Wasteland 2 update: details on camera, HUD, dialog

Discussion in 'NMA News and Information' started by Brother None, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Apr 3, 2003
    The 25th Kickstarter update for Wasteland 2 is a follow-up on the video update, following up on the camera, the HUD and dialog.<blockquote>The last thing we want to talk about is the keyword dialog system. Many of our systems are designed to be a modern take on systems from the original Wasteland. We started with the Wasteland keyword system and updated it, adding layers of complexity that enable us to increase conversational reactivity.

    The foundation of the keyword system is the player building up a keyword library through interaction with NPCs and the world. The keyword list starts out empty, and as you speak with NPCs they will reveal new keywords to you. If the revealed keyword is only of interest to that NPC, it will go into a local list. You can click on words in the keyword list to navigate through the conversation. If the revealed keyword has importance beyond that particular conversation, it is put into the regional keyword list. These keywords are of interest to most of the NPCs you encounter that region. A third option, which is never required, is to type something in – a nod to Wasteland 1’s system.

    Keywords are also added to the keyword list through perception skill use and environmental description text. For example, if you use perception to examine an object in the world, your observations might reveal a new keyword. Or, if you explored the level and triggered the descriptor text of some object or feature, it too might unlock a keyword.

    The NPC’s reaction to any given keyword can be affected by a number of factors including: the party composition, previous gameplay choices, previously used keywords, previous player responses to NPC questions, character skills, character attributes, item inventory, equipped weapons and armor, prior party actions, and CNPCs in the party. In other words, there isn't a one-to-one correlation between keywords and the NPC’s response.

    It is important that the player listens to (reads) what the NPCs are saying, because often you can judge by their tone the right way to approach the conversation. For instance, in some cases using a keyword at a particular point of the conversation changes the NPC’s answer to other keywords, or even ends the conversation all together.

    One of the suggestions from the fans was that the Ranger party should deliver a line of dialog instead of just barking a keyword. We really love this idea. Having full sentences creates a natural conversation flow. Additionally, this approach allows us to remove the ambiguity of keywords – holding your mouse over a keyword will show you a preview of the sentence your Rangers will say.</blockquote>
  2. mobucks

    mobucks woof Orderite

    May 22, 2010
    Sounds like a ton of work. Those guys have the creativity for it though.

    Sounds like an excellent way to please the keyword system boo-hooers.
  3. Grotesque

    Grotesque It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Oct 16, 2006
    buy Defonten posters!
  4. Diospyros

    Diospyros First time out of the vault

    Jul 15, 2008
    I was getting fairly annoyed until the very end. I didn't like the keyword system because it made you seem like a moron who could only shout single words at people. If it is a keyword system but said as dialog then that will help a lot with immersion.

    However, it is kind of silly that this keyword system is meant to be a modern update of the original Wasteland system as though keywords were central to what Wasteland was. The reason Wasteland used a keyword and written manual system is due to the technical limitations of the time. Had they created Wasteland in the mid to late 90s when dialog systems were at the level we see in Fallout and the D&D games that is what they would have used.
  5. woo1108

    woo1108 Vault Senior Citizen

    Sep 27, 2012
    I don't think so. There's some other games that uses keyword system like morrwind, wizardry8, and so on. I don't think these game uses that because of technical limitations.
  6. Lexx

    Lexx Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    There wasn't enough space on the disc. That's - if i remember correctly - the main reason why the paragraph book exists at all. Nowadays it sounds hilarious, but back in the days, every kb was counting. Besides, Morrowind and Wizardry8 have been released ages after Wasteland.
  7. egalor

    egalor Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Jun 20, 2007
    Having read of the keyword system intended implementation, I started to like it. What is the real difference between

    - having a list of ready sentences (as in FO1-2), or
    - having a list of keywords that too come with ready sentences (as here)?

    I don't see any, really.

    One more thing, how did you understand this:

    I'm not sure I get this. Does it mean I can type instead of clicking only? Or does it mean I can type in something that is not on the keywords list and still get the result, as if it was there? And if it's 'never required' - then why is this implemented at all?

