Putting the 'role' back in role-playing games since 2002.
Donate to Codex
Good Old Games
  • Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.

Just because they like Adv. games...

afewhours

Scholar
Joined
Dec 26, 2007
Messages
562
Location
UK
Oh God, Oh God, Oh God. And I'm not saying that due to the multi-headed dicks hitting etc. etc.

1. Dialog options show up on screen even before the other character is finished talking.
In real conversation you usually already know what you're going to say before you're going to say it. Allowing players to be one step ahead makes conversations more fluid. It also makes them more dynamic, as you can listen and think ahead at the same time.

However, it royally screws up one kind of player - the type that couldn't care less about recorded speech. Personally, I have little patience for retarded voice acting, and it takes me less time to read a couple of sentences than it takes for the VO to speak them. As soon as I've read something, I spin on the conversation to get to the next part... now if you have the options come up while the NPC is still blathering on, and not *afterwards*, an impatient git like me ends up making a lot of choices by accident while I'm just trying to spin on the VO.

Minor problem that's down to personal taste? Perhaps, but it also screws up the game's replayability. You want to spin on the VO because you've heard it before? Uh oh...

2. Dialog options are very easy to read
Very short (3-5 word) sentences represent the essence of what the protagonist will say when the option is chosen. These short staccato-style sentences are many times easier to interpret than icons and much faster to process than complete sentences.

I'd rather know *exactly* what my character's going to say, but control freak tendencies aside, it's insulting to your audience! Dumbing things down because gamers can't read whole sentences? Because it takes them too long? Christ.

3. Certain responses always show up in the same place
Different slots on the dialog wheel roughly correspond with the different approaches you can take during a conversation, such as aggression, bribery or diplomacy. (This is a bit like the old Tex Murphy games.) For instance, after a while you'll intuitively know that a certain slot always has the most aggressive response assigned to it. After a while, you can carry out conversations this way even without reading all the options.

This is terrible. Reduce *all* dialogues to an endless series of stock responses? Never mind thinking about what you're saying - just remember that up is good, down is bad and you don't have to read all that nasty, nasty text.
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2007
Messages
3,585
Location
Motherfuckerville
1. Dialog options show up on screen even before the other character is finished talking.

Uhhh....isn't that just like every other game ever created that has had dialogue trees? I definitely remember cutting some NPCs in Baldur's Gate 2 off in mid speech with the dialogue options that were already on screen.

2. Dialog options are very easy to read

Ok...I'm not a freaking genius, nor does my mind move at the fast pace of many others I know, but I can easily read even the sausage dialogue options in Torment fairly quickly. Plus, in real conversations, people don't just take turns spitting out "one sentencers" like in Mass Effect. It may be nice and simple, but that isn't license to call it "flowing and natural".

3. Certain responses always show up in the same place

Now this is funny. They say the short text is great because it gives you a feel of what you are saying quickly and better than some icon representative of an emotion or feeling. But then they say this and argue that the dialogue system is great because you don't even have to read the words. Isn't that a wee bit hypocritical?

As a result some of the better conversations in Mass Effect feel more like a conversational sparring match, or even some kind of mini-game.

*facepalm*

There's a true feeling of action-and-reaction and immediacy. The highly cinematic presentation makes for some great icing on the cake, with camera cross-cuts, close-ups, pans,

So they're easily wowed by third rate cinematography in a video game? Not surprised.

facial movements and even physical interaction between characters.

Which often looked very bland, emotionless, or even had serious clipping issues. For all of Bioware's budget, they could not surpass Troika's Bloodlines, even in the rather superficial department (not that that would be an easy task anyway).

I believe Mass Effect points the way towards fixing the small nagging issues that have persisted in game dialog for so long.

I believe that you have let almost 2 decades of CRPGs run right past you.
 

sabishii

Arbiter
Joined
Aug 18, 2005
Messages
1,325
Location
Gatornation
That's one of the things I hated about ME. Okay, I read faster than you talk, skip, skip, skip, whoa I just accidentally picked a conversation choice that resulted in me killing you! It's especially[/e] aggravating when you're replaying so you can go through the dialogue even faster.

The short dialogue options are okay for an action RPG like ME, where I'm not expecting the best RP in the world. In that sense, and since most dialogue options don't matter that much anyways, it's fun to see the unexpected.
 

WhiskeyWolf

RPG Codex Polish Car Thief
Staff Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2007
Messages
14,830
Who wrote this shit? Volourn?

This has to be a joke.
 

fastpunk

Arbiter
Joined
Mar 31, 2007
Messages
1,798
Location
under the sun
Eh,not this again?! This dialog system differs very little from any other dialog system using dialog trees, what's the fucking revolution? The characters are just animated nicely and the available responses now resume to one or two words instead of full sentences. And no, it doesn't feel natural, thanks to the stiff acting and poor dialog quality.
 

afewhours

Scholar
Joined
Dec 26, 2007
Messages
562
Location
UK
fastpunk said:
Eh,not this again?! This dialog system differs very little from any other dialog system using dialog trees, what's the fucking revolution?

Very good point. All it takes these days for the journos to get excited is for some sly bastard from marketing to tell them anything is 'revolutionary'.

