Author Topic: An idea/Maybe this exists?  (Read 21521 times)

Omnivorous

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An idea/Maybe this exists?
« on: September 24, 2009, 08:46:24 PM »
I am a big fan of The Elder Scrolls series. Especially Daggerfall! :) What I love about Daggerfall compared to later TES games, is that the world was so big, there was so many NPCs, and the best part - you felt like you were "just another adventurer". I have how, in Morrowind or Oblivion, when you just walk past people in a town, your fame is zero, NPCs stop as if you started interacting with them, and go "What do you want?!" and stuff like that.. I like to feel like noone else knows that I am a brave adventurer that saves the world eventually! ;)

Either way, the real thing I was going to ask you folks/thought would be awesome for a roguelike, is a much more story-driven roguelike. With TONS of NPCs.. ADOM is the closest thing I can think of, but even the story here is cryptic and served to the player by small bits and pieces every 50th death or so and with slow progress :p

If I knew how to program, I'd love to make a "The Elder Scrolls" RL, with tons of story/quest content. :)

Does this exist? Would it be particularely hard to program? Thoughts?

Fenrir

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Re: An idea/Maybe this exists?
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2009, 11:17:09 PM »
This comes very close to something I've been considering for a while. Town NPCs are, in my opinion, the most overlooked aspect of any RPG, at least the randomly generated ones. They wander aimlessly around the town with a deportment not unlike a theme-park automaton - speaking only when triggered and reading from a list of stock statements.

After I'm finished with my current project, I mean to make an attempt to breathe life into the zombie townsfolk we're accustomed to observe as they walk brainlessly through the streets. I don't want those people to just meander about the place. I want to see them living their lives, driven by their most pressing needs. I don't want that guy to ask me to kill five goblins and just hand me some GP or XP or ABC or whatever when the deed is done. I want to save him when a goblin raiding party has him surrounded and receive only his gratitude, or fail and discover a goblin drum with the poor fellow's tattoo on it. I don't want to be entirely emotionless when one of my companions falls. I want to be angry because that guy was funny.

I'd go on and describe my ideas for implementing this sort of thing, but that's another thread entirely.

getter77

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Re: An idea/Maybe this exists?
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2009, 01:39:58 AM »
Only ones I know of on the horizon aiming to have more complex interactions at least kinda along those lines are perhaps Incursion and Peleron's Brilliant Rebirth.   Elona kinda has some stuff like ADOM but to a greater degree in the here and now.
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Krice

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Re: An idea/Maybe this exists?
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2009, 06:31:44 PM »
Would it be particularely hard to program?

Yes. Anything related to AI is hard to program.

Vanguard

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Re: An idea/Maybe this exists?
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2009, 09:05:24 PM »
I think the biggest problem with story being a major element in a roguelike is that roguelikes are meant to be replayed over and over again from the beginning, sometimes hundreds or even thousands of times.  This is a major reason why we use so much randomized content - it keeps things interesting from session to session.  With story you need to revisit story content that you've seen before hundreds of times, and it quickly stops being interesting.  You can randomize the story somewhat, like, I believe, Gearhead does, but that has its own issues associated with it.

What I'm doing in my project, is having NPCs with questions for you (like whether to accept a task or not) presented to the player with as little text as possible, and I will provide a "more information" option if the player wants to hear more in-depth info on whatever is happening.  That way, the first time you can get background information (if you want it) and later on, you can quickly get to the point and move on.  Most of the backstory information will be available in an optional library, so players can have that it they want it, but not be forced into hearing the same stuff a thousand times.

Edit:

Omnivorous, have you played Incursion very much at all?  It's still at a very incomplete stage, but it places a high degree of importance on NPC interactions.  Most of it is more about diplomacy, trading, fighting, and recruiting people rather than advancing a story, but you still may be interested in checking it out.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2009, 11:22:45 PM by Curseman »

Z

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Re: An idea/Maybe this exists?
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2009, 11:36:12 PM »
Plot does not work well in roguelikes, for reasons given by Curseman. Except if it is only minimal, such as in ADOM, where you spend only a minimal amount of time doing plot-related things like talking -- but still, some hardcore roguelikers don't like ADOM precisely because of this plot (I don't agree with them... ADOM is a harcore hack'n'slash roguelike except only few minutes). Crawl, often regarded as the best, has not much more plot than "find the orb of Zot".

Randomized plot would fit with roguelikes, but it's really difficult (probably nearly impossible) to create a good enough random story generator, I don't think we can hope for one.

Actually, in my opinion, computers are great at simulating tactical fights, but they are not good at handling NPC interactions. Things like "NPC will join you when talked to if you have Int > 16 and Cha > 15" feel very artificial to me, players should use their own intelligence and communicative skills for that. That's very nice for real tabletop roleplaying, led by Human Game Masters, or for MMORPGS where these guys are also players, but not for computer simulations.

