Topic: Creating Settlements  (Read 541 times)


Ares

« on: May 31, 2021, 12:50:53 AM »
My number one desire for UrW right now would be the ability to found your own settlement. I enjoy outfitting my recruits with gear, but it's always disheartening when they finish their term of service and then vanish into the wilderness, never to be seen again (or be totally unwilling to rejoin me, even if I do find them). Having folk you could outfit and keep around (as they also develop in skill over time, too) would be great. It would also provide more late game content, as after I've outfitted myself in all masterwork gear, with a nice cabin and endless miles of trap fences I always run out of goals beyond raiding the Njerperz until I get unlucky and die.

My proposal for implementation:

In order to invite someone to your settlement, you first have to have a spare habitation flagged as available. So you'd need to construct homes for new immigrants. Then you'd have to find someone willing to move there and ask them to join your settlement. For this, there would need to be a more complex system defining each NPC's demeanor and place in society. Their relationships, personality, personal wealth, and occupation (shopkeeper, nobility, landed/unlanded farmer, so on), and a much broader range of skills would all need to be tracked.

Each NPC would have an assigned value between 0-100 indicating their reticence to move. Randomized within a range depending on personality, and then adjusted based off their age (younger people are more likely to be adventurous and take chances on a new place), skill (individuals with lesser skill will be more likely to seek opportunity elsewhere), personal wealth (a wealthy shopkeeper would be loathe to leave their thriving business, and his firstborn would also be unlikely to abandon the opportunity to inherit that wealth), and relationships (someone with a spouse who does not wish to move will be less likely to do so, or even if their family is willing, they may require a larger habitation). This personal score for each NPC will then be checked against what you're offering. This will be determined by your settlement's overall wealth, as well as the value of the property you are offering (a tiny yurt won't be nearly as enticing as a large, furnished cabin, for instance), how distant the settlement is (depending on personality; a homebody who values family is less likely to move a long distance than someone who is naturally adventurous), how many people are already living there (a town might be wealthy, but if there's already a large population there will be less opportunity for anyone freshly arriving), as well as town policies. A settlement's wealth can be increased by having walls, agricultural fields, livestock, certain communal buildings (public sauna, perhaps a temple, shops, a feast hall, etc), sufficient food stores, accessible water routes (e.g., on the coast or next to a river that leads to a coast for trading purposes), and well equipped warriors to protect it.

Of course, having a wealthy settlement is a double edged sword, as it will also attract the attention of others. While coastal or river adjacent villages are advantageous for trading and agricultural purposes, they will also be accessible to a new villain, "foreign raiders," who can arrive unexpectedly by boat during the late spring and summer. You can pay them off to go raid elsewhere, or fight them. You might receive some warnings a few days or weeks out that there are raiders in the vicinity, if you are in town or visiting nearby villages, but beware if you're out adventuring elsewhere for long periods, as you might come home to a smoldering wreck.

If you have a settlement within the cultural boundaries of a group, or within a certain distance from one of their cities, they will demand annual taxes, and may ask you to provide troops for campaigns. Failing to do so, or coming up short in either troops or taxes, will reduce your reputation with them, as will attacking anyone they are friendly with. If your reputation is reduced enough, they may request you cede control of the town, or else organize a campaign against you. Their demands will obviously increase with the wealth of your settlement.

Wherever you are, you may come afoul of common bandits or Njerperz, but your odds increase significantly the further you are from any cultural boundaries, especially from the Njerperz. This way, there's no truly "safe" place to set up a settlement, as there will always be someone who will covet your accruing wealth and want it for their own.

As for your townfolk, once they have moved in, you can try to assign jobs for them, which they may choose to accept based off their skills and personality (a brave man may be willing to be a warrior even without strong combat skills, but a coward will not), current duties (if you already have someone tagged as a hunter and hide processor, they will not have time to also be a fisherman), as well as access to the necessary utilities for the job (for instance, you may not have sufficient farmland to assign a new farmer, or have the tools they need to perform their job, such as shovels, sickles, and seeds).

