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PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 5:47 am 
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My IC explanation for OHB's bot is, he is a cutting edge scientist that has creating a robot (that's the same one he gave out). It works much better for me as the fact that I can walk thru a water garden and NOT jump in the water for some unknown reason.... boy that's an immersion breaker..... invisible walls. I vote we get rid of all invisible walls and no age can be released unless it's relatively endless like Minkata.

The Poll on the subject says that 50% of the ppl who have voted believe robots can go anywhere in the game. My definition of many is not the few that have asked for an easily way to distinguish them.

As far as the idea of forcing all robots to look like one thing or the other... I'm against it. One day thru someone's hard work Cyan may be able to create a DRC member bot that no one would know wasn't driven by a human. Why would I want my limited immersion shattered by it announcing what it is, "Hi, even tho you can't tell the difference, I am here to announce I am a DRC robot and not the real thing!".

As far as it forcing an announcement /command..... what would you do if a real live person was harassing you? Well you can do that to the robot too. chatlog it, write down it's KI number, then ignore it, then report it to Cyan. When Cyan looks up the KI number they will get the account owner and they can take the needed action from there.
Let me go check on Zandi....... nope he does not say anything about being a bot. I guess this rule will only apply to player created content then.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 5:35 pm 
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I like to know if I'm dealing with a human player or non player. That's the social me, establishing relationships in a game. So, I like to know. I do like a mix of different "entities" to interact with in game -- one reason I'm looking forward do Star Wars the Old Republic. I love AI in a game.

For me, AI components make a game seem more real, add to my suspension of disbelief. It makes the world come alive. I also think it's a great way to do story.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 7:36 pm 
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By the time there is AI sophisticated enough to fool a player as to whether or not it's human, Uru will have been long gone (hopefully replaced by a string of highly successful sequels.) So that consideration can be put aside for now. If, at some future point, AI becomes that sophisticated, it can be revisited.

First, I can make the normal points about polls being unscientific. Second... so the numbers say that. Making the bots easily distinguishable does not affect you in any way, and it makes the experience much more enjoyable for those of us who care. I'm just asking for your courtesy, that's all. I hope we, as a community, are close-knit enough to have that sort of consideration, especially when it's something simple like a bot avatar name or appearance.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 9:16 pm 
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Communities, not community. Just had to say that! If we are united by anything, it's our like/love of Uru, and that's it. Though, of course, putting in requests -- always good.

I already said that I thought the poll did not represent all the players. All we can say "for sure" is that some people like the bot, a lot, some people don't and some people are "on the fence". It's interesting.

I can't wait for open source Uru and different servers -- what a wonderful thing that will be -- all that personal choice.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:17 am 
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This wouldn't be the first time a poll here was used to push an unrealistic prospect. Remember when the polls seemed to indicate most people would happily pay Cyan to renege on their word and make Uru a pay project again? :lol: I'm also a bit disheartened that the caffeine crowd would try to upend the artistic balance of the game just so they don't have to be at the keyboard. There is nothing that needs to be done that there needs to be a user agent in the game 24/7, and frankly, anyone who feels otherwise is forgetting that the idea of the game is that we're just visiting, and that puzzles are supposed to be solved collaboratively with other people. There are supposed to be limits on how much the community can be "organized" to go with that. Perhaps this seems like me being a control freak but I am against people trying to exert control through agents when they're not there.

I also think that bots, holographic or otherwise, that automate tasks and thus potentially spam are a bad idea, no matter if they're IC or not.

I'm most opposed to bots that are fake people, potentially loudspeakers with a human skin. The voice chat ability only makes this ripe for abuse...Technology that is 'tangible' within Uru has existed from the beginning to take care of all a person's messaging needs already.

I suppose we ultimately wouldn't have any say whether somebody modified their KI or their program to automate some functions; clearly more KI functionality would be good. But all this stuff about holograms and the like intrudes on the space that has been made in Uru already. There are notebooks and viewers, and for more complicated queries nothing will be supplanting the Guild of Greeters folks for a long, long time.

