Pledges and Macro AI Behaviors
Hey Folks! Not a lot of visible progress the last several days, so I've been using the normal blogging time for both work and meetings with devs until there is.
Today isn't much of an exception, but it might be a good time to talk about where things are with AI.
The last major push was to get AI generally throwing reasonable responses at you based on both what you said, and what type of personality they have. This still isn't perfect, but a large portion of the behaviors are at least entertaining, if not plausible. Still enough nonsequiturs to say it's far from done, but done enough for now.
What we're still lacking at this point is some context and stakes for why everyone's doing these actions. Mostly, they're just satisfying personal needs. And as a player, you might be trying to shape their mood for something later.
One thing we're experimenting with now is a "pledge" system. So in addition to the current personality noise, we can add some more macro type behaviors. When you smack someone, they should hold a grudge, and get revenge. When you hire someone, they should defend you and the ship from hostiles.
As an example today, we're setting up a pilot you can hire with a jealous ex-lover. Once you hire them, the ex-lover notices, and storms over to warn you to stay away. Today's screenshot shows the barest bones version of this happening. Our captain, Adah, has offered a job to Jonathan. And Alexandria is pissed. (I forgot to check, but it's possible she's feeling triumphant precisely because she bossed us around.)
Now at this point, there isn't much we can do. I need to try adding more valid replies to that. She also shouted this through two sets of walls from across the ship, which is wrong.
But on the plus side, she interrupted my chat with Jonathan, and the social UI seems to have just shifted focus to Alexandria. Which means we may not have too much work to do to let the player go from target-to-target, for more interesting options than a 2-way conversation.
Still a lot more to do to formalize this and call it a feature. Again, barest bones :) But that's what I'm up to!
Michael is currently working on more character generation choose-your-own-adventure panels. Chris is teaming-up with Bjørn on making the audio systems more awesome, and Bjørn is also ramping-up on a lot of new audio content.
I'll feel a bit less anxious once we have a cohesive demo starting to form, but we're still moving forward!