Jump to content

  • Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account

FREE SOFTWARE GIVEAWAY

We have 4 x Pro Licences (valued at $59 each) for 2d modular animation software Spriter to give away in this Thursday's GDNet Direct email newsletter.


Read more in this forum topic or make sure you're signed up (from the right-hand sidebar on the homepage) and read Thursday's newsletter to get in the running!


RPG NPC AI, Scheduling and Needs...


Old topic!
Guest, the last post of this topic is over 60 days old and at this point you may not reply in this topic. If you wish to continue this conversation start a new topic.

  • You cannot reply to this topic
56 replies to this topic

#21 MikeD   Members   -  Reputation: 158

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 16 July 2000 - 11:16 AM

Nice idea Nazrix and non-linear game devices as a whole are a good concept to avoid stale FFVIII style adventures. However there is the problem that, in a chaotic world, the situation could turn against the intention of the game designers. What happens if, because of a certain series of unlikely but possible events, the NPC''s don''t bump into each other for days? This leads to a fairly long-winded boring episode for the player.
The less constraints placed upon the plot the more chance there is for circumstance to conspire against the designers and lead away from good, tight game play.
On the other hand the more constraints placed upon the game the more linear the plot development and the more likely you are to end up with a scene-by-scene forced storyline.

I think main plot lines should be more directly scripted in terms of player circumstance (where the player is at a given time, not where an NPC is) leaving the non-linearity to minor plot-lines and less consiquential occurences.

From my point of view I''d love to see a world expand based on the intelligences of the NPC''s and what they decide to do at any given time but unless you want the possibility of a meandering experience then you have to have some form of constrained sequencing to the game.

Just my $0.02.

Mike

Sponsor:

#22 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 16 July 2000 - 11:54 AM

Yes, MikeD, good point. An idea like this would have to be compromised a bit. It couldn''t be too far on the side of chaos.

However, the way that I''m envisioning this, the player wouldn''t be simply waiting for the situation where the 2 NPCs come together. If there are a lot of NPCs then the chance of something happening would pretty good. Furthermore, one situation of 2 NPCs coming in contact may trigger a few other plots w/ it which would keep the player busy.



"The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom." --William Blake

"The road of excess also just ends making me tired because I'm too lazy" --Nazrix

#23 Samah   Members   -  Reputation: 122

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 16 July 2000 - 08:45 PM

On the point of chaos avoidance, here''s a suggestion...

What if the computer told the NPCs involved that due to a scripted plot event (ie. a murder needs to happen in the story), they have a certain amount of time to make this "chance meeting" happen.

One NPC could be at the bakery, while the other is on his way to the barber. Although the barber might be on the other side of the town, the second NPC knows that he needs to perform this scripted plot sequence within a certain amount of time, so he makes a detour to walk past the bakery on his way to the barber.
If it has run out of time to perform the plot sequence, he just goes straight to the bakery for no good reason at all, and hopes that the player won''t think this strange.

Either way, upon reaching the bakery, the other NPC senses this and knows that she must perform her part of the plot sequence...

Not sure how this could be implemented, but it''s an idea...

Samah


"...the grave is no bar to my call..." - The Horn Of Valere

#24 Ingenu   Members   -  Reputation: 931

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 16 July 2000 - 09:00 PM

What about a simple new need : "Kill X NPC" in the system ?

It would be easy to add and will give you the expected result.

Just an idea :p

(Since needs are prioritized, you can give it a low priority to have it done sometime in the future, or a high one to have it done in a few minutes )

-* So many things to do, so little time to spend. *-

#25 Steel   Members   -  Reputation: 122

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 18 July 2000 - 02:49 PM

You know, I''ve been reading alot of threads like this about realistic NPC interaction. Ultima 7 did it really well without overdoing it. It''s amazing what those guys accomplished with a 80386 processor and 4MB RAM. The Ultimas invented a while ago the kind of NPC realism we''re trying to accomplish.

#26 Samah   Members   -  Reputation: 122

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 18 July 2000 - 05:58 PM

Hey!
Maybe we should make a petition to get Origin to release some of the Ultima source code? Like from 7 or 8 or something.
They might release it or at least some of it if there are enough people wanting it...

