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morfe

That gossip engine got me thinking...

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Well, the title anyway... Each NPC has Near and Far memory. The Near memory stores the information the NPC learns directly, and the Far memory stores what the NPC learns from talking to other NPCs. Now instead of duplicating that information, the NPCs Far memory points to the other NPC(s) Near memory, along with a size value (an easier timestamp) to access that other NPCs information, which he was likely told when they last talked. There could also be a decay value to simulate forgetfulness, and also keep memory (RAM) use down. Depending on the NPCs intelligence, he may also gain access to some of the other NPC''s Far memory, but only if his intellect supports it. There was something else I considered, but I can''t remember it right now (this was thought of while going to sleep). Comments?
"NPCs will be inherited from the basic Entity class. They will be fully independent, and carry out their own lives oblivious to the world around them ... that is, until you set them on fire ..."

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So let''s see:

NPC''s near memory is for inherent knowledge, like who am I, what''s my job, who''s my father?

And Far memory is what this NPC knows about other NPC''s near memory, right?

I was thinking, if that were the case, then wouldn''t all NPCs within a local area end up knowing the same thing? You''d just a homogenous glob of people that know the same thing, right? Unless there was some scheme where NPCs withheld some information in their near memory from other NPCs for one reason or another, right?

I like the idea of a decay factor though, but I''m hoping that doesn''t include near memory.

Wil

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that might could form a problem...

if one npc learns about another npc, then the other npc learns about another, and eventually they either wont grow cuz they arent exchanging anything new, and everyone would be a brainwashed globule of npc...

still, if they exchanged some of their near and far memory it would only be a little more diverse, and eventually it would degrade into everyone knowing the same thing. Both the near and far memory would end up filling up with the same information

Neo-Toshi - The City That Never Sleeps

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Okay, the Near memory won''t decay, I meant the Far.

Since each NPC can continue to learn without interaction, ie by observation and deduction, it shouldn''t get stale. Also, I assume that the NPCs are capable of travelling, so they don''t necessarily get stuck in the same location.

Some may hang around their town and talk about what they saw other NPCs doing, or what the PC did. Others may be more like Bards, who travel round and gather information that way.

Like I said, this was thought of while on the verge of unconsciousness, so it needs some filler.



"NPCs will be inherited from the basic Entity class. They will be fully independent, and carry out their own lives oblivious to the world around them ... that is, until you set them on fire ..."

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one way to deal with everyone knowing the same stuff could be by having the memories fall into categories (i.e. memories having to do with family; certain events; secrets; etc...) and then having each npc have attributes about which types of Near memory they are willing to share with other''s Far memories, and also which Near memories of others they assimilate into their Far memories. that way, most everybody knows basic gossip, but certain people know stuff that nobody else does, and they player would have to badger it out of them if they needed that info, or whatever... just my thoughts on the matter


_________________Gecko___
Gecko Design

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What I am doing is that when gossip gets old then it will get deleted from people. NPC''s can walk between inside of areas and the between areas and even worlds. All gossip will eventually decay also NPC''s can only remember a few things. But important people can remember more.

Minerjr

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quote:
Original post by Gecko

one way to deal with everyone knowing the same stuff could be by having the memories fall into categories (i.e. memories having to do with family; certain events; secrets; etc...) and then having each npc have attributes about which types of Near memory they are willing to share with other''s Far memories, and also which Near memories of others they assimilate into their Far memories.



Ooh, I like that. Can you say Public & Private?




"NPCs will be inherited from the basic Entity class. They will be fully independent, and carry out their own lives oblivious to the world around them ... that is, until you set them on fire ..."

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I think this is a really intersting concept especially if you factor in trust and secrets. A character with a distrust of another may discount certain things that they talk about. A character could also be told something in secret that he may only exchange with friends or family, (or any restricted AI group).

The idea of decay is cool, but I think it would be more useful if the NPC’s memory was actually copied and attached as they talked to a new NPC. Imagine trying to preen information about the goals of a certain NPC that they hadn’t seen in a while… the NPC’s goals might have changed radically since they last talked, and it seems much more natural for a character recall what he knew “the last time they met”, not necessarily what he’s doing now.

Pointing to another game objects memory also leads to dangerous dependencies… What if the character’s “memory” you’re referring too needs to be destroyed because he’s been killed? You can’t actually destroy it as long as other characters in the game are using it.



---Strange

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quote:
Original post by strangebreed
Pointing to another game objects memory also leads to dangerous dependencies… What if the character’s “memory” you’re referring too needs to be destroyed because he’s been killed? You can’t actually destroy it as long as other characters in the game are using it.
---Strange



Good point. But the way I interpreted this thing was that everyone had their own near and far memories and if two people knew the same gossip, then it''s not that the far memory of one is pointing to the memory of another. It''s just that both have copies of the same stuff. I know, seems like a waste of space, but I figured that would avoid the problem you describe, and the fact that in the real world, we don''t have a collective knowledge, or that when one person dies, I forget when he told me.(that I know of anyway).

Could it be another solution where there''s a universal table or list of gossip that is generated, and the NPC''s memory just points to certain parts of the table for certain gossip. And when NPC''s share gossip, it''s basically telling the other NPC where to point his memory in the universal table. And decay would just mean the destruction of the pointer. And when no one''s memory points to a gossip, it''s written in the history book of that world and filed in the library(of the world) for other players to read(like old news).

I imagine pointer management would be a nightmare, and being just one table index off would mean the difference between an NPC knowing grandma''s cookie recipe and the location of a powerful weapon.

Wil

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Right along with the decay factor could be the telephone game syndrome, whereby the mutation of information happens more and more often the more people it passes through This could easily mean that by the time the gossip has made the rounds back to the originating NPC it might be entirely different gossip.

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