The Electra Engine tool is live for use in building characters for the most advanced conversation system in game history. The core achievement is pairing the complexity of a 3D flow chart system with a simulation view that shows the output in a text message format. This allows writers to approach the conversational choices on both a micro and macro level.
So why is it the most advanced conversation system in a game? It starts with the mechanics from the player’s point of view. When they go to talk to someone or an event triggers a conversation they have multiple choices of what to say like many games, but what is truly groundbreaking is a nested emotional collection of options. Basically the player can select an option that reads ‘hey, do you want to go out sometime’, but then before locking it in they can explode the dialog to reveal what the emotional tone of the option is. Perhaps in this case it would be a combination of friendly and timid. Now when the player explodes this option, it’s not merely a passive observation mode, but actually reveals up to 7 other emotional options each with a combination of tone traits that each person reacts to depending on their personality.
This may all seem to be getting overly complex. After all why would you want to have so many variables going on behind the scenes? Well players live and breathe consistency and rules that they can trust, and more importantly depend on to make strategic decisions and be rewarded for their skill.
What happens next is the players tone is taken into account by the Ai’s personality which combines that factor with it’s ongoing BOND (like or dislike for the player) and arrives at a REACTION that uses a few more aspects of the tone to figure out how positively or negatively she will respond.
Now this may sound like a lot of work for a writer, but actually the system doesn’t just offer organization through the nested depth in the 3D flow chart system. It also has built in functionality to allow for as simple numbers of options as the writer wants per step or Conversation Chunk (1+ player dialog, 1+ ai reply). It communicates the options with less depth as gut instinct warnings so that any combination of writing styles or ebb and flow depending on the importance of the conversation step.
The visual components of the Ai’s body language will help show the positive or negative reactions to the player’s choices are not connected to the Electra tool at the moment, as much of the character art and animation are being reworked, but the entire Conversation system is working and this is an exciting time in which writers can finally get their hands on this revolutionary game creation tool for Forbidden Technique.