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Author Topic: Dialog editor (or something like that...)  (Read 8711 times)

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McCoy

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Dialog editor (or something like that...)
« on: July 03, 2003, 09:16:11 PM »

Mhhh, I would like to post about a program like the topic sais, but this post is for asking for one,  sorry!

I need a program in wich you could add questions & answers to the questions, and that represents the resultant dialog tree graphically, you know, like the windows explorer, but with dialogs: questions linked to answers, and those answers linked to the questions you get after asking the other question and all that. (what a tongetwister...  :-X)

I need it because my scripters (the guys who are making the game story, no the programmers, in fact, i'm the only one programming the game ;)) give me all the things in msword, and when the dialogs are big and messy, is pretty hard to get the trail of it the way they write it in word.

Anyone knows about a program like this?

I thought about making one myself in VB, but it's stupid if there's another one already made...

Hope you understood everything...   :-[
« Last Edit: July 03, 2003, 09:18:09 PM by McCoy »
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Mnemonic

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Re:Dialog editor (or something like that...)
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2003, 09:39:28 PM »

Well, I know only the Deus Ex conversation editor (part of the Deus Ex SDK), but it's not exactly what you're looking for; no tree view, it's more like BASIC, lines, labels, GO TO's...
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odnorf

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Re:Dialog editor (or something like that...)
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2003, 09:02:30 AM »

Ok... I am not 100% sure, but I believe that that the editors (the SDK toolkit) for the game "Neverwinter Nights" have an editor that can do exactly that...

(Hm... A program like this is a good idea as a "help tool" for the wme... don't you think Jan? :))
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Mnemonic

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Re:Dialog editor (or something like that...)
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2003, 09:33:34 AM »

(Hm... A program like this is a good idea as a "help tool" for the wme... don't you think Jan? :))

We've been discussing a tool like that with Jeroen some time ago. Not a "help tool" for preparing dialogs, but an editor for direct creating "dialogue files" for WME to use internally. I was analyzing what functionality would be needed, and what would it take to integrate it with the current systems. In the end I decided NOT to create such a tool. While using scripting to design dialogs, you have so many options to incorporate various conditions to affect the dialog flow. If you wanted to create a tool for this, it would be either too limited (compared to scripting) or too messy and hard to use. Also, it might seem the dialogs are just trees, as McCoy mentions above, but it's not always the case. You will find complex dialogs are actually graphs, rather than trees, very hard to dislplay. The DeusEx ConEdit overcomes that by using the BASIC-like structure, but of course it's for a price of worse readability.
I'd like to see the NWN editor, but I don't have the game...
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odnorf

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Re:Dialog editor (or something like that...)
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2003, 09:51:16 AM »

I was analyzing what functionality would be needed, and what would it take to integrate it with the current systems. In the end I decided NOT to create such a tool. While using scripting to design dialogs, you have so many options to incorporate various conditions to affect the dialog flow. If you wanted to create a tool for this, it would be either too limited (compared to scripting) or too messy and hard to use. Also, it might seem the dialogs are just trees, as McCoy mentions above, but it's not always the case. You will find complex dialogs are actually graphs, rather than trees, very hard to dislplay. The DeusEx ConEdit overcomes that by using the BASIC-like structure, but of course it's for a price of worse readability.

Yeah... by scripting the dialogues you have complete control over your game that it wouldn't be possible with just a different dialogues file. By scripting you can do anything : play animations, play sounds, change the scene in any way you like, e.t.c.

I'd like to see the NWN editor, but I don't have the game...

I'll install it and maybe post a screenshot if I find it tomorrow.

Oh... and I can't really play the game because I am using the KX drivers (www.kxproject.com) for my SoundBlaster Live! and NWN crashes if I don't disable the music/sounds :( And I also can't use the (old & latest) creative drivers because in my system they have HUGE problems when I play mpeg1 & mpeq2 videos (videoCDs, SuperVideoCDs and DVDs). :( I really hate creative's support & software & drivers.
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Mnemonic

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Re:Dialog editor (or something like that...)
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2003, 10:06:05 AM »

I'd like to see the NWN editor, but I don't have the game...

I'll install it and maybe post a screenshot if I find it tomorrow.

That would be great!