Townfolk will also have their own desires. For instance, an unwed man may at some point request leave to travel to neighboring villages to find a possible bride to bring back, if they do not find anyone suitable in the village. A very religious person may grow increasingly unhappy if your town has reached a certain size and still does not have a temple, or if its temple is too small and unworthy. A village woman may desire for there to be some sheep to sheer for wool, or more warriors to protect them. A warrior may wish for better gear, or a larger house. And so on.

As the founder of the township, you can determine certain basic policies. For instance, it could be a free town, where everyone can do as they please, owing nothing, but can be bargained with to assist with various tasks if they're willing to (provide lumber in exchange for X payment, with less payment requested depending on their personality, skills, and overall happiness). Or you may require a certain amount of labor per year from your occupants. The more you demand, the less happy they will be, naturally. People will also be less likely to move somewhere where the taxes are onerous. However, as your settlement grows, it may be inevitable, as you will require more warriors to defend it than you could hope to feed on your own, so you will need your farmers, fishermen, and hunters to provide some portion of their labor.

Maybe this all goes well beyond the scope of UrW, but I think it would add so much more depth to the game. There would be a much more personal connection with the people who populate the world, as well as more ambitious long term goals available to pursue, that can just as easily be ignored by those from whom it holds no interest.

JP_Finn

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« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2021, 06:15:46 AM »
I like many points of this suggestion.
Couple thoughts: Foreign Raiders are pretty much present as Njerpez.
Temples were not a thing. Maybe a “seita” or even a sacrificial grove. But temples, nah.

In all, it’d be a humongous undertaking, from NPC AI, to fine tuning wealth/jobs/relationships et cetera. But, a logical step eventually after marriage/spouse/off-spring re-introduction/implementation.

trowftd

« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2021, 01:40:36 PM »
To be honest, we may not even need marriage at the start. I honestly would be very pleasant with a "partner" that is just a companion that doesn't leave you. Maybe after that is settled, we could have a chance to have offsprings if we are "partners" with the opposite gender.

But my problem with this whole thing is, how old are your characters when you actually get all masterwork gear and everything settled? Probably very young, I don't know about other people's playthroughs but the "endgame" can be reached pretty quickly tbh. And to think that a 20 something year old adventurer is looking for immigrants for his newly founded settlement is kind of unrealistic, to me at least.

The perception of time is very slow in the game. You can basicaly visit every single cultural area in the game, do different trades, get all shiny and powerful equipment and barely pass your teenage years. Because the game is also concerned about micro, everyday decisions of your character. I feel like this is a little too pronounced. I think Erkka's game in development, Ancient Savo, can give this bigger time period feeling better because it is not concerned about every single decision of your character, but then again, those two games are in a whole two different game genres.

Having bigger goals like this can be really good and all but I can see a 25 year old guy or girl being the chief of a very populated village and I don't think this is very realistic of those times. But maybe I'm wrong, maybe the Finns all had young people founding new settlements I have no knowledge about that. I would like to read someone's opinion about all the things I wrote above.


Ares

« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2021, 10:58:42 PM »
Couple thoughts: Foreign Raiders are pretty much present as Njerpez.

The difference, in my mind, would be that foreign raiders would arrive via boats, and with different equipment than the Njerperz who have their own distinctive aesthetic. Depending on the size of the raid, it could be anywhere from only one metal armored, highly skilled war leader with a handful of more lightly armored supporters, to four or five war leaders with their retinues. They would then leave afterward on their boats. It would be a distinction primarily in flavor, to add more depth to the world.

Temples were not a thing. Maybe a “seita” or even a sacrificial grove. But temples, nah.

Fair enough. I was just trying to brainstorm some communal buildings that might help to add immersion to the world and create the feeling of a real community, while also providing the player with tangible goals to progress toward.

