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  #1  
Old 10-21-2010, 01:05 PM
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Shadow Shadow is offline
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Default NPCs with Depth

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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  #2  
Old 10-21-2010, 01:40 PM
SharpCarlos SharpCarlos is offline
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That sounds so cool. I love stuff that makes a game seem more like a "living world", and this sounds like it'll add another great layer of unpredictable cause-and-effect to the game.

You're probably too far along on the expansion for this, so maybe it's an idea for another expansion or a sequel: all of those things would interact in interesting ways with the ability to hire a townie as a side-kick/merc. In some towns everything would be fine, but in others the best available fighter would be a destitute beligerent drunk, and you'd have THAT to deal with. Or the person you want to hire would be too caught up in his own issues, and you'd have to help him out in some way before he'd join up with you. Little side-quests like that would just grow organically from the NPC's interaction with each other.
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Old 10-21-2010, 02:21 PM
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DeathKnight1728 DeathKnight1728 is offline
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This is awesome! So if someone has a fight with someone else you have to fight the guy until he gives up to stop the fight. That sounds pretty cool, almost like rotk.
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Old 10-21-2010, 08:22 PM
Roswitha Roswitha is offline
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This is why Din's Curse beats Diablo 3.

Variations for local hero: sheriff, marshal, leading citizen, mayor, master of the guard, peacekeeper, any kind of Roman soldier.

Some people might turn to begging rather than stealing, if they're starving. How about High unemployment for a world modifier. Do people have a way of getting more education/training so they can move up in the world?

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Originally Posted by DeathKnight1728 View Post
This is awesome! So if someone has a fight with someone else you have to fight the guy until he gives up to stop the fight. That sounds pretty cool, almost like rotk.
Not necessarily. If your reputation is good enough, you might just be able to say "Stop" and they'll both stop fighting to listen to you.
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Old 10-21-2010, 09:46 PM
eides eides is offline
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I'm really looking forward to this. How do you get around the problem of big heroes solving everyones happiness problems by just opening their wallet and passing out coins? If that's an option, I don't know if I'd have the heart to hang onto my money, even though I know it would ruin the fun and drama.
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Old 10-22-2010, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roswitha View Post
Some people might turn to begging rather than stealing, if they're starving. How about High unemployment for a world modifier. Do people have a way of getting more education/training so they can move up in the world?
Begging for money is another of the many possibilities for an NPC in debt that is already in the expansion.

Right now their "job" is pretty hidden behind the scenes and fairly generic.

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How do you get around the problem of big heroes solving everyones happiness problems by just opening their wallet and passing out coins? If that's an option, I don't know if I'd have the heart to hang onto my money, even though I know it would ruin the fun and drama.
Currently you can donate money to any NPC whenever you want. If you give them enough it will at least temporarily solve their money problems, but doesn't help their happiness any (well directly at least).
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  #7  
Old 10-22-2010, 11:03 AM
udm udm is offline
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Very nice. As long as it all has an impact on the gameplay experience...
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Old 10-22-2010, 12:57 PM
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Very nice. As long as it all has an impact on the gameplay experience...
That's actually my entire purpose with all of this.
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  #9  
Old 10-22-2010, 04:56 PM
robmack robmack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
When they get really happy they are labeled a local hero (I still need a better term) .
In order to keep with slightly darker scheme (at least compared to Sims), how about instead of happiness, you call it Desperation Index
The range could be a series of emotional states. For example, it could range from Abject Misery to Sublime happiness

If you want something more neutral: Town Prominence
It would measure status/reputation:
The range could be something like:
Outlaw, Renegade, Vegabond, ... Commoner ... Nobility


Instead of local hero:
Local Celebrity
Local Paragon
Town Noble or aristocrat
Town Luminary
Local Gentry or Gentleperson


Anyway, I hope this helps. I'm really looking forward to the new expansion.
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  #10  
Old 10-23-2010, 02:36 AM
udm udm is offline
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So many ideas! Perhaps in the expansion, towns no longer have to be such quick 30-minute games anymore? I mean, personally I enjoy being able to play a quick town before turning in for the night, but I know I'd get more replay value out of the game being able to play a town for days should I choose to
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