Crazy idea for a game...

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MattWithoos
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Crazy idea for a game...

Postby MattWithoos » Sat Mar 04, 2017 8:41 am

Essentially, picture Cantr with AI-driven NPCs. You can influence them, but your success is based on their previous history and experience, their mental and emotional predispositions (both hardcoded, and experienced) and current desires (e.g. poor and hungry? they'll do mostly anything. Living in a comfortable city with a steady role? You'll have to offer them something special).

Naturally, this predisposes the player characters to being leaders and mover/shakers. But doesn't preclude it - you could still be a lowly thief or poor poet or egotistical philosopher. On the other hand, it would be easier to recruit "mules". Cantr's problem is that everyone is the hero, everyone is the protagonist (or antagonist). No one, truly, wants all their characters to be mules. Well, very few. Even then, most want at least one character who "does" something.

You'd also be able to roleplay, to an extent, with other NPCs. Their lines, and ways of talking, would be based on the environment around them. As would their actions. While they wouldn't unify without a player, they certainly can and would act on their own accord - e.g. anything from harvesting food for themselves, finding love, making a home, making tools... through to robbing you if they were very poor, mentally unbalanced, and the environmental factors were unsafe - e.g. no local guard, low chance of retribution, etc.

Of course, this would be insanely difficult to make - and if you use any game in this thread as evidence of the chance of success, it's laughable to even suggest making this.

However, if you built the environment and metadata (think Resources Department's role), and then focused entirely on creating a simulation of NPCs, you could theoretically then jump into allowing player intervention in that once the society was humming along and relatively balanced.

I'm curious what everyone thinks of this, what they would add to it, what things they think I should be careful of in starting out so I don't have to go back and fix it - e.g. just generally discuss it. And crucially, if you would play it, if it were properly balanced and the AI NPCs were very well done.

I might even create an alpha/prototype/demo tonight, focusing on one town with lots of resources, with a set of AIs who interact with each other and make decisions based on their needs and wants (e.g. gather, socialise, perhaps even get into brawls, etc). Mostly to get a picture of how much is involved and just to see what happens.
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Tiamo
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Re: Crazy idea for a game...

Postby Tiamo » Sat Mar 04, 2017 8:46 am

I have a dream ...
I think ...
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Wolfsong
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Re: Crazy idea for a game...

Postby Wolfsong » Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:20 am

Hardest part, from what Luke tells me, is the pathfinding when it comes to AI. That, and as soon as you bring PCs into the equation, everything becomes unbalanced. NPCs vs. NPCs are fine - they will (usually) only act within some limited parameters, but PCs are creative and really good at breaking NPCs.

I mean, most MUDs (that I'm aware of) have an "in-house" scripting language that you can use to, in the game and without being a full programmer, write simple AI programs for NPCs - giving predators, for example, the ability to selectively hunt and track certain other types of NPCs when their hunger reaches a point, and then return to a given location or locations (a den, maybe) when that hunger is sated, complete with emotes, says, posing, etc. The problem is that it tends to break often, it's a lot of work for something many PCs will never see, and PCs will quickly and easily take advantage of that for their own benefit.
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Tiamo
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Re: Crazy idea for a game...

Postby Tiamo » Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:51 am

I remember this game, Intergalactics, which had a built-in option for 'bots'. You could supply an extension to a given Bot class, making decisions about what to do each tick. Each bot type could be entered into a game as a substitution for a real player. There were some 'house bots' available if no player opponent was available.
That was fun, but the game is long gone now.

