Anybody think a bioshock MMO would be a good idea and thoughts on how gameplay and mechanics would work?
Anybody think a bioshock MMO would be a good idea and thoughts on how gameplay and mechanics would work?
If you're talking about Rapture, I wouldn't support the concept. The things that make Bioshock shine would be extremely difficult to execute in an MMO.
I just think that the survival horror element could be incorporated into it like venturing out to get adam and teaming up with different clans of splicers to take over parts of rapture. of course it would never happen and bioshock/rapture is a 10 out of 10 achievement but i think its an interesting idea.
I think Rapture and all that goes with it support the FPS genre or maybe even an RPG (thinking Bethesda style) very well, but i think an MMO would take too much away of what makes Bioshock, Bioshock.
Unfortunately MMORPGs are alot different than solo games or shooter multiplayers. The server installations are a major cost to maintain competantly over the space of many years.
Rapture itself could be a MMORPG setting (post Lamb) when the player could take part in the exploring/rebuilding/repair of a city we've seen only tiny pieces of (logically including extensive outside areas for food/raw materials/manufacturing that would be needed to maintain a city of 20K).
One sticking point is that MMORPGs are usually made as continuous games that have little interactions between players as far as changing the world itself (ie- you do exactly the same quests a hundred thousand other players have all done before and the scene is reset for the next player after you have moved on).
It would take a bit more sophisticated programming to make computer generated 'unique' places where a player could do his thing and advance it without it all being irrelevant to the state of the world. That game is kinda risky for a company to propose, let alone actually try to build.
Last edited by watchman; 09-02-2012 at 09:40 PM.
Hmmm, would it (could it) be an MMORPG overlapped with RTS elements (and in places with FPS for 'battles' ). The setting would be post-Lamb as to not interfere with the BS1-BS2 plotlines. There would be the usual player vs the environment, but how much would you allow Player vs Player. PvP is usually disruptive to a game with long term goals (rebuilding Rapture) so would have to be all but eliminated. Cooperative games are usually more interesting than simplistic hack/slash/shoot games and can introduce more intricate interactions. The world map (Rapture) could be endless in its full extent (computer generating techniques can get past any 'static' size), though it might be useful to have a low player count per server 'world' to keep it from looking too rediculously crowded in the central areas (and the player overload server issue).
Elements for such a game :
Exploration - find your way around initially and how things work (getting supplies and interacting with NPCs/ other players and hazzards), and then finding a place for your 'rebuilding' effort and then back to salvage all the things you will need to do so. A real city has to have extensive manufacturing and places to get raw materials, the New York skyline part is just the pinacle of a much larger complex (with much of it potentially in cheaper rock tunnels and all those highrises we see in those pretty views). Places weve seen/been in in BS1/BS2 would be in evidence, they are unique, so we dont want to see them endlessly repeated, but components of them would be recombined with additional ones to extend the city in any/all directions. It will take a bit of development work to come up with additional unique 'key' areas (other parts of the large city we havent seen yet) in addition to more generic parts or areas generated with combinatoric components to make them semi unique. Some places you wont reach til you achieve basic things like a diving suit or bathesphere (part of the standard quest chains)
Expand: as you continue you get more resources to work with (recruiting a big daddy - who can do major external repairs, setting up some production for trade, collecting splicers, equiptnment, etc..) Your efforts would have setbacks but thats just more challenges to overcome. New missions/quests would be required as your infrastructure grows and more complex things are needed and you tie in with the larger systems that had existed in the 'city'.
Amenities to make your world safe/livable with be needed.
Many things would require cooperating with other players (though usually such a game has to have alternative in case insufficient players (or uncooperative ones only) are available.-- so more than one solution should be offered to players to reach their goals.
Exploit: The more you achieve the more 'followers' (NPCs) you can accumulate.
I would expect some kind of 'cure' for at least the insanity part of the Adam addiction and part of the tasks would be catching 'wild' splicers to 'heal' them (the game plot might actually have YOU as one that Tenenbaum got to and set loose in her crusade to 'save' Rapture). Major (difficult) structural repairs open up old 'driowned' areas for further expansion, and there are bits of machinery everywhere to acquire and put to use. The RTS aspect would be setting your 'minions' to work on the extensive rebuilding/repairs/cleanup, and finding 'specialists' with critical skills to do certain tasks (more quests to find/recruit/borrow them). An interesting thing would be your 'followers' being represented in an FPS view (ie- pets or followers) with them acting (decent AI) somewhat realisticly /appropriatly (with some imperfections/misbehavior at least forgivable with their 'splice origin).
Alot of game development effort would be needed to have them act 'normal' without them either becoming too repetitive or standing around like mannekins -- the same should go for all the NPCs to make them feel more like people inhabiting a city rather than mere props)
As environs in Rapture are repaired/restored they start to look more like what Rapture looked like before the fall (though the patchwork wont let it look pristine and only in places fully reworked by players efforts-- some 'task' goals are social prestige) with things again working and more normal --in the central areas where all the players have concentrated their work and frequently congregate (the 'Bank' in so many MMORPGs). No more leaks/fires, garbage/stains/wreckage cleaned up, lights working again, graffiti removed from walls, doors/elevators holes in wall repaired -- all tasks to be done if desired by the player in his area as well as in communal areas. Shops operating again (preferably with player generated goods/services), the usual cosmetic components so popular with these games (art deco and edwardian styles), medical treatments to try to eliminate the worst of the splicers disfigurements etc etc etc....
I would expect that this might have to be one of those cycle games where each 'world' goes thru phases and has some 'ending' as it develops to some final goal. Usually there are many worlds running in different stages and part of the game for some people is to go see what people achieved in the different 'worlds') Rapture is huge though and there can always be more of it in ruin and with pockets of wild splicers in need of 'saving' ...
Exterminate: There would be old factions (NPC splicer groups with 'bosses') that wont like what you are doing that will have to be countered/fought -- possibly with assistance from other players (opening more resources/access those factions controlled). There should be external threats (KGB/CIA/Reality Shows/Jacques Cousteau) that have to be countered/fought off. Fighting off the odd sea life as well as the sea's endless pressure would be threat components. FPS can take place in these conflicts though with more 'assistance' from minions and other players. If you want PvP I suppose you could organize sports competitions (using your splices as teams -- we saw those guys in football uniforms in BS1 -- so where did they come from ?? Competition that was in Ryans vision will mostly have to suffice with scores and achievments and status items as in most games.
So theres an outline for Bioshock 4 'The Rebirt of Rapture'
Last edited by watchman; 09-02-2012 at 09:43 PM.
An important issue would be : Who owns the rights to the Rapture game assets (including the working data so that it can be fed back into the toolchain to reuse/modify it).
Having ALL the BS1 BS2 data would give a big 'leg up' for an MMORPG flavored game, where all those places/props/figures/effects/sounds/textures/animations we have already seen could be reused and NOT have to be redeveloped. All the DLC content, even the MP maps could be reused (heck, even the MP apartment).
As I mentioned above, part of the MMORPG would be unseen 'unique' sections which we would want newly developed to make them look different and provide for new missing 'city' functions , and complemment the existing stuff. But then also to extract certain elements/features to use as 'building blocks' for the computer generated extensions to be able to have a truly large playing area (methods to autogenerate entire sections of cityscape is possible and its a matter of making sure they dont get repetative)
There are dozens of skyscrapers in Rapture which usually have duplicate floorplans on dozens of floors. Tunnels in the rock (the cheaper parts of Rapture to build -- no expensive watertight windows) can still be surfaced to look like they are buildings (like Moonbase Alpha) for lowrent areas. Bare rock for interlinking transport/utility tunnels/caverns containing industry/warehouses/mines/greenhouses/etc.... The exterior areas can have that wide variety of sealife we've already seen in the games.
The game engine itself doesnt have to be 'new' as the ones they used are more than adaquate for the FPS views. RTS interfaces are much simpler (a good mapping system would be needed) and since the FPS is the primary game it wont need the full development work ( as if it had been the primary playing interface). Im sure they could come up with some nifty 'art deco' styled interface to help you keep track of you followers/minions/projects/tasks.
Something better for NPC dialogs would be desireable (that can add alot of developer asset work if you actually talk to the NPCs -- versus the sad popup text dialog sub-windows most MMORPGs have). The Mini-Games that we've seen for hacking could be reapplied (and expanded) for 'repairs' of all those bits of mechanical doodads the city needs to remain dry and warm and lit.
Last edited by watchman; 09-04-2012 at 06:43 PM.
Another idea to stretttttch the MMORPG :
I was looking at a thread about having a game of 'Rapture in its heyday' which likely would be too limited by itself but with the extent of Rapture being recreated in my MMORPG proposal, it would be relatively easy to have (many) FLASHBACKS to that time as part of the MMORPG game.
Extended flashback where you take part (they've done this in LOTRO a bit) in big events like the big fight on NewYears1959 when things fell apart, or when Fontaine was taken down and various other important scenes (the first Splicers, the first lil sisters&bigdaddies, Ryans dedication of the city, etc etc ...). Since the core areas of the city are to be largely there/recreated as part of the game (and mostly repaired/restored (eventually) by the players), with a little polish they could look new as original for the Flashback sequences.
One of the things the game companies have found out about MMORPGs is that different players have different areas of interest and having a variety of things for them to do increases the potential player base. Flashbacks telling more of the story of Rapture could be an important part of that (they are also easier to make incrementally as they are independant episodes AND they can be choreographed to make them work properly to tell their mini-stories).
Last edited by watchman; 09-04-2012 at 06:47 PM.
Another idea that might be interesting (and be part of the RTS aspect --- AND be inline with the current technology craze) would be an interface which allows players to monitor/control their non-avatar resources which can run on tablets/palmtops ( a non-3D interface, though 3D effects could be there optionally for flavor/glitz).
The MMORPG players are rebuilding/repairing/expanding Rapture and have NPCs (ex-splicers/big-daddies/auction-house agents/etc..) under their control that would be working on the tasks that take time/boring and make slow progress. 2D symbolic representations corresponding to NPC worksites the player has designated would have NPC and material resources allocated to them and task queues would allow continuation while the player is not online. Re-manufacturing and selling of items (crafting) worked on by the Player's ex-splicer minions (who beside no longer being insane may possess important skills from the ADAM they absorbed through those chaotic years)
This MMORPG is a cooperative game, so communications with other players to acquire/borrow/loan resources or coordinate projects falls into the mail/chat/posting/trade paradigms we already see in many MMORPGs). As seen on many other games, an 'Auction House' mechanism can be used to streamline resource transfers (many goods/items delivered by that wonderous Pneumo-Mail Jet Postal system (which the players will get working again)...
The RTS aspect of the game would motivate/drive some quests in the FPS part of the game to get ahold of things needed for the 'work' of bringing Rapture back to life(repairs and building) . The player will likely have to hunt for critical components in the still-wrecked/wild areas of Rapture, will have to fight off the wild Splicers still inhabitting them, and may have to join their NPC workers to search out and recover those needed resources.
Puzzle Mini-Games fit in with the limited tablet/palmtop interfaces (think -- wiring/ piping/ mechanical assembly/ therapy for your raw Splicer in the Tenenbaum Rehabilitation and Recovery Clinic/ Lockpicking/ U-Make-It scrounging/Crafting). There are lots of possibilities for such puzzles, who's results feed in to the main game.
Last edited by watchman; 09-04-2012 at 06:58 PM.
Here is something else that might be risky but potentially a significant advancement for this kind of game (MMORPG) -- Player Created resources/assets to add to the game. We've seen some minor aspects of this in games like LOTRO where players submitted textures for horses that were used in the game or longer ago in Neverwinter Nights, player created clothing+prop objects/terrain building blocks which were then distributed enmasse (via Patch) allowing world builder's use in the player-controlled server game (64 players per server).
The player base is a huge resource for imagination and skills (and time+effort) which could help a MMORPG in one of its main difficulties -- the need for a constant stream of new content to keep longterm players interested.
The main difficulties are
1) Legalities of ownership of things that players create and submit to the company
2) Proper Tools being provided to players to allow them to create assets compatible for the game engne. Often such tools (easy/simple to use ones...) can be as big a project as the game itself.
3) A vetting procedure for the assets that eliminates invalid/dysfunctional/improper/duplicate/inadaquate/unbalanced items without consuming excessive company resources ($$$). Some apsects of asset validation can be automated.
4) Friendly mechanism to constantly send (publish) new assets to all players (we have alot of bandwidth these days so transparent background transmission should be doable - it just hasnt been really done yet). Otherwise a (prefeably quick) Login-time Patch of client content has to be done.
Such Asset items could be:
1) Clothing/body variations (these usually dont effect game mechanics, so are easy to vet/test)
2) Terrain modules/building blocks (requires 3D type editing, but templating can greatly speed up creation)
3) Props (freestanding 3D objects that can be placed within the terrain and manipulated - including vehicles)
4) Sound effects (new or modifications/variations) - maybe voice 'recordings' or basic NPC dialog snippets. Music of various sorts (copyright vetting ,,,,) Text speaking...
5) Textures for signs/wall/floor/liquid surfaces
6) Particle/lighting effects (water/fire/sparks/flocking/vapors/insects)
7) Behavior scripting of props/NPCs/baddies/effects (this is largely in the expert realm for the core 'scripts' but adjustable parameterization/templates can be used to allow tuning/cloning)
8 ) Mini-Games (game scripting code+2D assets -- Apps creation tools already exist to do this)
9) Assemblies/installations of game scenes - combinations/clusters of props/terrain placed in relation to each other. This may be some small cluster of props or extend all the way to entire unique modules of cityscape (think of a rival to Kasmirs... or a football stadium)
10) 3D character animations - new or variations of existing movements of figures (Avatars/NPCs/baddies/props)
11) Game mechanics (usually very difficult but can be a matter of parameter changes instead of logic and possibly recombinations of existing modular logic : ie- new machine (prop) that effects the local environment and 'connected' objects in already defined ways -- via standard attributes)
12) Auto-generation patterns for the Self-extending parts of Rapture (world map) that can grow with additional players (or at least grow the city huge without alot of very tedious and expensive development hands-on ($$$) customization -- which the company wont be willing to pay for).
One aspect which is often missed : is that some Assets mentioned above have more than one component, which more than one person is better/skilled at creating/modifying, and Collaboration SHOULD be done to facilitate good Asset creation. Thus a publishing/review mechanism would be needed to allow unfinished/polished assets to be submitted/reviewed/critiqued/pre-vetting/tested/modified/resubmitted/voted on -- with any component being potentially added to/modified/refined by players having more skill.
Many of the Assets would be 'parameterized' so that people without programming/scripting skill would be able to modify/adjust/tune them for asthetics/balance/polish. Retouching graphics textures is something that just about anyone can do who has Photoshop or even Gimp. Even NPC behaviors are largely controlled via flags/coefficients that tune their responses and certainly NPC dialog scripting is mostly creating appropriate text response tree-patterns.
A good part of the vetting process would be carried out by players (Scripting especially is one that can require specialized expertise to make sure it does what its supposed to, but also does not have something hidden in it that is harmful or improper). Sandbox Testing Worlds that allow viewing/manipulating/testing candidate objects INSIDE the game mechanism would need to be be provided (the tools would also pre-test alot OUT-OF-GAME). Efforts by players in these activities could possibly be rewarded IN-GAME -- at minimum with recorded attribution of their effort for the new creations/improvements.
Some players have more fun doing the above chores/activities than actually playing the game and creative roles like this can greatly increase the player MTBQ (mean time before quitting). Too many MMORPG games Ive seen have multitudes of players STARVING for something new to do in the game and this kind of continuous additions (far beyond what game companies budget for in-house) would also keep many people playing (AND PAYING) much longer.
Again, this is something not yet seen in any major game company's MMORPG products (there is risks the investors usually flee from), but it may in future turn out to be the way these games get done. It would take a company who really wants to be "Cutting Edge" to carry it out.
Bioshock Online 'The Rise of Rapture' would already have the seed Assets to make a good initial chunk of the game World (playable while players create/submit and have assets adopted) and thus a head start as compared to an entirely new genre.
Last edited by watchman; 09-04-2012 at 07:27 PM.
a plethora of additional ideas:
Another 'player created' asset item type to add:
13) Quests - can be as simple as a new fabrication/repair formula for a piece of useful machinery (U-Make-It) or repair/maintenence mission for some new Terrain situational assembly/installation (lots of maintenance Quests in leaky Rapture). (( EXAMPLE - a leaking window with nice spurting effects and a large puddle, that requires welding repair)) Many Quests follow formulas with simple fill in the blanks (destinations/NPCs involved/NPC dialogs/hints/fetch items/etc) and most of the life of them is the Quest text with story/miniplot/interesting descriptions/motives
7b) A behavior AI scripting system for the players own controlled 'Team' NPCs (scripts shareable to other players - applicable to game run NPCs also). They are not 'cheats', but 'instructions' that would keep the players ex-Splicer/BigDaddies and other agents working while the Player is offline (and moving about the city on tasks that would make the city actually LOOK like a city with people in it doing things instead of the talking mannekin NPCs alot of MMORPGs are limited to). Player use -- applying these NPC 'AI' scripts is more like setting parameters (really are plug-ins then with config settings) and picking missions/tasks -- not really 'programming' (they implement flexible if-then logic for decisions, as well as pre-canned condition tests built into the 'Team' mission/task templates.
If I didnt mention it before, the Player review/vetting of all these new Assets is only the first phase -- as the company would then do its own vetting/validation before actually adding them to a running game world.
- Most of these things are built on/recombined from sandboxed 'sub-routine' Templates the company would supply,
- They would NOT allow Cheating or Griefing - only access to the same info and actions a player would have.
- Any 'problem' script content would first be found by the player inspectors/testers who are rewarded for finding errors/disfunctions (in game rewards, not monetarily).
- People who submit intentionally problematic items are afterwards restricted and not allowed to progress onto more complicated/challenging assets.
- a Creator Ramp (leveling) progresses to larger assemblies (complex scenes) made of many small assets -- props/terrain/NPCs/thematic decorations interlinked by scripts/quests/placement rules.
Another aspect for the development effort required to implement the 'player created asset' MMORPG game model ----- the server/client mechanisms and tools can be REUSED for creating other similar MMORPG games (something like half the work would be reapplyable to a second/third/etc game of a similar type
.... example - a X-COM MMORPG game .
Again, an important factor is the production savings ($$$) by using the player created game Assets/content (which IS one of the MAJOR expenses in these MMORPG games), and making possible MMORPG games in niche genres that companies wont touch right now as financially unviable.
SO much the better if the company already has a seed set of Assets from an existing solo game to start the core/prebuilt areas of the map (like Bioshock with 2 games and a bunch of DLC materials).
Normal People again ... :
Rembering the selection of player Avatars from the BS2 MP game -- they look normal -- were from before the heavy splicing became common in Rapture. With the MMORPG's 'Cure' for the negative aspects of the Adam addiction, we would have NPCs once again no longer looking like malignant mutants.
The 'Cure' of anti-Adam might be again right there in the Sea-Slugs, who dont turn cancerous/behaviorally irregular even though they are full of ADAM. Tenenbaum's solution would mean restoring people back to a more normal state or at least supressing the negative ones - we still want plasmids for the FPS part of this game, though many of the technical ones have greater use in the repair/rebuild/restore overplot.
Part of the game I would like to see is having the ability to crawl up the walls (maybe not the Player??) Think of how useful to repairs that would be, or to counter 'wild' Splicers in the unreclaimed parts of the City. That would be that 'Cures' wouldnt have to destroy plasmid abilities and there might actually be a reason to safely (via anti-Adam) 'enhance' players/NPCs with NEW abilities/skills/pysicals/intelectuals as was the original vision for the ADAM. On the other hand, players might only have normal abilities but more tools to use.
The external part of the City can be part of the MMORPG. Work ouitside to patch parts of the City and make them water proof again. Gather raw materials to make certain things (Ryan planned to have Rapture 'self sufficient', so there is a lot of industrial stuff laying about somewhere in Rapture, as well as basics like 'Fishing'. There would be areas quite a distance from Rapture city center - mining or oil drilling and outlying industrial/manufacturing or greenhouses in tunnel complexes that are all candidates for player interactions. The Player could use a Big Daddy Suit Skill for external work and/or Submarines and or Bathispheres. The terrain outside need not be that complicated to create, with existing tools like Bryce capable of creating appropriate landscapes for huge areas of the outside ocean floor.
There are wrecked parts of the City which probably never will be restored, but become hunting grounds for salvageable/useable parts and resources (like for large sections of the special Ryanium 'glass' to replace sections blown up by certain people previously, or cracked by sinking airplanes.)
Inner Terrain :
Besides the outside Ocean (and all the fun sealife to fight), there are parts of Rapture we really didnt see that much of --- utility ways to access all kinds of machinery and utility lines :
1) Sewers and their extended facilities, including lots of sumps
2) Fresh water pipes
2) Electric power lines
3) Air circulation conduits/ducting
4) Heating systems from the geothermal core (hot water)
5) Telephone/ Cable TV/ Pneumo Mail
6) Cooling water for machinery (seawater)
7) Transport tunnels to move garbage/goods/maintenance personel
8 ) Fire supression systems
9) Security systems
All these things in many places have been broken, damaged, disconnected, are submerged, sabatoged/vandalized. The Player would want to restore them bit by bit in his claimed 'project' part of the city, joining up with the restoration efforts of others Key junctions/connections cooperatively restored to bring the City back into existance.
Major transport systems like the Trolleys and Atlantic Express would be large team efforts (a source of many many sub Quests to rebuilt these large systems section by section)
Vertical transports like elevators and stairwells would also be things to get working again (and give access to new places and adventures).
Last edited by watchman; 09-17-2012 at 11:26 PM.
Seems there is a 1 hour reedit limit for posts.
Reuse - maximizing player creations :
Such new 'assemblies' become building blocks which can be customized by other players and reapplied/modified to other locations (some fall into generic categories that can be used by the Auto-Generation of the vast city). Some would be very large and very specific/unique (example- a rival restaurant to the upscale Kashmir's) which would be designed as a key city ('landmark') feature and should not be duplicated again on that Server World map. That, versus a small food shop pattern which with minor attribute changes could be a Pizza stand/BBQ/Hotdog stand/Coffee shop/small bar/etc. Generic 'template' businesses that could be frequently reused and customized according to some players preferences (and imagination) and plopped down (semi-randomly??) in appropriate locations (using the Auto-Generators placement rules). As players create/customize more of these little locations, more of those 'locked/blocked doors' we saw in Rapture would no longer locked/blocked and NOW have something behind them
NOTE - when that Key city 'landmark' feature is added to the msp, it would be added to ALL World Servers, the benefits created by one or more Asset Creating players is thus multiplied. Of course such key features have specific fitting requirements into the 'World' (you wouldnt find Kashmirs in Paupers Drop...) and thus placement would be coordinated thru the company GMs to reserve an appropriate location (which may vary between Server World). Redundant competing (similar) creations would have to be handled ---- but the city IS huge and it is just a matter of matching another site (until some design limit for "5 Star" restaurants in Rapture is reached).
NOTE2 - this new key location 'feature' location/building is supposed to START in a wrecked state that will be reclaimed by the players actions. It is upto the players in each Server World whether they ever want to go there or take on the Tasks to rebuild/repair that place (and spend their money/resources). ALL building 'assemblies' are designed (in the creation tools) with a base 'proper'/clean state and then is mutated to start 'dirtied up' --- with layers of wreckage(bodies?), resident 'wild' Splicers or squatters, vermin, burst pipes, damaged/stolen machinery, destroyed infrastructure, garbage, flooding -- which the players (if they choose) will work to restore it to that base (clean) state. Maintenance then needs to be done or entrophy will slowly deteriorate it again. Maybe some player will decide HE wants to run that restaurant (or do something else nefarious with it) and will convince/induce/coerce other players into helping him rebuild it (or just do it using his own resources.)
World Expansion is continuous :
When an 'instance' of one of these assemblies is finalized and placed in the Game World, it becomes a source of interactions/services for the players and their NPCs. Ex-splicers still have to eat and a convienent (restored) hot dog stand with a Server controlled NPC (or players) occupying it. It becomes a souce of supply (food) and of revenue and details that make the player think he is in a real city (yes, civilized inhabitants will actually use all the city facilities -- and will probably complain if you dont have the restrooms fixed). The NPC behavior would be programmed with more detail than your ordinary MMORPG to achieve this (and players will continuously add more with improvements).
The Hotdog Stand might have a Newspaper Rack (New Rapture Tribune ??) included and now be a source for that kind of interaction for the player (buying a daily newspaper). A player can look at the news/want-ads which come from some Newspaper Company (run by some other player/NPC as a simple business -- using Server generated news feeds -- the newspaper 'owner' doesnt have to do all the tedious/endless grunt work).
" ***FLASH*** Atlantic Express connection to Agamemnon Towers Restored !!!!"
We will rebuild it :
You get a mailbox/phone put in/restored nearby and that location might become a hangout for NPCs looking for work (that you might 'hire' for your projects) . Soon other players start adding/restoring more busineses in that area and it becomes a source of many convienent services to hand normal 'needs'. (NPC 'needs' dont have to be overly elaborate to be part of the game mechanism/simulation, but gives the NPCs reasons for being certain places and doing certain things when you are there to see them).
Interlocking Economy - We no need no fake loot economy...
Of course in Rapture you need to consider WHERE the hotdogs come from that this Hotdog stand will sell. That ties into other city systems (food supply) which may start out as rudimentary 'fish' (the SPAM ran out long ago) coming from the municipal dock and some server run NPCs providing that basic raw material. But players can create new sources (templates spell out the limits to all this) manufacturing/fabrication/production/conversions and suddenly 'rats' are in high demand for a while (old joke about NEVER EVER go into the back of a sausage factory...) until some other source of protein is available OR some clever fellow figures out how to make fish taste like hotdog meat.
Rebuilding is the Goal - New Rapture :
The city will be 'organically' rebuilt (and used) by the players who extend their own infrastructure (often cooperatively) via Tasks they can originate or contract for (and will apply their own controlled resources to). Thus, the game world would grow as a result of players actions ---- something few MMORPGs have accomplished to any extent. Interlocking 'required' parts of the economy/institutions grow up with them as things in New Rapture get put back together. It will be important that critical basic resources be made available from the gamestart by the (default) Company run 'core' economy, so that lack of player interest does not wreck the whole symbiotic system. Again this system does NOT have to be horribly complicated (it is based largely on those 'needs' of the people(NPCs) 'living' in the city).
