NPC Contact System Details Revealed

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Re: NPC Contact System Details Revealed

Postby Katorone » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:49 am

I agree! Great idea!
The fact that the player could perhaps even contain information could be a great gameplay addition.
For instance, take a ship to sneak under the shields of a capital ship. Destroy their communications array and jump in the rest of your fleet to destroy and pillage.
With nobody around to witness your actions, the ship would be lost in space. Nobody would suspect you, unless you like to bring trophies. :)
Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master.
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Re: NPC Contact System Details Revealed

Postby Deej » Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:45 am

ThisIsJustMe wrote: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.


I have seen this type of mechanic being used in MUDs but for 'Quests', in that the player 'carried' invisible quest markers in their normal inventory. Location/Monster/Enemy code simply checked for the existing of said 'markers' as a trigger to start events, change state etc. I, however, am not following how you use it to propogate news/messages though. Can you give me an example or scenario from your pirate game?
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Re: NPC Contact System Details Revealed

Postby JoshParnell » Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:26 am

ThisIsJustMe 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).


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.


Wow, that is simply brilliant, I love that idea. It is an awesome example of the type of simple & elegant solutions that I search for!!! Unfortunately, I'm not positive that it's appropriate for a futuristic game where information should travel quite fast...nonetheless, the core idea is so elegant...I think we can adapt it for use in LT :)
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Re: NPC Contact System Details Revealed

Postby Gazz » Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:10 am

It would be a pretty big headache with controlling ships in far away systems.
The fleet AI would have to be nothing short of brilliant if it takes half an hour until you see what happened and can give new orders.

If the "seeing" and giving orders works without delay then a general information delay makes no sense. The info would be transmitted by the same means as the orders...


Information delay works well if the game's scope is strategical. I can't see it working for a game as "low level" as LT.
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Re: NPC Contact System Details Revealed

Postby Katorone » Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:28 am

Gazz wrote:It would be a pretty big headache with controlling ships in far away systems.
The fleet AI would have to be nothing short of brilliant if it takes half an hour until you see what happened and can give new orders.

If the "seeing" and giving orders works without delay then a general information delay makes no sense. The info would be transmitted by the same means as the orders...


Information delay works well if the game's scope is strategical. I can't see it working for a game as "low level" as LT.


I think the idea is more about how to let rumours and news spread.
Personally, I think it makes sense of letting news travel faster in the same faction, and slower after that. Eventually dying out when the relevant subjects of the rumour/news aren't known. Why gossip about someone you've never heard of?
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Re: NPC Contact System Details Revealed

Postby Gazz » Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:33 am

But would it be necessary to model the transport of specific news items through space?

It could also be handled as an automatic update.
In space you meet a friendly sauroid trader who came from the Klaat system. You get a "news update" on the Klaat system and nearby systems that are friendly to the Klaat inhabitants.

That can be done with minimal overhead. The only bits of data to maintain would be the last one or two ports of call.
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Re: NPC Contact System Details Revealed

Postby DWMagus » Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:29 am

I just see it as a way for reputation changes. I mean, if you get attacked by some faction, and one of them takes off running, you get a chance to try and take them out (if they're not faster than you) to prevent the dissemination of the information that you may be a threat to that faction. Basically, taking out the witness.
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Re: NPC Contact System Details Revealed

Postby Asmodai » Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:44 pm

Gazz wrote:It would be a pretty big headache with controlling ships in far away systems.
The fleet AI would have to be nothing short of brilliant if it takes half an hour until you see what happened and can give new orders.

If the "seeing" and giving orders works without delay then a general information delay makes no sense. The info would be transmitted by the same means as the orders...


Information delay works well if the game's scope is strategical. I can't see it working for a game as "low level" as LT.

I imagine it WOULD be a pretty big headache to micromanage fleets in far away systems. It is my understanding that the RTS like interface is for within a single solar system. So you have instant communication within a solar system but at least one ship has to go from that system to another in order for that second system to have any idea what is going on in the first. As soon as one makes it through if the event is public knowledge everyone in that system would know and it would cascade out from there. In busy systems general information would propagate pretty quickly I'd imagine but if you're 20 jumps away yeah things might take a while. If you're 20 jumps away though you're so far out that Limit Theory is probably only even simulating your system in the most basic of ways so it can't be instantly sending you detailed maps of every ship you have in that system, the asteriods, projectiles, and such anyway... things aren't being simulated that fine grained. Far away systems are abstractions not to be micromanaged. Want to send a private message to a ship 20 jumps away then you need to send a messenger ship, or better yet if you've built an empire that spans all that a network of them where each ship jumps in, relays to another who imediately makes the next jump, etc. until you get to the destination. This could be fairly quick with the proper infrastructure, though not instant, but yeah, if you want to send a message to a system 20 jumps away and it's private and you don't control any ship or have any allies in between then you're going to have to send a Currier ship to make all those jumps which will take significantly longer. Also private messages as such could be destroyed or even captured if the messenger is defeated. Again if that's one ship that's a risk but if you have a relay network set up you could automatically send a second ship if the first is destroy and get a message back saying "first attempt to failed, trying again" or some such.
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Re: NPC Contact System Details Revealed

Postby JoshParnell » Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:02 pm

I certainly wouldn't use it for such low-level things as orders - I don't want to start dealing with delays in commands...that's just going to get too messy. But I do like the idea of it as a mechanism for allowing news to propagate. And it's really a very simple system that could be implemented easily, so I like that too!

I like, for example, the thought that a trader moving from system A to B would carry with it news that system A has an excess of Meatsteak Cahoonas (:P), and, as a result, other traders in system B might then realize this (because the news had propagated to them), and consider making a trade run.

I do not want information to be strictly local, so the above example might be too extreme. But, at the same time, having everything be globally-visible is boring (even if it would make sense given the technology level). I like the way this method ties the globalness of information to the actual simulation of the game itself, i.e., it ties information propagation to the actors themselves, which will probably bring about more emergent behavior than any of us can fathom at the moment :)

At any rate, I'm not sure exactly how it fits in, but, as I said, it's a great idea, so I would like to use it somehow..

DWMagus wrote:I just see it as a way for reputation changes. I mean, if you get attacked by some faction, and one of them takes off running, you get a chance to try and take them out (if they're not faster than you) to prevent the dissemination of the information that you may be a threat to that faction. Basically, taking out the witness.


This is also a great usage...cool concept, and makes piracy far more interesting and appealing.
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Re: NPC Contact System Details Revealed

Postby Godwin » Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:41 am

Sounds very interesting :)
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Re: NPC Contact System Details Revealed

Postby fraggdya » Thu Feb 21, 2013 4:44 pm

Also interested to see how AI behaviour develops over time :o
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Re: NPC Contact System Details Revealed

Postby Zanteogo » Sun May 29, 2016 9:31 am

JoshParnell wrote:
Questions/comments/feedback all welcome :)


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Re: NPC Contact System Details Revealed

Postby Cornflakes_91 » Sun May 29, 2016 10:20 am

Goddammit zant
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Re: NPC Contact System Details Revealed

Postby Talvieno » Sun May 29, 2016 10:24 am

This thread really didn't need a necro. I'd like to remind both of you that posting here alerts everyone that has subscribed to the announcements board with an email. Doing so will cause undue annoyance if there's no actual news. I'm going to lock this thread down. Please don't do this again in the future. :)
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