[MUD-Dev] Re: 1997 CGDC AI Roundtable Moderator's Report

J C Lawrence claw at under.engr.sgi.com
Wed Jul 8 11:39:11 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On Wed, 01 Jul 1998 14:32:58 -0700 
J C Lawrence<claw at under.engr.sgi.com> wrote:

> URL:http://www.cris.com/%7eswoodcoc/cgdc97notes.html

> 1997 CGDC AI Roundtable Moderator's Report

> by Steven Woodcock


>                  During the development of the game one programmer
> came back from lunch to discover over 30 Creatures running around in
> the game where there had been only one.  Wondering how this could
> happen, he then saw a Creature come into the "hatchery" with an egg
> (which are randomly distributed about the environment) and place it
> into the incubator until it hatched. This Creature had learned by
> accident that eggs dropped in the incubator made more Creatures, and
> Creatures like having friends.

>                  After the game was shipped developers witnessed
> what could only be described as a suicide. Two Creatures that were
> best friends often wandered around the environment together, and
> eventually one of them "died" of old age (they have a life-span of
> roughly 50 hours). Its friend refused to leave the body, despite
> increasing biological needs for sleep and food, until it too died of
> starvation.

>                  By design, the Creatures' brain consists of roughly
> nine "lobes", with each lobe dedicated to a specific aspect of the
> Creatures' personality (emotions, learning, etc.). A player of the
> game sent the developers a Creature which had evolved two additional
> lobes. Examination and testing showed that this "mutant" was
> slightly better than a "normal" Creature-it learned faster and
> seemed somewhat more intelligent.

Now kick back a little and imagine putting these sort of supports
underneath your NPC/mobiles for everything from combat systems and
effectiveness to NPC societies, population controls, herd/flocking
behaviours, and NPC economic and political systems (yes!  Your NPC's
can have their own internally evolved politics!).

I'm scared.


>      RPGs - One topic which garnered somewhat more interest in the
> last session than in others was the use of good AI for role playing
> games. In light of the upcoming large online RPGs, some developers
> wondered how to build believable non-player characters (NPCs) which
> could interact with the players intelligently. A variety of
> approaches were discussed, most being mixtures of rules-based and
> A-life. Ultima Online was brought up as an interesting example of a
> quasi A-life approach backed up by careful overview of Game
> Moderators to prevent things from getting too wildly out of hand.


J C Lawrence                               Internet: claw at null.net
(Contractor)                               Internet: coder at ibm.net
---------(*)                     Internet: claw at under.engr.sgi.com
...Honourary Member of Clan McFud -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...

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