Does a sandbox survival roguelike work with an episodic format? Seems like an episodic structure wouldn't jive with the long-term survival/sandbox aspects
I’ve been thinking about it for months now. It is true that such a concept became rare these years. I think, if you focus on the procedural map and level design, to stay reasonable, it will work.
Do you remember the universe generation and “quests” of Starflight? Rogue, rogue-like and classic RPGs are quite close, actually. The question is how procedural should a quest engine be. Our “story engine” has two sides.
a) I’d like to start rather basic — with randomly placed scripted quests. I’d like to bind important scripted quest lines into a string of 4-5 quests, for instance, randomly placed. Imagine a village quest 2km close to that village. As the “scripted storyline” is optional, feel free to skip it, but it tells you something about the first planet. In fact, the scripted storyline is about the first planet, so far, except for a uber-major storyline of your character which is independent of other quests and planets.
b) The AI game master/meta engine, which is influenced by Crusader Kings 2. I will show first mini prototypes within the next months, I think. Choose an ambition (personal quest) or the AI gives you one, to make your character less predictable. First ambitions will be rather like in CK2 and Sims, like: I’d like to eat something new; or: I need a friend, or: Someone needs your help, or: Remember that guy over there? I hate him, or: That village makes me angry, I’d like to kill everyone. If you do not fulfill an ambition, you might get a serious depression for 1 week (see pre alpha for the first mood/disease system). Actually, in the current tech demo you die BECAUSE of the moods/traits as some traits lower your health if you do not take care of them. Moods and traits like “injured”, “sick”, “stressed”, “hungry” or “thirsty”. b) will choose some basic a) quests randomly. And, CK2 is fun in the long term, without a script.
As I have 10+ years of pro engineer experience, plus 10+ years xp as a kid game coder xD, I think, it should be a pragmatic and reasonable gamble.
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- mutagen4 said: Although I’m not 100% confident on the use of “episodic,” Fallout feels like it’s worth mentioning.
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