Towards Emergent Gameplay: A Framework for Realistic Psychosocial Behaviour in NPCs

Proposal by Christine Bailey

Outline

Game AI in general Believable characters in games
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Mental states Reputation systems Social awareness Emergent Gameplay

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Proposal Future work

Artificial Intelligence in Games

A different purpose than traditional
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Support immersion Entertainment Restricts accuracy/complexity

AI in games is realtime

AI in Games

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Not intelligent Agent design Behaviour modelling Context-driven expertise

Believable Characters/NPCs

Usually:
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FSMs for state of mind Scripting for behaviour Need to define EVERY possible situation Time, money, …

What’s the big problem with this?
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Character Believability

What kinds of things contribute?
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Autonomy, Interaction, Presence Emotion Personality Self-motivation Illusion of life Change Social relationships

Character Believability

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Mental States Emotion Personality Reputation Systems Social systems

Mental States

Simple

Patrolling -> See enemy -> Fight until death

More complex

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I.e. emotions Having memory of past events Forgetting

Emotion

Affective computing!
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Identify Process SYTHESIZE

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Many many different models possible The sum of past events

Personality

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Pattern of behaviours/interactions Agreeableness and Dominance Chris Crawford’s model

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Intrinsic variables (i.e. integrity, intelligence) Mood variables (i.e. anger, revulsion, joy) Volatility Relationship variables Accordance

Sociology stuff

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Roles (i.e. minion, arch enemy, sidekick) Cultures (and subcultures) Worldview Goals Norms (guides for behaviour in situations) Values (personal moral systems)

Booorrrrrinnnngggg - Who cares about this stuff anyway?

Designers
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Supports suspension of disbelief Realism Drama Characters are becoming more important

Bully & Assassin’s Creed

Reputation Systems – The Simple (?) Stuff


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i.e. Fable, Thief: Deadly Shadows, Ultima Online NPC opinions of player Immediate and global No individual opinions (groups) No opinions about other NPCs

Reputation Systems

Sounds pretty straight forward Brockington (2003): take much more time and effort than expected Space requirements

What about true social systems?

Socially Intelligent Agents

Socially Intelligent Agents

Alright! There’s a whole field of this stuff! Right??

“Socially Intelligent” Agents

Despite the name, SIAs typically DO NOT exhibit realistic social behaviour Multiagent problem solving

Reduce resource usage, increase efficiency…

Will the Real SIAs please stand up?

Some interesting research in this area:
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Remembered interaction histories Change of attitude/familiarity assessment Opinion flow High level architecture for social agents

Something else interesting

Emergence (with a capital “E”)
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A.K.A. Emergent Gameplay Stimulus-Response in components (no system-level algorithms) Typically used in simple behaviours More later

Okay, enough background

My proposal

Framework for realistic psychosocial behaviour using Emergence

Solutions

Previously on “Realistic NPC Behaviours”:
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Filters Graph querying State machines

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Yeah, but… My idea:

Why not try using that Emergent Gameplay stuff?

And that was…?

Emergent Gameplay:
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Simple component-level behaviours (Mechanics) + Interaction between those behaviours (Dynamics) => Complex system-level behaviour (Aesthetics)

Emergent Gameplay

A bottom-up view of the game world Every object is ONLY concerned with it’s own needs/reactions Every object is selfish

A real world example – Global warming

Global warming -> ice caps melt -> ocean currents shift -> less warm air in England > colder England
This is a surprising result (system-level behaviour)

More examples

Flocking algorithms Board games

Chess: 24 rules

Video games

Emergent Gameplay in video games

SimCity, The Sims, Spore, Deus Ex, Thief: Deadly Shadows Problem: developers don’t reveal their secrets

I love you Ion Storm

Developers don’t reveal their secrets Except: Ion Storm talked


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Deus Ex and Thief: Deadly Shadows Stimulus System Not rule-based, not scripted Stimulus responses at component level Fire, oil, guards, poisonous gas barrels,…

Previous Emergent Gameplay

Simple concrete components
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Bullet + Barrel => Poison gas leak Candle + Oil => Fire Fire + Guard => Corpse

Soooo….

Can Emergent Gameplay concepts be used to create more believable characters? Non-concrete components?

Instead of candles, oil, and guards as components, can we use psychosocial concepts? i.e. personality traits and emotions as components?

Future work


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Further research into Emergent Gameplay Refine requirements of a unified psychosocial framework Design of unified psychosocial framework using Emergent Gameplay concepts Simple implementation Assessment

Summary
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General game AI Believable NPCs
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Mental states Emotion Personality Social sci. concepts Reputation systems & SIAs

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Emergent Gameplay and how it could be used to develop a unified psychosocial framework Future work

The End

Questions?