NPC: Schedule, ambience dialogue and activity descriptions

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NPC: Schedule, ambience dialogue and activity descriptions

Postby youngneil1 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:13 pm

It would be wonderful if NPC could be more than static questgivers (i.e. dialogue triggers standing in one place all the time), but:

- actually be able to move around (on ways scripted according to the time of day and possibly further parameters, like certain campaign events / quest stages; we would not need an actual NPC AI and pathfinding here to keep things simple right now; predetermined paths would be fine already; branching movmenent paths, perhaps split by random rolls, would be cool for variance sake though)

- could lead dialogues outside the "main player with NPC dialogue boxes": They could talk to each other and/or to themselves, commenting on weather, recent events or just snozzzzze, when being on a field with a bed at night. The question I ask myself here is where such ambience dialogue would be displayed onscreen. Ideally there could be some kind of chat bubble above the NPC or in the near of him, having some pointy ending like in a comic book indicating to which NPC the dialogue belongs to. Problem might be onscreen clutter with such dialogues, hiding the landscape underneath too much. Transparent boxes or even just bold letters with contrasting borders (e.g. white letters, black border around letters) would help a bit here to make it less invasive than boxes with non-tranparent background around the chat text. Additionally there could be a hotkey turning these "chat bubbles" on and off. Or perhaps they would only appear over the head of an NPC on mouse over on that NPC. Finally they could all just appear in one message box in a fixed interface position, scrolling through like combat hit/damage texts - I would like this the least for it would be hard to notice these and especially sort out which NPC on screen just said what. Funny thing might be that there could be a hearing range for these chat texts implemented, like from 5 squqres away or soemthing, haht migth be different than LoS range. Perhaps we could hear them talk before we see them, in the night or if they are around a corner?

- the same sytem desribed above for chat texts/ambient dialogue could be used for NPC "activity descriptions": These could be indicated by bracekts, like []. Imagine a farmer chatt bubble: "Damn, it's hot today [Ploughs the field]." We would just see some brown guy in rags (well if drawn by me we would see soemthing brwon and vaguley humanoid, but hey!) on a perhaps rather yellow, streaky square - but in conncetion with that chat bubble one might really conjure an image in the head of the player of a sweating farmer, working hard on the soil.
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