Is it too much these days to expect hacks to know their subject and question the bullshit PR throws at them? Gawd, I must be naive.
 

WhiskeyWolf

RPG Codex Polish Car Thief
Staff Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2007
Messages
14,830
Lestat said:
That's the second most idiotic article I've ever seen!

And what was the most idiotic article you have ever seen?
 

Section8

Cipher
Joined
Oct 23, 2002
Messages
4,321
Location
Wardenclyffe
Wow, I can't believe someone is still fighting their gag reflex to swallow this hype like the strap-on cock it is. When even the major outlets willingly admit it's just the same dialogue we've had for years dressed up a little, it's time to take that motherfucker out of your throat and spit.
 

aries202

Erudite
Joined
Mar 5, 2005
Messages
1,066
Location
Denmark, Europe
I saw this blog from Marek (who owns the adventuregamers.com) and I immidiatelysat out to say something against it, yet I don't think it came out the way I wanted it to. It might be fine for Mass Effect and other RPG games to get that cinematic movie feature used in Mass Effect, however, I don't think that most adventure gamers will benefit from it.

Most adventure gamers will play a game for the story, the characters, and the puzzles in the game, not because of the dialogue system. I also don't see how this could be implementen in an adventure game where you do need to know exactly what your character is saying as this is how you get to know the character throughout the game. One of the reasons Bioware can pull off ME's dialogue system is the fact that choosing what to say (aka dialogue options) is somewhat crucial in an RPG as this helps you shape the main character you want to play whereas the character in an adventure game normally is pre-fined and fixed for you by the developers.

Howver, Greg Zeschuk has recently given an interview with 'der spiegel online' here: ihttp://www.spiegel.de/netzwelt/spielze ... -2,00.html (it's in German, sorry, but babelfish should get the points across, I think).

Anyway, Greg got asked by Der Spiegel Online on weapons conflict in games. Here's part of the answer:

"Wir haben die Technologie, eine Plattform, um Geschichten zu erzählen, wir können tolle Figuren erschaffen, wir haben gute Synchronsprecher - warum nicht einfach mal eine Geschichte spielen und den Kampf weglassen?"

Greg talks here about how he would like to see people play a story and throw away the fighting alltogether, since we know have the technology to do this e.g. making the fighting go away.

When I read this, I felt like this :shock: since I felt Greg was talking about an adventure game, not an RPG. And I do think that Bioware could make a really solid and fun and groundbreaking adventure game. However, I remember some of you saying that in Ultima IV, you hardly did do any fighting since your quests in the game nearly always relied on getting info from someone to get to the next point in the game. So it is hardly news that game deveopers have the ability to make game that does not require any fighting at all as most adventure games don't require people to fight and some rpg games do the same as well like say Fallout 1 and such.
 

Section8

Cipher
Joined
Oct 23, 2002
Messages
4,321
Location
Wardenclyffe
It's not completely retarded. The most troubling part is that it sounds like one guy plus sock puppets seguing into "discussions" like a fucking infomercial. However, that aside - "they" espouse some reasonable views, but sour them with too many flawed premises and no perspective on the high points of the CRPG. For instance:

Not as much as you might think, Mark. Take the Elder Scrolls series as an example. Oblivion is a beautiful game: tons of graphical innovation went into it. But at the end of the day, it's the same game as Arena. Really, it's the same! I could (and do) have just as much fun with the first game as with the fourth (not surprisingly, both are equally bug-ridden too).

That's a fairly valid point of view - however, he uses that as a cornerstone to the argument that:

even more than their Japanese counterparts, Western RPGs are going nowhere.

Anyone with half a brain can see the Oblivion represents the antithesis of progress - so why should it be the champion of the cause?

The other side of the argument is basically that JRPGs are gradually becoming more content intensive - but they don't show any understanding that that's a concession for making the same fucking game over and over. Even though Fallout 2 uses the same core gameplay as Fallout, there's a clear step up in terms of the amount of content and the complexity of the scripts.

In fact, that sort of thing is prevalent in just about all series continuations, RPG or otherwise - compare Gothic to Gothic 2 with expansion; compare GTA3 to GTA:San Andreas; compare Baldur's Gate to Baldur's Gate 2; compare Call of Duty to Call of Duty 3. Once you decide to abide by the same core gameplay systems, then the end product becomes more focused and more refined.

But you can't confuse refinement with innovation. Refinement is a dead end street. I'd like to think that eventually everyone grows tired of the stale JRPG formula, but I guess to a special few, it's their chosen narrative medium - so like I will never be sick of books, they will never tire of grinding their way along a storyline about emo kids.

In the end, they touched on some good points, but ironically for a site called "RPGFan", they just don't like RPGs, and obviously haven't vested enough time into the western RPGs worth playing.
 
Self-Ejected

aweigh

Self-Ejected
Joined
Aug 23, 2005
Messages
17,978
Location
Florida
I used to chat in the RPGFan IRC channel 3 years ago. The entire server has been appropriated by furries.
 

As an Amazon Associate, rpgcodex.net earns from qualifying purchases.
Back
Top Bottom