Worlds that Speak

True Grit: The 17th personality trait…

Adding Grit to the equation…

It’s not that I didn’t think there were enough personality traits to work with already. I mean, there’s sixteen of them! However, the traits did not seem to adequately cover characters that can simply hang in there while going through hell, despite what you’d think of their personalities otherwise. It’s the same in the real world as well as in Hollywood: Some people are more easily discouraged than others to keep on keeping on. You can hear of people getting stuck in mountain passes for weeks on end, who hung on to a thin thread of life just long enough to be rescued, and those who unfortunately did not make it. Some of that is due to a trait that is partly genetic, and partly imparted through childhood. And that trait is Grit.

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Knowledge Levels: Let your information run deep…

In the previous blog, I discussed the progress I had made with Interrogative 3, and realized that up to now, I had not discussed something that is core to how NPCs communicate with players (or, eventually, each other): Knowledge Levels. It’s important to understand what this is to see that Interrogative is not just some run-of-the-mill dialog tree implementation, and a lot deeper than just a collection of semantic data that can be used to sling facts at players.

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Touchy subjects, Opinions, and other things getting thrown into Interrogative 3

Whew! Just closed out the 0.8 milestone for Interrogative 3 this weekend, and I only had one task carry over into the next milestone. There’s a really good reason for that happening, too, but first, a few tidbits on what got added during this milestone, since the last week or two have been quiet…

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PAI – The case for Jekyll and Hyde

They, who are not what they seem…

This week, I’m talking about personalities that are not what they seem, and Jekyll and Hyde is one of the best examples. A mild-mannered man (Dr Jekyll) drinks a potion that turns him into a sociopath known as Mr Hyde (read the plot here), and though they are one and the same person, their personalities are completely different. Another example, from the real world this time, would be serial killers who manage to live double lives. Some were even pillars of the community, caught only when they got sloppy, and shocking everyone around them.

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Merry New Year!

Nothing much to report this week, except that a combination of the holidays and a cold means that I spent way more time on the couch than I should have. That, and I’ll be roaming the halls of GDC 2015 this year.

It’s been a while since I’ve been to a good game development conference, and GDC is definitely the best of them- if you haven’t gone, it’s highly recommended. I’ll be attending most of the talks of the AI Summit, and hoping to learn a lot and apply that to Interrogative 3, as well as to game development in general. Also- since when does San Francisco have so many crappy hotels with shared bathrooms? Did they just give up on offering nice accommodations unless it was over a hundred bucks a night? I found a “normal” hotel for a non-horrible price, but damn, I had to look a lot harder to find one.

Also, for those getting here via the domain, that will be going away in the next few months in favor of the new domain (which already points here, so you can bookmark that, if you are so inclined). Having had DigitalFlux for so long, it’s going to a take a while to change everything I use over to the new email domain, so there’s very little rush in that. Seems a bit odd to be letting the old name go and starting over from scratch, after so much time, but sometimes you have to start over to make progress, even if the starting-over is more symbolic.

Okay, time to get back to work…

PAI – Giving the characters some character

Data is Nice and all, but…

Last time I talked about the data formats that were forming part of the core of Interrogative, and how that opened up a lot of ground for me in terms of bringing new features to bear. This time, let’s talk about our NPCs’ personalities

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Interrogative 3.0 – Just the facts, and maybe a bit more…

On Data…

Previously, I talked about some very generic things regarding Interrogative 3 that I wanted to accomplish. Specifically, I wanted to make the dialog more procedurally generated, and to be able to access data that could be updated or “live”. With the previous versions of Interrogative, the problem was that most dialog that the NPC had to say was written by a writer. A sentence like “Old Farmer Johnson is a jerk” was written manually, and was basically static data. If you wanted more opinions on Old Farmer Johnson, you had to type them in.

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Interrogative 3.0: Why the Conversation Focus?

NPCs have to talk…

Some time has passed since I first wrote Interrogative 2.0, and I’ve learned some things since then. The first is that people might be interested in such a thing as a product. The second is that it’s capable of so much more than what I had originally made it do. Another thing I’ve learned about is semantic data, which involves triples that allow me to work with data with more flexibility, but that sort of thing will be displayed in future blogs. Something that you might want to know about is why I focus so much on conversation, when that’s obviously just a feature being driven by personality traits that are driving AI.

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Interrogative: The Need for Better Characters

A New Focus

BablBrain represents a focus on AI, gameplay, and procedural content for online gaming. I’ll be doing a lot of blogging about the newest version of an AI technology I call Interrogative, as well as taking some tangents to talk about things like procedural content generation and some subjects to do with game mechanics.

There’s a lot to talk about regarding Interrogative 3 and its possibilities- but first, a trip down memory lane…

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