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Journeyman

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« Reply #585 on: February 08, 2008, 11:49:15 pm »

Cardtrick is right, astericks really suck and italics are out anyway due to engine limitations, so his suggestion is the only viable one. Stop discussing this already. Please.
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Priapist
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« Reply #586 on: February 09, 2008, 01:55:46 am »

Okay, those are all pretty valid criticisms, but... Imperative mood cannot be part of flowing prose, it has to be somehow voiced. That's almost okay, because in this context, you're giving orders to yourself -"Go put the garbage out"; "Tidy your room"; "Ask for directions"; etc. But technically, those quotation marks are always present, even if you don't explicitly state them. So now we're dealing with quotes within quotes. I'm going somewhere with this. Promise.

"Approach the man and say 'I got your corn right here, buddy!'" - works. It's unambiguous, the spoken part is cleanly incorporated into the action of approaching the guy.

"Approach the man. Say 'I got your corn right here, buddy!'" - still works, but doesn't flow as well and implies consecutive rather than concurrent actions. Also, it doesn't imply the indirect object ("the man") as strongly in the second clause as it does in the previous example when both clauses form the same sentence.

"Approach the man. 'I got your corn right here, buddy!'" - completely derails to me. What about the corn? Whose buddy? Who is speaking? Within context it's clear, but if you're going to strive to have something that resembles natural prose, then it can't look like bad prose. It's squarely in the literary "uncanny valley" for me.

To visit your example of dropping descriptions from natural, flowing conversation, I don't think this is comparable. A writer will drop "he said/she said" if the conversation is continuing as before, without significant change in the character's delivery, and without concurrent actions:

"Hey Cindy, you're back!" said Bob, with a hint of surprise.
"Yep," replied Cindy, "and I brought corn!"
Drops his pants. "You sassy little minx!"
"No, not there. In your ear." Fucks Bob with corn.

You could argue that it's still perfectly clear who is doing what, but that's some fuck ugly prose. And I think that's where we're both coming from. The intent of the speech and actions is clear in either case, but the respective dressings are somewhat offensive to us - you don't want to see asterisks since they evoke a forum/chatroom association, and I don't want to see pseudo-prose because it looks too much like butchered prose. It's an aesthetic issue more than a functional one.

I think the only compromise is to use asterisks... in quotes: "*"Puts the discussion to rest."*"  Evil

[edit] I'm not sure if my original point is the one I ended up with, but it's hard to define something that offends on a subconscious level.

[edit2] Hey Vince, what's the story behind the italics limitation? Is it something that could be worked around (read: would be worth working around) with a second font that is just an italicised version of the main one?
« Last Edit: February 09, 2008, 02:06:19 am by Priapist » Logged
cardtrick
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« Reply #587 on: February 09, 2008, 02:41:05 am »

I think the only compromise is to use asterisks... in quotes: "*"Puts the discussion to rest."*"  Evil

Agreed. This demonstrates the power of synergy: 1 + 1 = 11!

On a sidenote, we took this in a strangely corn-sexual direction.
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Pastel
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« Reply #588 on: February 09, 2008, 03:48:09 am »

How about brackets, like in MotB? They worked pretty well.

As for quotes, using them for the player dialogue is fine, as long as it is as such:
Code:
"I will kill you with death!" [attack the motherfucker with your crossbow]
rather than:
Code:
"I will kill you with death!" Attack the motherfucker with your crossbow

Code:
"I will kill you with death!" you scream, attacking the motherfucker with your crossbow.
would be quite nice as well, but it might make the dialogue harder to read.
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namad
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« Reply #589 on: February 09, 2008, 04:20:27 am »

i can't believe anyone at all is in favor of the quotes option...

keep in mind like vince said 90-95% of all of it won't have actions so no matter how ugly the device is you won't see it much....

let's say quotes are 10% ugly and asterisks are 70% ugly on the ugliness meter well.... if we have to use one... let's measure which will uglify the game more 10%*70%=7% 10%x90% is ~9%

which number is worse 9% more ugly or 7% more ugly? hrmm...

it's basically the argument of green road and gray grass being worse than pink/purple... combined with what vince said about how actions are far rarer...


i'm not totally in favor or asterisks i'm just in favor of some symbol .. and with [] taken not much is left... except maybe {} ? but quotes... quotes already mean something so you can't really go around using them in anyway except the exact proper usage (the argument about bad prose being worse than some new imaginary rule)
« Last Edit: February 09, 2008, 06:37:04 am by namad » Logged
Euchrid
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« Reply #590 on: February 09, 2008, 04:46:37 am »

Some other poster pointed out that Planescape used quotes for spoken dialogue. I checked, and he is correct, which has shown me just how little I notice these things, as I had no idea. It also uses asterisks for emphasis, though I did recall this, mostly because of Dakkon's *know*. Hence, I'm mostly ambivalent overall, time for me to stop posting on this topic and leave Vince to his decision (possibly already made).




« Last Edit: February 09, 2008, 05:12:23 am by Euchrid » Logged
RobRendell
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« Reply #591 on: February 09, 2008, 05:01:16 am »

Hi, all.  Given that it's not going to be possible to please everyone, one way to deal with this is to have a preference option that people can set.  Someone has already suggested this, I believe, but how's this for a specific implementation:

If all option text contained both quotes around spoken text and and asterisks around actions, then it shouldn't be too hard to have the display code hide the quotes, hide the stars, or leave them both there, depending on a preference setting.

