Author Topic: Brainstorming The Concept Of Controlling Multiple Characters  (Read 6488 times)

Offline x4000

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Brainstorming The Concept Of Controlling Multiple Characters
« on: November 29, 2011, 01:59:22 PM »
I have a radical idea (in which case this thread is perfect  :P)

How about increasing the amount of currently playable/controllable characters from just one to maybe three or five. So it would be sort of like a team (task force whatever you want to call it) This way you could remove the warp potion and have an option to set a particular character to "head home". They'll pathfind their way to exit the tile (or alternatively just vanish and reappear at the closest settlement after a certain period of time has passed) and then move from tile to tile until they reach the designated(or closest) settlement. In the mean time you can switch to another of your team and take care of another mission. You'll get a message when you're other character has arrived home at a settlement. This way you're jumping between missions (so it's like the "meanwhile" in a story) while you still get the concept of spending time heading home.

To be honest, I always wondered what it would be like to control more people at once in AVWW. That way it would seem more like there is a group of people doing scouts/discovering the world rather than one sole hero. It seems more natural to have a sort of task force.

I feel in my head that this would work....but I'm not typing it out that well. :S

It could be interesting, actually, in some ways would be a way to eliminate warping, change up some inventory stuff, and tie the macrogame even more heavily into the adventure parts.  It also significantly ups the complexity of the game, I think, which I'm less thrilled about.  It also does eliminate some of that "lone hero" feel, which is something I really love about the game (to my mind, Silent Hill and Zelda and similar are models of the lone hero that inspire this).

But... it's worth discussing, at least.
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Offline zebramatt

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Re: Brainstorming The Concept Of Controlling Multiple Characters
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2011, 02:15:43 PM »
I quite like it!

Star Wars: The Old Republic has some of this - you have a team of two in the field fighting at any one time but your actual group can be much bigger, with the background characters being able to go on crafting or shop runs, or perform sorts of mini-missions for you.

Offline x4000

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Re: Brainstorming The Concept Of Controlling Multiple Characters
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2011, 02:30:23 PM »
It reminds me a little bit of the party system in Final Fantasy X, too, or some of the stuff in Final Fantasy Tactics.  It's not identical to them, but it does have that sort of flavor.

This would require really a rather huge amount of new interface work to give your characters orders to go places in your absence, though, which I'm a lot less enthused about.   That sort of management in a world that is potentially infinite could get incredibly annoying.
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Offline Hearteater

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Re: Brainstorming The Concept Of Controlling Multiple Characters
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2011, 02:42:48 PM »
It would be very interesting.  Honestly I feel more like I am the glyph in AVWW than the characters I am controlling.

Offline Teal_Blue

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Re: Brainstorming The Concept Of Controlling Multiple Characters
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2011, 04:06:07 PM »
:)  I really like what Dizzard and the other players have proposed.  I don't know how complicated it could get in AVWW, but i wonder if there might be a way to 'copy' the code that lets us control one character, and have a switch between them, perhaps the alt key that cycles through all my available characters?


Offline Dizzard

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Re: Brainstorming The Concept Of Controlling Multiple Characters
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2011, 05:21:08 PM »
It reminds me a little bit of the party system in Final Fantasy X, too, or some of the stuff in Final Fantasy Tactics.  It's not identical to them, but it does have that sort of flavor.

This would require really a rather huge amount of new interface work to give your characters orders to go places in your absence, though, which I'm a lot less enthused about.   That sort of management in a world that is potentially infinite could get incredibly annoying.

Well as I mentioned above you could have some kind of timed warp on characters that are heading back to a settlement. Physically they're not actually travelling but based on how many tiles they are away from the nearest settlement (or their home settlement that they go back to) it'll take a different amount of time for them to reappear at the settlement. In the meantime you can be doing some other task with another member of the team.

Give the illusion of them heading home rather than actually having them path find their way home.

As for "lone hero" I'm not so sure. As a character exploring the wilderness sure but in the grand scheme of things not so much.

In Zelda there is only ever one link (with multiple lives) while AVWW can have a long line (or sort of lineage) of heroes. Plus your character has a civilization to think about...so in some ways they are not so alone.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2011, 05:23:30 PM by Dizzard »

Offline Bluddy

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Re: Brainstorming The Concept Of Controlling Multiple Characters
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2011, 05:47:45 PM »
Sounds like a cute idea but it inserts a lot of complexity with not that much reward. There's one thing I like about this though. From the sound of it, the travel system would be much more like Fallout. You mark you target and head out there.

The current feel of directly controlling your character as you effortlessly move over many tiles feels off. First, it gives you no sensation of actual travel in this vast world. The second problem is that you're able to skip over hostile sectors easily. If you planned out your destination and path instead, it would feel a lot more like travelling, and you could have random incidents where you're dragged into hostile sectors (or at least small maps representing conflicts) similar to the way it's done in Fallout.

This made me think of another idea. If you'd be willing to do Fallout style travel, you could just combine the strategic map with the travel map and have one strategy screen that represents everything about the map. Strategic options would be available on this screen based on where you currently are. This would be much simpler and clearer.