Fallen is Babylon, and it cant get up !! ...
One advantage we have in this genre is that the 'people' can always fall back on very minimal 'needs' material-wise and social-wise -- as thats what they did for so many years as Splicers since Rapture fell apart (we dont have to pretend to maintain the complex institutions of a medieval city -- as you might in any semi-realistic simualtion of so many MMORPG games). WE CAN fall back on scrounging and squatting in wreckage if we choose (or may need to if players (for a while) cannot figure out what needs to get done on the road back to civilized living).
Last edited by watchman; 09-22-2012 at 11:09 PM.
One CRITICAL thing that needs to be enforced (and justified somehow) is that what one player builds CANNOT be destroyed by another player, nor objects stolen to fix THEIR projects. Entropy will slowly deteriorate things, but sabatoge should not be allowed -- no Griefing which has ruined so many MMORPG games before.
Another 'Player Created Asset type:
7c) Unique (fitted/appropriate) NPC character development. -- specifics of what roles the fulfill (example- hotdog stand guy) :
- By what they say in their interaction dialogs (implied accents and slang/terminology).
- It might have a Speech lead in (sound clip) or sales barking/drumming snippets ("Get Your Hotdogs Here !!").
- Customization includes how they interact with Players/NPCs (grumpy/friendly NewYork rude).
- What props they interact with (like that hotdog-stand + cash-register and the hotdogs he sells and that frightening condiment selection)
- How they interact socially and commercially (who he buys stuff/supplies from, and where his money goes -- does he go somewhere to sleep???)
How they react when a wild Splicer is on the loose near them.... ( "!! Damn Splicer Aint Gonna Steal MY Hotdogs!!!!" )
It doesn't have to get too intricate and many of the behaviors are standard attributes selected from a menu (ie- when threatened - run away; if someone wants to buy and you have that thing to sell - sell it for money; vacate the stand for 8 hours a day and put up the "Closed" sign and empty the cash-register).
Notice that this 'logic' of a NPC vendor is largely common to most such small sales locations/vendors. Reusing it on some other kind of store does not require that many changes, mostly just specific details, different props around the NPC, etc... Maybe variant #17 will put up a sign on the walls nearby leading to his business spot with its unique name and pointing the way (just another part of this specific 'Assembly' made out of commonly reused building blocks). The Sign-Put-Up behavior is just another 'building block' used when the 'business' instance is to be installed (added to the Game World), and appopriate signs are placed in walls spots designated for sign placement. Random 'Generic' signs can be used but the creator can make nice looking ones as part of his customized 'Assembly'.
This Instance "Joe's Hotdog Stand", designed by a player (or maybe by company Asset Creators) will go in one location slot in the Game World --- as a freestanding vendor stand in some semi-random clear spot in some street in the civilized part of New Rapture). Some significantly modified variant of it might be decided to be placed in several other city locations ("Ludwig's Bratwurst Kiosk") with sufficient differences to not be noticably repetative (ie- a leanto). The system allows it to be easy enough to clone and customize (and Asset Creator Players can expend lots of fun time making it special/specific and themed and logical). There may be some special control logic options as to what is sold (especially when no hotdogs are yet available or are out of supply for a while -- all basic menu type fallthru logic - hmm, hotdogs made out of 'fish' or barnacles...). The specific NPC running this 'assembly' and the necessary props' all are coordinated together (why its called an 'assembly' - its all cohesively constructed) and make a whole grouping that can be placed in any compatible spot (an 'Instance') . This unique item can be cloned and placed in all the parallel running Game Worlds.
This particular hotdog stand does not have to become some Epic Super Plot item, as it fullfils basic 'people needs' but it DOES fill in a little detail in that place of that World (different from most MMORPGs you see which are virtually ghosttowns). The combinations of several equally simple 'Assemblies' of simple Props nearby together will make that location unique enough without some expensive choreographing/hand building that we see in solo games (and which cost so much for the game companies to produce).
There is a term 'emergent behavior' which is used in the technical world of simulation, where many simple objects interacting in simple ways, bring about the appearance/execution of much more complexity. This scheme is alot like that. Objects with a tiny bit of adaption to their environmentmake this even more effective.
An interesting thing about a hodog 'stand' is that it is generally portable and generic in where it can properly be placed (utilized in the Game World). There could be a Player Boss command system for this type of 'Business' Asset by which the Player in the game tells his NPC 'employee' to move the stand closer to where the Player's resources are (to improve convienence for his NPC lackeys - as a nearby place to eat)... For independat NPCs, logic might have the NPC move his stand to a better location or even sell it to a player(the NPC might become one of his minions....). Another might be after the stand is a success, to build/setup another (expand his business) inside the game --- Joes Hotdog Stand #2 -- and attract/hire/partner a second NPC to man it.
Alot of the world detail fillers (vendors at least) probably wont be much more complicated than the above example. Using 'Templates' provided (by the company or expert player creators) with the scripted AI guts already done makes it faily easy to do. Most creators (who are creating a custom instance of the template) only fill in standard options and select details to make things unique. There would be lots of preexisting little options to chose from (signs, names, deecoration textures,etc..)-- and more simple Assets can be custom created by the Player or a collaboratror (like a custom sign using the signmaking tool).
Last edited by watchman; 09-18-2012 at 01:04 AM.
What would this Bioshock Rapture Rising (or Reborn) be like to play?
The setting would be after Dr Tenenbaum found a cure for the Adam's effects and has returned to save the people her earlier work had so horribly affected. This would be Post-Lamb, post-Minerva's Den, and with Rapture left to survive however as it might. It probably would be fairly soon after the time of BS2 because with little organized maintenance, the city is falling apart all the faster. Tenenbaum cannot do it alone and somehow starts rehabilitating some of the less insane Splicers, and with their help expanded that project to bring more and more people back towards sanity. Those people want to live as normal human beings and want the City rebuilt. YOU are one of these 'cured' Splicers (one character per Server World).
You would start by getting some kind of tutorial sequence to walk you thru the controls and interactions with NPCs and other players, and fill you in with the plotline. That would take place first in the rehabilitation ward and then in a largely safe part of New Rapture (where civilization has partly been restored).
- Basic maintenance actions would demonstrate the repair and rebuilding game activities
- Control of your 'team' - your first personally controlled ex-splicers - who will eventually do alot of the more boring grunt work for you (you would get a temporary assistant, as you will have to earn your own NPC 'TReam' members by playing)..
- Interplayer communications methods (talking/mail/pneumo/phonecalls/etc..) and vending (and other) machines would be demonstrated.
- There will be Justifications for players not being able to do 'bad' things (PvP, stealing, sabatoge, griefing of other players). They would be explained (something about 'conditioning' that is part of Tenenbaums 'cure').
- The money system would be explained --- the 'Rappy' (New Rapture Dollar) which is based on a basic unit of work done - probably a man-hour of unskilled work.
- You may still have some of the plasmid abilities/tonic skills if the 'cure' doesnt destroy them -- though it may nulify them.
- It has to be decided if you can regain them or new ones (via a character skill advancement mechanism for your avatar AND for your 'team' members).
- Adam has been outlawed (for splicing) but is now converted to anti-adam and is used by other technologies.
- Skills from all those people 'who went before' can be extracted from what Adam is found.
- The Little Sister program has been shut down, but they continue to wander other parts of Rapture.
After that there would be a large selection of 'easy' quest/missions to expose you to further aspects of the game and the game world :
- Standard 'go there' missions that familiarize you with the City's core and the various known areas.
- Maintaining your 'Team' with basic needs (food/shelter/hygiene/work/etc..)
- Going into a 'wild' part of the city to recover useable materials/items (salvage missions).
- How to rescue Splicers and take them back for Tenenbaum's treatment (a fundamental Duty for all Ex-Splicers).
- The brownie point systems of building reputation and prestige (and what those are good for).
- Recruiting more personnel for your 'Team', skills for them, and acquiring tools to use for various projects.
- Going 'outside' to survey and do repairs for flooded/damaged parts of the city (to bring it back into habitable state).
- Interactions with the Big Daddy Maintenance Units (who are largely the reason that Rapture isnt yet a "dark cold waterfilled tomb").
- Municipal work projects to restore/expand production of food and other critical resources for the growing population ("those who dont work dont eat").
- Maintenance of the 'core' safe part of the City - payments for such service will go toward increasing your resources.
- The hidden world of the utility systems and access passages (and how to fix things that break frequently).
- Interface for assigning tasks/projects for your 'Team' of ex-splicers to carry out while you are offline.
- Repairs to vending/u-make-it/health/communications machines (TVs, Phones, Radios, Junction boxes) and how to unlock all those closed off doors (....lots of mini-games).
- Learning how to access and use submarines/diving suits/bathyspheres/trains/trolleys/trams/whatever.
- Setting up (restoring) a 'store'/'shop' to sell things you acquire (or eventually manufacture). With personalized business site details/improvements to be incrementally added as you can afford them. Learn who to deal with to get 'stock' and skills for services. "Simple manufacturing for Dummies" - formulas and processes to make things from other things.
- Use of Want Ads in the newspapers/bulletins (filling the 'auction house' game role). Auction House equivalents...
- Safety systems and how to keep them from killing you (also locks and lockers - where to stash stuff you cant possibly carry all at once)
- The Amusing Rumor system - create a rumor via a NPC and see what happens (similarly - a graffiti system)
- Hauling garbage, not just a job, but a necessity (similarly, keeping those restrooms working). There will be alot of work clearing debris and wreckage and general cleanup to repair your new home.
- That Thinking Machine - what it can do and what we DONT want it doing.
Later you can take on a bigger project of restoring a wrecked/ruined part of the city(of varying sizes ex- a buildng) , which has many sub-projects within it (many improvements being optional and/or up to the player how far to improve):
- Finding/Claiming/Keeping/Transfering the section officially as 'your' project (and collaborating with others to do so).
- Assessing the needed sub-project tasks that will be needed to make it viable and gathering/arranging for the resources/manpower/skills needed.
- Using NPC 'agents' who find things for you (I'll have my guy will call your guy...) - hiring 'crews'.
- Breaking into blocked/damaged/locked doorways and halls.
- Sealing the section from the ocean may need to be done and repairing the airlocks (and probably chasing out any sealife). Broken windows may have to be replaced or plated over which takes alot of outside work in Diving Suits.
- Pumping out the area and repairing any leaks (fixing and maintaining all the pipes) and getting the machinery in working order that will keep it that way -- where does all that water go??.
- Hauling out any wreckage cluttering the area (much is reuseable and who knows what might be buried therein) and cleaning everything up sufficiently to get rid of health hazzards.
- Restoring utilities (lighting/power/air/heating) back thru the grid (the continuity of connections which have to be made to work first)
- Repairs, lots of repairs.
- Making a 'base of operations' for your growing team and where you can stash your 'stuff' securely.
- Improving the environment further beyond basics (civilization factor) - convienence, safety, aesthetics.
- Connections to the rest of civilization - transport and accessibility and communications
- Beating the place back into a resemblance of when it was built (definitely fix all those holes in the walls)
- Attracting population to be residents and use services and putting some to work maintaining their new home.
- Accounting for landlords.
- Setting up small manufacture to improve everyones standard of living (and to make money to use for further projects and to get those people employed)
- Upscale - does it pay?
Other possible quests/missions/activities are :
- Explorations seeking resources (mines, supply stockpiles, industry, farms, ocean floor) and relinking them to the city
- Finding pockets of splicers to 'save' (tripwires,traps,nets and chloroform)
- Meeting and 'handling' unfriendly groups of splicers (with 'Bosses') who need to be kept away from the growing normalcy.
- Dealing with 'outsiders' who threaten Raptures existence (KGB/CIA/Nazis/IRS/etc...)
- Restoration of the 'city' by assisting in (long) prestige projects --things that prove that Rapture is 'rising out of the muck' ... City Hall, the Great Library, Kasmir's Monument, the Municipal Stadium, sections of the Atlantic Express, The Zoo and The Museum, those outside Neon Signs that once worked...
- Reestablishing the big manufacturing and services needed to maintain/grow the city.
- Assisting other players in getting the things THEY need done both mundane and essoteric (do/assist in their sub-sub-missions)
- Player organized activities (and things like newspapers that help build 'community')
- Commercial interactions where players set goals that drive alot of other players missions, which also make further resources available to the masses (and how to grow them bigger and bigger).
- Sightseeing to go see for yourself what other players have achieved.
- Hunting (for something other than fish to eat....)
- Covert interactions with smugglers to get 'stuff' (somethings you just cannot get otherwise)
- Hunting for more seaslugs (Anti-Adam doesnt come out of thin air after all)
- Visitations to key city locations (Minerva, Hephaestus, the Ryan Shrine,...) and some critical mission to save Rapture (yet again).
- Specialty skills development (long training) to do things like 'Rewiring splicers brains for fun and profit'
- City Hall missions (some politics - probably mostly 'suggestion boxes' for the Council to contemplate..)
- Hired Gun for other peoples 'unsafe' missions and projects.
- Probably will have some 'Tour all the X' type adventures.
- There is always 'slumming' in the 'wild' areas. Never know what you might run into.
- Clothing and Decoration (of your 'base') and the hunt for that upscale appartment.
- Catching all those $%^&*% butterflies that keep clogging the fan systems
- Treasure hunting - all those wrecks and parts of the city Lamb destroyed.
- The usual Fetch ABC/See the man X/Deliver Y/Rescue Z type missions EXCEPT with enough detail variations so you dont do the same thing 100000 other players already did before you.
- Posse, against the criminal element (an authorized situation where the 'guns come out' in the city).
- Little Sisters and Rogue Big Daddies are still said to roam the lower levels...
- Lets tear down those Lighthouses that tell everyone where Rapture is...
- Something to do with Desks and Filing Cabinets. There certainly were enough of them in BS1 BS2.. (even in Ryans World you couldnt get away from tons of paperwork)
- All those fancy machines that nobody knows how to use anymore - get them useful once more.
- Missing loved ones, the (hazardous) search for XYZ and closure for those left alive (ghost hunting?).
- Farming in all those tunnels under the city (and who's bright idea was it to inject cows with Adam??)
- Historians quest for all those recordings people just left lying about.
Endgame? Does there need to be an endgame? If Rapture is as big as it should be (actually bigger than the cityscape you see out the windows in BS1 BS2) there is always more to do (and entrophy keeps trying to tear it down). With some ex-splicers (players) crawling back into their insanity to get away from it all, there are always new responsibilities to keep Rapture alive by those who are left.
Last edited by watchman; 09-29-2012 at 10:05 PM.
Restoration: from Ruins to Like New
The player will see many wrecked/ruined areas of the city which the players seek to reconstitute (that being a goal of the game). Most areas will initially look like much of the views we saw in BS1 BS2 with leaks, stains, garbage, puddles, wreckage, floodings of water, holes torn in walls exposing pipes, bodies, smashed concrete with chunks and rebar showing, furniture in various states, misc discarded items, and sometimes evidence of recent habitation.
One part of the game will be fixing up such places to look more like they did when the city was new and to make them function and be livable again (and even civilized).
This all means that everything the player sees is composed of small pieces (objects) of changeable terrain -- not unchangeably static/inert as in most MMORPG games. Games like the Sims have these pieces in very regular squares to make them easily interchangeable, but this proposed game goes further with more life-like irregularities and much more variable detail. The players can change those object's and the game will retain those changes.
Each individual object piece may (likely) start in a ruined state which could be bit by bit (via player actions) repaired/rebuilt/renewed/improved. The game mechanism would have these 'objects' rendered differently as the are changed -- drawn with different textures(simple like corroded/battered/pristine) or be removed (no longer drawn) or be replaced/substituted with a better looking/working object (different shape -- like a wall with a 3D hole replaced with intact wall panel). This requires the game client to display many more distinct/discrete objects instead of a static terrain 'mesh' (a 'level') seen in many shooter games. BS1/BS2 had lots of objects you could pickup/move/throw/burn/change, but if you notice they still were a small minority and the rest were static objects in the scenes. THIS game relies on there being a magnitude more interchangeable objects/details to allow things in the world to be greatly varied -- to reperesent not just changing ruined/fixed states, but also for many perceived flavors and themes and player customized content.
These detailed objects in the game terrain are 'functional' -- they cause things to happen. Broken pipes cause a puddle on the floor and a leak animation. Torn up wiring wont work to carry electricity (and may issue blue sparks threateningly). A broken machine wont function. A ruined stairway cant be climbed normally. A bombed/burned out room doesnt attract NPC residents. But if these things are repaired -- the stairs allows easy traversal/passage, the conduits carry electricity needed by other things, the pipes dont leak and take water somewhere, the machines do something useful and a safe furnished room attracts occupants. All can be fixed or replaced with varying effort/parts/skill to restore function. Missions to get parts/materials/replacements/to get skilled labor/to do the repairs will take the players effort of searching about the world in still ruined sections of the city or off to interact with other players/NPCs who can supply what is needed.
The fundamental game mechanism is built around INTERCHANGEABLE terrain Building blocks. Another term I used for these is 'TEMPLATE' because they are patterns that are used to create the actual 'instances' seen in the game world, made through initializing the many interchangeable details and options. Building blocks define chunks/sections of building interiors/rooms -- which are strung together (side by side) to build the city areas of the game. The server maintains persistant data about these built up instances and the client is told what to display about them to the user. If another player/NPC changes something in the game, the player will see those changes when viewing that particular spot. What makes this game system different from most others is that these objects will have many more INTERCHANGEABLE sub-objects within them. This allows many-many more variations and things to change apperance/function when player act on them. Those sub-objects themselves have in turn many specifiable/optional details to further increase the combinations and to allow things to be unique.
A building block's data includes all the things the server and client need to make it work (more) like something real.
Alot is inherited from the 'template' and others details are set by the initialized options:
- The basic volume shape ( 3D mesh) defining the basic space (within the external walls). The space shapes dont all have to be boringly square -- they can be L-bends, Tees, actually all kinds of irregular shapes in all dimensions. Generally when linked, floors/ceilings will match up properly.
- Interface profiles define what other building blocks can connect to and where on them (matching openings) . This is what allows the game server to do auto-generation to add/extend new sections in the city without a developer having to do it explicitly (and tediously as is more normal with hand crafted 'unique' terrain).
- There is Navigation/collision map data which controls where players/NPCs can move (these may include up and down walls, across ceilings -- if spider splicer skills are allowed for players/NPCs)
- Traffic Paths for routine NPC traffic (like in GTA San Andreas where all the crowds of people(NPCs) walking about in many places made the game seem alot less empty)
- External walls are the base Structural and visual element lining the space. They are the strong solid structure of metal/brickwork/concrete that holds out the water pressure and supports floors and ceilings.
- There are settable visual detail for the external wall (ie- concrete texture/color/patterns/stains) usually consistant for an overal structure/building.
- Frequently the external wall has a gap between it and a covering interior (false) wall. The gap may hold utility structures (vents/conduits/pipes/tubes/access ways) or simply be covered with a more aesthetic inner surface.
- Exterior Windows - some building blocks have view portals into the 'outside' thru which Raptures skyline and the sea can be seen. Buildings/seafloor/sealife/submarines/players in diving suits on the other side of the external wall would be visible.
- Just inside the external walls there often are functional objects (pipes,conduits, etc..). Sometimes they are hidden behind (false) wall panels, othertimes exposed. They normally match up on adjacent building blocks, simulating their continuity thru the structure/building,
- Wall Pannels (for interior 'false' walls) are seperate sub-objects which can be repaired/replaced (to get rid those unsightly holes and ugly exposed pipes). They can be patched, completely replaced, cleaned, repainted, decorated.
- Interior surface Sub-section (wall/ceiling/floor) panels may be made out of metal, wood, stone, plaster, concrete, glass.
They have individual details like Paint/Wallpaper/texture/carpets/decorative features of many styles/variations (and can be in chipped/stained/defaced/clean states). They can be renewed or even changed or removed to leaving bare material.
- Some wall panels have imbedded objects like closets, utility cabinets, shelving, vents extend into the gap or are access hatches to reach utilities behind the false wall surface for maintenance.
Additional objects can be placed on wall/ceiling/floors:
- Mounted (placed objects that stick out of from walls) -- either functional (ie- PayPhone) or interesting 'theme' details (ie- Art Deco decorations/posters).
- Placement will not be restricted except to prevent multiple objects from overlapping.
- Objects can be fastened to the ceiling as well.
- Freestanding objects can be optionally added/placed anywhere on the flat floor.
- Structural elements like support pillars may exist within wide open spaces.
- Signs can be placed at a variety of position on wall panels. Typically a shop/store has signrights on its frontage walls that prohibit others from placing signs without permission. Advertising signs and more mundane ones are common details.
- Neon Signs/Lights/Vents/outlets/lockers/shelves/loudspeakers/controls/TVs/Phones/.. all those things seen in BS1 BS2
- Machinery - exposed machinery is usually visible in non-public places to allow ease of access for maintenance
Subdividing walls may be used to break up the large spaces defines by the external walls to form rooms and hallways. These form walled sections where smaller 'room' objects can be inserted -- like a Mall Concourse which has 'room' shop spaces defined to either side (in which instances of standard shops can be placed).
- 'Room' objects are an independant grouping of details/objects which fit the 'room' space and match the available openings into that 'room' space (ie- a standard door/frontage onto a hallway). Also being TEMPLATES, they are defined as seperate object which when instanced (options initialized) can be placed as a'room' and quickly fill in alot of detail. It is a modular system.
- Several 'room' units with connecting openings can be adjacent to create more complicated arrangements. Likely there would be inter-floor transitions for slit level combinations. Consider that 'rooms' are modular blocks placed within the larger 'building blocks'.
- Frontage walls are a 'room' side that seperates the room interior from a building blocks hallway. Optional features are doorways/windows/display cases/open counters... A Frontage wall is included/inserted as part of the 'room' instance as are other objects (like signs) hung on the outer side of it.
- Doorways and doors have many sizes/style options, including lock features (you will be able to smash in those blocked 'doors to nowhere' in THIS game, because there will now be something behind it).
Some 'building blocks' are multi-leveled and have multiple floors/ceilings and transitions between them.
- Transition features between floors are stairs/ladders/ramps/elevators/shafts/escalators/manhole covers) -- these too are objects.
- Floors can be modularly stackable (stacked 'building blocks') with a standard transition between the adjacent levels. Many of the tall Rapture buildings we saw out the ocean windows would have this kind of design.
- Multi-story buildings have duplicate sized floors with stairwells/elevators/utility ways joining them. Each floor
can be customized with somewhat different floor plans (but will still fit the standard 'interface' between them)
- some buildings have partial floors allowing tall vertical open spaces (they usually have railings/balconies/catwalks).
The Hotel you saw early in BS1 and many of the appartment 'courts' have central open spaces with floors around the edges.
Varieties of building block types:
- Concourses and Malls - central halls with shops to either side or single side hallway (often with window wall) and row of shops on one side. Often multi-level.
- Connecting ways - long narrow hallways usually used between buildings - straight/L-bends/Tees/S-bends/ and vertical transitions - ramps/stairs. Glass tunnels used in public places (where the impressive sea view can be appreciated)
- Streetways - larger connections between city 'buildings' that simulate the openness of a real cities streets. Used as major throughfares for transportation (trolley tracks on some - I would have this city have more than the pathetic caricature of a trolley system that we saw). Would have a lower 'sewer' and utility level, as they serve as the main interlink bewteen parts of the cityscape (many of people dont realize how much is hidden underground in real cities).
- Plazas & Squares - wide spots in the Streetways with groupings of shops and other facilities, often with central large decorations. Usually are intersections between multiple major throughfares and have clusters of buildings adjacent.
- Rock tunnels - inexpensive interior spaces hacked out of native rock (so not needing the expensive materials that the cityscape buildings required to withstand the water pressure). They can be unfinished/smoothed rock/partially patched.
Some tunnels may extend quite far out from the city center to reach important raw materials sites (mines/oil wells/geothermals, hazardous storage dumps, industrial plant sites). Long rock-cut tunnels would be cheaper than oceanbed structures and be more convienent than submarines when there is substantial traffic (materials/workers) and likely would include a haulage tramway. They would also be used as covered utility lines out to distant sites.
- Concrete tunnels - squared/round/inverted-u-shaped, lined with concrete thru a tunnel cut thru rock/sediment, Some are of regular shape - form-built concrete with a smooth regular surface, while others are irregular in shape (solid rock tunnels with sprayed on concrete to seal them properly). Silmilar use to Rock Tunnels. The original city foundations usually had inspection access using such tunnels.
- Caverns - Large spaces cut out of rock (sometimes with interior support columns when they are large). Places like Paupers Drop were build out of an early pressurized hollowed areas originally used as construction bases. Like rock tunnels, they were much cheaper to build. Used for things like warehousing/industry/manufacturing/farms, when aesthetics do not matter.
- Pressure Portals - frequent pressure safe mechanism that localize pressure integrity failures -- contain strong pressure doors.
- Airlocks - compartments with two sets of doors that are never both open, so act as a failsafe between city sections (they are also used to traverse from the inside city interior to the 'outside' sea areas).
- External structures like train lines (Atlantic Express was a monorail system with a specific guideway structure for its 'track'). Other things like large pipelines/storagetanks/fish pens fall into this category.
- Garages/docks for submarines and bathyspheres - a variant on an airlock but much larger.
- Green houses - fish and seaweed would be insufficient for food, so large spaces to mass grow vegetables/hybrid grains/animals are needed. The depth of the city doesnt allow sunlight to reach it, so there is little reason to have windows. So electic lights and heating would work well even inside (cheaper) tunnels and caverns.
Props - free standing or attached objects which are placed inside the 'spaces'. They usually are in fixed position:
- Kiosks and stands
- Vending machines, pneumo (Jet Postal) stations, phone booths, etc..
- Pole mounted Signs/TVs/phones/announcement speakers
- Decorations (planters/statues and scuptures/fountains/Mosaics/trees&bushes)
- Industrial machinery (all kinds)
- Temporary support installations (Jacks/Pillars/Girder retainers) placed to prevent collapse when the base structure was failing. Old ones from the past lasted into the current time and might be improved (leaking ones for example). Complete repairs may take extensive work. New ones may be built/placed to help stabalize an area being reconstituted.
