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Thread: The Immersive Sim thread

  1. #51
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    dayz is looking at you

    to expand a little more dayz can totally be played as a single player experience, like you against the world, where this is a basic kinda story. Its when you add actual other players that the game becomes way more immersive.

  2. #52
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2001
    Location: Land of the crazy
    There's multiplayer and then there's multiplayer.

    It's pretty obvious how cooperative multiplayer can work, with a campaign that multiple players progress through together, with shared save games and the ability for players to join and leave the campaign while in progress. This is a solved problem if the number of players are few, you could basically copy what Nintendo did with the Mario games.

    But it's not obvious to me how to do competitive multiplayer without hurting immersion, because you're always aware that you're competing with other people in the real world, and the game is just a battleground. I don't know how I could get immersed in a game world full of e-sport trappings like guilds, clans, tournaments, rankings and stats.

  3. #53

  4. #54
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Thanks promo bot!

  5. #55
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Heh, I was thinking about posting about that one as well. Here's a video about its (quite meaty) demo.



    I played a bit of the demo recently and it's... interesting. There's a lot about this game that's very cool, like the way it looks and sounds, but somehow it didn't really grab me. I'm definitely still keeping an eye on it tho.

  6. #56
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2022

  7. #57
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here

    Judas - Imsim

    *citation needed

  8. #58
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror
    Seems weird that it took 10 years to create...BioShock?

  9. #59
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Levine said that he was experimenting with 'narrative LEGO' a long time ago, and I see no reason to believe this isn't it. I assume he felt the Bioshock base was a good starting point, or maybe it was a Bioshock sequel before he decided to scramble it like so many eggs. I'm really not sure what the actual idea is and if it'll turn out any different from Alpha Protocol or Mass Effect with their dozens to hundreds of variables tracking different branching points/outcomes, but we can definitely be assured of this: it'll be mediocre to play, interesting in concept, and with various issues in execution.

  10. #60
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Ken Levine only ever finished anything because he was told he had to.

  11. #61
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Has he ever elaborated on what "narrative legos" actually means? Or is it just a catchphrase?

    Isn't any game with branching or multiple storylines technically narrative legos?

  12. #62
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    That phrase connects with me ... in a negative way. My core experience playing Bioshock was that it was this endless series of set-pieces. It was an experience, but it wasn't an immersive one or one with a good gameplay flow to it. Or I guess you could say I thought there was too much set-piece and not enough flow.

    A lot of that feeling probably came from having had already been steeped in years of level-design thinking from Thief FMs by that point. Branching and fragmented storyline is fine, but you still need a core gameplay space where you can play the space itself in an open way. Bioshock had a cool world, and the space was laid out well for open FPS fighting, so it wasn't completely lacking, but it wasn't open in the way we'd all been raised to expect.

  13. #63
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Yakoob View Post
    Isn't any game with branching or multiple storylines technically narrative legos?
    Well, no, I don't think so. Branched storylines are still hard-connected to their previous plot points. To me, a narrative lego would be more like sidequests, tacked on ad hoc in different possible orders. Now, sidequests that can be done in arbitrary order isn't actually very interesting in itself, but forging little connections between them so they don't feel so disconnected would be a fun thing to work on, IMO. The problem, of course, is that the number of possible connections increases exponentially with the number of sidequests. I have some thoughts on how to make it linear, but I'm curious what approach Levine has taken, if indeed he's still trying to do that at all and didn't bounce off of it like most do.

  14. #64
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    When I hear "narrative legos", I think this:


  15. #65
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    Quote Originally Posted by demagogue View Post
    That phrase connects with me ... in a negative way. My core experience playing Bioshock was that it was this endless series of set-pieces. It was an experience, but it wasn't an immersive one or one with a good gameplay flow to it. Or I guess you could say I thought there was too much set-piece and not enough flow.

    .
    this so much, I only played Bioshock for the first time when it became available for free on epic. Started off cool, like yeh this is a lot like system shock, but after a few levels it got old real quick.

  16. #66
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    As for the term narrative legos itself, I wrote a little tutorial on plot writing for the Dark Mod wiki which had a section that covered something like that. The idea in my tutorial is that to plot out the story for a game, you take your story and separate it into so many nodes, then you spread the nodes out in the game world. So exploring the world is how you make progress with the story. It's spread out in space instead of time like a linear story.

    Then the idea is that you write each node such that you could come to them in different orders. In the end you still get the full story, but the different revelations should hit differently depending on what order you confront them. The point is you write each node knowing the player may have seen different subsets of the other nodes, and you write for that. That to me is the basic approach of narrative lego thinking.

