Skip to main content

A Precursor Demonstrating The Dynamic

Before I once again dump Neverwinter Nights 2, possibly never to pick it up again, I'm considering taking a run at the editor. I'm not completely new to NWN2 development, having familiarized myself with the toolset by putting together a module I called The Gauntlet. This was a simple, boring, but powerful module in that you could take a character up to maximum level on a single respawning map.

I made The Gauntlet about a year and a half ago, and my philosophy towards Neverwinter Nights 2 has changed. I used to consider the D20 system rather poor because of the excessive randomness leading to a constant need to reload saved games. Now, I'm now willing to consider the D20 system to be reasonably worth playing (though luck is still a major factor).

I'm considering writing another module, this time one that has many more dynamic features and a compelling story. Off the top of my head, some of these ideas include:
  1. A central focus around the player character(s) involved in the module geared to continually challenge them with dynamically introduced content. Think of it as having a computerized GM who monitors the players and tries to produce a compelling game for them, which is a different approach than the standard scenario one.
  2. A number of unique locations which are occasionally re-infested with varying bands of foes, creating missions to clear them out. This is one way in which dynamic content can be introduced, through a sort of adventuresome capture point system where dungeons and towns are at stake.
  3. Game progresses in real time, with resting skipping x number of hours, tied to dynamically occurring game-changing events happening over time. This has two good affects. First, its' a better handling of spell duration and character movement as well, with a "what you see is what you get" mechanic as opposed to one where you spend 5 minutes walking across a dungeon only to have had 10 game hours pass by. Second, it provides a consequence to resting indiscriminately: rest too much, and the mission fails and the world passes you by.
  4. A dynamic merchant mechanism that adjusts to players' levels and continually weeds/reorganizes its inventory over time. The goal is to prevent unnecessary clutter of sold item while providing things the players may be interested in purchasing.
  5. A system of crime handling that more realistically behaves to the player characters infringements. The goal is to create a more believable feeling virtual civilization, losing the requirement of a suspension of disbelief that comes from being able to walze into anyone's house to loot it without consequence.
Having a bit of Java/C++ programming experience (though not quite enough to make overrides) I know that much of this is possible and comes down to mostly a matter of planning. I know there's some technical limitations of the engine, but those just have to be worked around. The toughest thing on that list would be some kind of script to weed through merchant inventories - I'm not sure the necessary function calls for that even exist.

Once the implementation hurdles are figured out, the main thing that remains is the plot. After all, the D20 system is built to tell a story. It's all very good to call my world dynamic, but if nothing meaningful ever happens as a result of the player's actions, it's no better than the average static-feeling MMORPG. A story suitable of the dynamically changing world would likely be based around multiple endings. End game battles could be unlocked by making prerequisite changes to the world.


Popular posts from this blog

Empyrion Vrs Space Engineers: A Different Kind Of Space Race

In my quest for more compelling virtual worlds, I have been watching Empyrion: Galactic Survival a lot this bizarro weekend, mostly via the Angry Joe Show twitch stream.  What I have concluded from my observations is Empyrion is following in Space Engineers' shadow, but it is nevertheless threatening the elder game due to a greater feature set (the modding scene notwithstanding).

Empyrion is made in Unity, whereas Space Engineers is built on a custom engine.  While this does put Empyrion at a disadvantage when it comes to conceptual flexibility, its developers nevertheless have a substantial advantage when it comes to adding features due to a savings of time spent that would have gone into developing their own engine.  Examples include:
Planets.  Empyrion already has planets and space to explore between them, whereas in Space Engineers planets are in the works but still awhile away (so you just have asteroid fields to scavenge).Enemies.  Space Engineers' survival mode boasts onl…

Resonant Induction Really Grinds My Gears... In A Good Way

From about 2pm yesterday until 8pm today, I've been dabbling with my latest custom mod mix for Minecraft 1.6.4, which is this time very much Universal Electricity focused.
Aside from the usual GUI enhancers and Somnia, the primary contenders in this mix were:
Calclavia Core - Of course: this is the base of the Universal Electricity system.Resonant Induction - This seems to be largely focused on increasingly more advanced methods of refining ores divided across 4 ages of technological progression.  It also includes some really cool things such as assembly lines.  I'll primarily be talking about just a few blocks out of this mod today.Atomic Science - A mod dedicated to generating more of those lovely universal electricity volts via the power of splitting the atom.  Build your own nuclear reactor!  Deal with nuclear meltdowns!  You maniac!ICBM - A mod dedicated to generating more destruction using those lovely universal electricity volts (and more than a little gunpowder), it cer…

Sometimes, The Cat Skins You

The formula for cat girls is simple enough: young girls are cute, cats are cute, so young girls who are also cats are cute times two, right?  ... Cat Planet Cuties (a.k.a Asobi ni Iku yo) does not stop there, it includes girls with guns, nudifying weaponry, and even failed romantic comedy that shows lots of skin.  Cat's out of the bag: Cat Planet Cuties is basically straight up wish fulfillment.

The overall plot is pretty simple.  The Catians are a race so advanced that they have not changed in over 70,000 years.  They discover Earth, a planet whose people have uncanny resemblances, right down to speaking the same language!  Desiring an escape from their cultural stagnation, they rename their own planet from Earth to Catia and dispatch a scout to assess the viability of first contact with this new Earth inhabited by humans.  High jinks ensue.

Other than an excuse to see some fun sci-fi devices, the plot sucks. Let me count the ways:
Kio Kakazu - The male center of our harem, a 1…