*line_break and proper CS lineation

everyone their own.

In my case I like using *line_break so that, let’s call them revelation-moments can be used to a bigger effect.
Cause I think there’s more impact to e.g. and Oh… or a ‘Wait!’ in the text when it stands out than if it is ‘just’ another line. It’s something that bolding and italics can not achieve.

(this is rolling off the tracks into an aesthetics discussion). Topic split, please. I think we hould have this discussion, as I’ve just been told some people won’t read a hame that uses line_breaks for formatting (dialogue)

1 Like

Well, sure, but also no…

Fiction is lineated by creating new paragraphs, not stacking them. In general, IF is lineated the same way, which is why @jasonstevanhill said don’t use *line_break for things other than poetry or lists.

I can’t elaborate on Jason’s remark that HG writers tend to universally misuse *line_break, but I have had more than one COG author turn in a first draft with double *line_breaks for each hard return, and I don’t know why, except I think the wiki is written very unclearly on this point, and may be perpetuating that as a thing, when it is truly not a thing. A few tidbits about ifs and gotos and errors

3 Likes

I am in the habit of using double *line_breaks and it is down to how I learnt choicescript. I believe (although perhaps misinterpreted) that in earlier versions of choicescipt hitting return wasn’t an option (the text would just continue on one line).

As a writer I don’t like line_breaks – it’s faster and easier to just hit enter, and it’s easier to read and edit paragraphs when they’re separated by blank spaces. I really only use it for lists of stats or variables, and even then sometimes I forget to put *line_breaks in. :sweat:

As a reader I don’t like line_breaks – since there’s no indentation, the space between paragraphs is what signals it’s a new paragraph. Having just a *line_break can often make it look like something went wrong with the formatting, and also can make it difficult to read.

As for revelation moments… I like to put the moment of impact at the end of the page and then use a cliffhanger *page_break. :relaxed:

3 Likes

Imagine what you could do with the time you save not writing out *line_break for each and every paragraph in an entire game.

3 Likes

I use it for that and when I am continuing a page - I noticed that indentation doesn’t always stick, when you use the *goto label (without having a page break between) - sometimes it melds what should be two paragraphs into one giant monster. If anyone knows a better way of doing this, I am all ears.

Otherwise, I just hit double enter and move on with my day :’)

Me, too. I had corrective, muscular (not Lasik) eye surgery when I was 17, which caused a reading disorder not dissimilar to dyslexia (my opthamologist said to just say I’m dyslexic, now, so :woman_shrugging: ), so now I struggle to read long blocks of text. I’ve said elsewhere that about 5 lines or ~100 words is about the maximum I can have in a row, before I start to have trouble processing.

4 Likes

My issue is that the way I write not using line_breaks in dialogue changes the feeling.

Example

(kid) in tow you edge towards the trio.

“The Plaza and the station are off-limit, you both know that,” you hear the pyrokinetic food lady repeat to the girls. “Especially for rookie heroes and villains!”
“Yes, Miss Heatstroke,” the girls say in unison.
“Starlight. You’re level 4 already, and Ariadne your parents are a high-ranking hero and villain. Both of you know to stay in the sparring area. Both of you know the rules.”
“Yes, Miss Heatstroke,” the girls say in unison again.

“Look, girls,” her tone get’s soft as she stands before the duo, head and hips cocked. “I appreciate that you want to polish your abilities, no matter what you’ll use them for one day. But the Agreement’s rules exists for a reason. You left the restricted area and endangered people. No one got hurt, sure, but you can’t always count on being lucky.”
“Yes, Miss Heatstroke,” the girls say again, and the woman, Heatstroke, lets out a long sigh.

To me has a different flow and tone from:

Example

(kid) in tow you edge towards the trio.

“The Plaza and the station are off-limit, you both know that,” you hear the pyrokinetic food lady repeat to the girls. “Especially for rookie heroes and villains!”

“Yes, Miss Heatstroke,” the girls say in unison.

“Starlight. You’re level 4 already, and Ariadne your parents are a high-ranking hero and villain. Both of you know to stay in the sparring area. Both of you know the rules.”

“Yes, Miss Heatstroke,” the girls say in unison again.

“Look, girls,” her tone get’s soft as she stands before the duo, head and hips cocked. “I appreciate that you want to polish your abilities, no matter what you’ll use them for one day. But the Agreement’s rules exists for a reason. You left the restricted area and endangered people. No one got hurt, sure, but you can’t always count on being lucky.”

“Yes, Miss Heatstroke,” the girls say again, and the woman, Heatstroke, lets out a long sigh.

and from

Example

(kid) in tow you edge towards the trio.

“The Plaza and the station are off-limit, you both know that,” you hear the pyrokinetic food lady repeat to the girls. “Especially for rookie heroes and villains!”

“Yes, Miss Heatstroke,” the girls say in unison.

“Starlight. You’re level 4 already, and Ariadne your parents are a high-ranking hero and villain. Both of you know to stay in the sparring area. Both of you know the rules.”

