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What is the Human GM Emulation System?

Posted by ActiveUnique, in Development, Introduction 18 December 2013 · 456 views

human emulation theoretical ethereal cloud games empirical cloud games human computation games
What is the human GM emulation system?

In short, it's a system like no other that procures ethereal cloud games.

Although it is only theoretical at the time of my writing this. Here's a high abstraction of the technical requirements of the system, followed by some of my own expectations for it.



TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS
note: A complete documentation is beyond the scope of my current goal of explaining my idea.

THE HUMAN EMULATION PART
GM emulation is human emulation.

This is a very important component of the system. The system must learn. In order to grow and behave like a human, it will need human emulation.

Human emulation is not a new idea. According to NextITCorp [1] in their video which references customer service software, it can be defined by:
  • conversational interface
  • personal
  • provides a single, correct answer
  • goal-based
  • contextual awareness
I didn't see the exact meaning given for each term. All of these things are certainly important for a meaningful human interaction. It is a good starting point to understand what the system needs to work with to appear human, especially while emulating a GM "read about The GM below to understand why."

If you view the video you'll see it indicates that human emulation is very important and why.
During my brief search I found this passage referring to human intelligence emulation: "It makes decisions by itself. If you teach it your strategy and tell it what you have to achieve that strategy, then it will tell YOU first, what's wrong with your strategy and how to fix it, and then how to use the resources you identified to achieve what you desire; and tell you if the resources could be improved. It will accept your feedback while it learns. And it can change real-time as conditions change, just like a human." - Russell S. CEO at Scientific Human Emulation, represented at Johannesburg - RSA, New York - USA, and London - UK [2]

The above seems too good to be true (if he was referring to a perfectly functioning program) or maybe I took the claims slightly out of context. This is exactly the functionality that the system needs.

I cannot go deeper to determine if the requirements are already met, or this would be a very complicated document.



THE CONTENT MANAGEMENT PART
A database containing the accumulated content is necessary. Content can be considered 'ideas in the form of multimedia' for the purpose of my explanation. Metadata will allow connections such as who created the content and where it is being used.

The beginnings of metadata and content on this database will be from numerous sources. Content can be unintentional, generated by response. Content can be intentional, uploaded.

The players will eventually determine how and what content is used through their input. They will generate new metadata referring to every bit of content that appeared in any situation.



&
THE GM PART
GM emulation is human emulation in a game environment. So I think it's about time to define what a GM is.

The GM is considered the highest authority in any one game which requires a GM. They make the game happen for the rest of the players, and they can enjoy their role as well. This places the GM of such a game one rank lower than the original game developer in terms of defining it.

A GM often takes on multiple roles - GM, in-game characters, storyteller, planner
  • in-game char. - characters who behave and make GM-like decisions, other characters that allow the GM to take part in the game as a player so they may experience it, and npc-type characters that perform a specific task.
  • story teller - a narrator who talks about a scene as it unfolds to give it context
  • planner - Someone who provides additional rules, story, and objectives to create a unique player experience.
A GM is able to understand needs that different players have. They interact with multiple users on a personal basis.

They are a mediator and disseminator of information between players and how their actions affect a game. A GM understands the game in ways they may affect it, often they make decisions that dramatically affect the game for a single play session. Suggestions to the players to keep a game flowing, or bending and breaking rules are examples of influence the GM has.

Sometimes they are mistaken for god. If something clever or new is suggested, and the GM says it's good, then it will work. (There is nobody above god. The developer is above a GM. The GM is not god. The developer is human. I just thought someone might like me explaining that.)

They enforce rules and track a game's progress to prevent 'accidental' cheating.

A GM does not want an unpleasant player experience (for others or himself), so he can be persuaded with due effort.



EXPECTATIONS

CONNECTIVITY CHALLENGES

The system will need to perform according to the user's connection speed.

This almost went without being written. Anyone playing a game will need to connect to the system to take advantage of it. However, connections relying on a slow internet will have realtime limitations. There is no reason for the system not to understand this.



