Spice It Up! Enriching Open World NPC Simulation Using Constraint Satisfaction
Keywords:constraint satisfaction problems, open-world, agent cooperation, situations
With more computing power available, video games may spare increasing amounts of processing time for AI. One prospective application of the newly available resources is the simulation of large amounts of non-player characters (NPCs) in open world games. While it is relatively easy to simulate simple behaviours of individual NPCs it is much more difficult to create meaningful interactions between the NPCs. However, without interaction, the world cannot look very alive. In this paper we present a technique that enriches the NPC simulation with pre-scripted situations - short sketches involving coordinated interaction between several NPCs that do not substantially alter the state of the game world but increase the appeal of the world to the player. We use constraint satisfaction techniques to find NPCs suitable to enact the situations at runtime. We have implemented situations on top of the AI system for an upcoming AAA open-world game and show that this approach satisfies functional and computational requirements for practical deployment in the final version of the game.