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Richard Garriott should remember his past according to NPCs

Discussion in 'Release 18 Feedback' started by Lord_Darkmoon, Jun 19, 2015.

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  1. Lord_Darkmoon

    Lord_Darkmoon Avatar

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    At least this is what I get from the Twitter message of Warren Spector... and I have to agree. The NPCs of Ultima VI and VII are so deep that not even modern RPGs can come close to them. This should be the template for the NPCs in SotA. After all Richard managed to do this before so now would be the time to do it again!

    http://ultimacodex.com/2015/06/what-ultima-vi-can-teach-you-about-npcs/
     
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  2. smack

    smack Avatar

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    I think the opinion piece on Whiskey Barrel Studio's site is a great read. Sure, they use a popular meme to harp on Skyrim's NPCs, but there's actually a whole lot more going on underneath when they first started down this path with Radiant AI (Oblivion) and Radiant Story (Skyrim).

    Also highly recommended viewing:

     
  3. Lord_Darkmoon

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    I think one problem SotA will get is, how will the game show facial expression? We do not have AAA graphics to have such highly detailed faces to show a smirk, a menacing grin or someone glaring etc.
    Also we don't have any descriptions in the dialogues like in Ultima VI or VII... And I think that those descriptions added a lot to make NPCs feel alive, interesting and it also added a lot to the unique Ultima atmosphere...
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2015
  4. Ashlynn [Pax]

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    I think the comparison to the dialogue in Skyrim is a bit unfair. It is true that many of the NPCs in Skyrim felt very generic but that is due to it being voice acting and not text. It is a lot easier and less costly to write thousands of lines of NPC dialogue that is just text than it is to record thousands of lines of voice acting in hundreds of different accents and dialects.
     
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  5. Lord_Darkmoon

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    Did the NPCs in Ultima VI and VII really have that much more text than the NPCs in Skyrim or the Witcher 3? I think the amount if text was quite limited in those Ultimas, too. But we got a much better impression of the NPCs because of the descriptions that made them come alive.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2015
  6. Arkah EMPstrike

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    I think they have already said they intend to give NPCs in the game thier own agendas, daily routines, reactions to their environment, etc
     
  7. Ashlynn [Pax]

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    If I remember right U7 didn't actually have that many NPCs. I think Trinsic had maybe a dozen at most? Much easier to give such a small number of NPCs actual personality. By contrast UO NPCs are more numerous but have no personality and no schedules which always seemed a bit of a backward step.

    But with fewer (yet more unique) NPCs you can end up with another issue that makes the world seem weird - a real sense of scale. Vizima (I've only played the first Witcher) felt like a busy city with lots of inhabitants. Britain and Trinsic in U7 did not.
     
  8. Lord_Darkmoon

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    Right but those "filler-NPCs" that make the world feel more crowded add another problem to the game: Finding specific NPCs. If there are no quest-markers and you have to ask your way through a hundred NPCs this can become very frustrating.
     
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  9. redfish

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    Just make sure the NPCs look unique and have jobs in locations that are obvious to find (ie someone tells you to talk to such and such a baker who works at this bakery; have him at least spend part of his day at that bakery).
     
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  10. Soulicide

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    I can still remember dozens of NPC names from Ultima VI and VII, where to find them and what their personality was like. Sure I revisit the game every few years to get my nostalgia kicks, but I've also played other memorable games in the past and present repeatedly and couldn't tell you the names of most NPCs because I simply did not care about them. I actually cared what happened to the people of Britannia through the course of my questing. Early Ultima games were incredibly unique and ground-breaking in that respect. I honestly feel no connections to any of the NPCs in Shroud yet. I'm hoping this changes with the addition of more side quests and hopefully more varied NPC schedules and models. One of the striking things about UVI-UVII was the diversity. Every single character portrait was different. People had very different attitudes, ranging from shy, snobbish, confrontational, insane, flirty, sad...I mean the list goes on and on. Descriptive actions and expressions could easily be added into dialogue to make NPCs seem less generic. It doesn't have to be a novel, just little things here and there.
     
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