Discussion:
Quests & Conversations revisited
(too old to reply)
Joonas Hirvonen
2004-01-15 22:00:23 UTC
Permalink
Have you put any thought on improving the typical roguelike conversations?

I'd like that some important beings have several lines in certain situations
like:
- approach ... when the being is approached for the first time
- introduce ... "Hail to thee.. my name is ... " (introduced for the first
time)
- greetings ... "Nice to see you again.." (when met again)
- near death, dying ... when low at health
- help ... call for assistance,

Any more you can think of?

The problem is that I'm not sure which is the best way to give responses.
I'm not trying to do complex conversations. At the moment I think that
one-word keywords are the way to go. Keywords could be used for getting
quests, clues and information on quest items, people, places etc.

E.g. if player needs to find a sword of a lost hero, he could ask people if
they remember anything about him, his tomb etc.

Also, if you have any experience on making infofiles for quests, please
share. I'm trying to create some sort of file format to describe semi-random
quests.
Boa Dragon
2004-01-15 22:45:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joonas Hirvonen
Have you put any thought on improving the typical roguelike conversations?
I'd like that some important beings have several lines in certain situations
- approach ... when the being is approached for the first time
- introduce ... "Hail to thee.. my name is ... " (introduced for the first
time)
- greetings ... "Nice to see you again.." (when met again)
- near death, dying ... when low at health
- help ... call for assistance,
Any more you can think of?
How about "aggressive", that appears after the player has attacked the
being (and run away, since either of the two would probably be dead
otherwise)? Something like "You! You're the one that attacked me!",
possibly followed by the being initiating combat again.

It would also be possible to let the players charisma (or similar) decide
what happens next:

* if it's low, the being would most probably attack the
player again (like the example above)
* if it's medium, the being could remain peaceful, but
not help the player further ("I don't like your kind, begone!")
* if it's high, the being would become friendly again,
and return to the normal conversation tree.

Of course, this is rather useless unless beings are actually able to "calm
down" after being attacked (for example Nethack shopkeepers (IIRC) remain
hostile for the rest of the game when you attack them).

-Boa
David Damerell
2004-01-16 12:58:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Boa Dragon
Of course, this is rather useless unless beings are actually able to "calm
down" after being attacked (for example Nethack shopkeepers (IIRC) remain
hostile for the rest of the game when you attack them).
Unless you pay them off.
--
David Damerell <***@chiark.greenend.org.uk> Kill the tomato!
Jimmy_B
2004-01-15 22:46:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joonas Hirvonen
Have you put any thought on improving the typical roguelike conversations?
I'd like that some important beings have several lines in certain situations
- approach ... when the being is approached for the first time
- introduce ... "Hail to thee.. my name is ... " (introduced for the first
time)
- greetings ... "Nice to see you again.." (when met again)
- near death, dying ... when low at health
- help ... call for assistance,
Any more you can think of?
Becoming hostile (attacked/angered), fleeing, surrendering. Attacking another
NPC or a monster. Making a transaction.
Post by Joonas Hirvonen
The problem is that I'm not sure which is the best way to give responses.
I'm not trying to do complex conversations. At the moment I think that
one-word keywords are the way to go. Keywords could be used for getting
quests, clues and information on quest items, people, places etc.
This system originated in Infocom games, which used the form "ask [character]
about [noun]". Some games (Morrowind) help you out by providing a list of
keywords you could use.

The next step up is to give each a finite state machine, with choices at each
state (eg NWN).
Post by Joonas Hirvonen
E.g. if player needs to find a sword of a lost hero, he could ask people if
they remember anything about him, his tomb etc.
Also, if you have any experience on making infofiles for quests, please
share. I'm trying to create some sort of file format to describe semi-random
quests.
If you want it to be at all general, you'll need a full-fledged scripting
language. Lua seems to be the most popular scripting language for roguelikes,
but others are certainly possible.
--
CalcRogue: TI-89 and TI-92+. <http://www.gis.net/~wssddc/jimmy_b/>.
Greg McIntyre
2004-01-15 23:56:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jimmy_B
This system originated in Infocom games, which used the form "ask
[character] about [noun]". Some games (Morrowind) help you out by
providing a list of keywords you could use.
The next step up is to give each a finite state machine, with choices
at each state (eg NWN).
The "next" step? I dislike this system even more. Most NWN modules I've
played have the most ridiculous player dialogue options! Knights of the
Old Republic which works the same way has the most childish, awful,
dialogue I've seen since a Final Fantasy; the three dialogue options are
formulaic: "I will kill all the evil people here!" (light side jedi), "I
will do the patently obvious thing which will solve this problem without
death!" (no-side jedi), "I will kill you ALL!" (dark side jedi). It's
pathetic and I hate it. </grump>

The only places I've ever liked this system are:
Baldur's Gate I
Baldur's Gate II (but to a lesser extent, because it had grammatical
errors and sometimes tasteless erotica)
Fallout I and II

Hmmmm... it wasn't too bad in Icewind Dale I and II, but was much more
linear.

