smithereen scratches his beard. "From the top of my head, the Neverwinter Nights series clearly highlighted both skill checks and 'special' results, while Torment didn't identify anything. I certainly wasn't a fan of the Paragon and Renegade 'click for best results' system in Mass Effect, but I do want to be sure when I'm making a diplomacy roll."

 

1. ['Like' this post]

2. (Diplomacy)

3. [Provide examples]

4. [ignite Flamethrower] "This is the stupidest post I've read all day!"

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember having once zealously defended the coloured options for 10 pages. I know I'm in a minority, but I think that's the way to go to convey tone when it is ambiguous.


Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As untraditional as it is, I find the color coding to be the most effective and obvious way to do it.

Italics instead of color, or bolded for action would also serve.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I prefer not to have my words and actions so irrevocably intertwined.

 

Just because I say I'll press the button shouldn't force me to press the button. I'd rather the words and actions be kept separate, and the actions be done outside of dialogue events.


God used to be my co-pilot, but then we crashed in the Andes and I had to eat him.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I prefer not to have my words and actions so irrevocably intertwined.

 

Just because I say I'll press the button shouldn't force me to press the button. I'd rather the words and actions be kept separate, and the actions be done outside of dialogue events.

Well... I think the idea of in-dialogue actions is that they're supposed to be the subset of actions you could potentially perform under those circumstances, in relation to the dialogue (does it end, does it continue, etc.).

 

I mean, I don't even know how you'd keep something like "*Attack!*" separate from dialogue, as it's merely an indication to the somewhat turn-based nature of the dialogue system that you wish to end the dialogue system and perform some combat related action.

 

Beyond that, I don't know how you'd manually end dialogue, do something like slap someone in the face, or take something from their hand, then re-engage in dialogue. Or how the game would handle you just deciding that kind of precise action. The regular game controls would have to allow for that; for slapping people or snatching something forcefully from someone's hand, as distinct from a simple melee attack or pickpocketing.

 

In other words, how do you handle these things in relation to ongoing dialogue, which changes in reaction to both actions AND words, if not via the dialogue system?


Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...