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EarthOtherwise

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About EarthOtherwise

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  1. EarthOtherwise

    A Seemingly Simple Problem

        I think that you both misunderstand what I am trying to do. This is not a computer game. There will be no code. The gameplay will be discussion, talked out between the players and referee. This will play more like a tabletop rpg than a computer game. Really, what I am looking for with this thread is suggestions on where I can find a site that supports that kind of play, where the public can join and leave whenever they want.
  2. EarthOtherwise

    A Seemingly Simple Problem

    What does that mean? What is it that you want to do?   I want to use a free system that is already in place to run a limited version of the outlined game.
  3. EarthOtherwise

    A Seemingly Simple Problem

    I have a simple game idea. It would involve only a few things, perhaps two forums and a moderator, or referee.   The game is the posing of this hypothetical situation:   -> You are a space navy cadet. Your final project is the design of a fleet. Your fleet is limited by these factors.   1: You only have 100,000 tonnes of material. 2: You have access to the different types of materials available on earth in the quantities that can be found in the crust, less than 1km down. 3: You may only design 5 ship types. Each type will be assigned a classification. 4: Each ship classification will have an artificial intelligence installed on it. 5: These AI's will be quite stupid. They will not plan, they will not follow complex lists of commands. They will either attack, defend, refuel, flank, observe, rearm, and repair as they have been designed.   The fleet that you design will be pitted against the fleets of every cadet in the program in 1 on 1, 1 on 2, 1 on 3, 2 on 2, 2 on 3, and 3 on 3 combat simulations.   You will be awarded points based on   1: Cost: On a scale of 1 - 100, where 100 is awarded to the cheapest fleet, and 1 to the most expensive. 2: Effectiveness in Attack: On a scale of 1 - 100, where 100 is awarded to the fleet that destroys the most ships total 3: Effectiveness of Defense: On a scale of 1 - 100, where 100 is awarded to the fleet with the most intact ships and 1 to the fleet with the fewest. 4: Effectiveness of Co-operation: On a scale of 1 - 100, where 100 is awarded to the fleet that best supported and was supported by other fleets in multi-fleet combats. That is, that the win chance of other fleets, and the designed fleet rose the most when paired. 1 will be given to the fleet that lowered the chances the most when paired.       Now, I think this idea is fairly complete, and I would like to take it for a short test run, but I have no idea where or how to do that. Any ideas?   Also, yes, this was inspired by this thread: http://www.gamedev.net/topic/673666-fleet-composition-a-little-experiment/
  4. EarthOtherwise

    Storyline in a 4X

    Two major suggestions.   Firstly, you should play, or watch youtube videos of someone playing, King Arthur The Roleplaying Wargame and its sequel. These mix adventure and rts, though you may wish to see about mixing the elements a little more thoroughly than it's done in those games, to make the whole thing more cohesive.   Secondly, open up your history books, there are tonnes of examples of excellent stories during great campaigns throughout history. One suggestion is to watch Extra History on youtube, which gives a nice narrative about historical conflicts. Alternatively, you could read up on everyone's favorite war of treachery and strife, the war of the roses. Which is the basis for both Game of Thrones and Final Fantasy Tactics.   Hope that helps.
  5. EarthOtherwise

    Game Title

    All amazing ideas. I really like "The Name of The Beast" However, that's kinda a reference to Satan, and this is so different from anything you might find in the bible (except for, perhaps, the awesome fantasy stuff in the old testament) that I don't want the comparison. Tales of Futures Past sounds a lot like the most recent X-Men movie.   Now, for the names of the gods. Here's the thing. They don't have any. The minor gods, like the one you play, have no name, not one given by humans, who don't know you exist, or by each other, as they have no voice.   The game is really all about planning, and then executing on that plan. I know that sounds generic but almost all the mechanics revolve around either the planning or execution of a carefully crafted plan. But you are technically able to just skip planning all together and run in pell mell. So, you see my dilemma.   Right now the projects name is Terra Secundus, as second earth in Latin sounds kinda cool to me.
  6. EarthOtherwise

