[MUD-Dev] [MLP] NPC Complexity

Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com Daniel.Harman at barclayscapital.com
Mon Apr 29 09:36:21 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


From: Kwon Ekstrom [mailto:justice at softhome.net]

> You could add an NPC layer to the AI (which now that I think about
> it, wouldn't be a bad idea anyway), which races propagate events
> to when they're done handling them.  Then write an AI to allow
> NPC's to transfer data between themselves.  Then you can add an AI
> to the standard NPC init code allowing them to learn.

> I'm using the "higher" level AI's for 2 things, they're a central
> distribution point, and it's a pooled AI, so all the creatures of
> that grouping have access to it.

I quite like this idea, but I do wonder if identical behaviour
couldn't be achieved through the use of emergent systems. Rather
than trying to model the higher level functions of npc group
interactions, one could look at what motivates people on an
individual level, and by modeling them create these seemingly
complex results.

When groups of people do things, it seems to me that it is more down
to the leadership than the bulk of the group. Perhaps we just need
to study the motivations of leaders and then model them.

Of course thats skipping a step, the first stage is to look at why
beings group and then stay grouped. Then to model why one creature
might emerge as leader of the group (or subgroup), followed by his
motivations to war/plant trees/build a castle/etc and his abilities
to motivate others to do the same.

It would be a layered AI in the sense that there would be a
hierarchy, but at the same time you wouldn't have different rules
for different entities, and I suspect it might have interesting
behaviours you couldn't/wouldn't have thought of if you were
modeling them explicitly at a higher level.

Dan
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