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Interacting with autonomous actors

Posted by Michael on April 8th, 2007, in Development

While working with Drama Princess in The Path, I’m realizing that the focus of Drama Princess on autonomous characters has some disadvantages. While working on Drama Princess by itself, I tended to imagine a situation where all actors are autonomous and where the user is just a passive observer. In a game, however, the focus is on what the user does. And in the case of Drama Princess, on his or her interactions with objects and other actors.

When autonomous actors interact with each other, it’s easy to believe in them. Probably because you do not know their intent and you actively interpret their behaviour and make up stories. But when you are controlling one of the actors, you’re a lot less forgiving. Suddenly all the little oddities start looking like glaring errors. We’ll need to fine-tune things quite a bit more than would be needed for purely autonomous actors.

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