Other 'props' are moveables:
- Furniture - tables chairs, desks, cabinets, all kinds of interior itemsetc..
- Vehicles (which can move like trolleys/trains/tramways)
- Carts (and moveable stands)
- Portable equiptment of all kinds (welding tanks and fuel drums)
- Chunks of stone and wreckage
- Graffiti - many locations have walls defaced with writing or pictures which can be cleaned off. A proposed game mechanism would allow players to place new 'graffiti' in various wall/floor places. 'Decals' are texture overlays which in the game could be placed on walls/ceiling/floors. Standard 'signs' are easiest, but Player specified text/symbols is possible. Similar to custom signs.
Others 'props' are Containers (most should also be 'moveables'):
- Boxes and crates and luggage
- Cabinets and desks and shelves
- Toolboxes and lockers
- When did you ever in RL actually find anything good in an ashtray/bin ??
A basic mechanism for this MMORPG is to have an endless amount of space for additional players to explore/work on, and for existing players to re-develop their own parts of the City. You will always need more 'wild' places to go adventuring in and to seek materials/Splicers in. There is a 'core' (fairly) civilized area that will exist from the start, but players will expand outward from there 'conquering' and remaking the ruined City.
How does a game which will run for years and see many players pass thru making their contributions keep going without running out of space/resources?? Especially when its effectively one big building, which once developed stays developed? Answer - an auto-generation system that can enlarge the game's City Map outward when needed. A City built of interchangeable 'building blocks' just requires more of them to be appended to expand the border areas (before the player sees them). These expansions CAN be done 'programmatically' -- using rules that spell out logical patterns and limitations to make sure what is generated makes sense. Once basic features are in, who's fit is the most restricted are decided, then the more specific details can be filled in (and use common 'local' themes/styles matching the logical nature for the area).
There ARE different flavors/patterns of areas that have to have some consistancy and cohesion in how they are positioned and fit together to make sense (and not look absurd).
The City Center should largely conform to what we've seen thru those ocean windows. But how many buildings did you see? From what I saw there were quite a few visible as I looked out those windows. What was behind them in the murk? Therefore we can always add more short and tall buildings connected by more Streetways (if needed) and further extensions of Atlantic Express and the Bathysphere transport system. Did you notice those transportation maps showed addition destinations "service cancelled' that we never went to?? I would try to use that game information be consistant when expanding the city, but there is a great deal of leeway..
Certain key locations seen in BS1/BS2 (Fontaine Futuristics, Fleet Hall, Hesphaestus, Ryan Amusements, etc..) would exist and in very specific placements relative to each other. But what else was between them?? Lots of space to fill near and around them even in those central locations. Who says there cannot be a rival to Kasmirs in the uptown area?? Certain locations like Hesphaestus looked like they were somewhat seperated from the city (unstable geothermal area you wouldnt want to build skyscrapers on). Similarly Persephone was on the edge of a 'bottomless' trench which would help define at least one hard edge of the city map (or define a different flavored area the player might get involved with - a chance to descend into that 'abyss').
Typical modern cities are laid out on a grid pattern, usually working around irregularities of the location. The inner city would likely follow such a pattern. Each rectangular section can still have different things within it, but the basic transportation would be built to follow the grid.
There would be outlying areas for industry/manufacturing/farming/raw materials that were not shown in the game. You would need such complexes to meet Ryan's attempt at being 'self-sufficient'. Connecting structures can always work around anything already previously located when expansion is needed (rock tunnels running below the city are handy for that). The city can radiate outward with ever-widening areas to expand into. The further out you go and the more open space there is, building no longer has to follow the packed grid pattern and large complexes often are 'one ofs' of more irregular shape.
Shopping Malls and Arcades would likely be generated in large coordinated groupings. They only get to a certain size before they are too repetative in the shop types, but they have to be big enough to cover a sufficent range of products/services . Once a player 'breaks in' to a new unexplored Mall area, they will likely freely march around and look through the whole area. It should all be ready (prepared) to be seen in every detail before that (all details would be finalized). A 'Mall' might be linear or circular or branching in its layout. The desired overall shape would be formed from appropriate 'mall' type interconnecting building blocks and it would be made to fit the adjacent city. Interchangeable 'shop' slots inside this Mall would be filled with 'shop instances' (themselves generated to meet the local theme and the desired ratio of shop types, and cohesive in detail). There would be a variety of standard 'shop' sizes (maybe 5) that would be fitted. Each shop might have multiple rooms and be filled with contents appropriate to its type (and be in an appropriate wrecked state).
Consistancy - ratios, rules, logic and themes.
The amounts of different types of facilities needed and desired by the original inhabitants would be defined by proportions. For every manufacturing plant with X workers you will need some equivalent basic residental space for them, with some small number being upscale (for the management). The same goes for commercial organizations, but usually with a larger percentage of 'white collar' workers (who often have somewhat higher housing standards and goods desired). Service jobs have their own particulars.
There are certain amounts of different industrial/manufacturing goods production to meet the needs of the city's original population (20000 - though wasnt made plain that include citizens in outlying areas outside of the 'city' proper). Industrial plant space per worker is usually a much larger area than manufacturing or commercial space per-man). There was wide spectrum of consumer goods produced for the population of differing amounts. Each item produced often came from several raw materials which also would have to be produced.
Shops for consumer goods and services run on similar ratios with different mixes of items/services for different social levels. Businesses are often 'local' to the consumers they serve. In a City things can be interlaced - more than you find in suburb neighborhoods. City neighborhoods do exist and they have their own themes/tones/flavors (example- Paupers Drop). Types of establishments that would be present in local areas: (food, sundries, clothing, furnishings, entertainment, luxuries, health, tools, media, social). We saw a sampling of such in our treks thru BS1 and BS2.
Look and feel -- Industrial/manufacturing plants usally have all the same grungy look and vary in detail by what machinery they use. Upscale shops have upscale decorations.
An Apartment complex is fairly consistant with a local theme decoration and the individual interiors (and prop content) vary the most, matching the people living in them (of particular social class/income/professions). 'Rundown' often is the 'normal' state for lower-class rented appartment complexes. Of course, in the 'Ruins' any contents will be thoroughly trashed by the civil war and years of neglect.
Basic color/decorative themes for Malls and Company office facilities have consistancy within their whole. Government facilities similarlyare uniform . Individual buildings could have their own themes with sub-themes for different functional areas (managerial vs sales&customer vs office vs gruntlabor vs basement storage). Company logos would consistantly be displayed.
Many such formulating rules/limitations/guidelines would exist - from general to very specific and be divided into subsets applicable to Generation of specific object flavors. Whatever details are generate will reflect the ruined state of the City --- varying in spectrum from a state of being still lived-in by the 'wild' remnants, all the way to being completely flooded or even blown apart.
Certain City locations/landmarks identifiable from BS1/BS2 are remembered by the player and would be initially VERY specificly positioned on the World Map (with their immediate connecting structures specified to flesh out the area). Some of them we were actually in and would be carefully replicated (some will be actually expanded to fill in the many sections we never got to see behind those jammed/blocked doors/stairwells and unseen utility ways). Those locations are unique -- with exact detail (add 7 years more deterioration for those seen in BS1). Others we did not get close to would be specified only partially (like the many tall/major buildings who's exact interior contents arent known). The auto-generation can fill them in later to full detail if anyone gets to them. General details of exterior shape/number of stories/their basic purpose would be initialized for them first, since that is visible from a distance (like what lights are on and which floors are smashed). The many other finer detail would be left unspecified (to be resolved to full detail when players get close to them).
Details of the complete paths of the Altlantic Express, which has all that permanent track structure/known stations, which would be accurately positioned (using the game maps/views for an approximations). The Bathysphere system is more free form and needs only the stations at the destinations with no real intervening structure (other than open ocean paths and the cables). That Chrysler-like building we see is an obvious reference point with a prominent location. The 'core' area of the City will have to be specified in full detail, as that is the place the first players will start and it will be accessible from the first moment. Tenenbaum's new rehabilitation clinic would be amongst these 'core' locations.
Pre-seeding the city (developer's premade macro patterns guiding auto-generation):
Using logic/rules (mentioned above) as guidelines, generalities for different extendable areas of the city can be pre-laid out ('seed' data - created by the developers to create a cohesively/coordinated plan). Simple generalities (this area industrial/comercial/manuacturing plants, that area residential (upscale/downscale), downtown/uptown here, main throughfares from there to there) via flags/coefficients would be marked out on a map grid, General 'flavor' markers would define the growth patterns used by the 'auto-generation' Server mechanism. Developer-created 'seed' data acts as a starting point facilitating less complicated rule-based decisions (residential rules, industrial rules, outer city rules, interconnection rules, etc..) So, with hand-created guidance data ('hints') conforming to a valid City plan, some simpler logic decides on specific details to 'generate' (It is much easier than trying to come up with a program to generate Realistic patterns from scratch - there will already be alot of logic to create just using hints to do a proper job for this auto-generation).
Most City buildings and their interconnecting structures would be prebuilt from basic external/structural shapes and a selection of cosmetic detail. It is much easier to make everything fit when you can shuffle all the possibilities before actually placing and locking down the plan. Locations would have to be reserved for all the required industries. Most of the gross details for these would be pre-defined, leaving fine/arbitrary details unresolved (left to auto-generation later). Most large industrial/manufacturing complexes would be pre-specified with much detail decided before the game was started -- they are generally unique and have fairly specific shapes and positionings of buildings/machinery that really is easier to do by hand. Smaller more common installation can be located almost anywhere if they fit into a 'city block' in the map grid (and so can be placed in different places in each Server World).
After basic positionings are decided, Companies with name identities would also be set. Names are particular items that would have to be predesignated (or picked randomly from premade candidate lists) to meet identities/entities that we've already heard of (in the Solo games), and match the overall fictional naming scheme. Many others will be semi-generic names (auto-generated combinatorics) reflecting the population's demographics mix and genre. Multitudes of logos and other details will be created by players to be used )like generic frames around company titles).
Some 'generated' fine details (used to individualize many locations) may just be random pulls from a set of available options (stores/shops/buildings/complexes/plants/plazas). Some in-game locations may not have much original identity remaining -- having been largely destroyed in the chaos after 'The Fall' (even trashed/gutted interiors will be auto-generated with appropriate details). Some existing details may be of little consequence as a ruined shop being rebuilt and reopened (in a recently stabalized area) will likely be personalized (re-detailed) by the player doing it. It may be put to a completely different use and changed almost completely except for the external walls.
Again, whatever level of partial detail is preset or later fully generated, it will reflect a properly ruined state of the most parts of the City. For the final 'full' level of details, an important factor is how much useful material is left (versus the useless) for the players. This may vary quite a bit with some areas thoroughly picked over by years of Splicers, and others having been cut/blocked off early on which may be filled with lots of pre-civil war goodies.
Outside in the sea there is also terrain which players/'team' NPCs can access (using diving suit/submarines/bathyspheres). There are many useful things laying around, and more than a little City infrastructure out there (and missions to do). Heavy external wall/window repairs would be done from that side. That terrain would be more of a standard 2D terrain mesh in which the city buildings and structure sit. There are different sections of that surface - the solid rock the city was placed on, the edge that falls away,plains of silt, ridges and canyons, etc.. The interior windows would actually look out into that (real view instead of the static skybox we saw in the Solo games) . The various seascape settings (those pretty glowing corals, kelp beds, etc..) and water volume with different types of sealife can also be composed of modular 'building blocks'. They are more independant of each other, so that 'on-the-fly' TEMPORARY auto-generation could be simply done for vast ocean areas outside the City. A similar pre-made 'seed' map grid pattern would control appropriate content creation in those areas.
Last edited by watchman; 10-06-2012 at 11:08 PM.
Estimates on Raptures size : (How big should Rapture be, how big can it be if the server expands it)
20,000 people is a estimated initial size Rapture was build for (with capacity to expand in future)
But did this count everyone or just those within 'city limits' (or was that number ever reached)??
How many people might remain? Are there that many left after Jack and Delta were thru ??
Consider that we only walked thru a very small part of the city and we saw that many around ...
How many people that remain are actually Splicers? Are any left that were not (or would they not survive or maybe even have a better chance of surviving?)
Residences - estimate :
Given: 10x10 foot residential area per person, 1 worker = family of 4 == 400sqft minimum residence (upscale/upclass would be higher) Barracks-like single non-family space would probably be similar.
Example Estimate - a typical appartment 'court' (roughly 75feet x 75feet x 50feet tall)
4 U shaped floors, each of 3side x 3units of 4-person(400 sqft) = 144 residents (includes concierge)
20000/144 = ~138 such appartment blocks would have to exist
For 'High-rise' residence buildings something like 20 stories of 75x75 feet, high density (cramped 4 person appartments)
20x20ft x 8 per floor x 15 residence floors = 480 residents
20000/480 = ~ 41.5 such buildings if all of that type
Some residences may be more linearly laid out along 'Streets' (the old style of having a business downstair and residence upstairs, on both sides of the street)
This of course would be mixing residences with commercial, so would be diluting the capacity.
With the same minimum per-person sizing for both residence and commercial and only the bi-level pattern, 150ft stretch would hold 40 people or 1400 per mile of 'Street'.
20000/1400 = ~ 14.25 miles of 'street' of that pattern. Adding an extra floor (3rd) would double residential capacity and thus require about 7 miles total.
Of course upscale/upclass appartments increase in per-human size allocations geometrically with the level.
With X thousand of 'white collar' workers and Y hundreds of management personel (plus a few handfulls of 'Movers and Shakers') the total residency space will be somewhat larger, but its a starting estimate.
Upscaling would likely increase area per-person to 200sqft and 400sqft for significant numbers of 'ordinary' citizens.
Remember, this reflects Rapture as originally planned/built so is the basis of 'whats out there' and not what is in the currently livable reclaimed areas. More than a little of the original City was possibly wrecked beyond use.
Industrial plants can have relatively few workers (lots of automation) on huge installations. They do also have office staff.
Desk bound Office workers personal areas may be small, but there can be large records/confererence addditions.
Manufacturing space per-man can vary quite alot, especially if bulk goods are warehoused/inventoried.
Farms/Fisheries - large areas for the plants/animals with fairly low personnel density.
Someone once calculated that fully 1/3 of all urban land use is for transportation (if you add up airports/RR stations/tracks/yards/docks, roads/parking garages, hallways, even sidewalks/driveways -- you can see that seems quite possible)
How much operational/used space is outside the 'pressure structure' ?? We saw some in BS2 when walking about in the sea and this space would be accessible in this Game as only a small part of 'The Outside'.
Looking at some views of cityscape buildings in BS2, there are many of about 20 stories, some at 30-35 stories and a few taller 40+ ? (the one with the radio tower might not need it (radio wave actually go thru water VERY poorly) and one had a very tall spike ontop).
That Chrysler like building might be a caricature and nowhere near as big as the original was at 1000+ feet and 77+ floors.
400 feet with 40 floors might be sufficient as Ryan built somewhat 'for show' (though that height with at least 200 feet of water above it (to avoid icebergs) increases the bottom floor level pressure more than I originally thought -- 200ft buildings and + 200ft above)
Pressure at 600 feet is ~275psi or ~18.6atm and that is alot of force/pressure on those huge windows we see (Scotty must've gone back even further in time to give them that formula for transparent aluminium...). The book ("Bioshock : Rapture") mentioned some expensive new materials to withstand such pressure. The walls likewise would have to be quite strong, though could be alot thicker/bulky than the glass.
(Hoover dam is 726 feet tall and has 200 feet thick concrete at its base (though it was built to last for 1000 years) -- equivalent pressure has to be held back in a few feet of Rapture's walls and only mere inches by the windows).
Last edited by watchman; 10-06-2012 at 11:40 PM.
Rapture Rebirth MMORPG Minigames ideas (for 2D and simple 3D Tablet interface) :
Games to be run in a simpler interface (tablets/palmtops) to alow players to play part of the game while away from their home gaming machines. Results from the mini-games can have direct impact on in game activities (while utilizing time the players couldnt play otherwise).
Beside hopefully being fun games (if theres a good progression to continually get harder to match a spectrum of player abilities) having short duration and payoffs in the main game. Some being skill advancements and others to accomplish certain ingame tasks like repairs/fabrications/searches on the players own projects (as well as city assigned jobs), while others reward with job pay beyond the (my NPCs on automatic).
Lots of variants(scenarios) - if player created assest are part of the game system and other similar games can be produced along the same lines by Players (scenario variants (data) for an existing game vs creating it which is programming).
2D Flash style animations and interactions for the programs ( alot of players understand these concepts for creation of the minigames, so wont be frightened off)
Common creation frameworks to act as templates - grid placements, communication with server, scoring and rewards systems.
Some players create better graphics and aesthetic animation effects versus creating the game mechanics and control interfaces (again assuming that the company adopts the challenging and 'pushing the envelope' idea of allowing player created asset and then actually being able to make the system work). Graphical effects are often interesting just to see them (see what imaginative players come up with).
Games have instructions and explanation of how they tie into the main game. Names and locations/tasks etc are passed from the server to personalize the minigame as being part of their efforts in the main 3D game.
Topscores?? (and tracking player against themselve) Why not? Some people find great interest in trying to out do each other and in an MMORPG you want to add as many avenues of interest as possible to keep people playing.
There would also be interactive access to in-game media - newspapers/mail/delivery notices/job bulletin boards/text chat/NPC activity monitorings and task directions and progress/map views/auction house/ etc.. so players can keep track of things happening in the game and communicate/interact.
A longer explanation of many things mentioned will be in a following posting.
Minigame idea examples:
Existing Hacking of various devices/machines - bots/vending machines/cameras/turrets/security doors/locks
- BS1 circuit fluid path grid (thinking and speed)
- BS2 moving needle (mostly click timing)
- with additions for more skill based adjustments, impact of research/tools/part quality
- Connect the in and out paths of several utilities in a building section to establish continuity with the pieces you are supplied
- Add safety features for bonus
- Bonus for redundant capacity to the completed 'circuits'
- Fit multiple utilities simultaneously (water, air, electricity, pneumo, comm-lines)
- Dont forget to cut the power before you start rewiring ...
- Do estimations and if it cant be done send the job back to the bureacrats who messed up.
Repairs - Machine Disassembling/Assembling:
- Jigsaw like puzzle of fitting all the parts together
- Get useful machines of variety of complexities working again
- Broken pieces removed and replaced (keep a good stockpile on hand)
- Symbolic pieces dropped in the slots (preferably the right slots)
- Research/blueprint, skill/tool advantages
- In game objects are repaired either for yourself or as a 'job'
U-Invent - Fabrication Making Parts
- Use of an old U-Invent machine (which was automatic) rebuilt to use as a fabrication rig (beg, borrow, but dont steal one).
- Player supplies recipes and formulas to control making of parts for machines (later use for repair activities)
- Reprogram the machine to make parts (adjustment puzzle of the in-built tools options)
- Machine pattern with improvements innovated by players skill
- Progressive with more skill and tool modules and additional recipes
- DO repairs to the machine during 'run' of parts
- Parts produced for in-game use
- Player remotely controls a city patrol bot (those automatic ones were never that bright)
- Plan and Set the patrol pattern for a given map area (some with higher dificulty patterns)
- Link into camera/electric eye sensors to get clues of possible perp locations
- Follow/corner the perp (drive vermin into traps)
- Control door access (security locks) to block the perps off
- Coordinate multiple reinforcement bots movements
- Different perps move at different speeds or can try to attack the bot
- Coordinate 'the watch' being called to handle/apprehend the perp
- Answer priority alerts to investigate reported sightings of 'irregularities'
- Many different maps and scenarios (ie- stake out the smugglers, watch the gate to the wild, vermin patrol, etc..)
- Keep the city safe so people can sleep soundly in their beds...
Splicer Brain/Genetic Reconstruction ('the Cure' for splicers)
- Symbolic representation of the brain of a splicer
- Remove the broken bits (unghappy faces)
- Adjust the pieces to form coherant patterns (connect the smiley faces)
- Minimum adjustments get bonus
- Most combinations of 'good' brain patterns get bonus (means more skills for the ex-splicer)
- Skill adjustments to enhance efficiency and improve outcomes
- Use X-Cell and Anti-Adam to assist difficult cases
- Every Ex-splicer saved is one more step forward for Rapture
- Doctor your patient is ready....
Certification Tests for player skills
- Do tests to qualify for a better job (bypasses time consuming ingame training)
- Various machines and tools and tasks done to prove proficiency for future job placements in-game.
- Paint the wall section (roller or paint brush, neatness counts) - no painters holidays please
- Assemble the machine from the blueprint pattern (memory game)
- Weld that leak (wandering hand aiming game - like some of the target scopes )
- Find a free path for the electric line (floor tiles path, no overlap with existing lines)
- Flip the burgers (variant on whack a mole)
Pull the goodies out of the pile (a pickup sticks type game)
- Scrounge thru the debris pile and try to extract the most valuable items
- If you pull wrong debris falls down and blocks things (may also help uncover things)
- Move things that are in the way
- Time limit before the splicers hear you and you have to leave (if they catch you, lose all)
- Time limit before the room fills up with water
Guide the sub/bathyphere thru the maze of buildings and obstacles
- Maze game get thru to the destination on-time and certainly before fuel/air runs out
- Dodge the giant squid or other hazards
- Go out and return on a 'routine' trip
- Skills allow faster speeds and better maneuverability
- Get your own sub/bathyphere nd make it a profitable business
Trawling for Fish
- Raptures mainstay that never quit the whole time after 'the fall'
- Place the nets
- Run the multiple subs out to the schools of fish and corner them into the nets
- Avoid hazards - various deep sea nasties and sharks that want to eat your fish
- Bring your catch home to Rapture
- Work for the city or later purchase your own submarine to get real profits.
Program the circutry/punchcards (Minerva's programs)
- Minerva will be a very useful tool for the City if they can just get it programmed.
- More 'wiring' connections type puzzles
- Solve the logic connection with the provided circuitry (fit to form the path)
- Bonus payout for speed of completion
- Progressive difficult and higher rewards
- Accumulate circuit bits you didnt have to use for subsequent 'programs'
- More programs you do, the more you are paid (and skill advances)
- Some are circuitry and others punchcard sequences linking the logical paths
- Tools and special circuit parts for 'shortcuts'
The Prospecting game:
- Find useful materials for Raptures industries to convert to useful things (the manufacturing starting up again)
- Dig thru the rock looking for veins/deposits
- Dont open the tunnel to the sea (indicators about how close you are getting to that)
- Pull as much as you dare out
- Different and amusing tools
- Different types of mines have different properties - metal/oil/minerals
- HighGrade a few 'samples' for yourself (smugglers trade for gold)
The Farm - setup and operate a farm to feed Rapture with something other than fish and seaweed
- Growing crops (farm games existsed LOOONG before Farmville)
- Tending animals(beware the mutant cows and flamethrowing chickens) - crops to feed animals
- Progressive development (not a single run game)
- Add more lights to improve growing
- Add new crops (new seeds with multiplying numbers when you grow seeds for later crops)
- Bring in fertilizer (mulched from the inedible seaweed) to improve your farm.
- Keep the vermin away (who try to eat your crops)
- Skills increase and expand your farm
Chase the Thing thru the City Sewer:
- A common low income entertainment for starting players
- Navigate the maze of sewers under the streets - dont go too far or you will get lost.
- Vermin targets have bounties (ingame rewards)
- Interesting/valuable items sometimes get lost, there to be found
- Lighting and water level vary
- Nastier things are sometimes run into (keep your weapon handy)
- Bring your hip boots.
Route the Pneumo
- Jet Postal job shifting the transfer incoming capsules to the right outbound tube
- Jamming events and misroutings/damaged packages or bad addresses
- Shelving capsules destined for the local station and taking)
- Rush periods when transfers backed up (all come in at once)
- Higher skill pneumo offices (scenarios) have more tubes/more problems/more trafic
- Lots of flashing lightbulb type and buzzing indicators warning of incomings and jams...
- Amusing labels of what are in the capsules
Librarian in the Great Library
- Sort the books onto the shelves (some kind of shuffling action in the 'buttony tablet interface)
- Find research request items as they come in faster and faster.
- Slidy word puzzles (using common bioshock terms)
- research skill bonus.
Obstacle puzzle (reach that prize if you can in the ruins)
- grid puzzle of interlocking objects which by pushing around opens a path to the far side
- Heaps of debris
- Things to push/pull (with different length sticks) that nullify other obstacles
- Variety of tools for different scenarios
The Pick and Pay game
- Piles of salvages items to look thru
- Sort thru them and Find the one piece that
- You may have to dismantle things to get what you are after - dont destroy too much
- Bonus for minimal value loss due to 'dismantling' and rough manhandling
- As usual, skill and tools add to efficiency
- Rewards for finding a 'bounty' item
Fontaines Fisheries (under new management)
- Keep the city fed with this staple commodiity
- Unload the submarines that come in with their loads of fish
- Submarine moves some while floating
- Avoid crushing the workers who sometimes get in the way
- Put the fish onto the moving conveyor evenly so it doesnt jam
- Finish before too many subs back up
- Accuracy in picking up/dumping to not waste too many fish
- Work done for the city council to allocate and schedule manpower to current jobs.
- Match up best combinations of workers with skill (who do certain tasks more efficiently)
- Time based schedule with workers shifted to critical tasks to lear way for more general progress
- Get the most tasks completed with available workers
- Priority jobs to get bonus for getting done first
Tramway routing ('tower' operator).
- The tram system moves bulk stuff below street level around much of the city (keeps the streets clear and less cluttered)
- Map of parts of the city with the tracks shown and the little trams moving about.
- Keep all the trams simultaneously moving for deliveries and pickups (freight garbage personnel fuel).
- Switch between routes (single and double tracked) and keep the schedule moving.
- More complex maps and schedules for the more skilled.
- Handle accidents and delays to keep things moving.
Hesphaestus Reactor Control
- Keep the power system stable by controlling valves and watching indicators
- Prevent it from going into automatic shutdown
- Scenarios running at higher capacity (more $$) afford more risk and speed of destabilization
- Minimize damage to equiptment for bonus
- Watch the red lines creep towards utter destruction
- Someday Minerva may do this task but that day is not here yet.
An important thing is that all these mini-games are optional. Progress in the main online game is not to be dependant on execution of these mini-games which many players may have little time/patience for and/or little interest in playing.