    Game Title

    Ok, I know that a unique and non-generic game title is critical to picking up players. But I have no idea how to give a name to an idea of mine. It's a very strange prototype.   There are RPG elements. As in actual role playing, making decisions that effect your character and the world around them, not leveling up and whatnot.   There are 4X elements, as you are limited in scope to a group of people that grow larger and more organized over time.   There is time progression from ancient civilizations to medieval to steam punk, possible to modern and future eras.   There are Cthulhu esk elements of madness, darkness, and death.   Carefully planning combat and diplomatic encounters is a core mechanic, with executing the plan as the other main mechanic.   Fighting and diplomacy are set to music with rhythm elements.   And the whole thing is set in a mincraftian voxel world where you are a god controlling various characters throughout history as they become heroes, villains, emperors, and hermits.   And the main difficulty is meshing all this into a single, unified experience.   But the question remains, what the heck do I name such a beast?
  7. EarthOtherwise

    New take on Conversation in Video Games

    Interpeople, please. I do believe that the discussion has strayed from the How of dialogue to the Why of dialogue, which is a bit out of my range, for I am a lowly programmer with only a little writing experience. But what I do have is a vast database of game design lectures, a couple years programming experience, and an itch to try out all the new stuff I can think of.     An excellent quote. Never, ever force your player to read, make them WANT to read. That and advertise that your game has a lot of reading if that's true, that way you don't get people who are only semi-literate in the language playing it knowing only half the information.     Ah, but you are forgetting one very important part of conversation besides conveying information. And something I would like to feature prominently, like a banner flapping in the wind.   *trumpet noises*   DIPLOMACY otherwise known the skill of managing relations or negotiation.   Many games don't have a talk your way out of things option, often because it's the least interesting option, but the skill of changing someone's mind can be as heart pounding, gut clenchingly awesome as beating his skull in with a rock, if it's done right.   If star trek is anything to go by, there's a hardcore fanbase for taking the talking route. With all the verbal maneuvering and sparring of a master fencer the day can be won with a deft compromise or a backhanded compliment. And at the end of it, you will feel as satisfied as if you had actually fought a good battle against a hard opponent.   Now, onto implementation. For the database I have an excellent idea (I believe). Each tag will be a container of words which have that tag. Then, we compare the words contained by the first two tags and keep only those that match, then we compare that to the next tag until either all the tags have been compared or we run out of words, which throws an error. I'm not sure how this will work performance wise, but I'm going to try to test it as soon as possible.     Ah, chat-bots, I looked into those, and boy are they completely wrong for this instance. Chat bots use word parsers and try to react to actual humans drawing on a human database. In this instance what characters are saying can be broken down, crunched, and compared to the same database they were drawn from. This means that all the character should be able to interact coherently. That's the theory anyway.     My good interperson, you've stumbled upon the reason for tags. Each word has many tags associated with them, meaning we can group words by tags simply and easily!   And finally, I propose a mechanic which I shall call The Planning Mechanic. This planning mechanic will allow you to pick a few pre defined lines of inquiry, snappy retorts, and statements of intent so that you can quickly select them.     This is very similar to what I am thinking of. The player will have access to a databank of knowledge which they will be able to select from, so that they can talk about anything to anyone.   More thoughts?
  8. EarthOtherwise

    Finding a string in a file given x tags

    The GetWord() function only needs to return one word or phrase made up of one string. If there are multiple correct answers to a query it just picks one at random and returns it, assuming that the person who gave the tags knew that this would happen. I would prefer to use only the libraries I have worked with for the rest of the project, which is the standard library, SDL, and OpenGL. If any of these have a built in answer that would be nice, but I am fully prepared to make an answer from scratch.
  9. EarthOtherwise

