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FenrisD

NPCs are fillers.

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Picture a land full of deserted towns. No people. Only you...and that ''villain'' guy. Boring, isn''t it? This is why we have NPCs. To fill that open space in games to make them seem more right. NPCs are a simple folk. They never have much to say. Now, there are some that say the lack of conversation from NPCs is unrealistic. Have they ever tried talking to random people walking the streets in their home town? They either: a) don''t respond b) give you a strange look c) call the cops d) ''@#$% you.'' e) some combination of the above. If you actually do get a response it''s surprising. Response is one thing, they aren''t going to spout off their life story. NPCs in games really wouldn''t be realistic if you could develop a deep relationship with any random joe you decide to talk to. A real NPC would blow you off. Or would say "..." at least after being harassed long enough. Maybe if you bugged the hell out of them enough they''d call the cops to throw your crazy ass in jail. NPCs are filler. Not people. Filler, like what they put in bologna. You still know it''s not meat but at least it looks more like it. NPCs are what they put in games so the world looks more real but you still know it''s not...hopefully. "What do we do now?" "...We die." -FenrisD

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I don''t buy it. Virtually everyone I know was just a random person before I knew them.

Are you an NPC? Are you going to treat me like you claim an NPC should?

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Actaully, you can have some pretty funny conversations with the average Joe Blo in the street (So many memories) and people are a lot nicer than we often imagine.

If I said to someone in the street "Do you know where Albert Street is?" then most likely they would tell me (if they knew)

And would it also seem a bit weird if only 1 person in the town had a life? (That one person being you)

Trying is the first step towards failure.

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I think it depends on where you happen to be.

I''ve been places where people are really friendly and helpful.
I''ve been places where people were cold.
I''ve been places where people looked down on me.

There is no universal way that random people act, and their
actions lend character to the location they inhabit. Maybe
having different styles of NPC interaction would improve the
atmosphere of the game...

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I think part of it is that the player should have to win the trust of most NPCs. NPCs should have a first impression that they start out with that is derived from several variables...like style of dress perhaps, basically anything that the NPC would know about the player right away.

Whether we like it or not 90% of people have an initial prejudgement about anyone we meet.

Then the player could alter that perception (whether it be good or bad) by the player's actions.

Also, I think Spaz has a good idea there. In a town where crime is heavy people will be less likely to speak to a stranger.


"All you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be --Pink Floyd
Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.
Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.

Click here to see my current project.


Edited by - Nazrix on November 25, 2000 10:25:00 AM

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quote:

I don't buy it. Virtually everyone I know was just a random person before I knew them.



Of course everyone you know was a random person before you knew them. But my point is you probably didn't meet them randomly on the street! You probably met them through school, work, or some other place like that. When was the last time you developed a real relationship with someone

quote:

Are you an NPC? Are you going to treat me like you claim an NPC should?



What kind of question is that? If there was an online message board in the game it'd probably be something like this. If I met you randomly on the street and you started talking to me about NPCs I'd probably give you a strange look. Go outside, ask someone about their feelings on NPCs. Post your results.

And Albert Street is 2 blocks to the north.

"What do we do now?"
"...We die."
-FenrisD

Edited by - FenrisD on November 25, 2000 11:02:32 AM

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Guest Anonymous Poster
yeah it really depends on where you live. I once stopped in a town and everyone that walked by greeted us, even in stores. Other places though (massachusettes), well, if you weren''t born in the town you''re considered a foreigner

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yeah, I can see your point, FenrisD. I think that most people on the street would give you general directions and things (again, it depends on the area), but any real serious info should be well-guarded until the player wins the NPC''s trust.


"All you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be --Pink Floyd
Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.
Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.

Click here to see my current project.

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quote:
Original post by FenrisD

Of course everyone you know was a random person before you knew them. But my point is you probably didn't meet them randomly on the street! You probably met them through school, work, or some other place like that. When was the last time you developed a real relationship with someone


FenrisD,
Your topic title says NPCs are filler. Where is it defined that NPCs are limited to people on the street? NPCs are people who work at places, patronize places, etc.

I don't have to develop a real relationship with someone to expect rational and intelligent behavior from them.



Edited by - bishop_pass on November 25, 2000 11:33:58 AM

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quote:

I''ve been places where people are really friendly and helpful.

I once stopped in a town and everyone that walked by greeted us, even in stores.




I agree with these statements heartily. I, myself, would be friendly to some stranger unless he looked or acted dangerous...
however, there is a HUGE difference between waving back to some stranger on the street and developing a relationship with them.

quote:

And would it also seem a bit weird if only 1 person in the town had a life? (That one person being you)



Everyone in your town has a life... do you know the life story of everyone in your town? Do you care? Of the 6 billion people on this planet, how many could you say you truly know there life? Probably only 1, you. How many could you say you had a decent grasp on their life? Probably very few compared to the 6 billion in the world. You''ve probably passed thousands of people in the street, do you know their life story? Do you develope a relationship with all of them? Would you want to?

While I think NPCs shouldn''t say the same thing everytime, that''s just annoying, they don''t need lives. If it''s a single player game then you have a storyline (hopefully) to add depth. If it''s massively multi-player, then you have REAL people to get to know.

Finally, though NPCs don''t have to be just people on the street (though that seems to be the largest part of them in games, seemingly [bit redundant there]), most RPGs that I''ve played have taken place over a world. The main character never stays in one place too long. I bet very few of you have friends that don''t and never did live near you (unless you made them online). Chances are the friends you do have, you''ve met at school,work,college, a favorite bar, or something (as FenrisD said). In RPGs, there are taverns (or their equivalent), but you don''t visit them THAT often or with much regularity, you don''t usually stay to chit-chat.

Finally, as far as programming goes, I don''t think it''s that feasible (yet) to make decent characters. There is no point to giving them all a background if you can''t develope a friendship with them. That just increases the number of hours you spend clicking through text from 10 to like 40. What I mean is that there is no point to doing this if you are GOING to become friends with this person no matter what you do. And don''t say, oh non-linear you don''t have to be friends if you don''t trade his hen for bananas or some such nonsense. What I mean, more clearly, is that you''d need a wicked AI system to manage the semblance fo life. As of now, not only is that yet to be done on it''s own, but it would suck resources out of the game. Especially if you did it for EVERYONE.

This is why NPCs are filler, they (being designers) 1) need someone to point the player in the right direction, and 2) need to add them to give that look of a bustling city (even then they don''t add enough).

"It is one thing to use poorly coded programs. It is another to produce poorly coded programs" -- Me, as far as I know.

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