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Behavioural Psychology

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Fuzzknuckles
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#1

Posted 18 December 2004 - 11:59 PM

One thing that has always set GTA games apart from all competitors is the free roaming, living breathing city. Even in the early days of GTA, you could walk around for hours just watching the world go by. As the game progressed in to the 3D age, the streets of the city became infested with a further living breathing entity - the pedestrian.

A good source of nutrition, the pedsetrian can be found in most places, though in a stark contrast to the wild life of the real world, they are rarely to be found in rural and wooded areas. Mostly they can be found grazing for fast food in the sub-urban and densely overpopulated city sprawls. These pedestrians provide a useful source of meat to the GTA player.

Without pedestrians, the streets would be empty. There would be no one to rob. There would be no drivers to steal cars from. There would be no one to serve you food. But most importantly, there would be no one to distract you from your run with strange comments, harsh criticisms or gracious compliments. Without pedestrians, the world would suck.

Whilst playing through San Andreas, I have spent many an hour just wandering the streets. Unarmed, save for a camera normally. The pedestrians make the game feel like a real environment, rather than the cold empty streets of your average game, or the dark dirty sci-fi corridors of "FPSExtremeGuts32" or whatever. The pedestrians are a source of humour, fun and money.

I've wandered the streets and stopped to hear the conversations of the people that meet on the street. I've laughed my ass off at these little peds for hours. But one thing has always bugged me...

I want to talk back.

I know, I know, San An lets you talk back, but the next generation game has to take this one step further, by letting you initiate a conversation. In the "Where do we go from here?" thread I've touched on this idea, but I'd like to flesh it out a little more here.

In the same way as you recruit someone to your gang, you target a ped. WHoa there pickle! Instead of licking a shot straight to their dome, why not try to work things out the gentlemanly way? Use that tool between those two shoulders. Perhaps if you were to use the down button on the d-pad you could say Hi, in the same way as peds do when they meet? Sure, this would probably lead to some fairly random conversations about eating from trash cans or whatever, but this could also be a good way of giving out mission information. If you are chasing someone on foot and lose sight of them, you could ask a ped "Which way did he go?" and they point them out - the person you are chasing re-appears on the mini map.

Conversations wouldn't need to be more than the current 6 line exchanges that you already have in San An. It would be a nice little optional extra that lets you engage with the people in the environment more. You could use the response feature that exists (left for negative, right for positive, down to initiate conversation and up to recruit (as previously discussed elsewhere, the ability to recruit peds/cops/military would be influenced by your stats - respect and possibly the introduction of Notoriety and Fear - Notoriety for how well known you are, Respect for how well respected you are and Fear for how afraid of you people are - if Fear is maxed out people join you no questions asked - if its middling, people might abandon you during a fight or whatever)).

It might be nice to see more open interiors - that you can walk straight into with no loading - kind of like the Vice City shops - and have the peds interact in those areas. It was said sometime during the hype-fest preceding San An that you would be able to follow a ped around on their daily routine. Not really fulfilled to its greatest potential as peds dont seem to be able to enter buildings like CJ can. If they could enter buildings, you really could follow someone to work. It would probably take a lot of work at the R* Lab to give every ped-class a job, but then, they are already assigned "rich/poor" type tags, to denote what type of car they drive, so why not? It might sound odd, in a kind-of nasty-stalky kind of way, but I'd really like to watch a ped just go through their day. Start to finish. If they used the same ability to enter houses, as they used in house breaking but for general use, you could follow the ped home etc... not necessarily for any devious intention, I might add.

It would be nice to break into a house and see some sort of family scene that you could either observe from the shadows or bust the whole thing wide open. That would be true freedom in the open ended world. To be able to go truly ANYWHERE at ANY time. This would mean a lot of Genericaô coming into play, which is somethign a lot of people have had a whinge about - the generic interiors. But really, how different is your house to the one next door to yours? If R* assigned the same method of randomly colouring a car to the walls of an interior as you enter, it would start to make things feel different. But imagine being able to walk in on all those peds in their natural habitats... How cool?

