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Making it Work: Conversation Window

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Comments

  • ThelsThels Member Posts: 1,328

    the portrait of the current speaker should be stationary. In conversation this portrait should switch to the current speaker. It doesn’t matter whether or not a party member pipes in temporarily with a comment because the focus of the conversation always goes back to the original speaker before the player can either continue the conversation with the continue button, or pick a response if they are given that option.

    No, you are wrong there. There are plenty of situations where the focus of the conversation does NOT go back to the original speaker.

    Mr2150's example about Viconia is a good one. Viconia is the last one to have spoken, and thus it will be her portrait that is being displayed, not the Flaming Fist's portrait. Yet, the reply that you pick is in regards to the Flaming Fist, not to Viconia.

    I personally think it would be really nice to have the portraits in the dialog window scrolling along with the spoken text. However, even if that's not feasible, or generally not desirable, having a static icon inside the text window close to where the text is on default is still a lot less jarring than having the icon outside the text window.

  • Mr2150Mr2150 Member Posts: 1,170
    I can confirm there's no difference between the current 1.3 and Dee's proposed solution.

    However the same conversation (Viconia and The Fist) has the same problem in 1.3, 2.0, DUI++ as said, it's an engine/dialogue text issue:


    1.3



    2.0+


    DUI++




    All of the methods work the same in that respect.

    sparkleavThacoBell
  • klatuklatu Member Posts: 108
    I assume we all agree now that more than one scrollbar is bad design, yes? Good.

    One more flaw with the current design:
    The spacebar key is bound to the Continue/End Conversation button. This is really bad because it's also used to pause the game. Conversations lead to combat fairly often. I don't want to end dialgue and accidentally unpause an auto-pause. I don't want to have to end dialogue and then pause by pressing spacebar twice quickly in a row (which can easily go wrong).
    Pressing spacebar to Continue? Cool. Why not?
    Pressing spacebar to End Conversation? Not Cool.

    Regarding the log:
    The Hide History problem can be (is already) solved without an extra button: Scroll down.
    Not being glib here. That's the actual solution.
    Tell me, how often are you going to consult the log, then go back to the convo, then consult the log again, etc...? It's not really a problem, is it? It is too marginal an inconvenience to justify having yet another button cluttering up the interface.
    If you want to make it easier to align the current conversation to the top of the dialog box, just make it so people can scroll down past that line to the exact amount where it would align (caveat: if the current conversation takes up less space than the box itself).
    This would work independent of the UI layout.

  • ThelsThels Member Posts: 1,328
    Ok, some screenshots to clarify. This is how it looks in 2.3. The portrait is pretty close to the text, indicating the the portrait belongs to that line of text specifically:


    Now, if you take the portrait out of the text window, it is no longer linked to that specific line of text. Therefor, it now appears as the target of the conversation:

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    Couple of things:

    1. You're making the portrait bigger, which isn't something that has been proposed anywhere here.
    2. The dialogue text would be aligned to the left side of the text window, meaning it would be clearer that the portrait and the text are linked.

    Mr2150sparkleav
  • klatuklatu Member Posts: 108
    Personally, I would really appreciate being able to move and resize the dialog box in both dimensions in-game. Would that be possible?

    Ravenslight
  • Mr2150Mr2150 Member Posts: 1,170
    I understand completely what you are saying @Thels however I don't see that the placement of the portrait changes - nobody has suggested to make the portrait bigger for vanilla -and the alignment of the text also impacts how you read it.

    The fact that Vici's portrait is still displayed but you are replying to the fist is a problem with the way interjections are handled by the engine - as it stands, your suggestion to have the portrait move with the text is exactly how I suggested it at the beginning of the thread... however that was sadly rejected.

  • ThelsThels Member Posts: 1,328
    1. Ok, I may have incorrectly assumed that. My bad.

    2. It would still be further away from the text than when it would be inside the text field. From your screenshots, it appeared as if the portrait would be inside the frame that surrounded the text field, which already causes quite a bit of separation.

    I dunno, I just liked having the icons inside the text field, and I'm not entirely sure why they need to be moved out of them.

  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,609
    I understand what your referring to. Thank you for the visuals @Mr2150 and @Thels. I don’t like the idea of having the portrait scroll with the text as a solution. I do agree that it should be next to the text again @Thels.

  • ThelsThels Member Posts: 1,328
    klatu said:

    Pressing spacebar to Continue? Cool. Why not?
    Pressing spacebar to End Conversation? Not Cool.

    I'd rather see it disabled for both. It happens often enough that something comes up, and I want to pause, but a dialog pops up before I hit the space bar, and I miss the first part of the conversation. Not too problematic, as one can always scroll up, but still.

    Enter works nicely for pressing Continue/End Conversation.

    sparkleav
  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,609
    I would like the connection between the space bar and the conversation removed as well. It has always been for pausing the game and having it now used also in conversation is just confusing.

  • Mr2150Mr2150 Member Posts: 1,170
    Enter should always be OK, yes, continue, next, accept. done (positive response)
    Escape should always be no, go back, decline (negative response)
    Space should only be pause (STOP EVERYTHING, I WANT TO CONCENTRATE!!)

    Not just here - everywhere in the UI.

    sparkleavJairyannaAncientCowboy
  • Mr2150Mr2150 Member Posts: 1,170
  • ThelsThels Member Posts: 1,328
    Would the combat log have the same thick frames around it?

