Do people do anything interesting for authoring conversations for RPGs?
I want to be able to just edit a conversation as a text file, but it starts getting a little hairy because I don’t want the conversation to be structured as a strict tree. (At a point in the dialogue, there are some things you can talk about, but for example other things you can always ask about no matter where you are in talking to this person, and a lot of options that are hidden but triggered by variables, etc).
Add to this the fact that I want to support some markup in the text (bold, italics, and such) and it’s looking like I want to go all XML.
Which kind of pains me, because I dislike XML. But, that is obviously one way to go — just make my own markup tags that mean things like “conditional based on a variable”, or whatever, and go from there.
But before I do that, I thought I’d check and see if anyone pursues alternatives. Even if they rely on some huge proprietary in-house thing that took man-years to make, it’d at least be interesting to hear about what the approach is.