Fenrir

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Re: An idea/Maybe this exists?
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2009, 01:46:12 AM »
Actually, in my opinion, computers are great at simulating tactical fights, but they are not good at handling NPC interactions. Things like "NPC will join you when talked to if you have Int > 16 and Cha > 15" feel very artificial to me, players should use their own intelligence and communicative skills for that.
I think NPC interactions could be made fun.

Personality
Each NPC would be given a random personality, which might take the form of an existing personality scale like Myers-Briggs. This random personality is not directly revealed to the player, but colors the NPCs actions and dialogue. The personality of the should have an effect subtle enough to require much dialogue to be entirely revealed, except in the more extreme cases.

Opinions
NPCs would have an opinion about everything and everyone they see, even if it's entirely neutral. Things that hurt an NPC should lessen the NPC's opinion of that thing greatly. Saying and doing the right things (the right things would depend upon the NPC's personality) would increase or decrease the NPC's opinion of you, which would make further communication with that NPC easier or harder, respectively.

Memory
A reference to anything that enters an NPC's line of sight would be stored in its memory and given a value based on how important the NPC considers that object to be, which would depend upon the NPC's personality and how strongly the NPC feels about the object. This value would decrease with time; when the value reaches zero the object is removed from memory. Trivial things might be removed after a single turn, while more treasured objects would remain in the NPCs memory for its entire "life". The player should be able to ask about things and receive a reply based on whether the mentioned object is in the NPC's memory and how the NPC feels about it. Objects would ideally be stored in the NPC's memory based on physical attributes, so the NPC won't be able to tell two identical items apart.

Emotions
Personality, the NPC's current situation (injured, poisoned, surrounded, wealthy, etc.), status of liked/disliked objects (loss of friends, number of enemy corpses in view, etc.), player dialogue, and a bit of randomness should all play a part in determining the NPC's mood. The mood of an NPC, would, quite naturally, effect what it is likely to do and say.

It's not really much of a plan, there are likely several holes in it, and it's all well beyond my ability to program at this point, but I like to talk about it anyway. It's not like I'm promising anything.
After I'm finished with my current project, I mean to make an attempt to breathe life into....
Oh, that? I was just.... nevermind.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2009, 01:47:46 AM by Fenrir »

corremn

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Re: An idea/Maybe this exists?
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2009, 10:31:59 AM »
Each NPC would be given a random personality, which might take the form of an existing personality scale like Myers-Briggs.

Go INTPs :)

Most of the rest of wht you said is planned for one of my games to varying degrees.

corremn's Roguelikes. To admit defeat is to blaspheme against the Emperor.  Warhammer 40000 the Roguelike

Fenrir

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Re: An idea/Maybe this exists?
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2009, 02:06:47 PM »
Go INTPs :)
Thanks. I forgot what that one was called.
Quote
Most of the rest of wht you said is planned for one of my games to varying degrees.
Awesome. Let us know how it goes.

corremn

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Re: An idea/Maybe this exists?
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2009, 10:24:01 AM »
INTP is what I am in the myers-briggs definition. Funny enough I almost maxed on Thinking in the Thinking-Feeling scale. Apparently I dont have time for those irrational emotional idiots or something like that. Boo hoo to you. :P

And yes, I have just done a manager course.  Held hands, sung songs, got drunk and played poker, that sort of thing. Ready to change the world, etc. Corporate brain washing. At least the week in a 5 star hotel was good, not to mention the food, the hotel adjoined a chef school. I gained a lot of weight.

corremn's Roguelikes. To admit defeat is to blaspheme against the Emperor.  Warhammer 40000 the Roguelike

Fenrir

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Re: An idea/Maybe this exists?
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2009, 03:25:43 PM »
INTP is what I am in the myers-briggs definition.
Fenrir palms his face -- as well as a wolf can, anyway.
Oh, right, sorry. Stupid brain.

Shaggy

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Re: An idea/Maybe this exists?
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2009, 02:12:53 AM »
Its funny that you should mention that, because I was playing oblivion [lvl 53, all stats 100+ woot woot! xD] on my ps3 the other day when I stumbled upon this forum and decided to start working on my own RL.

Consequentially a lot of the features I like from Oblvion and the ES series, as well as a good handful of my own ideas I think will add a lot - are planned for my game.

I say planned, however, because this is my first RL and i dont know exactly how much detail I can put into it.
Check out my blog at http://NotQuiteADoM.blogspot.com/ !

Slash

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Re: An idea/Maybe this exists?
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2009, 02:46:20 AM »
INTP is what I am in the myers-briggs definition.
Fenrir palms his face -- as well as a wolf can, anyway.
Beware paws