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What flavors of voice do you guys want to see in dialogue options?


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I ask all of our designers, area or narrative, to provide responses that they feel would spring to various characters' minds.  I encourage them to make heavy use of our personality reputation system, but only to provide specific types of responses when they feel like they would naturally flow from the conversation.  This means that when it doesn't seem like the character would naturally say something witty or cruel (for example), we don't try to force that reply into the node.  We do try to provide regular "play it straight" replies so the player doesn't feel shoehorned into picking an uncharacteristic response.  That said, occasionally those responses are in tense or crazy situations and will earn you a reputation for being stoic.

 

The important thing is to give the player a good range that feels appropriate and entertaining, then work out the gameplay implications as a secondary concern.

Would you say the spreading of reputation would be dependent not only on the location but also on the position/rank of the individual you do a task for?

 

For example, if I had a character that saved a king from being assassinated, naturally you would get into his good graces and word about your deed would spread far wide.

 

Now lets say I helped out a man who lives outside of society from getting eaten by a group of wild animals, I wouldn't expect to have my reputation rise too much or even at all. 

 

 

3- i don't like dialogues that keep going back to a higher node. it should be a conversation with a beginning and an end. you shouldn't be able to ask 100 things from someone and keep asking them over and over again. dialogue should pay like a resource. you can get specific information from people, but only a set amount. if you want new information you have to ask a new person.

What if 'you' missed a detail during one of the questions your character asked? Usually the highest dialogue node is along with lines of, "Is there something else you wanted to ask?" I mean can you honestly tell me in real life you have never said, "Can you please repeat that?" or if someone asks you to do something and you go back to follow up with them on how your doing that task to make sure its what they wanted.

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Would you say the spreading of reputation would be dependent not only on the location but also on the position/rank of the individual you do a task for?

 

For example, if I had a character that saved a king from being assassinated, naturally you would get into his good graces and word about your deed would spread far wide.

 

Now lets say I helped out a man who lives outside of society from getting eaten by a group of wild animals, I wouldn't expect to have my reputation rise too much or even at all. 

 

When we increment reputations, we use a weighting based on how big of a deal that specific interaction/action is.  If you save the king from being assassinated, that would count as the highest weighting of rep bump.  If you save Joe Dirtfarmer from the wolves in the middle of nowhere, it will a) probably be small and b) if it's a regional rep, will likely be only for that region.

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Part of the problem is this idea that dialogue should be quantified in some way. The example given about the +2 good/-2 evil, etc is really, in my opinion, the wrong way to be creating dialogue in the first place. A few thoughts.

 

1- Dialogue should generally toggle flags as opposed to numerical responses, and these flags should be followed for the greater characters in dialogue. Flags should toggle for certain things asked, said, or not said. then those flags should activate or deactivate certain dialogue nodes.

Though a large list of enumerated flags, I believe this is key, in that, every conversation has it's own value to things, and as such, a series of events should be tracked, instead of some ethical reputation value. The ethical/reputation value is, itself, instrinsic to the event, not to some generic value of character, and must exist and only exist within the public, and not in some other-wordly, supernatural way (i.e. Fable's horns/halo, ME2's glowing red scars/normal face.) Tracking reputation meters only limit expression of the gamer, if such future expressions/choices exist within a cummulative score.

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Though a large list of enumerated flags, I believe this is key, in that, every conversation has it's own value to things, and as such, a series of events should be tracked, instead of some ethical reputation value. The ethical/reputation value is, itself, instrinsic to the event, not to some generic value of character, and must exist and only exist within the public, and not in some other-wordly, supernatural way (i.e. Fable's horns/halo, ME2's glowing red scars/normal face.) Tracking reputation meters only limit expression of the gamer, if such future expressions/choices exist within a cummulative score.

Lucky for us, I believe PoE is taking the "meter" out of "reputation meter." :)

 

(Well, there could still technically be a sort of meter, but... it's not one big meter, is the point...)

Edited by Lephys

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 know this may not be a popular opinion but I liked aspects of Dragon Age: Origins social system. The party system was reminiscent of KoTORII in many ways, since your influence and reputation to the people around you counted for more than any alignment 'points' you had accrued.

