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Re: Suggestion: Switching Characters in Conversations [Re: LordCrash] #589806
27/09/16 10:46 PM
27/09/16 10:46 PM
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mesmerizedish Offline
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Originally Posted by LordCrash
Originally Posted by Ayvah
It's simply a case where your AI companion makes the choice before you. As an example, a conversation where Sebille would normally have 4 conversation options, including one that she is very passionate about (and is potentially unique to Sebille). When she is your companion, and you reach this point in the conversation, Sebille interjects her favourite response before you are given the option to respond.

So this is one character in one dialogue, already requiring a script.

Now do the maths: the game will probably at least have 6-8 possible companions and hundreds of unique dialogues.

That means that Larian would have to create multiple scripts for hundreds of dialogues. I don't call that simple. I still call it a shitload of extra work.

I do think that Larian will do stuff like that for special dialogues that are important for the main quest or that offer special decisions for you to make within the group. But I'm sure this AI-controlled dialogue system won't happen for each and every dialogue and each and every possible character. If they do it, great. I'll be the first to applaud them. It's just that I don't think that it is a realistic vision to have at this point in development.


I know I've brought this up before, but that's not how dialogue editors work. I promise. Any line can be conditionalized. It's literally just a matter of adding a branch that only runs if the relevant character is in the party. That's not a "script," it's just a very simple condition, requiring no more work than any other line of dialogue.

Don't get me wrong, it does become "more lines of dialogue." It's not totally free. The conversation becomes more complex. But it's no more work than adding any other arbitrary line to the conversation.

Re: Suggestion: Switching Characters in Conversations [Re: LordCrash] #589815
27/09/16 11:41 PM
27/09/16 11:41 PM
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Ayvah Offline

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Originally Posted by LordCrash
So this is one character in one dialogue, already requiring a script.

Now do the maths: the game will probably at least have 6-8 possible companions and hundreds of unique dialogues.

Calling it a script is overselling it. It's basically a single IF or switch statement. And your solution already means the game would be testing if Sebille is present anyway. You just need to check that she is present as a companion, and then you can force the response without player input. Generally, companion personalities are fixed enough that their interjections can be predefined.

If they build this into the dialogue system, then it's practically just a case of ticking a box.

Re: Suggestion: Switching Characters in Conversations [Re: SourceHunter] #590206
29/09/16 01:25 PM
29/09/16 01:25 PM
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Surrealialis Offline
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Bumped for awesome

Re: Suggestion: Switching Characters in Conversations [Re: Ayvah] #590212
29/09/16 01:46 PM
29/09/16 01:46 PM
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LordCrash Offline

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Originally Posted by Ayvah
Calling it a script is overselling it. It's basically a single IF or switch statement. And your solution already means the game would be testing if Sebille is present anyway. You just need to check that she is present as a companion, and then you can force the response without player input.

You not only need to check whether Sebille is in the group, you also need a specific time during the dialogue in which she delivers her line(s). And not only her, but everybody. So you also need a kind of conversation order for each dialogue that determines

a) which character has automatic lines
b) which character talks at which specific time/state in the whole dialogue

Let's say you have a four character party and you start a dialogue. You need a specific script/check in order to determine who is allowed to talk and in which order.

There are several possibilities of how such a system could be implemented:
In the solution with the least additional effort involved everbody would deliver their line in a predefined (or arbitrary) order at a specific time that is the same for all dialogues (e.g. after your main character chose his own race/trait dialogue lines). But this would make the game very static (everybody shoots their lines right one after another) and the dialogues would become very, very long (every dialogue would involve all the lines of all characters then no matter what).
Every other solution would require more thought and more work, especially if you want to treat dialogues individually, e.g. by only letting singular characters being involved in certain dialogues. But then you have to go through each dialogue individually and you have to set individual flags for whom to talk and when to talk. And more than that, it would require the devs to carefully think about which character to be involved in a certain dialogue and which not. Why should Sebille comment a certain line/dialogue, but not Ifan or the Red Prince? And why only Lohse in that other solution? Questions like that needed to be answered for every possible dialogue. And what about the characters that are not involved? Will their existing dialogues just become invisible/ditched (at least for this playthrough)? Will they stay just silent without any chance to address a topic?
And beyond these in-process questions a system like that would be against Larian's stated vision that you can explore all of your characters dialogue options, even in SP.

Originally Posted by mesmerizedish
I know I've brought this up before, but that's not how dialogue editors work. I promise. Any line can be conditionalized. It's literally just a matter of adding a branch that only runs if the relevant character is in the party. That's not a "script," it's just a very simple condition, requiring no more work than any other line of dialogue.

But it does. It's not just an option that pops up, it's an automated process. And as such it needs a specific start condition. It's not just another dialogue option to choose from. And like I already explained above, we're talking about up to three companions here, not only ones. So such an AI-controlled system would require the devs to carefully craft dialogues in specific branches and processes. And it would require them to redesign every dialogue which specific participation states and starting conditions for automated dialogues of your companions. That's not what I call "a simple condition", it's at best a set of conditions - a set of conditions that could be completely different for every single dialogue in the game.


Last edited by LordCrash; 29/09/16 04:05 PM.

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Re: Suggestion: Switching Characters in Conversations [Re: SourceHunter] #590229
29/09/16 03:05 PM
29/09/16 03:05 PM
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Surrealialis Offline
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Still think that LordCrash's carefully formatted post is what I want to see in game.

Then the fall out/party personalities will be handled by the love hate system and after dialogue members being like, 'hey, what!?'

Whereas only in MP should a character really be able to generate a hey what moment in the middle of a conversation, and then accidentally start a fight to kill the NPC I'm trying to seduce.

