Brief Frontier Simulation Update!

And now we present a Daniel Jacobsen News Update – delivered at the speed of one of those newfangled steam-trains! What an exciting Age of Progress!

Characters now form relationships with other characters!  Right now it’s sort of like speed dating.  When they talk to each other, they get a chance to compare their traits and determine whether they are compatible, and within the scope of about 5 seconds, they might just fall in love.  Or they might hate each other. The frontier is a complicated place, charged with emotion.

Two conversations with rather different results.

Two conversations with rather different results.

Upon creating these relationships, characters tend to prioritize any task that will involve their partner, and they’ll be extremely upset if anything happens to them.  And if something bad does happen, they actually have an option other than crying, waiting to starve to death, and being driven to a homicidal rage!  Yes: they can drink ale to make themselves feel better.  Sleep helps too, but they don’t know it yet.  One day they may even be able to talk out their problems, but not today.  Oh no.  Not today.

Characters can also create rival relationships and they’re similarly extremely quick to judge, though they’re not actually nasty to each other just yet.

The barber forments rivalry with the NCO while others discuss hats (or talk to no one and just think about being hungry).

The barber foments rivalry with the NCO while other colonists discuss hats. And a labourer standing in the tools stockpile thinks about how very hungry she is because this colony has no food at all.

I was going to write about how difficult it is to actually implement other emotions than happiness and sadness, but… it’s not actually that hard, thanks to our design.  Given any situation, such as a loved ones’ death, we simply say, yeah, that would make a character really sad, slightly mad, and quite angry!  This affects the choices that they’ll make by increasing the utility of venting in various ways.  Anger increases the likelihood that they’ll start a brawl (they’re frontier people, that’s how it’s done!), sadness increases the likelihood that they’ll need another pint at the pub and a good cry, and so forth.  Things are going brilliantly, this is awesome.

You’re awesome too. Thanks for reading.

Posted in Clockwork Empires | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

12 Responses to “Brief Frontier Simulation Update!”

  1. icepick37 says:

    That lady does NOT like caps. Bowlers are okay apparently.

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  2. muffinimal says:

    I like turtles!

    I didnt notice that the characters have so much detail in their little faces. Love it!

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  3. Mysterious Stranger says:

    Ah just in time for Fall, it’s pumpkin flavored laudanum! For that Autumnal High!

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  4. BTAxis says:

    Currently in DF, relationships between dwarves tend to be a bad thing since it they only facilitate tantrum spirals. From the description in this post I got kind of the same vibe – is there any reason why I would WANT my colonists to form relationships? Or is it just there to make colonist management more involved?

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    • CaptainJameson says:

      You wouldn’t want it, but can’t avoid it. So deal with it 🙂

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    • MichaelZ says:

      The post does say that they will prioritize tasks with their friends, so it is possible the GLG team will give the workers a boost either in happiness or productivity for working with their friends, which might make it worth the risk of tantrum spirals.

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      • vanatteveldt says:

        DF is a strange game… McAtteveldt is happy lately. He lost his spouse to tragedy lately. He watch his spouse’s body rot away lately. He slept in a great bedroom lately. He was comforted by a lovely waterfall lately.

        I like decomposing “negative” into anger and grief, and I would think that the personality of a character is important in determining how this is decomposed. is a nice source of inspiration.

        About friendship and relations: I would model a “loneliness” factor, that some people get lonely (=sad) and frustrated (=angry?) if they are without friends/spouse. Also, good friends should mitigate other negative emotions: a lone ranger encountering tragedy should go berserk quicker than a well-connected family man…

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      • Blue Footed Booby says:

        I haven’t played State of Decay yet, but from what I’ve read it does a decent job making inter-NPC relationships more than a hindrance, eg having a significant other making some NPCs better able to weather hardship.

        Having a talented character fall in love with a useless butthead also creates interesting tradeoffs.

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  5. Astaldaran says:

    I assume that the relationships make them happier and thus they can deal with other hardships(non-relational) better. Such as when the new governor demands excessive overtime, or unsafe working conditions; or drafts them into the army that will be used to wipe out the native populations..etc.

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  6. Thomas says:

    Makes me wonder if social class is going to factor into this at some point.
    Just thinking about the scandal that would occur if one of the young, impressionable overseers became infatuated with one of the commoners.

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