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eddiegorey
15th Dec 2007, 18:41
I am no expert on video games, but it seems that there has been some sort of breakthrough in creating massive amounts of NPCs like in Assassin's Creed and Hitman: Blood Money. In those games there are like thousands of people of just walking around. The crowds give a pretty cool effect and make the game seem more real.

Do you all think Deus Ex 3 will utilize crowds? I know it probably has a downside. It is kind of different than the previous games, where every single character has like 3 lines of dialogue. But in some scenes, such as the outdoor market places or the nightclubs, this would probably be pretty cool.

Would you want this feature in the game?

WhatsHisFace
15th Dec 2007, 18:43
If it serves the narrative of the game, then I say go for it. But don't just put in crowds because the technology allows it. If there's a sequence where you're in a bar, or a place like the Wan Chai market, then go ahead. But don't fill UNATCO HQ with a million cops. There needs to be a reason behind each decision.

CarloGervasi
15th Dec 2007, 18:54
I'd rather have a small number of identifiable people rather than a large mass of bum model type 5's.

Xcom
15th Dec 2007, 19:00
I am no expert on video games, but it seems that there has been some sort of breakthrough in creating massive amounts of NPCs like in Assassin's Creed and Hitman: Blood Money. In those games there are like thousands of people of just walking around. The crowds give a pretty cool effect and make the game seem more real.

I don't know about Assassin's Creed, but in Hitman BM they were little more than animated cardboard cutouts (ie: no AI). Sure, they are nice to look at, but if you fire a weapon, they don't react in any way. More real? (http://img119.imageshack.us/my.php?image=hitmanmasscreki1.jpg) I am not entirely sure.

eddiegorey
15th Dec 2007, 19:25
In assassin's creed, it was pretty impressive. They would all freak out and drop stuff and run if you acted crazy. Also, seeing as the game won't be done until late 2009, the technology probably will have gotten even better.

WhatsHisFace
15th Dec 2007, 19:42
You know, I really don't get the point of this thread.

Deus Ex is a game that attempts to give us the near-future in the most realistic way. Why the heck does it matter if it promises large crowds or not. Was there ever a time in Deus Ex 1 or 2 where you said "Man, this game could have been so much better if there was a huge crowd over there"? Maybe in Club Vox or the Bar in Hell's Kitchen when the streets were evacuated.

I don't think Eidos Montreal needs to go out of it's way to ensure that this game will scratch an Assassin's Creed itch when it's an entirely different game. Wouldn't you rather the programmers spend time on other things more necessary to the Deus Ex experience?

Chances are, Deus Ex 3's graphics engine will support enough polygons to just place a dozen people in an area without a performance hit. What's more, each one of them will likely have AI considering they managed that all the way back in Deus Ex 1.

And yeah, Deus Ex is a game where everyone has some kind of insight into what's going on. I don't want to see a bunch of voiceless people around because then it's clear that the only reason they're there is for the sake of them being there.

humbug
15th Dec 2007, 19:46
I think that pic you posted Xcom might be what you would call crowd over kill!

I'm not too bothered about crowds, as WhatsHisFace says if there is a need for crowds then sure but not just for the sake of it.

eddiegorey
15th Dec 2007, 19:52
Well, I see your point. I certainly wouldn't want them to just throw crowds in for the sake of it, particularly if it detracts from more important elements of the gameplay. But this is a feature that was not available in the making of the 1st and 2nd game, and it could play a role. There were times in Deus Ex, when the lack of NPCs seemed harmful to the plot. The bar in Hell's Kitchen is a great example. Everyone is evacuated into the bar, yet there are only about 8 people.

WhatsHisFace
15th Dec 2007, 19:56
Well, I see your point. I certainly wouldn't want them to just throw crowds in for the sake of it, particularly if it detracts from more important elements of the gameplay. But this is a feature that was not available in the making of the 1st and 2nd game, and it could play a role. There were times in Deus Ex, when the lack of NPCs seemed harmful to the plot. The bar in Hell's Kitchen is a great example. Everyone is evacuated into the bar, yet there are only about 8 people.

Yeah, that was a little suspect. And the Hong Kong club would be out-of-business if it only had ten patrons per night. :D

Dave W
15th Dec 2007, 21:51
In places like New York and stuff I can see how it could be quite good to have a lot more NPC's. Not "crowds" as such, since it's all at night, but a higher density of people.

Xcom
16th Dec 2007, 00:36
I don't want to see a bunch of voiceless people around because then it's clear that the only reason they're there is for the sake of them being there.