Cyan knew what they were doing when they didn't add fake people running around in the game. Yeesha and Zandi were special cases, but Cyan put a lot of work (and lines of dialogue) into making him believable. User agents with limited scripted lines would just turn me off, talk in some quarters about how scripting would allow one to have a "more realistic" conversation make no sense. It'd be like saying that taking Chewbacca out of Star Wars and giving him a limited number of lines brings him more to life than his fixed appearance on the movie screen does - no way, and he's just a fur suit! I do realize that the technology exists for holograms and could be repurposed, but I still don't like it.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:44 pm 
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I haven't read every thread on this subject, nor met the only bot that's in the game right now, but here's my two-cents anway.
OHB wrote:
There's bots that chat to you and are not meant to be known as bots...and they shouldn't be identifiable as bots.They should act like humans and talk like humans. HOWEVER, there should be a command that can be given to them that is a requirement to identify themselves as a bot and list their owner's name and contact info should something go oddly awry. Something like "LIST IDENTIFICATION". bla bla bla.

I don't really see the purpose of having bots in the game which are designed to do nothing more than chat with players and, for lack of a better way to say it, fool them into thinking they're actually talking to another human player. The social aspect of Uru as an online game is, for the most part, optional (with the exception of a few ages that require a group). So when a player reaches out to a public 'hood or the city, I think it's pretty safe to assume they go there with the expectation of talking with other human beings that are playing the game.

I personally don't have a problem with having bots in the game, or any game, for that matter, but I think they should be designed to fit in with the game that they are going into. Creating a bot like the one you described would be an impressive accomplishment, but I don't think that it really has a place within Uru. But, bots with the ability to relay information about the game (puzzle tips/spoilers, KI numbers, perhaps even a "looking for group" system for people who need/are willing to help others) would be great.

That said, the suggestions I just made could concievably lend themselves to a new, revamped KI instead of creating a bot (which I would personally love to see happen before anything else, but that's a different story). But if there ever is a bot like this, I think it would be completely appropriate for it to have a unique avatar, so that it is easily spotted by the players who are looking to utillize it, and I think it would be a cool way to include it in the canon. I'm well aware that saying something like, "one of the explorers is a scientist who made the robot and brought him down into the cavern," would be acceptable, but why would one go through the trouble of creating and bringing down a robot with top of the line AI and cybernetics while not bringing down a flashlight? :lol:

I guess I just don't understand the big deal with making robots have a special skin or avatar. I mean, everyone (well, the people in this discussion, anyway) wants bots in the game, so why wouldn't you want to see them? If you keep the bots at least semi-bot-like, you can have them say scripted things (like, "just so you know, I'm logging this chat," or, "I've recorded your name and KI #," satisifying the people who are worried about privacy) without breaking the immersion.

Although, honestly, it doesn't really matter:
DocOlanA wrote:
By the time there is AI sophisticated enough to fool a player as to whether or not it's human, Uru will have been long gone. . .


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 3:02 pm 
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I'd like to know if the bot, the AI thing was powered by a player, though of course it's all people, if you think about. People make the AI things. But, you know what I mean. Aside from that, have at it!

I feel exactly the same about the characters in-game that were played by actors. I'd like to know, just looking at them, that they are "special" characters in the game, part of some official story.

Disagree, fervently, about the "cafeine crowd and artistic balance". I like these new things. I really want new characters, even NPCs, the Zandi and Yeesha thing (holographic Yeesha).

And once again, wouldn't it be great to have open source Uru, with multiple servers. I forsee that one server, whether it's run by Cyan or not, will have nothing in it but Cyan stuff. There would be a place for everyone.

I so hope it happens soon.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:01 pm 
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Not all bots are created equal. So, then, here's my manifesto against cheap game filler and extenders.

I think we ought to look back at the original design intention:
Quote:
[Explaining why Uru does not have a virtual economy] In Uru Live, we were happy to prevent an economy of virtual commodities by not providing trading as a feature. Value was to be found in knowledge and experience. Those things stuck to you and changed you, not your avatar. Sure, your avatar (through clothing, books and your home-Age customizations) became a visual representation of your knowledge and experience, because that's fun. But what we really wanted was for you to learn from the story, take that with you into the real-world and apply it. The cool thing about knowledge and experience is that you can share it as much as you want, and as long as there are new folks to tell, you won't run out. In trade for your real cash, we wanted to give you something with real value - something you could keep, something that would outlive our database. Did it work?

