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May 27th, 2007, 02:05
My opinion as a non-programmer is that I feel pretty sure it will be Genome 2.0. Maybe they'll call it something else and refer to it as "new", both to avoid problems with JoWood and to make it sound more palatable to the public and publishers, but underneath the hood, they won't reinvent the wheel.

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May 27th, 2007, 09:50
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
You're making me desire a proper vomit smiley more and more .
But there is one: . You meant something… less elegant?

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May 27th, 2007, 10:50
Originally Posted by Stanza View Post
And beyond that, can you imagine how boring this side discussion must be to non-programmers?
Not really, I'm not a programmer and found both your and Prima's side topic of the problems with the engine interesting. Well at least I have a clearer picture of why games take a few thousand patches before they are anything near what the developers said it would be. Not just Gothic but all games in general, except consoles, god I hate consoles.

As for the divorce Ehh I'm not taking any sides, if Jowood wants to be like a spoiled brat and take their ball home then fine and if PB wants to go their own way and 'go back to the roots' then good. As long as they both make games that are interesting and fun then screw it I'm all for it. The more RPGs out there the better, the only thing I'm interested in is if BOTH can make a quality game and I consider Gothic 3 to be one of those because when you come right down to it, with the bugs and everything I had fun playing that game. That's what it all really boils down to anyways 'Did you have fun playing that game or was it a complete waste of money?'

My two cents worth.

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May 27th, 2007, 18:52
@Moe, Stanza, Corwin concerning closet, Dark Side, Codex, vomit icon:



@Prime, Stanza:
Me too, here! *raises hand, waves affirmatively*
Great background stuff, giving a lot of puzzles parts i had been missing so far around the question "Why PB´s Genome is such a blunder and how came to be?"
(That it quite obviously is seriously f****d up in fact should be common knowledge by now - since even earlier actually! By the time one of them stated that it doesn´t allow the same kind of variable scripting, quest design as with the previous installments of the series, as an answer to acc. criticism in the community, it should have been clear spot on.)
Now i have a better picture how this could happen.
Of course - and that´s the truly bad thing - it is but one of the factors that brought G3 essentially down (the disparate relation between available work force and the paramount challenge being another one, apparently flawed production design and organisation the next and finally some crude design decisions against the spirit of the previous parts and the existing game universe defined by them - let´s all say it together: "Continuity". *biggrin* ).


Btw., here´s an update from "head honcho" (nice one, Moe ) Mike Hoge, later that Friday, detailing the relation patch-next Gothic installment (acc. to PB`s plans, at least) a bit more (but still doesn´t back your conspic theory about "flat out lying bastardish bunch" any further - sorry, mate! *sympathy, then cool* ):

Nochmal:

Wir haben in den letzten Monaten damit begonnen, die Grundlagen zu erschaffen DAMIT wir überhaupt in der Lage sind,
a) die inhaltlichen Veränderungen an Gothic 3 vorzunehmen, die wir uns vorgestellt hatten (Stichwort "Gigabyte Patch")
b) Gothic 4 so umzusetzen, wie wir es uns vorgestellt hatten.

Es hätte schlichtweg keinen Sinn gemacht, Gothic 3 zu ändern, nur um bei Gothic 4 dieselben Änderungen nochmal zu machen.

Dazu noch ein Beispiel:
Wir wollten u.a. das neue Kampfsystem von Gothic 4 in Gothic 3 einbinden. Es macht also keinen Sinn, das Kampfsystem von Gothic 3 zu ändern, stattdessen entwickelt man lieber ein neues und bringt es dann mit dem alten Spiel zum Laufen - das ist einfach weniger Arbeit und die einzig sinnvolle wirtschaftliche Lösung.

Die Erschaffung eines neuen Kampfsystems ist also auch GLEICHZEITIG die Arbeit an dem "Gigabyte Patch". Und das wir nichts darüber gesagt haben ausser "wir arbeiten dran", liegt daran, daß wir überhaupt noch keinen Vertrag (und daher auch kein Geld) hatten und somit nicht sicher war, daß unsere Pläne überhaupt aufgehen - und da gibt uns die jetzige Situation ja wohl Recht.
… which should translate into `bout s.th. like this

Once again:

In the last month we have begun with just creating the fundamentals that would move us into a position AT ALL to
a.) apply all the changes of content to Gothic 3 that we had made up in our minds (read "gigabyte patch")
b.) implement Gothic 4 in a way we had imagined it

It would have simply made no sense to change Gothic 3, just to run through the whole procedure with Gothic 4 once again then.

