The kind of RPG I would like to see

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Ken_Oh
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The kind of RPG I would like to see

Post by Ken_Oh »

I'm just musing here. What I would like to know from any replies is:
-Am I crazy? Is this just not possible/feasible?
-Are there any games already like this?

The kind of RPG I would like to see: Randomly generated.

There are plenty of games with randomly generated content out there, but those all seem to have to do with mapping and placing items/monsters, like Nethack, but most "real" RPGs simply have random encounters. Or, at best, you have games like Dwarf Fortress which have economic layers to characters which randomly generated and/or based on external influences which gives them some unpredictability and difference in outcome from game to game.

Think of a level in Nethack for a moment. There's logic to room building, loot dropping and monster laying. The up staircase is connected by a series of rooms and corridors to an eventual down staircase or two. Obstacles and treasures are placed as things to do while you're getting from point A to point B.

All this is randomly assigned yet created by a certain logic. Think if RPG elements were created with that in mind.

As an example, the RPG engine creates a town where the hero travels in looking for adventure (or whatever). The town has a certain economy with its leaders, oppressors, underdogs, subversive characters, mystery characters, etc. Each character is doled out hopes, fears, ambitions, loves, hates, etc. The important thing is for an equilibrium to be established, because what's next will rock that balance somewhat.

As the hero enters town, a bit of drama happens.
-NPC found dead, presumably murdered
-there's a theft
-two NPCs in conflict
-an external force is threatening the lives of the town (monsters, ghosts, etc.)
-an external force is threatening the economy of the town (failed crops, haunted woods-->lack of lumber, sea monsters-->lack of fishing, etc.)
-NPC missing

Let's take the murder. You need to assign a motivation and a "whodunit."
-jealousy
-crime of passion (argument, either killer or victim being caught in some act, etc.)
-gains of some sort (i.e. fratricide to gain inheritance)

These plot points are randomly assigned to involve NPCs, but the assignment is based on logic. The baron isn't likely to be the one stealing apples from the farmer's tree; that's best assigned to someone poor. A child is probably not the best to assign the role of murderer, unless key factors are there.

The important thing is to have some sort of mystery and therefore some discovery on the part of the hero. That is, if he even decides to help out. Maybe more people get murdered because the hero doesn't do anything. Maybe more people get murdered because the hero does get involved. The murders then effect the town's economy and well-being. Maybe the kid who replaces the murdered fisherman sucks at his job. Maybe he's better but hates it.

Some NPCs know things, some don't. Some NPCs are lying, and some are trying to cover things up. Some NPC react positively to the hero and some react negatively. The hero can deal with these how he likes and try to get some sort of results. In fact, it should be possible to side with antagonists or even double-cross a side of a conflict.

These storylines would come in large and small varieties, with larger ones possibly being epic or the "main" storyline. The smaller storylines might effect the larger ones too. If half the people in the town get murdered, then it will be defenseless against the undead army that is days away.

The idea is complicated, sure. But, I don't see how it wouldn't be possible. I just can't believe there aren't games like this, where every game the player starts is different in storyline, not just locations and loot. It would even be fun to play for the creator if done well enough so that he/she doesn't automatically know what's going to happen.

Thoughts?

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mnewton1
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Re: The kind of RPG I would like to see

Post by mnewton1 »

That wood be extremely hard and would take a very long time to make... although if it does exist I would love to play it
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Turuk
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Re: The kind of RPG I would like to see

Post by Turuk »

I really like the idea, mainly because it would be a game where every action you make truly does affect the world around you. I know a number of games have tried something like this, but I cannot think of a single one that consists of all that you have in mind.

I think the only reason one has never been made is the sheer size involved. It would make people a long time to create and develop one town, and a player would want a world the size of one in The Elder Scrolls to run around.
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Ken_Oh
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Re: The kind of RPG I would like to see

Post by Ken_Oh »

It would be an huge undertaking, but many modern games are. I think if half of the resources it took to make the graphics/artwork of something like Fallout 3 were put into a project like this, it would be great. Instead, games are doing less with more. I'd rather see more be done with less.

