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Member Since 19 Jul 2008
Offline Last Active Mar 16 2012 08:24 AM

#4906125 IGNORE the expectation to perpetually add content!

Posted by on 25 January 2012 - 09:37 AM

I think that the whole paradigm of 'perpetually adding content' is a tool that can be used for good or bad. There are some real benefits for the developer and the player.
  • It prevents some wasted time/content/money. If you go content-light with your release and allow for extra content post-release, you can find out if people really like the game before dedicating a lot of resources for extra content. This can also help the player, as they can invest in only the 'core' game and not waste money on the added content if they don't like it.
  • Some genres lend themselves well to episodic content and can bring renewed joy similar to reading a trilogy of books or watching a series of TV shows. This might apply to anything that is story-driven and less reliant on gameplay mechanics.
  • In the reality of software development, you often have to scrap many ideas/features that you want in your game in order to release "Version 1.0". These features may actually improve gameplay and would be valuable to players.
While there can definitely be cases of added content having little value to the player, or degrading the gameplay, it seems pretty idealist to expect that every game completely nail the content and gameplay 100% within a single release.

#4903659 How would you do AI for this?

Posted by on 17 January 2012 - 09:58 AM

The method you are describing uses a utility function to decide the next move. It is a totally valid approach in your situation. You can find some information on implementing such a system by searching around by the name, or checking out this book by the resident utility-master Dave Mark: http://www.amazon.com/Behavioral-Mathematics-Game-Dave-Mark/dp/1584506849

I would probably write a simple finite state machine or behavior tree that then uses utility functions like you described to drive the transitions from one state to another. Check out some of the sites in the stickied resource thread if you want to learn more about those methods!

#4903599 Little Project Idea Of Mine Wanting Some Feedback :)

Posted by on 17 January 2012 - 07:08 AM

I love these kinds of scientific sim-games! Your post sparked a memory from GDC 2010 and I was able to dig up some reference for you. Ian Holmes demonstrated a cellular automata-based game in one of the experimental AI sessions. The game he showed off was called "Zoo Gas", which is formally described as such:

Formally, Zoo Gas is an entropy-maximizing game of population-balancing and (highly simplified) natural selection, set on a cellular automaton model of the Lotka-Volterra equation.

Ian Holmes: http://biowiki.org/IanHolmes
Zoo Gas: http://biowiki.org/ZooGas

Good luck and keep us posted!

edit: Dang, I just remembered that Richard Evans (The Sims 3, Black & White) demonstrated a two game prototypes in the same session that might be interesting, but I can't find any hint of them being released to the public. Here is the description, anyway:

"Richard Evans showed two demos, one of deontic logic used in his prototype Sim Tribe. In that game, you can decide what the rules of society are, and the individuals play out those rules. What's most interesting is that the behavior emerges from these rules, almost like magic! The second demo Richard showed was a long-term planning prototype, in an environment similar to THE SIMS. He showed one individual whose goal was to get promoted, and worked relentlessly on his cooking skills by practicing in a variety of ways."