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Author Topic: Ultima Ratio Regum - roguelike/Borges/Eco, v0.7 released!  (Read 273828 times)

FakerFangirl

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum - roguelike/Borges/Eco, v0.7 released!
« Reply #3090 on: July 03, 2017, 07:32:09 pm »

This is like, when one of your favourite mangas gets an anime serialization. Waiting for that 0.8 season before doing the marathon.  8)
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Isn't this planet breathtaking? ... While we bicker over race and religion and money -  a figment of our imagination that we're willing to kill for - while we bicker over all that, this poetic planet is still doing what it does best: Being Majestic

Ultima Ratio Regum

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum - roguelike/Borges/Eco, v0.7 released!
« Reply #3091 on: July 05, 2017, 02:24:25 am »

Good to hear from you again, I missed your big post about academia last week, so I'm glad to hear you're getting yourself back on track (and that the game is still included in that track!)

How are you seperating types of questions up? I can understand things like "what is the disposition of the army"  getting around on the grapevine that you're being nosy about them, but is there a level of low importance or personal questions this doesn't apply to? Surely asking for names a lot will just annoy or offend individual people if you ask repeatedly, not result in society at large refusing you their names, and the like.

Hey Dorsi - and many thanks :). So, yes, personal questions will not get around, "less important" questions will get around a bit, "important" questions a lot. This is something I need to code, either for 0.8 or 0.9, I'm not sure yet, but it'll basically mean splitting all possible questions into categories, and then using those categories to determine how rapidly (if at all) your line(s) of questioning spread across a society or a certain area.

This is like, when one of your favourite mangas gets an anime serialization. Waiting for that 0.8 season before doing the marathon.  8)

Hahaha. Good choice :).
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Dorsidwarf

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum - roguelike/Borges/Eco, v0.7 released!
« Reply #3092 on: July 05, 2017, 06:30:07 am »

Maybe consider having tags, or keywords attatched to them, like

"What is your name" - personal, common
"What is the disposition of your country's forces?" - location, authority, unusual, millitary
"where is the government of this location" - location, authority, directions
"What do you think of the government" - personal, unusual, authority
"What do [Religion X] worshippers think about the government?" - political, religion, dangerous, authority
 
that sort of thing, then build how they react behind the scenes so if you ask a lot of political questions people will get suspiscious if word gets about, asking "dangerous" tag questions a lot might bring interest from third parties if rumor gets about that you're asking them, and so on.


just a few thoughts, might not be worth it in the end!
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Ultima Ratio Regum

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum - roguelike/Borges/Eco, v0.7 released!
« Reply #3093 on: July 06, 2017, 11:03:46 am »

Maybe consider having tags, or keywords attatched to them, like

"What is your name" - personal, common
"What is the disposition of your country's forces?" - location, authority, unusual, millitary
"where is the government of this location" - location, authority, directions
"What do you think of the government" - personal, unusual, authority
"What do [Religion X] worshippers think about the government?" - political, religion, dangerous, authority
 
that sort of thing, then build how they react behind the scenes so if you ask a lot of political questions people will get suspiscious if word gets about, asking "dangerous" tag questions a lot might bring interest from third parties if rumor gets about that you're asking them, and so on.


just a few thoughts, might not be worth it in the end!

I have to be honest - this is *way* better than the technique I was going to deploy! And this could help things much clearer to the player, too, by grouping questions into these kinds of keyword categories and making clearer the link between the question and the potential for irrelevance/annoyance. Yeah, great concept - I'll be doing it this way!
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Novel Scoops

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum - roguelike/Borges/Eco, v0.7 released!
« Reply #3094 on: July 07, 2017, 01:05:24 am »

Maybe hide the dangerous tag. More fun if it slowly dawns on you that you sound like a seditionist.
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Dorsidwarf

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum - roguelike/Borges/Eco, v0.7 released!
« Reply #3095 on: July 07, 2017, 02:13:18 am »

