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Re: Emergent multi-part missions, quests and epic stories

#46
Cornflakes_91 wrote:Maybe we could use stored metadata to create some semblace of "follow up" missions.

For example data like the general area, what enemies encountered, general performance etc to determine if someone should be hired again for some mission that has some similar border conditions.

"This person did well when protecting our transport against the guristas in the northern asteroid field, we should hire him for our attack on the gurista base"

Maybe no "epic" arcs would emerge from that, but at least something resembling a continouscarc.
Yeah, one option in my favorite mission system Escape Velocity was the use of titles - arbitrary bits linked optionally with a character string - as enabler for mission.
Example: after successfully delivering a Galactiv Express parcel in an introductory mission, you get the title of "accredited Galactic Express Agent". Routine delivery missions are available to persons with this title. Some mission disguised as a routine mission actually has a more complex story (e.g. successfully repeal an attack by pirates) and set another title "trustworthy GE agent" (which is however not explicitely communicated to the player, so he does not know about it) that enables higher risk / higher reward missions.
This is certainly feasible and extensivle to arbitrary info (links to factions, companies, locations, achievements, ...) and using boolean conditions on titles allow even more flexibilty (must be a "trustworthy GE agent" but not a "friend of ups").
Some titles could be pre-defined and usable for all modders, while a mod may define its own titles to allow for its own mission tree that cannot happen "in the wrong order" and without the other assests of the mod.

Note: See much higher in this thread on how to make scripted missions compatible with a no-spawning universe.
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Re: Emergent multi-part missions, quests and epic stories

#47
I wouldnt use any obvious booleans on that.

Beyond the anser to the questions of "did he act with us in this area?" "Did he help us against that faction?" etc.

Maybe some more general stats for how much combat support did he give, did he repair out ships at his station etc..
But that should be more sliding scales beyond some yes/no
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Re: Emergent multi-part missions, quests and epic stories

#48
I reread this thread and I pondered on it for quite a while, and I had some ideas :)

Ultimately, LT IS a single player game, and the player should have an opportunity to feel special, but not as though they are “the chosen one”. These are “Real” missions, not just a list of subtasks to check off.



Within an LT universe, there are some, sometimes many, never all NPCs who for whatever reason want Something about the world to be different. They want to change the status quo significantly.

A Mission then, is helping them achieve this goal.

If the player decides to help, this triggers a special “Mission” console which doesn’t tell the player how to accomplish the goal nor are there “completion” parameters for given tasks. Instead it is a workstation with: A list of advice for things that should probably be done if they want to succeed; An intelligence interface to centralize relevant information found in-world and allow the player to make sticky notes; A command center to centralize the coordination of assets and NPCs (The player would decide what goes in here).

Missions come in a various but limited number of types, each type comes with a different list of suggestions, divided into Intel,Resources,Allies,Dangers. Lets use a standard, cliche Mission type. The NPC you talked to wants to Bring down Empire X.
While tasks in this mission are not discrete quests, it has concrete objectives. In this case, said objective may be [Take Planets XYZABCD away from them][See their total attackpoint capabilities reduced by 90% from time of mission start]
So the list of advice for this mission type would include Art of War things like
  • Gathering Intel
  • Gaining and keeping allies
  • Finding weakpoints
  • Staying under the radar
  • Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your enemy
  • Open Combat vs Attrition vs Precision Attacks
  • Siege Warfare & Controlling Wormholes
  • Watching your back & traitors
  • Balancing Defense and Offense
  • Going in for the kill
Other Mission types include
  • Build an Empire
  • “Defend us”
  • Market Dominance
  • Set up tourism to an exotic location
  • Genocide
  • “Find and bring home my dead child” (esque)
  • Cause a War between 2+ factions
  • Stop a War
  • etc...
The success or failure of the mission is really left up to the player. They’re not Guaranteed to succeed, but if they do they gain a status in the universe “Renown” for having accomplished the mission.

It’s not complete by any means but it might stir some renewed discussion :)

Also, I had an idea for a true Emergent campaign. However, it’s a secret campaign that a player would have to discover on their own, and would be unique to each seed. I will be PMing a few people details on it. However, for the rest of you, a hint: Odyssey
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The conquest of Nature is to be achieved through Number and Measure.
It's better to have questions you can't answer than answers you can't question.

Imagination Fertilizer
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Re: Emergent multi-part missions, quests and epic stories

#49
I'm popping this thread back open again because Bryant Francis at Gamasutra has an interesting interview with Patrick Mills of CD Projekt Red on how quests are being designed as a core feature of Cyberpunk 2077.

Before diving into the quests we saw in Cyberpunk, it's worth asking, what was CD Projekt Red's philosophy that helped its Witcher 3 quests stand out so much? According to Mills, it's the idea that every quest, big and small, needs a "twist," preferably several of them.

"We don't want to make a situation where someone says 'I've got a job, I need you to do the job...' then you handle the situation, then you go back to them and they say 'thank you very much. It can never be that simple."

I found this interesting as a peek at Cyberpunk 2077. But I also wonder what it might mean for how contracts/missions are implemented in Limit Theory.

So far, it seems the intention is for LT to be light on both story and contracts. That's probably necessary, as designing a satisfying procedural story creation system (into which fun/interesting missions would slot) is probably enough work for ten PhD dissertations. (See also the "Contract Systems" thread.)

And yet, we know some LT fans really need a sense of story, of the events in a game of LT being driven not merely by a random number generator but (apparently) by the interactions of interesting characters pursuing goals that sometimes align, and sometimes conflict. CDPR says this can't be "simple" and still be interesting... but how simple can the contracts/mission system in LT be made while still allowing some connection to distinctive, goal-seeking characters?

Without going as far as CDPR, are there some design concepts that could allow automated missions/contracts to be more interesting -- more story-rich -- while keeping this part of the game simple enough so that Josh and Adam can deliver LT within the next year?
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Re: Emergent multi-part missions, quests and epic stories

#50
The easiest way to implement story into LT would probably be through a news feed which documents major events as they occur within the universe. To go further, maybe the player could track certain NPCs in a Dwarf Fortress kind of way. Provide just enough detail about what they are doing so that the player can understand what the goals of particular (executive) NPCs are.

While this might not be perfect, it's certainly better than nothing.
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Re: Emergent multi-part missions, quests and epic stories

#51
The more I consider it, the more I am of the opinion that 1.0 doesn't really need much in the way of procedural narrative, that being a living dynamic universe is good enough to ship. Given the moddability and the potential for creating potential encounters within the universe, procedural or triggered handmade narratives would be better suited for post 1.0
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The conquest of Nature is to be achieved through Number and Measure.
It's better to have questions you can't answer than answers you can't question.

Imagination Fertilizer

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