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Interactive Conversations

Posted 03-04-2013 at 10:11 AM by berserker
In original Totem Tribe there wasn't much talking going on, thefore it was unclear what kind of personality main heroes had.

This time in sequel we decided that characters should express themselves better. And since the player now will be represented by his or her custom created character, we thought it would be cool if player can play out their character in coversations too!

Thus we created interactive conversations in Totem Tribe 2!

When some character speaks, you can ask questions, respond to their words, even take some action throughout the conversation. Take a look at this:

There are often several response options that allow to ask different questions and possibly even solve quests differently!

Some responses are only available when you have specific item or have done something or met someone before. The conversations are not just plain text split in chunks - you response DO matter in most situations throughout the game.

Let us know if it is a good idea, or you prefer more simple things like locating items and solving puzzles. Does the story matter for you and would you care if it will differ if you act differently throughout the game (in conversations too) ?
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  1. Old
    IMO, i prefer a good story, but consider that you can have a bit of both things: if you put some hidden objects, i'd like a thing that gives clues, but with obvious limitations to prevent it from becoming over powered, like searching only things that are out of buildings and chests, a timer and only works for the last half/quarter of a big number of equal (e.g. 15 rocks) items (the last ones tend to be more difficult to find), or alternately giving them automatically an aura to make them more visible. Puzzles are a good thing as long as they aren't too complex.

    Off-topic, the other day i though if there will something that can be called "totem" in Totem Tribe 2. If not it would become an Artifact Title (reference from TVtropes). If you (berserker) don't want to answer this last part (it could be giving spoilers), it's okay, i understand.
    Posted 03-04-2013 at 02:00 PM by bugmenot bugmenot is offline
  2. Old
    berserker's Avatar
    Yeah, there will be
    Posted 03-04-2013 at 02:08 PM by berserker berserker is offline
  3. Old
    I think its a very good idea. I didn't play any game like that before, where your conversations will matter . I'm really looking forward for it
    Posted 03-04-2013 at 05:45 PM by Geneman Geneman is offline
  4. Old
    I know I'll be the odd one out: I prefer the puzzles. When I play computer games I never read the stories, I always skip cut scenes, and dialogue annoys me (even if it is required to solve puzzles). I always feel that if I wanted to read, I'd log off my computer and grab a book. I play computer games for the *game*, not for the dialogue. Having said that, if it's part of the game and not just general chatter - and not so heavy as to distract from the typical TT puzzles/warfare/trade - then it's ok with me. And I recognise that other people will prefer it and I'm not so mean as to think that a game should be designed around my desires ;)
    Posted 03-04-2013 at 07:13 PM by
  5. Old
    As long as it isn't too much I like the idea. if this means that in replay I can do things differently I'm all for it. If I have to talk to everyone I won't like it. Hopefully they won't go on and on.
    Posted 03-05-2013 at 01:01 AM by brendatimj brendatimj is offline
  6. Old
    That's a great idea! What I like is that the choice of a question/answer/action in conversation can affect the game for a player. I like when a game is not a perfect line when a caracter moves through from A to B then from B to C, etc. That is predictable. And that is one time playable.Instead, the more there are unpredictable lines like a tree, the more interesting a game is. This will make re-play interesting and different each time. I cant't wait for TT2!!! I love first TT, but while waiting for TT2 I played TT1 many times and can do it with my eyes closed. I know every gem. And there is no magic any more as I know everything in this game. This is why for me your idea about different choices, quests during re-play is great! I can easily imagine that I will want to play onemore and more timejust to find out want would be if I answer or act differently. And I am sure this is what you want - to make people come back considering that you make it free but still need to pay your bills.
    I know many people don't like taiking and reading too much in a game but if you do it from time to time this will make TT2 story interesting for everyone and not boring for puzzle-lovers at the same time.
    I hope to jump in your alpha-testers' "train" when it comes out!
    Posted 03-05-2013 at 03:48 AM by Darina8 Darina8 is offline
  7. Old
    berserker's Avatar
    I doubt we will be able to "War and Peace" scale of writing After all we are game developers, not writers, that's why we will be more focused more on gaming side of the conversations, not literature side. I am talking about interactivity. The conversations will be focused on choices, not literatural content.

