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Wavinator

Should Random Events Interrupt Missions?

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Okay, I''ve got plans for randomly generated missions or free roaming gameplay. The free-roaming stuff is made up partly by complete, self-contained gameplay (like trade, or theft) that you can do all day, but I plan to inject random events which should mix things up. An example would be a distress call you can answer which gets you into intrigue and adventure. With missions, though, I''m assuming you''re going to be focused on completing the objectives. Something like a distress call would be a distraction, and might pull you off focus-- maybe even confuse you if there are several objectives to complete. OTOH, after awhile the randomly generated missions will look similar, even if there are lots of different varying factors. So random events could be just the things. And it also might be odd that all of a suddent the universe becomes a bit more lifeless once you take a mission. Decisions, decisions. Any bright ideas? -------------------- Just waiting for the mothership...

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I think it''s a good idea. To ensure they dont'' get distracted from the mission, make their objectives accessible (F12 or something) at any time. It would also be interesting to make them chose what they think is the right thing to do: ignore the distress call and complete the mission, or help those in need and fail the mission.

When you find yourself in the company of a halfling and an ill-tempered Dragon, remember, you do not have to outrun the Dragon...

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quote:
Original post by Wavinator
maybe even confuse you if there are several objectives to complete.


Which can be a major turnoff. A player might get confused, thinking that he should respond to every distress call. When he is doing one, another pops out, and the idea of free-roaming world will no longer exist.

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They do this in a lot of movies. The hero is on track but then something crops up (the kid he told to wait at the car didn''t and is now in trouble). The hero must detour to save the kid AND still stop the bomb going off.

Done well this actually adds to the feeling that a game world is real. Done badly and it is just another randomly generated, unconnected sub-quest.

Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions (www.obscure.co.uk)
Game Development & Design consultant

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I strongly recommond having random elements injected into mission from time to time. Since they will help make things interesting and add verity. I remember playing a game a few years ago that was completly randomly genereated quests and it was fun at first but quickly became dull since all the quests consisted of

Take this [package/letter] to [building type] in [town] and they will pay you [random amount of money].

or

I was [robbed/attacked] by bandits they are located at [random map location], please [recover purse/kill bandits] and I''ll pay you [random amount of money].


A little verity would have greatly spiced up the game.

Nothing makes a game more interesting and exciting then change and discover, espicailly when it happens when you are least expecting it. The player is making the usual cash building transport mission from x to y when all of a sudden sensors pickup a worm hole or ancient deralict vessel.


That gives me an idea, what about a seiger that use a telepathic cloak, to disguse it self as a derelict vessel or space station?



-----------------------------------------------------
"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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quote:
Original post by TechnoGoth
I strongly recommond having random elements injected into mission from time to time. Since they will help make things interesting and add verity. I remember playing a game a few years ago that was completly randomly genereated quests and it was fun at first but quickly became dull since all the quests consisted of

Take this [package/letter] to [building type] in [town] and they will pay you [random amount of money].

or

I was [robbed/attacked] by bandits they are located at [random map location], please [recover purse/kill bandits] and I''ll pay you [random amount of money].



Gotcha. I hope to be able to do better than this, but after awhile like with anything you''ll notice the pattern.

quote:

Nothing makes a game more interesting and exciting then change and discover, espicailly when it happens when you are least expecting it. The player is making the usual cash building transport mission from x to y when all of a sudden sensors pickup a worm hole or ancient deralict vessel.


Very much agreed. I love games like Morrowind and Escape Velocity, both open ended, but after awhile, you become a FedEx rep with combat abilities. Events at least liven things up.

quote:

That gives me an idea, what about a seiger that use a telepathic cloak, to disguse it self as a derelict vessel or space station?



Oh, now that''s NASTY!!! You''ve got it, definitely going in!!!

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

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quote:
Original post by CyberSlag5k
I think it''s a good idea. To ensure they dont'' get distracted from the mission, make their objectives accessible (F12 or something) at any time. It would also be interesting to make them chose what they think is the right thing to do: ignore the distress call and complete the mission, or help those in need and fail the mission.



Yes, you''d trade off your reputation and standing with a faction for the possibility of, say, reward, or treasure information, or a loyal friend who would later appear in the game.





quote:
Original post by alnite
quote:
Original post by Wavinator
maybe even confuse you if there are several objectives to complete.


Which can be a major turnoff. A player might get confused, thinking that he should respond to every distress call. When he is doing one, another pops out, and the idea of free-roaming world will no longer exist.


It sound like I''d better make it clear when something is on mission or off mission, maybe with waypoint cursors and symbols. If you get a distress call from one direction, but here a cry for help in another, you can then make your decision. Do you think that would work?




quote:
Original post by Obscure
Done well this actually adds to the feeling that a game world is real. Done badly and it is just another randomly generated, unconnected sub-quest.



I should warn you that the whole intent is for it to be unconnected. For instance, if you''re in a warzone, and your job is to rescue three diplomats in three locations, you might run across any number of people who need help. But they''re not the diplomats.

I guess the careful tradeoff is whether or not there should be a living world which goes on despite you, or one that''s built solely around you. I''m more inclined to the former because it gives more freedom, but some may feel orphaned by that approach.



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

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I''m going to be completely honest. As I read through your posts here, and through the rest of the forum, it looks like you''re really just making the Escape Velocity series with a few minor gameplay tweaks. I mean, the space combat, free roaming gameplay, random factors, all of them are pretty much contained in the latest iteration of Escape Velocity. I''m just curious as to what it is that you are doing differently.



New and improved! Yet still under construction.

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A "telepathic cloak"? So we have to have telepaths on staff to defend ourselves now? =) Our are there going to be telepathic machines? That''s scary indeed.

I''m a huge fan of random events interrupting missions. The more non-linearity the better. =)

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I think random elements are good, if they''re not too far out of the way of the normal mission. So you''re travelling to your next objective and get a distress call. If this distress call could actually refer to the mission objective in some way, it''d help keep your focus. Even if it''s something like the distressed ship fleeing a disaster on the planet you''re flying to. It''d help keep it relevant to your mission and maybe even help fuel your enthusiasm to complete your main objectives.

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