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Default I want dialogue

December 3rd, 2006, 02:49
If they improved the response recognition mechanics, it could be a lot of fun!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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December 3rd, 2006, 04:05
Let me put it this way, would mmorpgs be better or worse if you could only click a pre-chosen response when interacting with other players?
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December 3rd, 2006, 09:01
I think the later "Quest" game that used free form text worked out okey. I could choose to type short and to the point, or i could use longer sentences. Trouble was / is the game to understand what you ment. As has been said. I don't like ambigous answer, since i am not English native i have trouble "reading" nuances of insult, sarcasm, humour or such like. Its really frustrating WANTING to choose the cool fun reply just to be punished because it was hostile.

But it would definitly make the game feel more alive if you could type your answer.

(Altough remembered my first Police Quest game (PQ1 which i didn't bought and was punished for that harshly in the game) when i should do a Field Sobriety Test on a drunken driver. It was impossible for me to now that i should write "Do Field Sobriety Test").

But… i blame my uncle who "gave" me his game…

I think i get my fix on Text massive games in Adventure Gameing anyway. I think they are the plot intensive ones you can play if you want to have a dialouge driven experience…

Well, back to POR2…
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December 3rd, 2006, 15:59
My opinion is that unless there is a human recipient on the other end then any kind of user written input is like trying to score with Eliza (the old C64 psychotherapist AI thingmajib experiment).

While "fleshing out" a resonse according to how your character would say it in a PnP environment makes perfect sense, it fails in an environment without the eye contact and/or the verbal intonation because it becomes almost impossible convey emotions and hidden meanings (e.g. sarcasm, playful, anger, contempt, etc, etc.). I mean, this is the very reason smilies/emoticons were invented in the first place.

Any degree of immersion a self composed response might bring is instantly broken (for me at least) when simple spelling errors and/or atypical vocabulary usage results in misinterpretations or "Huh? What?" kind of feedback from the AI. Let's take the romance incident in NWN2 where whatshername (trying not to spoil anything) declares her feelings for you and asks if you want to spend the night with her and you respond: "Yes din klamme smatso". One of two things could happen. Either the AI ignores what it can't understand and reacts to what it can understand (the "Yes") in which case I would fall over laughing since the last part of my response is danish for "you disgusting b*tch" or it would respond with the typical "I don't understand what you're saying" in which case I'm left with trying to "guess" a suitable response.

My apologies for the crude example but I was trying to get a point across. If my girlfriend (whatever that is ) would ask me the same question I might get away with such a response if I did it with a playful tone and a smile on my face but such undertones will never be part of text based response system (at least not without a huge list of symbols like smilies and a vastly superior AI than what we're capable of today).

The mood based response system Bioware is putting into Mass Effect might be what some of you are looking for … or it might just be another simplification of the elements not pertaining to the action bits. The whole "exclusively for Xbox" deal reeks of simplification all around but since we're talking about Bioware I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

"Chess in particular had always annoyed him. It was the dumb way the pawns went off and slaughtered their fellow pawns while the kings lounged about doing nothing that always got to him; if only the pawns united, maybe talked the rooks around, the whole board could've been a republic in a dozen moves." - Commander Vimes in Thud! by Terry Pratchett
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December 3rd, 2006, 18:14
Originally Posted by roqua View Post
Let me put it this way, would mmorpgs be better or worse if you could only click a pre-chosen response when interacting with other players?
Why bring up MMOs ? They're a different thing altogether.
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December 3rd, 2006, 18:31
FatBastard, good points, I'll address that later

Cormac,

Because in SP rpgs you play the role of character, in a MMORPG you do the same. In one the devs put words in your characters mouth, in the other you put words in your characters mouth.

In order for me to roleplay a character and have him say the things I want him to say, no one can puts words in his mouth for me. Its another roadblock on the path of crpgs delivering what crpgs should deliver, which is an authentic rpg experience.
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December 3rd, 2006, 22:03
Which, in the end, means that we need better AIs.

A game with not-so-good graphics could provide more fun, I think, with an excellent AI, than the other way round, I guess. And I'm talking of development time.

But, sadly the publishers usually want a game with good graphics and therefore totally neglect the time needed to build a powerful AI … Nowadays a *lot* of development time is put into physics engibnes (like the new one over there at LucasArts), but none at all into *really* good AIs, I fear. And that's a symptome of the gaming industry in general, I dare to say.
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December 3rd, 2006, 23:53
Roqua, are you looking for AI to duplicate human intelligence ? It's never going to happen. Hell, even the holodeck in Star trek had bugs.
Although I'm playing WoW right now I have limited experience in MMOs; I've actually found very little RP in my PVE WoW server: people trade, beg for money, group to kill tough monsters. . . The possibilities are simply limited, just like in SP. Are RP servers different ? The problem in MMOs I think is that everyone is playing the same role, everyone is trying to kill Van Cleef and no one, if he so desired, can instead side with him.
And you're right that's it up to the devs to make a game really stand out when it comes to roleplaying, and sometimes they do succeed. That's why my all time favourite CRPG is Darklands. It's true that it could be repetitive — like all sandbox games, I suppose — but the possibilities for RP were many: you come upon an isolated house in the forest, and are offered some choices: peek through the window, bash open the door, leave, etc. You see that a young woman lives there. What's a young woman doing alone in an isolated house in the middle of the Black forest in 1410 AD ? Well she's doubtless a witch; when you go to her you're offered another series of choices, such as killing her, converting her to Christ, bribing her for potions, etc. The thing is, she might not have been a witch after all and you may have murdered an innocent, or she was a witch and you've left a satanist off the hook. And that's just an example. I remember once having my party being arrested inside a city wherein my reputation was disastrous. We resisted arrest, were thrown in jail, escaped, were captured again and brought to the stake. . . In the end only one from the party escaped with his life, and the sequence — as best as I can recall it — was so unbelievable that I didnt reload an older saved game but continued playing with my remaining PC (you could create other characters anytime and form a new party). How many MMORPGs offer that ? Few, just like there are too few real CRPGs.
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December 4th, 2006, 00:17
Darklands is a good example of a game that didn't put words into your character's mouth. It gave you options and ambiguity about what was said. I didn't know what my guy said to get the miracle, but I filled that part in with my imagination.

