P&T v0.250 continues the update of the narrative interface.
The place to go to see this is the saloon (and the governor’s hall, if you have not yet met the governor). Instead of a list of names at the bottom of the screen, you will now see a row of character portraits at the top of the text area. If you press on the portrait, the story view will shift to that character and give you a description of the character as well as your options for interacting with them.
Beyond the introduction, you now have three options – each with different effects. Small talk is the “neutral” approach, which builds your relationship with the character with a low risk of bad things happening. Flatter is the “high risk” option, where you try to better your relationship with the character, but at the risk that they might see through your honeyed words. Question is the approach to try and get things out of the character – typically it will allow you to gain more detailed information about the character and/or their family and friends. As I do more work on this, it might also allow you to hear rumors, and gain other useful information (e.g., about parties happening, events, etc).
What is all this good for? Well, friends are good to have – friends in high places are particularly good. So one benefit of having friends is that they will share their opinion of you to others, so if you befriend the son of the governor, that will typically help improve the governor’s opinion of you.
A couple of things still need doing. One is to implement a view that allows you to look at what you know about the NPC (traits, skills, etc). Another is to implement the NPC residences – these will work similar to the saloons, except that you will only be welcome if you are a friend of someone in the house. And finally, I want to link the system up with the random event generator, as this will become the preferred way for “non-compulsory” story events to trigger. The plan is to roll some of these changes out in the coming updates, before I go all in on the land combat system.