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Development Info Titan Quest may and or may not have dialogue. You decide!

Discussion in 'News & Content Feedback' started by DarkUnderlord, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. DarkUnderlord Professional Throne Sitter

    DarkUnderlord
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    Tags: Titan Quest

    There's a <a href="http://titanquestvault.ign.com/View.php?view=columns.Detail&id=13">developer blog</a> up at <a href="http://www.ign.com/">IGN</a> which is all about the "dialogue" in Titan Quest.
    <br>
    <blockquote>For Titan Quest, we decided early on that the fast-paced, action-packed direction of the game did not have room for dialog trees. They’re great in other, slower RPGs, but we wanted something more... more instant gratification. We went with the “One Click Conversation” – you click, they talk. So that there was no danger that the elegance of this design be mistaken for shallowness or simplicity, we threw in some extra dialog. Actually, we threw in a lot of extra dialog. Find a talking NPC in the game and talk to him or her (that would be a click, sir). Try it again. Again. And again. Keep going...</blockquote>
    <br>
    Golly gosh, we wouldn't want to upset the "elegance" by not throwing in more dialogue! There's a rather nice bit later where they say "To begin with, you, the hero, don’t say anything. You just <i>click</i>." Strange, that's how I thought it always worked?
    <br>
    <br>
    Anyway, here's the final sum-up from them:
    <br>
    <blockquote>It was a lot of work, and, when I got into the groove of it, a lot of fun. Even though nine out of ten gamers might not notice, I’m proud to say that we’ve put this extra level of detail, care, and realism into our dialog.</blockquote>
    <br>
    Remember: You just <i>click</i>! That's care and realism right there folks!
    <br>
    <br>
    Spotted at: <A HREF="http://www.rpgdot.com">RPGDot</A>
     
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  2. Old Scratch Liturgist

    Old Scratch
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    Way to go guys, you finally caught up with those cutting edge RPGs of the 80's, sounds like a real break-through! Thank goodness they left out anything that might require a decision on the part of the player, that kinda garbage totally slows down the process of collecting 13wt!

    I love the setting, but I need another Diablo clone like I need a hole in the head.
     
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  3. Stark Liturgist

    Stark
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    Re: Titan Quest may and or may not have dialogue. You decide

    <blockquote>For Titan Quest, we decided early on that the fast-paced, action-packed direction of the game did not have room for dialog trees. They’re great in other, slower RPGs, but we wanted something more... more instant gratification. We went with the “One Click Conversation” – you click, they talk. So that there was no danger that the elegance of this design be mistaken for shallowness or simplicity, we threw in some extra dialog. Actually, we threw in a lot of extra dialog. Find a talking NPC in the game and talk to him or her (that would be a click, sir). Try it again. Again. And again. Keep going...</blockquote>

    wow. PR lesson #1. Attempt to present the minuses of your product as plusses.
     
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  4. LlamaGod Cipher

    LlamaGod
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    isnt it exactly the same way in pretty much every action RPG, from Seal of Evil to Restricted Area to Diablo 2?

    Hyping standardized features like this.. what are they trying to do, become Bethesda?

    This shit is getting irritating. Like Battle for Middle Earth 2's hype of 'an RTS where you can place buildings wherever you want within a certain area'.

    WOWIE.
     
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  5. bryce777 Erudite

    bryce777
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    Netx they will be bragging about inventing the sword.
     
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  6. Rhombus Liturgist

    Rhombus
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    rofl

    We have this really cool and awesome new weapon in our game, kinda like a stick but with sharp edges...
     
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  7. Section8 Erudite

    Section8
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    Fucking hell, when will developers learn that non-interactive block text, especially in an action RPG, is just pointless? There's really no reason to include plot exposition at all, let alone bloated chunks of it, when the player's main motivations for playing the game are centred on actual gameplay elements, like loot and leveling.
     
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  8. Abernathy Scholar

    Abernathy
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    Don't laugh, it's already been proved way too often that people will buy dogshit if it comes in a nice box with a lovely bow-tied ribbon on top and has a fancy name like 'Gateau au Fifi'.

    It's just a shame that you can't just give people poodle cakes these days without dressing it up, innit?
     
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  9. Fuck those fuckers in their fucking fucked asses. I want dialogue in my CRPGs to at least mesure up to that of Fallout, for example; I'm sure that many others feel the same way.

