Star Citizen grants a look at the process of creating AI behavior

    
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As much as MMOs are about other players in a shared area doing things and lending a sense of ambience to a game world, NPCs also bring life to things as they mull about doing a variety of tasks. That NPC and AI behavior was the subject of last Friday’s devstream from Star Citizen, which walked fans through the process of designing NPC behaviors.

Obviously, AI refers to an NPC’s brain, which has to be loaded up with desires and functions based on what job that NPC has; an engineer NPC is going to need to know how to navigate the game environment, find broken components, and recognize what needs to be done to fix them. The showcase started from absolute scratch with a blank NPC and a blank play area, with the devs putting together this example engineer. All NPCs have shared behaviors such as eating, sleeping, and socializing, but during the example the devs added unique layers based on what an engineer would be doing — in this case, working on a fuse.

What this means for actual gameplay isn’t just for ambience alone, as players could eventually hire NPCs to perform certain tasks, and hiring the right person for the job would thus be important. You wouldn’t want a bartender fixing your starship’s electrical systems, after all.

source: Youtube
Longtime MMORPG gamers will know that Star Citizen was originally Kickstarted for over $2M back in 2012 with a planned launch for 2014. As of 2021, it still lingers in an incomplete but playable alpha, having raised around $350M from gamers over years of continuing crowdfunding and sales of in-game ships and other assets. It is currently the highest-crowdfunded video game ever and has endured both indefatigable loyalty from advocates and immense skepticism from critics. A co-developed single-player title, Squadron 42, has also been repeatedly delayed.
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Jim Bergevin Jr

Just wait until that engineer develops IBS. He’ll be on the crapper all day and not getting any work done. As a result, those fuses don’t get replaced on time and you ship looses power out in the middle of the boonies.

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Kickstarter Donor
Ken from Chicago

That’s what the T poses are for, to build muscles … back there … to hold it in no matter what the situation or where they are standing at. 🤔👍🤣

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Godnaz

While the subject of this article offers no Glitz or glamour, it is the meat of what Star Citizen it’s supposed to be. Nevermind the vast scales and planets. Nevermind the wide variety of detailed ships. There is no game unless there are sophisticated systems to make for engaging gameplay. A big part of that gameplay is the artificial intelligence/ subsumption. What they are shooting for almost seems out of the realm of realistic and while this game has many important members and facets, the the key member of the Star Citizen development team is without question Tony Zurovec. His AI logic will make or break this game. Without it, it’s just a prettier Elite dangerous.

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Tee Parsley

Well, Tony’s four years with Digital Anvil lead to exactly zero-de nada games. While he has the dual skills of good developer, and being a buddy of (or at least able to put up with) Chris Roberts, that didn’t lead to success in their last co-productions.

We’ll see….in the far future, most likely…

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ForsetiGod

This title made me laugh way too hard.

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Tee Parsley

Because looking for the right engineer to change my fuses is exactly why I play a spaceship combat game!

Has anyone told them they’ll need an internal ingame Yelp-thing to gather reccomendations about fuse engineers??? Get on it, immediately!

Oh, damn, better be modeling the fuse manufacturers. The fuse brands. The production line fuse quality fluctuations. Fuse behavior in atmospheres with different atmospheric element ratios. Solar activity and fuse degradations.

Damn! It will be epic!

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angrakhan

Thanks. You just added 4 years to the development timeline.

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Jim Bergevin Jr

That’s a little optimistic, don’t you think?

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Kickstarter Donor
Ken from Chicago

You forgot to model replacing fuses when the Avenger Warlock’s EMP kills power on your ship and you have to scramble to replace the fuses to restart your engines. #Immersion