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Answering Landfish's Question...


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#1 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 17 September 2000 - 06:11 PM

This is continued from a concept in Down with Scripting (RPGs) First of all, all NPCs will have an opinion of you at the very least. In some way NPCs each need to have an opinion of you according to what the player does. If the player does dishonest things, dishonest NPCs will like the player most likely while more honest NPCs will not. The reputation system could go deeper than that, but basically there would be some sort of reputation. There would be a main story that would basically be fairly well-scripted as to what happens, but where the player fits into the story will have to do w/ the player's actions...what the player does in previous situations during the main story and the (more self-contained) side-quests. So, if the player has done illegal things, the player will be associated w/ illegal-type NPCs, and where and when the main story might deal w/ those illegal NPCs the player may get caught up in it. So, as ahw was speaking of before, the events would actually be happening ...meaning if an NPC is supposed go kidnap a princess (the classic example), he's really doing it...and it will be set up that if the NPC's opinion of the player is high enough, then he'll ask the player to help him...but if the princess's father has a high opinion of the player, he'll ask the player to save the princess after she get's kidnapped. (The main quest would be a lot more intersting than another kidnapping, but you get the point.) The main way that the player would gain the appreciation of one person or another would be through the side-quests. And helping one person would often raise your reputation w/ them while hurting your reputation w/ certain others. I'm leaving out a lot of the technical details. And this is by no means a complete idea, but how's the basic concept sound? "Even though the course may change sometimes, the rivers always reach the sea." - Led Zeppelin Edited by - Nazrix on 9/18/00 12:52:27 AM

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#2 ahw   Members   -  Reputation: 263

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Posted 17 September 2000 - 09:09 PM



#3 Luxury   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 18 September 2000 - 06:51 AM

GHood PlHan but what if i want to change my ways? i have seen the evil that i have done, and i want to put an end to it? how smart are these NPC''s...and are they smart enough to forgive me?

i can see a WHOLE-LOTTA replay value here.

-Luxury

#4 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 18 September 2000 - 08:25 AM

ahw,
That's all you have to say is ''?
When Landfish reads this I'm going to need as many people on my side as possible



Luxury,

Well, I'm thinking that the reputation would be kind of go up and down as you play. So, if you start out hanging out w/ the bad guys or doing illegal stuff...then in the middle of the game you start being more law-abiding, the NPCs will treat you accordingly. The NPCs who are themselves law-abiding will like you more, and the ones who aren't will like you less and less. I think there should be a global reputation, then an individual one as well. So, each NPC could have an individual opinion of you while there's also a global opinion as well.


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


Edited by - Nazrix on September 18, 2000 3:32:57 PM

#5 Wavinator   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1822

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Posted 18 September 2000 - 09:16 AM

Want a precedent to back this idea up? Privateer!

You get a reputation based on who you work for and who you attack. Fight the cops, and you''re loved by the pirates (well, some, anyway). Fight the pirates, and the cops will give you missions. Changing your ways was hard, as it was easier to get a reputation than to get rid of it (which I think is realistic... people remember the bad crap you do *much* more than the good!)

You''re right, btw, that there''s a lot of potential here for gameplay. Even more if you apply this rep system to each character! It gets a bit data intensive, but then you could have situations where the king relies on the NPC to save the same princess that the NPC has kidnapped (because the king things the NPC is good)... and you''ve got to get to the truth!

Also, I can think of no better way to make reputation than via quest. Rather than gold, reputation might be a resource unto itself. Now, if you also start playing with ways to attack reputation directly...

