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Author Topic: AdventureX 2019 - Nov 2nd & 3rd  (Read 2211 times)

Snarky

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Re: AdventureX 2019 - Nov 2nd & 3rd
« Reply #20 on: 03 Dec 2019, 13:02 »
Hah! It came up on YouTube autoplay, and I didn't notice it'd skipped back to 2018.

Re: AdventureX 2019 - Nov 2nd & 3rd
« Reply #21 on: 03 Dec 2019, 13:13 »
As an aside, don't you feel, watching the talk, that the AGS dialogue system could be immensely improved?

Even though the dialogue in the talk is quite small, it still already has several branches and sub-branches. The AGS dialogue system, on the other hand, only allows one set of alternative answers at a time. So each AGS “dialogue” turns out to only be a “dialogue fraction” in reality.

In order to reproduce the dialogue of the talk, we end up with a bunch of “dialogue fractions”. Each “fraction” only holds a smithereen of the whole dialogue. It's quite hard to get a bird's eye overview of the _whole_ thing.

Although we can introduce folders in the AGS Editor's dialogue tree, the respective “dialogues” still need unambiguous identifiers. So we probably end up with a bunch of names like dRachel1, dRachel2, dRachel21, dRachel22, dRachel23, dRachel3, dRachel4. When we work out the dialogue gradually, we might find that a step would need to be added in between dRachel21 and dRachel211. Then we'd either need to rename lots of dialogue fractions, taking care to update their references in code at the same time, or invent a dRachel21a to avoid that renaming. This makes either for a huge hassle, or a huge mess. Or we avoid the numbers in the first place, then we start out with a naming mess from the get-go.

Another, separate issue:The talk argues convincingly that 3 is the correct number of dialog options so you should always start out with exactly three. But even then, the need might still sometimes arise to add in a fourth dialogue option. Let's say it needs to be added between the first and second existing one.

In the cockpit, we can only add in further options at the end, so after doing that, we need to move options @3 and @2 down by one place using  copy-paste. Then subsequently, the script part of the dialogue editor refers to the options by number, not by name, so you'd afterwards need to peruse the whole script and change all the @3 to @4 and @2 to @3.

Um ...  :-[

Snarky

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Re: AdventureX 2019 - Nov 2nd & 3rd
« Reply #22 on: 03 Dec 2019, 22:45 »
Yes, I agree that it's bonkers that each node in a conversation should be a separate "dialog." I've never really written complex dialogs in AGS, but if I had to, I would definitely not use the built-in editor, but first try the Dialog Designer plugin, which might help a little.

I'm not sure I'm convinced that three is always the right number of dialog options. The talk really only concerns a particular type of in-game conversation: the dramatic (interactive) cutscene that moves the plot forward; and it's implicitly assumed that there is one fixed story that cannot be significantly affected by player choices: the beats of the conversation always stay the same. The same rules don't necessarily apply to more gameplay-oriented dialogs like for example when you're interviewing a character about a collection of clues you've gathered, or if it can branch off into genuinely different directions.

To put it another way: insult swordfighting wouldn't work (or, it wouldn't be the same puzzle) with only three comebacks to choose between for each insult.

Ali

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Re: AdventureX 2019 - Nov 2nd & 3rd
« Reply #23 on: 03 Dec 2019, 23:28 »
Also, Jon subsequently published Heaven's Vault, which only has 2 dialogue choices at any point... but I think he's right that there's something generally satisfying about 3.