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Two random game ideas: To Be Continued... tags and NPC cooldowns

Discussion in 'General Carnal Souls Discussion' started by Farlun, Sep 4, 2016.

  1. Farlun

    Farlun Well-Known Member Member

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    Two things that came into my mind today.

    1) To be continued... :

    Remember all those threads on other hRPG forums from users asking wether some event or questline mentioned in the game is already in? Or all those guys wondering how the hell can they initiate something in-game, be that an event or character interaction, only to learn later that it's not implemented yet?

    So, how about adding an additional variable to the questlines, one that defines it as "unfinished". If a questline or interaction line would reach the end of the current content, then the game would simply inform the player that there is more to come but it's not ready yet.

    This "unfinished" tag would also be visible in the player's diary. Simply put, if the player reached the current end for a content of any given storyline, then the name of said storyline would be added to the quest log with a "to be continued..." message.

    Now, once a player downloads/plays a new version of the game and uses an pre-existing save, then the game would check the unfinished storylines noted in the save file to see if the current version has any new content for them. Should that happen, the player would be informed about it (a pop up window or a explanation mark next to the storyline in the diary).

    Sure, you can just manualy add "unfinished" message in the scenes themselves, but with no way to keep track of them, both the players could get lost (Uh there was this unfinished quest uhh two months ago errr they added some new content uhh maybe it's for this one?) and the writers themselves (Yay finished the questline!... Now to check every single line in the document for a "THIS WILL BE CONTINUED" message...).

    How would this work from the player's perspective? Simple:

    Player plays the game.
    Player reaches the end of the current content for a questline.
    Player sees "To be continued" message both in-game and in the quest diary.
    Two months later, Player downloads a new CS build.
    Player runs the game and opens an old savegame.
    CS tells the player that 3 of the questlines he played the last time have new content and can be continued.
    Player plays the game.

    I'm proposing this because remembering everything you did in a big RPG, and then checking the update logs for new content is tedious. The player should never, ever feel forced to visit the official webpage/forum of the game to understand what's going on.

    Of course, I don't know how the game handles the save system from a programming perspective, so it's hard for me to guess is this system feasible or not, but I think players would be grateful for such a system. There's always this extra layer of polish that can make the game stand out against the competition.

    ----

    2) Second idea, smaller one: NPC cooldowns.

    This one is very simple.

    What about adding cooldowns to certain retriggerable/repeatable scenes? Those would depend on the scene of course, but, for example, a character wouldn't be interested in doing the exact same thing multiple times in a day (e.g. CoC and Amily talk scenes). Or, say, you want to progress further with a relationship and you want to take a character for a date to the city. However, you get a few day long delay between being able to invite them to the city.

    If the option is on a cooldown, upon clicking "ask for a date" or simply saying "would you kindly go on a date with me?", the player would get "I'm sorry, I'm busy right now, maybe later? [Cooldown: 3 days]". Hell, to make it more natural, it could have been a text estimate ("Cooldown: A few days/Week or so/Few hours"). If such options would be present as CoC-style buttons, they could be greyed out with a "Cooldown" tooltip visible once you hover your mouse over it.

    Why do this?

    Well, to make the game more natural and RPG-like and promote diverse gameplay instead of min-maxing. More often than not, such games offer the player the ability to min-max a storyline by clicking through it in rapid succesion. If NPC encounters are randomized it works OK. But if you have NPCs you can encounter out of your own will (say: static shopkeepers or camp followers), you can focus entirely on a single character to go through their entire relationship/romance content within one or two in-game days.

    The other way to avert this is to add a relationship meter increased by repeatable scenes, but it gets very tedious to do a single thing over and over again until you unlock further content. It's tedious if you have to do 40 meditations with a monk before having sex with him, and you can only do one meditation daily, and it's gamebraking if you need to have 40 conversations with a follower before getting the option to romance her, and you can visit her every single hour for two days straight until she decides she's madly in love with you for the continued relationship (that lasted two days).

    Having cooldowns for relationship-modifying (or simply continuing) scenes would promote more diverse gameplay. Instead of focusing on a single NPC for multiple days straight, the player would be encouraged to have a varied schedule of doing quests, shopping, grinding for XP and continuing relationships ("Well, the date was fine, he's cute, but he won't be interested in another one for a week or so.. And I happen to have three sidequests to do, so let's get on with it).
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2016
  2. Godwin

    Godwin Active Member Member

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    I think both of these would be welcome additions to the genre, especially the second system. It's very easy to blow through an NPC's content very quickly in quite a few games. Padding it out with things like "cool-downs" or similar alternatives, like sequentially gated interactions, would discourage that practice. Make characters feel a little bit more real. Which, to me at least, is always a step in the right direction.
     
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  3. Farlun

    Farlun Well-Known Member Member

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    Yeah, but there's always the risk that padding becomes... Well, just that, padding. It will work if there is a myriad of other things to do, but if the content you have available at the moment is limited, then the player might get irritated. Thus I think having a delay between scenes is better than forcing the player to do the exact same thing multiple times. It always feels extremely... Fake.
     
  4. Ecroose

    Ecroose Member Member

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    im unfortunatly used to the second one, but the first idea i could get behind; a single area where we can see what content is done. like maybe an out of character npc or a message board if the quest log isnt the right area or it.
     
  5. WulfesHeafod

    WulfesHeafod Member Member

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    I know TiTS had a thing like this for the robot crew member. You could access a thing that told you how far along you were in his/her storyline, and how much was left or unfinished.
     
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  6. Farlun

    Farlun Well-Known Member Member

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    I love how certain mechanics are random like this. Adult RPGs really need more coherence in design...
     

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