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LudusVan

Dialogue trees?

For or against dialogue trees  

157 members have voted

  1. 1. For or against dialogue trees

    • For
      132
    • Against
      6
    • Undecided
      5
    • Zebra
      14


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Yay or Nay?

I for one like them, if done well of course. It gives one a feeling of control, and allows one to root for more info/backstory if one so desires.

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Yay if done well. I like them a lot if they are filled with good dialog and if you find the information you want quickly so you can get in and out of them quickly once they get tedious or uninteresting.

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Why do you want to find the information quickly? What's the hurry?

It's an an adventure game. I understand that feeling for action games or RPG's, where there's fighting and killing to be done, but in many ways, the dialogue IS the action in adventure games*. Of course it's a chore if it's not interesting, but that's just poor writing. A good writer keeps you interested in the conversation and the character so you want to keep interacting with them. And Schafer's a good writer.

* Excepting all those Myst games and the like, of course.

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I love dialogue trees in any adventure game that has good writing, especially in adventure games with a focus on humor, because it lets the game tell the player multiple jokes at once. In some adventure games, so many of the dialogue choices are so brilliant that it almost pains me to have to make a choice, but it also brings in replay value (or at least a reason to make saves at various points) because if I enjoyed the dialogue enough I like to go back and see what the other choices would have lead to.

Of course, if the writing is poor, dialogue trees become a road block (hell, all dialogue becomes a road block in that sort of situation), but considering the talent behind DFA, I'm certain that I'll enjoy every bit of the writing, and the presence of dialogue trees will just make it even better.

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It really has to be done exceptionally well in order to not get tedious. When I've played some of the newer adventure games I've really been struck by how I find the conversations to be dull blocks ("oh no, not another person I have to talk to").

But then every once in a while, when the dialogue is great, it can add so much to a game. It almost has to be like poetry; every single word has to feel like it needs to be there.

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I don't understand why anyone would play an adventure game if they find conversation tedious. Unless you're a Myst type of game fan...

Anyway...each their own.

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I don't understand why anyone would play an adventure game if they find conversation tedious. Unless you're a Myst type of game fan...

Anyway...each their own.

I think it's more due to the fact that most modern adventure games have sub par dialogue. An example: I tried playing the first episode of the Telltale Monkey Island game, and I just did not find it entertaining. Then I went back and played Monkey 2 and still found it hilarious.

But I will say that some things that were accepted back in the day won't be accepted in 2012. And I think that's fine, games should evolve, and that doesn't mean they have to be dumbed down.

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An example: I tried playing the first episode of the Telltale Monkey Island game, and I just did not find it entertaining.

There's probably another reason for that: ToMI 1 had a lot of fake choices. Like, you'd get four options, but Guybrush would always say the same thing, no matter which you picked. It was painfully obvious that this was the case, and that's really, really bad. They adjusted it for later episodes.

For me, the actual choices aren't as important as the idea of choices, though. If I have the feeling I'm truly influencing the story, I don't mind whether or not I'm actually influencing it. Side note: this feeling might change in additional play-throughs.

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The answer is of course Zebra.

(No, but seriously. Dialogue trees are great, even better when they are as funny as the one in the Art Update)

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Schafer's hallmark is excellent (that is, very funny) dialogue. Who in their right mind would vote 'against' here? What are they doing here?!

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An example: I tried playing the first episode of the Telltale Monkey Island game, and I just did not find it entertaining.

There's probably another reason for that: ToMI 1 had a lot of fake choices. Like, you'd get four options, but Guybrush would always say the same thing, no matter which you picked. It was painfully obvious that this was the case, and that's really, really bad. They adjusted it for later episodes.

For me, the actual choices aren't as important as the idea of choices, though. If I have the feeling I'm truly influencing the story, I don't mind whether or not I'm actually influencing it. Side note: this feeling might change in additional play-throughs.

Yeah, it's very important to me to be able to select the actual thing the character is saying. The appeal of dialogue trees for me has always been that thing of being able to pick a response out of several and get 4 jokes for the price of 1, then choose my favourite, and hear those as the words that are actually said. Later in the Tales series they got a lot better about that (which follows the usual arc of them taking a couple of episodes to hit their stride)

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Schafer's hallmark is excellent (that is, very funny) dialogue. Who in their right mind would vote 'against' here? What are they doing here?!

That.

Nonetheless it's pretty obvious, by recent videos, posts, etc., that he is starting to get into alternative methods of delivering a story.

And there have been several appropriate alternatives to old fashioned branching dialog, however, and talking about it without knowing whether it would suit the game or not, I can hardly find a reason for being 'against' it.

And yes, of course it has to be done well. That should be going without saying. I don't want branching dialog if it's not going to be good as I don't want puzzles if they are not going to be good as I don't want a game at all if it's not going to be good

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I find it interesting when people say that they are for something "if done well." I think this should kind of go without saying.

"Yes, I like lasagna, provided the chef doesn't take a dump in it."

Now, I do realize that there have been some adventure games with badly-written dialog trees. Considering the ones that have had the best dialog trees involved Tim Schafer in some way, though, I'm not worried.

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Yay or Nay?

I for one like them, if done well of course. It gives one a feeling of control, and allows one to root for more info/backstory if one so desires.

I like the exploration aspect of them. It allows you to learn through story, but in a way you choose, so you also get to express yourself a bit.

Though I always liked those Monkey Island-style dialogues where all the options were really obnoxious, and when you click on any one of them, Guybrush defaults to a more tame, socially acceptable response.

Also: it's hard to vote as being 'for' dialogue trees when there is a "Zebra" option in the poll, patiently waiting for me to click it.

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AH! Well now!

'Tis my opinion that branching dialogues should be used to unveil information not immediately necessary for the plot's progression, so the player can figure out more about lore he doesn't quite understand, find out more about the characters, give banter between characters to show their relationship, and just general entertainment. Something that's missing too much of now adays is that there aren't enough moments where characters are just in normal enough situations to show their other sides. Sometimes stories are forced along so fast, you only know how the characters are in extreme circumstances, as opposed to how they are when you're trying to have actual conversation with them.

If they are used just to progress dialogue, i'd rather use my hands to support my chin. And if I'm basically going to end up clicking them all anyway, which is likely if they're all important for the story, then Tim might as well figure out the best logical order of it for me. I know many RPGs try to use them as a way for you to define what sort of character your, well, character is, but way too often am I granted options I would never choose, and never like to choose. not to mention that sometimes what you select and what is said, contradict or are too extreme, or was even supposed to be read as sarcastic, even though, some people don't understand that sarcasm becomes apparent through tone of voice, which doesn't appear in text. Also, I prefer strong well defined characters over characters flexible to the point of being a gelatine mass. So my answer is of course Zebra.

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Zebra 2012. Also, it's my reckoning that dialogue trees work best when they're necessary for the story. Machinarium did great without them, but then there wasn't really much information required to drive the plot forward. They can be a real stumbling block in some games (imagine if Machinarium had dialogue trees), but I can't imagine a Schafer game where dialogues trees wouldn't be both necessary and delightful.

So delightful.

Oh my.

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