The next obvious step after expanding the interaction with peds would be to expand the interction with girlfriends and npcs. And no, when I say xpand interaction with girlfriends, I don't mean I want it to be all porno-jiggy-jiggy-sex-f*ck where you can see it "going in and everything". No, I want to be able to talk to teh girlfriends, answer their questions. This might be fairly tricky whilst 5 star wanted on a date, but it'd be optional once again. Katie Zhan in particular poses some pretty odd questions about sex/death/amputation so why can't I respond? Another 10 hours in the vocal booth for each actor is probably themain reason but hey, I want it all here so humour me... If you were thinking along the lines of adding the up and down buttons on the keypad for ped interaction, you could use one button to proposition ladies - to offer them out for a date. This would obviously require coding all of the AI (even guys, someone may want to date a guy - you never know. Hey, we might even see a female lead in one of these games one day) to be "dateable" - so that they had a place you could pick them up from once they agree to a date (cue the genericaô - "Why do ALL my girls want to be picked up from the mall?".

To be able to have a chat with an NPC, before taking up their mission from their pink marker. That would be cool. In a lot of games, you can approach a character to talk, even of it just leads to you being told to go away or them reminding you to go start the mission. Why not have a few words about your previous mission? "We kicked those triads asses good huh...?" or something, before you lead in to the mission cut scene.

All in all, I'd like to see the pedestrians play an even bigger role in the everyday goings on, with more to see them do. I'd like to see a pedestrian waiting for a friend to pick them up by the roadside, lean into the window and say Hi, then hop in and speed off. I wanna see beat cops approach people on the streets to frisk them and send them on their way. I wanna see kerb-crawling peds pick up hookers as I walk past on the side walk. I wanna see bums stood around trash-can fires in the wastelands, warming their hands and trading insults whilst they drink from a dirty-brown-bag-mini-bar.

I want to see peds getting in the car and driving out to the countryside and having a walk in all of natures virtual-glory. They need to get out in the country. They need to be everywhere.

And its coming.

One day.

brhsoccer14
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#2

Posted 19 December 2004 - 04:11 AM

great post... and as you know this will probably not be able to happen in the next game... maybe they might have more ped interactions, but giving them all lives would be really tough and might be able to be done well into the future.. i like all of your ideas (yes, i read it all) and hope that they do one day come into play!

illspirit
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#3

Posted 19 December 2004 - 04:36 AM

QUOTE (Fuzzknuckles @ Dec 18 2004, 19:59)
If R* assigned the same method of randomly colouring a car to the walls of an interior as you enter, it would start to make things feel different.

Some exellent ideas there, I just wanted to stop and point out the quoted bit is f*cking genius. How did they not think of that?! Nice one. smile.gif

As for everything else there's a whole slew of interactive things they could've/would've/will do. The main problem with such things isn't just coming up with the ideas, but balancing system load between the action, rendering, and ped life simulation/AI. The more complex the simulation, the less CPU cycles and RAM you have for physics or graphics, and vice versa. This was especially true on the aging PS2.

anthoman
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#4

Posted 19 December 2004 - 06:45 AM

i dont think it would be too difficult, i dont think there would be able to make EVERYONE different. this is how i think they should lay it out:

workers - several different types (skins) of peds who have a house/apt and go to work and come home

worker/families - dad goes to office, mom stays house (dunno bout kids tho), suburb house

bums - they do whatever.. lol

maybe college students or something that go to school.

that could pretty much take care of peds or "background" people

and then have several "characters" of different people like the mayor, or crime lords, or the police chief, or anyone thats important and have their life a little more detailed.

brhsoccer14
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#5

Posted 19 December 2004 - 06:50 AM

yes, but when they do that, they have to assign them all different paths I am sure. And wouldn't it look kind of funny when everyone comes out at 6:00 in the morning and goes to the same place to work and then comes home at the same time? That would be the problem, assigning them all to different paths, unless I totally miss the mark?

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#6

Posted 19 December 2004 - 07:18 AM

Another great idea to the next GTA, Fuzzknuckles you'r great! Maybe we can meet those ped and become a good friend, then he will invite you to his house for a lunch or party, or we can have good relationship with some police officers, then they will call and tell you which way to lost another polices who are chasing you. oh that will be so cooool!!!

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#7

Posted 19 December 2004 - 09:17 AM

Fantastic FuzzKnuckles, you must have given that a lot of thought.
More ped interaction would be fantastic. Maybe some non-mission peds would have more interactivity than others, let's say you become friends with a worker at Pay n Spray and at that particular Pay n Spray you get free paintjobs (?!). Dunno just an idea.

