none static sandbox RPG

none static sandbox RPG

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Gota
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none static sandbox RPG

Post by Gota »

Would it make sense to make an rpg game on the spring engine?
A none static sandbox rpg as i see it should include the following:
a way to generate a worldmap based on several inputs.
the world map needs to be able to physically change,experience eruptions earthquakes and allow players and other characters to chop down forests mine mines make wells etc...
The economy needs to be dynamic and based on the raw materials the game world offers and their processing by characters.
each npc should have characteristics that will decide his actions and it will follow basic needs and desires.
the system should allow cities and social structures to be formed and even empires with leaders.
Obviously npc will be able to have kids to populate the world..Npc's will also die of old age ...
Of course wars...quests that are generated based on needs of characters and the economy.

Is this feasible?what would be the best open 3d engine to use for this?
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SpliFF
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Re: none static sandbox RPG

Post by SpliFF »

Probably anything but spring. It really is a special-purpose RTS engine.

Try:
Apocalyx (to write a game in script - Lua, AngelScript or CScript)
Ogre (to write in C++)
Tobi
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Re: none static sandbox RPG

Post by Tobi »

AFAIK Ogre is really just a 3d engine, you need to add a lot of code to actually make it a game engine.
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SpliFF
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Re: none static sandbox RPG

Post by SpliFF »

well if you're going to be implementing an AI that can control thousands/millions of npcs and an economy that includes destructable objects in a world large enough to contain cities and empires in realtime you'd probably need to start with a fairly custom system anyway. You'd probably need a small cluster of PCs to run it.

Yes there are programming tricks you can use to minimise resources required to update remote NPCs or to group them into mass updates, or treat them as special relative to random encounters but that's still a lot of work.

In short the concept will require complex code that isn't going to found in an "off-the-shelf" RPG engine. You'd probably find it easier to start from scratch than retrofit routines designed for 100's of npcs into a game containing legions.

I've considered doing this myself but only as a semi-realtime text MUD. Even that is more work than I'd care to consider. Honestly this idea falls into the "wouldn't it be nice" realm, not the "something to do in my spare time" one.

Btw. I bought "Europa 1400" which is supposed to be something like you're considering. The main difference being it restricts itself to 4 towns and about 2000 citizens. If you want to reign in your expectations a bit then consider making an Oblivion mod as this engine should be perfectly capable of doing what you want - just on a smaller scale.
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manolo_
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Re: none static sandbox RPG

Post by manolo_ »

but u could make a round based rpg-tactic game instead (like FF tactics or ogre battle), also with ai-controlled units, lvl-ups and stuff like that
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SwiftSpear
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Re: none static sandbox RPG

Post by SwiftSpear »

Strictly speaking, we're talking imagination world project. It's possible, but not realistic for the spring engine. Kind of like it's possible to use a lawn chair for the basis of a supersonic jet... it's just insane.

[edit] Honestly, I'd shy away from doing it in 3D. Too much art required to make it feasible.
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SpliFF
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Re: none static sandbox RPG

Post by SpliFF »

Exactly right. Even 2D hugely reduces your ability to properly simulate character interactions. Consider this:

1.) You have a combat system, you chop off a guys arm but he flees.
2.) You have a bar simulation, where characters can sit and drink.
3.) One-armed character comes in to drink, how does he lift his beer?

The number of required animations expands rapidly towards infinity with each, seemingly simple interaction you add. This forces you to limit possible interactions so severely that:

1.) The game becomes unrealistic. You see a knee-high fence but can't climb over it.
2.) You meet thousands of diverse, interesting characters who appear to do nothing all day but stand up, sit, walk around, run, mumble, wave their arms, drink and fight (always to the death, so you don't have to animate maimed characters, and always repeating the same 4 or 5 fighting moves regardless of actual skills or body shape).

If you've played Oblivion you'll know exactly what I mean. Sure the NPC's run shops and gossip in the streets etc but they simply aren't dynamic enough to be truely interesting. You never even see true crowds, just small groups due to pathing and graphics limits.

