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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:52 pm 
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lunanne wrote:
The ability to respond to questions instead of just randomly starting to talk.

Well bots are not going to be able to simulate a proper person. So its far better imo to have a dialog box appear offering choices to the user so the user then knows the limitations of the NPC's knowledge rather than them having to guess by asking questions that 99% of the time it won't know the answer to or be able to respond in any meaningful way.

- Example

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 10:59 pm 
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My main reason for this idea would be that it would enable the player to interact with"NPCs" in the same way that they would another player. That there would be no need to rig up dialogue boxes or explain away NPCs as being part of some AI system they could just be people either too lazy, or busy, to speak with you about anything that they wouldn't want to talk about, in a way it might be interesting to use this as an aspect of their personality. It could also be possible to make some of the possible responses obvious to the player through the dialogue in responses. Also if I remember correctly OHBot was capable of determining who had already spoken to it thus some of those subjects could be stated as part of the initial greeting and restated on subsequent visits.
An Example:
Via PM Jevasi: hello
bot:Hello Jevasi I'm Alex Kingsley I'm busy routing KI mail to and from other members of Subterranean Restorations right now but I consider it my duty to help explorers whenever I can, and I'm quite the expert on D'ni Time and am also privy to some information about the new ages pending release, so if you have any questions on that feel free to ask.

Obviously this is just a general idea but this is in the vein of what I was thinking.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:13 pm 
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the problem with bots are... they're stupid. you can pose a lot of questions to them they'll not understand. some just require a different syntax. they are extremely user *un*friendly and in URU they'll come off as seeming completely inhuman or might at least pass off as someone with lower level brain function at best. if NPC's were to be in URU at all, it would be best if they had a conversation system akin to Bioware RPGs where players are prompted with a list of answers and questions that will illicit a certain response. this way explorers can only prompt dialog for which there are responses to. it could even be explained that explorers interface with them via the Ki, provided they're some sort of D'ni AI, to maintain some manner of realism.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:59 am 
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Or, they could be rigged up something like Jeff Zandi - if you've been to certain spots, or have/haven't done certain actions, and you approach, he gives you clues on what you still need to do.

Could other NPC bots be set up something like that?

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:51 am 
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yeah, but there's no active input on the players part with that. we just simply have to had done or not done certain things first. there in lies my suggestion that URU is too "hands off"


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:01 pm 
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Jevasi wrote:
My main reason for this idea would be that it would enable the player to interact with"NPCs" in the same way that they would another player. That there would be no need to rig up dialogue boxes or explain away NPCs as being part of some AI system they could just be people either too lazy, or busy, to speak with you about anything that they wouldn't want to talk about, in a way it might be interesting to use this as an aspect of their personality. It could also be possible to make some of the possible responses obvious to the player through the dialogue in responses. Also if I remember correctly OHBot was capable of determining who had already spoken to it thus some of those subjects could be stated as part of the initial greeting and restated on subsequent visits.
An Example:
Via PM Jevasi: hello
bot:Hello Jevasi I'm Alex Kingsley I'm busy routing KI mail to and from other members of Subterranean Restorations right now but I consider it my duty to help explorers whenever I can, and I'm quite the expert on D'ni Time and am also privy to some information about the new ages pending release, so if you have any questions on that feel free to ask.

Obviously this is just a general idea but this is in the vein of what I was thinking.


AI's are dumb. They don't understand english. So they can never respond properly to everything that is said to them. That is why they won't work as envisioned by people. You would literally have to ask them questions exactly like they expected them, if you missed out some key words that they are looking for then it would fail completely and ruin the experience.

For example:
Stucuk: What is <AgeName>?
Bot: <AgeName> is a place where the D'ni setup a camp to watch some animals
Stucuk: What is the weather like in <AgeName>?
Bot: <AgeName> is a place where the D'ni setup a camp to watch some animals
Stucuk: So you don't know what the weather is like in <AgeName>?
Bot: <AgeName> is a place where the D'ni setup a camp to watch some animals
Stucuk: What is the camp in <AgeName> like?
Bot: <AgeName> is a place where the D'ni setup a camp to watch some animals
Stucuk: What animals were found in <AgeName>?
Bot: There are pigs, cats and donkeys in <AgeName>
Stucuk: Do animals in <AgeName> like to dance?
Bot: There are pigs, cats and donkeys in <AgeName>
Stucuk: It would be easier talking to a Stone...
Bot: The stones found in <SomeOtherAge> were used by the D'ni to do <Insert Something Here>
... I could go on forever with examples.

You also would have to have it so it could respond to languages other than English.

TOOO wrote:
Or, they could be rigged up something like Jeff Zandi - if you've been to certain spots, or have/haven't done certain actions, and you approach, he gives you clues on what you still need to do.

Could other NPC bots be set up something like that?


Personally i think that NPC's should only be found in public ages. Unless they are specifically designed into an age(Like Zandi was).

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 10:22 am 
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Nothing says a BOT has to be a person. In one game a little flying bot is part of the puzzle. One must interrogate it to get a combination. They did a good job of giving it a personality.

There is no doubt they won't ever be able to carry on a philosophical conversation or always make sense. But, like Jeff they can serve a purpose. They don't have to be the Alpha and Omega of AI.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:55 pm 
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I'm a huge fan of AI generated characters in games, including online multiplayer games. I absolutely think they have a place.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:06 pm 
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yeah but there's a difference between virtual characters that deliver canned dialog in response to certain input and those that are actually capable of thinking for themselves, responding to any input a user can make in a way that makes sense, and even go about various tasks without getting hung up, stuck in walls, etc. the reason we've not seen much of the latter is because it's so difficult to do it's often beside the point. it's user unfriendly and tends to disrupt an experience. someday people might actually be able to construct a virtual AI that displays a shred of sensibility but for now AI bots have little to no place in video games period... they're just to difficult to use and create... which is why developers have stuck with scripted NPCs for now.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:27 am 
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I want to see Myst Online URU Live in the Mac Apps store..


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:53 am 
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Christopher910 wrote:
I want to see Myst Online URU Live in the Mac Apps store..


So would I, but it needs a reliable Mac conversion. Wine and Cider come close, but - as I found out the hard way - they can be awfully rough on your Mac.

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KI numbers:
TOOO 24657
Magical Mystery TOOO 643784
Institution TOOO 816645
Karaoke TOOO 816776

~and featuring~

Murinna (the mermaid) 2484723
Mallina (the other mermaid) 3015052

Second Life: TOOO Fall


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 10:18 pm 
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One way to get some amount of interactivity would be to have the NPC serving as a front end for an Elijah-type program. It would have the ability to respond in syntax to keywords and by posing open ended answers would seem to be actually talking to the player. An example:

Player X: "Hi NPC, my it seems lonely in the cavern today."

NPC: "I know what you mean, Player X. There are 5 people in the cavern now, and you are the only one who has said Hi to me in the past 3 hours. BTW, how are you?"

(The NPC would be keying off the combination of the 2 keywords: Hi, and Lonely)

Depending on the level of programming, this could get quite interesting...


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:51 am 
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I want to see Uru Live on Steam. In this category :)


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