But my problem with this whole thing is, how old are your characters when you actually get all masterwork gear and everything settled? Probably very young, I don't know about other people's playthroughs but the "endgame" can be reached pretty quickly tbh. And to think that a 20 something year old adventurer is looking for immigrants for his newly founded settlement is kind of unrealistic, to me at least.

...

Having bigger goals like this can be really good and all but I can see a 25 year old guy or girl being the chief of a very populated village and I don't think this is very realistic of those times.

This is the eternal debate and compromise between realism and playability. As is, it typically takes me less than a single season to be completely outfitted with masterwork gear. The only limiting factor is whether I can find all the pieces I need that season, or if I have to wait for shops to re-stock to find what I need (which on a separate note, is very tedious, searching through every building, town after town for that one or two missing pieces). While not germane to the purpose of this post, I absolutely agree that it is far too easy right now, and prices (especially selling roasted meat) need to be adjusted. However, if you make it too realistic, and it takes many years to make basic progress, the game becomes far too tedious and unrewarding.

I feel like my suggestion, while perhaps not following a totally realistic timeline, strikes a good balance between realism and playability. It would take many seasons to construct the buildings and recruit villagers, and as you did so, the challenge of the game would organically and believably increase as you have to balance the needs of your village and tend to its defense. It would also help ameliorate the feeling of personal progress being too easy in the game, because it would provide further challenge beyond simply outfitting yourself in all the best gear, essentially extending the late game beyond where it is now.

Kenshi and Mount & Blade are both good examples of games where progress feels organic and "earned," optionally allowing the player to advance from a single individual to controlling your own settlements, yet the timeline it takes to accomplish this in both cases isn't remotely realistic. Like I said, it's all a matter of striking a balance where what you accomplish in the game feels earned and organic.

trowftd

« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2021, 01:13:10 AM »
Kenshi and Mount & Blade are both good examples of games where progress feels organic and "earned," optionally allowing the player to advance from a single individual to controlling your own settlements, yet the timeline it takes to accomplish this in both cases isn't remotely realistic. Like I said, it's all a matter of striking a balance where what you accomplish in the game feels earned and organic.

These are good examples, I kind of went wrong with just talking about the timeline and not really the flow of the game. And I admit, it is probably very hard to strike the balance between major and minor events and make both timelines realistic. Maybe the distance between cultural areas can be longer? So that we can't just go to the one from the other. The trading then would require a lot more planning ahead. This could make the progression flow a bit better I guess. Unreal World is a survival game in the first place, I do not think it would be too detrimental to make the player only busy about surviving a little longer I guess.

I just realised that my main "annoyance" here is that I think the overworld map travelling is way too fast. I am fine with how cutting down trees, fishing, building, trapping and so on takes our character's time in a day. So I kind of contradicted myself in one or two sentences in my first post. It is just that I can move on the world map very quickly.

PALU

« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2021, 09:21:28 AM »
The travel issue isn't that overland map travel is too fast (I'm not sure it is faster in game than zoomed in travel, although it's obviously a lot faster for the player, which is a good thing). Instead, the issue from that perspective is that the game world is very small, so all the cultures of proto-Finland are crammed into a space that's maybe 1/10 of Finland's actual size.

A lot of development has happened on the HW front since UrW development started, so what may have been too large a world back then might not be now. However, the feel of the game would change a fair bit if distances were made realistic, although I'm not sure that would necessarily be a bad thing.

Edit: The size is more like 1/100 of the real world size, with 1/10 in each of the two dimensions.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2021, 09:24:31 AM by PALU »

Ara D.

« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2021, 08:44:09 PM »
As to a long term companion, I've made the suggestion before that sometimes a companion offers to travel indefinitely with you, with the randomly assigning must complete quests like I wish to travel and see my family where you must either travel with them, prat ways or possibly to meet up at a know village at such and such month. That what they would feel like friend, companion, and equal with there own needs and desires and less like an employee.