I never played on an rp server in an mmo, I'm more of a pvp guy. In fact, i never roleplay or talk to people much. But agree with your point.

And that ties in with fatbastards points. I agree, the AI will never be good enough for a pure type in response system. Thats why I like my symbol idea. Of course, that leads to another problem fatbastard stated.

I just really enjoy games when there is prechosen script choses for my character to follow that doesn't fit his character.
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December 4th, 2006, 04:29
Hardcore gamers make up roughly 11% of the total market, and let's face it lads, we are the only ones that want timeconsuming, deep games where dialogue has a high priority. The other 89%, where the money in the gaming business is made, wants instant action.

Hardcore gamers, like us, are important as we often represent the initial sales of a game, and also "talk the loudest" through various medias, such as forums, meaning games successful among us will get a lot of free PR. If we didn't, we'd be completely ignored instead of semi-ignored as we are now, as we represent the smallest market segment.

Publishers want money and push developers into making games that make money, despite most developers probably wanting more heavy dialogues themselves. Remember, money always wins.
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December 7th, 2006, 02:36
This may amount to blasphamy here on this site and to RPGers everywhere, but I'm really not so interested in roleplaying my character… say, as in the replys above, by typing in my own answers and such. I'm not putting that type of dialogue down, it's fine for those who like it. But it seems to me, in the end your still relying on the AI and all it's falts and short commings to carry the experience… and I don't see how that's possible at this time. I simply want good, solid gameplaying, with a balance of ceribral gameplay through dialogue and great combat to satisfy my twitch gaming needs.

It's all about gameplay. I say there's no need to invest millions to develop complicated AI routines and speech comprehention programs. As a consumer and avid game player, I rely on the intelligence and craftiness of the developers to create dialogues which are fun and tricky and intricate, and which involve the player. All this can be done by putting a lot of thought and long hours into the preparation of the dialogues. Bottom line or no, there's no denying that it's going to take signifigant preparation and well thought out options… not to mention a goodly amount of inspiration and talent. It is, after all, what they do for a living, right? I just want to be "wowed" by the programmers depth of vision. It has been done before… and it can certainly be done again. It's just the will that's lacking these days… replaced by the greed of the almighty dollar… and maybe a little bit by the sheer infantile preferances of so many of todays gamers.
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December 8th, 2006, 00:53
I'm in agreement with the original poster but it's just too costly and people overall don't go for it (in terms of $$$). I'm content with the common style of giving us options but we really are clicking most every option and choosing only good/neutral/evil because that's much better to me than the little-dialogue/story games.
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December 8th, 2006, 07:25
Originally Posted by Cormac View Post
……. That's why my all time favourite CRPG is Darklands. It's true that it could be repetitive — like all sandbox games, I suppose — but the possibilities for RP were many: you come upon an isolated house in the forest, and are offered some choices: peek through the window, bash open the door, leave, etc. You see that a young woman lives there. What's a young woman doing alone in an isolated house in the middle of the Black forest in 1410 AD ? Well she's doubtless a witch; when you go to her you're offered another series of choices, such as killing her, converting her to Christ, bribing her for potions, etc. The thing is, she might not have been a witch after all and you may have murdered an innocent, or she was a witch and you've left a satanist off the hook. And that's just an example……

Sometimes I really hate not having a computer before 1998.If this doesn't epitomize what you would ask a crpg to do I have no idea what would.

I think the reason Planescape gets all the accolades it does is because it hit a perfect sweet spot in the player interaction with the NPCs through dialogue—it's the only game I've played where dialogue actually played a real role in the game, in uncovering TNO's bloody and convoluted past, in fleshing out the personalities of NPC's like Mort and Fall from Grace with a complex backstory, and in making you go back to the dialogue options to progress the story. It did it through the normal dialogue tree method and it worked.

Then you have Neverwinter Nights(1), using a very similar format, and getting the totally generic -
1. "I'll do it for free"
2. "I'll only do it for money you scabby dwarf" —syndrome.
You know you probably have to do it anyway, and the consquences for either response are minimal.

I think it all falls back on talent and desire. You have to want (and be able) to create something more than just a "property" that improves your bottom line.

I think our major hope for games like that are with people like Vault Dweller and other independent developers who still have something to say and no corporate suits to keep them from saying it.

Just my $.02

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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