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Wavinator

The fate of the free world is in YOUR hands! (?)

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Or so many games tell us... anyways... We want to feel like we have a strong effect on our game worlds most of the time, especially the more immersive and fully realized the worlds are. Now, we often get these "save the world" quests (or kingdom or galaxy or whatever) foisted on us, but rarely have a feeling that the game world''s denizens are actually doing anything to help themselves. All the pressure''s on you! But what NPCs undertook missions / quests you passed up? After a certain amount of time, the quest would go away, and you''d get news that some other hero took the quest (and either succeeded or failed). I could see this actually lending some credulity to those time based quests ("the town will be destroyed soon if you don''t help!!!!"). But if this were done, I''m unclear as to whether or not the there should be some ill effect for the player passing up a mission / quest. If there''s none, then the game is telling the player that he''s just perfunctory-- and the only loss is the reward the player would have gotten. But if there''s a loss of some kind, then the player will feel more obligated to take the mission the deeper the loss. What do you think about this? -------------------- Just waiting for the mothership...

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Interesing idea. Definitely realistic. In keeping with the idea of realism, the quest the player passes up that an NPC fails at should still be available to take up again - with an increased level of difficulty. It only makes sense that a quest that others have failed at should be tough - "100''s have tried and failed, now the challenge falls to you".

Likewise, the quest that the NPC succeeds at should go to advance the power of the NPC with the idea that at some point down the line the player might have to take on the NPC. "He''s tough, he killed the dragon!" (or what not).

The decision to take up a quest or not should involve a little more strategic thinking than just "I''ll take care of that later".

Something more like - "If I don''t take the quest then my rival might succeed and grow stronger and then I''ll have a harder time defeating him later, but he might also fail and that will make the quest more difficult. Ah! But the prizes will be sweeter then too!" And so forth.

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I like the idea of passing up tasks having an ill-effect on the game. A quick scenario of this kind could involve an NPC in the party of the player in an RPG - letting the village burn down could kill the sister of the NPC, making the NPC unhappy with the player and maybe even making them leave the party.

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I like that idea too kingy. Along that line a quest might also "lure" away members of the players party - "I''ve got to save my sister!" and there goes one of the supporting cast - and if the character isn''t so noble, "hmm, my sister lives in that village, but so what I always hated her anyway..." - I suppose that determination would rest on properties established at npc generation time with some randomness used to vary party members so that a player wasn''t stuck with the same party members every game.

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I think that the NPCs should take up quests you pass up, and gain the rewards from it. I mean its not like you''re the only budding hero/bad guy in the world, (well ok you are in some games... but that''s just silly).

As far as reward and punishment goes, the player should be allowed to pass up a few quests without ''punishment'', but if they pass on every single one then they should be heavily punished.

Some thoughts...

If you intergrate this with some kind of "reputation" system you could punish the player by making fewer and fewer quests available the more they pass on, (ie the general populace dont think he/she isnt that good a hero and will go off asking the NPC heros first).

Alternativly you could vary the risk-reward ratio, the more quests they pass on the smaller the reward of future quests with the same difficulty.




NightWraith

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I am working (slowly) on a RPG/Simm of a (for me) fantasy world. The idea being that the game just runs and develops whether you do things or not.

Say you kill the dragon that has made its home nearby you develop/gain but if you dont, it builds its own realm and/or the town forces hunt it down etc.

The model is about as immersed as I can think of an RPG system, its just a complex AI system. Ill let you know over the next few months if I get it working

Regards

BaelWrath

If it is not nailed down it''s mine and if I can prise it loose,
it''s not nailed down!

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quote:
Original post by BaelWrath
The model is about as immersed as I can think of an RPG system, its just a complex AI system. Ill let you know over the next few months if I get it working


When this system is perfected, that will be my dream game.

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Very cool idea, even though I think Project Ego is trying to do something similar to this, not you can send other people on quest, but other people are trying to save the world also. There are different ways to balance the send other people on quests for you idea. Characters may have to have strong incentives, whether it''s money, revenge, fame, or whatever. Also, you would probably have to be relatively well known, respected, powerful or rich to have to people working for you. It kind of takes the whole standard "medival UPS employee" gameplay and turns it into "medival UPS manager" gameplay. You send people on the less important quests that you would find tedious, but that need to be done. You would go on the important and interesting quests. Players would go on harder quests, because NPCs wouldn''t be skilled enough to complete them. If there are a lot of small quests or quests that need a lot of people this model would work.

