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Down with scripting (rpg's)


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#1 C-Junkie   Members   -  Reputation: 1099

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Posted 17 September 2000 - 08:48 AM

Games need flexibility. Scripts are rigid. What if there were no scripts? What if all that was needed was information about how the world was setup? Would writing be obsolete? What if, in Baulder''s Gate, you could assasinate the king and steal the throne and capture all the maidens and take over the world and rein with death and destruction? What if, in Ultima 7, you joined the fellowship and worked to destroy good, and KILL LORD BRITISH? What if you then decided that the fellowship was stupid and started your OWN fellowship called "Fight Club?" *snicker* What if...? What if that were possible? And, the game system relied on the previous state of the game & the player''s actions to determine the next, rather than following a scripted series of steps? What if the game you are playing now didn''t ressurect people you already killed because they were supposed to do something important? What if every time you played the game, it was NEVER the same? Or even similiar? Would game writers like not being in control of the "ending?" (if there was an ending at ALL? hmmm, I like that idea.) (ooh, ooh!) What if y''all gave some thoughts? What if I shut up now because I''m annoying myself? -=- What if Goblin Genocide wasn''t happening? What if it was HUMAN GENOCIDE??? What if you decided, as a human, to exterminate the rest of your race? What if I never say ''what if'' again?

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#2 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 17 September 2000 - 02:11 PM

Well, what if is appropriate because I don't think that AI is advanced enough to really make the world react to the player's decisions with only information about the world.

IF it could be done, it would be really great. I wouldn't mind the loss of control personally.


Another possiblity is that there was a set story, and what part the player plays in that story could be very different each time. Like, if during the story some thieves try to break into the king's treasure. If the player has a reputation for being a thief, and socialized with the thieves, they would possibly have the player help them. On the other hand, if the player had become one of the king's guards, the player would be protecting the treasure. There's many more possiblities all with the same situations.

At least, it would be less repetitious than a typical scripted story.

Edited by - Nazrix on September 17, 2000 9:12:25 PM

#3 Landfish   Members   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 17 September 2000 - 03:13 PM

Sounds great! Where do we start?

#4 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 17 September 2000 - 03:18 PM

You really liked that one, Landfish? I just sort of pulled that one out of nowhere

I should try getting less sleep more often...





"Even though the course may change sometimes, the rivers always reach the sea."


#5 Slim   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 17 September 2000 - 03:33 PM

Oh what a beutiful world we would live in if our RPGs could be totally dynamic and autonomous. The day will come, but until then, I think there is need for scripting. Well... maybe that''s not entirely true.

See the problem with making a world without a script at all is that it becomes very sterile. Remember Daggerfall? Wow, what depth! Millions of cities! You could make your own alliances with anyone you want. Become good, become bad, become a vampire. Or just become a silly person who spends his days earning favor with Dibella to get in good with the foxy ladies (see: Sex & Games), and by night turn into a thief with a fetish for breaking into homes and stealing nothing but clothing. What freedom!
But, I couldn''t play Daggerfall much, for many reasons. For one, there was little anything unique as you moved from place to place. One city was as good as the next, and just as culturally diverse (on occasion the textures would change). Talking to the people, you couldn''t have rich conversations. You selected various locations/people/whatnot to talk about, and based on a number of variables, the inahbitants would give you a canned message. And that wouldn''t be so bad, but if you just kept clicking and you''d get varied responses (ie. "Hmmm, I''m not very sure where that is, Northeast I think." to "I know exactly where that is! Let me mark it on your map!") Anyway, enough harping on Daggerfall. It''s not THE definitive dynamic world.
So in that respect, go ahead and make a dynamic unscripted world, don''t forget to make it unique.

But my other issue is this. Storyline! I know you make your own story, but let''s face it, you''re not a fantasy writer. There are some people with some really good ideas and storytelling methods that you don''t have. When they create a wonderful plot, with twists and turns and everything in between, it can blow you away. I doubt you can impress yourself in that manner with your own story. In fact it will probably be very black and white, with little to no twists or personality. You do some things, you succeed or not, rinse, lather, repeat. It may make your character unique or interesting, or say something about your playing style, but dosen''t entail much more than that. I liked Daggerfall''s idea of having a definite storyline that you had the option of participating in, but since their focus was on the dynamic world, it was still pretty sterile. If somebody could do that correctly, I would die and go to RPG heaven.
One way to combat this problem is to make the game online. There, you interact with scores of other people who have their own agendas, motives, sneaky tricks, etc. Though it will still not be on par with hard core fantasy writing, but it''s something.

