We were VERY ambitious with our dialog system. I absolutely love the idea, I love how much freedom you have, talking about everything to everyone. But we vastly underestimated the amount work involved with it. For the Final version, we have 9 interactable npcs, and 185 possible item combinations, adding up to a staggering 1665 dialog lines, not including detective replies, and a few alternative lines. I don’t know his amount of work hours, but Pierre spent a good part of the last 3 weeks or so working on little else than writing the dialogs, and eventually cutting the voice recordings into lines for the npcs to say.
I had decided to work together with Pierre on the dialogs, check his spelling and grammar, as well as tweak some lines that seemed hard to understand. I had to touch the dialogs anyways, as I was the one to put them into the xml file later, so during this process I worked quite close with Pierre to make sure we have the correct dialogs and items.
There is not much I can say about the process of copying the dialogs into the xml file, except that I watched 21 hours of a DnD game in the last three days, and that I might need new ‘Ctrl’ ‘C’ and ‘V’ keys.
Looking back, I don’t think I want to make a game with this hugely vast amount of dialog options again any time soon, but I would love to do so one day (hello AI)!