Well, I almost missed a weekend update for the first time in over a year, but in my current timezone (Germany) it is still Sunday, so here we are! Just a quick one this week, but I’ve got a few really long and interesting updates, and some more abstract discussions, scheduled for the coming weeks. However, since this entry is rather short, here are four of my most recent conference/lecture presentations, in no particular order. Enjoy!
Talk to AISB AI & Games conference on designing URR’s upcoming NPC AI:
Talk at a conference on literary dystopias about Command and Conquer: Tiberian Sun
My main talk at DiGRA about Japanese arcade culture, danmaku games, high scores, and some other cool stuff (a full paper version is going to be published as a chapter in a book on Gaming and East Asia in 2016)!
My secondary talk at DiGRA about civilians in the original Command and Conquer
Thanks to everyone for their ideas on the remaining policies. I realized as I read through the suggestions that something had been a tad unclear: Tribal Knowledge, Chiefdom and Escort Cavalry are policies which can only appear in hunter-gatherer and nomadic societies, and are therefore rather like “placeholders”, so suggestions for those – although there were some great ones and I might integrate them as general buildings/NPCs/etc! – won’t be directly integrated into the policy system. So, without further ado, the Militia policy will result in citizens owning weapons in their homes; the Imperialist policy will allow that civilization to seize colonies (currently all feudal nations can do this, but this’ll therefore be changed); the Hegemony policy will mean that race (which is to say, skin tone) will directly affect citizens in that nation in some way, but I haven’t yet decided precisely how; and the Vigilantism policy will cause bounty offices to spawn, listing wanted individuals and the bounties on them. That means interventionist – by which I mean covert operations, spying, espionage – remains undecided.
So, as well as city nicknames, I’m working on nicknames for people. This means both historical figures, and living figures who the game considers important. Right now I’m splitting this into two categories: people from important noble families have a certain generation algorithm underlying their nicknames, whilst anyone else who isn’t high-born but has still become “important” will have a different generator. Firstly, if someone is from an important family, the game looks at the coat of arms for that family. If their coat of arms contains a “distinct” pattern, it will go to a unique generator for that pattern; if it doesn’t, then it will default to a more “general” generator. This generator can sometimes use words from the terrain of the homeland of this person as well.
So, for example, let’s say someone comes from an ice/tundra area, and their coat of arms contains the pattern of the dragon flying “upwards” (I’m sure many of you will have seen it). They might be nicknamed “The Roaring Breath of the Ice”, “The Adorned Wyvern”, “The Drake of the Hailstones” or “The Ennobled Dragon”. Alternatively, someone who hails from a temperate region and has a coat of arms containing a trident might be nicknamed “The Halberd of the Bluffs” or “The Invested Spear”; someone from a family with a harp on their coat of arms and who lives in the desert might be “The Singer of the Dust” or “The Sand Melodist”… and so on. Alternatively, if a coat of arms is generic or geometric enough to not merit any special words, it instead defaults to a name based on the policies of that person’s nation: “free trade” as a policy might yield “The Glorious Merchant”, “frontier” as a policy might yield “The Grand Marshall”, “theocracy” yields “The Sublime Conduit”, and so on. I still need to finish off some of the generation possibilities, but these are basically done.
And that, I’m afraid, is all for this week! I’ve been at a conference so haven’t been doing any programming this week, but there’s a lot of cool stuff on its way. See you all next week for probably a URR update, or a discussion of one of the many interesting game-related things this conference has got me thinking about!