Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
conversation either through a greeting or a “TALK TO [npc]” command. Once
conversation is started, a menu of possible dialogue responses pops up, and players
choose which line they want to say. When the NPC responds, the menu updates,
following the flow of the conversation until it gets to an end point, or by looping
back to offer choices that the player didn't take the first time. There is also usually a
way to exit the conversation early if the player has better things to do.
This type of dialogue also requires a lot of preparation and work on the part of the
author, because you have to prepare for all of the different ways that a conversation
could possibly go, and they all have to sound good. It is also increasingly popular to
offer players a choice in terms of how belligerent or conciliatory the PC's dialogue
will be at any given moment, a choice that can influence the development of the
story in both the short term (how well the NPCs like talking to you) and the larger
arc of the overall storyline.
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￿￿￿￿ ￿￿ ￿￿￿￿
1: ''Tell me about yourself, Fred.''
2: ''What kind of sandwiches are there?''
3: ''I'm actually a time traveler from the amazing
future year 9 hundred billion.''
4:
''Gotta go.''
>>
￿
''What kind of sandwiches are there?'' you ask.
''Glad you asked! Today's special is a hot meatball sub, for
$4.99.''
1: ''I'd love a meatball sub.''
2: ''Is that all you have? What kind of lame deli is this?''
3: ''I'm actually a time traveler from the amazing
future year 9 hundred billion.''
4:
''Gotta go.''
>>
￿
''Gotta go,'' you say.
''Come again!'' says Fred.
Note that if you want to get across a major plot point in the conversation, you can
clue players into this by keeping it alive in the menu no matter what other train they
may be following, as with the time travel line in the above example. They could
keep asking about sandwiches all they want, but you're keeping it in their heads
that asking Fred about time travel is ultimately more important. The next time
you engage Fred in conversation, it's possible you could skip mentioning anything
about sandwiches and only offer the time travel option. Or you might change how a
seemingly persistent menu item is answered.
1:
''I'd love a meatball sub.''
2:
''Is that all you have? What kind of lame deli is this?''
3:
''I'm actually a time traveler from the amazing
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