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Landfish

Cheese?

81 posts in this topic

The way that I''d like to see it, there wouldn''t be mistakes. There''d be decisions w/ possibly negative outcomes, but the outcomes would be interesting advances of the story.


""" "'Nazrix is cool' -- Nazrix" --Darkmage --Godfree"-Nazrix" -- runemaster --and now dwarfsoft" -- dwarfsoft
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That is what I was saying. A bit of good and a bit of bad. And the motto for your game can be "What doesn''t kill you only makes you stronger" or "What doesn''t kill you only makes the story more divergent"

N.E.Way, I''ll be heading off now, but I''ll be back this afternoon to see where this has all gone

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft
"The Philosophers' Stone of Programming Alchemy"
IOL (The list formerly known as NPCAI) - A GDNet production
Our Doc - The future of RPGs
Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          
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See, ideally I wouldn''t want it to feel like good/bad advances in the story just advances in the story. If the player gets thrown in an enemy prison because of a concious choice or if the player triumphs over the enemy because of another choice, they''re both advances of the story. Not good or bad. The former is a bit more interesting than the latter if you ask me, and it is the "bad" affect.



""" "'Nazrix is cool' -- Nazrix" --Darkmage --Godfree"-Nazrix" -- runemaster --and now dwarfsoft" -- dwarfsoft
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Okay, I think we do agree, dwarfsoft. Talk to ya later


""" "'Nazrix is cool' -- Nazrix" --Darkmage --Godfree"-Nazrix" -- runemaster --and now dwarfsoft" -- dwarfsoft
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Interesting reading guys. I''m an occasional poster over on the Elderscrolls forums and am posting in response to a post there by Nazrix. I hope it''s alright for a nondeveloper to join the discussion?

The non-random ''seemingly'' random event that shapes the destiny, and complications, of a player character in a CRPG is an interesting idea but I wonder if it isn''t just another way of obscuring a toggle in a linear plot.

One thing that I''m waiting for, as a player, is for roleplaying games to catch a clue from simulations games. If you look at some of the mosting interesting sims you''ll find them set in dynamic worlds where wars are raging regardless of what the player-pilot does. In some cases one is allowed to direct the course of the war but in many the player is just one pilot in a squadron dealing the best he can with genuinely unpredictable events in a consistant if dynamic setting.

An interesting thing happens here. The more imaginative players being creating their own stories from the events and encounters in the game. You''ll find millions of ''you are there'' logs of missions/adventures written in-character and often with more skill than short-stories turned out by what we might think of as traditional roleplayers.

Admittedly in most ways the boundaries of what''s being simulated are alot narrower in a flight sim, bound to cockpit or briefing room from the player''s point of view, than what one might expect in a roleplaying game. On the other hand, compared to the ''combat'' simulated in roleplaying games what''s presented in a flight sim is infinitely more complex (dealing with physics, weather patterns, issues of logistics and strategy, AI tactics in three dimensions and realistic airframes/weaponry, etc...).

What I''d like to see are roleplaying games where the slate is entirely blank plotwise and one plays the simulation of a role that''s player created but also suitable to the setting. A real roleplayer can always make his own story if the setting and NPCs respond properly to his behavior. Pretty soon the feedback between cause and effect will shape a character''s destiny, conflicts, and storyline as the engine adapts to that character. This is similiar to the idea that Daggerfall tried to shoot for but by modelling economics and emotions one can take it a step further. Imagine a database of the 22 plots (and there are only 22 I believe) waiting for NPCs with the right persona and relationship to the character to be integrated into the character''s sphere and then dynamically generate missions around that storyline and those NPCs.

I''d rather the engine to be paying attention to my character and how I play him rather than forcing me to pay attention to it''s details. I''ve refered to that as the tyrrany of the plot before and, while overblown, it''s rather how I feel. A truly modern RPG tends to devote pages to character concept and how that effects the freedom to play a role as well as how storytellers should base their stories around the natural interests and inclinations of the player created characters. Anything else seems artificial and a bit forced. The same I hope would be true of the CRPGs of the future.

