Systemic Game Design for Narratives

Reactive narrative makes games feel more realistic and immersive.

This video explains systemic game design and how to apply it for more reactive narratives.

In the context of The Sandbox, we can think of the term “flag” used in the video as “tags” applied to objects.

Tags are used for directing and filtering messages granularly for cause and effect.

This can be used to create classes of NPCs with similar roles to drive the player actions. Asker behaviors could be created for classes of NPCs, such as the Antiquarian mentioned in the video. This would reveal a system in your game, but it’s a worthy trade-off for the more immersive and reactive feel the game would offer to players.

Once you have a general system in place, you can modify it for other types of systems. This will mean logic and dialogue set up with Game Maker’s objectives/quests, Rules, and behaviors and components applied to objects to design your own system/mechanic. This may include what NPCs say, how they may change behavior or speech depending on the player’s reputation, how objects react upon collision with certain tags, etc.

4 Likes

great video @SANDcultivator!
Below I will share a short lesson on how to do this in Game Maker, along with Askers to scale the capabilities of generating dialogues, as well as triggering actions when answered .

Scalable Dialogues and Events
Quick Learning TSB Game Maker Logic
A Practical Two-Minute Lesson for Beginners! #TSBedu pic.twitter.com/cfi1XAQz6c

— Dankoyy (@Dankoyy42) April 16, 2024
1 Like

:eyes: :eyes: :thinking: could this be precursor to a dialog and tag system where you could add and remove custom tags in game … via a component?

1 Like

I believe so. I believe that tag modifications, as well as some parameters such as those associated with NPC behavior, should be worked on in the future. It will be important to modify health, damage, among other parameters. The GM architecture will likely accommodate a wide range of possibilities in this sense.

1 Like