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To create a more lively and interactive world you want NPC’s that have something to say to players when they click on them. This can range from a friendly chat message such as “Hi, welcome to the town, it is always nice to meet new travellers” to story based dialogues that can have response options.
Atavism provides support for these features through the Dialogue System. Developers can create single or chained dialogues using the Atavism Editor and assign these to NPCs with the in-game spawn tool. The steps to create Dialogues are detailed below along with possible ideas/plans for the future.
Creating a Simple Chat Dialogue
Simple Chat Dialogues are used for a simple greeting that does not present any response options. Chat Dialogues can be used in conjunction with other NPC Interaction options such as Merchant and Quest Giver. When the player clicks on the NPC it will display the chat dialogue at the top with any other interaction options listed below.
To create the Dialogue click on the Dialogue Plugin in the Atavism Editor. Give the dialogue a name (used to help find it later) and leave the Opening Dialogue and Repeatable boxes ticked (opening dialogue means it comes up as soon as you talk to the NPC, repeatable means it can show up numerous times).
Change the prereq settings as desired. If any are set, the dialogue will only come up if the player matches the requirement. A common setting will be to set a faction and stance so the NPC will only talk to players who it is friendly with.
The final step is to write in the dialogue text. Click save and your dialogue is ready to be added to an NPC.
Creating a Chained Dialogue with Options
Chained dialogues allow multiple blocks of text to be shown to a player using buttons to progress to the next dialogue. Each dialogue can have up to three actions or choices which can cause the next dialogue to show up (based on their choice).
Note: If an NPC is given a dialogue with actions/choices along with other interaction options (such as quests) the dialogue will not come up straight away, but the title of the dialogue will be shown as a button the player can click on.
Creating the chained dialogue starts off the same as a standard dialogue (instructions above). Once the dialogue has been saved it will appear with some Actions at the bottom. Adding the next dialogue in the chain is achieved by filling in the text for the action (the response the player can choose) and clicking on Create Dialogue.
You will be back to the Create a New Dialogue window, but with two differences: there is a Go Back to Previous Dialogue button, and Opening Dialogue has been unchecked. When you save this new dialogue, the Atavism Editor will automatically link this new dialogue up to the previous one.
With the second dialogue saved, the Go back button can be clicked to return to the first dialogue and more actions can be added by clicking Add Action. Further chained dialogues can also be added to the second dialogue by repeating the same process from the second dialogue, allowing the creation of the complex tree of chained dialogues if wanted.
Adding a Dialogue to an NPC
To add a Dialogue (or multiple) to an NPC, log in game with an admin account and bring up the spawner tool (type /spawner in the chat box). Either bring up the UI to spawn a new mob, or select and existing mob and click on the Dialogues button in the UI. From here you can select which dialogues to give the spawn.
Once happy with your selection, close the Add Dialogues window and click Spawn/Save. Your NPC will instantly offer the dialogue to players who click on it.
Note: For chained dialogues, you only need to add the first dialogue in the chain (the one with Opening Dialogue ticked).
You may notice that the Action Type drop down has two more options: Quest and Ability. These aren’t supported yet, but the plan is to allow the starting of a Quest or the performing of an ability at the end of a dialogue chain. Possible ideas for the ability use would be teleporting the player somewhere or giving them a buff when they click on the option provided by the NPC. A lot of potential to come. This will open up a lot of potential for NPC interaction.