Your idea sounds fine.
And, not to toot my own horn, but the President Min path in my story Warlords: Strategic Conquest may be somewhat relevant to your inquiry.
Thanks! And I just played through a President Min, and achieved peace (after cheating my way past the assassin ;) Definitely a fun use of different dialogue styles!
No editing? Really? :P
Anyway, I think I'm adding another pair to the list:
Again, just to be clear, this doesn't mean you can get eight potential dialog options per branch of a conversation tree... just that there could be any of these scattered here and there throughout its branches. I could see some options requiring you to possess two 'styles,' as well -- maybe you need to be both diplomatic and charming to get a particularly good compliment to give someone, for example.
So, question... given that you're picking and choosing which style to take every time you level up... would you want to see the dialog options you can't choose (yet)? So you can get a sense of what the different styles do? (They would each have their own icon, so you could hopefully keep them straight) Or would that be annoying/distracting?
Depends on how you incorporate the "leveling up" into the story.
That is a really cool idea.
I am working on a story-game(The Street Children) with a somewhat similar system. However, it's less based on dialog than it is your general behavior choices throughout the game. I also have a system that incorporates how well you get along with certain supporting characters depending on your conversational and behavioral choices with them. (basically there are pretty much 2-3 outcomes of every 'obstacle' in the game depending on how you approach it, your behavioral history, and how well you work together with the character helping you at that time)
I'm really curious how you set it up so players 'level up'. I am working on that myself and finding it a bit challenging in some aspects, so I'm really curious!
Do the conversational options appear as you 'level up' or does it affect how the options turn out. For example you have a high level charming character, but choose an intimidating conversation. Would it be a negative outcome of conversation? Or would the intimidating option just not appear available at all?
Nice! I'm really looking forward to playing your game.
I haven't given that much thought yet to how "levelling up" works. I think I'd like it to happen at the end -- or on major 'beats' -- of a story arc. This does mean that there's no possibility for non-story-based 'grinding' if you get into an arc where you're over your head... which would just mean that I'll have to only offer the player arcs that are winnable with their current stats.
And I think it'll be "conversation options become clickable if you 'level up' and choose that style.' So, pre-levelling, you'll see the options, but not be able to choose them. It lets you get a sense of how the different styles work, since they'll each have their own icon. If you're seeing the "sardonic" icon next to quips you'd like to be making, then maybe you'll choose it when you next level up.
If you're not offering the player choices about what they 'get' for levelling up, I'd just have it happen behind the scenes. Keep variables for each character they have a 'relationship' with, add and subtract based on how they choose to interact with that character, etc.
That makes a lot of sense for the conversational style.
That's what I've been doing so far(behind the scenes stuff). I just hope players don't get irritated because they think they have less "choices", when in reality their options appear/disappear depending on the variable scores. There is one part in my game where there are really five links, but the player will only see two or three depending on their scores.
But, back to your conversational style ideas, I really, really like it. I love games that let you have some character development since it makes it more fun to play multiple times and opens up possibilities for what the character may or may not become. I really hope you use it in a game sometime, I'd certainly love to play it!
That's part of what prompted me to come up with this system, actually... I was doing a lot of behind the scenes stuff in my "Madame Mim's Academy" project, and I was starting to wonder how much the player was really going to get out of it.
You could check the box that says 'visible when inactive'... that way the player would know the choices existed, and might try to activate them in their next play-through.
And thanks! I hope I end up making this game, too... it's pretty ambitious!
I considered making it visible when inactive, but because of the differing versions of the same pages(good, bad, normal outcomes), they have the same link titles. So it would appear on the page as two inactive links with the same title as the active link. I didn't want to name them differently as that would ruin the surprise of which outcome the player achieved for each particular event.
I like ambitious! Those are always the best stories. Do you have a plot idea for it yet?
Oh, that makes sense. Yeah, I think you'll just have to tell the player there's multiple endings, and let the interested ones find out on replay just how different the story paths are.
And, well, that's the thing. It doesn't have 'a' plot, so much as a whole bunch of potential plot arcs that try to hook you (but you can generally choose to ignore). The ultimate goal is to create something that's more-or-less infinitely replayable, because there are so many possible paths... and as you're playing, I (and hopefully some other writers) are still working on new content.
The setting is... post-fantasy-apocalyse, I guess? But not in a grim or bleak sort of way. Just that there's some decent-sized pockets of civilization, and a lot of demon-infested territory in-between...
Unless I decide that isn't 'high concept' enough, and go with something else. :P
That sounds awesome! :D
So, one thing I've been thinking about is how much of a range these styles will have, and what effects that will have... does 'very diplomatic' get you a different dialogue option than 'diplomatic,' or just a better chance at succeeding? For the sake of my sanity, I think eight unique styles is enough, so... probably the latter.
So, for each choice, there's a percentage-based outcome. Let's say if you try to 'charm' the bar maid, there's a 25% chance she's pissed off and 'accidentally' sloshes your drink in your lap (bad outcome), a 50% chance she ignores you (neutral outcome), and a 25% chance she smiles and looks flattered (+1 to her relationship stat, good outcome).
Being "very charming" gets you +25, which means there's no chance she'll drop your drink, and even odds on whether she's pleased by the compliment. Being "extremely charming" gets you +50, which puts you at 75% for a successful compliment. And if it's even odds to start with, an "extremely" stat gets you an automatic success.
Needless to say, a "very" costs twice as much as a basic style, and "extremely" costs four times as much.
So... how does that sound to folks?
Well what is the benefit of +1 to her relation stat if we will likely not see her again?
Who says you won't see her again? This is for a more open-world sort of game, where you choose where to go and what to do. So you can easily become a 'regular' at a tavern. At which point the bar maid might notice if you aren't there for a few days running, which could lead to you telling tales about your latest adventure... at which point, she might actually be favorably impressed.
That's the idea, any way. :)
That's going to be a big storygame if you ever finish it...
Not really as complex as you think. Most likely going to the same place many times would probably prompt the same reactions until you "unlock" new options. You'd pretty much just be going to the same page multiple times.
Yeah, that aspect of it could actually be done here... even the part where you have to 'go away' for a while to prompt a 'so where've you been?' reaction. And the conversation stuff can be done here... minus the icons, anyway. But the combat sim... it's not that I couldn't do it here, it's that I really, really wouldn't want to. Ditto the Tradewinds-style trading sim, I suspect. I need to be able to create objects, not just variables, and I doubt that's something we're ever going to see here.
pictures of the locations would be a wonderful bonus to your story, so consider that too Morgan. Good luck!
Yeah, I really want to include pictures. I've had some good results playing around with stock photos in Photoshop, so we'll see. And thanks! :)
Yeah. And I wouldn't be implementing it here (although I am going to do a test with the conversation styles), I'd be building it from the engine up, including web-based creation tools. It's crazy ambitious... or possibly just crazy. We'll see. :)