[MUD-Dev] AI's in MUDS and Online Gaming

Matthew Mihaly diablo at best.com
Wed Dec 8 20:59:29 New Zealand Daylight Time 1999


On Wed, 8 Dec 1999, IronWolf wrote:

> There are a lot of cheap and easy ways to give the illusion of life to a game
> but not actually have it. In Ultima 7, a single player CRPG, the NPC's would
> wander about, and shut and open windows, as well as extinguish lights at dawn or
> light them at night, with accompanying phrases like "It's too stuffy in here"
> and "There, that's better". This wasn't an enormous amount of code, just a quick
> spot check on location at intervals. But the payoff was the illusion that life
> was going on around you, that the NPC's were living their own lives. Adding in
> daily routines just reinforced this. (All the NPC's would go to the town tavern
> at night or morning to eat, would go home to sleep, and whatnot.)
> 
> I am of the opinion that an accumulation factor should be a part of any online
> game's internal features. Monsters should learn from mistakes, NPC's should
> remember events and details... to a degree. I've got a lot of ideas in this
> area, but I've not quite formulated a complete explanation yet. I shall work on
> it so I can present it fully, and not do it halfway and leave a lot of
> open-ends.

I'm no expert, and barely even a novice, at AI, but keep in mind that in a
one-player game, you really only have to worry about mobiles around the
person playing the game. That's a very limited set of mobiles. AI is, as
has been noted many times, extremely processor intensive, especially when
you are talking about thousands of mobiles in a game. That fact is, as far
as I can tell from my own experience, the single biggest limiting factor
in making more interesting mobiles
--matt




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