Cheers, I came up with it while trying to think of how could you make it so that asking "how strong the army of Xlandia is compared to Ytopia" is denied if they're already refusing to answer "how large is the army of Xlandia" or "How strong do you think the Ytopians are" without just putting them into set categories
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Quote from: LW
One of these days we will succeed in deporting all Scandinavians back to Somalia
Quote from: LW
IOC isn't corrupt, their bribes are 100% legal
Quote from: LW's Guide to Politics
1. If polls tell you that you are winning, work on the assumption that you are losing.
2. Don't be smug.
3. Know who you are, know you you are facing, hear your critics

Ultima Ratio Regum

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum - roguelike/Borges/Eco, v0.7 released!
« Reply #3096 on: July 08, 2017, 01:24:23 pm »

Maybe hide the dangerous tag. More fun if it slowly dawns on you that you sound like a seditionist.

Heh. That's a thought!

Cheers, I came up with it while trying to think of how could you make it so that asking "how strong the army of Xlandia is compared to Ytopia" is denied if they're already refusing to answer "how large is the army of Xlandia" or "How strong do you think the Ytopians are" without just putting them into set categories

Yeah, it makes a lot of sense to me! (And I like the national names :))). I'll definitely sketch out this'll look next week...
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Ultima Ratio Regum

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum - roguelike/Borges/Eco, v0.7 released!
« Reply #3097 on: July 10, 2017, 02:45:30 pm »

Lots more progress this week! Still feels so great to be back into coding, and make solid and rapid progress on the conversation systems too; it’s striking how much can be done in a day when one really focuses. In keeping with our new method of rapid blog-entry-writing which is something akin to a changelog, here we go:

- Finished off all the possible “annoyed responses”, which fall into four categories, which I’m calling “general responses”, “class responses”, “default responses” and “special responses”. When you ask someone the same thing twice or thrice, they give increasingly annoyed or puzzled responses; then, when you ask again, one of these comes into play. 50% of the time when you ask someone the same question over and over, they’ll give a response similar to the responses they gave when you’d asked the same question twice or thrice, i.e. “why are you still asking me this?”, which will sound more or less annoyed depending on their mood (“general”).

- However, sometimes instead of a general response they will give a “class” response, which is a response tailored to their class. For instance, a ruler will specifically scold you for wasting their time; a torturer or a gladiator might make veiled threats about wasting their time; monks will express anxiety about the fact they aren’t getting on with their studies; and so forth. These give a nice little bit of flavour; roughly half of all the NPC classes have “class responses” of this sort when you get on their nerves, but they don’t always come into play. These will also later on appear when you ask irrelevant questions, as well repeated questions.

- Then, the other 50% of the time (when general/class responses are not triggered) the game will look to see if there is a special response for being annoyed about that particular topic, which might be annoyed after giving a positive response (the NPC answered you, yet you keep asking) or a negative response (the NPC didn’t answer you, yet you keep asking). Some questions have special responses for positive/negative original answers, others just for one. If one exists, it then picks one; for instance, if you asked an inquisitor about heresy, and they didn’t answer, and you repeatedly ask, they might say “At this point, I begin to find your fascination with heresy concerning…”, or if you asked them about nearby volcanoes, and they answered, and you keep asking, they might give a snide response like “I’ve said all I can – these things are hard to miss”. If a special response exists, it is chosen 75% of the time.

- Then, if there is no special response coded for the question and the specific positive/negative modifier in question, the game then goes for a “default response”. If they responded positively, they might say something like “I’ve told you everything I know about [topic]”, or if negatively, something like “I will not speak about [topic], can we move on?”. The [topic] in this case will be drawn from a large library of phrases, like “buildings”, “my health”, “my homeland”, “weapons”, “fighting”, “these tombs”, “noble houses”, or whatever makes sense for the topic.

- These also vary according to mood, so an NPC who still likes you after your constant questioning might say “What interests you so much about X” or “I’ve already told you about X”, whereas an NPC annoyed with you will give sharper “Why do you persist in asking about X” or “I have got nothing more to say to you about X”.

