Proposals for new Dialog Box

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

  1. Astirian

    Astirian Avatar

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    I pinged him on Twitter re; the dialogue box and he answered the call! This is awesome!

    Here's a couple of concepts I had come up with beforehand:

    A larger box and font, with key spacing around the text and scroller, and a light grey border surrounding it:

    [​IMG]

    Another minimal change, again just some key padding around the box. This time I made it a rounded rectangle for a softer look:

    [​IMG]

    This is a doctored ESO screenshot with our conversation parser grafted in:

    [​IMG]

    Here is a fairly heavy re-design using portraits and the Ultima VII font. However I think that the fancy map font would be better. (It was just easier to Photoshop the U7 one)

    [​IMG]

    :)
     
  2. Paladin Michael

    Paladin Michael Avatar

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    --> SKIP TEXT IF YOU DON'T LIKE TO READ SO MUCH - PLEASE AT LEAST WATCH THE -SUMMERY and -EXAMPLE BELOW - THANK YOU AVATARS :) <--
    I love (d) text adventures like those of Scott Adams or Infocom.
    But finding out WHAT THAT NPC wants to know - to be precise, WHAT KEYWORD works - is a terrible thing for most people !!!
    There are still a few scenes in the game where you have to do that!
    Those led to most of confusion and questions in the forum as players could not figure out what to enter!
    Some quests were labeled as bugged, although this was not the case as it was not clear what to do or say.

    If we had an excellent parser that understands all of our sentences, I would say let's do that. But that's not what we have - and I can not see it next time.

    The way it works with keywords (like any modern text / graphics adventure) is certainly the right one for most players.
    What we need to get rid of are distracting and annoying things and focus on what needs to be shown on screen - yet(!) - to enjoy the story.

    Is it important to display every keyword we clicked before?
    Of course not. Just shift it into a 'key' icon(!) For "previously asked questions".
    So we only see keywords that we have not asked yet.

    So many people said they always get the same information ... why? Well, who can remember every NPC and which keyword was asked?
    And yes, I know: keywords that we asked are fading gray. That's good - but no reason, they have to be shown all the time.
    Some keywords should disappear immediately after we have clicked them, and the information is ON SCREEN like NAMES!
    (Why should I ask again if the name of the NPC is displayed?)

    I think @Barugon also gets a good point:
    I would not say what we need is far away from what we have, but a kind of polishing from what we have could be much better for everyone.
    I was also surprised by the intro, Lord British showed, which looked very good.
    But if you think about this:
    What should happen, if the text get's longer???
    [continue] ?
    Auto vanish? --> some people read faster than others! Waiting too long is terrible for one group, missing the spoken text terrible for another group of people.
    So, yes, a [continue] could be fine in THAT case - or at least an option, where we could enter for how long a text should be shown (also not best solurion: sometimes text is one sentence, sometimes there are four!
    How about this solution:
    Left arrow to go back to re-read text - right arrow to go forward in the conversation :)
    So everybody can control how fast a conversation goes on! --> that's more like it works in real life.

    And for sure, there are things that have nothing to do with "I like" or "I do not like" when we take a closer look at a story:

    - is it enjoyable?
    - Is my mind with the story? Or am I distracted too often?
    > removing underlined keywords helps to focus on text (eye jumping effect while reading underlined keywords).

    - is it clear what to do next?
    > Why do I have to enter a keyword or a few words at THIS time? Why not having a keyword after asking for something?

    - is it annoying? (scrolling up / down too many times, scrolling left right for keywords)
    > Just ONE more text line in current dialogue box would prevent over 95% of "continue" button.
    Hiding former clicked keywords in a 'key icon' would prevent to bother with all those keywords again for no reason.
    > providing <-- and --> keys to jump back and forward in a conversation would prevent scrolling.


    Well another thing - imagine this:
    You're reading a comic (Donald Duck, Spiderman, whatever!)
    and all text is in a text box middle of the current picture. How would you feel about?


    SUMMERY:
    1. no underlined keywords in text.
    2. possibility to go back in a conversation without scrolling all the text. How? Double asked keywords will not be shown!!! [why should I re-read 'name' --> 'my name is Loop' if I asked this -accidently- three times?
    --> a kind of 'chat journal', where the whole conversation is saved as it happened to re-read it every time WITHOUT repeating text.
    3. beter keyword logic: only show keywords we haven't asked before, show keywords after we get them from (new) npc information --> prevents spoilers!


