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> What do you like / hate about NPC's in RPGs?, Looking for your opinions
Sage
post Feb 27 2012, 04:26 PM
Post #1


Sage
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Type: Designer
Alignment: Unaligned




I'm about to get started on revamping and updating all of the NPCs in the game Profit Motive that I'm working on, but first I was curious about what you guy's personal opinions are about NPCs and their role in the game and storyworld:

  • What are some examples of NPCs that you really like and why?
  • What do you hate most about NPCs in most games?
  • Is there an ideal NPC "interaction" that you'd like to see some game, especially an RPG do?


I'd be interested in hearing some thoughts on these questions.

-Sage


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Luchino-chan
post Feb 27 2012, 04:38 PM
Post #2


Mistress of none.
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Hmm... what do I like/dislike about NPCs... let's see.

HATES:

- Boring and uniformative NPCs.
- Copypastad NPCs, i.o.w several NPCs who say the same thing.
- NPCs who are just 'there'. You know, like they don't belong in the setting, they're just there to probably waste the player's time.
- 'Fetch this and carry this quest' NPCs in sidequests.

LOVES:

- NPCs who give useful information, maybe even leading to a useful sidequest ( as in finding out more about the game world's lore, or even character backgrounds ).
- NPCs who have some sort of backstory or history behind them. A tale to tell, i.o.w.
- An NPC who will probably join your party at a later date. ( and is awesome to boot ).

As for an ideal NPC interaction, I can't think of one now. ^^




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Thalzon
post Feb 27 2012, 04:40 PM
Post #3



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For JRPGs, Pokemon is an excellent example to go by. Every person you talk to has important info of some kind, or gives you an item (or challenges you to a battle). Every single one. It's a good philosophy to have, especially if the rest of your game is similarly function-oriented.

If you just need a lot of random villagers to make your town seem less empty, it's probably better you can't talk to them at all. Denote this by making them move around constantly, as though they're too busy to talk. More often than not your character is a stranger to them anyway.

For quest-giving npc types it's probably good to have a few branches of dialogue to get little tidbits of their story and opinions on things, but this is for more complex quests where you can decide to backstab people or affect the outcome of the quest in some manner beyond just doing it.

I personally think a mix of all three is best. Perhaps denote quest-givers with an exclamation thought bubble or something similar.
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Sage
post Feb 27 2012, 06:11 PM
Post #4


Sage
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Type: Designer
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Cool, yeah we're definitely interested in making every NPC unique, entertaining, or useful.

Thanks for the comments so far.

-Sage


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kingsofrpg
post Feb 28 2012, 12:06 AM
Post #5



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NPC's that just get in the way (usually caused by overcrowding, or narrow passages) nothing like getting trapped in a small area by an NPC that has nothing useful to tell you


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Virus 9
post Feb 28 2012, 02:46 AM
Post #6


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NPC...It depends for me. What is there role in the game? If it is for looks then OK as long as they stay out of the way. If there for information/quest/party/shop/battle/ect then great but ya. If they waist your time then there not much use.


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Sage
post Mar 2 2012, 04:56 PM
Post #7


Sage
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Agreed. No one wants NPCs that are just there for no good reason.

Any games you guys can think of that handles NPC interactions REALLY well? Pokemon came up. Any other games?

-Sage


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KaiserKami
post Mar 3 2012, 02:44 PM
Post #8


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Hates:
-NPCs that have long text boxes of nothing.
-NPCs that have nothing important or funny to say.
-NPCs that give you a quest to do, then once you are done with it, they give you little to nothing at all other than a thanks. (I'm not playing Infamous b*tch give me something good!)
-NPCs that are like the ones in the NES version of Superman, and Simon's Quest.

Loves:
-NPCs that have something useful to say or do.
-NPCs that give you a background history of the location you are in (Pokemon games are great examples of this)
-NPCs that may seem like they don't belong but show and tell they are there for trading or purchaseing items showing that the playable world is connected by trade and other means that it's not just the player traveling.
-NPCs that have a fun quest or side story to do.

This list can go on forever as I have many peeves of them and praises.


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kingsofrpg
post Mar 5 2012, 04:34 AM
Post #9



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Though many people didn't like FFX-2, the NPC's in that game DID tend to give you good information WITHOUT knowing more than they should. Also many of them had impacts later in the game, such as talking to them triggered certain side-quests later on.

A good example of my favorite NPC's in my games is Razor Sharp Moon (which production is on hiatus, but nonetheless) in my capitol city. The NPC's there when you first arrive are complaining about how living standards in the city are on rapid decline, and certain NPC's even have theories as to what's going on in the government, which later on ties into the secret workings of the government. It's good when NPC's can give you information on what's going on so you can make guesses at what's happening, without revealing too much or letting NPC's SOMEHOW just know everything there is to know randomly


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Aya_Vectra
post Mar 20 2012, 10:39 PM
Post #10


star ocean otaku
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Type: Writer
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QUOTE (Sage @ Mar 2 2012, 11:56 AM) *
Agreed. No one wants NPCs that are just there for no good reason.

Any games you guys can think of that handles NPC interactions REALLY well? Pokemon came up. Any other games?

-Sage


The Lunar games. They're renowned for their NPCs. smile.gif Sure, some had stupid jokes, but some contribute that to WDs translation. I never minded it, though. I loved talking to people in thier games. Also, in 2, there's a sidequest at the end to help a couple get married: it gives you an item to view the anime cutscenes. Pretty cool.


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Revival
post Mar 21 2012, 06:50 AM
Post #11



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It really all depends on the game itself... in my game, the NPCs offer alot of filler info, lore, religion, history etc.

Also the way my game works it has a quest board system which works hand in hand with the story... if you complete certain quests, they have an effect on the NPCs (some new appear, some disappear, some have new things to say) Also in the quests I put choices (one example being, destroy the tower or don't destroy it) each has a drastic effect on the NPCs and the nearby city... destroying the tower frees the people from the Empire's grasp... NPCs become thankful, give out gifts in thanks etc... or you can let the tower stand, which will cause an Imperial occupation of the city, which makes NPCs die, some hate you, and shops refuse to serve you etc...

I think NPCs can be more important to a game than the actual PCs themselves if done in the right way, my game is meant to offer freedom in shaping the world around you, it takes quite a bit more work then the standard one sentence NPCs, but it gives more of a reality/worldly feel to the game.



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Sage
post Aug 16 2012, 09:37 PM
Post #12


Sage
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Type: Designer
Alignment: Unaligned




Thanks for all the great replies. We've done a full pass on all of our NPCs in the latest version of our game. Check them out and let us know what you think we can improve!

Profit Motive Version 4.0

-Sage


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