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LDC (Localized Dialogs & Cutscenes) - Powerful and intuitive Dialog System with tons of features!

Discussion in 'Assets and Asset Store' started by melgeorgiou, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. melgeorgiou

    melgeorgiou

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    $00-SPLASH-WEBSITE.png

    LDC: LOCALIZED DIALOGS & CUTSCENES v5.0

    Asset Store Link:
    https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/#/content/5020

    LDC Direct Website Link
    http://www.mel-georgiou.co.uk


    OVERVIEW

    The Localized Dialog System is an intuitive and industry proven cutscene-style Dialog UI framework that allows you to create cutscene-style dialogs, visual novels, status messages, objective screens, tutorials, splash screens and more with zero scripting using its easy to use point and click editors! ( You can of course control it via scripting if you want to! )

    Its theme is totally customisable with familiar GUISkins ( the Unity standard ) which can even have different themes for each language you are using. It has built-in support for 10 languages and allows you access to the localization class elsewhere in your own scripts.

    Even better, it is resolution independent making it perfect for cross platform development! Easily build a Dialog thread in minutes and know it will work on ANY platform including Mobile, Web and Desktop!

    This is the ideal time-saving solution for beginners and advanced users alike!

    HIGHLIGHTS

    - Totally rewritten in C#! :)
    - Single package support for Unity 4.7.2, 5.x and Unity 2017.x!
    - Create powerful dialog screens with LDC's easy to use custom editors - NO scripting!
    - Create and Update your dialogs with Google Spreadsheets! Great for working in teams!
    - Supports single and dual button customizable dialogs!
    - Create fully custom multiple choice style dialogs!
    - Customizable Data Entry Screens!
    - Create Password Entry Screens!
    - Create Title Screens!
    - Create Fully Custom Popup screens with animated backgrounds, buttons, size, opacity and more!
    - One-Click Translations into 9 languages!
    - Full Screen Animated Actor Background Layers!
    - Faster workflow with the optional "Dialog Library" to centralize images for your Animations, Actors, Icons and Scenes!
    - Resolution Independent UI works on all platforms ( tested on iOS, Android, PC, Mac, and Flash )!
    - Token System with built-in Actions and scripting API!- File-Management system that can automatically save and load your tokens without scripting!
    - Visually Script Navigation using the all new LOGIC Screen!
    - Deep Integrated Support Of PlayerPrefs ( actions and conditional logic )!
    - Create transitions with Fades Motion!
    - Sequence other events! Create and delete GameObjects and more with built-in "Actions"!
    - Custom Audio Channels with built-in Actions to Stop, Play, Fade In and Fade Out!
    - Detailed control over UI fades, motion, shadows and more!
    - Easily modify UI themes with Unity's GUISkins!
    - Supports Touch, Keyboard, Mouse and even joystick input!
    - Fully documented!
    - Full Source Code Included - No DLLS!
    - Supports PlayMaker and uSequencer out of the box!
    - Localization API supports English, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Russian!

    INTRODUCTION VIDEO




    TUTORIAL - BASICS


    If you guys are interested in how this system works, feel free to watch the tutorial below! It goes over pretty much all the basics and the features of version 1.0. This includes, project setup, creating simple one screen dialogs, multi-screen dialogs, dialogs with user choice, localization management, and some notes about customizing the UI!

    NOTE: This video was made at the time of the version 1.0 release (November 2012), quite a few things have changed, and countless new features, tweaks and time-savers have been added since! But do watch this video in order to understand the core-concepts of the system - such as navigation, as this has remained the same!




    ADVANCED TUTORIAL - v2 FEATURES

    Finally! Version 2 has been approved on the Asset Store! =)

    Here is the first video of a 3 part tutorial that goes through the new features including the Library, Tokens, Data Entry, Multiple Choice Dialogs, Background and Actor Layers, Custom Audio and more tips and tricks!




    VERSION 2.0 - COMIC TECH DEMO

    Here is a tech demo showcasing some of the new features in v2.0! Feel free to check it out below!

    PLAY THE v2.0 COMIC / VISUAL NOVEL DEMO

    Disclaimer: It uses fan art from the Warhammer40k universe and a bunch of other bits and pieces that I found scattered around online. I openly admit to not creating those assets, I'm just a fan of the warhammer universe and wanted to create a demo! lol :)

    $LDC_VisualNovelScreenshotv340.png


    VERSION 2.1.1 - FPS TECH DEMO

    Here is a tech demo showcasing the plugin inside of an FPS style game.