So my final word? Yeah, scripting is frequently too prominent, but to abolish it in favor of a totally dynamic world makes the world boring and often unbelievable. It''s like cooking, you don''t just cook the chicken, and you don''t just cook the rice (well you can), you cook a nice hearty portion of chicken and cover it in rice. Keep em both! Make the heavily scripted games for people who like RPGs but are not hardcore who don''t mind following a set path. Make the lightly scripted dynamic games for people who want freedom and control. But please at least have some semblance of a unique world with unique people and plot.

I''m being kicked off the computer so I have to go now! Have a good one!

#6 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 17 September 2000 - 03:52 PM

Slim,

I do have to agree with you. No scripting at all is probably not a good option unless we had a really, really smart computer that could react to things in a very intelligent way.

I also agree about Daggerfall. You'll notice that in the next Elder Scrolls game (Morrowind) will be less random and have more unique areas.

Less scripting would be good...but not lack of scripting entirely.

Edited by - Nazrix on September 17, 2000 10:52:32 PM

#7 Landfish   Members   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 17 September 2000 - 04:10 PM

(landfish grins at Naz''s completely missing his blatant sacrasm)

Try answering my question and you''ll see what I meant.

#8 Frag_Daddy_   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 17 September 2000 - 04:17 PM


I like slim''s idea. I''d hate to have to program the fully dynamic world (unless it was online!), because it would either suck or I''d never have the time to put in other things like graphics and sound so people wouldn''t even look at the game...

I don''t even think I''m making sense, so I''m going to go to sleep.

#9 MatrixCubed   Members   -  Reputation: 199

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Posted 17 September 2000 - 04:47 PM

Well I think what you''re suggesting is more along the lines of a SimWorld ( SimRPG anyone? ) in which there are also storylines to entertain the gamer. I have been thinking of designing a very simple game world ( with a few ''standard RPG storylines/quests'' (save the maiden who has been captured by the dragon, find the Holy Grail-ish item, etc), and working from there.

I think it can be done, it just needs some planning and care to evolve it to the point where a game world can be totally self sufficient based on objects and uncontrollable forces that cause events and effects in the world.



MatrixCubed


#10 Merrick   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 17 September 2000 - 05:06 PM

Gross generalisation : Have a non-linear world, generally free of scripting, but have scripts you can choose if (and when) you get bored with wandering around.



#11 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 17 September 2000 - 05:49 PM

Doh! I should have known it couldn't be that easy, Landfish.

Answer the question, eh? I will...in another thread...

Edited by - Nazrix on September 18, 2000 1:12:28 AM

#12 iwasbiggs   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 17 September 2000 - 06:57 PM

an rpg without scripts (in any form, including interaction over the net), would thus be a static game. And you can only talk to and view so many places, people, and things before you grow tired of the reality.

"scripts are rigid"?
they are what change the game from being static (rigid).

"no ending"
hehe, how would you make money off of the sequel then?

#13 ahw   Members   -  Reputation: 263

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Posted 17 September 2000 - 09:21 PM

C-Junkie : I think you are either using the wrong word, or pointing at the wrong target.
If you meant scripting as in "the game has a script that is followed and you cant do anything else...", then yeah, taht''s getting a bit boring, but you should have used the word "linear" ... and we come back to a hot issue of RPG...linear vs open.

If you meant scripting as in "scrip engine" then I say Nay !
First there was triggers, simple triggers. Either you''ve found the artifact or you haven''t. Now with script engine you could do much more by making branching (you got the artifact intact, you got the artifact but broken, you got the artifact but killed someone ...) OK the example is not the best, but what I am trying to say is that scripting is an evolution from what we had so far. What we can do now is try to find better way to use it. More modifiable things in the game world, for instance, to create better scripted sequences, to allow for more possiblities.

