Friday Update #245

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Friday Update #245

Unread postby Golden Girl » Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:12 am

This week, we’ve been continuing with our design work on the presentation of the game world and how players fit into it, as making a game – especially an MMO - that’s based on the traditional type of comic book setting has some huge advantages over other genres and settings when it comes to the basic structure of narratives and protagonist interactions.

As an example, the classic fantasy genre that provides so much inspiration for so many games takes its basic world and narrative structure from two main sources – Robert E. Howard’s ‘Conan the Barbarian’ stories, with a lone hero wandering wherever fortune takes him, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’, with its group based quest to save the world.
In both cases, the protagonists are shown to be exceptional in some way, and to stand out from the world, which is filled with a cast of background supporting characters.
This translates very well into single player games, but it’s stretched beyond breaking point in MMOs where the concept of the exceptional nature of the protagonists collapses into absurdity through the sheer number of exceptional protagonists all running around the world together.

However, in a traditional comic book setting, the basic world and narrative structure is based entirely around the concept of a huge cast of exceptional protagonists existing together in the same world and their paths crossing from time to time, so even if they mostly appear in their own solo series, or work as a duo, trio, quartet or more, the stories are still written and presented as part of a vast universe filled with a gigantic cast of other exceptional protagonists, making the traditional comic books arguably the best possible genre to create an MMO from in terms of world and narrative structure.


Have a heroic/villainous weekend!

The Heroes and Villains team
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Re: Friday Update #245

Unread postby Blaze Rocker » Sat Aug 12, 2017 4:21 am

Your talk of "protagonist interactions" got me thinking, specifically about player-characters interacting with their contacts.

In H&V do you plan to include at least one separate/different dialog for when a "regular contact" speaks to a player-character that is teamed up instead of just having them speak, generically, as if the player is solo? Although it was never an immersion-breaking issue in CoH I always felt it was a missed opportunity to display a more thoughtful/attentive side to otherwise static contacts.
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Re: Friday Update #245

Unread postby bcloaded » Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:48 pm

Blaze Rocker wrote:Your talk of "protagonist interactions" got me thinking, specifically about player-characters interacting with their contacts.

In H&V do you plan to include at least one separate/different dialog for when a "regular contact" speaks to a player-character that is teamed up instead of just having them speak, generically, as if the player is solo? Although it was never an immersion-breaking issue in CoH I always felt it was a missed opportunity to display a more thoughtful/attentive side to otherwise static contacts.



I think I get what you're saying. DC Universe Online does a fairly good job in some instances at making it seem like the player isn't by themselves or being addressed as if they are the next Superman but instead as if they are just another exobit fueled superhero but an exceptional one stronger than the rest- if that makes sense.
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Re: Friday Update #245

Unread postby Blaze Rocker » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:20 pm

bcloaded wrote:
Blaze Rocker wrote:Your talk of "protagonist interactions" got me thinking, specifically about player-characters interacting with their contacts.

In H&V do you plan to include at least one separate/different dialog for when a "regular contact" speaks to a player-character that is teamed up instead of just having them speak, generically, as if the player is solo? Although it was never an immersion-breaking issue in CoH I always felt it was a missed opportunity to display a more thoughtful/attentive side to otherwise static contacts.


I think I get what you're saying. DC Universe Online does a fairly good job in some instances at making it seem like the player isn't by themselves or being addressed as if they are the next Superman but instead as if they are just another exobit fueled superhero but an exceptional one stronger than the rest- if that makes sense.

Your comment responded to both Golden Girl's post and my own at the same time. Although unusual, it did make sense.
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Re: Friday Update #245

Unread postby Golden Girl » Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:43 pm

Are you meaning the player being on a team being acknowledged by the NPC, or individual members of the team being acknowledged, even if they aren't the team leader and/or mission holder?
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Re: Friday Update #245

Unread postby Blaze Rocker » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:06 pm

Golden Girl wrote:Are you meaning the player being on a team being acknowledged by the NPC, or individual members of the team being acknowledged, even if they aren't the team leader and/or mission holder?

I'm referring to the team-leader.

::: Player-character (you) checks in with their mission contact and the mission contact speaks to the player-character (you) as if they are on a team. :::

Example
{solo} - "Glad to see you made it through that mess, Mad Crusher, but the job isn't done yet. I need you to check out the abandoned schoolbook depository for clues."
{in a group} - "Glad to see you made it through that mess, Mad Crusher, but the job isn't done yet. I need you and your team to check out the abandoned schoolbook depository for clues."

It is a subtle difference but it's something to think about.

Normally such a thing wouldn't make any significant difference at all but there is another possibility open for its inclusion if you were interested. Typically, an active team stays together on one big mission map but what if a team, of say 6-8, needed to split up to cover two objectives simultaneously on entirely different mission maps. Adjusted dialogue, and possible mission story-arc structure would need to be different for such a thing to work.
It's just an idea I came up with and I'm not pushing for it. It is just something that would further set things apart from CoH while not being too different from the standard mission structure that former players already know.
- That's my view anyway. Use it if you like it, ignore it if you don't.
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Re: Friday Update #245

Unread postby Golden Girl » Mon Aug 14, 2017 7:42 pm

Well, CoH already did that for Task Forces, so extending that to normal missions wouldn't be a major change.
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Re: Friday Update #245

Unread postby Blaze Rocker » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:31 pm

Cool.
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