Weekly Update

So… not really much of an update. I’ve been busy editing wedding photos for the past two weeks or so (in the evenings). That’s what happens when you take 800 pictures in a day.

I have started playing around with creating a dialog system. I had an idea a while back that would, in theory, be reasonably flexible. The end result would hopefully be something like the Deus Ex or Knights of the Old Republic style conversations, where the player participates in conversations by picking responses. Just thinking about things, I still have a few small design issues to work out. The basic flow would go something like this:

  1. Player approaches an AI entity in the game world, such as another person, and initiates conversation.
  2. The AI entity responds with a statement. This statement may be a question that allows the player to choose one or more responses, or it may be just a single statement that does not require a response.
  3. If the AI entity requires a response, the player chooses response. This response may lead to another conversation node.
  4. Scripting commands can be associated with responses, so that when a response is selected, a scripting action can cause something to happen in the game world.
  5. If the response leads to another conversation node, go to #2. Rinse, Repeat.

So, that’s what I’d like it to be able to do. I started mocking something up a little while ago, but I missed the path that leads directly from one conversation node to another without allowing the user to have a choice. For example, in Deus Ex a conversation would have an AI entity saying several statements, then the conversation ends – no choices are ever presented.

The whole system should allow for linking of different conversation nodes, so that trees can be formed. Depending on the player’s responses, different nodes of the conversation tree are discovered. This is one way I’d like the player to learn about the game’s story – through conversation.

Of course this is mostly just an idea right now. I think Red Dead Redemption did an amazing job of portraying the story through conversations that occur between the player and the other AI entities when travelling from one area to another. I’d like to do something similar (as well as a bit of Deus Ex style decision making thrown in).

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