Re: Suggestion: Switching Characters in Conversations [Re: LordCrash] #590292
29/09/16 09:08 PM
29/09/16 09:08 PM
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Ayvah Offline

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LordCrash, this is a problem that has already been solved many times in RPGs made by companies like Bioware, based on testing for companions. Even your example requires testing for companons present, so I'm not sure why you see this as hard.

On a basic level, you could just limit it to character/origin tags, because they're the only ones that should be companions anyway, and then you just refer to the tags.

In the rare cases where both Sebille and Red Prince have an interjection, you can give each response a priority and choose one. If somehow you end up with 2 Sebilles with equal priority then you just flip a coin.

They are already spending a lot of time actually writing the dialogue and putting it in the game. It's not much extra work to set a flag to indicate that a particular response is prioritised as an interjection.

It's a very quick and easy thing to check.

Re: Suggestion: Switching Characters in Conversations [Re: Ayvah] #590324
29/09/16 10:45 PM
29/09/16 10:45 PM
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LordCrash Offline

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Originally Posted by Ayvah
LordCrash, this is a problem that has already been solved many times in RPGs made by companies like Bioware, based on testing for companions. Even your example requires testing for companons present, so I'm not sure why you see this as hard.

Bioware did this from the start. Their focus in the campaign was never coop MP but SP, in the tradition of BG (main character speaks for the whole group with AI-controlled companion interactions). For example in a Bioware game you can never split up your group. Your group is always one entity.
But Larian had a different approach in DOS 2 with their two-player setting and that's even bigger now with the origin stuff and the 4-player setting. The whole dialogue system is built to be played with four human beings while every player can do whatever their want, not only in the overall gameplay but also in the narrative exploration and in dialogues. So in Divinity every character can initiate dialogues for himself, not the whole group. That's a huge difference to how Dragon Age or Baldurs Gate were set up.

Short: In a Bioware game all the dialogue is set up around the main character. Everything is targeted at him and the rare occasions in which a companion automatically takes over are very rare and manually crafted. In Divinity all the dialogue is set up around every possible character. Only very few lines (origin story) are specifically targeted at him and almost every dialogue in the game has different tags and options for all the different characters to answer.

You really don't see the massive difference here?

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On a basic level, you could just limit it to character/origin tags, because they're the only ones that should be companions anyway, and then you just refer to the tags.

That was the idea from the very beginning anyway.

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In the rare cases where both Sebille and Red Prince have an interjection, you can give each response a priority and choose one. If somehow you end up with 2 Sebilles with equal priority then you just flip a coin.

Rare cases? Pretty much every dialogue in the game has origin/race tags for every single character.

Quote
They are already spending a lot of time actually writing the dialogue and putting it in the game. It's not much extra work to set a flag to indicate that a particular response is prioritised as an interjection.

What does "prioritised" mean? If every four party characters have two individual tags per dialogue (which is pretty normal right now), who is allowed to speak at which specific time in dialogue? Only one? All of them? In which order? Right after another?

And the very idea of the dialogue system in DOS 2 is that nobody is prioritised! Every character is equally important in the narrative. Every character can be "the chosen one". That's the very idea of coop MP and character development in DOS 2 because every character is a possible main character. DOS 2 was never set up around traditional companions, like e.g. in Bioware games. Everybody is a possible main character, so every dialogue line is equally important (with the one exclusion of possible origin stories/quests).

So yeah, I do think that such a system would require not only a lot of extra work but even a shift in narrative vision.


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Re: Suggestion: Switching Characters in Conversations [Re: LordCrash] #590331
29/09/16 11:50 PM
29/09/16 11:50 PM
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Ayvah Offline

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Originally Posted by LordCrash
So in Divinity every character can initiate dialogues for himself, not the whole group.

As I stated before, I don't agree with this as currently implemented. My suggestion earlier was that you can initiate conversations, but the roleplaying choices are taken care of via AI. This is potentially complex, I understand, but I really need to emphasise my disinterest in roleplaying my companions.

There are also other easier solutions, but this one is a decenrt solution to the problem that avoids the D:OS style "I'll only talk to your master".

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Quote
On a basic level, you could just limit it to character/origin tags, because they're the only ones that should be companions anyway, and then you just refer to the tags.
That was the idea from the very beginning anyway.

I meant tags like "Sebille" in contrast to generic tags like "soldier". I'm not sure if that was clear.

Quote
Rare cases? Pretty much every dialogue in the game has origin/race tags for every single character.

Not every dialogue option should be tagged as a potential interjection. One example is when The Red Prince sees the lizard being harassed in front of Fort Joy, I expect he'd have a strong opinion. But he's not going to have a strong enough opinion to interject in every conversation you have.

Quote
What does "prioritised" mean? If every four party characters have two individual tags per dialogue (which is pretty normal right now), who is allowed to speak at which specific time in dialogue? Only one? All of them? In which order? Right after another?

One. Maybe two if Larian want to put the work in for it.

Quote
And the very idea of the dialogue system in DOS 2 is that nobody is prioritised! Every character is equally important in the narrative.

Not true. Player characters are already given special treatment with the hidden "avatar" tag.

I would love for this system to work in a co-op situation (ie, your coop parter interrupts), but that's a more complex suggestion. While complex, it's certainly not far-fetched though as it was something that Larian tried to do in D:OS where the two main characters would occasionally offer their own opinions and play rock paper scissors to choose the outcome. Previous comments from Swen have indicated they are actually planning a new system that can better cope with having up to 4 players making a decision.

But the simple solution is to limit interjections to AI companions.

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