Yes, I ramble but I don''t post often.
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quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster

Interesting reading guys. I''m an occasional poster over on the Elderscrolls forums and am posting in response to a post there by Nazrix. I hope it''s alright for a nondeveloper to join the discussion?



I think it''s beneficial to us all to hear from a non-developer Thanks for the input.

Besides, now I have more artiliary against the Landfish. Just kidding, LF. I may have been missing what you were saying in the beginning anyway.




"""" "'Nazrix is cool' -- Nazrix" --Darkmage --Godfree"-Nazrix" -- runemaster --and now dwarfsoft" -- dwarfsoft --pouya" -- Nazrix

Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.
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Off the top of my head:
Ok, on one hand is a rigid preplanned plot. We force the players through the plot because that''s all there is. Fetch the 4 widgets. If you don''t fetch the widgets, the game state will never change.

On the other hand we have the totally free-form ''game''. Do what you want, hopefully it will be enjoyable enough for you to keep playing. Ugh.

I think there''s a better trick to this. The computer game world needs to be 1-2 steps ahead of the player in terms of planning (quests, plots, etc), but what the player doesn''t need to know is that the game is *only* 1-2 steps ahead. Make the larger plot structure largely devoid of fixed items (the end points might need to be fixed, but that''s about it).

The game would have to keep track of a lot of data about the current game world (is NPC X alive?). Anything the player does not immediately see can be generated behind the scenes as we need it. For example, we don''t need to determine if Official Y was bribed until we reach a decision that depends on that event in the past, or unless the player sees it.

I''m thinking some sort of chaos theory pattern to spawn future events. Hmm. I need to sit down and play with this idea some more.
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Yes, I think that is a good idea. That's the main thing that I planned to do. You'd basically just use finite state machines to find out the states of different objects in the game and react to them accordingly.


"""" "'Nazrix is cool' -- Nazrix" --Darkmage --Godfree"-Nazrix" -- runemaster --and now dwarfsoft" -- dwarfsoft --pouya" -- Nazrix

Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.


Edited by - Nazrix on October 10, 2000 7:07:25 PM
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quote:
Original post by Shinkage

I think this feeds more into something else. Game writers up until this point have focused almost exclusively on plot, virtually ignoring other literary elements. What''s funny is that for compelling stories, plot is generally considered one of the least important elements.

The first step toward eliminating current literary woes in the gaming industry is to integrate deep characterization and theme into stories.



This is a great point, and I''m surprised folks aren''t running with it! In the game System Shock, plot (beyond quests and tasks) was pretty much minimized, but characterization was really played up. As a result you got (or at least *could* get) emotionally envolved with the lost crew and their fate, even though it was all through logs and messages.

quote:

As long as games focus so much on just plot, it''s always going to be a matter of go to place A, commit act B, obtain object C, etc...


I totally agree!!! But when place A is the cell of a legendary but now embittered warrior about to go to the gallows, and act B is to free him of the guilt of losing not only his child, but an entire war, and object C is the evidence held by the scheming Viceroy that will make a deal with you if you only just sell your soul... well, then I think that''s cool, and you''re on the road to overcoming some of the significant problems that narrative brings to gameplay.



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Wow, Wav. You're on a roll today when it comes to making sense to me


"""" "'Nazrix is cool' -- Nazrix" --Darkmage --Godfree"-Nazrix" -- runemaster --and now dwarfsoft" -- dwarfsoft --pouya" -- Nazrix

""You see... I'm not crazy... you see?!? Nazrix believes me!" --Wavinator


Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.


