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Why don't most RPGs understand that people lie?

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by DalekFlay, Oct 16, 2020.

  1. Sigourn Futa Lover

    Sigourn
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    It's also why the game is buggy as hell, though.
     
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  2. purupuru Learned

    purupuru
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    If the choice is a concrete one like you suggested then yes it would be superfluous. But there are times where you don't get to act out your lie in game, at least not immediately, like questions about your character's personal beliefs or opinions on the factions or local culture. And if there is an alignment system, a (lie) tag would be immensely useful for chaotic characters.
     
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  3. DeepOcean Arcane

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    Okay, about NPCs lying, there was a interview with someone at Arkane where they claimed that on the Lady Boyle level, there was a guard that told players they werent allowed on the upper floor and most people got confused because to finish the mission they needed to get to the upper floor but as the guard said they couldnt, they didnt even try it. You guise are over estimating the capacity of the average normie into understanding that NPCs might lie and they get frustrated and confused when that happens and they get pissed when they dont get the outcome they wanted.

    Also, if NPCs lie, you need to allow the player to a)discover their bullshit and b) Have dialog for you to confront them with their bullshit, if NPCs lie all the time and the player has no way to figure out the truth or worse he has no way to figure out the truth AND is punished by it, this can end being terribly confusing. This is even worse, when NPCs lie about crucial things like game mechanics, if the game in question has harsh punishment from wrong decisions and the NPCs lie about game mechanics, you are inducing the player to error what is bad design.

    Also, there is the thing of player expectations, you need to train the player to expect to be lied to, as most games the NPCs dont try to fool the player and when the player has that expectation , he might get pissed off when he takes a crucial choice and later realizes he was lied to, it didnt even came to his mind that was possible of how much he was trained from playing other games. On games like investigative adventure games, players expect suspects lying but friendly NPCs lying, you need to setup a precedent for that as early as possible for the player to not believe at anything at face value and design the quests for the player to discover the truth on his own = more work.

    Again, streamlining to have the NPCs always being straightfoward is easier and if you are talking of a multimillion project where people expect a 100hs game, you having on most quests to figure a) the lie the NPCs will tell, b)why the NPCs are lying and c)ways for the player to figure out the lie, this is alot of extra work and most normie RPG players wont even appreciate that to begin with. Most RPG players are fine with being the chosen one slaying dragons.
     
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  4. DalekFlay Arcane Patron

    DalekFlay
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    I honestly had very few issues with bugs in New Vegas, outside of normal open world jank like things spawning half inside walls and such. Same goes for Bethesda's games. Not saying other people are "wrong," but frequent bugs have just never been my experience. The rare times I had one, a quick console command fixed it.
     
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  5. Darkzone Arcane

    Darkzone
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    While playing FO4 to get the Ballistic improvement for the Minuteman suits i have discovered a liar:
     
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  6. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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    And this is how RPG quests should be designed on principle.

    You present the player with a situation.
    You think of the possible outcomes of the situation.
    You attach consequences to those different outcomes and allow the player to achieve these outcomes in whichever ways your game engine/ruleset allows.

    Possible outcomes should not depend on what the player says, only on what the player does (at least in such simple cases - there are types of quests and interactions where saying something should be taken as a binding pledge by NPCs, such as saying "Yes I pledge to join the Imperial Guard" opon which they give you a uniform and consider you one of their own).

    Maybe you tell Billy "Fuck off, I don't care about your stupid mutt." which sends him running off crying back to his home, but as long as the dog is still alive you can fetch it and return it to Billy.
    Maybe you tell Billy "Yeah I'll save the dog." but you kill it instead.

    As a quest designer you need to consider
    - which objects/NPCs are involved in the quest
    - what is the status these objects and/or NPCs need to have for the quest state to change
    - which combinations of object/NPC statuses are possible

    Then you add in NPC reactions for all the possible options, and that's how you get a cool quest with multiple outcomes.
     
