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  • The World

    (Hope it's not seen as necroposting... why isn't this Category being posted in since November?)
    While a story about a chain of dominos leading from killing some deer to the city getting wiped out makes for an interesting story, setting up dynamic systems that will actually chain effects like that is hard.
    I am not saying that the components are a problem. You can simulate populations of animals, food scarcity, erosion, Royal decrees, etc. The problem is, in practice, I don't think their interactions will be quite so rich. Having a change in one system lead to a large enough change in another system to chain the change along seemsunlikely. Unless each system is designed to be unstable, so any change will send changes sweeping across the board, but that is likely to just give you a chaotic world.
    Part of the appeal of such chain reactions would be seeing the effects propagate out, and being able to make such changes yourself to influence events. If the world is too chaotic, seeing the changes propogate will be swamped out by the background level of change, and intentional changes will get overwhelmed.
    It is better to simply ain for a reactive world. Changes can propogate, systems interact, but it's not expected that changes will set of domino chains.changes are less likely to cause direct changes that ripple through and upset the world, but rather the world is naturally progressing, and changes you make along the way will shape how the advancement occurs.
    (You're severely underestimating the quantity of grinding some people are willing to do: someone could kill all the deers for pelts and meat, then cut all trees, and sell the grass and topsoil too for landscaping... only to start mining the barren land afterwards. By then I hope all that work has increased his STR because he'll have to fight the whole enraged town, but I digress. :P )
    In a way you're right about that, if you kill most of the deers, then go away, and come back after a while to find the shade of what Davenport used to be, you'd probably just go "Wow, I hope it wasn't my fault" and just shrug it off as a geopolitical change in the gameworld. All the simulation complexity would go to waste (although a game that CAN do that kind of geopolitical change is already cool enough in my book). But What-If all that turmoil happened around you while you're there? You witnessed the increasing distress of the townsfolk, the change in living conditions, the famine, the revolution brewing/happening? Wouldn't be a chance for some awesome gameplay, whether helping the people get the mayor, taking his money to escort him to safety, or just struggling to escape with your own life from the chaos?
    What fascinated me about VQ was the world it claimed it would be, 'independent' from the player and not just a backdrop for his heroic quests to save the universe, with NPCs that are living reacting beings instead of just quest-giving streetlights that say 'good day' or comment about arrows to the knee. And that revolution sparked by deer scarcity (or some villager hunting me down for causing that) is the level of awesome I'd expect to come out from a system like that.
    To save on resources, the more complex interaction computations could be limited to the sector you're in while the rest is only calculated on a more generic, statistical level of socio-political change, so maybe it could be doable? That way it would still give the Jessica Fletcher Effect that interesting stuff happens mostly where you are, while still retaining the feeling that stuff happens elsewhere too.

    In the end, I concur with Talvieno when he says 'I'm not saying it should be possible, because it seems like it would be hell to implement, but if it could be implemented, it would be amazing.' It will probably BE hell to implement so maybe it will be simpler, in the form of complex NPC behavior, but any way the game can get close to [that stuff above] will make it better IMHO.

    As for the erosion/landscape/geological changes, they have the big advantage that they usually happen very slowly, so they could be calculated say, once a day for the zone the player is not in, and it would still look plausible. Opposed to games like WoW, where the game world changes only for festivities or on major updates, I think getting back to find the forest or the hills slightly different than you remembered them, or a landslide that forces a detour, would be destabilizing in a good way. ;)
  • Armok Vision, a project I've been working on while I wait for VoxelQuest to release.

    I must admit that I know DF just from hearsay and little more; but I have to say, extracting that kind of visuals from a game that practically runs on ASCII-art is really impressive. Kudos to you!
  • Testing Twitter embed

    Then let's make a general test:

    Twitter embed, and Twitter login checked and working.
    And although I don't know what does it entail, thanks for the level 2! ;)