Simple Dialogue System
On my Student Team Project, I am in charge of all things UI and UX. Our Narrative Designer wanted to show off their dialogue skills by having a narrator talk to the player as they progress. I became in charge of creating a simple dialogue system that would be triggered when the player hit certain points. This system reads in a text file and turns it into an array to display as sentences on the screen. Each line of the text file is a sentence and gets put in the array. When the player hits the trigger the dialogue system pops out with a small animation. I added a slight bounce to the animation to give it character. If it was completely static it wouldn't have the same level of cuteness that the rest of the game has. When the text appears on screen it types a letter at a time and plays a typewriter sound with each letter. I can speed up or slow down the time between each letter appearing, to fine-tune it according to the importance of the text or based on the player feedback. If the player wants, this system allows for player input to go to the next sentence and display the entire sentence with no delay. I haven't added text to tell the player that yet, but I will likely put it on the bottom right corner of the dialogue box. I also wanted to make sure the player couldn't just play the game with the dialogue never progressing. We aren't stopping the player movement while the dialogue occurs, so I added a timer to progress to the next sentence and close the dialogue window if the player doesn't click after a certain time. This number can also be adjusted based on player feedback.
The dialogue box is still in it's whitebox stage. In the future I plan on adding a sound for when it come in and out, a fade in for the text, art for the box, and smooth the animation more. When I add the prompt for going to the next sentence I also want to animate that to make the player more aware of it. These are just small tweaks I currently have planned to make the dialogue system feel as smooth as possible.