Interacting with Environment

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Tuxedo Leila, Mar 7, 2015.

  1. Tuxedo Leila

    Tuxedo Leila Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    478
    Location:
    Canada
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    N/A
    When interacting with your environment in a game, do you prefer it when the messages are in 1st person, 2nd person, or 3rd person? Is it stated by the narrator, the player, or through a different character? Is the windowskin different from the one used in actual dialogue?

    For example, when the player is looking through the bookshelf and they discover their old diary from high school...

    (In a dark windowskin)

    1) "Hey look, it's my diary from high school."

    2) "Hey look, it's your diary from high school."

    3) "It's Ralph's diary from high school."

    (Stated out loud by characters)

    1) Ralph: It's my diary from high school!

    2) Ulrika: It's your diary from high school.

    3) Mary: "It's Ralph's diary from high school.

     

    (I apologize beforehand if it's not in the right section, mods!)

    5.png
     
    #1
  2. Milennin

    Milennin "With a bang and a boom!" Veteran

    Messages:
    2,197
    Likes Received:
    1,255
    Location:
    Fiore
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    The first one, but second one can also be OK. Not a fan of the third one.
     
    #2
    Tuxedo Leila and EternalShadow like this.
  3. Kes

    Kes Global Moderators Global Mod

    Messages:
    20,798
    Likes Received:
    10,584
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    If it's direct speech then the first one "Hey look, it's my diary"  But see below the comments on the third option.

    If it's not, then "You find your diary."  The narrator bits (2 Healing Potions were found! etc.) should, imo, be neutral in tone.  Your second option is a chatty narrator, which would be difficult to keep up consistently through the whole game and in some situations would be completely inappropriate.

    Unless there is a dialogue reason (Ralph: "Hey, look, this is my diary from High School!  Shall I read you some?"  All - in unison - "No!!! Boring!") I think the third option is pointless.  This also applies to some extent to the first option.  Who is Ralph speaking to?

    On balance I tend to go with the second option except where there is some dialogue - perhaps to have a bit of interaction between the characters, perhaps to do a tiny bit of character revelation/development, or minor plot/back story revelation.  Another option would be "I wish we could find stuff that was more useful than my old diary!" sort of remarks.
     
    #3
    Dragnfly and Tuxedo Leila like this.
  4. mlogan

    mlogan Global Moderators Global Mod

    Messages:
    13,801
    Likes Received:
    7,617
    Location:
    Texas
    First Language:
    English
    Primarily Uses:
    RMMV
    Yeah, I think it could depend but for the most part I wouldn't see a need for another character to state such a thing, unless it's just a part of the dialogue that is already occurring or flows within the game.

    I like it when there is a narrator type voice, with a different background. But even then, with this example, I would keep it a bit more formal "You found your diary from high school" or "It's your diary from high school" over "Hey look" because I don't think of a narrator saying that.

    I don't think the first person view is so bad either, because heck, I talk to myself all the time, so that's how I read it.

    I think whatever you do, keep it consistent. Like, mostly narrator, with an occasional dialog bit thrown in if necessary, or whatever. But typically in any game, consistency is key.
     
    #4
    Tuxedo Leila likes this.
  5. Dragnfly

    Dragnfly Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    70
    Location:
    Canada, where you open the door and the wind fills
    First Language:
    English
    I'll divide my opinions up into 2 sections. Funny you mentioned this because a month ago I'd have said "They're all fine." but I've recently gotten a deeper look at when to use character faces in the dialogue box.

    With/without charface:
    I'd say your game's atmosphere and art is the biggest deciding point. Don't use faces/busts/whatever at all if your art is ugly or if you don't have a wide enough range of expressions to generally cover the emotions you need. eg: An android jRPG I played recently only had one expression for everyone, which was usually a soft smile. This was also used for lines such as "I'LL KILL YOU! RRRRAAAAAAAAAARRRRRGGGGGGGGGG!" and "This is the worst thing that's ever happened to me." But if you have the range covered, it should be fine for anything the characters are actually saying.

