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Yeah, sorry... I just had to edit mine like 50 times to get it the way I meant. I was just wondering if you happen to go the "left-side-right-side" route, if simply right-justifying the right-side people's text works better, or if maybe simply indenting the left margin for it all works better. Just a meager suggestion/exploration.

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

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not too concerned about the staggering but im more interested in the multi-party dialogue.

 

Yes! And I love that whole concept through and through, it sounds great and looks like it could fit in very nicely. I don't have anything further to add on that, which is why I went straight into nitpicker mode~ personal preference-mode on aesthetics/presentation  :p

 

Edited by Osvir
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OK i finally stopped being lazy and did a mock up. Here it is.

dialogue_zps7a2b3492.jpg

 

So in this mock-up, I've pre-selected the party members that I want to be part of the conversation. When the convo starts, their portraits show up. Then I can select between the two party members when making dialogue choices and the computer would take each party member's attributes into account when makign dialogue choices. So for example, I was not successful with Sagani in getting Vertical Slice video updates from Osrnaer, so now I've selected Forton the monk and will flex my strength attribute (or whatever attribute) to threaten him because I know I'd be more successful threatening Osrnaer with a naked monk than with a dwarf ranger. So the next option I'd pick would be Forton threatening him.

 

What do you guys think?

 

Thanks Osvir for the image! It was inspiring.

 

Yes I have a financial concern: you're potentially talking about a lot of artwork in order to support this approach--one portrait for everybody you converse with. That would most likely take away from the other art in the game. Would it be worth it? Or would it make sense to use a smaller number of symbols instead, like banners or heraldic shields, which they can then re-use?

 

The staggered text is more difficult to read; I'd suggest using small indents instead, as you'd use in an e-mail reply.

Edited by rjshae
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"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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Yes I have a financial concern: you're potentially talking about a lot of artwork in order to support this approach--one portrait for everybody you converse with. That would most likely take away from the other art in the game. Would it be worth it? Or would it make sense to use a smaller number of symbols instead, like banners or heraldic shields, which they can then re-use?

 

 

 

The staggered text is more difficult to read; I'd suggest using small indents instead, as you'd use in an e-mail reply.

 

Yes most definitely, that's what I was thinking. I was just using the Innkeeper as a placeholder. Re-use Villager 1 and Villager 2 and so on. But it would be nice to see if some "unique" Quest givers have some "uniqueness" to them.

 

Or just give Faction Insignia's (in a way placeholders), because the second modders get the hand on it, I am sure many of those insignia's might get replaced with a face instead (Much like Baldur's Gate Conversation mods tbh).

 

EDIT: Just want to clarify to Hormalakh that I meant that the multi-party conversation idea is great. 

Edited by Osvir
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not too concerned about the staggering but im more interested in the multi-party dialogue.

Only the main character can speak.Your companions can speak if THEY want, but it won't be in the players control. It will be like PS:T or BG2

 

 

That limits the options that can be offered to players when it comes to getting desirable outcomes. For example, if I know that I'm not a smooth talker or a good threatener, I wouldn't go and take a shot at it myself, i'd send a party member better suited to the task. Ultimately dialogue options are only limited to attributes that the main player has and this is a strict disadvantage to playing these cRPGs. This is a way to correct this deeply flawed tradition in cRPGs. If you don't want the party members to be able to choose specific dialogue options perhaps you can pick the other party members and then give them a command. So for example, you wouldn't get specific lines but you'd get (Ask Forton to threaten) or (Ask Orlan cipher to persuade) and then those attributes could be used.

 

As for the graphics, they don't have to use drawn portraits (I've already mentioned this before): they can just use the isometric model in its stead. You would have some portraits and then the others would just be their isometric models.

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My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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not too concerned about the staggering but im more interested in the multi-party dialogue.