Offline FallingStar

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Re: Brainstorming The Concept Of Controlling Multiple Characters
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2011, 06:53:12 PM »
Mixed feelings.  Think it would feel more realistic and would be interesting in and of itself, could lead to more specialized characters.  On the other hand, I'd really hate to have to grind 3x more.   I'd just worry that it would either get to me having one well equipped character, but losing warp essentially, or having to do a lot of crafting so that everyone had a good weak/med/ strong spell + shields+ heals+ movement every 10 levels so that you're not outdoing your spell tier.

I suppose that it could lead to more specialized characters just out of that desire not to grind for each and every person on your team.  Or that some sort of centralized spell repository could be kept, and just limit what each person carried.  Hmmm dunno.

Offline nat_401

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Re: Brainstorming The Concept Of Controlling Multiple Characters
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2011, 11:52:03 PM »
I think small groups of characters could add a lot to the game, as content gets added and there are 100+ spells and traps to pick from it should be simple to equip a small group with different yet ballanced equipment loadouts. This could be interesting with restricted inventory slots, making you build up a group that can counter all of the different element resistances and terrain features. This would, in my opinion, give the player characters some life, each one bringing unique skills to the group instead of a one man army who can do all.

I also think that it suit's the game so much, its a harsh world out there, robots and magic and wild savage animals, it takes more to change this world than what can be achieved by one person at a time, and I dont like he Chosen One vibe at the moment, to me it doesnt suit a game with permadeath, this world will kill scores of young brave people, it doesnt need them to line up in single file and each be declared the one and only hope before nabbing them brutaly

Also I think groups fit in with the world since, well, its going to be multiplayer so there will be groups of people running around anyway.
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Offline superking

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Re: Brainstorming The Concept Of Controlling Multiple Characters
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2011, 12:12:11 AM »
I fail see how it would add anything except to development time. characters stats are nowhere near deviant nor specialised enough to merit a different character selection for each tile.

Offline Professor Paul1290

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Re: Brainstorming The Concept Of Controlling Multiple Characters
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2011, 12:51:16 AM »
I'm not sure how I feel about this.

I'm not sure I like the idea of having to outfit multiple characters and perhaps specializing them, I prefer having all my abilities or party members present so I can choose how I want to do things on the fly and change tactics when needed because I think it makes for more exciting play. I would prefer to have spells and other inventory be shared rather than tied specific characters, though I suppose that would defeat part of the point for some people.

On the other hand, I do like the idea of jumping between characters and tackling different areas and tasks. This could give overworld travel a better feel and reduce the need for warp.
Perhaps it may eventually lead to better ways to handle NPC orders like scouting and rescue. NPCs would actually travel to where you tell them to scout somewhere and perhaps you could have the option of taking control of them temporarily and entering a region right away if there's something interesting there that you think should be easy enough to get without having to bring in one of your primary characters.


Offline zebramatt

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Re: Brainstorming The Concept Of Controlling Multiple Characters
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2011, 02:20:20 AM »
Rather than having multiple characters, perhaps you could just have a pet to send off on crafting runs, etc.?

Offline Dizzard

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Re: Brainstorming The Concept Of Controlling Multiple Characters
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2011, 02:31:10 AM »
I'd really hate to have to grind 3x more.   

The civilization level covers all characters though, so really you're still only grinding one thing. The civilization.

characters stats are nowhere near deviant nor specialised enough to merit a different character selection for each tile.

That's something that could easily change though, I'd imagine if there were multiple playable characters added. There would be a lot of attempts to make it so they can have different roles.


Offline Olreich

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Re: Brainstorming The Concept Of Controlling Multiple Characters
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2011, 10:46:33 AM »
The civilization level covers all characters though, so really you're still only grinding one thing. The civilization.

If you have to get spells and armor for each of the characters, then you have to grind 3x more on the things that are hardest to grind right now, gem stones and special commodities. Having to load out 3 characters with these things every 10 levels would be massively annoying.

Offline x4000

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Re: Brainstorming The Concept Of Controlling Multiple Characters
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2011, 11:57:20 AM »
A few thoughts:

1. The problem isn't actually the travel time for sending these characters to places, it's the interface to actually do so.  You aren't just sending Joe Blow over to some specific region, you presumably want him to go into some sort of specific location in there if you've been there before.  That whole thing gets complex and messy, especially when you consider what is and is not in RAM at any given time on your local machine in solo or multiplayer play.

2. TBH, the only fallout I've played is Fallout 3, so I'm not familiar with their overland travel system.  In general my model for this was the Zelda 2 overland travel system, which I liked quite a bit.  Though many parts of that wound up getting lost here.

3. I agree, having to get 3X as much equipment every 10 levels would be a major drag.  Also, if you're able to get that many rare commodities you could really game the system by piling it all onto one Super Awesome character that you use to make boss fights trivial, etc.  All in all it becomes a balance nightmare.

4. Also this is wicked more complex to explain to new players, and as superking notes it adds a lot to dev time.  Doing this right would probably sidetrack me for a month at least, and I don't think it adds enough to really warrant that.


This is one I think I'm pretty much done with, at least for now, unless some major new idea crops up.  This was an interesting thing to think about and discuss, but I don't think it really fits with this game without a lot of core changes to the balance of the game and a lot of new interface bits.
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