I say go keywords, they rock. You don't have to give out aall the
keywords in your list (like Morrowind) either. If you let the player
type in keywords, you can keep some secret. Or just make some very hard
to "find". :)
Post by Jimmy_B
Post by Joonas Hirvonen
E.g. if player needs to find a sword of a lost hero, he could ask
people if they remember anything about him, his tomb etc.
Also, if you have any experience on making infofiles for quests,
please share. I'm trying to create some sort of file format to
describe semi-random quests.
If you want it to be at all general, you'll need a full-fledged
scripting language. Lua seems to be the most popular scripting
language for roguelikes, but others are certainly possible.
FWIW, I agree. Embed/extend scripting languages! Don't write your own!
--
Greg McIntyre ======[ ***@puyo.cjb.net ]===[ http://puyo.cjb.net ]===
David Damerell
2004-01-16 12:59:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Greg McIntyre
I say go keywords, they rock. You don't have to give out aall the
keywords in your list (like Morrowind) either. If you let the player
type in keywords, you can keep some secret. Or just make some very hard
to "find". :)
If you do this, make bloody sure you can spell.
--
David Damerell <***@chiark.greenend.org.uk> Kill the tomato!
Jimmy_B
2004-01-16 13:06:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Damerell
Post by Greg McIntyre
I say go keywords, they rock. You don't have to give out aall the
keywords in your list (like Morrowind) either. If you let the player
type in keywords, you can keep some secret. Or just make some very hard
to "find". :)
If you do this, make bloody sure you can spell.
More importantly, make sure you cover synonyms exhaustively, the way
Infocom did. "Hunt-the-verb" is *not* fun.
--
CalcRogue: TI-89 and TI-92+. <http://www.gis.net/~wssddc/jimmy_b/>.
Greg McIntyre
2004-01-16 13:52:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jimmy_B
More importantly, make sure you cover synonyms exhaustively, the way
Infocom did. "Hunt-the-verb" is *not* fun.
Keywords not given to the player would, in my vision, only be for either
very secret, non-critical, secret bonus cool things, or completely
ordinary and non-essential things like party chatter or similar
contentless social banter.
--
Greg McIntyre ======[ ***@puyo.cjb.net ]===[ http://puyo.cjb.net ]===
Arthur J. O'Dwyer
2004-01-16 17:22:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jimmy_B
Post by David Damerell
Post by Greg McIntyre
I say go keywords, they rock. You don't have to give out aall the
keywords in your list (like Morrowind) either. If you let the player
type in keywords, you can keep some secret. Or just make some very hard
to "find". :)
If you do this, make bloody sure you can spell.
More importantly, make sure you cover synonyms exhaustively, the way
Infocom did. "Hunt-the-verb" is *not* fun.
I'm with David here. "Hunt-the-verb" isn't fun, but it's much better
than "hunt-the-typo"! (Even if one is more common than the other.)
Post by Jimmy_B
ASK THE OLD MAN ABOUT THE HOUSE
The old man mutters to himself.
Post by Jimmy_B
ASK THE OLD MAN ABOUT THE MANSION
The old man mutters to himself.
Post by Jimmy_B
ASK THE OLD MAN ABOUT THE DOOR
The old man mutters to himself.
Post by Jimmy_B
ASK THE OLD MAN ABOUT THE MANSOIN
"Oh, that old house? You'll need the key to get in."
Post by Jimmy_B
KICK ME
Ouch!

-Arthur,
killed by a phony example
David Damerell
2004-01-19 14:22:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Arthur J. O'Dwyer
Post by David Damerell
If you do this, make bloody sure you can spell.
I'm with David here. "Hunt-the-verb" isn't fun, but it's much better
than "hunt-the-typo"! (Even if one is more common than the other.)
And; document clearly whether you use American or British English - better
yet, accept both.
--
David Damerell <***@chiark.greenend.org.uk> flcl?
Michael Blackney
2004-01-16 00:34:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joonas Hirvonen
Have you put any thought on improving the typical roguelike
conversations?
I'd like that some important beings have several lines in certain
- approach ... when the being is approached for the first time
- introduce ... "Hail to thee.. my name is ... " (introduced for the
first time)
- greetings ... "Nice to see you again.." (when met again)
- near death, dying ... when low at health
- help ... call for assistance,
Any more you can think of?
In Abura Tan I used to have the following set:

