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ALL TALK - conversation trees and dialogue choices
by Christer Kaitila on 06/10/11 06:25:00 pm

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

Join Here: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ 



Happy summer vacation, everyone!  Are you ready for June's Ludum Dare miniLD game jam? This month's mini will be held on the weekend of the 25th. I think you will love the theme. It is sure to get people talking... due to popular request I'm releasing the theme early so people on vacation can dive right in and get started early. The theme is: ALL TALK - conversation trees and dialogue choices.

On Friday June 24 at 4pm PST (midnight GMT) a secret phrase will be announced. Your entry must contain this phrase in the dialogue!

This month's MiniLD #27 is designed to be fun, low-stress, and relaxed. Perfect for vacationers. The rules this time are going to be very chill: you can use any game engine you like, premade art, and people are welcome to form teams. Instead of crunch-time cramming, you are allowed to start now and work up to midnight on Sunday June 26th. There will be no disqualifications whatsoever. The only rule is that there are no rules. Take your time - use whatever tools you like - just have fun!

"Crimson Gem Saga"


"Ren'Py"


June's "all talk" theme is perfect for plot-heavy, deep philosophical discussions between the player and a cast of NPCs. Ideal for z-mechine text adventures using Inform7, ultra modern HTML5 literary gaming powered by engines such as Undum or the Choice of Games engine. There's also RPGmakerDoglion's RPG engine using Flashpunk, and of course the Ren'Py visual novel engine.

I'll be creating my own HTML engine for this, using pre-rendered 3d avatars. Since we don't have to care about tech or rendering performance, HTML5 is the perfect choice since it is great for low-power mobile devices. Heck, you could write your game using youtube, regular html4 or even hypercard.

"L.A. Noire"


"Fire Emblem"


Think NPCs, CYOA, multiple choice, text, plot, voiceovers, speech synthesis, prose, humour, conflict, debate, love. Make a murder mystery or a political scandal. A dating simulator or a talk show. A news report or a bedtime story. A love story or a heart-wrenching breakup. Beat poetry or freestyle hip-hop. Whispers or screams. Secret school flirtations or code-words between spies.  Hardcore RPG, Ren-py visual novel or pure text IF (interactive fiction), the choice is yours.

No matter what the genre - from AAA rpgs and shooters to puzzle games and everything in between, virtually every videogame ever made uses dialogue to progress the plot. Repetetive battles and grinding are sometimes seen as mere filler between the NPC dialogue and missions.  Which is more exciting? Killing your thousandth giant rat or encountering the next major NPC who gives you a quest?

"Fallout 3"


"Alpha Protocol"


This low-stress, relaxed rules MinLD is a fun way to get away from worrying about framerate, animation or incredible 3d graphics and instead focus on the plot. The characters. The story. The soul. Perhaps you will invent an epic storyline and a cast of interesting characters that are so cool they make it into your next action title! For now, just remember: focus on dialogue and characterization. On personal conflict, emotions and tough decisions.

"Valkyria Chronicles"


"Final Fantasy II"


Will this be a fun breather between more intense programming projects? Will your game be easier to program than something more graphics-heavy? Will it be deeper than your last brainless shooter? More artistic? Less work? More original? Discuss.

Join here: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ 

If you want more information, I warmly encourage you to contact @McFunkypants on twitter or visit www.mcfunkypants.com 


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