Author Topic: Randomization in IWD NPC  (Read 2989 times)

Offline Kulyok

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Randomization in IWD NPC
« on: February 22, 2008, 02:22:31 AM »
I think randomization is possible, but only to some extent.

(From my experience with IWD2, it's not a game I'd like to play again. With IWD, while it's better, I'm not sure people will play IWD+ IWD NPC more than once. Twice is my best estimation, and only for the die hard Xan fans. :) Hey, I love PS:T, but I only _really_ finished it once. So I'm rather realistic pessimistic here).

I tried to adapt jcompton's banter accelerator at first, but it didn't work so well; it's out of the question now. However, this may(I'm not saying will, but it may be an alternative) work: all banters are depending on particular events and areas, but I could use Random(2,1) or RESPONSE #50, and to trigger banter A instead of banter B. I promise to think about it, and seriously.

But there's another problem: most(not all, because I like my light-hearted banters and humor and Mot Making Sense, too) NPC-NPC banters are exploring the characters, they are giving vital information, and I'd rather not skip them. And, again: there are banters I could randomize, and writing more is not a problem, but it'll give more work to voice actors.

I'd like to think about it some more. Opinions, naturally, are welcome - I'll split the topic, starting with this post of mine, if you like.


And, all right, I'll try to remember about the previews. Every time I promise something, I get buried in writing/testing/playing the Trials of the Luremaster for the first time ever, and so... yeah.

Offline Kaeloree

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Randomization in IWD NPC
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2008, 02:36:18 AM »
Fantastic! You might be right about the replayability of IWD, but NPCs do add an entirely new dimension. I mean, I don't play BGII for the plot, I play it for new NPC content. :)

For the problem of voice actors, you could always only have lines voiced which are of importance to the NPC and their development--where an emotional or real touch is needed. Having the first line of dialogues voiced often sets the scene, but it isn't necessary. I would have loved to see some of the more emotional lines in BGII voiced, as I really think it would have added that higher level of emotion and a more personal touch.

Another thing maybe worth considering is not all character development information needs to be seen in every game; I'm not trying to put words in other peoples' mouths, but in my experience, I quite enjoy seeing the occasional new banter or dialogue I haven't seen before which reveals something about the NPC I didn't know before. It makes the banter memorable and interesting, and often renews my interest in playing the game. Of course, if it's all plot-related, that's a whole other kettle of fish, but if it's more about character development and--revelation? then perhaps it also might be worth considering making some of them more random, too.

Splitting topic might be a good idea, yeah. I didn't mean to go so far off-topic, my apologies!

Offline Kulyok

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Re: Randomization in IWD NPC
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2008, 04:44:08 AM »
I will do what I can. I've already some ideas swirling in my head, though I must be careful: just like in TV series, some banters refer to the previous ones. But, as I said, it may well happen.

Ah, the players will hate you: it means more writing, and it means the mod will be released even later! :)

Offline Kulyok

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Re: Randomization in IWD NPC
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2008, 11:05:30 AM »
... or not.

Upon several hours of thinking and discussing and arranging things in my head, I think I'll not be going in this direction.

The way I see it, there are two models:
- PS:T model, where all or most of the dialogue is event-related and event-triggered; the game is linear, and the game is a story(very much resembles novel form);
- and BG model, where most of the dialogue is random; the game is non-linear, and can take in various directions.

IWD is very much fits a PS:T model.

If I were going for replayability in the first place, I'd have introduced more characters, and more opportunities to form a party. As it is, it is very much an "all or nothing" choice, as I've been reminded, and that's how the mod is built: it is destined to provide one entertaining and enjoyable run with fully realized, talking and bantering companions through the game of IWD(HoW)(TotL)(preferably without you having played it before). That's just what it does.

Besides, I'm in favor of seeing everything in the first run, myself. When Domi introduced randomized dialogue for Kivan, I was the first to groan "Nooo!"; when I was writing Xan, I made sure the player was seeing everything(granted, there are three separate paths, so it would require three separate playthroughs, but still).

And it'll be an obligatory task and a headache. Which is not so good.

Offline the bigg

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Re: Randomization in IWD NPC
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2008, 11:16:49 AM »
Random banters is stupid, because it means I might have to replay a 40 hours game two or three times to witness the other 3 hours of random content (or use pre-knowledge and repeat specific encounters more times).

Sikret can get around with shit like this thanks to his brainwashed audience and unfearing non-defender, but it's still not a good idea to emulate him.
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Offline Kulyok

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Re: Randomization in IWD NPC
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2008, 11:22:31 AM »
(Yeah, even in the original game, I always make a save before creating the staff, and it's still damn frustrating. Making it even more frustrating doesn't sit well with me. Sigh.)

Oh, and I meant "without you having played it before"! I think you'll enjoy more if you haven't played it, so if you're going to, please, wait for a little while. :)


Offline the bigg

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Re: Randomization in IWD NPC
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2008, 11:31:37 AM »
Oh, and I meant "without you having played it before"! I think you'll enjoy more if you haven't played it, so if you're going to, please, wait for a little while. :)
I have already played IWD and HoF (aeons ago), but not TotL. And still, I believe you should be able to witness most content in a single run-through. I don't mind where this is necessary (E.G. a single class-dependent dialogue in the "GTKU/what's your past?" friendship track) or depends on explicit choice (multiple choices a la BG2 CH3), but even class|stats-dependent quests (or romances) are over the line for me. Dice-depending content is far into Sikret territory to be considered by people who don't want to frustrate people.
Author or Co-Author: WeiDU (http://j.mp/bLtjOn) - Widescreen (http://j.mp/aKAiqG) - Generalized Biffing (http://j.mp/aVgw3U) - Refinements (http://j.mp/bLHoCc) - TB#Tweaks (http://j.mp/ba02Eg) - IWD2Tweaks (http://j.mp/98OFYY) - TB#Characters (http://j.mp/ak8J55) - Traify Tool (http://j.mp/g1Ry9A) - Some mods that I won't mention in public
Maintainer: Semi-Multi Clerics (http://j.mp/9UeIwB) - Nalia Mod (http://j.mp/dng9l0) - Nvidia Fix (http://j.mp/aRWjjg)
Code dumps: Detect custom secondary types (http://j.mp/hVzzXG) - Stutter Investigator (http://j.mp/gdtBn8)

If possible, send diffs, translations and other contributions using Git (http://j.mp/aBZFrq).

Offline Kulyok

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Re: Randomization in IWD NPC
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2008, 11:38:03 AM »
That's what I was saying in my long post above, though my reasons may differ.

As for the romances, I consciously delayed the "now you're my romance interest", "choice" and "togetherness" moments until so late in the game that you wouldn't believe it. But that's spoiler territory...

Offline Alatariel

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Re: Randomization in IWD NPC
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2008, 11:58:58 AM »
..I hope we still get a decent number of flirt options ;/

In IWD2 NPC Diriel's PID was a source of neverending frustration for me. The things you would like to do, the things you can do... *sighs*.
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Until there's nothing left to say... "

 

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