I think StormFront can explain it best. :D

But seriously, it's not about having a crowd per se, but having a realistic world environment. If you have a metropolis like New York, it will be kind of weird to see only few random NPCs around. In Hitman, that level depicts Mardi Gras parade. You expect a crowd. Given that Hitman is generally a stealthy game, personally, I am inclined to overlook the fact that the crowd is actually braindead (although I'd prefer that it wasn't).


There were times in Deus Ex, when the lack of NPCs seemed harmful to the plot.

Just for historical reference. This is what Warren Spector wrote in Deus Ex postmortem:


We worked out a bunch of missions -- more than 25 of them, taking the player from New York to London to Paris to San Antonio, to Austin to Siberia to Washington, D.C., to NORAD to Sunken L.A. (post-earthquake) to the Moon. We had wars in Texas, raids on concentration camps to free 2,000 prisoners from UN troops under FEMA control. Those of you who think the Deus Ex story line includes everything plus the kitchen sink now should have seen what we started with!

Later he says:


Let me give you some specific examples of ways in which we outreached ourselves in the original design of Deus Ex (before we made significant cuts). For one, there's no way, in a first-person RPG, to stage a raid on a POW camp to free 2,000 captives.

Well, maybe now there is.

WhatsHisFace
16th Dec 2007, 01:10
I am completely happy that Deus Ex didn't have any moon sequences. That would have sucked so, so bad.

Dave W
16th Dec 2007, 02:30
You realise that Area 51 was just recycled from the Moon sequence, right? So it would be basically the same.

Woggy
16th Dec 2007, 03:41
If Deus Ex didn't have an Area 51 mission, then I bet someone would have probably said "Man I'm glad they didn't implement Area 51 that would be been cheesy and sucked so bad!"

WhatsHisFace
16th Dec 2007, 04:37
You realise that Area 51 was just recycled from the Moon sequence, right? So it would be basically the same.

There's a huge difference between a near-future game taking place on earth, and taking place on the moon. No, I wouldn't be relieved about Area 51 not being in the game. I wouldn't really care, as long as the story got to conclude in a way that ties loose ends. It could have been any base really, but it's at least on earth.

Woggy
16th Dec 2007, 04:46
Its not that unbelievable that we'll have moon bases in 40-50 years.

phlebas
16th Dec 2007, 05:42
Crowd would be nice to see in appropriate environments.

Yet I really enjoyed how almost everyone in DX1 had something coherent and individual to say, from the ex-NSF member to a teenager in Hong Kong complaining about her mother. It's always so disappointing to see a lot of NPCs simply repeating same thing over and over again, and development team should devote more of their resources to making NPCs unique, rather than placing a lot of them.

StormFront
16th Dec 2007, 07:53
Unless this game is to be set in the kind of tiny, compartmentalised nonesense levels as IW was, then crowd simulation is a vital component.

As has been pointed out in this thread that crowd simulation is a relatively new ability in game engines. Now that we have it, not using it simply becasue some of you are paranoid and afraid of new technology (a fear I find endlessly amusing in such a high tech envioronment as this) is nonsensical.
The immersion provided through witnessing properly populated spaces is simply staggering. Sure the implementation used in Hitman was a bit shoddy, but it was the first attempt at doing it. Assassins Creed improved on it considerably as did Kane & Lynch.

As I have said elsewhere, the obsession of DX fans (or RPG fans in general) that everyone should be an interactive part of the story is just a nonesense. I would rather my game world resembled a more believable reality in which I am required to actually find key characters through observation, aquired information and deduction rather than relying on the old "well he is the only guy IN this level: must be the right one".

There is simply no argument, none what so ever, that an empty, lifeless level, devoid of random none-interactive bodies could ever be more immersive than an appropriately populated one. The only limitations on such a design decision would be the AI of other important NPCs. For example, while Wan Chai (SP?) market would have looked far less silly if it was filled to bursting with people (as Hong Kong is now, never mind 30 years in the future), the immersion bubble would have been popped instantly if, as soon as you fired a gun (for example), the AI cops starting mowing down pedestrians in an attempt to stop you. As in all things, application is vital and disbelief must continue to be suspended at all costs.

To sum up: expecting a game that is seeking to build immersion and involvement on the part of the player to only contain those machinations that are integral to the plot is just plain silly. Our real world experiences are mostly populated by background noise that, even though it does not directly interact with us or affect us, would be be hideously conspicuous in its absence.

Woggy
16th Dec 2007, 08:06
I agree mostly. Thing is, I don't want it to develop into this system where you just bug everyone hoping someone will listen to you and give you some good information about the local area and whatnot.

StormFront
16th Dec 2007, 08:15
I agree mostly. Thing is, I don't want it to develop into this system where you just bug everyone hoping someone will listen to you and give you some good information about the local area and whatnot.

