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Tony Li

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  1. Tony Li

    First time writer here.

    Sure. I've replayed sandbox games that have the same story every time, just to see how my player actions affect the emergent nature of the game. And plenty of people replay games like Bioware's RPGs multiple times to romance different companions even though the main storyline is basically the same.
  2. Tony Li

    First time writer here.

    You may find Sam Kabo Ashwell's Standard Patterns in Choice-Based Games useful. It explains structures like this: versus this: and others. Choice is often an illusion. You can enhance the player's feeling of choice by adding "decorator" or side-note nodes that acknowledge the player's past decisions and then immediately return to the main thread.
  3. Tony Li

    unity game developing help

    For your first game, the scope is about 10x too large. Plus, if you make it an educational game, the scope is even bigger because it must also teach in addition to being a game. Choose one activity that the player can do in a single scene -- for example, move and attack a stationary "turret" enemy -- and make that your first game. To start, complete sections 1, 2, and 3 of the Unity Beginner Tutorials. You must know how to get around in Unity and perform basic tasks before anything else. If you don't know where to go after that, then post again for some assistance. Remember, Rome was not made in a day -- but it was made, so stick with it. You can do it.
  4. Tony Li

    Designing interesting Quests

    True, some real games, such as Bethesda's, create a story first and then modify the world to support it. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Bethesda's goal is to drive players to unexplored areas. Placing a quest there that has context to their character is a great solution. But the academic projects I examined, like Jonathon Doran and Ian Parberry's, and Young-Soel Lee's, model it in a little more depth. Then again they didn't need to fit it into a AAA game running at 60+ fps. I like the idea of consequences in an open world. So in my implementation quests rise organically out of the current world state. (Starbound is another good example of this approach.) I think this shifts the focus more toward player-generated stories versus imposing a story on the player. If the player introduces rabbits to a new land, he might come back later and receive a quest to exterminate some rabbits that have overpopulated the land and are crowding out native fauna. Compare this to a generator that first creates a quest to exterminate rabbits, and then spawns a bunch of rabbits. In this case, there isn't as much player-driven cause-and-effect. But I will admit that the drawback is that it takes more work to annotate world objects with interesting things that can be done to them, and to annotate NPCs with a motivation system that lets them recognize what objects they want the player to manipulate and why. Without sufficient annotation, quests can feel drier than your story-first approach.
  5. Tony Li

    Designing interesting Quests

    Generating the dialogue leads to interesting design challenges. For example, one of the questions I had to answer when developing Quest Machine was where to balance the human author's control versus putting faith in the generator. On one end, you could let the author write very detailed, motivation-imbued templates that the generator fills in Mad Lib-style. They're almost indistinguishable from fully hand-written quests, but they're not flexible, and the format quickly becomes obvious to the player unless you write hundreds of them. On the other end, the generator could very flexibly produce a shopping list of steps (goto X, get Y, give to Z) without any flavor text or sense of motivation. Ultimately, annotating the game world (what's there and what can be done with it) and helping NPCs establish good world models was the key to making interesting quests. Quest Machine runs a STRIPS-style planner (a little slower than the HTN planner I started with, but more flexible) on smart objects to generate a plan, and then uses NPC-specific text lookup tables to compose the dialogue in a manner that fits the NPC's personality. This shifts the design focus to how interestingly you can annotate the game world with things to do. So you can see that just one aspect of something like procedural quest generation can have broad design implications. Note that this is for a system that generates quests based on the current state of the game world. There are some academic quest generators that take the opposite approach; they generate a quest and then change the game world to fit that quest (e.g., spawn a new cave of monsters).
  6. Tony Li

    VR in Unity

    Unity's an excellent engine for VR. They're invested in supporting XR (VR & AR), they have an active forum community, and the Asset Store has several good VR add-ons. There is a world of difference in the experience between Rift and Cardboard. But there's also that big price difference. If you can justify the expense of a Rift with Touch controllers (and the rig to power it), that's definitely the way to go. The Touch controllers are really good. Barring any crazy game-changer, like a full body haptic suit, the Touch controllers are going to be around for a while. And I figure they may release higher-resolution HMDs in the future, but you'll probably be able to use your CV1 for years to come.
  7. In a typical month, I'll work on nonlinear dialogue with a dozen different developers, from AAA to lone indies. Many prototype in-engine. All use some kind of node-based or outline-based editor that facilitates linking. But, almost invariably, their actual production workflow will also incorporate a way to import and export to a standard format such as Excel or dedicated authoring software such as articy:draft or Chat Mapper. Excel is still a popular import/export format because translators are comfortable working in it for localization and spell checking. I realize this is getting a bit off-topic. For the original poster, if you're still looking for writing examples, you could search public github and bitbucket repos for files in these formats: Excel (.xls/.xlsx), Final Draft (.fdx), Chat Mapper (.cmp), and articy:draft (.aph). For the latter three, you'll need those applications to be able to read the files.
  8. You could always join the IGDA Game Writing SIG and ask writers in the group if they wouldn't mind sharing some of their work.
  9. Mods are another great source. The best of them rival AAA writing. Download some high quality mods for Dragon Age, Skyrim, Fallout, etc., and open them in the editor to see their dialogue and action scripts. If you prefer to read your Dragon Age / Neverwinter Nights scripts in a screenplay format, I can suggest a roundabout solution. It requires a paid version of Chat Mapper, though, such as the indie license. Use NWN Module Tools to convert the mod to XML. Then use the Dialogue System for Unity's free evaluation versionevaluat to import the NWN XML into Unity, and export it to Chat Mapper XML. Then import the Chat Mapper XML into Chat Mapper, and export it in screenplay format. Text games (interactive fiction) and Twine games are also good sources, and they often come with source.
  10. The IGDA Game Writing SIG has a page where writers have shared some of their scripts, including scripts for games like Guild Wars 2 and Call of Jaurez: https://www.igda.org/members/group_content_view.asp?group=121051&id=421190 Someone also transcribed Half Life's dialogue: https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/pc/43362-half-life/faqs/29847
  11. What worries people today? Sci-fi is often used to exorcise demons by extrapolating contemporary issues into a more extreme future version. Some people are worried about demagoguery, or fanatical cults of personality. This ties into cultural identity, tribalism, and isolationism. Others are worried about GMOs. (Paulo Bacigalupi's Windup stories are a great example of taking this to the extreme.) So you could have a faction that's completely against it, and another faction that treat genetic modification as the ultimate pursuit. Any others?
  12. Tony Li

    Subtitle or No Subtitle?

    Gotcha. I wasn't sure.
  13. Tony Li

    Subtitle or No Subtitle?

    From the context, I think rcrawford115 is talking about a subtitle to the title, not subtitle text for voiced dialogue. Although you could certainly use a subtitle for a specific effect, I agree with Tom Sloper that Heirloom is perfectly fine by itself.
  14. Tony Li

    Subtitle or No Subtitle?

    Like The Hobbit: Or, There and Back Again, or Peter Pan: Or, The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up. Or, for games, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, which is a callback to classic treasure hunter serials from the early 20th century. I guess the most important question is: Does the subtitle add value, or is it just more words?
  15. Tony Li

    Subtitle or No Subtitle?

    If it's not absolutely begging for a subtitle, then that's probably a good sign to skip it. Would Doom have been better as "Doom: Curse of the Zombie Soldiers from Hell"? Or would Minecraft have been better as "Minecraft: The Game of Building Things by Punching Trees into Cubes and Then Stacking Them"? I think succint is usually better unless you're consciously aiming for an old timey feel.
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