Sorry for the late post, I ended up getting caught up with work on Elysium and then sorting through the NPC data so I could present the findings and of course answer some of the NPC related Q&As I’ve received. So, here’s a progress summary, the findings and then the Q&As.
Work on Elysium was actually pretty decent this week. It took a bit of work, but I’ve greatly improved the status message system, and reduced it by nearly a hundred lines of now useless shit. Instead of several exchangeable sentences where each part that can be given a status message on, they’ve been reduced to just a few lines that have tons of exchangeable parts. The result will be exactly the same on the outside, but with the added bonus of being more code friendly as well as vastly increased the possible outputs without me having to write any of the outcomes manually. I’ve also set it up to keep naming conventions between update messages, as well as some silly but enjoyable stuff that changes the name color of the player and npcs according to their alignment and other factors. That way messages from multiple sources can be distinguished from the other source just as the dialog has been setup. Also officially implemented narrative switching into the options as well as the new, new game setup sequence. That’s about it for new stuff (ignoring the incomplete new game scene rewrites and additional scenes), the rest of the progress was more general conversion and boring shit, so, moving on.
Anyways, for those who don’t know, last week I started polling and surveying my community as well as 4chan for their preferences and ideas on what kind of NPC personality tropes they enjoy (particularly of the waifu/husbando variety, even if that won’t be a big focus in this game, its still interesting to learn). So here are my preliminary findings. In the questionnaire, each trope was given a strongly dislike, dislike, neutral, like and strongly like options which would give that trope -2,-1,0,1 and 2 points for each vote in that section, respectively. I added up all the scores and the image at the left is how the personality traits line up. Some notes on the scoring, prudence and stern both received the largest amount of neutral votes, so they’re a bit off compared to the rest; in that same light, yandere was the most divisive with most votes either being strongly like, or strongly dislike. So take that for what you will.
When asked “Which do you value more, a wider variety of npcs for simple interactions or a small cast of complex NPC for companions”, 75% answered: “small cast with depth” over the 25% that answered “wide cast with variety”.
When asked “Given that they are not overly complex, how would you rate your interest in customizable NPCs” most users (48%), rated their interest at 5.
When asked “How would you rate your interest in the use of randomized NPCs to expand the variety of certain limited events”, most users (35%), rated their interest at 4.
As for the general strawpoll version, I polled here, on twitter as well as /d/ and /trash/ on 4chan. I received just over 1600 votes (note: each selection counts as a separate vote, so true sample size is likely far smaller). The results were essentially identical with no significant differences of note. I did notice an interesting trend though, these popular traits make of some notable tropes: the most popular tropes seemingly being “the naughty librarian/Sex nerd” trope and the “girl-next-door/ bakers daughter” trope.
So, I don’t know. I found this all pretty interesting. I don’t know just how much of it will influence my end decisions, but its great to see what people are looking for and this kind of data is helpful for anyone with creative projects, not just Elysium. Giving the survey, I left open a question/suggestion box and got quite a bit of feedback from you all as well as a good lump of NPC related questions as well as a few other questions, so I’ll be answering a handful of those below
Q: “Most of these types of games tend to be 95% female/futa with one or two male token characters thrown in. What kind of gender balance can we expect in Elysium. Further, what kind of balance of sexual orientation can we expect? “
A: I’d be lying if I said that being a heterosexual with little personal interest in males (even as the player) won’t have an effect on the game’s gender & orientation balance, but I feel that for the sake of realism (something Elysium strives for, relatively speaking) I will try to keep a somewhat reasonable mix of sexes, genders & orientations. Anything that functions for one sex, will work for the others and vice versa (unless otherwise physically impossible or otherwise realistically limited by the sex itself). I want the game to feel like its fully playable regardless of what sex you play as or what your orientation is. (if you look at the lords of elysium, it’s semi representative of what he balance will be like, we have 3 females, 1 futa, 1 trap, 2 males and 2 agender/non-humanoids) Of course there will be some npcs that will be strictly heterosexual, and some that’ll be strictly homosexual, but in general most will accept both sexes (not realistic, but it keeps things open to all play-styles)
A: Yes. I plan to implement a romance systems, that’ll work for both simple randomized npcs you meet in the wild as well as dedicated and more complex npcs. You will be able to romance multiple npcs, but not all npcs will get along, particularly if they discover they’ve been cheated on. Others will be more open to polygamy. Each will have their own personality sets and preferences, so it’ll really depend on who is involved.
Q: “Fenoxo games and similar games often have a theme of waifu collecting. Will Elysium share this aspect?”
A: I’ll give an uncertain no to that. I know that romancable npcs are very popular and filling up a camp with all your crushes is kind of par for the course with these things, which while fun, tends to become the focus of the game itself taking away from other aspects of the game, like exploring, transformation and events in general. I do plan to have romancable npcs, companion collecting and the like of course, but I don’t plan on it being the main focus of the game. Plus, there tends to be a lot neglected in NPC collecting as well, but it rarely takes into account that individual NPC’s preferences and personality and the fact that not all companions will be able to live together just because they like the player. Among a myriad of other meta issues. But that’s a whole different matter.
Q: “Will companions follow the player around and assist in combat in a tradition rpg party style?”
A: I want to say yes for that. I don’t have the systems setup for that just yet and it’ll likely be a while till I do, but that’s one of the reasons my entity system was being setup. There will have to be separate popout menus to mange them and it’ll likely end up a bit complex, so it’ll take some time to plan out how I’ll lay it out and make it work. But someday, defiantly.
Q: “Will our crimes or alliances affect our standing with NPCs and companions?”
A: Yes and no. Essentially I want my game to avoid psychic npcs, if they personally didn’t see you do something, weren’t told about it by you or an other npc, then they really shouldn’t know about your crimes or alligences. So, in theory, you could be part of chastia’s army of purity seekers, but date a hot válkosi demon girl on the side, without either party discovering your activities. Of course the larger the party, the more likely they will have spies, so there will be some cases of psychic npcs. lol
A: I have thought about it, but with the current update drought, the last thing I want to do is advertise my game and bring in even more disappointed traffic. It’s the same reason I haven’t pulled out any funds from my patreon dontations, I just don’t feel that any of that should be engaged until this update finally breaks ground and we get back into the regular flow of things again. Once I finally finish this shit and get an update out I’ll certainly look into it though.