Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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How do you like your companions?

Discussion in 'What Remains' started by Surf Solar, Dec 4, 2011.

?

How do you like your companions?

  1. Give me few but very detailed members.

    20 vote(s)
    80.0%
  2. I want a pool out of human ressources to choose from.

    5 vote(s)
    20.0%
  1. Vault Dweller Ubersturmfuhrer, Iron Tower Studio Developer

    Vault Dweller
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    Only when the lines mentioned above are crossed. I love traditional 6-party-member games where you create and fine-tune the entire party and I can't imagine playing a tactical RPG without having full control over the characters. I have no problems with the marionette setup, but I do believe that "real people" should behave like real people.

    The way I see it, a developer has to choose the focus. Either tactical combat or dealing with real people and their shit, which could be fairly entertaining.

    If that's your intention (let the player roll a full party and maintain full control), then we are in agreement.

    Sounds like a good plan. Good luck.
     
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  2. Surf Solar cannot into womynz

    Surf Solar
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    I guess this can still be made. Once again, Jagged Alliance 2 had a right balance, imo. Some Mercs refused to do thing XY because their "personality" didn't allow them to do it, the morale meter was there (and each merc reacted individually to it), some combinations weren't possible (or Merc A leaves because Merc B is annoying to him) and so on. Torment is another example where the NPC felt "real" but I could still control them in combat.
     
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  3. hiver Guest

    hiver
    I prefer non-controllable NPCs in any case but i generally dont mind playing a game where i control them in combat, if the game is good and designed specifically for that.
    Hate to see non-controllable design being abandoned like it largely is. And it is most of all because people just dont want to bother with coming up with good AI.
    I know its hard, i get that but, that whole section of design is stagnating since forever and i hate it.

    Also as to the original question, if youre having controllable NPCs then it doesnt make much sense to have a few with well developed personalities... except if they are all fighter types of some kind or other.
    You really cant sell me a fat merchant or a crazy tribal or a weakling obnoxious moron kid and have them perform like super commandos (because i control everything they do).
     
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  4. Surf Solar cannot into womynz

    Surf Solar
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    It's not so much for the fact that the AI is bad, it's that it's pretty boring when you have to wait for their turns without the ability to directly control them. I used to think like you, that it's cool they have "their own personalities" and such, but then I replayed Fallout1/2 and some other games where I can control my party members - the (in my opinion) mistake to not allow the player to control the party in FO2 became visible.
     
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  5. hiver Guest

    hiver
    Boring? It was mostly terrifying for me. :)
    The bad performance NPCs in F2 sometimes did was also due to bugs, not having a bad Ai per se. And that was dealt with in F2 restoration project patch/mod and it made quite a difference.

    But no, i cant really say that "waiting" was ever a problem for me ever in any turn based game.
    For me, there is no waiting. There is only seeing how situation develops and thinking about what my next moves will be.
    And in case of F2 cheering my guys quite a lot... or screaming.
    :)

    And it was glorious.
     
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  6. Surf Solar cannot into womynz

    Surf Solar
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    I understand what you mean, yep. Guess it's a matter of preference. Imagine that in Jagged Alliance 2, you can only control your I.M.P soldier, all the other mercs you get are AI controlled. Would you say the same about it? ;)
     
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  7. hiver Guest

    hiver
    Not that i played it, for some reason, but JA seems like a game where you would have controllable NPCs since its simply made that way. They are not even personalities but just random NPC you pick from some pool or something.
    And i especially dont see why would you have controllable and non-controllable together.

    Fallouts have always been story driven and related to a large extent. A different kind of cake.
    PST would be a much better example.
    It didnt bother me that NPCs were controllable but i sure would have liked it more if they werent, for example.
     
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  8. The_scorpion Liturgist

    The_scorpion
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    i'm late to this thread, apologies

    My take on companions/ followers/ RPC's recently has been a similar compromise to what's been discussed in the thread before:

    on the one hand, i use fully fledged companions. They are very detailed characters designed with their major purpose, to join the player, in mind. They can be linked very strongly to the plot, have their own motives to join and have an extenisve background, bicker with each other, have likes/ dislikes and so on. On the other hand, there are "light" RPC's that are not as detailed as the full RPC's for various reasons: Writing and doing the VO for a full character takes much more time, while there's a certain risk your player doesn't even figure he can recruit the RPC and most of the work will be left unnoticed by the player.

