Demon War soon
Monday, 14 February 2011

I was originally thinking that version 1.021 was going to be the gold version of Demon War, but a discussion of some needed balance changes has made me reconsider. So this week I'm mostly going to focus on balance changes to get the difficulty in line and to enhance some of the weaker skills to be more useful. The start of a skill balance thread is here but is there anything else that you think we must change or fix before we go gold?

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Tweets 11
Friday, 12 November 2010

NPCs can now steal from one another in the Din's Curse expansion. This can go 2 ways right now. They can get caught which will make them unhappy, people in town will like them less, and they will be fined. If they get away with it the town will ask you to track down the thief.

I have a stack of games I haven't completed or even started playing yet and what am I playing? MOO2 :) I think I have my fill of MOO (Master of Orion) for a while, but I still have some AAA games lying around that I just have no desire to go back and finish.

Towns can now banish NPCs that they don't like (Din's Curse expansion). Once an NPC dislikes another NPC enough they can initial a town vote. If there are enough votes, the NPC will be banished. The NPC can quietly leave town or go renegade.

I really like Din's world modifiers, added 10 more to the expansion, things like Drunk Town, High Unemployment, and Heroic Town. I have added a bunch more since this time also.

In the expansion, a NPCs personality type will matter more: adventurous will try to solve more quests, nice will give more gifts, etc. I think it's kind of cool that the personality stuff that is already in the game is more meaningful now and impacts gameplay.

4 new machine types going into the Din's Curse expansion today - anti-magic, temporal flux, fog, and ice.

Weather in the Din's Curse expansion now has snow and tornados. I'm pretty sure both of these have been suggested by people on the forums.

Should I feel bad that I'm ignoring the town attack and watching the snow? I really was playing with the snow and just watching it in general and was having urges to go help the town fend off some kind of attack.

Weather gets more gameplay impact today, can now leave puddles or ice patches. Water = electrical hazard, Ice = slippery. Ice of course has been in for a long time and water was another forum suggestion.

Added a bunch of skills to one of the new demon species today. Got some of the needed animations in so I have been adding a bunch of skills lately.

Some things added to the Din's Curse expansion today: demon Throw Bomb skill, Demon Alert skill, and War Zone world modifier.

I think for now on I'm not going to do these long tweet reposts. Instead I'm going to make a thread in the forum that I update each time instead.

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Time traveler video
Friday, 29 October 2010

This isn't about video games, but it amuses me. :) Ok, there's this video clip that's going around from 1928 with someone that vaguely looks like they are talking on a cell phone. I don't have the link any more, but I'm sure Google could find it pretty quick. So some people are asking the question of whether or not it is a time traveler.

This is probably just someone trying to get hits on their website, but really? A time traveler? My programmer brain immediately points out 3 "small" flaws. 1) Where exactly is the cell tower that is hosting the cell phone call? 2) Are you really trying to tell me that a future human civilization has built a working time machine, has travelled back to 1928, but still uses cell phones? 3) They travelled back in time once, but they didn't bother to go back in time again to fix their screw up?

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Tweets 10
Friday, 22 October 2010

Here's some of my latest tweets from twitter / facebook with a bit more explanation.

Trying to think of some good names for some of our new demons today, naming things is hard. :( I don't know about anyone else, but it takes a while for me to come up with names.

Added new monster today - 3 major versions, 5 variations each, 2 uniques + 1 legend for each combo = 60 names I had to come with today. Usually there are only 20 for each type of monster, but this one has 3 major variations. Anyways, 60 names is a lot of names.

Added 2 new demons, a level clear bonus, and 3 dungeon size options to the expansion today. The 3 size options should let people tailor their dungeon a bit more.

Thinking up new quest ideas today and trying to not go overboard. Yeah, I've gone overboard on the NPC stuff since this tweet.

It's funny when I search for something on google for research purposes and my blog pops up as the #1 hit. Off hand I forget what I was searching for but it was something along the lines of dynamic quests in RPGs.

While testing needed to bash down a door, the fire elemental on the other side had the same idea except he set the door on fire. I really like when I'm surprised by my own game.

While organizing my quest notes I came across invested with spiders, hmm maybe that should be infested. I for some reason don't think people should invest their money with spiders.

I'm so going to go overboard on the NPC quests in the expansion. I just can't seem to help myself. Yep, already happened, technically still happening.

I entered Din's Curse into the IGF today. It would be really cool to be a finalist.

Having NPCs run around town to do activities is cool, but strange. I'm so used to them standing still (unless the town is attacked). Right now I do have them doing activities a lot more than they should so everyone is constantly running around in the town.

Added happiness and activities to npcs in Din's Curse expansion today. Npcs can now drink, try to solve quests, leave town, go renegade, give personal quests, and argue/talk to other npcs (happiness related).
Din's Curse expansion: NPCs now have money (gambling, get upset if in debt, buy food to prevent starving, give gifts to the player, etc). Added some faction/relationship stuff to npcs today (Din's Curse expansion).
More npc stuff added today - jealousy, gossip, praise, marriage (blog coming soon about all of this npc stuff). These are all about the new NPC stuff which I blogged about here.

Finished up some of the NPC relationship stuff today, now on to making these new things actually impact the world and player. All of the happiness, money, and relationship stuff isn't really my focus. The important part is how to effects and changes the world and impacts the player.

Now that NPCs have money, leprechauns running around town causes a lot of havoc. This is probably one of the many things that I didn't really think of directly that are going to create interesting interactions.

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NPCs with Depth
Thursday, 21 October 2010

NPCs in the Din's Curse expansion now have three things that drives their lives: happiness, money, and their relationships with others. This is going to sound like the Sims for a bit, but don't worry I will get to the point soon.

Happiness is just how happy they are with their lives and with the town. When they get really happy they are labeled a local hero (I still need a better term) and get a large bonus to combat. If they get really unhappy, they will eventually leave town or go renegade. There are a ton of things that change the happiness of the NPCs: winning when gambling, talking with other NPCs, friends/family dying, gossip, flirting, etc.

Money is what it sounds like. NPCs now keep track of their money. When they give you a gift that costs them some money. They need to eat occasionally and that costs money. Drinking and gambling uses up money. They do have jobs and ways to make money normally to balance this out though.

Relationships are also pretty common sense stuff. Each NPC keeps track of how much they like each other NPC, anywhere from hate to love. NPCs can even get married and divorced now.

So far this all sounds like the Sims doesn't it? Well happiness, money, and relationships are just the way to get the NPCs to interact with the world and the player more and in fairly realistic ways. All of the little daily things they do isn't too important. What is important is what it leads them to do. Note: all of the previous stuff works so far.

Now here's the parts I haven't fully implemented yet, but here's my thoughts about where we are going to go. When NPCs get really unhappy they will start doing riskier things like gambling and drinking. They are also much more likely to betray the town in some way or another. When they get into debt they will start acting more and more desperate. Some might be fairly honorable ways like trying to solve quests in the dungeons, but some will take more evil paths by betraying the town for gold or even stealing from their fellow NPCs. When they run out of money they can even starve to death. When someone really dislikes or hates someone they might even get into fights with them (or maybe they were just drunk).

This last part is where the player starts getting involved. You might need to figure out who poisoned the town's water supply (and then fix it) or who stole all of George's gold. Fixing Sham's starvation will be easy, but you probably don't have much time to do it. You might even need to break up fights to prevent them from killing each other.

I'm also thinking of a bunch of world modifiers that impacts all of this: poor town, rich town, seedy town, gamblers, misery, etc.

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