    There is a sample of conversation bit on the screenshot in this news post, therefore you can judge the amount of text in conversation.
    Posted 03-05-2013 at 07:11 AM by berserker berserker is offline
  8. Old
    I've been looked the screenshot in full size and I surprised because Guro is there!?
    Is Guro make appearance again in TT2 as important character?
    Btw, I think the conversation is a bit not connected.
    Posted 03-05-2013 at 09:01 AM by Bukan Bukan is offline
  9. Old
    berserker's Avatar
    Nice catch. Guro is just a placeholder graphics for player's hero at the moment. It will be replaced by a proper art in the final game.
    Posted 03-05-2013 at 10:17 AM by berserker berserker is offline
  10. Old
    Hmmm... not sure.

    I've just been replaying Totem Tribe Gold... the reason I play is definately the puzzles and finding those #$%* gems!

    I think making things 'glow' after awhile would be good... much like the last item pulsing.

    Conversation COULD be good... maybe at the start of each section.

    I like the example shown in this post. I think anything more than that would detract from the game. It would also depend on HOW MANY different options we can choose from... for example... if we answer, does this then give another set of questions to go through?

    Keep the updates coming. It's been great watching this new game evolve over time. It looks fantastic and I'm really looking forward to the opportunity to sink my teeth into it.
    Posted 03-05-2013 at 11:56 AM by SunInOz SunInOz is offline
  11. Old
    Dilana's Avatar
    Does this mean that play will be more open-ended, with different possible paths / outcomes / endgame depending upon your reactions and responses with the NPC characters? Is there the possibility of adding new chapters too, as with some of the mmorpg's available? As someone who much prefers the puzzles and strategy over the hide and seek aspects, I'm curious as to how this will eventually work out.
    Posted 03-05-2013 at 01:56 PM by Dilana Dilana is offline
  12. Old
    berserker's Avatar
    Yes, the conversation consists of several phrase + responses screens, however I hate oversized conversations with bloated texts myself, so we won't go over the top. However TT1 was so small in that regard so I feel we can do a lot more and still end up having laconic literatural content.

    Yes, making the game non-linear and more open-ended was exactly why I was pushing this. Doing this we can actually track what kind of response does the player pursue and change some things in the game taking into account that fact.

    As for adding chapters, that is true as well. The game is planned to be released as closed alpha-version with only a few levels and the rest will be added in updates.
    Posted 03-05-2013 at 04:25 PM by berserker berserker is offline
  13. Old
    I agree with na3na3. I don't like a lot of text and answers. I always skip that.
    Posted 03-05-2013 at 05:50 PM by Marjan Marjan is offline
  14. Old
    But I think its a good idea. I like it.
    Posted 03-05-2013 at 07:52 PM by ahmad14 ahmad14 is offline
  15. Old
    Thanks for the response Berserker. Sounds like you guys are very conscious of not overloading people with 'talk'... which is good. I can see how this could compliment gameplay and be used as a tool to direct players to certain actions, adding replay value (or assist in continuing the game with added chapters).

    I think most people would be concerned about the puzzles and strategy taking a 'back seat' in the new style of game. As long as these features are still prominent, I don't see conversation as a problem.

    I really like the way you ask for opinions from people, guage the response & work it through. Well done!

