Dialogue... Um, Web
Well, since the lead character of Snowblind Aces isn't mute, I've had to get to grips with the TADS 3 dialogue system-a-ma-jig. And yeah, okay, I'll admit that it definitely has nift (ie. it is nifty). One thing that's great about it is how easy it makes it to create conversations that flow from one topic to another. It's also great for creating characters that are as interested in talking to you as you are to them.
A couple of things I've made design choices on: one seriously nifty feature is that it's so easy to make topics different depending on what you've already talked about. So if you ask Alice about her husband, you could get a different answer from her depending on whether or not she's told you about his affair. I have, however, elected to use this feature only sparingly in Snowblind Aces (ie. where it would be inappropriate not to). I want Snowblind to be a really replayable game, and while I think that organic games are great and all, there's nothing more annoying than making a character say or do something cool and then having no idea what combination of topics and actions made them say it. It might be okay for something like Galatea, where the whole idea of the game is to investigate whether the player character can believe that Galatea is a real person, but for an adventure-romance where players are likely to be looking to get a certain ending... it would probably be a new kind of annoying.
Also, for my sins, I'm going to be using the conversation system in a similar-ish way to the Poizoned Mind one. TADS 3 has an optional 'topic inventory', which I'm going to be using. Topics won't stay in the inventory after you use them, but they may reappear if they change or if they take on a new relevance. Also, since - as I suspect a lot of people do - I tend to just type 'topics' over and over to see what I have left to say, I'm making hyperlinks of all the topics mentioned in dialogue. This may shoot me in the foot if it means that people end up accidentally asking (what they don't realise are) the same questions over and over again, so I'll have to be careful.
Anyway, I'm still really stressed (it doesn't take much), but hopefully my schedule is clearing up and I can start turning that complicated mass of doodles above into a complicated mass of TADS 3 code...