VAIOT — AI And The Future of NPC’s
Immersion is crucial when it comes to video games. All types of games strive to keep the player engrossed in some way. To keep players immersed in role-playing games, it’s critical to establish a plausible game world. Many factors make up a game environment, but one aspect that is crucial to immersion is the other characters who reside there. The characters who populate a gaming environment can be controlled by the player or not. In this article, we will explore how non-player characters (NPCs) can be enhanced by artificial intelligence, what they are, and we will also explore VAIOT as an NPC.
What Are NPCs and How Do They Work?
In a video game, a non-player character (NPC) is a character who is not directly controlled by the player. In games, these characters are a part of the game universe. The first NPC was actually seen in RPGs like ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ and other tabletop games where the game master was a part of the game without being a player in the game. Since then, NPCs have evolved significantly, now representing characters in a game or guides that help progress the plot of a story while not being consistently present. Every role-playing game (RPG) has a setting, such as the Wild West, or the Far Future, and so on. For the game to immerse the player, the NPCs in any given setting must fit into the environment and behave realistically based on the game’s setting.
In all RPGs, NPCs play the same roles and do the same responsibilities. NPCs in games will provide missions, converse, play games, fight, and generally go about their business — all of this appears to be of their own volition. They do all of this to create a game world that seems alive with real people in it, which is how they think about immersion in general. Regarding NPCs, a game has achieved immersion when the NPCs make the player feel like a plausible imitation of a human within the game’s setting.
That said, let’s have a look at how NPCs work. State machines, which are a standard means of controlling diverse software and hardware, are frequently used to control NPCs. In the games, state machines are utilized to determine the AI Agents behavior. Within an NPC state machine (which can be illustrated as a simple graph, see image below) nodes denote behavior states and edges denote events. Typically, an NPC will have hundreds if not thousands of these state machine “behavior states” set.
Of course, there’s also a dialogue. Dialogue between player-controlled characters and NPCs is frequently represented using a dialogue tree, which is a type of state machine. A dialogue tree has nodes that indicate NPC responses and edges that reflect player dialogue.
Current Issues with NPCs and How VAIOT Could Help
Because NPCs are created and logged in a state machine, it means they have a limited number of reactions. Thus, the state machine controlling a guard in your game for example, restricts the NPC to performing only a few simple tasks, illustrating the first issue: predictability. Because NPCs have a predetermined set of behaviors, human players can quickly learn these behaviors and exploit the systems that control them. Because interaction with NPCs is not believable, this predictability destroys the player’s immersion.
Secondly, NPCs in current games often have unrealistic reactions to the emergent situation because their behaviors have been set in advance. With Intelligent Contracts and artificial intelligence (AI) emergence, these problems could be solved. For example, it could introduce the possibility of an NPC that is continuously learning and advancing while you play. VAIOT’s AI Assistant would process the new information in real-time via API and consistently updates/upgrading itself with each interaction within the game. Meaning, the AI could give the state machine an expendable number of states, thus creating realistic and surprising situations for the gamers.
But that’s not all, VAIOT’s AI Assistant doesn’t just work in a problem-solving way when it comes to NPCs. It also offers new revolutionary options to gaming such as intelligent contract generation by the NPC and intelligent mission generation.
Here’s how that works. Depending on the gamer’s personal situation, the NPC connected to the AI Assistant would be able to sell/buy real crypto assets that are used in-game and trade them. You could buy products or services in the game, but you could also use assets that you’ve earned to a stake, for example. Furthermore, the NPC could give each gamer different missions based on their skillset, armor, and more. Making the game highly adaptable and ever-changing. Keeping it fun to play.
NPCs and AI are a great combination. Through AI, the NPC becomes smarter, faster and flexible. With VAIOT’s AI Assistant, true game immersion becomes inevitable.