Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
''He wears that to fire people and when he doesn't have a choice about ram-
rodding something down people's throats. He wears his less-threatening
navy-blue suit when he's selling something that actually needs our
''That doesn't sound very friendly.''
''If he wants you to relax, he'll shed the jacket or maybe even loosen the
tie. That's when he asks you if you need to take some time off because your
kid is in the hospital or something. He's not actually friendly unless he's
wearing a golf shirt someplace other than here.''
After that dialog, the game designer has prepped the player for the desired
interpretations of the wardrobe choices presented. The designer has seeded
potential emotional reactions that can be evoked by the game. Fear and trepi-
dation get matched to the black pin-stripe suit. This is hardly new, but once again
we have a venue for AI control. Scripting may provide enough control to manage
wardrobe; after all, once upon a time it used to be sufficient for the entire AI of a
game. Game AI in large part has left scripting behind for more dynamic tech-
niques. These techniques are then applied to the more static elements as
designers envision effective ways to exploit them.
Lighting falls into our category of mood as well. Lighting used to be static because
computers lacked the processing power to do anything else. But these days,
dynamic lighting is a fact of life in games; watching your shadow on the floor
shorten as a rocket flies toward your retreating backside warns you in a very
intuitive way of your impending demise. Just like clothing selection, AI control
puts lighting selection in the designer's bag of tricks.
One day, all designers are going to ask, ''Can we get the AI to do the lighting
selection?'' A shifty character AI knows to turn off lights and meet only in dark
places like poorly lit parking garages. A na ยจ ve community activist AI prefers
brightly lit places and broad daylight. If we can teach the AI to tell time and to use
a light switch, the AI can do its own lighting selection. If the activist AI likes
candlelit dinners, we will have to teach the AI about candles as well. A virtual
character who actively lights candles and turns lights off fishes for an emotional
response from the player more directly than if the character simply meets with
others in dark and spooky parking garages. The action is more noticeable than
the ambience. The AI of the activist could also decide that it is annoyed and turn
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