Author Topic: Random Event & Idea Crowdsourcing  (Read 576 times)

Jubal

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Random Event & Idea Crowdsourcing
« on: April 16, 2018, 07:03:45 PM »
Right, I've managed to get the basics of the election system just about rigged up in The Exile Princes, which is good. I need a lot more diversity of things going on and as such, please throw random ideas at me!

In particular I need more:
> Random things you can find with the "search" feature. These should generally pop up as a Y/N question e.g. "Do you want to approach this mysterious standing stone".
> Random events during election campaigns. These should often have a trade-off, with the player either paying money, being asked information about the city, or trading off between noble/common and freedom/strength minded voters.

I also need to find a way to make battles a lot more interesting, they're really dull at the moment as it's basically just an autoresolve system :/
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Tusky

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Re: Random Event & Idea Crowdsourcing
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2018, 09:18:19 AM »
Random things you can find with the "search" feature.

So I presume these things are results of the player doing a search command when they are in a field on the way to a town or something like that? Can these be like events too? Or are they generally more like objects or places that the player can rummage through. Also it would be good to know what the cost / reward system is. Would it be possible for the result of a search to give items, money & xp for example? Or conversely can you deduct money or health etc?

Random events during election campaigns.

For the events I think there is a similarity to the road and city events in gloomhaven. You get one of each when you go to town and you do them by drawing a card which has 2 choices on it - so sounds much like a search being posed as a Y/N question. The reason I bring that up is that I particularly like 2 aspects of them: 1 is that they often pose a moral choice that is not always clear cut, and the other is that it draws in things that have happened in the world. Like it involves a character you met before or is only possible due to the result of your actions. It makes the process feel a little less random, even though it obviously is. Is morality going to be a factor in the game at all? For example I wouldn't want to start suggesting a load of cool events that make the player try to trade off morality with favour with a type of voter. Like how applicable is this?

- You come across 3 frightened and battered figures from [unaffiliated brutish caste x, lets call them UNKS] being cornered by an angry mob made up of [members of faction you want favour with y]. Overhearing the mob you learn that the 3 UNKS are strongly suspected of several robberies in homes of faction y members. It sounds like the mob are taking justice into their own hands and intend to kill the UNKS. Do you intervene, and urge the mob to turn the UNKS over to the town guard? Y - gain morality points. N - gain favour with faction y

There's also the problem that I don't know much of your lore, bestiary & how it all ties together - other than the factions. Are the factions you posted about the same factions that are being voted into power in towns?

I also need to find a way to make battles a lot more interesting

Very tough to advise you on this without knowing what mechanics you have already implemented or have time time and inclination to implement. If you are interested in getting any ideas then I would say (from the look of what you've posted already, or your other games) that maybe an RPG turn based combat might work? So like darkest dungeon / divinity / ff etc
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Jubal

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Re: Random Event & Idea Crowdsourcing
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2018, 10:08:51 AM »
Yeah, the "search" feature is basically a command where you can look around an area, and depending on the type of tile there's a randomised list of things you can find. These can very much be events. So far, they include a few recruitment events ("You find three wood sprites, would you like to recruit them?"), a couple of training events, a couple of a witch turns up and sells you a potion to boost your character type events, and one minor combat encounter option. I can either make the event autotrigger or, more usually, give the player a Y/N option. Players can get new/different weapons, but have to discard their current weapon to do so: there's also functionality for players to get other items, though that's not properly implemented yet.

I've been struggling with the morality issue. In the current state of the game, the election events include paying to target particular parts of the city/types of voter, and some policy options which will satisfy some voters and put off others - so clearing a slum will boost your popularity with the rich but hurt you among the (now homeless) poor. I'm planning to make some aspect of this carry over between cities as well, though, so the player will be punished somewhat for inconsistency/looking hypocritical. I don't know how much this will translate into morality per se, in that I don't know whether or not I'm going to do anything extra to punish the player for being an authoritarian poor-hating bastard beyond the obvious reactions like the poor not voting for you and maybe a higher chance of freedom-minded cities under your control getting upset... morality's a difficult one in a game where the main core mechanic involves wandering around finding monsters or parties of goblinoids and bashing them with a flail.

In terms of the lore and how it fits to elections: whenever there's an election, it's always exactly two candidates, so at present this just means you're challenging the city's current ruler (eventually I'd like to add it so the AI will challenge you to elections in your cities as well, and will very occasionally hold them without you in other cities). The city's ruler will belong to a faction, which may be one of the four major ones, may be one of the two AI factions (House of Princes and House of the Wolf), or may be a "local leaders" type faction (some cities just have a local council). The factions I don't think will make too much difference in elections beyond a few baked-in bonuses - scholars tend to do well amongst free thinking/liberal types, generals get a large boost in any city quarter with a barracks, Phoenixes do well in city quarters with statues, and Dragons do well in wealthy areas. Each city quarter is generated with a bonus "feature", as well as a wealth score and a liberty/freedom score: cities have 3, 5 or 7 quarters at the moment, though I'm thinking of changing this to be 3, 4, or 5 since 7 is a memory pain for the player and ends up with me needing to plan my election campaigns with a pad of paper next to the computer!

