Topic: Rites of Passage  (Read 1026 times)


Utumno

« on: November 08, 2021, 04:52:14 PM »
Hi everybody,

I just want to share with you a self-imposed challenge I completed a while ago that, I think, can be incorporated into the game as a "story mode" without much difficulty. In it, you are a teenager undergoing a series of "rites of passage" towards manhood.

At the beginning, being a boy, you are not allowed to do much, even to stray from your original culture area. You don't know how to do most things, like making bows, or clothes, etc (menu options are greyed out/blocked). Being a boy, your social options are limited, can't trade or even speak to most villagers except your mentor (one of the village sages) that you report to. He gives you a series of challenges, each one more complex than the last. You have to return to the mentor with a token proving that you completed the challenge. As a reward, you are allowed to do more and more things, in the shape of learning how to do things (for example, how to construct a short bow), or, socially, to move outside your culture area, or buying certain items, etc. You will advance both in knowledge and in social standing.

At the end, the supreme test of adulthood: killing a Njerpezit in a fair fight. Only after that you are allowed to settle down and build a cabin, as an established member of the tribe. You have a year to do all this, otherwise the quest fails and you'll be a child forever, and be renamed Peter Pan  ;).

Optional: After a few more Njerpezit killings, your are promoted to War Chief, and are allowed to hire villagers to go raiding.


I found following this challenge produced a very focused game that was quite fun, especially when you "learn" from the old man little by little, expanding your power all the time, which is rewarding. I don't remember all the details, but here I give you a partial list of the passage quests and their rewards. At the beginning our teenager doesn't know how to do almost anything, and is not allowed to interact with any villager except his mentor. Again, this is just a sketch and can be improved. Food for thought!


Quest 1: The Young Aspirant. Hunt any animal.
Reward: Knowledge: how to build basic shelter, basic bows, arrows, javelin. Social: Allowed to leave culture boundaries.
Quest 2: To Know the World. Visit every culture, bring back tokens.
Reward: Knowledge: How to build kota, withes. Social: Allowed to trade for simple, basic tools (not weapons!)
Quest 3: The Mobile House. Build a kota from scratch.
Reward: Knowledge: How to make water skin, raft, birch ropes. Social: Allowed to trade for cows, furs.
Quest 4: To the Ends of the Earth. Visit the farthest northwestern point of the mainland, burn a trunk there at midnight
Reward: Knowledge: How to make shortbow, blunt arrows. Social: Allowed to trade for punt
Quest 5: To the Ends of the Sea. Find southermost island.
Reward: Knowledge of basic traps. Social: allowed to trade for shovel.
Quest 6: The Trader. Accumulate furs for X value.
Reward: Knowledge: how to make leather armor, overcoats. Social: Allowed to trade for simple weapons, nothing above "normal" quality
Quest 7: The Warrior. Find and kill a Njerpezit
Reward: Knowledge: How to build cabin, cellar. Social: allowed to hire villagers to help build cabin.
Quest 8: The Tribesman. Build your cabin
Reward: You are a man! Social: Can buy dogs.
(Optional)
Quest 9: The War Path. Kill 5 Njerpezit by yourself, can bring dog to fight.
Reward: Social: Allowed to buy any weapon, including master quality level. Allowed to lead war parties.
Quest 10: Marauder. Hire war party and annihilate Njerpezit village
Reward: You are acclaimed War Chief. Men respect you, women love you, children want to be like you. You can rest, at last. Long year.


As you can see, this simple uses everything already in the game, only unveiling it (interactions and menu options) after certain conditions are met. The list of quests/rewards needs to be refined, of course, but it could be a nice thing to add as an alternative of an open world that always gets too easy after a while. And is fun! What do you think?






« Last Edit: November 08, 2021, 04:55:13 PM by Utumno »

Plotinus

« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2021, 09:07:46 AM »
Interesting. How do you complete the quest to visit every culture before you are allowed to use punts and rafts? Sometimes the archipelago doesn't have any territory on the mainland at all.

