Characters

For what's not in 'Top Priority Game Design'. Post your ideas, visions, suggestions for the game, rules, modifications, etc.

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krum
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Characters

#1 Post by krum »

I thought we could post ideas about how to handle characters here. Just remember to keep the KISS principle.

Now what do you guys think about a player character?

Or, unlike MoO2, home-grown characters, like in Pax Imperia, every place there can be a character there is a generic one starting with minimum stats? It also had minister characters. I thought we could have spy ones.

Or, not divide them in types but rather every one to have stats in different areas like research, tactical space combat, administration.

Alright, gimme your crazy ideas.

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utilae
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#2 Post by utilae »

I don't know about characters, it doesn't seem right to have them. I thought it was odd they were in Moo2, gameplay was ok with characters, but something wasn't right about having characters.

Impaler
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#3 Post by Impaler »

Your race randomly generates new character which have a name, stats and an age (some races live longer then others). These character can then be moved around and given "positions", a races goverment type determines the types of positions avalible and the generation rate of characters. Characters do not have any effect unless they have a position. Character without positions are just backups. Most positions require a special facility and the character is basicaly the head dude of that facility. For example a super research character (aka brilient scientist) would be assigned to your Super Reserch facility and then the facility would conduct a reserch mission (mutch like a shipyard buillding a ship). Other character jobs work in a simialr manor. Admiral- Ships, Vicroy- Vicroy Palace, Econonic Minister - Trade Center, Spymaster- Hacker Data Core.

Nightfish
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#4 Post by Nightfish »

Impaler wrote:Spymaster- Hacker Data Core.
If you bring up this thing about renaming our spies to hackers I'm gonna get really annoyed at you :wink:

Plasma Dragon
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Heros

#5 Post by Plasma Dragon »

Idea of random characters is really cool. I think normal, pre made heroes should be in game also. Just be carefull - some godlike charakter could unbalance entire game :wink: Moo2 had several charakters which when found early gave to player a huge advantage. Well, life is luck ... sometimes your up, sometimes down !
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Kosslowski
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#6 Post by Kosslowski »

Imperium, a turn based 4X Game, also had characters for every fleet, planet and embassy. You had to use the right amount of promotions, salary and life prolonging drugs to get the best performance and loyality (they could somehow switch sides and work for the enemy or split off and found a new empire). What sounds like a nice idea was a micromanagment hell indeed. You did not feel like a galactic emperor but more like an overworked human resource director.
I think Moo2 did a better job with a few very important leaders you could focus on. If you have too many leaders, I think they loose character and are hard to distinguish.
I heard they planned a very detailed system for MOO3 with each leader also have his own agenda and ethos but that it got cut.

snakechia
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#7 Post by snakechia »

moo2 characters were acceptable because you didn't really have to worry about them too much...

Moo3's system on the other hand sucked....without a Mod that is. Leaders die every turn...I constantly had new ones, so I really never took advantage of the boosts they were giving me. Spy's were the same....terrible, terrible system to give them a small lifespan. And they were too easy to kill.

elfstone
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#8 Post by elfstone »

I prefer the moo2 Style of characters too. Some features i'd like to see:

- Heroes can be placed on a planet, but only one per system. A hero would give a bonus to the planet, and a small bonus to other planets in the system.

- Heroes can be placed on ships, and give either a bonus to that sheep, or the hole fleet.

- Some more possible powers of heroes, like increasing the scanning-area of a ship, increasing the strength of missile bases on that planet, or decrease the cost of ships or buildings or other things on that planet.

- They never die of old age, but if the ship or planet is destroyed. Maybe it should be possible to kill enemy heroes with spies.

- Lots of predefined heroes, so every heroes has roughly the same powers, but with a little possible variaton. You could give every hero 4-8 skills, of which he gets 1-4 when he is generated, and the strength of the skills could be different too.

- heroes should go up in levels from time to time (like in moo2)
- heroes should be edible from some kind of config file, so you can create your own easily

- it should take a while (5 round was okay) to journey from planet to planet, so you cant change it every round so the building will finish cause that specifig hero is there on that planet for that turn ( micromanagement hell)



But please dont make it a micro-management-must so you dont have to spend every second round to attend to your characters. they should be seldom specials.

