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-   -   I want dialogue (https://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=796)

CarcusRex December 1st, 2006 01:32

I want dialogue
Why not make an RPG in which good, intricate dialogue options comprise a large part of the gameplay? Don't get me wrong, combat is good and should never be neglected. But the point I'm trying to make is that it seems the notion of good dialogue has morphed into simply good writing and interesting story.

Unlike Fallout, most games today usually supply x number of options, usually all of which will be selected by the player in turn, just to gain the pertinent information about the story. The only "choice" for the player is basically in which order he'll ask the questions… or if he should choose to be "good or evil"… how old is THAT getting? Most often the motivation for these dialogues is just to progress the story, to prepare the next cut scene and to provide a means for initiating quests. Of course this has to be done to some extent, but I would like to see dialogues offered as part of the gameplay.

The developers of the new rpgs are always touting how great the story is… how deep and compelling it is and how well the story is written. They boast hollywood style cut scenes that will blow us away and provide the ultimate immersion. But, as far as I'm concerned, I'm really not interested in a great "story" as much as I am in dialogue as a mechanic of gameplay. I'm not talking about good "writing" either - although, that doesn't hurt. I'm talking about Fallout style dialogue which is intricate, branching and forces the player to make smart choices which branch off in different directions depending on how the player decides to steer the dialogue and how much intellegence and charisma the player has invested in his character. I'd like to see dialogues as puzzles for the player to "play"… where the player uses his mind (and his stats) to further develope, complicate, continue and or complete quests. Dialogues where when one option is selected, you won't always go back to the base node but instead continue on a different tangent… nested tangents which can offer success and exp, an escape route or, if you do poorly, can lead you into a tangled mess requiring a re-load… lol. Dialogues with consequences… for better or worse! Dialogues for adults who don't whine and complain that the game is too hard.

Admittedly, this is probably not easy to do, and requires depth of thought and many long hours of work. But the Fallout guys did it! And considering how well received Fallout was and what a classic it continues to be, why won't the developers stay with a good thing??? I guess I probably just answered my question with the first sentence in this paragraph… how sad.

Won't somebody make a game like Fallout… please.

Corwin December 1st, 2006 03:21

They did a few years ago, it's called Planescape-Torment!! Unfortunately, sales were not outstanding and a sequel was never made. Many RPG lovers consider it the best RPG ever made!!

Danicek December 1st, 2006 09:47

Yep, I would enjoy such RPG and I would most certainly buy it.

JDR13 December 1st, 2006 10:34

Mmm….Fallout didn't have THAT much dialog. Torment definitely had a lot, almost too much for my taste. KOTOR also had a lot, if you chose to.

ShadowMoses December 1st, 2006 11:23

I don't think we'll ever see a game like PS:T again :(

Age of Decadence is meant to focus alot on dialogue though:


Extensive dialogues trees, written with role-playing in mind. You can use many skills in dialogues, take actions like stealing or sneak-attacking, and play your character with personality as you see fit.

Alrik Fassbauer December 2nd, 2006 00:01

I'd love a game with immersive and deep dialogues,

but I fear that the Publishers won't agree. They rather want adrenaline-giving games with little or no thought at all. No philosophy, please !

My theory is that most publishers also want pieces from the big cake that are the sakles of action-RPGs. They all know too well that Blizzard did it, and Ascaron with Sacred, too … So there must be money in it. The sales were good, at least.

So, they are following that path - I think - that games with high adrenaline, high addiction and little or no though sell most.

And since the publishers are after our money …

That's why I don't think we'll EVER see deep C-RPGs like PS:T.

CarcusRex December 2nd, 2006 00:54

Yeah, Planescape was also a great game I enjoyed… but not quite as much as I did Fallout. I didn't know it didn't sell well… probably too macarbre for the general public.

JDR, I wasn't talking about the quantity of dialogue, but rather how dialogue is implemented. There's no denying that Fallout (and PT) were of a different breed all together!

I agree, Alrik. That's why I have high hopes for Age of Decadence. Lets hope Vault Dweller and crew can kick the butts of the big developers and show 'em how its done.

VDweller December 2nd, 2006 01:11


Originally Posted by CarcusRex (Post 10608)
I agree, Alrik. That's why I have high hopes for Age of Decadence. Lets hope Vault Dweller and crew can kick the butts of the big developers and show 'em how its done.

I too have high hopes for Ages of Decadence.

If you like dialogues, don't miss an upcoming AoD article at RPG Vault. It comes with a lot of screens showing what we can do with dialogues and text in general.

CarcusRex December 2nd, 2006 02:02

Awesome, VDweller. Thanks for stopping by and for the heads up! I'll be sure to keep an eye out.

