Displaying portrait graphics when Characters speak

Many of the 90s Sierra adventure games (and others beside) displayed a portrait graphic of a Character when they spoke. This can be reproduced in Adventure Creator by using Menus.

To assign a portrait graphic for a Character, go to their NPC or Player Inspector, and find the Dialogue settings panel. The Portrait graphic field will be available within.

Portrait graphics can be animated by ticking the Animate? checkbox. The supplied texture must contain multiple frames arranged left-to-right.

Portrait graphics can be altered mid-game by using the Character: Switch portrait Action.

If the new graphic is stored in a Resources folder within your project, the change will be recorded in save game files.

To display the graphic when a Character speaks, we must work with a Menu that's set to appear when speech is played. The Demo_MenuManager asset contains such a Menu, called Subtitles.

It's Appear type is set to When Speech Plays, which means that it will be shown when any Character starts talking.

By default, this Menu displays the name of the speaking Character, and their speech line, but not their portrait graphic. Rather than manipulate this particular Menu Manager, it's better to copy it to a new Menu Manager so that changes are not reverted when Adventure Creator is updated. By clicking on the cog icon to the right of a Menu's name, we can copy it's contents and paste it into the Menu Manager we wish.

Let's add the portrait graphic to the left of the text labels. Underneath the list of elements, change the Element type to Graphic, and click Add new.

Change the new element's name to Portrait graphic, and the Graphic type to Dialogue Portrait.

To make more space in the Menu for the new Label, increase the Size Width to around 61.3.

Since the Position of the current Elements are all set to Aligned, they are arranged vertically on the left side of the Menu, with the portrait graphic underneath the other two.

Move the Portrait graphic to the top by clicking it's cog icon and choosing Move up twice.

Now set it's Size to Manual, and increase the width and height to something more appropriate:

We now want to position the other two Labels to the right of the Portrait graphic, so set the Position value of each to Relative To Menu Size, and adjust the sliders to position them as follows:

When Characters now speak, their portrait graphic will be displayed:

Adventure Creator and this website are copyright Chris Burton, ICEBOX Studios

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