    I can't believe that we're actually GOING BACK in terms of game quality the more and more we go through time. Jesus Christ on a pogo stick...
     
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  10. Perishiko Scholar

    Perishiko
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    I wouldn't say we're "GOING BACK", it's just that RPG's are completely dissapearing.

    Pretty soon the genre of action/RPG will only be labeled as RPG. People will end up accepting the fact that there are no more true "RPG's" as we've known from the past. RPG's will be a thing of the past. All due to the fact that *most* people don't like "That messy reading stuff" or "Difficult decisions that slow the game down."

    It's sad. It is.
     
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  11. Thrawn05 Scholar

    Thrawn05
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    What's happening IMHO, is that pure FPSers want a more complex FPS, so the developers are throwing in things like an RPG stat system. The problem that developers are seeing that they can save money by appealing to both FPS and RPG groups by combining the two altogether.

    I would not be surprised if Doom 4 has a moderate stat and leveling system, combined with a simple dialogue tree to progress the story that allows for *gasp* more then one ending.
     
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  12. HoodRich Novice

    HoodRich
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    This isn't hype. This is a guy explaining how the system works. If it was hype, he would have said "This is, quite possibly, the most spectacular system ever implemented in a game. Ever." I like it when we're told up front about how things work, important things like dialogue, rather than finding out when I buy the game.

    It doesn't sound bad. You click on a guy and he says a few lines. Lines that are randomized. I just hope it doesn't turn into the kind of talk that other similar games have, where a character goes on for 5 minutes straight about some stupid shit. That's when you need to include some options.
     
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  13. Old Scratch Liturgist

    Old Scratch
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    Sounds to me like marketing speak, aka bullshit.

    Hype isn't just when someone who works for a company claims it's the best ever, I mean does anyone--aside from Pete Molyneaux--really do that? It comes in many different forms. He makes it sound like having NPCs say something after the initial clickis a big deal, when that's been the standard since early CRPGs, even action RPGs really.
     
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  14. LlamaGod Cipher

    LlamaGod
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    He's trying to make the game sound better by saying that it has something that pretty much every action RPG ever has. It's a bunch of crap.
     
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  15. WouldBeCreator Scholar

    WouldBeCreator
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    This is the same game where they said you'd get to talk to a philosopher in Athens, right?

    What could more fun than clicking on Socrates and having him give you one line after another. It will be just like a Socratic dialogue, only a monologue, thus defeating the whole point.

    Awesome.
     
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  16. bryce777 Erudite

    bryce777
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    A metal stick with sharp edges. I am so putting that into my description of a sword for my game.
     
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  17. HoodRich Novice

    HoodRich
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    He's talking about dialogue. The entire interview is about dialogue. What, did you expect him to come out with "Yea, the characters, like, talk. And stuff. You can talk to them. That's it, nothing special."? That would be a pretty kickass interview!

    The "elegance of this design" applies to Titan Quest. They're aiming for fast action, not being bogged down with huge boxes of speech, so in this case it fits. They added in some extra stuff the characters could say as not to make it boring.

    You're right, hype isn't just when someone claims it's the greatest thing ever. Technically, whenever someone says anything good about their project to the public it can be considered hype. You need to narrow it down though, because only an idiot would say his product sucks. Couldn't we agree that promising too much, saying it's the greatest, and noting that "we can't give any details, but we assure you it's 'da bomb'" are what most people associate with gaming hype? This guy lays out how dialogue is, why he thinks its a good decision, and that he is happy with the decision. He says they put a little more work in to it, by adding more stuff to say, but no where is he saying it's complete and total innovation, poised to renovate the genre.
     
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  18. vazquez595654 Arbiter

    vazquez595654
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    Does this game only have one character to choose from? I am assuming this is a diablo2/Sacred clone so only having one character to choose from would suck. That and the boring setting it takes place in.
     
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  19. Saint_Proverbius Administrator Patron

    Saint_Proverbius
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    Yes, very same game.

    Great point. If you have philosophers and story tellers, you'd think that would be a great time for the designers to think, "Hey, maybe the player would like to perhaps pull additional information from the NPCs. Even better, maybe the player would like to tell the storytellers a bit about their travels to spur conversation further, since those people are the keepers of the era's chronicles! Sweet!"

    Even better would be having various enigmas built in to the quests where you can get around certain elements of areas if you have a philosophy type skill. You have a problem, you go back to town and go through some Socratic mumbo jumbo with the resident philosopher, and out pops a solution.
     
