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Author Topic: Conversation  (Read 2088 times)

GoblinCookie

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Re: Conversation
« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2017, 02:26:08 pm »

Folks could discuss work and pass on work small amounts of work skills maybe?  Particularly useful for something like swimming that cannot really be learned safely by experience.
That'd be good. Have some training going on between companions like in Fortress mode. That's going quite a bit beyond conversation though.

I think the problem is that 'camp for 10 hours' or 'build a hut for 3 days' all happens off-screen (and most would prefer it that way) and that's where all the friendship forming conversations between companions would take place. Which leaves you with offering the player the choice of seeing what they're talking about or not. And if you do that you've lost the natural spontaneous nature of DF conversation.

A bit of flavor text for the 'time passes' screen would be kind of interesting I suppose. Not sure if it achieves what the op was after.

Camp for 2 days
...
Urist teaches Roder how to bite
...
Udir recalls the battle between you and a Kea which occurred 2 days ago
...
Sleeping
...
Urist prays to Zam Powerswords God of light, dark, hope and torture
...

The problem is basically the same as the economy.  The problem of given that everyone does not exist when we are not here how can things possibly work consistently.

The solution is to use metrics.  If during play X amount happens in Y time, we simply upload what happens to the metrics that control the global values underlying the system. Basically we start with a generic value and then when the player offloads we calculate what is actually going to change in a given day based upon how long the site was offloaded, changing the value accordingly.
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Shonai_Dweller

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Re: Conversation
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2017, 05:05:06 pm »

That...has nothing to do with small talk...or skill training within an adventurer party...or anything really.

--Awaits thread destroying massive walk of text to explain why small-talk is impossible without a complex socio-political model in place--
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Novel Scoops

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Re: Conversation
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2017, 06:57:40 pm »

Okay, back on topic. Is there any alternative to the system we've proposed? Like i said, Toady has floated the idea but he's dismissed it as immersion breaking.
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Shonai_Dweller

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Re: Conversation
« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2017, 08:42:56 pm »

Okay, back on topic. Is there any alternative to the system we've proposed? Like i said, Toady has floated the idea but he's dismissed it as immersion breaking.
I agree with Toady, switching screens is immersion breaking, abstract conversation is too (and I don't think there's a natural place to put it).

Simply adding value discussions makes npcs (especially arguing companions) seem so much more alive than they were before.

More variety of responses, filtered background noise on crowds (and chance to focus on topics of interest) and a smattering of location awareness would enhance the current system.

Then variations on everything based on personality and relationship. And a mechanism to adjust your own tone maybe.

It's a lot of monotonous typing for Toady, but it'll make a big difference I think.

Now, when romance is introduced it'll get complicated. Maybe it'll all be poetry, gift giving and late night dancing but something slightly more robust is probably needed.
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Dyret

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Re: Conversation
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2017, 09:08:55 pm »

--Awaits thread destroying massive walk of text to explain why small-talk is impossible without a complex socio-political model in place--
<3

Sortofish on topic I don't really care which system he goes with, they both serve their purpose as far as I'm concerned, if the current conversations get too repetitive throw in even more lines. NPCs need to get way better at recognizing context across the board though, in either case, like maybe not go on about how enjoyable it is to improve your fighting when said fight has cost you both arms and your balls.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 09:10:45 pm by Dyret »
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Novel Scoops

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Re: Conversation
« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2017, 10:56:31 pm »

And a mechanism to adjust your own tone maybe.

So you'd add that on something like the URR system? I'm not actually sure trying to put your own spin on one of several premade lines is actually preferable to a more vague system. You'll become an actor choosing how to deliver his lines rather then a guy making a point.

I like the idea of copying URR and adding a lot of variation depending on the character, but you can't prepare every conceivable sentence. I think you've got to use something vague for the edge cases so players can say weird shit.

So, you'd end up with something like;

"Where is the chef?"
"Why would i tell you, *insult*?"
You expound on the virtues of silence in the eyes of the anathi people. The elf looks amused. Offhandedly, you conclude with a mention of their genocide at your hands. The speech is full of dry menace.
"He's in the shower. Hey man, there's a therapist in Oldtown. I'm just saying."
The tattooed elf backs away slowly.