    EXAMPLE:

    HOW IT IS NOW:
    ____________________________________________________________________________
    Arabella: Greetings Avatar, my name is Arabella, I am the wife of Lord British.
    I am here to guide you through your first steps in the world of New Britannia!

    [name] [job] [Lord British] [New Britannia]

    Michael: name

    Arabella: As I told you, my name is Arabella.
    [job] [Lord British] [New Britannia] [name]

    Michael: job
    Arabella: I am here to guide you through your first steps in the world of New Britannia!
    [Lord British] [New Britannia] [name] [job]

    Michael: Lord British
    Arabella: He is the ruler of this realm, an outlander like you, and last but not least, my beloved husband.
    But no time for small talk. You have to talk to the Oracle immediately!

    [New Britannia] [Oracle] [Lord British] [name] [job]

    Michael: Oracle
    Arabella: The Oracle is watching you and your decisions. She guides you on your chosen path!

    [New Britannia] [Oracle] [Lord British] [name] [job]



    If a person told her/his name, there is really NO reason to show keyword for name (only if there would be something special with this person and about the name!)


    HOW IT COULD BE:

    ____________________________________________________________________________
    Arabella: Greetings Avatar, my name is Arabella, I am the wife of Lord British.
    I am here to guide you through your first steps in the world of New Britannia!

    [Lord British] [New Britannia]

    Michael: Lord British
    Arabella: He is the ruler of this realm, an outlander like you, and last but not least, my beloved husband.
    But no time for small talk. You have to talk to the Oracle immediately!

    [New Britannia] [Oracle] [#]

    Michael:
    Oracle.
    Arabella: The Oracle is watching you and your decisions. She guides you through your chosen path!
    [New Britannia] [#]



    --> the [#] would be a nice icon to get former asked words again.



    Just decide for yourself: where is the reading flow better? What helpful information provides the current version?

    Just a few changes help to be more with the story and avoiding distraction.

    A little more visible polish (less window looking) and I assume alot of people would be very happy - even those who like the offline version!!!
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
  3. Vladamir Begemot

    Vladamir Begemot Avatar

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    @Astirian yes I saw that he asked for proposals on Twitter, good job. That's why I started this thread. Hopefully it gets read.

    @Paladin Michael and others I appreciate the discussion on keyword functionality, but this is a thread about the form of the dialog box specifically.

    Changing the keyword system is outside of the scope of this thread.

    A dialog box change visual and readability change needs only a few things to be implemented. This is why it is frustrating this has been pushed back for 2 years after the joke current one they were "Excited to Announce" back in Feb 2017.
    • The window visual. No change if they stick with the black MUD box.
    • The spacing of text and empty space
    • The font and size
    • A continue button (not needed after the window is larger than a the postage stamp we have)
    • Position on screen
    • Size
    • Making sure on screen elements don't overlap
    • Moving the camera location to keep player/NPC out of the dialog box visually
    • Opacity
    • Default underlined keywords to OFF
    The above is a one month fix.

    Please, if you have any ideas of how you would like the dialog box itself to work, post them here. Images if you have visual styles you would like.

    Keyword functionality should be its own long and meaty thread. It is a different but interwoven issue. Changing any of the mechanics of that requires a different person or two, and probably has to all be thrown out later anyway when they work on questing again.

    Just fixing the window so we can read it is a tiny problem comparatively, and what this thread is for. For instance, underlining keywords should be off as you say, that's a visual disaster.
     
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  4. Browncoat Jayson

    Browncoat Jayson Legend of the Hearth

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    Keywords also need to be tied to quests you are on. Lots of times, you need to say the same keyword to continue/end the quest that you already said, so it's grey and probably not first. That's annoying, playing pick-the-word when it's already in your list.
     
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  5. Vladamir Begemot

    Vladamir Begemot Avatar

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    Here's a couple examples of modern game dialog UI.

    If you mentally cut out the images and just look at the box, and position that appropriately (I'd say farther to the right in the first one), imagine having something like this in Shroud. How much easier would it be to read through the book sized story? How many people would actually read instead of keyword click?

    Readability, font size, space between paragraphs, a large area so we can look up without having to scroll, pleasantly themed coloring that feels like a fantasy world.

