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Default Frayed Knights - Talk Ain't Cheap

February 22nd, 2010, 15:13
Time for an update on Frayed Knights. Here's a snip from Talk Ain't Cheap. Apparently.
I knew when I signed up for it that making an RPG would be a pretty significant undertaking. I had expectations of a lot of work. Even though I had elevated my expectations of the amount of work I had to do, there were a couple of areas where I woefully underestimated the amount of labor involved.

And dialog is one of those areas. I mean, it's just text, right? Sounds easy! I'm not even doing voice-overs for this game!

If my quests were just of the "bring me six rat tails" variety, and my dialogs were of the one-or-two-line variety, I wouldn't have so much work to do. Now I know why other games do that. I'd have three things for an NPC to say: "Hi there, get me six rat tails!", "Hi! Do you have my six rat tails yet?", and "I see you brought me six rat tails! Here's your reward!" No other NPC (Non-Player Character… anyone not controlled by the player) in the world would care or be involved in that quest in any way.

Easy. Simple. Straightforward. And of course, not what I chose to do.
More information.
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February 22nd, 2010, 15:13
I posted my comment on the site, but basically, I don't think it's necessary or cost effective to have different responses depending on which parts of a quest you have completed and which parts you haven't. Hopefully there is some sort of quest log that will show you that information, without having to code 4 or 9 extra different responses for each NPC.
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February 22nd, 2010, 17:51
[QUOTE=wolfing;1060999659]I posted my comment on the site, but basically, I don't think it's necessary or cost effective to have different responses depending on which parts of a quest you have completed and which parts you haven't. [/
QUOTE]

Well, I think, if it isn't too much work, then it would be a nice touch, and make the NPCs feel more "alive".

But I agree : This works costs time and money, essentially.

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February 22nd, 2010, 20:28
[QUOTE=Alrik Fassbauer;1060999688]
Originally Posted by wolfing View Post
I posted my comment on the site, but basically, I don't think it's necessary or cost effective to have different responses depending on which parts of a quest you have completed and which parts you haven't. [/
QUOTE]

Well, I think, if it isn't too much work, then it would be a nice touch, and make the NPCs feel more "alive".

But I agree : This works costs time and money, essentially.
I'm talking for an 'indie' RPG it's not worth it. If you have the tens of millions of dollars backing of Bioware/Blizzard then, whatever, hire 3 people full time only to write every NPC's 10 possible responses for each quest, but I'm sure Frayed Knights is not that case.
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February 22nd, 2010, 21:15
On the other hand, writing is definitely something an indie can do. An indie can't keep up on the graphics front and won't have full VO (I assume) - but they also aren't constrained by a publisher's word limit or the requirement to record every line.

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February 22nd, 2010, 22:46
Part of it is my hope to communicate better to the player what's going on. I hate it in RPGs when I've got something that I *think* should progress a quest with an NPC ("Hey, look, I have your ex-husband's head in this bag, here….") and nothing happens because the designer assumed you'd be returning with both the head AND the left ankle-bone, and you somehow overlooked the ankle-bone.
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February 23rd, 2010, 07:23
Do your development tools somehow support this process, RC? It would be nice I guess, to have a dedicated quest editor that automatically helps you track conditions and maybe even generates the necessary iterations of dialog slots. I imagine for more involved quests it can get really hard to track all relevant conditions?
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February 23rd, 2010, 14:54
Originally Posted by RampantCoyote View Post
Part of it is my hope to communicate better to the player what's going on. I hate it in RPGs when I've got something that I *think* should progress a quest with an NPC ("Hey, look, I have your ex-husband's head in this bag, here….") and nothing happens because the designer assumed you'd be returning with both the head AND the left ankle-bone, and you somehow overlooked the ankle-bone.
I understand that, but, you know, baby steps. This is (hopefully) the first game in a successful series. Don't try to accomplish everything in the first game. Present the world, the engine, background story, etc. Leave those time consuming details out. When the game comes out, if it succeeds as I hope it will, then maybe for the second one you can even hire a part-time or college student or your brother to do all the typing for all those possibilities in all those quests, while you can concentrate your talents in what matters, engine, story, designs, plots, etc.
Just an outsider suggestion that's all.
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February 23rd, 2010, 15:38
I want to second wolfing on this…. however I am gulity of the exactly same thing as RampantCoyote on Tactica: MoF…. I keep doing lots of cool stuff, features and so on…. the problem is the more you add the closer you get to vaporware so to speak…. it is really hard to find the balance between good enoug, too little or too much… and I think it is the main thing which prevents an indie game from being succesfull.
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February 23rd, 2010, 15:42
I saw a mudcrab yesterday.
1. Rumours?
2. Goodbye.

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February 24th, 2010, 18:55
As far as tools - I've been chewing on that. But I really need to define my process better before I try and automate it. In the meantime, my last couple of quests have been a bit simpler.

As far as the other suggestions - you folks are quite right. We're constantly in danger of getting bogged down (though I don't know of any of the games I've worked on in my career where that hasn't been a constant danger), and I need to fight to keep momentum positive. Whatever it takes.
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