(Context on me: I've been dropping in to the Codex (and now this site) for a year or so now, keeping tabs on this game.  I think I only posted on the Codex once or twice, and this is my first post here.  I'm very keen to play AoD when it's finished, and intend to spam my friends with links to this site the moment it is available.)
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Ander Vinz
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« Reply #592 on: February 09, 2008, 05:16:47 am »

i'm not totally in favor or asterisks i'm just in favor of some symbol .. and with [] taken not much is left... except maybe {} ?
What about classic braсkets without quotes?
Like,

What a deep discussion it is! (eating buttery corn cob).

versus

What a deep discussion it is! *eating buttery corn cob*.
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Morbus
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« Reply #593 on: February 09, 2008, 06:25:14 am »

CardTrick's no italics option:

1. "Are you sure that they are spies?"
2. Open the window.
3. [Dexterity] "Catch!" Throw the guard your crossbow. While he’s distracted, use a crossbow bolt as an improvised dagger, and lunge for his throat.


For me, the CardTrick option is fine, though, given all of this text is in dialogue, I don't think it makes sense to treat spoken text as the exception by using quotes.
That's what I said!

Anyway, the point Priapist brought is very good. What if it's something like:

Quote
3. [Dexterity] "Catch!" - Throw the guard your crossbow. While he’s distracted, use a crossbow bolt as an improvised dagger, and lunge for his throat.

It'd look better.

And another thing. We're not talking only about dialog options, right? The way it works for dialog options it has to work for NPCs' lines too. NPCs have actions too, their spoken words have to be quoted too if the player's are...

Some other poster pointed out that Planescape used quotes for spoken dialogue. I checked, and he is correct, which has shown me just how little I notice these things, as I had no idea. It also uses asterisks for emphasis, though I did recall this, mostly because of Dakkon's *know*. Hence, I'm mostly ambivalent overall, time for me to stop posting on this topic and leave Vince to his decision (possibly already made).

Yeah, and the writing is great, as usual. See? Look at the verb tense.

What about classic braсkets without quotes?
Like,

What a deep discussion it is! (eating buttery corn cob).

versus

What a deep discussion it is! *eating buttery corn cob*.
Can't work out. Classic brackets are most likely already used in spoken lines. Besides, they are meaningful punctuation marks. Unlike asterisks or square brackets. Quotes are but they have substitutes.
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xenocide
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« Reply #594 on: February 09, 2008, 10:32:25 am »

It does seem somewhat weird to me that this issue is so divisive. I will admit that I never did well in gramer class - go math! (god if you guys knew how many words I have to spellcheck for every single post I type so I do not look like more of an idoit than I already do you would be amazed) That being said:


Quote
1. "Are you sure that they are spies?"
2. Open the window.
3. [Dexterity] "Catch!" Throw the guard your crossbow. While he’s distracted, use a crossbow bolt as an improvised dagger, and lunge for his throat.


I admit this looks so good to me.  I am sure guys like Priapist (this may sound somewhat insulting but man you are a gramer freak) are 100% correct in the usage of quotes according to gramer rules.  To me what are quotes?  They denote spoken text!  If you see quotes that means the text is spoken.  When I see a qoute it means spoken text, when I see an asterisk I do not automatically know what it means, I have to figure it out via the context.  Even if it is insanely easy to figure out, it still needs to be figured out.  I do not see asterisks as automatically denoting action.  It would seem cardtrick is correct and that he and I are in the minority.  I guess if I did know what Priapist and company were talking about maybe then I could understand their dislike of quotes.  I have said before I can live with asterisks.  I still think the example above looks the best though. 


As a late addition:
If asterisks are used, are there situations where no spoken text is an option?  If so will the asterisks still be in?  ie:


1. *Attack!*
2. *Retreat*


that is part of why I do not like asterisks.  The above looks ridiculus to me.  You could just leave them out when no spoken text is available, but then you loose consistency.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2008, 10:40:25 am by xenocide » Logged
galsiah
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« Reply #595 on: February 09, 2008, 11:40:29 am »

I'm not keen on asterisks - except perhaps for use as rare emphasis (e.g. *know*) -, and I agree with the consensus that quotes/asterisks/brackets... should definitely be used in pairs if at all. Other than that I'm not too bothered on the specifics.

I don't think it makes sense to rule out colour coding on the basis of one debatably garish example. It's used throughout PS:T without many objections - you'd just need to make sure that any colour scheme fit with the style you're going for. You wouldn't necessarily need bright, hugely contrasting colours to make things clear.

So long as anything not spoken is an action, I don't see too much wrong with the quotes-for-spoken-stuff approach. If there's sometimes clarifying descriptions too, it might make sense to make the distinction between action and description explicit.
[[To take a horribly contrived, but ambiguous, example: "We probably ought to get down from this cart and run for it." Alight before the guard's arrival, the fire is sure to divert attention elsewhere.]]
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mhv3
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« Reply #596 on: February 09, 2008, 01:33:26 pm »

I think cardtrick is right.  I thought you represented the silent majority too.   But,  as long as it is consistent I'll be ok however it is done.
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Vince
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« Reply #597 on: February 09, 2008, 02:35:35 pm »

*"I agree"*.
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One Wolf
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« Reply #598 on: February 12, 2008, 07:37:55 pm »

I vote for asterisks.

-W
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« Reply #599 on: February 12, 2008, 08:10:44 pm »

If we're voting, then Cardtrick is right. ""s are the only way to do it. Did it really bother you guys all that much in PS:T? I would have chimed in sooner if I'd thought this could possibly go against ""s.
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