    MAC USERS: If you are playing on Safari 6 in OS X, there is a bug in the Unity Web Player / Safari which messes up the movement. You can right-click and select full-screen as a workaround until the bug is rectified. ( Just bare in mind that the LDC plugin does NOT cause this! :) )

    PLAY THE v2.1.1 FPS TECH DEMO




    VERSION 3.8 - ADVENTURE CONCEPT DEMO

    Here is a tech demo showcasing the plugin inside of an Adventure / Mystery game. Also sports a new fantasy style skin! :)

    PLAY THE ADVENTURE DEMO

    $LDCAdventureScreenshot.png




    Hope you guys find this useful! :)

    Cheers!

    - Mel
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
  2. ronan-thibaudau

    ronan-thibaudau

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    While i'll keep your asset in mind if i ever need this you . . . just made me buy ninja guy HD lol!
     
  3. melgeorgiou

    melgeorgiou

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    haha I guess that's a good thing! .. Thanks for posting! =)
     
  4. melgeorgiou

    melgeorgiou

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    .. Happy to announce this is now LIVE in the Assetstore! =) .. Do a search for "Localization Dialog"!
     
  5. MentalFish

    MentalFish

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    Interesting, but why locked to 10 specific languages? I need support for Norwegian.
    Also, how dependent is it on the native GUI system? Would it be a quick fix to hook it into NGUI?
     
  6. melgeorgiou

    melgeorgiou

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    Hi MentalFish,

    Thanks for your interest! =)

    The reason why it's built that way is because the plugin is cross-platform. Language codes can differ on different devices / platforms and this implementation allows us for a one-click option to make things incredibly simple to use - the primary design goal of the plugin was to make it so that in most cases, you wouldn't even need to do any extra programming at all.

    It's not too difficult to add additional languages. If you purchase the plugin, send me a copy of your receipt and I'll add Norwegian into the next update for you. =)

    As for NGUI, I'm not entirely sure how that works to be honest. The plugin is quite invested in the Unity GUI system, so not sure how possible that is. Usually, when conversations / dialogs are being presented on screen, it's normal for your other UI elements to fade out / disable, which keeps the UI clean. The system works very well even with the oldest mobile devices so there shouldn't be a problem if you're worried about performance.

    Hope that helps!

    - Mel
     
  7. nixter

    nixter

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    Interesting! I wasn't aware that this was available.

    It's a shame this system only has yes/no selections. A customizable multi-choice system would be useful for the developers of Visual Novels.
     
  8. melgeorgiou

    melgeorgiou

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    Awesome suggestion, Nixter!

    On the wish-list for v2 of the system! =)

    Do you think that 3 custom choices per screen would be enough?
     
  9. nixter

    nixter

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    Wouldn't it be better to let the game designer determine that? For phone games, 3 would probably be the realistic limit due to the screen size. But for a PC monitor or Retina Display tablet, the game could easily fit more. Also, I imagine most developers would want the options vertically positioned (instead of horizontally as the No/Yes choices are presently).

    Since you are open to feedback, let me give you some more: :cool:

    Tweening controls - The tweening effect needs an On/Off switch as well as a Tween type and duration controls.

    Next Button - Some developers will not want a next button for some dialogues. Since you have auto-progression, the next button may be redundant. A check box to disable and one to remove visibility of the next button would be useful.

    Texture Positioning - X/Y position for textures.

    Texture Abstraction / Character Tab - Instead of setting a new texture and a new character name for each dialog, create a cast of characters with a character tab. Each character could have multiple Textures to represent them in different states (happy/sad/angry). Then have a dropdown list for each dialog indicating which character is the owner of the dialog and a second drop down to indicate their Texture state.

    Texture Retaining / Deleting - Visual Novels, unlike RPGs, often show two characters in conversation, one on each side of the screen. Instead of automatically deleting the Texture belonging to the Dialog, allow it to be retained in memory. Each dialog could then clear the last Texture or clear all Textures, allowing states to be changed and characters to enter and exit the scene. You could hard code this for two textures, but again you would be limiting what developers could do with it. I guess this could be done with the Actions tab, but if you are going to have character portraits as part of your system, then you might want to build for multi-character scenes.

    Don't worry. No one's expecting you to recreate Ren'Py for Unity! :) Just some ideas to make your clean and intuitive system have some Visual Novel functionality.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2013
  10. melgeorgiou

    melgeorgiou

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    Hi Nixter,

    Thanks for your feedback, some really great suggestions here. Visual Novels weren't even on my mind as I was designing the system, but its promising to see that I can cater to a whole new group of users. =)

    Multiple Choice Answers
    Custom vertical selections will definitely be in the next big update (v2.0). Keeping the UI cross platform is one of the main objectives of this plugin, so some more thought would be needed here. Perhaps 4 on-screen choices, allowing the developer to setup the 4th choice to say something like "more choices.." (this could be renamed), then a 2nd screen could be setup with more choices. This would give a total of 6 REAL choices across 2 screens, but you could keep doing the same thing to add more choices to additional screens if you needed to. Not the final answer as more thought is definitely needed. Although, this would be a way to guarantee functionality across desktop and mobile.

