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Dialogue Menu Layout

A discussion area for general design issues that staff would like detailed feedback on.

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Roots
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Dialogue Menu Layout

Post by Roots » Wed Feb 08, 2006 12:28 pm

I wanted some feedback on how dialogues should be done in map mode. So far I thought that there will be a menu window with these three things:

(1) The text of the dialogue
(2) The speaker's name ("Claudius" or "Dying Old Man")
(3) The speaker's portrait, if any (we're not doing a portrait for every single NPC)

Should there be anything added or removed from this list?



Next, where will all this stuff go? Right now the text occupies the full-width and the bottom 1/3 or 1/4 of the screen.I was thinking of putting the name and portrait on the top left of that window (I think this is how it was done in Grandia II). Should the portrait go on the side of the text, or under, or what?


Also, can we have more than one dialogue box open at a time during a conversation? Ie, a box on the bottom for one speaker, and one on the top for another? Would that be cool/easier to distinguish between speakers, or would it be too annoying for the player to keep moving their eyes?



Sorry I can't post pictures demonstrating any of this right now, but I'm at work and on my lunch break. :| If you want to post dialogue pictures from other RPGs and explain why you think they are good or bad, that would be nice. :) Let me know what you think
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MindFlayer
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Re: Dialogue Menu Layout

Post by MindFlayer » Wed Feb 08, 2006 1:11 pm

Roots wrote: Should there be anything added or removed from this list?


I think not. Simplicity is visually appealing and your list has all the info I ever need :)

Here's my layout proposal, almost like what you were describing:
Image
(oops! huge file!)

Roots wrote:Also, can we have more than one dialogue box open at a time during a conversation?


I don't think it's too good if we're having a dialogue-window this big, it would probably annoy the player as well.  :( I think it's enough to just change the window when another speaker comes to the discussion. Maybe we could also use different colours for different speakers hmh?
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Post by Sylon » Wed Feb 08, 2006 2:00 pm

Roots, if people WANT to have more than 1 dialogue box at a time during a convo (I do!), then I suggest you do it FFMQ style.  One pops up--the next pops in another spot while the previous one darkens (but is still readable).  Then the dark one lights up with next text, and the other one darkens, etc etc.
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Roots
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Post by Roots » Wed Feb 08, 2006 2:17 pm

Nice mock-up Viljami. I like that look a lot. :approve:


Sylon: yeah I was thinking the same idea (darkening the unused dialogue window if we go with a double window approach). So I guess now we need to decide if we'll have a single dialogue window or a double. I'll modify this thread to include a poll later. :)
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Steu
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Post by Steu » Wed Feb 08, 2006 2:30 pm

I definately think we should have a conversation progress through 2 boxes the way Sylon brought up.
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Post by Sylon » Wed Feb 08, 2006 3:51 pm

Steu wrote:I definately think we should have a conversation progress through 2 boxes the way Sylon brought up.


FFMQ pulls through again!  :bow:  Way to go Mystic Quest, MMYeah!!  :cool:
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Post by prophile » Thu Feb 09, 2006 1:43 pm

You could try something like this (from Cythera)

Image

Much better displayed, but with the character and who they're talking to both shown in the same screen and the character's options for talking.
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Post by Jetryl » Thu Feb 09, 2006 11:27 pm

:twitch:  :D  WHOA.  Someone other than me on this board has played Cythera!

Ah, what an awesome game.  Of course, most games by Ambrosia Software are.  Pity the Delver engine never got used for anything else; it (and the story) was one of the game's strongest assets.
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Post by prophile » Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:35 am

Cythera players are rare nowadays :( I hear it's being ported to OSX now. Still, it was released with some nasty bugs (the fetch spell) and I hope that kind of thing won't pop up in Allacrost :)
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qubodup
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Post by qubodup » Sat Dec 29, 2007 3:52 pm

I have one thing to add:
The talking character should have a speech bubble animation (with a [".","..","..."]-loop) above him/her while s/he's talking!
Something like this:
[img:128:128]http://nothingdoesntsuck.googlepages.com/talking.png[/img]
(The changes I did are trivial)
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Roots
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Post by Roots » Sun Dec 30, 2007 1:29 pm

I think the addition of the elippses is a good idea. To be perfectly honest, I'm not entirely enthusiastic about the speech bubble itself. I think it grows and shrinks...oddly. :shrug: I would like to see it maybe expand and shrink horizontally only, but not vertically.
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