    1st/2nd/3rd:

    I'd say juggle this as needed. They're all fine to me in different situations. It comes down more to the story and characters and what the line is for. If Ralph (party leader) checks his diary and somebody else says what it is, that means they know and it can enhance the character relations (especially for very personal items). Would anyone even comment if they opened a chest and found a heal potion? 3rd person puts a bit of distance between player and character but is good for transitional text, which your game might not even have. I'd never have "The next day..." be said by somebody if it's for a transition.

    Another problem party leader or members run into that narration avoids is if your party changes sometimes, you have to watch out for text showing up by a character who's not in your party. Alphadia Genesis (Android) had a case of this that brought on a gigantic spoiler just from reading a sign on the overworld. It gets read by a character you don't have, which tells you far too much about what's about to happen in the story.

    But that can be great if you can control it. Recently in my current project I found (purely by accident from writing inconsistencies) that changing up who commented on things could let me define talents without having to outright say stuff. Like one character is usually the one who noticed hidden stuff, another is the one who usually hears "a mechanical sound in the distance" when a lever is used.
     
    #5
    Tuxedo Leila likes this.
  6. cabfe

    cabfe Cool Cat Veteran

    Messages:
    2,305
    Likes Received:
    2,384
    Location:
    France
    First Language:
    French
    Primarily Uses:
    RMVXA
    Adventure games show all these ways and they all work because it's consistent.

    If you use a narrator, it's best to really use it, not just to make 3rd person comments but to add some special flavor.

    Depending on the game, that can be a witty comment, or a funny one. Even something that the main protagonist doesn't know him/herself.

    Also, if your game is story-focused it might be best to use a narrator.

    On the other hand, a character-focused game would be stronger with a personal comment from the main character.
     
    #6
    Tuxedo Leila likes this.
  7. SpiralSigil

    SpiralSigil Veteran Veteran

    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    32
    First Language:
    English
    I'm defiantly going with from the character's perspective in my own game, as I'm going out of my way to make everything intractable.  This is to not break flow with how opinionated my main character is anyway, but also to give the chance for humorous finds from the characters themselves :3
     
    #7
    Tuxedo Leila likes this.
  8. captainproton

    captainproton Dangerously Nifty Veteran

    Messages:
    1,281
    Likes Received:
    580
    Location:
    Missouri
    First Language:
    english
    Mostly, I use first person, when actually character indicators are necessary. Usually, it's something like: "The crate is empty"; "$100 found!"; or "The books are mysteriously blank."

    Sometimes, though, the player runs into something like: "The door is marked 'Employees Only', so we can't go in."; or "We can't do anything with the machine yet."

    If more personalized text is required, I'll do a small cutscene, or a conditional branch checking who's in the lead. I'll usually use option when an event requires a particular character in the lead (Andre to pick a lock, Duran to decode ancient text, Tiko to speak to animals, etc.)
     
    #8
    Tuxedo Leila likes this.
  9. bunny-gypsy

    bunny-gypsy Villager Member

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    10
    First Language:
    English
    It's up to you, I would think.

    I'm used to playing classic point-and-click adventure games, so I'm used to seeing a variety of ways the narration is done. Sometimes it's in 2nd-person (You see your diary on top of the nightstand.") and sometimes it's in 1st-person ("Oh, hey, look! My diary is right where I left it. Hope no one went through it while I ws gone."), etc. Sometimes it's formal, and sometimes it's informal. For example, if the game is humorous in tone, then the narrator may make some funny observations or comments along the way, and so on. :) Like the Latin Lover narrator from the "Jane the Virgin" TV show. (I love that narrator!)

    Luisa: "And then, she kissed me. And then, there were fireworks."

    Narrator: "It was also the 4th of July."

    ~

    Narrator: "We last left Michael and Nadine in a most exciting position. Not that one, you perv.”
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 9, 2015
    #9
    captainproton and Tuxedo Leila like this.

Share This Page