Subversion Development - Any Suggestions Etc...

It's all in your head

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Headless Monkey Boy
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NPC's Again

Postby Headless Monkey Boy » Sat Aug 07, 2010 11:49 pm

Dear
Xander (writing this in the sincere hope beta testing hasn't started ;-) )

If you read my post carefully i'm far from suggesting realism (certainly not to the point of encroaching the uncanny valley), in fact i think realistic npc's would ruin the carefully crafted atheistic, which was why i suggested a sort of "illustrated" outline that every one could recognise from stuff you see anyway. Just a more semantic progression of what we can see so far.

Also my assumption that your meant to care was more of a suggestion (this is the correct forum for such things), principally i would argue that caring is up to the player. However I'd imagine that you are, given introversion past releases. For example Defcon gave a cold statistic about the millions who died which could either give sombre mood or make you grin manically, the unemotional bluntness increasing the effect. Darwinians as you know hold a great emotional connection with many players. For me i think its the way they scream, i'm not even sure they do or if its part of the music (or maybe i need professional help). In Uplink (the spiritual precursor to subversion remember) in addition to news reports on hacker activity Showing you make an impact on the world your in, they also included real photos in data bases.

My point is i believe (stressing the opinion thing here) that the more emotional investment a player has the more complex the players relationship to the game, and the more variety in gameplay styles can be found, even if it means you loose.

On the face of it, Darwinians are just cannon fodder or pawns, but wanting to protect them when they need to be sacrificed can make or break a success.
In Defcon it can almost be a challenge to your character, a voice in the back of you head "3,653,464 people died (YOU DID THIS!)"
In upink you can completely drain someones account out of spite or take what you need (there are plenty of accounts) doing this makes little difference to the game itself but extends the fantasy.

Many people i'm sure just play a game to win and get to the end but having an emotional investment can extend the immersion and allows the player to choose how to play. Its nice to have a choice, its even better when you don't even realise you've made it and its especially nice when it makes you reflect on it.

I hope this elaborates the motivation for my post.

HMB
Jordy...
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Postby Jordy... » Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:54 am

ROFL, Oh Boy, you do not wanna know in which snake pit you just tumbled yourself^^... talking with a superior air like that haha, I better grab some beers and call the rest of the community down^^>..
Headless Monkey Boy
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superior air?

Postby Headless Monkey Boy » Sun Aug 08, 2010 1:11 am

Its a suggestion Forum, I made Made one. I elaborated why i made it and the thinking behind it. Abuse is welcome but for Petes sake pm it or put it in another forum topic.
Jordy...
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Postby Jordy... » Sun Aug 08, 2010 1:16 am

Don't worry, I won't abuse you, unless you thought that was abuse I was saying ^^, but usually, it's my experience at least, abuses aren't pm'ed on this forums, but are posted in whichever topic it refers too...

And don't worry, I probably scared the crows away, cause they don't want my predictions to become true XD, anyways, have fun on the forums, thanks for your suggestions, and cya around.
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Postby E_rac » Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:36 pm

Ignore Jordy. He's just a spambot.

I agree that the characters need to be a bit more human.
The only video games that have ever really invoked joy for me are all of IVs games, and Team Fortress 2 (epic spy lives). This is because of style.
In Uplink you feel you are the hacker, and stealing $2000000 floods you with the joy of success.
In Darwinia, it was the feel that DGs are alive, and therefor a small force being successful without casualties gives the impression that you are a great commander.
In Defcon, me being evil, I love the cold realization that I just slaughtered millions of innocent humans.
In Multiwinia, it is the feel of dominating with my brother, where nothing can stand in our way.

In Subversion, boiling down to a much more advanced Uplink, you need that connection to the squad you control. In their current state, they are too inhuman to make that connection. Because of this effect, you could affect a players decisions by making the squad a bit more human, while leaving the npcs as they are, or vice-versa. This makes the npcs seem more or less human, making the player want to protect their squad more, or hurt npcs less. Changes like this are very powerful, and allow the player to identify their squad easier.

Making people too realistic causes uncanny valley, causing them to feel less real. If you make them human, but not realistic, you don't fall into the valley, and a connection is born.


