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Square pegs play in Square Holes

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Most games these days have some sort of character customization and character sheets but what about allowing the player to customize the world they are playing in a similar mannor? There could be a world sheet which players assign points to during character creation to play in the world they want. It could even be taken further by allowing the player to continue to customize the world as they play. Why not have the quests the player complete given world points? Amass enough world points and you get a world up.

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Even the most sophisticated character design only has a few dozen variables. For a decent world, there must be thousands, and the template must be enormous. How can you build a system by which players can create decent worlds?

What sort of variables would they be adjusting?

Are you calling me square?

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Interesting idea, though as ICC mentioned, not sure how possible something like this would be. How much influence over the world are you imagining the player to have?

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If you look up random worlds generations you'll see that the number of parameters handled are usually less than your typical character sheet.
It's an interesting idea though hard to implement. The trick would be in not wiping out the whole world and starting fresh every time you change it.

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Weird. [grin] You have an interesting problem. The world is expressed in a 2D or 3D matrix, yet the character sheet is pretty linear by comparison.

You would have to
1) Be comfortable with the concept so that it doesn't break immersion (this requires designing the game around the concept).

2) Interrelate the gameplay (assuming RPG, but could be RTS/FPS/fighting game/etc.) That is, winning as a player grants rights to change the world; and changing the world alters gameplay for the player

3) Narrow the range of changes possible, relate them to the stats, then scatter nodes relating to the stats throughout the world (to avoid having a linear representation mushroom to fill a 2D / 3D matrix)




Here's how it might work:

Imagine a game like Legend of Mana mixed with Age of Wonders. The world is made up of one tile, with nothing else around it. You can go on quests to level yourself or the world. When you level the world, it affects which type of tiles you can put down. The price of a tile determines both the level of difficulty and rewards, with cheap tiles being those that have nasty effects that spread to nearby tiles (like locust hordes or roving barbarians).

As a character, you become responsible for setting up the world from a single character's perspective. Quests in town require you to travel the land, and this is impacted by the types of tiles you've placed.

If you add in a handful of autonomous NPCs that move between tiles (like pilgrims and raiders) you might have a fun game of changing the world stats, especially if you revealed to the player an upgrade path of new tiles won by gaining world xp.

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Your thinking to low level think of it from a high level point of view.

Lets say that world stats range from 1 to 10 and the world has the following stats:

Economy - Determines how wealthy the world is and impacts the number of business and the prices for goods and services.
Transportation - Determines the types of travels routes available and impacts trade.
Colonization – Determines the number of settlements and how far flung they are.
Population – Determines how many people are in the world and determines the different races currently around.
Tech Level – Determines how advanced the world is, impacts the goods and services available and their rarity.
Resources – Determines the supply of resources in the world affects the abundance and quality of goods.
Mystery - Determines how unusual place and things are in the world and how mysterious they are.
Danger – Determines how many dangerous people and creatures are wandering the world and how dangerous they are.


I’ll use fallout as example of how these stats could be used to shape the world. For instance how high the tech level and economy stats are would determine how many stores stock plasma rifles and large batteries, as how many people carry them. If the player wants to really work for the best equipment in their game they can drop the tech level to 1 and thus create a game where even the most basic fire arms and bullets are worth their weight in bottle caps. Like wise they can alter the Danger level to determine if the world is filled with rad scorpions or super mutants.

Completing quests causes you to gain to world points and at a world up you can change the world in new ways. The world increase from level 1 to 2 and you get to choose a world option to place, Do you want an anti jet faction to form in New Reno? A new vault to be discovered? Have vault city release the technology to create batteries? Etc…


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A problem I see with your aproach is that some things are positive for the player and some negative. Why would I want to make the world more dangerous when I can make it wealthier.

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Making it wealthier might devalue my current inventory, making me poorer. Making it more dangerous meands that I, with my turbo plasma rifle and power armor, will be more valuable as a caravan guard, so I'll get richer.

I like the idea that you could build a world to complement your character. If you're a trader, then you'd ramp up economy and dumb down danger, while customizing your character to take maximum advantage of that configuration. Warriors would love danger but reduce the population, so they'd have less competition for glory. Adventurers could boost mystery while cutting back on colonization, to ensure lots of undiscovered treasure to be found.

Neat idea. I think you should go forward with it.

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This sounds like a really neat and interesting idea. By abstracting the character's influence on the world in a similar manner to that in which we abstract the world's influence on the character, you make it possible for the player to have a very real affect on the world he's living in.

Certainly going to be much easier to implement than some kind of organic world evolving system, and much more intuitive for the player.

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Quote:
Original post by Wavinator
Here's how it might work:

Imagine a game like Legend of Mana mixed with Age of Wonders. The world is made up of one tile, with nothing else around it. You can go on quests to level yourself or the world. When you level the world, it affects which type of tiles you can put down. The price of a tile determines both the level of difficulty and rewards, with cheap tiles being those that have nasty effects that spread to nearby tiles (like locust hordes or roving barbarians).

As a character, you become responsible for setting up the world from a single character's perspective. Quests in town require you to travel the land, and this is impacted by the types of tiles you've placed.

If you add in a handful of autonomous NPCs that move between tiles (like pilgrims and raiders) you might have a fun game of changing the world stats, especially if you revealed to the player an upgrade path of new tiles won by gaining world xp.


That an intersting idea you have there. I was thinking along similar lines earilier while envisioning some grand implementation where by the world starts as a small island in an ocean seen from a map. As the world levels up the player can place new countries, islands and contents on the map. As well placing new location and event tiles on the existing ones. So at a world level up the player might have to choose 1 of 4 land mass to place, a new location, an event.

The idea of tiles could be make for an interesting experince especially if you include some sort of balancing and tile up. Three adjcent wandering monster tiles grants a monster lair tile. A monster lair within in 3 tiles of a city grants a town in peril tile.

Quote:
Original post by nefthy
A problem I see with your aproach is that some things are positive for the player and some negative. Why would I want to make the world more dangerous when I can make it wealthier.


But the thing is none of them are really positive or negative, they allow the player to have world that fits that complements their character like Iron Chef Carnage said. If you want a game where you are carving a path of destruction through the world then you would up danger if thats not the kind of game you want then you lower the danger.

I'm glad that people seem to like the idea feel free to add any other ideas.

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