    Thanks again.
    Posted 03-05-2013 at 11:12 PM by SunInOz SunInOz is offline
  16. Old
    An81angel's Avatar
    I like just enough talking to get a grasp on the story line in general, and than a little bit more involved dialog (but not much) for each individual location. I find that if i play an mmo where i have to stop and talk to ever npc through out the game i get bored and start skipping the conversations. which seems odd since i am an avid reader. I think the reason i don't like reading a lot in a game is because i am more interested in the 'hands on' playing aspect of games. Give me the numerous puzzles, give me the crazy amount of gems to find, because that is what we are expecting. However, being able to direct the path my hero takes is wonderful, and really gives the feeling that the character is alive, and that our hero's choice make a difference in how we experience the world. It makes me believe that my character's destiny is really in his/her own hands because of how i choose to play out the conversation. Yes, the story does matter! The story doesn't have to have a lot of words, all it really needs are the right words so that it is engaging and makes me want to play, that is all i ask for.

    My only real question is -- once i am done with one path and i want to start over trying to take my character in a new direction -- how will i make that happen? Specifically, if i choose answer A more times than answer B & C will that lead me to ending A? So that later if i want to try for ending B, do i just choose answers B through out? Is the dialog randomized, so that you never know what path you are on? If the dialog is random, how will you be able to make sure you get the endings you want? Because there is nothing more frustrating to me than trying to get a specific ending and not being able to figure out how to pick the right answers to lead me there.

    Personally, i would like to be able to choose the answers honestly (meaning what ever feels like a natural choice for me personally) the first time through and get which ever ending, but then when i restart to get a new ending I would like there to be hints along the way to guide me to that different ending.

    Also, since there is a replay factor involved, i would like to have an achievement list that shows me which ending i have already seen on each character, and which endings are still unseen. That way i know if i have missed something along the way. I am the type of player that wants to see all and do all. You made all the endings so i want to see all the endings ... i don't want to miss out on anything!

    Another thing i am curious about ... being that you can play over and over again, will there be hidden easter eggs in the game? For instance: what if we come across a graveyard in our adventure and we find One Lone clickable tombstone that pops up a text box saying "Here lies beloved hero Aruku" from the original game. And as a reward for finding this hidden tombstone her spirit will bless us with something special. These easter eggs are not strictly apart of the story line so you may miss it the first time through, but on replay you can still find it. I love these types of hidden items that prove just how much effort i put into playing the game. Plus it is also a way for other plays to interact with each other by them seeing something unique that i have and them asking where i found it and then i can help them find it too (or visa versa). Finding an easter egg makes me feel special.
    Posted 03-06-2013 at 12:46 AM by An81angel An81angel is offline
  17. Old
    jeresandy's Avatar
    Just make sure everything is spelled properly. Plus throw in a lot of humor. That will keep me reading, keeping it at a 5th grade level will help too.
    Posted 03-06-2013 at 04:37 AM by jeresandy jeresandy is offline
  18. Old
    After download the alpha version, do we need to download again the full version?
    Posted 03-06-2013 at 05:04 AM by Bukan Bukan is offline
  19. Old
    berserker's Avatar
    The conversations will have 2 kinds on influence on the game:
    1. Local influence, when you can solve quests differently through conversation. Example: guard does not want to let you in and you have to find another way around, but you can just talk out him to accept bribe with proper choices in conversation.
    2. Global influence - your answers in conversation does not change anything right away, however they are recorded to determine your personality in the game - you can be egoistic, wanting rewards for everything you do, or althruistic, helping people in need, not expecting a reward, etc. That behaviour will be measured and might be taken into account later in the game. Not necessary to determine which ending, but maybe you will miss some quest or find another one.

    And yes, there will be achievements, I've just managed to complete a list and without story related achievements (cause they will be added when we will be making levels) it's already couple of thousand achievements if taking into account all the achievement levels
    Posted 03-06-2013 at 06:49 AM by berserker berserker is offline
  20. Old
    berserker's Avatar
    I can't promise that in alpha, cause the game will be updated intensively but later we will do a proofreading of the game texts by a native English speaker.

    No, the game will have a launcher which will check the current version of your game and download only missing files if there is an update available.
    Posted 03-06-2013 at 06:52 AM by berserker berserker is offline

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