Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 Using ! marks
04-10-2011, 11:55 PM
I know this may sound like a silly question at first, but I find myself grappling with the following problem. Sometimes it is warranted to have a bridge officer speak using a exclamation mark, but I'm mindful that there's a chance for a BO to be a Vulcan, and then it may seem out of place. It seems almost like we're stuck between a rock and a hard place, because if you never include emotion in a BO's text, that might seem strange in certain circumstances (and most of the time the BO won't be a Vulcan), but if you do it may seem out of character if the BO is a Vulcan.

All that said, I'm sort of leaning towards the occasional inclusion of exclamation marks with the justification that even though Vulcans don't speak with emotion, they still can speak forcefully. Not to mention, Vulcans do have emotions they just try to suppress them.

Just to give one specific example, in my mission the science officer detects a rare type of comment, and I feel that it would be warranted for him to show more interest than a deadpan statement. Or another hypothetical (not in my mission) is a Romulan Warbird decloaking suddenly off the port bow.

What are everyone else's thoughts on this?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
04-11-2011, 01:12 AM
What would Spock say?
  • Fascinating!
  • Fascinating.

I don't know. I'd probably use them, but try to avoid using "over-excited" Bridge Officer texts.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
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# 3
04-11-2011, 01:37 AM
Exclamation marks (!), at least in my opinion, dont signify a sense of 'excitement' in particular to me. It indicates a statement made with forcefulness, which could be due to excitement, or something else. For example, when you want to portray a character raising their voice, you'd use (!).

So i dont have a problem with Vulcans having (!) in their dialogue, its the emotional context of the text that comes before (!) that matters.

Of course, its ingrained in us to see emotion in any sentence ending in (!).

I could type "Captain, we are under attack!", and intend it to be an 'alert' shouted out to the player, but some people might see it as that boff is getting overly excited.

In this case id still use (!) and leave it up to the player's discretion how to view it. Just avoid using the 'obvious' emotionally-laden text. Like the word 'fascinating'. Its a neutral word if you end with a full-stop, but if you put (!) after that word, its definitely 'emotional'.
Lt. Commander
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Posts: 120
# 4
04-11-2011, 02:15 AM
Until we're able to split out a dialogue response with Species=, Gender= parameters, I'd try and keep your BOFFs using dialogue with universal validity.

With player dialogue options it's a little bit easier. I try to offer multiple ways of saying the same thing, to accommodate Vulcan or similar characters. So...

>Stow the attitude.
>You are out of line.

I can imagine a Vulcan saying the second response, but not the first. But at the same time, if a player wants to use an emotional response for this Vulcan it shouldn't be prohibited.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
04-11-2011, 06:33 AM
This is actually a good discussion, I think.

I try to write the BO dialog to be pretty neutral. Mostly sticking to facts, pointing out possibilities or where we need to go next. The more you try to give them an artificial personality, the more it may conflict with the player's intent for those characters, or with obvious issues like Vulcans as you pointed out.

I use exclamations, but sparingly. Sometimes you really need them for the emphasis.

I feel like most of the emotion thast helps drive the story along needs to come from characters you control 100% in the foundry. That is, the ones created for the story, and not brought into it by the player.
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# 6
04-11-2011, 06:56 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by NecroBones View Post
I feel like most of the emotion thast helps drive the story along needs to come from characters you control 100% in the foundry. That is, the ones created for the story, and not brought into it by the player.
This is why I *really* want the ability to add temporary away team members in Foundry - give them the dialogue that can't accommodate every race and gender.
Lt. Commander
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# 7
04-11-2011, 07:02 AM
I use it as English rules dictate. If people get that upset about Vulcans acting "out-of-character," then they may want to stay away from Foundry.
Lt. Commander
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# 8
04-11-2011, 07:07 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walshicus
This is why I *really* want the ability to add temporary away team members in Foundry - give them the dialogue that can't accommodate every race and gender.
I definitely want to second this. I want to be able to let my characters be a part of the player's "away team", similar to Josh Riker in the Badlands mission.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
04-11-2011, 07:16 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Commadore_Bob
I use it as English rules dictate. If people get that upset about Vulcans acting "out-of-character," then they may want to stay away from Foundry.
Well, it should be courteous to allow for a common eventuality. At least put a note in the mission grant text letting people know it's not suitable for Vulcan Captains or BOFFs etc.
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# 10
04-11-2011, 08:09 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walshicus
Well, it should be courteous to allow for a common eventuality. At least put a note in the mission grant text letting people know it's not suitable for Vulcan Captains or BOFFs etc.
I really don't think that is necessary. As an author, you cannot possibly account for every eventuality. Even the "Cloaked Intentions" series had a mission where a BOff freaked out over spiders. If you had a Vulcan in that slot, then they got emotional.

My stories don't have overly emotional text from the BOff (more like status reports), but if I did I wouldn't warn people with a message that says "Don't play this mission if your Engineering BOff is a Vulcan."
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