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One CRITICAL thing that needs to be enforced (and justified somehow) is that what one player builds CANNOT be destroyed by another player, nor objects stolen to fix THEIR projects. Entropy will slowly deteriorate things, but sabatoge should not be allowed -- no Griefing which has ruined so many MMORPG games before.
Another 'Player Created Asset type:
7c) Unique (fitted/appropriate) NPC character development. -- specifics of what roles the fulfill (example- hotdog stand guy) :
- By what they say in their interaction dialogs (implied accents and slang/terminology).
- It might have a Speech lead in (sound clip) or sales barking/drumming snippets ("Get Your Hotdogs Here !!").
- Customization includes how they interact with Players/NPCs (grumpy/friendly NewYork rude).
- What props they interact with (like that hotdog-stand + cash-register and the hotdogs he sells and that frightening condiment selection)
- How they interact socially and commercially (who he buys stuff/supplies from, and where his money goes -- does he go somewhere to sleep???)
How they react when a wild Splicer is on the loose near them.... ( "!! Damn Splicer Aint Gonna Steal MY Hotdogs!!!!" )
It doesn't have to get too intricate and many of the behaviors are standard attributes selected from a menu (ie- when threatened - run away; if someone wants to buy and you have that thing to sell - sell it for money; vacate the stand for 8 hours a day and put up the "Closed" sign and empty the cash-register).
Notice that this 'logic' of a NPC vendor is largely common to most such small sales locations/vendors. Reusing it on some other kind of store does not require that many changes, mostly just specific details, different props around the NPC, etc... Maybe variant #17 will put up a sign on the walls nearby leading to his business spot with its unique name and pointing the way (just another part of this specific 'Assembly' made out of commonly reused building blocks). The Sign-Put-Up behavior is just another 'building block' used when the 'business' instance is to be installed (added to the Game World), and appopriate signs are placed in walls spots designated for sign placement. Random 'Generic' signs can be used but the creator can make nice looking ones as part of his customized 'Assembly'.
This Instance "Joe's Hotdog Stand", designed by a player (or maybe by company Asset Creators) will go in one location slot in the Game World --- as a freestanding vendor stand in some semi-random clear spot in some street in the civilized part of New Rapture). Some significantly modified variant of it might be decided to be placed in several other city locations ("Ludwig's Bratwurst Kiosk") with sufficient differences to not be noticably repetative (ie- a leanto). The system allows it to be easy enough to clone and customize (and Asset Creator Players can expend lots of fun time making it special/specific and themed and logical). There may be some special control logic options as to what is sold (especially when no hotdogs are yet available or are out of supply for a while -- all basic menu type fallthru logic - hmm, hotdogs made out of 'fish' or barnacles...). The specific NPC running this 'assembly' and the necessary props' all are coordinated together (why its called an 'assembly' - its all cohesively constructed) and make a whole grouping that can be placed in any compatible spot (an 'Instance') . This unique item can be cloned and placed in all the parallel running Game Worlds.
This particular hotdog stand does not have to become some Epic Super Plot item, as it fullfils basic 'people needs' but it DOES fill in a little detail in that place of that World (different from most MMORPGs you see which are virtually ghosttowns). The combinations of several equally simple 'Assemblies' of simple Props nearby together will make that location unique enough without some expensive choreographing/hand building that we see in solo games (and which cost so much for the game companies to produce).
There is a term 'emergent behavior' which is used in the technical world of simulation, where many simple objects interacting in simple ways, bring about the appearance/execution of much more complexity. This scheme is alot like that. Objects with a tiny bit of adaption to their environmentmake this even more effective.
An interesting thing about a hodog 'stand' is that it is generally portable and generic in where it can properly be placed (utilized in the Game World). There could be a Player Boss command system for this type of 'Business' Asset by which the Player in the game tells his NPC 'employee' to move the stand closer to where the Player's resources are (to improve convienence for his NPC lackeys - as a nearby place to eat)... For independat NPCs, logic might have the NPC move his stand to a better location or even sell it to a player(the NPC might become one of his minions....). Another might be after the stand is a success, to build/setup another (expand his business) inside the game --- Joes Hotdog Stand #2 -- and attract/hire/partner a second NPC to man it.
Alot of the world detail fillers (vendors at least) probably wont be much more complicated than the above example. Using 'Templates' provided (by the company or expert player creators) with the scripted AI guts already done makes it faily easy to do. Most creators (who are creating a custom instance of the template) only fill in standard options and select details to make things unique. There would be lots of preexisting little options to chose from (signs, names, deecoration textures,etc..)-- and more simple Assets can be custom created by the Player or a collaboratror (like a custom sign using the signmaking tool).