NPC Contact System Details Revealed

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NPC Contact System Details Revealed

Postby JoshParnell » Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:27 am

So I guess you've all read it by now: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jos ... sts/364784.

Questions/comments/feedback all welcome :)
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Re: NPC Contact System Details Revealed

Postby Gazz » Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:17 am

JoshParnell wrote:The seasoned professionals have no problem converting the pirate ships into large plumes of debris. In the end, you lost some of your cargo in the explosions…but you made it out with your life, and many of the goods were salvageable.

But how are you - with your lumbering merchant ship - going to beat all your new friends to collecting the floating cargo?
Wouldn't be much left at all, I'd imagine.
I've been tinkering with possible mechanics of cargo transfer / theft before. =)

Or does every unit of cargo (which is likely just part of a number in the cargo list) have a "legal owner" that is carried over as the cargo unit travels through space and from ship to ship?
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Re: NPC Contact System Details Revealed

Postby DWMagus » Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:00 am

I love it!
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Re: NPC Contact System Details Revealed

Postby Godwin » Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:34 am

Loving it, really loving it.

If you add some randomness/flavor:

* there are npc's that hate you for no apparent reason, which will not change
* there are those that fall in love with you and they will do everything for free (player would be limited to one (I guess?), and should be a rare find, and you should make sure she/he has a good ship and guns to keep her/himself alive, and obviously they would turn to hate you or just stop loving you (again, personality/random) if you try to send them on a suicide mission)
* when you save an NPC ship about to be blown they add YOU to their contact list, and tell you something like 'if you ever need a favour... thanks for saving my life' (again, should be rare, most NPC's should thank you, but not offer this favour)
* contacts should potentially grow cold over time: in some cases, the people forget, or stop to care, while in other cases (you saving their life, they having strong feelings, you working together for multiple jobs) they will always remember
* Since the universe is dangerous freelancers should die every so often, and you should get an obituary message, traders die too, etc. Others like station managers should be pretty much safe (unless that station gets blown up...) well, you get the point: the more useful on the edge of policed space, the more rare an npc friend who stays alive (without additional help from the player)

It would be the best singleplayer experience in this regard ever :)

Oh bonus: as a pirate, make it possible to bribe a police officer and keep him in your black book for future smuggling... and make it possible to extort npc traders for cargo, a reward for 'protecting' them, and maybe even make it possible to find dirty info (they break the law or cheat or w/e) to use to blackmail officials/anyone who cares.

EDIT: just thought of another thing:

It would be again extremely cool and immersive if you'd occasionally get a message (maybe once every 90 minutes on average) from your contacts, not just with jobs (with some losing interest in you if you don't do them and others not minding one bit as it was just a chance they took in asking you, just as in real life) but also definitely random chatter:

"hey dude, I found a new mining zone, how has your day been?"
"So you're still alive then? Impressive... you still so lucky as when I rescued you or decided to take less chances?"
"FML, my girlfriend is cheating on me and the guy she's with just bought up my company and fired me. Got anything for me?"
"Hey have you heard the new song by A.Y.A. yet friend? I find it the best during my long trading runs."
etc etc

Please consider, I know it might be a lot of work to get things like this right ^^
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Re: NPC Contact System Details Revealed

Postby Thardimin » Sat Dec 08, 2012 5:43 pm

My question is still if there will be some kind of hierarchy within the factions? For example, if I find an NPC that I really like and have built up a lot of favor with could I appoint him to a position of power within my faction? You know maybe give him a small fleet to control or manage a mining operation or something? Just think it might awesome to have the capability for the immersion factor. As well as on the opposite side it could open up the possibility of assassination missions. You could pay to have another faction leader or person of power eliminated. Or get payed to do it.

Either way I think the ability to manage factions is going to be a great addition to the game!
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Re: NPC Contact System Details Revealed

Postby DWMagus » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:33 pm

Thardimin wrote:My question is still if there will be some kind of hierarchy within the factions? For example, if I find an NPC that I really like and have built up a lot of favor with could I appoint him to a position of power within my faction? You know maybe give him a small fleet to control or manage a mining operation or something? Just think it might awesome to have the capability for the immersion factor. As well as on the opposite side it could open up the possibility of assassination missions. You could pay to have another faction leader or person of power eliminated. Or get payed to do it.

Either way I think the ability to manage factions is going to be a great addition to the game!


This could lead to some interesting gameplay. Imagine befriending someone, and once your standing gets good enough with him, that he reveals he's the head of this huge shadow organization? :o
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Re: NPC Contact System Details Revealed

Postby Bryce » Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:47 am

I am curious whether the communication between yourself and your contacts is instant or takes time based on how far away they are through the universe.

