Main character dialogue?

Joselina and Abigail are silent protagonists, meaning that they are never given dialogue in the game, and it is only implied that they speak.

This was done for two reasons:

One, if I show the MC talking, then I’d have to give her a portrait. Since the MC can wear over 45 different outfits, it would annoy me endlessly to see the portrait as just the standard portrait that doesn’t reflect what they’re wearing. However, it’s just way too much work to actually make all portraits for all the different outfits. Not to mention I’d have to make all the different emotions as well, which is more workload.

Two, it’s a homage to Harvest Moon in which the main character never talks either, because they are empty shells meant for the player to imagine themselves in them.

But now I’m sitting here, thinking, what does my target audience want? I realize I could give the MC dialogue, and simply disregard reason number one, and not give her a portrait at all whenever she speaks (that way you can still somewhat imagine yourself in their shoes). They would only be given dialogue during cutscenes or heart events, never during regular dialogue, and it wouldn’t be very much to begin with.

I’d rather hear opinions on this now before I start to actually write out the cutscenes and heart events.

What do you think?

Edit: I should probably clarify what kind of dialogue the MC would have.

For example, she would have very generic dialogue that does not have any kind of personality. Imagine meeting someone upon the first time, the MC would simply say “My name is *insert character name here*. I’m opening up a tailor shop in District 3.”. Something like that.

During heart events, you will get several chances to choose the path you will take. For example, Bill’s first heart event involves him being coerced by Lily to help you move in, you can see he doesn’t really want to as he was in the middle of something. Lily introduces Bill as ‘Billy’ to you, then runs off so the two of you are alone. You can choose between these answers:

– Can you help me move in, Billy?
– What exactly is your name?
– You don’t have to help me if you don’t want to.

The silent protagonist way would lead directly to Bill’s dialogue with any of the choices, implying the MC has spoken. However, if I’d give the MC dialogue, she’ll elaborate a bit on these choices. Case in point, if you choose the third option, you might see her say:

“It’s okay, you don’t have to help me move in if you don’t want to. I can see you were busy.”

I wouldn’t add more than that, Joselina or Abigail would never be given a personality, and what they say will be based on the choices you make, or generic dialogue such as introducing yourself.

Hope that clears up a few things!

20 thoughts on “Main character dialogue?

  1. I think that the MC should be able to have dialogue. Like you said, the character is not showing personality, and as well this is not a Harvest Moon remake, so I believe by all means it should be different and fresh.

  2. I like the choice option during cutscenes, but I prefer that the MC doesn’t say much besides those few lines. If the dialogue is always heavily suggesting the MC’s personality, then it takes away from the classic Harvest Moon essence, doesn’t it?
    This decision seems like the dividing line for whether Tailor Tales is more otome-like or more like Harvest Moon. I already imagine what kind of character Joselina is, and personally, I find the extra dialogue to drastically limit the character’s personality. I’m not a big fan of otome’s for that reason.
    Just a suggestion, though. Either way, I’m still looking forward to what’s to come ^_^.

    • Yes, I agree, I wouldn’t want to give Joselina or Abigail a personality by having them talk too much, I’ll try my best to avoid this! It would just be a follow-up on the choice you selected (not much dialogue anyway), or something very generic.

      As for becoming too much like an otome game, that wouldn’t be right, since otome games are almost always visual novels, something which TT clearly is not.

  3. I am a big otome fan. So this choice system is right up my alley I prefer it this way really, it adds to it. Not like it needs it though. But either way I support your decision.

    • Yikes, I really hope I’m not that vague that people think that choices were never part of it to begin with!

      Choices have always been planned in the game, much like visual novels, it’s just that I’m debating whether or not to add dialogue (that the MC actually says) after the choice has been selected.

      • Oh no you weren’t I meant options in dialogue. Like you said having choices when your talking to the bachelors in heart events. I knew there where choices. And in your demo I have very much enjoyed the choices in outfits and in protagonists, though I have stuck to playing Joselina anyway. It’s nice to see options.

  4. I said on the poll that I wanted the protagonist to stay silent…. but then I read your Edit, and I changed my mind! Hahaha I do really like the idea of making the choice, and then the MC continuing the dialogue.

