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Join Date: Dec 2007
04-04-2009, 09:05 AM
Originally Posted by
As tough as Bioware's task might be they're not stuck trying to write dialogue for races that haven't been invented yet by the player...
You are right in that Bioware is writing dialogue for character they've developed and not the player, which makes me think that this is the way Cryptic should have gone. Maybe I am wrong, and maybe Kestrel can pull it off and make dialogue that is one-size-fits-all, but that just seems unlikely to me, I'll have to wait and see.
I think the emphasis on customization can be a downside at times. The role of Captain is 100% "roleplayable" I get to decide what my character looks like, I get to decide their skills, I get to write up a back story, and it is left up to me to convey my avatar's personality through how I interact with others. If I want to play the cold, distant, no-nonsense, Captain, I can write my own dialog for that. If I want to play the overly confident Captain that believes himself to be almost messianic, I can write my own dialog for that. And so on. The more customization available to the Captain, the better.
For the bridge crew I get to develop these characters about 50% of them. I get to to decide how they look, their skills, and their back story, but then I'm left hoping that Kestrel can write dialog to match my imagination. That what I (or anyone else) creates and what she writes I would guess will not line up hardly ever. So, again, customization is great in how it's being implemented for ships and the player's Captain, but for the bridge crew - to really capture the feeling of Star Trek - I think setting stricter boundaries would have been the way to go.
E.G. Cryptic could assign you a bridge crew. That is, if you're playing Federation you might get a Vulcan science officer, or a Ferengi helmsman with the appropriate personality, but then the player gets the freedom to decide how they look and what their skills are. Or conversely perhaps random personalities are assigned to your first crew, such that you when you enter the bridge officer customization screen for the first time, before you even begin to define your officer's look you're given the parameter of "sassy communications officer" and then from there you get to create what you want said bridge officer to look like, and get to write a backstory explaining just why they have the attitude. It would be the same format as the past Cryptic contests in which a setting is provided by Cryptic and then I get to use my imagination to work around those parameters. E.G. I get a picture of a green alien with protrusions all over his face that I meet in a bar (the most recent contest) and from there I get to create a backstory, history, description of physiology, behavior, etc. Cryptic's content and player imagination are 100% in harmony in this way. Similarly, Cryptic - in bridge officer creation - might randomly assign a player the parameter of "sassy communication officer" from which the player can create the appropriate backstory, look, etc. to again have harmony, rather than the disunion I think one-size-fits-all dialog will most likely create.
From creation, after being creating my crew with pre-determined personalities, I could either stick with my bridge crew and maybe grow fond of them over time (think Archer, Tucker and T'Pol), or they might just drive me crazy and I might switch them out first chance I get. I think there's something far more fun to be had in having each crew member overtly unique, such that you might have the snippy tactical officer and by-the-book engineer, while your friend has an adventurous tactical officer, etc. I think established parameters would actually add to the unique quality of individual crews.
Such that there's no room for interpretation on away missions when a player's back story might explain that their Ferengi science officer is not happy about serving under a female Captain. If this player was given the parameter "condescending" at officer creation and wrote this respective back story to fit the personality, then such patronizing behavior will come through to other players that might team up with this captain and see how her science officer talks to her. Otherwise this player might get monotonous dialog that leaves room to be interpreted as veiled hostility by the player playing as the female Captain, but that's going to be lost on other players that might group with this player, who could just as easily interpret it as submissive compliance.