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AI approach for a Virtual Pet / Tamagotchi-like game

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I am thinking about developing something small but 'intelligent' in free time.
Everybody knows 'Tamagotchi' series, 'Virtual pet' clones and so on - they all share one common thing:

you get an egg from which:

  • your pet borns,
  • then you need to take care of him (turn off the light to force him to sleep, feed him, cure him, play with him)
  • your pet grows
  • and grows
  • and finally dies.

    States can be programmed within a single FSM, but what about the pet moving within those states?
    What should decide what state the pet is besides the human intervention ( like forcing pet to go to sleep ).

    Let's imagine a situation where a pet is born, it gets some default/randomly generated stats.
    Now i could easily hardcode something like:

    if(m_fHunger > 50) FSM->ChangeState(PetHungryState::Instance())

    But that is something i want to avoid.


    It can be very easy and predictable like for kids, on the other hand it can be very challenging and 'intelligent' if i choose the right approach from the beggining, and i am targetting the second option here.

    I would like it to be unpredictable but intelligent, behaviouristic, AI driven.

    So my question to you guys is: what kind of AI approach should i choose / algorithm / technology to make it a small but fascinating project ?
    What can be managed by correctly choosen AI and what has to be managed by a code ?

    Thanks very much! Edited by xynapse

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