“Yes, Miss Heatstroke,” the girls say in unison again.
__
“Look, girls,” her tone get’s soft as she stands before the duo, head and hips cocked. “I appreciate that you want to polish your abilities, no matter what you’ll use them for one day. But the Agreement’s rules exists for a reason. You left the restricted area and endangered people. No one got hurt, sure, but you can’t always count on being lucky.”

“Yes, Miss Heatstroke,” the girls say again, and the woman, Heatstroke, lets out a long sigh.

I agree that it has a different flow, but only slightly. I think the middle one flows best!

I achieve that style, if that is the one you prefer, stylistically, with a simple double-enter.

the first one is my standard style.
while I understand that long bits of dialogue benefit from the double-enter, shorter ones… just look weird to me

I will say, personally, that I tend to avoid works of fiction that don’t treat every piece of dialogue as a new paragraph.

Mostly because I have trouble reading it. It genuinely hurts my eyes, and it’s like trying to translate from my second language to my native language - not impossible, but definitely difficult and strenuous.

That said, everyone has their stylistic preferences :slight_smile:

3 Likes

I usually put a space between the *label and paragraph when that happens,

like this,
*label weektwo3

You'll only have time to get an answer out of one person before you have to head off to work.

and it seems to help. :thinking:

I prefer the middle one, too. I think it’s easier to read than the first one, and because Heatstroke’s warning is all on one page it lets the reader reread what she said unlike the third one. Also, it feels less rushed than the first example – the info about the plaza being off-limits and there being an agreement may stick out because there’s a space/a pause before them, but that’s because the rest is ‘condensed’, which can make it easy to skip over and feel rushed as a result.

But like @ashestoashes018 said, everyone has their stylistic preferences, and the first example may work better for the story overall. :relaxed:

3 Likes

oh, this is all on one page, there’s no page_break where I put the __
I’m looking for a way to have the same… pause… there as in the first version

Oh! I didn’t even read it that way, in the first sample. I didn’t realize you were going for a pause.

In that case, hm…There’s always a page_break, but that probably isn’t what you’re going for. It kind of feels…disjointed?..in the first sample. The middle sample just feels evenly paced, however, which also isn’t what you’re going for.

Perhaps you could just put in a line, such as “The three are silent for a beat, then two, before Heatstroke speaks again…”

1 Like

That’s not the kind of pause I’m aiming for. It’s a pause for the reader, not one that’s happening in the story

I’ve never had a problem as long as there is definitely a gap (hit return twice- I think that’s what you meant by double enter anyway) between the paragraph and the *goto label. So like this:

Paragraph 1

*goto next
*label next
Paragraph 2

If that’s not there, it will always continue on as if there it were part of the same paragraph. I’ve never had to use line_break to break up goto paragraphs as long as this is done. (If that is happening for you and you’re doing that, no idea. It shouldn’t be.)

Middle one is by far the easiest to process!

(by the standard of “easy to read” I’d rate them a 3, a 10, and an 8)

1 Like

I wasn’t really aware of the difference between line breaks and double enter key until now. I feel like it explains so much as to why I get the feeling that some HG and WIP I’ve played just felt too condensed to me.

I definitely prefer to see the double enter over the line breaks when reading. IMO, it’s easier to read and you can get a better feel for the flow

As someone who had Rebecca train me out of line breaks very swiftly, and now never uses them, learning that some people double-use them so ubiquitously feels a bit like a horror story!

I absolutely agree that forgoing the full gaps between paragraphs makes it harder to read. Also considering the vast majority of games, and all CoG, use full breaks, not using them does definitely stand out (and can look like a formatting error.)

2 Likes

double line_breaks break (hah) screenreader iirc.

And on that note: how does screenreader fare with simple line_break and gaps?

I was using double line breaks in my game on indented sections because I was not aware that a blank line would work under those circumstances. As in:

*if (param_2)
	"Damn, you're almost making me want to get into cooking now."
	*line_break
	*line_break
	"And why not?"

I thought it was necessary to have those breaks otherwise there would be no paragraph break between those lines because they were intended.

I was wrong though, I just didn’t take the time to test it. This would work the same:

*if (param_2)
	"Damn, you're almost making me want to get into cooking now."

	"And why not?"

At first it looked weird and unfinished to me but after using search and replace to fix all of this across my files I got used to it; it was also a priority to fix once I learned double line breaks break screenreaders.

Single line breaks I only use if I actually need to display something in a list or so. For example, in my game I have character dossiers and those look better if the info is listed in a list:

.
.
.
[b]HAIR COLOR:[/b] Black / Dark gray
*line_break
[b]EYE COLOR:[/b] Hazel
*line_break
[b]HEIGHT:[/b] 181cm (5'9)
*line_break
[b]WEIGHT:[/b] 84kg (185lbs) (estimate)
*line_break
.
.
.

Apart from that and other things like item stats I don’t use single line breaks anywhere; I prefer spaced paragraphs for more readability.

5 Likes