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Author Topic: Giving Pilots Character  (Read 3228 times)

hairrorist

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Giving Pilots Character
« on: January 18, 2012, 06:23:59 PM »

One of my favorite games of all time is Crusader Kings by Paradox, and how easy natural storytelling comes out of randomly generated traits that a character accrues over their lifespan.  The Total War series has some of this as well, with generals gaining various advisors and personality quirks.  Its awesome.  They can have very minute effects on actual gameplay, slight bonus here, slight malus there, extra this, extra that, etc, but the effect this kind of feature provides in a game is profound, and gives each general or ruler a unique storyline.

I realize that this is planned to some extent, mainly in the pilot AI... some will be brave, some will be cowards, cautious, tactical, etc.  But I'd like my pilots to gain personality traits like "Foul mouthed," "drunkard," "ladies man," etc.  Or gain friends similar to retinues in Total War--after trading at a station, X pilot picks up a smuggler.  Or a preacher.  Or a bounty hunter.  Or a wealthy paramour.  Or a hooker.... etc, and these characters stick with the pilot like traits providing similar minor malus and bonus effects.

This would make me really attached to certain crews and pilots as I'm forced to create a narrative through these randomly generated stats.

So how bout it Alex?  Something like this in the works already?
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Flare

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Re: Giving Pilots Character
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2012, 06:29:28 PM »

http://fractalsoftworks.com/2011/08/03/captain-personalities-fleet-control-update/

It's not quite what you're asking (since you're talking about actual traits not necessarily associated with combat), but it does offer a bit of information on the subject even if it's only cursory.

I'm pretty sure the player's character will have some traits to speak of, though I can't quite remember where I read it.
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hairrorist

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Re: Giving Pilots Character
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2012, 10:43:45 PM »

I'm talking about pilots developing a little more than AI switch toggles.  The way Paradox does it is that leaders with high intrigue are more likely to develop intrigue related traits and there's a list of several hundred different traits associated with each stat.  In gameplay terms its not much more than relabeling +X% modifiers and correlating certain traits to develop during certain gameplay moments--a serious defeat might make a pilot become cautious, cowardly, etc.  Making frequent 'shore leave' planetary stops for trading etc increase the likelihood of pilots becoming disorderly, picking up unsoavory characters, finding a spouse, etc.  It's more of a flavour suggestion than a gameplay suggestion.
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CommComms

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Re: Giving Pilots Character
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2012, 01:11:46 AM »

Hey, I like this idea!  Might not be too tremendously radical to somewhere down the line to implement something where certain achievements (or failures!) of a specific captain could trigger a % chance to gain a certain perk or something.

Some hypothetical examples:
(all numbers are for examples sake and not considered "balanced")
A ship shoots down 30 fighters in a single battle.  At the end of it the captain of that ship has a 25% chance to gain "point defense expert" perk that gives +5% point defense damage or accuracy or something.  Maybe have multiple levels of the perk.

A captain lands 50 killing blows to enemy ships that are frigate sized or larger, gains "experienced" perk that gives some +5% damage, shields, and armor.

a captain successfully retreats in 15 consecutive battles.  Gains "cowardly" trait, -5% damage, +10% speed while following retreat order.

Both the triggering conditions and specific bonuses/penalties of the perks could be far more interesting or esoteric than the things I've named, or even simpler.  But I think some sort of system like that could be pretty nifty.
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mendonca

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Re: Giving Pilots Character
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2012, 01:40:54 AM »

I also like the idea.

Could tie the perks back in to the real event for added flavour:

Cpt Ahab

Giant Killer
On 255.13.17, somewhere in the Mediosolar Expanse, in the ISS Pequod (Hyperion Class) Captain Ahab single handledly brought down HSS The White Whale (Onslaught Class).+5% damage against capital ships.

etc.
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hairrorist

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Re: Giving Pilots Character
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2012, 07:20:37 AM »

Yeah, CommComms that is exactly what I'm talking about.  Even if the bonus or malus effect was small, the amount of flavour it would add and stories it creates would be awesome!
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Kilvanya

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Re: Giving Pilots Character
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2012, 09:11:52 AM »

Endorsed by Kilvanyian Industries  ;D
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icepick37

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Re: Giving Pilots Character
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2012, 09:13:32 AM »

Okay, that does sound awesome, haha.
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floatercommander

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Re: Giving Pilots Character
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2012, 08:41:17 AM »

It could even be extended to ship crews and fighter wings. Like, say Chief Engineer Scotty and co. (counts as 5 elite crew) whom you could then assign to ships to boost their speed and make makeshift repairs. Or fighter wings led and taught by aces, as often seen in the world wars.
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