By playing them you might get a bonus in-game, but nothing earthshaking. Effort in them should translate to some equivalent effort for actions ingame (and make use of time when in-game play isnt possible). Some games may just be amusing to see once and then never be looked at again. Others may be good enough to be sufficiently distracting for killing time - what hobbies are really all about.
They are also yet another channel for player creators to make 'old school' things for this Rapture genre.
Last edited by watchman; 10-15-2012 at 01:58 AM.
Lol....lots of thought you're putting into this...
Dying from a wall of text overdose ?(T_T)??
Let him make the game!
laforzadimente said:Lol....lots of thought you're putting into this...
Some of it is based on conversations with people on various game development sites over many years.
The 'player created assets' with a collaboration mechanism will be a big thing in these games someday (Second Life was a step in the right direction but actually discouraged collaboration with their pay model).
Games are going to continue to cost more to produce and if we dont tap into use of the largely free 'players imagination and skills' to build the games, we will be stuck with a dwindling number of subject genres and even fewer player interaction models (like WOW being the target that investors point to when it is actually a backslide from Ultima Online and Asheron's Call)
The idea of the mini-games being part of the main game likewise taps into all that time that players CANT be on their gaming machines at home, but because of the miracles of modern technology, we have these new connected devices powerful enough to run gaming that WAS their main computers only a few years ago.
The increased 'AI' component and content auto-generation are more of my 'subjects' Ive pushed in the Dev forums.
Unfortunately these idea are not yet proven as a working model, and it will take a very daring company to do a big project using them. But once proven with the advantages made obvious they will likely be adopted quickly by the rest.
losstarot said:Dying from a wall of text overdose ?(T_T)??
Let him make the game!
Unfortunately one person cant make a game like this (its funny, in the Game Dev forums when they have to 'read 'he Riot Act' to new game programers who say "I want to make a MMORPG" and then enlighten them about all that is involved - they even have it in the FAQ, so many have said that)
These are just a few of the design ideas. You should see how much it would take to actually explain technical details of how it would work. It is hopefully enough to demonstrate that there would be ENOUGH of a game in (for example) a Bioshock MMORPG to be worth it to the company ($$$) AND to the players.
And as Ive mentioned somewhere, the tools and processes they would develop for one game could be used for a dozen other games in other popular genres (to reach a wider spectrum of customers)
Player Asset Creation:
Assets used in the game that come from the players themselevs to expand the MMORPG world. The MMORPG Game system is modular (down many level to basic details) and additional PLAYER CREATED flavors of modules can be substituted for the initial set provided by the Game company - as the game goes on. Basic sets of all these will be company developer provided on World startup (initialization) The interchangeable modules are sized from chunks of building down to placed objects (signs and such), down to individual objects players pickup (with substituteable attributes like colors and textures and game mechanics attributes) :
The system allows in-game changes by players to rebuild many objects (and change sub-components) to customize things in the game. The Player Created Asset mechanism allows there to be quite alot more variations and even new objects that look and behave differently from what existed originally (company created). All of course is inspected by the company before being added to the game.
Types of assets:
Building block shapes and functionality (sub-object components slots like wall pannels)
- Basic 3D shape (mesh)
- Includes multiple looks/assemblies/pattern variations for the different states (wrecked/damaged/corroded/burned/new)
- Navmesh usually produced by a tool but player needs to check to see that its what they want and make changes if needed)
- Connection compatibility with other building blocks (standardized interface surfaces ie- doorways) - their often is a subsetof intended similar blocks built to match each other. These are basicly rules for how the building blocks get assembled together used by the auto-genration process on the server.
- Placement cues for prop objects (on floor/walls/ceilings
Alternate/variety textures for visual look of object/NPCs. Differing surface appearances. Includes clothing patterns (very popular in MMORPGs).
- Small snippets for NPC exclamations (including additional splicer ones) and causal NPC interactions (GTA-like crowds of figures)
- Vignettes (longer back and forth between NPCs) that players get to watch
- The more voice variations available the less repetitive the situations in the games sound.
Interactive Dialogs for city NPCs (friendlies - vendors, quest givers and such) - combination of text responses, if-then logic (based on player responses and on situational factors) Tree within tree (reuse of same tree on duplicate logic paths). Queueing of NPC actions/sounds/animations, modifications of items (ex- transfer to players inventory, or picking something up )
Behavior scripting of NPCs (including coordinating player 'team' NPCs). This would be the most complicated creations but would do the most to make NPCs 'come alive'. Splicers who use more varied tactics would give players more of a challenge and having different ones use different mixes of tactics so the player cannot predict
Client side AI scripting modules (helps server by offloading processing). Since there are alot of actions that 'Team' NPCs can do (and can coordinate as a group) theer are lots of oportunities for improving Basic AI.
3D Objects (props) - object that is independant of the terrain can be manipulated seperately (ie- a crate, tin of meat, a chair, etc...) -- also interchangeable decorations for building surfaces to offer options in theme. Clothing items are 'layover' objects that have shapes/textures and also adjust size to match figure variances.
Music - playable on various devices or used for TV/Radio/Public Announcement
Assembling groups of props into appropriate groupings to make them simpler to substitute as a group by an auto-generation program that would also ajust positioning (fitting) to placements.
Quest creation. Mini-plots which quest NPC characters to play the roles. Target destinations placed on the fly at an appropriate location matching the theme of the plot. Variations. Text story (amusing/interesting details around the basic plot).
Minigames (tablet friendly) activities that tie in with the main game. Frameorks would be provided that tie into server and game would be created from 2D tiles/texture objects and scripting that defines the minigames mechanics.
Data defining the minigames scenarios would be another sub-asset addable/modifiable to have different levels of difficulty or just variations to not be repetative.
A critical feature of these creations is making them able to take sub-component substitutions so that details and themes can be varied easily in both look and behavior. Too many modular systems have too few options and very quicky become boringly repetative. At each level of complexity there should be more options of substitutions - the assets are therefore 'templates' that can be resued to quickly generate many variations and customized adaptions for specific instances. Basic templates would be created by the company (they would have to do this anyway to have an interchangeable component model work even if they developed everytrhing in-house) as starting examples for players to work from.
The players have magnitudes more imagination (and time) than the game company employees to generate this stuff and you need constant new content to keep MMORPG players from quitting when theyve already done the same thing too many times. This 'Player Created Asset' system taps into that imagination/knowhow/effort to be able to achieve that.
Tools needed for player asset creation :
Online publishing mechanism to pull assets to the players computer and to push them back for inspection/reuse/improvements/vetting - includes search and summary to allow player to choose from available existing and WIP assets. Easy to use online methods are needed to facilitate collaboration processes.
NOTE - players themselves often can create VERY useful tools (and tool modules) beyond what the company might provide. They need to know the exact specifications of the data formats and how the Game Engine uses the data.
Format Converters - data converters to game specific asset formats (from commercial tool import formats)
Texture Editor - common 2D pixel editing (many tools available)
3D object editor - import mesh and selection of textures, assign properties for alternate states, test views in various lighting situations. More complicated objects have component parts/repair diagrams(for crafting) and behaviors(what they do when activated)
Asset viewers - display/activate assets in the same way used in the game
Script editor/IDE for scripting language used by Game engine - include documentation of libraries. This includes not only the actual script instances for specific object creation, but also for template routines (library subroutines that can be used by other players), and for entire behavior modules that can be substituted (different NPCs do different things and have different actions they take)
Dialog Editor/Tester - dialog data includes script snippets so would tie into the script language editor/IDE. Allows player to test all tree path options of the NPC interaction dialog trees and verify proper dialog output and queue actions/animations/destures and player interactions. Specifying situation factors to test reactive variation logic would be part of the testrig.
Music editors (midi style as well as mpg quality) - numerous comercial and free ones are avaiable using common data formats.
Sound recording/editing for voice acting and sound effects.
Particle effect editor (things like explosions, leaks and fires etc..)
Game format 3D Editor (usually the most customized as it matches the game engine precisely - can import data from other tools)
Commercial 3D editors (can make up for deficiencies/minimal features of any company ctreated "Game format 3D Editor", many players have much higher proficiency in existing 3D and 2D tools)
Figure Animation Editor (animation formats are also most customized data format specific to Game Engine used) creates the figures human motions for a particular action/gesture. These are invoked by the behavior scripting to play out the motions the NPCs and players fcharacter figures make. Animals/plants and animated machines similarly have animations created to have proper motions for their moving parts. Appropriate sound effects are paired with these animations.
Minigame Test tool that would assemble the minigame scripts with the assets and scenario data to run the game for testing (including simulating the games interaction with the main server).
Some of these tools have to be custom made to match the game engine customizations and would be done for internal development anyway. So expanding them and idiot-proofing them (for ease of use by players) would be the additional work (wouldnt be creating everything from scratch to implement this 'Player Created Asset' system).
Some players have the 'expert level' skill to do any needed complex/difficult scripting/programming, while others would use the previously made templates and substitute the appropriate sub-components and choose/apply options/modes/tweak coefficients/textures to vary the objects when building instances to add to the game. Most anyone could edit a texture (ever use MSPaint??) to make an already skinned object look somewhat different. The few experts create difficult things useable/modifiable by the many. Others come along look at what other players have produced and add their own improvements to their copy. And in the game itself that large assortment of 'good'/'best' objects thus created are moved about and placed flexibly in the game world, and anyone can do that.
"Rumor: BioShock MMO in the works"
Hmm I wonder if my spew was picked up by the rumor mill??? Nah, dates from 04.14.2010
Reuse of existing game assets from BS1/BS2/MP/DLC
Problem -- high detail of final/finished pre-existing BS1/BS2/MP/DLC assets which likely would be seed data for the MMORPG instead of creating everything from scratch. It needs conversion to use in the MMORPG.
Example- the heavily encrusted Dionysus Park, in a 'dirty' state that needs to be generisized into a 'player fixable' format (modular/player actable/repairable - broken up into sub-objects, removable slots for wall/ceiling/floor panels, pipes in sections, removable art, machines, etc..). Players in-game thus could eventually repair and rebuild the initial 'ruined' state into a repaired/improved/clean state part by part.
Dionysus Park is a good example of a unique preexisting (BS2) location that should not be part of the 'auto-generated' system. It would be included in the starting Game world, so the work to generate it has to be pre-done by the Developers. It is a good candidate in-game for a civic improvement project (a sink for 'make work' jobs in the game) that would be visibly changed to show the 'rebuilding Rapture' game goals progress.
Removal of terrain detail objects (lights, machines, etc..) from the building structure would still have to be done. BS2 working data may still exist (base architectural mesh shapes without the detail of ruin/damage/sealife-accretion/details added. That would simplify the work required. The data would need to be generisized to match the modular system the rest of the game uses, to allow repaired in-game all the way back to an almost new state. The 'instance' details would then be rebuilt back to represent the 'ruined state' we see in BS2.
Most unique old places should not be replicated more than once in the game, so would not require being reduced to small 'building blocks' (as used by the auto-generator), just to large chunks that wont be recombined. That would save alot of work.
Dividing the location data into large cohesive 'room' chunks could be done so that some of the 'rooms' could be utilized for OTHER new locations (the generisized data system allows many mutations of the theme details) The train station section likely is a fairly standard arangement that could be used several other places in the city. Other rooms/galleries could likewise be reused to make additional buildings. The Triton theater section is probably too unique.
Small details will be extracted from all the old BS1/BS2/MP/DLC data. The Triton theater theater rows of chairs would be turned into 'props' for general use anywhere appropriate (auto-generation system use).
All The 'doors to nowhere' in those original BS1/BS2 locations will need to be expanded into something real behind them (like generic room spaces with a similar construction style and themes and would be populated with similar prop items matching the rest of the building). Those doors can still be initially stuck/locked/blocked, but in THIS game players can eventually open them. Many of the BS1/BS2 buildings we've seen had additional floors you couldnt get to. They would likewise have to be created - same that those air ducts that the spider splicers move thru would need to actually go somewhere. All the utilities systems/passages would have to be made compatible with the rest of the detailed city data.
A possible cost saving alternative is to initially represent some of these 'unique' known locations as off-limits ( 'unfixable', with too much structural damage, flooded, hazardous) and farm the old BS1/BS2 data out to players to be processed with the 'player created asset' tools. They could then later be insert them into the game as placey accessible.
Alot of the BS1/BS2 static levels have objects imbedded in the terrain mesh that would be good stand-alone objects. Chopping these objects out of the mesh data isnt that hard with the right tools (patching the blank/chopped sides). They would need all the alternate clean/dirty/damaged state versions to be made (often just texture changes). A blown apart state might require shape (mesh) adjustments.
WITH a 'player created assets' system you might be able to farm alot of old game assest to players to do the slice and dice (to make 'building blocks' or 'room' chunks) and extract LOTS of additional objects to use in the game without making them from scratch. The company wouldnt have to do all of it (saving $$$$).
WITHOUT a 'player created asset' system, the company would still do the same extraction/rebuilding work from the old solo BS1/BS2 game data.
The Great Mutator - The server auto-generator system
Uses the basic template patterns 'building blocks'(and all more specific detail templates) and builds what players first see on entering a new area (ie- building players have never reached before) - now instanced on the server world and is subject to player actions from thereon. Most of the new areas are ruins, but the damage/content will vary.
Locations will build differently, matching their layer areas of the city -- with appropriate variances/variations/combinations of details, both for internal (air filled) and external changes (sea water) areas. Because tall buildings are seen from a long distance, their basic external shape will have to be builtup ahead of time by the Devs. Further specific detail wont be needed until the players get near them (a number of buildings in the startup areas will be fully pre-detailed).
NOTE - the 'auto-generator can be used as a tool to fill in world detail for the devs before the game is released. They can override to add in unique locations and to adjust the content as needed.
I would actually expect the 'building block' definition of all of Rapture to be laid out before the game starts so that all the 'streets' and building shapes and other gross details can be coordinated -- matching fairly closely the views (position and shape) weve seen in the solo game. 'Rooms' within the interchangeable slots of those 'building blocks' do not have to be pre-defined (they are easily swapped)
Some (many?) shops even in the largely developed 'downtown' area had been boarded up (never seen) and could have their inner contents built on-the-fly as the player was forcing the door open. The detail for a 'room' (or grouping of rooms) is added to the previously defined configuration of 'building blocks' which already makes up the entire building.
- Flooded Areas that the player wont be able to rebuild because too much of the presssure structure is gone
- External structure with large sections blown out (different from intact 'external' state of other flavors) - likely entire mesh replacemenst because of significant difference (walls pissing/partial lack of internal walls/ceilings/floors)
- Sea life growing everywhere (wide variety of detail sections) - extent dependant on how large holes are
- Salvage still possible (via diving suits), remaining contents subjected to soaking in salt water
- Tangled Girders and structural debris thick and everywhere, with Risk of collapse.
- Mobile sealife - fishies swiming about, currents waving seaweed
- General discontinuity/disruption of utilities (new mains might be built new to bridge gap between adjacent areas)
- Filled with water - bulkheads sealed from adjacent unflooded areas
- Pressure integrity lost and the area was sealed when the bulkheads closed
- Exterior struct can have varying levels of damage - including windows
- Limited sealife incursions - often the holes are too small to admit much of it
- I noticed in Dionysus Park windows that were encrusted (inside of outside?), so window substituion(dirty/clean) will alsoi be needed.
- Lots of wreckage/debris from deterioration and civil war damage
- Utilities largely disfunctional
- Minor leaks that the still operating pumps can handle (otherwise would be completely filled)
- Air systems partially working - still connected and open to the main distribution hubs
- Inhabitable at least by splicers
- Vermin that live anywhere there is something to live on
- Movement may be impared with many blocked doors and rooms full of debris
- Expansion work taking the city back from 'the wild'
- Much activity clearing, rebuilding and repairing
- Alot of damage still evident
- Still subject to incursions by splicers
- The Downtown - Where the New Rapture has been started to be rebuilt
- Most of the ex-splicer population lives here in a reasonably normal state.
- Regular maintenance keeps it stable, debris has been cleared
- Initial areas setup by the server (players may have made subsequent changes)
- Machines of convienence have been restored
- Shops and NPCs selling things again, still many locations vacant
- Utilities in working state though often in need of improvement and increased capacity
- Much Minor damage still not repaired (much cosmetic)
Rapture's 'Showcase' area:
- Most everything works
- NPCs are everywhere busy acting out the old Rapture, many passing thru the transportation hub.
- Cosmeticly looks much as it once did long ago
- Is only a fairly small area of Rapture (and took alot of work to beat it back into shape)
- Where the 'better' establishments want to be and are starting to be restored
- Residence in high demand, upscale locations are available and occupied.
- City Hall and other centers of organized activities
- Many 'unique' locations here are from the walkthru of BS1/BS2 so are verbatum structurally, but may have been repaired and cleaned up more than a little.
Outside (water) area:
- Seen thru windows - so the big details will be prebuilt.
- Large pipes, bathysphere paths and train tracks, etc... will follow very specific paths linking buildings and coresponding to maps seen in BS1/BS2.
- Sealife/seabed defined by where the rest of Rapture isnt - only stuff right next to windows is visible.
- Lots of wreckage stewn about, som eis visible from a distance, much isnt so doesnt need predefinition.
- Specific details (like fish and junk lying on seabed) can be filled in when players get near.
The auto-generator builds up layers of details appropriate for the location and state of the areas being created (and eventually is sent to the player's client program)
- Appropriate content for type of area - Commercial, industrial, residential, transportation, etc flavors have appropriate contents that need to be added
- Appropriate content for current 'state' of area (wrecked, rebuilt, etc..)
- Objects that were fixed in place (bolted down, etc) may be shown as torn lose and thrown around and crushed or be buried (inner wall panels shattered to show pipes/etc behind them, often leaking).
- Individual objects are working/damaged/destroyed/missing state as appropriate (things like machines running or not depending on state of power)
- Effect objects caused by the state of other objects are placed -- Leaks, puddles, garbage/debris litter areas, ice.
- Submerged Water effects- the mutator adds this state to the flodded zone and the contained building blocks - a water surface (fully or partially flooded) that a player/NPC will splash or swim thru and objects float at the surface or sank or suspended. The objects there now will be built with water damage and sealife accretions.
- Many alternate details are for appearance sake - decorations (to avoid repetition). Combinatorics of several random selections each with many available options increases variations. Some options are 'themes' that then apply to further specific details (ie- all the line of pipes have the same paint 'theme'). Some details come in sets - cohesive groupings of objects which look best when group 'coordinated'. Sections ar ebuilt up using Themes inherited from the larger area. (ie- red base color theme and carpeted pattern in Kashmir's causes all the rooms and other decor to be consistant thru the whole building - with exceptions in kitchen and other 'backroom' sections).
Previously (or currently) habitated areas containing the detrius (sometimes of years):
- Has been well picked over (but much that couldnt be used by splicers remains or is shoved aside)
- Garbage piles in corners or strewn about (one man's garbage is another man's treasure - recycleables)
- Old and new Graffiti, trashed posters, burn marks...
- Shrines to Lamb's insanity (most now defaced and mocked)
- Piles of supplies and crude amenities, furniture
- Sometimes have working security machines controlled by inhabitants
- Some areas were only recently flooded leaving much of the contents with limited exposure to sea water
- Sleeping splicers
- Some locations are kept tidy and clean by the inhabitants
- Many have seen repairs over the years buy splicers who fixed things to allow survival or comfort
- Some areas that had seen splicers well-organized are in pretty good shape.
Building shapes and exteriors vary quite alot (seen looking out the windows in BS1/BS2) :
- Floors plans are frequently repeated (different floor sized as you go up)
- Decorations of many flavors on exteriors (style mostly consistant for each building)
- Signs and neon and lights (some still working)
- Interior lights show out thru windows (many sections and even whole buildings now dark)
- Some destroyed multi-floor sections are little more than girders and rubble.
- Exteriors are visible to adjacent buildings (often from some distance) and to players out in diving suits and vehicles.
- Connecting structures (between buildings) likewise have visible exteriors
Some areas were sealed off from the rest of the city during the destruction caused by the civil war and can contain large amounts of untouched materials and items. Some such areas were later broken into but others were too hard to reach and were left intact.
The auto-generator will place disordered contents such that useful things are harder to get ":
- Few in the open in areas that have been picked over before
- Covered in other debris and obscured
- Many broken/ruined items (and expended items, ie- empty bottles)
- In locked/stuck/blocked containers
- Mixed with damaged objects
- In hard to reach positions
- Once they are taken, they DO NOT respawn
- Some are submerged/behind hazzards
- Splicers booby trap their goodies
Occupant populations (NPCs placed and acting appropriately in their setting):
- There are Hierarchies amongst the 'wild' splicers and they behave very differently from the ex-splicer NPCs
- Small cutoff enclaves of non-spliced people ?? May not trust you (they survived this long) when you try to convince them to return to the new city. May want connections back to Rapture (trade or more)
- Splicer Bosses with 'territories' and organized bands of splicers. Often with substantial infrastructure working (they have to breath/eat/drink something)
- Individual splicers eaking out a living and only indirectly interacting with larger splicer populations
- Remnants of 'the family' still exist in places if they managed to stay organized enough to survive.
- City ex-splicers (NPCs) trying to live normal lives again and active working to rebuild
- Upscale City posers can be seen in their fancy bought/looted clothing
How script and template 'data' controls the auto-generation:
There is data in the form of 'scripts' which contain calculation logic and control directives. The calculation logic makes decisions based on other data and the control directives make things happen.
Scripts can invoke other scripts which then determine what calculations are made and when/what directives are to be executed. Those common scripts help simplify the programming process instead of requiring the programmer to specify every little detail specificly everywhere, everytime.
Objects in the game can be generated by executing groupings of scripts called 'templates' which likewise can contain invocations of other templates which would contain commonly used logic and directives (scripts).
The scripts and templates are 'data' so that the programs that run them (server and client) do not have to be recomplied and the 'data' can be easily changed when needed. At some later time the data can be modified with improvements and new scripts and templates added to allow builting additional/variations of objects for the game.
When an object in the game is actually built, it is called an 'instance' and is a result of executing the proper templates and scripts specified to build an object of a particular type with all its appropriate details.
Some templates generate a group of associated objects - an assembly which are built together and so can share details and be made to fit together logically and cohesively. Each of those 'objects can be itself an 'assembly' if needed. Thus one call to a template can cause a whole lot of objects to be generated in the game and all the involved scripts used to make sure the object are coordinated together. Part of the logic in such templates include positioning the obejcts correctly (ie- a row of streetlamps spaced properly down the edge of a street).
Objects have a set of attributes which control what they do and are in the game via the game mechanics. These attributes are what are built by the auto-generation system into the object 'instances' which are added into the running server (the world data).
Among an object's attributes can be data that is 'scripts' which can be run to calculate decisions and direct actions for that object. Those scripts can call other scripts and invoke templates if required -- an example being a machine that makes other objects as part of the game would call for the server to create an object defined by a template (ie- "Bag_of_Potatochips").
The power of the scripting system is that when a 'template' is executed its scripts can access game world data on the server to decide what exactly needs to be done (ex- the streetlamps calculations need to find the road and its edge to know where to put each streetlamp and to fit that length of road with the correct number and spacing between the group of streetlamp objects). That is called 'fitting' which causes things to be built correctly and 'fit in' to the situation the are being built.
Another powerful ability of the template logic is to calculate from the existing game world situation whether the goal of building the object (or group of objects) can be done successfully and properly carried out, or does something make the intended goal invalid/incorrect. Often a template will contain a directive like "Attempt to build Standard_Streetlamps on street X, and if that Fails then Attempt to build Special_Lighting on street X". Thus the scripted logic can be made to make smart decisions which can adapt to many endcases that exist in the game world.
And another ability essential to the 'auto-generation system' is that the templates can include many variable options which can be picked automatically (randomly). These are usually details that do not effect the function of what is being built, so can be freely substuituted. With many individual details being selected randomly for the object 'instance', the things being created can have MANY variations and many detail differences so they rarely will look the same.
An important part of this template mechanism is what is called 'inheritance' of standard attributes. If a Generic_Street is being built, there will usually be a 'Default_Streetlamps' set as part of the template. If no further specific are specified then the template will 'inherit' the logic needed to define generic streetlamps details for the generic street. If the street is to be located in a bad part of Rapture (like the 'wild') then the templates logic/directives will decide (via getting the situation info from the server) to use grungy/ruined attributes for everything placed there in that assembly of objects. This is also 'fitting' as objects will be built to correctly match the setting they are being placed into.
Objects in the game have 'behaviors' - they act certain ways depending on their situation. These behaviors are defined by 'scripts' that get executed to carry out decisions and actions. Behaviors can be as simple as reactions like an object 'on_fire' where it plays out the simulation of being on fire (burn animations, setting things near them on fire, dissapearing after they burn up...). Some attributes of an object 'instance' might control these simple behaviors (ie- fire_fuel_factor attribute determines : burns a long time or burns quickly).
More complicated 'active' behaviors make objects affect others in 'intelligent' ways (like a NPC who acts like a human). The object instance running in the server world might act out a daily schedule (ie- going to its 'home' after work) and look for things that it is meant to interact with (ie- a splicer looking for a target to attack).
NPCs can have alot of behaviors in this game (where they simulate having 'lives' much more than in other games) Fortunately many of these behaviors are shared in common -- 'going_home' can be used as a good default for most NPCs and that behavior will actually be quite complex ( home where, what path, use transport, etc..) but need only be programmed once and all object types using it just need to call the script.
These behavior scripts also can call other scripts and templates to be able to execute common aspects of behavior. Organizing scripts and templates for this kind of reuse saves on alot of customized programming. Templates can group whole sets of behaviors to assign to an object (ie - 'basic_combat' for an NPC). They can represent different roles the NPC can play or modes of behavior appropriate to certain situation.
'Instance' specific attributes can vary behavior so a particular object can behave in slightly different ways from others. NPCs can be defined with different tendencies of how they react to differnt situations. The auto-generation system would set these attributes appropriately so that when the objects run in the server they would act out the varied behavior.
The entire system is designed to be modular to better organize and save work in the development process and to have improvements easier to make.
All these templates and scripts are designed and written by people with programming skill (and with 'player asset creation' by skilled players also to expand the game later). But at a 'high level' some 'user' templates are made completely of simple invocations of other predefined templates. These can be used by people with little or no programming ability (they dont need to know all the complex details involved, but just what the 'templates' will do).
