Rewriting the core way NPC's make decisions and go about their day is the 2nd of 3 large changes necessary to getting out build 11. It has everything to do with making the game and world feel right. Feel alive.
This week I got the basics of the new AI Task system working and I show how it works in two small ways:
- Players can now see what a weaponsmiths (actually all craftsman, so that includes armorers, artists, etc.) is currently working on, and the NPC knows what they previously made (and when they made it, and how good it is) and will actively promote it. This is the tip of the iceberg of what is possible.
- Innkeepers set their menu's based on what they can source locally. If you sell him some fish, you'll see fish dishes show up. If his source of lynx meat or grain dries up (you bought it all, building burned down, trade routes are blocked) they will drop off. If you make your own wine and sell it to the merchant, you will see it show up on menus throughout the world. The NPC also knows what he wants and is unable to source (through the new AI Brain memory system) and that could lead to economic quests.
All this is leading towards a role playing experience unlike any other game, a place where every player choice really impacts the world.
For those interested, here is a Deep Dive on Innkeeper A.I. just to give you a taste of how things work under the hood.