Larian Studios

Games with NPC schedules

Posted By: LightningLockey

Games with NPC schedules - 26/04/13 10:23 PM

Incase you haven't heard, they "met" the last stretch goal. Though it was short $5k, as Swen said "It be stupid to not do this over $5k.." He also said they might find the $5k under a mattress.

Anyhow, this thread is to help them find a pool of games to get inspiration since NPC scheduling has been done before...but very rarely.

One game I can think of is for the Nintendo 64 called (can get at the Wii store to play in the Wii)
Legend of Zelda: Majoras Mask (or Mask of Majora). The game was heavily centered around NPC schedules.
Posted By: Jaesun

Re: Games with NPC schedules - 26/04/13 10:32 PM

Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny
Ultima VI: The False Prophet
Ultima VII Part 1: The Black Gate
Ultima VII Part 2: Serpent Isle

Using the Dungeon Siege engine (they are mods for it)
Ultima V: Lazarus
Ultima VI Project
Posted By: Stabbey

Re: Games with NPC schedules - 26/04/13 10:35 PM

They won't need a mattress, Paypal is open another 2 weeks. And with the latest figures from the RPG Codex and RPG Watch, it's only 4k they need. smile

Also, Oblivion and Skyrim are other obvious games with NPC schedules. There's also Xenoblade Chronicles for the Wii.
Posted By: Helena L

Re: Games with NPC schedules - 26/04/13 10:56 PM

TES IV: Oblivion is the only one I've played. Though I really hope Larian doesn't take that as a model.
Posted By: Jaesun

Re: Games with NPC schedules - 26/04/13 11:10 PM

IIRC Swen wants to do Schedules simillar to the one in Ultima VII. People wake up in their homes, and then go to work. At noon they go to an Inn and eat lunch. At night go to their homes and sleep etc..
Posted By: Ananke

Re: Games with NPC schedules - 26/04/13 11:20 PM

The Npc Schedule in The Witcher 1 and 2 is great
Posted By: LordCrash

Re: Games with NPC schedules - 26/04/13 11:29 PM

Gothic 1
Gothic 2
Gothic 3 (?)
Posted By: LordCrash

Re: Games with NPC schedules - 26/04/13 11:32 PM

Originally Posted By: Jaesun
IIRC Swen wants to do Schedules simillar to the one in Ultima VII. People wake up in their homes, and then go to work. At noon they go to an Inn and eat lunch. At night go to their homes and sleep etc..

Even more than that. With the weather system they should also react to the environment and search for shelter when it rains for example. smile

So the NPCs should act very realistically, according to the daytime and the weather and the circumstances....

Much work to do for poor Axel.... meh
Posted By: Sawovsky

Re: Games with NPC schedules - 26/04/13 11:34 PM

That's to simplificafed! We need other things they will randomly do, not only the basic ones.
Posted By: LightningLockey

Re: Games with NPC schedules - 27/04/13 12:13 AM

There are more games out there with NPC schedules then I thought.

Some npc's will hopefully have complex schedules, but most will have to remain simple as this game will probably have well over a thousand NPCs.

The Zelda Game I mentioned has very complex NPC schedules. The game only has maybe 100 NPCs. I'm hoping that the quest NPCs will be as complex with majority of the NPCs just there creating an atmosphere of a busy town/city.
Posted By: Arkham

Re: Games with NPC schedules - 27/04/13 07:02 AM

I once played a game called Cythera, an old Mac shareware game modelled after the Ultimas (especially U7, with which it shares a very similar visual style). Shopkeepers in a city would go to the market in the day and close down during the night, buildings would be locked and unlocked depending on the time of day, the students in the school of mages would eat at mealtimes between classes and sleep in their dorm beds at night, nobles would hold court during the day and spend their evenings in their quarters/study, etc. Excellent game.
Posted By: melianos

Re: Games with NPC schedules - 27/04/13 07:08 AM

NPC schedules in Risen (probably in Risen2, but I havn't played it yet).
Posted By: Kingslayer

