New NPC Conversation Window - Feedback

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Lord_Darkmoon, Jan 14, 2017.

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  1. yarnevk

    yarnevk Avatar

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    I am very pleased they are putting in the keyword feature, as the guess the keyword minigame is simply not fun. It was not a process of discovery what the NPC is thinking as a conversational AI, it was a guess what 'obvious' keyword the dev put into the code.

    Unfortunately they are basing this design on an old Ultima that had a row of keywords, a game that dates back to when Windows support for multiple scrolling text windows had yet to be invented.

    This design fits only four words before the scroll bar, if it had been a list on the side this same window would have allowed for ten keywords. Since the conversation trees are supposed to be deep and wide, more keywords visible is a better design. Even just the conversation starter list is already more than just four basics.

    The Elder Scroll games have implemented the word list as an actual vertical list for the very good reason that this is fundamentally good UI design. It is a list so it should be vertical. Choosing not to do it just to be different from Elder Scrolls is a less readable design choice. Once you move to the vertical list then you realize it gives you design freedom to use key phrases instead of just keywords, but that would become a jumbled mess in the row list.

    The human brain is much more capable of scanning words in vertical lists. If words are in a row the brain expects them to be a flowing sentence, break up the flow of a sentence with large word spacing and even a sentence gets hard to read. When you buy a notepad for your shopping list, it is longer than it is wide for this reason. Who writes their shopping list down in a row?

    As far as who said what in the log, I would prefer color text over cellphone left/right justify, as that is better for larger conversation parties. But colored text on black backgrounds is garishly hard to read (it is why this forum defaults to grey on black!) , and it does not help the colorblind. But even just putting a full line break is a small sacrifice on viewable lines, look at any scriptwriters format - they have paragraph breaks between lines so that it is easier to track when the speaker changes so that the actor does not run past their lines.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
  2. yarnevk

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    This is the format Skryim moved to of dialogue phrasing rather than keywording. whereas the voiced protaganist in Fallout 4 went back to the shorter key phrase of earlier games. Fallout 4 was widely panned dialogue system, but I think that was mostly because the voice acting did not match what was in the players head, and the four choices had no impact on gameplay boiling down to YES/NO/LATER/ASS. The shorter key phrase worked in earlier games because it left it open for the player to RP what they wanted to say because the game was not saying it for them. (voiced or text)

    You can still enter your RP chat as before, think of the short list as suggested topics that inform you what you need to say in your RP without constraining your RP freedom to say it how you want to. Of course you do have to recognize that you have to actually incorporate the word 'work' rather than hope they coded all of it's synonyms since this is not a natural language interface, and certainly will never be a archaic middle english conversationalist.

    As far as the game is concerned 'keep' is a purchasable game object on the store, you cannot expect them to code every possibility - which is why many of us demanded they list the keywords they actually programmed.

    Those using the keyword list are not wanting to pretend the AI is a conversationalist because it is not, but not dictating exactly what you are saying in the list leaves you free to mostly do so.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
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  3. Barugon

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    Readability is more important to me than "pretty". I like the idea of having either the player's or the NPC's text right aligned (like text messaging).
     
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  4. majoria70

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    I like that we are doing this but so far it almost looks like it is the chat window moved over to the middle of the screen. Ok I tried to do a word document that stood out more, but I should have done it in another program plus I am rusty.

    I think we should fancy it up more. Change the font to differentiate it from the chat window we've previously had. Make it not look so cheap looking. Make it cool looking, change the font, make it look different from the original chat window, even unrecognizable from it.

    Examples and not necessarily the 'one' but some ideas of dialogue boxes. It should not look like a 'word' document. It should also have the 'give item' option when the npc needs an item from you.

    Also make the box a little bigger and the font a little bigger with an interesting border. This would help it to jump out at you. I see a text box I want to overlook and not investigate. It just looks like a 'word' document. ;)

    [​IMG]
    sorry scanned picture. I did this in word and my scanner is black and white *sighs*.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]




     
  5. mercster

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    Hum, you posted like 6 images, none of them are the same...I'm sure we could all put up thousands of images to represent the thousands of conversation methods used in previous games, but this is scattershot and not useful. Pick one! :)

    Just do this (from Morrowind):
    [​IMG]
    EDIT: Figured it out, yeesh.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
  6. Timmy Vortex

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    Ya well everyone has a favourite just like you. So it will probably be a scattershot anyhow :p
     
  7. yarnevk

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    My vote is for Morrowind, it has both the in context highlighting and the vertical listing of the keyword. This way if you are reading you do not lose focus by going over to the list for the followup question, but no need to scroll back thru old conversation to see what other things was discussed as they are kept in the keyword list as they come up.

