absurdism

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  1. Haha -these all sound like great ideas. How can players cooperate in the game? Are you talking about NPCs or is this MMO? Or is it like traditional RPGs where you have a team, that occasionally is joined by characters as you progress (e.g. Final fantasy style) Also environmentalists as bosses would be funny, but won't they need lobbyist minions who you have to get past to fight the boss?
  2. This looks hilarious! Look forward to seeing more of this! Have you considered team combinations? e.g. a lawyer and a bankster could get up to all sorts of mischief Other ideas for classes It would be pretty funny to add a 'liberal lefty' / 'Guardian Journalist' / 'Left wing blogger' / 'Equality pressure group' - someone / or some group that uses sue/criticise for 'inequality / sexism / racism / ageism /etc as attacks. Maybe also 'Environmentalist / Green protester' - which use 'picture of lone polar bear stranded on iceberg' to make the character have a bad conscience or something And what about CEO of a Giant corporation - uses 'you're fired' technique (reduces your self esteem) Obnoxious footballer - uses 'racist abuse' / 'headbutts you' / 'sleeps with your wife' (no reference to any particular footballers there ;) A lawyer for their attack could uses 'legal obstacle prevents you from acting' - (not sure what lawyer currently does in the game?) Celebrity could be split up into other categories - Reality TV star (uses 'ignorance' to not understand whats going on thereby evading damage effects) , Pop star, and Talk Show host. But could be making too many classes here!
  3. [quote name='Robin S' timestamp='1344585305' post='4968005'] I'm very inexperienced when it comes to design, so please forgive me if some of my questions sound stupid - but how do I decide what qualifies for the outline, as something to decide on before "getting into (proper) design"? [/quote] Sorry that was rather vague and simplistic of me - what I meant is to define all the types of events/systems that exist in the game - e.g. If there are bandits that attack, then there has to be some sort of combat/ambush/hostage system or something, even if it is just a simple mechanism, it has to be defined what exactly this entails and this reveals more questions - how will it be decided when the player is ambushed? Where can this occur? What types of variables will be needed in facilitating this? So what can seem like a small incidental feature during the early design phase, can be revealed as quite a large amount of work later on if it was not well defined during that design phase. And i'm sure you have thought alot about most of the details but just didn't write too much in the post, so my apologies if i'm stating the obvious here! xD [quote name='Robin S' timestamp='1344585305' post='4968005'] When I talked about realism, I was referring more to things like: How many people live in the cities? What are the ratios of the various professions? How many villages are there for each city, and how much do they pay in taxes? How are governors distributed among the settlements? Who trades what with whom, and how much? Some of these details may only live in the background of the game, in the form of area layouts, NPC appearances and so forth; but by aiming to make them realistic I hope to enhance the player's willingness to "buy into" the setting (as well as satisfying my own pedantic tendencies). [/quote] IMO the player will buy into if it's fun for alot longer than if its just trying to be realistic. I personally wouldn't be so concerned about population demographics and economic distributions unless I could find a direct and important way to make it impact on the game play. This point is, I acknowledge, just my opinion, and I don't know the full extent of your idea - but for me, realism won't improve the game in a big way (it really does sound amazing to have these realistic large cities I know) , you began with a vision for the game, that was to put the player into interesting political and social situations/conflicts and challenge them to win trade/allies/prestige/etc - and that's what I would stick with. I'm not sure how realistic cities would enhance this, and it could eat into valuable processing time. From my point of view, it looks as if having a select few types of NPCs that are dynamic agents (e.g. royals, consorts, diplomats, generals, merchants, nobles) and not worrying about the rest of the population that would satisfactorily be left as fairly one-dimensional, randomly generated agents appearing in towns whenever the player vistis them. The benefit of this in my mind is twofold, firstly the player has alot less to think about and worry about in the game - he's concerned with individuals of status; and secondly the complexity of the game is not increased exponentially and without much impact on the game. This may be a pertinent question, do you feel more satisfied making a game? or a historical simulator? [quote name='Robin S' timestamp='1344585305' post='4968005'] 3. Minor aside point - the game is set in the Bronze age, - awesome - is the player trading at all in this game? Trade will absolutely play a part in the game - for example, the player will end up negotiating trade agreements, that sort of thing. I don't know yet how much trading the player himself will be doing: he gets his social status from being related to a king, who presumably got to his position through trade or conquest - or is descended from someone who did. These days the royal family will get its wealth from collecting taxes, tributes and trade with neighbouring kingdoms, all of which (at least on paper, so to speak) pertain to the property of the king himself. The player will have access to some of that wealth as an allowance, as well as his wardrobe etc. - and might occasionally need to barter for particular items, but I don't see him taking on the role of a full-time merchant. [/quote] Interesting! Does the player have an inventory for carrying items then if they need to barter? And if so, why is item collecting/trading a necessarily limited part of the game?