Yet one example for that:
We intended to integrate, amongst other things, the combat system from Gothic 4 into Gothic 3. So it wouldn´t have been purposeful to change the one of Gothic 3, instead you rather go and develop a new one and afterwards make it run with the new one - that´s simply less work and the only economically reasonable solution.

Hence the design of a new combat system BEING the work on the "gigabyte patch" IN ONE. And that we didn´t say anything more than "we´re working on it" is owed to the fact that we didn´t have a contract for it (hence the funding) and as such couldn´t be safe that our plans would play out in fact - well, and the current situation only backs that clearly, doesn´t it?

Sounds indeed as Dhruin suspected:
Them PBs swapping the engine of their car with the one from the follow-up model, leaving the chassis and interiors (aka sources… major gfx, chars, landscape, locations) largely the same. (Genome 2.0…, uhm, sorry, 3.0 is what we had rather agreed on above, hadn´t we!? *wink* *biggrin*)

What does that mean for the contract back then?
Jowood probably had bought the exclusive publishing rights for Gothic 4 together with the agreement with PB to do Gothic 3, but using PB for it just as an option to draw after G3 release.
Be it that this option was not exercised or some clauses regarding PBs performance with G3 development allowed them to pull out of the subsequent G4 agreement with PB remains for the lawyers.

Matter of fact:
The PBs tied a bundle to fix G3 to so fundamental extent as they thought was in the best interest of the customers (as far as they had learned about from community/customer and press feedback) - and Jowood simply didn´t buy it, apparently had different views on what to do about G3 (and for G4?).

Whether Jowood was just seeking for some cheap as possible patch for G3, had already concluded in silence they wouldn´t continue the relationship with PB afterwards or if they broke up on the altered Genome Engine not playing with their console plans or other directions they wanted to take the franchise into further on remains in the dark and a welcome subject to inexhaustable speculations.

Usually, though, it was something that would have been seen touted in the recent announcements from both sides as that they "… split over creative differences…".


Ragon, the Mage

P.S.: What the heck is this smiley restriction all about!? Curse it! *frown*
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May 27th, 2007, 20:29
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Wouldn't it be more time-.consuming to build an all-new engine instead of fixing the old one - supposed it can be fixed after all ?
(I fear this might be another question … - Is it even fixable ? I mean the G3 engine.)
Not necessarily. Sometimes it happens that you end up with an architecture that's so degraded that fixing one bit will simply break another. This happens most typically when you're venturing into unknown territory: your original design simply doesn't survive contact with reality. ("Reality" can mean any of a number of things — the hardware environment, the software environment, requirements, whatever.)

What's more, you may not even notice that the architecture broke down because most of your attention is on figuring out how the hell "reality" works. You'll only notice when it's too late: you get into a situation where fixing something here will break something there. If you have a decent process in place and are tracking issues, you'll notice that the issue/bug count will start going up again.

Once you get to that point, the only solution is to redesign whatever you're doing at a deep level. If you (and the team) is reasonably smart, by this time they'll have a very deep understanding of the problem space, which means they'll be able to come up with a very robust solution if only they can start from scratch — even as an exercise.

What happens then depends on the state and modularity of the system. If the code itself is reasonably clean and the "micro structure" of the system is sound, it can be possible to take it to pieces and reassemble it in such a way that you retain a significant amount of the code you already have. However, more commonly at this point the source code will be a god-awful tangle of criss-crossing references, cut-and-paste, dead code, the same thing written in fifteen slightly different ways, and so on. That means that it's in fact a lot faster to dump it all and start over.

The ideal, of course, is to avoid this from happening. Forests have been felled and lakes of ink have been spilled propounding all kinds of ways to do this. Some of them even work. Trouble is, these methods aren't trivially easy to adopt: it's not just a matter of reading Kent Beck's "EXtreme Programming EXplained" and coding your way into a bright new dawn. Learning to do XP (or Rational Rose, or Crystal, or FDD, or Scrum, or any other system liek that) is hard work that takes a couple of years to do.

