General Convention for expressing Emotion/Actions

outatime

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Is there any sort of generally accepted convention for expressing emotion in these sorts of RPG Maker Games? Or at least, for expressions that do not quite fall under expressions associated with balloon icons?

For example, a years ago, in certain, strictly text based RPGs, general convention for showing that a character was sighing in largely dialogue-based conversations was to use something like:

Character Name: *sigh*

However, I haven't seen that used much any more, and I'd rather not date my game - and myself! - that much if there are other, more accepted ways of doing the same thing now.

Down the road, I may just work on editing a sprite to actually animate a sigh, but for now, I'm bad at sprite editing and I have much more important sprite edits that are taking priority.
 

ATT_Turan

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Have you played many JRPGs? You might just go back and do some to get an idea of what people are used to in the genre.

Balloon icons are the easiest thing to do, because in most professional games in the genre emotions are expressed through sprite animations that we just don't have in RPG Maker unless you make them yourself.

Sprites will have an additional post with their head tilted down, which can be used to express disappointment or sorrow, and toggled between to show nodding. It's also common to have the head turned to point both ways, so you can see it shaking. Similarly, it's common to see tearful, blushing, or wide-eyed faces.

One thing that you can easily do in RPG Maker is have them jump in place to indicate excitement or surprise.

And, honestly, I'm not sure why you're concerned about convention or "dating" yourself. If your game uses lots of dialogue boxes and you want to convey actions like sighing in there...why not do it? So long as it's done consistently, I don't see how it could offend anyone. I would stay away from stuff that looks like modern slang, like emoticons.
 

outatime

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It sounds like emotion bubbles are probably what you're after. They're relatively easy to build and add a lot when it comes to conveying emotion

Somewhat-related: Yahtzee's Dev Diary episode including conveying emotion via text

That's what I have been using, and I like them fairly well. My problem is that I'm not sure how to convey emotion beyond what comes with the base balloons. I've seen Yanfly's stuff for making icon balloons and other custom balloons, but what would convey something like a sigh or resignation?

Have you played many JRPGs? You might just go back and do some to get an idea of what people are used to in the genre.

Balloon icons are the easiest thing to do, because in most professional games in the genre emotions are expressed through sprite animations that we just don't have in RPG Maker unless you make them yourself.

Sprites will have an additional post with their head tilted down, which can be used to express disappointment or sorrow, and toggled between to show nodding. It's also common to have the head turned to point both ways, so you can see it shaking. Similarly, it's common to see tearful, blushing, or wide-eyed faces.

One thing that you can easily do in RPG Maker is have them jump in place to indicate excitement or surprise.

And, honestly, I'm not sure why you're concerned about convention or "dating" yourself. If your game uses lots of dialogue boxes and you want to convey actions like sighing in there...why not do it? So long as it's done consistently, I don't see how it could offend anyone. I would stay away from stuff that looks like modern slang, like emoticons.
I've played several, but most of them either fall in the category of showing no emotion or being fully animated, sometimes even with voice acting. I think the only JRPG I've played in a more pixelated style with any sort of emotion was Golden Sun back when it came out, and that was... a while ago.

I like the balloon icons and that's what I've been using (and I believe that's what I've seen the most of) but for emotions that aren't shown within the base set of balloons, that's where I'm at a loss. If I was to make a custom icon (because I know that would be easier than trying to animate all the different characters I would want to sigh at some point) is there any particular image that would work for a sigh/resignation? All the JRPG/anime style indicators that I can think of are the ones that are already in the game.

But thank you for reassuring me that, if all else fails, what I have won't be too jarring. I just haven't really been involved in anything outside of text based stuff in so long, I was concerned it would be... jarring or out of place if used within this context.
 

Htlaets

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If a character sighs I just write "Character_X sighs in frustration" as a textbox accompanied by a cobweb bubble. I use emotion faces on my sprites, too. Also, it's a good idea to have a faceset for each important character that expresses a range of emotions.
That's what I have been using, and I like them fairly well. My problem is that I'm not sure how to convey emotion beyond what comes with the base balloons. I've seen Yanfly's stuff for making icon balloons and other custom balloons, but what would convey something like a sigh or resignation?
The cobweb or sweat would do with a text description. There are also sprite emotion templates out there you could use to show your sprite visibly sighing or something like that.

I do not suggest *sigh*, but if that's what you wanna do I've seen it in rpg maker games.
 

Milennin

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I do not suggest *sigh*, but if that's what you wanna do I've seen it in rpg maker games.
What? This is pretty common in games with dialogue and limited visuals. I've seen it used in commercial titles too. It's probably the best way to go if you can't use a graphic for it and want the character to sigh from first person.
 

Nenen

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There's a manga convention that could be used here. (I'm surprised nobody's mentioned it yet :p)

A puff of air is a good short-hand visual to show someone breathing out.
You can easily see what I mean by doing a quick image search using something like 'Manga Character Sigh' on some search engine.

I actually wanted to try and make a balloon animation for one after seeing this thread, but don't currently have the time...

Edit:
Actually many manga conventions can be used to show emotions for your characters. And most will work with the balloons too.
 
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