  4. [quote name='Robin S' timestamp='1344427683' post='4967358'] Hi all, I've been developing aspects of a fictional setting bit by bit for a while, and more recently I've got it into my head to use it for a game. I enjoy both pen-and-paper and video games which are heavy on character interaction and especially political intrigue, and I'm also interested in negotiation and manipulation from a mathematical perspective; so I'd like to create something where the gameplay focuses on those things. I'm envisioning the player character travelling around a largish game world and interacting with maybe a few dozen major NPCs, as well as some more minor characters. But instead of presenting the player with the traditional rather limited dialogue tree, each NPC would be a fairly complicated intelligent agent: capable of forming beliefs and goals, and trying to second-guess the player as well as the other NPCs with which it interacts. This would form the core of gameplay: I have a plot of sorts in mind, but the aim would be for the course of some major events to respond flexibly to the behaviour of the player, or more accurately to the behaviour of the various agents in response to the player and each other. A sort of "emergent plot", if you like; but with enough constraints to ensure that only certain "types" of actions are available to the player and to the agents. So far I've put a limited amount of thought into how this could be implemented interface-wise: traditional dialogue options seem like they could get clunky and repetitive ("Welcome to Corneria!"), so I've been playing with the idea of using a kind of "sentence" builder with very basic syntax and Sims-style symbols in place of words - but I'm not committed to that. As I hinted at above, I've got more experience in the mathematical side than in programming and optimization, but some back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that the logic engine of the agents shouldn't use up too much processor time. My main goals are, in rough order of priority: 1. Engaging gameplay based on interacting with the characters in the world. The characters should feel creative and hard to predict, not two-dimensional and immersion-breaking. Combat and physical challenge will not be a central aspect of gameplay, indeed might not even feature at all, so the strength of the interaction with NPCs is essential. 2. Not boring: the player should be able to choose what content they want to experience, when. A corollary is that the game will have a non-linear, sandbox feel to it; and, for example, moving between towns should not mean having to spend ten minutes of real time walking between them. 3. An immersive setting which motivates the player to explore said content. I am also aiming for realism where possible: for example, if I need to constrain how far the player character can travel, it should be because he would run out of food if he went too far from a settlement or because his escorts will not allow him to be placed in harm's way, rather than a glass wall cutting across the landscape. Settlement sizes and distributions, etc. will also be appropriate to the setting (a roughly early Bronze Age level of technology and sociopolitical development). I'm aiming to do as much as possible of this by myself - certainly all of the design and programming work - so I'd be keen to hear your thoughts before I sink too much time into it. Is this feasible from a programming perspective? Could it make an enjoyable game? What crucial aspects have I not thought of, and in what sort of ways might I develop some of the ideas I've had? I hope I'm not being hopelessly vague, but I'll be happy to go into some more detail on those things I have spent time thinking about. Thanks in advance, Robin [/quote] Reading this topic encouraged me to sign up to this forum (so kudos to that ) My initial thoughts in relation to this topic are as follows (I will get round to reading all the other comments in a second): 1. "Engaging gameplay", "Not boring" and "An immersive setting" are [u]not[/u] design goals. They are at best, advertising waffle. I really think you've got an amazing ideal for a game - a game that is all about diplomacy and political intrigue is a game I'd really like to play (especially as it's in the bronze age!)... but like you say your thoughts are very vague at this moment, so before you get into any sort of programming or design I would suggest having a concrete design outline - narrow down exactly what types of things the player should be able to do, how the world is set up, etc by eliminating everything that doesn't add anything to your vision for the gameplay. And most importantly (an obvious point) before you get bogged down in the nitty-gritty of character biographies - make sure you have a proof of concept so you know that you plan to make is technically possible an could be fun. I'll be happy to give you feedback on any prototypes you make 2. Returning to the point about 'narrowing down' - if the game is about political intrigue and diplomacy, is it really necessary to have the player walk around for 10 minutes trying to get to another town? And is realism in all sorts of places really going to contribute to the core play? Your idea for conversation should be developed and be the centre piece - IMO large detailed maps which take along time to traverse may seem realistic in theory, but in practice it just means 10 minutes of waiting for the player who during that time won't be able to do anything that the game is designed to simulate (i.e. interactions, diplomacy etc). 3. Minor aside point - the game is set in the Bronze age, - awesome - is the player trading at all in this game? Because it strikes me that a game about social/political relationships set in the bronze age, is void without a system for trading because your position in society during that age would be influenced in no small way by your material position - e.g. finely crafted bronze jewellery, or rare items from a distant city would add to your prestige. Or an even more interesting trade point revolves around the core aspect of bronze age trading itself, e.g. tin and copper - if a city has copper but doesn't have access to tin, they cannot forge bronze and therefore the ruler will aim to get hold of a tin source for a higher price. But as I said, thats just an aside.