Thus a template : "Create Shop_Room with Blue_Theme and Fancy_Lighting and Simple_Carpet and Row_of_Display_Case on left and Cash_Register and Smarmy_NPC_Salesman" would do alot of complicated work to create what was generally desired. In this case many details are left upto the templates to randomly vary (ex- haircolor of the smarmy NPC running the shop). Specific details COULD have been specified to force specific detail features if desired.
Part of this template system is its ability to simplify the data that the client program is sent from the server (less bandwidth) by sending template identities and only specific attributes to define objects the client will display. The client has the required 'client templates' and will use them to build up the whatever data the client needs to render the object. Thus every fiddly little detail does NOT have to be transmitted (and since there are so many objects in this game, that will be useful to make it work).
A powerfull feature that can be included in this system is the ability to revise game world objects when the templates are improved. The objects the player sees in the game are defined by data in the server and that data can be changed and the player will then see those changes subsequently. An example would be a NEW streetlamp option for street corners. The new client templates for these 'Corner_Streetlamps' will be distributed to all clients ahead of time (patch or in-game 'on-the-fly') and at some point the data in the server will be corrected. A server script will find all the normal streetlamps located at street corners and one by one will substitute the data specify them as being 'Corner_Streetlamps' while preserving any situation specific details (the two templates are very much the same and so use the detail data the same way). Any new attributes would be set as needed (ie- corner streetlamps might have street signs with the intersecting street names on them).
With a 'player created assets' system many new game world details (and improvements of old ones) can be incrementally added to the world (actually all the server worlds) over time. This includes more varied, advanced and realistic behaviors for NPCs, which is the area of major advancement over other games.
The auto-generation system (ontop of the modular world system) makes it possible to create a large MMORPG world without having to hand craft it all (which is $$$$ expensive). Templates (generation patterns/rules) will fill in all the finest details tirelessly once they are working.
Building the initial game world, developers can add seed data to pre-place certain features (like the city layout streetplan and buildings and the transportation systems, landmarks). They would then use the auto-generation mechanism to fill in further details (as far detailed as needed - as some sections wont be filled-in all the way until players get near to them).
Some buildings/terrain like those seen in BS1/BS2 (and DLC) would be replicated almost verbatum (after conversion to work with the same modular world system). There was quite alot of buildings you passed thru in the solo games so some of it would be in the central area (Apollo Square vicinity??) and be already fixed up, and many others further out still be in ruins (or like Persephone largely destroyed).
Different locations could be tweaked seperately to adjust things for a certain effect (certain themes) - the 'tweaks' themselves are just scripts that force specific features and those can be generated by game editors. The auto-generator is a tool that can be run to test ideas, make improvements and then run again. Finally the initial world data would be built to start off the game for the players.
The parts of the world auto-generated after the game starts (local details built on-the-fly) can be different on each server's game world (just allow random factors to build them differently).
A system like this does take a significant amount of testing to make sure it works right (aut-place jumbles of junk not so bad, but have to watch for 100 of something valuable being dumped in one place as a bug..). One advantage of a modular script system is that you can add logic/rules into the Templates to check for endcases and remove/correct abberations before they get added to the servers, likewise a running server's data can be patched for corrections after certain unbalanced things got into the world data.
As I mentioned in the Bioshock Infinite forum about replayability, diverse variations and combinations that make encounters and situations different will be the way to continually give players something new (and maybe challenging when they have to 'think on their feet'). In A MMORPG you dont 'replay' but you can go someplace and find something different today and then back tommorrow and face something different (no more disneyland animatronics situations for cheatbook authors to give you exact walkthru instructions).
One thing a system like the one Ive described makes easier is GM coordinated 'events'.
It is much easier to control/facilitate enemy NPCs spawns (they are no longer locked into a static world map) and props can be added/removed/modified by calling the Templates to 'set the stage'. They can be created in advance and tested before they are put into effect on a server (Ive seen botched GM events on MMORPGs before). The NPC behavior system means that actors in the events can run themselves instead of having to be directed explicitly by GM commands (which then are often slow and simplistic). With the ability to have many variations with minor changes, running the same Event again starts to require little extra work (and they can be applied to other servers just by moving the Event 'scripts' to each.) GM salary costs unfortunately eat into profits (and have been minimized by most companies) but at least this system would cut the work needed to facilitate GM run world 'events' - if there are to be any.
Yet another 'asset' to create via a 'player created asset' system. Seriously, when game companies start using such a system it will both decrease their production costs $$$ and greatly improve the MMORPG players experience.
what is it with this forum editing that gives
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when you sometimes edit????
Quest Generation system:
Not sure at this point what limit there should be on how many 'active' quests a player can have at once. Having one at a time (or types that you can have only one of at a time) might be more realistsic (gets away from that canned - standard 'level' quest chains that most of these current MMORPGs have).
Some quests may require the player to 'commit' to them and suffer penalties if not completed (loss of prestige/reputation maybe). If you said you were going to rescue someone in peril and turned around and went to sleep, other people might think alot less of you ...
'Quests' (or player missions) are a persistant Entity that can be scripted to trigger situations, quest phases and to check for completion (and award the rewards). With this games advanced template & script system they can do much more varied things than most MMORPG quest systems allow. Quest generator Templates program a Quest Entity (lock in the variable details) which then executes on the server. Logic can handle 'partial' success of the quests goal.
How player finds a quest:
- See posted notices on bulletin boards/graffiti/mail letter ('special jobs' offers)
- Talking to a shop vendor (or any NPC might have one) and they have something (or know someone else who does)
- Register with City as a 'fixer' (probaly over tie an escalating series of quests, with improving reputation)
- Mail from a neighbor (some NPC) who has heard you go into the 'wild' and wants you to do X
- On a scrounging expedition you find an Accu-Vox with a very interesting message left on it ...
- You are sitting at a tavern (bar) and are approached by a mysterious man (the classic D&D quest starter) OR you overhear a conversation or someone lamenting their predicament.
Weather effects - scripted storms on the ocean can effect water movements detrimentally.
- Some interactions with surface (smuggler missions) would be more than a little affected.
- Actually Im not sure how far 'high waves' on the ocean surface effects water motion deep below (or how deep Rapture is supposed to be - I would have it 200ft above tallest building) I do recall that storms can dredge up things on the seabed but that may be largely an effect on shallow areas.
- "Seal the air-intakes on the Lighthouse -- there is a storm brewing" - "What They ARE STUCK !!" ....
- The 'mode' of 'Sea-Storming' can be used as a situation modifier on many 'Outside' (water) based quests.
Big City events - server coordinated incidents (ie- splicer invasion, vermin infestations, crime wave, etc...)
- Heard on city announcements -- all players can join
- Sweeps of Border & Egde areas (scheduled regularly by city authorities)
- Attack by group of Z (enemies) to be countered (unscheduled, random, increasing frequency if not 'stopped' previous times).
- Open Events usually bring uncoordinated group involvement (players (& team) just show up and help). On at least one MMORPG players were starved for something new to do that so many showed up for events that the server was severely stressed and slowed to 'less' than a crawl. There should be enough of these Events happening that they dont get mobbed.
- Can be setup to happen random times and in different locations taking players to parts of the city they may not have been in before.
- Can also be triggered by GMs when needed and controlled sufficiently by pre-planned plot scripting.
- Brownout in the City - power off/on emergency backup - all kinds of things creep out in the darkness
- Leaks are always good for 'repair' scrambles.
Server Bubble instance -- temporary server world space (the whole game world is virtual now with the modular system)
- You can build scenery with templates in a temporary bubble with any props available, and have NPCs do anything they normally do in the game. You could do just about anything you want with this system.
- Choreographed sequences (like what you can do in Dialog Trees except longer) can have NPCs act out fairly complex vignettes. I played with a system that did this in Neverwinter Nights and a good (better) tool would help make it easy(er) to compose this kind of thing.
- Pseudo-Cutscenes - If its all for show with no interactions it could actually be scripted to run ON your client and not bother the server (its all just canned actions going thru a shadow play).
Varieties of Quests:
- Quest set associated with particular skills/experience advancements (even specific quests using a 'high' skill achieved)
- Random Encounters - just things that happen along the way to somewhere else
- Canned epic quests (maybe including flashbacks to historical events in Rapture - several posters mentioned wanting to see Rapture in its "Hey day" - things like the Dedication by Ryan in 1946, the incident at Kashmirs, Ryans death, The shootout with Fontaine, etc...) Players can take part of an 'actor' in the dramatic events.
- General player missions (randomly found by players (or sought out in usual quest source places), progressive chains and tree groups of quests can be included). Can be tailored/adjusted to players experience level
- Tutorial quests
- Teamless 'solo' quests - player gets no 'help' - situation can cut player off from help by other players also.
- City Events (mentioned above)
- Quests with timelimits (urgency can make things very interesting and tests your 'evade' skills)
- Puzzle quests related to mini-games (find the pieces and solve the puzzle)
Auto Quest/Mission setup:
Quest generation is done with Templates similar to what the terrain auto-generation system does. Alot of logic can be built into the scripts to 'fit' locations and to vary the details of the quest significantly. Can be made to 'fit' the player but its better for the player to have to figure out how to come up with the needed resources/skilled help.
- Sets up NPC quest-giver with Dialog Tree (for more than just 'stand there like a mannekin with a menu'). Many situational details inserted as parameters (names/locations/item types/etc..) into Dialog. Inconsequential text quest 'story' descriptions can be mutated.
- Many quests given by NPCs include directions to a specific place. The place can be changed (varied) and the terrain can actually be built/modified 'on-the-fly' to match the quest so that you dont wind up going the same place 100000 players have already done the same quest before.
- When the game world is far enough along the 'quest' location can be set further out to a similarly 'flavored' location and where it wont be interfered with by other players activities and changes (in an area that matched the type of mission).
- The auto-generation allows creating such unique (semi-unique) situational experiences when there are lots of substitutions for the multiple details that make up a quest..
- Place props at destination - Often it is just a matter of adding a few prop items or target NPCs to an existing location (go pickup the secret note hidden behind the water cooler at Luigis Pizza place). Locations not previously visited by any players can be found and used (gimmicks like blocked doors to keep other players from blundering in until the player who has the quest is on-site).
- Information (briefing text) would be supplied to the player about the mission and this information can be built up specific for the generated quest (simplest is like a form letter).
- Progressive quests can be built with subsequent quests opened on completion of predecessors (the usual quest trees used on most MMORPGs). Completion Markers for player characters can be added to prevent repetition/or too frequent attempts of particular quests (same as used on most MMORPG).
- Quest log is maintained so player can look up details. A common quest mechanism seen in MMORPGs when players may have many quests or might not have player for a weeek and cant remember details (this interface would be available on the 'offline' Tablet Interface for quest planning.)
- The Player should be able to direct his 'team' members to start to move into position to be ready to start into the dangerous territory the quest might be set in.) Good use for the Tablet interface to handle logistics like this offline (issue orders for 'team' to 'gear' up and meet me at Metro Station 17 ...)
- Sequential multi-quests are easily generated: Goto X, Pickup Y, Deliver to Z -or- Patrol A then Patrol B then Patrol C .. and the locations can be shifted to 'fit' the city areas (civilized part of city keeps expanding). They are like simple quests except have just more parts for the Template and Quest Entity to setup and run.
Additional quests can be created and added to the available Template sets to add more variety. Existing quests can be improved with more variations/ better 'fitting'. Quests would be one of the asset types created via the 'Player Created Assets' system which could hugely increase the number and varieties of quests available to players. Some fairly simple quests can be added by NON-Programmer (non-scripters) which have : a basic outline, some easy substitution options (and clear instructions) and nice simple text inputs for the author to fill in the 'story'.
Player Generated Asset quests/missions of course will face the usual vetting process of validation, content review, and test running (first by player inspectors and then by company inspectors) before they are allowed on the running game worlds.
got tired of the 'edit' barfing on trying to insert more text
this belongs in the above posting before "Auto Quest/Mission setup:"
Example Player Missions:
- Eliminate/Capture the Rogue Big Daddy/Big Sister who has been terrorizing an area,
- Little Sister rescue. Little Sister reported spotted at X - go and rescue - Any remaining Lil Sisters are to be emancipated.
- Demolition Job for the city - unstable buildings can collapse and damage other parts of the city, tear out an unstable section to remove the threat.
- Repair the Leak/Failsafe door - go fix a reported failure - bonus for outside work
- Retrieve the body - Citizen died in the 'wild' and should be brought back ('Death Insurance' pays for it)
- Find the critical part - my X broke down and things are backing up - go get some part Y so that it can be fixed
- Information retrieval - go to a remote location to find needed blueprints for a critical system
- Set up a security checkpoint (with the supplied security apparatus) - another minigame ?
- Find and follow or apprehend the 'person of interest' (bounty paid) - clues/guidance from central control
- 'Monster' in the sewer (in the nice safe section of the city) - investigate and eliminate
- Radio Msg - "You cant guess what I just found - come here and bring a wheel barrow" (based on some kind of 'buddy' relation with an NPC of your acquaintence (probably one you did a quest for before).
- Investigate the shipwreck(s)
- "X is sick can you fill in for him on our little mission" - (NPC group you join to do some activity, usually with some twist)
- Trailblaze a path thru to a cutoff part of the city (possibly repair airlock/docking port to allow access)
- Explore and Survey this tunnel - all records were lost and we dont know where it goes...
- Treasure Maps - some ex-splicers remember things they saw in their previous (insane) life that might be VERY valuable today, but arent adventurous enough to go get it themselves. Likely there will be some player missions to find these possible goodies. Getting to it may be not easy, taking stuff away may be even less easy.
- Scout a splicer camp - we (city authorities) like to know what they are upto
- Help citizen X by finding their lost Cat (reward..)
- Escort a repair party into a Splicer controlled/interdicted area
- Fix my Neon sign - its outside in the water...
- Move this pile of stuff from X to Y (may be clearance job or supply run for construction or someone moving apartments).
- Be a buddy to a Big Daddy - they dont have much of a life and sometimes can use a little vacation
- Section 8 squad - someone needs a little extra 'rehabilitation'. Go get them (Quietly) and bring them to the clinic for a 'tuning'.
- Odd dream you have (fantasy setting in a instance bubble created by Template scripts) that you have to fight your way back to reality from (you are an ex-splicer, these things happen).
NPC 'AI' -- Appearance of Intelligence
ALL NPCs are active (they dont stand around like mannekin or follow fixed patrol paths like in most MMORPGs) and have at least simple 'live' to drive logical behavior - normal metabolism cycles/schedules (eating, sleeping, waking), Use of consume goods, can run shops, can work for players. They would react appropriately to numerous possible situations and have small activities so they appear to be doing appropriate things wherever they are. (instead of standing around).
In crowded 'safe' city areas (well lit places) there would be alot of hustle/bustle of 'normal' looking NPCs (plus whatever player characters are there). Other behavior patterns would be used in abnormal situations (ie - Splicer in the City street -- a threat is present - run away OR a fire has broken out and NPCs try to put it out or get out of the way and watch, etc...)
Talk bubbles of casual consversation (ie- GTA multiple figures with their random one-liners - can be amusing (or not) or actually relevant to a current situation -- "lets get the hell out of here" or "did you hear about the Splicer in the Museum the other day..." or "Ack, the price of shotgun ammo has doubled again" )
There can be multitudes of gestures/animations used for all activities and NPC interactions (ie- if you walk into someone there is stumbling/tripping/falling down/bouncing off/dropping things). They should be used to enhance the players perceptions of a working community.
NPC to NPC speech/gesture interactions should be seen from a distance (doesnt have to be overly detailed) and dont really have to say much. Until the player gets closer they dont have to have much coordination. (unless they are shouting). GTA had alot of smalltalk that was irrelevant to the game but added activity (appeared less lifeless than most games).
Approprate sound effects for actions should be played (standard scripted sequences made up of animations and carefully timed sounds and results imparted on involved objects). Voice calls and short phrases, but will have to use text for any detailed conversations (just cant record all of them and stringing a dictionary of 'canned' words together always sound awful and real speech synthesis has too few voices/no accents/etc...)
Vehicles (where appropriate) movings with passengers/cargo loads (NPCs actually go 'home' so this would be city NPCs using the available transports, the same way the players 'team' NPCs get around seperately from the player).
NPCs activities of all kinds --- doing work, traveling to/from work, in residence, looking for work, misc entertainment and casual interaction or lazing around/loitering, walking in the park. Interactions between NPCs (buying/selling/queueing in lines/avoiding collisions/having arguments/bumming smokes/whatever else you can think of...). NPCs would make appropriate reactions (ie- to avoid hazards, go into a shop selling a 'needed' item, etc..).
There should be enough behavior detail that it is actually interesting to follow NPCs around just to see what they do. The 'Player Created Asset' system (again) would be instrumental in making this as varied as possible.
Sealife - various behaviors, flocking/schooling behaviors of fish (as weve seen) With players now being frequently 'Outside' in many more places and less restricted, will see more varying (less choreographed behaviors - more free swimming through/past obstacles). Ecosystem with appropriate mixes of sealife (including predators chasing prey). Templates and variations (combinatorics) to cover all that outside space (with much less development work)
Wildlife (non-humans) indoors, various vermin and animals (including pets) have simpler behaviors (than humans) but are programmed the same way - reacting to situations, going about a 'life'(even simple is a major improvement). Fills in the corners with little details.
Bots and other machines with triggered behaviors. They react to situations and actions made upon them. Rapture's utility systems (electrical/water/air/...) are made up of system parts that form continuous networks that interact -- you cut power at one point and further along the line the power goes dead - the wire system is made up of objects buried behind the inner walls (that the player often needs to repair). You shut a machine off and whatever it was doing stops. Likewise you activate a machine or work some controls it will respond appropriately (...need at least one crane to load fish - that works...) Players like playing with things just to see what they do, so much the better if it actually does something useful to them in the game.
Combat (FPS action in the game).
- The rapid/abrupt movements of combat, hiding behind cover, coordinating between 'team' (Splicers do likewise)
- Combat usually takes place out in remote areas where there wont be large crowds or large numbers of players.
- Have more varied combat situations, terrain cover, more active enemies (hopefully with better tactics).
- More combat goals rather than just 'kill the murderous mutants' - players now trying to capture Splicers. Expect more 'running away', where you now have to pursue and likely have to react to unexpected things you blunder into.
- Enemies do more than 'scream and attack' (there is such a thing as fleeing the enemy, running for reinforcements).
- Now with object collision, movement gets blocked by friend and foe. Usually then there is also 'frontage' as part of combat where you get bonus's for attacks on rear and sides (where the enemy isnt as likely to be able to avoid/counter an attack).
- With a 'team' of NPCs assisting you, you now can do coordinated attacks (and the enemy AI should do likewise, and your friendly's AI should try hard not to do stupid things).
- I could see an XCOM like (overview) interface to pre-issue orders at least for the start positioning of engagements.
- With a more detailed world (more interactive objects) there is more potential for tactics making use of the terrain
The 'Wild' areas have that same dark/damaged/threatening settings which Splicers inhabit much as we saw in BS1/BS2, with Splicers lurking in shadows and other appropriate behaviors (before they see the player and then either fight or flee or freeze).
Even in the 'safe' city the lights may (should) be turned down for a 'night cycle' so that there are dark areas and potential for skulking in shadows and mostly deserted streets and closed shops. Some areas 'never' sleep (nightlife). With darkness, things behave differently.
Arbitration of simultaneous action effects - logically (ex- NPC is under a leak getting wet when someone tries to set them on fire - fire put out by water) Much of this is physical effects and having the animations that can handle combinations of effects. (ex - On fire and blowing up at the same time). AI will make use of these countering effects (we saw splicers move to water when we set them on fire in BS1/BS2, so add alot more such in this game.)
Inanimate objects have 'physical'/'physics' behaviors that make them behave correctly when they are acted upon by animate objects. They fall and bounce and crush things they fall on, etc.. The physics dont have to be perfect simulations (that can actually take ALOT of computer processing to do correctly), but show the properties of working more like real objects. (Have NPCs make use of these effects - AI uses such in its 'solutions').
Template and script driven modular system - behavior programming (NPCs inherit behaviors using role templates) Complexity is reduced by script reuse with alot of similar actions/reactions shared by many actors. Things that are common sense are shared by all 'intelligent' objects (just that they make pick differently what to do for a particular situation).
AI Templates created vis 'Player Created Assets' allow great expansion of the behaviors available in the game (the more alternatives and variations the less repetative the NPCs seem). New gestures and emotes can be substituted (if better), or added as more alternatives.
Some behaviors are not actually significant to achieving a goal for a NPC, but are their to add to the players experience. Those small scenes we walked into with Splicers talking in BS1/BS2 did that and it would be good to have MANY more of them and have an AI that figures out which ones to use when appropriate. The book has splicers sounding alot more deranged than the few things we heard/saw in the game and it requires good scripted 'AI' to make it convincing.
Team member interactions:
Having a 'team' of NPCs to assist you requires a communicated order system (its very difficult to make AIs act fully competantly in situations and cues from players can go a long way to assist in coordinated actions). Some systems Ive seen in recent games were quite feeble and had helper NPCs doing absurd things that made them more a liability than any 'help'.
Interface types :
- Click and point targeting (probably a over-the-shoulder view) with good default 'implied' orders to minimize 'menu selecting' which can make fast combat deathly tedious or even unworkable -- players need to be able to issue 'snap' orders and let the NPCs do their thing. - Potential for voice recognition interface (single word commands usually have fairly accurate input quality) and limited command set allows succesful training adaption (conventional menu/text inputs also available for flexibility)
- Some commands would be to entire 'team' like 'Retreat' or 'Attack' or 'Now'.
NPCs will have a good pathfinding ability so the players wont have to guide them every inch of the way. This include getting around obstacles and expanded movement types like climbing.
The player may tell his 'team' members to take up specific positions (wait for signal) for some situations ahead of time (ie- combat ambush or in a salvage using explosives moving team members a safe distance).
Bots would only have simple commands (since they arent supposed to have the intelligence of NPCs)
Intelligent 'AI' NPCs should be able to override/ignore orders when they decide that the result would be bad (self preservation - the NPCs are supposed to be human simulations...)
Dialog Tree - Routine Player interactions with NPCs (buying/selling/queries/job offers/jobs wanted)
Dialog Tree mechanimsm for standard menu type interchanges between player and an NPC
- A simple 'dialog tree is : The NPC asks a question, The Player is offered Yes/No as responses and depending on the one the player picks (a branch happens) 'Yes' it does one set of things -or- 'No' it then does a different set of things. A tree can be a whole series of additional 'questions' and branches.
- Decision Logic can be built into the Dialog tree for quite specialized/specific interactions where
IF-THEN logic shifts available 'branch' options - situation factors enable branch options (ie- closing time, shop is out of item X, city emergency). A branch can have many more than 2 possible options. And there can be many branches.
- History based variations - Player is a daily customer gets different options (often shortcutting longer selection trees or putting previous selections at the top etc..) A player the NPC saw before might be addressed by name, etc...
- The dialog tree can program appropriate actions/animations/talking(with proper timing delays) to be done by the NPC (can act out proper reactions to players answers) Mechanism like this was in Neverwisnter Nights server&tools system.
- The NPCs system can have extensive canned tree logic to cover variety of common behavior (like shop-keepers) Templates for many standard responses can speed up creation of dialog trees - they play standard animations any human figure can perform - ex- sit down, point at object,...). Players can clone from a selection of dialog tree 'outlines' and just fill in the text specifics.
- Local situation information (parameters/inserts - player name, time of day, shop name, available products, street shop is on) can be auto-inserted into text responses (to make them feel much more interactive/customized).
- Dialog trees used for quests can automatically insert log entries into the players Quest Log.
- Many/most NPCs have 'their own story' (some more extensive than others) that can be inserted as 'small talk' - reminiscences of their past life and their current position in Rapture.
A Dialog mechanism on the client should do preloading of assets from disk (sound effects/animations) to minimize hesitation when rendering/playing (its a predefined set that may be soon needed, so they can be loaded well ahead of time when the dialog is initiated).
NPC interactions with players include manipulations of props/objects in the situation (ie- ringing up purchase on cash register, handing over product to buyer, walking over and pointing out objects (stage direction type scripting is alot simpler for non-programmers to make work)
Walking in the streets - collision detection done (I dislike having objects walk thru each other, unless they are ghosts). NPCs will avoid each other and most places have a 'keep right rule' (except on the UK servers). NPCs will attempt to not be rundown by vehicles (largely by staying out of the track areas, but moving out of way when needed).
NPC shop vendor as mentioned above ^^^ (Dialog Trees, etc..) and some shortcut 'simple' interfaces like Display Cases to select purchase items and Priceboards (that do the same thing and offer quickly perused lists of items to buy or sell).
Effects of players 'prestige' -- difference responses from some NPCs to show deference or recogntion of the players benefitting the community. There would likely also be a advancement 'ramp' for prestige that makes additional things in the game accessible -- city resources (sub rides/access to areas/bureaucrats that arent as slow), different missions (built reputation), more/better 'team' members willing to join you, NPCs to help you, etc...
Prestige advancement should have many avenues (I get sick of quest trees and linear missions)
High Mucky-mucks (NPCs) -- ? are there any in the New Rapture that you can 'associate' with as part of your higher prestige levels (if you reach them)?? If there is a macro plot in the game these would likely be the channel. ie - Plot Explanations from Tenenbaum about coming back and starting this goal of freeing all the Splicers from the effects of her work, Missions of significance to the survial of Rapture, etc...
There can be choreographed scenes that NPCs (citizens or Splicers) act out so the player can watch (example was the Ghosts in BS1) - they are combinations of actions/animations/gestures/sounds/talk that are appropriate to a current situation. Of course at any time the situation can suddenly change drasticly so all such choreographed sequences should have abort recovery and good transitions into variaous other behaviors. (Need I say - 'Player Created Assets ' again?? An MMORPG should not be "pretty terrain that otherwise is a ghosttown devoid of interest" - heh, the Ghost example above at least could make it a proper ghosttown via a plethora of player created 'ghost stories' everywhere.)
Server controlled NPCs give missions/quests to players (enabled depending on players profession/skills/perestige)
Hints/Rumors of goings on in the city or neigborhood can be given (or queried by players) The 'small talk of NPCs shifts depending on the city state (ie- during a brownout, thats what the NPCs talk about while they try to find lights)
Attempts should be made for some consistency across all NPCs for at least basic interactions (their roles in society) and customizations (largely template driven with tweaked data variations). Thats reuse of common scripts (part of this system that saves on development time).
