Zero Player Mode

Discuss technical features of Limit Theory and the LT Engine

Zero Player Mode

Postby ruckuz » Sun Jan 04, 2015 3:06 pm

X3 had an autopilot but wasn't exactly zero player you had to still had to do some things.
Would I be able to play, for lack of a better word, this game with no player interaction?
I would like to set up my 'pilot' with minimal instructions then just watch him do his thing.
Kind of like having my very own ship in a galactic aquarium.
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Re: Zero Player Mode

Postby codeape » Sun Jan 04, 2015 3:45 pm

That would be cool :thumbup:
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Re: Zero Player Mode

Postby Basmannen » Sun Jan 04, 2015 3:46 pm

This is so simple that I think it's already basically implemented. Hopefully it will be a little more than just an "aquarium mode" though. Being able to see what the NPC is thinking for example would make me sit in front of this game for hours on end (for months most likely).
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Re: Zero Player Mode

Postby BFett » Sun Jan 04, 2015 5:27 pm

I'd like to see this mode implemented with a floating camera to observer NPCs as they mine and battle. This would make for a great screen saver mode that I'd love to sit and watch for a long time.
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Re: Zero Player Mode

Postby Gazz » Sun Jan 04, 2015 6:09 pm

ruckuz wrote:X3 had an autopilot but wasn't exactly zero player you had to still had to do some things.

That's not true if you scripted yourself an autopilot to do those things. =)
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Re: Zero Player Mode

Postby DigitalDuck » Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:00 pm

Every game should have a zero player mode.
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Re: Zero Player Mode

Postby Dinosawer » Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:08 pm

DigitalDuck wrote:Every game should have a zero player mode.

Most games call it YouTube
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Re: Zero Player Mode

Postby Mistycica » Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:27 pm

DigitalDuck wrote:Every game should have a zero player mode.


I dunno. If you don't play a game for the gameplay, it shouldn't be made as a game in the first place. My biggest issue with Mass Effect and other pseudo-non-linear story-based 'games' - they would simply be better as movies or Telltale remakes. If you have to squeeze yourself through the repetitive cover-shooting or puzzles or whatever, it's just not a good game anymore, and no story can save that. A counterexample would be Half Life or Portal or even Modern Warfare. I enjoyed the gameplay, never knocked out of flow, and it harmonized perfectly with story and other elements. If the game is fun, story is rubbish (Mirror's Edge), it still works; not the other way around.

LT is a bit of an exception because it's just like browsing Dwarf Fortress in Legends mode. Marveling in the absolute crazy PCG can create, flipping a picture book full of Urist. It's not the meat of it though.
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Re: Zero Player Mode

Postby DigitalDuck » Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:26 pm

Dinosawer wrote:Most games call it YouTube


No, that's a one-player mode where someone else has the controller.

Mistycica wrote:I dunno. If you don't play a game for the gameplay, it shouldn't be made as a game in the first place.


I agree with that, but I meant mainly in the form of

Mistycica wrote:LT is a bit of an exception because it's just like browsing Dwarf Fortress in Legends mode. Marveling in the absolute crazy PCG can create, flipping a picture book full of Urist. It's not the meat of it though.


It's always a nice distraction to allow the AI to battle it out amongst themselves whilst watching. If a game has decent enough AI that doesn't revolve around the player, then removing the player (or replacing them with an AI) is a relatively simple change that adds a lot, even if only to serve as an "attract" mode of sorts.

For example, in nearly every fighting game it's possible to set both fighters to AI, and in many racers all-AI races are allowed. Games like platformers and shmups don't usually have player-like AI, so they're excused for not doing this.

But for a game like this, where the players' existence is entirely secondary to the AI, there's basically no obstacle to including a zero-player mode, so there's basically no reason not to.

Of course it shouldn't be the main selling point. But you'll be surprised at how many people like to leave something like that on the TV in the background, and sometimes it's almost therapeutic.
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Re: Zero Player Mode

Postby Scytale » Mon Jan 05, 2015 4:06 pm

In a game where the player is on the same standing as the AI, how is 'giving the AI the controller' not the same as watching a Let's Play on youtube?

I also strongly disagree on what I see as the implied sentiment that all games should have the player on the same standing as the AI.
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Re: Zero Player Mode

Postby Idunno » Mon Jan 05, 2015 4:29 pm

Mistycica wrote:
DigitalDuck wrote:Every game should have a zero player mode.


