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Ketchaval

Just Because its you!

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Ketchaval    186
You bump into someone they look annoyed for a moment, then look at you properly and recognise you, their expression softens. You enter the local bakers, and they give you a discount because you go there often. Your neighbour gives you a bigger slice of apple pie when you visit. When you come home your mum gives you a big hug. The postman nods at you when he sees you grooming your horse in the morning. You are a Mafia boss, you enter the restaurant and instantly the owner is at your side. I think that this kind of interpersonal recognition of the player could add to the feel of a game. Thoughts?

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Thermodynamics    443
Many games have tried to simulate this with fame and faction points, but the closest feeling to this that I have gotten was in an MMO where somebody does recognize me.

Sometimes you just cant beat the feeling of a real person.

relevant

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Fable had a superficial version of this. You'd get "titles" (many of which were nicknames) based on your actions in-game (or by buying them, somehow...). You'd walk into town, and people would say, "Oy, look! It's the Chicken Chaser! Haw! Catch any chickens today, eh?" Or maybe they'd whisper, "It's that Assassin fellow. Best keep your distance." I don't recall it having any impact on prices or actual NPC relations, unless you were trying to pick up girls (or guys, for that matter).

GTA: San Andreas uses it too. People shout different things at you based on your reputation, your faction, even your physique. Again, it's pretty superficial, although respect lets you recruit allies for big fights (or for recreational cruising).

I would like very much to see a fantasy RPG in which the world-saving hero doesn't pay full price for healing potions. You save the town, and so they give you a baker's dozen elixer's when you pay for twelve. Maybe that blacksmith you rescued would sharpen your axe at a discount. I guess letting you root through their personal belongings is thanks enough, though.

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Wavinator    2017
Since I always know that these guys are going to be puppets (lest someone passes the Turing Test with game AI), what I'd like is a much more effective gameplay side-effect of recognition. I don't want a discount on the damn potions if I'm saving the town from certain death (sorry ICC [grin]), I want you to "break yourself!" Give me that 52000 sword, your shapechanging ring, and your best body armor-- and get into battle by my side!

In short, the context is usually too skewed versus the game mechanics to do this. Either don't have me save people from eminent destruction (thus lowering what I expect from them) or push all the leveling away from the those to be saved (as in, maybe I level up by making armor from the bones of fallen foes).

The problem will always be that a hard face, a bigger slice of pie, a hug or fast service can only mean something if it affects something within the game the player cares about. In games, we are like people left only with eyes and ears, incapable of touch, taste or smell. Just as people seem to relate poorly to real human beings when cut off from them on the internet or behind the wheel of a car, we can never have enough feedback to do more than peripherally empathize with these virtual people. So you have to make it count in other ways.

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Quote:
Original post by Wavinator
The problem will always be that a hard face, a bigger slice of pie, a hug or fast service can only mean something if it affects something within the game the player cares about.
That's an astute observation, but I think that superficial effects can add a little bit to immersion. Even better, have a reputation system that can be both functional and aesthetic. You fight off a small squad of brigands, and the local warlord offers you a job. Not only do you get a salary and a new kimono, but the locals, who may have spat on you when you were a hobo, now bow away and avoid eye contact. You don't pay for your sake, and the innkeeper cringes when you complain about the rice.

On the other hand, if you defeat the oppressive warlord and scatter his troops, you could find yourself in a position to have a real impact on the development of a new town government. At the same time, all the bungling wanna-be swordsmen will follow you around, begging you to teach them to fight.

I've been watching too many Toshiro Mifune movies.

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robert4818    138
Quote:
That's an astute observation, but I think that superficial effects can add a little bit to immersion.


I agree 100% I've quit at least 4 MMO's due to the lack of atmosphere. Some of the games were also not fun to play, but two of them, as fun as they were, felt bland, and boring after a while when it came to the gameworld. The first game I quit was Anarchy Online. The game was fun, but the world didn't have a very good feel. The same goes for City of Hero's. Thats a very good game. However both suffered from the problem of making me feel after a while that I was on some sort of game-board instead of playing in a world. EQ for everything people complained about, does very good at immersion. As does Final Fantasy. Each zone, and each area definately feels like it has its own personality and story. Little superficial things go along way towards adding in that stuff.

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superpig    1825
Half-Life 2 is pretty good for this. All throughout the game you're running into groups of resistance fighters, and you're always granted with "Hey... you're Freeman, aren't you?" or "Doctor Freeman! Thank god... now that you're here we'll stand a much better chance."

Sadly, any endearment this may earn them from the player is lost when they keep getting in his fucking way and keep running into firefights when I just told them to stay over there! and they keep setting off tripwires and getting me FSCKING SHOT BY TURRETS... *ahem*... but it was a nice attempt all the same [grin]

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Ketchaval    186
What about having characters with flaws, that you like INSPITE of their flaws, or even because of them?

-- Ie. Having an old pet dog, that walks around making smelly farts occasionaly, or trying to steal food out of the bin.

This would be another way to add a bit of atmosphere, even a tiny bit of humanity to games experience.

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