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RPGs with replayability

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Had a idea for how to make a RPG with near unlimited replayability. RTS and stratigy games like Civilization have near unlimited replayability...so do rogue like RPGs (Diablo, etc..) how about combineing the two genres togther? I don''t meen that the player is to control both a stratigy game and a RPG character at the same time...rather the game world would be designed much like a stratigy game. There would be several powerfull forces, each competeing for control of the game world...the computer would control these forces basied on what the player does...the outcome of the computers choices for each force would in turn deturmine the next set of challanges available to the player. The game world would be split into two seperate sub-worlds...there would be the player-world (the one the player interacts with)...and a top-world that the computer controls in a turn basied manner...the top-world would be designed like a "house of cards" balanced to the point that nothing would happen at game start, if not for the actions of the player....then everytime the player saves the game, the computer would run the top-level game, which would generate some new set of quests as well as potential story arc changes. Imagine the top-world as a game of chess...each piece represents a certain set of game characteristics...with each cell on the board representing a portion of the player-world...at character creation the player will randomly be aligned with one of the sides...as the overall game is played..the top-world game deturmines the events that occur in the player-world...for example...the player is in a part of the world represented by a chess cell that could be taken by a opposeing top-world rook in the next top-world turn....so the NPCs in the player-world may become worried about a "possible invasion"...side quests could involve "finding my lost child, so we can exacuate the area"...major story quests could involve "makeing the area less inviteing for the opposition" or "helping people evacuate" or "finding ways to make the ''rook'' a less powerfull top-world game piece"....each top-world game piece could represent a player-world boss... This isn''t to say the top-world must be chess...I think haveing 3 or more "sides" would be better then the 2 in chess...but that the play mechanics of chess could be used to deturmine events in the top-world...additionaly the content of ajacent cells to the top-world one currently represented by the players location can deturmine player-world events...is the top-world cell empty...then there are more natural creatures, but fewer NPCs...is the cell occupied by a player aligned piece (and which one) then more powerfull (but expensive) items could be available...has the cell been occupied for X number of top-world turns? As you can imagine there are near endless possabilities... Add in a random map generator that creates a new map when a player enters a cell...then constantly subtlely modifies it depending on the events in the top-world cell and ajacent ones...and well...it becomes nearly endless. This could work well for a single player game ...with the replayability of Diablo mixed with the strong story elements of Final Fantasy....but wouldn''t need any over complex AI routines

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Good luck. I think programming this would be beyond the abilities of most programmers, but the idea itself is sound.

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I think this would be pretty simple to program actually...

Start with a top-world grid of 25 by 25 cells...each cell could have 5 or so values that describe the enviroment...then the computer could randomly place each of the 3(or so) forces "kings" on this grid...then randomly place each of the forces major pieces randomly around the kings...empty cells then get a set of natural creatures pieces...cells ajacent to forces pieces become "outland" areas where frontersmen/women live..etc...just a bunch of simple rules set-up to effect the values of the cells is all that is needed...set these rules up so that they have a dependancy on the values and the things occupying the cells ajacent...and you have a pretty simple, straitforward "life" simulation...

For example there could be a deer like creature...the requires a certain set of cell values in order to occupy a given cell...when a top-level update occurs (now I think this would happen everytime the player exits one cell to enter another)...the deer find that the cell cannot support them anymore, but the one to the south can...so they move there...meenwhile the player is running into NPCs that tell him/her "the deer have all gone, now how am I to feed my family?"

Actualy you wouldn''t need a top-world deer piece...but a set of animal classification values for each cell...percentage of herbavours, etc.. then interpolateing cell core data fields with active top-world pieces in the area, a simple set of top-world rules could be developed so that the values can be changed during a top-world update...then when players enter the cell...the game engine uses the cell values (and ajacent cell values) to interpolate the player-world layout, as well as objectives/side quests for this section of the game...this way the game can change when players return to cells they had visited previously...

