NPC <-> PC emotional attachment

 
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Grem



Joined: 15 May 2005
Posts: 36
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 12:42 pm    Post subject: NPC <-> PC emotional attachment Reply with quote

One of the things that seems to detract from the online game world is the absence of emotional attachment of NPCs to PCs, and vice versa.

NPCs are generally static numbers waiting to be slaughtered so that their numbers can be added to your numbers. Lets discuss ways for NPCs to attach themselves to players a bit more, and also on how to make NPCs more meaningful to the players.


1. Can an 'emotion' system be coded in such a way that NPCs have attachments to player characters, whether it's hatred, love, or idolization? If a player performs many 'positive' actions to the character, the character will remember the player's name, say 'nice' things to them, wave to the player as he passes by, and so forth. If the player has slaughtered the NPC's family and friends, the NPC should recognize it and display such hatred to the player.

2. One problem with the system is that NPCs are snuffed left and right without thought. How can this be prevented? With a good 'reputation' system design, the emotions of numerous NPCs can be effected at once. (more about this in my reputation post)

3. Could player characters have 'emotion' stats that slightly govern their actions? If the PC is 'fearful', would he be willing to follow all the commands issued by the player? If the PC is in love with an NPC, could he strike against the NPC that the PC commanded him to kill? What if the character was angry due to certain actions, which gave him power to his attacks? Emotions, of course, could not be deliberatly controlled by the PC, they would have to be somehow bestowed on the character in an
'uncontrolled way' so that the PC could not manipulate the system. (Certain quests or random events that trigger emotions)


The purpose of this system, similar to a reputation system, is to give player's more emotional attachment to the NPCs in the world.
- Increases realism and makes choices by the player more 'purposeful'.
- Encourges positive interactions in the world, which can reduce 'griefing'.
- Spur the player to log in to rescue their favorite NPC from certain doom.
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Alayla



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 88
Location: Prague

PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2005 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe this could only work in a game where the character is perceived as a game piece / tool / action figure, that is, there's a pronounced detachment between the player and the character. For avatar-type games, trying to code in emotion is setting oneself up for failure, and a better solution would be finding ways to increase the player's emotional attachment. IMO.
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Kyuss



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 37
Location: Southern Hellinois

PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2005 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I could only see this working as a means of economy control towards
shop keepers.

Vendor sells 1 in x items randomly.

Vendor loads in 30 different rooms, on 30 different days.
Mobs, never like Vendor. There fore, Vendor calls for
help on pcs. The more pc helps vendor, the cheaper
vendors goods would be.

If you save vendor, vendor likes you, should you fail,
vendor feels x emotion towards you, altering prices.

.02 Inebriated cents.
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Ashon



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 86
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:08 pm    Post subject: Re: NPC <-> PC emotional attachment Reply with quote

Grem wrote:

1. Can an 'emotion' system be coded in such a way that NPCs have attachments to player characters, whether it's hatred, love, or idolization?


Sure. Behavioral Modelling is easy and cheap. And if you extend it beyond the 'faction' model that most people are using these days, it might be worth it too.

Quote:
2. One problem with the system is that NPCs are snuffed left and right without thought. How can this be prevented? With a good 'reputation' system design, the emotions of numerous NPCs can be effected at once. (more about this in my reputation post)


Here's a quick one, don't have mindless cannon fodder. Don't have re-spawning mobiles. If the king dies, the guards hunt after him, bounties are posted, whatever. Make an NPC worth something other then juste XP. And grow an atmosphere around your game that looks down upon just random killing.


Quote:
3. Could player characters have 'emotion' stats that slightly govern their actions? If the PC is 'fearful', would he be willing to follow all the commands issued by the player? If the PC is in love with an NPC, could he strike against the NPC that the PC commanded him to kill?


I'd be against a system like this as it takes more of a third person view of the player/character dichotmy. It detracts from the immersion effect.
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