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February 16th, 2017

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04:41 pm - Work Post
1:53pm - Well things haven't gone very well for me this afternoon. I was writhing in self loathing in bed earlier and when I finally managed to get up and come out to the McDonalds to work, I seem to have forgotten my mouse. I don't know how I'd forget that since it's the only piece of kit I put in the particular pouch in my backpack, and it's not there, so why did I close it before I left?

I even took a second look in my room before I left the apartment because I was worried I'd forget my gamepad and I didn't see my mouse where it must still be sitting on the desk. Geez.

Anyways that means I won't be assembling any scenes in Unity or Blender but I at least have my touchpad and my gamepad for when I want to take a break.

It's also lucky that my next step is a step back so I probably wouldn't have been using Unity or Blender anyways, I'm just going to be thinking about the design of my game. So, let's get started with that.

The game I originally wanted to make was a pioneering sim where you, the player, come to the New World and find your place there, performing a trade, hunting, staking your claim and mining, or even becoming the leader of a settlement. I wanted NPC interaction to be very complex, with detailed behavior and AI. People you could relate to.

Then I started thinking I could make the wilderness exploration into a sort of dungeon exploration game and make it only tangentally connected to an Animal Crossing like village sim, but with better villagers and a town you could build up with resources from the dungeon game. So, you could play the dungeon game anytime you wanted, but the village would progress at it's own, real time rate.

Then I got a space bug up my butt and wanted to make the game set in the posthuman future, and I got this idea of setting it on a massive space habitat that had gone rogue, but had been reclaimed and you were settling it as posthuman pioneers. But the more I thought about that the less sensible it became.

Now I'm thinking of putting the whole thing on an alien planet or something, but I'm trying not to think too much about the themeing, because I was frustrated how far away I was getting from the design of my game to make it fit the theme and setting.

So, in talking with my friends I decided that the best thing to do would be to start with making the animal crossing but better village sim, and then make the dungeon/wilderness exploration game seperately and tack them together later during development.

2:20pm - Huh, someone just came into the little area of the McDonalds I use and took up all three remaining power outlets. I'm not sure what for. Recharging personal devices I guess. The one next to me I have no idea what it is. The funny thing is she's going to read a book while all her stuff charges. I think she might have someone with her getting the food, I hope so since she didn't pick up anything before sitting down. Heh. Anyways I worry too much about other people. At least she didn't unplug my laptop or something stupid like that.

Now back to my game.

In talking with the people on Reddit who replied to my Animal Crossing Like Games post, I realized I had a very fuzzy idea of what 'Animal Crossing but Better' actually means. How do I want the villagers to be more realistic? In what ways do I want them to behave, and what do I want them to talk about when they have better conversations?

One person asked if the player would be able to date the villagers, and I hadn't even thought of that, but it seems so basic. I want the player to form relationships with the NPCs that will differ depending on how the player treats the NPC and who the NPC is. Like Animal Crossing I intend to have a wide variety of characters with unique traits, but only so many basic personality types. I haven't even begun categorizing them though, and that can come later. But I should probably focus on developing one or two types of relationship for villagers to have with the player and eachother.

Now, I don't want the villagers trying to kill oneanother, but they should be able to have negative relationships as well as positive ones. That said, if everyone in town hates them they might move away...

Anyways I think this is a good idea to be my first focus for game development. I'll make some capsule characters who can talk to eachother and develop relationships based on their personalities.

2:30pm - Without my mouse I won't be able to dive into Unity and start coding up a prototype, but I can at least try to come up with some ideas for NPC interaction.

I think the first relationships should be something like this:

Stranger: For someone you haven't met

Aquaintance: For someone you've met and like

Friend: For someone you like and you're close to

Annoyance: For someone you've met and don't like

Rival: For someone you don't like and you're close to

With those five relationships, the player and NPCs will be able to have simple ideas of who they do and don't like, but it's lacking a lot, like motivations for why they like or don't like someone, or relationships that are strained or grown cold from lack of interaction. Friend is also really vague. How close are you at that level? Will they trust you with their deepest secrets?

So how do we get into a relationship with someone? We interact with them. There are two kinds of interaction, direct and indirect. Indirect interaction is something like observation. You see someone do something, or hear a rumor about them, and that changes your view of them. Direct interaction is pretty much just conversation.

I figure there's two kinds of conversation, business and pleasure. Business conversations are where you're talking to someone for a clear purpose, usually relating to your job or their job. Like buying an apple from a merchant. You might just be polite, neutral, or rude to them, but you might also strike up a short conversation about a topic. Pleasure conversations are interactions with people for the purpose of filling your social needs bar... Or something like that. They're being social for the sake of building relationships and getting to know another person.

I suppose I'm going to be taking some queues from The Sims but hopefully my villagers will be smarter and more independant than those guys...

3:00pm - I'm already feeling the need for a break. It's surprisingly hard to think about things like this without my brain going running off on a tangent.

4:17pm - I spent most of the last hour reading This Article on a Toronto Prison that was supposed to be a modern super prison but failed in every way.

4:33pm - Then I took my time reading an article about the Vancouver GLBT community fighting with Black Lives Matter. Things with Black Lives Matter has gotten pretty bad. Black Lives Matter Toronto has this openly white supremist woman as one of the co-founders and she's still helping run the organization. The fact that she hasn't been kicked out and denounced by the BLM Toronto group suggests that they're all at least tolerant of her beliefs, or like as not, they agree with her quietly. That the main BLM group hasn't denounced BLM Toronto further suggests the whole Black Lives Matter organization has been tainted by hate, racism, and black supremacy. :/

I've heard similar things about the organizers of the Women's March on Washington and the Women's General Strike scheduled for International Women's Day.

It's very depressing and troubling.

4:40pm - Oh, it's getting close to five. I'd better head home before it gets dark. I don't think I'm going to make any more progress on my game design today.

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