- Fluff, "Things have been getting worse since Count Evilor married the
Baroness von Necromancy."
- Rumour, "They say that ..."
- Realm, "It's said that to the east there is a forgotten city."
- Analysis, "That helm makes you a pretty cool customer."
(Iron Helm of fire resistance)
- Generic
- Name, "Hello, my name is Steve."
- Welcome, "Welcome to Harpstone!"
- Town, "Sammy's Kitchen Supplies will pay a premium for aprons."
- Quest

I don't use them any more though because I wanted to streamline
conversation. Now only important people will have something unique to
say; the rest each get a canned line per race/class like in Nethack.
Post by Joonas Hirvonen
The problem is that I'm not sure which is the best way to give
responses. I'm not trying to do complex conversations. At the moment
I think that one-word keywords are the way to go. Keywords could be
used for getting quests, clues and information on quest items,
people, places etc.
E.g. if player needs to find a sword of a lost hero, he could ask
people if they remember anything about him, his tomb etc.
I don't think that I've ever played a game with a more complex
conversation system than one where you type in keywords. In a randomly
generated world, it might be hard to make a keyword system fun. If you
are looking for the sword of a lost hero, who would you ask? Why would
they be any more likely to know than another? If it is dumb luck, it
will become tedious to ask every town resident. If the town librarian,
or the local hermit, or the surviving relatives always know, there will
be no point asking anybody else. There's got to be enough variety that
it is unpredictable, but not so much that it seems arbitrary.
Post by Joonas Hirvonen
Also, if you have any experience on making infofiles for quests,
please share. I'm trying to create some sort of file format to
describe semi-random quests.
Sorry, not there yet. Too scary for the moment.
--
michaelblackney at hotmail dot com
http://aburatan.sourceforge.net/
Latest version 0.93 30-10-3
Lizerd
2004-01-16 06:06:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joonas Hirvonen
Have you put any thought on improving the typical roguelike conversations?
I'd like that some important beings have several lines in certain situations
- approach ... when the being is approached for the first time
- introduce ... "Hail to thee.. my name is ... " (introduced for the first
time)
- greetings ... "Nice to see you again.." (when met again)
- near death, dying ... when low at health
- help ... call for assistance,
Any more you can think of?
Re visit "Ultima" Series.
3 or 4 should be the about right....
Post by Joonas Hirvonen
The problem is that I'm not sure which is the best way to give responses.
I'm not trying to do complex conversations. At the moment I think that
one-word keywords are the way to go. Keywords could be used for getting
quests, clues and information on quest items, people, places etc.
E.g. if player needs to find a sword of a lost hero, he could ask people if
they remember anything about him, his tomb etc.
Also, if you have any experience on making infofiles for quests, please
share. I'm trying to create some sort of file format to describe semi-random
quests.
Rick Frankum
2004-01-17 04:13:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joonas Hirvonen
Post by Joonas Hirvonen
Have you put any thought on improving the typical roguelike conversations?
I'm waiting for the roguelike that's *all* conversation - more an RPG without
combat, where you run around and talk to people to find your goal. Alas, I'm
too stuck playing Hengband to jump into the ocean of freeware non-roguelike
games in the hope of finding something of the format.
Post by Joonas Hirvonen
Post by Joonas Hirvonen
I'd like that some important beings have several lines in certain
situations
Nice idea!
Post by Joonas Hirvonen
Post by Joonas Hirvonen
- approach ... when the being is approached for the first time
I think this 'first time' record would be nicely incorporated with the monster
memory. As you meet the guy, MM could be updated to "you know him by sight" or
"you've seen him a few times" or "your best friend in the world".

Depending on the game, shopkeeper conversation could be flavorful too.
Post by Joonas Hirvonen
Post by Joonas Hirvonen
Any more you can think of?
Re visit "Ultima" Series.
3 or 4 should be the about right....
"NAME" "JOB" "QUEST", was it?
Post by Joonas Hirvonen
Post by Joonas Hirvonen
The problem is that I'm not sure which is the best way to give responses.
I think since the responses will be hard-coded, it should definitely be a
conscious act to 'chat' to an NPC. Otherwise people who have played a few times
would get sick of "Farmer Maggot mumbles something about his dogs" messages they
haven't asked for.
Post by Joonas Hirvonen
Post by Joonas Hirvonen
I'm not trying to do complex conversations. At the moment I think that
one-word keywords are the way to go.
I like the idea of limiting keywords to nouns. And if you're looking to save
space, you can always ignore characters after the first four or five. It's
juvenile, but I always get a kick out of putting in the wrong word and getting
sensical output. "pick up bookstore" "which book?"

--Rick
Loading...