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Bhaal_Spawn

THE BIG CITIES: Citizens, Areas, Day/Night cycles.

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I personally believe that some old and new RPG's lack certain aspects of realistic cities. I personally would like to see standard daily routines on many of the NPC's throughout the city. Some of these elements have been added in past games (like Skyrim, BG2, assassins creed) but not to an accurate enough extent.

 

I understand that some of you may disagree with me and may believe this to be a hindrance to aspects of the game. However, I believe it will add a certain beauty and also certain gameplay elements.

 

Possible NPC time Cycle.

(For this to work, a lot of citizen NPC models would need to be made)

 

5am - 7am (sunrise)

  • Middle/lower class citizens begin to wake, head to work and set up for the day (market stall owners, farmers, blacksmiths, criers).
  • Drunks should be sleeping in the odd alley in the slums of the city.

The general city atmosphere is quiet

 

7am - 10am

  • The rest of the middle and upper class citizens should be waking (some escorted by private guards) and heading the their respective jobs.
  • Blacksmiths, bakeries, government buildings and all establishments should be opening by 8am.
  • Taverns should have very few people in them, just the odd patron.

The general atmosphere should be noisy and busy. The streets should be at its fullest (Like peak hour traffic in an city on earth)

 

10am - 5pm

  • The odd poor boy should steel from a stall in the markets
  • The odd man should shout "I've been pick-pocketed!"
  • Criers should be yelling out the cities events and news (like in BG2).
  • Shop keepers should be yelling out to buy their goods (like in BG2).
  • Citizens should be generally active thought the city.

5pm - 8pm

  • Everyone should be closing up shop and heading home.
  • Taverns should start to get crowded.
  • The odd cloaked figure should be wandering the street.

8pm - 11pm

  • Taverns and brothels should be making a roaring trade.
  • The odd whore (not sure if they will be added) should be wandering around the middle class streets near/around city guards.
  • The odd citizen should still be around
  • The odd cloaked figure should be wandering..
  • The odd drunk should be wandering.\

11pm - 4am

  • Should there be a local thieves guild this should be their most active time.
  • The odd Tile should fall off a roof.
  • Drunks should be sleeping in the alley.
  • Cats chasing Mice.

The general atmosphere should be pretty quiet.

 

Gameplay Features automatically Added

 

Assassinations:

This gives certain NPCs a cycle that you can base a killing around. Should I eliminate the target while sleeping? Or on the way to work? ect ect.

 

Waking someone up:

Should you finish a major quest, you may chose to wake up the NPC you are collecting your reward from. This may result in them slightly disliking you. This may have an effect on a future quest down the line that is related to that NPC.

 

Meeting certain people at certain times.

There would be quests, in which you could only meet a certain person at a certain time of day. You may need to meet them at home at 9pm, or at 6am early before too many people are around.

 

24/7 Stores

There would be some stores in the city that could be open 24/7. But these stores should charge a little more in price. So if your desperatly need some bandages, or, a black robe, or a knife ect ect, you have no choice but to buy from a 24/7 store and spend a little more money.

 

 

I feel as though this would be a great addition to the game. Please add your suggestions and constructive criticism.

 

Cheers

Bhaal_Spawn

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I'll probably get crucified, but I'm digging this idea a lot.

 

It might be a lot of effort to fill in, I think it's likely even. But having a nuanced daily cycle would be cool. especially if that influenced gameplay. More than just what stores are open, it'd be nice for instance if you have an assassins quest (as per your example) where you can study your target and strike when he's least defended. (during transit, for instance, or when he's in the brothel, you can lie in wait)

 

Different enemies during different times of the day a lá "They only come out at night". It's just an idea which is rich in possibilities, which is something I like.

Edited by JFSOCC
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Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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Big Titties? Yes of course I'm all for- .... oh... nevermind.

 

 

Yes, yes... a cycle would be nice.

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* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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Hand down i agree with this, but  i do think that waking up a person at night and him  hating you for that is tad to much , yeah sure he can be grumpy but to start hating you ?

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It worked well in Ultima 7 twenty years ago, I think it's about time we saw games doing this again. Don't know if this is possible for Eternity with its modest budget, but maybe the 2d nature of the game is perfect for such a system.

