A conversation circle is visible to the spy as a heavy red circle rendered on the floor, with a smaller, lighter one inside it. Any character that stands still inside the outer red circle is considered part of the conversation. The inner circle is where the arrows showing conversation flow are shown (see below). If the spy stands inside the inner circle, they will still be considered part of the conversation, but will be rather conspicuous as NPCs do not stand there. The sniper cannot see the red circles on the floor, but can infer the positions of the conversation circles by seeing where the partygoers congregate.
Entering and Leaving Conversation Circles Edit
When an NPC nears a conversation circle with the intent to enter it, they select a random spot in it that is not too crowded and walk to that point. Note that this means that they don't always select the spot in the circle that is nearest to their current location, even if that spot is unoccupied.
Having selected their desired spot, they begin to move towards it. If it becomes occupied before they arrive, they will halt momentarily, then select a new goal. Once they reach their desired spot, they turn to face the center. A spy needs only to stop in the active area of the circle and their character will also turn automatically to face the center.
An NPC that is alone in a conversation circle will typically only stand for a single idle animation cycle before getting lonely and leaving. However, they may stay longer to sip their drink or read a book. When other characters are present, they can stick around a significantly longer. A double agent (or suspected double agent) will not join a conversation circle which already contains a double agent or suspected double agent.
Conversation Flow Edit
When at least two characters are in a conversation, the NPCs will start talking with each other. Inside the smaller circle, the spy can see colored arrows that describe the conversation flow:
- A red arrow points to the person who most recently started talking. Characters who are not talking turn their heads to face this person.
- A yellow arrow points to the person who is expected to talk next. When the current speaker stops talking, this person will start talking if they are an NPC, and the arrow will turn red.
- A magenta arrow points to the previous speaker.
Both the spy and the NPCs can choose to interrupt the current speaker. If interrupted, an NPC speaker may choose to keep talking, or stop and listen to the interrupting speaker.
Spy Participation in Conversation Edit
A spy in a conversation circle can take control of the conversation at any time by selecting the "Begin Talking" or "Interrupt Speaker" actions. The spy does not have to wait their turn to speak, nor do they have to start speaking when the arrows indicate that it is their turn (though failure to do so is a tell). Upon choosing to speak, the spy will begin the talking animation, and NPCs in the circle (except perhaps an interrupted speaker) will turn their heads to look at the spy. Once the talking animation is complete, the spy will stop talking automatically and the conversation will continue with the next speaker. If the spy wishes to cut the talking animation short without leaving the circle, they can select "Stop Talking."
When the last NPC stops talking when the spy is expected to be the next speaker, the NPCs will wait for a short while for the spy to talk, then they'll give up and someone else will start talking. An observant sniper may notice a conversation circle with more than one person, yet with nobody talking for several seconds, and deduce that the spy is in that circle.
With certain missions enabled, spies can perform actions that they cannot do in other pads:
- Bug Ambassador: While bugging the ambassador can be done anywhere, standing in a circle near the ambassador enables the "bug while in conversation" variant of the mission, with the corresponding action: "Plant Bug on Ambassador." The animation for this action is faster than the "walking" bug.
- Contact Double Agent: If the double agent is in the circle, the spy will have the option to "Contact Double Agent;" otherwise, the option is replaced with "Fake Contact Double Agent."
- Seduce Target: The spy can flirt with the seduction target at any pad, but in a conversation circle, flirting will cause the spy to display a talking animation.
A spy that is alone in a conversation circle can read a book (and by extension, transfer microfilm), but cannot do so when there are others in the circle. (Ignoring the speaker to read is rude!)