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modeling relations in a person sim

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I'm working on a person sim. like The SIms.

 

but its actually a hybrid game, combining fps/rpg and person sim gameplay.

 

the setting is a paleolithic world, the player controls one or more homo sapiens living about 200,000 to 10,000 years ago.

 

i've decided that slicing the world into good guys and bad guys is not realistic enough, and that anyone should be able to change from friendly to neutral to hostile and back.

 

this leads to the following questions:

 

when should a hostile become neutral?

 

when should a neutral become hostile?

 

when should a friendly become neutral? 

 

and so on (i think i have the rest of the cases covered already).

 

right now you can improve relations by engaging in conversations on subjects of mutual interest, by gifting, trading, teaching, and other beneficial interactions. improved relations make NPCs more likely to trade with you, allow you to hire NPCs as warriors, allow you to get friendly NPCs as travelling companions, and allow you to recruit travelling companions into your band (your household).

 

all relations go to zero over time.

 

as for things that will nuke relations, i've come up with:

* lack of common interests and resulting bad conversations

 

* belligerent acts: attack, theft, insult
* differences in socioeconomic status
* competition for resources
 
in order to do all this, i plan to add the following capabilities to the game engine:
* add ability to insult someone
* add ability to block during attack
* add ability to yield during combat  (can't yield if you can't block!)
* make bad convos nuke relations more.
 
any thoughts?
 
its the specific conditions under which a hostile transitions to neutral, for example, to which no obvious answer has popped into my head yet.
 
also, the list of things that nuke relations seems a bit thin, but everything seems to boil down to those few general cases.
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

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Must there be a specific transition from hostile to neutral? You seem to be implititly ruling out a fuzzy continuum from friendly<---->hostile, where any positive action could potentially push a relationship over the threshold from hostile to neutral.

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Perhaps a common enemy could provide an opportunity to work temporarily with a borderline-hostile faction, allowing the player to score a few relationship points and land in the neutral zone.

Or perhaps a gift/tribute would allow a player to 'buy' neutral status.

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A community is based on the will of the individuals that are a part of it. Leadership in this type of community is most often a both a leader and a warrior (hunter). When a tribe (or any group) chooses an enemy it often has more to do with the self interest of the leader then the overarching elements that convince the community to fight. The player can mend ties with a hostile group in a variety of ways including but not limited to, appealing to the group, buying out the leader, removing the leader in a way that doesn't paint him as a martyr, romantic ties, environmental threats, etc. The specific mechanics are probably best decided by you in how to achieve these but hopefully those help.

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WavyVirus, on 09 Apr 2013 - 12:41, said:
Must there be a specific transition from hostile to neutral? You seem to be implicitly ruling out a fuzzy continuum from "friendly <----> hostile", where any positive action could potentially push a relationship over the threshold from hostile to neutral.


well, a basic implementation would be something like:

if relations < -100 attack

but a more fuzzy one might be:

if (relations < 0)
if dice(100) <= abs(relations) attack

where dice(100) is a random number 1-100, and abs(relations) is the % chance to attack.

i take it you recommend the fuzzy approach vs the hard coded cutoff point?

Edited by Norman Barrows

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Perhaps a common enemy could provide an opportunity to work temporarily with a borderline-hostile faction, allowing the player to score a few relationship points and land in the neutral zone.


that's one way relations could improve. i'm thing more about the cutoff for when they attack and don't attack.

Or perhaps a gift/tribute would allow a player to 'buy' neutral status.


now that's getting down to it.

you have a random encounter with an NPC who's trying to kill you for your stuff.

you have the ability to yield. you can then talk, and gift (bribe). or maybe you have mutual interests and enjoy deep conversations. or tell stories or jokes. an extra menu pick for "take it all! just spare me!", add a "beg plead and grovel" menu, and so on.

then they make the fuzzy check to see if they continue to attack.

if they continue to attack, the player can again yield and attempt further bribes, etc.

if the player exhausts all options and they still fail the fuzzy check, then they decide to whack you anyway.

you'd only do a fuzzy check if relations changed during a "parlay". that way the player couldn't keep yielding, with no gifts left to give, hoping to make the fuzzy check when they ended "parlay".

would it work?

none of the changes required is major, but there are lots:

ability to yield, accepting a yield, when should NPCs accept a yield, the "take it all!" menu pick, the "grovel" menu, the fuzzy check - all the rest is already in the game (gifting for relation boost, etc)

i want to make sure it will all work.

it could quickly get complicated if i allow it.

if you have a storage pit, you could offer that as a bribe, triggering a new quest to take them to it.

if you knew of a nearby band, you could offer that as a bribe, again triggering a new quest to take them there. Edited by Norman Barrows

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A community is based on the will of the individuals that are a part of it. Leadership in this type of community is most often a both a leader and a warrior (hunter). When a tribe (or any group) chooses an enemy it often has more to do with the self interest of the leader then the overarching elements that convince the community to fight. The player can mend ties with a hostile group in a variety of ways including but not limited to, appealing to the group, buying out the leader, removing the leader in a way that doesn't paint him as a martyr, romantic ties, environmental threats, etc. The specific mechanics are probably best decided by you in how to achieve these but hopefully those help.

 

 

it looks like i'm going to end up modeling relations on two levels,both between individual PCs and NPCs, and between bands.

 

in this thread i'm addressing the individual relations.

 

this other thread discusses the inter-band rivalry modeling...

 

http://www.gamedev.net/topic/641212-raiding-and-inter-band-rivalry-in-caveman-simulator/

 

what you describe is a blending of the two...  interesting....  and valid and doable....   ahhhh!   MORE stuff to model!   <g>

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