Oh... and I can't really play the game because I am using the KX drivers (www.kxproject.com) for my SoundBlaster Live! and NWN crashes if I don't disable the music/sounds :( And I also can't use the (old & latest) creative drivers because in my system they have HUGE problems when I play mpeg1 & mpeq2 videos (videoCDs, SuperVideoCDs and DVDs). :( I really hate creative's support & software & drivers.
Well, after the recent reinstall of my computer I'm currently using the default SB Live! drivers supplied with WinXP and I didn't encounter any problems so far (except for Mafia not playing quadrophonic sounds, but IMHO it's the game problem, not drivers').
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odnorf

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Re:Dialog editor (or something like that...)
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2003, 10:22:34 AM »

Well... another topic which gone completely off-topic  ;D

Anyway, about the sounblaster drivers : they worked fine with my old pc but not with the my new computer. The problem is that when I try to watch a DVD, every few seconds or minutes the video freezes and the soundblaster is producing a horrible sound for 1 second... !!! :( It looks like some kind of drivers conflict to me and it's solved when I remove creative's drivers (in the beginning I thought that it was a radeon's fault)... I'll install SP4 in my win2000 system and maybe try to install creative drivers again...
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McCoy

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Re:Dialog editor (or something like that...)
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2003, 12:32:39 PM »

Back to the topic  ;D:
 
I'm finally using a flow chart design program, it's a bit general, but it's ok for what I need. Thanx for your suggestions!
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odnorf

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Re:Dialog editor (or something like that...)
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2003, 01:09:42 PM »

I'd like to see the NWN editor, but I don't have the game...

I'll install it and maybe post a screenshot if I find it tomorrow.

That would be great!

Oh... I totally forgotten it. I am sorry...
Here is a screenshot of the NWN's conversation editor http://master.math.upatras.gr/~odnorf/nwn_editor.png

Quote
I'm finally using a flow chart design program, it's a bit general, but it's ok for what I need.

Where can we find this program?
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McCoy

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Re:Dialog editor (or something like that...)
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2003, 01:51:04 PM »

The program is called EDGE Diagrammer. The official page is www.pacestar.com . It's shareware, but well, Kazaa is a great friend in this cases...  ;)

Here's a pic of a stupid example I made in 2 mins...

EDIT: Fixed the link
« Last Edit: July 08, 2003, 02:14:15 PM by McCoy »
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odnorf

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Re:Dialog editor (or something like that...)
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2003, 02:04:44 PM »

Hm... it's going to be very difficult to create long and big dialogues this way. I am glad that the first chapter of dreams is for the most part a big monologue :)

EDIT: The link is not valid as you have typed it. It has an extra " at the end. Ofcourse if you remove it, it works.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2003, 02:06:06 PM by odnorf »
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McCoy

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Re:Dialog editor (or something like that...)
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2003, 02:14:53 PM »

Yeah, I know, I'm going to try the NWN dialog editor... I'm sure I have the CD's around here...
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Mnemonic

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Re:Dialog editor (or something like that...)
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2003, 03:46:34 PM »

Back to the topic  ;D:
 
I'm finally using a flow chart design program, it's a bit general, but it's ok for what I need. Thanx for your suggestions!

Hmmm, interesting approach... I didn't think about using the flowchart diagrams for dialogs.
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KA-su-MA-kun

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Re:Dialog editor (or something like that...)
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2003, 10:39:42 AM »

Hmmm, interesting approach... I didn't think about using the flowchart diagrams for dialogs.

Never did an IT course before? We had flowcharts jammed down our throats for every possible subject, including dealing with customers via helpdesk (I guess that is what you'd call a scripted response  :D). Frankly it's cumbersome, and sometimes hard to work with if you decide to use a flowchart for dialogs in a game, especially if there isn't a common ground to work from.

BTW McCoy, if those were all separate dialog options that appear at the same time in game that were on the main line, you'd have them branching from the same point, not as a linear progression the way you do.

I'm not being picky, but you can hopefully tell why something like that is an issue (those 3 years learning about software development finally did something for me).

Oh, trivial point, MSWord has flowchart features in it for you to use anyway, no need for a dedicated flowchart program, so long as you and your writers decide on a set format for the charting, you'll do fine.
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Mnemonic

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Re:Dialog editor (or something like that...)
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2003, 12:20:22 PM »

Well, while writing the StarBars dialogs I ended up writing down the individual dialog branches simply as a flat text. So far it's readable enough (for me :-). Here's a small sample:

http://dead-code.org/misc/sb_dialog_sample.html
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Re:Dialog editor (or something like that...)
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2003, 03:20:12 PM »

Each to their own Mnemonic. I can't remember ever writing a script period, but that is a personal matter, I've always been a freestyle writer. But if you're going to work with multiple writers, you need to set out a standard format.
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