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Re: The kind of RPG I would like to see

Post by e7th04sh »

Oh my :D I guess everyone who like real RPG, have wished for such a cRPG :P Impossible with current huma resources in games industry.

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Re: The kind of RPG I would like to see

Post by Jozrael »

Oh. I thought you were asking someone to code this in WML. The I realized the forum it was in :P







LOL

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Ken_Oh
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Re: The kind of RPG I would like to see

Post by Ken_Oh »

Well, *sigh* I kind of hope to make something like this, maybe not on the grand scale that I drew out. We'll see.

The biggest problem I see from here is making every NPC intelligent to the point where it can react to whatever stimulus there is.

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Re: The kind of RPG I would like to see

Post by Turuk »

Ken_Oh wrote:The biggest problem I see from here is making every NPC intelligent to the point where it can react to whatever stimulus there is.
This is probably the hurdle I feel a large number of game developers even in the professional realm. Even the games where the NPCs seem to react on their own is just a matter of programming an absurd number of possible reactions to all of the possible stimuli.
Ken_Oh wrote: Well, *sigh* I kind of hope to make something like this, maybe not on the grand scale that I drew out. We'll see.
I'd be interested in seeing this out, if you do plan on it. You could always start with a small village, like your example, and see if you can get the NPCs to react how you like.
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Re: The kind of RPG I would like to see

Post by zookeeper »

Well, the major problem is that you can't really make the game randomize those things well. The NPCs need to speak according to their personality and current situation and whatnot, a generator can't do that.

Sure, you could randomize the world, its inhabitants, their personalities and motivations like in your murder mystery example, but what happens when the player goes to talk to that bartender, who has been randomly determined to be talkative, indebted to the town mayor and having had caught a glimpse of the mysterious murderer who is suspected to be his brother? You can't automatically generate that in a natural and convincing manner, someone has to write it, and obviously the number of situations and combinations you would need to cover would simply explode.

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Re: The kind of RPG I would like to see

Post by e7th04sh »

Disagreed, in my opinion this can be done, however if we wanted to do exactly this, it would take too much time, and time is money. You would have to hire an incredibly huge team of sharp-edge skilled professionalist for quite a few years, because they would have to code perfect code...

However this will be much easier in future, as long as our civilisation keeps peaceful for quite some time. I am rather sure, that artificial personality will be easier achievable than more sophisticated artificial intelligence, and that's what you need. AP project would be still something costly, and the libraries would burn CPU a lot i guess, but this would be probably something embeddable in game, so it could generate more money for itself.

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Re: The kind of RPG I would like to see

Post by Turuk »

I do not think anyone doubts that in some form, this is possible, but the amount of resources required to do it to a high standard would be immense.
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Re: The kind of RPG I would like to see

Post by Cernunnos »

Hi,

Since there's at least 1 NPC, a total random RPG is impossible IMO,
Then i can see 3 alternatives (there's maybe more) :

1) you make a rpg with no npc at all, and hope the players will eventually be role playing... (which is not the case in most mmorpg, sorry if i offense some).
2) you make The AI.
3) you are smart enough to make something non completely random but make though player(s) that it is.

Ok this is not really optimistic, i'm sorry if i'm negative here, but you're talking of something which is half way between really difficult to nearly impossible and totally impossible for human beings in the XXIst.

Do you recruit? If yes, I'm in :D .
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Re: The kind of RPG I would like to see

Post by Jozrael »

Anyone ever play Planescape: Torment?

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e7th04sh
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Re: The kind of RPG I would like to see

Post by e7th04sh »

I did, very interesting game, altough i had some incompatibility with my ware, and it was too awkward, so i played only for a few hours.

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Re: The kind of RPG I would like to see

Post by Cernunnos »

@ Jozrael: at least CD1 but i don't see the link...
"While portrait art may be where Wesnoth gets its glamour, and sprite art may be where Wesnoth gets its zest, it's the terrain art that's so crucial to Wesnoth's polish - it's the canvas that the rest goes on." Sangel

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