    Tweening Controls
    This already exists! =) If you check out the DialogUI component (which is created along with the DialogUI GameObject), you will find this screen below, giving you the ability to change the duration of the transitions, as well as turn the tweening on and off for the portraits and the buttons. You also get the option of setting up a Audio filepath prefix (allowing you to locate audio files more conveniently).



    Next Button
    Very true. In fact, the first version of this plugin (used internally for Ninja Guy) had this option. After our beta-tests, people told us they got fed up of listening to the same dialog over and over (if they were repeating the same level) and wanted a way to skip through cutscenes quickly, so we added the Next button purely for that reason! =)

    Haha, a bit of backstory there, but yes, I'll bring this functionality back in the next update. =)

    Texture Positioning
    You can currently do this globally by modifying the GUISkins (using content offsets).

    Character Cast
    Love this idea. Added to the wishlist, hopefully we'll see it before or on v2.0.

    Texture Retaining / Deleting
    I'll look more into this one. Was trying to google around for an example of this and I couldn't find one. Most screenshots I saw showed either a single character talking per phrase, or no portraits at all! .. Admittedly, I'm not an expert in Visual Novels so I may well have missed it! lol

    - Mel
     
  11. WillBellJr

    WillBellJr

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    The concept of this is very useful - congrats on your Asset Store product!

    I would suggest you consider supporting arrarys for the languages and button choices etc., similar to how Unity supports arrays for some of its items.

    This would eliminate folks complaining about "language is missing..." or "not enough choices...".


    Also in this day and age of NGUI etc., I don't know if folks will want to use anything that goes back to Unity's default GUI system?


    Otherwise congrats on your new product release!


    -Will
     
  12. melgeorgiou

    melgeorgiou

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    Thanks for your feedback Will, it's most welcome. =)

    I totally agree with the Language Arrays and I'll give this some more thought. I'll probably end up creating a friendly UI for the Localization Component allowing users to create NEW additional languages in a simple way using the editor (there are many complexities to consider, as the plugin uses different GUISkins per language, so a lot of dynamic handling will have to take place in the background).

    I appreciate that many users are heavily invested in NGUI, but at the moment I still believe it's best to offer a plugin that's totally self-contained. Also, Unity's GUI system has seen some substantial improvement in Unity4, with lots more to come apparently. I'm pretty sure there's nothing stopping users from using NGUI for everything else, and keeping this system purely for cutscenes, etc.

    Anyway, additional language arrays are now added to the wish list! =)

    - Mel
     
  13. nixter

    nixter

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    Glad you already have most of the suggestions already implemented. I agree with WillBellJr, arrays are the way to go with languages and multiple choices.

    I'm actually not that familiar with Virtual Novels. I'm more of an RPG player. I found some examples of VNs online with multiple characters, but 80% or more just had a single character so I withdraw my suggestion.

    On the subject of Tweening, you may want it to be controlled by each individual dialog. Then you would be able to implement a system like the Borderlands Voice Overs. The first dialog node could TweenIn and the last one would TweenOut, and you could do this when characters switch.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SfDiD8tUT8

    You may also want a TextVisible checkbox in the Dialog UI. It would globally turn off all the text, while keeping the voice-overs. This would allow players to use a "Subtitles ON/OFF" setting like Borderlands uses.
     
  14. melgeorgiou

    melgeorgiou

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    Hi Nixter,

    Really appreciate the feedback! =)

    Per Screen Tweening is an interesting idea. Makes a lot of sense! Also, the subtitles ON/OFF idea is also a valid one! They're also on my updates list!

    I've already started on some of the updates and I'm hoping to get the new version out by the weekend! Hopefully we'll see some of the smaller suggestions implemented quickly! =)

    - Mel
     
  15. melgeorgiou

    melgeorgiou

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    Just to keep everyone in the loop for what's coming this week ..


    Dialog Styles
    The Biggest change is that all Dialogs are now setup using a "Dialog Style" .. This will facilitate the new features that we've discussed in previous posts.



    We already had the "Standard Next Button" and the "Standard Yes Or No" modes which you could previously select by using a checkbox in the Navigation tab. Now, these modes plus an additional 2 new ones will be setup in the main "Dialogs" tab. The new Custom Single / Two Button modes will allow you to freely rename the existing buttons and this can be done on a per screen basis. NOTE: The multiple-choice dialog style that we've talked about previously will be a feature that comes later!

    Global UI Controls
    Another welcome collection of features is the ability to pretty much have control over EVERY single aspect of the UI's motion, transitions, etc.



    You can see that in the DialogUI component, you now have an "Options" class that allows you to control fades, transitions, shadows, backgrounds, as well as totally hide text and buttons from the system. You'll find that you have a vast amount of control here! =)


    Streamlined Navigation tab with all new screen-level UI options
    We now have far more control over the UI with all new screen-level controls, as well as a streamlined interface based on the Dialog Style that you've chosen from the Dialogs screen.