THE SYSTEM AS A HUMAN
Common sense is relative. A person must learn what is acceptable in as many situations possible in order to meet expectations.

Because of this need for common sense in order to meet expectations, it is not possible for the system to behave as desired until it has matured enough through extensive player interaction. At which point it will avoid very obvious mistakes, most of the time.

The system is defined by many players, and over time, many games. If the entire population interacting with it changed suddenly, it would require time to adjust to their changes.



THE SYSTEM AS A GM
The system itself may be considered a GM while it performs the duties of a GM. It must grow to understand every role it provides. Part of the learning process is practice and observation. It would be expected that the system itself is able to practice and observe.

For the same reason a GM does not want an unpleasant experience, it would allow 'exceptional' players a pass. Any undesired impact would be mitigated by a lack of exceptional players.
______
Exceptional players.
Such a player may complete a course in a racing game in 0 seconds.
Another may beg the GM for frivolous things.
Some players are simply being treated unfairly by the community.

In any case the GM would need to make an exception or avoid the player altogether. These examples would be hard to resolve fairly in a structured game environment. Usually these players are deleted, ignored, or they succeed in affecting everyone else.

Over time the system would recognize all three of these players and have suitable responses for them so everyone can enjoy it.
______


THE SYSTEM AS A CONTENT PROVIDER
The system is a knowledge bank (database and other software) able to emulate a GM with access to everything required to replicate and create content between connected games.

There are many games, and many ideas. Games are often independent from one-another, but game sessions are not always independent from other game sessions. Many ideas connect in unusual ways. The goal would be to connect as much of this content possible and grow from how players respond to it, progressively improving and predicting what content goes where.


THE SYSTEM when connected

The system is allowed to monitor non-GM games, and it also provides a GM session to a game that explicitly requires one. By extension, the system understands countless other games and has a level of direct content control, new ideas in, new ideas out.

The system won't necessarily communicate through words, but through the content. When a user responds to content, the response may be interpreted as a rating. If a user response is also creating new content, it is shared with other users. This will allow the system to grow outside the confines of a word of mouth game architecture.


By extension, players indirectly communicate their gameplay through content even when games aren't multiplayer, so any games allowing this would be asynchronous.

The system is not "always on" unless a game needs a GM's decisive contribution. Some games could run without being monitored, and may even be offline by player choice.


QUICKLY SUMMING UP THE PLAYER EXPERIENCE
With a GM session...
In a textual interface, the GM will use his words for communication. Both the story and the GM are expressed through words.

In a graphical interface, the GM 'may' also have a text interface, or a special content interface, but also access to spawning, difficulty, saving extra game states, and -if applicable- overall content management during that session. All the power which a real GM is expected to have is invested in the system.

Without a GM session...
The games would be very similar while running on this system, but the system would not attempt to interact with any player, and any influence would be delivered with subtlety. Possibly no change takes place until after a game session ends.



SUMMARY
The system itself has needs to be met before it will achieve proper functionality and mature, much like a human. At which point it will be able to perform GM tasks, silently observe, and deliver new content based on the context that the game provides.


CONCLUSIONS
Now it should be clearer what the system really is. Both as a GM that grows from interaction, and as an asynchronous content delivery system for players.

Developers who want to remain in control of their initial game may have the option to do so. Games will have to be programmed to explicitly take advantage of the system, with or without a GM dependency. Also for the first time games will have a nearly human level of intelligence in their design, allowing an emulated GM.

The system could appear to display creativity in the bounds of any connected game, depending somewhat on connection speed.

____________
What can we expect happens in ethereal cloud games? I would really like to talk about this more. There's a lot more to say about the system, and I can't think of a better name yet. I will write about whatever comes to my mind first.
_____________
References

1. http://youtu.be/c-lZe84Nb5E, NextITCorp, July 20, 2012
2. http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Human-Intelligence-Emulation-Call-discussion-127447.S.243756822, Russell S. CEO, June 2013





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