Descriptions

For writers working on documentation, story prose, announcements, and all kinds of Wesnoth text.

Moderators: Forum Moderators, Developers

rat4000
Posts: 18
Joined: May 26th, 2009, 1:01 pm

Re: Descriptions

Post by rat4000 » May 28th, 2009, 7:57 pm

To be honest, I never ever understood why descriptions are available as a mouse over. All the other stuff (XP modifier, resistances) is often needed quickly in the game, which does not hold true for descriptions... if a developer checks this (I'm assuming Turuk's only responsible for the forums, here): any chance of that going away or staying only for a number of characters with an ellipse at the end or something?

User avatar
Araja
Posts: 718
Joined: May 28th, 2009, 9:56 am
Location: Bath, England

Re: Descriptions

Post by Araja » May 28th, 2009, 10:38 pm

Back to how the topic started, isn't the reason later descriptions are shorter is because the units role in the world is determined at level 1?
By the time you reach level 3 your basically down to "better versions of the thing I just described".
Please don't go throwing extracts that disagree with me in my face though.

User avatar
Turuk
Sithslayer
Posts: 5283
Joined: February 28th, 2007, 8:58 pm
Contact:

Re: Descriptions

Post by Turuk » May 28th, 2009, 11:06 pm

rat4000 wrote:if a developer checks this (I'm assuming Turuk's only responsible for the forums, here)
I know people who know people though. ;)
rat4000 wrote: To be honest, I never ever understood why descriptions are available as a mouse over. All the other stuff (XP modifier, resistances) is often needed quickly in the game, which does not hold true for descriptions..
So that players do not always have to open the big help screen if they wanted to read about a new unit they have not seen before in MP or a campaign. Given that they could see all of the other information about the new unit in the side panel or by mousing over items there, it would make little sense to leave the description out so that they would have to open the Help just to read that.



Also, in reference to the amount of text being shown, here's a screenshot to the current description for the Red Mage:
Attachments
Picture 6.png
Picture 6.png (337.74 KiB) Viewed 1741 times
Mainline Maintainer: AOI, DM, NR, TB and THoT.
UMC Maintainer: Forward They Cried, A Few Logs, A Few More Logs, Start of the War, and Battle Against Time

Spi
Posts: 44
Joined: January 19th, 2009, 7:21 pm

Re: Descriptions

Post by Spi » May 29th, 2009, 10:07 pm

I just want to give it a quick try, 'be merciless' :)

Stronger than fighters and with burning ambition to match, drake Warriors have earned the respect of their brethren. Equipped with larger blades, they tear into their enemies at close quarters and roast the ones who dare attack them from afar. Always at the lead of charges, they are a fearsome sight on the battlefield; an ominous anticipation of what they want to truly become: drake Blademasters. Spears and arrows may still hurt them, but resistance to pain is another asset of the Warriors

EDITED (text change)

User avatar
Araja
Posts: 718
Joined: May 28th, 2009, 9:56 am
Location: Bath, England

Re: Descriptions

Post by Araja » May 30th, 2009, 5:34 pm

A bit crude, Wesnoth descriptions have more advanced wording than tear and roast...

User avatar
melinath
Posts: 1298
Joined: May 20th, 2009, 7:42 am

Re: Descriptions

Post by melinath » May 30th, 2009, 5:49 pm

Araja wrote:A bit crude, Wesnoth descriptions have more advanced wording than tear and roast...
I disagree. Tear and roast are very strong verbs. Not crude - evocative. It would be good if more Wesnoth descriptions used verbs well, particularly as descriptions are supposed to be fairly short.

I like this description.
A few other things I would change, though:
1. "the ones who dare ..." to "those who dare"
2. "an ominous anticipation" to "an ominous foreshadow" or "a mere shadow" or something else. I don't know what an ominous anticipation is.
3. "want to truly become" => "truly want to become" so that truly refers to want instead of become.

@rat4000: Is the "writing by committee" feeling that this thread is getting okay with you? Or should we try more to focus on proofing and critiquing your descriptions?

User avatar
Turuk
Sithslayer
Posts: 5283
Joined: February 28th, 2007, 8:58 pm
Contact:

Re: Descriptions

Post by Turuk » May 30th, 2009, 10:37 pm

melinath wrote:2. "an ominous anticipation" to "an ominous foreshadow" or "a mere shadow" or something else. I don't know what an ominous anticipation is.
I don't quite know what to make of "ominous foreshadow" though either. :P

"Always leading charges, they are a fearsome sight on the battlefield; such skill foreshadows the abilities they have yet to attain as a Blademaster."
Mainline Maintainer: AOI, DM, NR, TB and THoT.
UMC Maintainer: Forward They Cried, A Few Logs, A Few More Logs, Start of the War, and Battle Against Time