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#6 ahw   Members   -  Reputation: 263

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Posted 18 September 2000 - 10:50 AM

Well, basically I support your ideas
To give you some back up, I''d say you can look even before Privateer, there is Darklands. You and your party would have a reputation based on your actions that would vary from town to town. You could be a bandit in Western germany and a hero throughout the East. You had as well a global reputation...
doing this on a character per character basis seem a bit useless to me, you are better off doing that in a scalar way. Only give people you know an opinion about you, the rest have a global value depending on the town.
Say, in a town where you''ve robbed a bank, the local reputation will be quite bad, but people won''t necessarily *know* you. Now, your fiancee could be living in that town, and wether she knows about your deeds could modify her opinion of you (she might not know you''re a thief, and like you, or she might now, and be OK with it, or she might just dump you ...)
This would decrease the amount of data to keep, and would be more realistic... only people that know about you have an opinion.

what do you think ?

#7 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 18 September 2000 - 11:00 AM

quote:
Original post by ahw

Well, basically I support your ideas




quote:

To give you some back up, I''d say you can look even before Privateer, there is Darklands.



I''ve never heard of Privateer or Darklands. Are they computer or console games?

quote:

what do you think ?



I was thinking that only people that you''ve met would have a personal opinion. Like, each NPC''s personal opinion would be neutral until you''ve met them. Then, perhaps only things that you do when you''re directly interacting w/ them would affect their personal opinion. So, if you do something for them or to them, it would affect their personal opinion.



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


#8 Wavinator   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1822

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Posted 18 September 2000 - 11:58 AM


quote:

I''ve never heard of Privateer or Darklands. Are they computer or console games?




Ack!!! What?!?! *falls to floor choking in disbelief*

Privateer was PC, circa 1990 I think. Came out around the time of Wing Commander 2, used a similar (or same?) engine and was basically a more freeform version of WC where you could upgrade a ship, engage in trade, and roam from star to star performing missions. Very Elite like. (Don''t tell me you don''t know that one?!?!? )


quote:


I was thinking that only people that you''ve met would have a personal opinion. Like, each NPC''s personal opinion would be neutral until you''ve met them. Then, perhaps only things that you do when you''re directly interacting w/ them would affect their personal opinion. So, if you do something for them or to them, it would affect their personal opinion.




What about rumor and word of mouth? I like that in Escape Velocity your deeds affected your rep in neighboring systems, too. This accounted for people talking about your exploits as the Dread Pirate, or whatever. Reputation also travelled along alliance and affiliation lines, so that friends of friends would hear about what a scumdog or savior you were.



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Just waiting for the mothership...

#9 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 18 September 2000 - 12:04 PM

quote:
Original post by Wavinator


Ack!!! What?!?! *falls to floor choking in disbelief*

Privateer was PC, circa 1990 I think. Came out around the time of Wing Commander 2, used a similar (or same?) engine and was basically a more freeform version of WC where you could upgrade a ship, engage in trade, and roam from star to star performing missions. Very Elite like. (Don''t tell me you don''t know that one?!?!? )



Okay...that does sound familiar, but I don''t think I have played it...sounds cool though..I''ve missed so many cool games I think...I still haven''t played the Ultima games either


quote:


What about rumor and word of mouth? I like that in Escape Velocity your deeds affected your rep in neighboring systems, too. This accounted for people talking about your exploits as the Dread Pirate, or whatever. Reputation also travelled along alliance and affiliation lines, so that friends of friends would hear about what a scumdog or savior you were.



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Just waiting for the mothership...



Yeah the inclusion of word of mouth would definitely add to the realism. I think ideally I''d want to make it so that each NPC has a list of the other NPCs they are friends w/ so they could pass info to those that they know.



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


#10 Landfish   Members   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 18 September 2000 - 12:12 PM

Better be a short/small game or a friggan massive team. If niether, you''ll have a crapload of work to do.

#11 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 18 September 2000 - 12:19 PM

quote:
Original post by Landfish

Better be a short/small game or a friggan massive team. If niether, you''ll have a crapload of work to do.



I expected the idea to be ripped apart a bit more

That either means that the idea has some potential, or Landfish doesn''t have the time due to the duties of moteration.

