Dream/Flashback Systems

 
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Ashon



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 86
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2005 5:41 pm    Post subject: Dream/Flashback Systems Reply with quote

One of the Cliche mechanism in Roleplaying, and Fictional Novels tends to be the Dream. In the Weekly Plotter #1 Cornelius mentions sending Dreams to players, as part of the mechanism to get an RP-Event going. In another topic (I forget where, and what it was called) there was talk about logging games states, so that you could go back and see where and how bug occured. This brought up some interesting talk about other things, but it got me pondering on being able to 'record' the actions of a player, and replay it to them as a dream.

I know that some mud's have dream areas, but I don't think that these are sufficient to folding this cliche into the game mechanism. I do think that the best way to be able to do this, would include a well rounded player model, where you can track the player state, and progmatically set the dream to echo the presumed mental state of the character.

With this system, it you could do flash backs, shared psionic impressions, and other nifty things.

Anyone Played, Developed, Designed, or thought of a system like this?
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Kelson



Joined: 18 May 2005
Posts: 71
Location: SC

PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2005 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hadn't thought about applying it in that sort of situation, but I did consider it for future sight (clairvoyance, precognition, etc). Basically, snapshot the world (perhaps, just a specific region) then record 5 seconds of 'game' time with everything normal happening. Now rewind (just the region rewinds) to the snapshot and everyone/everything is forced to do what they did do during the actual 5 seconds, except the caster can do whatever they want.

One application would be during a battle. Snapshot as the enemy is attacking the mage. The advantage is the caster gets to see their enemy use x attack skills over the 5 seconds, allowing them to use a proper response sequence to counter it (obviously, this spell would need to be relatively prohibitively expensive - it might also be used when testing something so if it kills anyone, the mage could stop it from occuring again). Like the dream idea though.

Kelson
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Cornelius



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 42
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2005 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have not pondered putting something like this into a system but you have perked my interest with the question. But tell me, are you considering dreams being a mere novelty, for rp, or would they be used in the gameplay somehow?

As for playing a system like this- I beleive the closest thing I have seen (and this is somewhat of a stretch) is the arcade game Soul Calibur 2 where after you defeat a set of enemies you are allowed to fight yourself. The game records the moves you use most often, how you react to situations, your speed and reaction time and then imitates your style of play against you. It would be interesting in a fighitng system like KaVir's to have that kind of thing but in ROM I guess to some sick extent that is already in place (everyone already fights like everyone else Smile)

I think it would also be interesting in a starwars mud if your past actions came back to haunt you and cold sway your faith or your tendancies toward dark and light sides- dreams could be used to let the player know that they are in danger of going to the dark side as they remember their mindless slaughter of jawas back when they were powerlevelling up the jedi cadet ranks- just remembering the event could modify their faith.

just a few ideas anyway...
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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 565
Location: Munich

PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2005 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was involved in a discussion about a dream system a few weeks ago on another forum. My proposal there was that dreams could be a source for various mini-quests, which could provide a means of introducing players to the sort of historical events that their characters should already be familiar with. The rest of this post is a cut&paste from my post on the other forum:

Famous battles, infamous deeds, well-known historical figures, myths and legends from the past - all of these could have dream quests based around them.

This would allow players to learn about the history of the world through participation, rather than making them read through lengthy help files. Because the events took place in the past, and the character wasn't really there, it's the sort of thing you couldn't really explain with "normal" quests. But this approach would allow you to let the player view the event from the perspective other characters - in one quest they might be a small child escaping from bandits (a child who later goes on to become a great warrior), in another they might play a general in one of his most famous battles, and so on. As these are dreams, they could easily be explained away with something like "As you drift to sleep, you remember a story your grandfather once told you..."

You might also allow people to "unlock" new dreams by reading in a library, or listening to a bard - and if certain aspects of the dream were adjusted based on the telling, this might make 'bard' a very valued character concept. IMO it'd also be rather fun to have players sitting around in a tavern listening to a bard, and it's nice that you wouldn't have to just rely on people roleplaying in order to achieve that sort of effect.