    Finding a string in a file given x tags

    For the sake of argument and scalability of the system, let;s say that the data sets include every word of every written language on earth. They can be broken into multiple files but you are going to have several thousand words in each file, and opening new files is expensive, especially since you have to generate the sentences dynamically. As for the number of queries, imagine you have to build an entire 50,000 word book on the fly. This means that you have to open somewhere in the range of 100 files containing some 5000 words each, grab them in the correct order, and drop them in a buffer to be displayed in the correct order.   The system will definitely be much smaller, but I also want it to be sustainable and not need to be completely rewritten in the event that it needs to be updated for faster, more efficient hardware.
  10. Ok, the basic programming problem is this. I have a file filled with words. Each word has between 1 and a theoretically infinite number of tags that describe it.   Something like:   Hello : Tags: Greeting, Polite   Now I have a class, Foo, that wants a word given that it knows the tags that the word is associated with. The function GetWord() takes the tags as an argument and returns the word.   So, the function opens the words file and must find a word that matches every tag it's given, including words that have extra tags associated with them.   What would be the best way to implement this function. I was thinking something alone the lines of an unordered_map that takes a variable number of keys and returns everything that has those keys but also ones that have those keys and some extra ones, so long as it matches all the given keys.   If this makes any sense at all I could use some help.
  11. EarthOtherwise

    New take on Conversation in Video Games

    Another interesting point, Polma! What if we systematized paragraphs as well as full conversations on top of individual sentences, with lots of back checking. Keep doing this, reiterate on the problem fast enough, and you can get something that works acceptably with enough testing. Especially when the testers have the ability to directly affect the script using the controls.   But what tests would we do that could be specific enough for a computer to do quickly, but vague enough that it works on a language problem?
  12. EarthOtherwise

    New take on Conversation in Video Games

    sunandshadow, I'm afraid I have to disagree with your examples, to me both your examples appear to be dialogue trees where the choices are merely obfuscated by the system. The text only games simply let you add a couple words here or there or let you choose your dialogue option by typing it in, while the standard choice of those RPGs you mention simply connect standard options to specific dialogue options. Neither would work all that well for what I'm thinking of, unfortunately.   The differance is that most, if not all of the dialogue choices would be scripted specifically for that situation, while I want a system that dynamically allocates phrases and words from a bank in such a way that it seems consistent and logical without having to script it out specifically.   I don't want to design a slightly different phrase depending on what mood someone is in when they deliver a message. I want that phrase/word to be chosen by the system itself.   haegarr, I like some of the ideas you put fourth here. A goal is a nice touch, and topic changing segues as well as topics the NPC would like to avoid and such. Topics could be highlighted in such a way that indicates what your character THINKS would happen if they said it. This would not always be entirely correct, as the player/character will not always have all the information, just like in real life.   Polama, you approach is interesting, and believe me, I know the difficulty of writing all the possible content. But notch didn't design each and every block, each vista and ocean when he made minecraft, did he? What I propose to be done is to write words and phrases and let the system choose how they fit together based on the rules we give it.   I propose there be 2 databases. 1 database for tags, and 1 for actual words and phrases.   Each word and phrase will have tags associating them. So, say, KILL would be tagged with attack, anger, enemy and HELP would tagged with assist, (positive emotion), friend/ally. These tags and the system that reads them would have to be refined, but you get the idea.   Then the phrase, "%person% %question% %action% %character%." could be informed by Relationship: Boss->Subordinate, Disposition: Giving order, Mood: calm, topic: attack, enemy. this would make the phrase "I order you to kill Caren."   But who would make all the content? Who would tag all the words? Well, people, of course. People are willing to help other people most of the time, especially if helping is a game. So over time a huge database of words and tags could be created and plugged into the system, which would be optimized to do the sort of word choosing quickly.   Thoughts?
  13. I've been looking around but I can't find anything that even remotely touches on an idea I've had, so I think that I might actually have had a completely original idea, which is interesting since I think it's a rather simple idea.   Let me begin with what I know of the current generation of conversation engines inside of games. There are 2 types of conversations, as I see them.   1: No player input at all. Usually used in cut scenes and on the move talking. It's good because the player can be actually playing the game while the conversation goes on and it doesn't break the flow of the game, though some reactive dialogue would be nice for when the player does something stupid, like try to hit the NPC or something, to make it feel more alive.   2: Dialogue trees. Recent examples include a good deal of rpg's like mass effect and the telltale games. This is good because it let's the player make a choice about how their character acts, even if it's just the illusion of choice, though it would be nice if the dialogues changed more things so that the player is incentivized to actually roleplay a little more.   But I have come up with a different kind of system, and I have no idea if it would work, and how much work it would be to implement it.   First we start with an absolutely huge cache of words, phrases, and paragraphs.   Then, we get the NPC or PC to choose what they want to use based on a kind of finite state machine like so.   state 1: Relationship to the one the character is speaking to.   state 2: Current disposition toward the one the character is speaking to.   state 3: Current mood of the character.   state 4: perceived disposition of the one the character is speaking to.   state 5: perceived mood of the one the character is speaking to.   state 6: Topic of discussion.   Given these 6 states you make the NPC choose their dialogue. Now, it would be fairly easy to add this to an NPC engine and let NPC dynamically choose their dialogue and provide the player with a dialogue tree. But I propose that we give the player the exact same state machine that we give the NPC.   This would allow us to make conversation a part of the game rather than something that happens in cut scenes or scripted dialogue scenes. We tell the player about the relationship, we give them the ability to change their disposition and mood within reason, we let their perception stats determine how they perceive the mood and disposition of the other character, and give them a few topics they can cycle through based on their knowledge and the character.   Then the conversation would flow like it does in real life, one topic flowing into the next and with the conversation able to dynamically break and reform based on player action.   Can you envision how such a system would work? What are the pro's and con's that you can see, just from reading about it. I would like some feedback on your ideas about this system, to help me refine the idea before I start prototyping it.
  14. EarthOtherwise

