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Tutorial - 'Dialogue' by GaZZwa

An item about RPGMaker 2000 posted on

Blurb

Sometimes there's nothing more annoying than a game with bad dialogue (spelling, grammar etc.) Here are the golden rules of what NOT to do.

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Dialogue


One thing that often lets down otherwise good RM2k games is the dialogue. Whether it be the spelling, grammar, or other things – dialogue is often messed up in our home brewed games.

There are a few golden rules to keep in mind whilst typing the dialogue for your characters in your game, and here they are.

1. Spelling

This sounds pretty obvious, but please check through your games spelling. It can completely ruin the playing experience and comes off as completely unprofessional to see badly spelled words in a game. Things to watch out for: “They’re, their and they are.” Note: They’re means “they are.” Their means “something that belongs to them” and there means “over there.”

2. AOL abbreviations

This one gets on my nerves more than any other mistake made with dialogue. It is something that does not occur that frequently, but a lot of newbies tend to use it. When typing out the dialogue in your game do not, under any circumstances (unless you do it purposefully) type something in AOL Lingo like “U R Kewl” or “I luv u” or “I NV U 4 U R A QT” or “lol”, “roflmao”, “XD” or any other abbreviations or smilies you can think of. You’re not in a chat room, you’re typing out dialogue for somebody to say. Professionals don’t do it so neither should you.

3. Grammar

Not as annoying really, but still something to take into consideration. Use full stops, commas colons and any other grammatical symbols where needed. It can spoil the whole tempo of the sentence if you do not use these correctly.

4. Names of characters

A bit of an odd one this. Some people like to put the name of the character at the top of their dialogue box as apposed to (or as well as) a face set. If you’re going to do this please don’t do this:
“Alex hello I’m Alex.”
Do this:
“Alex:
Hello I’m Alex.”
You could also highlight the character’s name using RM2k’s nifty messaging codes – which you’ll find in Bart’s tutorial. Also, another big no-no is containing 2 character’s dialogue in one box like this:
“Alex: Hi
Cloud: Hey Alex
Alex: How are you?
Cloud: I’m fine.”
It just seems a bit messy and comes across as quite hard to read. So keep one character to one message box. Simple, eh?

That’s the end of the golden rules, but I have some tips on good dialogue as well. Some messages can get quite repetitive. This is annoying and can cause the player to stop playing. Let’s use an example. Say to get into a cave you have to burn some leaves from off the cave’s entrance. The object may not be apparent for many players so you’ll have to hint at it in what NPCs (non-playable characters) say. Some of them (but as a rule not all) should say things like “Leaves burn really well” or “The other day I made a camp fire and it burned all the leaves around me”. But be very careful not to talk about it too much. Use switches to change what NPCs say to make things a little more interesting. And perhaps to make them sound more realistic, you could make them change the subject, joke around a bit or just comment on irrelevant things such as the weather or how you have bad hair.

I hope this has been of some use to you. Good luck on your game and, as always; happy gaming!


-- GaZZwa