The Tick
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#8

Posted 19 December 2004 - 09:21 AM

Interesting enough, i think this thread here is the reason Rockstar limted the program as it is.


Otherwise, good post Fuzz.

Scapegoat
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#9

Posted 19 December 2004 - 10:23 AM

Love the ideas, Fuzzy. I think Rockstar should aim to focus more on the AI in the next one than they have previously done, it, IMHO, needs the most revamping.

The Tick
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#10

Posted 19 December 2004 - 10:29 AM

QUOTE (Scapegoat @ Dec 19 2004, 10:23)
Love the ideas, Fuzzy. I think Rockstar should aim to focus more on the AI in the next one than they have previously done, it, IMHO, needs the most revamping.

I think San Andreas had the worst AI yet. Now, I know what you'll all say; "The Ballas can think and act and move and Tom Clancy this!"

But whats the point when your trapped in a warzone, and you can't leave, because there tactics have them trapped behind a billboard on the otherside of Los Santos? I mean, I understand their trying to sneak up and attack you, or something else fancy, but it seems to cause more problems then it solves. At least in GTA3 and VC they just ran into your bullets, instead of getting trapped ina wall, trying to avoid your bullets. (for the wall crawlers I suggest Motolvs)

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#11

Posted 19 December 2004 - 10:37 AM

I know exactly what you mean. and the Police seem to ignore it when people shoot at you, but when you fight back, all of a sudden you're the bad guy. I mean, didn't they fix it in Vice or something?

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#12

Posted 19 December 2004 - 11:07 AM

QUOTE (illspirit @ Dec 19 2004, 04:36)
QUOTE (Fuzzknuckles @ Dec 18 2004, 19:59)
If R* assigned the same method of randomly colouring a car to the walls of an interior as you enter, it would start to make things feel different.

Some exellent ideas there, I just wanted to stop and point out the quoted bit is f*cking genius. How did they not think of that?! Nice one. smile.gif

But wouldn't that kinda destroy the sense of familiarity? If I came home and the walls were a defferent color each time, I'd feel a little freaked. Or maybe I'm misunderstanding and he means that for repeated interiors, different colors would be assigned to each one.


Anyways, those are some good ideas. In fact, some of what you mentioned goes hand in hand with my theory of non-linearized storylines (thread coming soon).

NotoriousJay
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#13

Posted 19 December 2004 - 11:50 AM

I wasn't doing any burglar missions in SA but for some reason I was able to walk into people's homes and murder them while they slept just for the fun of it. I reckon they should have that.

Fuzzknuckles
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#14

Posted 19 December 2004 - 06:08 PM

QUOTE (†† †† @ Dec 19 2004, 11:07)
QUOTE (illspirit @ Dec 19 2004, 04:36)
QUOTE (Fuzzknuckles @ Dec 18 2004, 19:59)
If R* assigned the same method of randomly colouring a car to the walls of an interior as you enter, it would start to make things feel different.

Some exellent ideas there, I just wanted to stop and point out the quoted bit is f*cking genius. How did they not think of that?! Nice one. smile.gif

But wouldn't that kinda destroy the sense of familiarity? If I came home and the walls were a defferent color each time, I'd feel a little freaked. Or maybe I'm misunderstanding and he means that for repeated interiors, different colors would be assigned to each one.


Anyways, those are some good ideas. In fact, some of what you mentioned goes hand in hand with my theory of non-linearized storylines (thread coming soon).

Yeah, this would just be for "breakable houses". Your safe houses would always be the same.

I think it would work best if there were a bigger library of interior objects - then they could be randomly placed in the randmoly coloured houses. Familiarity seems an alien concept when related to house breaking - you never know what is on the other side of the door... And that sense of suspense works really well in San An - is there going to be someone waiting on the other side of the door?

Suspense is a very hard thing to co-erce the brain into - R* really nailed it with Manhunt and carried over some elements very successfully into San An.

Of course, its not as frightening being confronted by some Rodeo-Label-Mabel as it is a Machete weilding gang of red-neck junkyard dawgs. But that sense of the unknown is something that has drawn me back to the Black Boxville time and time again. I love it. I knew housebreaking was going to be a great addition and although it didnt quite live up to my expectations, it delivered fun by the (removal) truck load.

