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Post feature Report RSS A Reference to Dialogues

A brief explanation of providing dialogues to players in-game with our dialogue system. What works for us and feels more natural.

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At a certain moment, we realized that giving the player all the information he needs before the mission starts is possible, but not that easy and definitely doesn't feel natural.

Actually, it happened almost at the beginning of our work
Our first idea...?
Let's give a big round of applause to Mr. Telephone:

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To be honest, we planned the telephone to be just a temporary solution, but... oh well... it worked so why get rid of it? Anyway, knowing how things go, replacing it with something different would take ages. (not that it's hard to do, it would just remain on the "to do" list forever)
In this case, we just wanted to give the player all the information he needed for the tutorial, and somehow avoid doing it through a massive wall of text. Now... to take it to the next level, we had to create a system that would more or less take care of how the dialogues work.

"Well, there is a Unity asset that does just that!"

Oh yeah, I remember these words. If there IS a ready solution, and people say it's not that bad, it has to work right?
At least in theory!
I mean... it looks pretty good and does its job.

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That is till we had to play around it a little bit (if I remember correctly, it was about to trigger off a particular code after a conversation). The documentation didn't help us too much either.

I screamed a lot (ask the rest of the crew). If I had to describe everything I went through... the censorship wouldn't allow that.
And the worst part is, that there were no alternatives. We fought... and oh man... the scars are still visible.

Criticising other's work is not my point. (not here at least)
I'm just criticising my own.

Eventually, it was pretty cool that we had a dialogue system. We had to use it for something more than just talking to a phone right? What about adding some NPCs? We knew it was just a matter of time. Surprisingly, it wasn't even hard to do (unless the NPC has to move... SC Ropewalker...)

Okay so now we have some NPCs talking to the player... it would be nice to let him respond though.
And here we faced yet another problem. You see... there is one person who is present in all of the dialogues... yes that's Mark, the main character!
As I've mentioned in one of the earlier submits, there are 3 people involved in the project.
And they all work on different in-game levels
And if they work on a level, they also write the dialogues.
And if they write the dialogues, they also write the lines for the main character.
And while writing the lines for Mark... they also form his personality through them.

Because of that, when playing the game you can notice three, a bit different personalities of our protagonist. From one order to another, he switches between being a vibrant enthusiast, a self-aware cynic, and a lover of questionable humour. At least it's clearly visible for me...

THEORETICALLY one of us could just remake the dialogues to keep everything consistent.
OR we could just let it be and count on the in-game events to explain this "anomaly" well enough.

All I can say is that I polished the dialogues here and there, only to make them feel more natural (cuz who the hell answers with a 3 sentence epic to a simple "hi"?)

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Body of Evidence
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Fat Dog Games
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