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Re: Of Unexpectedness

#16
Flatfingers wrote:
McDuff wrote:However, perhaps they could be farmed out to the community sometime later in the dev process? Inventing mysterious hidden easter eggs is something a community of modders could have fun with.
Only if they were submitted privately, modified by Josh before implementation, and he didn't say anything about which ideas were implemented... otherwise they wouldn't be secrets for very long at all. ;)
True... although you'd never know where they were going to turn up, so there's that :D
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Re: Of Unexpectedness

#17
One of my favorite easter eggs is for a mod of Half-Life 2 called Black Mesa. Followed the mod for 7 years (still following for part 2), but one of the most elusive easter eggs is called the Pizza Code Mystery.

Basically, the developers put a very complicated (and unsolved) bunch of tidbits of information all over the game using mathematical equations and codes (which a lot of people in here seem like Einstein's due to all the equations and math thrown around that I am clueless about) which tells a story about some scientists. It is goofy and silly, but so many people spent HOURS and HOURS looking through the game in order to solve this. Some of the clues you had to cheat (disable clipping) in order to reach areas of the game where the codes were hidden. Obviously, this was something done after playing through the game. I'm not saying this is something along the lines of 'lore' BUT it makes you think many long hours about these things.

Now, picture randomly, throughout the procedurally generated universe, you find a derelict ship, or maybe MANY derelict ships in a system. When you get near, you get bits and pieces of information about an ancient race of spacefaring people who are no longer around. Now, it is probably too much effort to come up with a story or something to just make you think "What the heck happened here!? Who were they fighting? Who won? Did they survive?"

The only other way to make this even creepier or eerie, would be if you could board a derelict ship and go inside, and find the ruins and bodies(or lack thereof) in the ship. Some games did this stuff and it sometimes led up to meeting of an unexpected enemy or just set the tone. I always HATED having to do that mission where "We need you to go on board that super dark and creepy looking ship to find out what happened there. What could possibly go wrong?" Now, I know this might not be the best game to use as an example, but there was one level(or a couple) in Star Trek: Elite Force where you find a derelict ship and it is completely empty until you find the ship logs with people screaming that they are being torn apart.

Those moments gave me goosebumps and made me increasingly paranoid.

Ok, rambling done (I think I jumped around more than a frog on cocaine) but I am just spitting out ideas because I like having some unexpected things thrown in here and there randomly. The spice of life. Heck, Josh could even ask for someone to come up with a handful of different ideas to make it easier for him. We do have a bunch of super geniuses on here. :monkey: :monkey: :monkey:
Image "Everyone needs to have their avatar's edited to have afros." -Charley Deallus
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Re: Of Unexpectedness

#18
Charley_Deallus wrote:Now, picture randomly, throughout the procedurally generated universe, you find a derelict ship, or maybe MANY derelict ships in a system. When you get near, you get bits and pieces of information about an ancient race of spacefaring people who are no longer around. Now, it is probably too much effort to come up with a story or something to just make you think "What the heck happened here!? Who were they fighting? Who won? Did they survive?"
You've just described the new indie space sim game Rodina.

It's still in a very early form, but what you described is really what Rodina is about. You might find it interesting.

Also, Star Trek: Elite Force was quite a good game.
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Re: Of Unexpectedness

#19
Flatfingers wrote:
Charley_Deallus wrote:Now, picture randomly, throughout the procedurally generated universe, you find a derelict ship, or maybe MANY derelict ships in a system. When you get near, you get bits and pieces of information about an ancient race of spacefaring people who are no longer around. Now, it is probably too much effort to come up with a story or something to just make you think "What the heck happened here!? Who were they fighting? Who won? Did they survive?"
You've just described the new indie space sim game Rodina.

It's still in a very early form, but what you described is really what Rodina is about. You might find it interesting.