Moreover, if you have pesky things like "deadlines" and "pressure," most commonly "process" goes out the window, and you never manage to improve your work practices. In fact, you'll hate the guts of anyone who tries to get you to adopt a new tool or tell you to write your test cases first or put your curly brackets in a different place or tells you where to write your comments or calls daily stand-up meetings or asks you to fill in document templates or audit somebody's code or have your code audited or any of the other things that the process mandates: you have *work* to do, dammit!

Or, if you hire an expensive consultant with very shiny teeth and blow-dried hair, you'll end up with a really fancy system that nobody knows how to use, that probably involves painstakingly filling out templates to create documents, and that probably addresses all the wrong problems anyway.

Again, in my experience the only thing that *does* work is experience. Start out a team with the right mix of skills, someone who's "been there, done that" a couple of times, and get them working. In two or three (or five or six) years you'll have a team that'll be able to turn out virtually bug-free code on-schedule consistently. If there is a short-cut to this, I honestly don't know what it is.

Finally, obviously I haven't seen the source code or any other development artifacts for G3. However, the product itself, and the hoopla that goes on around it, "smells" like the code base is in pretty bad shape. Whether it's so bad that the game engine needs a ground-up rewrite or simply some open-heart surgery I don't know, but if I was brought on-board I would certainly approach the code base open to the possibility of a full rewrite.

Sorry about the ramble; I didn't mean it to get this long. Hope someone made it this far.
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May 27th, 2007, 21:37
Definitely!

Another nice one from the inside (of programming in general, not particularly G3).
Fine read.

The main theme one probably will here in computer science is that concept stages (before anthing is done in terms programming) is the one you want to invest the most. If done properly the actual coding should rather work like a charm, because you simply know what you´re doing and what this all is about, let alone the usual syntax errors and maybe some wrong choices in algorithms or isolated procedures. But you won´t blow the whole thing right away anymore.

This first stage includes getting to know the subject of your program (a database, an e-mail program whatever, in our case RPGs) inside out and choosing the right prog language, the right skill (=people) and make yourself familiar with any special 3rd party technology you plan (or are ordered) to use.
Then develop a sound concept from it - and go…

- so much for the theory.

In the case of G3 what we know about it so far, the concept already being flawed by wrong design decisions taken, which results in limitations countering efforts to fix that part substantially (story, questing, story integration of NPCs, scripting), flawed appliance of technology (gfx, the streaming, maybe!? Wrong implementation or unfeasible anyway) and probably also a good deal of bad code in the rush towards the ending or along the "experimental phasis" with some features, finally scraped again after all… - and here you are, kicking the whole brick right into the next bin again.


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May 28th, 2007, 01:38
Originally Posted by Jaz View Post
But there is one: . You meant something… less elegant?
Yes, that one is way too innocent looking . You know the one at e.g. WoG where the poor little yellow guy really spews out a huge, green fountain of puke? That's the one I was looking for. But thanks for pointing out that there is one here at all .
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May 28th, 2007, 12:52
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
You're making me desire a proper vomit smiley more and more .
Look at www.cosgan.de . She has a really nice collection of smileys, and the use is very straightforward.
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May 28th, 2007, 14:07
One thing I would be interested to know is: Who bears the primary responsibility for making the key design decisions that resulted in Gothic 3 deviating so far from the model of its predecessors? - specifically, the decision to develop an engine designed for generated, rather than hand crafted content and the creation of a massive world with innumerable FedEx quests, rather than a smaller more detailed world with a compact story. Was PB motivated by illusions of grandeur, causing them to bite off more than they could chew in an attempt to appeal to a broader audience? Or, did Jowood send some guys and girls in dark suits over to Essen and say, "Hey Pankratz and friends, the Gothic 2 formula isn't going to cut it in the North American market, and we really want to get our fingers in that pie, so you're going to have to bake a different cake this time."

