UPDATE: This part of the process is now officially complete! Hooray! A huge thanks to everyone who helped with implementing these lines; it's an under-appreciated but crucial part of this operation. For those of you that didn't get a chance to help out, don't worry; there's sure to be more to come in the immediate future, so keep your eyes peeled!
Most of you probably remember seeing a thread a while back for writing new dialog between NPCs, with the intent of making the game feel more alive. Well, we did it. Through months of brilliant inspiration, crippling writers' blocks, and sometimes frustrating translation, over 30 writers and several masterful editors wrote dialog for almost every single NPC on the island of Vvardenfell.
Now comes arguably the most fun part of all! We get to sort those lines!
Now, wait, wait, wait, before you leave this thread and never look at it again, hear me out. This is actually an incredibly important part of the operation, because otherwise these lines that we've worked so hard for will never get into the game. And it's really easy! If you're new to the project and are looking for an easy place to start, this is for you. If you're an old veteran here, it might be nice to pick up an easier task for once, that you can mindlessly do while you de-stress. I know you guys could use it. :)
Another nice thing about this particular part of the project is that you can commit as little or as much as you want to to this. Even the smallest bit of help is greatly appreciated! Just spending an hour of your free time doing this is really beneficial. And we need as many volunteers as we can get.
If you're interested, please read the details below, COMPLETELY. Make sure you know exactly what it is you're doing before you start, because otherwise the sorting system could get really messed up, and that would be sad.
Okay, so here's how this is going to work. Our local excel wizard Taerkalith has been hard at work creating a spreadsheet to make all our dialog really easy to find and sort. Just follow the steps below to get started!
1. Make a claim. Included at the end of this post is all the idle banter we have written. ALL OF IT. The idle banter is organized by cell (location), and that is how you are going to claim it. For instance you might claim all the dialog for The Lucky Lockup in Balmora. Now, if you go into the "claims" excel sheet that's also provided, you'll see a complete list of these cells. Write your name to the cell you wish to do. This will officially name that cell as yours, meaning that no one else can claim it and that you are wholly responsible for everything in that cell. It is VITAL that you stake a claim before you start working on any cell.
2. Plug-and-Chug. Next, you will go to the third and final document I will be providing, the Idle Banter Excel Sheet. This is where all the sorted dialog will go. Sorting is actually quite easy; it's mostly just copy-pasting. I will go over the steps involved lower down.
3. Confirm your completion. When you're finished (again, I'll go into how to actually do it further down), go back to that signup sheet you used earlier. Next to your claim, write a big, proud, "COMPLETED." This is very helpful for me, because it means I don't have to manually check the giant list of dialog for your completed work. If your claim has "COMPLETED" on it, it's much easier for me to tell that you're actually totally done, rather than having to guess. DO NOT, EVER, EVER, EVER WRITE "COMPLETED" IF YOU ARE NOT DONE. Even if you're close to done, don't do it. Just don't do it.
Oh, and one more thing: Please remember that the spreadsheets provided in this thread are not your own personal documents. The document you're using is the same one everyone else is using, and if information gets deleted on there, it's gone forever. so PLEASE do not tamper with anyone else's work on the spreadsheets. In fact, just don't mess with them at all unless you're actually contributing to the sorting.
HOW TO SORT:
This process may look a little intimidating, but it's actually really easy. The first thing you will notice when you open the excel spreadsheet is six columns. Those columns are as follows:
Placeholder Filepath, Text, Speaker, Location, Extra Condition, Extra Condition
- The "placeholder filepath" is the really the only complicated column to fill out. We'll get back to that one.
- Unsurprisingly, the "text" column is where you'll put the lines of dialog. One very important note, ONLY PUT ONE SENTENCE IN EACH TEXT CELL. This is important for when we later do subtitles. So, for instance, if an NPC says three sentences in a row, that will count as three separate entries. Exceptions can be made if the sentences are just fragments or otherwise very short (e.g. "Wow. What a night."), but generally this rule will always hold true. Just copy/paste each sentence into these cells. Easy.
- Under "Speaker," just put the name of the NPC who is saying that particular sentence.
- For "Location," put the cell that the conversation is taking place in, as well as the exterior location. For instance, "mages guild, Balmora."
- The "Extra Condition" columns are for special factors in certain lines of dialog. Generally, you won't have to worry about putting anything in these boxes. But sometimes when you're going through dialog, you'll notice that certain conversations have special labels attached to them. For instance, you might notice one interaction that says something like, "Only after the quest, 'For the Love of a Bosmer' has been completed." All you need to do is put this information in one of the "Extra Condition" columns. There are two, in case you run into dialog with multiple conditions that have to be satisfied. Please also note that if a whole conversation has this exception, you have to label EVERY SINGLE LINE of that discussion.
Okay, the last thing to worry about is the "placeholder filepath" column. Your entries should have this format:
IB: This is just an acronym for "idle banter," for sorting purposes. Be sure to always write "IB" at the beginning of these.
Location: The city or area that the line is spoken in. Note that this is not the same thing as the cell. Things that might go in here include Vivec, Balmora, etc. No specific buildings, though.
Cell: Now THIS is where the cell goes. If the conversation takes place outside, do not write anything here, just leave it out entirely.
Conversation#: This number is to differentiate which conversations inside a certain cell are which. Just start at "1" for the first conversation in that cell, and then start counting up for the other conversations.
Lineofconversation#: This number is to put all the lines of a certain conversation in order. Again, just start at "1" and count up. Also note that this number and the conversation number are separated by an underscore, "_". It's important to include this so we don't see conversation 4, line 6 (4_6) as conversation 46.
Also to note: Do not include the brackets in this line.
So, with all this in mind, a filepath name might look something like this:
This would be the seventh line of the third conversation taking place in the Elven Nations Cornerclub in Vivec.
If you're still confused, take a look at the spreadsheet. At the very top, there are some examples of what your entries will typically look like, which might help you visualize things somewhat.
That's it! Super easy! If you have any questions (or just want to introduce yourself among your sorting peers), feel free to leave a comment in this thread. The necessary documents are provided below, in the form of two google docs and a big dialog download. Good luck, and happy sorting!
LINKS AND DOWNLOADS:
Stake your claims here:
Sort the lines here:
View the Idle Banter here: