Author Topic: V5 Intelligent NPCs  (Read 1384 times)

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Offline Mickey Kudlo

V5 Intelligent NPCs
« on: December 09, 2013, 06:01:45 pm »
If you haven't noticed then I have been updating weekly. Getting closer and closer to being able to add some intelligent NPCs in the game.

My original idea was basically have the NPCs behave like players. Given a goal, like build a house, they could read the Usage and reverse
engineer how to make a house, wall, bricks, mortar, tools, etc. Sounds pretty cool but after designing this concept on paper more thoroughly,
it turns out to be a hugely, CPU intensive feature, even for just 1 NPC. And I am not really sure how it would really be anything fun for
players to see and/or deal with. This approach also deals with new content well, keeping it dynamic and versatile.

So, I am trying to figure out a middle ground where NPCs aren't sitting around, dumb as dirt but actually interact with the world and players
more in depth. Hard coding to specific content could speed things up a lot plus cheating by allowing NPCs to get resources/tools more easily.

Also, thinking of maybe a time-elapsed based thing for world creation. Kinda like Dwarven Fortress that creates a world and populates it then
goes through years of activity which on my machine took like 30-45 minutes. Then I could have more static NPCs like shopkeepers, guards, etc.
It would satisfy my "NPC creates the world" idea somewhat and give players more than just nature to explore cuz I been playing a lot and am
now missing running into some kind of buildings or history of actions or ruins or something.

Or something where players help the NPC build stuff to earn prestige or something, making the NPCs totally dependent on players.

Or players create the NPCs. You create a normal player then set it up on a script. You can always log in to it and check on it or go adventuring
with it, like a normal player.

Anywho... fishing for ideas :)




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Offline Greatest

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Re: V5 Intelligent NPCs
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2013, 06:19:49 pm »
I'm all for the basic player driven economy that we've always had.  if you actually let the npcs go around taking over the world then we normal players won't have a chance(we have to sleep some times).  allowing players to supply materials for the npcs and the npcs to just be town workers would work even with a story behind it.  if you're staying with a basic fantasy world then there is the background of a group of settlers going through a mystical gate landing in some new mysterious land.  in that scenario we players go out and gather needed materials to enhance/enrich the town, and to supply the basic needs of those living there(crafters) or help to expand the town's influence on the surrounding area and defend the town against local wildlife(fighters).
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Offline Roarion

Re: V5 Intelligent NPCs
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2013, 08:03:18 pm »
I'm all for the basic player driven economy that we've always had.  if you actually let the npcs go around taking over the world then we normal players won't have a chance(we have to sleep some times).  allowing players to supply materials for the npcs and the npcs to just be town workers would work even with a story behind it.  if you're staying with a basic fantasy world then there is the background of a group of settlers going through a mystical gate landing in some new mysterious land.  in that scenario we players go out and gather needed materials to enhance/enrich the town, and to supply the basic needs of those living there(crafters) or help to expand the town's influence on the surrounding area and defend the town against local wildlife(fighters).

I agree that players should have to supply NPC's certain resources. Maybe you provide the alchemist NPC 10 of every seed and then he/she sets up a shop and starts selling the potions. When certain things are set up maybe different NPC's will wander into your town and you can help them out also to obtain new things in your town. Alchemy is a bad example though, potions should be made and sold by players I think since its such a big market.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2013, 08:05:42 pm by Roarion »
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Offline Mongo

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Re: V5 Intelligent NPCs
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2013, 04:05:32 pm »
Firstly.. I had no idea you were working on a v5. That's awesome. Came here on a whim to see if there was any action going on. I found it!

I absolutely love the idea of a living world. I believe the world should be dynamic and the central focus of the game. The players are simply trying to thrive in this dynamic world rather than the game being about the players and building the world around them. This creates a level of immersion that is just incredible.



I really like the idea of a "needs" system for NPC's. Imagine the Sims. They have 3-5 basic needs and their current behavior is decided by their strongest need.

Nourishment = Goes down over time. After a threshold, they will look to eat. If they have no food, they will look to hunt. If it reaches 0, they will lose health rapidly.

Rest = Goes down over time. After a threshold, they will look for a bed. If they can't find one, they will sleep on the ground. If it reaches 0, they will lose health rapidly.

Etc. The lowest numerical value of these needs will decide what their current action is.

Behavior is temporarily overwritten if interacted with. For example, if they are attacked, their behavior might change to "flee" or "fight".

I would suggest keeping it fairly simple. Enough so that NPC's will go through the basic motions to keep themselves alive. Setting it up in this way would allow for a framework that could easily be altered later, adding additional needs or actions.


Buildings are tough. Ideally, the NPC would chop down trees and build a house. I'm trying to imagine how this would work with hundreds of NPC's though.. how that would affect the CPU. I always tend to underestimate CPU power. Honestly, I think there's one good answer: Stress test it.

Create an NPC that will do the following
1) Find the nearest tree
2) Chop it down
3) Craft it into a wall
4) Break down the wall
5) Repeat

Add this NPC into the world over and over.. See how well it handles it. It may very well be that it performs better than you thought.

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Offline Mickey Kudlo

Re: V5 Intelligent NPCs
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2013, 02:36:42 am »
Yeah, the NPCs would have a "needs" driven interaction with the world and players for sure.

I been spending a lot of time thinking about what to do while I code and refine other minor stuff. I think I will end up separating non-intelligent animal/monsters and intelligent NPCs.

Animal/monsters are gonna spawn like V1/V2 but under simulation controls, if that makes sense. Cuz, it doesn't really give any value to the world/game/players for a rabbit to be roaming around all the time, just when a player or NPC is near. I would still have spawns interact with each other and be dynamic. Instead of fine detail action, it would be coarse. When I get it figured out more, I'll talk about it more.

NPCs would also get some "coarseness" but gonna code animals first and see how it works before I decide anything for NPCs.

Currently, I been dealing with a random server.exe crash. Trying to track it down. The world has been up and down a lot but I am getting closer to a fix, I think.
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Offline Mongo

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Re: V5 Intelligent NPCs
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2013, 05:05:17 pm »
That sounds good. Yeah I tried to connect to the server a few times but it didn't seem to be up. No worries though, I'll keep trying every once in a while.
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