Trompé Setsuled (setsuled) wrote,
Trompé Setsuled

Dialogue Choices and the Insurrection of the French Fry

I had to get a new coffee bean grinder to-day. It's exactly like the old one, except not broken. I threw the old one away, wondering if I could make some kind of handy gadget with the old motor if I were some sort of gear head. Maybe just a propeller beanie, like the kind Calvin wanted in Calvin and Hobbes.

I actually ate breakfast at a McDonald's inside a Wal-Mart to-day. Yes, that's white trash times two, but I needed the oil changed on my car. The big, pale guy at the McDonald's behind the register wore a Captain Picard tie.

I've been playing Knights of the Old Republic 2 over the past couple nights, for about an hour a night. The writing's better than the first game, and the dialogue trees to comply with different character paths are more complex. The game's notoriously unfinished state is more than a little noticeable, though--for some reason, LucasArts wanted it released when Obsidian were only about two thirds finished making it. So there are things like doors that won't open, subplots with no resolutions, and a lot of very low-res backgrounds, most noticeably star fields comprised of big blue jelly beans on black.

I watched Tim playing System Shock 2 a couple weeks ago, a game with even more flexibility in character creation and dialogue options, but with absolutely terrible writing. But I don't think I've come across any American game with a heavy focus on dialogue having genuinely good writing. I think maybe part of the problem is the writers think their job is to anticipate as many of the player's possible responses as they can. In reality, that's impossible. Focus needs to be placed on options of character paths that are interesting before credible. Assume the player is interesting, and your game will be interesting, too.

I was having a fantasy about directing Meryl Streep for voice acting work in such a game. I was imagining explaining to her her character's motives to say, "Nice shot!" and maybe saying it slightly differently depending on whether the player had chosen to be a Jedi or a Sith.

I watched the sixth episode of Battlestar Galactica's fourth season last night, featuring one of Ronald D. Moore's old Deep Space Nine cohorts, Nana Visitor. Yes, she was Just Visiting. *cough*. But I liked Deep Space Nine, it was nice to see her. She quickly out-acted Mary McDonnell. Anyone remember McDonnell from that big Miller's Outpost ad Kevin Costner did called Dances with Wolves?

That's authentic period early 1990s hair right there. Classy.

Anyway, it was a good episode. Starbuck and gang on the Cylon base ship was good. I liked the standoff between the sixes and the woman who was in the resistance on New Caprica.
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