Your only practical options are:

Non-realtime, and/or
Non-graphical, and/or
Limited interactions, and/or
Limited number of NPC's per region, and/or
A massive budget to hire skilled programmers, and/or
A development time measured in years

By the time you finish making the trade-offs the game will be nothing like the one in your head. Which makes the choice of engine somewhat academic at this point.
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SwiftSpear
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Re: none static sandbox RPG

Post by SwiftSpear »

SpliFF: in terms of the # of interactions, even in the most expansive of games, at some point you're going to have to choose your battles. If a dwarf straps 40 tonnes of explosive to himself in a patchwork rocket and trys to reach orbit... are you really going to have the physics in place to simulate the weakening the the atmosphere, the decrease in gravity with altitude, solar radiation, all the other potential issues? assuming you even have the physics in place to allow 40 tonnes of explosives in an elaborate setup to create physically sane propulsion.

At some point, you just have to choose some things the game does and some things it does not.
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Argh
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Re: none static sandbox RPG

Post by Argh »

A RPG doesn't have to have crowd sims to be fun anyhow.

I could pretty easily code a simple roguelike with this engine, and I'm sure KDR could whip one out in a weekend.

I've already done procedural map stuff, it's not terribly hard. Just hook in a rogue algo for building the world, give it rogue rules for digging, voila. Better yet, use Lua to carve it into the map itself, and use more Lua to allow characters to "dig" into the walls. Might even be fun, when it had enough to do.

There just isn't any point right now, and it's not because of the supposed engine limits. The content load to make it decent won't make any sense to make until the engine supports characters animated with IK and certain other things are cleaner and faster.
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SpliFF
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Re: none static sandbox RPG

Post by SpliFF »

SwiftSpear: I didn't say there'd be no limits, I said a MUD would have less limits.

Argh: Did you read the OP? He's talking about NPC's going off and building entire empires and armies. That's way beyond "simple roguelike". What is an army except a heavily armed "crowd"?
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Argh
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Re: none static sandbox RPG

Post by Argh »

Well, that's just a matter of scope and scale, really.

I mean... roguelike creatures moved around, fought each other, etc.

If he wants them to go form empires and build cities or whatnot, great, use one symbol to represent a mass of people X in size, etc. But there's absolutely no point in trying to represent individuals, if you want something with that kind of scope.

The resulting code's really pretty much the same as a roguelike at that point, and totally doable. If you treat groups that way, and kept the number of groups reasonably small (say, 100 or so) you could probably build a very complex game style in Spring.

I don't think it would be terribly interesting, unless you went whole-hog and built a realtime Civ game with it though. And it wouldn't be a "RPG" in any of the conventional senses. I mean... if there are huge groups out there making whole empires... your personal avatar would have to be Godzilla to make any sort of dent at all. The whole point of RPGs is to keep the adventure's scope and scale at a level where people buy into their self-importance within the game's universe- take it up and make the other actors able to run you over, and it'd just feel arbitrary.
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Gota
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Re: none static sandbox RPG

Post by Gota »

Eh...in any RPG the hero is a godzilla who saves the world and kills unbelievably powerful foes..not to mention the heroe's ability to seemingly go back in time and prevent himself from dying.

The point is to have the same char interaction like in any other rpg proffessions skills etc...and also allow chars to build their own houses workshops stores roads and eventually cities and castles etc..those cities can than form armies and attack other cities eventually forming "empires"
If you climb up and become the ruler of a city you can yourself attack other cities and create your own empire...
Everything must be limited by the availability of resources near by like water or food...
And of course trade ....if a city has no metal how will it forge swords and armor...trade with another city..
daan 79

Re: none static sandbox RPG

Post by daan 79 »

SETTLERS ftw
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Argh
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Re: none static sandbox RPG

Post by Argh »

also allow chars to build their own houses workshops stores roads and eventually cities and castles etc..those cities can than form armies and attack other cities eventually forming "empires"
Well, that was done ages and ages ago in various games. So long as there aren't computer-controlled armies wandering about doing much "sentient" behavior, it's really just a gimmick.
Everything must be limited by the availability of resources near by like water or food...
And of course trade ....if a city has no metal how will it forge swords and armor...trade with another city..
Why simulate all of this boring crap? Why not just assume that if it's a city, it must be doing that stuff already, and doesn't need your genius as a command-economy planner? Are we having a fun romp as our alter ego, SirKillzaLot, or are we playing some green-eyeshade game for wanna-be CPAs?

