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#21 Icendoan

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 08:12 AM

Ok, because I am lazy and take shortcuts, I reuse a large block with lots of replies, which get you nearly anywhere in the conversation. Because I call this block up quite a bit with the "Lets talk about something else." line, it appears quite frequently. How would this sort of mechanism show up on your program?

TL;DR: will large blocks that are called often result in bloat to the tree layout?

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#22 Meira

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 08:32 AM

I was wondering too if you were able to loop back? And can make a dialogue that forks into many different reactions from the NPC and the returns to back to the main line? I use the former a lot in the PC initiated talks and the latter to create an illusion that the NPC is actually listening what the PC has to say instead of feeding his/her own story to the PC.
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#23 witya

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 01:25 PM

The bigg was right about what I meant by my statement. It's easy for the modder to make little errors, like contradictory triggers or unattainable transitions, and that might not be readily visible until the mod is tested. Done it myself often enough. It's easier to spot these logic failures if the modder knows the basics of dialogue coding.

I don't intend this as discouragement! It's a great idea, and a welcome shortcut. I'm just saying that modders are still going to have to test their mods.

The fact that you were able to get a user-friendly interface working is a tremendous breakthrough!

And people learn by example. When learning a new language, people mimic sounds first and eventually learn grammar and syntax, but they need to see examples, first. Seeing their dialogue coded will help them get a clearer understanding of what goes on "under the hood."


No problem, I understand. ^^ Well, I'm kind of sick of SQL scripting at my workplace, so it's a welcome break to code something in C#, I'm also doing this because it's fun. ^^ It's also an additional motivation that many people see it as a useful thing that will make their modding easier. ^^ But let's wait for a version you can try out and see if it really lightens the mod work.


As for the return to the "Let's talk about something else" thing:

There is a possibility of linking lines together, so that you can complete branching trees. This works for lines "higher up" in the tree too (though it's not 100%, I'm debugging this function atm ^^). So the answer is yes, it is possible to go back to that line. ^^
"I love myself and I have no reason to doubt my feelings..."

#24 witya

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 02:19 PM

Here's an example:

conv08.JPG

Result:

[codebox]
IF ~~ THEN BEGIN W1Loop00
SAY ~Hey~
IF ~~ THEN REPLY ~Let's talk about something.~ GOTO W1Loop22
IF ~~ THEN REPLY ~Nevermind.~ EXIT
END
IF ~~ THEN BEGIN W1Loop22
SAY ~Ask.~
IF ~~ THEN REPLY ~Do you like emo girls?~ GOTO W1Loop44
IF ~~ THEN REPLY ~Do you like spagetti?~ GOTO W1Loop84
IF ~~ THEN REPLY ~Nevermind.~ EXIT
END
IF ~~ THEN BEGIN W1Loop44
SAY ~No.~
IF ~~ THEN REPLY ~Let's talk about something else.~ GOTO W1Loop22
END
IF ~~ THEN BEGIN W1Loop84
SAY ~Yes.~
IF ~~ THEN REPLY ~Let's talk about something else.~ GOTO W1Loop22
END
[/codebox]
"I love myself and I have no reason to doubt my feelings..."

#25 Icendoan

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 03:17 PM

Ahhh! Very nice!

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#26 witya

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 12:29 PM

Still alive and working on this after some weeks spent in hell. ^^ I want to fix a few things this week and after that, it's time for testing. So, if you would like to help me with that, please send me a pm. ^^
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#27 Miloch

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 02:30 PM

(and is installed by Windows Update anyway)

OMG, you actually trust MS to run that POS on your machine? :blink:

Some of you don't understand how much this type of product would help me work on a mod!!!!!

I will when I see the mod :woot:.

It'll be great if/when it can open and edit existing dialogues, though I may give it a stab if I need to do anything from scratch.

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#28 Luridel

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 03:16 PM

It seems a little tricky to rely on this entirely, but it's nice to have something that'd allow one to make a visual representation of how the dialogue will -look- with branching trees and whatnot before it's made. Helps me visualize, anyway.

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#29 the bigg

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 03:28 PM

(and is installed by Windows Update anyway)

OMG, you actually trust MS to run that POS on your machine? :blink:

Windows update > suffering from the WMF vulnerability because of the tin hat syndrome. Also, I can't not run Windows (especially because of gaming and WeiDU testing).

Italian users: help test the Stivan NPC!

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#30 Zyraen

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Posted 27 July 2009 - 09:47 PM

Honestly, I would adore this.
My dialogues tend to get very complicated so unless I draw them out on paper first in a branch / tree diagram, they usually drive me nuts halfway, and that kills all inspiration.
Now if it could auto-generate a conversation skeleton - shouldn't be too hard if you can get all the GUI and autocodes done - WOW :) AWESOME.

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#31 witya

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 09:36 AM

Thanks for your opinions, people. ^^


Now if it could auto-generate a conversation skeleton - shouldn't be too hard if you can get all the GUI and autocodes done - WOW :) AWESOME.


I don't understand. ^^" What kind of conversation skeleton do you have in mind?
"I love myself and I have no reason to doubt my feelings..."

#32 theacefes

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 10:54 AM

This is very nice. However that cat scares me a bit. Those eyes....:P

Jk. Seriously, good job. This will help a lot of people.
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#33 witya

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 01:33 PM

This is very nice. However that cat scares me a bit. Those eyes....:P

Jk. Seriously, good job. This will help a lot of people.


Then there will be a "Hide freaky cat" option in the menu. xD

Thx. ^^
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#34 Sir_Carnifex

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 03:46 PM

When I first got into modding I wanted one of these things badly because it looked so difficult to do everything by hand. Now, useful a tool as it may be, I've spent too much time "the old way" and I kind of like spacing my stuff out and separating in my own peculiar way. So I doubt I would use it.

