Text in Videogames – Kevin Harris TOT session

Input Systems

No Player Input

  • Writing on the wall in L4D
  • Training in World of Goo
  • Ambiance

Player Selection

Often a player is able to choose an option and the system responds. These choices are prexisting and the player has little creativity involved. There are a few ways for the player to interface:

  • A multiple choice
  • A mini-game like oblivian’s bribe system
  • In game actions with no conversation mode (Adom)

Direct Input

When it works, it gives the player a sense of creativity. The problem is that it often doesn’t parse correctly.


“You hit the X and Y wounded him”

This format of text is created by having the player select the x and y. The obvious advantage it that is gives more control to the player that a multiple choice interaction, but is much easier for the system to parse than direct text input.

Output Systems


Completely predefined text that plays out like a cut-scene.


“You hit the X and Y wounded him”

Gives a fair amount of objects. Not good for multiple language support. Limited use.


Facade and the Postmodern text generator


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