In OC, all humans have personalities that are described in terms of personality traits. Personality impacts nearly all aspects of human behavior.
- All humans in OC have personalities.
- Personalities are described as collections of personality traits.
- Each trait is a sliding scale between two diametric opposites. Aggressive-Timid is one trait. Loyal-Treacherous is another trait. When considering individuals, each NPC has a value somewhere on the continuum between between infinite aggression and infinite timidity.
- These traits influence the human’s AI in various ways. Goal selection, planning, and action execution are all affected by personality.
- Personality plays a dominant role in socialization. It’s one of the most important factors in determining whether two people will get along.
- Personality traits are mostly independent of each other.
- Traits that deviate from average values are described in narrative form, via a human’s personality view.
- Over sufficiently large populations, personality trait values follow the normal distribution. Extreme trait values that are multiple standard deviations removed from the average are rare.
- Despite their rarity, odd individuals with extreme traits can be extremely important assets…or extremely problematic ones. Attention needs to be paid to people as they join your expedition to ensure that you exploit (or control) strange personalities.
Personality Trait Types
OC models personalities as sets of 11 distinct traits, described as values on a continuum from one extreme to another. A value between intense aggression and extreme timidity models one trait. There’s not a ton of hard psychology behind this collection, but we did a bit of research, came up with a big list of traits, and whittled them down to 11. We tried to keep the traits as separate and independent as possible, so that you could imagine someone with a very high value of any given trait and a very low value of any other given trait. While our model is far from perfect, it can produce some very fun(ny) and interesting results.
OC’s personality traits are:
- Aggressive – Timid
- Ambitious – Content
- Charismatic – Unassuming
- Compassionate – Suspicious
- Conformist – Rebellious
- Intellectual – Simple Minded
- Inventive – Consistent
- Lighthearted – Serious
- Loyal – Treacherous
- Neurotic – Emotionally Stable
- Self Disciplined – Intemperate
Trait Effects – Examining an Example
Describing all the effects of all values of all traits is outside the scope of this article, but personality interacts with all aspects of OC’s AI framework. Goal selection, planning, and action execution are all affected by human personality. For the sake of demonstration, we’ll focus on one effect of personality and show how it impacts gameplay in OC.
Suppose for a moment that you were recruited to work in a remote colony on the edge of space. All sorts of jobs are available, and you’re assigned mining duties. Your daily routine consists of operating mining machinery and hauling ore for processing. It pays alright, and you’ve got reasonably comfortable accommodations. Do you think you’d like this setup, and doing this job?
The answer you give depends largely on your personality. Many people would be very content and would derive satisfaction from this kind of work. Some people might not be content to spend their lives working as a miner. Let’s examine two individuals in OC, paying careful attention to their personalities.
Enter Dav Nullux, a miner in a jungle outpost on Janquilbe 3.
Her personality profile indicates that she’s not too ambitious, she’s rather low in the IQ department, and she’s a bit on the aggressive side. A rough, bruiser sort that’d probably be happier in a dive bar than a 5 star restaurant. Dav is given some mining duties, completes a task, and has had the following experience:
Excellent! Dav feels satisfaction from the job and has taken to mining. This is an example of enabling the right sorts of activities on the right sort of person, which is a key aspect of getting the most out of your personnel. Dav has a personality type that will like mining, so she’s a perfect fit for the job.
Let’s contrast Dav Nullux with Delles Xorin, another miner in the same outpost:
In two key ways, Delles is rather the opposite of Dav. She’s very intelligent and decidedly ambitious. A bit of a suspicious, squirely character, Delles is aiming for greatness, and she’s got the smarts to pull it off. I enabled her mining activities and made sure she assumed mining duties during her work shift. The result:
Delles is not happy about being relegated to mining duties. Why? Mining is designated as a simplistic task that’s not intellectually stimulating. She’s smart and motivated, and she needs to be given jobs that are well suited to her smarts. Put her in health care, make her a weapons manufacturer, give her a leadership position in the expedition’s administration – these sorts of tasks will yield job satisfaction experiences and improve Delles’ mood.
This has just been a single example of how personality interacts with other AI subsystems, but it should demonstrate how important this aspect of your expedition personnel can be.