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  7. TemplarGR Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck Bethestard

    TemplarGR
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    Because:

    a) Developers are typically autistic and don't have emotional intelligence/social aptitude. They typically face human interactions like they face a computer terminal. Computer terminals don't lie

    b) Developers are typically also lazy cunts (i am a developer, i know) and including the possibility of lying increases the work exponentially.
     
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  8. DalekFlay Arcane Patron

    DalekFlay
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    Funny this thread got bumped because I just had a great experience in New Vegas which revolves around this. First, an NCR ranger told me to kill some NCR prisoners in Nelson to put them out of their misery. There were dialog options to say "okay no problem" and "no way I'm gonna save them!" I chose "okay no problem" because I'm playing a smooth talker and didn't want a conflict with the guy, then I saved the troops anyway when I saw the situation on the ground. A lot of games would have had my dialogue decision change how the quest played out.

    Also I want to reiterate how great New Vegas is in general about letting you play someone with X or Y allegiance who can present themselves as someone with Z allegiance. It creates so many great moments where you lie to someone's face and then put a silenced round in the back of their head when they turn around.
     
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  9. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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    Yep. And I don't see how this adds exponentially more work for the devs.

    The quest is already designed and scripted to have two possible outcomes:
    - kill them out of mercy
    - save them

    Allowing the player to go for option b) when he said in a dialogue that he would go for a) doesn't add any additional work at all.
    In fact, making the dialogue option where you promise to do a) deactivate option b) adds MORE scripting work than when you allow the player to go for either option no matter what the said before.
     
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  10. sser Arcane Cuck Developer

    sser
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    "You can't get up them stairs, they be off-limits bucko."


    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Mexi Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck Sad Loser

    Mexi
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    There is also that officer in that main base. I've not played in forever, and I'm too lazy McLaren Airspace?

    Show Spoiler
    The officer that was actually a Legionary that snuck into the NCR's ranks. It's pretty awesome when you talk to him playing the Caesar's Legion path. I think he said he was in their ranks for like years and years and rose up the ranks to officer or something.
    It's those small things that New Vegas does that makes it such an incredible experience. New Vegas is like top 5 RPGs of all time, though.
     
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  12. AMG Arbiter

    AMG
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    I don't think getting locked out of quest paths because of dialogue choices is prevalent in cRPGs, seems like a false premise to me.
     
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  13. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    Agreed, but surely you then do need to do the extra work of having dialogue and sometimes outcomes account for the disparity - eg the npc is extra butthurt that you said youd help then fucked him over, and pulls out his shotgun.

    Otherwise the player will constantly feel like the world is responding half sensically and that dialogue is meaningless - after all, to say something to someone promising an outcome is itself a choice and action, though obviously different from repairing the generator or blowing it up.
     
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  14. DraQ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    DraQ
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    The main problem is that developers try to implement C&C via dialogue trees and dialogue trees are tied with levels for the title of single most overused and abused RPG mechanics.

    First, most of the dialogue choices should be inconsequential, precisely because they can't on their own convey anything of consequence.
    Dialogue choice only matters if the information conveyed through dialogue matters.
    "I will save your dog" is not such information.
    "[truth] The treasure is located...", "The person who stole from you is..." or "I will fucking kill you" might be.
    Yeah, so it might make a lot of dialogue Biowarean or semi-Biowarean, but it doesn't fucking matter - might as well cut some spurious dialogue options - for example letting ask about dog's wherabouts, without declaring that you'll rescue it.
    Most of the time what matters is the actions, not words.

    Second, dialogue trees should only ever be used if:
    • the specific interaction cannot be repeated with this character
    • it's not possible to backtrack to the trunk and choose another branch
    Anything else is tedious to play, error-prone to make and results in shitty, confused dialogue.
    You don't need nor want to navigate a tree to just ask about shit. Topic system is what works the best for it. You can disguise it if you want to, but any proper dialogue tree should be just once per game interaction.
     
