Dynamic Events (Focusing on a Flood event as an example)

Started by imacds, October 06, 2013, 01:51:03 AM

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This was originally a reply, a clarification of what I interpreted Semmy's idea to be ( http://ludeon.com/forums/index.php?topic=108.0 ), but I ended up elaborating to the point where I decided to make my own post. So here is my ideah:
     Events should be dynamic and have dynamic consequences. I mean that events should have a lot of variables in what happens (magnitude, optional occurrences) and what effect they have. I will demonstrate this system by describing a hypothetical "flood" event.
     The flood starts as normal rain. Every time it rains, there is a chance that it will rain abnormally long and cause a flood (probabilities can be impacted by other things like what part of the cycle it is).
     If a flood decides to happen, then there are other possibilities. The flood has different stages of intensity (amount of which varies from flood to flood), each of which may or may not have different answers to the following questions. Is the flood going to be a wave that passes by and leaves or a rise in water levels that may last for a while. Is it going to be strong enough to drag away and drown people or just to annoy them and impede movement. Are the crops going to outgrow their farms and give you a huge yield or will they be washed away?
     After the water recedes/drains away, the terrain could be effected positively or negatively (mud sinkholes vs. new very fertile land). If it was strong enough, it might have washed away a lot of the wildlife of the map, allowing new animals to immigrate but leaving you with a temporarily desolate land. Maybe new animals, or even parts of a pirate outpost/ship have been washed onto the map by the flood, giving you new things to explore.
     This event could then impact the probabilities of future events. It might reduce the chance of a drought for a cycle, but then increase it for the cycle that follows.
     The probabilities of every aspect of such a dynamic event system will obviously depend on the storyteller. A "Creative" storyteller would have all events turned off. Casual mode will probably have negative flood effects turned off. Normal mode could increase the chance of a dangerous flood as the game progresses to a limit. Random mode could have it set to a flat chance (maybe even a random chance?).
     This would make the game a lot more suspenseful and fun. Instead of getting an annoying message, "U r gonna get fl00d3d agin; hid ur kidz et wifes liek last tiem", or "all ur plantz dieded rand0mly l0l"(a real example from the "press release" game) there can be more immersive storytelling. Events, although all known categorically, will have their own, possibly even unique and personal, impact on your story. Filling the game with dynamic events (flood, volcano eruption, tornado, earthquake, disease, raid, assault, siege, thunderstorm, forgotten beasts are all examples that could have, as stated before, different magnitudes, phases, and optional additions) will assure that each play-through is unique enough for "infinite" replay value.
     My point is to, instead of having "small flood" as an event and "big flood" as a completely separate event, have a single "flood" event which includes all ranges and types of floods, allowing each flood one has to be different in its own way.
     Criticisms, comments, and questions are desired. :D


Sounds interesting, I like how the events can either be negative or positive depending on how it's simulated, it realy fits into the Rimworld vibe.


Agreed. The important thing about Rimworld for me is that the same events can be either good or bad, otherwise the game rapidly becomes about overcoming wave after wave of adversity. On the other hand that's a lot of work to accomplish from a designer's PoV.