There can be alot of behavior variations based on NPC 'personal details' - attitudes, inclinations, tendencies, behavioral approaches that vary alot between NPCs (ie- a fawning/brusque shopkeeper...) WIth a proper Template system, these can be activated via simple control options - mode switches, numeric scale inputs that a non-programmer could easily select/adjust (or server could randomize). The 'programmer' types would build their behavior scripts to offer these control options (parameters) which then when set would shift the instanced NPC characters behavior accordingly.
Many basic 'personality' factors are held in common by most humans, so once a sufficient set of template options is available any NPC could make use of them (reuse). Some attributes (ex- risktaking vs cautious) are a specified via a numeric scale which if set to one extreme or the other cause the NPC to take extreme actions. While a setting in the middle has to be some compromise (non-extreme course of action). Such general attribute settings would 'color' all sorts of specific behaviors, reactions and roles. In combat a character with high risktaking would play offensively instead of defensively, in an economic situation the character would speculate. In a repair job the character might take the risk of trying to fix something when they dont have the skill that would make it more probable to succeed.
The clever bit of the 'AI' script programming is handling all the conflicting selections and complications (where the mix of two selected attributes causes a third set of result). A attribute "lawful vs unlawful" mixed with a "risktaking vs cautious" attribute together does not create a linear combination, but more likely a matrix. You would think that someone 'cautious' would not be 'unlawful' but you can have a 'cautious criminal' (like an embezzler), versus a 'risktaker' + 'Unlawful' who might be a flashy gangster who robs banks in daylight and shoots his way out and flaunts the money he steals.
Anyway, these kinds of things can get complicated (and we are only delving a bit further into realism) so it often is simpler to create a 'special template' for a particular character pattern and strongly set the actions and reactions they will chose to make in their game world behaviors. Those options themselves are controls to more primitive 'Templates' of behavior (like 'direct action' vs 'indirect action' or 'waiting for reinforcements' vs 'charging in', etc..) that control specific situational responses. Being a 'special template' anything that is expected to conflict or be complicated can have very precise logic written to override and handle the 'exception' situation correctly. Of course this should only be taken as far as needed and not be so subtle that the players cant tell the difference (moderation of detail level ...).
The 'art' of creating personality (for players to create) is to adjust and balance all the different 'personality' factors a NPC could be defined with, to act correctly specific to the flavor the player wants. That combination of settings then can become a Template to create other similar characters spread around the world (with minor variations and info applied). The randomization itself would be controled by limit settings set by the player as to how much variation is allowed before the character isnt 'right' any more. (it does no good for an 'embezzler' to have too high a 'risktaking' attribute).
Ordinary NPCs can be largely '2 dimensional' (still a vast improvement over the '1 dimensional' characters in most MMORPGs). Even just their group interactions will make them interesting. Some can have more detail and stand out and others you just want to get on with buying stuff from them, without always hearing their life stories.
Alot of this is low level scripting work that can get fairly complex and can be extensive (awful lot of proper reactions for things that go on in the world), and would be left to qualified players for improving (reprogramming) the low level 'Templates'. Other creator players then would have 'high-level' additional/improved options to assemble/parameterize/recombine, thus allowing non-programmer players to create additions/variations/improvements for the game.
There is always cosmetic details that take NO programming/scripting at all, which are needed to fill in ALL the remaining appropriate details that make the NPCs appear right. The low level programmer includes a "fill_in_insult" placeholder that the Final Detailer would supply - "YOU FARGING BASTAGE, SO'S YOUR MOTHER!!!" (or even a list of similar insults to randmomly cycle). There would be dozens of such text 'fill_ins' and even THESE could be ganged together as reuseable sets ('templates') -- like a 'tough_guy_talk' set that can be dropped in with one control setting into any character...
Certain characters in the game (usually special 'bosses') will take ALOT more to make them act right. Imagine what specific attributes you would have to set for a 'Sander Cohen' character :
- Obviously the custom appearance (clothing/face/body), but also fairly unique animations (think Cohens 'flourishes')
- His plasmid uses (Houdini skills) obviously would be template driven (but maybe tuned to exaggerate them further)
- A coordinated set of prefered behaviors and reactions (existing standard templates for basics and further customizations for abberations) - ie- an attack where He might run away but then drop a big flashy bomb on you (once).
- Interactions with specific 'Cohen' props and (for Cohen) his 'batty cave'... (some of those BS1 props were animated and they have their own 'programmed' behaviors -- now new ones possibly ALOT more detailed than we saw in BS1)
- All his very specific twisted sayings and quips referring to his 'art' (some unique sound bytes - like a 'laugh' that would be used repeatedly). If the 'creators' want to go all out a bunch of 'speech recordings can be made with a good voice actor.
- His insanity played out in a long sequence of 'special' dealings with the player. When at some unfortunate 'ordinary' NPC (like on on your 'team' or some incidental NPC as a 'vignette') he might point and shout 'Kill Him' to his splicer minions.
- Key Bosses arent a one-shot encounter but are meant to have repeated incidents with a player (like a sub plot).
- 'Bosses' often control 'minions' (other NPCs) and THAT gets into a whole other area of 'AI' - coordinating actions between a group of NPCs (which actually would share ALOT of templates and programming with the players 'team' feature).
The minions are basicly 'slaved' to the boss and carry out fairly simple commands (with their own 'personality).
- Over-control of Cohen would be done via the Quest system that has alot of persistant logic/state scripting capabilities (yet more 'AI' there) to handle changes in Cohen's behavior in 'Phases' as your relationship with this unique character progresses (as you meet him again and again as the game goes on).
- Cohen could have
- Another set of 'missions' for you to carry out like in BS1
- Just alot of optional interactions for you with secondary minion characters (arena of death scenario).
- More of his insane monumental playacting/posturings.
- Maybe he just wants to trade something that the 'City' has and YOU get to go take his negotiations back to the 'city council' for his 'Big Return'.
- All stuff for the Quest system to coordinate.
- All of the above will likely require collaboration between all levels of the scripting/detailing skills (including Cohens 'props' which are not AI exactly but related details).
Other 'bosses' might be more generic and many similar cloned ones exist in different places (and CAN be killed, but replaced by another similar one somewhere/sometime later). They arent as specific as a 'Sander Cohen' but would take similar types of settings/details.
Imagine what other 'special bosses' you might come up with - this system is designed to allow you to actually create them for the game yourself (or in collaboration). Over time players would create many of them (joining any commpany created ones) and all the other players would get the fun of playing against them.
Another advanced feature (starting to get too many of these?) would be to offload some AI processing to the players client machines -- in particular the players 'Team' of NPCs who are in the immediate area (trying to run NPCs elsewhere in the city would require information feeds about those locations that are significant network loads). Combat in particular is a (more complex) rapid response part of the game and may be helped by faster AI being run partially on the players client machine. The opportunity for cheating would be much less (the issue of hacking the client etc...) as most of the information is already being shown to the player and things like AimBots already exist anyway and would be protected by existing countermeasures).
The server will still be the 'authority' that validates actions, but the AI that figures out what the bunch of NPCs should be intelligently doing (especially with more complicated terrain and individual tactics) can take a surprising amount of CPU processing taht would be good to offload from the servers.
With all this talk of 'cloud' computing, I suppose having part of the game system 'farm out' AI to players machines left on when NOT playing would be a way to expand the AI processing capabilities. Proper processing security would be part of the system as well as mechanisms to judge reliability (good consistant network connections are crucial). Compensation like a discount on the monthly or soem in-game rewards would probably be needed as an inducement. Such a system would of course have to fallback to the servers only if players dont cooperate.
When no player is there (close enough) to see, NPCs still carry out the effects of their proper behaviors (actions which effect the game world and other NPCs and players). They dont have to act out the visual motions, but the decisions and proper results will be enacted. The simulation goes on doing the economy and keeping all the objects in their right places as the world moves forward. If the player walks in, all the right things will be in the right place and doing the right actions.
There can be optimizations to 'pro-rate' what happens outside of player's seeing. (ie- an NPC with a job of filling bottles with Nico-Cola by hand will have its script adjust the game world in interval jumps (crate batches of 12 bottles) when no player is present to see, but instantly switch back to one bottle at a time when a player can see the activity). Servers thus do less work (saving it for the more demanding processing of details near players) while still preserving a proper simulation.
Server processing load may not be excessive for this 'simulated AI' as the scripts wait alot for player actions/responses, and the logic (once decisions are calculated) are largely 'canned' sequences that take a while to play out. The AI decision process though WILL require more Server processing when things in the world change around an NPC -- most of all when a player is there to see. Elsewhare out-of-view 'abstract' behaviors can be largely designed to not conflict and resolve interactions in a much more simplistic way.
- With a system trying to simulate a 'real' economy (a bit more), the NPCs who buy and sell have to make appropriate decisions.
- A typical MMORPG problem is a game economy getting out of balance due to loopholes that simply take over because of disproportionate advantages. Those loopholes would have to be closed - usually with better design from the start, or with intelligent counterbalancing in the system.
- A server (AI) run balancing mechanism should have many minor ways (to keep from appearing 'heavy handed') to keep a (simulated) economy working, when many players behavior is atypical of realistic economic actions (thus the NPCs to act normal to moderate things).
- The economy is there to give goals to players and to facilitate their 'adventure' in the game. Thus it should be streamlined sufficiently to avoid 'grinding' that is the bane of so many other MMORPGs. At the same time if a player wants to concentrate on economic aspects, they should have sufficient detail to work with. Streamlining is good because itr then requires simpler AI to keep the economic simulation in balance.
- Part of the NPC AI is to act correctly in the current situation, and that includes the economic situation, if not the actual commerce but general behavior (beggars in the streets, lining up for hard to get jobs or doing alternate activities to survive (like crime) - not that any of THAT would be needed in out HAPPY New Rapture....
That is a really complete post! You did your homework! Reading it now.
juan29zapata said:That is a really complete post! You did your homework! Reading it now.
Base on ideas Ive considered for years looking at MMORPG (and games in general) .
Heres another idea that came to me last night (dealing with ways to cut $$$$ investment costs to hopefully make some game company adopt some of these ideas sooner) :
With the feature of 'Player Created Assets' as a fundamental part of a MMORPG, there is additinal 'up front' costs to develop all the tools required (the tool suite often as big a project as the game engine itself):
"Help Us Build This Game" - using the creation tools the company would need operational at release anyway - recruit players to use them and actually start building more than a little of the 'Rapture' data the game would use - sufficiently long before release.
Existing BS1 and BS2(&MP&DLC) content has alot of terrain, correct looking objects, figures, sound effects, etc. That would be an easy starting point for players to start extracting game assets and building the associated data for the modular object system.. Additional 'new' assets would likely also be built up by players who know how to use 3D editors and such.
Look at all the players who cant wait for a particular game to come out and sign up for Betas and prepay, etc.. Allowing them to get started early with a 'peek' at what it will be and actually work some on making it happen. The genre of this game is already defined, so no 'secrets' lost. For popular games like BioShock there are numerous interested players and if even a fraction lend a hand (with the spectrum of skills they would have) then considerable asset work could get done.
The creation tools need to be perfected for general use anyway (something they would do in a Beta). They would initially need to be mostly functional (and hopefully easy to use), but wouldnt have to have the polish they later would need at release time. So running them would give them a good workout (the complexity of it all would require it) - I HATE games that seem to be an 'eternal beta test' with poor initial release state and meager/late/faulty patches.
The game mechanics and modular object system would largely have to be working (you DONT want to have to go back and rework assets when major improvements require the object data to be amended). You want Test Servers to be running early to actually place the processed game objects/terrain chunks on/in and run characters thru them to test them. The avatar interactions with the more complex terrain and objects systems will need a good workout. And seeing such obvious progress would encourage the player to do more. Non-financial reward systems for quality work (at least achievement scores) could be given as encouragement.
Likewise the Collaboration system would need bugs worked out of it (distributing, vetting, resubmitting, voting features, versioning) This feature is key to success of the game and getting quality asset work done when so many different player skills are needed.
With sufficient assets at release and working tools, the game would be set to expand (as per design) with yet more content. Sufficient generic 'building blocks' for the auto-generation system would exist to give additional territory/terrain for a potential horde of starting players to work their way thru. From there, the constant flow of new content would continue.
The whole complex system would have to be sold (idea) to a game company who largely dont like risks and drasticly cutting down the initial costs (asset creation is a huge chunk of the budget) would go a long way to having them accept it. Advantage over competitors with a new business model might be a selling point.
One big selling point is that alot of this process IS reuseable for more than one game and when its working will drasticly cut the cost of subsequent games of other genres. And they too could have a "Help Us Build This Game" feature to cut those games cost even further.
Bioshock MMORPG Economy:
Things To AVOID in the Economic System:
- Games that have money created out of thin air (as quest loot) always face inflation in prices between players.
- Players accumulate rediculous amounts of money when insufficient interesting/useful things to buy/do with money.
- Block Large lumps of money that can become an outside game commodity - interfering with fairness of game.
- No lame grindy crafting systems that produce less worth than is put into it (time and materials).
- Players cannot sit and grind resources as world resource do get consumed (and dont spawn back over and over).
Economy Aspects of the New Rapture :
- Loot acquired from missions/quest/scrounging is not 'money' but goods.
- Rapture IS expanding (and world can grow bigger to expand into) so the need for many goods&labor is continuous.
- Consumption of consumables (food, etc..) but also wear out factors cause need for replacements.
- Manufacturing from raw materials to parts to finished goods (materials are consumed) and value IS added.
- Player controlled building space - rents as income (player has to restore the 'building' to own it).
- Bounties paid for certain critical items by city (not all consumed become source of jobs).
- Additional labor can be hired for players project work (contract and day labor, part time jobs) - NPCs.
- Private deals between players - not regulated - usual locked in trading interface to prevent handoff 'cheats'.
- Some goods have limited markets and having too many NPCs/Players competing for too few 'sale' will happen. More versatile/flexible production/vending of multiple goods is prudent (expect the server run NPCs to do this)
- Most fabricated items WONT be mass produced (even at its original population ~20K there just was not the demand for large numbers of ceratain items. Basic consumable production CAN benefit from 'economy of scale'.
- Some city 'jobs' based on standard time for completion which can be shortened by skill (giving jobee more free time)
- Others jobs are actually paid for time put in (ie- Pneumo-Man (postman) who sorts mail on a 'shift').
- Spending on 'cosmetic effects' by players is ok and popular feature for MMORPG (game can have various 'collecting' activites/achievements). Money sink fo rcharacters.
- Old money does not convert directly into new money (its like confetti in the 'wild' or in old empty vendor machines) - has limited uses (like when you find a vending machine NOT empty)
- City economic schedule that follows old '8-hour work day' pattern and 'shifts' for more busy activities.
- Supply and Demand system:
--- Players can make private deals/transactions paying what seller and buyers willing to agree on
(NPCs might do so via mail but 'negotiation' is probably very simplistic)
--- Hard-to-get useful goods/items get premium prices if they enable/ease gameplay (may need clever way for NPCs to decide how much thinsg are worth ...)
--- Labor rate negotiable for higher in-demand skills (base value scale set by government jobs, private jobs more flexible)
--- 'City' acts as a constant 'demand' sink for resources.
- Day schedule will probably be compressed time to 2 hours per day (need to make sure 'commuting' doesnt eat inordinate amount of NPC time - walking and transit)
Regulation Mechanisms (ecomomy balancing automatically or adjusted by server) :
- Server adjustments to money supply (to avoid drastic pendulum swings when playeers dont act 'realisticly'):
--- Limited money supply - no money as loot
--- Minting/printing (money creating by 'City' to facilitate 'unit of exchange' versus ugly 'bartering for everything').
--- Needs gradual adjusted increase with additions of active players.
--- Income in, equals payment out (city runs on a broingly real CASH transaction system).
--- Adjust for problems with disappearing money (players quiting or idle accounts).
--- Money supply has to be sufficiently large to allow players to build some savings for projects (a significant amount of money not in daily transactions). Players have to be able to build up CASH reserves for larger purchases (up-front payments).
--- If all else fails and programmed balancing fails, GMs can make appropriate adjustments.
- Low end 'dole' to prop up beginning players (based on assets 'city' controls including the semi-automated fishery)
- NPCs running shops/manufacturing are controlled by server and can moderate some buy and sell prices (hard for player to 'crank up' prices when competing NPCs are selling for a lower price).
- City takes in rents/utility fees and pays out for maintenance jobs (keeps basic economy moving).
- Goods hoarding usually limited by storage space players can have (extended bulk storage in building require rent paid or maintenance expense).
- Basic starter jobs paid by 'city' at fixed wages (number of jobs offered gives some control) Jobs at higher skill (and pay) can likewise be offered (and adjusted).
- Fixed value of 'money' = the unskilled labor hour (city will consume labor and pay standard pay rates). Public Rents/Utilities are likewise standardized. Basic food - fish also at fixed price.
- Rent income from city owned resources (paid back out as maintenance jobs, project materials, etc..). A player controlled building collects their own rent, but still have to pay for city utility services and maintenance.
- Looting limited by what you can carry back (physical limit of carry and transport methods and time) - prevents massive windfalls (and repeated activity to go grab all the goodies)
- Oversupply (for non-basic items) will cause prices to drop and excess buying to cease (NPCs and city) - encourages diversifying activities.
- Quantities of City-offered-jobs can be 'adjusted' to shift economy balance. Adjustments between high/low job offering can be use to moderate at least the public segment of economy.
- City Projects can be sped-up/slowed down if needed (purchase of materials and equipment).
- NPCs will likely (can be adjusted) do less 'moonlighting jobs' and 'adventuring' to get extra CASH than players.
- Tiered consumer 'standard of living' so that higher income can 'upscale' (and pay more in as rent, higher priced 'quality' goods...). This absorbs income and keeps money moving in economy.
- Lower tier items of all kinds available at multiple NPC shops(and produced by NPC fabricators) to prevent monopolization and to moderate prices. Higher tiered goods made as demand rises (and skilled workers exist) and are more subject to supply & demand dynamics.
- Skills improvements show 'decreasing returns' to not have highly skilled players make other players at lower skill irrelevant. (higher skils enable more difficult tasks)
Facilitating Transactions :
- How to set 'going rate'/market prices (NPCs at least could follow server calculated pricing) - Price setting for basic goods so many (most) consumer transactions are not 'haggling'.
- Auction House (bulletin board bidding) for unusual items (typical MMORPG mechanism)
- Clearing houses, broker mechanisms - NPCs generally buy at discount for bulk in-demand items
- Bounty prices (Official 'will-buy' offers) for items city wants to use or to remove from circulation.
- Want ads for items (on newspaper/bulletin boards)
- Phone orders from shops (remote interaction with vendor) - extra for delivery.
- Easy purchase interface for individual items (Priceboards, Display cases)
- Want some kind of working arrangements (specific contract deals?) where a NPC business/broker will buy materials/items at a agreed on price (and amount limit) so player can get rid of materials (dispose of loot) immediately and not have to wait for player interactions(not have to store) or more tedious NPC interactions.
- Dole tokens as alternate starter money - only good for minimal uses (paying for fish barracks/residence )
--- Basic vendors redeem tokens(... designated 'dole' shops with public employees ?? )
--- A normal progression moves 'citizen' on to paid jobs and expenses (with sufficient excees so no 'hand to mouth')
The Economy is just not just a backdrop for a 'shoot the mutant' game, but give motivations to get things done and additional EARNED resources to give players a changing role in their game experience. The economy and city that grows with it also shows progress -- something the player has actually been part of producing (instead of those static lifeless mannequin dummy worlds so many MMORPGs are these days).
You might notice that this is NOT Ryans Rapture economicly. There is a 'safety net' for the new citizens (who NEED a bit of time to adjust after such a drastic change -- something Ryan should have expected if the game plot didnt get in the way). As it is, its a minimal 'Dole' system that encourages citizens to leave it for something better (and largely pays for itself). There is some limited authority that sets priorities on what things NEED to get done (didnt Ryan do that himself?) using 'city' money.
Players can go beyond that system to do their own projects and activities (with their OWN priorities) and still lean on 'city' stability and conventions instead of an unrestricted uncooperative 'dog eat dog' environment.
Example of modular 'object' data for the game object : "The Chair" :
Note how the objects properties effect various game situations and interactions with players/NPCs and game mechanics.
Many of the values ( & groups of values) are optional and only present if relevant to objects functionality.
Some attributes come from 'templates' (like Material:Wood) that are shared between many objects/components of objects. For Instances (built in server) some data frequently used (or changeable) is local in the object data and others reside in shared templates to save memory space.
Large sub-assets like textures/aimations/sounds are held as one copy in memory to save space and object has a 'pointer' to them.
Static Attributes: list (objects properties that determine how it behaves in the game)
----Name: (specific template identity) "Generic_Wooden_Chair:
----Description: (sort keywords) "typical simple chair, made of wood, no wheels, varnish finish"
----Typical Environment: (subsets of normal placements) : furnishing, office
----Normal orientation plane: (XY (floor), Ceiling, Wall ) : Floor
----Material: (determines properties from the material(s) the object is composed of) : Wood & Fabric?
-------'Wood' material template:
----------Density: (.8g/cc - wood usually less dense than water -- will float)
--------------BTU content: (how long/much will burn) : 5
----------Electrical conductive: No
----------Water resistant: Mostly not (wood damages over time in water)
----------Durability : Average
----Overall Weight: 35lb (function of size and density - used for lift/move/throw calculations)
----Appearance (static data set):
-------Mesh; 3D shape of object (made up of points/triangles Includes UV match up data with the 'Textures'):
-----------------*shape* - think of a typical simple wooden chair shape with minimal detail and no fancy decorarions.
----------Mesh for things like human figures have >20 sub-parts that are rendered/animated seperately and some machines have working parts (including parts that can be removed that can exist a independant objects).
-------Optional 'damaged' mesh: (shape if object damaged/deformed) : NULL
-------Optional 'machine repair' mesh (for machines which have an interior with components and sub components : NULL
-------Textures: the 2D color picture used with Mesh to define objects surface detail
----------State textures Ruined/dirty/burn/new - different looks depending on what state the object is in
---------------Textures colored to reflect the chairs state 'new colors' vs soiled/dirty vs burnt/charred look
---------------the textures include the exterior and interior (if it has one - containers and machines that open for repairs)
-------Bump Map: (used to fake detail shadows and give object details a much more complicated mesh could provide):
-------Breakdown Pieces: (used when object broken or 'exploded' or when being constructed/reconstructed (parts)
----------List of Subdivided object mesh for each 'piece' : Back piece, seat, 2 front legs
-------------- (often is seperate triangle lists off original mesh, can be seperate meshes)
----------Start Position for pieces (list, offsets on original whole so the can fly/drop apart when object broken):
-------Effect Tie Points (list, points where burn smoke/flames or leak waterdrip/stream would be shown and what patterns)
-------Particle Effects: (functions defining what 'emanations' come off/out of object based on scripting) : NULL
-------Hold Points (list of points on object where hands usually hold it - for 'carry' action rendering):
----Animations: (list of Animation sequences used with scripting/standard reactions that move 3D mesh): NULL -- passive
------------Many objects have no mechanical behavior -- a rocking char would have a rocking 'motion' defined
-------Movement animations :
-------Open/close animations (for containers and machines that open for repairs):
-------'on' animation (continuous):
----Sounds: (list of sounds used with behaviors/reactions): ??
----Attributes that define an objects functionality in game (static):
-------Fastenable : (does it bolt to mounting surface) : No
-------Utility Usage : (types or utility hookups the object requires to function) : NULL
----------Electrical/water/hear/air/drainage/Comm/ Functionality: NULL
-------Structural Usage: (part used to form terrain structures) :NULL
----------Pattern designation (standard structural slot it fits) : Null
----------Utility features: (data having to do with utility functionality, utility hookups, etc..) :
----------Interface Surfaces: (list of openings that can be matched up to adjacent structures): Null
-------Damage maximum : ('hitpoints' usually effects function ability - often used for 'wear'): 15
--------- Nonfuctional Damage: (damage that oobject becomes none functional) : 8 (loses structural integrity at about half HP)
-------Self-repair rate (HP/minute or somesuch) : 0
-------Quality: (imparts extra value/useability/durability) : Average
-------Fragility: (how easily the object comes apart)
-------Tool Usage (what tool operations can be performed and what efficiency)
----------Drag coefficient (for transport like having wheels allowing easy dragging as a container or just moveing): 0
----------Skill operations: (what tasks tool used for - list of pointers to task templates) NULL ? or 'stand on object skill' ??