I think this is a more mature system than is often implemented in games and that the simple "Good-Neutral-Evil" trifecta is reductive and should be avoided for the sake of creating worthwhile interactions with NPCs. Also, options that allow for lying would make things interesting :p

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Doesn't give a ****?  --  "Waylaid by bandits?  That's nice, I'll leave you to that.", "I don't know... that cave's kinda far..."

Noble-raised? -- "Are you kidding?  There's spiders in there.", "I don't suppose this backwater ghetto has a decent inn, hmm?"

 

If you had ever had the joy of running a tabletop rpg for characters whose concept is basically 'I boycott the game', you wouldn't propose such dialogue options. Just hit the 'Farewell'-option everytime someone talks to your character. :ermm:

 

Bsides, from the looks of it, noples in Eternity are warrior-elite and rulers, not fancy layabouts who spend their days wasting money and attending diner parties...

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If you had ever had the joy of running a tabletop rpg for characters whose concept is basically 'I boycott the game', you wouldn't propose such dialogue options. Just hit the 'Farewell'-option everytime someone talks to your character. :ermm:

 

Bsides, from the looks of it, noples in Eternity are warrior-elite and rulers, not fancy layabouts who spend their days wasting money and attending diner parties...

 

Which also brings up the wider "evil answer" problem that was pervasive through all of the infinity engine games - that the evil option to "good" quests (which were far more common than their evil counterparts) most often just meant refusing the quest, and the exp.

 

"No, but..." is fine, but in the average quest-giving dialogue "No, not at all" really runs against the spirit - hell, almost the whole concept - of the game.

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That said, occasionally those responses are in tense or crazy situations and will earn you a reputation for being stoic.

That's actually quite brilliant. That said, I wonder if Eternity will allow for roleplaying characters that are slightly... Off. Not full out "wear-your-face-as-underwear-and-speak-Esperanto" crazy, but enough to have access to responses in a completely bizarre tone?

 

One can only dream of playing E.A. PoE Malkavian-style.

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[ The Vault ] [ The Wasteland Wiki ] [ Pillars of Eternity Wiki ] [ Tyranny Wiki ]


 


My, that's a whole lot of wikis!


Why, thank you, I love them.

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Considering the average protagonist in an rpg's life, one suspects there would be a good proportion of characters who crack under the burden the plot usually places upon them, I too would really like a few more extreme personalities and answers.

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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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Despite some problems, I think PST is still the gold standard for highly reactive dialogue that never feels inappropriate to a given situation. Which, in a way, is why I think that "RPGs then vs. RPGs now" picture is funny, but ultimately misleading. There were more options "then," for sure, but A) the conversation with Ravel is unique even in PST, as alanschu pointed out; B) that conversation has only one mechanical outcome, and the Dragon Age 2 conversation has at least two and maybe three, which means that the two pictures could just as easily give the false impression that RPGs have become more reactive; C) if you were to compare that DA2 picture with a picture of an average interaction from, say, Baldur's Gate 1, the contrast wouldn't be nearly as pronounced; and D) a lot of RPGs "then" were just as unresponsive to player input in dialogue as most RPGs "now."

 

There are, of course, more useful things the contrast reveals: how much value old-school players place on options in conversation even when they're mechanically useless, for example, or the value of contextually appropriate responses as opposed to Good/Neutral/Bad.

 

(On a related note, isn't "I'm hungry" ultimately an even meaner response than "Get out of here?" At least "Get out of here" shows that you've been paying attention!)

 

Anyway, to address the topic more directly, one thing I hope PoE will have is PST's "Lie: blahblahblah" responses. They weren't necessarily more in-depth mechanically, as most of them never really paid off, but they allowed for additional character definition, which is in some ways just as important.

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I just want options that make sense for a given situation. You don't just need to have the utilitarian line, the lawful line, the evil line, and the snarky line. You can have multiple responses of each sort of flavor depending on the situation... maybe none of those at all. I'd prefer to keep the raving psychopath out all together if that's possible at all. Maybe keep some of those in if there's just the understanding that you're trying to intimidate someone or just look genuinely crazy. Some options for unintelligent morons would be great too.

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Noble-raised? -- "Are you kidding?  There's spiders in there.", "I don't suppose this backwater ghetto has a decent inn, hmm?"

