NPC Swearing

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NPC Swearing

Postby Talvi » Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:14 pm

What's our stance on NPCs swearing ingame, as well as vulgar language? Are we completely against it, or for it on the level of something like GTA, or something in-between? I'm asking because I'm writing up a library of phrases for NPCs to say.

Croxis and KnightVision suggested we come up with our own swear words, to start with, and I like that idea. Any other thoughts?
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Re: NPC Swearing

Postby SirAwesomelot » Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:56 pm

I still don't understand what function NPCs serve...
Are we just having them... to have them? That's a lot of effort to go to to make something that doesn't really matter to the design.
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Re: NPC Swearing

Postby croxis » Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:39 pm

NPC is a non player character. This includes both good guys and bad guys.

Feel free to split this topic mods.

That depends on the state of the game universe and what level of simulation wanted, as well as how "even" of an experience between sp/small servers and large servers.

So far I have only seen one agreed meta-design framework: The game design should foster and increase the relationship between the player and their ship. We need more of these meta-framework values to cover this so I am going to propose a second meta-framework value: The single player, small multiplayer, and large multiplayer experience should be fairly equitable (or, the player will have most of the same gameplay opportunities and styles in all three situations in a vanilla game at the standard setting).

This is a branching decision making process too with further consequences beyond npcs.


First, is the game universe empty (KSP) where everything and anything is created by the player? Then it is empty and no npcs is needed.

Is the game universe empty of friendlies, but have bad guys the player can fight? Then we need npcs for AI/behavior to give the players something to fight.
Does the game universe have friendlies and bad guys? Then we need npcs.

Do we want to allow players to be pirates? There needs to be npcs to give a player something to raid?
Do we want players to be able to sell or buy goods? We need npcs.
Do we want players to be able to play a hauling dude and dodging pirates? We need npcs.
Do we want an active somewhat realistic, simulated economy (egosoft games, eve online)? Then we need npcs.


NPCs serve a very important function -- creating a living universe. They help give meaning and purpose to the player.
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Re: NPC Swearing

Postby Talvi » Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:44 pm

From IRC chat:

DarkSpartan Now, what I need you to do is write a few incidental encounters. Things people might say if you stopped them and said "hello" in the street.
DarkSpartan Anything from two to twenty words each.
Talvieno All right, I can do that.
DarkSpartan Wide range of emotions, states of mind, and so forth.
Talvieno Need them to be completely generic, or should I group them with personality tags?
Talvieno Nevermind, already answered.
DarkSpartan They're going into a flat file to be called when a Player buttonholes someone passing by
DarkSpartan No, they don't need to be sorted.
DarkSpartan The random NPCs aren't gong to be that detailed.
Talvieno I could sort them anyway, just in case... that data can be discarded later, but it wouldn't hurt overmuch to have it just in case we wanted it at some point. It'll be a lot quicker now than later.
DarkSpartan Although if you want to sort them by gender combination, that might help
Talvieno *nods* easily done.
DarkSpartan Because a woman approached at random by a burly-looking spaceman is going to react differently than if the roles were reversed
Talvieno Lol, exactly my thoughts.
DarkSpartan Gender is a field in their data, but attitude problems aren't, at least not now
Talvieno Nah, I meant things like...
Talvieno Making it so the NPC doesn't say "Hello, old chap" and "Yo, what you lookin' at" within five minutes of each other.
DarkSpartan These NPCs for the most part will be on the move, and their data is set as far as what they might say when addressed.
DarkSpartan So you wouldn't get that scenario much, or at all
Talvieno Hmm, true. I was thinking immobile NPCs, but I do like the idea of having them mobile.
Talvieno I'm guessing this also means they'll be indistinguishable from one another?
DarkSpartan I do more than half-expect several iterations of "fuck off"
Talvieno Besides gender.
Talvieno Lol, no worries. I've done this several times before, actually - I should be able to get you somewhere between 250 and 500.
DarkSpartan There'll be various looks, but nothing super-fancy
Talvieno NPCs and AI are something I've always had a thing for.
Talvieno ... not like that.
DarkSpartan The only real data apart from which model bits will be used is gender.
DarkSpartan And name.
DarkSpartan Feed the thing a couple of baby books with some last names
Talvieno I think I have a list somewhere.
Talvieno Oh, and if you want, I could generate an alien language for our aliens - I wrote a language generator a while back... You put in 5-15 words and it builds a themed language from them. Sound useful to you?
Talvieno It wouldn't have much application besides some randomly-generated "sentences" for angry aliens - just throwing together words from a list - but it's better than aliens speaking English... or whatever language the player speaks.
DarkSpartan That may come in handy.
Talvieno It's at your disposal when you need it.
Talvieno I'll get to work on those lists in the meantime.


That's all I know.
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Re: NPC Swearing

Postby SirAwesomelot » Sun Sep 29, 2013 11:48 pm

Huh. Right on.
Well, as far as giving the universe life, that's a fair point. There is certainly a lot of emergent gameplay that could come out of NPCs, what with trading and piracy and all that. It's just worth considering how much work they are to make properly.

Making up swear words sounds like a fun idea. Any clue if voice acting is planned? I'm not sure I'd be confident in that idea.I feel like it'd sound pretty canned pretty fast.
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Re: NPC Swearing

Postby Pseudonym » Mon Sep 30, 2013 12:14 am

Talvi wrote:What's our stance on NPCs swearing ingame, as well as vulgar language? Are we completely against it, or for it on the level of something like GTA, or something in-between? I'm asking because I'm writing up a library of phrases for NPCs to say.

Though I wouldn't call it a "requirement", a "nice to have" would be the ability to run a server that's rated for the 13-18 or age range. (Rationale: Minecraft is very popular with that particular cohort.)

Coming up with our own swear words furthers that goal, especially if we don't explain what the words mean.
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Re: NPC Swearing

Postby Talvi » Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:25 am

I'm not sure 13-year-olds would be an appropriate target, given that programming is a pretty core part of Trillek. That said, your point is very valid, and noted... Coming up with our own swear words sounds like it's a go, given the opinions stated thus far. If you guys want to help out, be my guest. Swear words sounds more like it's more of a community thing than writers-only.
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Re: NPC Swearing

Postby adam » Mon Sep 30, 2013 3:00 pm

I agree completely. I would rather play the bad game with them and explain why it is bad to my kids instead of them going behind my back and learning the bad things.
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Re: NPC Swearing

Postby Talvi » Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:51 pm

Lol, very much what you guys said. I don't really want us to have to take things out of the game just to be able to reach a younger audience. Minecraft is successful largely because kids can play it even down to the age of six, but that's because it's simple... The game we're making isn't supposed to be simple at all, and to reach an audience that young, we'd have to oversimplify it far past what we're willing to do... I don't think any of us are wanting a game that's quite as casual as Minecraft.
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Re: NPC Swearing

Postby croxis » Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:12 pm

On the other hand swearing doesn't make something adult, something that many teenagers and young 20 somethings don't quite get (I'm looking at you Miley Cyrus). For some of us old farts excessive swearing makes something look juvenile. Also everyone has different thresholds of vulgar language. I think made up swearing and slang is a decent compromise -- also simulates how language changes with time :P
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