That is of course not what anyone wants. If this did occur however I would not only question the rest of the design (am I being forced to act like this through poorly defined objectives?) but I would also question the player. If a game world endows you with the option to act like a burk, you cannot criticise the game when you choose to do so...

gamer0004
16th Dec 2007, 09:49
You realise that Area 51 was just recycled from the Moon sequence, right? So it would be basically the same.

No, not really. They turned the moon-mission into the A-51 mission because the moon sequence sucked.

WhatsHisFace
16th Dec 2007, 17:02
Unless this game is to be set in the kind of tiny, compartmentalised nonesense levels as IW was, then crowd simulation is a vital component.

As has been pointed out in this thread that crowd simulation is a relatively new ability in game engines. Now that we have it, not using it simply becasue some of you are paranoid and afraid of new technology (a fear I find endlessly amusing in such a high tech envioronment as this) is nonsensical.
The immersion provided through witnessing properly populated spaces is simply staggering. Sure the implementation used in Hitman was a bit shoddy, but it was the first attempt at doing it. Assassins Creed improved on it considerably as did Kane & Lynch.
It's not about leaving it unused because we fear new technology. Where did you get that assumption from? No one in this thread is completely against large crowds altogether, it's just been stated that judging by past Deus Ex games, it would only be appropriate in very few areas. When you're doing a night operation infiltrating a bunker of some sort, it won't make sense to be running into crowds of guards while you're sneakily working your way through shadows when their backs are turned. However, when you're walking through Wan Chai market, it's pretty obvious it should be flooded.


As I have said elsewhere, the obsession of DX fans (or RPG fans in general) that everyone should be an interactive part of the story is just a nonesense. I would rather my game world resembled a more believable reality in which I am required to actually find key characters through observation, aquired information and deduction rather than relying on the old "well he is the only guy IN this level: must be the right one".
Again, no one said everyone needs to be integral to the story. A few mentioned that they don't want any NPCs who are unable to talk. Or even a crowd of NPCs where everyone says the same "I heard the 'Ton isn't safe" line.

Dave W
16th Dec 2007, 18:02
No, not really. They turned the moon-mission into the A-51 mission because the moon sequence sucked.

...so, yes, really? I said they turned the moon mission into Area 51, and you just posted "No, they turned the moon mission into Area 51!".

:nut:

WhatsHisFace
16th Dec 2007, 18:25
Only Area 51 didn't suck, like a moon-sequence would have. ;)

gamer0004
16th Dec 2007, 18:27
No, you said "It's basically the same thing" and it isn't. They canged quite a lot of it and it's completely different because here on Earth there's way more gravity than on the Moon. And the less gravity-thing of the moon sequence turned out to be completely wrong so they turned it into the A-51 mission.

Dave W
16th Dec 2007, 20:27
Only Area 51 didn't suck, like a moon-sequence would have. ;)

Based on....nothing.


No, you said "It's basically the same thing" and it isn't. They canged quite a lot of it and it's completely different because here on Earth there's way more gravity than on the Moon. And the less gravity-thing of the moon sequence turned out to be completely wrong so they turned it into the A-51 mission.
I'm interested in knowing where you get that from. It got cut because they wanted to keep everything on Earth to maintain the same atmosphere:
"we finally realised this was an Earth-bound game. Deus Ex was all about moving through an alley and going up a fire escape, then running on the roof so you can get into somebody's apartment"
Article (http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=168573).
Don't just make stuff up. The levels that were used in Area51, except the opening, would have been the same. And there's no mention whether they were going to have it as low gravity.

gamer0004
17th Dec 2007, 13:31
Where I got the idea must've been somewhere on planetdeusex forums, there was a topic about missions that didn't make it to the game.

pKp
18th Dec 2007, 17:23
Large crowds ftw. Hitman crowds however were a bit disappointing IMHO because they were dumb AND composed of about 5 different character models cloned over and over. Of course doing 500 unique character models would take way too much time, but it would be nice to randomize them a little. Same thing for the dialogues.

Conspiracy Theorist
8th Apr 2008, 02:19
There was a game called Omikron: The Nomad Soul that had a fairly large map (for its time) I think - and it had an option to choose between small, medium and high density crowds. I think it can work OK if done right. The main thing is that the characters that you do deal with have some kind of personality. That's more important to me. :)

Vasarto
8th Apr 2008, 02:22
As long as there are not as many people like as in Hitman. I would like to see some more people walking around but not enough to where it would make me feel like im crouded and stuck in a tiny box. Sometimes having less people can make the world seem bigger.

Conspiracy Theorist
8th Apr 2008, 02:39
Sometimes having less people can make the world seem bigger.

Yeah, it's important to have those places where one can get the sense of looking at an abandoned civilization. Gotta have some empty spaces.