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    Thels said:

    Would the combat log have the same thick frames around it?

    No, the combat log would likely stay the way it is now, since there's no need to add a buffer for the portrait. (That also solves a problem with the transition from combat to dialogue, by making them visually distinct.)

    We can talk about the main gameplay screen in another thread if there are things people want to discuss there, but for the moment assume that the proposal in this thread only marks changes for the conversation window.

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    Mr2150 said:

    Enter should always be OK, yes, continue, next, accept. done (positive response)
    Escape should always be no, go back, decline (negative response)
    Space should only be pause (STOP EVERYTHING, I WANT TO CONCENTRATE!!)

    Not just here - everywhere in the UI.

    Your logic is sound--but "Escape" actually means "close the current window"--which in the context of conversation is functionally identical to "Enter".

    "Spacebar" is "Stop everything", but it's also "I'm ready to continue". In the context of the conversation window, any time that Continue or End Dialogue button shows up, the conversation is essentially paused; pressing spacebar unpauses the dialogue to let it continue through the next piece of conversation.

    That doesn't mean it necessarily makes sense to have three separate keys that all advance the conversation forward, especially if two of them have functions elsewhere in the UI. But it's worth pointing out that those key-bindings aren't arbitrary.

  • RavenslightRavenslight Member Posts: 1,609
    I’m not seeing the problem @Dee Aren’t the first two how it’s always been?

    I would prefer that the text lines were all aligned under each other as it was before. I see no reason to indent the responses.

  • Mr2150Mr2150 Member Posts: 1,170
    edited August 2016
    That's true - unpause is functionally similar to continue.

    However I think Pause/Unpause is so fundamental to how the UI works elsewhere, that separating it out and removing it from dialogue is the logical and most desired preference for nearly everyone. all the people that just mentioned it.

    EDIT: Corrected the generalisation.

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    edited August 2016
    Let's avoid generalities; it's enough to say that it interferes with how you play the game, as long as you identify how it interferes.

    @Ravenslight You're right; that was my writer brain organizing information how I would write it. The responses don't necessarily need to be indented--and for longer responses you definitely want to have as much horizontal space as possible.

    (EDIT: Here it is without the indented responses:



    And yes, the first two shots are how it's always been; I'm presenting them there to illustrate why that design poses a problem, and therefore why it's worth looking at a possible solution.

    Ravenslightlolien
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 18,865
    Dee said:


    The portrait is outside the text frame, which means that there's no indentation within that frame; the text flows naturally whether the speaker has a portrait or not. This also puts the portrait in the frame of the window, allowing us to give it some gilding of its own--which means we can also put a stock graphic in place for when the speaker has no portrait that doesn't distract from the conversation.

    What would happen if there're more than one NPC talking during one dialogue? What if there're several NPCs with different portraits and/or an NPC with a portrait and an NPC without it in the same time. Will the portrait on the left change when Ajantis no longer speaks, with Eldoth now discussing things with Parda? :wink:

  • Mr2150Mr2150 Member Posts: 1,170
    Dee said:


    The portrait on the left will always match the character who is currently speaking; so if it's a conversation between Ajantis, Eldoth, and Parda, it will show Ajantis's portrait when Ajantis speaks, Eldoth's when Eldoth speaks, and no portrait (but with generic ornamentation) when Parda speaks.

    Agree. The only time it becomes problematic is in the scenario @Thels mentioned (which is an engine issue and has been in every version of the game) or if you scroll up - in which case the portrait is the last person to speak but you may be aligned to someone's else text now (which again, has been in every version up to and including 1.3).

  • klatuklatu Member Posts: 108
    @Dee I can understand your reasoning, but I still think you're wrong. The game pretty heavily conditions players to pause and unpause COMBAT using spacebar. So much so that any other application for that button seems strange.

    If Beamdog insist on this, at least let us re-map these buttons, so that everyone can be happy.

    Ravenslightsparkleav
  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    klatu said:

    @Dee I can understand your reasoning, but I still think you're wrong. The game pretty heavily conditions players to pause and unpause COMBAT using spacebar. So much so that any other application for that button seems strange.

    If Beamdog insist on this, at least let us re-map these buttons, so that everyone can be happy.

    Well, my point wasn't that the current implementation is the best possible design; my point was that the current implementation wasn't completely arbitrary.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 9,571
    I may be in the minority here, but I always use spacebar to advance dialogue. I tend to play with my left hand low on the keyboard, so its the most comfortable way for me do so. I'd rather not lose the spacebar functionality.

  • argent77argent77 Member Posts: 2,765
    I guess to make everyone happy we should add the key binding for advancing conversations to the "Assign Keys" options (and set it initially to RETURN).

  • klatuklatu Member Posts: 108
    @thedamages CTRL or ALT would work equally well, no?

  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,414
    klatu said:

    @thedamages CTRL or ALT would work equally well, no?

    No. Those are modifier keys.

    ThacoBell
  • RatatoskrRatatoskr Member Posts: 359
    Just to interject; I also like using the spacebar for conversations due to the location, even as I have the same problem where I sometimes skip the first line of dialogue while trying to pause. If we could remap that to a different key, I think that would be the best option for everyone.

    Also, I do like the new/old dialogue box that's similar to 1.3 with one exception. If we don't have a divider between the current dialogue and the history, would it be possible put a space in there? As it is, it sort of just runs together. I agree that dividers can be jarring but I would like some sort of visual differentiation.

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