    The first new option that's available for the "Standard Next Button" style is the ability to hide the "Next UI Button" on a per-screen basis.

    Also, a very cool new feature (in my opinion anyway! lol) is the ability to Stop the icon / portrait from fading in or out. This will allow you to show the same character / icon for multiple screens with all the UI elements fading in and out except for the picture. This wasn't possible in the previous version and makes things looks way cooler, especially for characters talking across multiple screens! =)

    Other Notes

    As well as some code and memory improvements (especially for mobile), I've got pretty much everything working and implemented, with only the 2 new custom Dialogs to finish .. It's looking good for a release this week!

    After this update, I'll be attempting to add a Cast solution as suggested by Nixter, but I don't have an exact timescale for when that will be ready just yet. I'm hoping pretty soon!

    Thanks for all the suggestions so far, I'll do my best to keep improving the software! I'm sure many of you will find many of your suggestions in the above list of new features!

    I Hope you guys are interested in the new update and find it useful! =)

    - Mel
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
  16. ProjectOne

    ProjectOne

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    bookmarked
     
  17. melgeorgiou

    melgeorgiou

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    The new Dialog Styles in Action ..

    Here's an example of the custom 2 button mode working in the editor:


    NOTE: I have no idea why you'd use gold to purchase sci-fi weapons! LOL :)

    The Screen Tab

    In the Screen tab of the inspector, the above would be setup like this:



    How Custom Buttons Are Localized

    Usually, the standard Dialog-Style buttons are automatically localized for you. But with the custom styles, you can localize these buttons in the Localize tab of the inspector, like this:


    The editor even helps you out by reminding you what you've called the custom buttons, and this is also updated in the Navigation tab when setting up the flow of the conversation! :)

    The plugin is in testing at the moment, and should be available soon! =)

    - Mel
     
  18. melgeorgiou

    melgeorgiou

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  19. laakerules

    laakerules

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    Does it have Translation inside of it or do we have to go and translate it ourselves? If its translate elsewhere, then you could just make a few WWW statements that return the string for the translated version.
     
  20. melgeorgiou

    melgeorgiou

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    Hi laakerules,

    Firstly, thanks for taking the time to post! :)

    At the moment you must translate elsewhere but that's a great suggestion! I may be mistaken, but I was under the impression that google translate didn't have a public API (at least not a free one)? I'll definitely look into this some more and add it to the wishlist if I can find a free service that supports this!

    - Mel
     
  21. melgeorgiou

    melgeorgiou

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    ( All Dialog Cast Feature info moved into the next post! )
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013
  22. melgeorgiou

    melgeorgiou

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    Dialog Cast Coming in v1.2 By This Weekend!

    Just an update to show everyone the new update that's coming this week. The plugin now introduces a new "Dialog Cast" feature! This can be used to create an organized image database to quickly select portraits / Icons in your Dialogs!


    1) Setup The Cast
    If you want to use this feature, you can setup the Dialog Cast, which is a component located in the DialogUI GameObject. ( NOTE: If you are upgrading, you can easily just add the component manually! )

    You can easily setup multiple Cast Groups, consisting of actors, enemies, items, weapons, etc. Whatever makes sense for your project!


    In the example above, I've setup a cast based on the characters from the video game, "Ninja Guy".

    2) Accessing the Cast from the Dialog Setup Screen
    Once you have setup your cast, you will have access to a new button under the Portrait, labelled "View Cast".



    Upon clicking the "View Cast" button, it will open this friendly UI, allowing you to easily select your new portrait icon with a single click! .. This saves loads of time digging through your Unity directories and searching for the correct image!




    Everything is already working, all I need to do is update the documentation and we should be seeing another update this weekend! :)

    I Hope you guys find this useful! I'll be working on a really big feature next, "multiple choice dialogs"!

    If anyone has any suggestions or comments about the existing or coming features, feel free to post! :)

    - Mel
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013
  23. nixter

    nixter

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    This is fantastic! This is going to save people a lot of time when using your system. It's exciting to watch the development.

    Two more suggestions:

    When the character's image is selected, does it change the Actor Name field? There would be a large time savings there. Developers won't have to retype or paste the name each dialogue, they just have to select the image.

    Creating a new dialogue (by hitting the plus sign in the Dialogue Controller) should create one with the same character image and name as the previous one, but an empty text field. This will allow users to quickly create long multi-dialogue sequences without having to select the same character over and over.

    Looking forward to multiple choice!
     
  24. ChadM

    ChadM

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    Additional idea: How about instead of a 2D Image representing the character, you can have a 3d model of the character? I'd much prefer an animated characteras seen as in-game than a static image.

    That being said, amazing product!
     