A noble should not have such poor grammar that they would state "There's spiders in there." Nobles do not use contractions.

 

Pipyui, you must not end sentences with prepositions.

 

 

 

 

Well, just imagine a nun smacking you with a ruler now.

 

Edited by AGX-17
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I think a good foundation would be to produce a variety of options based on potential motivations, rather than personalities/speaker-types, etc. Or, at least it could be a first check. If no one would ever have a motive to do that, then it doesn't really matter if it fits any of the character types you're after. Like the witty person running into a situation in which there's just plain no reason to be witty.

 

Then, on top of that, as a second layer, you could have various "flavors." If your motivation is information, you could have various different ways of seeking further info via dialogue option, depending on the particular speaker in question. Maybe you threaten. Maybe you joke. Maybe you "Yeah yeah, get to the point already!". Maybe you're super intellectual and have an "academic" (for lack of a better word) interest in almost everything anyone has to say about anything.

 

Another general guide is just sort of speaking types. Maybe you say the same thing, but speak formally, or maybe you use contractions and/or slang a lot. Maybe you're polite, or maybe you're blunt and to-the-point, ignoring formalities.

 

Also, I'm fond of the "..." options (simply remain silent), but it might be quite nice to have various "action" options there. You know... like "... [fold arms]", or "... [glare]", or "... [roll eyes]", etc.

 

It just seems like when I simply choose silence, I kinda hafta guess what it is my character is actually doing. Do they just seem like they didn't hear the other person? Do they seem to be ignoring them? Or is it clear they're being actively silent, on purpose, in direct response to what was said?

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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We don't make reputation checks to see what personality options are available to you.  Personality options are what give you your disposition reputations.  NPCs react to those reputations after you build them.  If there's an option to be a jerk in a node of dialogue, your previous disposition options don't gate that at all.  If you spend half of the game being really benevolent and the second half stomping on kids' toys, you'll develop reputations for being sort of benevolent and sort of cruel.  The former doesn't limit your ability to select choices that influence the latter.

 

Choosing to remain silent is always blank-slate conscious lack of response unless we specifically state you're doing something else as part of the selection.  If you're glaring or folding your arms we wouldn't roll that in with a [Remain silent] option.  When attached to a personality type, it's usually Stoic (when being directly addressed and you choose to not respond) or Diplomatic (when two people are arguing and you choose to not interject).

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Would I be able to get an accurate read on my own personality by playing the game and seeing how the world reacts to me? (if my choices are consistent with how I would react in real life)
If yes, that would be pretty cool indeed. 

Allthough, given the situations that will be prestented to us, I'm sure most of us would run away at first sight of a very scary looking monster, giant sword or not!

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Blood and honor

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We don't make reputation checks to see what personality options are available to you

I didn't mean to suggest reputation checks to determine dialogue options in the game. I was just kinda sipping on my bubble pipe, and pondering dialogue options from a "You've got an RPG full of stuff, and you need to write dialogue for it... GO!" approach. Sorry. I know I'm androidishly confusing at times, and by "at times," I mean "mostly always." 8P

 

Still, I dig the specific infos. :)

 

Choosing to remain silent is always blank-slate conscious lack of response unless we specifically state you're doing something else as part of the selection.  If you're glaring or folding your arms we wouldn't roll that in with a [Remain silent] option.  When attached to a personality type, it's usually Stoic (when being directly addressed and you choose to not respond) or Diplomatic (when two people are arguing and you choose to not interject).

That's good to know. I was thinking of The Walking Dead game. Which, don't get me wrong, I still very much enjoy and appreciate, but... in it, you have a remain-silent option ("...") about 50% of the time, but it's often actually something more specific than that and they don't tell you. Either you end up glaring disapprovingly (for example) when you didn't know you were going to, or when you'd LIKE to do something specific like that, the game pretends you're on the phone with the person rather than face-to-face with them, and that they can't gather any information whatsoever from you without sounds coming out of your face.

 

So, again, it's good to know you're such options the way you are, and conveying the specifics to the player. I think that's one of the most important rules of Dialogue Club:

 

Don't say/do things the player doesn't know you're going to say or do. :)

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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