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Kest

Role playing

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What does everyone think about the concept of role playing in a role playing game? Or rather, role playing outside of the identity that you're already role playing in a role playing game. I guess this would be a spin off of the harmless identity thread. It falls into the same implementation. In a nutshell, you dress up as a janitor, possibly with a uniform and fake mustache, and the entire game world interacts with you like a janitor. Not generic NPCs, situational characters, or story-driven characters. Everyone. You could boost the effectiveness of identities with accessories, like glasses, tech goggles, beards, hats, badges, and fake IDs. Some character skills could also apply boosts to playing roles or wearing outfits effectively.
  • If you've pulled off insane feats in the game, or crossed a lot of bad guys, playing any role would allow you to temporarily lose your reputation to accomplish particular goals. IE, part of the harmless identity trick.
  • If you needed to infiltrate an area, you could play the role of anyone who's supposed to be there (as opposed to the game forcing you to play the role of a specific type of person for a specific area). Some roles may be harder to pull off than others, but grant better access or authority.
  • If you needed to get serious answers from someone, you could play the role of a policeman, to threaten them with arrest if they don't cooperate. Playing the role wouldn't harness different answers than if you questioned the person as yourself (development difficulty issue), but it would make it far easier to get them, and more likely to get them truthfully.
  • If you needed (or wanted) to get into a home or apartment complex, you could play the role of utilities repair, or insect exterminator. You could do this for any self-indulgent reason, such as looting items, or to sleep in an empty room for free.
What makes this different than the type of role playing I've already seen in games is that the game world would be built to deal with specific identities a certain way, rather than allowing the player to use certain identities to accomplish certain goals. That doesn't mean some roles won't be better in a particular situation, but it means that the game designer didn't directly decide that for you. It also allows some randomization to be applied, such as role playing to accomplish goals in a randomly generated map, with random NPCs, for a random situation. The negative side is that there are obvious limits to what can be done with a role. Such as the example of questioning someone as the policeman to get different answers. The fact that you can use this trick in any situation means that every character in the game would need to have special dialog for most of the identities, and that's just not feasible (or at least not for me). In other words, you can't expect to get into lengthy, interesting conversations that directly relate to your role. Most of the dialog that deals specifically with the role you're playing would need to be scripted. Meaning very similar from person to person. However, specific dialog can be altered, or different information inserted here and there, to suit a specific role. That's all I've got. Any opinions? Any ideas for roles, or example goals that could be accomplished with them?

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Sounds very cool.

It sounds kind of like an extension of some the gameplay I mentioned remembering from Messiah in the "harmless identity" thread, but happening emergently instead of having been specifically scripted.

Quote:
Original post by Kest

The negative side is that there are obvious limits to what can be done with a role. Such as the example of questioning someone as the policeman to get different answers. The fact that you can use this trick in any situation means that every character in the game would need to have special dialog for most of the identities, and that's just not feasible (or at least not for me).


I think perhaps its not necessarily as difficult as it seems to have those options. Each character in question only has one set of knowledge - the only question is how they relate it. If you give them a conversation to relay that information, perhaps it would be possible to procedurally alter that conversation to account for conditions.
Being evasive isnt necessarily a different conversation structure, it simply means that where you would have given a certain piece of information you instead give some form of generic "I dunno" response. In the same way, lying doesnt actually require a second set of information, it merely requires a statement other than the scripted one - you could, for example, have the conversation randomly replace names and places from a general list.
In that way all you need is a single conversation, where you mark the key data (names, places, etc) as special tokens, and then either remove them or randomly replace them if it suits their reaction to the RPd identity talking to them.

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Breaking down the term to actual 'playing a role', every video game has you role-play. Even if you're playing as your real name, you don't resemble yourself or its in a situation you would most likely never encounter.

Your idea to me seems quite similar to the Hitman games where you go around killing people, stealing their clothes, and use the disguise to enter areas or get past guards, etc...

Very nice idea though with the detailing your disguise with accessories. I would suggest every 'enemy' or whoever the player will interact with has like a 'intimidation bar' or some amount that defines how well they are disguised and how convincing the other characters find you. I've got some other big ideas for it but just wanted to chime in.

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Quote:
Original post by caffiene
It sounds kind of like an extension of some the gameplay I mentioned remembering from Messiah in the "harmless identity" thread, but happening emergently instead of having been specifically scripted.

I haven't ever had the chance to play that game. But from your descriptions, it sounds pretty interesting.

Quote:
I think perhaps its not necessarily as difficult as it seems to have those options. Each character in question only has one set of knowledge - the only question is how they relate it.

That's basically what I meant by having inserts and swaps. The structure of the information can change, but it would be difficult to have entirely unique dialog or special events for every identity in every plot situation.

To be honest, I don't think I even like the idea of manually inserting content for certain roles in certain situations. I don't want the player to ever ask themselves if a certain role is the correct role. There shouldn't be a correct one, just one that gets the job done the way they want it done. I want it to be entirely up to them.

Quote:
Original post by programmermattc
Breaking down the term to actual 'playing a role', every video game has you role-play. Even if you're playing as your real name, you don't resemble yourself or its in a situation you would most likely never encounter.

The key difference is that you're typically playing a role to fill their shoes. Here, you would be employing a role like a tool. A tool to manipulate people.

If anyone watches the TV series Supernatural, Sam and Dean use the strategy pretty often. The roles they decide to use are not always limited by the situation, but they seem to try to choose roles that allow them to ask the right questions. For example, if they want more personal information, they might go with consolers, rather than detectives.

Quote:
Your idea to me seems quite similar to the Hitman games where you go around killing people, stealing their clothes, and use the disguise to enter areas or get past guards, etc...

Yes. And Hitman serves as a great example of how to implement certain features. I especially liked the proximity-danger-warning system. That's not a realistic system, but it definitely earns its place.

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