  25. melgeorgiou

    melgeorgiou

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    Thanks for the continued support and feedback everyone, its much appreciated! :)

    @Nixter: Great suggestion to auto-fill the name when selecting an actor! I'll see if I can add the 2nd suggestion too! :)

    @Chad: I like the idea! Although, It will be a little difficult getting a 3D character into the GUI without using a RenderTexture (which of course causes problems for indie users as that isn't supported, and a much bigger memory and performance footprint).

    BTW: For the time being, what you could do is use the "Actions" panel to actually launch / activate different camera views, etc so you can setup a true 3D cutscene that is sequenced by this plugin. We did this for Ninja Guy, and I've been doing this in the new commercial project I'm working on called Post Brutal. It's a technique that works very well! :)


    v1.5 Multiple Buttons

    As for multiple options .. I've been making some great progress, I'm finishing new builds faster than Unity can approve them right now! LOL .. But for v1.5, we'll be seeing fully custom Multiple Button screens! These can be easily reskinned and modified in the same way, and we have some new entries in the GUIskins to reflect the new screens, so you can affect them independantly from the other dialogs! :)

    Example:




    DIALOG SCREEN SETUP

    This is how the above dialog is setup in the Dialog Screen:


    You can see that its easy to add more / less options to the system by clicking the "+" and "-" buttons!

    The other screens also dynamically update when using this new Dialog Style, here's how they look after setting up the above dialog:

    Navigation



    Localization



    If all goes well, this version will be released fairly soon! :)

    - Mel
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  26. melgeorgiou

    melgeorgiou

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    v1.2 is now LIVE on the Asset Store! :)

    This version introduces the "Dialog Cast" feature!

    https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/#/content/5020


    NOTE: v1.5 should be available at some point next week with many minor improvements and time-savers, as well as the all new "Multiple Choice" Dialog Style! :)
     
  27. nixter

    nixter

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    Mel,

    You are a coding manic! The multiple choices look fantastic! Better than I imagined. It's a little intimidating to watch you work like this...

    I know a guy who makes VNs for a living. He works with Flash mostly, but I'll send him a link to this thread as well as anyone else I come across here in the forums or Reddit who is looking for a conversation system.
     
  28. melgeorgiou

    melgeorgiou

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    Haha, thanks Nixter! :)

    I've been trying to get a lot more visual-novel style features into the system too so if he wants to come and throw me some ideas I'd be happy to listen and implement them if I can!

    I can foresee this evolving to the point where you could easily build an entire visual novel without any scripting at all!

    Of course, I'm also open to general improvements and new features in any direction. So if anyone sees some potential in this plugin but it doesn't quite fit what you want to do, let me know what's missing, I may just be able to implement it for you! :)

    - Mel
     
  29. melgeorgiou

    melgeorgiou

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    Hi All,

    Just to let you guys know that version 1.5 finally got approved and is now LIVE on the Asset Store!

    It supports "Multiple Choice" dialogs, more UI Options as well as as many minor time-saving features! :)

    Asset Store Link
    https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/#/content/5020

    I've been working on v2.0 of the plugin over the weekend, and I've got some really amazing things to show everyone! More details soon! =)

    Thanks for all the support and for all the early adopters! :)

    - Mel
     
  30. melgeorgiou

    melgeorgiou

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    Tech Demo of v2.0

    It's been an insane weekend .. and I've just completed a tech demo of the v2.0 (alpha) features by creating a small Visual Novel style project!

    Disclaimer: It uses fan art from the Warhammer40k universe and a bunch of other bits and pieces that I found scattered around online. I openly admit to not creating those assets, I'm just a fan of the warhammer universe and wanted to create a demo! lol :)



    Try It in the Unity Web Player Here:
    http://bit.ly/VsCQ6d



    v2 FEATURE BULLET POINTS:

    - Background Layers with built-in controls for transitions and scale modes.
    - Full Size Actor Layers with powerful controls for transitions, positions, motion and more!
    - Music / Audio Channels with built in actions to fade in, fade out, play, stop, loop etc.

    Best of all .. Everything is still done visually! NO PROGRAMMING required at all to use the above features which means everything you see in the demo is 100% controlled by the plugin!

    I'll post again soon with screenshots of the new editors that made this demo possible!

    - Mel
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
  31. ProjectOne

    ProjectOne

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    Cool, will check out in the morning
     
  32. melgeorgiou

    melgeorgiou

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    Hi ProjectOne,

    Sounds good! =)
     
  33. nixter

    nixter

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    Mel,

    The demo is fantastic and really sells your product! I have a few more suggestions like developing a token system for names/gender/variables or RPG typewriter effect but at this point I think you're ready to get feedback from the hardcore VN creators outside the Unity community.

    Try starting a thread here:
    http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewforum.php?f=4

    That seems to be the place for VN engine developers to show off what they are working on. Lemma Soft, the developers of RenPy, are cool with that.

