This Building a Village will be a little different than usual. Instead of recapping the past week’s work, I want to do a deep dive on the single most important feature of Village Monsters – its dialogue system!
Each kind of game values dialogue a little differently, but it’s the real bread-and-butter for a life sims like Village Monsters. Yet despite its importance, it’s often a double-edged sword that can end up doing more harm than good.
When dialogue start falling apart – getting too repetitious, too predictable, or maybe even too generic – it is often a death sentence for life sims. After all, these are games that value building immersive relationships with NPCs, and there’s no quicker way to ruin that then to feel like you’re talking with a boring robot.
There are certainly many ways to deal with this problem: some designers prefer having strict control over the script. Others may prefer using “adlib” style conversations to give the illusion of infinite content.
For Village Monsters I wanted to try something new – and this post will talk about what I’ve done.