That's Bill Slease writing in his blog Giggagiggles - which still links to Wohba! - Rand Miller's blog.

The answer to his question from 2004 is apparently "no," if only because people are giving up on the dream. Bill moved on from Cyan, and some people apparently now think think having their bot know something is just as good as knowing it themselves. But Uru has come back, improbably, from the dead; it's also time to revive some of the original design ethos.

One, I'm not against bots because I'm a traditionalist who says "back in my day we had to watch a scene transition to move around and the scene transition was made of stones, and we liked it." No doubt there are things that could be made which would be as useful as bots and - oh, there's books, there's viewers, there's KImail. What else could we need? As I intimated before, people are becoming bored with the game as it stands. This is not a problem that will be solved with bots; bots only turn the game into Star Wars Galaxies. Galaxies depends on having lots of characters loitering about to make its world feel populated, but that's not how Uru works. We don't need cantina bands or trainers to feel special; and so adding user-defined bots and holograms is not the way to make it better. (Star Wars Galaxies also came out with far more terrain to traverse when it launched, though it was mostly pretty empty and details were cookie-cutter. That didn't stop people from collecting badges for exploration, though.)

Zandi and Yeesha are special 'bots' because they break our expectations in a cool way. Zandi is understated but tangible enough to believe; lounging in his chair, he's cooler than any normal player-created bot can hope to be. And Yeesha: Most people were expecting Yeesha to stand stock-still in the cleft and just give a speech. But that "bot's" ability to interact with the world, and the player's ability to interact with it, make it pretty cool.

Making that mundane makes it less special. This is nothing new; Cyan themselves added the "character events" which were always feeding frenzies (and that was just my observation of talks with a ResEng!) which inevitably started to cheapen things. No more one-on-one interaction, just dumb Cate Alexander or whoever the latest terrible idea was.

The idea of keeping it fresh is part of why I haven't been back to the Cavern in a couple weeks: I want it to remain fresh, and many other things are fresher to me right now (besides spring flowers). Uru really wasn't designed to be a game for players to "leave a mark on," because that would be Pyst, with King Mattruss in a tub.

When people think (as is apparently thought) bots would spice things up, no offense, it's time to get out and try something else instead. Spring's here for many of the Myst faithful, it's the perfect time. What Uru needs is more content, as in "would work in-game," as it always has. I still say that there are already pretty powerful tools in the game that do everything bots would, and more; they are just underutilized (and underpowered, as we all know from the very limited number of items that can be stored in devices).

The second, again, is spam. Even the decision to plop a bot or hologram down in place is one that impinges upon the freedom of others. Imagine a Bevin covered with a countless number of bots so that it looks like a sea of heads, and all are waving. Now pull that back to just one bot behaving well. It's still going to ruin that postcard-perfect KI shot; it's still changing the look of an area that was carefully designed at one time. It's bad enough (in my opinion) that Cyan has to scrounge for space to stick goodies into and that Kirel (afaik) is no longer a private-feeling place.

I would be okay with things that make sense in-context. A "cutting edge scientist" who makes bots that look just like people do not. They don't make sense in the science fiction-y context of D'ni and they sure don't make sense in the "you are you (now)" context.

If your bot doesn't panic link in time, does it need to be remembered on the Kahlo Pub memorial?


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:08 pm 
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Yeesha is an example of what you can do with an NPC, as is Zandi. NPCs walking around and interacting with the environment are not new things in gameland. I'd like to see more NPCs, as well as more different kinds of bots, but I don't know if we will be able to put them in an existing age -- the open source agreement thing. I also don't know if people will want to make them.

I'm more of the "open it up and let's see what happens" camp. I've got my solo player Uru for the perfect screenshots, a game in all its Cyan developed goodness. As far as I can tell, Uru is not going to have any new content, from Cyan, possibly ever. So, I want to see what happens. I figure that people doing work with Uru have a love of the world, though they might think about things differently than I do. Else, why would they be here? I want to see how they add to the world, how they think about it.