Only the main character can speak.Your companions can speak if THEY want, but it won't be in the players control. It will be like PS:T or BG2

 

Hormalakh has a point though. And there's also a point hiding in what you are saying:

 

How do the enemies react to you bossing your team mates to do your bidding? More importantly, how would your party members react to this command? Could there be a Morale penalty? Leadership penalty? 

 

Is there a "Leadership" Bar in P:E? Is there Morale?

 

For example, Edair might be great at threatening ruffians, but would he threaten the Innkeeper Osmaer? Would he outright neglect you asking him, and even think you are doing the "wrong" thing to even ask him of that? Whisper to Cadegund to charm the guards and she might slap you in the face?

 

I still think multi-party conversations has lots of potential. Thinking a little bit far ahead but, having a multi-party conversation system in PE could set a predecessor for a Multiplayer Multi-Party conversation in a potential PE2. 

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. If you don't want the party members to be able to choose specific dialogue options perhaps you can pick the other party members and then give them a command. So for example, you wouldn't get specific lines but you'd get (Ask Forton to threaten) or (Ask Orlan cipher to persuade) and then those attributes could be used.

 

 

That would be much better.  I'd much prefer characters to have personalities (perhaps they could refuse to threaten someone when you asked if they didn't want to?), rather than having your NPCs being tools for your conversational minmaxing with each party member having maxed out points in one attribute.

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^ This most likely warrants a whole 'nother thread, but... what if, instead of (or in addition to) the typical sort of "how much they like you" system with your companions, you earned "I owe you one"-type points with them? So, in some situation in which you could REALLY use a good lie to get past some door guard, you can get your (for example) pious, ultra-Charismatic Priest to do this for you by spending one of those points?

 

So, kind of Favor Points. The more you do for your companions and the better you treat them, the more Favors they owe you. Instead of just "No, I typically wouldn't do that, and therefore I refuse," or "I'll do it, but now I don't like you."

 

This could come into play for Hormalakh's idea of simply requesting that your other party members perform certain checks/attempts at things, even when they maybe sometimes wouldn't be ultra-inclined to do so.

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

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I must say I really don't like the split dialog layout suggested, it works OK in your example, but won't play nice with varying line lengths and it's a very unnatural way of reading. I much prefer it as it is.
    A note on margins for the dialog window, I'd suggest having them at least 1x the line height of the text (possibly even 2x the line height, though in such a small window that might make the lines of speech look disjointed).
    I really like the amount of words/letters per line, perfect for reading. Aside from the terrible kerning the text is well set for comfortable reading. The contrast is appropriate for onscreen reading, and the cool blue for dialog options is unobtrusive, yet its emphasized enough for it to be obvious that an action is called for.
 
    1.—I don't like what you're suggesting about the margins.
    2.—Your paragraphs are too short for indented paragraphs, ever heard of the Enter key?
    3.—I'm not sure I like the sound of this, prepare to meet the sharp end of my sword!
    4.—I've had enough, goodbye.

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"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"
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The following options are interchangeable (em-dash, colon, or quotation marks to signify speech, italics reserved for descriptive text, calls to action indented [proportionally to line height] for emphasis). HEX colours stolen immediately from screenshot:

 


 

The innkeeper digs inside a mug with a dirty rag before raising his thick eyebrows to your level. A strange silvery tooth appears behind his fat, shiny smile.

 

Osmaer—Welcome! Welcome! Please, make yourself comfortable, traveler.

 

Osmaer—Food's hot and my rooms keep cool. Holler whenever you need, I always got time to spare these days.

 

Osmaer—How can I help ya?

 

    1.—I have questions about the area.

    2.—I want to order food and drinks.

    3.—Let's see what rooms you have.

    4.—Goodbye.

 


 

The innkeeper digs inside a mug with a dirty rag before raising his thick eyebrows to your level. A strange silvery tooth appears behind his fat, shiny smile.

 

Osmaer: Welcome! Welcome! Please, make yourself comfortable, traveler.

