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Upward over the Mountain

Heyyoo.

It's been a minute!

Just thought I'd post a bit of an update since it's been so long. I won't beat around the bush, progress has gone sloow since the last update. I know I made some vague promises about a new demo being released at the end of the year, but nope! Those hopes were firmly dashed against the rocks of laziness and apathy and the Good Ship Linus has been sorta... lost in a sludgy sea of malaise and general "I don't care!" for the past few months. Not to worry of course, I always do bounce back and have periods where I work on the game obsessively. Just gotta wait till inspiration strikes again. It'll happen eventually!

So, progress has been pretty slow, but this blog doesn't have to be all doom and gloom. I've decided to talk about a feature I've been hinting at for a while, and I'm super excited to announce what it is now that I know I can actually implement it.

To start off, I should let you know that Linus, the character, isn't the main hero/protagonist of this game. The game is named after him for REASONS, but he isn't controllable in any way. No, instead of you controlling him, the game itself is in control of Linus. All of his choices in the story -- from him deciding whether or not he wants to get out of bed on a certain day, to him being mean and or friendly to you the player, to him deciding what other NPCs he wants to grow close to, are governed by a pretty complicated "AI system" I've created. Using variables, the game will develop certain personality traits in Linus, all depending on a large number of seemingly inconsequential dialogue options he can make throughout the game. His choices at the start will be random, but with each choice he makes, certain traits will become more and more pronounced until the game leads him down a specific "personality path". The goal is to make Linus a unique character who makes his own choices independent of the player, which is an idea I fell in love with and decided to implement. This will result in the game having some pretty different storyline routes and a *shit ton* of writing. But thankfully, that's what I love doing the most. It's the other stuff that's boring. :p

To close this off, I've posted a new video showing some gameplay from later in the game. The "Linus AI" can be seen here, as the dialogue choice he makes in this video is controlled by the game itself, and not the player. Let me know what you guys think!




Posts

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Well I have lurked here long enough I guess. An AI making the decisions? Well no thanks for me... I am a fan of decision making as a player and that AI is taking over the world... is not a thing I like so I goodbye for now. I will see how this unfolds and will still follow the thread (hopefully to one day see a let's play of this.) but I won't play this game. Well since I am just a lurker you haven't lost anything I guess. Sorry about this but this pushed a button... and not the good kind xD
A shame this game looked really good.
Cap_H
DIGITAL IDENTITY CRISIS
6188
This sounds great and I welcome it! I think it is a great twist to take control from the player. It might lead to various interesting scenarios. You might even restart the game just to get more likable Linus.

And the video's just wow!
author=dasgibtesnet
Well I have lurked here long enough I guess. An AI making the decisions? Well no thanks for me... I am a fan of decision making as a player and that AI is taking over the world... is not a thing I like so I goodbye for now. I will see how this unfolds and will still follow the thread (hopefully to one day see a let's play of this.) but I won't play this game. Well since I am just a lurker you haven't lost anything I guess. Sorry about this but this pushed a button... and not the good kind xD
A shame this game looked really good.

Totally understandable! Thanks for keeping up with the game! Hopefully it'll end up being something you can enjoy in some way.

I will say you as a player do still make a ton of important decisions. Linus just doesn't have to agree with them 100% of the time. :p

author=Cap_H
This sounds great and I welcome it! I think it is a great twist to take control from the player. It might lead to various interesting scenarios. You might even restart the game just to get more likable Linus.

And the video's just wow!

Aw thanks! Well, the goal isn't really to make Linus an unlikeable character. He is still someone the player will (hopefully) want to root for and care about. So while he may have disagreements with the protagonist and other characters, the goal is to have a relationship with him that's not a flat plateau, but one of peaks and valleys.

One of the main tenants of this concept is to make the relationship between the player and Linus more realistic than what you see in other games. In the real world, every relationship has its ups and downs. With your friends, loved ones, siblings, ect you fight, you make up, you go through shit together and there can be both resentment and respect. I thought this would be an interesting facet to explore in an RPG. :p
"We're going on a BEAR HUNT, we're gonna catch a BIG ONE! I'm not scared! I'm not scared!"

Looking forward to this as always. I think the new changes sound quite exciting and I agree, not something that's usually explored in many RPGs.
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