Personal idea:
Embed a modified version of Uplink, allowing the player to mess with systems remotely. i.e. you plan a bank heist, then before moving in, you break in to the security system from your hideout, giving you access to all cameras, activate camera loops, unlock doors remotely, shut down the security system, and even block the phone lines. Then you walk in, no one can call the cops, and no alarm is raised.
Last edited by E_rac on Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
Jordy...
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Postby Jordy... » Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:42 pm

Hahaha, I'm called a spambot by a spambot, what more do you want lol
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Postby E_rac » Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:52 pm

I'm no spambot, I am another long time lurker, who had an account and lost it, and have watched you spam and flame since you were a fine shade of cyan.

On topic, here is another idea: Plant explosives in a bank, then send a threat, automatically detonating them at a set time if the requested money is not delivered, as long as they aren't defused.
Last edited by E_rac on Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
microchip08
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Postby microchip08 » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:07 pm

I recently picked up Enter the Matrix for 49p. The main game itself is "average", tending towards "poor", but an interesting feature was a small link on the main menu, labelled "Hacking". After selecting a previous (main game) save, the screen switches into a command-prompt interface, as shown below.

Image

Now, you start with two commands given to you, "help" and "exit", (and the manual simply states that you are"on your own"). Neither of those are useful to begin with -- so by trial and error, you might discover "dir", uncovering a drive full of more commands.

As you slowly see where the rabbit hole goes, you end up being able to, in a limited sense, drop guns and ammunition into levels in your save-game, as well as uncovering a relatively large computer network (including commentary), along the way solving mastermind-like puzzles, looking up passwords in careless text files, &c.

I'd love to see some kind of interaction like this in Subversion: from a blank screen that simply shows ">_", expanding to a way to influence your game (perhaps >reboot_ would give you time in which CCTV systems cut out whilst their system restarts?). It would be nice to look around at concept art or game design. Making a mistake could make the game harder, perhaps?

I'm not sure if this is already covered in Uplink's console, but this idea might bridge the gap between Uplink & Subversion -- or maybe ">play chess_" could, if Defcon was installed, quit Subversion & load up Defcon?
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Postby Jordy... » Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:56 pm

Ow, a Cyan fan are you huh? ^^... the beauty of those days are long gone, sry to disappoint you...
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Postby forces » Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:47 am

Every member of your team should have a "level of detection", that will raise if you use that member too often - people will remember his face. If the level of detection is high, people can call police only when they see a member of your team. If there are going to be car chases, level of detection should be even for your car. Level of detection is for the whole story-line and can be lowered by certain things - goggles, fake moustache, plastic surgery... For a car it would be easier - change of licence plate or paint job. It would prevent for using the same people in the mission.

If there would be a car chase when they would detect you, there should be more - arrival to the bank/place you want to infiltrate. And if someone will see a car/person with a big level of detection, you would be in trouble even before you'll get to the bank.

There should be also your base, where you would have stuff for infiltration placed, and if police will find a location of your base, they will make the same thing you make - they will try to get into your base and you will have to prevent them for doing that - you can choose the location of the base, you can make plans for your base, you can buy some motion sensors and other security systems.

At the beginning you would have just a small building, but in time, you'll buy bigger base. You could have multiple bases. Mission begins at a base and ends at a base too.

You will have the possibility to move to different town, witch would lower the level of detection, but will cost a lot of money, cause you need to build new base from scratch and clear all evidence from your old bases.
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Postby microchip08 » Thu Aug 12, 2010 6:58 pm

Jordy... wrote:Ow, a Cyan fan are you huh? ^^... the beauty of those days are long gone, sry to disappoint you...


That's the beauty of retro gaming.
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Ace Rimmer
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Postby Ace Rimmer » Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:47 pm

microchip08 wrote:I'm not sure if this is already covered in Uplink's console, but this idea might bridge the gap between Uplink & Subversion -- or maybe ">play chess_" could, if Defcon was installed, quit Subversion & load up Defcon?

I like your idea, but would change it...

Mini-games within a game are always great fun. In Tecmo Super Bowl, (American Football), at halftime you could at times play a mini-game of ice hockey (?) that only lasted a minute or two.

Perhaps have a shortened mini verision of a previous IV game.

Missle Command-esque Defcon inside Subversion (vs loading the actual game).

Or, things like:

Stumbling upon Darwinia and 'releasing' it's virus into the system you're hacking.
Doing the same with Multiwinia, but having the 'war' cause chaos in the system you're hacking.

