930 Randomly Generated NPCs

As technology advances, we’re given the freedom to dream up things that were previously unreachable.

In this case, I wonder if we’re on the edge of being able to make random/procedural NPCs. We’ve procedurally generated everything else in games, why not?

Some of the most immersion-breaking moments in gaming come when the limitations of the technology collide with the ability to tell a story. In particular, a lot of effort goes into making all of a game’s distinct NPCs, and rightfully so. Characters that fill out the worlds make them believable and immersive. But often times it’s expensive, time-consuming, or difficult to make a significant amount of NPCs that are unique, especially the ones that the player barely interacts with, or doesn’t at all.

In older games, 2D making sprites was much simpler, and it would be more realistic to produce a few hundred various NPCs to fill out a world. For example, in handheld Pokémon games, almost every sprite you meet looks different.

But in 3D games, we must either reuse character models with small variations to each, or just have less characters in the world overall.

The solution could be to create a system for generating NPC models and voices. I imagine properties like Fallout have done something like this, utilizing their in-game character creator but just randomizing the values. But Fallout has never been a game with that many characters overall, its post-apocalyptic after all. What I want to see is it being used in something like Grand Theft Auto, where there are 1000s of NPCs the player meets or sees.

[ Today I Was Playing: Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition ]

July 19, 2017