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Drakkan

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About Drakkan

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  1.   (This should probably be a different post, but since it's on topic here, I'll go with it) This is actually an idea that I've been developing in my head for a few years now, but as with most of my ideas it is spiralling out of control. It has always annoyed me in games like GTA how the civilians just pop up and fade out as you move around the city, having no impact on the game. If you kill a bunch of them they were just fleeting personas, you get a slap on the wrist (even if that means getting killed and waking up in the hospital or a bit of a fine for mass murder if you surrender to the cops) and their lives meant nothing.   I would like to develop a world where everything is procedurally generated starting from the shape of the landscape to small villages (e.g. on rivers), growing into cities, kingdoms, empires, etc. All of the characters would be born with characteristics (intelligence, charisma, drive, morality, etc.) and they would interact with each other.  Instead of fading in and out as you walk around, they would have schedules for going to work, shopping, etc. Relationships between characters would be built up based on their likelyhood of contact with each other and based on their characteristics they would follow different paths and be guided by each other.  This could be like a student likes a teacher who is inspiring, so their career is affected in the future.   This would provide an engine for generating realistic worlds.  Quests could be given out based on realistic parameters from "real" people in the world. This could generate a range of games: GTA - gain reputation starting from simple muggings, getting hired for a bank heist, gaining popularity with a mob boss. Mob boss has rivals with targetted quests like intercepting a rival's shipping container, jail breaks, etc. LA Noire - investigate crimes in the city (done by career criminals, random psycho shootings, talking down suicide attempts with real back-story) by questioning witnesses who would have seen things based on their actual movement patterns and knowledge of what looks suspicious in their neighbourhood. War games - an evolving battlefield (instead of static maps) with espionage missions, battlefields that change location over time as fronts move, real reasons for countries to form alliances. RPGs with proper quests based on what's happening in the world, with a dynamic storyline - if you take longer to get to a location it will be different. Maybe you spent too long leveling up in a forest and you miss the attack on the village. I'm sure there are many more, but as you can see it would be a very complex system, requiring a lot of up-front processing and maybe a strong server farm to continue to evolve the world. To kick this idea up a notch, the final evolution of this engine would be like a time-cop simulation. You go back in time to prevent crime-travellers from changing the past, but there are consequences when you come back to the present.  You happen to have let a person die who did not originally; this was the grandfather of a cop who stopped a suicide attempt.  The suicidee originally went on to inspire an architect with the courage to pursue his goals and become famous for his buildings that feature heavily in columns. When you get back to the future, these buildings now have arches instead of columns. Or a sliders style game where each parallel world has a major historic outcome flipped and regenerates from that point (e.g. Hitler won the war (sorry for the godwin)).   Did I mention the idea was spiralling out of control?   So because this idea is super complex and not likely to ever be completed, I thought I'd start it more simply with a procedurally generated RPG world with quests that have multiple choice alignment outcomes and an evolving storyline based on those outcomes. Like I create a bunch of scenario "cards" and a few of them are chosen to generate the world. Based on your actions, different NPCs will offer you opportunities (like the original paladin vs necromancer scenario). I was trying to get some ideas for "evil" outcomes of these cards. An example might be a starting card - your farm is attacked by bandits and burnt to the ground: you could hunt down the bandits and turn them in to the authorities, join them (didn't really care that much about your family, now you want adventure), or slay them, hunt down their families and raize their villages in return.
  2. Another thought I just had... what if you convey your motives to the game via an inner dialogue (angel/devil on shoulders style).   Click fireball spell on orphanage...*popup of angel/devel profile* Angel: Are you sure? Those kids are innocent! Devil: Those kids must die! *clicks devil* Angel: It's for the greater good if I can infiltrate the bandit lair Devil: Those souls will make me super powerful! *clicks angel*   game result -> neutral
  3. Constructive criticism is always welcome, you don't improve your ideas if everyone agrees with you  :D   It seems the main argument here is that the computer will do a terrible job of determining your true goal, which is very true.  Ferrous mentioned a witness system, which I very much like the idea of.  Going back to the Order of Paladins example, they aren't going to let you in if they just saw you burn down an orphanage, but if you were well disguised at the time (and nobody tracked you to the point you took your disguise off) then they would still accept you.  This could still limit your choices in the game, but in ways that are easier to avoid (rather than stopping you becoming a Paladin because you killed a pet chicken at the start of the game).   Conversely, some NPCs may require witnessing you murdering the children to prove to them that you really are evil.   I'm wondering how far you could take this with "Higher Powers".  For example (Paladins again, because they're easy to pick on as a class) if you become a Paladin, but then murder some innocents, do you lose the powers the angels have bestowed upon you?  Maybe you fool your way into the order and when you undergo the rights of passage the deity shows up calling you out and you get to kill him, weaking the Paladins' magic (taking them down from the inside).  Can you take over as the leader and spread rumours about the (actually good) enemy, so that your follwers believe they are doing good and therefore create a loophole?   There is a lot more complexity in this topic than I first thought about, which was just to have a set of scenarios that could be completed in good/neutral/evil ways that may influence the kind of NPCs that offer you help/try to kill you.
  4. Wow Gian-Reto, amazing reply, a lot of food for thought! It's one thing writing NPCs with compelling back stories for why they are good/evil/etc, but it may be a challenge making the player feel they have a back story. The scenario you played out fits well with my idea where the world is generated with a number of predefined scenarios picked from a much larger set, each one shaping the story through the actions of the player. One of the things that annoys me about a lot of RPGs is a lack of consequences. Like you can wipe out a village and they'll just respawn, or you go to the next one and they only know you're "bad" but not why. Rolling consequences, like a bounty system where a large army starts to track you down (on either side of good/evil) meaning you have to recruit your own army through force or renown could fix this.
  5. Hi all,   I'm designing a single player RPG, and would like some feedback and suggestions on character alignment (standard Good/Evil, Lawful/Chaotic).   In most RPGs the player is the archetypical hero fighting to slay the big bad.  I envision a system where you are asked a series of alignment questions at the start of the game and that is how your character starts out.  This could also be done with a short series of quests, where the way you complete them determines your starting alignment.  As the story progresses, it may turn out that you are the big bad, attempting to overthrow the emporer and rule the land.   As you progress through the game, your alignment would affect things such as what kind of magic is made available to you.  Lawful/Good? Get an invitation from the order of Paladins.  Evil? Get approached by a necromancer, etc.   NPCs will also interact differently with you.  Perhaps you get a discount from the local blacksmith because you saved his son in a side-quest, or you are shunned by the town and need to go to the black-market underbelly.   Party members may only join your party if your alignments are compatible (or you have high charisma to trick them into joining you).  As you adventure together the choices you make may force some of them to leave your party or even attack you, while others will "have your back".   One of my main problems is in thinking about the type of quests an evil or chaotic character would want to do, as I always play towards the Lawful/Good end of the spectrum.  Some that I've thought of are theft and assassination, but I'm not sure what else would be of interest.  I guess there are some crossover quests such as the aquisition of powerful artefacts and puzzles to pass parts of the map.   Although I appreciate the extra work involved, I am aiming for this game to be procedurally generated with automated quests whose goals adapt towards your alignment.
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