Captain’s Log Nov 1 – Future of the dialogue system

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve posted and I just wanted to give you all an update. October has been busy, but I wanted to give a shout out to 2 games that I beat this month that just nail it when it comes to storytelling. Love esquire and Outer worlds. I’ve looked into Love esquires data files to see how they handle VN scenes and it’s helped improve my own system.

Screen Shot 2019-11-01 at 1.31.19 PM.png

(note: this is made in Unity which is a different engine then Star Girls and this screen shot is super alpha)

In Star girls, the script is formatted in xml (mainly for readability and parsing) but the file form become hard to deal with because each in-game line took up a lot of space and all the scripts were built by hand.

Screen Shot 2019-11-01 at 1.38.42 PM.png

(note: script taken from honey transformation01part2 file. If you want to check it out the files can be opened at resources/script)

In the new game, I’ve revamped the system so that a whole scene looks like this (just a script for testing not actually part of the game).

Start 19
ChangeBGM gomara 2
Talk Alaina Good Question do you want to play a game? datedance 3
Choice 2 No 4 Yes 6
Talk Alaina Well Thanks game over 5
Talk Alaina Cool let’s keep playing datedance 22
Talk Luu I have a question for you? What day is it dateeat 8
Choice 4 Monday 12 Tuesday 15 Wednesday 11 Red 9
Talk Alaina That not a day game over 10
Talk Luu Today isn’t Wednesday try again 7
Talk Alaina look like you get to live another day 13
PlaySoundEffect clap False 14
Talk Luu Today isn’t Tuesday try again 7
Talk Luu Waaaaait! I have I question that needs to be answered 7
Talk What I am I even doing here 21
PlaySoundEffect crash False 16
Character Alaina pirate_costume1 middle hide 0 20
Character Luu slime_costume4 far_right hide 0 17
CharacterAction middle fadein 0.5 1
CharacterAction far_right enter right 1.5 18

I’ve taken 10 lines of XML and turned it into one line. On top of that, I create a GUI tool to build my script for me.

Screen Shot 2019-11-01 at 1.33.43 PM.png

What does this mean? Well, I’ll have a lot more branching narrative in the next game and it will take me less than half the time to make and fix dialogue scripts.

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