Edited by - Nazrix on October 10, 2000 9:16:13 PM
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This is excellent and definitely something that I wish to get in on. Plot, hmmm.... I still beleive that you require a reasonably sound plot, no matter the characterization involved, however... I am 100% in agreement that strong characterization is needed to further a plot. I never really stepped back and said "They don''t do that, but they should". The reason that I say that plot is required is because without it, you have a great excuse for the player to criticise your game. They may like a little interaction, but they will on the whole diss your game. Nuff said

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft
"The Philosophers' Stone of Programming Alchemy"
IOL (The list formerly known as NPCAI) - A GDNet production
Our Doc - The future of RPGs
Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          
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Wow, I''d no idea that the slang word "dis" had spread all the way to Austrailia


"""" "'Nazrix is cool' -- Nazrix" --Darkmage --Godfree"-Nazrix" -- runemaster --and now dwarfsoft" -- dwarfsoft --pouya" -- Nazrix

""You see... I'm not crazy... you see?!? Nazrix believes me!" --Wavinator

Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.
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Yeah naz, we are really Americanized over here in Aus. People wear around those jumpers with "USA" on them... Why they don''t rearrange them to "AUS" to be patriotic to there own country is beyond me! . We get a lot of US television over here too, and dis has definitely been picked up from there

-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft - Site:"The Philosophers' Stone of Programming Alchemy" - IOL
The future of RPGs - Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          
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We Americans should keep our crappy culture to ourselves and not bother other countries w/ it


"""" "'Nazrix is cool' -- Nazrix" --Darkmage --Godfree"-Nazrix" -- runemaster --and now dwarfsoft" -- dwarfsoft --pouya" -- Nazrix

""You see... I'm not crazy... you see?!? Nazrix believes me!" --Wavinator

Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.
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I think I''ll amend my earlier post - there is some value to having a larger, if skeletal, plot. If we want the game to have a conclusion, and have the player deal with Mighty Evil then things should tend to drift towards that confrontation.

So the finite state machine needs to be weighted to drift towards a climax.

the nice thing would be if you could organize it so that the climax wasn''t particularly fixed. Example: the first time you play the game, you face Evil Wizard Fred, powered by a magic Foo. The second game, you race to Evil Fred, and disrupt any plans he might have for acquiring the magic Foo. So the plot finds another appropriate villain, Evil Lich Bob, who acquires the magic Foo while the hero is dealing with Evil Fred.

Or somesuch.
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Be careful. All of this plot-generation stuff looks to me like breeding ground for cliché. Perhaps a more difficult but classier approach might be to create a liner narrative, then establish the two or three actions can be performed on anything in the game. Then go about defining consequences when the the player messes with the story.

This way, you keep the feel and symbolism of a linear plot, without the restrictions. The player always knows what she can do withing the rules of the game... I dunno. I''m tired and this seems WAY obvious. More later.
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LOL! Claim that it is ''Causality'' and that changing the past also changes the future. The player is attempting to create a paradox and therefore the game rejects that and forces the linear story (which is like in real life if you ask me ).

I still like the idea of screwing with peoples heads though. Use their foreknowledge and prejudice against them to cause them to do the evil in the game... A lot more fun on the whole

-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft - Site:"The Philosophers' Stone of Programming Alchemy" - IOL
The future of RPGs - Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          
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That really is neat dwarf. I can''t wait to see that (in your game ).


"""" "'Nazrix is cool' -- Nazrix" --Darkmage --Godfree"-Nazrix" -- runemaster --and now dwarfsoft" -- dwarfsoft --pouya" -- Nazrix

""You see... I'm not crazy... you see?!? Nazrix believes me!" --Wavinator

Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.
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I am slowly getting there. I have scrapped the tile engine a few times now and started again. At this rate I will never finish, but hopefully I will have a partially complete version ready next December

I can't wait to see what I can really do on this project. Now all I need to do is enlist the help of a few of my friends. Then I will have to teach them all how to program in C/C++ (they only use BASIC, Pascal, Eiffel and Delphi - maybe VB). Then I may actually speed this project up...