I think that flows pretty well.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 11:15:10 pm by Novel Scoops »
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GoblinCookie

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Re: Conversation
« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2017, 05:50:07 am »

That...has nothing to do with small talk...or skill training within an adventurer party...or anything really.

--Awaits thread destroying massive walk of text to explain why small-talk is impossible without a complex socio-political model in place--

It does. 
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Novel Scoops

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Re: Conversation
« Reply #22 on: March 21, 2017, 04:17:37 pm »

Are you worried it will be weird if companions can teach skills and exchange information, but say rival adventurer parties can't?

If you're concerned about whether the system itself is feasible, i'm pretty confident.
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Shonai_Dweller

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Re: Conversation
« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2017, 05:13:45 pm »

Are you worried it will be weird if companions can teach skills and exchange information, but say rival adventurer parties can't?

If you're concerned about whether the system itself is feasible, i'm pretty confident.
Player fortress dorfs currently train each other, even though no-one else in the world can manage it. Wouldn't be too much of a stretch to have your adventuring companions do the same. Just skip some time, same as building a hut.

But perhaps at this point, Toady would rather simulate something more universal for all sites and adventuring parties.

Not sure what would happen if all those goblin hordes started training every day for hundreds of years before attacking you though...
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Novel Scoops

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Re: Conversation
« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2017, 08:49:03 pm »

Come to think of it, you need some kind of interrupt system. 3 options;

  • Long-winded speeches will provide a "interrupt?" prompt halfway through
  • People who want to interrupt eveybody all the time can enable a option which provides the prompt every turn
  • You should be able to interrupt retroactively, in case succinct but mindblowing information is provided and the above options weren't available.
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GoblinCookie

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Re: Conversation
« Reply #25 on: March 22, 2017, 06:56:54 am »

Player fortress dorfs currently train each other, even though no-one else in the world can manage it. Wouldn't be too much of a stretch to have your adventuring companions do the same. Just skip some time, same as building a hut.

But perhaps at this point, Toady would rather simulate something more universal for all sites and adventuring parties.

Not sure what would happen if all those goblin hordes started training every day for hundreds of years before attacking you though...

That is a problem with training in general, actually a problem with skills in general.  What the game badly needs is skill caps, so that not everybody can become a legendary whatever in just a few years of training, whether this is formal training or just work conversations along the lines I suggested earlier.  Actually the game needs three caps, the first is the amount that can be obtained without a specific trainer of higher skill, the second is the amount that can be obtained from training in general and the third is the total maximum a given individual can obtain. 

The goblin hordes training for 100s of years will not become invincible because there is a maximum limit to how good a creature can get through training.  To exceed that the creature would have to actually practice the skill for real and would still be capped at any rate.
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Shonai_Dweller

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Re: Conversation
« Reply #26 on: March 22, 2017, 08:05:13 am »

Player fortress dorfs currently train each other, even though no-one else in the world can manage it. Wouldn't be too much of a stretch to have your adventuring companions do the same. Just skip some time, same as building a hut.

But perhaps at this point, Toady would rather simulate something more universal for all sites and adventuring parties.

Not sure what would happen if all those goblin hordes started training every day for hundreds of years before attacking you though...

That is a problem with training in general, actually a problem with skills in general.  What the game badly needs is skill caps, so that not everybody can become a legendary whatever in just a few years of training, whether this is formal training or just work conversations along the lines I suggested earlier.  Actually the game needs three caps, the first is the amount that can be obtained without a specific trainer of higher skill, the second is the amount that can be obtained from training in general and the third is the total maximum a given individual can obtain. 

The goblin hordes training for 100s of years will not become invincible because there is a maximum limit to how good a creature can get through training.  To exceed that the creature would have to actually practice the skill for real and would still be capped at any rate.
Yes, agree with this. It should take several years of training and real-life practice to get anyone to a half-decent level. When we can start interacting with the surrounding pops we should hire soldiers to do real soldiering and train low level militia rabble in their downtime to fend of keas and giant rats.