  17. #67
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2022
    I think that narrative legos in Levine's sense is a concept of building your own story based on other factions and characters involved. I watched his presentation and he says for every faction there's a function of trust vs doubt. For example, player can do some deed. This would impact one faction positively, some faction would stay neutral and for other would make you an enemy.

  18. #68
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    thats is very cool. There is actually a series of fantasy novels written in the 80s that work very much like that, by Hugh Cook. Chronicles of an Age of Darkness, which sounds really pulpy, but they are the most amazing speculative fiction I have ever read, each novel is a stand alone but ties into all the other books depending on the order you read them in.

  19. #69
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Lady Rowena kind of did that for her FM characters. Every at least named NPC in her FMs had some connection to every other NPC, often a secret connection you'd read about from a diary or note somewhere, either drinking buddies or secret lovers or rivals or partners in crime. I was so inspired by that idea that I did it for my FM as well. Levine's concept sounds like that kind of idea at the faction level. I think that's a good way to make a really rich story in a compact space.

    ---

    Edit: Someone asked me by PM for some examples of both my tutorial approach (non-linear plotting) & this post's style of linking NPCs. I think it's best to reply here for everyone's benefit.

    The examples of non-linear plotting are any game that uses a hub and spokes model of design, where there's a hub, and you go down different spokes in different orders. System Shock 2 and Bioshock kind of technically had that structure, but not really in this way. Rowena's FMs--Rowena's Curse and 7 Sisters, and then Ominous Bequest, Calendra's Legacy, etc., those style of open FMs are the classic examples.

    I did it a little in my own FM, Patently Dangerous, where you could confront the murderer first and then discover all the wicked things he'd done later, Soren's diary and Dadmuddy's notes, or you could find out the wicked things and then confront him. I wrote all the readables so that it made sense if you did those three things in any order, but that's a tiny example.

    They also asked about FMs that link NPCs other than Rowena's, and the only example I can think of again is my own FM, where I created a readable linking every NPC to every other one, including especially a secret relationship (which Rowena always liked to do), and the NPCs all seeing each other or having opinions about or interactions with each other that they wrote about. It's a tiny example again. I'm sure there are other examples, but I can't think of any just now.
    Last edited by demagogue; 11th Dec 2022 at 21:18.

  20. #70
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Pyrian View Post
    Well, no, I don't think so. Branched storylines are still hard-connected to their previous plot points. To me, a narrative lego would be more like sidequests, tacked on ad hoc in different possible orders. Now, sidequests that can be done in arbitrary order isn't actually very interesting in itself, but forging little connections between them so they don't feel so disconnected would be a fun thing to work on, IMO. The problem, of course, is that the number of possible connections increases exponentially with the number of sidequests. I have some thoughts on how to make it linear, but I'm curious what approach Levine has taken, if indeed he's still trying to do that at all and didn't bounce off of it like most do.
    Ah fair, yeah the way you describe it fits the term better. But it still doesn't sound like anything we haven't seen before (like in, say, Fallout: NV), so I'm curious if he means more than that?

    Quote Originally Posted by weylfar View Post
    I think that narrative legos in Levine's sense is a concept of building your own story based on other factions and characters involved. I watched his presentation and he says for every faction there's a function of trust vs doubt. For example, player can do some deed. This would impact one faction positively, some faction would stay neutral and for other would make you an enemy.
    Hmm, isn't that just ... basically every RPG with factions, ever? Or am I misunderstanding?

    Fallout: New Vegas did that over a decade ago. I never played Tyranny and Fable, but from what I hear, wouldn't they also fall under this description?

  21. #71
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    Hey, Daggerfall did that back in 1996, even if it didn't do all that much.
    (That game had a huge web of factions who liked/hated each other, and doing quests for one would make the others hate you.)

    Also, a mod should probably all this Judas discussion to its own thread.

  22. #72
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    I think AI could be the next big narrative revolution. Imagine having actual emergent storylines or completely unpredictable NPCs who say and act differently based on tiny details in how you play the game. The ChatGPT thing is already getting scarily close to that.

    I think that's probably the closest we can get to the idea of "narrative legos" in its most literal definition. I think AI Dungeonmaster (or whatever it is called) has already been an attempt at that, but IIRC it was completely unstructured. I think it would be interesting to put some constraints, like a predetermined branching story/world but all the NPCs are entirely AI-driven.

  23. #73
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    • Added trailer for RetroSpace (previously "Unnamed sci-fi horror immersive sim by Bálint Bánk Varga.")
    • Added Escape To Outer Space

  24. #74
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    • Added Aquametsis

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