    So various NPCs can join the party, but are not designed specificly to join up. For example, any character whose relevance to the plot is over, e.g. his quest is finished, could theoretically be a "light" recruitable. He may have asked you for help for a problem in the past, and as you solved his problem, he feels he owes you more than his puny quest reward. While he doesn't wanna join you, if you insist, he will because he owes you. (from a game design point of view, an NPC whose quest was completed doesn't serve much of a purpose otherwise anyway... IMHO). Surely this peasent has less raw combat skills than your battlehardened veteran (tm) that you picked up, but he may know things (guide/ exposition) may know people (interaction bonus/ help) may have other valuable skills and helps lugging your loot around :smug:
    I disagree that all these "light" recruitables should be of the mercenary type. Even in a grimdark dystopian world, money is rarely the only reason to fight. people regularly bunch up in groups to feel safe, to fight an outside threat, etc. if you need the money for balancing purposes, pay them an upkeep for their food or something, rather than the slightly overused "heartless old mercenary will do anything for dollas (but turns out nice guy over the course of the adventure) "

    i very much appreciate your take to use direct control. AI controlled companions are simply a nuisance. I'd rather roleplay all of the party members than have an AI roleplay them.
     
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  9. 20 Eyes Liturgist

    20 Eyes
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    Bingo. Controlling multiple characters makes combat more interesting for me. This is one reason I tend to stay away from roguelikes, I can't think of a turn-based RPG with only one controllable character that had combat good enough to carry the game. Fallout 1 and 2 come close, though I never took any companions because the AI would just get in the way. On the other hand, Temple of Elemental Evil, Knights of the Chalice, X-Com, JA2, and even the Infinity Engine games are all games that could get by on their combat alone as far as I'm concerned.

    Multiple controllable characters opens up a new dimension of tactical options for the player.
     
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  10. Awor Szurkrarz Arcane In My Safe Space

    Awor Szurkrarz
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    The basic problem with the AI companions is that they are incredibly dumb. But then it also applies to non-companion allies and opponents.
     
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  11. Destroid Arcane

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    Seems realistic enough.
     
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  12. laclongquan Arcane

    laclongquan
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    Myself lean more toward quality NPC than quantity.

    Let's make an example

    UFO Afterlight, the game we play on Mars. There's a limited number of personels, each with their own story and image. There's one pair of twins that only appear if you lose 1 member. Even though it's an exchange of two for one, I dither for months. Only until I get the tip that a bot can be counted as a human member do I set forward the plan.

    I hate losing members, therefore it's necessary that my members are quality more than quantity.

    On the other hand UFO ET has a mostly faceless number of troopers recruited from various nations. I hated it. Even though it's sometimes pretty hard and I lose one faceless, I hate that I dont know much or care about that, since there's not much variant unless I make a great effort to only hire the best recruit, rename them, reportrait them, ie a lot of work.
     
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  13. oscar Tacticular Staff

    oscar
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    'Few but detailed members' sucks as it encourages you to savescum if they die, so you don't miss out on plotline and interaction that you would otherwise. But very few RPGs have properly dealt with how the death of NPCs should work.

    Jagged Alliance hit the sweet spot, the companions had personality and charm but if one did die you had a large pool of replacements.
     
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  14. laclongquan Arcane

    laclongquan
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    :shrug: I savescum anyway, quality or non-quality troops. I hate losing them.

    And no, I dont play JA2 with loss. I hire the whole roster if I have spare cash and needs, but I dont lose any.
     
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  15. Awor Szurkrarz Arcane In My Safe Space

    Awor Szurkrarz
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    I definitely prefer the UFO: Enemy Unknown model for tactical wargames.

    And in cRPGs cNPCs should be also another resource, not something that is irreplacable, but at the same time something that it's best to avoid losing too much.
     
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  16. Kosmonaut Lost in Space

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    Does anybody knows why this whinny mangina (Surf Solar) stopped worked on this game?
     
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  17. Surf Solar cannot into womynz

    Surf Solar
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    I haven't stopped working on the game, infact during the last weeks I did a lot of new stuff and made older stuff better. The promised demo will come soon.
     
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  18. Kosmonaut Lost in Space

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    I retract my aforementioned wrong assumption --About not working on the game. However, the title of whinny mangina won't be retracted.
     
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