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Ketchaval

Responsibility for other characters?

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Ketchaval    186
I think it could add a great deal to the humanistic element of games if we had the player responsible for other character's welfare (and I mean this in a broader range of meanings than just protecting them in combat). This responsibility could either be voluntary, ie. not-enforced where they do it and enjoy it ie. helping injured disaster survivors escape even though it slows them down. Or enforced, where it is part of the game -already- ie. if the NPC is their little brother and they are lost in the woods, and they know that they need to look after them. How can we implement this though? What are the factors to consider?

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It has to matter. You need to track those behaviors and reward the player somehow for it.

In Super Metroid, you could rescue all the little critters that taught you special moves in the course of the game. You're running out, the clock is ticking to planetary annihilation, and you have to take a pretty big detour to blow a hole in the wall that they can escape through. Your reward? An eight-pixel representation of their spaceship leaving the planet during the last cut scene. Screw those little monkeys. I'll only go after them if I'm absolutely certain that I can do it and still get out.

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Gyrthok    412
Lol, poor little monkey's. XD

Iron Chef does make a good point, unless theirs suitable incentive (or purpose) do doing it there's little reason to do it. I'd go out of my way to save people in Halflife, only to end up leaving them behind at a certain point because they can't goto the places i can. Networth at the end of the game? Absolutely zilch, not even a blurb of text saying "you saved people", which makes me wonder why i bothered in the first place. I suppose Halflife was better than Red-Faction, the NPC's automatically die no matter what in that one..

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I had an idea for a game that kind of works with that idea (As in I thought it would be cool but there's little chance it will get made).

Anyway, the idea was the the player is part of a police-army defence group and at one point they have to work to protect the citezens of a space colony that's under attack. Basically, they go around shooting the bad guys, evacuating the civilians, etc...

Then after the battle there would be a report that lists all the enemies killed or captured, the various civilians that were saved, killed, injured etc...


Depending on the outcome, then different things are effected. Like the more colonists are saved the faster it recovers, the more likely they are to support your group and send recruits or supplies to you etc...

Likewise, capturing more enemies gives you more information on who they are and can allow you to find enemy bases or develop better weapons to combat them.


Of course, I suppose having these characters actually work to help themselves could make players feel a bit more for them.

Like in this instance, having some colonists putting up an armed defence against the invaders would be nice. I'm thinking if some alien bugs start swarming in then the townsfolk will defend themselves. Some will grab their shotguns and try shooting at the monsters, others will go and gather their fellows together, some will tend to the sick, and of course some will panic and run around or try to hide in a corner and will need somebody to take them to a safe place.

But then, the NPC only have to be good enough to keep things together until the Calvelry (the player) arrives and then they do what they can to help out.


Or if you're walking in the woods and see a villager being chased by a monster, then it would be helpful if the villager yelled "Help" and ran towards you for protection... and then rewarded you for your help.

So I suppose if you want the player to feel responsibility towards an NPC, then there are a few ways to do it.

Reward them for helping, either through something with an in-game benefit (money, item, ally etc.) or through something that just says bragging rights (like a cutscene of the person thanking you, or a record listing how many people you saved).

Then I suppose there's the illusion that these are real people that need help, which can be supported by the people running to you for aid or showing them trying to save themselves (though making it clear that they can't really win without your help).

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