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quote:
Original post by Impossible
It kind of takes the whole standard "medival UPS employee" gameplay and turns it into "medival UPS manager" gameplay.



Maybe a manager style game could be a lot of fun! You could call it something like Heroes Inc, and you would have a team of 'do-gooders' to control, you would hear of 'quests' and have to decide how to deal with them.

Maybe there could be a football management game style league of 'footballers/heroes' with better skills / abilities that could be recruited into your team for money/ fame. The better heroes would be more expensive.

Okay its kind of a goofy idea (but then so is most swords and sorcery stuff IMO). But it could work and be fun.

Here is a link to a 119Mb demo of Championship Manager

http://www.5star-shareware.com/Sun/Games/champman-0102.html

[edited by - Ketchaval on July 17, 2002 3:10:27 PM]

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I like this idea a lot. I think that the player shouldn''t be directly punished except that the player wouldn''t be able to receive the rewards that he would have got from doing the job.

Also the punishment could be that the NPC may have done the job a certain way that messes up something that involves the player. The player may have done the job a certain way that achieves a personal goal along with the quest goal.

So the punishment would be about missed opportunities both monetary and otherwise.


A CRPG in development...

Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.


"I''m gay, please convert me." - Nes8bit

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i am working on something similar in my RPG project.
when the game starts the player chooses his "cause" (good, evil, chaos, order), and the quests available are based on this (there are other factors, such as class, but that is not relevant right now). now, there will be several other "main characters" besides the player; they also belong to a "cause", and will either help or hinder (or possibly disregard) the player character and the other "main" NPCs. they might join the player''s party if they are of compatable alignments, etc... and thereby be under the player''s control for a while, but when not in the spotlight (i.e. not with the player, just out adventuring by themselves) they will be completing quests and growing in power, etc. so, if the player passes up a quest, it is quite possible that one of the other heroes will take it (or the quest might expire, such as in the "village is going to burn down" example). the player loses out on the material rewards, experience, reputation, and all that good stuff (and if they are of a cause that requires one to help out others, such as "Lawful Good", they might be punished by their patron deity). of course, the quest might end up killing off the other hero, and then the player can accept it and get an extra-nice reward (because the townspeople remember that dragon killing off the last hero they hired).
there is an interesting side affect of this: besides all the side quests and whatnot, the game will eventually move on to the main quest of the game, which is to defeat the opposing cause''s heroes. if the player chooses to refuse all quests, it is possible that they might completely miss out on the "final confrontation" part of the story. all of the other heroes would have met, fought, and one side would be victorious, and the player won''t even know about it until they hear the news from some townsperson!

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I''ve probably mentioned this game before but, Inindo for the SNES had some elements like you''re describing and I thought it was pretty cool. You run around with your character doing the standard RPG stuff, but you can go on missions for the warlord of the area which has an effect on battles that might take place at the end of the month. Sabotaging an army''s weapons or food will make them weaker and more likely to be defeated. You could also do this sort of thing without being asked to. If the province belonged to a warlord that wouldn''t allow you in, then you now enter (at least untill next month when there''s a retalitory strike). There were also NPCs that would run around the country (which you could recruit for your own party if they liked you) picking up these missions. If you talked to them, they might say that they''re heading to some other province looking for work.

The whole game was kind of a hybrid between a standard FF6 style RPG and one of those war strategy games like Romance of the Three Kingdoms. The combat system was simple, the "exceptional men" were now the NPCs you meet and pick up on the othe jobs, you run around doing the standard "go find the magic sword" quests to become stronger, kingdoms came and went if you did nothing.


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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by Wavinator
Or so many games tell us... anyways...

We want to feel like we have a strong effect on our game worlds most of the time, especially the more immersive and fully realized the worlds are.

...

But what NPCs undertook missions / quests you passed up? After a certain amount of time, the quest would go away, and you''d get news that some other hero took the quest (and either succeeded or failed).

What do you think about this?





Narrative <----+------> Simulation

Where your game is on this scale is up to you.

HTH

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