As well, I''d like to see emergent behaviours in RPG. I don''t think it''s gonna be there before a while... but it''s a nice goal to aim for. this is basically what I am trying to describe in the few thread I started on trying to analyse plot making.

mmm ...

youpla :-P



#14 C-Junkie   Members   -  Reputation: 1099

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Posted 18 September 2000 - 10:11 AM

OK...Open RPG not a linear RPG is what sounds like a blast. You see, the way I''m thinking about this problem is that each individual in the game deals with its own problems from the information availble in his scope. The whole game course would have to be plotted intricately from the begginning so as to provide action throughout the possible centuries that the player might live. Because, the whole course of the game would require a psychic or a genius (as we''re writing a sort of Chaos Theory for our game).

For people, classify them in large groups, and get mroe intricate as you go define smaller groups all the way down to the individual. What do I means about "define"ing groups? setting their personality traits. (although, to a small degree they would be erratic) Set numbers for things like: thrift, materialsm, honesty, extroversion, etc. and find some form for representing that prejudices, interests, and other things of that sort.

This sort of system is quite possible with current technology. It just has to be broken down into the small part that a single NPC holds. The ONLY problem I forsee the the necessity of a turn based game. Seeing as the computer cannot access fast enough a hundred megabytes alone for the NPC and world data. Then you add graphics, sound... It would be EXTREMELY big to get such detail, but it can be done. As some of you seem to say it cannot. Yes, AI would need to do something that no one has ever done before. But, it is a matter of time and patience. Something Game companies do not have because time=money...

I''m probably rambling...so ask specific questions, so I can answer them.

#15 C-Junkie   Members   -  Reputation: 1099

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Posted 18 September 2000 - 10:12 AM

OK...Open RPG not a linear RPG is what sounds like a blast. You see, the way I''m thinking about this problem is that each individual in the game deals with its own problems from the information availble in his scope. The whole game course would have to be plotted intricately from the begginning so as to provide action throughout the possible centuries that the player might live. Because, the whole course of the game would require a psychic or a genius (as we''re writing a sort of Chaos Theory for our game).

For people, classify them in large groups, and get mroe intricate as you go define smaller groups all the way down to the individual. What do I means about "define"ing groups? setting their personality traits. (although, to a small degree they would be erratic) Set numbers for things like: thrift, materialsm, honesty, extroversion, etc. and find some form for representing that prejudices, interests, and other things of that sort.

This sort of system is quite possible with current technology. It just has to be broken down into the small part that a single NPC holds. The ONLY problem I forsee the the necessity of a turn based game. Seeing as the computer cannot access fast enough a hundred megabytes alone for the NPC and world data. Then you add graphics, sound... It would be EXTREMELY big to get such detail, but it can be done. As some of you seem to say it cannot. Yes, AI would need to do something that no one has ever done before. But, it is a matter of time and patience. Something Game companies do not have because time=money...

I''m probably rambling...so ask specific questions, so I can answer them.

#16 ahw   Members   -  Reputation: 263

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Posted 18 September 2000 - 11:02 AM

OK, then it''s Yet-Another-Thread-Against-Linearity ... fine by me
Well, from hat you say, it sounds like you''re thinking a bit like Nazrix.

My opinion will then be similar. You could think in a scalar way, just like in RealLife.

For instance, I have a very vague knowledge of what Americans are all like. So, if I was a player and America was part of the places I *could* go, you could say that the continent America is populated by a bunch of capitalists pigs and survivalists rednecks ... without defining further. Now if I actually went there, I would probably/hopefully discover plenty of people that are not like that at all. To be more specific, I''ll use an example I know. Ireland, from far distance, is a land of leprechauns, alcoholics, and future american immigrants (oh yeah, and it''s the land Angel was born in .. in Buffy )
Now that''s the "basic" definition of an Irish.
Then you go there, and you go to say, Dublin. There I realise that not every irish is alcoholic, some are assholes as well, and some are damn cool, and generally people are quite relax, though Dublin is an exception. Then I go in the North, and I discover another view of what irish are like.
So I have a default model of irish, then I have a Dublin definition, then a Donegal definition (north of ireland).
Now I have been living or two years there... so I have acquired a reputation, people know me, and I know them. I have met pure dicks, some real friends I hang around with, I am known in my pub, etc. I now have new definitions of specific NPCs for that place Letterkenny, which is in Donegal, which is in Ireland.
Only define/refine what you need to.
As well, people there have a default opinion that french=arrogant bastards... and I could describe again how my own reputation as a french is modified by how much people and I are acquainted.

well ... waddaya think ?




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