Re: Games with NPC schedules - 27/04/13 07:31 AM

Pretty much every Dragon Quest game has it, going back to the NES days. The Elder Scrolls series has it, but implemented it pretty badly until Skyrim. The Persona series sort of has it, but it's more that time jumps on after you perform certain actions as opposed to time smoothly moving forwards all the time.
Posted By: Eryn Shades

Re: Games with NPC schedules - 27/04/13 08:08 AM

I just hope that things like shpping are taken into account for the npc schedules, e.g. that there is a quite shadowy figure luking in a dark alley of the town at midnight where you can sell your wares while your local and offical buyer is at home. Maybe this merchant has worse sell prices but in compensation some unique items on stock.
Posted By: Garod

Re: Games with NPC schedules - 27/04/13 08:15 AM

I'd also love to see the guards or other NPC's get sick if they are standing in the rain for too long and then go take a hot bath. Wouldn't it be hilarious and cool to see the lonesome guard standing outside a door in the rain sneezing and sniffling. Or even your party members? it could affect moral.. don't think your in the best of moods when you have a cold.

There's just so much you can do with this =)
Good weather everyone is happy high moral, rain sleep and cold = bad moral
Posted By: Raze

Re: Games with NPC schedules - 27/04/13 08:51 AM


Having a black market dealer come out at night would be great for shopping and atmosphere, but in terms of NPC schedules not getting in the way of what you want to do, there could also be some way to quickly pass the time (magic, not walking to the nearest inn and renting a room to sleep for a certain number of hours). Of course for some quests it could makes sense an NPC would be fine if you tracked them down at home, but if you wake someone up in the middle of the night to finish off something relatively minor, any rewards you receive (gold, reputation, etc) should realistically be reduced.
Posted By: Runeweaver: WoOS

Re: Games with NPC schedules - 27/04/13 10:03 AM

Almraiven and Shadewood have NPC-schedules, as well as night- and/or day only encounters. There's also (of course!) A Dance with Rogues 1 & 2 (all are NWN 1 mod, by the way).
Posted By: Sawovsky

Re: Games with NPC schedules - 27/04/13 10:25 AM

LightningLockey , since apparently our forumers have a bunch of cool ideas for NPCs, can you rename this thread to ''Ideas for npc schedules and behaviours'' , so that people know where to put some interesting things regarding this last 1m goal, and maybe Larian guys can see something interesting and implement it in to the D:OS smile
Posted By: Fanest

Re: Games with NPC schedules - 27/04/13 12:27 PM

Originally Posted By: Runeweaver: WoOS
Almraiven and Shadewood have NPC-schedules, as well as night- and/or day only encounters. There's also (of course!) A Dance with Rogues 1 & 2 (all are NWN 1 mod, by the way).


Ahhh yes Almraiven series - one of the best games/mods i played i have soo good memories of it.
Posted By: Stabbey

Re: Games with NPC schedules - 27/04/13 01:15 PM

With NPC schedules in, it's probably a good idea to implement a Bethesda-style "wait/sleep X hours?" option. Just clicking on a bed and resting a fixed and hidden amount of time will probably be annoying if you want to wait for a specific NPC.


There should be a toggleable HUD element that shows the time and weather conditions as well. Or maybe that only shows up when the player brings up their journal. (Toggleable or configurable from the Options menu so players who don't want a lot of clutter on their screen can turn it off if the desire.)
Posted By: Kingslayer

Re: Games with NPC schedules - 27/04/13 04:33 PM

I like the idea of the time only being deducable from physical things within the game, like Ultima-style sundials, or just intuiting it from NPC behaviour. The weather conditions should be pretty obvious from on-screen effects, to be honest.
Posted By: Falchor

Re: Games with NPC schedules - 27/04/13 04:53 PM

I'm just happy for them to include any system for schedules and weather, so the modders have some shortcuts on hand to implement in a fashion that suits their unique story/environment.
Posted By: slimgrin

Re: Games with NPC schedules - 27/04/13 06:21 PM

I thought all Bethesda games have them. So do the Witcher games. The trick is to give the player cues as to where NPC's will be according to time of day, and both Witcher games did that fairly well.
Posted By: foobarry81

