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quote:

This is why I want to funnel everything through the culture skill. You'll have a long list of actions (like you, I think this should be a cousin to the conversation options box). This list will narrow the higher your skill is until it's only 4-5 choices at the max.



What if you want to insult someone. Maybe just leave the complete list but have the best 4-5 choices float to the top of the list followed by the 4-5 most likely to insult the person. Leave the rest on so you can slight/irritate someone if you don't want to outright insult them.

edit: Sorry 'bout the tag


[edited by - kars on June 1, 2004 2:19:44 PM]

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your idea is good, but its sucess will rely on its implementation.

the gem in your idea is another level of immersion in the game setting. it will be important that how the player acts out this level does not break the immersion.

for example, popping up a text balloon may well remove any added immersion benefits. however you implement it, it should add to the immersion instead of being neutralized by a clumsy implementation. otherwise you introduce repetition and offset the advantage you initially sought.

Dredd
________________________________________

"To die with your sword still in its sheath is most regrettable" -- Miyomoto Musashi


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Another note: Try avoiding the situations where the player knows what he should do, but the character doesn''t. "I know I should bow but it is not in the options" situations greatly reduce immersion because the "bond" between the player and its character is broken.

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quote:
Original post by TechnoGoth
Also have you thought about culture in language and conversation? For instance some cultures use different variations of words depending on whether or not the person they are speaking to is of a higher or lower social class.



This is good for flavor, especially if you pay attention to world building and sprinkle the words in other areas the player will encounter it (like in a book, or speech, or overheard conversation). If you''re going with the classic RPG approach, maybe your player''s intelligence or perception determines if they pick up such a clue at all.

quote:
Original post by kseh
If culture is a skill and you''re commanding a crew, isn''t it logical to include in your crew maybe one master of protocol just as you would one engineer or pilot?


Yes, guides and experts from uni''s would be a perfect addition to your crew, and give you one more strategic tradeoff for things like your core crewmembers (or senior staff) and away missions (hmmm... more marines or more diplomats?).

Maybe there''s room for an etiquette and protocol droid?


quote:
Original post by Kars
What if you want to insult someone. Maybe just leave the complete list but have the best 4-5 choices float to the top of the list followed by the 4-5 most likely to insult the person. Leave the rest on so you can slight/irritate someone if you don''t want to outright insult them.



Right, this is why I want to keep the options as open as possible without confusing and irritating you. Maybe you insult someone as an opening move to your strategy of actually getting them on your side (example: calling someone a coward in a warrior culture to anger them, which psychs them up; then soothing it over and getting them back on your side).

Of course, being able to pull of something this sophistocated would require a personality model as intricate and well thought out as a combat model.

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quote:
Original post by liquiddark
There is a potential to cut down on the UI clutter by using a small number of actions & giving the user the ability to govern the "intensity" of an action. For example, in Japanese culture you need to bow, but it is just as important that both your bow and the return bow of the person to whom you are showing respect are of the proper depth. In western culture, a handshake can be a means of meeting (simple handshake), greeting or acceptance(clasp/specialty handshake), or even dominance assertion (knuckle-grinder). The player''s control flow then has two stages - one to pick the proper gesture, and one to choose the right level at which to engage it. Then as their skill gets higher, the ability to zone in on the proper level should increase.



This is great, you''ve given me a different take on this: What if the core actions were not the specific things like "bow" or "pray" but more abstract actions like "honor" or "insult?" Now this is bland. But what if under each of these options (maybe like Technogoth says, there are 10 or 15 or whatever) you get the intensities, which are actual spelled out actions.

So you as the player think about what you want to do at the top level (which could even be a set of icons): Greet, Honor, Insult, Dominate (Show Power), Submit (Show Harmlessness), Show Approval, Show Disapproval, etc.

Under each of these are the intensities, which are unlocked based on your culture skill. But to keep the puzzle feel, you won''t automatically be told which intensity to choose (bow, embrace or handshake in this culture?) This way the player still has an incentive to walk around cities, observe people performing cultural actions, and read the in-game encyclopedia galactica references.

And again, this will be for those players who want better prices, more contacts and less obstacles in dealing with a new culture.


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Just waiting for the mothership...

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quote:
Original post by Dreddnafious Maelstrom
your idea is good, but its sucess will rely on its implementation.

the gem in your idea is another level of immersion in the game setting. it will be important that how the player acts out this level does not break the immersion.

for example, popping up a text balloon may well remove any added immersion benefits. however you implement it, it should add to the immersion instead of being neutralized by a clumsy implementation. otherwise you introduce repetition and offset the advantage you initially sought.



Very good point. You want all ideas implemented well, but you especially want to take care with new ones like this that violate the genre''s norms.

I think the first step is in seemlessly integrating something like this into the game world so that it''s naturally expected. Something like a universal translator gimmick might help here. I was thinking of an all-in-one mini-computer / implant the player uses, and this sort of thing could roll right into it.

What I see is an icon in the corner of the screen on a "Translator" panel with two icons: One for talking, and one for cultural actions.

When someone wants to speak with you, the game plays some alien jumble of syllables, and the talk icon lights up. When you''re supposed to perform a cultural action (say, when standing within x distance from a figurehead), the culture icon lights up.

As with most RPGs, talking brings up a window with dialog choices. The culture window is similar-- but rather than a dialog box choice, you get a suitably immersive reference snippet from the game''s encyclopedia ("The Elephant Lords of Ishido have a strong need to show their people that they are more powerful than any outsiders.")

The snippet becomes the puzzle. You choose how to respond to it, theoretically in different ways depending on what you want to do (maybe show dominance in this case to insult, or match strength to show you''re an equal, etc.)

The main problem with this idea I see is replayability, which I''m not sure how to really make work in this context. Once you''ve figured out the puzzle, you won''t want to do it again unless the puzzle can somehow change.





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Just waiting for the mothership...

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quote:
Original post by xMcBaiNx
Another note: Try avoiding the situations where the player knows what he should do, but the character doesn''t. "I know I should bow but it is not in the options" situations greatly reduce immersion because the "bond" between the player and its character is broken.


Maybe toward this end the options should all be revealed, but their effectiveness should be based on skill?

It defeats some of the exploration of cities and towns if I go this route (if I go with the idea that walking around lets you pick up cultural actions as if they were power ups).

OTOH, what about this weird approach: What if you naturally "unlock" cultural actions by raising your skill, or you can use player knowledge to add them in yourself (by typing).

So, let''s say you have a Culture (Ishido) skill of 1, which means that you suck at understanding the folkways of the people on this planet. You have 10 or 15 iconic options, but no "intensity" suboptions.

However, because you either guess about the culture or have played before, you can add "bow" to the Greet sub-option. This would rely on you both choosing the right word (a famous problem of the old parser systems) and spelling it right.

Of course, the powermaxing player would try to add everything with out paying the skill for it, but maybe he should be rewarded for his entrepreneurial approach?

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Just waiting for the mothership...

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I had an idea after reading that last few posts what about this.

Thre are your 12 actions type, greet, insult, etc.. and in each type there is a 5 formality levels from acknowledge to full formal. The player can only perform the least formal of each action at the start, the rest they have to learn. They can read the information from protocol files, or by observing the people of that cultural. Whenever you see someone perform a cultural action you don''t know a test is made based on your general cultural skill or your specific cultural skill which ever is higher. Your specific cultural skill instead of having the player level it up acts as measure of the number of that cultures actions you have learned, so 5 culture(inido) would translate to you knowing about half that cultures actions.


In this way the specific can change from culture to culture and the player only has to concetrate on getting across intent.


-----------------------------------------------------
"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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