----------Fuel capacity: Null
---------'Make Object' Creation/Mutation ability (for fabrication tools): NULL
-------------Available Recipes for fabrication 'conversions' (a list): NULL
-------------Fabrication/Repair Recipe: List of parts/materials needed and work types to be done (indicates tools/skills) for resulting items 'built':
---------Stackable (objects can be put ontop of this object)
-------------Player can stand ON : Yes
-------------Objects can be placed on : Yes
-------------Standing Surface (one or more rectangles defining a surface a player could 'stand on') data- seat surface rectangle
-------------Stability Factor (how easy for player to stand on and not fall off of - try to stand on a rocking chair) : 90%
-------------Sittable: (Player/NPC can sit on - use std 'sit' action) : Yes
-------------Support capacity: (excess force damage calculated from materials composed of) : 150Kg
-------Vehicle: (use to transport NPCs or items) : NULL
---------- Vehicle control script : NULL
---------- Trackage Use: (type of track object this vehicle follows) :
---------- Max Speed :
---------- Max Braking :
-------Container: (ability to contain other objects): NULL
---------- Opening action script : (actions to open/lock specifics if any) : NULL
---------- Volume limit :
---------- Internal dimensions X Y Z : (use to limit what shape/size objects can be contained) :
---------- Max weight limit :
---------- Liquid Holding: (can obhject hold a liquid)
-------Projectile action: (ability to project projectiles) :NULL
---------- Movement type : ( roll on ground/fly/bounce/float)
---------- Velocity Imparted :
---------- Expediture Volume : how far projection extends (used with flamethrower like objects)
----Minigame associated: (template pointer list of existing minigames can operate on this object) : NULL
--Behavior data (static pointers to shared scripts):
-------Active behaviors: NULL -- passive - no active behavior
-------Polling Scan script ('smart' object will react to nearby objects proximity) : NULL
-------Functional Check script (checks if object that interacts is operational - like power is live thru a wires connection) : NULL
-------Creation variation script: (script than can mutate attribuets to make obejct a little different from others):
-------Installation script (rules/decisions of proper placement for 'auto generation' and NPC placement actions)
----Reaction Scripts: (scripts for particular object actions/reactions - controls rendering/results)
--Instance (changeable) data: (some standard states, many would be custom states used by specific scripting as local persistant state data)
-------Appearance mode: (broken/dirty/destroyed/normal/etc) : normal
----------Sub-component positions: List (movable subparts like a figures body parts):
-------Current Position in world: (position in game world XYZ and possibly pointer to 'building block' section it is part of)
-------Current Orientation (which way object is facing) :
-------Current Damage (hitpoints inflicyed) : 0
-------On/off state: NULL
-------Currently Contained by : (what object is the immediate container, Object this object is inside of ): ??? the building section (chair is on the floor)
-------Open/Closed state : Null
-------List of objects contained (pointers to objects, if this is a container) : NULL
-------Fuel contained : NULL
-------Adjacent connected objects, list (used for structural parts including 'building blocks') : Null
-------Physics: ( data specifying object in motion):
----------Current Speed : 0
----------Current Move Vector : 0
----------Current rotational vector : (if object is spinning) : 0
----------Center of mass position XYZ:
-------Script Working data: (working data for continuously running scripts): NULL
----------List of Pointers to script specific data sets
-------Quest Linkage : (would be set by a quest) : NULL , ((the infamous 'get me a chair' quest ??))
-------Temporary Effects applied to this object, list: (effects caused by previous actions/being acted upon): null
----------Effect data (data particular to each effect type) :
-------------Particle effect state data
Many of these attributes can be 'inherited' from "Attribute Templates" which define common sets of attribute settings used to facilitate easy composition in creation tools
Many attributes are 'NULL' meaning that attribute is not used because the object type lacks that functionality
Object would be 'instanced' from its set of defining templates and later if it was affected byy NPC/Player actions then would get attributes changed to reflect results of all actions (cumulative)
Objects like NPCs would have MANY times as much data as this (largely to do with AI behavior)
This is just a sample of possible attributes, the actual number/specifics are dependant on the details of the game mechanics.
Data Extraction from BS1/BS2 game info :
- Meshes may have to be cut from static 'level' meshes and patched to make them have all sidess.
- Or there may be the original individual objects as seperate data (ones that were placed many spots)
- Textures specificly for an object may have to be cut from larger shared texture files into files for just the object and mesh UV values adjusted. (then the alternate textures other than dirty/ruined would have to be repainted)
- Animations of machines (for moving parts - keyframe or bone anmimation data)
- Sounds probably already exist as seperate assets
- Chunks of buildings to be cut up along obvious division lines. Those used for auto-generation need to be made interchangeable. Additional work to cut out sections of inner walls and other details to modularize -- for player interchanging/replacing them (as repairs or mutated scenery)
- You could see that making this a 'metal_chair' would take very few attribute modifications (besides the shape and texture)
Example - Reuse of Persephone
- Not all of it dropped into the trench in BS2 ... Part that wasnt blown may remain as part of the city terrain.
- Parts of the building that did can be recycled as generic industrial site, etc...
- Unique Objects/details from that area are useful for the rest of Rapture
Psuedo Cloud processing of AI.
This proposed MMORPG game has all these NPCs running about living their 'lives' semi-realisticly (and the behavior programming eating alot of CPU on the servers -- meaning MORE servers $$$$ -- that the company might not like).
Its possible that most player clients machines are mostly GPU bound running the players 3D rendering and would have several free CPU cores (most have LOTS of available memory these days). MOST clients could then help run part of the world simulation (NPCs) in the immediate area of the player (and thus reuse the game state feed ALREADY being sent to the client -- so extra network traffic wouldnt be needed for the NPC's situational environment).
Wimpy machines would be excluded as you dont want to load them down when they have enough trouble running the Basic
Client game -- the AI would be Farmed out only if the machine had sufficient extra CPU capacity).
This would of course take second priority to AI for the players 'team' of NPCs in hazardous areas.
The 'cheat' security aspect probably wouldnt matter as the NPC data being processed wouldnt be tied to any known player (no benefit to cheat) and AI tasks get shuffled quite frequently. The city NPCs are pretty much nerfed and cant do much harmful stuff anyway. Money/trade related behavior might be run *server-only* to avoid any use to hacking this off-loaded AI.
The thing I mentioned elsewhere, which has players leave their game machines on to 'help' the servers, could still be done. Its just that active clients will be a bigger pool of more reliable processing resources - to be counted on.
'Bioshock: Rebirth of Rapture' MMORGP - the game experience
Ryan is gone, Fontaine/Atlas and Lamb also. Rapture remains. The Splicers who are left living were those not just the strongest, but also the cleverest and most resourceful -- a product of "Evolution in Action". They survived for many years by their own exertions and craft, with all ties to the old Surface world gone. Everyone is now the same, noone owns anything from the old days, everyone starts equal. And now being freed of the insanity of ADAM, Rapture now has a chance to be what it was supposed to be.
Player Goals :
FPS fun blasting things - making them (enemies) die in interesting flashy ways (new motive to 'save' Splicers now offered as a preferred option and probably more non-lethal actions will be offered to incapacitate/drive them away). Ammunition might be a bit harder to come by, so you may need to use more alternate tactics. This may mean more interesting single encounters with tactic more than empty a clip into the baddy who falls down dead after 5 seconds. Capture the Splicer to 'save' them in the 'Wild' areas. Someone did it for you, so why not you for someone else.
Restoring Rapture to its greatness - rebuilding via both individual and group efforts. Walking in Rapture, seeing it as it must have been before 'The Fall', seeing the 'greater' Rapture. Making a 'home' and 'community' - work worth doing and a challenge.
Exploration - Travel into the ruined city to see the wonders that once were, to salvage useful things for the rebuilding, for adventure.
Cooperation - the 'Great Chain' is still alive. Interactions by the player with other players and NPCs in many ways (and sometimes not always as the player chooses). Some problems simply require 'a bigger boat and more hands'. Your successful ventures move Rapture forward (didn't Ryan say something about 'swim forward or die')
Advancement - Gain resources, gain skill and learn how the new Rapture works and be part of it. Opening up 'new things to do', offering new challenges, more places to go. Earn Prestige as your efforts make Rapture grow.
Competition and Recognition -- for achievements - "seeing Rapture Restored is its own reward - yeah right..."
Finding/building YOUR own little bit of Rapture's future. Leave it to others to stand still.
Note - on citizen's 'conditioning' as justification for game blocking bad/disruptive player behaviors. Avenues for griefing will be denied via the game echanics, as no player-enforced system has ever really worked as a deterrent. PvP - why should people fight each other when there is enough adversity in the place already. People's possessions and 'projects' are locked/permissioned so wont be vulnurable to contrary players having anti-social childish mentalities. Its always easier to destroy/disrupt than to create and in this kind of game one players desire to ruin another players effort need to be actively blocked.
Why do the 'cured' ex-Splicers now not simply leave Rapture for 'The Surface' (especially once they start getting access to submarines, etc..)?? The game plot explains: their 'cure' is actually only temporary (requires booster Anti-ADAM treatments) and the treatments come from the SeaSlugs which only are to be found at Rapture (along with the technology needed to make it).
- As a joke there could be mention of a few ex-Splicers who did go back to "The Surface" and on seeing the frightening weirdness there (hippies, etc..) came running back very quickly.
- Another joke justification for this would be - after the 'Cure' the ex-Splicers look line the comicbook 'Submariner' with green tinge and webbed feet and probably gills and wouldnt exactly fit in up there.
Layers of the City:
- The Core - safe, secure
---- The most organized and restoredd area of the city
---- The 'showcase' for what Rapture will be again.
---- City Hall and the city's center (Grand Central)
---- Where Tenenbaum's clinic got started on her second return.
---- In reality more than a few sections are sealed off still waiting repairs/restoration.
- The Downtown - rebuilt, safe,
---- Heavily Patrolled and protected - normalcy.
---- Majority of residents live and work here in a civilized fashion.
---- Where rebuilding is well underway and efforts are being made to rebuild fully,
---- Utilities restored, transportation working, businesses being restored.
---- Still many buildings need work, many unoccupied shops.
- The Border and The Edge - 'at your own risk' area, frequent 'Wild' incursions.
---- Newly reclaimed areas that still need alot of rebuilding work, but offer major opportunities to players.
---- A primary area of player effort to recover and expand city territory, to wrest it form chaos and ruin and darkness.
---- Utilities dont all work(yet) and transportation is being restored.
---- There are many buildings still waiting to be worked on.
- The Wild - unsafe/dangerous,
---- Full of Splicers and who knows what else.
---- Many sections are 'cut-off'/blocked and others you can only get to via submarine.
---- Lots of adventures and perils to face and resources to gain.
- The Far Places - old industrial/material sites far outside the city
---- Some reachable only by sub, others had transport tunnels linking them to the city
---- Important resources Rapture will need again for its goal of 'self-sufficiency'.
- The Near Outside - the Sea within the city
---- Detailed/decorated outsides of building - that impressive lighted 'skyline'
---- Structures connect the city buildings together - the 'streets, utility mains, walkways.
---- Waterways used by submarines and bathyspheres, seabed maintenance paths.
---- Sea growth and debris has blocked some areas, the core/downtown vicinity has been partially cleared.
- The Far Outside - the Ocean - cold, dark and wet.
---- Lots of resources waiting for the daring (minerals, materials, and plenty of fish).
---- Sea growth of many varieties, sealife and terrain of the seabed.
- Basic Terrain features of the City's environs:
---- The Hotspot - where the Geothermal vents are used to power/heat the city
---- The Abyss - the dropoff into a 'trench' on one edge of the city (South)
---- The Island - a high promontory of submerged rock to the North that blocks the progress of icebergs that otherwise would destroy Rapture's buildings. Also where the Lighthouse is.
---- The Plains - the flat area the city is mostly built upon which extends a great distance in several directions.
The skill system:
- All kinds of interrelated skills for many things/actions which effect player/NPC
---- Fighting (dif weapons and tactics)
---- Repairs and manipulations (many kinds, general and specific)
---- Crafting (many kinds, general and specific)
---- Searching and sensing
---- Hacking and Booby-trapping.
---- Interpreting objects/people
---- Medical skill - repair yourself or others, in 'the field' or in a clinic or surgery.
---- Vehicle/tool use (different types of tools for different tasks)
---- Research (yes, you get better at research the more you do)
---- Salesmanship (effect on NPCs in shops/ business deals)
---- Movement - speed, swimming, Climbing/avoiding obstacles
---- Applied physical strength (for moving/manhandling things)
---- Training others in skills
---- Use of machinery (proper running of machines)
---- Supervisor and Team Leader skills.
- Skill system using one of the 0..100 point systems that allows for alot of variability.
- Training 'By doing' - The more you do them the better you get (the higher you go the slower additional progress takes)
- Generalized and Specialization - actions take combinations of different skills
- Accelerated skill development based on research (plans/manuals to learn from)
- Some skills may be left over from a character's Splicer days (you may even have an allowance to be able to pick these, otherwise players will kill off and recreate new characters till they get the 'inherited' skills they think they want)
- Some skills may (????) be acquired via 'plasmid' therapy (ie- ONE combat plasmid ????)
- Skills development, personal and for the player's 'Team' - NPCs also develop their own skills.
- Official skill Certification for players - the tests (minigames puzzles)
- Speed and efficiency - the result of proper skill - less failure/losing fingers/explosions/better quality
- Skilled work pays more (increase your skills to get ahead)
Many Player activities:
Character Creation (with customizations):
- Name selection, possibly with bio info of 'previous life' (maybe fill in later as player 'remembers')
- Many games have selectable appearance variations for player avatars hair/face/skin/bodytypes/age
- Characters will start with low skills (and with goals to increase them)
- Players start with no possessions - standard institutional issued clothing.
- Some basic/intermediate skills may be selectable at start (probably skill point allocation with escalating cost for higher levelS)
- Not sure if any plasmid/tonic abilities are to remain (what fun is it if players/NPCs dont have some of these ???) Research has shown difficulties with adam based abilities and players will have to build themselves to reclaiming some of these old abilities.
Your first day after being 'cured':
- Waking from the bad dream. (splicings damage undone, but some scars might remain)
- Tumors gone, humor restored (or oops - another round of treatment)..
- Watch the presentations, Orientation is there to help you. (A Knowledgable Citizen is a Happy Safe Citizen)
- Your first interactions with NPCs - the clinic staff.
- We dont eat rats any more.. Fish for lunch, citizen - 'the dole' til you get on your feet.
- Would you kindly remove these restraints.
- Job skill tests to see what you might still retain.
- Rehabilitation is complete - Rapture Awaits....
- Tenenbaum's message to the newly 'cured'.
The Next Day:
- Walking about staring - didnt I see this place before in a dream ?? (city core area that looks like Rapture from long ago)
- Crowds of NPCs walking by and acting normal - interacting (like in GTA with multitude of figures and vehicle)
- Your 'New Citizen' kit:
---- Your ID - what it does for you - ( you are now 'in the system', welcome citizen.)
---- A map showing where you get your city 'dole' (and job assignments) and current assigned residence
---- Several 'dole' tokens for your first day (more when you show up at the job office)
---- Basic clothing - return it for a deposit when you dont need them any more
---- In game help interface - your handy Citizens Manual "This is Rapture" - similar to BS1/BS2 descriptions of what things are and how they relate to your new life.
---- City map - unsafe areas marked in red. (a proper 3D map system)
---- Handy Notebook - to make notes to yourself and compose notes/checklists to send later to others and to scribble
maps to your favorite places (Map markers that will show on your City Map - can send those to other people too)
- The job postings - taking a city job (citizens are expected to work)
- Finding your residence (assigned appartment/barracks space - 'minimal' - some closets are bigger- tho better than a flophouse)
---- Basic appartment Radio - it might even be in working order
---- A real bed, much better than crouching down in some dark, not-so-wet corner.
- Where to get something to eat (yes, it will be fish of some kind)
- First Job - it doesnt (and wont) take a Rocket Scientist - probably City maintenence/repairs/deliveries/cleaning
- How to get to places - lots of walking - to where you work and how to get back (and public transportation)
- Dole tokens - what you can spend them on and what you cant (and why you want to start making real money)
Settling in :
- $ Doing things 'on the cheap'
- Moonlighting - temporary 'quick' jobs (how to find them? what is the risk)
- Dole tokens wont fit in slot machines
- Donate blood for CASH!! With most plasmids therapies gone, its back to older more 'primitive' medicine.
- Volunteer for "Testing" - yeah, thats a tickets to riches and prosperity...
- On the job training and advancement - general skills (more skills, better paid jobs)
- That first trip to 'the Edge' - the line where civilization ends.
- Acquiring a basic hand weapon (and training a bit to actually be able to use it)
- Cheapo entertainment - chasing things in the sewers (great for 'training' and "Winning Fabulous Prizes")
- A better job ( yes citizen, your rehabilitation seems to have worked and you are stable - congratulations )
- More job postings - Working for others - NPCs and players. Day, part time and Contract work
- The thrills of the 'Wild' - risks and rewards.
- Quitting a job (find a better skill match or to develop broader skills)
- More training and skills (and accelerated skill via night classes)
- $$ - acquiring better stuff (clothes, tools, appartment, food)
- Work your way up - more skills, more advancements, more adventures, $$$ ( onwards and upwards, citizen )
- Start your own business venture, get others to work for you and build up a 'Team' of NPCs, build upon your successes and expand Rapture as you do.
- Look for an unclaimed section in the 'Border' and 'Edge' to do as a project which will earn Prestige and further resources. (Rebuild a apartment block and if all else fails (like noone wants to rent in that sty) you can house your 'Team' NPCs in it)
A typical day in Rapture (at least what NPCs do):
Go to work (eating on the way saves time)
Do something other than work
Most NPC citizens go about their daily routines and can be seen doing so (run by the Server), some can follow orders specified by players. Many boring/tedious/repetitious things get done by NPCs so the players do not have to be bothered by them ('grindy' games are inferior games).
NPCs interact with each other visibly while players are watching and abstractly when not visible - to carry out their goals and function. Basic behavior includes responding to a current situation and taking action appropriately (like avoiding hazzards and running away from threats, or just buying food when hungry). NPCs interact with players even if its only responding "Sorry, Im on my way to work".
Some games in the past required players to 'logout' in a safe location or leave them vulnerable to dangers (they would still stand there in-game for minutes after your game shutdown). Unfortunately that is not conducive to the busy modern real life world, with people being interupted constantly. So in this game it will probably be best to have them safe on logout. Your 'Team' NPCs will logout with you unless they are left in an automatic mode where they keep working even when you are offline. If something unsafe happens they will act with caution and either retreat or put themselves into a strong defensive position. Players can obtain security apparatus to increase the security of a work area.
What happens when a player dies ??
- How to get your body back - recovery
---- Bad places to die - recovering your 'body' can be an adventure in itself
---- Good thing when you have loyal minions to recover your body (you'll want to do the same for them).
---- City service will contract the recovery - with a service charge
- Dont think of it as dead??? The Vita-Chamber revival still works, somewhat (not as effective and you dont just appear there - someone has to drag your sorry carcass to it).
- Recuperation after 'dying' - unfortunately Splicer regeneration does work as fast after 'the cure'
- Medical treatment can speed up full recovery (X-Cell and other treatments) - those Medical Stations can still be found.
- VitaStat Med kits/Bandages still help (at least to get you to half hitpoints)
- That which does not kill you makes you stronger (or maybe smarter next time).
Travel into the 'Wild' places and face Splicers and get loot.
- Hazards more than just insane murderous mutants
- Things can fall on you
- Drowning happens
- Opening stuck/locked doors to find vast riches (or not)
- How do I get there from here - obstacle course - climbing over/under and moving blocking stuff
- How do I get to the 'Wild' - pick a direction and just keep walking and you will find it soon enough.
- How hard should combat be (rewards vs risk). This isnt a shooting gallery game.
- Getting there is part of the puzzle - Rapture's incomplete transportation web, clear your own way.
- Areas further out are more 'Wild'. Travel there if you want more excitement.
- The further out you go the less picked over. (resources dont 'respawn' endlessly)
- Discover new places and take out a salvage claim.
Go Get Stuff to further the Cities 'March back towards civilization' - explore/search/recover/haul/distribute/sell
- Finders keepers - who actually owns all this stuff??
- Decisions - how much can you actually haul away...
- Scroungers paradise (if you can keep from getting killed)
- Uncovering/Moving/Freeing/Dismantling things takes time and skill - beware of booby-traps
- Expect more things being hidden (not so obviously glowing 'take me') in interesting places/corners - it often pays to look/dig around.
- Bring your 'Team' - More hands can do more - digout, manhandle and carry more stuff away. You rae noit going to fit that pumping machine into your backpack.
- Things may not still be there by the time you get back - decide what is best to take now.
- No 'highlighting' of useful items (except as command target selector) so that players will have to search more (besides with so many things now useable every other thing would have to be highlighted).
- Construction materials - always in demand - if you find nothing else, they will usually 'pay the rent'
- Standard parts - Panel sections, Nuts and bolts, Pipes/wires/conduits/etc.., Paint. All useful items.
- Most anything if recovered has some use - though you have to go get it and bring it back first.
- Stuff brought back can be either intact and working, or broken and later repaired or made into spare parts.
- Raw materials can be converted by fabricators into new parts.
- All kinds of things have Offical Bounties on them and others are in high demand with high price.
- Some things are illegal (ie- Adam) and need to be turned in to designated authorities (many have rewards)
Free Will and how to convince citizens (NPCs) to work for you :
- Finding people you need - Want ads - Newspapers and Bulletin boards - day labor, contracts, player cooperation.
- Many NPCs dont want to do risky things, so you wont find them answering 'Hazardous Job postings' or wandering 'the Wild'.
- You will eventually find NPCs who will work for your 'Team' on a permanent basis and who you can count on.
- "Eh, its a living" - "a fish a day can encourage anybody to want to work" (uses for un-skilled labor)
- I'll send over a few of the lads to help... - work contracts with locations, schedules, etc...
- Organizing your help - schedules (keep your 'Team' minions busy doing useful appropriate things - even when you are offline).
- Temporary employees (contract and 'day' workers) are likewise organized but usually come with restrictions. You may want to keep an eye on them so they dont 'sit on their hands' all day.
- Doing things solo ('if you want it done right ...' or want to sneak around)
- Loyalty of your 'Team' (yes, the Patronage system is alive and well) various methods of inducement...
- All work and no play makes ex-Splicers eventually go insane (they also might quit the job)
- Building your reputation not only improves chances of getting people to work for you, but also the jobs you might be offered (or be expected to take).
- Cooperation between players is encouraged and can be key when your Team doesnt possess critical skills for a job.
Your character can keep working even when you are not online
- If your 'Team' of NPCs can do it, why not you. Usually requires a 'safe' situation.
- Some/many routine (mundane) tasks take time, have you character do those while you sleep.
- The OTHER online - the Tablet interface (in-game Mail/Bulletin boards/Newspapers/Minigames/Team Task status&commands/TV/Radio/Map). Get things done when you cant be on your gaming machine.
Helping 'Save' Splicers (the clinic and how to drag Splicers there):
- Bring live Splicers back and turn them over to the Clinic (Bounty paid), more non-fatal combat methods now available (beat em up to overpower them, but try not to kill them).
- I Never met a Splicer I didnt like - once the insanity was gone...
- Dead people are one of our greatest resources - recycling Adam (though live ones are worth even more)
- Tenenbaum's clinic administers 'The Cure' and rehabilitates Splicers into new citizens.
- Skills can live again - residual ADAM - new process is part of 'cure', still experimental.
- Dead Splicers worth CASH!! Bring them to the recycling center and make Rapture more tidy at the same time.
- It was just tacky that Lamb left so many bodies laying about (but then at the end everyone knew how crazy she really was -- even the half insane Splicers)
- The 3000-odd (??) surviving people left in Rapture have been thru the 'Crucible' of survival and are now worthy of Rapture.
Bioshock: Rebirth of Rapture' MMORGP - the game experience
- Flashlight - a most useful tool for those areas the electricity is out - batteries not included
---- Guaranteed that things will leap out at you when you shine it around.
---- Electric Lanterns similarly useful but illuminate areas
---- Old fuel based lanterns not recommended because the use up oxygen and sometimes can cause large fires.
- Breathing masks - bad air can kill you - smell of raw sewage even faster
- Rubber boots - water and electrical protection - hipboots even better (except for the encumbrance)
- Toolboxes/toolkits - standard sets of tools - improvements to them as you acquire better tools
- Quality and some specialty tools in high demand have premium value - if you can find them...
- Manuals of operation and repair - borrow them if you can and/or library research - good for skill acceleration
- Fine work - fine tools - fix/adjust delicate electonic devices
- Heavy equiptment for heavy repairs.
- 12 foot ceilings (or more) in those deluxe apartments - better have some ladders/scaffolding to get work done.
- Welding equiptment (Oxy-Acetylene vs Arc welding) Red = Acetylene Green = Oxygen
- Diving Suit as a tool (no this is NOT a Big Daddy Combat suit)
---- Most work cant be done 'Outside' without using one.
---- The 'hard suit' that holds out that pressure (why those pictures in BS1/BS2 are wrong)
---- Working outside - related skills (like 'Not Drowning')
---- Hydraulics - the real secret (the things weigh a ton)
---- Airlocks - every building has at least one in the basement to get 'outside'.
---- SeaLift - a bag a diver fills with air used to lift heavy objects. A SeaCrane is a more complex larger machine using the same principle.
- Explosives - useful for clearing obstructed doors, demolishing half destroyed buildings (which threaten to collapse on still useable areas) and startling/stunning Splicers during an ambush.
- Weapons - yes, weapons are tools used to achieve goals (and new goal of saving Splicers means you want alot more non-lethal weapons). Note- with more reactive scenery you can make some things fall from the ceiling by shooting at them and other objects can be pushed over/knocked into opponents (or to have them trip on them).
- Portable pumps to speed clearing water from work areas (usually come with hoses)
- Portable power supplies for when power utilities are not yet restored (or building backups for emergencies)
- Gearing up with appropriate work clothing, and storage lockers.
(Re)Construction - Installing/repairing/replacement of structural items :
- Players repairing the basic interior walls/floors/ceiling and the utilities they hide, piece by piece
- Plumbing - its just about all plumbing one way or another
---- Pipes and conduits - continuity - one break and nothing works - cutoff valves are your friend
---- Get those pumps/drains working, and keep them working
- Things that Salt Water destroys and cleaning accretions off of long submerged objects.
- Failure, and planning for failure - spares on hand when work has a failure or accident or something wears out.
- Clear away a work area to access the building structures being repaired.
- Aesthetics can be for later (restoring carpet, new paint, replacing decoratios, full lighting, etc..)
- The installation minigames (offline games that get 'work' done in the online game). Leave your character at the location and will do work on one task at a time.
- A shoddy job versus one done properly -- temporary fixes are sometimes necessary
- Alot of construction can need (unskilled) entry level jobs - gofers and manhandlers
- Repairing Thermopane (double glazed) windows. Many inner panes are broken (arent made of the strong Ryanium glass used on the outer pressure panes). Freezing water temperatures make repairs to the inner panes prefered for habitation.
Maintenence and inspection:
- Leaks breaking out all over - fixed sooner than later (inside and out), pumping stations etc..
- "A stitch in time saves nine" (or rather nine times as much work cleaning up the mess)
- Jobs for all - all the time (see the city job posting board) - Lots of machines that keep Rapture livable.
---- Pumps and drains
---- Lights (replacing burned out bulbs/sockets)
---- Door Actuator (and slideways - all those sliding doors)
---- Transportation devices
---- Bulkhead and airlock systems
---- Restroom facilities
---- Polishing (a few places at least) and painting
---- Trash disposal
- There is alot of external infrastructure in Rapture (main pipes, heat conduits from Hesphaestus, foundations and water exhausts and intakes, lights airlocks, docks, transportways, etc..). Since there arent going to be any more new Big Daddies, there is alot of work to do to help the remaining ones. Thus many job opportunities for repair and maintenance on the external infrastructure.