PB has taken much heat for some of their decisions (and certainly the bugs and shoddy engine design are on their shoulders), but it would be naive to think that the publisher, as the one paying the bills and also the one standing to make the biggest profits, would play no part in some of the fundamental game design decisions. The question of who is to blame is perhaps not that important anymore, but if PB had almost total creative freedom and simply blew it, I would be rather less sympathetic towards them than if Jowood pushed them into a game design that was beyond their capabilities. Anyone care to speculate?
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May 28th, 2007, 14:36
Originally Posted by Geist View Post
Anyone care to speculate?
For a change, there's no need to speculate on that one really . PB said themselves shortly after the game's release in a thread at WoG where they apologized for the mistakes that they made with G3 that they were in full control over all of the creative decisions. Their original plan was to make better content editors for the quests but just as with most everything else, they ran out of time so the editor only allowed them to put together rather simplistic quests.
The size of the world was also their own (dumb) decision. They wanted to do something more massive after Gothic and Gothic II but in hindsight they realized that they bit off more than they could chew.
Quite a bit of info on all of that can be found in this thread at WoG. For example (from Mike Hoge): "We made the conscious decision to make Gothic III more accessible to a larger audience. This led to a few changes in the design that many fans perceived as a change for the worse." - Yeppers. No kidding, Mike. Anyway, it was them, not the guys and gals in dark suits from Austria .
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May 28th, 2007, 15:39
Thanks for the info - nice to have some concrete answers for a change

In hindsight, I think the fact that PB screwed up so much on the technical side of things, will, in the long run, be a positive development for fans of the original Gothics. Consider the alternative. If PB had managed to deliver an efficient largely bug-free engine and polished up a few things such as game balance and combat mechanics, their major design decisions would have been vindicated. They could have ignored the complaints about shallow dialogue and lack of story. Due to increased commercial success they likely would have pushed ahead with features such randomly generated items and the (elder scrolls style)quantity over quality approach. The fact that G3 turned into such a mess, has forced them to backtrack in all areas. They've said they won't do random content again and that they'll get back to the virtues of old. Given the storm of flack they've received for their recent adventures, it's unlikely they'll break this promise.
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May 28th, 2007, 21:49
@Geist — of course, it just could so happen that PB sinks with G3. In that case, the future of the Gothic series will be even more in the air than it is now… and G4, if it ever happens, could turn out to be Oblithic and run (really well) on next-gen consoles.

G3 may have been something of a failure, but it was a glorious failure. Even if I never managed to finish it, I would much rather see a failure like Gothic 3 than a success like Oblivion.
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May 28th, 2007, 22:11
Originally Posted by Ragon der Magier View Post
The main theme one probably will here in computer science is that concept stages (before anthing is done in terms programming) is the one you want to invest the most. If done properly the actual coding should rather work like a charm, because you simply know what you´re doing and what this all is about, let alone the usual syntax errors and maybe some wrong choices in algorithms or isolated procedures. But you won´t blow the whole thing right away anymore.
Actually… no, not quite. Thing is, if you're working on anything at all complicated, it's amazing how quickly the best-made paper designs break down once you start turning them into code. I'm a big, big fan of "designing in code" — that is, do just enough paper design to have some idea of the central concept of what you're doing, then *as soon as possible* try to express that idea in code. I don't think I've ever done a project where the original plan survived this kind of validation intact, irrespective of the amount of work spent on the plan — if the plan was good, it came out enriched, enhanced, often slimmed down, and generally hardened; if it wasn't, something completely different came out with perhaps a few characteristics of the original, and if it was really bad or if the problem was really hard, what came out was a consensus that the whole problem needs a re-think.

(As an aside, I haven't noticed any particularly strong correlation between the quality of a plan and the amount of effort spent making it, unless it's an inverse one — some of the best designs I've worked with have emerged from one afternoon's session with three people, sketched on the digital equivalent of a napkin, while possibly the worst one emerged from six months with fifteen highly-paid consultants and took about 600 pages to express.)

The trick is to step back after that initial "design in code" phase, and decide what to do with it: throw it all away and start from scratch, stabilize it so that it's solid enough as a basis for further development, or something in between. Or, rather, the trick is to know when to call a freeze — decide that yes, this is the design we're going with, and no, no more changes are allowed except through some formal mechanism. 'Cuz there will *always* be something you'll want to do better; continuous refactoring is great but there are times when what you have is good enough even if you just thought of a completely brilliant way of doing it that would mean throwing out half of what you've done so far.

And *that* decision is tough to make, all the tougher if you have "deadlines" and "pressure" and "management."
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May 29th, 2007, 12:27
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
@Geist — of course, it just could so happen that PB sinks with G3. In that case, the future of the Gothic series will be even more in the air than it is now… and G4, if it ever happens, could turn out to be Oblithic and run (really well) on next-gen consoles.

