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Automatic Multiplayer Mission Generator

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What do you think of the concept of an automatic multiplayer mission generator? My thoughts: Missions would be a combination of roles which are bundles of tasks given to each player accepting the mission. Some missions would be entry level (no previous success required) and others would be part of series triggered by success or failure of previous mission. Some atomic tasks to build into missions: - Gather x players -- in zone y -- near object y - Assign role x to player - Go to zone x - Retrieve object x - Deliver object x -- to zone y -- to object y - Escort/guard -- object x -- zone x -- exit x - Scout zone x into snapshot x - Report snapshot x to object y - Destroy object x - Disable object x - Repair object x - Use objectx.method on object y Has anyone worked with or thought much about this? I wonder how it could be designed to make sense. Maybe a daemon process evaluates sim'd environments and looks for needs, then generates missions and recruits them through non-player units in the community/battalion/etc. Maybe a generic design/model could be applied to many scenarios: war, commerce, politics, religeon, exploration, etc. Some questions that come to mind: - How would the generator determine sequences of tasks that make sense? - How would it determine supporting roles that makes sense in multiplayer team context? - How would it assign recruitment to non-player units in the area? - What if players ignore a mission? Timeout and allow new recruit? - What sort of issues might come up if players can create missions too? Should the daemon know about them and adjust it's missions accordingly? (ie: if player X recruits group A to gather some item for a supply zone, then should the daemon cancel any efforts it is making to recruit for the same purpose?) What other questions should I consider? Does this sort of beast exist in games now? Your thoughts/feelings?... -solo (my site) (edit to format the bullets a little better) [edited by - 5010 on June 16, 2003 3:37:56 PM]

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I think you should consider if it is really needed and desirable to heave automaticly generated quests. They have to fit into the story without being boring, they should be diverse and interesting and they certainly shouldn''t give the impression to be automaticly generated. I think that is the most difficult job. However, I think the aspect of real-time(during play) and player triggered actions is certainly worth exploring. But I think an action is more than a quest. It can be a change in the environment, a change in the difficulty, in the opponent''s strategy. Hey, I just realized that changes in the environment could be modelled by the DEVS formalism! I always wondered where I could use that. Difficult to make quests with that, though! Maybe you should generalize the concept. I don''t think quests alone can justify the effort you will put into it. What kind of game are you thinking about? Are there bots, opponents,...?

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quote:
From labris
I think you should consider if it is really needed and desirable to have automaticly generated quests. They have to fit into the story without being boring, they should be diverse and interesting and they certainly shouldn''t give the impression to be automaticly generated.


Yep. It''s very easy to design them to fit a certain story or environment. Automation is only good if you really need it, like if the story is uncertain at design time. What you mention sounds like some good criteria.

quote:
Also from labris
It can be a change in the environment, a change in the difficulty, in the opponent''s strategy.


Yep, event-based decision to generate (reactionary) would be good, as well as a daemon that monitors things to see what is needed in an ongoing path towards goals (pro-active).

The sort of game I''m thinking of is where everything is generated out of atomic components during initiation and additional generation is ongoing during play. So there is no preset story or path. The paths are generated at runtime and the relationships between system and players generate a story. Can a good game converge from this? I don''t know... but it''s interesting to me to think about it

-solo (my site)

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Listing atomic tasks and building a super-high-level scripting language based on them can only be a good thing. Even if you fail to generate good missions automatically, you will make the task of describing interesting missions by hand much easier. You could even integrate the mission editor in the game and give access to it to certain players whose characters are important people. A general or a mafia boss could send orders in this form, and a rich man could offer rewards for accomplishing certain tasks.

You may not be able to automatically generate missions with dramatic depth or that drive the overall storyline, but you can use automatically generated missions to keep bored players occupied. I think it''s a great idea.

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Yeah, this could benefit a game where certain players can set up missions and assign them through various objects, such as a citizen or kiosk or bulletin, etc.

I wonder if it would be better to go manual first and, after setting up a few, one might see the relationships that make for a better automation.

-solo (my site)

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