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1037122 Posts in 41893 Topics- by 33501 Members - Latest Member: halfheartstudio

August 29, 2014, 10:18:36 AM
TIGSource ForumsDeveloperCreativeDesignmixing skyrim like with minecraft like (thought experiment)
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Author Topic: mixing skyrim like with minecraft like (thought experiment)  (Read 1562 times)
Gimym JIMBERT
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« on: February 13, 2013, 07:52:39 PM »

Hello

I was loosely thinking lately about the limit of "modifiable terrain" gameplay and open world game design. However I figure out that a game that would have RPG village and any sort of social life simulation would be hard to implement with minecraft like "terrain crafting".
Why? how would the world react to modification, especially inside a village area, without breaking the social aspect of rpg game loop, after all you could just create a giant dome over the enemy castle or some house and entirely block section of gameplay.

Is it truly possible to mix those two sort of gameplay?
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« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2013, 08:00:42 PM »

Yea, you just let the enemies/world also modify itself. Either have molemen drilling around ruining your domes or maybe every once in a while throw an earthquake that topples you poorly constructed domes/walls.

Or both.
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« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2013, 08:11:05 PM »

Interesting idea. Systems like that are possible in minecraft because of the low fidelity nature of the blocks. If I remember right there is/was a mod that added villages and villagers. If you removed blocks from their houses, they would rebuild them, and your reputation with the village would go down. Something similar might happen if you built a wall in the middle of the town.

Ultimately I think these kinds of games should encourage creativity and emergence, taking advantage of the player's ability to alter the world. A lot of minecraft 'adventure' maps prevent players from adding or removing blocks so they don't 'mess up' the creator's vision. My preferred maps are those that have no restrictions on what the player can do (like those made by vechs). Vech's maps lack any sort of social simulation or tradition quest structure and take place in dungeon locations like caves rather than villages, so if a player breaks a block it isn't really a big deal. But I think a similar approach can be taken when adding NPCs and so on. Allow or even encourage the player to build a wall in front of the enemy castle, but give the enemy a way to destroy the wall.
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siskavard
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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2013, 08:32:31 PM »

I've always wanted to play a completely sandbox game in a realistic setting. Literally start a world with nothing & let the players craft everything, no NPCs

...fetapults...


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Graham-
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« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2013, 11:03:27 PM »

Yeah it's possible.

You can prevent the player from modifying the town. So like when attacking citizens in Baldur's Gate shit hits the fan if you do the wrong thing. If you earn the town's trust then your rights to make changes increase.

Or elements of the town just can't be changed at all. Or the cost of changing them is enormous.

The trickiest solution is to define all your characters dynamically and have the town react based on what the player does to maintain social harmony, economy etc. The best solution is likely a combination of all of these things.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2013, 01:05:07 PM by Graham. » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2013, 11:05:18 PM »

Why would the player be able to build for example a larger house alone in a reasonable time?
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baconman
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« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2013, 02:11:36 PM »

You should check out "Dark Cloud" or it's sequel (2), as well. There are simplified ways you could do this, like having players construct entire rooms at once, and then play with minutae details after that.
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« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2013, 02:39:56 PM »

Why would the player be able to build for example a larger house alone in a reasonable time?
I think that's the fundamental problem. For a builder game (like Minecraft) you want ultra fast building time. For RPG you want it very slow (so a player is never able to construct/afford a whole city).

I think RPG+modifable terrain is not a good combination, but strategy+modifable terrain might work. Like terrain is based on influence. If a plot of land is under your influence you can construct on it whatever you want (or basicly shape it as you want). Then there is neutral territory which you can not edit and enemy territoy which is not modifable if under siege/combat.

In RPG you could use it as well by making NPC cities a neutral territory or plots of land the player can buy (and only it would be modifable), but it does not sound that exciting to me...
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« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2013, 02:52:32 AM »

With minecraft there are two issues at hand for an immersive rpg experience.

First, is the design issue of how easy the world is to modify. Think siege. You can spend days building a perfect fortress, and all another players needs to do is chip away at the stone wall with a regular pick to get through.

