Holiday Events

Questions, ideas, and general discussion of Outer Colony.

Would you like to see holiday events that are real-world analogs in Outer Colony?

Colonists engage in celebrations and activities that affect gameplay at certain times of year.
4
67%
Subtle holiday elements only - peripheral events, like a Santa Claus analog showing up and distributing items during winter.
2
33%
No holiday events at all.
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 6
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Holiday Events

Postby Administrator » Sun Dec 25, 2016 7:31 pm

I'd like to wish a very happy holiday season to everyone on this Christmas Day!

As I was playing some Outer Colony this morning, I found myself thinking a bit about in-game festivities. Right now, colonists don't really celebrate any holidays, and aside from a couple of scary things that can occur in late autumn, there aren't any major events that correspond to real-world holidays.

In some games that I've played in the past, I found that I really enjoyed holiday-themed events. This was particularly so in World of Warcraft, where the holiday events and achievements were among of my very favorite parts of the game. Even minor things, like Santa flying through the background night sky on Christmas Eve in SimTower, could be really neat and add to the overall feeling of the experience.

With that said, I'm not sure how to best incorporate these kinds of events into Outer Colony. I wouldn't want them to be disorienting and immersion breaking, but I think there's a lot of potential for neat behaviors and fun!

What do you guys think? I've set up three options for the poll. The first would have holiday themed events, like more Old Corsair style happenings at Halloween, and NPCs engaging in celebratory behaviors at these times of year. The second would have subtle events only that (mostly) don't have a large impact on gameplay. The third option is to exclude holiday events entirely.

Personally, I'm going with option 1, as I think that so long as the events aren't completely ridiculous and idiotic (like Wookiee Life Day), they should be pretty seamless with the overall Outer Colony experience, and I think there's plenty of opportunity to have fun with them.

If you think events are a good idea, feel free to reply here with suggestions for how they should be implemented. I'd love to know what you all think!
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Gaberaham Lincoln
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Re: Holiday Events

Postby Gaberaham Lincoln » Mon Dec 26, 2016 6:38 pm

Do you mean holidays specific to each of the factions, or content that updates specifically during our holiday season? Here's a few thoughts and ideas that you can take with as many grains of salt as you want, since I know little about the feasibility.

I think the former would be really great, since it's another chance to explore the culture and customs of the people in Outer Colony. Things to consider might be that each faction has its own customs, and that each planet has its own schedule (though it may not effect gameplay, the length of a day, and the amount of days in a year are individual to just about every planet). That makes it hard to preserve holidays from planet to planet (since, for example, December 25th doesn't really exist on Mars), but it leaves room for the colonies to establish their own holidays in line with their cultures. Do they celebrate the day the planet was discovered, the day the finished the paperwork to colonize it, or the day they landed? Maybe they have a holiday related to the cycle of harvest no matter what the planet is? The other option is letting players establish their own holidays by enacting laws.

As for holiday season content, I've seen some games pull this off. Sunless Sea comes to mind, where players got a Christmas-themed mission for the holidays that worked because it didn't relate to any in-game holidays, but was just an event that happened to occur on our Christmas (basically a demonic Santa stand-in stowed away on your ship and threatened you into making deliveries for it). You could establish events that will only occur in-game when it is a Holiday outside of it, like a special vendor or NPC that approaches the next in-game day.
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Re: Holiday Events

Postby Administrator » Sat Dec 31, 2016 1:34 pm

Gaberaham Lincoln wrote:Do you mean holidays specific to each of the factions, or content that updates specifically during our holiday season?

The idea for culture-specific holidays is something I hadn't properly considered yet, but I dig this idea in a big way. We actually already have culture-specific behaviors, and there are a variety of ways to implement different sorts of culture-specific actions within our framework.

For example, Kelgonians will never demand private rooms for their families, partly because they never get married / don't have nuclear families, and partly because they prefer living communally, in big, shared spaces. This governs a lot of their behavior (and drives much of the colony-development), but isn't as much of a specific thing that only Kelgonians can do.

Dagoroths, however, do have specific things that only they do. When a Dagoroth dies, they undertake different burial rituals that revolve around their culture's religion, which is basically a sort of ancestor worship. Their custom burial activities yield different experiences and feelings than other cultures' burial rites, and building this was basically a proof of concept / prototype for establishing how cultures can have their own specific activities. As such, from a feasibility standpoint, it's a cinch to add culture-specific actions. I can just follow the established protocol for doing so.

That makes it hard to preserve holidays from planet to planet (since, for example, December 25th doesn't really exist on Mars), but it leaves room for the colonies to establish their own holidays in line with their cultures.

You're absolutely right that time becomes a bit more funky when you're dealing with different planets in different orbits / solar systems / parts of the galaxy. Presently, Outer Colony doesn't do a ton of heavy-duty time modeling, and there are some real improvements that need to be made to model things like a planet's axial tilt much better. There's a notion of "Galactic Standard Time" in-game, and there are standard time units (like standard years) that are also used in various places in the interface and in calculations. This is separate from planetary time, which just needs to work differently as a matter of necessity. I had a pretty detailed conversation about this with Torvus a few months ago, and it might seem a bit funky at first glance, but once it's explained thoroughly, its need becomes clearer.

As for holiday season content, I've seen some games pull this off. Sunless Sea comes to mind, where players got a Christmas-themed mission for the holidays that worked because it didn't relate to any in-game holidays, but was just an event that happened to occur on our Christmas (basically a demonic Santa stand-in stowed away on your ship and threatened you into making deliveries for it).

Hahahaha, this actually sounds completely awesome! It sounds very well done, and I think something along these lines would fit well in Outer Colony, too.

I'll give this all some more thought and see if I can't think up some slick culture-specific holidays that help the players explore more of what the cultures are all about.

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