Friday, August 26, 2011


 Making a game solo on a tiny time budget isn't easy.  It requires you to take a new path in almost every decision you make, because every moment spent building something that's already been done is essentially not good enough.  How could a single programmer compete directly with real developers?  Uniqueness is the only way.

Which makes it even harder for this game, because I want it to feel like a traditional RPG.  I will be adding twists as I go and trying to spend as little time as possible on things that have already been done.  Thats when I came across This Page.  A list of over 7,000 bad-ass fantasy names.

So they have now been loaded into a database for my game, and marked with a timestamp when they are used so not to use them multiple times.  Now when an NPC is generated in the game, it pulls a name from that list and assigns it a visual (and in the future, other stats).  This newly formed NPC is added to another database where other NPC's information sits.  When players play the game, they will interact with these generated NPCs.  When an NPC dies, it will not respawn- Instead, a new NPC will be generated to replace it.

So what does that do for the game?  Well, nothing yet.  But it could have some major implications for where the game heads from here, because now I am committed to this path.  Now I will be looking for ways to invest players into NPC's that might not always be around.  Here are some wild ideas:
  • NPC's have an opinion on you depending on your actions.  It takes hard work to get an NPC to like you, but you benefit in different ways from this.
  • When another NPC/player kills an NPC that likes you you can choose to carry that high opinion on to the NPCs friends/family by avenging the NPC's death
  • Bosses could still exist but would always be unique
  • Certain NPC's that are especially powerful, live in high player population areas and well liked by players would become targets for players to try and kill
The above are definitely not plans; they are just things I came up with as I am typing and will probably make a point to not look at them again.  But these are the possibilities and it is choices like this that makes an RPG stand out.  But for now I will be content with killing all of the NPC's that have dumb names, and leaving the ones with cool names and cool looking sprites to live.  That is simple, but in a strange way I am already feeling like this game is a true world where I have an impact.  What bigger impact is there than world permanence?  Isn't it ironic that NPC impermanence creates world permanence?

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