Proposals for new Dialog Box

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Vladamir Begemot, Jun 7, 2019.

  1. Vladamir Begemot

    Vladamir Begemot Avatar

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    My impression is those days are over. Maybe someone else did it. They never did go on the conversational 90 degree offset, but if you look at the very top image in this thread they have it framed pretty well. I don't recall anything super weird lately either.

    One this, if they go with the dialog box on either the left or the right (I prefer right), they should offset the camera such that the player is looking in that direction, rather than away. As in the top 3 images, it wouldn't be as "Leading" for the eye if the dialog box were on the left, as the eye is naturally drawn right in all three instances.
     
  2. Paladin Michael

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    @Vladamir:
    Amazon created an own font for better reading on e-reader - Bookerly :)
    Find a very short information on wikipedia.
     
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  3. Arkah EMPstrike

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    Omg this is my favorite so far, but how hard would it be for them to do?
     
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  4. Mishikal

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    Agreed, it should default off for the NPC closeup. I think the issue is that it's really the same object in both your chat window and NPC dialog window.
     
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  5. Vladamir Begemot

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    The root of all of its problems I think. Bad choice five years ago.
     
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  6. Vladamir Begemot

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    Hmmmm I have a first generation paper white wonder if I have it.

    Either way, it's so much better than reading or dialog box. So is this phone, so are websites.
     
  7. Lars vonDrachental

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    Well...kind of. ;)
    The idea is to not use a dialog box and I made the following screenshot to make it more visual. The red boxes and arrows are just there to show the steps.
    [​IMG]

    1. You are typing a question or keyword while your are near an NPC. Normally not visible but by pressing a key the for conversations used input line appears and disapears the moment you say the words.
    (e.g. invisible input line -> Enter -> visible input line -> you are typing your question -> Enter -> your Avatar is saying the question and the input line disapears again)
    2. Your avatar is saying your typed words ingame.
    3. The NPC is responding on your input if he is close enough and no other NPC is directly addressed. (e.g. typing "Do you need help David?" would mean just an NPC with the name David would response.)

    This would be a quite minimalistic possibility to handle NPC conversations but this would also offer some possibilities like the radius of conversation could not just work for NPC. Also avatars could get e.g. a quest if they hear how another close by avatar or NPC is talking with an NPC about a problem...but maybe not the real quest and instead a "pre-quest" like "Talk with Mary in Brittany about the problem you heard about".
    The new tech needed would be some kind of talking-AI to define a range an NPC starts to respond on your conversations and to not respond if someone else is adressed.
    The possibility to understand sentences is already available...I think at least some NPC already demand sentences instead of just using single keywords.
    And of course also the visible texts above the heads of talking person is already ingame.
     
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  8. Bedawyn

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    For reference, "kerning" refers to the spacing between text characters, "leading" to the spacing between lines of text. Two batches of text in the same font and font size can still look very different if the kerning and leading is different.

    I just want to see a simple dialogue pane that takes up the whole right third of the screen. Put the conversation closeup in the other two-thirds, so the dialogue isn't blocking any of the actual visuals, then give us a column of text that's long enough to hold most conversations without scrolling or "continuing" in a font big enough to read. Maybe throw a row of buttons in at the bottom to show other ways to interact with this NPC: Buy, Heal, Attack, Give Quest Items, Goodbye. Clean and simple.

    I'm not a fan of floating windows for anything important, which is why I'd rather see a fixed pane that's flush against the top, bottom, and right side of the window, with everything else hidden. The training indicators, for instance, you don't really need to see those in the middle of a conversation -- and the more not-immediately relevant things you AREN'T seeing, the more immersive the conversation will feel.

    Also, artists have always known that the eye is drawn to the upper-right third of whatever you're looking at, and eye movement tracking also lays out principles to follow to improve the chances of readers interacting with your text in a satisfactory manner. Putting text in the bottom center of the screen flies pretty much in the face of everything we know about eye movement. It works for chat lines because we're typing at the same time; if we're reading and clicking, our eyes do NOT want to be at the bottom of the screen.

    Everyone has different standards for readability, so it needs a choice of at least three serif and non-serif fonts so people with different visual needs can pick one that works for them. The default font I think is fine now, but the default font size needs to be at least 2 or 3 sizes bigger.

    I'd love to see colored backgrounds, but used sparingly and in ways that emphasize the emotional content of the conversation -- background color as atmosphere setting. That is, ninety percent of the conversations should have a neutral-colored background, but once in a while you'll get one that's colored to match the mood of the person you're talking to. The visual equivalent of background music.