- Skills like welding, concrete repairs, painting, clearing filters and valves are in demand.
- Machinery Skills for maintaining Rapture infrastructure likewise in demand.
- I noticed in Dionysus Park windows that were encrusted - so that might mean that Window Cleaning should be added.
- Fuel Station to keep the tools that use 'fuel' supplied.
- Supervisor jobs coordination other workers.
Hacking opportunities for those with the skill:
- Old machines = booby trapped machines, Machines are in demand but acquiring them safely might not be easy (the biggest booby traps are for the vending machine itself as its value was usually many times as much as the goods inside it). With skill, booby traps can become 'parts'.
- Traps, cameras, alarms, turrets, electric eyes and security bots - in high demand (hack and recover)
- Its illegal behavior in the new community to hack someones else's things - your conditioning wont allow it
- Locked/Security Doors gateway to riches (or to death ??)
- Old Safes - containing great treasure or great garbage. Old 'Safes' can become New 'Safes'.
- Hacking Skill now, fewer lost fingers later.
- Hacking skill related to fine machine mechanism skills.
Research and Training:
- Information is gold - books/plans/manuals/blueprints/records, though some things you just cannot learn from a book
- The Great Library (at least they call it that) is a Research source (sorry its not a lending library)
- Official bounty on information materials - some are extremely valuable (how to make and fix critical machines, materials, items)
- Civilization takes knowledge. Much skill and knowhow was lost during 'the chaos'.
- Specific Research & Skill pertain to specific actions/tasks/items - a key timesaver -- minigame modifiers etc...
- Training of skills - What people did back before tonics and plasmids. (Those who cant, teach? Not in Rapture)
- Night school offered in many basic skills (sign up for classes and earn bonus on completion)
- Job Certifications - what can you do beyond 'unskilled' right off. Official testing service.
Utilites make life worth living... (otherwise life is 'brutish, violent and short' or 'cold wet and miserable'):
- Grid of City Utility Mains:
---- City Power Mains (from Hesphaestus and secondary power generators) once 'restored' should stay up (players should NOT be able to 'cut off power' to other areas (same for other utilities).
---- Utilities run from the 'City Mains'(grid) into 'Building Mains' to each building floor with its own hookups.
- The City Mains distribution hubs:
---- Continuity from the sources (water desalination, Hesphaestus power and heat, etc..) broken Mains cuts off entire chains of city structure and also limit capacity. Mains bring large capacity lines into centralized 'hubs' from which distribution of the utilities radiate out.
---- Almost all areas had redundant sources (sometimes as many as 4) for their utilities to minimize possibility of disruption.
---- This explains why so many areas still have electricity, water heat and air with so much major damage and degradation caused by lack of mainteneance.
- Pumps, Drains, Sumps and Sewage
---- Rapture could never quite be 'dry'- seepage is inevitable. Sumps everywhere (below floor level) to collect water (including condensation on windows) so can be pumped to drains going either to reclamation or outside to the sea.
---- Pipes/sewers run to the main Pumping Stations which have enough power to pump water out against the outside pressure (> 280 psi, 18+atmospheres). Central pumps send drain water to the 'outside'.
---- Some large buildings have their own Pump systems (which also usually need repairs/maintenance).
---- Removing the water is usually the first reclamation step for repairs (along with stopping large leaks)
---- Pump out the remaining water to enable further work (so pumps can keep ahead of minor leaks)
- Electricity and Lights
---- Lots of power for the city, but you have to get it there (power lines) and hook it up.
---- Why you need to fix leaks first (blue sparks = electrocution hazard).
---- Circuit breakers for safety - precautions against shorts and failure in the system
---- Many other systems (machinery) require electricity to operate
---- The lightbulb/fluorescent tubes shortage - a problem coming due (new replacement technology available) .
- Air, Ducting and Ventilation
---- The Little Sisters no longer use the large duct entrances but they still fulfill their original purpose
---- Fans help to move/regulate air. Heaters to maitain a livable temperature.
---- Fresh air needs to be circulated from/to either the surface intakes (Lighthouse), the Frankentree generators/farms or in an emergency some hydrolysis units (electical separation of oxygen from water, the hydrogen being vented or used for industrial processes).
---- Things found living in the ducts ... gratings and filters prevent things from using the vents as 'vermin highways'.
---- Stale air, foul air, poisonous air, no air.
---- Maintain reasonable ambient temperature of the inside areas (ocean is at freezing temperature)
---- Local(electric) or all the way from Hesphaestus - Heat Mains/Conduits - pipes of insulated super heated water or steam??
---- The ocean is cold (near Iceland) - icing up - Freshwater leak plus lack of heating = Ice
---- Burning things (combustion) is not recommended as it wastes air and releases dangerous chemicals
---- Remote areas use electric heating (too far from Geothermal sources)
---- Drinking water -- all that water 'out there' is salt water.
---- Desalinization plant at Hesphaestus (water is distilled using the heat).
---- Very fortunate that (as we saw) most restrooms still continued to function.
---- Water Storage tanks and maintaining water pressure (gravity system in tall buildings).
---- Waste water system - down the sink and then to...
---- Water reclamation system? Not in the 40s thinking.
---- Heated water not so hard using the city's heating system.
- Pneumo (Jet Postal) lines
---- Mail System (Stations, relays, central offices, IP routing and operators)
---- What NOT to try to send thru the Pneumo (real pneumo systems use capsules that closely fit the tubes, BTW)
---- How to clear things stuck in the Pneumo lines (the stations have mechanism to prevent sending improper objects - usually).
---- A significant feature in realizing the return to Civilization - the mail must go through.
- Comm/cable lines:
---- Various systems - Phone, TV and Safety systems, Announcements (loudspeaker) system, , Sensors
---- Telephone central offices - work as long as the relays are maintained and the lines stay intact (call in a RT&T lineman when you want your phone systems repaired)
---- Communication lines running everywhere (all those different wires and cables)
---- Connecting sensors that feed data back to 'The Thinker' and other monitoring systems.
---- In-building Radio feeds (like your WiFi) as real radio wave have problems going thru water. Back in the early 50s TV signals were actually sent cross country using phone lines for 'special' broadcasts.
- Failsafes at bulkheads - how things snap shut before the whole city drowns (when Pressure Integrity fails at one location)
---- Securis doors are only part of the system
---- Section Airlocks, double door systems for major connections between sections of the city.
---- Critical safety devices that need to be maintained (simple automatics, largely foolproof)
---- Utility lines are closed off at the bulkhead seals automatically (breakers/cutoff valves/vent seals, etc..)
- The Garbage Disposal system
---- Disposal chutes/bins/haulage tramway/dumps/sea haulage (dumping in the abyss?)
---- Scroungers frequently find items of value in the trash dumps
---- Some parts of 'the Wild' are knee deep in garbage by now.
- Compressed Air lines (some industrial/manufacturing/repair facilities have as part of their infrastructure) to power various tools/equipment.
---- Usually its a localized system with compressors and reservoir tanks.
---- The Pneumo is a good example of an extended system (the required compressed air lines would likely be integrated with the transport tubes).
Salvaging and scrounging:
- Expect to have to do more searching/digging to find things, They wont be all out in the open and wont be automatically highlighted/glowing as in the solo game. Players with search skills will be able to find more things (or find them easier). Expect more locked/jammed/blocked containers.
- Parts can often be extracted from ruined/damaged items/machinery
- Some stockpiles still exist in places in the city (Splicers often didnt bother with things they couldnt eat)
- Tools are 'useful' items, some are quite large and used for very specialized purposes(are there forklifts somewhere?)
- 'Pull and Pay' businesses have sprung up to meet demand for parts (when you need to parts for repair or a place to sell all that junk you bring back)
- Materials can be used by fabricators to make new parts/items (skills help evaluate usefuilness)
- If you haul alot of stuff back, you better have someplace to dump it (sell it, store it, trade it, turn it in for Bounties). Anything left unattended in the city streets is understood to be 'discarded' and subject to scrounging and being hauled away as trash.
- The City takes donations of useful objects.
- Moveable objects that can be made to function again (and put to use)
- Variety of 'machines' and equiptment, vehicles, complex tools all need reapairs.
- Does anyone even know how to fix these things anymore?? -- Research helps (check the city library).
- Minigames of skill and solving 'repair' puzzles
- Special hard-to-get parts frequently needed (talk to a fabricator and salvagers)
- Rule #1 - Just one thing that doesnt work and none of it works. Figuring out which one is an important skill.
- Useful Goodies in just one broken Accu-Vox... (working ones are alot more valuable)
- U-Invent (U-Make-It) machines have enough tools for someone to setup a shop if they know how (skills). If you find one, it probably will make a most useful addition to your 'Teams' resources.
- Skills dont grow on trees - many specialized skills for making different items/parts/machines
- Plans and blueprints have been found and are very useful to minimize production failure/ enabling success
- Machine Tools use - making parts using various fairly complex machining tools
- Assembly - many items are made from multiple simpler parts -- "some assembly required"
- Tools to build tools - tools get lost/broken, if you cannot replaces them eventually everything will fail
- The electron tube - essential to the future
- Ammunition, where has it all gone - not easy to make (collecting casings?)
- Yes, more minigames for 'fabrication'
Sowing and reaping - Farming is the bedrock of civilization:
- Mutant cows ?? now who was stupid to ....
---- Farmville never had cows that shoot lightning and fireballs out of their...
---- There always has to be a 'secret cow level'.
- Mushrooms - the other white 'meat'
- Electric Greenhouses take alot of lightbulbs - arc lamps an old simple technology
---- Highest demand foods generate highest selling prices - picking your crops...
- Beef-e was made out of WHAT ???
- Finding new livestock - they didnt all freeze or starve to death when most of the power went down
- Specialty crops - pharmaceuticals, herbs, decoratives, frankentrees, fruit.
- Fishfarms - why chase them thru the ocean when you can grow them at home
- Bees - mutant and otherwise
- Automation, machinery and productivity. Hydroponics stystems can be restored.
- Potatoes - which can grow in faily miserable conditions - HEY now the citizens of Rapture can have Fish-N-Chips to get thoroughly sick of. With hundreds or thousands of kinds of potatoes grown around the World, I could see some enterprising farmers sending away for many kinds (early days when imports of useful items were still being made) to see which ones grew best in the less than optimal environs of Rapture.
- Green plants need light to grow - so better get those electric hookups done for your proposed farm (the heat too).
- The 'Farm' mini-game Ive mentioned elsewhere (Tablet interface) would have a one-to-one representation in the game world (where those cute icons will represent rows of plants/machines/animals/etc.. in the game world.
- There were (at least at the end of Lamb era) farms still existing and producing food.
---- Like all good collectivists Lamb would have put to farmwork the people under her thumb. Many people (likely all non-splicers) to make sure she and her controlled minions (Splicers) had plenty to eat, and to keep them occupied.
---- Many laborers needed, as any automation systems failed because noone could do the maintenance or knew how to run them properly - skill loss.
---- When Lambs regime ended, these farms probably still operated and by the point of this game may yet exist - either under the thumb of other petty Splicer tyrants, or closed themselves off and have survived as long as their infrastructure held up. These people would probably welcome reconnecting with the 'New' Rapture.
- Seaweed farms. More than a few useful products can be made from the many varieties (including fertilizers).
- The wonderful smell of mulchpiles - the gardeneres best friend.
Medicines and medical care and technology:
- Coin-slots on Vita-Chambers now -- they dont fix themeselves after all (never were much more than resuscitators)
- First Aid Kits - why they dont quite work as well as they once did
- X-Cell technology - personalized new repair therapy treatment - real Gene Banks (X-Cell repository now exist)
- Old booster type medicines effctiveness now affected by medical skill.
- Corpse recycling to extract ADAM (seems all those bodies left around for years still have a use - the genetic mutations that produced the horrific disfigurations seems to have caused the bodies to not decay). Bodybags...
- Medic in the field - a life saver (the life you save CAN be your own)
- Doctors from the old days - some probably kept alive simply because of their usefulness.
- Research continues to improve various medical technologies.
How Money works:
- Basic labor is the fundamental unit - the standard (unskilled) man-hour (the standard rates the city council will pay for simple work it needs done)
- the 'Ryan' ?? the 'Rappi'??? (the MU - monetary unit??)
- At one point it was based on the 'fish'.
- Banks - can you trust them - "neither a borrower or lender be" ??? Mortgaging things? - Banks will likely be more like 'safe deposit boxes' with 0% interest or minor storage fees.
- 'Skilled' versus 'Unskilled' labor there is a multiplier for skilled (the city pays - hence certified skills)
- Old Money (Rapture Dollars) still has a few uses (works in the old machines you often find in the 'Wild')
- City coin-pay machines (phones/vending/etc..) all are converted to the New Money.
Recognizing value - What things are worth - supply and demand:
- Hey this canned Spam has gone bad !! (but the can is worth CASH!! - recycling - YOU try making sheet metal by hand...)
- What is this thing?? Scroungers skill to find and judge worth (deciding what to take...)
- Intact working things are worth ALOT more than spare parts
- Linking up sellers with buyers - Notice Postings (auction house type mechanism, includes labor requests)
- Hoarding issues ?? Many items are constantly being found so it might not stay 'valueable' unless you use it
- Official Bounties on many items by the city authorities.
- Basic survival items (minimum food, lodging, clothing) provided to Citizens as a 'Dole' - Ryans mistake wont be repeated.
- NPCs (shops and vending machines) sell common items which players also can - acts as a price regulator. Prices can still fluctuate based on supply and demand. Hard-to-get items in demand have premium prices.
Running of Shops, Businesses and Services :
- Many Server created and NPC controlled shops (lots of flavor/variations to fill in selling basic goods/services)
- Player ownership of shops with many changeable configuration of content, theme, item and staff behavior.
- Priceboard interface for posting prices for available items (summarises without having to talk to NPC). Readable from a distance with text zoom.
- Display cases/racks - actally looking at objects for sale - mouseover gives price/info and simple options to purchase
- Restauranteurs - fish stands to five stars
---- "Food preparation while not poisoning people" - the how-to manual.
---- Where to get better/different ingredients for a more varied menu.
---- 101 ways to make Fish with Seaweed, can sell it if all else fails.
---- Food 'to go' is a big part of this business (bag lunches for construction sites, office workers)
---- NYC "Automat" cafeteria (would be possible to do - no drive-ups in Rapture)
---- Roach Coach (or cart) - why not ? Someone though of converting a small submarine/bathysphere and ...
- Clothing makes the man - but who makes the clothes?
---- Where do we get cloth now ?? Fibers from Mutant seaweed?
---- One word - Plastics (and Rayon is actually not a synthetic)
- Luxury and Leisure
---- Gambling is back? - Slots and ?? Could actually have NPC run other types of games (Second Life had many).
---- Bars - effects of getting drunk - NPCs nmight do it as part of behaviors, but what advantage to Player and 'Team' ---- Stress factor relief as part of metabolic 'needs' ??
---- Is Prostitution handled in this game (player witnessed indirectly in BS2, but didnt have direct player character involvement)
- Entertainment Venues - are returning
---- No longer just 'guy with a harmonica'.
---- Rapture's ruined pianos a loss (rebuilding them as a profession might be a good 'top end' craft trade)
---- Film and theater showings have restarted (still can compete with the 'dancing cigarette pack' TV offerings)
- Putting your mark on Rapture - signs, companies, buildings. Paint works, Neon is better.
- Booze for the masses
---- 'Sorta'beer from seaweed no longer the only option
---- Bathtub gin - going blind is part of the fun (Sorry, the city council is not amused) - 'Stills' arent that hard to make, more skill in operating it properly.
- Advertisements - if potential customers dont know you are there ... Business signs, radio/newspaper ads, etc..
- Sign Making
---- Using Player Created Asset feature (neon at extra charge) -- of course vetting system would have to be used.
---- A simplified generic text based signmaker tool in-game could be done (sign textures regenerated for display in client)
---- Players may be able to re-vitalize old brands and get the rights to old advertisements (all those posters we've seen) ---- More likely server run NPCs would have the old companies (via some previous association) which players could work for and/or franchise. (ad samples-http://tinamin1.deviantart.com/gallery/34274129)
- Barbers - other games have changeable avatar 'hair', so why not this one ...
- Furnishings - now that people are living like humans again housing furnishings are again in demand.
- Dentists ??? didnt Splicers do alot of chewing walls ?? (can have general health events to vary NPC routines)
- Eyeglasses - not just a fashion accessory ???? Any special 'tech type glasses (safety/welding goggles)???
- Plastic surgeons - custonmized face and with the genetic technologies it actually makes sense for this game.
- Members of a player's NPC 'Team' can man their business - stand/store/shop/workshop/vehicle
- Inventory - arranging to get product from other players (both scroungers and new production by fabricators and manufacturing)
- Backroom chemistry - as long as the customers dont see it, who's to know the difference? (negligent poisoning IS a crime)
- In time there will be growing demand for upscale goods like pianos, radios, artworks, fancy furniture, etc..
- Player maintained pay toilets... (Dole tokens are accepted- owner can turned them in at City Hall if have permit)
- Tattoo Parlour - cant have a high class neigborhood without one.
- Many shops offer 'Pneumo Delivery' for phone orders. Some small catalog-based businesses have no shop at all.
Quality/Specialized Goods (specialty craftsmanship to make):
---- Quality items dont wear out as fast, lifetime (yes, there will be a use wearing factor for tools/equiptment)
---- More effective (tools, machines) - higher efficiency of work done (production multiplier)
---- Less breakage in extreme use
---- Less defects (less maintenance/repairs)
---- Consumables - more effective than 'ordinary'
---- Specialized - more limited use, but effective for high quality work. Some jobs take th 'right' tool.
---- Often made of harder to get materials/parts and require extra skills to make
---- Fancy 'artsy' stuff (not sure what utility this has except if you associate with High-Mucky-Mucks)
---- 'Computer' equiptment IS 'rocket science'...
Player and NPC operated vending machines - convienently sell common items :
---- Using Recovered vending machines (require maintenance/refilling inventory/shifting the cash)
---- Old money - still works in those old machines - need to fix them to use the new money
---- Contain New items for a New Rapture (vending different goods)
---- Machines never sleep - NPC/Player owned vending machines
---- All the Old machines including newpaper racks, gum and ticket machines, Ammo Banditos/Circus of Values, etc.. can be used to vend variety of players/NPCs goods and products. Medical Stations, Swami, Juke boxes, Slot machines - offer 'for-pay' services.
---- Appropriate placements need to be at permit locations (cant put them anywhere you feel like it - usually a rented spot on city streets/walls).
---- Can be modified for different skins and sound effects, simple animations, control activations and behaviors.
---- Interface for loading items/setting prices. Player/NPC must be standing AT machine with inventory ('Offline' Tablet interface can also do this) Handcart may be needed to carry all the items (there is limited player encumbrance).
---- 'Team' NPCs can be given the duty to keep the players machines stocked from players central inventory supply.
---- Restocking vending machines as a commercial job.
Industry, Manufacturing and Commerce:
- Economy of Scale - higher production at lower costs (materials/labor/infrastructure)
- Must have large volume market to justify the output
- Start a factory if you can find the manufacturing machines that were brought to Rapture and the materials they need
---- Manufacture parts used to produce other things or final products
---- Player added recipes for 'rediscovered' processes are possible
- Businesses usually are more complex with salaried staff and special functions for NPCs staffing. Once they grow to certain size they do need specialization to make things work. Some players may grow a business big enough to require this and several Server run companies can be made to exist.
---- Production dept
---- Sales dept
---- Marketing dept
---- Research dept
- Research companies - developing/redeveloping products/technology - often neeeded to reactivate old industrial plants and factories ( there are thousands of production processed that create products for a REAL City, we will probably have a few dozen at most - but system is modular so more can be added over time).
- Operating Manufacturing/Industries:
---- Power from Hesphaestus
---- Fisheries - the mainstay that never failed (semi-automated 'dragline' net system kept working)
---- Farms - a few kept producing foodstuffs, some just growing Wild, untended.
---- Bottling Plant - bring bottles back to get your deposit (several producers use this company)
---- Mines currently only reachable by submarine. The tunnels going to them are being restored.
---- Paper Mill using all that seaweed people wont eat. Newsprint once again. (TP we'll see...)
---- Beef-E pseudo meat processing company (ran out of cans years ago).
Personal space - your apartment:
- Object placement - flexible positioning (not one of those awful placement slot systems) UO did free placement 10+ years ago.
- Rent goes to the city (unless you claimed and rebuilt your residence yourself and you still have to pay utilities)
- Furniture - sit-able chairs, tables to put things on
- Eating 'in' is cheaper - kitchen appliances - from the Hotplate to the Expresso machine
- Getting that fridge/oven to work
- Hot Water and how to get it (water heaters a 'hot' item)
- Basic domestic utensiles/items
- Your own bathroom - now thats civilization !! (even better if you have a bath...)
- TV & Radio, Phone(like one in the BS2-MP apartment)
- Clocks (and alarm clocks)
- Those old record players still work (like one in the BS2-MP apartment)
---- Individual records to play??? (collect them all...)
- Trophies on your walls - Looted art - you thought someone would buy it didnt you (maybe someday)
- Pets (cat, rat or seaslug) fortunately all of these eat fish
- Storage space and containers- Safe(s),cabinets/shelves/boxes/bookcases/etc... Players always have more stuff than they can carry.
- Locks - basic and better - keep the nosy neighbors out, disuade the burglars
- Utility costs?? Basic service... Expanded service - extra...
- Upscale - better will of course cost more, but more space - Views are extra
- Do maintenence (side job) in your apartment complex and get a discount on your rent.
- Run your own Apartment complex and collect the rent.
- Penthouses on buildings (just make sure you can get the elevators to work)
- Backroom in the shop - that age-old money saver
Coordinating Activities of others:
- Assigning tasks to your NPC 'Team' - skill counts and your Team may have more skills that you yourself do.
---- Moving things, moving people, schedules, lists of tasks (finish one start the next)
---- The task interface - managing things via the Tablet interface.
---- Communication delays - we have phones, use them
---- Transportation delays - get stuff where its needed and when its needed.
- Riding your coattails - more than just wages - your 'Team' rises with you
---- They can quit if you dont pay them (you dont own them)
---- The care and feeding of ex-Splicers
---- Training up your 'Team' - skills - 'by doing', by research, by training
- Getting additional help - Hired guns/contract labor
- Sorry NO Teleportation - what do you think this is a Science Fiction Show or a Larry Potter story??
---- NPCs walk to work (use transit if available) - see Rapture ISNT a ghost town all those NPCs walking about actually for a reason. Many of them carry things.
---- Hmm, Real Rush Hour - crowds of people that actually make things look like this is actually a city
- Coordinate fighting with multiple players (more tactics than just standing aand blasting things)
---- Some situations should be 'We need a bigger boat !!' and 'Run Away !!' (retreat is a valid tactic)
---- Sneaking about reconoitering should sometimes be a valid useful/effective strategy
- Bots can be (sort of) part of your 'Team' - often are hard to come bye
---- High maintenance, but sometimes Very useful.
---- When players accumulate sufficient security apparatus they can set up their own security perimeters with cameras/turrets/Bots/Shutdown units.
---- Patrol paths for automatic bots and remote control units.
- The partial rehabilitated Big Daddies can be interacted with, usually by placing markers on areas in need of repairs. Citizens are asked to not interfere with Big Daddy maintenance operations.
- Gearing up your team - 'expedition' equiptment vs 'city job' equiptment. Storage space for clothes/tools, supplies.
Communications with other players/NPCs:
- Direct Radio (like mic+headset) Useful for close coordination and at distance. Usually limited sets of people on 'frequencies'. Include instant talk face to face (????)
- Players may get radio messages from quest-givers as part of quest activities.
- Talk bubble over your character (NPCs do that too) so that many people can see conversations (I missed this in recent MMORPGS where watching conversations added alot to the game) Need to remember how annoying 'chatty' NPCs can be and control that.
- Phone calls using the Public phones
---- Mic+Headset OR text and dialogs to NPCs who answer (remote NPC interaction)
---- Answering machine service (an RT&T showcase feature of 1950)
- Mail messages - the usual game text mechanism - now with maps and picture attachments
- Official notices can be mailed to players from 'City Hall'
- Bulletin Board notices - seek items/tools/skilled labor
- Signs - advertise your shop, business
- Newspapers and Magazines
---- Server run (Rapture Tribune - published daily) Back issues available in the Library.
---- Player created Newspapers (dailies, weeklies, special additions) - remember I said "TAP INTO THE PLAYERS IMAGINATIONS" as an important part of this game.
---- With 'want ads' and advice columns and such
---- Seaweed makes adaquate newsprint (and Rapture has lots of seaweed available)
- Cameras to take pictures and publish (newspapers, TV, in mail messages, posters, signs). TV cameras apparently were made small enough to fit into Delta's suit, so must be others still around.
- Pneumo packages can have text labels with short messages
- Emotes and gestures, NPCs do these too - when appropriate. (hopefully player interface can come up with a better way to activate than typing /emote xxxxxx )
- Radio and TV may contain player instigated alerts, messages and advertisements (player created shows?)
- Book publishing in-game (hey, they had this in Ultima Online almost 15 years ago)
- Graffiti - kind of a primitive type of communication
---- Use as 'this way' marking paths (they dont last long)
---- Quick and cheap signs on walls (people did this in Rome over 2000 years ago)
---- It is illegal to deface property in restored areas (hard to enforce in edge/border areas)
---- Player interface to create new 'marks' and signs (player asset creation) used in game (vetted)
---- Taunt Splicers with them (Splicers also use them to mark their territories)
Some people got lots of time on their hands. Just saying.
losstarot said:Some people got lots of time on their hands. Just saying.
Actually took more time to type it than it did to think of it.
Ive been spending alot more time playing thru BS2 and BS1 again to see what parts of those games could be recycled for an MMORPG (just about all of it, asset-wise) for parts of the initial Game World terrain layout. All that 'terrain' in BS1+BS2+MP+DLC is a pretty big area to start them off (and much of it could be recombined/reused to make it significantly bigger).
I see alot less potential for a Infinite sequel, so they might as well start thinking about going back to Rapture as a MMORPG.
Last edited by watchman; 09-22-2012 at 11:22 PM.