Note: I have not read more than one or two posts in this forum, so ignore me if any of this has been suggested before.
Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast...
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Postby krskrft » Sun Aug 29, 2010 2:44 pm

Here are some ideas I can't seem to get off my mind ever since I heard about the Subversion project:

1. Everything seems to point to the fact that the in-game characters are "agents." So have them be part of a player-run agency. By which I mean, the agents can be hired from an underground job market, either for permanent work or on an as-needed basis. Agents with higher skill levels (or access to a wider variety of skills) would, of course, cost more to hire. This "underground job market" would operate in a manner similar to the secure chat you used to communicate with clients in Uplink. This underground market could also exchange in weaponry, equipment, etc.

2. Perhaps agents that stay on as permanent hires could be "leveled up" over time, either through a sort of training point system or just naturally while experiencing missions. Of course, this would also mean that they ask for more money in future contracts. There could also perhaps be several forms of compensation (standard cash salary, % of take, partnership in agency, etc).

3. If this "player-run agency" feature makes it into the game, include an element of business to it. In other words, make it such that the player has to consider operating on a budget. If you're still a small-time operator and you blow a big task, then you should feel that pinch (when the client withholds payment and leaves you with all the overhead costs for the mission). Perhaps there could be an underground market for loans, as well (similar to how Uplink allowed you to borrow credits). This is all to say that taking complex jobs shouldn't even be something you can consider at the beginning of the game, due to overhead costs, etc. This would be similar to how Uplink limited agents to less difficult tasks until they gained higher ranks. But perhaps in Subversion this limit shouldn't be artificially imposed. Maybe you can take tough jobs from the get-go, but they'd be nearly impossible to pull off.

4. There should be a distinct element of preparation required to make a task go right. No single type of task should ever become so routine or trivial that you feel you can essentially "go in blind." Perhaps there would be an intermediate point between taking a job from a client, and actually doing the job, where the client basically pays you a "retainer fee." You then use this retainer fee to cover preliminary work, such as casing the target, determining what you'll need in terms of equipment and personnel, and as partial overhead for those things if you decide to take on the mission. But, you could also, at this point, decide that the mission threatens to put you in too much over your head, and turn down the client. You'd keep the fee, but maybe take a hit in some other way (not sure ... maybe "agency reputation" or something?). It's an iffy idea, since it could potentially be abused for easy cash ... but the general idea of being "retained" in order to stakeout the mission seems cool to me.

5. The "agency" should take up a physical building space on the procedural city map. In the beginning, the player could start with a modicum of cash, and choose from a number of cheaper properties to set up his/her agency. This starting property would, of course, be rather tiny, and perhaps not very secure. Over time, as the player makes more money by doing jobs, he/she could upgrade to better properties on the city map. Such properties would be larger and capable of upgrading in a number of ways (security, vault space, weapon lockers, garage space--hey, who knows if vehicles will play a role!--etc). Also, at any given time, there should be a number of properties on the city map marked empty and for sale as "safe houses." Because good agents can't be expected to lead the cops back to their headquarters, right? These safe houses could also be upgradeable, perhaps in ways that make them less conspicuous, or more fitting as temporary command centers, you know, "just in case." One such upgrade could be a secure link between the safe house and the headquarters, making it possible to execute various functions remotely (such as a command to "tear down" the headquarters by setting off controlled explosions coupled with automated gasoline spray or something like that ... similar, again, to Uplink's feature that lets you destroy your gateway).

Phew. That's all for now!
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Postby krskrft » Mon Aug 30, 2010 1:45 pm

Also, if there's a story aspect to Subversion, which I assume there will be (even if it falls in the background, as in Uplink), please don't make it lead to a "game over" situation. I love the core idea (or at least what I believe the core idea to be!) of Subversion so much that I think I'll probably want to play it long after any scripted story elements are over.
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Postby harlequin » Wed Sep 01, 2010 2:37 pm

You could also think of the possibility to "defend" your HQ. While you check out companies, banks etc and steal money or information which you can sell for money, your "shadowcompany" growths. But while you gather more and more resources and fame, also you become the target of attacks from the shadow (not only the police if you do something wrong). You could build you own security HQ, arrange guards etc.
If too complex, you could also let the function which generates the NPC-Buildings do a "core" for the security system of the players HQ.
Therefor your hired Agents should have different stats for defending or infiltrating.

Like krskrft i would love to see some Agend-stat-leveling and coosing from different agends similair to jagged alliance, but with all these posts, i doubt you got the time to read them all. You got a mountain of work to do without reading our fanatic fan suggestions.

Im sorry for my english, but i hope you understand my strange little interpretation of the english language :).

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