For a game like minecraft to an environment like you're suggesting, the act of building/destroying needs to be rebalanced.

Then there is the major technical limitation. Holding all the world information at once is expensive (memory and processor-wise). Minecraft manages by unloading distant chunks from memory, which effectively means that anything (NPCs, fires, automated circuits) trapped in the unloaded chunks get "frozen" until the player visits again.

For a truly dynamic world to happen, you either need to have everything in memory at once, or you need to somehow abstract unloaded areas so things in them keep happening.

For dynamic NPCs with their own cities, economy and actions, a good solution might be to have a simplistic Civilization-style engine handle "off-memory" developments.


The idea is neat, but there are important hurdles.
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C.A. Silbereisen
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« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2013, 08:20:35 AM »

For a game like minecraft to an environment like you're suggesting, the act of building/destroying needs to be rebalanced.
thats easy, just remove the ability to destroy any block with any tool and up the requirements for making tools.
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siskavard
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« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2013, 08:51:19 AM »

There's also the problem of charging people a monthly fee for a game like this, where anybody can come along when you're signed off and destroy or steal your stuff.
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« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2013, 10:47:27 AM »

thats easy, just remove the ability to destroy any block with any tool and up the requirements for making tools.

Not that easy really. If building is too hard, then no one will want to build, specially if the buildings can be destroyed. Finding a good balance between ease of construction and ease of destruction can be extremely tricky (without getting in the swamplands that are creating user edit permissions, as mane Minecraft servers do).

I think the golden rule for a "you can lose everything" game, is that bouncing back up and rebuilding shouldn't be prohibitively hard, so players are not only willing to take that risk, but willing to stay around if/when it happens.

That clashes with many RPG designs based on massive timesinks for player evolution (or Minecraft's massive time expenditure to build anything). Imagine if dying in World of Warcraft meant your character was deleted! Lots of players would ragequit and never come back.
Minecraft has the Hardcore mode as an example, you can lose it all in an instant, and, as such, it isn't such a popular gamemode (I like it though).

In the end, balancing is the hardest part, specially in multiplayer environments where you cannot predict what players will do.
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Garthy
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« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2013, 01:26:28 AM »

after all you could just create a giant dome over the enemy castle or some house and entirely block section of gameplay

How would people react to that in the real world? Let's assume you had the technology to build such domes.

You would probably have some NPCs who didn't care. There might be some that reacted to it violently and attacked you as you did it. There might be some who were assigned to repair the damage. There might be some people who assumed you were a dangerous lunatic and refused to help you on other tasks.

I think it'd come down to making the NPCs react to certain things, such as walls of lava or deathtraps or gigantic walls being placed where they don't belong. When there are consequences to doing crazy things- preferably with a chance to redeem yourself- then players would learn to not mess with the other NPCs if they want their help or assistance in the future.
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Oskuro
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« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2013, 02:43:18 AM »

The dome thing wasn't the plot to Ultima Underworld 2?  Blink

As for making NPC react to player actions, again a Civ-Like engine would help. Any action by the player that prevents necessities (like a dome blocking trade routes or the access to resources) could be seen as negative and thus result in a reputation hit.

It wouldn't be a matter of programming specific reactions to specific events, but rather to generalize the needs and wants of the NPCs, and evaluate player actions based on them.

Example: Village (Entity) needs River (Location) for Fishing (Activity), Player (Actor) does something (Action) that prevents access to River (thus Negates Activity).
Reaction would then be to a) Reduces Player's reputation and b) Undo the Action.


Yes, I've given this type of idea a lot of thought.
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Graham-
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« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2013, 04:18:56 PM »

Two methods of control:

1. Gate world changes.

Different environmental elements require any given set of criteria to be met by the player. i.e. in Minecraft you need wood for a pick, a pick for stone, stone for iron, for diamond, for obsidian, effectively controlling how difficult obsidian is to get.

For example: you need x item to make y change. x requires q hours and r skill to get.

2. Provide consequences for certain changes.

Given these two mechanisms, and a lot of effort put into balancing, anything is possible.
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