Take Grand Theft Auto for example (There are many good examples, GTA is the first thing that popped into my head). The world is huge, cars are going everywhere, people are visiting places and things are generally real busy looking. It makes a game feel alive and constantly changing, which creates a good feeling or atmosphere to the game which draws players back to explore places and see whats happening this time around.
I havnt actually played the RPG Elder Scrolls Oblivion yet, but I read that they made a system like this with their NPC's. They were assigned tasks to do at all times, even when the player was no where near the town. You could follow the NPC and watch it do whatever it needed to do for as long as you wanted, one event after the other. Events would be randomly picked by code and handed to the NPC to do.
This is a big thing in my game as alot of the content will be randomly generated at the start and put into the players savegame so that every game is different. In my case it will be the Names and all other details of Corporations that occupy the game world (Among other things as well). All the corporations will be linked to a event system that hand's out things to do at all times of the game, one event after the other (including breaks inbetween events).
One thing I have thought up is when a Software Corp has finished building and releases a piece of software, things appear on the news that they have created a new product and that comapny is in the spotlight temporarily. This would affect the player because as the product stays out longer, the more sales and therefore money the comapny makes from it, so then player could then target their bank accounts and rob them for their newly earned money. Other things include if servers go offline you cant get communicate or get access to them or data may be lost so all their money goes towards replacing it, leaving them with less funding to give players missions or for them to rob from their bank. Just simple things like that can make a difference to how things feel in the game.
What I would really like to hear is your ideas on how to make this system seem more real and dynamic. Things that could keep it interesting and different. like how could the player get involved in these random events? (If you were bothered to read all that ).
Edited by josheat, 02 December 2006 - 10:19 AM.