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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:43 am 
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Agreed.

Yet, psychologically, the mindsets are very different.

Some in our society pretend that they're disconnected from others (rich from poor peoples, to take a blatantly exaggerated example).
And some pretend they can do it solo: eg the american myth of the self-made-man.

This could be interesting in a game: to instil a particular, cooperative mindset...


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:50 am 
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So...
A no currency system could be based on psychological debt, gifts (services or thingies), and current needs...
It immediately made me think about the old topic of interactions with NPCs. The straightforward approach is to convert those debts into the "reputation" currency but I've already mentioned that. Another approach would be to have persistent NPCs with simulated trade routes, so that maybe it could be interesting to stay in a group of systems or follow a group of traders so that this "debt exchange" as a chance to happen. Technically, perhaps when the player answers a distress call or is "saved" by hunters or passing traders, this could "instantiate" (a) persistent NPC(s). I imagine a scenario where you are scooped by pirates after ejecting, and then they put you in a Sidewinder and you can't do anything but do as they say until you get the chance to escape their claws.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:37 am 
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Quote:
It immediately made me think about the old topic of interactions with NPCs. The straightforward approach is to convert those debts into the "reputation" currency but I've already mentioned that.
Exactly. Only it could be interesting to have a reputation balance per NPC :p
Quote:
Another approach would be to have persistent NPCs with simulated trade routes, so that maybe it could be interesting to stay in a group of systems or follow a group of traders so that this "debt exchange" as a chance to happen. Technically, perhaps when the player answers a distress call or is "saved" by hunters or passing traders, this could "instantiate" (a) persistent NPC(s).
Et voila!

I so love this idea! I imagine these NPCs could be reused for future interactions :p


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:24 am 
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Quote:
Another approach would be to have persistent NPCs
The game Escape Velocity of fond memory - another space-trade-and-combat game with user-generated expansions (albeit one played in 2D) - had a system for this, and it might be worth thinking about. Most NPCs were randomly generated, but a few were of a special class called "dudes". "Dudes" persisted over time, and had names, and named ships, and faction affiliations. They could, of course, be killed, but only by the player - or at least, only if the player was present to see it happen. This bit of player-centricity was fine in EV, and I think would be OK in Oolite too - not least because Oolite is much bigger and has far more NPCs. This might sound strange but I think that any persistent NPCs in Oolite would be harder for the player to spot, and wouldn't be quite so obvious as they were in EV.

A few player-centric NPCs, used judiciously, could really make the game much more personal, providing partners, acquaintances, allies, and of course enemies. It would also be a great way to bring assassination/bounty-hunting into the core game's contract system.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:57 am 
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Maybe would could start with connecting Broadcast Coms and Life in the Frontier: help trader in distress, find them at the bar where they offer you to deliver a nearby parcel contract for them (more or less easy parcel contract points). Not immediately after though, because the player is likely to use Torus/injectors so seeing the trader there already would be a little weird. We could also connect with In-System Taxi ("hey, I have this customer here that I was supposed to taxi to that station over there but I'd prefer not to right now cause my injectors are broken"). The victims of the Black Monks are good candidates too. It looks like we could have an OXP that offers an API for this OXPs to register "debts" on one hand, and provide characters that offer contracts, missions, etc. on the other hand.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 10:41 am 
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There's the other side of the coin, too … debts that the player owes to other people. Mostly, this would be NPCs looking for revenge. It would have to be occasional, and signalled to the player too - e.g. a comms message, "This is for my father/mother/brother/sister/son/daughter/friend/etc.". E.g.
Quote:
"Hello. My name is [insert name]. You killed my father/mother/brother/sister/son/daughter/friend/etc. Prepare to die."

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 11:52 am 
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Yes! So from a programming perspective, "supplier" OXPs could register a pilot, a ship, if it is friendly or hostile, and a text describing their motives ("you saved my tails at Diso" or "You killed my clone, you spawn of a mussel!"). A "consumer" OXP can then pick a friendly or hostile NPC depending on its needs, and use the description in its dialogs.

Looks simple on the paper. However, perhaps too simple. It would be bad if players would keep meeting with the same OXP that would say again and again "You saved my life at Diso". We might need an "engine" to make the relationships evolve. For instance, when a friendly NPC gets killed, its friends might change their stance to "You were good to Maya, I won't forget that" (I think it's ok if the motivations and the rewards are sometimes out of sync, different cultures have different codes of honor). Or if the player kills this friend (custom assassination contract from Random Hits?), its friends should say "You won't get away with this, you traitor!" or "I know it was an accident". So something like: it should be possible to register a group of NPCs, and the "engine" should manage the changes in their states of mind when something happens.

That looks interesting but not worth anything if the OXP authors are not interested in interfacing with it.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 10:20 pm 
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Quote:
It looks like we could have an OXP that offers an API for this OXPs to register "debts" on one hand, and provide characters that offer contracts, missions, etc. on the other hand.
Proposal: an OXP that offers an API for this OXPs to register "debts" on one hand, and provide characters with a history of positive / negative events towards the player to be used in contracts, missions, etc.
The events might be considered "already avenged" or "already paid for".

Edit: I just read Astrobe idea, it's quite cool :p

Lots of oxps begin to be interesting mainly when other oxps interact.
I use Snoopers in Diplomacy, and it's quite cool, methinks.

I hope someday others will use Diplomacy :p
I think this is proof of the maturation of Oolite/oxp that these ideas are developed.


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