Also, Star Trek: Elite Force was quite a good game.
It was a long time ago and all I remember is that it came with Star Trek Armada I and II. Didn't know what reviews about it were like at the time. It was just like...a free game with a game I wanted at the time. I checked the reviews right after I posted and found it had very positive reviews on PC...and terrible on consoles. Gonna check into Rodina.
Image "Everyone needs to have their avatar's edited to have afros." -Charley Deallus
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Re: Of Unexpectedness

#20
fatmop wrote:Sarif, I was making a half-joke about Herobrine. I understood what you meant, and I think you're right that it might add interesting mystique to the game.
I got the joke :thumbup: but that was also a valid example.
Flatfingers wrote:Not at all, Sarif -- I'll go with that "great minds" idea. ;)

The Eurogamer article was pretty amazing in how it shone a spotlight on the power of discovery as play. When a game includes some hidden things, it becomes natural to ask, "Well, what else is there to discover?" That's a question that people can enjoy trying to answer, giving a game an extended life long after it's been "beaten."
Exactly ! Unlike you - at the time you wrote that very interesting thread of yours - I got Shadow of the Colossus when it was released and got infected by that "quest for a big secret" virus, I can tell you, reaching that secret garden feels amazing, even if once you're there, there's another place, even higher, you want to reach... I would recommend you grab a copy and play it if you can, this is really a masterpiece.
fatmop wrote:I don't know how much time Josh will have to think up rare surprises and tuck them away in the dark procedural algorithms of Limit Theory. But it's satisfying to think that such secrets could exist.
Indeed. Also why I didn't want to put this in the "suggestions" section, I don't want to try to force things, there are already tons of good ideas there and Josh is already doing extremely well. Besides, the fact that it's procedural already makes it convey that quality of mystery, that sensation of "not man-made, not dev-made" that fits a space setting perfectly and gives it more epicness.

If you play FUEL (which map is procedural too), you'll see, it's just terrain, but its size and the fact that its relief wasn't shaped by man gives the player a very particular feeling when exploring it. And, its landscapes are amazingly beautiful in my opinion.
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Re: Of Unexpectedness

#21
YEEEES PLEASE!
Mystery, Unexpectedness, Confrontation, Unusuality, Unpredicable Epicness.
This is the one major doubts I still have when it comes to LT.

Classic games have well-thought storylines. Twists, Turns, Revelations, new friends and old enemies, climaxes.
In practice this could be everthing from lawless pirates over plagues to alien invasions.
Which are, most important thing, were planned to be dramatic etc by the story writers.

What could LT offer in the future to compensate?
How exciting and dramatic can a procedural universe be? Even if it's developed by Josh?

so many questions...

However one important thing about Freelancer always has been the discovering of special places, wrecks and artifacts...
normally hidden in disgusting nebulae, mine fields or...
within some... radioactive deathbringing historical war zone ship wreck graveyard...
Such things were - and will be - interesting for sure.
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Re: Of Unexpectedness

#22
I agree wholeheartedly. I came upon LT when I was looking for a replacement for the now thoroughly explored and unexpectedness-lacking EV Nova. EV Nova had been my go-to game for the space sandbox genre for years, and I kept thinking that there had to be another great game out there that would fill the same void. That game had a great deal of surprise inherent to the way the game was set up. Nearly all of the quest lines were random (or appeared to be so). You might get a message when you landed on a particular planet, and if you chose to complete the mission assigned to you, you were off into a storyline that you never expected.

While this doesn't exactly fit with LT, I see openings for similar concepts in the procedural nature of the game. If two factions have a large battle in a far off sector, will the husks of the ships remain to be looted when you discover them 100 years later? Will there be secret jumpgates? And if so, will NPC's utilize them? I can envision a group of pirates utilizing a secluded corner of the map, with the only access point being a cloaked jumpgate, as their base of operations. Things like this allow the player to find the unexpectedness in a procedural game, without any of it being hard coded in. The only requirements are the basic functions of the objects in the game, and the ability of the NPCs to take advantage of it.

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