Of course, it's 'fantasy simulation' and not 'real-life simulation' and there's always the odd immortal character in fantasy books who's won thousands of duels and is close to invincible in one on one combat. So absolute caps for training sure but perhaps fractional increases for actual practice that would be unnoticeable except after many hundreds of battles.
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GoblinCookie

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Re: Conversation
« Reply #27 on: March 23, 2017, 07:46:51 am »

That is a problem with training in general, actually a problem with skills in general.  What the game badly needs is skill caps, so that not everybody can become a legendary whatever in just a few years of training, whether this is formal training or just work conversations along the lines I suggested earlier.  Actually the game needs three caps, the first is the amount that can be obtained without a specific trainer of higher skill, the second is the amount that can be obtained from training in general and the third is the total maximum a given individual can obtain. 

The goblin hordes training for 100s of years will not become invincible because there is a maximum limit to how good a creature can get through training.  To exceed that the creature would have to actually practice the skill for real and would still be capped at any rate.

I think there should be a absolute cap for individuals, determined randomly based upon character and attributes.  That would be among other things necessary to give the adventurer's labour an economic value to sites (with a functioning economy). 
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Hapchazzard

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Re: Conversation
« Reply #28 on: March 25, 2017, 12:08:02 pm »

IMO a (mostly) abstracted conversation system would work FAR better than actual dialog. With current technology, there are limits to how realistically you can simulate dialog, and those limits are unfortunately not very impressive. Here's just an example of a few abstracted conversation pieces that would probably be quite hard to simulate as actual dialog:

1) CraftsDwarf and FarmerDwarf discuss the intricacies of making toy anvils. CraftsDwarf appears to be knowledgeable on the topic, while FarmersDwarf appears to not understand most of what CraftsDwarf is saying. CraftsDwarf appears to be immersed in the conversation, with a hint of smugness. FarmersDwarf appears to be uninterested in the conversation, and is trying to discreetly steer to a new topic.

2) HeroDwarf makes a snarky comment about BanditA's face. HeroDwarf makes a masterful delivery of the joke. HeroDwarf appears to be calm. BanditA appears to be fuming with rage. BanditB is rolling on the ground, laughing.

3) WarriorDwarf is delivering a passionate speech about defeating the elfs to the group of soldiers. WarriorDwarf mentions the power of friendship and religion, and denounces the evil elves. The speech is delivered passionately, but WarriorDwarf stutters throughout. The group of soldiers appears to be listening intently to the speech. The group of soldiers appears to be disheartened. Some of the soldiers are quietly laughing.

4) ConDwarf is claiming to KingDwarf that he is his long-lost son HeirDwarf. ConDwarf recounts a fake story of how he has disappeared and his life up to this point. ConDwarf's story is exceptionally believable. ConDwarf appears to be passionate and excited. KingDwarf appears to be totally buying ConDwarf's story, with a hint of being of excited. KingDwarf is barely holding back tears. The king's bodyguards are listening intently. The king's bodyguards appear skeptical of ConDwarf's story. Some of the bodyguards are grimacing at ConDwarf.

If you ask me, I'd be fine with the above examples being abstracted like this in the game, because how could the game realistically simulate:

1) A discussion on the intricacies of a random, technical topic?
2) A masterfully delivered joke about some guy's face?
3) A poorly delivered speech?
4) A long-winded, made-up but believable story by a conman?

These are just some of many examples of conversations that couldn't realistically be well-simulated in the game as dialogs. Some more simple statements and questions(e.g. "What's the price of dwarven beer here?") could be displayed as actual dialog, sure, but I'd rather have an abstracted, but complex and believable conversation system, rather than a concrete but poor paraphrased dialog system.

Remember, the less time Toady has to spend implementing a bunch of pre-scripted conversation templates that would get old and repetitive quickly anyway, the more time he can invest in making conversations more diverse, detailed and believable.
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Novel Scoops

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Re: Conversation
« Reply #29 on: March 25, 2017, 01:59:33 pm »

I think you should presents each characters vocal quirks the first time you hear them, and then in a separate window to keep it from being too information dense. We already have things like "he has a scratchy voice", you just need to add stuff like accents, "he talks ponderously", slang, etc. There's also physicality; are they waving their hands around, getting in your face, pacing?

You need to be able to dial in on particular people if you're talking to crowds, see their emotion, pay attention to them in particular. Attention; you can only have so much of it, and your empathy skills should determine how well you can read a crowd (which needs to be its own entity). You shouldn't be able to "look" at everyone before you reply (not smoothly anyway); you could glance at everyone or stare at someone but not both.
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