Creating High Rock NPCs

Discussion of quests, characters and dialogue.
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MoochinCapuchin
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Creating High Rock NPCs

Postby MoochinCapuchin » Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:59 pm

I know this project is still in pretty early stages, and that most of the work right now is focused on modeling (from what I understand), but I was wondering if now might be a good time to start focusing on NPCs? Not creating them in game yet, but creating characters. In addition to making populating the cities easier, having a good idea of who our NPCs are and what they are like to speed up quest design while hopefully improving the quality of the quests in High Rock.

When I play Morrowind, or many of the mods for Morrowind, I can’t help but feel like the majority of the NPCs exist to be acted upon during a quest. This isn’t true of some of the more important NPCs, but I feel like the overwhelming majority of characters in the game are rather bland, and I’m sure most people feel the same way. Instead of being in-game characters with needs and wants that drive them to actions resulting in quests, most NPCs stand around all day just waiting for you to ask them about their background or to ask them a question that triggers a journal entry.

What I’m proposing is that we start creating characters, NPCs with backstories, friends, enemies, ambitions, and fears. We then place these NPCs in the cities and towns of High Rock (as the cities are being created), and try to think about the kinds of quests that they would generate, as opposed to coming up with a list of quests and then forcing NPCs to fit them. What kind of shenanigans would these people be involved in? How are they getting along with each other? How do they feel about their town? What could they ask the PC to do that would cause a genuine improvement in their lives? What could the PC do to screw up their lives? Etc etc.

I realize that this is a common criticism of Morrowind, and open world games in general, and that fixing these problems is a huge undertaking, However, in High Rock’s case, if we could start from the beginning with a focus on creating believable NPCs, I think it would be very do-able. Maybe keep some sort of NPC database? Such a thing does not seem too difficult to create.

My apologies if this post has been made before (or something similar), or if I posted this to the wrong area of the forum. I’m relatively new to all this, and will be happy to delete this post if it’s a waste.

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SGMonkey
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Re: Creating High Rock NPCs

Postby SGMonkey » Wed Jun 18, 2014 2:18 pm

This is something I've thought about quite a bit in the past. It would be a lot more interesting if things were done this way.

I had planned on setting up a google drive for the project. It would help a lot in streamlining stuff like this.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing

If you are interested in starting on something like this that would be excellent. It would be a great thing to have from the start. Even if they don't have quests for a long time, just to have the Characters themselves and written backgrounds would be awesome. Something to refer too as the mod develops.

If you want inviting to the google drive PM me your email.

Oh and welcome to the forum!

EDIT: Renamed the Quests section of the forum and moved this topic there.

Also added you to the High Rock modders group.

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MoochinCapuchin
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Re: Creating High Rock NPCs

Postby MoochinCapuchin » Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:49 am

Great, thank you!

I went ahead and made some edits to the sheet. I created an example npc (not fully fleshed out) just to get an idea of how to make things work. I also created another doc in the same folder for character dialogue. Once the NPC list starts getting bigger I think this will be pretty helpful. In order to make searching between sheets easy I added a NPC ID column, the thinking being that it is easier to search for a number than a name.

Speaking of names, are we free to use the Tamriel Rebuilt name generator?

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SGMonkey
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Re: Creating High Rock NPCs

Postby SGMonkey » Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:29 pm

Sounds great to me. Too be honest though, I'm pretty sure I heard that even TR themselves don't use their random name generator. It generates some pretty daft names too if you ask me.

I would personally take inspiration from existing names. http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:Names
You can take inspiration from any of the games. Arena to Skyrim.


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