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Automated micromanagement

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Automated micromanagement, if done properly, is something I love in games. It provide great detail when you need/want it, but it can take care of itself on a day to day basis. This is something I'm striving for in my rpg. I'm thinking of a very detailed inventory with lots of small items that you might need. For example, you can't make a fire without flint&steel, you need bandages to use First Aid, warm clothes in cold climates and whetstone to keep your weapons sharp. To keep all this things in stock might seem boring, but that's where 'Automated' comes in. As you enter a settlement you'll have the possibility to just press the 'Restock' button. Then the game will go through your equipment list, see whats missing and whats available and then resupply. When in the wilderness, different skills might reduce the strain on your supply. Hunting can keep your rations lasting a while longer, Fletching can give you an extra arrow or two each time you rest and Leather working can keep your armor intact longer (and give you a pair of gloves!). This list will be created at character creation (defaults are available) and can then be modified throughout the game. So if you decide to get a bow, you can just add Quiver and 20 Arrows to the equipment list. Do you think this might be tediuos to take care of, despite the automated part? EDIT: Oooh, forgot a question. When do you think it would be a good idea to enable the Restock ability. Should you need to click once in every shop (more clicking) or once in every settlement (less clicking) or once per resting period? [edited by - Kekko on March 20, 2004 7:44:00 AM]

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Well you could have a quartermaster who is responsible for gettings supplies whenever you reach a settlement. This could be handled by simply having a quartermaster wagon or backback where you add or remove items from. Once an item is the wagon you can adjust the quantity and order of the items, the order is used to deterime the order items are bought incase their isn''t enough money to fully restock.

So you go into a town and buy a longbow and quiver of arrows. You decided you always want to maintain a supply of arrows so you move the quiver from your inventory to quartermaster wagon. You then go into the wagon and adjust the amount to 5 quivers(100 arrows). The quartermaster will from then on ensure you always have at least 5 quivers of arrows in stock when you visit a settlement. If you sell your bow and no longer need to maintain an arrow supply you remove the quiver from the quartermaster wagon.

In this way you can allow the player to customize the restocking as they see fit, they could even decided to maintain a supply of 10 suits of platemail should they wish.

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Heh the quartermaster idea is ok but it doesn''t fit well with the general idea of the lone adventurer or heroes party =) But yeah it would be nice if, instead of those tedious shops, you could edit a list that had a minimum and a maximum amount for anything you might need. When the amount of that item gets below the minimum, the character resupplies until it reaches the maximum (ex.: you have 10 arrows, which is the minimum, so it buys some more until the maximum of 20 is reached).

But you shouldn''t completely automate it cuz sometimes it would be very annoying if you made a mistake - the way I see it, it could be like, you enter a town, and your character says something like "I need some supplies before I carry on" (or an icon flashes or something), then when you go to a shop, it shows you a list of what it''s gonna buy (you can edit it if you want). Usually it''s ok and you just press "continue" so it''s really convenient. This is the way repairs are handled in Freelancer - a list of the damaged items and repair prices shows up, and you can un-tick anything you don''t want to repair.

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