1. This is a long post.
2. This is an old post, recycled, for the purposes of reopening an old discussion.
3. This has been covered to some extent, but raises questions that have not been answered before.
4. This is a really long post.
If there are any outdated references in here, please point them out. This was initially written for IV, but none of it happened. I feel much more of this is now possible. Let me know what you think.
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 don't 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 Generica™ coming into play, which is something 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 interaction with girlfriends and npcs. And no, when I say expand 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 the 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 the main 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 generica™ - "Why do ALL my girls want to be picked up from the mall?". ((OK, so girlfriends sound like they're out for V, but still an interesting proposition))
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 ((Looks like this is now the case!))
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.
Original thread: http://www.gtaforums...opic=168033&hl=
Edited by Fuzzknuckles, 14 March 2013 - 02:04 PM.