View Full Version : NPC Conversations & Influences
06-07-2005, 03:41 AM
I've been wondering today about interaction between the player, and NPCs (Non Player Character). Remedy have already stated that the environment will be incredibly life-like and dynamic: wind affects water ; trees ; other props. Now I'm really looking forward to exploring this wonderful landscape, but I wonder how the player will relate and interact with neutral characters.
In Max Payne all conversations are are entirely scripted and the player's interaction is dictated entirely by the linear rails of the plot line. I am wondering this formula is being applied to Alan Wake. Branching conversation trees add a lot more time and effort to a development schedule; events have to be considered very deeply and it can dilute the playing experience if its poorly implemented. If it isn't? Well, I think it's fair to say that it can really enrich the game and add a sense of freedom. Anyway, on from debating the pros and cons of branching conversation trees, I'd like ask any Remedy employees if they could:
Give me/us some details?
List some of the game's influences? (Twin Peaks aside ;-)
And to the forums: what you do guys think?
06-07-2005, 04:02 AM
From the information that has been provided, I would say the storyline would be linear and not be influenced too much by the player's actions. I have no problems with linear conversations as it is the pathway to cinematic gaming, which I what I believe Remedy stands for.
06-07-2005, 07:42 PM
Yeah linear does not necessarily mean bad. I mean remedy goes for that cinematic feel to a game, like watching a movie. Movies = linear
Max payne games were linear and i loved the way they were played out like a scripted movie.
06-07-2005, 07:46 PM
The original Max Payne, with the Tarot Cards, Mona (Max thought she was dead, then she starts to invade his dreams and life) conspiracy theories probably, vampire flicks, yada yada yada, etc. Well you get the picture.
06-07-2005, 11:45 PM
You guys are probably right. But from what I've read it seems as though there will be, like any good thriller, a series of revelations that the lead character experiences. Because obviously you're finding out what exactly is going on, I wanted to know if the detective work will be entirely linear, I.e. "Something needs investigating" > "marker appears on map" > "go to marker" > "event" = reveation.
Or, for example to use a scenario from my suggestion comment: "three guys go hunting, one returns" > "in casual meet with sheriff (@ diner perhaps) > "selectable conversation text depending upon your actions (i.e. you talked to some NPC / TASK: explored/enquired of own accord / REWARD: more info) > "he says they left town, last hunting trip" > "investigate the area they went missing by own accord" > "discover if sheriff was telling the truth" > revelation. (loyalties?)
I hope you can decifer the meaning from the things above, it looks okay from here, but it's hard to tell. I've just pointed out one situation. But imagine the difference between the two styles.
One is an entirely linear and more cinematic approach to plot / action direction. The other is a more freeform approach. Remedy have a reactive environment in their game, but does this include the population of the town? So far we can see that the game starts out in a normal town, and slowly, it becomes corrupted. I say slowly, because Remedy have already stated that this will probably be an episodic game, Alan Wake is series one!
So, one would imagine that either the township are either slowly daemonised by the evil, or that the amount of people affected by it are already at a, relatively, static limit once you've arrived in Bright Falls?
Now, assuming that they are actually in the process of being corrupted (to indulge my fancy), then the populas are either: being corrupted against their will, or, are succumbing to it through their own volition. Imagine if you had to find out: who you trusted ; who was on which side? ; how deeply into the town the evil had sank its diabolical teeth? ; who and what was behind this mess? And all this to the background of your psychological nightmares manifesting themselves and horrorifying mental episodes. How badass would that be?
Phew! Okay that last bit was me just loading part of my thoughts into a shotgun and firing it at the page. It got a little messy! Anyway, the first bit of my post has some relevance I think ;-)
06-08-2005, 12:17 AM
:eek: Man.....you've turned a few screenshots into some whole complicated theory :lol:
06-08-2005, 01:34 AM
Yeah I know, it's just speculation of plot development for the most part! I'm trying to provoke one of the dev team into commenting! I'd really like to get an idea of the NPC mechanics. :)
06-23-2005, 09:07 AM
Non-linearity or not, a list of options in dialogues, something else?
I'm thinking it too, that the plot could be a LITTLE interactive (non-linear) and your actions have consequences that affect people and the behaving. Linear storytelling / plot would be kind of intrest decreaser when coming to replay value.
But that is 100% fact that there must be scripted sequences to make the plot go strongly forward. Surely it makes the atmosphere more intense and exciting.
Non-linear plot could be a bad choice too. If you can go everywhere and "do everything" you want without one kind of directioning, it soon feels like foolish bouncing from place to another like in a large multiplayer online RPG with non-linear plot.
So, if the plot is non-linear, the playing feels like a hole in the head. The separate strings of the plot must be bind strongly together, or if we have some non-linear interactivity there, then the plot just must be close enough to "stick together situation". When the plot breaks apart, has holes because of non-linearity or makes the player too confused and makes the vision from the game go messy in head, then the plot needs badly some fixing by making it go less non-linear and guide the player to right track. Just think World of Warcraft's feeling and Max Payne's feeling while playing when it comes to experience of having wonderful plot with exciting events and atmosphere. You decide which one is movie (emotions waking) like breathtaking experience more likely.
So, the important thing is well guided plot, informative world with Alan's own diagnoses from things would be best. And the free roaming combined to that is perfect.
Fifty-fifty, over & out
- panu kuittaa
06-23-2005, 10:41 AM
I'd love to see how conversations could be handled in this game, and am really excited at the prospect of a well-developed Township with rugged, realistic characters to interact with. (I don't get out enough :D) What'd be interesting if there would be a new approach to the old AG style dialogue trees, and if there'd be any use of emotional response and branches that lead down different reactions and plot points.
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