BUT, I'm sure this would be great for new users who don't have the patience/stubbornness I had to actually learn how to code the stuff (not saying I learned that much!). So go for it!
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#35 Zyraen

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 07:26 AM

Different people like different styles of conversation.
All the names of the following "skeletons" are just names, they are not linguistically correct or anything.

================

LINEAR
Most beginners, and if not most modders, would probably like
A -> B with 4 choices, different response each, but they all lead to C -> D with 4 choices, different response each, but all lead to E
This is a linear path, which Bioware largely prefers for most part, with some choices that immediately terminate the dialogue.

================

WATERFALL BRANCHING
Others might like something more complicated
A with some choices to B C D E
B with some choices to C D E
C with some choices to D E
D with some choices to E
E ends the conversation
This would be a more interesting conversation, or very short, depending on how the writer writes it.
Essentially this is something of a "waterfall" style, where one set of choices leads to another branch, but it never "cycles" back up the waterfall (ie C cannot go back to A or B).
It also means that you can miss vital clues, say if you go from A directly to C D or E, you will never ever get a chance of receiving the information in branch B. By varying or removing some branches, it can create a very lively style of dialogue that can vary with every playthrough.

==================

"REFERENCE STYLE 1" :
A with some choices to B C D E F
B C D E all give some information, and lead right back to A
F ends the conversation

"REFERENCE STYLE 2" :
A is introduction, leading to choices B C D E F
B with some choices to C D E F
C with some choices to B D E F
D with some choices to B C E F
E with some choices to B C D F
F ends the conversation
Not much difference from Style 1, except that there is no need to return to A.

Triggers can be set so that after triggering choice B C D E, the same piece of information cannot longer be chosen again.
This style is pretty much a Q&A, and is used by Bioware in some instances, like about the Tannin Murders.
Quallo during the Lilarcor quest also has a similar style. Another good example is Volo in ToB.
Note that this can also be used to generate circular conversation, that never quite ends, handy to simulate someone being mad.

===============

SPLITTING TREE
This style basically generates different branches with every choice. In this example, I use only 2 branches
A with some choices to B I
B with some choices to C F
C with some choices to D E
D and E both end the conversation
F with some choices to G H
G and H both end the conversation
I with some choices to J M
J with some choices to K L
K and L both end the conversation
M with some choices to N O
N and O both end the conversation

As you can see, the sheer amount of content required for writing is far larger. Some people may work on variations of this, depending on their preference.
There can be 3 or 4 Split Tree (ie instead of 2 branches, there are 3 or 4 branches generated at every level), and entire branches can be deleted off where conversation ends abruptly. Personally I think a 3 Split Tree is good enough for most, and they can add more choices if they like.

On the occasions that I do try to use a split tree mapping, I usually use branches of 2, with 5 choices - 2 choices leading down the first branch, 2 choices down the 2nd branch, and the last choice ends the conversation prematurely.
Giving 2 choices per branch is good to give the player some choice of roleplaying his reply, I find. But it means more work.

kiyos.jpg____btlbn2.gif____kovaS.jpg
Love between a Law Enforcer and a Fugitive - can such a thing even happen?
SoA Release - Overview / Download Links

Zyraen's Miscellaneous Mods - Ust Natha Accelerator, item tweaks, XP caps, The Ub3r Reaver Kit, and much more...
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Hidden Kits - hidden dual-classed kits with a twist for progression


#36 witya

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 12:59 PM

Oh, I see. Well, this shouln't be too much of a work, fortunetely. It's actually easier to code samples like this, then actually handle all the things a user can do by hand with the program. If I get the time to do it, of course. Thanks for writing this stuff down.
"I love myself and I have no reason to doubt my feelings..."

#37 Asceran

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 07:02 AM

Time to bump this thread :D witya told me he is still working on the programm, but he is kinda busy atm that's why progress has been slow. I finished the icon for his programm, so I think development will soon be resumed. :D

Posted Image

Edited by Asceran, 21 August 2009 - 07:03 AM.


#38 witya

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 09:45 AM

Well, if busy means working myself to death, then yeah, I'm busy. xD The last few days were like this: work, eat, work, eat, sleep, work, eat, work, eat, sleep... -.- Anyway, thanks for the icon. ^^ I got a few days off now, maybe I'll be able to show you a working version.
"I love myself and I have no reason to doubt my feelings..."

#39 witya

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 07:54 AM

Finally managed to get down to work with this. We can call this an alpha, or beta, whatever. ^^

What matters is: please pm me with your email if you want to be part of the glorious testing brigade. xD I'll send you the exe, with a list of known problems.
"I love myself and I have no reason to doubt my feelings..."

#40 Miloch

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 02:47 PM

I don't do a whole lot with dialogue, but I'll give it a go. Will PM you.

An admin could probably move this to the IE Modding Tools forum, now that there is one for real :).

Infinity Engine Contributions
Aurora * BG1 NPC * BG1 Fixpack * Haiass * Infinity Animations * Level 1 NPCs * P5Tweaks
PnP Free Action * Thrown Hammers * Unique Containers * BG:EE * BGII:EE * IWD:EE
================================================================
Player & Modder Resources
BAM Batcher * Creature Lister * Creature Checker * Creature Fixer * Tutu/BGT Area Map & List * Tutu Mod List
================================================================
"Infinity turns out to be the opposite of what people say it is. It is not 'that which has nothing beyond itself' that is infinite, but 'that which always has something beyond itself'." -Aristotle