Re: Games with NPC schedules - 28/04/13 08:10 AM

Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 and 4 have NPC schedules.
Several Dragon Quest games (fe. DQ 8) have them.
Xenoblade was already mentioned on here.
Posted By: Bumvelcrowe

Re: Games with NPC schedules - 28/04/13 10:14 AM

Oh, that would be nice! claphands In fact, all this talk of Ultima 7 has persuaded me to buy the game again from GoG so I can have some fresh memories of it. Just need to get it set up in Exult. I can't think of any recent games that have done schedules well, so I hope that Larian set a new standard.
Posted By: Demonic

Re: Games with NPC schedules - 28/04/13 03:06 PM

Originally Posted By: slimgrin
I thought all Bethesda games have them. So do the Witcher games. The trick is to give the player cues as to where NPC's will be according to time of day, and both Witcher games did that fairly well.


Oblivion was the first TES game to implement it. I remember the NPC's in Morrowind, they just walked around to waypoints and occasionally walked into walls. I can't remember much good about that game.

Concerning games with NPC's schedules I can only think of two that haven't been listed:

Two Worlds 1 had an NPC schedule system but it was as crap as f***. Nevertheless, people went to sleep, merchants arose and went to their stalls and occasionally (but rarely) you'd find two NPC's talking. Yeah I was surprised too considering the poor scripting elsewhere in this game. Two Worlds 2 ditched this feature though and just made NPC's vanish when night-time came (like how Baldur's Gate did it).

Dragon's Dogma is a recent example. You won't find NPC's sleeping (although they vanish at night) but NPC's do return to their homes (at least this is observed within the starting village where NPC's go to their house and lock their doors but you don't see it in the city), have jobs that they perform, as well as hobbies and you'll find them trading, praying in the church, talking amongst each other, eating, drinking and generally just wondering through the village/city.

There are some Neverwinter Nights modules which have this feature too. Of course they aren't as dynamic as what Larian are aiming for and don't include unique scripts for every individual NPC.
Posted By: PenguinTD

Re: Games with NPC schedules - 28/04/13 05:22 PM

I think that it's not the amount of NPCs, but the quality of NPC setup and schedule that matters.
D:OS can sort of get away with this if they are not going to a hugh city like what other games did.

In Oblivion I just kinda lost, I have the impulse to talk to everyone and get all information I could, but to track down everyone is a annoying task, they just move around too much. It take such a long time to get those info(sometimes useless), if you stick to the gun and go for main quests only, it feels like you cut away a hugh part of the game.

To me, those collect X items quest is really boring time filler, so a tightly structured area with careful planning of evens are more important than have 5000 side quests which are 95% identical with way points.(By the time I reach 1st major fight in Oblivion, it was too easy because of all the side quest exp buff.)

so, yeah, my 2 cents.
Posted By: meme

Re: Games with NPC schedules - 28/04/13 05:47 PM

I am in hope (esp given the last update with Lar_q standing in the rain) that mobs will be reactive to changing condition - which I think is far more interesting than 'schedules' esp if you are able to manipulate the environment smile

(I suspect I am getting repetitive because I probably already said the above). Having said that as someone else already noted I remember Gothic 1 having schedules as well as a few other games but I think schedules are less interesting than reactiveness. In fact one of my *giant* dislike with Skyrim is that cities were not reactive to players actions (you didn't see the atmosphere or resident of cities changing based on characters 'reputation'). Other than games with fix transition (DKS for example) I'm not too sure I remember any games that show attitude changing based on player reputation or historical activity.
Posted By: Helena L

Re: Games with NPC schedules - 28/04/13 09:03 PM

Originally Posted By: Kingslayer
I like the idea of the time only being deducable from physical things within the game, like Ultima-style sundials, or just intuiting it from NPC behaviour. The weather conditions should be pretty obvious from on-screen effects, to be honest.

I'd rather have a time display. I know it's not especially realistic in a medieval setting, but there are some issues where gameplay trumps realism, especially if quests etc. are going to be affected by NPC schedules.
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