- What all of this means is that the responses of NPCs when you get on their nerves is tremendously varied according to their mood, their background, their NPC class, their origins, what you’re asking about, how many times you’ve asked them, a wide range of other factors. It would take a tremendously long time for anyone to come close to seeing all the possible annoyed responses in the general/ class/ default/ special response categories.

- Some questions being asked repeatedly cause a bigger mood drop than others. For example, if you ask about sensitive topics, they get miffed much faster; if you ask about particularly mild topics, there is now a small chance they will not lose 1 mood; in general, though, asking a question twice will, 90% of the time, cause mood to drop by 1 (for those who don’t recall, “mood” is on a nine-point scale, and if it drops to 2, there is a 33% chance they end the conversation; at 1 there is a 66% chance they end it; if it’s at 1 and should drop again, they will always end the conversation).

- Also, asking people from more hostile or more closed nations the same question over and over comes with a die-roll for an extra mood drop alongside the default “1”.

- What all of these points mean is that (in the extreme cases) asking someone from a friendly nation about a neutral topic will take a while to annoy them if you repeat the same query; asking someone from a much more hostile nation about their work as an inquisitor is going to tire them out extremely quickly; and all other interactions fall somewhere in the middle of that spectrum.

- Lastly, some NPC classes will always have their mood drop faster if you annoy them: this means rulers of various sorts, top-tier military officers, inquisitors, archivists… basically any high-rank NPC will get annoyed with you far more rapidly.

- I’ve also coded in what NPCs say when they want to leave a conversation with you; for now, this only happens if you ignore them. There are a wide range of default goodbyes that any class can potentially use, and some classes can only use because they don’t have special goodbyes. Other classes do have special goodbyes, where they will explain that they need to go and do X, or talk to Y, or handle Z, or otherwise that your inane blather is generally less important to them than whatever else they might be doing. They then conclude with a “goodbye”, “farewell”, or similar.

- Note that these are very different from the goodbyes you get from NPCs if you say goodbye first and they echo the goodbye; they will give you at least a reasonably nice response back, even if their mood value is getting quite low. These goodbyes only happen if the NPC decides on their own account to end the conversation because whatever the player is saying is too annoying/irrelevant/distracting to continue the conversation.

- On some goodbyes where appropriate, NPCs might mention the time, e.g. “Good day to you” or “I bid you good night”, etc, and the word used will be appropriate to the time of day, i.e. morning/day/evening/night.

- Also, of course, made sure illogical goodbyes cannot be said – for example, a prisoner will not say “I must attend to other matters now!” and then just go back to walking around their cell; whereas free NPCs might say that, a prisoner might instead say “This conversation has become too trying”, or “Your tedious questions have become too much”, or whatever.

- Added another 100 words/phrases that can be unpacked and spoken differently in each nation, and made sure they can conjugate all the other versions of the phrase sensibly; so “say” can be “say”, “utter” or “speak”, then “said” could be “said”, “uttered”, “spoke”, and “saying” can be “saying”, “uttering” or “speaking”, and so on and so forth. Also added new conjugations of existing phrases or words which hadn’t previously been put into the database.

Next week? I’ll be playtesting all of this stuff, and once that’s all working fine, working on some other aspect of conversations. As mentioned before, I am actually not trying to do everything needed for conversations per se for 0.8 – the “metaquestions” (“What do you think of [artwork]”, etc) are being omitted until 0.9 at least, for example – but just enough to get the release off the ground and let people explore the central elements of the conversation system. As well as playtesting these elements, I want to start going through all the questions you can ask people, and check those work – I’m sure there are some bugs or typos in there I haven’t spotted yet. I’m confident by the end of next week I can have all that done, after which I’ll start working on having things like “[god]” or “[nation]” or “[house]” or “[officertitle]” or whatever correctly appear in speech. Those are a complex set of variables which will have to draw on a lot of different parts of the game, and I don’t want to tackle that until everything here, and the standard Q&A, are all implemented. See you all next week!