 

Osmaer: Food's hot and my rooms keep cool. Holler whenever you need, I always got time to spare these days.

 

Osmaer: How can I help ya?

 

    1: I have questions about the area.

    2: I want to order food and drinks.

    3: Let's see what rooms you have.

    4: Goodbye.

 


 

The innkeeper digs inside a mug with a dirty rag before raising his thick eyebrows to your level. A strange silvery tooth appears behind his fat, shiny smile.

 

Osmaer “Welcome! Welcome! Please, make yourself comfortable, traveler.”

 

Osmaer “Food's hot and my rooms keep cool. Holler whenever you need, I always got time to spare these days.”

 

Osmaer “How can I help ya?”

 

    1. “I have questions about the area.”

    2. “I want to order food and drinks.”

    3. “Let's see what rooms you have.”

    4“Goodbye.”

 

 


 

It's surprising how far your can get with Georgia. Most versatile font ever. I like the em-dash, but the colon option is neatest as it allows you to comfortably get rid of the period after the numbers.

Edited by mstark
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"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"
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Numbers are nice because it clearly indicates that you can use your keyboard numbers instead of clicking on the replies :)

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"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"
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The innkeeper digs inside a mug with a dirty rag before raising his thick eyebrows to your level. A strange silvery tooth appears behind his fat, shiny smile.

 

Osmaer—Welcome! Welcome! Please, make yourself comfortable, traveler.

 

Osmaer—Food's hot and my rooms keep cool. Holler whenever you need, I always got time to spare these days.

 

Osmaer—How can I help ya?

 

    1.—I have questions about the area.

    2.—I want to order food and drinks.

    3.—Let's see what rooms you have.

    4.—Goodbye.

 

That looks nice.

 

However, how would you handle cases where narration and an NPCs speech is intermixed in the same line, like it was often done in PS:T (and I assume the Eternity writers might like to do as well)?

 

Example from PST:

 

ISDkTy9.png

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"Some ideas are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them." -- attributed to George Orwell

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I still think multi-party conversations has lots of potential. Thinking a little bit far ahead but, having a multi-party conversation system in PE could set a predecessor for a Multiplayer Multi-Party conversation in a potential PE2. 

 

 

This wouldn't work, besides which adding MP is a waste of time and resources, mechanically... :- Simply, there's no contextual hook between premade multiplayer characters who have no backstory and reactive dialogue options in a PS:T-like game, and then there's no reason at all to allow other players to control existing companions in the dialogue sense because the entire point is that the companions have significant backstory and relevant hooks to other NPC interactions outside a player's control. This is a single-player game. And don't bother suggesting that a multi-player controlled vanilla party should just have reactive dialogue options in the "hive mind" sense all derived from the head party member's control, because we get back to the 2012 developer comments that MP is a bad idea for heavy SP content unless you want crappy MP implementation (and I'd be fine with that--make it real crappy and avoid sacrificing anything in SP).

 

BG2 and PS:T handled "multi-party" conversation a little bit differently, but it's highly contextual to pre-written companion backstory and the given NPC/quest situation. For example, in BG2 you could speak to that one vendor NPC using Jaheira or your PC and the reaction would be different, but if Jaheira did it, it's not like the player had any control over dialogue choices.  Or in PS:T you could ask Dak'kon to interact with Fell as translator or you could just do it yourself, with varying degrees of success and control.

 

@Ineth: I prefer PS:T's mixed handling. Each additional NPC dialogue line is basically a return carriage, so to speak.

 

Osmaer— The innkeeper digs inside a mug with a dirty rag before raising his thick eyebrows to your level. A strange, silvery tooth appears behind his fat, shiny smile. "Welcome! Welcome! Please, make yourself comfortable, traveler."

 

Osmaer— "Food's hot and my rooms keep cool. Holler whenever you need, I always got time to spare these days. How can I help ya?"

 

    1. "I have questions about the area."

