I was thinking recently about what subtle aspects that could be added to games to make them that much more enjoyable. One of those subtle aspects that stood out is the use of as I call them Independent Friendly Player Ai or IHOP . What do I mean?
Has anyone played the awesome Bullfrog series Magic Carpet? Well anyway you fly around on a carpet battling creatures but you also have a fortress...now on your fortress are archers. They are totally independent from your actions, being that you can''t control them and they defend your castle against any nearby enemies.
Anyway, the use of these ai''s I think helps immeasurably to immerse the player in the world. Why, because it in a sense takes the sole focus of the game off the player...the player is now part of a world where there are other players(even if they are only ai) that are on his/her side and act totally independent from the players actions. .... To get to the point I think almost every type of game could add these types of ai''s somewhere and it would make the player feel that much more a part of the world you created.
-Anyone else have any thoughts on this....or perhaps other subtle(I know doing friendly ai isn''t subtle, but it doesn''t have to be that complex and I just basically mean extra details added?) extras that you noticed from your history of game playing that can make a game better.
Honestly, yes.. i know a very big thing that you''re overlooking.. but it''s a secret we''ve yet to program in yet.. hehe once we get the game designed and worked out, well.. we''ll let you know but trust me, you''ll smack yourself in the head at its simplicity.. lol But isn''t that how most things are?
Anyways.. friendly ai is very good, but they need to be intelligent. They can''t be a block.. or a stone.. or a statue. They''d have to be real, lifelike creatures. For that, you need a text parser.. hehe If you write a really good one, companies will pay you big money for it.. especially if it can translate the entire english language and speak to you like a normal conversation. MANY MANY people would pay for that Unfortunately, it''s near impossible. English is such a bad language.. you can''t program for all the possiblities. You''d have to make a learning program, and that, too.. is a pain Well.. as far as things go.. having one that can reply to hi, and so on.. that would be fine. It adds a lot of realism to a game to have them be mobil and realistic.. else give them a background.. like the guards who don''t speak, like the ones outside buckingham palace As for other people.. well.. shopkeepers are a bit more complex. good luck there
Alright..here is another thing....Has anyone played Origin''s Crusader: No Remorse? Isometric Shooter...anyway, One cool thing I remember about that was that after a long intense mission you were sent back to base to get the next mission info. and to advance to plot...but rather then doing it via cutscenes, etc.. like most games do..there was a small headquarters where you could walk around in(just like the rest of the game) and purchase new items, talk to familar faces, etc..
I suppose Diablo used this, but I think Crusader handled it better as there were only a handful of characters and throughout the game you got to know each of them and learn their personalities and other quirks....eventually you would really looked forward to sitting down and talk with them .. after completing a mission.
My point...In mission based games, why not use some similar method of having a familiar area between mission that uses the same engine as the rest of th game...to advance the plot...and...simply to provide the player with a chance to relax.
Niphty If you mean to have the characters parse a sentence and then speak it outloud, yeah that would be great. I always wondering if there would be a way to create digital voices that sound human and could be modified to variety of different voice types..that could be used to read text. Now that would be a milestone...Rpg''s where every character speaks and no sound recording is needed, just the individual modifications of each characters voice.
Landfish I never played Marathon I or II...but I remember a kid in High School wouldn''t stop talking about it...I probably should give it a look someday considering that bungie.net has a pretty good handle on what makes a game great.
Creative labs has been working on a text to speech translator FOREVER. It works.. but it''s not up to par yet. The thing it needs it to be able to have an accent like a human voice. You can modulate the wave and make it sound different (they had a normal, a devil.. and others ) but it still won''t be quite human. It''s a problem in how our vocal chords create the sound. It''s not easy to artificially do that. The problem you run in to is that the sound from a speaker is simply a cone moving back and forth to produce the wavelength required. The vocal chords sit inline to your throat, and as the air passes through, they constrict in certain ways to make certain sounds. The sound from a speaker and your voice are so different, they''re weighted on different scales, dBA and dBC. Those scales determine the ammount of "heard" sound volume, every 3 dB increase is a doubling in the ammount of sound you hear. It''s easy for a human to reach 110 dB, but hard to really go above 120 at the loudest scream. Meanwhile, a set of speakers can easily break 120 and even 130. The loudest vehicle I believe is still in the range of 170 dB that''s 60 dB more than the average human can produce, and that''s 20 times louder So while speakers can get loud, humans can speak much easier. It''s the way our chords resonate, kinda like a paino does. That''s why anything that resonates or has strings is near impossible to make a good synthesized version. If you recorded a human voice, and split it up, Like had someone read all the building blocks of the language, a e i o u, and every constructor you needed to make any word, and then merely patched the constructors together to make the sentance.. yeah, you could do it And then it could say whatever it wanted. This would take a lot of time, and someone who can always read things at the same tone and volume. The computer would have to try to compensate and make tone on its own, so you could hear it speak in a variety of ways. it''s feasible.. but.. near impossible right now
Also, the language parser is a real big problem. Think of how many different ways there are to say the same thing and words that sound alike.. you hafta program in for the computer to parse those and try to think "it sounded like he said ''accept'' but it doesn''t fit in the sentance like ''except'' does." You have to turn the process your mind goes through in to a series of logical steps. You no longer think about it though, so honestly it would be easier for someone foreign to try to write this, since they would be experiencing every nuance of our language Try learning a foreign language.. hehe.. it really shows up if you think about it versus english, and how hard you have to think to process that language, while english is almost entirely subconscious. But it took you this many years to get this far, and look how little of the language you know.. we''ve got what.. 2 million words or so? lol! Gotta love it But if you do make something, be sure they talk somewhatly intelligently according to the role they''re in. A homeless person on the street isn''t like to do much more than ask for money, but if someone gives them money.. they''ll say thank you. Too many games fall too short of things like this DragonRealms is a big example. You could be trying to talk to some AI character and it would just walk away. They only understood specific commands to each one, and the shopkeepers were the same. You walked in, and anything you typed that wasn''t right, they''d say "i don''t understand, try looking at the book". The book held the items you could purchase.. the guy didn''t even tell you what items he sold. He only vended them.. kinda like a coke machine, you pay it.. press a button, it vends. LOL
Another key point here: economy. I think I''ll start a new thread for this