Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
Wavinator

It's the Future-- Do You Need Physicality???

This topic is 3470 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

In a futuristic RPG, what would you lose if you abstracted the towns and made all the NPCs contactable via the equivalent of a cell phone? Town wandering is such a common trope in RPGs that it seems almost obscene to think about axing it. But I'm wondering what your opinion is of not having to run around, find NPCs and FedEx back and forth between them to get or give them stuff. One thing I'm sure you'd lose is the relaxing sense of non-combat exploration. Although we razz RPGs for letting us wander into NPCs homes, rifle through their possessions and steal everything not nailed down, I'm not sure this is that big of a loss. But this would also apply to shopping as you wouldn't have the feeling of wandering the bazar, or the tavern/bar looking for opportunity. Another thing is probably the loss of a sense of place. If you call everyone on your cell, you don't really have the change of scenery that makes a world feel expansive. I'm not sure how bad that would be. Finally, you'd probably lose some sense of danger or physical threat. If you're safe and secure in some location and you call the mob boss up to tick him off, it's not the same as going to his restaurant down town. Thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
Quote:
Original post by Wavinator
In a futuristic RPG, what would you lose if you abstracted the towns and made all the NPCs contactable via the equivalent of a cell phone?

I don't think much is lost...

They don't need to always answer, it can be controlled by the story progression (and "accessibility" in practice be like it used to be in towns). Maybe the range of the cell phone is limited, so you need to be pretty close to the NPC you're calling.

Hey! What about a cell phone radar? Maybe it only shows NPCs that you've exchanged number with, and with unique colors, that would be cool (still, they might not answer, and you search for them in the environment using that radar).

Anyway, I think, what you're thinking about, is great.

Quote:
Original post by Wavinator
If you're safe and secure in some location and you call the mob boss up to tick him off, it's not the same as going to his restaurant down town.

Then the boss can still somehow track you down using the call log [grin]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:

Finally, you'd probably lose some sense of danger or physical threat. If you're safe and secure in some location and you call the mob boss up to tick him off, it's not the same as going to his restaurant down town.


Two words: Phone tracking

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love the concept! I don't think town wandering would be eliminated as if you look at real life as an example, not all conversation options are viable through a communication device or through FedEx. A good reason for this may be legality, security or a question of trust. You also got the possibility of visually seeing goods and products being sold and if the social atmosphere improves, players will want to go to town rather than be forced to do so.

I think the whole sense of danger thing can be really thought out creatively. There is nothing to stop the NPC from trying to send you a bomb after you've finished their job. There is also the threat of being attacked because of the very information you have.

In terms of feeling that the world is less expansive, I have to disagree. I think by contacting your client, you can give your client a bigger life than the game's asset allow for - they're currently at a conference, they're currently having a party with their friends, one of their clients has been found dead and they are at the hospital for identification.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think one thing that is worth bearing in mind is you may lose some of the personality over the phone. IRL, we still meet up with people in person, even though everyone has email, IM etc. We can't even use the "voice" excuse with things like Skype and Mobiles, or even "face expressions" with web cams and 3G phones and what not. Yet, people still insist on seeing each other in reality.

I'm not saying that is a reason to keep it, I'm saying that maybe this shows that as humans, we like actually meeting people, and it might be more satisfying to keep it. Ie, I am using life as a case study of why you should keep it rather than making your game more realistic... if that makes any sense :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Wavinator
In a futuristic RPG, what would you lose if you abstracted the towns and made all the NPCs contactable via the equivalent of a cell phone?

Not if you presented all the disadvantages of a cell phone - traceability, reception, signal weakness, interception... If you did that, some NPCs would prefer to do some forms of business face to face.

The effect would be to eliminate pointless face to face meetings and travel to and fro, but when it really mattered you'd meet in person, reinforcing the import of the engagement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This is pretty much exactly what I'm doing in my medieval RPG. Later on, I plan to build up the town and then move the camera along a track to each location as it's selected, but that's really just eye candy.

The tedious exploration of a town is one of my pet peeves, particularly in 3D RPGs. It's frustrating and almost always pointless. I think Morrowind would be my one and only exception, because the towns were interesting and there was plenty of optional stuff to do. And probably because you had to get used to manually walking everywhere, so it didn't feel like such a slowdown.

A good compromise, if you want to build scenarios in town, is something like Mount & Blade. You can explore the town manually, or you can use the menu to trade and quickly enter buildings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree with Oluseyi.

Including the negatives gives a lot more opportunity for different kinds of interaction, and Id consider it almost a necessity in order to properly integrate it into the world setting instead of having it look like a tacked-on extra (which is important, because thats generally how they feel in most games)

And I think while you lose some possible situations of danger and physical threat, you could actually manage additional threatening situations by presenting the negatives in the right way. After contacting an ally, you could get a second call from somebody alerting you that the call has been traced and the enemy is currently speeding towards your location. Or the classic thriller movie setup, where you receive a mysterious phone call - the caller reveals that they are watching you at that very second, but the faceless nature of the phone means you have no way to identify or locate them, and so you're vulnerable and at their mercy. Its just a change in the device used to create tension, not necessarily a loss of tension.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:

In a futuristic RPG, what would you lose if you abstracted the towns and made all the NPCs contactable via the equivalent of a cell phone?


What is your goal ? Do you want to save development resources, because you don't need to build cities ? Do you want to avoid (unnecessary) running around a city ?

Taking a look at todays communication, cell phone equivalents in a futuric RPG seems to be quite old fashioned. A futuric RPG could contain a virtual city where you run around and explore, including fast travel to certain places/NPCs or direct communication via cell phone equivalents. It could be a kind of internet where instead of websites you are able to visit virtual locations, always with the option to do fast and direct communication.

--
Ashaman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Not if you presented all the disadvantages of a cell phone - traceability, reception, signal weakness, interception... If you did that, some NPCs would prefer to do some forms of business face to face.

Starting with 4G, all phone systems actually run on the internet.
There are ways to be anonymous and to crypt information on the Internet, which makes traceability and interception irrelevant.

Then there is the reception/signal weakness problem. But hopefully, that won't be a problem in the future because technology would allow to cover every space for sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!