Samah


"...the grave is no bar to my call..." - The Horn Of Valere

#27 Ingenu   Members   -  Reputation: 931

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 18 July 2000 - 08:46 PM

I know the more the industry is growing the lesser amount of work is done on each game.

It''s really bad

I don''t think it''s a good idea to see someone else code, I think it''s best to think about it with a blink mind to be more open minded.

With a previous code available we might spend way too much time trying to understand it, and to modify it...


IMHO.

-* So many things to do, so little time to spend. *-

#28 Altmann   Members   -  Reputation: 122

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 18 July 2000 - 09:48 PM

Anyway, as far as I remember, NPC realism in the Ultima series was not that good : it only involved NPCs moving from place to place according to a schedule and fleeing/helping in case of fight.

We want to do something better ™.

Be reading you,
YA

#29 dwarfsoft   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1217

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 18 July 2000 - 09:58 PM

Just a reminder to everybody who reads this, that the Emailing list that you all REALLY WANT to join is NPCAI!!! To Join, simply email NPCAI-subscribe@egroups.com or simply visit the site http://www.egroups.comm/group/NPCAI/. We now BOAST 15 Members, and I am sure our discussions will be coming to a point any time soon . See ya there!


-Chris Bennett ("Insanity" of Dwarfsoft)

Check our site:
http://www.crosswinds.net/~dwarfsoft/
Check out our NPC AI Mailing List :
http://www.egroups.com/group/NPCAI/
made due to popular demand here at GDNet :)

#30 Steel   Members   -  Reputation: 122

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 19 July 2000 - 03:23 AM

True NPCs in most Ultimas were simple -- all but Ultima 7. Have you ever used the cheat menu and modified NPC attributes? There were maybe 3 dozen different attributes/states. It was neat to set the "loiter" flag off and turn the "baking" flag on. Then turn the "fly" flag on and watch them bake on the roof. That to me is pretty sophisticated, espeically because it could be modified on the fly without recompiling.

#31 Altmann   Members   -  Reputation: 122

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 19 July 2000 - 03:56 AM

Stell, could you post us a description of this IA ? Sounds more interesting that the ones I knew (U6, mostly).

Be reading you,
YA

#32 slavomir   Members   -  Reputation: 122

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 19 July 2000 - 04:16 AM

I really enjoy reading your thoughts about NPC AI and now i just want to direct your attention to the following:
at Gamasutra i read a REALLY interesting article from Wright and Marshall:

More AI in less Processor Time: ''Egocentric'' AI
www.gamasutra.com/features/20000619/wright_01.htm

This article treats the actual implementation of AI running on Playstation II. Besides there are REALLY
interesting ways of implementing a need-based dynamic (e.g. behaviour-set, perception-set)

The time i was reading this article i also read about Transmeta''s Crusoe (www.transmeta.com), which is a new
kind of processor. (i think Linus was involved developing this one)
There is a nifty thing about Crusoe: machine-code is interpreted by processor-intern software.
Now imagine what a power a Process-Manager for AI would have, if (almost) beeing in the processor itself...

I really would like to have some response, but if you don''t care about Crusoe, at least read the article mentioned above.
It''s really worth reading it!!!!

Slavomir

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Today is Setting Orange, the 54th day of Confusion in the YOLD 3166
----------------------------------------------------------------------
473-"Hey, wake up, they''re coming... For Heaven''s sake, WAKE UP!"

(From the Canonical List of Famous Last Words)
----------------------------------------------------------------------


#33 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 19 July 2000 - 11:04 AM

Is there any place to get a free demo of ULtima 7 or 8?

I''d like to check it out....

"The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom." --William Blake

"The road of excess also just ends up making me tired because I'm too lazy" --Nazrix

#34 slavomir   Members   -  Reputation: 122

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 20 July 2000 - 12:55 AM

Hey, Nazrix, just search for:

Ultima Copy Protection Codes/Downloads

at altavista.

I guess you''ll find it

Slavomir

"..if you know the name of it, everything can be found.." +ORC

#35 Altmann   Members   -  Reputation: 122

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 20 July 2000 - 12:58 AM

Good ref, Slavomir. However, I''m affraid not many people want to reimplement a real-time operating system. Maybe with real-time Java or ecos ?

