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Cop conversation options & AI responses

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Quick add-on to my other cop post... What are some good AI responses and conversation options needed to make police gameplay work? For a sci-fi setting filled with different ships, my thought is that you can hail any ship on the screen. Based on who the ship is and their attitude, your conversation options provoke different responses. At the most basic, I can see a dialog tree / options. You could ask someone: -To identify themselves -State their business / what they''re doing -Ask if they''ve seen a specific NPC -Ask if they know anything about the current mission you''re assigned to (the recent crime) -Order them to halt, leave, or surrender. The NPC responses I see could be to either cooperate, or resist: Cooperation would be answering the questions via dialog trees. Resisting would be: -To break and run -Turn and fight -Answer the hail, but give out a wide variety of potential lies that the player could somehow check. I''d be cool to flesh this interrogation aspect out. One thing I''m thinking about is maybe trying to make conversation somewhat real-time, so that you have to decide whether or not to spend time questioning one detained NPC or another. For instance, if there were five NPCs caught in a restricted area, but they were somewhat far apart, you''d have to choose which one to go after. When you moved sufficiently far from one, to go after another, the first would flee. -------------------- Just waiting for the mothership...

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Interrogation includes bribery and threats. Bribery includes going easy on the scumbag, threats mean going really hard on the scumbag. This also follows on my suggestion about fences.

The individual being interrogated will naturally attempt to withhold information if he thinks he can get away with it. He might offer information if he thinks it is juicy in exchange for something. But he has to think he has leverage, otherwise he will be coerced into giving this info.

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Can the cop search the ship - either by boarding it or by scanning it from a distance?

If so you could get into quite a detailed interrogation about where particular articles came from and why they are on board the ship.

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This is going to lead into a Sims-like object AI, where every item has a set of properties that define its legality, its lethality, if it is evidence or just a thing, and a set of characteristics that the dialogue routines can use to craft answers to your questions. The NPCs then can have the varying attitudes about a certain thing in their ship, for example:
An NPC known by other enforcers to be a guarded talker (Kevin Pollak in "The Usual Suspects" is a good execution of this) might always give oblique or oracular answers to your questions about a certain piece of equipment, whereas the sweaty jabberbox (Jeebs from MIB) might just explode in information at the first sign of legal (or other) discomfiture.

The Enforcer dialgoue menus should have functions like
Interrogate - Standard communication stuff. Cops don't converse.
Assist - Fix a blown drive unit, etc.
Intercept - Make chase and call for backup
Board - Make preparations to board, apprehend, search, etc
Intel - Use ship technology to scan the ship, bug their radio or radar, etc.

And these should have a level of attitude to them. I think part of the fun of playing a cop is what kind of swagger you can show. Are you John Wayne, Marion Cobretti, or Barney Fife?
Diplomatic - You're nice to the point of ass-kissing
Terse - You're nice, but not too nice. (Classic K approach)
Confrontative - "If you don't, I'm going to hurt you. Lots."
Confused - Barney Fife approach.

Cop - (Selects Interrogate -> Diplomatic)We show you have some cargo aboard that may violate your treaties with our sector's government (blah blah blah)
Oily Pilot - Well, Enforcer, does that mean I need to tell you something about this cargo?
(new dialogue options: Board, Dismiss, Attack)
C - (Selects Board -> Terse) We'd like to board your ship and look at hold F-25.
OP - Oh, by all means Enforcer, you come right over, and we'll just see what this is all about, won't we?

and on the other hand (we'll assume the same selections):

C - We show you have cargo that may...
Jeebs-type - Whaddaya mean? I got nothin' on here! You got my manifest, right? You just shaggin' me or what?
C - We'd like to board your ship...
J - OK! OK! OK! I got stolen minerals on board, but that's ALL I got! I swear! I got it from...

...a place for everything, and that place is under the bed...

Edited by - WarMage on September 6, 2001 7:58:32 PM

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