As for combat, it's really just an autoresolve system now. The units get sorted according to an initiative-type stat, then each unit randomly picks an enemy unit and tries to attack them on its turn. I could add "build a whole combat engine" to the To Do list but it would be a very big overhaul and might well take as long as the rest of the game put together. I'm not sure how well a really simple turn-based system would work given the warband scale of the thing - I could adapt the current map into allowing a map-based system, but that would be super difficult as I'd have to build a movement AI on it.
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Tusky

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Re: Random Event & Idea Crowdsourcing
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2018, 11:26:57 AM »
I can either make the event autotrigger or, more usually, give the player a Y/N option. Players can get new/different weapons, but have to discard their current weapon to do so: there's also functionality for players to get other items, though that's not properly implemented yet.

Ok so the main commodities generally are - health, weapons, character stats, money. Those are straight forward enough :) I personally think it would be interesting if there was a player visible percieved alignment [rich/poor, freedom/military] so that the player can see when they are being punished or rewarded for inconsistent / consistent actions. Then you can add fun choices for the player to decide. I guess it depends on how RPG-y you want it.

Some random longish ideas for search events, then. How are these? Also are the options only ever yes or no?

- Up ahead behind a copse you see smoke and smell burning. A number of woodland creatures are running past you in the opposite direction. Do you investigate? Yes = You find a burning cottage spreading to some nearby trees. The smoke is think and the heat is intense. You attempt to search for survivors but are overcome by the effort. Some troops lose health

- In some brush you notice a group of figures hiding and terrified, obviously they don't want to be seen. Do you investigate? Yes = They are a family who are being persecuted by a gang and need to avoid town for a few days. They thank you for your discretion - gain gold.

- You find a well in a tangle of overgrown weeds and decaying logs. It seems to be newly built - despite the decrepit surroundings. You could use the well to replenish your water supplies. Draw water? Yes = The water is a little disappointing but refreshing enough. As you drink you notice with alarm your senses dull so immediately cast the water away. A character stat is nerfed.

- You see a completely naked gentleman squatted behind a tree. You immediately know what he is doing from the stench. He notices you and after a cheery greeting explains he's been caught short and asks you to hand him some leaves to finish up. Do you? Yes and No = No effect.

- You come across some guards squabbling with a child over an axe. It looks quite valuable. The child is upset, and is saying he found it, so wants to keep it. The guards are concerned that the child will hurt himself. They are trying to explain that children can't just go around and pick up, let alone play with dangerous weapons. Side with the boy? Y = no effect. the child thanks you and runs off. N = The guards thank you, and explaining that they have no use for the axe offer it to the player

Other ideas

- You find a caravan camped out with [reputable / poor / swarthy] looking figures who seem to be merchants. They notice you and eagerly peddle their wares. They can offer a random item which might be a bargain or turn out to be a worthless fake.

- You find a caravan under attack from raiders. Join to help? starts a combat, yields prizes

it's really just an autoresolve system now. The units get sorted according to an initiative-type stat, then each unit randomly picks an enemy unit and tries to attack them on its turn.

Do you have certain units being better than others? If not you implement something surrounding that. The easiest could be a rock paper scissors style aptitude. e.g.  spearmen > cavalry. Then you could have the challenge for the player being to weigh up experience, numbers & aptitude and make a choice around which units will square off.

Aside from or in combination with that you could perhaps have broad tactical decisions either for the whole encounter made before engaging, or per troop types / divisions. e.g. flank, brute force attack, stand ground etc. These could then also be just rock paper scissor adjustments e.g. flank > brute force attack, all resolutions get a +1

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Jubal

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Re: Random Event & Idea Crowdsourcing
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2018, 10:30:37 PM »
Each unit basically has a statline - attack value, defence value, number of members of the unit, unit type, and speed (speed is attack order, so ranged units go first, then cavalry/fast troops, then infantry, as it stands). I suspect that whatever I do with battles it's going to need a whole new interface panel of some sort, annoyingly. I think I might leave that until a later stage in development - maybe get an alpha out just using the autoresolve but with the campaign stuff all worked out more properly.

Thankyou for the random encounter ideas, some useful ones there :) I'll think about alignment stuff. Generally the box is yes/no, I could add something else if needed but I'd need to literally make new graphics and have a differently worked system for it - there's a standardised "binary choice" system which I can throw in quite easily and which has nice looking buttons made for it and stuff.

Wrt commodities, players also have "adventuring points", which is the XP system. When you get enough AP, you get occasional (usually end of week) offers to spend some in exchange for a stat upgrade, or for one of a few other bonuses (the Generals get their unique unit by spending AP for example, and the Dragons have an AP bonus possibility which is just "make a ton of money").
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...