I dunno. If you don't play a game for the gameplay, it shouldn't be made as a game in the first place. My biggest issue with Mass Effect and other pseudo-non-linear story-based 'games' - they would simply be better as movies or Telltale remakes. If you have to squeeze yourself through the repetitive cover-shooting or puzzles or whatever, it's just not a good game anymore, and no story can save that. A counterexample would be Half Life or Portal or even Modern Warfare. I enjoyed the gameplay, never knocked out of flow, and it harmonized perfectly with story and other elements. If the game is fun, story is rubbish (Mirror's Edge), it still works; not the other way around.

LT is a bit of an exception because it's just like browsing Dwarf Fortress in Legends mode. Marveling in the absolute crazy PCG can create, flipping a picture book full of Urist. It's not the meat of it though.

Debatable. :ghost:
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Re: Zero Player Mode

Postby DigitalDuck » Mon Jan 05, 2015 4:30 pm

Scytale wrote:In a game where the player is on the same standing as the AI, how is 'giving the AI the controller' not the same as watching a Let's Play on youtube?


Works offline, can run for infinity, can potentially be made to play using the game set up, mods etc. YOU decide rather than whoever records the video, doesn't necessarily react in human ways, doesn't have a whiny voice talking over the top of it...

... How are they the same?

Scytale wrote:I also strongly disagree on what I see as the implied sentiment that all games should have the player on the same standing as the AI.


What?

*rereads posts*

Where am I implying that? Other than the general statement, "Every game should have a zero player mode" (which was not meant to be taken literally), I've explicitly pointed out genres where this is not the case (platformers, shmups) and said they're excused because of this.

If you think I was even remotely implying that all games should have the player on the same standing as the AI, you need to learn how to read.
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Re: Zero Player Mode

Postby Scytale » Mon Jan 05, 2015 4:37 pm

DigitalDuck wrote:
Scytale wrote:In a game where the player is on the same standing as the AI, how is 'giving the AI the controller' not the same as watching a Let's Play on youtube?


Works offline, can run for infinity, can potentially be made to play using the game set up, mods etc. YOU decide rather than whoever records the video, doesn't necessarily react in human ways, doesn't have a whiny voice talking over the top of it...

... How are they the same?


Not all Let's Plays have voiceovers, but I would agree in the cases where they do.

I disagree though that the other points are relevant, they're merely differences. Where a 'zero player mode' would be superior to true Let's Plays, I don't think the extra effort that would go into making such a mode available (if the game isn't appropriate for it - see below) would not be worth the limited benefit above a Let's Play.

Scytale wrote:I also strongly disagree on what I see as the implied sentiment that all games should have the player on the same standing as the AI.


What?

*rereads posts*

Where am I implying that? Other than the general statement, "Every game should have a zero player mode" (which was not meant to be taken literally), I've explicitly pointed out genres where this is not the case (platformers, shmups) and said they're excused because of this.

If you think I was even remotely implying that all games should have the player on the same standing as the AI, you need to learn how to read.


Woah chill. I tried to build into my response that I may be wrong; I should have been more explicit - I apologise. Let me instead rephrase:
How would you have a zero player mode in a game where the player is not on the same standing as the AI? e.g. such as a game like Tomb Raider.
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Re: Zero Player Mode

Postby DigitalDuck » Mon Jan 05, 2015 4:58 pm

Scytale wrote:I disagree though that the other points are relevant, they're merely differences. Where a 'zero player mode' would be superior to true Let's Plays, I don't think the extra effort that would go into making such a mode available (if the game isn't appropriate for it - see below) would not be worth the limited benefit above a Let's Play.


As I said, "Every game should have a zero player mode" wasn't meant to be taken literally.

Scytale wrote:Woah chill. I tried to build into my response that I may be wrong; I should have been more explicit - I apologise. Let me instead rephrase:
How would you have a zero player mode in a game where the player is not on the same standing as the AI? e.g. such as a game like Tomb Raider.


Don't apologise, it's my fault. Sorry for overreacting - the earlier post seemed a bit attack-y (although I know it wasn't supposed to be) and I took it the wrong way.

How would I have a zero-player mode in a game where the player is not on the same standing as the AI? I would either:
A) See if using "waypoints" and/or similar, simple overrides on top of an existing AI would work adequately enough for the AI to playthrough the game, or otherwise
B) I wouldn't. "Every game should have a zero player mode" wasn't meant to be taken literally.

And have a smiley to get things back on track again. :mrgreen:
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Re: Zero Player Mode

Postby Scytale » Mon Jan 05, 2015 5:02 pm

My apologies again then, DigitalDuck, you've got it covered. You were totally right by the way, I should have read your posts more carefully, and double-check the vibe in my own. :mrgreen: Keep going!
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