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Battagline

Conversation in RPGs.

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I'm currently working on a Space RPG. My conversaion screen scrolls upward and I have VCR style controls at the bottom that allow you to control the rate of scroll, or stop the conversation if you prefer. Here's a screen shot: Now, I've been having an arguement with my brother over how I should work the conversation screen. He believes I should feed the lines to the player one or two at a time requiring them to hit the space bar after having read each line. I personally think the way it's done is fine, and if the player wants to read the story they will, if they don't they'll just stop the scroller. I personally get really annoyed with games where I have to hit space 6 times if I don't feel like reading the monolog. I thought I would ask opinions about RPGs and the stories in them. Do you read the text? If so how do you prefer it be presented? If anyone is interested in seeing what I did in my game and willing to provide feedback, Epoch Star is available for download at www.epochstar.com Thanks

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Your brother is right. [smile]
Space to skip one screen, Esc to cancel the dialog.

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Quote:
Original post by xor
Your brother is right. [smile]
Space to skip one screen, Esc to cancel the dialog.


I'd have ESC dump the rest of the dialog rather than simply cancel it, but that sort of thing would be ideal I think.

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RPGs are mostly about the storyline, but you shouldn't force it on them. IMHO the way you have it is fine, but allowing them to skip the dialog would be nice (in case they are replaying the game.)

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Here's how it should work. Pressing space should immediately finish the scrolling of the current line(s) of text, or immediately begin scrolling the next lines of text if you are viewing all of the current lines. So, if I'm viewing sentences1 (stopped), pressing space twice in a row will immediately let me view sentences2 (stopped). Pressing it once more will immediately start sentences3 scrolling (and pressing it again will complete the scrolling of sentences3, etc).

Pressing escape once should dump all of the remaining dialog at once, and pressing it again should cancel the dialog.

Anyway, thats just my opinion for what it's worth :) I think it gives all the control you need without requiring the use of a mouse to click on different buttons.

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It is sometimes nice to see what I said before, and what the NPC said. Having a scheme that delete old content is not really usable. These space bar stuff implies that I can't go back to what have been said previously.

About your VCR style: I think it's bad. We work everyday with these cool scrollbars - and I don't expect a game to use anything but scrollbars if it wants to show me some scrolling text :)

I often read the text of RPGs - and I also read in-game books when I find them. I really enjoyed the real story of Queen Barhenzia (oh... spelling must be wrong...) - the source of a very big lol.

Regards,

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Quote:
Original post by Programmer16
RPGs are mostly about the storyline, but you shouldn't force it on them. IMHO the way you have it is fine, but allowing them to skip the dialog would be nice (in case they are replaying the game.)


You can skip the dialog, but apparently no one realizes that. I put the VCR stop button at the bottom thinking it was intuitive, but I guess I'm the only one because I can't tell you how many times someone has said to me "I wish I could skip the dialog".

Any suggestions on making it more obvious?

Thanks [smile]

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I don't think the VCR paradigm is bad, but if you are finding that it is non-intuitive, you might have to extend your paradigm a bit. You might just consider adding a button labeled "Skip Dialog" or "Skip Cut Scene" or something next to your fast-forward button, or in leui of your fast-forward button to make it brutally obvious that they don't have to read the conversation. I know that sounds obvious, but if you assume users will not read the manual (and you know they don't), you have to make it as painfully obvious as possible.

Cheers,

roger_hq

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Quote:
Original post by Battagline
Any suggestions on making it more obvious?

Put it at the rightmost position of the control bar, with icon more like ">>|" or the 'power off' instead of 'stop' The train of logic is "pause convo, skip one line, skip more, skip all" rather than "skip all, pause, skip one line, skip more lines"

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