    I’m soooo excited for this game! Hahahaha Awesosme progress so far.

  5. I have nothing against the main character talking but I think I would prefer Joselina and Abigail to stay silent protagonists, but judging by the votes a lot of people think otherwise. I’m just kind of afraid that if you do have dialogue for the main characters, it will feel like the main character already has a personality fleshed out… And what happens if you run into a situation in an event and the main character immediately agrees or responds in a manner that you “wish” she didn’t? This is the only thing that worries me. Yes, definitely having options popping up could fix this issue but I think it is something that should be taken into consideration. But this is only my opinion, so do whatever you think is best and works for you!

      • Wow that was great of you to further clarify what you mean. Now that I understand this a little better, I actually think giving Joselina and Abigail some personality-less dialogue, could actually add more life into the game.
        I think having them say little bits of dialogue could be interesting, because if you were talking to one of the bachelors during an event, you would get a sense that you’re included in the conversation.
        Oh, I forgot to say… Thanks for the reply! I love all the progress that you have been making, and I think it is very nice of you to listen to the thoughts and opinions of the “future” players ;)

  6. I personally don’t like dialogue it takes away from me as the player. I like to play it all out in my head not have some so I vote no besides to much work really.

  7. I don’t mind the MC talking but I think I’d rather have her silent. I’ve played more than my share of dating sims and it’d be nice to have a silent protag for once. It’s also got the advantage that we may feel more intimate with the characters and you as the creator don’t have to put out the effort of creating twice as many lines or whatever. It’s also quite sweet to have it as a homage.

    I don’t mind that much either way and so it’s cool if you want to make a talking MC and not burn out in the process. Silence is definitely easier and can be greater the best writing though. At the end of the day I have no doubt in your writing ability to pull it off so if you want a talking MC, go for it!

    • Oh sorry, I just read the post again. I read the bit were you said “They would only be given dialogue during cutscenes or heart events, never during regular dialogue, and it wouldn’t be very much to begin with.”.

      I still feel the same way as I posted above but I guess it could be more challenging to write cutscenes/heart events without a talking MC. Sorry for that misunderstanding, I’m not sure what to say…

      • Haha, it is kind of challenging to write a one-sided conversation! I’m slowly getting the hang of it, but it does feel a lot more natural to see the MC respond to what is going on, or at least, based on the choices the player will choose.

  8. It sounds nice to have the character say something based on what you’ve chosen. The only caveat is that it’s sometimes hard to distinguish the tone of what the initial choice will carry…

    Like, say Bill says: Grrr! Those cotton-picking thieves! I wish they’d leave my field alone and play somewhere else.

    MC: That’d be nice. (Actually agreeing or just off-handedly saying what she thinks he wants to hear?)
    But then you wouldn’t have all this excitement in your life! (Teasing, sarcastic or being serious?)
    You need to stop worrying about them. They probably have their reasons. (Concern for him being stressed or just thinking he’s annoying?

    I’m very good at making simple things complicated, though, so I’m sure you know what you’re getting into. I just figured I’d mention that, since it sounds similar to ME’s system and I heard a lot of people complain that they didn’t know their character was going to say what they ended up saying (whether it was valid at the time or not).

    • Well … isn’t this really about the way the choices are worded? I wouldn’t make the player choose something, expecting one thing, then have the MC say it all sarcastic like or something.

      Or maybe I should just add little smiley faces to the choices, haha.

      What’s ME stand for? I don’t recognize those initials.

      • ME = Mass Effect, sorry!

        Yeah.. I’m really not sure how to clarify stuff like that.. but I like what you’ve done, so I figure you’ll pull it off fine. I voted for the extra dialogue, by the way. I’m a fan of how it’s been done, and I personally never had any problem figuring out what the MC was going to say based on what I picked. I just figured I’d bring up some stuff. :)

  9. I think that we should get th choose what we say. like sometimes in harvest moon, you’d have a choice to like, tell kai what you have in your field. (pink flowers, pineapples, and i think it was nothing) and in sakura wars (haha completely irrelevent! ^-^) you respond th characters to raise their heart level.

    • Well that’s a given! There will most certainly be options you can choose during heart events.

      However, what I’m asking is if there should be dialogue the main character will say based on these options you choose.

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