A gossip virtual social network for non playable characters in role play games
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A challenge faced by the video game industry is to develop believable and more intelligent Non-Playable Characters (NPCs). NPCs are still mostly underdeveloped within Role Playing Games (RPGs) and highly sophisticated NPCs require a large amount of time and effort to build. To tackle this problem a low-cost and simple approach has been proposed in this research, which is the development of a gossip virtual social network for NPCs. The network allows simple individual NPCs to communicate their knowledge amongst themselves. The communication within this social network is governed by social-psychological rules. These rules are categorized into four types: Contact, whether the NPCs are within contactable range of each other, Observation, whether the NPCs actually want to talk to each other based on their personal traits, Status, the current representation of the NPCs, and Relationships which determines the long term ties of the NPCs. Evaluations of the proposed virtual gossip social network was conducted, both through statistical analysis and through a survey of real users. Highly satisfactory results have been achieved.
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