And whats to say people in the neXt world don't redecorate frequently? They may all be Changing Spaces/Changing Rooms freaks that just HAVE to have that tafeter rug to offset the camel-dung brown drapes they just purchased? Eh?


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#15

Posted 19 December 2004 - 07:59 PM

If it's in Washington D.C. you'd have the president and sec of state etc. living their jobs awesome.

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#16

Posted 19 December 2004 - 09:24 PM

QUOTE

All in all, I'd like to see the pedestrians play an even bigger role in the everyday goings on, with more to see them do. I'd like to see a pedestrian waiting for a friend to pick them up by the roadside, lean into the window and say Hi, then hop in and speed off. I wanna see beat cops approach people on the streets to frisk them and send them on their way. I wanna see kerb-crawling peds pick up hookers as I walk past on the side walk. I wanna see bums stood around trash-can fires in the wastelands, warming their hands and trading insults whilst they drink from a dirty-brown-bag-mini-bar.


devil.gif Just think; down the line these little guys are gonna be walking around in their little world thinking they are alive and going about their day to day grind until......WHOOPS! I just ran one of them over and then accidentally started lobbing molotovs at the crowd. Just imagine the philosophical and ethical controversy: GTA people are people too people! rah.gif

Great ideas Iím no programmer so I have no idea how feasible maybe have ped caste groups as you say. These random elements would really enrich the game world though.

How about bringing in some elements from the old text adventure games whereby meeting with certain people lets you in to key plot points. Maybe hints in certain conversations could lead you to find a specific character who unlocks missions or favours, just so long as you donít piss him off. I really donít see parts of this being beyond the PS3ís capabilities.

I totally agree with the whole respect=influence suggestions. When you become a notorious gangster it makes total sense that you would have bent cops on the payroll maybe the cops would turn a blind eye to minor violence etc. And yes that is a pain in the arse when you are strolling around watching the day go by, just to get attacked by a gang infront of a cop who ignores the whole affray only to go after you when you fight back. ĎHey he started it man!í

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#17

Posted 20 December 2004 - 12:16 AM

QUOTE (Medallion Man @ Dec 19 2004, 21:24)
How about bringing in some elements from the old text adventure games whereby meeting with certain people lets you in to key plot points. Maybe hints in certain conversations could lead you to find a specific character who unlocks missions or favours, just so long as you donít piss him off. I really donít see parts of this being beyond the PS3ís capabilities.

Yeah, this idea of ped interaction has a lot to do with my ideas on making the storyline as non-linear as possible.

Fuzzknuckles
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#18

Posted 20 December 2004 - 09:17 AM

Well thats what I'm all about - open up the world, make me free. I have work to do.

Cran.
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#19

Posted 20 December 2004 - 02:39 PM

That's one interesting lump of text you have there. Maybe R* wont have to make extra paths for the peds to get to places, is it possible to get to a place just by having a point on the map, and the ped just uses existing paths to get to the position?

That's my input, and I'd love just to talk to people on the street, and mybe R* could incorperate the Negative/Positive thing in conversations?

Fuzzknuckles
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#20

Posted 20 December 2004 - 06:08 PM

I have no idea how paths work - they all just seem to try to keep on as straight a line as possible, avoiding things that get in their way.

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#21

Posted 21 December 2004 - 01:32 AM

QUOTE (Fuzzknuckles @ Dec 20 2004, 18:08)
I have no idea how paths work - they all just seem to try to keep on as straight a line as possible, avoiding things that get in their way.

I never got involved with modding GTA enough back in the day to know how ped paths work either, but I know that I'm sick of seeing them run into walls.

One thing that is key to bringing the city to life is to make actions as unpredictable as possible. Giving the peds multipule paths that can branch off to more paths based on probability, the environment, your own actions, etc. would be really cool. You kinda got a sense of this even in GTAIII when you saw carjackings and pickpockets at work. San An added something I had been hoping for which was random police chases. It'll be interesting to see what they come up with the next time around.

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#22

Posted 21 December 2004 - 11:44 PM

Im sure there may be some legal and moral issues here!

Following people back home ph34r.gif watching them go to bed?? rolleyes.gif

The Tick
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#23

Posted 21 December 2004 - 11:47 PM

QUOTE (rabbit123 @ Dec 21 2004, 23:44)
Im sure there may be some legal and moral issues here!

