[MUD-Dev] Alright... IF your gonan do DESIESE...

Miroslav Silovic silovic at srce.hr
Wed May 28 12:30:34 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


> In <199705261121.NAA03109 at regoc.srce.hr>, on 05/26/97 
>    at 07:39 AM, silovic at srce.hr (Miroslav Silovic) said:
> 
> >Interesting. I think that many MUSHes do fairly good job at modeling
> >society. In fact, it tends to be their main strength.
> 
> Based on our discussions to date on RP, I'd argue that one. 
> "Modelling society" implies a level of simulation.  Without human
> players to animate and create a level of social interaction, it
> doesn't exist.  This is as versus an automated societal simulation
> which runs as a society whether players are present or not.

But of course it does. I.e. On a MUSH, a king is a king whether he's
connected or not. Since there are no NPCs running around, they too are
accurately modelled. I.e. nonexistant. I see it as perfectly coherent
in its spartan simplicity. ;)

Seriously, this seems like a good spot to introduce goal-oriented NPCs
discussion. I think I ought to get my cow-worker to show me how to
integrate CLIPS (that's expert system shell) into some server... I
suspect expert-system level of reasoning for the NPCs would be just
enough, provided that you track who knows what.

My thesis is that even with minimal intelligence and inter-commication
ability, NPCs would start up a society on their own. I /think/ we need
the following:

	1) goal oriented AI
	2) simulated moods
	3) communication

1 is reasonably straightforward to implement, and 2 could be a list
of tags with numerical values, structured, for example, like this:

Joe:
	loyalty
		King Bean  +5
		Danal      +2 (after saving Joe's life)
	hatred
		Bubba      +5

(I think that for NPC to inter-organize, you need loyalty, hatred,
and possibly liking).

Now you need a way for NPCs to communicate these. NPC would be likelier
to communicate his feelings to one he likes or is loyal to, and these
could influence the changes in the one who receives the message.

After you do this, you'll also need economy. One word: Elite (you know
this game, right?) Basically I'd just make sure that things make sense:
shopkeeper will occasionally walk to the tavern in the after hours,
and keeper of a leathershop will occasionally go to the tanners guild
for supplies, everyone will have to buy food, and so on.

Could we handle AI in such cases this way:

	if (shop has to be open)
		goal = [stick to the shop, +10]
	if (outside the shop)
		goal = [make sure the shop is closed and locked or
			ask a *good* friend to, +20]
	if (hungry)
		goal = [buy food or ask somebody else to do it, hunger]
	if (thirsty)
		goal = [same for water]
	if (supplies running low)
		goal = [go get some, scarcity of supplies]
	if (buyers inside)
		goal = [wait till they leave, +30]

etc. Now you need some expert system and more rules about achieving some
goals. I still don't think that it'd be *too* hard to write a working AI
around this.

Note that I made sure that some of these rules enforce interaction between
the shopkeeper and various other NPCs.

> A specious point for the player-centric, but a key one for the
> systemic people.

The above doesn't mean that I'm not still player-centric. :)

	Miro



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