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I think that the AP is right. Randomising world events might not be impossible, but tying it together into a cohesive story - and a good one, at that - sounds very, very difficult to me.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
No, no, no. The top level game will be quite easy to program. It''s tying it together with a low level simulation will be the difficult part.

I''m beginning to understand what you mean, though. Instead of being on level 6, Goatse the weak, or whatever his name was is in square (3,2). Now, how do you show off your fancy uebergame? The player is stuck in the muck of just one cell. How can he see the whole picture, and get the idea that the whole picture is changing? And, for that matter, when does it change? What entices the player to even move to different cells?

If I''m guessing correctly, each turn is taken when switching cells or while the player is playing the current cell, and the current cell simply isn''t updated with the new state until the player leaves. He gets the idea that the world is changing when NPC''s drop hints that the locations of various things have moved, or they tell you that "just last week, there were lots of travellers, but now that the well dried up, there aren''t any at all", so you know that last turn, there was water in the well.

Are there quests to move to different cells, and then how do you guarantee that the objective is still in that cell? How do you generate the media for these unlimited possibilities? If you generate it during development, and simply edit it to the state of the world, you either have to limit the possible states to a small fraction of the media you''ve got, or else the game will be the same, but everything is just moved around.

I think I''m beginning to understand, but at the moment, an uebergame doesn''t really seem necessary for this. I think there are probably other ways to do these things. Btw, you need enough possible states that the player won''t be able to retrace his footsteps, or the game will just play out the same way each time, AFAICT.

Btw, I didn''t think that Diablo had that much replay value. Heck, I didn''t even finish it. It didn''t have much play value, let alone replay value.

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Okay...there would be three basic structures that keep the game moveing
1)the top-world has a set of stats for each cell...these detrmine the "look" of the cell and represent natural resources...rocks, water, etc...these stats can change during the game, but they only change by a few points when they do

2)the next structure represents the "users" of the cell...animals present, type of work found, etc..

3) the third structure are the three or more "forces"...er chess pieces...if present in the cell or ajacent to it.

When a new game is started the top-world is created randomly....

There are five "forces" in total...and the game would chose three of them, assigning each a random set of points to "buy" top-world pieces...each of the forces would have a list of exclusive pieces (prolly four each) as well as the ability to buy ''global'' pieces...each piece represents a game "goal" (as well as haveing a set of attributes)...the computer would then randomly set down each of the selected forces "kings"...and then useing some simple set of rules it would place each of the forces pieces...at that point the player can generate his/her character...and the computer will randomly assign the character to one of the forces (the player would then start in one of the forces cells occupied by a piece that has the ability to act as a starting point...each of the forces ''exclusive'' pieces would have this ability)

The game would also generate a random number of NPC ''contacts'' for the player...and give each a cell to occupy...this sets the ground work for the game.

Setting the ground work for the story:

at game world creation...when the forces "kings" are placed onto cells...the game would compare each of the ''kings'' stats (generated randomly, but basied on the "points" the game generated for each force) with the cell it occupies useing a few simple rules...this will then generate a number of game story arcs (a spy for one force is stealing info from another, etc..) these arcs are then modified by another set of rules that take into account the ''kings'' poximity to pieces controlled by other forces...thus setting the overall plot into motion...the player may never even learn of some of these story arcs during the game...but the arcs then deturmine what set of rules the top-world will use during updates.

top-world updates occur when players enter into a new cell...actions that the player performed in the previous cell effect the top-world stats for the cell (and can effect ajacent cells too)...the game will calculate these changes first...then it would calculate events for every piece of each of the forces (with story arcs directing how this is to work)...and finnaly it will calculate the "users" stats for each cell...and then the cell the player is entering will determine what exists there.

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quote:

couldn''t you just create an overseer role for an MMORPG? Then people could play as a guiding ghost (or whatever) and organize more complex game states themselves.



Yeah, I could create a overseer type role...if this were a MMORPG...but, as I said before, this is for a single player game.

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