Be reading you,
yA

#36 slavomir   Members   -  Reputation: 122

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 20 July 2000 - 01:40 AM

Yes, altman, i know. That was the first i thought about Crusoe, too. It would be nice to have a java-native CPU. I just wanted to direct your attention towards this article and the implementation. Such a Process-Manager would be a really reusable thingy if programmed properly. And it is the right way to implement this schedule-need system of ingenu and dwarfsoft and....

Slavomir

#37 Altmann   Members   -  Reputation: 122

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 20 July 2000 - 05:06 AM

I''ll take another look but I''m affraid it is a little bit too low-level for what we are trying to do on the NPCAI list. I mean it handles frames ! And unless I am mistaken, frames have to be handled at processor-level (or at virtual processor-level, if in a VM) ! In other word, just as written in the article, this is about writing an operating system. Hence my question : are there not already written real-time OS which can be used for AI ? I''m thinking eCos and Real-time Java because I know no other real-time OS.

I forwarded the URL to the list, and if you''re not there already your heartily invited to join us - especially if you have ideas on how to implement this.

Now, as for being the "right way"... you''re probably completely right. Without fancy time-management procedures, some agent migt end up eating all CPU-time without even being prioritized, or even locking up the system.

Be reading you,
YA

#38 Samah   Members   -  Reputation: 122

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 20 July 2000 - 03:36 PM

I''ve got sort of an idea...
Why don''t we try and develop some sort of real-time world where NPCs can interact (doesn''t have to have super 3d graphics, just needs to be practical) and then people on the NPCAI mailing list can write NPC classes that simulate real-life people. It might help us to design some realistic NPCs....

Samah


"...the grave is no bar to my call..." - The Horn Of Valere

#39 dwarfsoft   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1217

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 21 July 2000 - 06:45 PM

I am slowly working on this myself, a simple isometric engine. I have been a little bit consumed through time recently and as such have falen behind. Anyways, Graphics is not what we are after, we are after a cool NPCAI model . I really should consider getting a bit more sleep and less game playing .


-Chris Bennett ("Insanity" of Dwarfsoft)

Check our site:
http://www.crosswinds.net/~dwarfsoft/
Check out our NPC AI Mailing List :
http://www.egroups.com/group/NPCAI/
made due to popular demand here at GDNet :)

#40 Cadet Random   Members   -  Reputation: 122

Like
Likes
Like

Posted 23 July 2000 - 01:19 AM

Reading this thread and thinking a bit, I''ve written up a little article about a subset of these ideas, namely Need driven stuff.

I made another post under a different topic name (still figuring this system out a bit, sorry) outlining some things. It was after I wrote the post that I opened up word and started to put something consolidated together.

Any new insights which come up here that I think are appropriate to the system, as well as my own, I will put in, and I''ll tag

The system looks like it may be walking down an AL research type thing rather than a NPC AI road, but we''ll see how many cycles the bitch winds up eating...

As stated in the article, I reckon we use the AI system to build a tribe of hunter-gatherers and prehistoric cows in a sparse prarie (sp?) to get the fundamentals right.

Something else, the Environment system will be no small feat, if you think about the number of things you can _do_ in the world, and what effects it all had on other people. In addition to that, there''s fun stuff like weather.

This is incomplete at best, it was written up in a couple of hours before I went to bed. But it will grow! Most of the stuff there now is new-ish rather than stuff from the thread, I''ll get that in soon. (And I''ll put some comments saying so somehow)

Note also that I do have _my_ own "grand vision" of this, which may or may not be the same as your one. Like I said before, this may not be suited for a game AI. But I''m more interested in AIs than games personally, so that''s not a biggie to me.

Anyway, here''s the url:
http://www.totallydigital.co.nz/rpg/ai1.html

PS - Sorry for the shitty HTML, it''s exported from MS Word.

Sam
Space Cadet''s DJ Random, Thinker, and Geek at heart.




Old topic!
Guest, the last post of this topic is over 60 days old and at this point you may not reply in this topic. If you wish to continue this conversation start a new topic.



PARTNERS