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In an IF context, conversation refers to communication between the PC and NPCs, meaningfully influenced by the player. Dialogue that doesn't respond to player decisions is something else - probably a cutscene. Directing game commands to NPCs is sometimes treated as conversation and sometimes not.

Conversation as Puzzle Tool

Conversation is frequently used as a means of giving pointers or hints about puzzles, or even of explicitly stating the terms of the puzzle.

Avoiding Conversation

Due to the difficulties of writing responsive, realistic conversational NPCs, many IF games feature little or no conversation; indeed, many authors avoid including NPCs altogether rather than include NPCs with weak conversational abilities.

Conversation System

The term 'conversation system' refers to a mechanism controlling conversation between the PC and the NPCs; a parser convention governing how the player gives orders governing conversation. Two common conversation systems are ask-tell and menu-based.

Lists of Games using Conversation

See also: Conversation tagged games at IFDB.

Conversation-rich games

Some IF games have conversation as a primary focus; the main or only way to explore the game or accomplish goals is through dialogue.

Personified narrator games

Certain games, by personifying the parser in various ways, frame part or all of the story in terms of a conversation.


Conversation articles by Emily Short

Emily Short has written extensively on this topic: