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Wavinator

Sending your party off

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Wavinator    2017
You''ve got too much gold to carry. Or you need that claymore indentified. Or you need some more reagents. But you''re too busy hacking your way through the 9th level the dungeon to go back to town. So why don''t you get one of your NPC party members to do it? I think it''d be cool if you could send your party members off to do things in other towns. You could tell them to buy or sell, or maybe even use their skills. You''d need to be able to set waypoints for them, though, so they didn''t go where you didn''t want them to go. And what if they got ambushed? Well, this would be a risk you''d take, and maybe you''d send your two fighters to protect your mage while he did all of this. Waddaya think? -------------------- Just waiting for the mothership...

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dwarfsoft    1229
Kool, but very hard to do... I think you have been playing to much Might and Magic x games (reagent! ha) . Play diablo... Use a portal! . I still think it has merit though.

-Chris Bennett ("Insanity" of Dwarfsoft)

Check our site:
http://www.crosswinds.net/~dwarfsoft/
Check out our NPC AI Mailing List :
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made due to popular demand here at GDNet :)

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ahw    263
It HAS BEEN done. Years and years ago (more than 10 if I am correct), in a beautiful like RPG called Magic Candle 2.
You could send an NPC of yours to a town and tell him to wait for you there. Or you could leave one of your NPC in a town, to train, while you were off in the wilderness, I think you could even tell the NPC to go somewhere else to meet in case you were late at the rendez-vous.

youpla :-P

Don''t do things because they are easy...

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ahw- Thank you! I read the first post and I couldn''t remember what the name of that game was!

Personally, I thought it added alot to the game, and isn''t hard to do at all, at least in single player, since the NPC''s would only have to be modeled mathematically. In multi-player, the restriction is that the NPC''s would have to be either really well-scripted or with really flexible AI, because other players would be trying to interact w/ them.

For anybody out there experienced with programming systems, even on pen & paper, how would you model the first-player scenario?

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Nazrix    307
I found this link to Magic Candle . I think it''s considered abandonware.



"The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom." --William Blake

"The road of excess also just ends up making me tired because I'm too lazy" --Nazrix

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Voodoo4    122
quote:

Dwarfsoft Wrote:
Play diablo... Use a portal!



This was an easy but brilliant way to take you back to town without going the long way round.Excellent design to my opinion!

I have Magic Candle in my abandonware download list(i'm a maniac collector of abandonware games,over 230) but after what you say here i'll give it some priority.

Voodoo4

Edited by - Voodoo4 on August 15, 2000 4:26:05 AM

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dwarfsoft    1229
LOL! I definitely like the linking of casting->quick town, but for an undefined town, you may be able to set waypoints wherever you want to go, and then move around using the "symbol save" idea that someone came up with

-Chris Bennett ("Insanity" of Dwarfsoft)

Check our site:
http://www.crosswinds.net/~dwarfsoft/
Check out our NPC AI Mailing List :
http://www.egroups.com/group/NPCAI/
made due to popular demand here at GDNet :)

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Wavinator    2017
quote:
Original post by ahw

It HAS BEEN done. Years and years ago (more than 10 if I am correct), in a beautiful like RPG called Magic Candle 2.
You could send an NPC of yours to a town and tell him to wait for you there. Or you could leave one of your NPC in a town, to train, while you were off in the wilderness, I think you could even tell the NPC to go somewhere else to meet in case you were late at the rendez-vous.




AWESOME!!! I HAVE to check this game out. It''d be very interesting if things could happen to your party while they''re away; maybe they could be kidnapped, or make discoveries on their own, or find out rumors by hanging out in the tavern while you''re away.

I like the rendezvous point thing. Wouldn''t it be great if your loyal NPCs came looking for you if you were late? Maybe they could even break you out of prison!

Hmmmm... this could be really cool... what else could they do???

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

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Wavinator    2017
quote:
Original post by dwarfsoft

Kool, but very hard to do... I think you have been playing to much Might and Magic x games (reagent! ha) . Play diablo... Use a portal! . I still think it has merit though.




Okay, you''re right. Travel is a bad idea, a portal is better. I could see doing this, however, with a table of random events run every once in awhile while the NPC is in town. Like I mentioned above, they could hear or see something interesting and tell you about it when you got back. The really tough part would be their level of autonomy. If they see badguys come into town, do they wait for you, or try to take them out on their own. Heck, this could be built into the NPC''s personality (cautious or foolhearty...)
Won''t be easy to do, you''re right. ''Course, if we all stick to only the easy stuff we''ll be playing Diablo XXIV before ya'' know it.

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

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ahw    263
NO NO NO NO NO ! Portal is *BAD*
That''s the worst damn solution. It just oozes the weak design, the absence of creativity.
I mean, come on, I can accept it in "Sliders" (the series), I like it in Ultima, because they are not portable, and they fit into a nice stone circle, but this, "hey, open the portal, we have to escape NOW!" is just SOOOOOO far stretched.
That''s probably the one cliche we forgot to mention in the cliche thread.

Please, let''s do something more creative, or at least a bit more interesting than "press the button to disappear".

I guess it''s just that I like when magic is a really powerful thing in my games. If anyone can use a power like teleport anyplace anytime without having to have done years and years of study, please tell me what''s the fuc*ing point of being a magician ?

mmmh. I want elitist magic.

youpla :-P

---
A vaincre sans peril, on meurt sans gloire.

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dwarfsoft    1229
Make it hard to cast (remove it until REALLY needed) and make them have to have specified waypoints. That way, they could end up anywhere if they are in a hurry. Making them have to specify waypoints means that the portal point could have been infested by creatures again. Maybe you are thinking of the actual Diablo/II portal system? I am thinking of my own implementation of it... A lot harder to actually portal. Cost of energy (tiring), cost of mana, cost of concentration (due to tiring). It takes time to actually cast as well (cast times are important) so the character would be left vulnerable for some specified amount of time (longer than current casting takes).

Because they are trying to cast, they are unable to defend themselves... Do you see that there are now dangers that should be taken into account? This is why it was a weak design in Diablo/II. Is it such a weak design now? yes, but it is much better. I have some other methods, but it is much to late for me to be thinking

-Chris Bennett ("Insanity" of Dwarfsoft)

Check our site:
http://www.crosswinds.net/~dwarfsoft/
Check out our NPC AI Mailing List :
http://www.egroups.com/group/NPCAI/
made due to popular demand here at GDNet :)

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Wavinator    2017
I kind of like the idea of your NPCs being able to carry inventory off because it makes you somewhat vulnerable. This gives you the option to strategize accordingly, as in do you want to have your guys help you out with this level and risk sending a party member off, or do you want to risk going it alone and have the rest of your party cover them.

I think this could really work if some things in th game world required you to be at two places at once: Say you''ve promised to help a city if it is attacked, but you''re in the middle of a time sensitive quest. Maybe you send your most powerful wizard to go defend the city while you complete the quest. Then maybe he''s captured, and this gives you a new quest.

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

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dwarfsoft    1229
I like that thinking... I wouldn''t want portals if this is what you were trying to achieve. You may have to place ''markers'' around so that the wizard will be able to find his/her way back to the city. Or else, you could have a pathfinding algo that would estimate the time to travel, and then just have the wizard walk off and then appear in the city later... Just a thought

-Chris Bennett ("Insanity" of Dwarfsoft)

Check our site:
http://www.crosswinds.net/~dwarfsoft/
Check out our NPC AI Mailing List :
http://www.egroups.com/group/NPCAI/
made due to popular demand here at GDNet :)

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Wavinator    2017
quote:
Original post by dwarfsoft

I like that thinking... I wouldn''t want portals if this is what you were trying to achieve. You may have to place ''markers'' around so that the wizard will be able to find his/her way back to the city. Or else, you could have a pathfinding algo that would estimate the time to travel, and then just have the wizard walk off and then appear in the city later... Just a thought



I''m was thinking of just imbedding a bunch of weighted graphs in the map that have trave times, enemy positions, and such. Then the wizard could follow the smartest path. But if he''s a risk maybe your waypoint idea would be better. At least he should show you which route he''s gonna go, and you could adjust it as you like.

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

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C-Junkie    1099
These are some excellent solutions, but whats with the way points? If there''s a trouble spot you''ve just got to TELL the NPC where that is! Stay in character here people. The NPC would just need to know what to do in his memory, and how he reacts to situations along the way depends on his/her personality. (as was stated earlier) It''s really simple as long as the whole world''s AI is running all at once.

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C-Junkie    1099
OH, yeah. forgot, the NPC could still use a portal if he wanted (or was instructed) to. I suppose that would depend on important the situation was.

Then there''s another thing. Why does the NPC WANT to do what the player asks? If it sounds way to risky the NPC should refuse!

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Dak Lozar    122
Dungeon Siege is going to allow you to send parties to different locations... the example that you gave would be possible in that game

Dungeon Siege

I like the looks of this game alot and can''t wait to see/play it



Dave "Dak Lozar" Loeser

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dwarfsoft    1229
The problem with my maps is that they are randomly generated. But they are randomly generated with roads. I should find it quite easy to ask an NPC to go HERE, and they could follow the roads. You just have the system place a waypoint at each intersection and it has a list of cities/towns/or waypoints and their distances away that it can directly be linked to. Then, when you ask your NPC to go somewhere, they follow the road... They are also interested in self preservation, and as such will return to a previous point on the road if they fell danger ahead. You could then also specify other waypoints for quick off-road journies

Just a thought. BTW. The waypoints are not the waypoints as seen in Diablo II. They are nodes that are there for pathfinding and pathfinding alone. They are invisible to you, but they are visible to NPC''s who are following them. I cannot think of a simpler system. I believe that this was discussed in another forum about Half Life and the nodes for pathfinding.

-Chris Bennett ("Insanity" of Dwarfsoft)

Check our site:
http://www.crosswinds.net/~dwarfsoft/
Check out our NPC AI Mailing List :
http://www.egroups.com/group/NPCAI/
made due to popular demand here at GDNet :)

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Wavinator    2017
What about the case where you have 2 roads, equally good, but your past experience tells you that one road is better than the other. For instance, you could decide that enemies are near, but not likely to attack, and send the NPC the road that''s near them.

Or what about the case where you''re so paranoid that you want and enemy to take a super-safe road, even though it''s less optimal, no matter what?

I think a good solution here would be to have the NPC show you his route on the map, and you could adjust it if you like. Better yet, give the map''s regions names and have the NPC''s be smart enough to tell you his route by text. "I''m off to Egypt, by way of Medea" (or whatever).

I agree it should be kept in character. But we all hate it when AI does something stupid, and with the analysis required here it seems like stupidity is easy to come by.

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

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Pik    100
Kewl, great idea guys. Just one question, I''ve seen things of this nature before in games and lets say you send the NPC back to town and then immediately follow after him. Even though you leave at almost the same time, he has had time to get there and do all the stuff you ask. Maybe having the guy actually take the path there (possibly a split window to overview or something of that nature maybe? could omit it though) or you could figure in the time of travel based on the area, danger, et cetera, and then if you follow after him, judging by another formula to computer how far ahead he is, you can catch up to him. Gee I wonder if thats one of those run on sentences my Eng teacher warned me about? Oh well, I ain''t in no computer programming for de anglish. (Yeah i know: "What?")

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Spyder    122
quote:
Play diablo... Use a portal!


Portals that flourish abundantly are boring, another lame way of making magic common goods. If you want to use portals only let more experienced players be able to cast them, make the player rely on others not just himself and his own little spell/magic component inventory.


There are other ways of travel than just using portals, here are some ideas used in other games perhaps they can be of help:

* Word of recall. A cleric can utter a spell and be transported back to his starting place. ie. temple

* Moonwell. Druids can open a gateway between him/herself and another player

* Gate. Sorcs can gate another plane, and from that other plane gate back to prime/earth to a random spot.

* Teleport. Sorcs can teleport themselves within a certain radius.

* Dimension door. Sorcs can open a magical door which they can use, they target another player/npc.

* Have magical gateways/portals that enable players to move across huge spaces, like elf gates in FR.

* Mounts! Use mounts for fast walking. Magic carpets can be mounts to! Perhaps a player can be minotaur and carry players on his/her back

* Fly. Players can fly above the ground and move swiftly over water and other obstacles, providing a faster route.

* Levitate. Players can levitate above the ground to enable them to move with less fatigue over rocky/hilly landscape.

* Allow players to program macros/waypoints for speedwalking. In MUD for instance you can program a speedwalk 40n 10s 4e, perhaps you can use a similar system for graphical games, but use paces instead??

* Allow players to double click on a map, if the route is clear let them just move there direct, calculate the time it took. If they move through dangerous areas, or if there is a chance of being jumped by bandits, just roll a few dice and see if they make it or if they game must pause at the fighting scene before continuing.=)


The idea of having other party members perform certain tasks is nice, I believe you don''t actually have to have them do the actual walk there are workarounds to this.

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