The basics for NPC AI:
* Stats and activity options of an NPC would have to be the same as for a PC.
* there would be a motivation unit, calculating the motivation level for possible actions by the NPC, with a trigger level for each option. Motivation comes from internal reasons (hunger, personality), external reasons (environment, other characters, threats) or experience (what was the result of past actions?). Of course a proper AI would be able to learn from experience. :wink:
* there would be a decision unit, deciding which of the triggered activities the NPC would actually perform (completing the task at hand, switch to something more important, start something new). Real time activities can all be performed (unless held back by some social rule), tick time activities usually are limited.
* NPC's would have some kind of memory, remembering earlier gathered info. The don't have to enter a room every time they want info about its contents. :oops:
* NPC's cannot break the CR!!!!! :D

Gathering, making and even traveling are not too difficult to do. Some personal setup/motivation frame is doable. The real problem is conversation, interpreting info in notes and most of all social rules.
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Hommer
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Re: Crazy idea for a game...

Postby Hommer » Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:58 pm

Still going?
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Aduah
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Re: Crazy idea for a game...

Postby Aduah » Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:04 am

We have plans for this in Chronicles of Syndhal. Every character, including NPCs are to have a robust personality system, Including likes and dislikes. As well as the player character. It is quite a ways down the road as we are working on building the world and the machanics first, then we plan on getting the AI in with all the personality traits.

For example, You may be a royal with fine tastes, but if you invite a druid into your home, they might not like it because they have a different idea of 'whats nice'. You might like shiney, polished, they like earthy, rough. We also plan on implementing the same kind of things with food tastes. Some people may like sweets, some might hate sweets. We also want these things to be organic and change over time, so Its possible for an NPC who lived in a palace to over time prefer living in a homey type wooded hut if they had to spend enough time in that kind of enviroment. This is to extend into all senses. Visual, Smell, Touch, Taste, and Sound.

We also plan on having a type of disguise and perception system, where you may enter a town and have a persona in one place but via a disguise have a different persona elsewhere. NPC's decisions about you made on what they know, or think they know about you.

I'd like to add these are planned features, but I'm not sure when they will be implmented after the first alpha release...

We generally dont talk too much about future plans just because we don't want to be 'that' developer who promises something then isn't able to deliver.
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MattWithoos
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Re: Crazy idea for a game...

Postby MattWithoos » Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:38 am

Aduah wrote:We generally dont talk too much about future plans just because we don't want to be 'that' developer who promises something then isn't able to deliver.


Nothing like a self-aware dev. That gives me a lot of confidence in your game tbh, like OtherWorld and Mariosa. Interesting to see so many games with actual promise being built - back in the day you just expected each game to fail eventually.
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Aduah
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Re: Crazy idea for a game...

Postby Aduah » Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:55 pm

MattWithoos wrote:
Aduah wrote:We generally dont talk too much about future plans just because we don't want to be 'that' developer who promises something then isn't able to deliver.


Nothing like a self-aware dev. That gives me a lot of confidence in your game tbh, like OtherWorld and Mariosa. Interesting to see so many games with actual promise being built - back in the day you just expected each game to fail eventually.



The problem is, so many games over promise to get sales and audience, then fail to deliver what they promise. Remember how Fable was supposed to be an awesome game with choices and consequences, and they made so many promises and it fell flat. No man sky also was supposed to be awesome, they promised so much and they didn't deliver on that either. There are so many steam greenlight games that never get finished, or promise something that they dont deliver on, and make you pay 'on faith' that the game will eventually be what they promised. 9 times out of 10 it doesn't get there. People are hardcore losing faith in games... All games... I'd rather build my game in a way that every feature we put in is solid. And announce what we are working on as we are working on it, rather than some hyped up pipe dream that we may or may not deliver on. :)
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Re: Crazy idea for a game...

Postby witia1 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:05 pm

That's my main problem with kickstarter/greenlight. To many not fulfilled promises. I'm not one that drowned a lot of monney in it and 50% success ratio l think is not bad but it hugely shifts risks to customer side of equation.
And when some indie dev goes for that method of getting cash I can somehow understand but when already known dev takes and drowns fans cash that make me hate this system.
And I know that we as customers are equaly responsible for problems of all this "bull**** marketing" with early access, greenlight or just prepurchase as if it sells then why to change that. But it's still damm anoying.
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