    Someone clever, please explain it to me :)
  8. Lexx

    Lexx Testament to the ghoul lifespan
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    You can type in words, like in the original Wasteland or in Fallout 1 (the "tell me about"-button). I'll guess you will also be able to type in the words from the keyword list. There is no reason why this shouldn't work. In the end, your keyword list on the interface is nothing else but a keyword notebook, so you won't have to note them down manually.
  9. dONALD42

    dONALD42 First time out of the vault

    Jan 9, 2013
    If I remember correctly, Fallout 1 had a similar keyword system, I believe I even remember typing words in. And although I did not use it other than a few times, it gave me a sense that I can talk with the NPC like I would to a real human.
    My point is that a keyword system (inserted because of the lack of space or not, it doesn't really matters), especially together/extended with the player typing-in questions adds a huge amount of RPG into a CRPG.
  10. randir14

    randir14 First time out of the vault

    Dec 20, 2005
    Wow...of all the times I've played Fallout 1 I never knew you could type anything.
  11. Ardent

    Ardent A Smooth-Skin

    Jul 24, 2009
    This is supposed to mean you don't need to type in keywords to progress in the game - you will get all the game and quest critical info through keywords. The "console" option is for extracurricular and flavour information - like in Fallout 1.
  12. egalor

    egalor Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Jun 20, 2007

    So this is merely an interface feature, that does not affect the gameplay - right?
  13. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Aug 16, 2010
    Pretty much. You get every keyword needed for progress, but you can get extra information by typing in keywords you guessed.

    So I guess you can also guess a keyword you'd otherwise get, for example by perception, and kinda circumvent the acquisition of a keyword by using your own logic and knowledge?
    I'd like that.
  14. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    yeah well Dialogue was something people did criticse about Morrowind to be fair. Wiki-Dialogue.

    Wasteland 2 should really have a bit more then just that. or no matter how well the text is written but the NPCs will feel like souless bags full of informations like an computer.
  15. Paul_cz

    Paul_cz Mildly Dipped

    Jun 11, 2008
    Fantastic update. Sounds like a ton of work, but if it really works as described it could be one of the most interesting and reactive dialogue systems to date.
  16. AnchorsAweigh

    AnchorsAweigh First time out of the vault

    Oct 7, 2012
    So, it's the whole party talking and not the main character? I guess that means the full sentence for a keyword will always be the same, regardless of factors such as intelligence. That's too bad, I always enjoy getting to play an idiot. Also, it decreases the enjoyment of replaying with a completely different character/party.
  17. Per

    Per Vault Consort Staff Member Admin

    Apr 1, 2004
    The primary reason for keywords in Wasteland was they didn't have global variables as such. They had a number of workarounds to carry information from one map to another and keywords was one.
  18. woo1108

    woo1108 Vault Senior Citizen

    Sep 27, 2012
    IMO morrowind has not ideal keyword system. For me it was good system though.
    But for distractor system, there are lots of bad examples like japenes girl game(some of them are good though), fallout3 and so on. For these examples distractor system is just mess of useless choosing sentence.
    So judging keyword system with morrwind isn't good idea IMO. :D

    IMO it isn't good idea to press developer to change dialog system since design of game is already done with dialog system.
    If the dialog system is change, lots of tricks will be ruined and delay develop time.

    IMO don't judge before play it. It would be good choice to developer to choose keyword system and it would satify us.
  19. Makenshi

    Makenshi Ahoy, ye salty dogs!

    Jul 28, 2006
    YYYYYYAAAAAYYYY!!!! Now this game will kick ass so hard we will kiss the moon!
  20. mobucks

    mobucks woof Orderite

    May 22, 2010
    While I'm not sure about the whole intelligence/dumb character playthrough option, you might want to re-read the interview, because it looks like they are trying to do something incredibly dynamic and reactive with dialogue in regards to:
    the order you ask things
    the order you discover things
    past decisions
    who (CNPC) you have with you
    what you're holding
    and more

    So the only time you would see the same responses on further playthoughs would be if you made the exact same characters, and completed the game in the exact same order with the same CNPCs while wearing the same items.