If all communication is instant then a lot more would need to be simulated at any given time (as more entities would know about a given event happening, well in an infinite universe it would be infinite entities).
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Re: NPC Contact System Details Revealed

Postby Hardenberg » Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:08 am

Bryce wrote:I am curious whether the communication between yourself and your contacts is instant or takes time based on how far away they are through the universe.

If all communication is instant then a lot more would need to be simulated at any given time (as more entities would know about a given event happening, well in an infinite universe it would be infinite entities).


Mh, I dimly recall that the intention was to limit the "active" area around the player (i.E., the part of the universe where things actually happen) to reduce CPU load. As such, I predict that communication would be instantaneous, but with a range limit - if the NPC is outside your immediate area, it probably won't be able to respond to your requests.
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Re: NPC Contact System Details Revealed

Postby Godwin » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:53 pm

Has there been any more info released about this?
I am pretty curious to see if something of what I dreamed up is indeed part of the NPC contact system.
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Re: NPC Contact System Details Revealed

Postby Katorone » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:23 pm

Would befriended NPCs be able to put in a good word for you with their faction?
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Re: NPC Contact System Details Revealed

Postby JoshParnell » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:04 am

Hardenberg wrote:
Bryce wrote:I am curious whether the communication between yourself and your contacts is instant or takes time based on how far away they are through the universe.

If all communication is instant then a lot more would need to be simulated at any given time (as more entities would know about a given event happening, well in an infinite universe it would be infinite entities).


Mh, I dimly recall that the intention was to limit the "active" area around the player (i.E., the part of the universe where things actually happen) to reduce CPU load. As such, I predict that communication would be instantaneous, but with a range limit - if the NPC is outside your immediate area, it probably won't be able to respond to your requests.


That's the most likely implementation I think.

Godwin wrote:Has there been any more info released about this?
I am pretty curious to see if something of what I dreamed up is indeed part of the NPC contact system.


No, not yet, NPC interaction is largely still just a plan, very little implementation so far. I imagine many of your ideas will be in, or that there will be something close to what you described (I read your list) :)

Katorone wrote:Would befriended NPCs be able to put in a good word for you with their faction?


Naturally, a faction will look well upon those who help their members! (Which is just another way of looking at what you suggested)
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Re: NPC Contact System Details Revealed

Postby Katorone » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:30 am

JoshParnell wrote:
Katorone wrote:Would befriended NPCs be able to put in a good word for you with their faction?

Naturally, a faction will look well upon those who help their members! (Which is just another way of looking at what you suggested)


Suppose good relations with a faction's NPCs increases your reputation with that faction. Would you consider adding giving an "incentive" to these NPCs to brag a little more about you, so you gain more reputation?
This would in effect allow the player to buy limited extra reputation (or could perhaps even backfire?).
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Re: NPC Contact System Details Revealed

Postby Godwin » Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:09 am

JoshParnell wrote:No, not yet, NPC interaction is largely still just a plan, very little implementation so far. I imagine many of your ideas will be in, or that there will be something close to what you described (I read your list) :)


That's great news! Thanks :)
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Re: NPC Contact System Details Revealed

Postby ThisIsJustMe » Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:00 am

Bryce wrote:I am curious whether the communication between yourself and your contacts is instant or takes time based on how far away they are through the universe.

If all communication is instant then a lot more would need to be simulated at any given time (as more entities would know about a given event happening, well in an infinite universe it would be infinite entities).


I have written an play-by-email pirate game years ago, and news/messages travelled with ship movement. I handled it like cargo but with no listing in the cargo list and no space being occupied. Number of news/messages/rumours per ship was limited and if the ship got sunk by someone else messages could get lost.

That way news/rumours spread slowly and distribution of them exploded when a ship reached a large harbour with lots of people and ships coming in/going out.

But my random selection what got carried further with priority on the most import/interesting news/rumours, less important things could get lost and never reach some locations.
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Re: NPC Contact System Details Revealed

Postby DWMagus » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:02 am

ThisIsJustMe wrote:That way news/rumours spread slowly and distribution of them exploded when a ship reached a large harbour with lots of people and ships coming in/going out.


I like this idea. Finding a way to make it so rumors aren't instantaneous, and allow the player to try and track down those spreading the rumors could be fun mechanic to play with. It's more of a simulation of bacteria growth almost, where you're surprised where a rumor was 'heard' from and how it got there.
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