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Ideas on design

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Deranged

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Keep in mind this is an RPG not an RTS.
I ponder some design questions to you:

Player vs Nature
This is a computerage old question I often find asking myself, how far should a player be able to effect the world?

If bandits ransack a town what happens to the quests/events that could occur in that area? Gone forever? Some gone, some moved?
I guess some quests could be moved, some gone, and events could be restored if you restore the town to its rightful state.

Should say a player chopping down trees remove the trees forever?

What happens if a building gets damaged(don't comment on implementations, I plan to have two models for each building design, regular and damaged, maybe three if it's called for) should you be able to repair it? Leave that to the townspeople to decide?

Pets
This came up in #gamedev, superpig commented on it and this is what I settled on,

You can tame a pet, and train it to pick up certain smells and alert you next time that smell is near, and to follow scents::
Implementation of that would be record key places that every trackable unit has been, say every ten steps and do pathfinding, not everything would be trackable unless speed allows for it, a very interesting concept.

The bandit effect
If you kill the head of all the bandits, they should cease to be? Do they elect a new head? Maybe unless you have done some quests on the bandits, they elect a new head, and you hear about it in town the next day that has done .

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All idea, if they take too long to implement some may be cut, but I'd like the player to be more or less as in control as they can possibly be.
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I'll see what answers my brain conjures forth for your questions.

Re: Player vs Nature
This depends a lot on the type of RPG you are making. Most have the world out of the players control except through scripted story events, but some have the player being able to talk to whoever they like, bump off whoever they like and the game goes on. The level of player interactivity with the world can be pegged at a number of different points.

I guess my main piece of advice is that whatever amount of world interactivity you include, make sure that it's consistent. For example, if the player can rob stores, I'd make them able to rob all stores, not just a certain few. This also applies with certain effects; if the player can hypnotise NPCs to do their bidding, there's a whole bunch of stuff you'd have to include for that to seem plausable, so much so that it might not be a good feature to include. The only real way to test whether you've got a consistent world is to let other people play it and see if they want to do things that you haven't implemented.

As for your specific points, I wouldn't mind if a dead NPC no longer provides quests. As for trees and buildings, I'm not sure one way or the other.

Re: Pets

That's pretty cool if you can implement it well. Do you get to choose the pet? I'd like a pet slime mould!

Re: Bandits

Either way works, I think.

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On player vs. Nature again
You bring up interesting points, I actually really like the hypnotise idea, but that's off of the topic, yes it should be consistant, also an interesting issue is, what if you kill somebody, but then a chain of quests involve that somebody, I guess they can't be done, so it's a kind of either the player is smart enough not to kill the mayor of a town(the guards will own him anyways, and he will be at a disfaction with the people of that town), or DON'T let the player kill the mayer of town X until point Y. I think the latter would allow for better gameplay, but the former would be more open.

On Pets again
Well a skill of taming seems to fit in here, and if you are a good enough tamer you can tame X, but you should not be able to tame say, bandits or the such, or bosses. All of the rest is up in the air though.

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Regarding the untimely death of NPCs; if you put in a restriction that important NPCs cannot be killed until after they their related quests are completed, then that breaks the consistency of the rules of the game. In that case I'd either fix the quests (so that they are either automatically failed, can repair themselves by choosing different NPCs, or maybe just dynamically creating the quests as you go), or make the NPCs unkillable.

And I agree that having a bandit as a pet is a little bit silly [grin].

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Well I did also have ideas of some quests being fixed to some extent of storyline, but some occuring with the random events that will happen in the world, looks like they could peice together nicely.

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Players and Nature:

Something I plan to put in my game, but would like to see in a game is if you can chop at trees for wood. They should eventually be destroyed. But it would be nice to allow trees to be created through planting seeds. This would allow harvesting and players could have another way to have a hand in the economy.

Trees couldn't be hardcoded in the map though, but might be coded as objects/items and then associate scripts with how players can interact with them.

That is just my idea on having a more interactive RPG.

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