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Game Dialogue - How They Do It

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the talking-picture-show dept.

Games 17

Gamasutra has a piece on Organizing and Formatting Game Dialogue. An interesting look at one of the often overlooked parts of game creation. From the article: "Here's the deal: two weeks before your game hits beta, the lead designer on your project adds some new functionality to the game. In addition, some of the pre-rendered cinematics are changed. Nothing major, just a few cuts and additions here and there. All this requires you, the writer, to create some new dialogue for various characters in the game, including the protagonist, some of the bad guys, and some allies."

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17 comments

Maybe in la-la land that's what happens... (5, Interesting)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067737)

The opening scenario should never happen. It doesn't just mean that control of game production has been lost, it means that it never was there to begin with. What's up with blindly assigning filenames, and voice actors that are trying to read lines with a hoarse voice. A "master spreadsheet"? This should be a database of some sort, not to mention a version control system. "Lead designers" don't just add features, they have to be written by programmers. At the time of proposal, everyone involved should have a heads up. "Beta" is a wierd milestone to be adding new features at. Kind of turns you off the article before it gets to the potentially useful part.

Re:Maybe in la-la land that's what happens... (3, Interesting)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 8 years ago | (#14067815)

Have you worked for the game industry? I haven't, but how "it should be" and how it is could be two different things. I know it sure is in IT/development in my industry. It's been a long uphill battle to get better procedures in place.

Yeah, I know a lot of stuff is done wrong... (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 8 years ago | (#14068197)

but it wasn't realistic even taking that into account. As outlined, the lack of controls in place are so bad that the project couldn't even progress to the point that the article is talking about (beta-testing) The quality control issues are so bad that if the project is leaking in that area, it would have to be leaking everywhere too.

It further serves as a bad story in that it doesn't exactly leave you wanting to read the rest of the article.

Re:Yeah, I know a lot of stuff is done wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14068218)

Read a few articles about how game development works, and you fashion yourself an expert on how things are done, do you? No, sir. You are just a big nitpicking killjoy.

Re:Yeah, I know a lot of stuff is done wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14068258)

But don't you know? Everyone on slashdot in an expert in game development and the issues surrounding the industry! I mean, you can just hear the confidence that they have when they make shit up and post it as fact.

Damn armchair analyists...

Re:Maybe in la-la land that's what happens... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14068085)

Game development is unlike other software development.

Designer to Producer: We need this feature I've designed.
Producer: Yes, I agree.
Producer to Programmer: Make this go.

If by "written" you mean "implimented" then yes, the features must be written by programmers. However, they originate with the designer. It is the programmer's job to turn the design into workable code.

Re:Maybe in la-la land that's what happens... (1)

Scuff (59882) | more than 8 years ago | (#14068089)

perhaps you noticed that the article is titled worst-case scenario?

Re:Maybe in la-la land that's what happens... (1)

hackerjoe (159094) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069765)

The opening scenario should never happen.
I want to work where you work!

Game dialogue? (5, Funny)

earthbound kid (859282) | more than 8 years ago | (#14068465)

So, you want to know about GAME DIALOGUE? There are rumors that if you PRESS X, you can learn more about GAME DIALOGUE from THE OLD MAN IN DIAOLG VILLAGE. Of course, these are just rumors. I am too wizened of a cliche not to dismiss them out of hand. An N. P. C. like myself wouldn't know anything about it. Just remember PRESS START when you want to read this again.

Do you want me to explain that again?

>YES< NO

Re:Game dialogue? (1)

Deltaspectre (796409) | more than 8 years ago | (#14068985)

*enter*

WTH!?! He's doing it all over again!!!

*sits through 10 minutes of beautiful cinematics ready for it to end, mashing the accept button*

Oh. Dear. Lord. Was that on >Yes?

if you're searching for good game dialogue audio (3, Insightful)

porksoda (253218) | more than 8 years ago | (#14069887)

you need not look further than Grim Fandango [imdb.com].

Re:if you're searching for good game dialogue audi (1)

sharopolis (819353) | more than 8 years ago | (#14070180)

Yeah, the dialogue in grim fandango and quite a few of the other Lucas Arts titles is fantastic, but a part from them good dialogue is this in the ground.

I don't know much about writing and I've got no experience in acting, but frankly I think I could personally produce and perform a better script than most games have. In fact I think I could probably improvise better vioceovers whilst drunk than what appears in many othewise quality titles.

I don't know why they bother, you're better off with no vioce acting at all than the irritiating drivel you're so often forced to sit through.

Re:if you're searching for good game dialogue audi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14080799)

Or the first [imdb.com] of the Gabriel Knight series.
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