Social Combat Redux

Hey Folks! Didn't get a ton of time to produce anything today. Mostly admin work, feedback for folks, and testing a few things.

I did, however, get started on my next task: social combat UI.

Michael already prototyped this system a while back, and it's possible to social combat any NPC in the game once you hire them to your crew. And within it, you can interact with them, get their responses, and do a couple example exchanges.

I think the next step for this UI is to integrate it more fully with the AI decision-making and available interactions data. Expand it so we can do any of the standard interactions from our game data, have those affect our counterpart, have their AI choose a valid reply, and get that rhythm going.

In addition, start figuring out how we're going to gradually expose more of their mental/emotional state via investigative moves while in social combat. Are they angry? Annoyed? Giddy? The more we know about them, the more we can tailor our next statement to produce the desired outcome.

We'll also need to figure out what "outcome" means here. Michael had an "Objectives" panel in the UI to start down this path. At the most basic level, we want to change their mood, which should happen for free once we can do the usual interaction stuff. But what about other things? Getting info? Changing a relationship? Obtaining an item? Or even gaining crew or ships?

Apart from that, I'm also expecting this UI to cover physical combat and ranged stuff, so this won't exclusively be for one-on-one conversations. The fact that we zoom-in on the game world to our conversation is a good thing, since we can move the camera around to different targets and still see what's going on with that view.

I also think this UI should provide the option for a standard NEO Scavenger encounter. The old illustration and block of text, instead of seeing the target's portrait and game world.

I guess that means we have three modes for this UI! But hopefully, they share enough functionality that this works without too much effort.

For now, however, it's beer o'clock, and dinner with the fam. Have a good weekend, all!