#12 Wavinator   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1822

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Posted 18 September 2000 - 12:56 PM

Maybe because I''m horribly ignorant when it comes to AI, I''m a fan of faking it. Rather than a massive list, if I knew NPCs were pretty much tied to towns I''d implement this as a chance to know you. Cheap, kludged, and effective. (Anyone want to see a sample of the code I write )

This chance would rise as you committed deeds in town. You could toss in some other vars to this soup, too: How well traveled the NPC is (better chance to know your rep if you''re famous or infamous). The remoteness of the town. How isolationist the NPC or culture is.

Screw that 50 man team & hack it, I say!

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Just waiting for the mothership...

#13 Landfish   Members   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 18 September 2000 - 02:57 PM

My only problems are on a practical level, Naz. I''d love to see it happen, but how can you assure me it would be any fun? Even then, how do you plan to make it work, being solid fun in the same guarunteeable way as a semi-linear?

You haven''t convinced me that I could put money into it safely (not that I have money...). For your own good I suggest you convince me; if I believe you, a publisher will.

#14 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 18 September 2000 - 05:14 PM

quote:
Original post by Wavinator

Maybe because I'm horribly ignorant when it comes to AI, I'm a fan of faking it. Rather than a massive list, if I knew NPCs were pretty much tied to towns I'd implement this as a chance to know you. Cheap, kludged, and effective. (Anyone want to see a sample of the code I write )

This chance would rise as you committed deeds in town. You could toss in some other vars to this soup, too: How well traveled the NPC is (better chance to know your rep if you're famous or infamous). The remoteness of the town. How isolationist the NPC or culture is.

Screw that 50 man team & hack it, I say!

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Just waiting for the mothership...


AI in games is really about faking it I've always thought. That's where the artificial part comes in

I don't think the AI would be too rough really. The harder thing is what LF is talking about. I've got to be sure diverging the story will work well.

I've still got much to think about in that department. I think this may be a nicer possibility than what I've thought about before which was having a lot of loose quests here and there. At least this way there would be a main story that would provide conclusion plus that main story would not have to be extremely linear either.

Landfish, you're right. I haven't a complete concept here at all. I just wondered how this sounded so far. This is by no means at all a cohesive thought. I think that it solves some of the problems of my previous thoughts of having a bunch of events floating around. I'll keep working on it though. Although, I think we would both question how much solid fun most RPGs are today...semi-linear or linear


Edited by - Nazrix on September 18, 2000 12:33:30 AM

#15 Wavinator   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1822

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Posted 19 September 2000 - 07:44 AM

quote:
Original post by Landfish

My only problems are on a practical level, Naz. I'd love to see it happen, but how can you assure me it would be any fun? Even then, how do you plan to make it work, being solid fun in the same guarunteeable way as a semi-linear?



Whoa. LF, if you've got *ANY* method of guaranteeing that a design is fun before it's in QA, contact a publisher *RIGHT NOW!*

Non-linear, semi-linear, fully-linear, half-duplex-linear... whatever, nobody in the industry (or outside the industry) knows what's fun. I'll agree that the more linear something is, the _easier_ it is to plan, test, and tweak. But no one knows what's fun until it's built! (Unless you've got some Ancient Developer Secret you'd like to share )






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Edited by - Wavinator on September 19, 2000 2:45:15 PM

#16 Wavinator   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1822

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Posted 19 September 2000 - 07:54 AM

quote:
Original post by Nazrix

I don''t think the AI would be too rough really. The harder thing is what LF is talking about. I''ve got to be sure diverging the story will work well.

I''ve still got much to think about in that department. I think this may be a nicer possibility than what I''ve thought about before which was having a lot of loose quests here and there. At least this way there would be a main story that would provide conclusion plus that main story would not have to be extremely linear either.



I''m not sure of the quality of story you''ll get with this method. As the posts I''ve made before indicate, I''m starting to think story happens outside of gameplay (while you''re playing, you''re not thinking story).

