Socialization

Socialization is a fundamental human need in OC. Prolonged absence of socialization will drive a person to madness and indirectly lead to death, so providing opportunities for socialization is an important part of expedition management.

Summary

  • Socialization is a basic human need in OC.
  • When humans want to socialize, they’ll usually gather in a socialization area designated by the expedition.
  • Socialization is mechanically accomplished by two NPCs talking to each other.
  • Whenever two NPCs socialize, each one judges the interaction independently and reaches some conclusion about how the experience went. There are a variety of results on the continuum from extremely positive, friendly interaction and extremely hostile, unpleasant experiences.
    • Since each NPC judges the interaction independently, one way likes and dislikes are possible. In the interaction shown above, Jon Fed liked Bithmus Ganzinger, but Bithmus was a bit annoyed by Jon.
  • NPCs can have other reactions to socialization experiences outside the friendly <-> unfriendly continuum, including rivalry (which can be experienced by people in the same profession) and attraction (as part of human lifecycle functionality).
  • Many, many factors contribute to socialization outcomes. Personality is a prime driver here. However, physical properties, mood, and recent experiences all contribute in various ways.
  • Social interactions create and change your expedition’s social network. The social network has many additional effects, adding further importance to socialization.
  • Positive social interaction is an important part of an NPC’s well being. As an expedition manager, you’ve got to create circumstances that are conducive to friendly gatherings and prevent hostilities by separating feuding people as much as possible.

Socialization Areas

When NPCs want to socialize, they’ll head to a socialization area. These are just gathering places that you designate and set aside for socialization purposes. This makes it easier for NPCs to find other NPCs that want to socialize and lets you exercise some control over where your NPCs spend their leisure time. Make sure you have at least one socialization area designated for your expedition, as a complete lack of socialization areas will greatly inhibit socialization.

Additionally, it’s wise to locate socialization areas indoors, in comfortable surroundings. Making these inside powered rooms takes your NPCs out of the elements, which yields obvious benefits. Surrounding them with nice, luxurious items will tend to improve the socialization experience and yield more positive feelings.

Socialization Results – A Brief Overview

It’s outside the scope of this article to cover every aspect of socialization, but there are a few important factors to keep in mind. The first is personality type. Whether two people get along is largely the result of their personalities. Remembering that in OC, personalities are described in terms of traits, a few concrete examples might help in understanding this.

With some traits, similarity is beneficial. For example, considering the conformist <-> rebellious continuum, like minded individuals tend to get along. Conformists will usually like other conformists, while rebellious personalities will get along with other rebellious personalities. Conformists and rebels will tend to clash in their interactions.

Sometimes the rules are a bit more complicated than this. For example, with serious and light hearted individuals, sometimes opposites can attract. If one person is intensely serious, they’ll only tolerate other serious people. Mildly serious individuals, though, can deem some light hearted people to be fun and interact positively with them.

Still other traits behave differently. Neuroticism causes universal difficulty in interaction. Neurotic NPCs will struggle to get along with other neurotic and emotionally stable NPCs alike. Neurotic NPCs are only well tolerated by compassionate NPCs, and they need these sorts of people for positive interactions. Aggression is another trait with special effects. It can amplify the effects certain interactions, especially when two aggressive individuals are involved.

Physical properties, like attractiveness, eye color, hair color, and others can also play important roles, but this is especially so when attraction begins to play a role. Attraction completely changes many of the socialization algorithms, including some of the examples given above. All of these rules and data sets interact with the culture and personal preference systems, but again, a comprehensive description would make this article a dozen pages long.

Once you’ve played Outer Colony for a while, you’ll probably develop a sense for which NPCs will get along before they have a chance to interact, but it’s usually fine to just react to circumstances as they emerge. Keeping an eye on socialization result data and adjusting NPC shift times to keep hostile parties apart is a great start to managing your expedition’s personalities.

Examining a Specific Case

We’ll consider one specific interaction, the one shown in the video. In it, two NPCs, named Bithmus Ganzinger and Jon Fed socialize. If we look at their personalities, we can see that Jon is rather intemperate. Intemperate individuals can be somewhat grating when socializing with others. If we look at the results of the interaction, Jon liked Bithmus, but Bithmus didn’t have as positive an experience. Why? Jon’s intemperance makes him a bit boorish, and this hurt the result from Bithmus’ end. Jon was oblivious to this and liked Bithmus anyway.

This is a pretty simple example, but it shows how personality traits can influence social interaction, and the same assessment of a situation isn’t always shared by both parties.

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