Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
Wavinator

But what if the NPCs ARE telepathic?

This topic is 4923 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Couldn't the brain-beam send images? Heck, cellphones can do that now. So you get the America's Most Wanted up-to-the-minute update, and if you see someone that kinda maybe might be that guy, you bring up the transmission from memory and compare it. If it looks close, you send a snapshot of this dude to the victim (if he's alive) and any witnesses that might be around, and they compare that image to the hi-res memory they retained of the incident. If it's a match, you're given all the relevant data and some kung-fu, and go apprehend the perp while other citizens respond from nearby. The investigation takes about three seconds, and ends in a conviction rather than a suspect. THe arrest and the news coverage happen simultaneously via real-time broadcast from every individual involved.

I bet it would suck to have an orphanage burn down in that society. All those little trasmissions coming out of that building would drive everybody totally insane. Of course, it might not even happen, since the firemen would respond as soon as someone smelled smoke, and they'd know where every victim was, and the victims themselves would have McGruff and Smokey the Bear giving them advice on how to get out, with the benefit of every other person's information about where the dangerous and safe parts of the building were.

The more I think about this, the harder it is to implement without glaring inconsistencies. Go with brainphones. They can get jammed, or have poor signal, or otherwise screw up, and you have to wait a little while to use them, and they only transmit to one recipient at a time. That's the best way to make the system functional.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
Okay, so after much thought about this, I've come up with a sorta-logical, theoretical function for moving away from the hive-mind. (Yes, something useful to offer...)

Let's say, for the sake of argument, we have Player X, Witness Y and Civilian Z.

X commits a "crime event" (theft, murder, you name it) and this is recorded by the server and remembered for later.

Usually, criminals don't stick around for too long, so X dashes out of the building of generic-ness at break-neck speed, measured by the amount of time he spends in each "room" object if we're talking MUD-based or over aX amount of distance for a visual game. This measurement could be activated by a flag on the player that is raised once he commits the "crime event".

Now, while X is within (i) feet of the "crime event" location, we measure his average speed (v). Now, any NPC's that "witness" the player-character while he is within the radius(i) record a "mental image" of the character. The amount of detail that each NPC notices is generated randomly based upon the character's speed (i), the faster they move, obviously, the less detail the mob can remember.

Now, we're getting kinda complex here, but I have to make a caveat for dynamic character descriptions here not intending to change the course of the topic, but use them as an enhancement to my opinion. My experience is within the realm of MUD design primarily, so this is often a sticking point with the writing types that adore their eloquently beautiful "works of art" for bodily descriptions. In graphical games, obviously character choice is limited by the hard-coded things, so this is less of an issue. However, there must be some method of tracking certain "identifiable" features of a character, such as height, eye color, hair color, hair "style", scars/tattoos and of course clothing (cause you know, it can't be a "criminal description" without a white t-shirt and pair of blue jeans). Whether these are server-side or used in the generation of the character themselves. Anyway enough about that...

So, we harvest these "eye-witness" accounts as time passes and the player stays within our given radius. Each witness will have a slightly different description of the player to report (which can also be influenced by such things as whether it is day or night, or the NPC's perception stat, etc...). Now, once an NPC finds the body, or finds his favorite ring missing or whatever, perhaps a random amount of time after the "crime event" granted there were no eye witnesses in the room, in which case we merely accelerate the process of events. However, once our "crime report" is filed, we take a random sampling from our "area witnesses" and compile a "suspect profile" which can be passed around in the form of gossip, news releases, wanted posters and the like.

So player X ends up being "A male elf, around 6' tall with long, brown hair". So now, whichever NPC's have heard of this suspect, which can be another random thing, having to come into the same 'area" as a wanted poster, or come in contact with an NPC that has "heard the rumor" after we randomly seed it.