G3 may have been something of a failure, but it was a glorious failure. Even if I never managed to finish it, I would much rather see a failure like Gothic 3 than a success like Oblivion.
Oh, I agree that G3 was far more interesting than Oblivion. My criticism comes from the fact that PB's design decisions often made the game feel more like a Bethsoft title than a Gothic game (this, for me, was a bigger issue than the bugs). I can't help getting a little satistaction out of the fact that their attempt to "mainstream" the game play and make it appeal to a broader audience backfired so nicely (albeit more due to the technical issues than the creative ones). Were PB to go under it may indeed be the worst case scenario for Gothic fans, but judging by the recent outpouring of support, they likely still have a big enough support base to assure them (and the future publisher) at least modest commercial success for their next project - if they don't completely bungle it that is. Ralf, in the WoG forum recently expressed his sentiments that he "wants to make love to everybody in the room". Most Gothic fans seem happy to oblige (Moriendor most definitely excluded).
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May 29th, 2007, 12:43
I'm not sure that the "Oblivionization" of G3 was a design decision as much as an emergent property. They tried to make a dynamic "living-world" type of environment; however, despite the huge effort, they didn't quite manage it. However, they ended up with a dynamic, fluid environment that's gotta be much harder to script than a more static one — and less time and resources available to do that scripting. So we end up with something that's about halfway to all kinds of exciting places, but never quite manages to get there.

Compare with another hugely ambitious game with somewhat similar design goals: S.T.A.L.K.E.R. They didn't quite manage to do what they originally envisioned either, but they ended up with something that at least I found a hell of a lot more *playable.* They succeeded with the "living world" just well enough to make it a significant and positive gameplay element (it was cool to help some loners defend their camp from bandits, then notice much later that the area had been taken over by a pack of wolves, for example). They managed to polish up the twitch-level gameplay to a very high level, meaning that AI felt reactive, unpredictable and sharp, the weapons handled well and felt different from each other, and difficulty was very finely balanced. Plus, they managed to work in a real sense of direction and development as ever more difficult areas opened up for exploration and more and more secrets were discovered. This meant that the on-rails plot, repeating Fedex quests, and ho-hum dialog became minor irritants rather than game-breakers.

If G3 had had as good "twitch" gameplay as S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and if the "living world" had been done just a little bit better, it would've been a great game — although a very different one from G1 and G2, and not at all like Oblivion. OTOH if they had dumped the "living world" and gone with plain ol' scripting with the occasional random spawn, and put the freed-up resources into making interesting quests, dialog, content, and challenges, the crummy combat would have been an irritant rather than a major flaw, and it would've been a great game again, this time more like G1 and G2.

But PB reached for the moon and fell into the junipers, as we say in Finland. I just hope they'll manage to get the needles out and do better next time.
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May 29th, 2007, 13:11
I don't get why nearly all game developers want to make rpg games similar to, or like the SIMS-games, including, but not limited to Fable 2. I think maybe PB wanted to make an Oblivion like 'living world' aka something like a world simulation… And the failt miserably in doing so…

However, from what I've seen in Gothic 2, this game succeded in shaping and making a game where NPCs worked, went about their business and where you had to find your own way and such things. If we compare this to Gothic 3, all this is still present in the game, the same is the 'find your own way' scenario,' the 'buy a map' scenario, and the 'listen carefully' and 'pay attention to dialoque in the game'. Sadly all this is considered hardcore today, as every game that doesn't have a green arrow telling you where to go, is mainstrem (more or less) these days.
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May 29th, 2007, 15:00
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
If G3 had had as good "twitch" gameplay as S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and if the "living world" had been done just a little bit better, it would've been a great game — although a very different one from G1 and G2, and not at all like Oblivion. OTOH if they had dumped the "living world" and gone with plain ol' scripting with the occasional random spawn, and put the freed-up resources into making interesting quests, dialog, content, and challenges, the crummy combat would have been an irritant rather than a major flaw, and it would've been a great game again, this time more like G1 and G2.
That's a good description of the crossroads at which RPG design stands today. So the question is, in which direction would you like to see it go? Simulation (S.T.A.L.K.E.R.), Handcrafted (G1 & G2) or a combination of both (G3?)?
I (like aries100) prefer the handscripted approach for the simple reason that I consider story and dialog perhaps the most important elements in an RPG. It's virtually impossible for the emergent events occuring in a "living world" simulation to exist within the context of a narrative, or for the designers to create unique NPC dialog based on such events. I find the concept of a world simulation exciting, but I would prefer to see it explored in shooters (or genres other than rpgs) where designers can put more resources into AI and don't have to worry as much about story and dialog.
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May 29th, 2007, 16:09
All of the above.

