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LeoIvanov

Yet another NPC idea thread. [Randomized Villans.]

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Here we go. A yet another topic about the ideas to the most discussed, most hyped up and most requested feature of Project Zomboid - NPC survivors. We all want them to be perfect, and we all want them to succeed. Now I swear that I've gone through a whole first page when looking for "NPC" tagword in the search, and didn't find an idea that I've came up with. If it's out there somewhere, you can post a link to the discussion and I'll paste it in the main reply.

 

Okay, so, let's do this.

 

Idea blatantly stolen from the recent game of Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor. Yes, even though the game has "taken" gameplay elements from other games like Batman: Arkham Asylum and Assasin's Creed, it STILL did offer an interesting, new mechanic. The mechanic I'm talking about is "randomized villains/captains". What it does, essentially, is it creates a randomized person with random character traits, weaknesses, looks, voices, names and other stuff. Those "villains" remember each encounter they ever have with you, and level up according to whether or not they survive the encounters with you, or even kill you. They also change visually to portray some stuff that you've done to them - for example, if you burn them in fire, they'll get a burn mark on their face, or something along those lines.

 

What I want Project Zomboid to "borrow" from that mechanic is randomized villain encounters. Whenever you have created a steady enough base with a trustworthy group of NPC survivors, if you happen to let some NPC live after a hostile encounter, they have a high chance of coming back on your ass, leading their OWN group of strangers, immediately hostile to you. Those NPC's would "point out" how you've met each other in the past, reminding you of all the horrible things that you've done to them. Visually, once there's more options regarding the clothing, scars, glasses, hats and etc, they can also change with time, like growing hair, beards, getting eyepatches (my favorite), battle-scars, all sorts of cool things.

 

For all it's worth, it would make a GREAT addition to our beloved "Governor" feature and will actually make NPC's that more interesting. Planned assault on your base at night that kills each of your group's members and only leaves you alive, to later capture you and torture/eat you? What about you waking up in your house and finding it on fire, just to be able to come out with all your stuff packed to face a barrel of a gun facing at your face, and words "We finally see each other again, &character name&" coming out of a leader's mouth, as he orders his men to shoot you? You can make a lot of interesting stuff happen just by implementing this idea, think of all the possibilities that could come out of this.

 

Does anyone remember this famous line, "Howdy, neightbor"? What if that character is explored more into, what if YOU were that sadistic motherfucker who kills a random stranger's wife? What if baldspot returns later for revenge on that bandit? What if YOU are baldspot, and YOU become someone else's villain? Inspiring fear in people, sabotaging the camps and attracting hordes to their bases?

 

I want this idea looked more into and discussed to death. And SORRY if someone has already suggested this. 

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As a general idea I like it but NPC's should be a bit deeper and not just take revenge on everyone on the basis who killed who. They should also see justifications for otherwise reprehensible deeds like killing one's entire groups and just saying that it was self defence it's ok. We can't expect everyone to be like that, some people only see family and gang ties, but some people might feel bad about what they were doing.

Maybe when that ghost of your past captures you he comes up to you and says "Yo, remember me?". Then you have a dramatic silent moment and in a moment the other guy just says "Aaaah, gotcha man! You should have seen your face!" and he tries to be friends with you which might be genuine or he might be trying swim up you sleeve. (Do you say that in English? Basically I'm trying to say he's an ass licker.)

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I think at least the part with NPCs knowing and "remembering" you and your actions is planned. How I've understood it, from between the lines, is that they're going to have a relationship system similar to CKII, but with NPCs. So everything you do will affect your relationship with said NPC and then they act according to that and the traits they have.

 

So in your case, if you left someone alive after killing his/her friends you'd get a certain amount of "badboy" on them and they'd then decide how to approach it according to their traits.

 

Also NPCs will certainly be unique characters. As in they'll exist in the world and shit will happen to them even if you're not around to see it. (So they won't just vanish/change etc. when they're streamed off.) Then when you see them next time, they'll know the things you did to them and they'll have the experiences they've had meanwhile. However, I doubt that all of this can be represented in dialog as you're suggesting. It'd be a hell of a lot of options to cover. But I can't really say.

 

This is at least how I have understood the workings of the NPCs.

 

Well thought out idea! :)

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I just don't like the concept of 'villains' in Project Zomboid. I mean what people call villains aren't exactly villains. NPC's are fine, some happen to kill you, some don't. Just my two cents. But I think categorizing anyone as a 'villain' by any standard in a game like this makes it more linear than it would normally be.

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I just don't like the concept of 'villains' in Project Zomboid. I mean what people call villains aren't exactly villains. NPC's are fine, some happen to kill you, some don't. Just my two cents. But I think categorizing anyone as a 'villain' by any standard in a game like this makes it more linear than it would normally be.

 

Well, I'd guess by "Villain" I meant to say a person who poses a danger to you and your group, greater than the added amount of strength of yours and your group combined, be it a manpower, amount of firearms, or amount of "cold-blooded bloodthirsty killers" in a group who won't flinch while deciding to kill someone. I just couldn't know how else to name them, because the generic "enemies" sound kind of boring.

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This is a great idea and would love to see something like this in the game!

 

Only problem is is that it sounds pretty hard to code/ program.. (not that I know anything about coding/programming).

 

It also could be an issue in terms of balancing- like it could be unfair if it's common for the 'villain' to burn down people's houses during the night.. but hey, that shouldn't be an issue.

 

Awesome idea, man! :D

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This is what the metagame will allow. Unless something goes horribly wrong this is how NPCs will work. They will remember past encounters with the player (for better or worse) and there will, indeed, even be "villains" in that the game will try to keep NPCs who have a history with the player alive as much as possible so they can interact with the player again. Fate will favour what the game considers the most interesting NPCs. This is how I understand it anyway.

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