Anyway, since this is turning into a very long-winded post. Now, whenever an NPC sees a character matching the "description" they have been seeded, based upon a "degradation" factor given X amount of time it has been since they heard the report or saw a wanted ad for that particular player. The NPC's wisdom/memory could play a part in how fast their "memory" degrades. Then, on the off-chance that they DO see a character that matches the description of who the "police" are looking for, based once again on another factor of the NPC, their "morality" rating, afterall, if the player is a no-good sneak thief, they are not likely to turn in anyone, on the off-chance that their description is being passed around as well.

For this reason, perhaps, if the crime happens in the right part of town, or the wrong if you will, the crime is never reported at all. And of course we can always raise or lower the amount of time before a crime is reported at all, therefore, giving the mobiles who saw the criminal more of a chance of forgetting him all together, let alone, ever tying him back to the original crime.

This makes for a criminal system with all the implications of the real-world. Innocent people can and probably will be found guilty and convicted of crimes, criminals can get away with murder, and every once in a great while, the police might actually get the right man.

Anyway, I'm running out of steam and I think I've achieved my original goal, so that's my two cents. Something to chew on.

Vopisk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Okay, I'd originally thought of this strictly in terms of "brain phone" as ICC says, but just for the sake of argument, what if you had two societies, one more the hive mind, the other more the brainphone type?

Should the expectation be that you can't commit crimes among the hive? Is this a legitimate way of diversifying societies, by changing the underlying rules?



No matter what, I think there are enough variables here that you can tweak things without running afould of plausibility.

Factoring in the responses so far, here are some of the variables:

  • How many criminals are there? If crime is rare, antisocial types will stand out more.
  • How bad is the crime? Imagine a future society where only 2 - 3 people a year are murdered. Murderers would stand out big time.
  • How good is cybernetic multitasking? Is there a passive processor hooked up to the visual cortex which is doing image parsing and throws some alert based on what you see?
  • What's the capacity and bandwith of whatever the network is that is carrying this stuff?
  • Disguise/misdirection: What if nanotech can rearrange your face, or you can hack into people and puppeteer them?





So again, what if the game tweaked these factors for different environments / cities, and then added missions/items/situations that made you have to strategize around them? You could have something like this:

In the former American province of Jubilee, the motto is "only criminals need privacy because they have something to hide." So the level is said to be wired with smartdust cameras, oppressive AI, and legions of devout folk ready to rat on you. Committing any kind of crime is near impossible-- unless you worm your way into the Annointed Bureaucracy, which can buy reprieve from monitoring.

OTOH, in Chung Kuo, a part of former China, privacy is highly prized, smartdust is illegal, AI are citizens, and as a result of the extra freedom there is increased opportunities for crime in the less well-patrolled areas.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Wavinator
Okay, I'd originally thought of this strictly in terms of "brain phone" as ICC says, but just for the sake of argument, what if you had two societies, one more the hive mind, the other more the brainphone type?
...<BIG snip>...


What you present is a semi-IngSoc party member, proletariat sort of relational system in the works. If you don't know what I'm talking about, go read 1984 by George Orwell and get back to me when you're educated.

Of course, in Orwell's negative-utopia from the 1940's, technology had not come nearly to the point it is now, so we have much more... creative ways of instituting "Big Brother" instead of just telemonitors implanted on walls everywhere. However, the idea remains the same. Of course in a "Game" environment we can't have "thought criminals" because we don't actually have that kind of connection to the player, but just as "Good Part Members" are more than willing to rat people out for the smallest of offenses, so too perhaps, would be the citizens of Jubilee in your previous example.

The former Chinese republic that you mention however, resounds with the apartment above the junk shop. An area where Part members are banned from going, primarily because of the lack of telemonitors, not to mention the overwhelming numbers of the proletariat, who are the faceless maasses that are below association. Anyway, that is not to say that you won't find Big Brother's influences there as well.

In fact, this is giving me an idea for a modern-day Logan's Run/1984, negative-utopia type game where any number of interesting game scenarios could develop.