    Underlined keywords need to go. Leave them in for VERY important keywords, the ones you want to make absolutely sure the player doesn't miss. That's fine -- underlining or bolding or italics is an accepted text standard to convey emphasis in spoken speech, and if we could hear the character speak, we'd usually be able to tell which keywords they were emphasizing. But the constant underlining for synonyms of a keyword that they're not even using in its keyword sense... that's got to go.

    And the keyword list at the bottom... I really don't like it, but I haven't yet thought of a better way to keep track of which keywords a player has already used in previous conversations. But please, please, get rid of the spoilers in the keyword list! I haven't even started the path of truth yet and I already know where it's ending up, because the Oracle's keyword list tells you!)

    (Thanks again, @Vladamir Begemot!)
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
  9. Vladamir Begemot

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    Welcome to the rest of the forums @Bedawyn! That is very informative, thank you.

    You should bug the spoiler, I'm sure the devs don't want that either.

    I'm going to make a couple of mock ups of what you just wrote.
     
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  10. Vladamir Begemot

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    I think I like it. Plenty of screen real estate, zero outside distraction, the viewport can be focused so the devs don't have to do anything different than already exists. Clean. Is this what you are talking about @Bedawyn ?

    I prefer the light colored, but did up both.

    It really reminds me of the No Man's Sky quests.

    Funny story, when Viola and I started playing it, the first time she got to the reading part she exclaimed, quite loudly "So easy to read!"

    Not being a regular gamer beyond Shroud, it was a big shock to her to be able to easily read text in a game.

    [​IMG]

    Dark. Still far more readable than what we currently have (look to the top of the thread for a quick reminder of how utterly tiny the dialog box is.)

    [​IMG]

    @Lord British, @Chris, @Sannio, are you guys seeing any of these?
     
  11. Barugon

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    I personally don't see how any of this is an improvement over what we have now.
     
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  12. Vladamir Begemot

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    Unfortunately anything starting with that line is probably out of scope for the time being.

    Ironically, what you have written about is pretty close to the original concept, though.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Vladamir Begemot

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    Well, perhaps throw in your own ideas. 3/4 of players who care one way or the other dislike or hate the current dialog box, so there is no where to go but up at this point.
     
  14. Bedawyn

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    @Vladamir Begemot, yes, that's it almost exactly! Thanks for putting that together, my graphic skills are... well, I could have done that, but it would have taken most of the weekend to look half-decent. :)

    The top version looks great, but that's partly because the background color matches the color of the conversation window almost perfectly. Since the game itself doesn't have borders right now, there's no obvious color to always match. Whatever background color was chosen would need to be neutral enough not to clash no matter what the primary coloring of the conversation window was.

    Barugon does remind me of one thing: My suggestion applies only to conversation close-ups, it wouldn't work for people who've turned them off. That could be good -- it would give Port an easily trackable stat, how many are using the conversation close-ups and a new dialogue pane, how many have turned them off to stay with the current dialogue box.
     
  15. Jaesun

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    THAT one I actually like! What happened with that? Still needs some touches but nice and still immersive to the scene.
     
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  16. Barugon

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    I actually like what we have. It's very clear that I'm having a conversation with a NPC, the text is larger than the chat window and more readable and all the keywords are listed below.
     
  17. Vladamir Begemot

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    Well, you're in the minority.
     
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  18. oplek

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    The most succinct way I can describe my beefs with it (setting aside bugginess) is that it's like a joke. A joke can either be delivered well, or it can fall flat. A professional comedian can take a mediocre joke and have the audience rolling in their seats. The delivery is important to engagement and immersion.

    On the other hand, what we have now is pretty much,

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. majoria70

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    Hopefully you linked the pictures and ideas from your wonderful thread for @Lord British @Vladamir Begemot . I haven't had a chance to play today or do much on my computer to contribute to this subject.

    Personally I prefer to not have keywords and underlined words since the player can go into auto-pilot and just click away to get through it. I prefer atmospheric text where you make choices that affect the outcome many times. I prefer discriptives like "you see a haggard elderly man who looks distraught. He looks at you impatient to get on with it". "why are you talking to me?"


    "Majoria looks nervously at the man and cautiously speaks."

    A)Ummm I want to buy or sell something.

    B) I found something for you (NPC trade window opens to give)

    C) Something Else
    *********
    Just a poor example though. As mentioned examples taken from the other thread need to be here too. We must have a journal system that works well with this also.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
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  20. oplek

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    I say the above while I've been off playing a text adventure game a lot. I find that more engaging, oddly enough. There's a spectrum between pure-text reading, and 3D cinematic voice-acted action scenes... and I think SOTA has fallen into sort of an awkward anti-Goldilocks-zone between the two.
     
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