    [​IMG]

    Here's the one that surprised Viola when she realized some games make text readable:

    Relevant to Shroud, you can't have text on the right and underneath because we don't have descriptive text, so just mentally use the right panel. However, a left side zoom of the NPC you're talking too, as here, may be a good idea. Enjoy the large text, spacing, and generally not cramped feel. I bet they have a lot less problems with people skipping over the story and then being lost, because it is very low effort to read.

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Browncoat Jayson

    Browncoat Jayson Legend of the Hearth

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    I mean, ideally each npc would have a "conversation camera" that could play into that left side. Most models come with a "bone" already in place to attach the camera to. Then, yes, this would be great. Even static images of the npc would be a huge improvement. However, we asked before and they said that wasn't likely/too expensive. The only camera we seem to be able to use is the player one, and they don't adjust that even when we animate for gathering. So the best we can hope for is a non-crappy text frame.
     
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  7. Vladamir Begemot

    Vladamir Begemot Avatar

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    I agree. The above two images aren't campaigning for any camera work though, they are just to illustrate that modern games have learned that a MUD interface isn't ideal for communicating a story.

    I suppose I could have cut the left side out and replaced it with Shroud... I'll do that.
     
  8. Vladamir Begemot

    Vladamir Begemot Avatar

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    To be clear, the positioning of the characters in these shots already exists, I simply hid the UI. This is the exact camera angle that already takes place, shifted to the left to accommodate the Dialog box.

    Just trying to minimize the amount of work needed in order to maximize the possibility that it happens.

    So, here's another example. Replace the Continue buttons with a bar of keywords, nice, stand out, visible buttons.

    Again, readability, font size, spacing, window size. These are the important parts. After that it would REALLY be nice if we had a good looking window, rather than a chat box.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Astirian

    Astirian Avatar

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    I have a feeling that if they do help us out and put some more work into it, they'd want to keep the flat UI thing but I would love to see some more skeuomorphic fantasy stuff inline with the Journal/Recipe Book etc...

    A couple more examples (ignore the portraits):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Maybe even just basic parchment on its own?

    [​IMG]

    Too pixel artsy, but nicely parchmenty.

    [​IMG]

    Even if you didn't go skeuomorphic, just a bigger size and good spacing would be good. Or something like this maybe?

    [​IMG]

    Honestly though, at this stage I'd be happy with this:

    [​IMG]

    I Twittered the gif to LB but I was a bit late with my reply (in France at my dad's wedding right now :D) ... So hopefully he saw it.
     
  10. Mylady ‘Gin Gin Darlin

    Mylady ‘Gin Gin Darlin Avatar

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    I really like the simplicity of that. Thumbs up.
     
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  11. Paladin Michael

    Paladin Michael Avatar

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    Astirian, we have the huge Dialogue box since a few days :)
     
  12. Vladamir Begemot

    Vladamir Begemot Avatar

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    I wouldn't call it huge, but yeah it's a bit bigger
     
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  13. Vladamir Begemot

    Vladamir Begemot Avatar

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    Although the patch notes made it seem like it is only for larger monitors.
     
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  14. Astirian

    Astirian Avatar

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    Oh cool! I can't wait to check it out when I get back! :)
     
  15. Barugon

    Barugon Avatar

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    It's actually a bit too big for my taste.
     
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  16. Cora Cuz'avich

    Cora Cuz'avich Avatar

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    It's also blurry.
     
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  17. Vladamir Begemot

    Vladamir Begemot Avatar

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    Reported that already. Font sharpening or whatever isn't working.
     
  18. Browncoat Jayson

    Browncoat Jayson Legend of the Hearth

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    The problem is, it isn't a larger window to show content better, it's simply scaled up. So it's harder to read because it's blurry, it's bigger text than the other windows, and it looks out of place.

    Increase the window size, not just scale up the whole thing.
     
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  19. Vladamir Begemot

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    Well, I do like the bigger font. But it is going to flow off the top just the same. But supposedly it is a fix for bigger monitors. Who knows, maybe one day we'll get an attractive functional dialog box.
     
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  20. Paladin Michael

    Paladin Michael Avatar

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    Comparing like it was before with my high resolution it really looks huge now ;)
    That was my impression too ;)
     
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