Anyway, that's my further two thoughts on the "Hive Mind" idea. Sorry I strayed from your original ideas with my last post, but from the sounds of it you made it appear that you were looking for a solution to the "hive mind" problem. So I offerred one that I believe is quite feasible. If you were looking for a way to keep the hive mind and yet have players accept it, that might be more difficult.

My two cents, something to chew on.

Vopisk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by Wavinator
Disguise/misdirection: What if nanotech can rearrange your face, or you can hack into people and puppeteer them?


Depending on the technology, it may be possible to spot a (suspected) criminal using their brain phone. Sort of like in The Recruit where they talked about tracking someone by their cell phone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Investigative techniques tend to keep up with this sort of thing. Some kind of psionic or electromagnetic signature might be trackable after or during a brainphone transmission, and so the "cops" could zero in on the location or even divine the mental "fingerprint" of the perpetrator, and then use that clue in their investigation.

Hive mind would be a total nightmare. Murder would be like your right hand poking you in the eye and you not knowing why it stings. No way. If an outsider did it, it might almost work, but the reaction would be so swift, and so coordinated, that it would be far beyond improbable.

Maybe you could use the idea of limitted controling intelligence, though. A hive mind with a million constituents, for instance, would have the combined mental capacity of a million individuals. It could, perhaps, redistribute it for maximum efficiency. Maybe a ten-man computer design team would be controlled using thirty people worth of brainpower, so they can solve problems faster. On the other hand, the labor squad loading boxes onto trucks would have about a brain for every three men, just enough to keep them working and to prevent them from peeing themselves.

So on one hand, you'd have the big-brain individuals, who have vastly enhanced senses, psionic powers and capacity for thought, and on the other hand you have the fleshbots, who are donating their cognitive resources to other tasks. Their might even be a "body bank", where the physical forms they aren't using are stored, Matrix-style. You could walk right past the blind eyes of a thousand individuals, shout in their ears, and tie explosive devices to their torsos without being spotted, unless a more alert individual, perhaps a guard, spotted you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I guess it depends on the hive's "personality", but would they even let you into their city? To a society that could hear each other's thoughts, an outsider seems like a high-risk, unpredictable factor that would be feared or at least regarded with extreme suspicion. It would be like letting a stranger with a ski mask into your home - even if they allowed it, you'd be watched too closely to get away with anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by captainmikey
I guess it depends on the hive's "personality", but would they even let you into their city? To a society that could hear each other's thoughts, an outsider seems like a high-risk, unpredictable factor that would be feared or at least regarded with extreme suspicion. It would be like letting a stranger with a ski mask into your home - even if they allowed it, you'd be watched too closely to get away with anything.


Logically speaking, you're quite right. But "you'd be shunned from the get go" doesn't make a very good game. So, we have to bend the rules somehow, in some sort of halfway sensical manner that will allow our game to be believable without stepping outside of the boundries to pure ridiculous, unless that's what we're going for? Anyway, the original idea was how to get away FROM the hive mind, yet still institute "immediate knowledge" of crimes like murder and whatnot. But it does get kinda old to seemingly get away with murder and all of a sudden have every man, child, woman and DOG! trying to kill you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by captainmikey
I guess it depends on the hive's "personality", but would they even let you into their city? To a society that could hear each other's thoughts, an outsider seems like a high-risk, unpredictable factor that would be feared or at least regarded with extreme suspicion. It would be like letting a stranger with a ski mask into your home - even if they allowed it, you'd be watched too closely to get away with anything.


Depends a bit on how the hive mind was implemented. From the model of hive minds in nature, bees, their main flaw is for an outsider to do something that is not in the hive minds' programming. Using bees as an example, they strictly guard the entrances to their hives. But wasps can still steal honey from their hives by breaking their way in through the back of the hive. The bees inside the hive don't attack the wasps as it isn't in their programming to expect wasps to break in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

GameDev.net is your game development community. Create an account for your GameDev Portfolio and participate in the largest developer community in the games industry.

Sign me up!