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FF/DW style conversation systems.

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I think that Final Fantasy style conversations systems are quite powerful. 1. When you go up to a character they will usually say something without you needing to say anything. This allows you to help give these characters more personality, by giving them things to rant / rave about. They can also talk about things that you have just witnessed as though prompted After this, you can allow the player to choose a variety of topics if you want (like Ultima etc).

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I generally don't care for the Final Fantasy conversation system, as you rarely get to say anything, and even then it's a choice from an extremely small set of responses.

Any system for NPC conversation has the ability to give them personality. What I don't like is that I can't give my own character any.

I've been thinking about how to put together a conversation system that involved an English language parser and a conversational AI for years, just so I could have a freeform conversation. I realize that's still a bit beyond my skill level though, and have been going for a system similar to the one used in Morrowind (I haven't played most of the Ultima games, but I think it's the same kind of system you're talking about) for my current project(s).

EDIT: here's an article on IF conversation techniques that I find interesting.

[edited by - RabidCow on May 10, 2004 11:10:50 AM]

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Why don''t we take the discussion past the menu-driven, keyword, multiple-choice options. What "new" conversation techniques can we think of?

Examples:
A conversation system in a RPG similar the the Sims (give the character actions or topics and they will carry on the dialogue automatically)

A keyword system that uses voice recognition (instead of typing "ask about the boat" you say "Is there a boat around?")

A conversation system that allows you to express emotions like anger, sympathy, sadness, affection, indifference, etc.

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How about a literary system, where no dialogue actually happens, you just get the main character''s account of what took place, and comes back when needed.

"I had discussed several things with Markus. He had related a boring anecdote about his pets, which I quickly forgot. We also discussed the security door at the CORRUPTUS factory."

"I remembered that conversation I had with Markus when I approached the Security Door. It took me a moment to recall the PIN number, because that stupid pet story came back to mind."

Sounds about Film Noir though.

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