    2. "I want to order food and drinks."

    3. "Let's see what rooms you have."

    4. "Goodbye."

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The KS Collector's Edition does not include the Collector's Book.

Which game hook brought you to Project Eternity and interests you the most?

PE will not have co-op/multiplayer, console, or tablet support (sources): [0] [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Write your own romance mods because there won't be any in PE.

"But what is an evil? Is it like water or like a hedgehog or night or lumpy?" -(Digger)

"Most o' you wanderers are but a quarter moon away from lunacy at the best o' times." -Alvanhendar (Baldur's Gate 1)

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Good point, Ineth. If it were to be adapted for P:E I would change the en-dash for a colon, don't quote me on it but I believe that makes more sense in the context. I would keep italics for descriptive text that is not an immediate part of the interaction. I'd also get rid of the uneven indentation they used for the dialogue, it's not required since there's line spacing between paragraphs. Using a colon after "Truth" in combination with the quotes makes sense here, as it's not used as a segmental, but acts as a syntastical-descriptive.

 


 

The cave's dank air assaults your senses, and you struggle to focus as the woman addresses you.

 

Ravel: The woman digs inside her mug with a dirty rag before raising her thick eyebrows to your level. “I see you have not forgotten…” Ravel smiles, her yellow fangs gleaming. “What is your answer?”

 

    1. Truth: “I… don't know.”

    2. Truth: “Love.”

    3. Truth: “Hate.”

    4Truth: “Power.”

    5“I would rather answer this question at another time. Goodbye.”

 


Adapted, then, it'd look like:

 


 

With the stench of spilled ale, rotting hay, and firewood assaulting your senses you approach the man standing behind the bar.

 

Osmaer: The innkeeper digs inside a mug with a dirty rag before raising his thick eyebrows to your level. “Welcome! Welcome! Please, make yourself comfortable, traveler.”

 

Osmaer: “Food's hot and my rooms keep cool. Holler whenever you need, I always got time to spare these days.” A strange silvery tooth appears behind his fat, shiny smile.

 

Osmaer: “How can I help ya?”

 

Thunder strikes in the distance as you consider your options.

 

    1. “I have questions about the area.”

    2. “I want to order food and drinks.”

    3. “Let's see what rooms you have.”

    4. “Goodbye.”

Edited by mstark
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"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"
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5. "I hope you're not giving me a mug cleaned with that"

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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.
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@mstark

 

Yeah, that might work. However it looks a little weird to me to have some descriptive/narrative snippets in italics, but others not. Why not also make them italic if they appear in-line? This is how your example would look with this change:

 

 


With the stench of spilled ale, rotting hay, and firewood assaulting your senses you approach the man standing behind the bar.

Osmaer: The innkeeper digs inside a mug with a dirty rag before raising his thick eyebrows to your level. “Welcome! Welcome! Please, make yourself comfortable, traveler.”

Osmaer: “Food's hot and my rooms keep cool. Holler whenever you need, I always got time to spare these days.” A strange silvery tooth appears behind his fat, shiny smile.

Osmaer: “How can I help ya?”

Thunder strikes in the distance as you consider your options.
 
    1. “I have questions about the area.”
    2. “I want to order food and drinks.”
    3. “Let's see what rooms you have.”
    4. “Goodbye.”



  Edited by Ineth
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"Some ideas are so stupid that only an intellectual could believe them." -- attributed to George Orwell

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Pretend Excerpt from Project Eternity Game Log 23/08/2013:
 
As you make your way through the debris, the smell of rotten flesh makes you cringe.
 
