informa
2 min read
article

Writing for free input dialogue systems

When in your game you have a dialogue system that allows the player to type freely you have to be careful about what and how to write dialogues

This is repost from our website

One of the major difficulty in developing Don't Make Love resides in the writing. How do you write a dialogue if you don't know what the other character will say?

 

Having a free input dialogue system was a challenge, although the topics within the game (like what is love, how to manage a relationship, decide between what's logic and what are your feelings, death, etc) are always a matter of discussion and there are no real answers to the questions they rise. For this reason we thought that was necessary to let the player to freely express her opinion instead of just providing fixed options.

A dialogue though should have a direction, especially if you're trying to tell a story through it, so we needed to come up with some limitations. The main ones are probably the narrative frame and the dialogue itself. You'll be a mantis, in a relationship, and you'll talk about what to do about it. All of this helps a lot in limiting the scope of the conversation. The player will act in a well defined situation, so she's expected to provide context-related answers. In order to help her in doing so the writing is fundamental. We used several techniques, but the ones that we used the most are these three:

  • using conversational hooks in the lines of the partner to induce the player towards certain topics
  • use questions to make the player feel engaged and stay in role
  • use sentences that don't require specific answers, but that provide hints on the mood of the partner, so the player can keep or change her approach

We'll release more insights on the writing soon, so stay tuned!
You can follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr

Latest Jobs

Treyarch

Playa Vista, California
6.20.22
Audio Engineer

Digital Extremes

London, Ontario, Canada
6.20.22
Communications Director

High Moon Studios

Carlsbad, California
6.20.22
Senior Producer

Build a Rocket Boy Games

Edinburgh, Scotland
6.20.22
Lead UI Programmer
More Jobs   

CONNECT WITH US

Register for a
Subscribe to
Follow us

Game Developer Account

Game Developer Newsletter

@gamedevdotcom

Register for a

Game Developer Account

Gain full access to resources (events, white paper, webinars, reports, etc)
Single sign-on to all Informa products

Register
Subscribe to

Game Developer Newsletter

Get daily Game Developer top stories every morning straight into your inbox

Subscribe
Follow us

@gamedevdotcom

Follow us @gamedevdotcom to stay up-to-date with the latest news & insider information about events & more