Enemy bark is the term for the adaptive lines of chatter that enemy characters utter throughout a game
In movies, every line happen once, and so it only needs to be written one way but in games, it must be much more flexible and reactive
Kirk Hamilton (kotaku) got in touch with some video game writers to better get a sense of how they approach this challenge & what happens when things go off the rails.
- Dansky ( Writer & Designer on Tom Clancy series )
- Patrick Redding ( Narrative Designer on Far Cry 2 )
- Chris Dahlen ( writer on Mark of the Ninja game )
some quotes to get you interested:
When I asked Dansky, Dahlen and Anderson which games they thought had good barks, all three listed 2008's Far Cry 2 among their examples. That game used dynamically generated barks to great effect, with enemies who let you know about state-changes in organic ways as their frenzied yelling and panic greatly contributed to the game's overall vibe."Conviction is actually a great lesson in how barks aren't just the writing," Dansky said. "There was a very detailed design behind the bark system in Conviction, where we kept swapping out bark sets based on which enemies you'd face in a map and the player's progress through the campaign, so that the bad guys would seem like they were aware of what was going on. And those bark pools were decently deep, with plenty of variation, allowing the design - and I think it was a good design - to present this ever-evolving set of responses as the player progressed through the campaign. We wanted the AI enemies to be aware of the havoc Sam had been wreaking on their buddies, and to have a range of human responses - fear, rage, whatever - to that."
A great read if you're interested
"Why video game characters say such ridiculous things" article (Click Me)