Designing Investigate Conversations

“In a lot of games, conversation is provided as a static menu: a character has topics; the player clicks through them; conversation is complete when all have been clicked.

How do we evolve conversation beyond this static paradigm?”

Jon Ingold
Heaven’s Vault

InkleStudio‘s Jon Ingold has written a sequel to his Sparkling Dialog talk, with 5 strategies for dialog gameplay.

Most narrative games employ a core mystery spooled out over the game to keep the readers curious and engaged. One problem with interrogative dialog is when the questions become a grind mechanic, and players feel obligated to “vacuum up” every last clue by exhausting the dialog options. NPCs are treated as kiosks rather than characters with agency who help drive the narrative.

Ingold offers 5 strategies to “keep characters feeling juicy, when the player simply wants to squeeze them dry”, including methods to transition in and out of conversations, and also allowing the NPC to take turns leading the conversation.

Read it on his Gamasutra blog.

Konsoll 2018

Konsoll is a conference founded by The Game Developers Guild in Norway. Konsoll was first organized in 2012, and has a steadily growing audience of game developers from both Norway and abroad.

00:00:00 Brie Code – Friends Forever: tend and befriend in mechanics
00:43:00 Jake Clark – Cuphead: Creating Djimmi the Great
02:40:00 Gwen Frey – 3 Steps for Founding a Successful Indie Studio
03:46:00 Charlene Putney – Delightful Dilemmas: Writing for Choice-Based Narratives
05:14:00 Johnnemann Nordhagen – Decision Points: The Process of Creating an Experimental Commercial Indie Game
06:21:00 Felicia Prehn And Barrie Ellis – Accessibility Panel

Konsoll 2017: Molly Maloney – Out on a Limb: Practical Approaches to Branching Story

Join Telltale Games Narrative Designer Molly Maloney for an overview on crafting compelling choice-based stories. Molly will share her experiences building games around dialogue choices and branching narrative, as well as practical tips and tricks she’s learned while working on titles such as The Walking Dead Season 3, Tales from the Borderlands, Minecraft: Story Mode, and Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series.