And that is why I really want multiple servers. It seems to me that, let's use Ed Oscuro as an example, there should be a way for both Ed Oscuro and me to enjoy our version of Uru. Why should what I want get in the way of Ed Oscuro's fun? Conversely, why can't I get to see all the varieties (hopefully) of things people will make.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:27 pm 
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I would like to suggest that the creators of bots & holograms to make their creations in what ever feature form they choose. The only limitations I perceive would be the limitations set by Cyan and or Shard Admins.

I would like to challenge the creators to making something that I can not figure out, in a matter of micro seconds, that it is a bot. (yep, Deckard fan) :wink:


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:21 pm 
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semplerfi wrote:
I would like to challenge the creators to making something that I can not figure out, in a matter of micro seconds, that it is a bot. (yep, Deckard fan) :wink:

Mandatory Voight-Kampff testing for everyone in the cavern? ;)

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:03 pm 
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Nomen Luni wrote:
Voight-Kampff testing

That's nine years away. We are developing the cross-referenced questions today. :P


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 1:42 am 
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lunanne wrote:
Ed Oscuro wrote:
It's still going to ruin that postcard-perfect KI shot; it's still changing the look of an area that was carefully designed at one time.

Shall we ask everybody else then to move out of the cavern so they don't stand in one of your KI photo's? Really, what is the difference between a bot and a normal person standing in the way? In what way does it change the look of an area that was designed to be multiplayer ?

Do I have the right to make a John Goodman-lookalike and plant him at the bottom of the Great Stair forever? Perhaps I could have him wander about and sing the Pyst theme song to random people in the Kadish Gallery, or in the Kahlo Pub. That totally wouldn't be abusive at all! He could stand by the memorial and serenade visitors...yes, that's not going anywhere good I think.

For your question: The other people have a right to be there, for one, and you actually CAN ask them if you want to make that shot. That's the amazing thing about human players: they actually do things with other people sometimes.

Just to make it clear, I think this is mainly an issue of etiquette...kind of like not telling other people what to enjoy, I suppose ( :lol: )

It's also occurred to me that this whole thing is just another way for people who spend lots of time in the game to assert more dominance over the game. Everybody was supposed to be on a level playing field but we are already starting to see some people become, not through intent but just as a matter of fact, "more equal" if they can be there full-time or if they can do things that we can't with the KI.

For instance: If you're not in the Cavern when something big happens (and I never was) you go to the GoG Bevin or your local friendly forum to ask about what happens. People talking as if in person is different from reading a chat log without context afterwards (yes I know somebody is just dying to create movie recording functionality into a client but that's besides the point). In the real world you'd sit around the coffee table (or a Kahlo table) and find out what happened and perhaps somebody would even act out the memorable parts for you. There may be some telephone game distortions going on but you can get an idea what the mood was like. Just having a bot sit around and soak up information for an RSS feed later is, again, not really what it's all about, but if other people want to ruin the game for themselves that's not my business.
mszv wrote:
Yeesha is an example of what you can do with an NPC, as is Zandi. NPCs walking around and interacting with the environment are not new things in gameland. I'd like to see more NPCs, as well as more different kinds of bots, but I don't know if we will be able to put them in an existing age -- the open source agreement thing.

That's the killer. Players aren't the game creators; they don't necessarily have access to the same tools or knowledge the game creators do so their bots are not built-into levels; they will probably be just like I described, at least most of them. Something somebody is able to script up easily will either stand in place or it will do repetitive things, except without any kind of buildup or significance like with Yeesha if you can just trigger it over and over. And again that kind of breaks the whole "You are You" ethos of the game, if you are you - plus an answering machine that sleeps upright.

I think the answer to this, in terms of gameplay I guess, would be to set up holograms / bots to appear like marker games, maybe even tie them to that functionality so people aren't given access to these very powerful tools immediately (perhaps that's harsh but you do have to pick up your KI after all). It would make sense to have NPC holograms and their predilection for ambulatoriness be tied to the Great Zero.

Anything but more fake explorers.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 1:54 am 
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Fake edit in a new post:

I like Zardoz's new signature. :twisted:


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