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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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I'll probably get crucified, but I'm digging this idea a lot.

 

It might be a lot of effort to fill in, I think it's likely even. But having a nuanced daily cycle would be cool. especially if that influenced gameplay. More than just what stores are open, it'd be nice for instance if you have an assassins quest (as per your example) where you can study your target and strike when he's least defended. (during transit, for instance, or when he's in the brothel, you can lie in wait)

 

Different enemies during different times of the day a lá "They only come out at night". It's just an idea which is rich in possibilities, which is something I like.

 

Haha, I'm sure you wont get crucified :/.

 

But yes i could imagine joining up with the local thieves guild and finding a whole new night life world. There could be robbery missions, assassinations, tampering of evidence in the local barracks while the guards are sleeping, fraud and so on. There is many possibilities

 

As an alternative side, you could join up with the local authorities to infiltrate the night crime and thieves guild.

Hand down i agree with this, but  i do think that waking up a person at night and him  hating you for that is tad to much , yeah sure he can be grumpy but to start hating you ?

Haha ye, i misused my words there. But yes grumpiness is the right wording. :) glad yall like it.

Edited by Bhaal_Spawn

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Having shopkeepers standing in the middle of the street in the Athkatla bridge district at midnight was one of the real oddities of Baldur's Gate II. So yes, scheduled overall city behavior would be good. But I don't think it should be necessary to implement that at the level of individual detail in, say, Oblivion; that would probably take much more work than is necessary for a useful simulation. :)


"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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Having different NPCs active during the night opens up some interesting possibility for "night" quests - which can only be started or completed during the dark hours, but of course the dangers during the night should be different too - muggers in the cities, prowling predators in the wilderness...

 

Yeah, I like the overall idea, but maybe the OPs level of details is a bit excessive.

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I think PsychoBlonde posted something about Day/Night cycles before.

 

That being said, I think specialty stores don't need to keep the standard hours, but could open on a different subset.

 

For example, an apothecary might only be open at night because the majority of his wares drastically lose potency when exposed to sunlight. Another shop might be open afternoons and early evenings because it's connected to an event area that has events going on during afternoon/early evening times.

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Spawning different NPC's with a few routine animations, each depending on the time of day, would definitely be nice. BG2 did it well.

 

From advice I remember from Ubisoft and the Assassin's Creed guys (who should have more experience with this than anyone save the GTA guys) it's not so much important for specific AI "routines" and individuals, at least if you can't follow them around. Instead it's better to just have them doing some 30 second animation and different NPCs wandering around during different times.

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I don't care for NPC schedules much, it doesn't add much to the game mechanics-wise, and it bloats city size if done well (shopkeepers don't only need a shop, they need a place to frequent in the evening and one to sleep at night). What's more interesting would be for example a schedule for city guards that you have to factor in when burglarizing shops/ killing NPCs (instead of telepathic guards).

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I don't care for NPC schedules much, it doesn't add much to the game mechanics-wise, and it bloats city size if done well (shopkeepers don't only need a shop, they need a place to frequent in the evening and one to sleep at night). What's more interesting would be for example a schedule for city guards that you have to factor in when burglarizing shops/ killing NPCs (instead of telepathic guards).

 

I do disagree that it wont add much to the game, I thing it would open a whole new way of approaching the city for different missions and objectives. And every shopkeeper wouldnt have to have a house. If the game is designed like Baldur's Gate, they could simply leave the marketplace area and vanish. Or walk into a tavern. Besides, Only key shop owners and citizens who are deeply involved in quests should have their own house/apartment type building.

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Some NPC's might change their behaviour based on the time of day. If you shop 5 minutes before close you get a "Yes!? what do you want!?"

Or perhaps an apothecary might sell poison during the night, but not during the day when the respectable folk frequent her store.

 

A day night cycle also allows for some quests which you have until dawn to finish. But if you fail them there's another attempt the next day.

all in all, it's an idea which could greatly boost content and gameplay. How could I be against that?

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Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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hmmm... vanishing sort of makes the point of a schedule moot though.

I disagree. But each has their own opinion.

 

Some NPC's might change their behaviour based on the time of day. If you shop 5 minutes before close you get a "Yes!? what do you want!?"

Or perhaps an apothecary might sell poison during the night, but not during the day when the respectable folk frequent her store.

