Important - procedurally generated to use templates of real patterns (hierarchies of them actually).
quest giver hangs out.
Semi-random is interesting too. I think that quest generation can't be done all programmatically or randomly. The problem of creating a meaningful story-line or plot remains, as far as I know, an unsolved challenge.
Some elements are substituteable (possibly with a little 'fitting' scripting to adapt to the particular instance)
Other elements are 'variable', such as coefficient attributes which control object behaviors (which actions/tactics they 'prefer')
A big future step is more sophisticated NPC AI which can adapt to varying environmensts/situations (including societal roles) to act appropriately.
Preprocessing to 'organicly' mutate into a cohesive/valid situation would be done to 'set the stage' of the quest drama
All of the above of course requires being to handle the diverse game environment --- the handling code required probably increases by the square of the complexity and the processing by the cube (or worse) even if there is ALOT of generaization/templating of common interactions.
Plots and story-lines could be similarly handled in this level/extensiveness of programming. They can be templated and hierarchicalized and 'fitted' much the same way. Theme factors would just be inputs (for code able to handle them and adjust/mutate to/with them.
This aspect means implementing societal roles/behaviors/relations and complex inter-object interactions (adding how many more magnitudes of coding ??)
Generalization means that much of this 'code/logic' could be reuseable if done systematically (thus saving on REINVENTING "not just the wheel but the whole car" ). I have hopes that eventually these risk-averse game companies will eventually move on/be dragged on to using things like this (preferably before we are all dead)
BTW the 'plot' in such a world system operating in the biggest way mentioned above comes from not just the Worlds NPCs/factions/polical entities "moving in their orbits", but from the players' actions within that world (its just more inputs...). The horrifying problem is prebalancing/self-balancing such a system (grow organicly again...). For games like MMORGP I would allow for (hopefully infrequent) MANUAL GM macro level adjustments/interventions to correct for pendulum swings which otherwise would unbalance and destroy the world (and you KNOW that players will be using their skills/effort to attempt that)
So add a final layer of human intervention when possible.
BTW alot of those 'templates' still originate as hand crafted (to make them cohesive) even if they do have elements of substitutions systematically built in
Edited by wodinoneeye, 08 October 2013 - 05:26 PM.