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Wavinator

"Psst! Hey you! Yeah, you! I wanna talk to you..."

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Pardon me for making this "Night of The Living Wavintor Posts" but the muse is working overtime... I read about a weird little device that debuted in Japan a few years meant to get people together. It was either a radio or cell phone that continuously broadcasted and listened for signals indicating your interests. Whenever two people got near each other their devices would chime or ring, and presummably (if they were on the subway, for instance, or at a party) they''d have an excuse to strike up a conversation. Wouldn''t this be a godsend in your average RPG? The typical RPG makes you check everyone for what you''re interested in, or tells you EXACTLY who you''re supposed to find and where they are. But what if you''re free-roaming on your own, and want to find the best price for a weapon, or the greatest palm-reader. If there were a large number of NPCs, it would be nice to home in on only those you want to bother with. You could add as many NPCs as you please without worrying about fatigue the player would experience in having to check them all. You could have a screen with settings that the player toggles on or off. As you get rolling in an RPG, you tend to want to do things quickly. The way I''d do this is to have a device, like a PDA or implant, that the player levels up to get or buy. In the beginning, the range would be small, so that they''d have incentive to explore locations and find people. As they level up or can afford better devices, the range increases until, at a glance, they can home in on the best NPCs that meet whatever criteria they''ve checked. ???? -------------------- Just waiting for the mothership...

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Hmm... I agree that a way to quickly identify things around you and evaluate their significane is a valuable feature.

This might be similar to the ship-identifying broadcasts, but on an individual level. Would the NPCs have to have themselves wired to transmit, or could you build an active system that would identify bounty heads or contacts by scanning them from a distance?

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That would indeed be really cool. I can''t think how it could be implemented in a fantasy or anarchic world rather than a socialist or other strongly socially organized science fiction one though.

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Sounds like a great idea. It could be a magical item in a fantasy game. Why not take this even further and have NPCs just go to the player and ask them for stuff? I''m sure this is occasionally done in some games, but in most games you have to trigger events, find quests, etc. by yourself. This could even work for the best weapon prices or best palm reader. NPCs could advertise based on skill level, prices, etc.

You could take this to it''s ultimate conclusion and just make a fully searchable "google" RPG. Any time you go into a town you can just search for what you want and instantly teleport to where you want to go. In this case the exploration aspect is less the standard "wandering around and talking to everyone" and more noise filtering. Some MMORPGs have features like this for finding groups and players, and many large single player RPGs have searchable journals and maps, but I don''t think any game has taken it this far.

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ahh, another Wavinator post run for you lives!!!


It could be a neat little system, I picture some kind of infotech pager system. You type in requests that activly ping all the near by infotech recivers. So you type in "looking for a gunsmith who can make level 5 guns" or "Anyone need a ride to saturn?" These added to pager list, and if any of the pinged recivers are instrested or have what you want they send you message. So you get the message "Ya, I need passage for 3 and 1 six legged cow to saturn, I only deal with level 2 certifed transports, if you can provided those services reply with a quote."

So you exchange little message back and forth like that until you find what your looking for.

-----------------------------------------------------
"Fate and Destiny only give you the opportunity the rest you have to do on your own."
Current Design project: Ambitions Slave

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Good idea, reminds me of my idea of having your party go off and strike up their own conversations to find stuff out, then when they get back to the pub you can find out what they know (ie. a summary of the gossip).

If you allow the player to wander just take out the bits that they encounter... of course that just rewards the player for not talking to other characters.. eek!

This idea came from getting bored with having to talk to everybody in the game to make sure I didn''t miss anything. Which is one of the problems that I have with most RPGs, since it considerably slows it down. I think that sometimes more is less, and less is more.

Sure chatting does add to the ''flavour'' of these games. But I reckon that more action packed games could benefit from such a system.

First thought that came to mind would be calling the phone services, and asking for the number for a pizza / the best weaponsmith in town

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quote:
Original post by Iron Chef Carnage
This might be similar to the ship-identifying broadcasts, but on an individual level. Would the NPCs have to have themselves wired to transmit, or could you build an active system that would identify bounty heads or contacts by scanning them from a distance?


I like the idea of an image recognition system for bounties or people who don''t want to be found. Star Wars Bounty Hunter implied such a system when you scanned the crowd. You''d face a certain way and it''d pick out which of the very similar-looking NPCs actually was the guy you wanted.


There''s another way of doing this, too. You could have different social networks if it were a standard thing, such as an implant. You could have criminal networks, corporate networks, freelancer networks, etc. These would be like radio bands. Then you could put some gameplay into contacting the right person and persuading/coercing their network access codes out of them so that you could start trawling or hunting the net.

I don''t know how contacts would work for a lower tech system. For bounties you assume people are wanted and they have a features that can be matched. But if you want to offer someone a job, or want a ride, how could you tell that actively? (Pheremones? )

(BTW, this could work for driving, as well. Maybe cars have radios as standard, and you enter conversation with other drivers just as easily as while walking around town.)

--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

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quote:
Original post by sunandshadow
That would indeed be really cool. I can''t think how it could be implemented in a fantasy or anarchic world rather than a socialist or other strongly socially organized science fiction one though.


How about familiars that are busy off in another dimension gabbing with one another and popping back occassionally?

Or magick spectacles? Or animate scrolls or ledgers that you speak to, tell your wishes, and who sing a wordless song to all other like objects in your local area.

See, this is why I never worry about my ideas being stolen. Once you''ve got the bare bones, you can put ANY frame around it!

--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

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quote:
Original post by Impossible
Why not take this even further and have NPCs just go to the player and ask them for stuff?



Oh, perfect! It could work both ways. The player enters settings, and NPCs come to him or her. They could even be con artists and enter in settings that aren''t really true.

quote:

You could take this to it''s ultimate conclusion and just make a fully searchable "google" RPG. Any time you go into a town you can just search for what you want and instantly teleport to where you want to go. In this case the exploration aspect is less the standard "wandering around and talking to everyone" and more noise filtering.


I think it''s still important to get players around in your virtual world, though. So by limiting the range or what have you, you encourage their exploration. Otherwise, you have this bizarre phenomena of someone sitting at their computer, sitting at a virtual computer, experiencing the world.



--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

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quote:
Original post by TechnoGoth
ahh, another Wavinator post run for you lives!!!



Yeah, I was starting to feel a bit like Agent Smith, with every post in the forum being from "Wavinator."

quote:

So you exchange little message back and forth like that until you find what your looking for.



This is a nice refinement, with you perhaps setting up the final meeting once this phase is done. The person-to-person contact brings about a bit of risk, and has a certain amount of flavor, so I want to be sure that this whole process can''t be automated.

--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

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