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Nichollan

In with the bots!

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In a space-shooter 2D MMO, Star Sonata, players can own "slave-ships." These slave ships are basically bots that can be active when the player is both online and offline - doing biddings such as trading or patrolling. You get a slave ship by rigging a ship with the necessary equipments and finally install the 'control device' which will make the ship bot-controlled ready for commands. I had this idea about a sci-fi game where all intelligent creatures were player-controlled and all robots were NPCs, often controlled by player-designed bot software. I also like the fantasy about a game where the major destructive force(s) in the game is lead by a highly intelligent bot basically playing the game as a RTS game. What do you think?

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Original Post by Nichollan
I had this idea about a sci-fi game where all intelligent creatures were player-controlled and all robots were NPCs, often controlled by player-designed bot software.

I assume you mean a sci-fi MMO, right? You'll have to flesh out your idea a little more, because to me it sounds pretty much exactly like the Star Sonata setup. What is different about your idea?

On the top level, it is an interesting idea, even outside of the MMO genre. For example, Final Fantasy XII had the player effectively design a bot for their party members (including the one they were controlling) through their so-called "gambit" system, which was simply an ordered list of conditions and actions. The number of conditions were limited at first, and you unlocked more along the way. The actions were obviously just limited by what the characters could do. I thought it was great because there were pretty much always three characters being controlled by their gambit setup, and I was constantly trying to come up with better combinations every time I unlocked a new option.

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Once again, the human imagination takes over concievable reality.

The thing about artificial intelligence which relies on (now waning) human intelligence.

To be honest, I don't think intelligence crafted by humans can be anything more than artificial.
But hey, if you can craft up some intelligent bots, go ahead.

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Original Post by lmelior
Quote:
Original Post by Nichollan
I had this idea about a sci-fi game where all intelligent creatures were player-controlled and all robots were NPCs, often controlled by player-designed bot software.

I assume you mean a sci-fi MMO, right? You'll have to flesh out your idea a little more, because to me it sounds pretty much exactly like the Star Sonata setup. What is different about your idea?

MMO, right. I was more thinking of land creatures rather than spaceships to be honest, although I wont exclude the possibility of spaceships that may be controlled by bots in such a game. The players would live in a world where robots are in majority and do all the hard work for a minority of humans.

I don't know how much you can customize the AI of slaveships in Star Sonata, but I believe that what I imagined was with far more possibilities through actual programming. Bots can e.g. do things such as acting as a vendor or bank and work to automate parts of the in-game economics, aswell as simple combat tasks such as following along and acting on player commands for combat - which can go through chat messages. Players should however be encouraged to develop far more intelligent bots.

It would be cool to see chatterbots which can act on a intelligent-looking conversation - which is probably more easy if all the elements of the conversation are game-related.

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The problem with multiple player owned ships (ships or whatever) is that it's gonna be a real mess when all the players own a bunch of those "slave-ships". Take Eve online for example, it's already a mess with only one ship per player. On the other hand, take X3-Reunion : it's a single player game, yet it's also a mess when you got many stations and ships.

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A good point which appears to be valid in Star Sonata. Maybe it will be easier to distinguish players if all the bots are robots and if there were additional player communication aspects of the game that bots could not access - like in-game forums.

[Edited by - Nichollan on November 24, 2008 6:39:02 AM]

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