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  20. Section8 Erudite

    Section8
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    Actually, you'll notice that Codex's own interview content tends to be pretty well received, because the interviewees respond in a pretty honest and straightforward manner, and avoid unnecessary salesmanship. In fact, with a couple of quick edits, the quoted fragment from the blog becomes much less vomit-inducing.

    "For Titan Quest, we decided early on that the <s>fast-paced, action-packed direction</s> action focus of the game did not mesh well with dialog trees. They’re great in other, slower RPGs, but we wanted something more... more instant gratification. We went with the “One Click Conversation” – you click, they talk. <s>So that there was no danger that the elegance of this design be mistaken for shallowness or simplicity,</s> To reward players who want to dig a little deeper into what characters have to say, we threw in some extra dialog. Actually, we threw in a lot of extra dialog. Find a talking NPC in the game and talk to him or her (that would be a click, sir). Try it again. Again. And again. Keep going..."

    As he himself says, 9 out of 10 gamers won't notice, but I fail to see how the 1 that does is going to be impressed. Basically all the "elegant design that cannot be mistaken for simplicity" does, is exactly what games like Fallout do for characters without dialogue trees. It's simplicity incarnate. If player clicks NPC, NPC say random line. It's like saying "1 + 1 = 2" is elegant, when in fact, it's fucking elementary.

    Hell, even Sacred, which I've been playing recently, has children in each town that will follow you around and say random things from an array of preset strings. There is nothing at all special about the "One Click Conversation" shit that's being sold here.

    Come again? Has anyone, EVER had a fucking conversation where they remained silent, and prompted their counterpart to spout whatever random fragment of info popped into their head? Every example provided in that blog barely resembles conversation at all, unless you're talking to Rainman:

    Player: Hey there, townsman! How fare you?

    NPC: At harvest time the whole village sets to work in the fields. The crops must be gathered and properly stored. We make an offering to Demeter, goddess of bounty.

    Player: Oh really? What sort of crops do you grow? I was a farmer myself once before the Krugg destroyed all I owned...

    NPC: Here in Helos we live quietly. We have avoided most of the wars. We are farmers, unlike our Spartan brothers.

    Player: Er, yes, my good man. I already understood you were farmers from your encyclopaedic greeting, hence my own comment about being a farmer myself, once upon a time...

    NPC: What drives these creatures to burn our fields and slay our cattle? How do we stop them?

    Player: Sorry, what? We were talking about farming a second ago. What creatures? What cattle? Should I take that to mean you're beef farmers? You could have just said that in response to my original query about what sort of farming you do...

    NPC: All the nights, Timanthes played harp on the moonlit hill, we would dance and drink! Now we hide in our homes and pray that we see another sunrise.

    Player: And now you're suddenly banging on about the nightlife. Fuck this, I'm off to farm some XP and phat l3wts.

    ...and that's only if the player is feeling imaginative enough to make up their own side of the "conversation."

    With this comment, he sounds like a kid who is proud of all the "participation awards" he has pinned up on his wall, and will one day discover that they're basically "'thanks for making up the numbers' awards", when he realises they don't actually reflect any form of achievement. It's great that he cares enough to do something the scope of the game doesn't necessarily call for, but I think he missed the boat on "detail", "realism" and even "dialog". But as three-eighths of Meatloaf once said, "one out of four ain't bad."
     
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  21. Saint_Proverbius Administrator Patron

    Saint_Proverbius
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    Agreed. I think the problem is that they feel it's more work than they're willing to do on something they don't think players will bother with anyway. That begs the question on why bother writing storyteller stories and philosopher ponification in the first place? If the whole point is that players will want to instantly get back to gratification, then players certainly aren't going to go for the overly passive experience of just listenning to an NPC babble on and on.

    It basically boils down to hype. Yes, it is HYPE, because what they're doing and the reason they say they're doing it don't mesh up together. They're spinning the whole, "Well, we just don't want to take the time to do this..." as if there were some logical design reason for it.
     
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  22. Zomg Arbiter

    Zomg
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    Poor dialogue trees, doomed never to be appreciated in their own time. I think most developers have it stuck in their heads that dialogue is necessarily a lulling, passive experience, so to them just replacing it with a block of text or snippet of speech is only a slight loss of content - people who like dialogue must like dull exposition dumps, right?
     
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