NPCs and Conversations?

As I study Dialog and play the game Tethered, I notice that there is no mention of NPCs and conversation.

I assume that could be implemented through the library but I am a novice.

Any thoughts?

Thank you,

As I study further, I am finding what I need in Chapter 7 of the Library manual. “Communication” should do the trick.

More to study and learn…

This is mostly uncharted territory—which also means there’s an opportunity to influence how the system will end up.

NPCs that stay in a room are very similar to other kinds of fixtures. They can be animated in a narrative sense using (on every tick in $), like any object. Independently, if they have the (animate $) trait (defining them as male or female implies this) then the default responses already adapt to that.

For talking to an NPC, there are standard actions as you’ve found, but they don’t do much by default. They’re designed as an empty framework that authors can hang story-specific behaviour on. But perhaps more could be added to the library?

NPC movement is something that I’ve been meaning to add for some time, but I haven’t settled on a design yet. Presumably a helper predicate for moving an NPC, which can be queried from (on every tick). This in turn narrates the NPC entering or leaving, if the current room was involved in the operation, and the player can see it.

Comments? Ideas?

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That is some of the things I have in mind.

One of them is an object that can be carried by the PC that is interactive and has traits of animation. I would also like to have the object perform an action from time to time based upon a random number of ticks.

Thank you,

I almost wish that some sort of dialogue-tree system (numbered choices or clickable) was built into every parser system by default. ASK/TELL can be so frustrating, and it would seem to work much better for the player and the author to have a specialized conversation interface.

This seems to work best in Inform 7 using Hybrid Choices and directing any conversational verbs to choice menus. I’ve used that combo in Fair, and I know Steph Cherrywell has in Brain Guzzlers from Beyond and other games.


Thank you so much for the references. I will look them up and garner ideas.

I have been studying Inform 6/7. Working with Dialog is enjoyable since it is a developing system

Inform 7 is also in active development. I am anxiously waiting for the next release

I will offer my meek endorsement for a multiple-choice conversation system. But I have no idea what kind of compromises or overhead that means.

Biased as I am toward “things I am already familiar with” I would wish for something like we have in the Infinity Engine modding world, with a relatively easy way to include multiple speakers who may-or-may-not be present, able to speak, or meet other arbitrary tests and variable checks and so forth.

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