Oops... Just realised I went a little OT... Anyway - as I was saying, prejudice is something that I have NEVER EVER IN MY WHOLE LIFE used against the player in a game. I think it adds a whole new element of surprise. What do you guys think? It may also hold a message in its midst too - mind your prejudices, because your opinions may not be correct in society also

-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft - Site:"The Philosophers' Stone of Programming Alchemy" - IOL
The future of RPGs - Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          


Edited by - dwarfsoft on October 12, 2000 6:25:33 AM
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I things work out for my evil secret plan, as it''s looking like they will, I''ll hire you to make your game, DS. You too naz.
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DS, I think that would be really cool if you did that in your game. It would take a lot of courage to try it though. Your game would be kind of like high art

LF, hire us to do our own game? That's interesting hehe


"""" "'Nazrix is cool' -- Nazrix" --Darkmage --Godfree"-Nazrix" -- runemaster --and now dwarfsoft" -- dwarfsoft --pouya" -- Nazrix

""You see... I'm not crazy... you see?!? Nazrix believes me!" --Wavinator

Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.


Edited by - Nazrix on October 12, 2000 4:48:10 PM
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I think there''s something fundamental to gaming that''s being missed, here. I read through the posts and, yeah, there are a lot of great points and ideas on getting a more interactive and "real" world. But, the thing is, games aren''t about the real world, per se. I read an interview with Eugene Jarvis, game design pioneer (Robotron and Defender to name two), and there was something he said that struck me. Currently, game designers are working to make their environments more life-like and with less limits for the sake of less linearity and more realism, and as a result, more absorbing for the player. But, games are about limits. They''re about playing by rules. Now, obviously, there are rules to the games and environments: HP, rules of combat (turn-based or real-time), and other things. Take the game of chess, probably the most-widely and well-known game of any kind in the world. You have 64 squares and 16 pieces. And, no piece can move however and whenever it wants, each has a set pattern that it must follow. Now, this is a game of limits. But, it''s also one of the greatest tests of one''s mental skill. It''s arguably the ultimate game. The point here is not to loose sight of why people play games in the first place. To escape the real world. Not to have to try to figure out how to navigate through a new one. Now, obviously, this is the perspective of the "casual" gamer as opposed to the hardcore gamer. But, a point to ponder, none the less. Who''s your target audience?

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"Until next time, boobie. Push the button, Frank."
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hmm, the title reminds me of something i saw the other day while i was eating my burger at Burger King... they have the following text on every burger on the menu "say ''cheese'' please" which costs you like a buck if you want it on your burger

you can guess im bored right?

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I'll screw up whoever screws around with the gamedev forum!

..-=gLaDiAtOr=-..
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Jiggold,

I definitely think this is a matter of audience. Why are you playing? To learn a set of rules, a system if you will, that you can beat? This, in itself can be fun or mindless, depending on your state of mind and overall tastes.

When I want simple rules and a quick gaming burst, I fire up MAME and get in and out. Or I play Swarm for a few levels, then quit.

But lately I''ve been absolutely BORED OUT OF MY SKULL with simple rules games because I WANT a world to explore(this one doesn''t have warp drive technology yet, and I''m itching to wander the cosmos! ) I want to escape the endless limits, rules and no left turn signs that modern civilization is choked with! Games that are expansive and deep are the only things that allow me this in an "interactive" way.

So it''s definitely a matter of taste. Defender can''t hold me the way Fallout could, but I like both at different times.



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Just waiting for the mothership...
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quote:
Original post by dwarfsoft

Yeah naz, we are really Americanized over here in Aus. People wear around those jumpers with "USA" on them... Why they don''t rearrange them to "AUS" to be patriotic to there own country is beyond me! . We get a lot of US television over here too, and dis has definitely been picked up from there




You will become one with the borg.

You will __ALL__ become one with the borg.



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Just waiting for the mothership...
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