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  15. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    "I will save your dog" doesn't matter much in many cases. It does matter if, say, you are promising it in a tense public lynch mob moment to assuage the dog-loving villagers. It amounts to a meaningful action (J.L.Austin's performatives, for the nerds) with immediate consequences (appease the villagers) - and then should have consequences later too, e.g. if you end up not saving the dog.

    Generally, I would certainly like to see more RPGs where dialogues are themselves high-stakes situations where what you promise or what people think of you is clear, hard to reverse, and dramatic - e.g. a fantasy setting where ritualised verbal promises can have a binding effect, or an explosive civil war situation where failing to loudly vouch for the 'right side' gets you ostracised by half the town. As opposed to, you know, 80-node "tell me the lore about X city" walking libraries.
     
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  16. Bah Cipher

    Bah
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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  17. Reader Learned

    Reader
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    My favorite use of lie was in Gothic 2 when i took the pass to the city from shady trader promising him to frame his rival. But I turned him to guards instead.
     
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  18. Harthwain Liturgist

    Harthwain
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    Promises could work like taking a side-quests. The bigger issue lies in how to determine a quest has failed. Some cases are obvious (dog is dead), but some aren't (what will you do with Schrödinger's dog?).
     
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  19. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

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    The additional work in those cases isn't any higher than the work of writing a script to deactivate a possible quest solution after a dialogue choice. All you need is one or two more lines of dialogue and a scripted NPC behavior such as attacking you for what you did.

    People claiming the work would be exponential are exaggerating. Writing one or two more lines of dialogue to acknowledge different approaches and outcomes takes 5 minutes if you got your quest well planned out. Yeah if your game has full voice acting it's gonna add some more dollars of production cost because you need to pay a voice actor for another line of VA, but New Vegas managed to do several quests in that way, and that game has full voice acting AND a tight development schedule.
     
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  20. TemplarGR Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck Bethestard

    TemplarGR
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    If you want a superficial result, then yes, the work is not exponentially increased. I am sure most codexers are fine with superficiality pretending to be "incline", like for example the "multiple endings" in fallout 1/2 that were basically just slightly different pixel images(in some endings they used the same image) with a few words on top of it depending on a few quest decisions. While the same codexers seems to overlook stronger changes like for example when in Fallout 4 Diamond City sees many changes depending on which factions you decided to support... And Fallout 4 is heavy with such outcomes, but since it is not a simple png with a couple of sentences, it doesn't matter, amirite?

    If you want the result to be convincing and realistic regarding the possibility of lies, there are many potential outcomes to cover in each interaction. This increases the work exponentially. You may even need new levels/characters in some cases, except just new dialogue. You definitely need more scripting done and therefore more QA too. It is not that simple.
     
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  21. vota DC Liturgist

    vota DC
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    It Is quite rare but still there are many rpg that allows you to lie. Npc that lies are rarer, in disco elysium and Age of decadence It happens often and you have stats to detect lies.
     
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  22. JarlFrank I like Thief THIS much Patron

    JarlFrank
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    My baseline for RPG quest design already includes giving the player multiple solutions and approaches, so giving the player the option to lie to an NPC doesn't add exponentially more work because the quest already includes everything you just mentioned in its base design.
     
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  23. DalekFlay Arcane Patron

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    I feel like RPG writing is already so built around different dialog choices leading to similar NPC answers that this isn't an unusual amount of work. In my New Vegas example once I saved the troops he said something like "wow, I can't believe you actually saved them!" I bet it was the same line used for if you said you would ahead of time. Obviously this limits the writing options, but my point is I think they're already limited to save on voice over costs, scripting and quest variance in general. In a game with limited VO of course, the world is your oyster for dialog reactivity.
     
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  24. The Brazilian Slaughter Arcane

    The Brazilian Slaughter
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    I like how Age of Decadence tracked things like your honour/dishonour and such. So being a backstabbing asshole often had in-game consequences.
     
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