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Vince and Gareth talk about talking

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Vince and Gareth talk about talking

Editorial - posted by JarlFrank on Mon 14 July 2008, 17:29:24

Tags: Vince D. Weller

Vince D. Weller and Gareth Fouche [the guy who is known as Naked Ninja in the Codex and who works on the indie game Scars of War] wrote a nice not-so-little article about dialogue systems in RPGs.

But again there arose a problem. For now that characters in the world could speak to the player, the player expected to be able to talk back to them. As game worlds had become ever more expansive, important questions had arisen. Questions such as "Which way to the weapon shop, I need to sell all these spare swords I found lying around.", "Have you seen 15 large men and a hat anywhere around here?" and "Which way to the bad guy's super-secret fortress?" These were the burning questions that players desired to ask, but the simple "Please fetch my cat from the tree: Yes/No" lively banter of the time didn't support such deep conversation. So, taking a page from the adventure game genre, which at the time was still alive and kicking instead of a comatose husk, RPG designers introduced the concept of asking NPCs for information on Keywords. Now the player could collect Keywords just as they collected shiny baubles, and ask the characters they met about them.

It has some nice screenshots from different games showing different dialogue systems. They mention Fallout, Wizardry 8 and others and show the good and the bad things of each dialogue system.

As always, it's a good read and really informative. If you like all the other articles by VD, you'll like this one too.

Spotted at: Vault Dweller's place for trigger happy intellectuals with a degree in game design

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