 

A day night cycle also allows for some quests which you have until dawn to finish. But if you fail them there's another attempt the next day.

all in all, it's an idea which could greatly boost content and gameplay. How could I be against that?

Exactly this is another great example of how this idea can be expanded =D.

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I'm okay with this if I'm allowed to forward time at will in cities. I don't want to complete a quest, enter the city at 1am and then learn that I'll have to wait 'till 6pm for that character to be interactable with.

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I'm okay with this if I'm allowed to forward time at will in cities. I don't want to complete a quest, enter the city at 1am and then learn that I'll have to wait 'till 6pm for that character to be interactable with.

I'm very sure that there will be an option to rest for a certain amount of time integrated into the game.

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I don't care for NPC schedules much, it doesn't add much to the game mechanics-wise, and it bloats city size if done well (shopkeepers don't only need a shop, they need a place to frequent in the evening and one to sleep at night).

True, but only the "important" NPCs need such things. All the "unimportant" NPCs who just make the city feel like more than 10 people live there could simply return to a set of apartments or something. You're not looking for them for quests or trading during the day, so who CARES where they sleep at night?

 

I think the most value in some type of time schedule for NPC activity stems from conveying the idea that this is a real city, much more than from the fact that, if you dig deeply enough (follow that random carriage around all day), you will find out that it is, in fact, a fully functional city with a fully functional populous.

 

Without putting 1,000 quests in each city, or having a need to otherwise interact with every single person you can see, for some reason, you're already accepting the fact that some of them are purely for looks and atmosphere, even if only by simply neglecting to actually check to see if they go anywhere or what they do all day.

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I'd also like to see people taking dump brakes as well. It adds to the realism :p
 

Seriously, day/night cycles are cool, I'd love to see it in PE. And, since most rpgs feture that, I'm almost sure PE will too.

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I think that would be pretty cool as outlined there, and would certainly add a level of realism to cities. It's not as important to me as other things, but I agree that it would certainly be a nice feature to have, particularly if we're to be spending a large amount of time in cities. Even just a little bit of such schedules would go a long way, I think; people just going somewhere different, even if it was mostly the same place, at night would still be more realistic than them not moving at all. 

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perhaps instead of each npc pathing along the lines of a schedule, you could just have the day broken up by hour, and just have different npcs be where they are supposed to be at those times, thus each npc would have a general schedule group they would fit into, sorta like the courtesans in bg1&2 (which came out at night).  during the hour that they would be leaving or arriving at a place they would randomly decide to do that, and thus they wouldn't all run off at the exact same time, and it would appear that they had their very own schedule that they were following and pathing along.  this would mean less inputting of individual schedules, and less processing due to the game not tracking each npc.  the downside is that if person A wakes up between 5-6 and arrives at his work at 6-7, and person B wakes up 4-5 and arrives at shop C between 5-6 and then arrives at person A's work at 6-7, that person B might leave the shop later than person A leaves for work and arrive at person A's work before person A arrives even though person A has a shorter commute.  thus the player synchronizing to expected time tables becomes problematic, and thus closes a few very limited options (such as framing person B for person A's murder, as he should arrive shortly after person A arrives, which if you then kill him fast should make person B the first on scene).  the example is pretty specific, and anything that gets affected by this change probably would be just as specific as well, which would only come into play with dynamic events (such as in the example that first on scene would be suspect by guards, and not that this isn't a specific scripted quest/event, which would override the general way of schedules for this instance anyway).

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I'm on the edge about this.

Yes, adds realism and ambience stuff. Yes, it'd be cool to spy someone who goes here and there.

 

But in a few recent games it's been done (fallout NV) it was actually pretty annoying.

Need to find this somebody? Well he's walking around somewhere around the city, good luck with that.

Guess it'd be reasonable to find him in his home, but he only comes in at 9pm and locks the door right away.

 

To do it right, you'd need all kinds of mechanisms. Knocking on doors, banging and yelling on doors.

Asking people "have you seen xx?". Sending notes requesting a meeting.

Waiting around with "pass time until xx is seen" triggers.

 

Would be nice, possibly. Not sure if it'd be worth the effort,

much depends on how much time we're going to be spending hanging about in the cities.

What kind of quests will be in the game.

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