    Looking forward to the future of this!


    EDIT: Oh and be aware that RenPy is free, as are alot of the other engines. You'll get some resistance to it being a commercial product with less features.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  34. nixter

    nixter

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  35. melgeorgiou

    melgeorgiou

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    Hi Nixter!

    Thanks for the feedback and the links to the Ren'Py forum! I'll add the typewriter effect to the tool tonight! =)

    Can you give me some more details about the token system? Its uses, etc.

    I'll be posting some screenshots of whats coming in v2.0 later on today, but if there's any main features that you think are missing from the tool, feel free to let me know! =)

    - Mel
     
  36. melgeorgiou

    melgeorgiou

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    V2.0 MAIN FEATURES

    Hi All,

    In this post I'm going to breakdown some of the main features of v2.0 along with screenshots of the new editor screens to show you how it all works! =)

    Let's start with the new Dialog Library, which is now the default way to setup your Dialog Actors and Scenes ..

    THE LIBRARY



    The Library is a separate GameObject used for setting up the Cast and now a new component allowing you to setup "Scenes" in a similar way. This saves a lot of time in the main dialog screen editors while you setup your cutscenes / dialogs / visual novels!

    NOTE: The Library is optional, and you can still setup your portraits, actors and scenes manually by dragging and dropping Texture2Ds in the main editor screens.


    ACTIONS - GAMEOBJECTS



    This is pretty much the same as the old Actions tab, allowing you to activate / destroy / create other gameObjects.


    ACTIONS - BACKGROUND



    The system provides you with 10 background layers to use if you need them. This allows you to fade in, fade out, hide or show full-screen backgrounds using a variety of scale-modes. This setup continues across all your dialog screens! So for example, if you need to show a background over 10 screens, you set it up on the first screen, and that's it! It'll stay there until you tell it to fade out or hide! =)


    ACTIONS - ACTORS



    The system provides you with an additional 10 Actor layers to use if you need them. These layers offer more functionality than the standard backgrounds, adding size options, position - anchoring, position offsets, and motion! =)


    ACTIONS - AUDIO



    To make things even easier, there are custom audio channels built-in to the plugin to make it insanely easy to play, stop, fade in, or fade out audio! You can use AudioClips for the easiest setup, or use audio filepaths for better memory usage! These Audio channels are in addition to the main "Speech" channel used in the Dialogs tab.


    IMPROVED DIALOG CONTROLLER



    The improved Dialog Controller adds a few handy additions, allowing you to set ALL dialog screens to the same view by clicking a single button! It also includes the previous "Sort By ID" and "Add New Screen" buttons.


    MANY NEW TIME SAVERS



    The LAST dialog screen will automatically show a "Add New Screen" button allowing you to quickly add new dialog screens in long conversations!

    Also, each Dialog Screen now remembers your view selections, even if you click on a different gameObject and select it again. More time-saving features also include localization syncing, which changes ALL localization language selections on ALL dialog screens when you change it on one of them. This saves LOADS of time and reduces human error while you're working on translations! =)

    These are pretty much the biggest features coming in v2.0 that are currently implemented! =)

    I Hope you find them useful!

    - Mel
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
  37. nixter

    nixter

    Joined:
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    Posts:
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    "I'll add it tonight." LOL. I wish I had 10% of your energy. :)

    A token system would be like stings in the text itself. Modern games with voice overs don't use these much because it's impossible to use with audio. But older style RPGs and VNs can use them quite a bit. A typical method is with single or double brackets (square [] or angular <>). Example:

    "Hello <<CharacterName>>! Welcome back to Castle <<PCBaseName>>. Oh dear! A [[beautiful/handsome]] young [[woman/man]] like you shouldn't be wearing such <<ArmorCondition>> clothes."

    The result being:

    "Hello Mongo! Welcome back to Castle Dragonborn. Oh dear! A handsome young man like you shouldn't be wearing such damaged clothes."

    A lot of JRPGs used this like Dragonquest and Suikoden, but so did western games like Balder's Gate and Neverwinter Nights. VN engines usually have this feature but I'm not sure how often players make use of it.

    I imagine the difficulty is in figuring the proper way to implement this. You can set up a two dimensional array that holds the string values, but you are going to have to make it easy for people to access those from outside your system. For instance, if someone already has a battle engine, then they are going to need to add a line of code that updates the ArmorCondition string in you database when the armor is damaged. Likewise if they built their character creator in NGUI, where their name, gender and other details were selected.

    The other way to look at it is to have an event that looks for the needed string elsewhere in the game code, then retrieves it just before the dialogue triggers with the token. The developer would have to identify where those actual strings are (attached to a prefab? In an XML file?). That won't be necessary for someone building their game exclusivity with your system.