JP_Finn

  • Honorary Lifetime Supporter
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 850
  • Total likes: 431
  • Thawed Finn in SoCal
    • View Profile
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2021, 04:48:34 PM »
Interesting suggestion indeed.

Very unFinnish like to limit people from wandering the wilds. Also would limit a start outside cultural areas.
Limiting Sartolais farmer character unable to acquire a shovel, until much later traveling over the entire UnRealWorld doesn’t make much sense.
I don’t think any/many youths during Iron Age would’ve lived to 16 and not make multiple selfbows and arrows by then. I made my first bow with my dad at ripe age of 4. And a new about every 1-2 years.

Utumno

« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2021, 03:04:14 AM »
Interesting. How do you complete the quest to visit every culture before you are allowed to use punts and rafts? Sometimes the archipelago doesn't have any territory on the mainland at all.

Hi Plotinus,

Well, the list above is just a sketch, to illustrate the idea.It can be modified to avoid illogical demands.

The general idea behind the social/knowledge gains is that you get to know/are allowed to do just what is necessary to complete the next quest, kind of like a "need-to-know" basis. In that way, the players is always on edge, but always growing.

 

Utumno

« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2021, 03:12:44 AM »
Interesting suggestion indeed.

Very unFinnish like to limit people from wandering the wilds. Also would limit a start outside cultural areas.
Limiting Sartolais farmer character unable to acquire a shovel, until much later traveling over the entire UnRealWorld doesn’t make much sense.
I don’t think any/many youths during Iron Age would’ve lived to 16 and not make multiple selfbows and arrows by then. I made my first bow with my dad at ripe age of 4. And a new about every 1-2 years.

Hi JP_Finn,

I'm not aiming at simulating Finnish culture with this, ancient or modern, at all. I'm just suggesting a mechanism for a particular story-mode, the Rite of Passage, based on purposeful initial limitations for the player to be overcome, hopefully in an engaging way, and within a set period of time. 

Talking more generally, a survival game will always have the basic problem that, sooner or later, you will...survive! Or die, and that's it. The genre is inherently limited, if open-ended. One obvious way to avoid that limitation is to set time limits; another, concurrently, is to set limits to the power of the player, at least at the beginning.  That's what I'm proposing, under the guise of a story mode.




 

ineedcords

« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2021, 08:26:28 PM »
<snip>
I'm not aiming at simulating Finnish culture with this, ancient or modern, at all. I'm just suggesting a mechanism for a particular story-mode, the Rite of Passage, based on purposeful initial limitations for the player to be overcome, hopefully in an engaging way, and within a set period of time. 

Talking more generally, a survival game will always have the basic problem that, sooner or later, you will...survive! Or die, and that's it. The genre is inherently limited, if open-ended. One obvious way to avoid that limitation is to set time limits; another, concurrently, is to set limits to the power of the player, at least at the beginning.  That's what I'm proposing, under the guise of a story mode.
Yes, I think I know what you mean in the second paragraph. Some people are pretty good with creating their own (pseudo-quests/goals) in open-ended game worlds whereas others prefer it to be part of the game. This was recently discussed even here in our forum, under the Gameplay Discussions board [reference: How to avoid boredom https://www.unrealworld.fi/forums/index.php?topic=6564.0 ].

Having said that, the open endedness is one of the main allures of the game, if not the primary one. Personally I never liked fetch-quests in other games, it is much easier to program that, instead of an believable virtual world in an open ended game so quite a few games had that approach. Probably more in the past.
For me at least, playing a scenario described in your suggestion won't add to the game but take away from it (a lot).

That sounds like a good mod idea rather than main game quest (although on the technical front, I do not know how moddable that would be).

Edit: typo fix
« Last Edit: November 16, 2021, 08:17:41 PM by ineedcords »
This could be a good day to utilize your squirrels hides.