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Which was the first Elder Scrolls game you played?

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Radiant AI - The Skyrim population moves!

We all very much enjoyed the Radiant AI in Oblivion. Finally the lifeless dolls we called NPC's got life and actually started doing something, allowing us to engage in a much better role-playing experience.

After years, I still see people asking: "WTF is Radiant AI?"
In order to calm down the masses, I will give a very light and basic explanation of the Radiant AI, then  talk about Radiant AI in Skyrim.

Radiant AI is what makes the NPC's move around, do jobs, eat, sleep and so on. Very basically, radiant AI gives the NPC's rules and needs, which they will do their best to fulfill. I have some fun anecdotes from the first testings of radiant AI.

In one example, one NPC is given a rake and the need to rake leaves. Another NPC is given a broom and the need to sweep the street. This all worked smoothly. Then they tried switching the items between the two NPC's, so that the other one had the item they needed. It ended with one of them killing the other in order to get their needed item.

In another one, some Skooma addicts killed a merchant, in order to get enough money to buy their fix.

I hope that is enough explanation, if not, please write and I'll do better.

NOW! On to the interesting part! Skyrim!
Oblivion (good start) was, as I said, a major improvement on the role-playing experience, giving each NPC a daily schedule.

Skyrim will succeed that, giving each NPC a job, a way to contribute to their respective cities and families, which they will perform everyday, except the weekend I hope, 'cause nobody should work on weekends. And that's final!

Radiant AI also decides how the NPC's react to the player character. Of course their is their disposition towards you, which will alter depending on your actions. Things that you can do, that'll make them nicer towards you, is kill the big-ass battle machine of a dragon, raiding their town. I imagine that if a person likes you enough, like in Oblivion, they'll even help you out. Unless they're pantsies, of course!

Should you choose to break into their house, in the middle of the night, a friend  might offer you lodgings, as opposed to an stranger or an enemy, who'll probably threaten with calling the guard. Who wouldn't?

If you prance into someone's house and start taking their stuff, or merely pushing the vases off the furniture, don't expect them to be too crazy about you either. It has been said that, should you tip their stuff of their tables, eat their food or swing a weapon to close to them, they WILL act appropriately, based on their prior relationship with you.

So there you have it: More realistic population and more realistic relationships. This is going to be awesome, don't you think?

1 comment:

  1. Old RPG games had schedules, did you ever play Ultima game? Take Ultima VII, all NPCs had schedules and it was back in 1992...