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Author Topic: Modal and non-modal "Dialog"  (Read 4935 times)
eleazzaar
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« on: March 20, 2009, 05:40:01 PM »

I don't know if this involves the story engine at all, but it could.

I see the need for 3 (or 4) kinds of text boxes in the game world, not counting any information displayed in the UI screens.

1) Non-Modal Dialog
These are used for dialog that the player doesn't need to respond to.

The chatter of NPCs talking to each other, vendors hawking their wares, or party member giving their status, fit in this category.  The "word bubble" of some sort floats above the speaker's head, for a preference-controlled number of seconds, and then disappears without player intervention.  Most dialog in this category should be "throwaway", in other words, it is OK if the player doesn't read it.

As an example of the party member status use, in battle, a character might say, "Ah! the Enemy is too strong!" when his moral drops and he is near to panicking.  Individual joinable NPCs would ideally have different quotes fitting to their personality.  Other uses of status dialog is when the NPC is seriously wounded, is starving, is freezing, gloats over a success, etc.


2) Modal non-dialog text boxes
These might be rare, but occasionally very useful.  For instance if there's some intro text for an episode that's not part of a conversation.  It's too important to risk the player missing any of it, so it is modal.  The window doesn't go away until the player clicks the "continue" (or whatever) button.


3) Modal conversation
This is the archetypical dialog dialog boxes.  The previous statement of the NPC(s), along with the options the PC has to advance or end the conversation


4) Tooltips
I think a lot of the information that older RPGs would usually only provide when you clicked on an item, could be more conveniently given in tool tips.  I.E. hovering the mouse over something would be equivalent to the "look" command.  For instance if you hovered over a book, you would get a tooltip with a verbal description, title, etc. of the book. Yes, this is retro, isometric gaming brought into the 21 century!

Actually clicking would be reserved for interacting with objects..
« Last Edit: March 20, 2009, 05:47:21 PM by eleazzaar » Logged
icelus
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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2009, 05:46:56 PM »

1) Non-Modal Dialog
Since events can have actors and targets, any event that occurs that has the PC as neither actor nor target would  be non modal.

2) Modal non-dialog text boxes
If the PC is the target but the event has no actors, the event's text is still modal.

3) Modal conversation
This occurs when the PC is an actor in an available event, the previous statement comes from the PC having been the target of an event that executed.

4) Tooltips

This is a good idea, but I'm not sure about the right way to do it. Perhaps maps themselves could contain static descriptions of items that could be surfaced as tool-tips (you could do it with the story engine but its probably really inefficient in most cases and defeats the semantic of "events" happening).
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eleazzaar
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« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2009, 05:54:02 PM »

I think that works, though i have a nagging feeling that there are some edge cases.

4) Tooltips

This is a good idea, but I'm not sure about the right way to do it. Perhaps maps themselves could contain static descriptions of items that could be surfaced as tool-tips (you could do it with the story engine but its probably really inefficient in most cases and defeats the semantic of "events" happening).

In most cases i think the stuff you would be getting tooltips on would be mobile or moveable, i.e. objects and characters, though it also would be nice to attach info to some of the interesting static objects on the map.
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Gaspard
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« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2009, 09:32:12 PM »

I think that works, though i have a nagging feeling that there are some edge cases.

4) Tooltips

This is a good idea, but I'm not sure about the right way to do it. Perhaps maps themselves could contain static descriptions of items that could be surfaced as tool-tips (you could do it with the story engine but its probably really inefficient in most cases and defeats the semantic of "events" happening).

In most cases i think the stuff you would be getting tooltips on would be mobile or moveable, i.e. objects and characters, though it also would be nice to attach info to some of the interesting static objects on the map.

didn't the isometric Fallouts have that for all of the items in the game, including walls doors movables non-movables ?
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eleazzaar
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« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2009, 10:10:21 PM »

Re: Tooltips

didn't the isometric Fallouts have that for all of the items in the game, including walls doors movables non-movables ?

No.

At least FallOut 1 (which i currently have installed) does not make tooltip when you hover over items in the game-world.

The text descriptions appear in the absurdly small green screen in the bottom left.
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