Btw, a few days back, I took a quick peek at a thread on the codex which concerned improving your writing style. I didn't spend a whole lot of time checking the thread, but I did notice a really good improvement with a few examples provided in the thread. Keep up the good work! And, please, man, don't let anybody rush you… take your time and do it right… we'll wait.

roqua December 2nd, 2006 03:40

I think having preset responses has hurt the genre in general. I want ambigous, flat answers that I can change to fir in with an actual response a character i play would actually say. I would actually really just like a picture with a symbol indicating what the npcs reaction to the response would be, or wait your goal with the reply would be, such as taunt, bluff, anger, sooth, manipulate, or whatever.

Ambiguous is the key to being able to roleplay a character in a crpg in my opnion.

Corwin December 2nd, 2006 11:05

How about the ability to type in our own responses and questions, as in the 'old' days!! :)

Fenris December 2nd, 2006 12:11

oh yea… with the great respones like "I don't understand you" or "unknown command" or "you can not do that" or "I don't know what you are talking about"…

SleepingDog December 2nd, 2006 12:32

I think that one of the things I like about the (NWN) mod community is that dialogue intensive games exist which don't have to follow the "logic" of the market place. They also have some wicked action RPGs as well.

HiddenX December 2nd, 2006 13:12

Dialogues are dumbed down, because they are a major expense factor nowadays.
Common gamers expect every dialogue be overlayed with voices.

Best dialogue games:

Fallout 1+2
Vampire Bloodlines

I like big dialogue trees and the option to solve quests by giving sharp-witted answers. It is fun to get extra quests or secrets via talking, too. I like options to threaten, bribe, persuade, flatter, bootlick, cajole … , too.
The Wizardry technique to type in a term to learn more about it can be fun, too.

roqua December 2nd, 2006 15:14


Originally Posted by Corwin (Post 10635)
How about the ability to type in our own responses and questions, as in the 'old' days!! :)

As someone else said, I can see why it would be a little immersion breaking to type in a response that makes sense, and get a "I don't understand" even if the person just talked and had a lot to say on that subject.

With dialgue trees you can avoid that by not giving the player the option to talk about anything that isn't preprogrammed.

And as Hidden X said, wiz was good at what Sierra started. But I think a better system would be to take what sierra and sir-tech did and take it a step forward.

You click on the symbol, and you are allowed to type in your own response. AN example would be you click on the "brown nose" symbol. You can taype in anything you think your character would say to brown nose up to this person, in a way your character would do it. What you type isn't important, as your ability to brown nose is tied to a skill. Its just a way to advocate and enhance roleplaying.

Of course the system could be abused. You could click on the anger symbol (meaning to say a response that will anger the npc, maybe a better name would be provoke?) and type in "This is silly, lets just be friends." Or "I love you 4-eva." Or you could click on symbols and never type in anything, since you are not interested in typing in an actual response that your character would say.

ANother alternative would be to keep things how they are now. Lets use kotor as an example. Everything is the same, but there is abutton next to the dialogue that you click on to replace what the devs tell you your character will say with more fitting response from your character that would achieve the same goal.

Maybe bloodlines is a better option. Sudection dialogue comes up pink right? It doesn't matter whats said, just that htting that line checks your seduction skill, why not allow the player to type in something more appropriate for their character?

JemyM December 2nd, 2006 16:36

Planescape Torment stood out from the crowd, but it was also not sucessful in sales because it requires an above-average IQ to understand.

I have not found interesting Dialogue beyond Bioware/BlackIsle/Troika/Obsidian (who basicly come from the same group of people). The major problem is that Roleplaying games are complex products and it's difficult to support an endless variety of different character types / players with unique and personalized dialogue.

When it comes to the D&D/d20 games they have at least tried to support:
a) Evil vs Good
c) Chaotic vs Lawful
c) Support for the 6 attributes
d) Support for unique skills
e) Support for unique classes
f) Support for unique races
g) Male vs Female

NWN2 did it all and I was impressed by the amount of work put into so many different charactertypes, but since you will only see a few options per character you make you will probably miss out most of it.

Alrik Fassbauer December 2nd, 2006 16:52

Just wanted to note that translating long and complex dialogues also consumes money.

Corwin December 3rd, 2006 02:06

So does voice acting in several languages!! Typing in your own stuff, costs nothing!! :biggrin:

roqua December 3rd, 2006 03:06


Originally Posted by Corwin (Post 10717)
So does voice acting in several languages!! Typing in your own stuff, costs nothing!! :biggrin:

remember the type games? Trying to figure out what to say? I remember trying to hit on the centuar lady in QfG 1. "Ask for Kiss", "Ask for Date." (or maybe it was "ask about"?)

Or trying to get the right info by asking the right question. I thought the dialogue was pretty good, especially with the Wizard guy and his mouse thats in all of them.

Cormac December 3rd, 2006 03:26

Do all of you really think that a text parser is preferable to dialog choices, in the sense that it gives a more authentic roleplaying experience (in SP, not in MMOs) ? I'm not being sarcastic or anything, I am really wondering if CRPGs lost something with the disappearing of text parsers. I've never played those old, old games save for a very brief attempt with Ultima IV earlier this year. I have to say that I was hopelessly lost, besides 'Name' and I think 'Job', I didnt know what to ask !

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