I would very much like to play a really good scripted/handcrafted RPG (say, Fallout, or Planescape: Torment without the gameplay problems it had), but I would also very much like to play a really good simulation/RPG (hasn't really been done yet) or one that's a really good balance between the two (say, like S.T.A.L.K.E.R. only with better writing and more interesting and varied quests).

I think the real Holy Grail is a fusion of hand-scripted and simulation: precisely the thing that you don't believe could be done. I agree that it would certainly be very hard, but I don't believe it would be impossible.

Imagine something like this:

(1) A "network-model" simulation that models relationships between the NPC's in a game. So, you have families, clans, villages, duchies, and guilds, which are not simply collections of characters but determined by relationships of various strengths between them. So, if Clothilde of Angers is the mother of Arnault, they would be connected by [ family : 'Angers', strength : 100 ]. These relationships could strengthen, weaken, break, and reform as the simulation progresses. They would, of course, not be mutually exclusive, allowing for conflicting loyalties of various strengths.

(2) A plot structure consisting of a (linear or branching) storyline, consisting of quest segments that set plot milestones — pretty much like any ol' hand-scripted RPG.

(3) A system that links the two this way:
* Add hooks to each of the quests that determine *how* it would be possible to trigger them from any of a number of groups. So, you could get the "Find Durandal the sword" quest from family:Angers, guild:Thieves, family:Thibault.
* Lets you trigger the quest if you have built a strong enough bond (of some kind) with someone in one of the groups who possesses the quest trigger.

(4) A "quest integrity monitor" that reconfigures the quest triggers to stop the player from painting himself into a corner. For example, if the NPC that possesses the quest trigger gets killed, it reassigns the quest trigger to someone else.

So, basically, the plotline would be scripted, but the ways in which you can traverse it would be dynamic and contingent both on how you play and how the simulation plays itself out.

Any questions? Good. I look forward to the prototype in four weeks. ;-)
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May 29th, 2007, 17:32
Originally Posted by aries100 View Post
I think maybe PB wanted to make an Oblivion like 'living world' aka something like a world simulation… And the failt miserably in doing so…
Agreed - but it was actually this that got me to buy the game soon after it came out. I hadn't shown nearly as much interest in gothic or gothic 2 so from the attracting new people point of view they did succeed in my instance.
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May 30th, 2007, 14:20
Interesting thoughts Prime Junta. I like many of the ideas, but it still appears to suffer from the same difficulty that always arises when one tries to combine simulation with narrative: namely, how do you communicate the effects of the simulation to the player? In this case, we have an almost infinite combination of possible relationships between various groups and characters within those groups, but only a finite number of scripted plot segments. As a result, some of the interactions between characters in the plot segments may be completely inconsistent with the relationship between those characters in the simulation (ex. characters that are supposed to be friends in the plot may be enemies in the actual game). The game can't be expected to take into account all the possible relationships that can result from the simulation and reflect this information in the narrative and NPC dialog.

I think the living world simulation approach can be useful in certain applications. The animal encounters in G3, for instance, worked quite well. Unscripted events such as Scavengers stopping to feed when they came across a carcass, or wolves chasing down an elk helped contribute to the atmosphere (and added some combat options for the player as well). It works because we don't expect the animals' reactions to be particularly complex. If I save the elk from the wolves, I don't expect him to thank me.
But, if we apply the same concept to NPC encounters, it gets much more complicated. If I decide to save a traveler from a group of bandits I expect an appropriate reaction. Trying to simulate human behaviour even on a limited scale, accounting for all kinds of unplanned NPC interactions, and making them believable is just fraught with difficulties. The greater the scope of the simulation, the greater the certainty that you will have NPCs reacting inappropriately, or not reacting at all to events taking place around them, and the greater the chance that such emergent events will come into conflict with the pre-plotted ones.
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