Wicht: Mommy?
Wicht: attacks Forton
PAUSED
Cadegund: Yes?
Cadegund: I shall rip your limbs off!
Cadegund: attacks Wicht
Aloth: Sire?
Aloth: Any time.
Aloth: casts Lightning
UNPAUSED
Wicht: misses Forton (attack roll: 4 + 2 = 6)
Cadegund: hits Wicht for 12 stamina and 3 health (attack roll: 8 + 2 = 10)
Aloth: hits Wicht for 16 stamina and 4 health.
Aloth: hits Forton for 22 stamina and 5 health.
Wicht is unconscious.
Forton: Ugh
Forton is unconscious.
Cadegund: hits Wicht for 4 stamina and 1 health (attack roll: 12 + 2 = 14)
Wicht dies.

Aloth: What is it now?
Aloth: Sure.
Aloth: casts Restore Stamina
Forton gains 6 stamina.

 

The stench of spilled ale, rotting hay, and firewood assaults your senses as you enter the inn.

 

Edair: Huh?

Edair: Sure thing!

Osmaer: The innkeeper digs inside a mug with a dirty rag before raising his thick eyebrows to your level. “Welcome! Welcome! Please, make yourself comfortable, traveler.”

Osmaer: “Food's hot and my rooms keep cool. Holler whenever you need, I always got time to spare these days.” A strange silvery tooth appears behind his fat, shiny smile.

 

Thunder strikes in the distance as you consider your options.

 

Cadegund: We should rest until the storm passes.

 

Edair: “We're in a hurry. We better be on our way soon.

 

Osmaer: “How can I help ya?

 
    1. “I have questions about the area.”
    2. “I want to order food and drinks.”
    3. “Let's see what rooms you have.”
    4. “Goodbye.”

Edited by mstark
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"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"
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@Ineth,

I believe there should be a difference made between descriptive text that is not part of interaction, and descriptive text that is, hence the italics when there is no preceding "Name:" (i.e. when the descriptive text does not belong to anyone). Also, italicizing all of it makes it a pain to read!

 

In other words, I think interaction should read as a book (PS:T style), with the P:E style descriptions adding manuscript style flavor.

Edited by mstark
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"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"
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I don't think I'm going to add anything new to the discussion but I love the choice of a serif font. I find it the easiest to read. I loved the font in Planescape Torment and I think the closer it is to Times New Roman the better.

 

I would love to see an option to scale the font size, too - it's often either too small or too big and having some control over it would be very welcome.

 

Oh, and thank you for the update - very informative and can't wait for more :)

Edited by soulburner
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I still think multi-party conversations has lots of potential. Thinking a little bit far ahead but, having a multi-party conversation system in PE could set a predecessor for a Multiplayer Multi-Party conversation in a potential PE2. 

 

 

This wouldn't work, besides which adding MP is a waste of time and resources, mechanically... :- Simply, there's no contextual hook between premade multiplayer characters who have no backstory and reactive dialogue options in a PS:T-like game, and then there's no reason at all to allow other players to control existing companions in the dialogue sense because the entire point is that the companions have significant backstory and relevant hooks to other NPC interactions outside a player's control. This is a single-player game. And don't bother suggesting that a multi-player controlled vanilla party should just have reactive dialogue options in the "hive mind" sense all derived from the head party member's control, because we get back to the 2012 developer comments that MP is a bad idea for heavy SP content unless you want crappy MP implementation (and I'd be fine with that--make it real crappy and avoid sacrificing anything in SP).

 

BG2 and PS:T handled "multi-party" conversation a little bit differently, but it's highly contextual to pre-written companion backstory and the given NPC/quest situation. For example, in BG2 you could speak to that one vendor NPC using Jaheira or your PC and the reaction would be different, but if Jaheira did it, it's not like the player had any control over dialogue choices.  Or in PS:T you could ask Dak'kon to interact with Fell as translator or you could just do it yourself, with varying degrees of success and control.

I didn't say "Make PE Multiplayer". I was speculating that if Obsidian plans their code ahead, maybe they can do some work towards a Multiplayer experience in a sequel. Because I suspect that if Obsidian makes a PE2 they are going to re-use a lot of what they are doing for PE1.

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