Another nice thing about players using specially designed characters specific to each quest is that it would allow you to make sure the dream quests were really well balanced, because you'd know the exact strength of the participant. These quests would then become 100% player-skill oriented, allowing you to provide challenges that couldn't be beaten through brute force. It also means you could make all quests available to anyone, rather than having to tailor them to specific power levels, thus providing even complete newbies with a wide variety of usable game content.
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Ashon



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 86
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2005 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cornelius wrote:
I have not pondered putting something like this into a system but you have perked my interest with the question. But tell me, are you considering dreams being a mere novelty, for rp, or would they be used in the gameplay somehow?


All three. First off, any new an interesting system is a novelty, at least for awhile. But supposing I keep in sleeping and resting, there's no reason that a dream sequence can't be played back for the player. Or to extend that Idea even more you could have a game based on the thin line between dreaming and awakening. So when you are hurt in one realm, you wake or sleep, and enter the other realm.

For RP, the system could be used as a flash back, cut scene, or otherwise. The Recording system would be best if it could record, a place, a person, or be pre-scripted by builders. So, if you meet someone in a 'tense' situation like raiding the dragon's lair, later you might have a dream about it. Or if you start at the entrance to the dragon's lair, you get a cut-scene of the last battle with the dragon. Or you walk up to the tower, and look out over the city, and you get a flashback to the first time you entered said city.

Quote:
As for playing a system like this- I beleive the closest thing I have seen (and this is somewhat of a stretch) is the arcade game Soul Calibur 2 where after you defeat a set of enemies you are allowed to fight yourself. The game records the moves you use most often, how you react to situations, your speed and reaction time and then imitates your style of play against you. It would be interesting in a fighitng system like KaVir's to have that kind of thing but in ROM I guess to some sick extent that is already in place (everyone already fights like everyone else Smile)


This would be along the same line. But instead of recording the players experience, it would be tracking their playing style. Which is a good use to evoke the feeling of intelligence from mobiles. For say a ROM, you could easily add some code to track the skills that the player uses, and if there are anti-skills, to try and upset them.

Quote:
I think it would also be interesting in a starwars mud if your past actions came back to haunt you and cold sway your faith or your tendancies toward dark and light sides- dreams could be used to let the player know that they are in danger of going to the dark side as they remember their mindless slaughter of jawas back when they were powerlevelling up the jedi cadet ranks- just remembering the event could modify their faith.


Well, I was looking at using some sort of mechanism to translate or apply feelings to the dreams. Based on Mental States, Physical States, and other variables (yet to be determined) to flavor the dream sequence. This would just be an extension of that type of system.

Quote:
just a few ideas anyway...


And some pretty good ones too.
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Ashon



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 86
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2005 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KaVir wrote:
I was involved in a discussion about a dream system a few weeks ago on another forum. My proposal there was that dreams could be a source for various mini-quests, which could provide a means of introducing players to the sort of historical events that their characters should already be familiar with. The rest of this post is a cut&paste from my post on the other forum:


I either missed the post, or it slipped my mind. Gah. Hopefully, all interesting design discussions will now occur in one location.

Quote:
Famous battles, infamous deeds, well-known historical figures, myths and legends from the past - all of these could have dream quests based around them.


I was thinking about using a system of flashbacks and cut scenes to get these across about this is an interesting idea.

Quote:
Because the events took place in the past, and the character wasn't really there, it's the sort of thing you couldn't really explain with "normal" quests. But this approach would allow you to let the player view the event from the perspective other characters - in one quest they might be a small child escaping from bandits (a child who later goes on to become a great warrior), in another they might play a general in one of his most famous battles, and so on.


A system like this doesn't draw too much on a recorded event system, but could definitely be implemented in just about any game. You unlock one of these historical quests after finding out about them, and then by going to sleep. Whence you get switched into a new body, and a virtual area. Where you get to play out the quest.
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