    You'll want an input system for changing the strings. It can be a simple input text box for computer users and/or an alphabet selection screen like consoles: http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/1636/hghk.png
     
  38. nixter

    nixter

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2012
    Posts:
    319
    One more thing: You are a fantastic programmer and I love your style but you have a consistent bad habit: hardcoding X number of instances of a feature instead of using arrays.

    Placing the Background/Actor horizontally and limiting it to five each is not a feature, it's a bug. You should be placing them horizontally and allow people to add and subtract as many as they need, the exact same way as your dialogs are presented. The only reason I can think of why you keep doing this is because you must be running if->else statements to handle these instead of a proper loop. Is that what's going on behind the scenes or is there another reason you keep restraining users with these limitations? Genuinely curious.

    :confused:
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  39. melgeorgiou

    melgeorgiou

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    Posts:
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    Hi Nixter,

    Tokens

    Makes sense! I've got some good ideas on how to do the tokens in the next update. =) .. It will have to be a new part of the DialogUI (which I'll upgrade to include its own editor), and I can make it work to also include localizable values. Something like this:

    TOKEN SYSTEM / CLASS
    Name: eg PlayerName
    Value: eg "John"
    Localized Value: [bunch of localized strings for what to call this token in other languages]

    So, basically what will happen is you will be able to write something like "My name is >>PlayerName<<. " (haven't figured out variable code yet), and it will become "My name is John.". Also, in an even later update perhaps you would be able to assign values in the Actions tab too. So you'd be able to say Set PlayerName to "Mike", or Add 1 to "Gold", subtract 1 to health. That would be pretty cool too I think.

    Also, you're right, I'd probably need a new Dialog Style that collected data and set it directly to a token.

    Looks like a pretty big feature, but I think it'll be useful! =)

    Background / Actor Layers

    I am using Arrays and loops for pretty much everything except languages (which has its own set of deep-seeded complications) lol :)

    The difficult part of whats going on is that these arrays are on a global level and not on a per screen level. So for example, layer 5 will ALWAYS be layer 5 no matter what screen you're on. Having different amounts of layers every screen messes things up, and would more likely confuse everyone than make things easier. It's actually syncing to the DialogUI.

    I also thought about adding a simple option in the DialogUI to allow users to set up how many layers they want globally (which is a lot easier to do). The bad thing about that, is that it would need to copy that setting from the DialogUI file and if a user accidentally lowers it too much, it might destroy their prefabs instantly (because the DialogScreen Editor would fix the array sizes to match with the DialogUI).. That's why I ended up choosing a static number. Although I think I'm going to up it to 10 layers each for backgrounds and Actors. That is about 3 times more than I think I needed to create the demo.

    I'll experiment with a horizontal layout for layers and see how it looks! The reason I chose vertical layers is because if you weren't changing a layer it would minimise the box and keep the DialogScreen smaller and less cluttered, but I think you may be right there. It will probably make a lot more sense visually looking at the layers when they are vertical. :)

    - Mel
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  40. nixter

    nixter

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2012
    Posts:
    319
    Glad you like the Tokens idea! Ah, you're right. I keep forgetting about localization (you know, the main original purpose of the system). You already have a database of sorts keeping track of all the text and it's translations. That would be where you are keeping the data and refer to an entry.

    Thanks for explaining the difficulties of multiple Backgrounds and Actor Layers. Sounds like you're trying to make the best design out of a difficult situation. I regret the snippy tone of my last post. As you know, everything looks easy from the user's point of view. :)
     
  41. melgeorgiou

    melgeorgiou

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    Posts:
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    @Nixter Haha .. No problem, I wasn't offended by it! :)

    More updates soon!

    - Mel
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
  42. melgeorgiou

    melgeorgiou

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    Posts:
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    ADDED FEATURES COMING IN v2.0

    I've finally finished version 2.0 of the plugin, with the addition of 2 more really big features! =)

    TOKENS DATA ENTRY DIALOG STYLES

    Tokens allow you to take data either from the built in Data Entry Dialog, or externally from script and use them inside of a Dialog! This is very easy to do!

    1) First, we setup a new Data Entry Screen to capture the name of the player. This is put in a "Token" called "PlayerName".



    This will create a screen that looks like this (Using the standard GUI Skin):



    2) On the next Dialog screen, we setup the text like this:



    As you can see, we put a "$" before the Token name "PlayerName" and that's what tells the system to replace that word with a token!

    And this screen will become:




    NEW TOKEN ACTIONS

    Now, we even have built-in actions to quickly set Tokens, as well as add / subtract from numerical ones! You can have unlimited Token actions on each screen! =)



    You can also see that it is possible to "localize" the token actions! As an example, this means that you can have different character names in different languages, Mr Smith is the hero in the English version, and Mr Chang is the hero of the Chinese version! =)

    TUTORIAL

    I've prepared a very detailed tutorial where I show off all the new features and build a mini example similar to the example webplayer I made last week! Feel free to watch the video and check out how everything works! ( You may want to watch the first tutorial video if this system is new to you so can understand how navigation works as well as some of the basics! )

    Localized Cutscenes Dialogs v2 - Advanced Tutorial - Part 1 of 3!