Following people back home ph34r.gif watching them go to bed?? rolleyes.gif

Are we still talking about GTA?

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#24

Posted 23 December 2004 - 07:52 PM

QUOTE (rabbit123 @ Dec 21 2004, 23:44)
Im sure there may be some legal and moral issues here!

Following people back home ph34r.gif watching them go to bed?? rolleyes.gif

What you mean thats illegal and imoral? O sh*t...

Fuzzknuckles
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#25

Posted 23 December 2004 - 08:43 PM

Are they bad words?

I thought they were like impatience. Impatience is a virtue? Or something.

farrugia
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#26

Posted 24 December 2004 - 11:52 AM

QUOTE (Fuzzknuckles @ Dec 23 2004, 21:43)
Are they bad words?

I thought they were like impatience. Impatience is a virtue? Or something.

No, the problem is watching the people go to bed and, you know what they do, you know when they get married, and then go to bed, you know and then they start you know kissing and.... blush.gif

Well, that would be bad. R* should not make that thing. They should let ussnaeak into homes wielding giant machetes in peace, and not be afraid that we might come upon an unsuspecting married couple who is... blush.gif .That wouldruin the whole hacking them to pieces experience wouldn't it?

Back to serious-town, the peds have been entertaining till now, but that's just about it. They are car-fodder, and source of infinite wisdom, but does the player-ped interaction offer something more? Maybe tehy could do some wandering gun dealers who offer competition to Ammunation. If you're lucky you'll get a good bargain, and if not they'll rip you off, sucker. Of course, then you can rampage_ani.gif all night long rolleyes.gif

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#27

Posted 25 December 2004 - 02:53 PM

Great post. This is where the future of GTA is. Not the violence, not better graphics, but creating a world that's worth living in and people that you feel bad about killing.

Fuzzknuckles
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#28

Posted 25 December 2004 - 03:34 PM

Cheers. I always thought that - making the world more interactive makes it more realistic. If there are more people to talk to and moe ways to talk to them, you get more out of it.

I love the peds, they give the game a true life, something pretty much constant and totally unpredictable.

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#29

Posted 25 December 2004 - 04:44 PM

GREEN IS GREAT
I have a GTA game concept where the NPCs come in four classes.
GNPC=General NPC that reacts exactly like the ones in SA.
ANPC=Active NPC that reacts much like the wounded and the cops.
SNPC=Specialized NPC that are the mission directors such as Tenpenny
and the new one is......
PNPC=Personalized NPC: These are the previous NPC types that you become 'friends' with. This is done by the interaction "such as the down button for contact'. The Player can only have up to 40 PNPCs at any one time and since they are only variables (numbers) to the operating system anyway they would not slow the game until the actual CHAR interaction occures. Even at this time they still only have three extra variables (reaction, command, and profession, I am working on the concept of actually naming these NPCs so that you can identify them on the street so as not to 'accidentally' kill them.
It really broke my heart the first time I had the same Gang members for two hours of SA and then they died. I felt truely bad, so I think the PNPC is the way of the future of VR games and since rahkstar2.gif is in the lead, I think they will do something similar.

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#30

Posted 25 December 2004 - 05:02 PM

QUOTE (GreenOozie @ Dec 25 2004, 17:44)
I am working on the concept of actually naming these NPCs so that you can identify them on the street so as not to 'accidentally' kill them.

Such as their name (eg "George") that appears floating above their head?

That'd be a good idea, and your friends can always be counted upon to interfere with the cops. For example: George'd be driving a car - see me in trouble with some cops chasing me. He'd drive by me and say "Need any help?" I press the "yes" button and I enter his car. Cinematic animation of speding car chase and you lose the cops. George drops you off at that location, says "You owe me one", laughs and drives off. The wonderful thing'd be that this would not be scripted but would happen each time one of my friends (Andy, Bill, Willardson...) see me in trouble. Of course, if I have the SWAT after me, their AI would tell them to get the hell out of there, and that would increase realism. Similarly, whether they are in a car ornot is totally random, as are the paths they follow if they are.

You should be able to make friends with certain "special" characters like shop owners. Let's say you make friends with an Ammunation store owner "Jimmy". He'd give you special discounts IF you buy only from HIM, otherwise he'd be offended.

There's so much more to say...




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