    When I heard Todd Howard (Elder Scrolls creative director) say they could never port Morrowind to modern consoles because a XBONE player would say WTF with all this text, I realized Elder Scrolls will never again be what it was once! Nowadays the imperial agent would simply say Caius has been added to your map pointers....when the entire point of the quest was to explore this strange new world as your first quest out of town.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
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  8. Vladamir Begemot

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    Sorry, I can't for a second believe that's where we're heading. I'd be so disappointed that it's just the same text box moved to the middle with keywords and would never bother to do the quests.

    Tiny text gets scanned, not read, when we're looking at it regularly. It also makes the text unimportant psychologically.

    If you want people to play the quests, make the text as big, and the window as nice as either of the top two with characters that Majoria posted.

    Morrowind is still too small and eye straining. (don't say increase font size, the default matters!) It's a 90's GUI.

    The whole promise of the NPC's that actually talk to us, from way back at the Unite Conference, isn't happening. That's what would have used a chat interface, the only other reason to use it is if you are making a retro 80's or 90's game.

    Since the bartender ISN'T going to have a real conversation with me, make a nice, large, easy on the eyes, beautiful, 21st century conversation GUI.
     
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  9. Baratan

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    Morrowind isn't too small. The text size is literally the exact same as SotA and the window defaults to one much larger.
     
  10. Vladamir Begemot

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    SotA is waaaaaay too small. We have modern technology now, not 17" CRT's at 800x600.

    Once again, this is SotA:

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. mercster

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    How about configurable font sizes, like most MMOs nowadays. Because I like small text for some things (combat text), and larger for others (whispers).
     
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  12. majoria70

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    ahhh be nice. they were just ideas and I did not find the exact idea but I know it needs to look unlike the chat window we have already. ;)
     
  13. Barugon

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    I like a separate tab for combat text.
     
  14. Vladamir Begemot

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    I'm strictly talking about the new window for NPC Dialog. This might be the most important improvement that must be made for the game, as it is literally

    The Epic Story Quest Delivery Method!

    Fail at that and I will go out on the limb and say we never hit critical mass because players don't like the questing, the game flounders, and dies.

    It must not be a slightly different implementation of the chat box. It must be an attractive method of interacting with the story. It must be a joy to use, whether by typing or clicking.

    Bust out some graphics design, or go to the Asset store and purchase some nice looking backgrounds and buttons.
     
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  15. mercster

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    Yeah me too, I have 4 or 5 tabs...a general one, one for whispers, one for party, etc. But in the combat tab I like a smaller font.
     
  16. Vladamir Begemot

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    It's not even in the same area as all your tabs. They can be however you like.
     
  17. mercster

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    Yes I realize that, we got to talking about chat in general, not just the quest chat.
     
  18. Vladamir Begemot

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    That these are even in the same conversation still is scary. The "New Quest GUI" was supposed to be a reworked, updated system, not a hack of the old one.
     
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  19. mercster

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    They know it's a problem, they've said they're working on it, and they've released a screenshot of very early work on it.
     
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  20. Vladamir Begemot

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    But it looks like they are keeping it the same. Maybe the screenshot is misleading because they've got a plan to also change the look and feel. If that's the case then I'm panicking for nothing.

    If not, for $30 they can have something like this off the Asset store and DO change the look and feel.

    [​IMG]

    Their already created buttons, not these simple ones. Ignore the "Kill 3 Monsters" bit. Still Dialog from an NPC, but in a way that doesn't feel like I'm talking to a bot on a 90's MUD.

    Text just the same as it is, in a scrolling window, but now it's on a bright background and looks somewhat important, maybe with a bit bigger font. Keyword picker in buttons along the bottom or the side (hopefully nicer buttons than those in the screenshot.)
     
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