Procedurally Generated NPCs

Discussion in 'NPCs and Creatures' started by Alvin Flummox, May 15, 2012.

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Procedurally Generated NPCs

Discussion in 'NPCs and Creatures' started by Alvin Flummox, May 15, 2012.

  1. Alvin Flummox

    Alvin Flummox Existential Complex

    Sticking with the idea of 'why not procedurally generate just about everything?' I thought why not add a bit of procedural generation to npcs too? I'm not talking about making up entirely new types of npc out of the blue, but it would be simple enough to add a bit of randomness to their hair and clothing, and maybe even their race.

    As long as each important type of npc has some kind of recognisable feature (eg hat or clipboard) that stays the same regardless, everything else could be randomly generated to produce a much more diverse population. A lot of clothing and hairstyles and everything will have already been drawn for the player character creator, so the extra work would be minimal.

    Anybody else got thoughts on this? :)
      Admiral Obvious, R_C_A^ and xboy777 like this.
    • Ollobrains

      Ollobrains Scruffy Nerf-Herder

      I think this is already going to happen in gmae anyway so its a moot point
      • Shawn Reeves

        Shawn Reeves Orbital Explorer

        Let's not go stabbing in the dark about something, Ollobrains. Whether or not you think it is going to happen does not make his point moot.

        I think it's a good and bad idea.
        Good: It adds fun and uniqueness to an otherwise-non-unique scenario.
        Bad: IF there is going to be multiplayer, could it raise incompatibility between players? Or, would it function much like a texture pack?
        • Alvin Flummox

          Alvin Flummox Existential Complex

          Not a lot has currently been revealed about the game so I feel that is worth discussing until we know more. That's what the forums is for after all.

          I'm assuming that data will be sent between players in multiplayer, so that every player sees the same content. If enemies are going to be procedurally generated it would cause a whole heap of problems if they didn't. The actual amount of data sent would be very small, as all the graphics would already be stored within the game files. Even on the very unlikely chance that data wasn't sent, the differences between npcs would be entirely aesthetic so even if every player saw something different it wouldn't affect their actual function :)
          • Lord Kain

            Lord Kain Ketchup Robot

            not a bad idea, I saw a lot of this in the Sims 2 with the random Townies :mad: could never clear them all out
            • xboy777

              xboy777 Scruffy Nerf-Herder

              I like the idea a lot. They did say they would have a pregenerated story alongside all the procedurally generated content so if they wanted a specific NPC look they could have it in the story and leave the rest up to the procedural generator code. I feel like they are definitely going to do this since they stated that there are going to be a LOT of NPCs in the game so this would be the best way to get it done and make things fun and interesting.
              • LightHoof

                LightHoof Pangalactic Porcupine

                Server just have to send randomization seeds to all players, nothing big, heavy or difficult.

                Nice idea really, should diversify world even further
                • Alvin Flummox

                  Alvin Flummox Existential Complex

                  Yeah, by the sounds of it the main quests are going to be a lot more designed, and less procedurally generated. I'm sure if they want specific npcs to appear at certain times then that could be arranged! And yeah I kind of assumed that they're going to generate npcs anyway :) It would save them a lot of hassle of drawing sprites for different ones, and allow a lot more variety. Thought it was worth a discussion though.

                  Just realised I need to edit the OP slightly too now that we know there's definitely other races too!
                    xboy777 likes this.
                  • R_C_A^

                    R_C_A^ Big Damn Hero

                    More variation in just about everything sounds great to me. :D
                    • xboy777

                      xboy777 Scruffy Nerf-Herder

                      Lol I'm surprised that there aren't many jokes on everything being procedurally generated. I've seen a few so far but I thought I'd see more since I can't think of a game that has done this much procedural generation. If you know one I'd love to hear what it is and play it :)
                      • Alvin Flummox

                        Alvin Flummox Existential Complex

                        Well Spore is the only big one I can think of really, have you not played that? Basically everything is procedurally generated in that!
                        • xboy777

                          xboy777 Scruffy Nerf-Herder

                          Yeah I have played that and it was really interesting. I should have realized that was procedurally generated. I don't know how that escaped me. Probably because I didn't know what that meant at the time lol. Although I didn't beat it, it was an interesting game.
                          • Alvin Flummox

                            Alvin Flummox Existential Complex

                            Yeah the procedural generation was the most amazing part really, the gameplay was severely lacking in the end and the overhyping and the change to less realistic, more cartoony graphics didn't help :( Was amazing what they achieved though. Procedural generation is definitely the future for games like this I think.
                              xboy777 likes this.
                            • xboy777

                              xboy777 Scruffy Nerf-Herder

                              I agree! After Spore and Minecraft came along, more games have been using the procedural generation tactic to produce random and fresh levels for gameplay. Borderlands did something similar with their weapons only I think they procedurally generated them first and then placed them into the game instead of letting the game create new weapons every time. Could be wrong. Now you see Minecraft clones (which I like to see since they usually head off in a different direction) and Terraria which completely changed how things worked and created it's own game and now we are getting to Starbound which is pushing the recent trend in procedural generation even further. I'm hoping to see AAA games do this someday. It would definitely push the trend even further with companies taking advantage of it.
                                Alvin Flummox likes this.
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