NPC/Growing World

  • So obviously I think we can all agree ECO revolves around community working together to build a society, maintain an ecosystem, and prevent/survive an apocalypse. This ideally can be done with a group of 4 people or greater. Though I think even in a society big or small, and especially solo there is room for NPCs. Migrants to the world breeding, hunting, living their lives. Even voting, if a democracy were established. Based on their living conditions. I think that would be a great feature to include in ECO as it would also allow single players and small group players viability, which would be welcomed by many anti-mmo gamers.

  • I think such a idea would be very cool, and would make players who want single player capabilities very happy, but I think it would Need to be option, so it can be turned off if people don't want NPC for there world.

  • I absolutely agree. It should be an option when creating the game/server

  • Not sure this is the right area to ask think, but I can't find an answer to this question, and it's bugging me. Say a world survives the meteor strike and isn't destroyed, does the world still end? I mean, will the maximum world age be a month, or could you theoretically grow a world to be 6 months old. I personally think the world should not be limited to a certain length and server admins should decide when to reset it.

  • Well the way I see it is that the game is for educational purposes and that data will be collected on the worlds, but if you add a bunch of NPC doing things then that would skew the data towards whatever the NPCs were doing, say if they were polluting. Or even cleaning up pollution for that matter.

  • I think if NPC characters were added @The_Lone_Hero brings up a great point. No NPC right now can replicate a human, and even if one could it would take away from the educational aspect of the game. So the NPC would have to be limited so they didn't effect the game, but then of course, Why would they be there?

    I think a careful balance would need to be worked out if they were added, but I'm still not sure that they should be added and I'm of the opinion they might be better as a mod instead.

  • I would say that NPCs are unnecessary and kind of goes against the grain of what the core game is about, however could be added as a mod for those who so wish it.

  • A human NPC would be functionally no different from a complex animal. Assuming you don't have them doing complex things like building. It wouldn't be that difficult to mod them in.

    One reason why I'd like to see it: Alternative game modes. Humans can be NPC's for a single player adventure, or even the soldiers in a limited multiplayer world. The more mods that can be enabled in a game the more ways it can be played and the longer it's life.

    One of my old favorites, "Populous" would have "Braves" be the basic population unit who would build the basic buildings that can either produce more or train into other types of units. Buildings had a functional purpose of course, so if you could have an animal shaped like a human trigger a building in a location on command and if those buildings were pre-desired it wouldn't be that difficult to have them go out and collect the resources they need on their own to build it. They you just treat the human shaped animals like they are domesticated animals who listen to a given player and can be used to wage war against other NPCs similar to animal combat. All that's really needed is some level of control of the AI, some way to bind the animals to certain scripts, and you pretty much have the core functioning of a growing world of any format you want.

  • A good point Elliander, which reminds me of another use for NPCs.
    Given that we're able to choose the form of government we live under and what laws we live under. We can have legalized slavery. Training, using, and selling people. You'd need to buy/build them quarters. Or on the more humane route hiring servants paying your employees and providing nicer living quarters. Whoever you utilize they'd have a certain skill such as cooking, gathering, producing, ect... and the better you treat them the faster their skills will increase. It'll also bring moral values into question.

    I would also be interested in a player being able to sell into slavery turning them into an NPC for the agreed amount time IE: 2 weeks, 2 months, infinite, ect... Payment would be received before service begins.

  • I'm pretty sure they game would attract A LOT of negative publicity and hate if something like slavery was included. Did you hear of the accurate history game that had a puzzle game that had to do with slaves?

    Well many people started complaining about it and eventually made the creator of the game remove that whole segment. And that was a game that was trying to accurately represent history. Not a Voxel sandbox type game.

    But with the point of it skewing the gathered date, even the charts and graphs that will be used in games to make laws will be skewed unless you count out the NPCs but at that point there would be missing data as the NPCs went around and chopped down trees, fished, or hunted. All of that data seems pretty important to the lawmaking process as a whole. So how would we get NPCs to intermingle with the data collection?

  • In a game it's only a slave if you call it that. I mean, if it was robot servants no one would care. Similarly, if it's just units in a military unit that has never bothered anyway either.

    In any case, even if it is possible to call something a slave that would only be the case if the players collectively decided on it. If you had a system where you can hire NPCs to assist with tasks with a wage system that can be determined by the government and the player's ability to give it a title you can certainly call them slaves, but that wouldn't be a reflection of the core game.

    Sure, it will attract some bad publicity, but that's true no matter what you do. In any open sandbox the players WILL do things that society doesn't like.

  • As of now, Robots aren't sentient and would not be considered a slave. Especially since we would construct them similar to tools. I mean no one thinks of a computer as a person.

    And if you had read Madaras' post you would have seen slavery mentioned specifically and I was addressing that point. But hiring NPC's to do everything for you takes away from the player driven economy that is supposed to be in effect. You still also haven't addressed on how NPC's will negatively reflect the data gathering.

  • I read both posts. I know he was specifically mentioning slavery. That's why I said "even if it is possible to call something a slave that would only be the case if the players collectively decided on it"

  • In regards to data gathering, that's no different than any other animal NPC. Wolves hunt and kill. Beavers cut down trees. Animals take from their environment as well.

    If an NPC is specifically directed though that would be different from independent action data and would be no different, effectively, from player action.

    You would separate the data the same way.

  • Also an NPC/Player gathering a specific resource or producing something would be no different than buying a house that is prebuilt. You aren't the one building it, but it doesn't take away the joy of the game.

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