You can talk, you can bicker...NPC

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IF

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Dec 13, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/13/97
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Ok, I REALLY don't want to start a mile long thread here, but just an
idea regarding NPC interaction (a subject that has honestly kept me up
at nights recently): A combination ask/tell system for initiating
conversation with a menu based system for choosing the emotional stance
of your reply. For example

>Ask wife about car

"Honey, where's the car?" you say.

"The...um...the car?" she mumbles.

React with:
1. Anger
2. Suspicion
3. Kindness
4. Don't react

>2

"Yes dear, the car. I haven't seen it all day."

"Well...you see, there was a bit of an accident..." she trails off,
looking at you with a nervous smile

React with:
1. Anger
2. Suspicion
3. Kindness
4. Sorrow
5. Don't react

>3

"That's alright dear," you say, sitting next to her. "But where is
it now?"


And so on and so forth. This would be an absolute bugger to code,
admittedly, but it gives you the ability to chose freely the topic of
the conversation (and by using the Don't Reply option and then asking
about something else, change the topic of the conversation) without
feeling forced as you would in a menu, but also gives you more reign for
emotional response. What does everyone think?

Ian Finley


Patrick Kellum

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Dec 14, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/14/97
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In article <34932765...@ix.netcom.com>, IF was talking about:

>And so on and so forth. This would be an absolute bugger to code,
>admittedly, but it gives you the ability to chose freely the topic of
>the conversation (and by using the Don't Reply option and then asking
>about something else, change the topic of the conversation) without
>feeling forced as you would in a menu, but also gives you more reign for
>emotional response. What does everyone think?

I like it, and what's strange is that I usually hate menu dialog systems,
but this is different in that it doesn't give away the story or make it
any easer for the player. I agree though that it would be a total pain to
write just like it's a pain to write "choose your own adventure" type
games (and those are harder to write then standard interactive fiction,
trust me I've tried). Might be worth it for a conversational-heavy game.

Patrick
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Second April

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Dec 14, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/14/97
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> Ok, I REALLY don't want to start a mile long thread here, but just an
> idea regarding NPC interaction (a subject that has honestly kept me up
> at nights recently): A combination ask/tell system for initiating
> conversation with a menu based system for choosing the emotional stance
> of your reply. For example

Hmmm...on the one hand, it feels "pick-a-path"-like, but then again
probably no more so, when it comes down to it, than the "ask x about y"
format, which is essentially hit-or-miss anyway (feed in every topic
relevant to the game for every character, see what you get). It would
depend on how effectively it's done, of course, and to be effective,
there'd have to be a wide range of choices--including some, for realism's
sake, that don't lead to any productive interactions at all. ("I can't
understand why you feel that way...") I know that'd make it even worse to
code, but, well, you know what you're getting into.

Non sequitur: love the reference in the subject line, though I didn't get
it on the first glance.

Duncan Stevens
d-st...@nwu.edu
312-654-0280

The room is as you left it; your last touch--
A thoughtless pressure, knowing not itself
As saintly--hallows now each simple thing,
Hallows and glorifies, and glows between
The dust's gray fingers, like a shielded light.

--from "Interim," by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Andrew Cummins

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Dec 14, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/14/97
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Second April wrote:
>
> > Ok, I REALLY don't want to start a mile long thread here, but just an
> > idea regarding NPC interaction (a subject that has honestly kept me up
> > at nights recently): A combination ask/tell system for initiating
> > conversation with a menu based system for choosing the emotional stance
> > of your reply. For example
>
> Hmmm...on the one hand, it feels "pick-a-path"-like, but then again
> probably no more so, when it comes down to it, than the "ask x about y"
> format, which is essentially hit-or-miss anyway (feed in every topic
> relevant to the game for every character, see what you get). It would
> depend on how effectively it's done, of course, and to be effective,
> there'd have to be a wide range of choices--including some, for realism's
> sake, that don't lead to any productive interactions at all. ("I can't
> understand why you feel that way...") I know that'd make it even worse to
> code, but, well, you know what you're getting into.
>
> Non sequitur: love the reference in the subject line, though I didn't get
> it on the first glance.
>
> Duncan Stevens
> d-st...@nwu.edu
> 312-654-0280

This type of interaction technology is used to great effect by Legend
in games like 'Gateway' and 'Callahans Cross Time Saloon' where it gives
a good feeling of interaction with a character. The obvious problem
being that the some players are tempted to save before they enter the state
and then exhaustively go through every conversational route to make sure
that they don't miss a turning...I feel that you have to trust the games
designer to not embed something that is absolutely necessary to solving
the game in some unlikely conversational twist.

-- Andrew

----------------------------------------------------------------
acum...@arm.com The Turtle Moves
----------------------------------------------------------------


Laurel Halbany

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Dec 14, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/14/97
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IF <mord...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

>And so on and so forth. This would be an absolute bugger to code,
>admittedly, but it gives you the ability to chose freely the topic of
>the conversation (and by using the Don't Reply option and then asking
>about something else, change the topic of the conversation) without
>feeling forced as you would in a menu, but also gives you more reign for
>emotional response. What does everyone think?

It's not my cup of tea; it makes the responses seem artificial because
you're giving a numbered response. (Sort of like the mood-setting
devices in "Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep"...)

----------------------------------------------------------
Laurel Halbany
mythago@twisty_little_maze.com
(Substitute dashes for underscores to remove spamblock)

Sam Inala

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Dec 17, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/17/97
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IF <mord...@ix.netcom.com> wrote in article
<34932765...@ix.netcom.com>...


> >Ask wife about car
>
> "Honey, where's the car?" you say.
>
> "The...um...the car?" she mumbles.
>
> React with:
> 1. Anger
> 2. Suspicion
> 3. Kindness
> 4. Don't react
>
> >2

How about:

> Ask wife about car

"The...um...the car?" she mumbles.

> <suspiciously> ask wife about car

"Yes dear, the car. I haven't seen it all day."

"Well.... you see, there was a bit of an accident...." she trails off,
looking at you with a nervous smile.

> <kindly> comfort wife; ask wife about location of car

"That's alright dear," you say, sitting next to her. "But where is
it now?"

This takes the convention of <g>, and extends like you are
adding conversational tags to your commands.
<tentatively> What do you think?

--
Sam Inala
MS NetShow

Mark J. Tilford

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Dec 20, 1997, 3:00:00 AM12/20/97
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On 17 Dec 1997 05:12:51 GMT, Sam Inala <sa...@microsoft.com> wrote:
>> <kindly> comfort wife; ask wife about location of car
>
>"That's alright dear," you say, sitting next to her. "But where is
>it now?"
>
>This takes the convention of <g>, and extends like you are
>adding conversational tags to your commands.
><tentatively> What do you think?
>

Oh, no! It's Guess The AdVerb!

--
---------------
Mark J. Tilford
til...@ralph.caltech.edu

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