There is a reason why there aren't games like this, and it has nothing to do with technical complexity; it's for the same reason that most RPGs that force players to sleep and eat on a regular basis are mediocre sellers commercially. It just gets in the way of the fun parts.
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Alchemist
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Re: none static sandbox RPG

Post by Alchemist »

You know I was thinking about the possibility of something like this a couple weeks ago. But with all the detail you want to go into (I did too) you should really look at another engine. You would end up having too much Lua all to try and make it act like another engine.
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Gota
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Re: none static sandbox RPG

Post by Gota »

Argh wrote:
also allow chars to build their own houses workshops stores roads and eventually cities and castles etc..those cities can than form armies and attack other cities eventually forming "empires"
Well, that was done ages and ages ago in various games. So long as there aren't computer-controlled armies wandering about doing much "sentient" behavior, it's really just a gimmick.
Everything must be limited by the availability of resources near by like water or food...
And of course trade ....if a city has no metal how will it forge swords and armor...trade with another city..
Why simulate all of this boring crap? Why not just assume that if it's a city, it must be doing that stuff already, and doesn't need your genius as a command-economy planner? Are we having a fun romp as our alter ego, SirKillzaLot, or are we playing some green-eyeshade game for wanna-be CPAs?

There is a reason why there aren't games like this, and it has nothing to do with technical complexity; it's for the same reason that most RPGs that force players to sleep and eat on a regular basis are mediocre sellers commercially. It just gets in the way of the fun parts.
All this behaviour is suppose to form in most of the time in a natural way...not in a scripted way...
Cities need to grow near sources of water cause it makes sense and it allows to sustain a more ore less realistic economy based on real resources...

Armies attacking other cities is something that hsould occur naturally..the leader of the city would probably an npc that has certain characteristics accentuated stronger in most cases like the urge for power or something thus when he is the ruler of the city he will want to recruit soldiers to take control of other areas as well...

How else are u gonna do this?You want to just script it manually?that results in a very repetitive game...
The point is to have a different kind of game each time you start...
A new map,a new set of starting npc "gene" pool,a different sequence of events..a different amount of starting npces a different ampount of startign villages settlments or cities..
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SwiftSpear
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Re: none static sandbox RPG

Post by SwiftSpear »

I'll state once again. The amount of 3D art required makes it infeasible for a 1 man team. I wouldn't recommend a 1 man team, or even a small team attempt it in anything more complicated than tile based 2D with basic or no animation.
daan 79

Re: none static sandbox RPG

Post by daan 79 »

Spring needs settlers!(off topic)
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Argh
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Re: none static sandbox RPG

Post by Argh »

All this behaviour is suppose to form in most of the time in a natural way...not in a scripted way...
Who said anything about 'scripted'?

I'm talking about game mechanics, and what should or should not be on the table, to make it actually fun. That's all.

And I'm pointing out that uber-complex behavioral dynamics stuff, while possibly a great idea for a PhD. dissertation or a lifelong attempt to build a really specific kind of AI (lol, the "madness of crowds"), is not really all that fun.

What's fun, about a game where self-directing groups go do various things? Well, let's see, there are a few ways that this could be fun:

1. Players could try to use the same rules and mechanics that the AI does, and grow their own groups, prosper and dominate. Civ game in realtime, basically. Writing the AI would be a major undertaking, but otherwise, fine, there's a game design.

2. Multiple players could try to cooperatively defeat an AI that cheats in various ways, or follows different dynamics. Think "co-op Chicken but strategic scope". Could be really fun and interesting.

3. Multiple players could try and defeat each other and AI agents at the same time. DoTA, basically.

4. Players could play by themselves, cooperatively, or against each other, playing the part of "gods" who can change the gameworld (and thus change the behavior / outcomes of group behaviors). Think, "Populous played with multiple people at once". I think this would be fun, in a frustrating way (no direct control over agents would drive me nuts, personally, no matter how cool and seemingly "smart" they were).

These are just some random ideas.

None of them involve having to simulate Joe the Butcher, who talked to Sally the Gardener, who's sleeping with James the Ruler of the City, who decided that Our Hero(ine) needs to defeat the Wumpus and recover the Thing. That's proper RPG stuff- real storytelling, where a player creates the story to some extent by acting in the way that they think is most appropriate, or is driven along a series of rails, depending on the game design.