Some of the new word variables/extensions, where the comments remind me which other conjugations also need to be covered:



The general words people will use when they ask things like “why are you still asking me about X”:



As you can tell, a large part of this week has been writing massive lists! At least next week it’ll be back to playing the game itself and seeing how things play, so hopefully some in-game screenshots will come your way next time…
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Innsmothe

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum - roguelike/Borges/Eco, v0.7 released!
« Reply #3098 on: July 10, 2017, 03:01:47 pm »

Just to let you know, I love you and those screens are sexy as all hell <3
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Retropunch

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum - roguelike/Borges/Eco, v0.7 released!
« Reply #3099 on: July 11, 2017, 11:29:39 am »

Very interesting and brilliant work as always!

What plans do you have for NPCs to initiate their own conversations? Will NPCs be able to walk up to you and initiate a conversation directly?

If they can initiate their own, what types will there be? There are obvious ones where you're caught somewhere you shouldn't be or enter an office/etc, but what about more general conversations?
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Ultima Ratio Regum

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum - roguelike/Borges/Eco, v0.7 released!
« Reply #3100 on: July 16, 2017, 01:07:10 pm »

Just to let you know, I love you and those screens are sexy as all hell <3

Hahaha. Thanks Innsmothe :).

Very interesting and brilliant work as always!

What plans do you have for NPCs to initiate their own conversations? Will NPCs be able to walk up to you and initiate a conversation directly?

If they can initiate their own, what types will there be? There are obvious ones where you're caught somewhere you shouldn't be or enter an office/etc, but what about more general conversations?

Thanks! Not in 0.8 (again, just trying to get the conversation system done in a... "detailed but basic" sense, then release), but yeah, that'll be possible; but I think rare, it's easy to see how it might get annoying. I might end up limiting it to certain NPCs or certain contexts, so if you're wandering around a shop for ages without buying anything, the merchant will try to strike up a conversation, or the same might happen if you're in a bank and you aren't actually speaking to the teller. That type of thing. And as you say, when you get caught where you shouldn't be! And maybe if you're in another nation and you've very clearly foreign, and from a nation they rarely see, people might strike up conversations with you; I would probably implement some time of hidden global timer, so people in that context will never talk to you more often than one in 1000 turns, and then once you hit the thousand turns since someone spoke to you mark, your chance is maybe x/1000 for a new conversation to start, where x is the turns since the thousandth turn; something like that?
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Ultima Ratio Regum

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum - roguelike/Borges/Eco, v0.7 released!
« Reply #3101 on: July 16, 2017, 01:11:15 pm »

I am pleased to report another productive week of coding for the books. Instead of playtesting everything I did last week, I decided to add another large body of new code, then playtest everything from the last three weeks next week instead. So, here’s the new code implemented this week:

- Most importantly we have three new elements that influence how NPCs respond to conversations: sensitive topics are “tagged” as such, NPCs are more or less inclined to respond to those sensitive topics, and they have three kinds of basic responses when explaining why they don’t want to respond to something you’ve said for personal reasons (as opposed to not knowing the information, which is factored in elsewhere, and isn’t a case of “not wanting to reply”, but rather “being unable to reply”).

- Every possible question now has what I’m loosely calling a “conversation tag”, which denotes whether it might be a sensitive topic on any of seven possible axes – “individual”, “political”, “national”, “religious”, “military”, “cultural”, “geographical”. Some of the questions will be potentially sensitive on more than one count. For example, if you ask about the politics of an NPC’s nation, that will naturally be flagged under both the “political” and “national”. Most questions have no tags, then it looks like around a third have one tag, and then a very small number have two tags or more; the most tags are questions asking people about the ideologies of their nation, which might be “political”, and “national”, and then “religious” or “cultural” or whichever other applies. What this means is that when you ask someone a question, it will check whether this is a sensitive topic, and the answer to that question will influence whether or not they are willing to give you an answer at all.