    Research mechanics in 4X games

    Let's go with the most basic of interfaces that still is something like what I want to implement. Negotiation will happen in a building filled with senators. by clicking on a senator you will get a box with all the information you know about that senator on it. Highlighted parts will be the senators disposition to you, they apparent mood, and their likelihood of voting for you for emperor. You will set your disposition toward him, your current mood, and pick from a handful of one word to short sentence topics. No dialogue trees. You just flip your mood as you decide how best to react to the information, and you can pick topics to steer the conversation towards. I'll map these functions to keyboard keys so you can quickly flip through to how you want to react even as the conversation progresses.   Your army will be similar. You will click on other senators in the battle screen and see their armies disposition, any apparent intel, and how likely it is that your army will beat theirs in a raw fight, one on one. The actual battle will play out like a conversation, you switching your armies disposition and attack pattern based on theirs while you try to steer the battle in your favor by picking topics like shoring up the defenses at your center, rotating troops, and whatnot.   Research will be the same but with slightly different names. Instead of disposition you will have Overarching goals which will then inform the secondary goals. Then, you will try to steer your scientists to the best path for completing these goals by picking a topic to put money into and flipping your secondary, and even your overarching goals to better steer the scientists to better achieve the end.   So it's a game about picking the right sets of states to be in to take advantage of a situation. You choices will not be random but informed based on the information you currently have, and you will be able to use spies and scouts to get more information at a possible cost.
  15. EarthOtherwise

    Research mechanics in 4X games

    Ok, this is coming together nicely. Very good ideas from Thoumaturge     valrus     and Dragoncar     This is beginning to come together in my head.   Now, what I'm thinking is this. You play as a senator in the near future, where faster than light travail is nearly upon humanity. You are the head of a roman style house and you vie for control of the senate.   You have 3 routes to power.   1: Use your robotic armies, human assassins, and champions to crush other robotic armies, proving you are technologically superior, assassinate other senators who are in your way, and use your champions to gain favor with the populace. All this to become emperor, which will be decided on in the next election. And the emperor who presides over the first interstellar colony will be nearly impossible to dispose.   2: Negotiate with the other senators, using blackmail, bribes, trading what you want for what they want, voting a certain way, and getting them to vote in ways that increase your power in order to be elected with as little bloodshed as possible.   and 3: Have your science team discover faster than light travail before the election and appoint yourself head of the colony because you have the tech to do so.   These systems will intermingle. Assassinations will open new negotiation tactics. Fighting with your armies will provide useful data for your tech people, and research will give you new and more powerful technologies to build into your robot armies and have your champions wow the people with.   Right now the mechanics will be ultra simple. Your turn, which will be called a Year will be laid out like this. Negotiate in the spring, research in the summer, either negotiate or research in the fall, not both, and fight in the winter. You will just point a click options, and the options will give you an approximate reading on how they will effect your power, how other senators feel about you, and how likely things are to actually succeed.   What do you think of this rudimentary formula?
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