Yoghurt
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#9 Post by Yoghurt »

elfstone wrote:- heroes should be edible[...]
Yummy! But we'll need a new attribute: tastyness for this feature ;)

elfstone
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#10 Post by elfstone »

oh, your right, edible means you can eat them. well some races might be able to eat them... is it editable then?

krum
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#11 Post by krum »

Kosslowski wrote:for MOO3 with each leader also have his own agenda and ethos but that it got cut.
Yep, that was the idea. I remember Alan describing in the chat some engine to descide about their mission's success based on their stats, they could be captured, killed not succeed without consequenses or have varying degrees of success.

Maybe the player should have some amount of leaders available based on the size of his empire, diminishing. Like satrt with none, when you get some number of systems the first, and then every time you increase in size by some factor a new one. There should be some randomness in when you get them, though, to avoid expoits. When one dies, you get a new level 1. dying of natureal death, I think the timespan of most games wouldn't be that long as to care about it even if we care about realsim.

Kosslowski
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#12 Post by Kosslowski »

han_krum wrote: Yep, that was the idea. I remember Alan describing in the chat some engine to descide about their mission's success based on their stats, they could be captured, killed not succeed without consequenses or have varying degrees of success.
Besides their skill level they were also described by their influence, a clout rating, which made the character progress and get promotions.
I think Alan's work was influenced by some negative office experience. Remember the Heavy foot of Goverment rating representing an inefficient bureaucracy.
han_krum wrote: Maybe the player should have some amount of leaders available based on the size of his empire, diminishing. Like satrt with none, when you get some number of systems the first, and then every time you increase in size by some factor a new one.
I think the amount of leaders of the own species should be influenced by the population size, while wandering external leaders should be attracted by some fame rating like in MOM or MOO2. Though I think MOM's fame system fits better to the medivial ethos of chivalry than to a science fiction background.

krum
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#13 Post by krum »

kosslowski wrote:I think Alan's work was influenced by some negative office experience. Remember the Heavy foot of Goverment rating representing an inefficient bureaucracy.
I dunno if we should talk about this...

Based on population is fine, too. We don't even have to randomise it then. I'm thinking about leader loyalty and ethos. The less they like your management their loyalty would deccrease and they would want tmore money. And if we introduce two stats, say "integrity" and "initiativeness". If he is unloyal, he could:
(high int, low ini) become a wandering leader;
(low int, low ini) accept a bribe proposal by your enemies;
(high int, high ini) break away as a leader of part of your empire;
(low int, high ini) or attempt to assasinate you.
Initiativenes is visible to the player and integrity isn't, so you know what ot expect, to a degree. Or maybe both are only revealed through internal intelligence, with some leeway for mistake.

I was thinking that the player could be represented by a character too, only one available at gamestart, and if he is killed, game over. Infact this could happen in MoO1 IIRC, you could be assasinated and game over. Or have a emperor character, you just get a new one.

Aquitaine
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#14 Post by Aquitaine »

I've spoken with Alan about all things MOO, and without completely hijacking this thread, all that needs to be said is that pretty much everything in MOO3 as we know it is not MOO3 as he intended it, so I would consider his actual theories behind game design with respect to something like MOO3 untested. not to say I subscribe to all of them myself, but I would've liked to have seen how things would've turned out if they'd actually followed through...
Surprise and Terror! I am greeted by the smooth and hostile face of our old enemy, the Hootmans! No... the Huge-glands, no, I remember, the Hunams!

Impaler
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#15 Post by Impaler »

Here are some sample "skills" that a player might have (taken mostly from Star Wars Galxies a game with great chracter managment)

Security - decresses chance of successfull espionage against what he is managing (if he is admiral of a ship its harder to sabotage, if he is a scientists, its harder to steal his reserch ect ect)

Espionage - Inverse of Security, incresse change of the character leading successfull espionage missions.

Tactical - Bonus he gives to battles, this might be divided into a few catagories for space or ground combat, offense and defence.

Research - bonus to reserch, also might be divided up based on the tec tree, example "+26 Energy" or "+12 weapons" Most sceintist tend to be good at only one type of reserch.

Leadership/Iron Fist - ability to control and supress political uprisings, revolts and dominate concquered planets

Economy - Its the economy stupid!

Entertainment - Ability to keep the population happy (if aplicable to your race).


Also it should be possible for all these factors to go negative so theirs a trade off. Also keep im mind my sugjestion that character have no effect unless they occupy an official position of some sort. The types of positions avalible to you are part of your race and goverment picks.

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