Here is what I'm working on now. I'm not sure it qualifies as "procedural", exactly...
Well, it's a system of conversation with NPC that is based not on usual dialogue tree or puzzles (like in Oblivion), but on player's experiences.
Player collects experiences on the course of playing, and then discuss them with NPCs for fun, but mostly for profit.
First, what is experience? Simply put, pretty much anything. If it can be "achievement" in game-mechanic therms, it can be experience. Also, experiences examples are:
- Visiting some place
- Killing enemy
- Using skill
- Finding a (preferably interesting) item. Or even just having it or looking at it.
- Advancing a quest
- Talking with someone
- Hearing or reading about someone or something
- Learning some fact from observation, talking or reading a document
What can you get out of that depends on the experience in question, and, of cause, who are you and the person you are talking are.
- If the theme is interesting to NPC, he/she will more inclined to continue talking
- Or he can be bored, if it's something trivial and/or out of his sphere of interests
- She can give you some advices on the matter, raising your skill level
- He can like you more or less, if you tell about some (according to him) good/bad thing you have done
- She can tell some fact that can be used as an experience when talking with someone else
- He can ask you for some relevant service or item. Give you a quest, or just ask to give/sell an item you have told about
- She can offer you relevant item/question. Such as if you show her your ruined sword, she can offer you to repair it or give/sell you a better one
It depends, mainly, on two things - who you are talking with, and how interesting/new/unique your experience is.
For example, let's say you have killed a dragon with a magic sword, and collected it's hoard. It breaks apart into several experiences, which will be interesting to different people:
- "I have found a dragon's cave" - tell that to a ranger or traveller
- "I have observed a dragon" - mage or a scientist will be interested in your observations
- "I have fought a powerful enemy" - talk about that with a warrior
- "I have fought using a magic sword" - talk with a smith, he can be interested to hear about exceptional weapons and the way they are used. Maybe he'll give you some tips about how to care about your swords
- "I have killed a dragon" - any people that were attacked by this dragon before (such as local peasants) will be happy to hear about it
- "I have looted a dragon's hoard" - merchants will be interested to offer you some options to sell something you have found, or offer you some way to spend the money
- "I have found an artefact (in a dragon's hoard)" - again, tell mages or merchants about it
Ideally, but not necessarily, NPC could have a dynamic life of themselves, gaining their own memories that they can tell/be asked about. There are already many games that do that: Mount&Blade, Crusader Kings, Tropico, Dwarf Fortress, Rimworld, Space Rangers etc.
So, that's the idea. Now as for implementation, things are not so simple. This model itself is rather complex, and there has also to be some game to apply it to. I was working on some simple text-based sims-like game to attach it to, but it's in a very early stage still.
But this jam seems to be a good place and time to at least get feedback, and maybe some help to make a working prototype of it.
So, what do you think? Is this idea relevant to jam, and is it interesting/perspective?