    The plugin has already been submitted! The new version should hopefully be available really soon! Will post as soon as it is approved!

    Cheers,

    - Mel
     
  43. melgeorgiou

    melgeorgiou

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    Nov 3, 2012
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    518
  44. reganmusic

    reganmusic

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2012
    Posts:
    7
    Hey dude, I grabbed hold of your package just yesterday. I'm loving it, it's awesome. But there's this horrible bug I'm experiencing... that... or I'm using it wrong...

    I'm making a simple RPG where you have to pass through a series of events in a pre-determined sequence in order to complete the game.

    I'm making triggers for each dialogue spawn only after the required dialogues before that point have occurred. I'm using the actions, which make a number of gameObjects active. after a playthrougfh though, or if i try to build my game... it removes my gameObjects from whatever action slot i plugged them into. It's really frustrating. I'm not sure if I'm just doing something that the script doesn't like... I'll see if I can share some screenshots.

    Here's a shot of it when it's working:

    http://reganmusic.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/working.jpg

    and here's a shot of what happens to it after I either build the game, close/re-open unity, or switch to another scene in my project:

    http://reganmusic.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/notworking.jpg

    I have a feeling I'm just doing something the package doesnt like. please let me know if there's a way around this, I put in so many events but they just go and delete themselves whenever i try to build.

    Edit: Alot of my scripts have similar errors... is it because I'm using Unity 4 now? if so... that's a real bugger :/
    Because my project is nearly finished but now that I've opened it up in unity 4, I can't go to 3.5.6 for the sake of getting the dialog thing to work :S

    http://reganmusic.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/errors.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013
  45. melgeorgiou

    melgeorgiou

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    Posts:
    518
    Hi Kerihobo!

    Firstly, thanks for investing in LDC (Localized Dialogs Cutscenes)!

    OK, first thing's first! lol

    The Disappearing References ..

    I have also noticed this on occasion. I *think* this is because you've set the Dialog Screens up as prefabs (which is normally a good thing to do anyway), but because you are referencing "local" GameObjects in the scene it cannot be saved into the prefab (because those objects would not exist in different scenes).

    For some reason, the Unity editor doesn't make this very clear, and allows you to do it in the scene, but when you try to load the scene up again, the editor tries to reconnect with the prefab, and then removes those entries because they are local objects and not child objects or other prefabs.

    So, 2 possible ways to fix this:

    1) Try disconnecting your prefab connection in the Dialog object. Make it a completely LOCAL object. That *MAY* get it to work.
    2) Instead of using the ActivateAtEnd actions which use direct references, you could try ActivateAtStart, which makes you type the "NAME" of the objects you wish to activate. What happens is the plugin tries to search for GameObjects with that name, and if it finds them, it will activate them that way. This is actually the best way to do it in my opinion, because you can maintain the prefab connection!

    If neither of the 2 solutions above work (I'm pretty sure number 2 will!), feel free to PM me a link of your project and I'll taker a closer look! :)

    Unity 4 Compatibility

    Thanks a lot for pointing this out to me! I'll be working on a fix for that today, which will result in a 2.0.1 update!

    EDIT: Unity4 Actions Fix submitted to Asset store today. Should be live in v2.0.1 very soon!

    Hope that helps! :)

    - Mel
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013
  46. reganmusic

    reganmusic

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2012
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    7
    You're a boss. That answer makes perfect sense so I will see what I can do about that today. sounds like it should work. I think I bought 1.x JUST before you submitted 2.x ^^;

    anywho i'll let ya know how it goes.

    Also... woops i just realized the "not working" link goes to the "working" image, sorry bout that, you seemed to understand me tho anyway ^^;

    I'm a scroll up and change that.

    Thanks!
    Regan
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013
  47. melgeorgiou

    melgeorgiou

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    Sounds good! ... and you're welcome! :)

    - Mel
     
  48. reganmusic

    reganmusic

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2012
    Posts:
    7
    Okay it worked! and I learnt not to use prefabs to manage my connections... WIN / WIN!!!!

    Thanks dude, I'm powering forward in finishing this game now :D
     
  49. melgeorgiou

    melgeorgiou

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    Awesome!

    I'm glad to hear it all worked out! :)

    - Mel
     
  50. melgeorgiou

    melgeorgiou

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    Posts:
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    Hi All,

    Just to let everyone know that v2.0.1 has been released which brings added compatibility to Unity 4!

    NOTE: This version of the plugin requires a MINIMUM Unity version of 3.5!

    ASSET STORE LINK:
    https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/#/content/5020

    Cheers! :)

    - Mel
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2013