What you''re talking about to me looks like a strategy game whose gameplay vocabulary (things you can do) is that of a story, rather than war. So rather than units, you have characters. Rather than strategic manuevering, you have story actions.

You know, it''d be really useful to propose some kind of example plot that we can work with. Maybe then we could get some more concrete examples (maybe we should use something like Star Wars or some other story that most people know).


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#17 Gollum   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 19 September 2000 - 08:12 AM

How about using a pathfinding algorithm for reputations?

In other words, you do a good deed in one town, and the "story" of that deed flows out from the town to other towns (nodes), changing your rep as it goes. You could make some paths more expensive because the towns are farther apart, relatively isolated, etc. If you wanted to be really complex, instead of using towns as nodes, you could use people.

In fact, why not make rumors work like this too? A town is burned down by a band of orcs, and the story has to actually MAKE ITS WAY to wherever you are.

I''m only a very novice programmer, but seems to me that pathfinding algorithms would be a relatively simple an effective way to do that sort of thing.

- gollumgollum

PS - And then you could write a way to add "noise" (false data) to rumors as they spread farther out....

Too many ideas, too little knowledge. Ah well.



#18 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 19 September 2000 - 09:49 AM

Gollum:
Nice ideas there...I'll have to think about that a bit


Wav,

Well, I may lose some quality of story, but what I'd gain is replayability. There would be one main story that was basically the same as far as the events of the story, but how the player interacts with that story would be different. Depending on how the player is viewed by the society and who the player interacts with, the player will be on different sides of the story. That's the basic premise anyway.

I would still like the story to be somewhat flexible according to what the player does in the story, but many of the main events would be the same. What would be different is how the player interacted with the story. So, to the player, it would be a different experience when many of the events in the story would be the same. What sides of the story the player plays will depend upon how the player's viewed by the people around him and who he knows.

Although, there would be some events that may change in the main story depending upon how the player handles certain situations, but many of the events would be the same each time the game is played which would provide control over the flow of the story.


Edited by - Nazrix on September 19, 2000 4:51:19 PM

#19 Landfish   Members   -  Reputation: 288

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Posted 20 September 2000 - 11:34 AM

Ah, but Naz, a large part of replayability comes from qualifying pathways. People won''t play a game over and over again if it changes every time no matter what. Part of replayability is knowing what you''ve missed, and in the format you suggest, you cannot play through every concievable COA.

People will play such a game once. Maybe twice, to appreciate the interactivity of it. But all in all, there''s no driving psychology behing what you''re missing...

#20 Wavinator   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1822

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Posted 20 September 2000 - 12:17 PM

quote:
Original post by Landfish

Ah, but Naz, a large part of replayability comes from qualifying pathways. People won''t play a game over and over again if it changes every time no matter what. Part of replayability is knowing what you''ve missed, and in the format you suggest, you cannot play through every concievable COA.

People will play such a game once. Maybe twice, to appreciate the interactivity of it. But all in all, there''s no driving psychology behing what you''re missing...


* URK!!! Wavinator chokes on his coffee! *

Huhn?!?! Are you saying that people will not play a game whose situations and outcomes vary greatly? If so, I very much disagree with you. If you look at highly replayable games like Unreal Tournament, Tetris, or Alpha Centauri / Civilization, "variety of encounter" is a key ingredient in the magical formula. You get new situations to respond to each time: the location of enemies and behaviors (UT); the position, type and speed of the blocks (Tetris); the lay of the land, starting civilization types, and subsequent chain of interactions (AC / Civ). In fact, many seem to move on only when they know they''ve experienced everything.

If you were to come up with a basic vocabulary of story / strategy / gameplay actions, and a changing web of evolving relationships, I think you''d have this variety of encounter. If it were in a story format, I''d think it''d be an RPG gamer''s dream come true.

(Or did I misunderstand you again, LF?)


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Just waiting for the mothership...




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