User avatar
Araja
Posts: 718
Joined: May 28th, 2009, 9:56 am
Location: Bath, England

Re: Descriptions

Post by Araja » May 31st, 2009, 5:21 pm

Wesnoth descriptions would be (metaphorically speaking) immolate and slice in my opinion...I have yet to encounter a more scholarly sounding bestiary in any game.

rat4000
Posts: 18
Joined: May 26th, 2009, 1:01 pm

Re: Descriptions

Post by rat4000 » June 2nd, 2009, 2:45 pm

Blademaster first draft:

There is a saying that all civilized beings share: Red and black for blood and death. Its origin, though not known to many, is simple: When drakes attack a settlement of intelligent creatures, it is typically the Fighters and Clashers that lead the way, since sending its best men to die first does not make much sense for a small tribe. Therefore, when the best warriors in the race, the Blademasters, the Enforcers and the feared Wardens, are heading the charge, this means that a drake chieftain has succeeded in gathering an army which is certain of its invincibility - an idea which is in itself frightening. Of those, the Blademasters, the fastest fighters in the race, are always the first to be seen.

And In the red and black armour that is the mark of their caste, with their great wings and enormous size, they are truly a terrible sight. As large as a fully grown troll, masterfully wielding scimitars the size of a man (or claws as long as a man's leg) and exhaling great columns of fire, they are the match of the best-trained swordsmen of all other races. None but a fool would willingly face them.

User avatar
thespaceinvader
Retired Art Director
Posts: 8414
Joined: August 25th, 2007, 10:12 am
Location: Oxford, UK
Contact:

Re: Descriptions

Post by thespaceinvader » June 2nd, 2009, 5:04 pm

Don't make it too long. Strip out most if not all of the reference to the other drake units.
http://thespaceinvader.co.uk | http://thespaceinvader.deviantart.com
Back to work. Current projects: Catching up on commits. Picking Meridia back up. Sprite animations, many and varied.

User avatar
Turuk
Sithslayer
Posts: 5283
Joined: February 28th, 2007, 8:58 pm
Contact:

Re: Descriptions

Post by Turuk » June 2nd, 2009, 5:25 pm

Indeed, the second paragraph in that description is all that is really relevant.
Mainline Maintainer: AOI, DM, NR, TB and THoT.
UMC Maintainer: Forward They Cried, A Few Logs, A Few More Logs, Start of the War, and Battle Against Time

User avatar
Simons Mith
Posts: 784
Joined: January 27th, 2005, 10:46 pm
Location: Twickenham
Contact:

Re: Descriptions

Post by Simons Mith » June 2nd, 2009, 5:58 pm

Yes, ~200 units times that many words per unit is ~40,000 words. That's about the same length as a 100-page novel. If this writeup length was to become the standard, that's a significant amount of extra writing - and translating - for everyone to do.

Why not try looking at the entire drake warrior unit tree, and spreading out the prose more amongst all the units? I am starting to think that when doing descriptions, it may well be better to work on a tree at a time rather than a unit at a time.
 

rat4000
Posts: 18
Joined: May 26th, 2009, 1:01 pm

Re: Descriptions

Post by rat4000 » June 2nd, 2009, 7:30 pm

Well, the fighter and the warrior got ~130w each, which means an average description length of ~150w for the three. That's 30 000w for the 200 units. If each of them gets descriptions this long, that is. Not even I can come up with 150w about the spearman.

It's a freaking lot of units, you know.

That was actually kindof my point. Descriptions don't have to be three line things that give the most vital info about a unit. They can be long and thorough and maybe even beautiful and make the world of the game as complete as other games' worlds become through novels.

That's what I see in them anyway. I'll willingly admit that I didn't even think of the translators.

Am I wrong?

User avatar
thespaceinvader
Retired Art Director
Posts: 8414
Joined: August 25th, 2007, 10:12 am
Location: Oxford, UK
Contact:

Re: Descriptions

Post by thespaceinvader » June 2nd, 2009, 7:34 pm

They're useful world-building, that's correct. But they should be short and pithy. If you want to write long stories, that's what campaigns are for ;)
http://thespaceinvader.co.uk | http://thespaceinvader.deviantart.com
Back to work. Current projects: Catching up on commits. Picking Meridia back up. Sprite animations, many and varied.

User avatar
Araja
Posts: 718
Joined: May 28th, 2009, 9:56 am
Location: Bath, England

Re: Descriptions

Post by Araja » June 3rd, 2009, 2:39 pm

I like that description, there's something slightly wrong about it though...

It says in the Drake descriptions that they are a warlike race, getting more reckless the older they get, so wouldn't the veterans always be on the first charge?
From a storyline perspective anyway.

Post Reply