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shalabi

Writing Play-by-Play Sentences Logistics

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I am currently being asked to write Play-by-Play for a sports game in a text-based MMO. I was wondering if anyone had experience in this field. I have been breaking up the sentences into segments and particles such as

"X's action"
then a conjunctive "and", "but", "however"
then outcome "the action's effectiveness"
and finally "the outcome of its effectiveness."

Is the a proper way, or more importantly, an intelligent way to go about these types of sentences? Is it better to simply write out individual entire sentences to avoid the possible illogical outcomes of certain sentences?

Thanks for any input fellas.

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I am currently being asked to write Play-by-Play for a sports game in a text-based MMO. I have been breaking up the sentences into segments and particles such as
"X's action"
then a conjunctive "and", "but", "however"
then outcome "the action's effectiveness"
and finally "the outcome of its effectiveness."
Is the a proper way, or more importantly, an intelligent way to go about these types of sentences? Is it better to simply write out individual entire sentences to avoid the possible illogical outcomes of certain sentences?

Think it through, shalabi. How many lines are needed for the game? If it's not a whole lot, then it'd take longer to write and program a parser to make sentences than it would to just write the lines.
Does it matter (to the gameplay) what the lines say? If it does, then you'd need to write them out.

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there's going to be MANY lines as there are over 15+ strategies to choose from. I am currently building the generic lines all strategies can use but each will react to different positions/situations in different manners and thus many types of lines can be used. The programmer I have seems set on having segments of sentences rather than whole ones based on our fight-function. Thus the lines I am producing is as such:

(X throws/delivers/heaves/hurls) a (crisp/sloppy/desperate/powerful) (jab/cross/uppercut etc...) to (the head/dome/face etc..) of Y that (lands flush/crashes into) etc... certain words are given to certain "pools" of phrasing that given styles can take from. A "boxer" can use certain adjectives a "wrestler" cannot and so on.

So my initial interest is in whether or not doing this breakdown is better or worse. The programmer seems comfortable with that layout but I, as the director of the entire project, am consistently concerned with whether or not problems will arise when constructing a setup in this manner.

Anyway, thanks for the advice and I have been meditating heavily on this.

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So you're saying there is to be text that must respond appropriately to player actions. Given that, then, your programmer is right. But as you write this text, you will need to "test" it by trying out many possibilities. One way to do it is to make a spreadsheet of the various sentence parts. Then you can slice up the spreadsheet, putting the now-separate sentence parts in separate piles. Then take one randomly from pile A, one from pile B, and so on, and see how well it works.
Just an idea for one way to test it out prior to implementation. Paper prototyping, as we call it.

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He should put all the word/phrase groupings into meaningfully named text files and make it data driven. Any/everyone can then edit the silly ones out and add new ones as they think of them.

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