We can't really simulate Joe, Sally and James beyond the most rudimentary levels. That's part of what I'm trying to drive home here- there aren't any ways to do that, and I don't think anybody here has a real answer for that atm, even the best work in that area remains a very long way from what you seem to want a "game" to do.

Human behavior is extremely complex, the way it plays out is also complex... and it's better (imo) to abstract it and go for behaviors that don't reflect the whole range of human drama, than to try to create some tapeworm crap where eventually people realize that they're really just poking at a pretty dumb and / or arbitrary set of rules.

Will Wright got a lot of this right when he made The Sims. Maybe go look at that, try to understand what he was doing there, by taking away a lot of the specific stuff but leaving players with the essentials. IIRC, he's on record, talking about how he went about designing a lot of the "interpersonal interactions" in that game, and I suspect that you could probably do so with a lot more actors, if you kept things down to the basic needs of human beings, and then let players poke at the "people" and make things happen. But it wouldn't be a RPG in any real sense- it'd be a simpler Sims with some combat elements, and it would probably not be very interesting. Instead of thinking of everything possible that could be simulated, I really suggest that instead, you think about what would be fun- real fun, not just "hey, this system can do X".

Most games that aren't multiplayer that are fun are doing three things:

1. They're telling you a story. Maybe a multiple-choice story, where you get to make choices that determine the outcome, but it's still a story and you're there for the ride. Plenty of great games in that vein.

2. They're giving you puzzles to solve. This may be anything from physical puzzles (twitch skills) to brain-teasers. Most RPGs mainly puzzle people with practical probability (or how to optimize circumstances to produce a given outcome).

3. They're giving you a memorable experience in some way. This may be visuals, audio, neat character design or aspects of world / actor behavior. It may be stuff like having crowded cities that at least sort've look like the real thing. That's totally doable, so long as the places where it must be faked are hidden away somewhere.

That's pretty much it. Story, challenge, experience. Where the weight is depends on the game. But none of this requires deep-level simulation. 90% of game design past the initial conception is either smoke and mirrors stuff or it's Making Things Work, anyhow. Maybe think more about why you want these self-directing agents, and how players are supposed to be part of a story, be challenged, and have a memorable experience. Maybe players' actions can change the dynamics of individuals, who don't speak, but just emote depending on what the player's doing, as a way to abstract things and keep the tapeworm from being visible? But think through the basics before getting into massive wishlists of detail.

What you're asking for, basically, is not possible. I think that you could simulate a village of people all acting upon each other and doing things that change the dynamics of the whole village, with the player's actions being key to how things go. That, I am totally certain, is doable. If you keep the behaviors simple, and make the rules totally clear to players, so that they're real participants, not just viewing an ant farm.

But multiple villages, with multiple rulers, which may be building giant empires, based on the behavior of thousands and thousands of agents? I don't think that anything like that exists, beyond a very simplistic level, ala A-Life projects, etc., and I don't think it would be fun at all, even if you could build one. Just my opinion, of course.
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Gota
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Re: none static sandbox RPG

Post by Gota »

your thinking settlers,civ and populus while I'm thinking X3 oblivion gothic...
a first person or third person gameplay where you are one char...
Meaning doing quests like in oblivion or WoW...
Interacting with npcs...
Thats how i see it happening:
First create the ability to create random maps with different amounts of the different resources,different heightmaps etc...
Than creating NPC with certain behavioral characteristics which are applied randomly and can be passed on and replicated as npcs make children...
Apply Possible actions and basic needs for those npc chars...like food water income and make available different actions to allow npcs to reach what they want(in the game itself youd see a small percantage of characters that are unsustainable and will be either killed or die cause their characteristics are so extreme)...
Than work on the interaction of those npc in a more complex way and allow them to build their own homes and shops give ask others to do assignments that they need for $ and allow them to hire workers if to do jobs for them if they can afford paying them...
So your interacting with them as well becoming a trader or pirate or mercanery or whatever...
All that happens slowly..
Than start implementing how entire cities interact with each other and large scale warfare...
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