With the renewal, I really wanted to make the festival feel like it was on the minds of everyone in New Archai. Instead of using NPCs that only show up once a year, we pulled them from the existing cities of Pearl and Three Bridges, as well as from the Stirling Encampment. Just like you, the locals are excited about attending the festival and have a lot to say about it. This is easily the most diverse amount of actions and responses we've given NPCs thus far. Whether they are at the festival or roaming the streets of their city or town, they will likely have something to say about past Renewals, upcoming events, and their favorite parts of the festival. Each night during the drum circle, those NPCs still in attendance will join in on the fun and dance/play music right along with you. It's been really exciting to watch them come alive with new things to say and do each day of the festival!
This project led to a bigger overhaul of how NPCs communicate. We used to only have the locals of Pearl gossip about seasonal events, but that has now spread across the isle to Rum Village, Three Bridges, and Stirling. Doing so allows us to expand the local list of NPCs for each area, pulling from the previously unique festival goers that only showed up once a year. It also ensures that no matter where you go in New Archai, you are likely to hear about the latest events across the isle. I'm really pleased with how this turned out and can't wait to give the other festivals similar treatment. I think it's a big bonus to immersion when you see familiar NPCs attending and discussing yearly events and adds even more depth to the world. It's the little details that help propel the world in between staff-driven events.
Thanks to everyone who provided feedback during the festival. Next up will be the Changing Winds Festival in January. Until then, enjoy the holidays!