using emotions as dialogue choices?

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jack_norton
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using emotions as dialogue choices?

#1 Post by jack_norton » Sun Nov 15, 2009 7:32 am

I thought about this today while taking a shower: how could be a game that shows, instead of the normal dialogue options with text, icons representing feelings? a bit like The Sims. Icons representing feelings or actions, like "anger", "love", "friendship", "lie", etc.
I personally like this idea and might be trying this on a new game next year :)
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Re: using emotions as dialogue choices?

#2 Post by JinzouTamashii » Sun Nov 15, 2009 9:04 am

I think it's a great idea.
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Re: using emotions as dialogue choices?

#3 Post by aoarashit » Sun Nov 15, 2009 6:54 pm

In the game Tokyo Majin(and Kuurong Youma) Gakuen series, the protagonist doesn't talk but expresses his feelings in eight emotions :D(4 positive, 4 negative:love,friendship,happiness,consent,anger,sadness,distress,apathetic). It's really funny if you keep sending 'love' to male characters..hehe. It also has a dating sim element to it,so you can get separate endings..ohh yeah, even with guys. An awesome game series, sadly it's not licensed in English :(

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Re: using emotions as dialogue choices?

#4 Post by AllegroDiRossi » Mon Nov 16, 2009 10:07 pm

I think it's a good idea, because sometimes when I am playing a VN, I sometimes wish I could say something that isn't an option, or the presented options don't appeal to me. This would cut back on that feeling of being forced into thinking a certain way by the author. After all, an emotion is universal, but how you say something is not.

I like it! =P
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Re: using emotions as dialogue choices?

#5 Post by Le kitten person nevermind... » Mon Nov 16, 2009 11:40 pm

That could prove to be a lot easier on the reader and writer than having to imply a full range of emotions in dialogue choices. A lot of times written options /aren't/ exhaustive representations of a reader's feelings, nor can we always "hear" the emotional tone they're spoken in. I'd like to try out the kind of game you suggest! ^^

(On the flip side of the coin, dialogue choices may be closer to the way some of us interact in the real world, especially those who are not great at using facial and body language as a medium of communication. Statements always have a chance of being misinterpreted and so forth. Of course, that may be the farthest thing from what the reader wants to happen a visual novel world!)
(Would it greatly inflate the number of branches that had to be written if every emotion was represented at every choice point?)

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Re: using emotions as dialogue choices?

#6 Post by Tsundere Lightning » Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:17 am

This is how dialog trees are presented in Alpha Protocol and (to a lesser degree) in Mass Effect. It works well for both of them; but it also changes the dialog.

What might be interesting is if you say the same the same dialog each time... in different tones of voice... using that system.
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Re: using emotions as dialogue choices?

#7 Post by ToLazyToLogIn » Fri Nov 27, 2009 2:50 pm

An example of this method can be found in
A World To Reverse

It is quite disturbing but I think you get the point:
Emotions are an interesting way for presenting choices.

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Re: using emotions as dialogue choices?

#8 Post by Suzumiyaandy » Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:49 pm

That's actually a feature in Lux Pain. You can send different emotions when it asks to get different reactions.

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Re: using emotions as dialogue choices?

#9 Post by JinzouTamashii » Tue Dec 01, 2009 6:43 am

Haven't heard of Lux Pain.
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Re: using emotions as dialogue choices?

#10 Post by Suzumiyaandy » Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:43 pm

Oh, it's for the DS. It didn't sell well,either, so that's probably the reason why you haven't heard of it.

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Re: using emotions as dialogue choices?

#11 Post by JinzouTamashii » Sat Dec 05, 2009 12:22 am

Was it a good game or bad one? Christmas is coming up and I am a VN fanatic...
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Re: using emotions as dialogue choices?

#12 Post by Suzumiyaandy » Sat Dec 05, 2009 2:24 am

JinzouTamashii wrote:Was it a good game or bad one? Christmas is coming up and I am a VN fanatic...
It was actually pretty good. There are some typos and a few localization issues, but otherwise it's a great title. Also, it's $20 most places new.

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Re: using emotions as dialogue choices?

#13 Post by papillon » Sat Dec 05, 2009 7:58 am

As I understand it, there was serious localisation confusion on that title, such that the spoken dialog and the on-screen dialog is often not exactly the same and sometimes completely different, not even agreeing on whether the game takes place in the US or Japan.... Combine that with a weird plot and gameplay that's mostly just reading with the occasional frantic-scratching minigame, and the mainstream is not interested. I haven't played it yet myself but I have heard it's pretty good if you're into VNs.

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Re: using emotions as dialogue choices?

#14 Post by Koveras » Sat Dec 05, 2009 8:54 am

While this certainly is an interesting idea, you must think of the technical implications of such approach. Unless you are very careful at maintaining the narrative threads, you will have them multiplying exponentially with every dialogue choice. In other words, with n basic emotions and m choices in the game, you can end up with at many as n^m narrative threads in the end. ^^ And even if you do manage to keep the narrative focused, you will still have to write every dialogue umpteen times, depending on the emotions selected by the player. Not that it's impossible, but... difficult.

I could recommend Fahrenheit/Indigo Prophecy as a good example of a game that really gives the player lots of options and still manages to tie the plotlines into a coherent bundle. I hear the next game by the same studio, Heavy Rain, will be even more so.
Tsundere Lightning wrote:This is how dialog trees are presented in Alpha Protocol and (to a lesser degree) in Mass Effect. It works well for both of them; but it also changes the dialog.
I was going to mention Mass Effect, too. ^^ However, ME does make its task easier by always giving you three options: idealistic, cynical, and somewhere in between. It's pretty easy to write the outcomes of such exchanges IMO.

Another example that crossed my mind is the unreleased Ultima X. I've read in an interview that the designers were going to try to make the player choose in each dialogue not between Good and Evil (like most post-KOTOR RPGs do) but between eight different Virtues. E.g. depending on the situation, you could act according to one Virtue but in doing so, weaken you other Virtues.
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Re: using emotions as dialogue choices?

#15 Post by JinzouTamashii » Sat Dec 05, 2009 10:47 am

Fahrenheit! I love Fahrenheit! That is GREAT game and so is Ico and my poor PS2 doesn't work anymore. Don't you push arrow directions to select choices?

Oops, I just had an idea for my next game... ;D A mini-game maybe 10 minutes, girl following you. Combo of platformer and emotion dialogue tree... haha, I wonder if I can pull it off... ?
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