[MUD-Dev] New topic: AI and NPCs

Nathan Yospe yospe at hawaii.edu
Mon Sep 1 22:38:22 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

On Fri, 29 Aug 1997, Jon A. Lambert wrote:

:On 27 Aug 97 at 11:22, Nathan Yospe wrote:
:> Both of the following apply to my GURU engine. Phymud++ has pitifully little
:> in the way of advanced AI. I'm still working on it...
:<snipped strategy>

:I agree with the difference.  

:> As for tactics... there is no 
:> way a computer can match a human in tactics, they are by far too situational.
:> So I don't try. Instead, I mirror player controlled entities into non PCs,
:> from some remote encounter elsewhere in the world, modifying NPC populations
:> to match some currently existant PC population, a heartbeat behind. This
:> gives NPCs a frightening intelligence. (I'm assuming that, by the time this
:> project is finished, I will have figured out how to handle enough
:> simultanious users to make this work. Its already distributed, so possibly
:> links could be garnered from remote servers as well.)

:This is fascinating.  Are you saying that a creature/NPC will lock on 
:to a currently existing combat in another part of the mud world and 
:attempt to perform similar actions in it's current combat turn?

Not only that, but a reciprocation. For example, lets take our old friends,
Bubba and Boffo. Now, Bubba has just walked into the locality of a Freudian
BakerSigma beast, and has activated the FBSB's 'AI'... the AI looks for any
current player with combat attributes (tallied over time, yes, this bears a
resemblance to NNs) similar to its own, and happens across Boffo, wandering
innocently in another part of the world. "I say," thinks the AI, "This will
work just fine." Bubba happens to resemble nothing in particular, so the AI
generates a Bubbalike (but quite different in appearance) critter from some
template, and places it in a spot analogous to the FBSB's view of Bubba. It
then ties the critter to Bubba's control feed, and the FBSB to Boffo's, and
turns the two loose. Of course, speech is obfuscuted, as Bubba cannot speak
FBSBese, and Boffo cannot speak critterese, but all subsequent actions are,
in fact, performed by two PCs in four bodies and two locations.

This started as a much simpler idea: we were going to make all PCs appear
as human to themselves and members of their own race, and as something in
the line of a totally nonhuman hominid biped to all other races. This was
so much fun, we decided to run with it.

:This does sound like it could be "frightening".  With enough player
:base, you could lock on to specific types (NPC mages implementing
:other PC mages).


:I've been thinking of another possibility.  A given intelligent NPC
:could produce a virtual session log of combats against it.  This log
:could be immediately parsed into some sort of "computerese" shorthand
:an is used to modify a weighted table of that NPCs "archetype" or
:prototype.  The success or failure of given tactics could be applied
:to the weighted table.   The table might also figure in the perceived
:PC "archetypes" attacking it.  e.g. "Hmm, mage in party"  "Choose 
:entry 434 -  Take mage out with missile"  etc.


:I think I'm getting into neural net areas, no?  This area is new to
:me although I do have some samples around dealing with handwriting 
:recognition.  Nathan, Do you know of some good web/ftp addies that
:might lead me to some introductory applications?

Um. I might recommend a couple of books, but I'm away from my library at the
moment, so I'll have to get back to you with the titles and authors later...
as for FTP sites... nothing I've seen via FTP has impressed. There is some
good stuff at times on ... what was it, comp.ai.neural-net? the newsgroup
dedicated to the subject ... but be warned, they go OFF.


"You? We can't take you," said the Dean, glaring at the Librarian.
"You don't know a thing about guerilla warfare." - Reaper Man,
Nathan F. Yospe  Registered Looney                   by Terry Pratchett
yospe at hawaii.edu   http://www2.hawaii.edu/~yospe           Meow

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