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Norman Barrows

Dialog menus: quotes or descriptions?

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The game: Caveman 3.0 - a stone age FPSRPG

 

Dialog menus: quotes or descriptions?

 

Should dialog menus have quotes where appropriate: "What have you got to trade?"    

 

or should they just have simple menu options: "Trade".

 

I'm thinking quotes, as long as their meaning is not ambiguous.

 

Your thoughts?

Edited by Norman Barrows

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Some context would help here.  Civ like game?  RPG?  If it's RPG just look at the recent greats.  For 2D you have Pillars of Eternity, Wasteland 2, etc.  3D, Fallout 4 is the only recent one I've played and they mix quotes/descriptions.

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Some context would help here.  Civ like game?  RPG?

 

Sorry about that!   I added it to the O.P.   Its a FPSRPG - stone age setting.

 

If it's RPG just look at the recent greats...   ...and they mix quotes/descriptions.

 

Yes, a mix seems to be popular right now.   After all - quotes can't be used for everything - not for things like things like [Remain silent] at least.


I prefer descriptions, and no ambiguity.

 

But what about the added immersion of quotes?

 

I understand your point about ambiguity.  Some games, I'm not sure what they mean by some of the dialog choices that are quotes.  Descriptions are harder to convolute.

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Either, or perhaps both.

 

I can see NPCs greeting you with "Welcome to Izchak's Market!" as you enter, or "How can I help you with your purchase?" when you talk which preserves the immersion in the world, and on the display seeing various trade options for buying and selling.

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I prefer descriptions, and no ambiguity.

 

But what about the added immersion of quotes?

 

I understand your point about ambiguity.  Some games, I'm not sure what they mean by some of the dialog choices that are quotes.  Descriptions are harder to convolute.

 

 

I didn't know quotes were more immersive, I've never had that experience. For me, the process of reading a long quote, and then having to hear character read it again takes me out of the game. Of course, if the written dialogue is all there is, then that barrier goes away, so a quote may be better in that case.

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Should dialog menus have quotes where appropriate: "What have you got to trade?"    

or should they just have simple menu options: "Trade".

 

If every merchant's Trade option has different text on it, it makes it harder to identify at a glance when not wanting to read.

 

How about a standardized (between merchants) keyword at the front (bolder, and separate color), and then the merchant-unique quote following?

 

Talk - "How are things going 'round here?"

Trade - "What have you got for sale?"

Compliment - "You smell particularly funky today!"

Insult - "I saw your mama the other day, and mistook her for an ichthyosaur."

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How about a standardized (between merchants) keyword at the front

 

 

sort of kills the immersion factor of the quote.

 

 

 

reading a long quote, and then having to hear character read it again takes me out of the game

 

Understandable. Its a fundamental design flaw. Expose.  Don't tell - show (for movies).  Don't show - play (for games).  This error is very common on dev teams that place too much emphasis on the value of writing in games.  Books are for reading, movies are for watching, games are for playing!

 

"Pick a canned animation with voiceover to watch" doesn't sound very immersive to me either.   Smacks of Sillywood.

Edited by Norman Barrows

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