- Then the next part is inclinations – how inclined are people to tell you about potentially sensitive topics? Each NPC has a rating for religious topics, for political topics, and so forth, which varies hugely across NPC classes. This is on an internal scale of 0-4; at 0, they will rarely talk to you about a sensitive topic (of the sorts listed above), at 4 they will always talk to you (extremely rare: only national and religious leaders, and then one NPC class per category, will always tell you about X). All other classes are spread out along 1-3 (default “humans” are almost always on 0, or if not, they are on 1 instead). If you ask a non-sensitive question, whether or not they answer will be dependent on other factors (how much they like you, etc) – if you ask a sensitive question, it will check which conversation tags are listed for that question, and compare their rating.

- This might seem incredibly complex, so here’s an easy example. You ask someone about their religion. The game checks how inclined that NPC class is to talk about religious matters; a priest is very inclined, your average innkeep doesn’t have much time for religious matters, and so forth. An appropriate die is then rolled for the question; if successful (and other tests are passed, e.g. the NPC likes you enough), you get your answer. So what happens if they say they don’t want to talk about X?

- Well, I’ve split the “I don’t want to talk about X” into three categories, I’m calling “stupid”, “uninteresting” and “suspicious”, which are the reasons NPCs will give you for not wanting to give you a reply. The “stupid” option means that the NPC is baffled why you are asking them about that particular topic: for example, asking a monk about military matters, or a farmer about sculpture, or an officer about plant life, is likely to elicit this response. The “uninteresting” options is the default, and simply means the NPC doesn’t want to talk about it right now, for which they might give a bunch of reasons. The “suspicious” option means that the NPC refuses to talk on the topic, and is puzzled, concerned, worried, anxious, or most obviously suspicious about why you ask – this happens most often when happening about military matters, but can crop up for any conversation topic except the “cultural” ones.

- In some cases NPCs will give you a specific reason for not wanting to continue the conversation. If you asked about a religious topic, and they don’t want to reply, and they are from a particularly zealous nation, they might say something like “That knowledge is only for loyal followers of [god]”; or if you asked about a political topic, and they are from an isolationist nation, they might explain a dislike of talking to strangers about the politics of their homeland.

- So, a “I don’t want to reply” looks like the following. If “Uninteresting”, they say “[Sorry, I don’t want to talk about that]. [Cultural reason why not]”. If “Stupid”, they say “[Am I really the person you want to ask/I dislike that topic/why are you even asking this?]” (without cultural reason). If “Suspicious”, they say “[Cultural reason why I can’t answer. And why are you even asking?]”.

- I noticed very few questions have the “Cultural” tag – I’ll have to add some more in later versions.

So: these were the things that last week I wanted to get done this week, and they’ve been done. Very please with the week’s coding! You’ll also probably note there are a lot of elements going into how and whether NPCs reply to you. What is their mood? What culture are they from? What culture do they think you are from? What topic are you asking them about? How has the conversation previously played out? What NPC class are they? And if you’re thinking this is a lot… it is! But I think this is what goes into making a reasonably realistic, and hopefully gameplay-interesting, conversation system. When you “fail” to get a reply, for any of the above reasons, the “failure” messages are all being designed so that you know why you didn’t get a response. If the NPC didn’t reply because they don’t like you, because you’re asking about a sensitive topic, or because they dislike the nation you seem to be from, it should always be clear, and allow the player to learn what it takes to find people who are willing to talk to them, and to talk to them in an appropriate way to actually get an answer.

Next week: playtesting and screenshots!
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Novel Scoops

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum - roguelike/Borges/Eco, v0.7 released!
« Reply #3102 on: July 17, 2017, 07:02:56 am »

Damn, i missed these. Cheers
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Ultima Ratio Regum

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum - roguelike/Borges/Eco, v0.7 released!
« Reply #3103 on: July 17, 2017, 08:18:58 am »

Damn, i missed these. Cheers

Heh. Likewise :).
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Retropunch

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum - roguelike/Borges/Eco, v0.7 released!
« Reply #3104 on: July 17, 2017, 10:28:40 am »

Just to clarify, are these tags shown to players directly?

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