Wondering if any of you would be interested in working on a companion relationship / influence framework.
For those who haven't played KOTOR 2 (play it if you haven't, it's probably one of the best AAA-style RPG's ever made), characters have Influence scores that are incremented/decremented when the player says or does things they agree/disagree with. That in turn changes what dialogue is available to the player, triggers intermittent conversations and allows the player to bring characters along with them to the light or the dark side. In KOTOR 2, influence points are hard-coded along with the dialogue. Which is well and good for KOTOR 2, but with the modding ecosystem for Skyrim as large as it is, it'd need to be quite a bit more robust and dynamic in order to be useful for the community.
Basically, there are three parts of the idea:
- there are a number of axes (more subtle than good / evil) that can classify decisions (dialogue choices, quest decisions)
- each of these actions has a certain magnitude
- NPCs (and companions, in particular) have preferences for and against particular types of actions.
So what would the mod itself entail?
- combing through vanilla dialogue and adding influence hooks to dialogue and quests
- allowing mods to register with the framework and offer their own influence hooks
- allowing characters registered with the framework to access the context, axis, magnitude and influence hit/boost from these hooks
Modders could then register a character's preferences with the framework and focus on dealing with how a character reacts to influence hits/boosts/levels instead of hunting down situations to add reactions to - in other words, they could spend more time writing a character that reacts to the world and player and less time coding the sort of influence system I imagine several of the more intensively-coded ones are already using.
I'm a good writer (though ideally this would be content-light or content-less as a framework) and decent programmer (with some experience in the GECK/Creation Kit), but would definitely need some people who know their way around Papyrus's quirks and the nitty-gritty of modding API creation to make it as lightweight and easy-to-use as possible.
Let me know what you think, especially if you have concerns about technical viability. I don't know myself, and that'd be something I'm hugely interested in discussing.
And of course, a happy new year to all of you.